Owner Shannon Gaston tells me that Crushcakes has opened a new location at 1150 Coast Village Road, the former home of  Montecito Confections and Whodidily:

150514-crushcakes-smallHi John,
I wanted to let you know about our new Crushcakes location in Montecito, we just opened Saturday!  We are offering our full Intelligentsia Coffee, Tea and Espresso Bar, scratch-made pastries, muffins, scones, cookies, cakes and cupcakes.  We are also selling some new items in Montecito that we don’t currently have at our other stores including Savory Pot Pies, Mini Quiches and scratch-made croissants.  We are located at 1150 Coast Village Road, the phone number is 805.969.2500.  We are taking orders for custom cakes and cupcakes now, give us a call!!
Thank you,


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150507-jersey-mikes - CopyJersey Mike’s Subs, known for its fresh sliced/fresh grilled subs, opened at 3325 State Street on May 6. The first area Jersey Mike’s Subs opened at 7034 Marketplace Drive in Goleta during March of 2012. A second store was launched at 1213 State Street last May. Franchise owners Dawn and Troy Robinson are currently holding a grand opening and fundraiser that runs until Sunday, May 10 to support San Marcos High School and Santa Barbara High School.

The new restaurant, located in Loreto Plaza, is circulating thousands of flyers throughout the community with various offers. For each offer redeemed, Jersey Mike’s will make a $1 donation to San Marcos High School or Santa Barbara High School. Customers must have a coupon to be eligible.

“We are very excited to open our fifth Jersey Mike’s location,” said Robinson. “Our tradition at Jersey Mike’s is to partner with a local charity for our grand opening during the first five days. We feel that working with Santa Barbara High School and San Marcos High School is a great opportunity to give back to the students in Santa Barbara and support the youth programs.”

The Robinson’s history with Jersey Mike’s extends much further than 10 years as franchise owners. “My parents were New Jersey natives who moved to California in the 50′s,” said Dawn Robinson. “Whenever my family visited New Jersey, they would return with a suitcase they deemed ‘The Sub Suitcase’ loaded with authentic sub sandwiches from Jersey Mike’s original store in Point Pleasant at the Jersey Shore.”

This is the fifth Jersey Mike’s location for Dawn and Troy Robinson and their second location in Santa Barbara. In November 2006, the Robinsons opened their first Jersey Mike’s location in Camarillo. They also own Jersey Mike’s locations in Goleta and Moorpark.

The restaurant’s hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. Call 682-1741.



Reader Brendan says that an alcohol license sign has appeared in the window of a building on Santa Barbara Street in the Funk Zone, next to Fox Wine. The sign mentions a brewery called “Brew 42.”



This just in from reader Joe:

“Hi John! I tried to go to Shang Hai on Milpas for lunch today, and several of their windows were boarded up. They had a sign on their front door saying that they are closed for remodeling until further notice.”



This just in from reader Brian:

“I’m not sure if you’re aware but I was walking in old town Goleta today and I noticed what appeared to be a new wine tasting room across the Goodland Kitchen. They looked to be serving wine and a couple draft beers.”



Last month I wrote that there is a new sign dated 4/3/15 in front of Petrini’s Italian Restaurant at 5711 Calle Real in Goleta that indicates it is transitioning to new ownership by Goodland Hospitality, Inc. Reader Mary now tells me that the Santa Barbara News-Press is reporting that Goodland Hospitality, Inc. has also purchased Petrini’s at 14 West Calle Laureles.



Readers Brendan, Cathy and Ted let me know that The Mex has opened at 413 State Street, the former home of Pace, Momma Donna’s, Billies, and Lettuce B. Frank.

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Arts & Letters Café at 7 E. Anapamu Street has closed. New building owner Steve Hermann, a Montecito resident, hopes to open a new restaurant in the space before the end of the year.



