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On July 4, 2020, I wrote that Everytable, a grab & go restaurant, is coming to 1001 State Street, the former home of Saks Fifth Avenue, J.C. Penny, Wells Fargo Bank, and Crocker Bank. The eatery will be sharing space with Amazon which occupies most of the building. On August 19, 2021, I breathlessly wrote that Everytable had completed construction but to my big surprise they never opened.

Sources tell me that nobody, or nearly nobody, is working at the downtown Amazon office right now and that Everytable is waiting for Amazon employees to return to work before the eatery launches. I am told that, like most of the tech world, the Santa Barbara division of Amazon, which focuses on developing software for their Alexa product, started working remotely when the pandemic hit. And again, like most of the tech world, employees are not in a hurry to get back to the office because writing code in your pajamas, with a cat on your lap, can be quite enjoyable.

One local Amazon employee was asked when they are going back to physically working at the S.B. downtown office and their response was “never.” I hear that there may have been cutbacks in the Alexa division which also might be slowing things. So, the building has been mostly vacant for a few years. And Everytable waits.

Photo by The Restaurant Guy

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Georges & Nicole Bitar, veteran wine dealers and proprietors of local Italian eatery Via Maestra 42, have purchased the legendary Chase Restaurant & Lounge at 1012 State Street. Generations of fans can rest assured that the name and traditions that made the eatery so popular for 44 years will live on.

“It’s going to remain the Chase and we’re going to elevate everything,” says Chase General Manager Warren Butler. “We’re going to enhance it, we’re going to improve upon it, and we will continue to support Chef Mario Rodriguez. He is the key to the consistency.”

Chef Rodriguez has been with the Chase since its founding in 1979, the food is much as it was then, and his magic will continue. Rodriguez trained with original Chase owners Tony and Angie Caligurie and he prepares everything the same way.

“We are committed to this iconic legacy and will pay it the respect it deserves,” adds Georges Bitar.

About the owners: When Via Maestra 42 first opened at 3343 State Street in 2000, Nicole Bitar was the first manager under the helm of original owner Renato Moiso. She brings many years of Italian restaurant experience working for some of the best Italian restaurants in Santa Barbara and Montecito. Years later, in 2021, Nicole came full circle and has become co-owner of Via Maestra 42 with her husband, Georges. Now they can add local icon Chase Restaurant & Lounge to their extensive resumes.

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Reader SBAway let me know that the site of Cantwell’s Market on State Street is scheduled to have a hearing by the City of Santa Barbara’s Historic Landmarks Commission on March 29th, 2023 for a new four-story mixed-use development. Here is the official notice:

The City of Santa Barbara Historic Landmarks Commission will hold a public hearing on a design review application that may affect your property or neighborhood.
Project Address: 1529 State Street
Assessor’s Parcel Number: 027-231-022
Zoning Designation: C-G (Commercial General)
Application Number: PRE2022-00126
Applicant / Owner: Julie McGeever / PS & RS, LLC
Project Description: New four-story mixed-use building
Hearing Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at 1:30 PM (Full Commission)
Hearing Location: David Gebhard Public Meeting Room, 630 Garden Street

Loopnet’s parcel map for 1529 State Street, Santa Barbara

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La Paloma Café opened in November 2020 at 702 Anacapa Street, the former home of the Paradise Café and, well, La Paloma Café. The original La Paloma was a traditional Mexican restaurant that was operated by the property owners from 1940-1983 at which time the space was leased to the Paradise Café which carried the torch for the next 37 years.

Ever since the dawn of the pandemic, the eatery has offered dinner, then expanded to brunch. La Paloma lunch has now arrived, available Wednesday-Friday 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. New favorites include the Power Salad, Wagyu Tri-Tip Torta, and the Crispy Fish Tacos.

View the menu

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Here is a press release from a few months back that got lost in my inbox:

CARPINTERIA, California: A newly opened steakhouse at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club is open to the public and offers diners a coastal-inspired menu of locally sourced meats, seafood, wine and craft cocktails, together with picturesque views of the Polo Fields, Pacific Ocean and Santa Ynez Mountains.

