PizzaRev is coming to 12 W. De la Guerra Street in Paseo Nuevo, the current home of Kahuna Grill. Last February I reported that Kahuna Grill, which opened in Paseo Nuevo mall in 2008, is actively looking for a tenant to replace them and reported at the time that they were discussions with a good prospect. PizzaRev has locations in California, Minnesota, Texas and Utah. They are expanding soon to Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota. The chain opened their first location in Northridge in 2012.

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.

PizzaRev describes their business this way:

“It’s a deliciously simple and satisfying concept: You call all the shots – You pick out your dough, sauce, cheese and toppings and our “pizza crafters” work with you to make your own pizza right before your eyes! Choose your Crust: Original or gluten-free dough? Each one pressed into a thin canvas from a plump, homemade dough ball. Sauce it Up: Savory organic marinara, a creamy white alfredo, spicy-sweet BBQ or olive oil – or get crazy, mix ‘em up. Top it Off: 30+ artisanal cheeses and fresh ingredients – keep it traditional with pepperoni and ground beef or get fancy with sweet fennel sausage, Kalamata olives, and fresh-picked basil and arugula. Pick as many pizza toppings as you’d like – we don’t charge by the topping – when you’re done crafting you’ll have your own personal pizza masterpiece for under $8! Crispy Perfection in Less than 3 Minutes: Our stone ovens fire-up your masterpiece at 900-degrees! You can watch but can’t touch.”



Simply Pies at 5392 Hollister Avenue in Goleta plans to close in mid-October. Here is a message they asked me to pass on to you:

After 6 years of that 4:30 am wakeup call to bake pies for our customers in Santa Barbara and beyond, we’ve decided to hang up our aprons so that we’re able to spend more time with our families.  It’s been an awesome ride being able to connect with so many local farmers whose produce went into our baked goods and also to meet so many amazing and wonderful people in our community.  We want to thank all of our customers for supporting us along the way and allowing us to bake for their families.  It has been our pleasure!

Our business is currently listed for sale and we are hoping that someone who has a passion for baking, as we do, will take over the reins and continue what we’ve started.   The week of October 14 will be our Customer Appreciation Week with our last day of regular operation being Saturday October 18.  Please stop by to get your take and bake fruit pies and shells for the holidays or to just stock up for the winter.  Our fruit pies and shells will keep in your freezer for up to 6 months!  We’d appreciate your ordering these in advance so we can make sure you get exactly what you want.

With Much Love and Gratitude, The Pie Gals, Hana and Nancy & the Simply Pies Team.



Killer B BBQ and Bar, which opened at 718 State Street in January 2011, has closed their doors. Here is a message to the public posted on their web site:

“Killer B’s is in the process of expanding and this location will be closing as of September 22. We will be relocating to a larger space and our goal is to reopen at our new location by no later than November 1. Please join our Facebook page at and follow us on our Instagram at killerbbq718 or download our mobile app to be assured you will have the most up-to-date news on when and where the re-grand opening event will happen.”



Or perhaps I should call him “Accidental Santa’s Little Helper.”

The Restaurant Gal and I are happy to say that our first child was born Tuesday 9/16/14 at 11:19 p.m. James Noble “Jimmy” Dickson is in perfect health and 6 lbs 6.5 oz. He seems to be a very calm and happy baby. Three days in it’s pretty clear that his feathers don’t ruffle easily.

Thank you to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for your terrific and professional service. Special thanks to Dr. Quijano, Dr. Echt, RN’s Lindsay, Kathy, Liz, Irma, Colleen, Julie and many others. You took great care of us. The brand-new maternity wing at Cottage is spacious, comfortable and state-of-the-art. I hear that they are currently testing a room-sterilizing robot that looks like R2D2.

The Restaurant Kid reports that the dining room at Cottage Hospital is great, with farmers’ market-fresh food and the lowest prices in town. He is looking forward to trying it when mom gives the thumbs up to solid food.

Here are some pictures of the potential successor of this column, taken when he was just a few hours old.




