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Rocks
[closed, no longer in business]

801 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 884-1190

  • Category: American, Californian
  • Hours: Mon-Sun Lunch 11:30am-3pm, Appetisers 3pm-5:30pm, Dinner 5:30pm-10pm
  • Price: $10 - $20
  • Serving: Lunch & Dinner
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Reviews by the General Public

Great Drinks!
Reviewer: susan from Santa Barbara
We came in for drinks and some food, we ate at the bar. Everything was great. The male bartneder upstairs, i think his name was josh, was so friendly and really made sure we had a good experience.. after reading some bad reviews im confused about what a lot of people are talking about. Every restaurant has flaws but overall it seems as if everyone is doing their best to serve the patrons..great place to visit


Food is great
Reviewer: Missy from Santa Barbara
I wasnt sure if I wanted to ty Rocks after reading all the other reviews, but gave it a try, and the food was great. The service needs some improvement, but impressed with the food and the presentaion! They just need someone to take the lead.


The Worst Dining Experience I Have Ever Had
Reviewer: Lainey from Santa Barbara, CA
The food at Rocks is over priced but okay. The staff however, is the WORST that i have come across in the restaurant industry. I made a reservation there for a large party a few weeks ago, and when I did so I was asked for a credit card number. When i asked why i was told simply that it was standard procedure for parties of 8 or more. When I called to cancel the reservation i was told it would be no problem. A minute later i received a call back from a manager telling me that he was going to be charging me $20 dollars per person for failing to cancel more than 3 hours in advance. Since this policy was never explained, and the restaurant was taking $240 out of my pocket, I went down to the restaurant to speak with him, and he was nothing but rude. I also spoke with one of the hosts who told me that NO ONE in the restaurant was aware of the policy to charge $20 per person for failing to cancel a reservation 3 hours in advance, so it was VERY likely that I had not been told about it. It took me a week of 8-10 phone calls a day (most of the time the restaurant doesn't answer the phone) and about 5 or 6 messages to finally get to speak with another manager. He was also extremely rude, never issued me an apology, and even chastised me for giving the restaurant my credit card number. Finally i was refunded only $180 of the $240 that the restaurant charged to my account.


Come if you have about 2 hrs
Reviewer: Cam from Santa Barbara
I've eaten here several times and can say the food is consistently good while the service is consistently mediocre at best. Even when they are not that busy, they are slow and not very attentive. I have never made it out of this place in under an hour.


Anniversary Dinner served like Carl's Jr
Reviewer: Leon from Simi Valley, CA
This was our anniversary. I told the waiter so when we ordered drinks. He did not ask if we wanted an appetizer. No recommendations. He simply asked if we were ready to order. Ten minutes later, someone else arrived with bread. Fifteen minutes after that, our salads arrived. I told the waiter to be sure and bring our entrees out AFTER we were done with our salads. He did so about ten minutes after taking away our salad plates. My wife had the crab encrusted Mahi Mahi with mashed potatoes, no vegetable. I had the Sea Bass with potatoes, but my vegetables were missing. He said he would return with them. Five minutes later he returned to ask if it would be alright if I waited a few more minutes for the cook to prepare them. Ten minutes later I received them. I had finished my fish by then. The meal tasted delicious. The waiter dropped off the bill without bringing us any complementary desert for our anniversary, or asking if we were interested in a desert. This is what I expect at a fast food restaurant.


Great lunch on the patio!!
Reviewer: Meg from Santa Barbara
I had lunch with my mom on the outside downstairs patio on Sunday and it was great! We love the spicy tuna roll ans the fried chicken salad! yumm!! I'd go back for lunch aytime!


rock
Reviewer: Angela from santa barbara
I am always going to Rocks I love the food the drinks and the service the best server is Veronica always very friendly


old fish
Reviewer: Nancy R-O from Santa Barbara
Had lunch there today on the patio. My halibut tacos were tough and seemed overcooked and not particularly fresh. Very disappointing. The glass of chardonney was a very generous pour, which helped me forget how sad my lunch was. The accompanying rice was white, unseasoned and tasteless, as was the tablespoon of black beans accompanying it. My friend said her crispy chicken salad was excellent, but she is a wonderful person and for all I know was being polite since I was buying. Service was attentive, but I will be in no hurry to return. Sorry, I really want to like the place as their patio is a wonderful people watching spot. They've just got to do better, especially at these prices.