Launched by restaurateur couple Michael and Lisa Amador, Fieldside Coastal Steakhouse soft-opened to the public in early November, with bookings quickly filling up for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve holiday dinners. The steakhouse has also been catering for private events and tournaments since October.

Fieldside’s menu emphasizes the freshest seafood and best cuts of meat, along with produce direct from local farms. Items include table-side Caesar salad, fresh Pacific oysters, local halibut, rib-eye burgers, and a variety of huge steaks and chops. Guests can dine inside or on the restaurant’s outdoor patio. The full bar offers a wide selection of whiskeys and tequilas, along with local wines, premium beers, and classic cocktails.

Michael Amador is a chef with over 30 years of experience at some of the Santa Barbara area’s most prestigious restaurants and private clubs. He served as food and beverage manager for a total of two decades at the San Ysidro Ranch and the La Cumbre Country Club. His wife, Lisa Amador, is a certified matchmaker, best-selling author and founder of Amador Matchmaking, a boutique matchmaking company.

The Amadors opened their first dining venture, Uncorked Wine Tasting and Kitchen, in Santa Barbara in 2017. They later purchased The Nook in The Funk Zone from longtime master chef Norbert Schulz.

Lisa and Michael Amador met in June 2012 and recently celebrated their 8th wedding anniversary. Between them, the couple has five children and two grandchildren. Michael’s children, Cassandra and Julian, frequently help out at both The Nook and Fieldside, making the establishments truly family-run businesses.

— Fieldside is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner, and is located at 3300 Via Real, Carpinteria. Happy Hour and Brunch are coming soon.

Reservations through OpenTable are encouraged. For more information, go to, email or call (805) 617-0808.

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Reader Ken noticed that celebrity chef Cat Cora posted a message from Mesa Burger on her Instagram page:

“Cat Cora’s world-renowned reputation as a celebrity chef, author, restaurateur, and television personality was critical to Mesa Burger’s early success. After 6 great years together, Cat is moving on to pursue other personal ventures and will no longer be involved with Mesa Burger. Her hard work and contributions will forever be appreciated.

Mesa Burger wishes Cat continued success in her future endeavors.

– The Mesa Burger Team”

Cat Cora helped create and launch Mesa Burger at 315 Meigs Road on the Mesa in December 2016. Reader Ken also says that Cat Cora has been removed from Mesa Burger’s “About” page where she used to be featured and that their menu has been updated so that “Cat’s Cobb Salad” is now referred to as “Cobb Salad.”

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The Landing is a taproom/restaurant coming the 5690 Calle Real in Goleta, the former home of Outback Steakhouse. Construction has been coming along nicely. It appears that efforts up until now have been to divide up the huge Outback space into two suites, the left side occupying 1/3rd of the building while the right side occupies 2/3rds of the building and that has been mostly completed. I am not sure which side The Landing will be occupying (the biggest spot, that uses the former-Outback front door, is my guess) or who is taking the adjacent space.

Photos by The Restaurant Guy

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La Unica is NOT open yet at 3771 State Street but hopes to be within a week or so. The restaurant, which specializes in street tacos from the Jalisco region of Mexico, will be run by Carlos Luna, owner of the hugely popular Los Agaves restaurants as well as Santo Mezcal and Flor de Maíz. They had a one-day test run last Friday and invited some friends to give it a try. I was lucky enough to be on the list and enjoyed a variety of tacos and tostadas. The menu will also include tortas and burritos. I have little doubt that Luna has another home run on his hands. Can’t wait to come back!

Photos by The Restaurant Guy

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My 8-year-old son is a fan of the 1960s TV show “Batman” and has been bugging me to take him to the real Batcave that the Batmobile would zoom in and out of throughout the series. So this week we finally visited the area, officially known as Bronson Canyon.

