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India House
No longer in business
Opened: 2010-02 Closed: 2016-08

418 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 962-5070


Reviews by the General Public

What a great party experience
Reviewer: Sharon Stockwell from Santa Barbara, CA
We had such a fantastic time at the Bollywood dance party in India House with it's wonderful interior decorated with so many Indian antiques! Amazing sitar player with famous Tabla drummer started the evening then more live music that finsihed with a dance teacher training a group of diners to perform an authentic Bollywood show. It was all fabulous. The buffet was a collection of tasty tandoor and curry dishes that we washed down with a wonderful beer (1000?) Just loved the people watching too. This is a not to be missed unique Santa Barbara experience.


Excellent Buffet
Reviewer: Ashton from Santa Barbara, CA
I loved the decor, and charming ambience. it was a very authentic indian dining experience with the floor seating. the service was great. the chicken tikka masala was the best i have ever had. the naan was super fresh and soft. the biryani rice had the right taste. the korma actually tasted like cashews. excellent all around experience cant wait to go back.


AWWWWWWWWFUL......please avoid this place
Reviewer: kuri from Los Angeles, CA
Yesterday we went to this place for dinner,me and my spouse had the most terrible experience ever..we ordered mixed biryani, only to be served a plate of stale food. When the manager was contacted,he took our plate back but in no time came back with the same plate saying "food is fine and fresh" ,made by their chef. When we requested to talk to the chef we were told "he is very busy",(restaurant is empty). We didn't eat our food,but was charged the full amount.The staff was courteous but nobody seemed to know the name of the chef or the owner.We were extremely disappointed on the experience as a whole.Moreover after paying the check they never give you the receipt unless you ask for it specifically. Lovely Santa Barbara, lousy dining experience!!


Quite disappointed.
Reviewer: Nic from Sydney, Australia
Went tonight for dinner (family of 5) as my children had expressed interest ( they are aged 6 and 7). We were welcomed in but that was the end of the friendly service. Waiter was surly - did they really want us to dine there? The butter chicken was too spicy for young children ( they like it usually). Generally the food was fine but service very ordinary. I was offended by the 18% gratuity included in the total when the service was so ordinary. That is wrong. We didn't complain - just wont return.


Wow...What a ambience
Reviewer: Carlos from Santa Barbara, CA
Wow...First word say when you enter in restaurant. It's amazing no place can be even think to compete it's decoration. 5+ We had lunch last week, food was also delicious, and feel good i choose this place.


Disgusted Quartet!!
Reviewer: Gary from San Diego, CA
The food was the worst Indian meal we have ever experienced and we are very well travelled. The service was non-existent with the waiter more interested in watching the tv's than serving customers! No change of plates between courses, starter platter was cold and insepid. 18% Gratuity for 4 or more (we were 4), we would have paid as we saw this on the menu had the meal been good, we were appalled and refused to pay it as we had left almost all of the food. Very expensive menu, the food does not match the prices in anyway!!


So so food, no service
Reviewer: Sallee from Santa Barbara, CA
Food is so-so. For an Indian joint I expected more flavor and spice, so if you have a delicate palate, this might be a good place for you. My buddy liked it, so we are giving it an average mark. Service was not bad: it was just not there. The waterboy would kind of ask from a distance if you wanted more water, nobody else came around for drinks or other orders, and we had to go up to pay our bill. Go figure!


Awful Service, Overpriced and Rude Waiter
Reviewer: Luna from Santa Barbara, CA
We went there for lunch with the family four of us, food wasn't bad or good it was "blah". The waiter was rude, not friendly at all. No bread available for a long time. Place was empty, now I know why! When the check came they charged 18% gratuity!!!!! Come one! We had the buffet and the only thing the waiter did was to refill our water glasses once! Not going back there again!


Worse food and service ever
Reviewer: Kate from Santa Barbara, CA
My partner and I went there today for lunch. Huge mistake. The food there was unappealing and looked like it had been sitting there for a long time without refreshing. The service was absent. The waiter ignored us and didn't bring the customary naan bread. I asked why we didn't get the bread and he said he was too busy. There was only one other table occupied in the whole place. The whole attitude of the place is one of not caring about their food or service. I don't know how they stay in business. Wish I could give neg. stars.


