Santa Barbara > Restaurants > A Stone's Throw From The Beach > The Original Sambos
The Original Sambos
216 West Cabrillo Blvd
Santa Barbara, CA
Rating: 100 feet

On June 17, 1957 the first of Sambo's nationwide chain of family restaurants was opened in this very location, right across the street from the beach. The name derived from a combination of the original owners Sam Battistone and Newell Bonette who commonly were referred to as Sam and Bo. When they discovered the book "Little Black Sambo" written by Hellen Bartrum in 1899, they thought it was the perfect match. Today, this original Sambo's is the only one remaining in America.

I had not been to Sambos since September 1984, so I was happy to be back. My memory was a bit foggy about that long ago 7am breakfast, so I came in expecting just another average burger joint. I was very wrong.

This Sambo's rocks.

It is run by the founders' grandson, who is also the namesake owner of the hugely popular Chad's restaurant. I ordered the crab & avocado omelet and very surprised with how much care went into making it delicious. This was no ordinary omelet. The egg was fine like a crepe, with heaping amounts of avocado & crab. You had your choice of several types of potatoes and fruits. This was the omelet you might expect at the Yacht Club or Bacara. Take a look at the above picture of the club sandwich we ordered. There was no skimping by the chef in the creation of this lunch. Great job Chad, we loved your restaurant. So, when are you going to go nationwide AGAIN?