As luck would have it, near this landmark is the flagship home of Little Dom’s in Los Feliz that I had never been to. The eatery has a second location in Carpinteria that I have visited numerous times. The restaurant has an eclectic menu and I ordered the Little Dom’s Burger (Ground Chuck & Short Rib Burger with Burrata, Pickled Green Tomato & Wild Boar Bacon on Brioche Bun) which was terrific. The Batboy had a side dish of pasta.

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Reader Christine says that the local Historic Landmarks Commission report released this week mentions that a new shopping district named The Post is coming to 1800 East Cabrillo Boulevard next to the Bird Refuge and Los Patos Way. The drawings indicate that, in addition to retail and office space, two restaurants and two food & beverage business are planned. Even though it is technically in Santa Barbara, I will likely refer to the area in the future as Montecito as businesses there tend to do.

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I received this inquiry unrelated to restaurants and don’t know the answer. Do you?

Hi John,

My name is Biddy, and I am the Assistant Producer for Like A Shot Entertainment, a TV production company based in London, England. We are known for producing the history documentary series Hidden America for Discovery’s Science Channel and streaming service Discovery+.

The new series of Hidden America will tell the story of the USA through the amazing structures left across the land, built by America’s inhabitants and each one telling a unique tale. We are telling the story of the Ellwood oil fields, the Bombardment of Ellwood and the Barnsdall-Rio Grande gas station in Goleta, California.

To help tell the story, we feature historic archive in the programme, and to be able to include specific archive we need to gain the correct permission from the archive owner/copyright holder. I am looking for the owners of some specific images of the Barnsdall-Rio Grande Gas Station, which I understand may be the Institute of American Research (which may also go by the name South Coast Railroad Museum).

I wondered if you were able to assist with this request at all please, if you knew who I might be able to contact regarding this? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


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I am hearing that a new Boba shop is coming to 620 State Street, the former home of Rockin’ Yogurt:

Hello John,

I am Jared the owner and creator of Sweet Reef Boba. We are opening our 2nd location in Santa Barbara at the previous frozen yogurt shop “Rockin’ Yogurt” next to the movie theater on State street. We started our shop in Morro Bay with a focus on making Boba tea with fresh ingredients creating a natural healthy flavors that you can taste the difference. We are a fresh alternative to traditional boba making our drinks with real fruit, dairy and non dairy and freshly brewed tea’s! We are excited!


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SANTA BARBARA, California – The fifth-annual Santa Barbara Restaurant Week (April 14th – April 23rd) is your chance to experience the best of Santa Barbara’s food scene at a fraction of the cost. Presented by Santa Barbara Uncorked, LLC and sponsored by Jordano’s Foodservice and Pacific Beverage Company, Restaurant Week 2023 is a 10-day event designed to showcase the culinary delights of Santa Barbara crafted by the area’s finest eating establishments.

For more than 20 years, Restaurant Week founders Tim Zagat and Joe Baum orchestrated a 4-week celebration of New York’s finest food. Their focus was making the area’s best dining experiences accessible to all, and the event became such a hit that cities around the globe soon followed suit. In spring of 2018, the SB Restaurant Week founders brought the foodie phenomenon to the American Riviera, showcasing the best of Santa Barbara’s more than 450 restaurants and eateries.

Learn More…

Restauranters are invited to attend an open registration event on Monday, March 27th at the Montesano Market, Coast Village Road, Montecito from 4:00pm – 6:00pm for open registration and to learn more and get all marketing materials for the event. Drinks and charcuterie boards will be served. Please RSVP with

From April 14th – 23rd, 2023, each participating restaurant will offer a prix-fixe menu that includes a $35 2-course lunch and $45 and $55 3-course dinner option. Throughout the week, tasting rooms will also offer special wine tasting experiences.

The fifth annual Restaurant Week is an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to taste the best of Santa Barbara. Visit for more details, including a full list of participating restaurants, tasting rooms and hotels, helpful tools to plan your visit, and options for business owners interested in sponsoring or participating in the event.

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This just in from Foxtail Kitchen at 14 East Cota Street:

Good afternoon John,

It was tough for us last year, and we are back on our legs on Wednesday, April 12th, from 5 p.m. till 11 p.m. It’s our sixth anniversary. We are going to have live music as well as beer, wine, well drinks and appetizers (hummus, babaghanosh, labneh, grape leaves) for $6. I hope your readers can make it.

