Restaurant Guide

Santa Barbara Restaurants

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CHECO’S OPENS IN ISLA VISTA

Checo’s Mexican restaurant, which I first reported about last February, has opened at 6578 Trigo Road in Isla Vista, in the former home Mojo (which moved to 6530 Seville Road), 805 Kabob, Lovin Oven Mediterranean Bakery & Cafe, Cafe Int’L, and 913 other establishments since USCB opened its current campus in 1949. “This is a Central Mexican restaurant,” says chef and partner Sergio “Checo” Ortega. “We’re from Central West. I’m from Michoacán which defines the influence. Everything is made from scratch. We make our own tortillas. Every salsa is from scratch. Rice, every meat, this is what Mexican food is to me. We have another restaurant in Santa Ana called Checo’s Bar & Grill.” Checo’s has a tortilla machine in the back where you feed in the dough so they are always serving fresh tortillas. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call (805) 869-2209.


CHECK IT OUT: L-R: Augie Hemminger (team member), Sergio Ortega (chef/partner), Michael Graycisn (manager) at the Checo’s Mexican restaurant in Isla Vista serving Central Mexican food made from scratch. Photo by The Restaurant Guy

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ROSEWOOD MIRAMAR BEACH COCKTAIL SERIES:

The Manor Bar, Rosewood Miramar Beach’s hideout for handcrafted cocktails, presents the Co-Author Cocktail Series celebrating women in literature. The guest series at 1759 Jameson Lane in Montecito will feature spirits professionals including Christina Veira of Bar Mordecai (ROKU Industry Icon in 2022’s inaugural 50Best North America, appearing September 30, 6 – 10 p.m.), Alba Huerta of Julep (2022 James Beard award winner for Outstanding Bar Program, appearing October 7, 6 – 10 p.m.), and Julie Reiner of Clover Club (Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award at Tales of the Cocktail 2022, appearing January 16, 6 – 10 p.m.). Each guest will share a selection of cocktails from their respective establishments, along with original drinks developed in collaboration with Rosewood Miramar Beach’s director of bars, Nils Schabert.

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GUIDED BEER PAIRING

Join La Paloma Cafe on September 29th at 6:30 p.m. for a guided beer pairing with Figueroa Mountain. Tickets include a five-course meal designed by Executive Chef Jeremy Tummel and has been paired with Fig Mountain Brewmaster, Kevin Ashford’s favorite beers. The two will guide guests through the menu for an informative experience. This event will take place at Figueroa Mountain in the Funk Zone. Tickets are available at tinyurl.com/figpal

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ALMA MATTERS

Here is a report from the school that was Restaurant Guy’s alma mater during the Mesozoic Era: Santa Barbara High School is having their 2nd ever All Dons Reunion on Saturday October 1, 11-4pm. There will be food trucks: Mr Softee, Kona Ice, USofE Coffee Truck, Milpas Taqueria, and a BBQ serving Tortas by the Football Team. Also included are school tours, Class Tents, a Merchandise Marketplace with different school clubs selling their wares, an auction including items from Dons’ Athletics, a Painting from alumni Jeremy Harper, Voice Lessons from alumni JR Richards of Dishwalla, entertainment from the band, cheer squad, dance team, choir and the long awaited unveiling of the new “Bossie the Cow” at 1pm. Tickets are $20 for adults sbdonsalumni.com

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LE CAFE STELLA CLOSING SEPTEMBER 30

Here is a message to you from Philippe Rousseau, owner of Le Cafe Stella at 3302 McCaw Avenue:

Last call !

After calling the Le Cafe Stella location home for the past 22 years, we will be shutting our doors on Friday September 30th, to make room for great new tenants. We are looking forward to seeing you for last call from 4 – 8 pm.

We have enjoyed serving you and creating long lasting memories; Cafe Stella will be missed by so many.

We thank our staff for their dedication and hard work in making Le Cafe Stella so successful over the years. We will miss all of your familiar faces and remember all the events and gatherings held at Le Cafe Stella.