The service wasn't bad, it was non-existent!
Reviewer: Lara from Santa Barbara, CA
I don't get this place. My friend and I decided to give it a try one evening and we sat for twenty minutes with zero attention from the staff, which was especially odd considering the place was completely empty. After spending rather a long time watching several employees wander about aimlessly, we simply got up and left without a word. I'm not sure how the proprietors of this establishment expect to keep their restaurant open when they treat their customers with such disdain. Needless to say, neither of us will ever go back.


masala has no taste !!
Reviewer: Sal from Santa Barbara, CA
i stopped by india house yesterday to give it a try. the chicken Tickka masala was terrible. i ate only one spoon and i could not finish up my plate. it has no taste, the chicken chunks were too big. the only thing i liked was the papadum bread. in short, i will never go their again.


A MUMBAI MOMENT
Reviewer: Jerome from Santa Barbara, CA
I had lunch here the other day and for a moment I thought I was back in India.The atmosphere/ambience was unbelievable.The cuisine is as good as many 5 Star Indian restaurants I have visited in Europe.Very friendly service and was even greeted by the owner Chef Krishan.Great value for the high quality of food.


Great Food with Amazing Service.
Reviewer: Daniella B from Santa Barbara, CA
If your looking for authentic Indian Food, you must visit the India House in Downtown State Street. The interior design of the restaurant is amazing. I ordered the chicken curry with raisins and i had to give my complements to the chef. No kidding when they say :service with a smile" the atmosphere was very welcoming and i will visit again. Great job!


Don't bother, go across the street
Reviewer: Emily from Santa Barbara, CA
I frequent the Indian food buffets on state street as quick lunch option and decided to give this one a try... I should have known better. I was the ONLY one there, the food was oily (there was visible oil floating on every dish), the chicken tikka masala was an awful bright pink/red and dry, the green beans tasted like they were from a can, and the rice was cold. The lamb dish was actually okay (nice and spicy, tender meat) but that was the only redeeming factor. If you're considering this place for lunch just go across the street to the All India Cafe buffet (my favorite) and be sure to try the chicken tikka masala there... it's a world of difference.


I feel ripped off
Reviewer: Dave from Santa Barbara, CA
Worst tikka masala I have ever had. Way overpriced... $20... And very small portion. It also took forever for them to make it and there was only one other party there, which was probably a clue. We had a discount card and they charged us tax And auto-gratuity of 18% on the full amount before the discount, even though we were a party of two. They said they had a right to based on the terms of the coupon, but it's a clear message about the restaurant when they have to force you to pay a big tip. If you want good Indian in Santa Barbara, theres a place on upper state (i wont mention the name) that puts this place to shame.


buffet
Reviewer: john fogarty from Santa Barbara, CA
I ate here when they first opened and have to say it needed work. Today I stopped by for the lunch buffet and must say I was greatly impressed with the food quality. I rarely go back for seconds however this time i exercised great restraint not going back for a third serving. It is nice to see an indian restaurant put some heat into there buffet dishes. Thumbs up, keep up the good work. I will return.


Friendly and amazing Indian Food
Reviewer: Daniella from Santa Barbara, CA
My husband and I visited The Indian House for dinner and i must say it was very unexpected how good the food was. The Nan was cooked so perfectly we even ordered some to go. The service was very welcoming and friendly and the decor was beautiful. We will defiantly visit again.


better than expected
Reviewer: chris from Santa Barbara, CA
Samosas were outstanding - big, tasty, garnished - almost a meal by themselves. The Bombay thali was all nicely spiced. The naan was thin and crisp, more like a fire-roasted flour tortilla. Chicken saag was very flavorful but also watery with the chicken dry and over-cooked. Service was excellent throughout. Odd-but-true: the ice water was unusually good. Ambiance is a fun mix of restaurant and shop with a variety of seating options. Axxess discount every time.