This just in from Freeman’s Flying Chicken:

Flying Chicken Starts up New Dinner Club

Santa Barbara, CA – Freeman’s Flying Chicken has introduced a new way to do dinner, and it’s one of a kind. Now available throughout the Santa Barbara and Goleta communities, the Freeman’s Flying Chicken “Dinner Club” is a special online service that allows a customer to sign up, select the night of the week that they want dinner delivered and pre-choose what they want to eat dinner. New “club only” dinners and sides are available, as well as special reduced pricing to Club members, and side dishes can be swapped out or upgraded with the click of a button. Freeman’s goal with this new offering is to make it easier for busy families to bring the family dinner back, “we’re trying to give mom or dad the ease that not only do they not have to cook, but they can sit down and enjoy the hassle-free and healthful convenience of Freeman’s Flying Chicken on a regular schedule at a time that works for them.” Freeman hopes that others will pick up on the idea too. Parents can order for hungry college students or people with parents or home-bound relatives can purchase to be sure there is at least one healthy meal delivered each week. “There are many ways this service could be used” Freeman added.

As part of this launch, Freeman will be offering a new “Southwestern” dinner, that includes corn tossed with cilantro and bell peppers and spritzed with fresh lime, our signature spicy black beans, and new creamy chipotle aioli sauce. The dinner is currently available to club members only. Additional “club only” meals will be released in the coming months, including special dishes for Vegetarian and Gluten-Free diners. The new club site is and it’s free to sign up.

Take out or delivery orders can be placed online or by calling. For walk-up and take-out orders, FFC is located just inside Gate C of Earl Warren, right off of the 101 at the Las Positas exit, in Santa Barbara, CA. Freeman’s Flying Chicken is open 4-9pm, seven days a week. Phone: (805) 765-9200 Online:

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Fresco Cafe in the Five Pts. shopping center has started a Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday Happy Hour, from 5-7 p.m. They offer all beer and wine at $2 off regular price and there will be a special appetizer introduced from their catering menu as well. Also on Mondays, Al Vafa will be entertaining on the patio with vocals and guitar from 6- 8.30 p.m. This May it will be 28 years that Fresco has been at Five Pts shopping center. Fresco will be celebrating their anniversary on Saturday, May 30th with food and entertainment for all.

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Los Agaves Restaurant is bringing the heat to the heart of downtown with a pop-up restaurant in The Kitchen at the Santa Barbara Public Market, 38 West Victoria Street. Kicking off on Cinco de Mayo (Tuesday, May 5th), Los Agaves will pop-up at the Public Market every Tuesday throughout the month of May, offering a special lunch and dinner menu inspired by coastal Mexico street foods, with new and exclusive items not found at their other Santa Barbara and Goleta locations.

The pop-up location will offer tacos, tostadas and Ceviches such as; Tacos Arrachera, grilled steak soft tacos with pinto bean paste on flour tortillas; Mahi Mahi Tacos served on a fresh made grilled plantain tortilla (Paleo & gluten-free); Shrimp Tacos with a tempura cerveza, topped with a cabbage slaw; Vampiros Pastor, a crispy corn tortilla topped with pinto bean paste, cheese and al pastor meat; Ceviche Verde Tostada, wild halibut marinated in a citrus sauce mixed with mango, green apple, jicama and cucumber topped with plantain chips; and Mushroom Tacos, savory shitakes sautéed with guajillo chili, garlic and cheese. Guests can sip on a fresh-squeezed Agave margarita, or peruse the ample wine and craft beer offerings at Wine + Beer to enjoy with their meal.

Los Agaves Pop-Up hours at the Public Market are as follows: Every Tuesday throughout May, beginning May 5th – Lunch served 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m, Dinner served 5–8 p.m. Family owned and operated, Carlos Luna opened the first Los Agaves location on Milpas Street in 2008.



A new 7- Eleven has opened at Mission and State, and word on the street is that Tina Takaya from Opal Restaurant is one of the partners. I am hearing that a Grand Opening is set for May 1st with music, freebies and more.