On August 15, 2013, I published this message from reader Nancy: “Hi John, We just ate at Lure Fish House at 60 California St in Ventura today, and it has fantastic food, gorgeous decor and ambiance, super friendly staff, great prices, extensive drink menu, excellent coffee, etc. I asked the waitress if they are coming to Santa Barbara, per chance, and she said yes! She seemed to think it will be on upper State near a department store.”

During the following year the story cooled off a bit and I didn’t receive any more updates about the seafood eatery’s voyage to the South Coast. Recently I was able to reach management at Lure Fish House and was told they are in negotiations with La Cumbre Plaza, 121 South Hope Avenue, to take over the space previously occupied by Ruth’s Chris Steak House, immediately next to Macy’s. I’m told that if the deal goes through it will be finalized toward the end of September. Details were few and far between but I was able to find out that if all goes well Lure Fish House will open sometime next year and take over two-thirds of Ruth’s Chris instead of the entire location. I don’t know what business will occupy the remaining third.

Lure Fish House has locations in Ventura, Camarillo and Westlake. Their web site offers this description of the eatery:

‘Lure Fish House was created with the goal of providing you with a Top Tier Seafood Experience featuring fresh and sustainable seafood from trusted sources. Our restaurant strives to provide locally caught seafood, organically grown local produce, and wines from local vineyards whenever possible. We also feature a full bar with specialty cocktails, and an oyster bar serving a variety of fresh items that can vary daily. Lure specializes in Mesquite charbroiled seafood while also providing uniquely prepared selections by our chef. We print our menus daily to reflect availability and guarantee freshness. Our primary goal is to provide you, our guest, a fun and exciting seafood experience. So just remember, if you are looking for a healthy and delicious dish…eat more fish!”




On Saturday, September 27, from 1 – 4 p.m. the second Fork Fest of the year will be held at Chase Palm Park. Fork Fest will bring local eateries together to compete in a friendly fork-off competition to win your vote. The cuisine genre is entirely open-ended to create a competitive nature among vendors and to inspire originality and quality. The event will feature a main wine and beer bar plus a specialty sangria, champagne, and craft beer bar. Tickets cost $48.24 and can be purchased online.

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Reader Matt saw a sign at the downtown Kahuna Grill in Paseo Nuevo advertising a weekly “Big Wednesday” special. If you buy one burger combo you receive another burger combo with a 50% discount. The downtown offer is good every Wednesday night starting at 5 p.m. Reader Cris says the Goleta location in Camino Real Marketplace offers the same deal.




Reader Matt tells me that there is a sign outside of Roy restaurant, 7 West Carrillo Street, indicating that they now serve lunch. Hours are 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information call 966-5636 or visit





I was listening to the new  U2 album “Songs of Innocence” and noticed that  the song “California” repeats a chorus with the words “Santa Barbara”. The album is free on iTunes until October 13.

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Columnist Richard Mineards, in the current edition of the Montecito Journal, says that Cafe del Sol at 30 Los Patos Way has closed their doors permanently. Rick Sanders, owner of the property, is planning to keep the space an eatery.



chefWord on the street is that the highly anticipated The Outpost at The Goodland Hotel, 5650 Calle Real in Goleta opens Friday, September 12th. The Goodland Hotel and Outpost marks Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ second hotel and restaurant in Santa Barbara County, joining the Canary Hotel and Finch & Fork restaurant.

There will be both indoor and outdoor dining options, as well as a new lobby bar – The Good Bar. The Good Bar will offer morning coffee, grab-and-go dining options as well as fresh-pressed juice during the day, and feature craft cocktails at night.

“I am excited to use all of the great ingredients that are available in this area.  I want to cook food that’s fun, delicious, and inspired by all of the great cultures in Southern California,” says Chef Derek Simcik. “I hope that people will come to Outpost and have a good time—whether they’re dining with a group of friends outside, or on a date-night inside.” Chef Simcik’s menu will include highlights such as Fish tacos, pork bao-bun, Kale Salad, Halibut, Pork Belly. In addition, Outpost at The Goodland will be offering a weekend brunch service. Dishes will range from healthy options to large plates including Grain and Seed Risotto, Market Benedict, Chilaquiles, Eggs & Rajas, Seasonal “pop-tart” and Kale Chips.