Cold food on a nice summer day.
Reviewer: Erin Schults from Anaheim, CA
My husband and I had just had Indian food in Rancho Cucamonga a few days ago and were, as always, delighted and were looking forward to trying Indian food in Santa Barbara on our mini vacation. There was only one couple for buffet and that should have been our warning to leave. The food was cold, the chicken was dry, the rice did not even taste like Indian rice, everthing they had was cold as if the burners where not on. We were disappointed and plan on avoiding this place next time. The service…. It’s a buffet, there is no service. I actually have to say that toward the end the waiter told us that they had desert.


Terrible in every way!
Reviewer: charlotte klein from goleta
My husband and I had lunch here last week and I must say that it was terrible in every way! The food was inedible, the worst Indian food ever and the real kicker was that it was crazy expensive!! The naan was burnt, the chicken Tikka Masala was dry, had no cream or ghee, there was no richness to the dish what so ever. I even asked the waitress if this was Tikka Masala! It was, it's just how they prepare it?????It was more like a bland Vindaloo! The spices tasted as if they hadn't been properly toasted first ( bitter and chalky ) Now the price of this dish ( at lunch time ) was $13.00! and it was enough for one. Not that I would want any leftovers but yikes! $13.00 for a few pieces of dry CHICKEN in an inedible sauce!! The weirdest part of the meal was that the timid waitress and the menacing cook ( yes, the menacing cook was watching us eat! or at least try! ) they seemed to care less that we were unhappy and didn't eat a thing! Weird! Maybe they thought we were tourists!


Never visit this place - especially if you are hungry!
Reviewer: Niyo from Torrance, CA
1. Food : whatever we ordered, was not available. So v changed it 3 to 4 times and ended up ordering Veg Yogi, Nawabi &Bombay Thali.Appetizer is just few lettuce leaves dipped in ketchup! 2. Service : There were just 2 guys handling 15 customers. We and othrs came in just bcos every other restaurant was closed @ 3.45 pm 3. While paying after our lunch, we politely told the Chef/Owner that we had great expectations and we were disappointed by service and quality of food for the money that we paid. He was so indifferent - did not even respond by nodding his head. Eating there was just a waste of money.


Fun Atmosphere, Terrible Indian Food
Reviewer: Robert from Santa Barbara, CA
I'm sorry, but this was not authentic Indian cuisine. The Dal was extremely salty and the chana masala was a soup with minimal flavor. Maybe it was fusion dining?? The atmosphere was groovy, so I guess that is a plus.


we walked out
Reviewer: Pat from Santa Barbara, CA
We went to dinner there with house guests - we had a reservation. When someone finally came to our table, he said he did not have enough menus,he did not have any lamb,he did not have any india beer and other things we asked for. So we walked out and ate elsewhere. The waiter did apolized for their lack of food and drinks. (They had served "all you can eat" for lunch that day which is the reason I think that they ran out of everything.)


A Surprisingly Good Choice for Authentic Indian Food in SB!
Reviewer: John from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I have been to this restaurant three times now. In my opinion it serves the most authentic and flavorsome Indian food in SB. The spices used seem to be fresh rather than dried, as is often the case. It is more expensive than most in the area and the bazaar type environment is a little different (we like it!), but it's certainly worth a try if you want some really tasty Indian food. The Vegetable Pakoras and Chicken Tikka Masala are our favorites so far. They could do with having a couple of varieties of Indian beer available, as the Indian beers just seem to go that bit better with a good curry. Coming originally from Britain where there's a plethora of fantastic Indian restaurants, it was quite a treat to discover this place. I hope they get sufficient customers to be successful, as it has been undeservedly quiet the few times we have patronised this restaurant. Maybe if the prices came down just a touch (without compromising on quality) to be a little more competitive with other Indian restaurants in town, they would perhaps benefit in the long run.


A pretty good meal actually
Reviewer: saul from Santa Barbara, CA
well i was cruising all the way from goleta looking for some GOOD indian food, sure enough we run into this exotic looking place (turns out its a bazaar)were they sold food and fabrics and so on. now this brings me to their delicious lunch thalis (buffet platter)i personally got their #1 which was the Vegetarian Thali which was rather good some spinach curry thing and their NAAN was amazing to say the least. anyway definately worth the money to stop by and check out what they have to offer


Favorite Indian Joint
Reviewer: Leah Young from Santa Barbara, CA
This is one of three Indian restaurants on State Street. It's my favorite because the food is very fresh and hot and it is only about $7-10 for a great lunch. I also like the colorful decor.