This just in from Nuance at 119 State Street. Hours are Sunday-Thursday 5-11pm, Friday-Saturday 5pm-12am.

Nuance-extr-9957The Funk Zone Adds Nuance To Santa Barbara’s Restaurant Scene

Santa Barbara, CA. April 2015 –
Discover Nuance, an urban bistro that brings the finest in local, seasonal craft food to Santa Barbara’s eclectic Funk Zone Art District. At the helm is Santa Barbara Chef Courtney Ladin, who combines her globally inspired cuisine with the best in locally sourced Farmer’s Market ingredients. Set in the boutique Hotel Indigo at 119 State Street, guests can dine and sip cocktails on the outdoor patio, while soaking in the ocean breeze from the Pacific, just two blocks away.

“Growing up in Santa Barbara has fostered a sense of community, family, culture, and commitment to sustainability from an early age that inspired my passion to be a chef,” said Ladin. “Food is what brought my family together every evening, and to bring that shared sensibility of delicious food and vibrant conversation to Nuance is a dream come true.”

The Food
Chef Ladin is committed to working as much as possible with local purveyors and winemakers, offering a menu dedicated to the seasons of Santa Barbara’s Farmer’s Markets and wine country. With the distinctive feature of a wood-burning oven in the kitchen, Courtney’s playful, approachable preparations showcase the flavors and quality of each element on the plate. Favorites include: Wood Oven Fired Focaccia with fennel seed, dried Calabrian chili, extra virgin olive oil; Beef Tartare, pickled hon shemiji mushrooms, Fresno chili, mustard greens, hen egg emulsion; Pan Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, strawberry rhubarb jam, pistachios, petit mâche, and toasted brioche; Mary’s Organic Roasted Chicken, Harissa honey lacquer, sweet corn pudding, fava beans, pickled Fresno chilies, charred baby leeks; Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta, Straus Family Dairy, local citrus & Madagascar vanilla.

The Chef
Chef Courtney Ladin blends her native California style with the cultural fusion of her Armenian and Russian heritage, ensuring each dish at Nuance is a crafted union of the best in locally sourced, globally inspired cuisine. Born in Los Angeles, and raised in Santa Barbara, Courtney learned from an early age the love of cooking from her family and how it brought everyone together. After graduating from the University of California Santa Barbara, Courtney pursued her culinary dream and moved to San Francisco to attend Le Cordon Bleu. Courtney spent the next five years training in Maui, Hawaii working for award winning Chefs Cameron Lewark and Lee Hefter at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago Restaurant, as well as at Capische Restaurant under renowned Chefs Christopher Kulis and Brian Etheredge, protégés of Thomas Keller at Bouchon. Courtney returned to Santa Barbara, where she has worked as both a private and executive corporate chef, putting her love into the food, and her passion into every aspect of life in the kitchen.

The Drink
Nuance’s robust Bar Program is led locally by Santa Barbara mixologist George Piperis, with consulting Beverage Directors Julian Cox and Nick Meyer, the brilliant bartending team behind some of Los Angeles’ best bars. Nuance’s bar menu features handcrafted cocktails and artisan spirits that strike a balance between inventive libations and classic favorites.

The Vibe
Set in a boutique hotel in the Funk Zone, Nuance plays on its unique surroundings, thanks in large part to artistic partner, local Santa Barbara artist Sean Anderson. Anderson has collaborated with Ladin to infuse an original artistic design element to the restaurant to visually inspire guests during their visit, together with Chef Ladin’s food, creating a totally unique culinary experience. The name Nuance derives from the restaurant’s integration of cuisine, art, music and community culture. These are all subtle nuances that lend to the overall experience.

Nuance is the collaboration between Chef Courtney Ladin and Managing Partner, Bill Chait of Sprout LA – the restaurateur behind some of Southern California’s most award winning chefs and restaurants.