For more information call 964-1288 or visit



Reader Huyen sent me a tip that Lilac Pâtisserie is coming to 1017 State Street this fall, next to Churchill Jewelers. Lilac Pâtisserie is a dedicated gluten free bakery and café run by husband and wife duo, Gillian and Alam Muralles, who have worked for years in well-known bakeries in Southern California. A diagnosed Celiac, Gillian’s focus as a pastry chef has always been gluten free baking as well as custom cake decorating. I am told that Alam has worked his way up the kitchen ranks to become a guru when it comes to operating a bakery. Lilac will be offering cakes, breakfast, lunch and dessert. For more information call 845-7400 or visit



Reader Cris let me know that Shave It is set to open Saturday, September 13 at 6530 Seville Road in Isla Vista. Their web site describes the business: “If you have ever scooped up a handful of soft and fluffy freshly fallen snow and taken a bite, you know how snow melts in your mouth. Imagine that same white snow drenched with your favorite flavor – that’s a Shave It.” Flavors offerings include pink lemonade, passion fruit, root beer and many others. For more information call 845-0423 or visit



Reader Carl tells me that Pressed Juicery at 506 State Street has closed and will be replaced by International Candy. I called Pressed Juicery and was informed that they are moving to a new location in Paseo Nuevo.

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Bryan Brand, managing partner & co-founder of food delivery service sent me an update about his business: “John, I am writing you to inform you we recently have expanded our delivery hours to start at 8:00 a.m. daily in Santa Barbara. We are now delivering breakfast for South Coast Deli, Crushcakes & Cafe, Silvergreens, McDonald’s (Mesa Location) and our newest client, Spudnuts! Now locals and businesses can enjoy their donuts, pastries, breakfast sammies & more delivered to their home or office.”

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This just in from reader Elizabeth: “New Baja Grill in Goleta appears to be closed to prep for the transition to Los Agaves! We can’t wait!”

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Reader Willard tells me that the September 4 issue of Santa Ynez Valley News states that Habit Burger Grill, Chipotle and Starbucks are going in at Crossroads Village, Buellton.



Cafe Del Sol has posted this message on their Facebook page:

“Be an Angel and help us breath life back into Café del Sol. We are in urgent need to raise money to pay off liquor license suspension. Our first Angel “The Captain” has donated quite a generous amount! Donation $25, $50, $100, $500, $1000, Other. Checks payable to AA Restaurant Management LLC, PO Box 24033, Santa Barbara, CA 93121”

Reader PrimeTime says the restaurant has closed down – for now – but it may reopen as soon as Friday.



Starting Sunday, September 7th Hollister Brewing Company at 6980 Marketplace Drive in Goleta is celebrating the 2014-2015 NFL season with breakfast served Sundays 10am-2pm. They have got the NFL package on 7 wide screen TVs, so you can watch your favorite team. The menu includes Chorizo and Egg Tacos $10.50, Sausage, Gravy & Biscuits $10, Hollister Scramble $10.50, Huevos Con Chile $10, Prosciutto, Bacon & Egg Sandwich $12.50, Mushroom & Goat Cheese Frittata $11 and Brioche French Toast $9.50. Specialty cocktails include Michelada $6, Mimosa $7 and Sunday Special Bloody Mary $8.

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Untitled-1 copyA new Mexican restaurant named Taqueria El Pastorcito has opened at 2009 De la Vina street, the former home of Los Gallos. I spoke with Noe Vargas, son of owner Pedro Vargas, who tells me that his family has a food background from Puebla, Mexico where the El Pastor taco (marinated pork) originated from. Noe’s father and grandfather are both chefs. The family has been running El Pastocito catering in Santa Barbara for over 5 years. All tortillas at the eatery are handmade from scratch and the Tacos el Pastor is their signature dish. Chicken, beef and vegetarian dishes are also available. Hours are 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Monday – Saturday. For more information call 895-2827 or visit

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154This just in from the Sansum Clinic:

Santa Barbara’s Newest Eatery – Café 154  – Opens at the New Sansum Clinic Medical and Surgical Center on Foothill Road

Santa Barbara, Calif. – Sansum Clinic announces the opening of Café 154, Santa Barbara’s newest eatery, at the new Medical and Surgical Center located at 4151 Foothill Road in Santa Barbara.