Good Food and Service, bit pricey
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
The food was good here. No buffet but had lunch specials(which were a little expensive). Flavor of India is preferred for a lunch buffet/cheaper, looks like All India Cafe across the street also has a buffet, have not tried it though and I'll have to try that place next. India House was neat in that they have Indian garments for sale if into that. Apparently everything in the store is for sale including the amazing colored glass lamps they have. The chef seemed really nice and the waiter was very professional. The seating is a little haphazard but they do have open air seating on the street if into that. Eating there you feel like you have gone to India for the hour with the decorum. Park where Chocolate Maya/SB Roasting is.


Good Eats
Reviewer: ANA from Santa Barbara, CA
I discover this new Idian Restaurant and it is the best in Santa Barbara.The service is awsome. I really love it !!!!


Great Service, okay food, terrible owner.
Reviewer: Usher J from Santa Barbara, CA
A+ for ambiance, have you seen this place its simply beautiful. However, after being sat and waiting it became obvious to my wife and I that only ONE server was responsible for the entire restaurant. Understandably, it took a long time to order & receive our drinks. Our waitress was extremely sweet and pleasant. We almost felt pity for her running around the whole restaurant ( We think she was indian ). She was a very hardworking girl but come on what restaurant in a downtown area would have one server on for an evening?! We understand they are a new establishment but they need to get it together!!! Our food took a horribly long time and did not come together( heres a tip to the owner-usually when you go out to eat you expect to get your food together and enjoy your meal not wait ten minutes for each dish ). In any other place I would hold my server responsible for this but after seeing how horribly understaffed they were I we couldnt blame her. However, If the owner is their chef as I have read and they claim, wouldn't you see that its impossible to run a restaurant so understaffed? When you are trying to attract customers as this restaurant clearly is, management needs to comprehend that 1 server cannot serve 6 tables effectively without more support - let alone 10 or 20. You are compromising your restaurant by not putting on more help, more servers, more bussers, the basics to run a restaurant which they lack. While we had a good time and somewhat enjoyed our food, others will not be willing to wait so long. This restaurant has been criticized for slow service for some time now, but nothing is ever done...


good indian restrnt in SB
Reviewer: Lavisha from Santa Barbara, CA
I like aloo tikki ...1 of the best appetizer .... and in main course veggies were not boiled properly...but nice lachha paratha... love the food... and very quick service.. must try for every indian and non indian too though...


Another Fabulous Solstice Fundraiser
Reviewer: Cynthia Elias from Santa Barbara, CA
India House did it again. The most fun night raising funds for Solstice Parade. The atmosphere was so warm and when his wife brought her husband/chef out the audience exploded with applause for his dishes. Never have I seen that. The dancers were again great and the group was again up for learning Indian dances. It's a warm home for Indian food lovers.


they are getting better!
Reviewer: Lakshman from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been to India House some 5-6 times. I first went there on the opening day, only to find overpriced food, which was not great either. The waitress(white) had no clue about any of the food. Being a vegetarian, the worst part was the menu had very few vegetarian options. I was shocked to find an Indian restaurant with so few veg options. What was even more shocking was the restroom. The tiles were decorated with pictures of Hindu Gods. This is completely inappropriate, if not unacceptable, even to any person with least Hindu beliefs. I made up my mind to never ever come here again. For some reason, I came here again after a month. To my surprise, everything was completely changed. Food was great and the inappropriate tiles were removed. Even better, they also changed the menu card with more veg options. I was like, did they read my mind or something! From then on, I frequently come here and all I can say is that they are definitely getting better. I loved the veg thali and the samosas. Although the samosas were Americanized, they tasted really good.