Ok
Reviewer: Josh from Calabasas
Food was good, good looking staff.


Solid, but nothing special
Reviewer: Mark from Agoura
Went there for lunch on Friday. Busy and understaffed would be the best way to describe the service. The food, had the blackened salmon salad... a little too blackened, but generally a fine effort. My companion's pasta with tomatoes and basil was a good example of the dish. Both dishes were overpriced. I wouldn't go back unless all better choices were packed. It's a fallback but little else.


Great Location, Bad Experience
Reviewer: Edward Hawkins from Santa Barbara
I loved sitting on the patio and people watching however, there was no hostess or person to greet our party and when we ordered they were out of two of the four things we asked for. I went to use the bathroom upstairs only to find it in poor condition for a place serving $20+ entrees. On my return to the table I saw a rodent walking within a light fixture and when I pointed it out to a staff member they simply laughed and said it was always there. It was unfortunate because I was really trying to show my guest the best of SB. This was my second bad experience and it is a shame because they occupy such a great location.


Great Service, Fairly Good Food
Reviewer: chee from santa barbara, ca
The outdoor seating of this place was really nice, and I was able to do some relaxing and people-watching while consuming my food. Overall, the staff was super attentive and really friendly. The food, however, was only fairly good, and my fish was a little undercooked. I recommend getting something small (like an appetizer) and filling up on the bread basket instead (their table bread is really yummy and soft!).


try someplace else
Reviewer: Rosanne from Richmond, CA
The worst waiter I've met in years is at Rocks. He didn't know the menu, forgot to bring my iced tea--twice. He disappeared and didn't return until after I had a waitress bring the check. The food was fine, although a small portion. I had wanted to order more, but the waiter didn't seem interested. What he was interested in was seeing his friends as they walked by.


The best lunch I have had in a long time
Reviewer: Nancy Star from Los Angeles, CA
I went to Rocks for lunch and the food was great. I had the Spicy Chicken Sandwich and it was great, I had a very enjoyable lunch and the service was great.


We had a fine time
Reviewer: Dana Whitney from Plano, TX
I don't know what all the complaints are about unless people insisted on going at the busiest time of the evening. We arrived as dinner was just being served (about 5:30). The hostess initially told us the inside room wasn't open yet, and sat us outside promising to get the overhead heaters turned on. It was breezy and chilly. We asked our server when the inside tables would be available, and she gladly found us a table inside, upstairs, where it was warmer. (We're just tourists, and weren't prepared for every temperature.) My house chardonnay was light and aromatic. Husband had filet mignon. I had smoked salmon with bowtie pasta, peas, tomatoes and cream sauce. NO complaints. The Chocolate Decadence and coffee did not dissapoint. Our server, Tessa, was warm and friendly. Perhaps it was because we were warm and friendly, too. Do you think?


Pretty good place, nice balcony seating
Reviewer: Bri from Santa Barbara
We're locals and have been here many times for years. It's not our favorite but it certainly has great points. The food is pretty good, the cocktails are not the best and the service has always been fairly good. Fun to sit on the balcony tables and watch the crowd below. This place doesn't deserve hard slamming complains. They are good, not perfect.


Terrible service!
Reviewer: Jessica from San Francisco
Food is okay, but the service is terrible. We had to wait for 25 minutes for a glass of water while our waitress was playing with someone's dogs. I wonder if she washed her hands after she touched those dogs! Overall, she gave us the fewest service you can imagine so she can play with those dogs!


Great New Years Eve Dinner
Reviewer: Santa Barbara Dianne from Santa Barbara CA
I went to this restaurant with some friends for a New Years Eve dinner and was seated upstairs with a window overlooking State St.. I had a wonderful time, enjoyed my delicious halibut tacos and appreciated the friendly service. The prices were not bad at all considering the excellent quality and generous portions received. I recommend that you try this restaurant if you are looking for a fun and hip place to eat.