Brass Bear, a local Funk Zone staple will soon occupy the space; below is a note from the owners.

Thank you all for many wonderful years,

Le Cafe Stella Family

From Brass Bear Brewing Company who will be taking over the space:

Hello Le Cafe Stella Family!

We are so excited to be opening Brass Bear at this wonderful location and venue Philippe and his team have worked so hard establishing over the past 20 years. We have been overjoyed hearing the stories from neighbors and friends of their experiences at this great establishment. It brings joy to our hearts thinking of all the baby showers, rehearsal dinners, birthdays, happy hours and weddings hosted here and the memories this building has created.

Full details of the menu and hours of operation are still to be decided but rest assured you will see some familiar faces when we open back up as Brass Bear. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments at info@brassbearbrewing.com.

We look forward to carrying on the tradition at 3302 McCaw Ave and can not wait to see and serve you soon!

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KYLE’S TAP ROOM OPENS

Reader Sharon C. says that she recently stopped by Kyle’s Kitchen at 7000 Hollister Avenue in Goleta and noticed that the neighboring space, previously occupied by Sup & Jus and Kyle’s Protein Grill, is now the home of “Kyle’s Tap Room.”

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MINT CHIP RETURNS

Rite Aid, home to the $1.99 per scoop Thrifty Ice Cream, has announced that their most popular flavor, Mint Chip, has returned after a two month absence. I am told that there was a supply issue with the chocolate chips that held back production.

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BREWHOUSE SOLD

Matt Kettmann at the Santa Barbara Independent reports that after nearly a quarter-century of brewing beers, serving burgers, and showcasing bands, the original owners of the Brewhouse are selling their popular restaurant and brewery at 229 West Montecito Street.

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BEANS ON STATE TO CLOSE

  1. Reader JP forwarded me this message from Beans BBQ that says that the last day of their 1230 State Street restaurant, which opened last March, will be October 1, 2022. Their catering business will continue as usual.

It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Beans On State will be closing. Our final days of service will be Thursday-Saturday 9/22, 23, 24th and the following week Thursday-Saturday 9/29-10/1. We will be serving dinner from 4:00-9:00 on these last few days of service. We are looking into a smaller, less expensive space and hope to revamp and bring our delicious BBQ back to our wonderful community very soon! We want you all to know how much we appreciate your love and support during these last 7 months. It has been a dream come true for our family. Catering services will still continue and we are looking forward to serving you and your families as you celebrate the milestones in your lives. Thank you again for your kindness and love along the way. With gratitude Momma, K, Baby Bean, and the whole family

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PEPE’S TO REOPEN THIS FALL

Reader Mo tells me that Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant at 254 Orange Avenue in Goleta, which closed after a kitchen fire in December 2020, is planning to reopen in late October or early November. The family behind the business decided to use the unfortunate circumstance as an opportunity to do extensive renovations which is the reason we all have suffered so long in their absence.

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BIKE BUMMER

This just in from reader Primetime:

The Jeannine’s at the Shore beautifully decorated lilac bike has been stolen from the restaurant on Cabrillo Blvd. at State St. in Santa Barbara. Heartbroken owner Alison Hardy has offered a reward if you can find it.


Photo by Primetime

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STATE STREET STRUGGLE

Reader Wendy noticed this message from Beans BBQ on Instagram. They opened last March at 1230 State Street in the space once occupied by Saigon:

As many of you can imagine, rent on State Street is no small feat, and like the hundreds of small businesses that have tried and failed before us, we are close to losing our little slice of heaven on State and Victoria. We say this not to scare anyone or make them sad, but to give you an insight to the reality of being a small business trying our best to be successful in this city. No matter the quality of food we provide, stellar service, etc- if people aren’t walking through the doors daily and patronizing our establishment, we will not survive here much longer.

That being said- the Beans Fam is built with tenacity and stick-with-it-ness unlike most and we will not be going down without a fight! Please continue to come visit us to eat, order online for takeout when you feel like it and spread the word! We’ve only been here six months and we’d love to continue to stay here for years to come and become an intricate part of the downtown business family. Thanks for the memories, the eats, the laughs, we love Santa Barbara and we want to stay as long as we can!