Best Yogi Thali this side of Bombay
Reviewer: sasha from Santa Barbara, CA
The India House has the best yogi thali this side of Mumbai/Bombay and good mango lassis (yoghurt & mango & sugar). They have one wonderful low table where you can sit on cushions on the floor if you take off your shoes and feel like you are in Asia or back in the 60's. I loved it! The other tables are in the middle of the shop and lack a congenial atmosphere. The waiter went out of his way to please us.


Will be closed in less than a year
Reviewer: Nikki from Santa Barbara, CA
I have had all different types of Indian food, in all different types of locations and towns. This could be the worst. Extremely over priced. The food is very heavy, very oily not at all authentic. You may as well put it all in a blender together and serve only one dish because that is how it already taste. Indian food should leave you feeling energized and lightly full. I've never been charged separately for the naan, except here. The girl is a white girl,( I am too) if you are going to be representing an ethnic restaurant, you should know everything about the food, everything. Also what kind of an Indian restaurant doesn't have a lunch buffet?!! You can't choose any of the items in the combo plates. Unless you have horrible taste, run past this place . Plus the chef tried to overcharge me at the register for bracelets just to see if I was dumb enough to go along with it. This place is a joke. The best Indian food was in Bakersfield (yes, I know) in a tiny hole in the wall Indian grocer, a lunch buffet for 7.95$ per person. Home made, gourmet, authentic. The way it's supposed to be.


Friendly and Good Food
Reviewer: Marq & Eva from Santa Barbara, CA
After driving with my fiance from Vegas we found this wonderful place just as it was about to close. But they happily welcomed us in. We had delicious Channa Masala and Curry Chicken. Service was good and we really appreciated that they happily served us even though we arrived it at closing time. Marq & Eva


Stay away if you have a choice!
Reviewer: natti from Los Angeles, CA
The place is kitschy and clearly aimed at appealing to the people who don't know much about Indian food or Indian handicrafts. But the most disappointing is the food and the service. The food was served in a very disorganized manner. Some of us got the parathas they ordered served to them a good 10 minutes before their entrees and another got her masala chana dish (quite bland and tasteless) without her bread and without the rice that it was supposed to come with. None of the thalis came with the side dishes that were specified in the menu (papads, raita) and one came without bread. When we requested the missing items the woman serving us made a big fuss as if she were going out of the way to do us a favor by getting us what the meal was supposed to include. The food was passable, nothing to write home about. The tea was cold. The papads that were eventually served to us were over cooked and dripping with oil. The service ruined whatever little appetite we had. After we made a little noise over the service, the "chef" came out from the kitchen to see what was wrong and was most patronizing and quite rude. Also, be careful, the prices on their menu are confusing. For some reason the same dishes cost less at lunch than they do at dinner. When we asked why this was so, the same waitress didn't have a clue. Actually she seemed quite clueless about any questions we had.


Please avoid until they find a good cook
Reviewer: Rupga from Santa Barbara, CA
I understand that they just got started. However, dinner quality was substantially below par. The vegetables were not cut in to small pieces and were undercooked. Mango lassi tasted funny as the yogurt had gone bad. Unfortunately, our appetizers also had yogurt in them. Service was less than desired since it took a good 45 minutes to get the appetizers (one of them arrived with the main course). If you want service in a reasonable time, order the pre-made Thali and avoid ordering entrees from the menu. The prices seem to be high for the ambiance. If you eat Indian food frequently, this is a place to avoid since you will be able to find deficiencies in the quality and lack of spices. Here is how I would rank the Indian restaurants in Santa Barbara: 1. Flavor of India (lacks variety in the lunch buffett) 2. Spice Avenue (best lunch buffett) 3. Taj Cafe 4. All India Cafe 5. India House I usually have to travel outside Santa Barbara to find good quality India food.


What a way to celebrate summer solstice!
Reviewer: C. Elias from Santa Barbara, CA
I attended the fundraiser for Summer Solstice at India House on Monday, June 21st. The atmosphere was so wonderful. The food was great. The Indian dancers made the night so special. Attendees were dressed in beautiful Indian clothing. It was so festive that I hope they do more of these community oriented events.The restaurant was completely full and smiles on everyones' faces. Good job India House.


