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Le Bon Cafe
[closed, no longer in business]

138 E. Canon Perdido St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 965-7025


Reviews by the General Public

closed again?
Reviewer: Anna from Santa Barbara, CA
Le Bon has black plastic on all their windows and the sign in the window says application for ownership change. Hopefully whoever buys it will keep to more stable hours. This place always seemed to be on the fly as to when it was open, you just never knew for sure.


Great food!
Reviewer: Al from Santa Barbara, CA
Always happy with their vegetarian/vegan entrees. Last night had the Vegetable Strudel...beautifully presented and one of the best meals I've ever had! J.P. is a first-class chef.


Start off pretty good, now in constant slide downhill.
Reviewer: Jeff from Santa Barbara
When they opened last year I was really excited about the great food made with quality, healthy ingredients. During the first few months they suffered massively from not honoring the posted hours. I showed up after 8PM many times (closed at 9PM) and was turned away, being told they did not have enough customers to stay open. One time I had five people with me. At the time, the menu was in constant flux, but the food was always very good to excellent. Since then, it is wildly hit and miss. Upon my last three visits, it's been pretty bad. You order a dish that you know and you don't recognize it or they decide "let's make it really spicy tonight" without warning. Apparently, lunch is no longer served, a really bad decision. What started as $5 to $11 order-at-the-counter place with high-end food has become a $11 to $19 wait-a-long-time-for-service with if-you-get-really-lucky-you'll-get-the-one-good-plate-tonight food. Le Bon, I've given you 20 chances and you've clearly let me know you just don't care about me.


Fabulous Fusion Food
Reviewer: Ashwin from Goleta
This was my first time at this place. I went here mainly because the menu seemed interesting. And I have to say the place lived upto my expectations. The Tofu Ginger bowl was very yummy. I loved it with the brown rice. So was the "Pumpkin and Crispy Wonton" plate. The soup was a bit of a let down since it was quite bland but overall another very good resturant in SB.


Rarely disappointed
Reviewer: Nicholas from Goleta, CA
I have been here seven or eight times and really enjoy the food. Everything I have tried always has a lot of flavor and makes other "natural" food places seem very bland. I suggest trying something new and not going for the safe salad or sandwich. I have never had a problem with the staff. They are usually friendly. Since you order at the counter I don't consider this a sit down place and even though someone brings you your food I don't consider them my waiter. If you need something get up and ask for it.


So much for a "fast" lunch
Reviewer: Isabella from Santa Barbara, CA
I have come here for lunch before, mostly because I think their menu is unique and their food tasty, even if it's a little pricier than your typical salad and sandwich place. That being said, I was not impressed with the service this time around AT ALL. I called ahead to order my sandwich to pick up, since I was in a hurry, and then when I arrived I ordered a smoothie to go as well. The smoothie took so long to make that I decided to eat my sandwich while I waited. It was a grilled vegetable and chicken sandwich, which I discovered had no chicken. When I pointed this out, they offered to grill up some chicken while I waited for my smoothie, but I assumed it would only be another 5 minutes or so, so I declined. However, 20 minutes later, I was still waiting! The poor girl at the cashier finally had to make it herself since the smoothie guy seemed completely lost behind the counter. I noticed other people waiting a long time for their smoothies and regular lunch orders as well. If they can get their service flow together a little better, I think this place would be that much more popular with locals.


Awesome place! Love it!!
Reviewer: B.A. from Santa Barbara, CA
This is such a yummy place... The sweet potato fries are sooo good! And this stir fry with rice noodles and tofu and veggies is delish!! The staff is helpful and kind. I drink a lot of water, so I really like self-service of water, rather than having to keep calling a waitperson over. I'm glad this place is here!!!


Nothing great
Reviewer: Antonella from Sacramento
I went to Le Bon Cafe last night for dinner and wasn't very impressed. It took them a really long time to bring the food out and when it did finally arrive I was very disappointed. My mom's soup was bland and was an awful greenish color that did not look appetizing at all. I ordered the falafel sandwhich and felt it was too one dimensional and unexciting. Health food does not have to be flavorless. The menu seems like it offers interesting choices, but I think there is a problem with the execution, both in terms of time and quality. I do not think I will be going back.


