This just in from Mac’s Fish and Chip Shop, 503 State Street:

Hi John,

Hope all is well with the new family member. Swaddles, white noise and bulk wine purchases successfully got us through the first year of all three of our kids.

I wanted to send you a quick email to let you know that our annual “Holiday Pie Appeal” has begun! A full $5 from each Holiday Pie sold will go directly to The Food Bank of Santa Barbara who provide food support to over 102,000 local people every year and help them move from hunger to health. Nearly half of the recipients are children and they provide both physical food and food literacy to help prevent the cycle of hunger.

Our Holiday Pie consists of layers of House Roasted Turkey Breast in Gravy, Sage & Onion Stuffing, Buttered Carrots, Garden Peas, Topped with Parsnip & Potato Mash, and a side of Cranberry Sauce. They cost $7.50 each with $5 from each sale going directly to the Food Bank. Please help us support this amazing cause as we shoot to break the $1000 barrier. We also have them available to bake at home.

Kind Regards,



This just in from reader Laila: “Ramon Velazquez, former head chef at Cielito, opened a pop-up restaurant on Sundays using the Three Pickles location on Canon Perdido Street. It’s called Corazon Cocina and they serve a small menu of farmer’s market fresh ceviches and tacos. The food is ridiculously good!”



Reader Steve tells me that a new sign has appeared at the Santa Barbara Airport. First Class Concessions, Inc. is applying for an alcohol permit under the business name “La Mission Café.”



This just in from reader Spencer:

Norton’s on Milpas Street is out. Signs down, moved out. Norton’s Figueroa location remains in business as usual. They will be replaced at 226 South Milpas by ‘East Beach Tacos’, aiming for New Years Day opening.”

Also thanks to reader Julianne for sending me a tip about Norton’s.



Killer B’s BBQ and Bar, which closed their 718 State Street restaurant in September, has relocated to 731 De la Guerra Plaza, the former home of TonyRay’s and Papagallo’s. They hope to reopen this weekend.

“The cool thing we are going to be doing here is every day everything is being delivered fresh and smoked,” says General Manager Will L’Heureux. “Fresh food every day. Everything is being delivered daily, Shalhoob meats, and we are going to bring back southern BBQ.” Killer B’s is going to be taking advantage of the large patio that faces De la Guerra Plaza.

They will be adding lighting, a canopy and will offer live music. “People will be able to see the grill and smoker and from the patio,” says L’Heureux. “We will have BBQ events including roasting a whole hog. We want it to be fun.”

Week day hours are 3 p.m.-10 p.m. Weekends are 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Late night food will be available. Call 845-2254.



Reader Terri told me that she noticed some activity in and around the former Spiritland Bistro at 230 East Victoria Street. Reader Karl spoke to people inside the building and was told that in a few months they will serve Japanese food.


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I am told that Kahuna Grill at 12 W. De la Guerra Street in Paseo Nuevo mall downtown has closed. In its place in the near future will be PizzaRev. PizzaRev makes their own dough and source fresh ingredients and toppings locally (when possible). Patrons then order at the build-your-own pizza counter. There’s an all-you-can-top option where diners can get a pizza with one of every topping on it (about 30 in total) for under $8.



Reader Brendan tells me that Patxi’s Pizza, specializing in a deep dish style, is close to opening at 515 State Street, the former home of Territory Ahead. The Restaurant Guy broke the news about Patxi’s pending arrival, last March.



I received a tip that there is new construction underway at 30 Los Patos Way in Montecito, the former home of Café del Sol, that ended their 50-year run last September.



Owner Ruben Perez at Black Sheep restaurant, 26 East Ortega Street, tells me that they will be featured on an episode of “Hell’s Kitchen” and that a filming crew paid them a visit last week. They cooked a three course meal for some of the winners from the show.

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Two weeks ago I published the names of South Coast restaurants serving a traditional turkey meal on Thanksgiving day. I found a few more to add to the list. In Santa Barbara you can go to Bucatini and Relais de Paris. Reader Laura tells me that in Santa Ynez Valley you can enjoy Thanksgiving at Greenhouse Café, Hadsten House Restaurant, Mirabelle Inn & Restaurant, Red Viking Restaurant, River Terrace Restaurant & Bar, Root 246, Solvang Restaurant and Viking Garden Restaurant.

