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Blue Agave
20 E. Cota St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 899-4694


Reviews by the General Public

Miss Gaby but the place is still good, 4/28/2014
Reviewer: steve from Santa Barbara, CA
We heard Gaby had sold the place, so finally got around to going down and checking it out. All of our regular favorites tasted just as good as they always have. So it must be the same kitchen staff. Not sure we would like the new DJ music events they are planning though. We like that the place had mellow jazz music etc...playing in the background. We think that Blue Agave's charm has always been that it was a laid back intimate place to be-hope it doesn't turn into a loud party place. Only negative was the very nice blonde haired gal who served us, had either suntan lotion or perfume on-and it really interfered with smelling the wine and food. Very good and friendly service, but please, would someone solve this problem? Thanks, will keep coming back if this stays steady(and no waitress perfume!)


Never going back., 4/27/2014
Reviewer: James from Santa Barbara, CA
Met the new owner tonight. Been dining here since the place opened. Great place when Gabby and Neil owned it. Never going back after terrible service tonight. Regular customer for thirty years. Waited for thirty minutes after spending $25+ on appetizers to get my dinner. Bartender girl ignored me to serve drinks to college boys. Good place for boys but not SB locals. Sorry to see this place die.


Net Surfing Hostess. Waitresses were great! Burger bomb!, 2/2/2014
Reviewer: Jess Sullivan from Santa Barbara, CA
Good and bad experiences: For starters a Fri hostess was surfing the net the entire time we were seated by the door (I'm a wait staff person-this is not professional). Waitresses were great! My date ordered a Hamburger and it was smothered with blue cheese. Thanks goodness it dropped onto the napkin because the smell was over kill. After a quick wash up in the bathroom, we ordered another burger, which our request was honored, thank you.


The Wurst Is The Best
Reviewer: Spencer from Santa Barbara, CA
Since it's technically part of Blue Agave and doesn't have its own page, i'm reviewing Wurst on here. For those who don't know, it's the little side door in the alley next to Blue Agave that serves up sausages of various kinds from 11:00AM to 2:00PM and 11:00PM to 2:00AM. I personally like the Curry Wurst but everything looks good. My only gripe is the small portion size, although it does come with a smaller price as well. I just end up needing to order two.


Dozens of memorable evenings
Reviewer: steve from Santa Barbara, CA
There are several good restaurants in town, but only a very few places give us "memorable meals"....the kind you remember years later. The other night we had their famous Blood Orange Margarita made with fresh squeezed juices. Wow,...we brought our neighbor friends again to try it (they are picky about mixed drinks)..they also said WOW. -We have now informed Gabi, Blue Agave's owner,...that we have declared this "The Best Drink in Town"...perhaps the best drink we have ever had...it's really that good.- We usually also have them make us a Don Julio Reposado Margarita with Cointreau, straight up. Don't know why, but it is even better here than at home with my fresh limes from our tree....they have some little secret going with their specially prepared fresh Citrus sources. Also are addicted to their Draft Sierra Nevada Ale with a brown chaser of draft Guinness added...Yum if you've never tried it. It's the food too...always interesting...creatively different...even the Texas Nachos at happy hour...everyone was grabbing to get them, so we had to order more (and the Rajas Quesadilla too). Only possible improvements??...perhaps if they put their Other- Worldly Filet in Cognac sauce back on the menu During the week too...they do have it as a special most weekends...phone ahead to make sure. This filet also makes it into our few "memorable" dishes of all time...I sometimes sit at work daydreaming about the way the reduction-cognac cream sauce combines with the perfectly-tender-juicy- grilled Filet. Atmosphere is artsy and slightly dim...in the most endearing way. Great art pieces by Crosbie, wonderful intimate upstairs romantic places...yet totally casual feeling despite the upscale attention to detail. Downstairs bar area is ultimate in small intimate, cozy comfort. Utterly charming brown haired bartender gal engaged us entertainingly, and professionally made our drinks nicely strong. Even when busy, somehow it retains the feel of intimate rightness...Maybe the hippest bar in town...like Aspen in SB. Don't forget the Mexican Wedding Cookies for desert.(with Upscale Vanilla Ice Cream)...they are crunchy-fresh perfect with a shared glass of Armagnac or Cognac... Yes...addicted we are....oh....and we think -the hands down best happy hour in town...$1 off even the special yum drinks... Well done...maybe even the Coyote on their paintings might smile a little about this place?....naw...he's blissed out from stealing the food!