Much Love,

Mama K, Baby Bean & the rest of the crazy fam damily.


Courtesy

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MONTECITO MESA BURGER CLOSES

This just in from Chris Chiarappa, co-founder of Mesa Burger:

Restaurant Guy,

It is with an extremely heavy heart that we are announcing the permanent closure of our Montecito location. We will be forever grateful to all our wonderful guests and the entire Montecito community for their gracious support. We will miss you!

To our amazing, dedicated and cherished staff, we are beyond thankful for all your hard work and dedication!

As Mesa Burger looks to the future, we are very excited to see what lies ahead for our desired continued expansion. In the meantime, and always, we greatly appreciate your continued support of our Mesa and Goleta locations!

THANK YOU MONTECITO!

Sincerely,
Mesa Burger


Owners Chris Chiarappa and Cat Cora in July 2020 at the opening of Mesa Burger at 1290 Coast Village Road, the former home of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Tutti’s. Photos by Primetime.

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MARTY’S UPDATE

A reader provides more information about the recently closure of Marty’s:

TO: The Restaurant Guy.
Thanks for you continued reporting of the local food scene. In your column in this week’s INDY the ‘assumed’ closing of Marty’s Pizza was mentioned. I was a long time customer of Marty’s and can confirm I was one of their last customer orders on July 6, 2022 when, in person, they confirmed it was their final night. RIP Marty’s!

Thank you, -David M., Santa Barbara

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CAMPO DEL SOL OPENS

Campo del Sol, a new Mexican restaurant concept from the chef and partnership team behind Coast Range & Vaquero Bar, opened on September 9th in the former Succulent Café space in the heart of downtown Solvang at 1555 Mission Drive.

Campo del Sol offers contemporary and traditional Mexican food with an emphasis on locally-sourced, fresh and artisanal ingredients. The restaurant brings Coast Range and California Central Coast nods to an all-day dining menu featuring brunch, lunch, and dinner items comprising time-tested fan favorites and updated plates.

Enchiladas, fajitas and other menu items feature Coast Range touches, like the eponymous Campo del Sol Sizzling Fajitas with a protein option of Wagyu skirt steak, the Mar Y Tierra enchilada with filet mignon and lobster, grilled ribeye asada tacos, and whole grilled fish “sarandeado” bathed in red and green salsa. House specials round out the menu, such as Duck en Mole Coloradito (with crispy duck thigh and grilled-to-order-duck breast), Carne en su Jugo (tender chopped beef in a broth of bacon, tomatillos, cilantro, onions, and serrano), and a combination trio which includes one enchilada, one enfrijolada, and one enmoleada.

Brunch items include the likes of sweet corn pancakes served with maple syrup and butter, a breakfast torta featuring house-made chorizo and avocado on a bolillo roll, chilaquiles, or huevos divorciados. Campo del Sol offers a handful of desserts such as churros with spiced chocolate, dulce de leche, and vanilla sauce; a tres leches cake (coconut soaked chiffon, cajeta, vanilla Bavarian cream); and, flan de café (coffee-infused baked custard topped with caramel sauce).

Campo del Sol features a bar program crafted by the restaurant group’s partner and bar director, Joseph Sabato, with an extensive mezcal and tequila list as well as creative top-shelf margaritas. Hour are Thursday – Monday noon-9 p.m. Visit www.campodelsol.restaurant.