Stay safe,
Thank you

Falah Maayah
Foxtail Kitchen

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Reader Leslie sent me a link to the Instagram page for Rascal’s Vegan Food which announced that they have opened at 432 East Haley Street, completing their move from a temporary home on Cota Street. “We are so excited to announce that we will be opening for dinner service starting tomorrow,” says the restaurant. “Can’t wait to show you what we have been working so hard on. We will be doing casual table service to switch it up in our new intimate space. No reservations, first come first serve. There is limited seating, so takeout will be available as well. 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.”

Courtesy photo

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Reader Larry N. tells me that Mollie Ahlstrand, namesake founder of now-departed restaurants Trattoria Mollie in Montecito (Oprah’s favorite) and Mollie’s on State Street, is opening an Italian market/deli near the World’s Safest Beach:

Mollie Ahlstrand spoke at the Alcazar Theater this evening in a program about women chefs – for Women Making Change – and she announced that she signed a lease in Carpinteria yesterday to have an Italian market/deli in Shepherd’s Place Shops.

Photo by reader Larry M.

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Reader Suzanne P. asked me about the status of Little Alex’s which is coming to 3987-B State Street (in Five Points Shopping Center), the former home of Fresco Cafe which moved to 23 East Canon Perdido Street. The Mexican eatery, which used to have a home for decades near Vons in Montecito, appears to be in the very earliest stages of renovation and a set of plans is on the counter near the front door. There are undoubtedly many months of work ahead and I would expect a summer or fall opening at the earliest.

Photos by The Restaurant Guy

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I stopped by Teddy’s on State, which is coming 3102 State Street, the former home of Yanni’s Greek Deli and Mackenzie Market, to see if there has been any progress. It is filled with stacks of items that are either on their when in, or on their way out (it’s hard to tell), and no renovation seems to have been started. I called sister business Teddy’s by the Sea restaurant in Carpinteria and was told that it is still on track to open eventually.

Photos by The Restaurant Guy

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Reader Steve C. says that real estate agent Caitlin Hensel has posted the following message on Instagram, saying that Lilac Patisserie is taking over the space at 1209 Coast Village Road in Montecito, the former home of Mesa Burger:

“A big congratulations to my amazing clients Lilac Patisserie for closing on this deal and officially expanding into Montecito! We found this opportunity off-market with @dpinner and got to work with our favorites over at @mnstudiointeriors as well”

File photos by reader Primetime

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McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams tells me that one of their most requested flavors is returning to their scoop shops and online store starting today, March 10th. McConnell’s has teamed up with award-winning Texas bourbon distillery Garrison Brothers for the third year to create the ultimate whiskey ice cream flavor: Garrison Brothers Whiskey & Pecan Pralines. “Featuring smooth, sweet, smoky ‘n spicy Texas Straight Bourbon, married to Central Coast milk & cream, and topped off by delicious, buttery, salt-roasted ‘n caramel-coated pecans,” says the dessert destination. “This is one of our best-selling and most requested flavors. We’re super excited to bring it back. Last year it sold out within weeks.”


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Here is a tip from reader Lido about Siam Elephant Thai Restaurant at 509 Linden Avenue in Carpinteria:

“I don’t know if you reported this yet or not: Siam Elephant Thai Restaurant is changing hands. I saw it in the Public Notices section of the Coastal Views News last week. A few days later I saw a group of people with notebooks and cameras looking it over. The restaurant is on Linden in Carpinteria.”

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This just in from Pascucci at 509 State Street:

“Thank you, to all of our loyal customers, for supporting Pascucci for 30 years!!! We have been having so much fun with our 30 year celebration, due to upcoming back-to-back storms predicted with almost a week of rain, we will be extending our 2-week promotion for an extra week, until March 23! Our top-selling 30 menu items are 30% off! It is valid for dine-in or take-out (sorry no 3rd party delivery). Hope to see you at 509 State street!”