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Reader Jessica asked me for a total count of the number of restaurants on the South Coast. You might think that The Restaurant Guy would know this but I actually had no clue so I took it upon myself to find out.

I quickly realized that this project will result in some hate-mail because coming up with an answer requires me to define what a “restaurant” is, and what the “South Coast” is, which will result in the exclusion of some businesses in our all-inclusive society. Get your tar and feathers ready.

I started with the total number of food and drink businesses listed in the Restaurant Guide which covers the region from Carpinteria to Goleta with a smattering of Santa Ynez. I then subtracted out smoothie shops, juice shops, food trucks, food carts, dessert destinations, bakeries that don’t offer made-to-order lunch items, coffee shops that don’t offer made-to-order lunch items, markets that don’t have a deli/taqueria, and any business in Santa Ynez Valley.

The magic number? 529.



Reader Primetime tells me that Here’s the Scoop at 1187 Coast Village Road in Montecito will be moving from downstairs to the front of the building, upstairs.

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This just in from owner Paul Freeman:

“Hi John, I’ve recently opened a new restaurant that provides take-out/delivery to busy families that want to order in something other than pizza. It’s called Freeman’s Flying Chicken and we specialize in rotisserie chicken, tasty salads, sides and a number of unique sauces. Our first location is at Earl Warren near the roller rink and we’re delivering to the whole Upper State/ Samarkand/Hidden Valley area (but anyone can pick up food) You can find our menu and order online at or you can call us at 805-765-9200. We’re open 4-9pm 7 days a week.”



Readers John, Johnny and Jonathan let me know that Tino’s Italian Grocery has opened at 210 West Carrillo Street which also means that Santa Barbara’s legendary “Super Deluxe” torpedo sandwich is available once again. I enjoyed more than a few of those while attending Santa Barbara High School.

This is the specialty market and deli’s 3rd local home since 1947. The man who served popular torpedo sandwiches to Santa Barbara residents for 67 years, Valentino “Tino” Ziliotto, owner of the Italian Grocery & Deli when it was at De la Guerra Street and also Olive Street, died January 2nd at the age of 86. Family pictures on the wall, remind everyone of Tino and the store’s heritage.

The specialty market offers a wide variety of products including wine, beer, Argentinean goods, Italian products, cookies, flours, pasta, seafood, cold cuts, cheeses and holiday items. “We are not excessively expensive,” says Tino’s niece Deanna Morinini. “We will try and meet everyone’s price point. We don’t want to be a specialty market that’s over priced. We want to cater to everybody. We have a deli that has been part of everyone’s life and we don’t want to exclude anybody.” The hours, which are subject to change, are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The deli will close at 7 p.m. Call 966-6041.




The Gobble Song is a Thanksgiving tradition from Santa Barbara’s popular band Spencer the Gardener and The Restaurant Guy has a Thanksgiving tradition, too: Each November my email inbox is swamped with the same question: Which restaurants serve a traditional turkey meal on Thanksgiving Day? Last week The Restaurant Gal and I made a hundred phone calls to find the answer for you. Make reservations early because many places will be sold out weeks in advance. For the 8th year in a row I present to you a list of restaurants offering Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 27th:

  • Arlington Tavern, 770-2626
  • Ballard Inn Restaurant, 688-7770
  • Bella Vista at Four Seasons Biltmore, 969-2261
  • Bistro 1111 at Hyatt, 730-1111
  • Bistro at Bacara Resort, 968-0100
  • Blush Restaurant and Lounge, 957-1300
  • Bouchon, 730-1160
  • Brasil Arts Café, 845-7656
  • Brothers Restaurant at Red Barn, 688-4142
  • Bucatini, 957-4177
  • Ca Dario, 884-9419
  • Cadiz, 770-2760
  • Cold Spring Tavern, 967-0066
  • Creekside Buffet at Chumash Casino, 686-0855
  • Crocodile Restaurant at Lemon Tree Inn, 687-6444
  • Doubletree Resort, 884-8533
  • El Encanto, 845-5800
  • El Torito, 963-1968
  • Eladio’s, 963-4466
  • Finch & Fork at Canary Hotel, 879-9100
  • Fresco Café Five Points (side-dishes & dessert only, take-out only, 3 days notice required), 967-6037
  • Frog Bar & Grill at Glenn Annie Golf Course, 968-0664
  • Harbor Restaurant, 963-3311
  • Harry’s Plaza Café, 687-2800
  • Holdren’s, 965-3363
  • Hungry Cat, 884-4701
  • Jack’s Bistro & Bagels Carpinteria (eat-in or take-out, 3 days notice required for take-out), 319-0155
  • Joe’s Café, 966-4638
  • Julienne, 845-6488
  • Louie’s at the Upham Hotel, 963-7003
  • Marmalade Café, 682-5246
  • Miro at Bacara Resort, 968-0100
  • Moby Dick Restaurant, 965-0549
  • Montecito Wine Bistro, 969-7520
  • Mulligans Cafe, 682-3228
  • Petit Valentien, 966-0222
  • Petros in Los Olivos, 686-5455
  • Plow & Angel at San Ysidro Ranch, 565-1724
  • Relais de Paris, 963-6077
  • Root 246, 686-8681
  • Roy, 966-5636
  • Sage & Onion (take-out only, 3 days notice required), 845-4134
  • Seagrass, 963-1012
  • Shoals Restaurant at Cliff House Inn, 652-1381
  • Sly’s (take-out only, 10 days notice required), 684-6666
  • Stella Mare’s, 969-6705
  • Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch, 565-1724
  • Tee-Off Restaurant, 687-1616
  • The Black Sheep, 965-1113
  • The Outpost at The Goodland Hotel, 964-1288
  • Treehouse Restaurant, 687-2426
  • Willows at Chumash Casino, 686-0855
  • Wine Cask, 966-9463

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The Restaurant Kid was born last September 16th and, ever since, the The Restaurant Gal and I have been learning on the job what it takes to be parents. The first thing we learned, of course, is that you need to adjust to life with less sleep. The second thing we learned is that one of the best ways to try to calm an otherwise inconsolable baby is to carry him around in a front-facing backpack called an Ergo Baby. It works like magic. The third thing we learned is that raising a newborn means you get behind in everything else you do in your life. For example I hadn’t checked the Rumor Machine in months where I used to check it daily. I finally plugged it in yesterday and out popped a sheet of recycled paper that read: “Celebrity chef Cat Cora may be opening a restaurant any day now in the Funk Zone.” As always, this rumor might be completely false or a brilliant forecast of future events. Your call.



Reader Primetime reports that the tastiest course in town is served up at Santa Barbara City College.

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Simply Pies at 5392 Hollister Avenue in Goleta, which closed in mid-October, has reopened under new ownership.



Last February Pace Restaurant at 413 State Street, which opened in early 2012, announced that they were going to give away their restaurant for free. A Santa Barbara Independent story by food columnist George Yatchisin said this unusual giveaway included the restaurant, a beer and wine license, the lease paid for a year, insurances paid for a year and $20,000 in working capital to help cover your expenses. The story ended up making national news.

In April the contest was cancelled and now owner Jeff Snyder tells me the business has been sold:

“Hi John,
Just wanted to shoot you an email and let you know that we have sold our location on lower State St., just the location not the Pace brand. Our boys have spun off to live their lives after realizing that the restaurant business isn’t for them. Kim and I will begin searching for a new location off State St. after the holidays. I will keep you informed as to where we land.
Jeff Snyder”



This just in from owner Deeahna Arrieta:

Every restaurant has its core of customers who become like family.  Some of you have been with us through two restaurants, and your encouragement has been a beacon of strength over the years.  Adama at 428 Chapala Street will tentatively have its last day on Saturday, November 15th, and we will miss you terribly.  The sale is not yet set in stone, but we are hopeful.

Two years ago we started thinking about moving to a smaller building with more foot traffic.  Then we decided to focus on the gelato and wanted to open a store on State Street.  Now that Adama might actually change hands (although it will be a sushi bar) the situation has changed.  I have some big decisions to make, but it seems that love might call me to another country.  A man who had been a friend and mentor for years in the past has come back into my life in a different way.