Another great experience at Blue Agave
Reviewer: Krista and Tony from Goleta, CA
After coming back to the Blue Agave after many years just a month ago we decided to see if our great dinner was just a fluke. Nope, we had another great meal here this week. This time I had the Navajo burger which is a quite strange and very unique tasting burger. I really enjoyed the smoky, peppery elements but its definitely not for everyone. I wouldn't hesitate to order one again though, and I just loved the polenta "fries", very creative. My wife had the fish/seafood tacos and she really enjoyed them as well, three different types of fish with a mild but tasty sauce. A bit more traditional but still well done. I do agree that the drinks don't seem to be strong suit here except for the blood orange margarita, its astounding, don't bother with anything else when you can get one of these. Service was just average but not horribly slow. Lastly, are there actually people here complaining about young ladies wearing cocktail dresses!!? C'mon people do you also complain about women's tennis or volleyball matches? Honestly you wouldn't think twice if you saw these outfits on the street, why all the huff? T


Server not the great
Reviewer: Samhein from Oak View, CA
went there for 1 year anniversary. food was great, service was slow and rather stuck up. im from out of town so im not really used to pompous, pretentious people. noticing all the people who came in and how they acted seemed to be the normal for the area. Server was really unpleasant. you know those servers who are nice on the surface but, underneath you can tell it is an inconvenience to be serving you. yeah she just felt mean spirited. which made our special night rather unpleasant. anyways the food came was pretty good. over priced low ball margaritas stuffed with ice using bottom barrel tequila was disappointing so we stuck with beer after. probably wont be back. and if i do, wont buy margaritas and ask for any other server besides the one we had.. ohh yeah skimpy black dresses for all the serving staff and some staff with flip flops rather tasteless. and seems inappropriate for the setting the restaurant they are trying to convey. definitly not a romantic dinner destination.


Theres A Reason Why They're Still Around
Reviewer: Krista and Tony from Santa Barbara, CA
Restaurants come and go in this town and when one survives as long ans Blue Agave there's a reason. My wife and I visited Blue Agave for the first time in many years recently and we really loved our experience. We started off with a couple blood orange Margaritas which were excellent. Not particularly cheap, but certainly in line with any other place in town. We ordered appetizers and were particularly happy with the simply excellent freshness and quality of the chips and salsa. Really fresh, hot chips and very tasty red and green salsas. The chicken quesadilla was also excellent, crispy and fresh tasting. Entree' wise we were very happy as well. Steak tacos and Enchiladas mole'. The Mole negro was quite good, just the right balance of sweet and bitter with a trace of heat, its tough to get that perfect balance. On top of that, the chicken was all white meat plentiful. The tacos were also very good with tender and flavorful meat. Personally I like the varied menu, there are plenty of Mexican places and plenty of Italian places, why do you have to choose one or the other? I certainly can't speak to anyone else's bad experiences but I wholly endorse this place, our food was great, the atmospheres wonderful and if you have certain problems just keep your eyes on the waitress' face:-) T


Not worth it
Reviewer: Steve from Santa Barbara, CA
We were there for over an hour waiting for our food. I thought the food was going to be good after the super long wait. I was wrong. My burger was burnt to hell. I barely got the first bite down and I was done. I still have a the taste of burnt meat in my mouth. What a bummer!! That was my first time there and probably my last.


Great Eats in Sensual Atmostphere
Reviewer: Steven from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I are starting to become regulars of Blue Agave. The upstairs booths are so romantically cozy, and the food and service have been great. The menu does seem to have an identity crisis, but our selections have been super tasty. I've had the buffalo and herb roasted burgers (both with blue cheese). Since these are served on an English muffin, there is less bread and more meat. The fries are hot and crispy. I'd rethink the gruyere dipping sauce, but that's a minor detail. My wife had the checca pasta (with chicken), which has just the right blend of extra virgin olive oil, basil, garlic and tomatoes. The restaurant can be uncomfortably loud when crowded, so go early and enjoy.


Mediocre to say the least... choose somewhere else
Reviewer: Sophie S. from Santa Barbara, CA
I will not go back to Blue Agave after this experience - unless someone else is paying and I can't change their mind. The menu has an identity crisis going on - buffalo burgers, filet mignon tacos, pizza, etc. And, despite their "range" of offerings, no one in our group of 6 particularly loved their dish. We went on Valentine's Day but it didn't seem particularly busy - now I know why. The service was quite poor. I didn't give them a 0 because they didn't spit in my food - that I know of. The waitress seemed fake and not really friendly - she was just doing a job and slapping a smile on. Our dirty dishes from appetizers sat on the table for 20+ minutes and the owner of the restaurant and 2 servers walked right by the table without as much of a glance in our direction. The service was slow and when we were curious about where our drinks were, the waitress told us that we had ordered complicated drinks... (seriously? our fault?!) The two saving graces were the woman who kept filling up my water glass (very friendly - wish that she had been our server) and the habanero margaritas. They're super-tasty but if you want to be buzzed, this is not the place to drink. All in all, choose somewhere else unless you want to be surrounded by snotty staff, dirty dishes, and mediocre food.


I love this place
Reviewer: trisha from Santa Barbara, CA
This is one of my SB favorites. I love the lighting in the evening, the bar is very nice. Ask for the bread with balsalmic spread, OMG to die for if you love balsalmic. It's whipped with an olive oil I think so it's thick and they give it to you with grilled bread. SO good!. The chicken mole is wonderful as well. My only small complaint is that my mojito is always made differently, sometimes good, sometimes bad. The service has always been attentive and pleasant.


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