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In April 2022 I broke the news that Shalhoob’s had signed a lease to take over 5112 Hollister Avenue in Noleta, the former home of Woody’s BBQ. Reader Steve H. sent me photos that suggests that construction is well underway but that there is still months of work remaining.

Photos by reader Steve H.

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Reader Jennifer M. noticed a sign for “Three Monkeys” at the Santa Barbara Public Market. She says that it will be brought to you by Empty Bowls, which is currently a tenant in the facility. The new sign includes the name “Thailand” and has photos of BBQ so I’ll assume that Thai BBQ will be their focus. Their Instagram doesn’t explicitly state what the cuisine is but it does say they will have a few vegan options as well. reader Steve says they are replacing the pop up Matty’s Hot Chicken.

Photo by reader Jennifer M.

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Los Altos Mexican restaurant at 318 North Milpas Street is opening a second location at 5892 Hollister Avenue in Old Town Goleta, the former home of Mariscos Santa Barbara (which opened in May 2022), Wingman Rodeo, Gimeal Cafe, and The Natural Cafe.

Owner Alberto Gonzalez’s home of Jalisco, Mexico is the inspiration behind the taste and feel of Los Altos, which opened on the east side in July 2015. With daily specials and handmade tortillas, the commitment to traditional cooking by a family owned and operated restaurant helps them captures what they feel is the true spirit of Mexico. The menu includes menudo, barbacoa, tacos, burritos, tortas, sopes, fresh seafood, and traditional favorites. Visit

Photos by The Restaurant Guy

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Franco Rizzo, owner of the ubiquitous Goleta Signs company, which has created many of the signs outside of businesses across the South Coast, was working hard today installing a new sign for Santa Barbara Fish Market coming to the University Plaza Shopping Center behind Costco. The new location will be 7127 Hollister Avenue Ste. 18, the former home of La Bella Rosa Bakery (2016-2019), Cafe Zoma (2010-2011), and Mojo Coffee (2006-2010). Rizzo tells me that the beautiful new sign lights up from inside and will look great day and night. A peek inside the building reveals that the interior hasn’t changed much since last year, but I expect construction to be full steam ahead soon.

Franco Rizzo, owner of the Goleta Sign company, installed the logo for Santa Barbara Fish Market coming this year to Goleta. Photos by The Restaurant Guy

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This just in from Rosewood Miramar Beach:

Caruso’s Chef de Cuisine Shibani Mone x Justin Chef Rachel Haggstrom

According to, about a quarter of head chefs around the world are women, but only 6% of head chefs of Michelin Star Restaurants are female. In celebration of Women’s History Month, Chef Shibani Mone, chef de cuisine at Michelin Star and Michelin Green Star awarded Caruso’s at Rosewood Miramar Beach, and chef Rachel Haggstrom, executive chef at JUSTIN (also Michelin and Michelin Green Star awarded for 2022) will join forces for a special four-night dinner series.

Chef Shibani will host chef Rachel at Caruso’s for two nights, and then the following week Rachel will host chef Shibani at JUSTIN. Each night the pair will prepare a special menu highlighting their unique points of view with an eye on sustainability and central coast produce.

Caruso’s at Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito; The Restaurant at Justin, Paso Robles

March 17 and 18, Justin at Caruso’s (dinner service)
March 24 and 25, Caruso’s at Justin (dinner service)

For details and prices click here:

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The Lark, Pearl Social, Santa Barbara Wine Collective, Loquita, and La Paloma Cafe are now offering seasonal, Santa Barbara County-inspired cocktails. All new seasonal drinks are priced from $14-16.

– Of Consequence (The Lark): “A cocktail that pays tribute to the rich silent film history of Santa Barbara. With its soft fruity undertone, the cocktail owes its flavor profile to the aromatic quince fruit. The herbal complexity that lingers into the finish is achieved through the combination of Suze and saffron bitters. Named after a classic Flying A Studio film, this exciting spin on a Vesper martini offers a refreshing way to welcome spring.”