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RESTAURANT CLOSINGS

Here is a list of area eateries that have closed in the last year:

  • September 2022: Mesa Burger, 1209 Coast Village Rd., Montecito; Saigon, 3987 State St. (moving to 721 Chapala St.); Tap Thai Cuisine, 3130 State St. (changing to Thai Bistro)
  • August 2022: Hustle & Grind Coffee, 11 W De La Guerra St. Ste A; IHOP, 4765 Calle Real, Goleta; Kyle’s Chicken House, 900 Embarcadero Del Mar, Isla Vista; Marty’s Pizza, 2733 De la Vina St.; ParadICE Shave Ice, 11 W De la Guerra St. Ste. A; Pizza My Heart, 6533 Trigo Rd., Isla Vista; Seven Bar & Kitchen, 224 Helena Ave.
  • July 2022: McDonald’s, 1213 State St.
  • May 2022: Daniel’s Mexican Bakery, 2714 De la Vina St.; La Salsa, 3987 State St. Ste. D
  • April 2022: Rockin’ Yogurt, 620 State St.
  • March 2022: Little Kitchen, 17 W. Ortega St. (now Saint Bibiana)
  • February 2022: Brasil Arts Cafe, 1230C State St.; Chomp on the Rocks, 113 Harbor Way (now Anchor Rose); Goleta Coffee Company, 177 S. Turnpike Rd., Goleta; Modern Times Beer, 418 State St. (now Broad Street Oyster Company)
  • January 2022: Embermill, 1031 State St. (changing to L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele); JJ’s Diner, 413 State St. (now Taza Mediterranean Street Kitchen); Juice N Things, 4991 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria (now Carp Moon Café); Open, 4141 State St. Ste. E1 (now Loca Vivant Kitchen); Phoevermore, 1017 Casitas Pass Rd., Carpinteria (now Lao Thai Restaurant); Rockin’ Yogurt, 620 State St.; Saigon, 1230 State St. (now Beans BBQ); Su Casa Fresh Mexican Grill, 1417 San Andres St. (now Sazon Latino); Tea Tea, 901 Embarcadero Del Mar, Isla Vista (now Zocalo); Vons Chicken, 955 Embarcadero del Mar, Isla Vista (reopened in July 2022)
  • December 2021: Blaze Pizza, 6546 Pardall Rd., Isla Vista (now Hummus Republic); Choppa Poke, 716 State St. (now Mokutan); Corazon Cocina, 214 State St. (now Rare Society); Cubaneo, 418 State St. (now Broad Street Oyster Company); Goodland Dining, 231 South Magnolia Ave., Goleta; Tyger Tyger, 121 E. Yanonali St.; Wingman Rodeo, 5892 Hollister Ave., Goleta (now Mariscos Santa Barbara)
  • November 2021: Good Cup, 918 State St.; Little Alex’s, 1024 Coast Village Rd., Montecito (changing to Alma Fonda Fina); Mollie’s, 1218 State St. (now Bedda Mia)
  • October 2021: Crazy Jim’s Tacos y Mas, 505 State St. (now Casa Comal); Dumpling King, 966 Embarcadero Del Mar, Isla Vista (now Red Pepper); El Pollo Loco, 2984 State St. (now Pueblo Pollo); Woody’s BBQ, 5112 Hollister Ave., Goleta (changing to Shalhoob’s)
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TAP THAI CLOSES ON UPPER STATE

In October 2010 I was the very first customer for Tap Thai Cuisine when they arrived in Santa Barbara at 2611 De la Vina Street. In April 2014 they moved to 3130 State Street, the former home of Brummis, and then expanded to 7060 Hollister Avenue in Goleta in October 2021. Sadly they announced that their uptown eatery closes September 15 and reader Abraham says it will be replaced by a culinary cousin named Thai Bistro. I am told that their outlet in the Goodland is open for business as usual.


Courtesy

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CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON “THE LANDING”

Outback Steakhouse at 5690 Calle Real in Goleta closed their doors in November 2017 after decades in business. The property had remained an empty shell until recently when construction began on “The Landing” which will be a taproom/restaurant brought to you by Chris Chiarappa best known as co-owner of Mesa Burger. His other culinary projects include Lighthouse Coffee, Corner Tap, Sweeties Ice Cream, M.Kitchen, Augie’s Tequila coming to State Street, a taco shop set for Chapala Street, and a partnership tentatively named Corazón Cantina heading to Turnpike Center.