1st time at Rocks
Reviewer: Mike from Valencia/California
We come to Santa Barbara from Valencia at least every 6 weeks. We try a different restaurant each time. Have seen Rocks for many years tried for the 1st time two weeks ago. Pleasently surprised! Food was good drinks (Mojito's) were great and service was very good.Will definately go again. Maybe tomorrow!


good food, bad service
Reviewer: Chris from San Luis Obispo, CA
the food was great... but i too was ignored for a while... i was waiting to get a menu, waiting to order, waiting to get my food, waiting for someone to pick up my credit card, no one even came by to refill my drink. really good food, over priced drinks, and bad service.


good
Reviewer: fy from sb
hostess was SNOTTY-should be more welcoming. good location we sat upstairs. good drinks. SMALL (i cannot emphasis enough) portions sizes!!!!!! but it was tasty. i was hungry again in 30 min. and spent $20+/person for lunch. ha ha.


Terrible Service
Reviewer: Tim from Santa Barbara
This was our second time visiting Rocks. The first time we just went for drinks. The drinks were good and we enjoyed the ambiance. However this past weekend, we visited Rocks for a late dinner and the service was horrible. It took 15 minutes to get our drinks and when they were finally dropped off, the server wasn´t ready to take our order yet. He said he would bring us bread and never did. We asked three times to get some bread while we were waiting for dinner and never got it. Dinner finally came, and it was well below the quality one would expect for such a pricey place. It was 30 minutes after we got our meal before the server came back to ask if everything was alright. We were both done eating at this point. We had desert which tasted alright, but was presented very poorly. The icecream had slid off on mine and slid across the plate taking the chocolate sauce with it. Overall we were very disappointed and will not be dining here again.


Rocks new direction

Ok! I know that Rocks has had a rocky past (no pun intended). However Rocks has just reinvented itself again (more than I can say about most places in town). Rocks has a new menu, new entertainment, and a new vibe. So as far as I´m concerned Rocks gets 10 stars! for having the balls to try different things. They don´t play it safe like so many others in town. So my hat is off to Rocks for sticking to who they are and striving to improve what they have. Look for the new menu and weekly entertainment line-up in the Santa Barbara-Independent. And I´m sure someone will write that I work for Rocks. So if I do, that just proves that not all of the employees are unhappy. And NO I´m not the owner.


Ignored too!
Reviewer: Ella from Montecito, Ca
I was suprised to come across some of the recent reviews. I too have been at Rocks with friends for lunch, been seated and then never spoken to again. I just assumed that it was due to a new hostess or something. I have heard stories though from others about the same thing happening to them. I wouldn´t go back, especially if this is something to expect at Rock´s. I´ve never even actually had the food.


still a fine place to eat
Reviewer: Steve from Ventura, CA
My wife and I stopped for lunch at Rock´s while shopping downtown. We were seated right away on the 2nd floor balcony. The hostess and the two servers that waited our table were great. They made sure we were comfortable and gladly started the gas heater when we mentioned we were a little cold. The food was good and the service was excellent. I´m not sure why there are so many recent reviews knocking the service. I go to Rock´s regularly but not often enough that they actually know me so I didn´t receive special treatment. Maybe I´m just lucky (and that would be nice for a change!). In the literally dozens of times that I´ve been to Rock´s, I´ve never received poor service or bad food.


Despicable attitude

Forget about getting to the food. The staff here is so rude we´ve walked out twice before even getting around to ordering. When we gave it a second chance, we were thinking it had to have been a fluke the first time. But no, that´s apparently the attitude is status quo. They need to get over themselves -


Rocks has hit ROCK BOTTOM

Make that 0 stars. DINERS BEWARE!!! My wife and I ate at Rocks this weekend and we were shocked at how bad this place has become. The decor is dirty, cheap, and falling apart. The wine list was pathetic and our waitress knew NOTHING about IT! My glass of wine was sour and oxidized from being opened too long. The food was marginal and the service was horrific. I don´t mean to sound like a snob, but when i´m paying $30+ an entree I expect a hell of a lot more than what this place has to offer. There are some great restaurants in SB (Quantum, Dish, Wine Cask, etc.) but Rocks is not even close to the same league. YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED!


Send the Haterz back to South Central...