“We are pleased to announce the opening of Café 154 at our newest location on Foothill Road,” said Nelia Abuyen, Director of Operations at Sansum Clinic. “The café offers a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere for patients and the public. This is an excellent example of the emphasis we are placing on enhancing our patients’ experience of Sansum Clinic.”

Café 154 is now open to the public on Monday through Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Café 154 offers artisan sandwiches, fresh bistro salads, refreshing smoothies and more! The café has comfortable indoor seating and a spacious outdoor patio, and like all of Sansum Clinic’s locations, free WiFi access is available. For more information, please visit:

Café 154 is located in the first floor lobby of the Medical and Surgical Center, Building A, and is operated by Gregorio Ramirez.

About Sansum Clinic
Sansum Clinic is the largest independent nonprofit healthcare organization between the Los Angeles Basin and the San Francisco Bay Area. With more than 180 affiliated physicians, Sansum Clinic provides the full spectrum of healthcare services, from primary care to more than 30 specialties. Sansum Clinic serves more than 150,000 patients (600,000) visits annually at their 23 patient care facilities between Carpinteria and Santa Maria.

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The1 33rd annual Taste of the Town fundraiser is being held Sunday, September 7th noon to 3 p.m. at the Riviera Park Garden, 2030 Alameda Padre Serra. The Taste of the Town is Santa Barbara’s original tasting event, featuring samples from over 80 local restaurants and wineries. Tickets cost $125 and can be purchased online by 9/6/14 at or by calling 563-4685. The cost is $140 at the door, if tickets are still available.

Taste of the Town will include a special salute to movie Sideways 10th anniversary ( The popular event will also be showcasing venues of the new Santa Barbara Public Market ( MC is Debby Davison and live music is provided by The David Tovar Trio.

Participating food vendors include Alchemy Arts Center, Aldo’s Italian Restaurant, Arlington Tavern, Belcampo Meat Co., Belmond El Encanto, Blue Tavern, Blush, Butler Catering, Ca’dario, Ca’dario Pizzeria, Crazy Good Bread, Culture Counter, Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar, Enjoy Cupcakes, Foragers Pantry, Fresco Cafe & Bakery, Il Fustino Oils & Vinegars, Los Agaves, Los Arroyos, Louie’s California Bistro, Michael’s Catering, Mirabelle Inn And Restaurant, New West Catering / Industrial Eats, Olivos Del Mar, Opal Restaurant & Bar, Pascucci, Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro, Rori’s Artisanal Creamery, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Monica Seafood, The Chase Restaurant, The Palace Grill, The Pasta Shoppe, Via Maestra 42

More than 50,000 Santa Barbara County residents and children have been diagnosed with one of the 100+ forms of arthritis—and look for help and hope from the Arthritis Foundation. All proceeds from Taste of the Town support the local programs and services of the Arthritis Foundation, the only national not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of nearly 53 million people (including nearly 300,000 children) in the USA with arthritis through public health programs, advocacy, and research.


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Reader Day let me know that a new public notice of application to sell alcoholic beverages has appeared at 734 State Street, the home of Relais de Paris.

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R+D Kitchen, an offshoot of the Houston’s restaurant chain, plans to open a location on Coast Village Road, in a new building currently under construction, situated immediately to the left of Jeannine’s Bakery. The property used to be a nursery. I am told that R+D Kitchen has approached several businesses in town offering to purchase their liquor license for $175,000, reportedly a significant premium over the going rate. Here is a message from their web site:

“R+D Kitchen’s mantra is all about crisp, flavorful cuisine. In each of the R+D’s, one can enjoy the light and airy qualities of the space where there is a connection to the outside. The first R+D was established in Newport Beach at Fashion Island and has slowly expanded to four locations including Dallas, Santa Monica, and Yountville in California’s Napa Valley. In the works next: R+D Kitchen in Montecito, CA!”



