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Zaytoon
209 E. Canon Perdido St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 963-1293


Reviews by the General Public

Zaytoon
Reviewer: Sally Spork from Santa Barbara, CA
Atmosphere: Smaller indoor area, slightly formal but comfortable. I think most people prefer eating outdoors and here is why: the area is so delightful, and in the evening with strung lights and the fragrant flowers, its nothing less than a 'mid-summer's night dream'. Small 'fire pits' adorn the tables and there are hanging vines and a pond in the corner. Lovely! Food/drink: Ordered lamb salad: succulent on crisp romaine with tasty dressing. Would have been nice to have pita bread, none was offered. My companion ordered chicken shwarma, it was dry bits of chicken that Sam (who is in the restaurant business) detected had been a day old. Unflavorful. Served with tasty yogurt and tomatoes that also tasted/looked a day or two old. Not fresh. Service: We went on an off time lucky they were open and serving on Monday and also at 2:30! We were seated easily outside, food delivered quickly. The only issue came when it was time to get our check, the waitress disappeared and after us flagging down a nothing girl setting up a table, our check appeared with a new waitress. Summary: I wish this site would allow me to give rating for atmosphere one for service and one for food/drink. Hence my reviews always have these categories. But it doesn't so I've given it a 3. But as I shared, the meal was not consistent in flavor between the meals we ordered. Also having lived in the Middle East I know I'm a bit more particular about food from this region that the most folks. I think most people will enjoy their experience but those that have eaten Lebanese food might simply enjoy the atmosphere.


Jay
Reviewer: Jay from Santa Barbara, CA
Had lunch today. Nice menu, great service and a nice patio on a sunny day. In addition, the food was good!


Better than expected!
Reviewer: Meeshell from Santa Barbara, CA
I have wanted to try this place since I moved here 2 years ago! Finally today I ordered take out online the lunch chicken kabob plate special that came with a lot of pita bread, a generous portion of perfectly cooked chicken and yummy Greek salad and the best ever garlic sauce! I had no idea how cute it was either outside with the big patio seating and fire pit. My boyfriend ended sharing the meal with me and we both are full! I can't wait to go back and try the kibbeh and other stuff.


Utterly Unprofessional Management
Reviewer: Herman Melville from Santa Barbara, CA
Most the people who come here during the day are not 20s something party times who need to hear rap or punk or rock music. And we come here very regularly, more than I really want to but must keep friends happy. We are a customer cohort that likes to discuss personal matters, books, music, politics and want to hear each other talk. The garden atmosphere is potentially quite high with the lemon trees and other foliage, the fountain which they finally have made right--BUT THEY WILL NOT TURN DOWN THE LOUSY FRIGGIN' MUSIC that the manager or kitchen staff of Hispanics is into that day. BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM the music is so bad and the sound system so cheap BOOM BOOM is all you get one would be glad actually to hear decent Mid Eastern pop music minus MORONIC BOOM BOOM. Take care of your customers instead of being egocentrically obsessed with the pop noise mess management likes. Show respect for the people who keep paying more and more for the same average quality food because cannot find really good Mid Eastern food anywhere in the 3rd rate SB restaurant scene. (Just returned from San Diego--oh lordy, no comparison but of course 8th largest city, but SB also for shame compared to Carmel and Monterey.) Ready to spend money eating out but this noise problem bad everywhere like gave up on Trattoria Victoria.


Fun place good food
Reviewer: Mike F. from Santa Barbara, CA
My second time eating here and it is fun fun and good food. I think this place is something special and different.


special treat
Reviewer: Mike F. from Santa Barbara, CA
Great food and fun place. I don't know much about middle eastern food but I sure liked whatever those tasty morsels were. Everyone in my party loved the place.