Hey Everyone, I was recently navigating through SantaBarbara.com´s Restaurant reviews and was embarrassed at some of the content. I am as S.B. Local as one can be- born and bred here- and still reside in the house I grew up in. I have been frequenting Rocks for several years now- and although not every experience was infallible- I was never once treated with malicious disrespect. I think the owners have some issues to work out, but the rest of the staff put their hearts and soul into the place...I know b/c I have had the privilege of speaking with the friendly waiters and Bartenders who keep me up to speed. Whatever it was that compelled the other writers to slam the establishment were more than likely bitter because of their own inadequacies. I have frequently several Bars and Restaurant in town, as well as internationally, and it´s pretty damn hard to pull of the balance between maintaining fine dining, a bar nightlife, and the transition to a club later on as the night goes on. Hard to pull Off... I believe “heart” goes a long way. I’ll definitely be back. Rest. Critic


Much Better!!

What a diffenece in the last several months at Rocks. The food is now prepared on time and tastes great, and the nightclub has changed to new disc jockeys. I have always enjoyed the atmosphere at Rocks, and now with new management the restaurant and night club seem to be coming together. I would recommend to give Rocks a chance.


Rocks um,.uh, Rocks?

I don´t know what everyone is bitching about. I love Rocks! It´s a nice mellow afternoon early evening place to start with cocktails and dinner or appetizers, the waitresses are all dolls, and that stuff about no flip flops is untrue. Far more relaxed than the edgy decor would lead you to believe, and the martinis and food are very tasty. I´ve never seen anything but great service, even in the face of rude drunks.


One of the best in the world!!!!
Reviewer: Marian from Florida
I will soon be traveling back to California and one of the main reasons is so that I can return to Rocks. I have lived and dined all over the world from low class to first class establishments; yet never have I experienced the warmth, service, great food and drinks and very professional waitstaff in my life. My companions are also very well seasoned world travelers and felt the same way and have continued to patronize the restaurant. Although we had reservations for 5,our party grew to number 10...when we arrived, the waitstaff very smoothly rearranged things to accomodate us without any apparent inconvenience to them...all on a Friday night!!! The atmosphere, ambience and lemon drop martinis (they are to die for!) were greatly enjoyed by us all. Way to go, Rocks!!!


bad attitudes
Reviewer: anthony paris from santa barbara
This place thinks it´s the only place in town. The food was just okay, the service not bad, the dj was as boring as the scantily clad hired dancers (that do the same movements over and over like robots). I have been to rock´s five or six times in the last four years and I thinks it´s gone down hill. They need to realize that there´s lots of options in Santa Barbara and get a clue. I won´t be going back.


1 star is for the appetizer
Reviewer: Sherri from Grover Beach, Ca
This is the worst dinning experience that we have had in a long time. We had to wait 45 min past our reservation time to get seated while others that came in after were seated. We were assured by the hostess just a few more mins. When we were finally seated the champagne surprise that was supposed to be part of the COVER CHARGE was in error.(Were we offered a glass as a good will gesture. No) We were served our wine in dirty glasses and not with our dinner as requested. Our steak was served med-well,we ordered med rare. This was our first and last visit to Rocks. The only good thing was the 5 spice duck appetizer. Should have stayed home and had a great dinner at Vinettos in Arroyo Grande.


Great! Ignore the negative reviews & try it!

My husband & I have been to Rocks twice now and were pleasantly surprised both times by the food - great appetizers, great drinks, and more importantly, the entrees were (if a bit spendy) delicious. The tandoori chicken is great, and we recommend you sit upstairs on the patio so you can watch the people and have a little quieter place to dine. YUM!


I agree
Reviewer: John Dickson from Santa Barbara
The "new management" postive review below sounds like it is by the owner. No ordinary patron would have a clue that there was new management, much less write a review that sounds so much like an advertisement. Nice try.


I bet all those 5 star reviews are written by the management
Reviewer: Woody from Fresno CA
Sounds to me like the restuarant is run by typical coke-head yuppies. I bet they even went so far as to write the positive reviews about their own restaurant. Coke is so passe. The food is garbage. Sea Bass was terrible. The DJ´s dont know anything about mixing music with feeling. My grandmother can mix better sets. This restaurant may appeal to the typical materialistic, cocaine abusive, ego driven, (hardly) workaholic. The only reason I decided to dine here cuz a good friend of mine used to work here. Go Figure! Woody


New Management

I just ate at Rocks this weekend - what a vast improvement! The service is faster and friendly, The drinks/glasses are bigger, the Happy Hour has appetizer specials and great drink prices, and the music was fun. What a great change - keep it up please.