Photos by The Restaurant Guy

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VEGAN CHEF CHALLENGE

Presented by animal advocacy organization Vegan Outreach, the 3rd Annual Santa Barbara Vegan Chef Challenge runs through October 1-31. As veganism becomes more mainstream, restaurants nationwide are adding options to accommodate their growing number of vegan patrons. Vegan Chef Challenge is a month-long event showcasing new vegan menu items created by chefs at local restaurants. Typically, ten to thirty restaurants take part and the dining public is encouraged to vote for their favorite dishes. The majority of restaurants keep at least one popular vegan item on their regular menu after the challenge concludes. Winning dishes will be announced in early November. For Challenge updates visit veganchefchallenge.org/SantaBarbara

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SAIGON IN FIVE POINTS MOVING TO CHAPALA

This just in from reader Roger:

Five Points update:
1) The sign for La Salsa has now been REMOVED. Paper sign in the window says GRACIAS. It doesn’t look like La Salsa is reopening.
2) Nearby at Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant, a sign indicates that they will be moving on August 30, to Chapala Street.

Reader Brendan adds:

Interesting. On their website their address is now listed as 721 Chapala, which is the address of Sachi Ramen (which I believe has the same owner). Wonder if that means Sachi Ramen is disappearing?

Reply

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SNEAK PEEK: CAVA ON CVR

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SNEAK PEEK: SB FISH MARKET IN UNIVERSITY PLAZA

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SNEAK PEEK: IHOP IN UNIVERSITY PLAZA

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LONGORIA WINERY COMING TO STATE STREET

Last February Matt Kettmann at the Santa Barbara Independent reported that local pioneering vintners Rick and Diana Longoria, who opened their winery in Lompoc in 1982, are selling their eponymous brand — complete with winemaking facilities, tasting room, equipment, offices, and inventory — to Brooke and Lindsey Christian, who were moving from Washington, D.C., to Santa Barbara. At the time the Christians announced plans to diversify beyond Lompoc within a couple of years, ultimately with a Funk Zone tasting room, to get more exposure.

Reader Primetime says the Christians did indeed find a local spot to open for business, though it is not in the Funk Zone. Longoria’s first Santa Barbara outlet will be at 732 State Street, the former home of Santa Barbara Wine Therapy which moved to 12 West Haley Street in August 2021.

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MARTY’S PIZZA CLOSES

It appears that Marty’s Pizza at 2733 De la Vina Street, a local icon since 1984, has closed. In April I reported that its building is slated to be demolished as part of a De la Vina Street bridge replacement project. I was told at the time that they were closing in the fall and do not plan to reopen. Sometimes the process of figuring out if a restaurant is actually closed can be a little tricky since nobody is around to confirm it. Marty’s website and Yelp say they are open for business as usual, but their phone number and online ordering system are disconnected, and reader Primetime says he has seen their store looking dark and lonely during posted business hours.

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LAO THAI RESTAURANT OPENS IN CARPINTERIA

Lao Thai Restaurant, offering Laotian and Thailand cuisine, has opened in the Shepherd Center at 1017 Casitas Pass Road in Carpinteria, the former home of Phoevermore which closed last January.  The ambiance is casual with just a few wall hangings in addition to monitors that shows photos of Thailand, Laos, and food. “At Lao Thai Restaurant we offer meals of excellent quality and invite you to try our delicious food,” says the family behind this new gem. “The key to our success is simple: providing quality consistent food that taste great every single time. We pride ourselves on serving our customers delicious genuine dishes.”

Lunch specials (about $15) include Cashew Nut Chicken, Ginger & Vegetables, Kra Prow, Garlic Pepper Sauce, Mixed Vegetables, Pa-Ram, Prick King, Pad Thai, Eggplant Basil Garlic & Chili, Seafood Platter, Pineapple Curry, and Curries.