About Nuance
Experience Nuance, an urban bistro that brings the best in local, seasonal craft food to Santa Barbara’s eclectic Funk Zone Art District. Sample the creations of Chef Courtney Ladin’s globally inspired cuisine made with the best in locally sourced Farmer’s Market ingredients. Nuance’s full bar features handcrafted cocktails that strike a balance between inventive libations and classic favorites. Set in the boutique Hotel Indigo at 119 State Street, the original artistic design infuses the restaurant’s integration of cuisine, art, music and community culture that lend to the subtle nuances to the overall experience.



arlington-tavern-1Columnist Richard Mineards, in the latest edition of the Montecito Journal, reports that Bob Montgomery, owner of the Nugget restaurants in Summerland and Goleta, has purchased Arlington Tavern at 21 W. Victoria Street and plans to turn it into a third South Coast Nugget location. Montgomery says he hopes to open at the end of May.

Montgomery recently tried to revive the closed Cafe del Sol but talks broke down before he could come to terms with the property owner. The former Cafe del Sol location is now the home of the Montecito Event Center, run by Warren Butler.



To mark its Grand Opening on Thursday, April 23, the growing build-your-own artisanal pizza shop PizzaRev will host a “Pizzas for a Purpose” fundraising event at 12 W. De La Guerra Street (at the Paseo Nuevo Shopping Mall), formerly Kahuna Grill. Guests are invited to “pay-what-they-want” for a custom-built, personal-sized pizza, with a suggested $8 contribution to benefit Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for adults and their families facing life-threatening illness.

“Dream Foundation is grateful to be the beneficiary of PizzaRev’s charitable giving,” said Kisa Heyer, Dream Foundation Executive Director. “Every pizza bought helps support our program, which brings comfort and compassion to terminally ill adults at the end of life’s journey.”

PizzaRev features a “Craft Your Own” pizza assembly process and its Roman-style thin and crispy pizza that has a following in the Los Angeles area. It starts with the crust selection, either original or gluten-free, each one pressed into a thin canvas from a homemade dough ball. Guests then choose from four signature sauces, including an organic red sauce, a white alfredo, and a spicy-sweet BBQ. Finally, each personally-sized pizza is completed with selections from an array of cheeses and 30+ ingredients, ranging from traditional favorites like pepperoni and ground beef to premium selections including sweet fennel sausage and fresh-picked basil and arugula. Each pizza, no matter how many ingredients are selected, costs $8.25.

What enables the PizzaRev’s speed of service is the custom-built, 900-degree stone hearth oven. Guests watch the dancing flames in the background as their pizzas are fired to a crispiness in less than three minutes.




A coffee shop/deli/bakery is coming to 214 State Street, the former, brief home of Tri Tip Company next to Union Ale. Visit



Reader W let me know that Jaspers Saloon is about to open at 114 South H Street in Lompoc. I don’t know if this is affiliated with the old Jasper’s Saloon in the Fairview shopping center. Visit



I recently ran a story about the reopening of Timbers restaurant and mentioned that it was built from timbers of a Goleta pier that was torpedoed during WWII. Reader Richard offered a correction:

“There’s a technical error in the second paragraph: ‘Many of the timbers still contain pieces of shrapnel from the torpedo bombing.’ The pier was not torpedoed or bombed. It was hit by shells from the Japanese submarine’s deck gun. Torpedoes run only in water like miniature submarines. Bombs, of course, are dropped from airplanes. It’s interesting the article mentions owner Tex Blackenship. Tex and his wife Rose were longtime friends of ours. Regards, Richard Thurston (a former sailor in the US Navy).”