Lunch at Rocks - Yuk

Just came from lunch - avoid the Chinese Chicken salad. Sounds better than it tastes. Small portion...hardly any dressing...bland bland bland...worried about which part of the chicken I was eating the pieces were chopped up so small, and I left as hungry as when I arrived. The bread was also tasteless. Much improvement needed. This place has never impressed me, but then I´m over 21!


What a Friday package!

Vinyl Relief makes Rocks the place to be on Fridays. Djs are the best, food is scrumptous, drinks are perfect, staff is polite. I fell in love there, maybe you will, too.


On the Rocks

I would give it no stars if I could. I have been to Rocks dozens of times - for happy hour, dinner, and late night entertainment -and each time the service sucked. I eventually got the feeling that it wasn´t because the servers were inadequate but because there seemed to be strange vibes coming from the management, just a mood that is obviouslyexaggerated by the unhappy employees. I swore off going to Rocks ever again after the bar kept running out of liquor during happy hour and our favorite waitresses quit. I have also heard terrible rumors about the place - that they have such a turn-over of employees because the constantly bounce paychecks and that the owners or managers are a bunch of "coke-heads." That´s enough for me. For a place that takes itself so seriously about catering to a high-brow crowd, it´s pretty low-class and draws an equally pathetic audience.


Fabulous Food - Poor Service

Your new menu is fantastic. I would come more often if the service was better. I´ve given it 3 tries because the food is so good, but when you´ve got to get up to get your own drinks it kind of sucks. One suggestion - get larger glasses and your customers won´t notice the lack of service. Delicious food, but service is poor even for a bar.


Rocks

New menu ROCKS! Good work Koji, Barry, and Juan. You guys always get better and better. Your staff rocks... from Piranha to Rocks... from Hiroko to Andy, Nicky, and even the big guy Jack.


Talk about elitest
Reviewer: Joe Surfer from Santa Barbara, CA
Rocks had very high quality food and expensive drinks, typical of an establishment catering to a high-brow audience. Their servers were explicitly young, attractive, scantily clad in tight black clothing femalels and that seemed degreading. Also, they won´t let you in if you´re wearing flip-flops and that just sucks.


THE best restaurant I have ever eaten in...
Reviewer: heather from long island, ny
WE loved everything about this place. Starting with the atmosphere, the seat to get is upstairs outside on the balcony, where you can overlook State St. and people watch. The food was so incredibley full of flavor and so unique. It was the perfect combination of Asian and Californian. The service was excellent as well. All of the employees were so much fun and so accommodating and made us feel so welcome. At the same time, it is a very intimate place to dine. I will make the trip back to Santa Barbara in the near future and absolutely go back.


THE best restaurant I have ever eaten in...

WE loved everything about this place. Starting with the atmosphere, the seat to get is upstairs outside on the balcony, where you can overlook State St. and people watch. The food was so incredibley full of flavor and so unique. It was the perfect combination of Asian and Californian. The service was excellent as well. All of the employees were so much fun and so accommodating and made us feel so welcome. At the same time, it is a very intimate place to dine. I will make the trip back to Santa Barbara in the near future and absolutely go back.


Excellent Service
Reviewer: Jose R. Castillo Sr. from San Francisco Bay Area
Your restaurant is a very comfortable and enjoyable establishment to visit. Drinks are great, as for the food, I didn´t have the opportunity to taste it, but I will on my next visit to Santa Barbara. What I really wanted to comment on was about your wait staff, in particular "a waitress her name is Sabrina". Not only did she have to put up with all the BS my friends gave her, but she was a true professional all the time we where there. But really I just wanted to let her know what a beautiful woman she really is; and how gracefully she moves when she walks, her eyes are like stars in the midnight sky! When she smiles she has the smile that is warm and makes you feel welcome. So please take care of her, I plan on being back in Santa Barbara and I would very much enjoy seeing her one again. I am the man that asked her if she dance balet? I shook her hands as I left and I can still remember the softness in her touch. Please she hello to her for me. Once again thank you for the great time I had at your restaurant.


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