Pleasantly Surprised
Reviewer: Erin from Santa Barbara, CA
I went in on my lunch hour and received wonderful service, the food I could tell was prepared fresh. The portion was so big I have made another meal out of it! I will definatly go back! Love!


Some of the best Indian food I have had!
Reviewer: Pamela from Santa Barbara, CA
Our first dinning experience at the India House was wonderful! We loved the food and the friendly atmosphere. Each dish was flavoured to perfection.The waite people were very sweet and attentive. It was so comfortable we stayed on for over two hours. After we ate we shopped till we dropped in their shopping bizarr. Fun,fun, fun...


Fantabulous
Reviewer: Kiki W. from Santa Barbara, CA
Best Indian food/dining experience by far. The Chef came to our table and offered fantastic recommendations. The dishes we had were dripping with flavor and spices...The lamb was exqusite. We highly recommend the combination dish with two vegetarian and two meats. The two of us were able to share the combination meal- plus take home left overs. The service was excellent... Overall we had a wonderful experience! (And to think they have only been open for two months) Go if you can, we will definitely be back :)


Best Indian Restaurant in Santa Barbara!
Reviewer: Surna from Santa Barbara, CA
My, what a treat the India House was! I've tried all the other Indian restaurants up and down State St., but nothing quite compares to the India House. We ordered our food, which was absolutely delicious! You must try the samosas as an appetizer, they were served unlike any Indian restaurant I've ever seen! Usually, you just get two plain samosas on a plate. Not here! The presentation was in itself a sheer treat. The samosas were presented on a plate with an array of dipping sauces (an amazing mango chutney, mint sauce, and yogurt), beautifully served with a few fruits and over a little salad. While we waited for our food to arrive, which didn't take very long at all, we were able to shop around in there store which is actually in another part of the restaurant, in which everything was very reasonably priced. Our waitress was great, such a sweetheart. She suggested we try one of the platters, which was more than for two people. Overall, this was a great experience and I will for sure be returning in the new future!


Tasty, Fun and Memorable
Reviewer: Christine from Santa Barbara, CA
I was excited to find this delicious new restaurant and just needed to write this review! What I liked best of this restaurant was the exotic decorations and delicious food! They have very friendly and helpful waitstaff. Our waitress recommended we order the samosas as an appetizer. The presentation was beautiful and the food was superb and full of flavor. We also ordered their Kanpuri Thali which was great and more than enough for two people. It was my first time in but I will deffinatly stop by and have a cup of their yummy chai tea, which reminded me of my summers in india as a child, its just that good. It’s great to see more small family run businesses in Santa Barbara.


There are tastier options
Reviewer: Alex C. from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been to India House's new restaurant twice. The first time was okay but not memorable. I noticed it was a little overpriced for somewhat bland food, and they were stingy with the free rice. The second time, my friend ordered the chicken tandoori and the inside of the chicken was raw (though they didn't end up charging him for it, and attributed it to a new oven), my vegetable dish (whose name I forgot) was so bitter from spices as to be nearly inedible, and my mango lassi was more like mango jam topped with yogurt. And it was still overpriced compared to the other Indian restaurants in town. The server was very helpful, but I definitely don't recommend the food.


Stale food
Reviewer: RK from Santa Barbara, CA
We went to India House for dinner last night and ordered Samosa chat for appetizer and Thali for entree. The chat was ok but the Thali sucked big time. Spinach Lamb and dal tasted stale. Chicken wings tasted awful. And there was more water in mango juice than juice. We'll never go back there again.


Delicious!
Reviewer: Carla from Goleta, CA
I came here on a Thursday night and there were no other customers in the restaurant, which is a shame because their food was amazing. The waiter was very attentive and kept asking us how the food was. I was very impressed by the several free items we received, including popadom with chutney, naan, and garnish with our samosas (we ordered the plain ones). The decor is also really something to look at. The only downside of this place is that they are overpriced but nevertheless I will return because they serve the best Indian food in town!