So-so
Reviewer: Dana Alexander from Santa Barbara
Kind of an odd place where you have to order at the counter even if you're buying a $15 steak and a $9.50 glass of wine (which seemd high). Paying ahead is a drag since it isn't flexible if you decide you want dessert or coffee later. This is ok for a fast lunch, but doesn't appeal for a nice dinner. Seemed somewhat disorganized and the service uneven (was this the server's first day?). My steak was nothing special, a little tough, small, with not much flavor itself, but an overpowering coconut sauce. Veggies were bland.


Please, fix the problems before you go out of business
Reviewer: Sophie Elouise from Santa Barbara, CA
I love the food here -- when they get it right, it is great: unpretentious, just the right mix of healthfood and comfort food staples like sweet potato fries... But lately, the place has gotten so chaotic that going there for lunch has become like Russian roulette. If you have an hour and half and don't mind what comes out of the kitchen, then great, go for it. But if you have less than an hour and want what you order to arrive on your table in a reasonable state of repair, forget it. The open kitchen shows everyone LOOKS busy, but it also looks like they are cooking one meal at a time (and a recent experience with one uncooked meal arriving at the same time as another, burnt, would suggest that this is the case). When menu items have run out by noon and the choices (what type of bread/salad/etc) you are given have no relationship to what you receive, it is time to go someplace else.


they care
Reviewer: paul from goleta, ca



Amazing food, amazingly bad service.
Reviewer: Kristen from Carpinteria
The food at Le Bon is to die for. Everything I've ever had is very good. But every single time I go, they get my order completely wrong. I ordered the veggie burger without two things on a white bun. They brought me literally the complete opposite. All the servers look like they are around 15-16 years old, and they don't know what they're doing, and they probably don't care. I've also been handed the complete wrong order and had to flag the person down when they just walk away without asking if everything looks right. They run out of drinks and desserts a lot, so you often have to resort to your 2nd or even 3rd choice. The owner, JP, is REALLY nice, so if you read this, just talk some sense into your employees! Go for the food, but prepare to be frustrated.


sooo refreshing!
Reviewer: chee from sb
I went to le bon cafe tonite, and I highly recommend this place! my salad was filled with yummy goodies (i.e., carrots, jicama, sprouts, cumin-flavored chicken breast), and my sister's clay pot with mahi mahi was delightful, asian-inspired, and flavorful. I'd recommend going at 6pm so that you can get a nice window seat and catch the sunset :) this place and its food rocks! it's comparable to dish and natural cafe...a tiny bit pricier tho.


Delectible!
Reviewer: Deborah Barnes from Santa Barbara
My daughter, friends & I love lunch & dinner at LeBon. It is always fresh, beautifully prepared and delicious. The fresh, naturally sweet melon juices are so refreshing and delightful. All of us have distinct preferences & they are all met well at LeBon. I only wish they were open on Sundays, I would be there for sure! For a fast-food feel, it is anything but a fast food menu! I have not met a friend who has not totally enjoyed LeBon. Thank heavens the chairs are not condusive to relaxing or we would never leave!


Good vibes--good food--great presentation
Reviewer: Karen from Goleta, CA
We had been meaning to try Le Bon Cafe, after Dish Cafe in Goleta was started by JP and soon became one of our regular spots for great food. Le Bon was wonderful, with a great atmosphere ( a little noisy from kitchen but it is in the same room), wonderful decor and presentation of food was beautiful. My husband and I talked about how this food would cost 3x on Coast Village Road. we will return, there are too many great sounding items to not make this an instant favorite! Organic is a BIG draw for me !


Wonderful Falafel
Reviewer: Diane from Santa Barbara, CA
This was our first time at Le Bon and all four of us enjoyed our dinner on 12/30/06. I had the falafel with sweet potatoes and grilled onion dish and it was very very good.