Main dishes (about $16) include Mixed Vegetables (sautéed with cabbage, snow pea, garlic, onion, mushrooms, carrot), Garlic Pepper (sautéed with garlic pepper sauce), Pa-Ram (spinach topped with peanut sauce), Eggplant (Japanese eggplant sautéed with garlic, chili, Thai basil), Kaprow Sweet Basil & Chili (sautéed with chili, garlic, bamboo shoot, onion, carrot and Thai basil), Ginger & Vegetables (sautéed with ginger, garlic, onion, mushrooms, carrot), Cashew Nuts (sautéed with Thai chili paste, onions, cashew nuts), and Prick King (pan-fried in the Prick king curry paste with green beans & coconut milk).

Hours are Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday noon-9 p.m., and Sunday 5-9 p.m. Call (805) 318-9287 or visit laothaiusa.com.


Courtesy

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PIZZA MY HEART CLOSES

Pizza My Heart at 6533 Trigo Road in Isla Vista has closed. The restaurant opened in October 2012. Rumor has it that a dispensary will replace it though reader Eric says the space is still listed as available for lease.

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GOLETA IHOP CLOSES

Reader Primetime let me know that IHOP at 4765 Calle Real in Goleta has closed. The IHOP at 1701 State Street (RIP Frimples) is open for business as usual. The former Goleta IHOP property now begins a transition to become the second South Coast outlet for Chick-fil-A. Fortunately a new IHOP opens in Goleta later this year at 7127 Hollister Avenue near the DMV and Costco, in the former home of Itsuku.


Photos by Primetime

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NEW GM AT CRUSH BAR

Crush Bar at 1129A State Street has announced that Duane Johnson, aka Drag Queen Star Vivian Storm, will be joining the Crush Bar Team. “As our new General Manager, DJ will be focusing on Crush Bar our Bar Events, staffing and more,” says owner Shannon Gaston. “With DJ’s assistance, we hope to elevate our events to a higher level of uniqueness and excitement while retaining our comfortable, safe space. DJ will be bringing in new entertainers as well as building on what we have already started.” Additionally Crush Bar will be offering their space for private events such as wedding receptions, parties, showers and more.

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CHEFS OF RITZ-CARLTON DINING SERIES

The Ritz-Carlton Bacara is hosting the “Chefs of Ritz-Carlton” dining series on Friday, September 16th. Chefs from other California Ritz-Carlton properties including The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, The Ritz-Carlton, Half-Moon Bay and The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage join the culinary team at Santa Barbara location to host this special event. Guests will be able to experience a variety of dishes from each of these properties without having to leave Santa Barbara. This al fresco event will foster interaction between the chefs and diners who learn more about their unique cuisines and culinary journeys. Tickets, which cost $150 per person, plus gratuity and tax and includes all food and beverage during the event, can be purchased at tinyurl.com/bacaraevent

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MOKUTAN OPENS DOWNTOWN

After a nice prime rib dinner at Joe’s Café, I was wandering downtown and noticed that Japanese restaurant Mokutan has opened at 716 State Street, the former home of Choppa Poke which closed their Santa Barbara location last December. Kai Sushi also closed nearby so it is great to have a new Japanese option to fill the gap.

Lunch combos, available before 4pm for $25, include Chicken Thigh/Breast with Chive Shio Tare, Angus Beef Kushiyaki, Beef Saikyo Yaki Skewers, Shrimp & Vegetable Tempura, Salmon Teriyaki, Tuna & Salmon Sashimi, Tonkatsu, and 4 Kinds of Nigiri.

Entrees include Rice Dishes (Chicken Curry $19, BBQ Eek $19), Noodles (Su Udon $12, Veggie Udon $14, Yakisoba $15, Tempura Udon $18), and Rolls (Kappa Roll $4, Tekka Roll $7, Spicy Tuna Roll $8, California Roll $9, Unagi Roll $9).

The Seafood & Crudo menu ranges from $16-$20 and includes Aburi Saba, Tuna/Salmon Carpaccio, Yellowtail Carpaccio, Seafood Cerviche, Mixed Sashimi, Seared Blue Fin Tuna, Seafood Flambe, Omakase Sashimi, and Omakasa Nigiri.