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Chef James Siao from Finch & Fork is gearing up to ride his bike from Santa Barbara to San Diego – all to raise money for Share Our Strength (helping to fed hungry kids in America.) He’s joining a small group of chefs for Chefs Cycle! Each rider is being asked to raise $10,000, and Chef James is well on his way. The ride is kicking off in Santa Barbara on June 14th. To raise money, Chef James is doing a number of things. Special dishes and cocktails from the Finch & Fork menu will be designated, and a portion of the proceeds will go towards his fundraising efforts. In addition, he’s launched a “Sunday Social” series, where on a number of Sunday’s throughout the year, there will be a special dinner or event. The first two, a special dinner at CARR Winery on April 26th, as well as an event at Handlebar Coffee on June 7th. His pals over at Outpost are also running special’s, with proceeds from those dishes and drinks going to Chef James’ fundraising efforts. Chef James’ fundraiser page is online at



On Saturday, April 25, 3 p.m. at the UCSB Science Green over 40 Gaucho chefs, brewers, caterers, and vintners are coming to UCSB to bring you fine cuisine and beverages. The event also features live music, various UCSB department representatives, and a silent auction benefiting the UCSB Alumni Association Scholarship Fund. Tickets can be purchased at



Reader Primetime tells me that the South Coast Deli at 10 East Carrillo Street has an application in the window for a beer and wine license.

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150416-outer-isle-gourmet-smallLocal business Outer Aisle Gourmet has launched the nation’s first gluten-free, low-carb cauliflower bread sandwich thins and cauliflower pizza crusts/wraps at Whole Foods Market in Santa Barbara and nationally online at Started in 2013 by mom and health enthusiast, Jeanne David, and her family, Outer Aisle Gourmet helps curb cravings for carbs with two new products. Each is made primarily from fresh cauliflower transformed into a golden brown baked delicacy exclusively at Outer Aisle Gourmet’s Santa Barbara kitchen. “After tasting our Veggie Sandwich Thins and Veggie Pizza Crust, most people cannot believe that the main ingredient is fresh cauliflower,” says David. “Although many products are advertised as gluten-free, if you read the label, you will find that they are also loaded with empty carbohydrates. Our nutrient-dense, plant-based Veggie Sandwich Thins and Veggie Pizza Crusts provide one and two full servings of vegetables per portion respectively, are naturally gluten and nut-free, and have an amazingly low glycemic index. Whole Foods is the ideal market for our products.” In addition to Whole Foods Market, Outer Aisle Gourmet’s goodies can be found at Boochie’s (, Isabella Gourmet Foods (

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The famous building with a cow at 901 N. Milpas Street has a new tenant and they are open for business. Sublime offers California cuisine but also plans to include dishes from France, Italy, Japan, China, Thailand and other regions.

“Yes the building with the cow is finally open for dinner with espresso drinks, light breakfast and lunch to follow,” says owner Mardy Thompson. “Sublime has a strong belief in good quality food that is healthy for you and taste good too. We are working with local fishermen and farmers to support and energize our community. Craft beers and awesome wines are being served. Bringing locals what we love!”

Sublime is initially open for dinner from 4-9 p.m., closing at 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. On nights when there is a concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl, Sublime plans to be open until midnight. Sublime hopes to roll out breakfast and lunch within a week, starting at 7 a.m.




A rumor swirling around town is that American real estate magnate Herb Simon has purchased Lucky’s restaurant at 1270 Coast Village Road in Montecito from Gene Montesano. As always, this rumor might be completely false or a brilliant forecast of future events. Your call.



The Hungry Cat at 1134 Chapala Street has announced that their 8th Anniversary Celebration in Santa Barbara will take place Sunday, April 19th
12-7 p.m. The three course menu with optional half or whole Maine lobster includes the best and freshest fare from the sea for $45. Beginning with a Local Rockfish Stew with bacon, fennel and Yukon gold potato, guests will feast on a roasted clambake of Cherrystone and Little Neck Clams, Shrimp, Mussels and Santa Barbara Sweet Rock Crab Claws, served with corn on the cob, cabbage slaw and de rigueur drawn butter. Sides of a Salad of Lettuce, Egg and Lemon Vinaigrette; Fried Zucchini with Ricotta, Parsley and Romesco or Grilled Asparagus with Slow-Cooked Egg and Bacon Lardons can be added for $9 each. Along with the popular Thirsty Cat market cocktails – Luke’s Lemonade, Greyhound Proper, Pimlico and 4 on the Floor, a selection of wines and specialty beers from interesting producers are offered. The Sunday seafood feast concludes with a refreshing dessert of Market Berries, Mint, Honey, Fennel Pollen and Whipped Cream. Full raw bar will be served a la carte including 1/2 priced oysters and cocktail specials all day long.