It has been a great run working with my dear friend Marsha who I met in Bible college 34 years ago, the only two Jewish girls there; go figure :)  We have grown in so many ways through tears, prayers, battles, victories, and most of all…laughter.   We managed to stay friends (no small feat working together every day in a stressful business) and she might just be doing something with our gelato still.  If you are interested in being able to purchase it, make sure you send us your email address ( or become a Facebook follower.

Our hope is that you will graciously forgive us our many failures and remember the things we did well, and rejoice with us as we close one chapter and look forward to the next.  A million thanks.




After intense concentration and a wave of my hand over the all-knowing crystal ball, my eatery oracle has revealed a list of locations appearing in your future:

  • Caffe Primo, 516 State St. & 34 W. Carrillo St.
  • Del Taco, Santa Barbara (2 locations)
  • Dunkin’ Donuts, Santa Barbara (2 locations)
  • Farmer Boy Restaurant, 3427 State St. (remodeling under new ownership)
  • Jersey Mike’s Subs, 3325 State St.
  • Kyle’s Kitchen, 5723 Calle Real, Goleta (formerly Quizno’s)
  • Lilac Patisserie, 1017 State St.
  • Lure Fish House, 3815 State St. (formerly Ruth’s Chris)
  • Nona’s Italian Deli, 415 E. De la Guerra St. (formerly Italian Grocery)
  • On the Alley, Goleta near Costco
  • Patxi’s Pizza, 515 State St. (formerly Territory Ahead)
  • Pizza Hut, 5915A Calle Real, Goleta (formerly YoYumYum)
  • PizzaRev, 12 W. De la Guerra St. (currently Kahuna Grill)
  • R+D Kitchen, Coast Village Rd.
  • Rusty’s Pizza, 5934 Calle Real, Goleta (moving from 6025 Calle Real)
  • Rusty’s Pizza, 111 State St. (moving from 15 E. Cabrillo Blvd.)
  • Smart & Final Extra, 7000 Hollister Ave., Goleta (Hollister Village Plaza)
  • Subway, 1936 State St.
  • Taco Bell, Hollister Ave. at Pacific Oaks Rd., Goleta
  • Tino’s Italian Grocery, 210 W. Carrillo St. (formerly Carrow’s)
  • Unknown, 901 E. Cabrillo Blvd. (inside Santa Barbara Inn)
  • Zizzo’s Coffee, 7000 Hollister Ave., Goleta (Hollister Village Plaza)


This just in from reader Papa John:

“A friend of mine just came back from a real estate conference and said that she heard that Islands Restaurant is sniffing around for retail space in Goleta.”



Reader Alan says that Captain Fatty’s Craft Brewery has opened in November at 6483 Calle Real, Unit D, in Goleta.



Readers Richard, Brendan and Jonathan tell me that Marquee Cocktail Bar at 1212 State Street has closed. A new bar called Good Lion Cocktail Bar is opening in its place.

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On honor of “National Make a Difference Day” in mid-October, the Spanish Garden Inn, Inn at East Beach and The Morgan Hotel teamed up under the Broughton Hotel umbrella to make and distribute 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sack lunches for charity. They were delivered to the Santa Barbara Boys & Girls Club, Transition House, Doctors Without Walls, Casa Serena, New House III, Santa Barbara Rescue Mission and Casa Esperanza.

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My annual Thanksgiving Restaurant List will be published in this blog and the Santa Barbara Independent on Thursday, November 13th.



Reader Primtime, a judge at last weekend’s Santa Barbara Chowder Festival, tells me that Three Pickles Deli won for Overall Champ, Best Clam Chowder Champ, and People’s Choice Award. The Chase Restaurant won for Best Creative chowder.

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Reader Jay let me know that University Plaza Quizno’s at 7127 Hollister Avenue in Goleta closed in October.



Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro at 516 State Street closed on October 31st. In its place at a future date will be Caffe Primo, which has locations at 8590 Sunset Boulevard and 612 S Flower Street in Los Angeles. I am told by Pierre Lafond that Caffe Primo hopes to open before the holidays.

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