The Kushi Grilled Skewers menu is available for $7-$36 and includes Chicken Thigh/Breast, Chicken Tsukune Meatball, Beef Tongue, Angus Beef, Beef Saikyo, Waygu Beef, and Shiitake Mushroom. Desserts include Green Tea Ice Cream with churroi, Mochi Ice cream, Sesame Mousse, and Orange Berry Mix with Ginger Honey.

Mokutan is open Wednesday-Thursday 4-9:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday noon-10 p.m., Sunday noon-9 p.m., and is closed Monday-Tuesday. Happy hour is available Wednesday-Friday 4-6 p.m. and includes $5 food and drinks.


Photo by The Restaurant Guy

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CORAZON COMING TO M.SPECIAL

Reader David sent me a photo of a Corazon sign being installed on the front of the building at M.Special, 634 State Street. I called the brewery and they said that Corazon, a popular local eatery, is taking over just the kitchen part of the business. The brewery will continue to be the star of the show. Since M.Special opened downtown in September 2020 the kitchen has been called “M. Kitchen” and has been run by Chris Chiarappa, co-founder of Mesa Burger.


Photo by reader David P.

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NEW UPTOWN SUSHI

Reader Matt says that a new restaurant named Kaz ToGo Japanese Food has opened at 3613 State Street, the former home of Vegan GreenGo.

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PLAZA DELI UPDATE

This just in from reader Heidi: “Last week, the owner at Plaza Deli said his rent was in the neighborhood of $14k-15k/month, and he has found a buyer, but the La Cumbre Plaza landlord wants to increase the rent upon transfer of the business, which could sink the deal. He said he just wants out.”

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PARADICE CLOSES

This just in from reader Brendan: “The ParadICE shave ice and Hustle & Grind coffee place in Paseo Nuevo appears to have closed. A note on the door says something about the difficulty of running the business while raising kids (I can’t remember the exact wording).” ParadICE open in October 2018 followed by their coffee companion open in November 2020.

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BRASS BEAR OPENING UPTOWN

Reader Terry passed the word that the Funk Zone’s popular Brass Bear Brewing Company is opening a second location at 3302 McCaw Avenue, the current home of Café Stella.

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KYLE’S CHICKEN HOUSE CLOSES

This just in from reader Brendan: “Kyle’s Chicken House in Isla Vista has apparently closed. The space is cleared out and vacant with leasing signs all around.” KCH opened at 900 Embarcadero Del Mar in November 2021 replacing Kyle’s Kitchen, which itself replaced Silvergreens. All three were under the same ownership.

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FRESCO CAFE OPENING DOWNTOWN

Last June I announced that Fresco Cafe is leaving their longtime home in Five Points Shopping Center for a new place and now reader Primetime says that the eatery has landed next to the Lobero Theatre at 23 East Canon Perdido Street, the former home of Sevtap Winery. The popular eatery is scheduled to open in September in the El Centro building.

Other sources tell me that Fresco’s rent at Five Points was hiked to more than $20k/month and that the new place will be about half that. I am told that Sevtap put in nearly seven figures in renovations before departing so it is practically turn-key for Fresco. Offering catering to neighbor Lobero Theatre is being discussed.


  1. Photo by Primetime
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EVEN HAPPIER HOURS

Word is that the new Happy Hour at Pascucci restaurant has been so well received, they have extended the hours. I am told that it is now Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m. and includes a house margarita, well cocktails, house wines, bottled beer, and White Claws.

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RUMOR MILL

A rumor now circulating around town is that the next tenant at 224 Helena Avenue in the Funk Zone, the soon-to-be-former home of Seven Bar & Kitchen, will be a sushi restaurant. I wonder if it could be Silvers Omakase? Silvers Omakase, a sushi shop run by Michelin star chef Lennon Silvers Lee who used to helm Sushi Bar Montecito, is in search of a home in the area.  As always, this rumor might be completely false or a brilliant forecast of future events. Your call.

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