Disappointed
Reviewer: Kim from Paso Robles, CA
We were at Zaytoon 9/6/11 and had previously eaten there, throrougly enjoying it. However, our most recent visit was very disappointing. We ordered the Batata Harra - cubed potatoes which were supposed to be sauteed with basil, garlic,lemon etc... They were french fries chopped up and mixed with parsely (no basil), lemon and garlic. They were not sauteed, and in fact, were reminiscent of the garlic fries I had at the Mid State Fair this year, for half the price (good, but not what I wanted for dinner). We also ordered the Cheese Sambosik which was supposed to be cheese in a phyllo puff pastry. If I didn't know my Asian food and my phyllo, I might have been fooled, but this was a version of the egg roll, not a phyllo puff pastry dish. The cheese was in a wonton type wrap, and came like an egg roll. The seasoned salmon entree was very good though. As far as the service, it was hit and miss and slow. When they did bring out food, they brought out our seasoned salmon with two other entrees, I guess belonging to another table. Then when I ordered the Arabic coffee, they served us two, one from another table's order, again. When we got the bill, we were charged full price for the bottle of wine we ordered, when the waiter was very specific about their special of all bottles being 1/2 off. Unfortunately, by no fault of the restaurant, except they didn't ask them to leave, or quiet down, on one side of us we had a family with three literally screaming children and on the other side a totally drunk group with a woman who was so loud, between the two tables we could hardly hear ourselves speak. Sometimes, even if the food is wonderful, the meal is ruined by other patrons, and that would have been the case here, even if the food had been better. Our great expectations were shattered on this visit and we probably won't return.


food was delicious, party because we were starving
Reviewer: Sally from Santa Barbara, CA
atmosphere is lovely we dined under fragrant jasmine, lemon trees and sparkly lights. While the atmosphere was lovely, it took forevvvvvvver to get our food. At one point I was CONVINCED they had completely forgotten our order and that the waiter took off on a flying carpet. Please train wait staff to get appetizer before main meal. it took over an hour to get appetizer.


Good Food, Nice Atmosphere
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
Ate inside but the outside is stylish too with fire pits at the tables and many hanging lights at night. Pricey here but there is no other sitdown Middle Eastern place in the area(Greek food is darn close to this food though!). The owners are Lebanese I believe. They have Hookah(flavored water pipes) available to be smoked outside if in to that but I think I would probably be annoyed if sitting next to someone doing that. The food was good, with nothing to compare in town except IV Deli Mart which is a good quick stop deli if want something quick and in the area. I like this place in that it stays open through the lunch to dinner transition where more and more places in town I see are closed during that time and you can casually eat your food with no crowd. The waitress was extra special nice and explained things well. Neat place to try!


Over priced food, OK service & good location
Reviewer: dal from Santa Barbara, CA
Bad food with high prices, do not ask for family value, the do push that (i.e. left overs at a higher price). Setting is OK. Food tasted like they pour from a can especially the Humos, there was no effort in preparation.


Cutting Corners is their specialty
Reviewer: David Lawrence from Santa Barbara, CA
Friends and I have lunch here once a month at least mainly because the Mid East menu is break from standard Italian and fish menus. Price of our favorite multi plate menu item keeps going up ahead of inflation but with no corresponding quality increase. The pita bread is always dried out--stiff enough for swapping flies; never has been fresh and soft. My favorite dish--falafels--are only fresh on rare days I get lucky:these too are old and dry.Hummus good and yogurt dishes as well. (Once ordered a salad and resulted in stomach cramps almost did not get home in time.)Management sometimes out of touch and closes off the covered upper deck; otherwise, one is stuck out on patio fighting for shade. Last time came home with awful sunburn. Keep the upper deck open! Easier for staff and customers.


Help out your servers!
Reviewer: Brendon from Santa Barbara, CA
Went to Zaytoon for a friends birthday with a group of 16. Our reservation was given a nice table with a fire pit, perfect. A+ for ambiance of course. However, after 20 minutes of waiting it became obvious that only 2 servers were responsible for about 18 tables, many of which were large groups. Understandably, it took an unusually long time to order, receive our drinks, let alone order our meals & receive those. I think it was at least an hour before we ordered our meals. Do I hold the servers responsible - no. Anyone could see that they were horribly understaffed. However, every time I have been to Zaytoon, it is the same problem. When you are trying to attract large groups as this restaurant clearly is, management needs to understand that 1 server cannot serve 4 tables effectively without more support - let alone 9 or 10. You are compromising your restaurant by not putting on more help, more servers, more bussers etc. While we had a good time, others will not be willing to wait so long. The belly dancer may buy you some time, but things definitely need to be faster. This restaurant has been criticized for slow service for some time now, but nothing is ever done...


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