Food okay but overpriced
Reviewer: Lynne from Santa Barbara, CA
The food was okay, not spectacular. I was sort of horrified at the prices; really, $19 (before tax and tip) for a smallish serving of malai kofta? That included a small cup of rice; naan was extra.


try it, you'll like it
Reviewer: Louise from Santa Barbara, CA
I have shopped at India House for as long as they have been open and was so excited to hear that their restaurant was open for business. I have had lunch there twice now and can't wait to go back for dinner. The "vegetarian thali" was really tasty and satisfying! The husband and wife owners were great as always and made my friend and I feel very at home. They have done a great job with the interior and the food! It feels good to patronize a local business and I encourage all to go have lunch and dinner there, you won't be dissapointed.


Strange Combination of Tasty Food and Horrible Owner/Chef
Reviewer: Krista English from Santa Barbara, CA
I am new to Indian cuisine so was excited to find this restaurant THROUGH Restaurant.com having never heard of India House before. We had our gift cert. out the whole time and upon ordering were told it's not accepted. The chef was out visiting his friends eating next to us, so I asked as he caught my eye on his way back, what he'd recommend? He growled at me, "just order anything you want!" Very rude to a new customer. The food turned out to be VERY tasty, but expensive for the amount. We split a plate and had some Naan, but left hungry because I didn't want to splurge when treated so rudely. The waitstaff are hispanic & admit they don't know their menu. Overall disappointing, yet SO tasty...too bad.


Horrific owner
Reviewer: Jill T. from Santa Barbara, CA
I have to write about an atrocious experience at India House. We had a gift certificate that the owner refused to honor. He didn't tell us this until after we had finished our meal. We had showed the certificate to the waitress and she told us to hang on to it until the end of the meal. At the end, she said the owner wouldn't accept it. At first he wouldn't come and talk to us and when he finally did, he stood 10 feet away and told us that he would not accept it. When we refused to pay the $25 portion from the gift certificate, he told us he would take it from the salary of his waitress. So we of course paid the full amount but we will never be going back there. I haven't been treated so rudely in a long time. And to embarrass and humiliate his employees is simply unacceptable and I will never patronize his business again.


Go for it!
Reviewer: Eric MacDonald from Lompoc, CA
We needed to come to Santa Barbara today and I checked (as I usually do) John Dickson’s restaurant reviews to choose where to have lunch. Based on the recent reviews of India House, we decided to give it a try. Excellent Decision! My wife and I have been going to Indian restaurants throughout the country for 35 years now and I can confidently say that today’s experience is one of the best we have ever had. We started with an order of Samosas (absolutely unique and delicious) then I had the vegetarian thali and my wife had the meat thali. It was all wonderfully flavorful, and excellently prepared – everything one could hope for in Indian food that has not been homogenized into “Standard American Indian Cuisine”. My advice: run, don’t walk, to India House and get it while you can.


worth the wait
Reviewer: Patricia from Santa Barbara, CA
Having eaten at many Indian restaurants in New York, and in Los Angeles I can honestly say this is the most unique, authentic experience thus far. The atmosphere is extremely stimulating..beautiful colors and glowing lanterns create a very warm, happy dining room. My waitress was very welcoming and willing to go the extra mile to make mine and my husbands experience worthwhile. Although there are obviously a few kinks to work out, it was refreshing to be in a mom & pop restaurant again! kudos & good luck to india house


Exceptional Indian Food
Reviewer: Tim from Santa Barbara, CA
This restaurant has some exquisite genuine Indian food. My wife and I went for an early dinner and ordered the vegetable biriyani and aloo gobi muttar. Although we are not vegetarian, the complex mix of flavors and the variety of fresh, whole ingredients in these two dishes more than compensated for the lack of meat. The biriyani, in particular, was outstanding. As good as in India with the added bonus of some mouth-watering garnishes including an amazing chutney, strawberries, apples, hazelnuts, and bananas coated with something really tasty. The preparation from fresh ingredients clearly took some effort and, consequently, it took longer than normal between ordering and when the food hit the table. In the meantime one can browse around the cool Indian imports in the adjoining store. In my opinion, the other Indian restaurants on State St are interchangeable. This one is exceptional.