The ongoing California drought has forced state-wide water rationing. Our lawns are brown. Our fountains are dry. It’s even affected the Rumor Machine which stopped printing when the internal lubrication dried up. After a recent blast of WD-40 onto the rollers, a piece of paper suddenly popped out that read: “Though Lucky Penny was previously destined to migrate to 131 Anacapa Street, the former home of the recently-closed Avelina Wine Company, some time next year the popular eatery will instead be moving to 202 State Street, the current home of Bay Roadhouse Bar and Grill.” As always, this rumor might be completely false or a brilliant forecast of future events. Your call.



The folks behind Barbareño restaurant, coming this fall to 205 West Canon Perdido Street, formerly D’Vine Café, have started a series of pop-up dinners so you can try their food in advance of the opening. “We’re weekly holding pop-up dinners for our restaurant, Barbareño, up until the time we open,” says co-owner Julian Martinez. “We’ve done one pop-up at The Shop on Milpas, one at Pacific Crepes, and one at Three Pickles downtown. They’ve been a lot of fun, and it’s been a great way for people to try out some of the food we’ll eventually be serving at the restaurant. People can stay up on where our next dinners will be through our blog at”

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This just in from reader Jessica:

Hey John,

I read your column every week.

Changes are coming to the Funk Zone. Oreana Winery has been sold to an LA-based winery called Agua Dulce and they have submitted plans to change half of the building into a tasting room for that brand. The property next door, that once was a fish drying business, has been purchased by Melville Winery for what one has to assume will be a tasting room as well.




If you can help reader Jen please leave a message in the blog.

Hi John,

After the fun of clicking away at your website for the last two hours I thought maybe you’d just know the perfect dinner spot for our team of 10 somewhere between highway 154 and Stearns Wharf. Here’s my wish list:

  • No long table where we can’t see/talk to folks at the other end, prefer round or more flexible setup
  • More casual than formal
  • Not too loud
  • Midrange in price ($25 budget per person); specials would be great it’ll be Weds at around 5:30pm
  • 2 vegetarians, 1 gluten-free, a couple of foodie locavores and a couple of big appetites
  • Outside dining would be great but not as important as food (for instance I went back to Zaytoon over the weekend and confirmed that while fun the food was mediocre)
  • Happy hour buffet would be cool or something that gives the opportunity to mingle before the meal

Any recommendations for a fun, relaxed spot that feels special but not intimidating?

Thanks in advance! I always flip to your page first in the Independent. Food “gossip” is the most tasty!




I spoke with Cafe Del Sol at 30 Los Patos Way in Montecito and was told that their liquor license has been suspended. I was not given a time frame for when alcohol sales will resume. Tasty food continues to be served as usual!



This just in from Palazzio, 1026 State Street:

Hi John,

I want to personally apologize to all of our dining customers.  The “buck” stops with me and I take full blame and responsibility for my restaurant’s kitchen staff. Here’s what happened:

I was getting reviews from our customers for the past year that our food was tasting different, and the food was not up to our standards. I couldn’t understand why? Our ingredients were the same, our cooks have been with us for 20 years and our recipes hadn’t changed either. So, what had changed? I investigated and I discovered that a couple of our Prep Cooks had decided to take “short cuts” with our recipes. They were skipping recipes procedures, and quite frankly, I was shocked. There were ingredients in the recipes that they were just not including.  They began to change the recipes and I had no idea that they were not following the recipes. What an owner’s nightmare.  We’ve been open over 20 years and we shouldn’t have these types of problems, especially since many of my kitchen staff have been with me for almost 20 years!!

I wanted to let all of our customers know that after my spending one solid week in our kitchen, (last week) I can now say that everything is back to our “original” recipes. I have instituted “checks and balances” so that this is NOT going to happen again. So to all those customers who have been sadly disappointed with the Palazzio brand in recent times, I am, again, extremely sorry, and I would be hopeful if you’d please try us again!!

Moral of the story: you cannot ever “let up” your guard.  Keeping a watchful eye, hands on, over your entire restaurant’s procedures is always best policy for our guests and for Palazzio.

Ken Boxer
Owner of Palazzio

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