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4123 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 683-3074

Reviews by the General Public

A True Tiajuana Experience, 6/1/2014
Reviewer: 805eater from Santa Barbara, CA
I have eaten at Palapa often over the years and the food has always been good. Not great, but good. The place looks like trash but I don't mind as long as the food is good. The service is awful. I asked for an extra plate which never came so when I went to get one myself and asked my waitress she grabbed a plate off the counter and wiped it down with her bare hands. I asked for a clean plate and she got a napkin and wiped it and gave me a dirty look. After that, she would only ask my mother if she wanted refills but would not ask me.

Reviewer: Snowfox walkingshaw. from Santa Barbara, CA
I had my 69th birthday dinner there and we were so happy the food was so good the mariachi was one of the best, thank you for your singing happy birthday songs,was so wonderful filled my eyes with tears and my heart with joy,it was one of the best birthdays of my life .Snowfox.

Reviewer: Sally from Santa Barbara, CA
Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, went once to Palapa two years ago with anglos. Key word: Anglos (non Latins) I shouldn't of gone but with a group of people after dropping a UHAUL truck and couldn't think of another place. Cheese on a fish taco? Blah. There will NOT be a third time

It's better than Mexico
Reviewer: Karen from Santa Barbara, CA
We are regulars at Palapa and have never been disappointed with the food. We've had just about everything on the menu. Be prepared to take left-overs home. The guacamole is some of the best in town and we love the option to order paradillas when we have big groups. The mariachi on Fridays is great fun and the staff is extremely accommodating of large groups and children. A fantastic family restaurant that is always full of locals. Once in a while, depending on how busy the restaurant may be, the staff is a bit slow in getting your bill, so be prepared to linger after your meal. I strongly recommend!!!!

Traditional Mexican Breakfast & Soft Fish Tacos
Reviewer: John from Santa Barbara, CA
My favorite dish is the breakfast Machaca plate. You can get it anytime. In the morning you can get potatoes on the side. In the afternoon or evening, it’s rice and beans. The machaca is beef very carefully done, tasty and satisfying in everyway. This is not the dried or rehydrated machaca of Sonora but is well cooked shredded beef, with eggs, jalapeño peppers, tomato, onion and lots of cilantro. The kitchen does tend to under salt and spiciness is usually mild but both of these are easy to fix as opposed to the other way around. A slice of lime also helps kick up flavor. Another favorite is their Soft Fish Taco which is grilled filet of sole, tomato, cilantro, cheese and creamy sauce on two corn tortillas. Look for it at the VERY end of the menu below the Side Orders under A la carta and not available on Fridays and some holidays. Compared to other places, the rice and beans here are quite outstanding. Highly recommended.

Not much flavor
Reviewer: Rob from Santa Barbara, CA
the restaurant is nice ant the beers were cold, but i ordered the shrimp cocktail and there was not much flavor and looked more watery then anything, the chips and salsa were good though. waitstaff was nice.

Can you say bland??
Reviewer: Nicholle from Santa Barbara, CA
The servers were very nice and attentive. Great mariachi band. The food was bland at best. No flavor whatsoever. GO about 300 feet further and go to El Rincon Bohemio, instead!

A great place
Reviewer: Stuart from Santa Barbara, CA
Very informal and laid back. Get the giant seafood or grilled meat platters which are billed for two but easily serve four. Delicious!

best Ceviche salad!~~~
Reviewer: Nora Vigaray from Santa Barbara, CA
I went on Monday to have lunch and ordered the "Monday Special" which was the Vallarta Salad, sooooooo GOOD!!!! it had just the perfect amount of shrimp,octopus,avocado, dressing etc. if you go there, ask for the VALLARTA SALAD!! healthy and DELICIOSA!

Reviewer: Tracy from Santa Barbara, CA
My family and I eat at Palapa at least a couple of times a month. We absolutely love the Chile Verde burrito!! We've tried to duplicate it at home, but nothing comes close! Their chips and salsa are also delicious!!!

Reviewer: Eric from Santa Barbara, CA
I've had several mediocre meals here. The sauces and the green rice are quite good, and the birria is pretty good. But the meals are not carefully prepared and are sometimes lukewarm (apparently they put cold chicken in the enchies and warm the whole plate in the oven). The food comes out quick, but the service has always been inattentive.

Great food and good service
Reviewer: Sean from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I went to Palapa last Friday and we spent good time there. When we arrived a beautiful waitress called Gisselle (Jennifer)receive us with a beautiful smile she made room for us and reccomended fish tacos. The fish tacos are so good the taste is awesome.Then the mariachi started to play songs while we were eating so everything was great.The food is great and the service too. I really want to come back.

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