FANTASTIC FOOD & ATMOSPHERE!!!!!!
Reviewer: JoAnne Lingo from Somis, CA
As a vegan I have eaten in many Indian restaurants but was disappointed in what Santa Barbara had to offer until India House opened. The food is authentic, fresh and plentiful. The staff is cheerful and eager to help with recommendations. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will return with family and friends. After dining, the store offers a treasure trove of clothing, jewelry and beautiful items for the home. The entire experience is like a mini trip to India. Santa Barbara has a new jewel on State Street.


Here's hoping they get it together
Reviewer: Owen from Santa Barbara, CA
Well, I really want to say great things about this place. And in fact, I had two truly superb vegetarian dinners here, some of the best Indian food I've ever had. Then yesterday I took a couple of people there for lunch, after raving about how good it was. I'm betting that the lunch shift is not manned by the real chef, but by someone who is poorly trained and doesn't have the same feel for the recipes. Not only was the food mediocre at best, but they delivered two lamb items to one of our party, after a very explicit discussion with the waiter about NOT serving lamb. The waiter said the chef hadn't actually read the ticket and just did what he felt like doing! Rather than offer to bring a different meat dish, he brought a tiny serving of the same strangely-flavored watery eggplant dish that was already on all our plates. That's one way to get rid of it I guess. Which brings up the service at this place. I have to say it's just about the worst, most amateurish waitstaff ever. Yesterday, no one greeted us when we walked in, though the waiter did stand behind the counter and look at us for several minutes until we finally asked him to please show us to a table. He said, "Oh, I thought you wanted to go shopping." Without going into all the grisly details, service here is simply awful. They mean well, but clearly these are people who have zero experience in restaurant work. I hope that the owners of India House read this and realize that they will never succeed unless they shape up their operation in a hurry. The food should be great all the time, not just at dinner. And service should at least be acceptable. I want this place to succeed and I'm afraid they will go down fast if they continue to run things the way they are now. I'll give them another chance, and I'd suggest that anyone who loves Indian food not miss some of the wonderful dishes they offer (go at dinnertime). But I'm not going to tolerate any more sloppy cooking or amateurish service.


Not Ready Yet
Reviewer: Christophe Sautot from Santa Barbara, CA
First off I will say that I enjoyed the flavors of some of my food. I got the vegetarian combo meal and when it did finally come, it was pretty good. But, I had really high hopes for this place, and they were quickly shot down upon entering: no one was there, bad lighting, people were already having to wait for their food, some food came out cold for the people next to us, and no free tidbits to munch on while we had to wait a long time. I think they have great intentions and want to share the wonderful cuisine of India, but I don't think they should be running a restaurant. Let's see if they can get things organized as I would love for SB to have more authentic Indian food.


Amazingly fresh and tasty Indian food!!
Reviewer: Carrie from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been impatiently waiting for this place to open and, having eaten their last Friday night, I was not disappointed! I can honestly say that I've never experienced such healthy and fresh Indian food! Yes, they are new and are obviously still working out a few kinks, but everything we ate was outstanding and rivals or exceeds anything I've tasted in SB or elsewhere. I loved the "homestyle" feel of the restaurant and the food. The Aloo Gobi Matteer was outstanding and the Onion Kulcha was the best I've experienced on either coast of the US or in England. Kudos to the chefs---I can't wait to go back!


Tastiest Indian food I've had since...foever!
Reviewer: Vik from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I had dropped into the new location several times. Today, Sunday March 28, we were hoping the restaurant would finally be open. It was. And the food was fantastic. We shared 2 orders--the vegetable platter, and the meat platter--or "thalis". Every item was exquisite, I don't know how they did it, but the food quality and taste was amazing. The naan was tender, and all the veggie and meat dishes were distinctive. This was our first meal here, but we will be back, with friends. We didn't have enough room left over for dessert. The atmosphere is relaxed, you can just take your time, eat slowly, enjoy the food. I REALLY liked the spiciness level--strong enough to taste authentically Indian, but not overwhelming. And everything tasted so healthy. My wife was equally impressed. Can't wait for our next visit. Indian food is my favorite food in the world. India House is a find!


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