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This just in from Pattaya at 5918 Hollister Avenue in Goleta: “Hi John, My name is Sukone Sriprajittichai owner of Pattaya Thai Restaurant. Starting today we will close on Mondays. Our new business hours are Tuesday-Friday 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., and Tuesday – Sunday 5:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.”



Enjoy a lunch this month at Wine Cask while supporting CALM and raising awareness about child abuse prevention in Santa Barbara. CALM is the only non-profit agency in Santa Barbara County whose mission is to prevent, assess, and treat child abuse by providing comprehensive, culturally competent services for children and families. Throughout the month of April, Wine Cask is partnering with CALM through their Charity Lunch Promotion, and will donate 10% of all guest checks during lunch when they mention the local nonprofit.

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The story goes that following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-17, under the direction of Commander Kozo Nishino, sailed undetected into the dark waters off of the Elwood Oil Field in Goleta. On the night of February 23 1942 at 7 PM, Nishino’s 1-17 emerged off of the Elwood Oil Field, and he ordered his men to fire at the oil storage facilities. One of shells struck the Ellwood Pier. Much of the wood from the pier was used in building the Timbers Restaurant at 10 Winchester Canyon Road, which still stands now on land once part of Nicholas Den’s Dos Pueblos Rancho. “Tex” Blankenship built the structure in 1952. Many of the timbers still contain pieces of shrapnel from the torpedo bombing.

HJL Group | Restaurant Advisors, has been hired to bring Timbers back to its former glory. “The plan is to include the people in the City of Goleta in the concept and design process, and to restore the building and its memories once again,” says Jeremiah Higgins, Operations Advisor of HJL Group.

Plans include an Incubator Kitchen, A local Deli Market & Pie Shop that will feature all local produce, wine, cheeses, honey, baked goods, pies and products made by local artisan producers only found in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria and Summerland. The main dining hall will be recrafted to bring back the family-style dining of the past, offering family music and entertainment. Emmy Award winning flamenco guitarist Benise is slated to headline dinner shows throughout the year.

The neighboring farm is being planted now, with pumpkins, lettuce, and organic produce to be served in the restaurant, Incubator Kitchen, the Market Deli & Pie Shop, and in Barn Shops in the parking lot. The farm will offer “pick your own” tours and have livestock for the kids.

HJL Group has created, advised and opened many local restaurants, including Arch Rock Fish, The Marquee, Rooney’s Irish Pub in Orcutt, and also national concepts such as Santa Monica Seafood in LA and Costa Mesa, and Fleetwood’s on Front Street with legendary Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood in Maui.  Please send inquires to




The Butler Event Center on upper State Street has closed because the property where it was located, the former Sandman Inn, is being developed into condos. The good news is that Warren Butler, owner of the business, has opened two new event center locations. One is in the old Café del Sol site at 30 Los Patos Way in Montecito which is now called the Montecito Event Center. The other is in the former Sizzler restaurant location, 5555 Hollister Avenue in Goleta, which is the new home of the Butler Event Center. There is commercial kitchen space available in both locations which are taking reservations for meetings and events now. Email



Reader Matt let me know that Los Tarascos restaurant at 5915B Calle Real, Goleta has closed. The business opened in October, 2009. In its place is a new restaurant named Las Brasas Mexican Grill.