Raw chicken
Reviewer: Pamella Cicciolina from santa barbara , CA
I have never eaten at this place before , until last friday ( 12/16/06 ) I was there with my boyfriend and we order a couple of salads , for my surprise the chicken was uncooked , me and my boyfriend were really dissapointed with the outcome , specially after we saw the reaction of the cooks ( 2 ladies in chef coats ) , they were just amazed that we sent the food back to them , and we could hear them cursing all the way from our table , it was very unplesant to be there , I fell sorry for the waiter who was trying to be very apologetic and nice but we wont go back there , and for the ladies in the kitchen , my advice is " if you dont like your job , you can always quit !" but don`t serve RAW food !


Magical
Reviewer: Andrew Baker from Sunny Santa Barbara
First time there, had the seared ahi salad. Epic. Second time, a spicy tofu dish. Even more in love. Third time, a shrimp and rice dish. Beyond yummy. On top of that, everyone is super super nice, pretty much like everyone I have met here in Sunny Santa Barbara. -AB


Too Bad, So Sad
Reviewer: J J Barton from Santa Barbara CA
When a new restaurant opens it gets one shot to win diners. This one failed badly last Saturday evening. At 6:30pm, they were already out of all brands of sparking water, PLUS they were out of all desserts. There were a few menu items not available also. What a big disappointment.


Not worth going
Reviewer: Elizabeth from Goleta, CA
The restaurant was nice inside, not many people. The food was very dry, fish seemed overcooked. My friend had the burger which was undercooked looked raw. Staff was in there own world and not helpful. Would not go back.


Great Food But....
Reviewer: Allison from SB
I went three times and LOVED it, then I went a fourth time. The big turn off happened when a woman in a chef's coat took my order. Since she was handling money and her fingers were filthy, I thought that surely, she must be working on her car out back. Alas, she proceeded to prepare my dinner without stopping to wash her hands and I had the distinct pleasure of listening to her shout repeatedly how many they had served at lunch into the phone over the noise of the kitchen throughout my meal. My infatuation is definately over! Too bad because the food is fab. In case you're curious, they served 80 on Monday and 50 on Tuesday.


Yummy!!!
Reviewer: Melissa from Santa Barbara, CA
This is my new favorite restaurant. Everything is very fresh and delicious. The menu is awesome, with picks for every taste. I love the Kickin' Turkey Burger and the sweet potato fries. Their salads are super yummy too! You cannot go wrong eating here!


exceptional
Reviewer: lisa from S.B., Ca
I love Le Bon Cafe....organic....fresh made to order food...a unique menu unlike any other in town. For me, it's worth waiting for something extra special...and for the last reviewer, this obviously isn't a full service restaurant....logically, if a customer needs something or has an 'issue' they walk up to the counter for service.


Uneven
Reviewer: Justine from SB, CA
The first time I ate here the food was delicious, the service was attentive and warm but unobtrusive, and after dinner my companion and I had an enjoyable chat with the chef/manager, JP, a charming fellow. It was like a wonderful first date... and I kept thinking about going back. So last night we got together again, Le Bon and I, and unfortunately, although the food was still fantastic, there was the equivalent of a big clump of spinach in your date's teeth or a snorting laugh you just can't stomach: a few misses with the service that left me less-than-enamored. First, it took a *very* long time to get my food--a grilled sandwich and a salad... I finally asked about it when I saw the table that ordered after me served some of their food, and was told "Yours is up next... the sandwich is on the grill, it takes a while for the cheese to melt." It's brie cheese, folks, it should already be soft. Strike two was that after my food arrived, no one checked in with me to see how it was. The servers were clearing tables at a leisurely pace, chatting with each other and the chef, taking breaks--not very busy as they wound down toward closing time. So I hope that Le Bon will redeem itself next time I get up the nerve to try again... otherwise, we just may have to have the "It's not you, it's me" talk... Even though it's them.


don't miss this one!
Reviewer: mia from santa barbara, ca
GREAT lunch price point and wonderfully large and delicious food. A super place for lunch or take-out.


Delish!!!
Reviewer: Thadeus from Santa Barbara
Great food, moderately priced. Head chef is super nice and very helpful. I have tried like 5 different things and they all are delicious. I love the Mr. Falafel sandwich and the Bison burger and they make for great and smooth late afternoon office bathroom breaks.


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