– Pomada (Loquita): “The inspiration behind Loquita’s Gin Tonica is to highlight the unique flavor profile of this particular type of gin, which is distilledon the island of Xoriguer in Menorca. The gin is made using a blend of juniper berries, local herbs, and the island’s own grape spirit,resulting in a distinctive flavor that sets it apart from other gins. Traditionally, this cocktail is composed of lemonade, which has its roots in Menorca and was originally consumed at their famous seafood festival.”

– Celery Gin Fizz (La Paloma Cafe): “The Celery Gin Fizz cocktail is a modern take on the classic Gin Fizz, with celery as the star ingredient. The inspiration behind this cocktail is to create a refreshing and herbaceous drink that incorporates savory flavors in a light and effervescent way.”

– Lavender Lemon Spritz (Santa Barbara Wine Collective): “This cocktail is a fun, floral spin on the classic gimlet. It is a fragrant, refreshing, and vibrant love letter to the spring season. To add a bit of sparkle it is topped off with a local Blanc de Blanc by Fess Parker.”

– Jump in Line (Pearl Social): “Jump in Line is inspired by the warm summer evenings. The smokiness of the charred Meyer lemon paired with the bright and zesty flavors of tequila and Italicus bring to mind the beauty and vibrancy of summer in Santa Barbara.”

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In March 2022 I broke the news that Taqueria La Unica is coming to 3771 State Street, the former home of Dunkin’ Donuts, Taco Bell, and Char West. The Mexican eatery will be run by Carlos Luna, owner of the hugely popular Los Agaves restaurants as well as Santo Mezcal.

Reader Andreas C. sent me an update:

“That taqueria coming to where Dunkin used to be seems to be opening within days. For a week or so now they have had all their tables, chairs, registers set up, but just this morning I saw a huge meat truck and two refrigerated trucks delivering stuff there.”

Sources tell me the Taqueria La Unica hopes to open in mid-March. I stopped by to get some new photos, posted below.

Photos by The Restaurant Guy

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This just in from Philippe Rousseau, owner of Stella Mare’s Bistro at 50 Los Patos Way:

Dear friends and family of Stella Mare’s Bistro,

You may have heard rumors about Los Patos. The Stella Mare’s building is now part of a purchase by an LA developer. We just found out last week that our lease, once expired, will not be renewed. Stella Mare’s is not part of the new Los Patos development project. We are not closing yet as our lease expires at the end of 2023. It will be business as usual until then. We are looking forward to a very busy 2023.

We have been in business for 28 years and were absolutely NOT planning on closing anytime soon. This comes as a shock to us and we are devastated with the outcome. At this point, we are considering all options including relocating to a new home. We appreciate the community’s continued support. We will keep you updated.

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The Steward, a Tribute Portfolio Marriott Hotel, will debut this spring in Goleta at 5490 Hollister Avenue, formerly known as Pacifica Suites, and bring with it a new restaurant named “Terra.” Originally purchased in the late 1860s by pioneer horticulturist Joseph Sexton, the land became home to his family’s estate, known as “The Sexton House,” along with one of the area’s first nurseries.

“There is a certain mystique to this property – our botanical gardens and forest offer the most serene sense of arrival,” said Danielle Granillo, vice president of brand marketing for Twin Bridges Hospitality, Asset Management. “The land holds a special meaning and significance to our team and I’m incredibly proud that we are prioritizing our planet through our sustainability practices.”

The hotel’s signature restaurant, Terra, meaning “of the earth,” will incorporate locally-sourced ingredients that showcase and highlight our area’s agricultural roots. The seasonally-driven menus will offer California and Mediterranean fare. While bringing The Steward to life, the team discovered a journal on-property from the 1930s that features one of the first recorded recipes for avocado toast. The journal is still on property today and guests will be able to try the original recipe. The menu including herbs from the property’s own gardens, a botanical blooming tea service, and organic mocktails in partnership with DrinkTilden for upscale sips sans alcohol. Terra’s pre-packed picnic kit, using sustainable with compostable wood wrapped cutlery, will allow guests to dine on the-go.

The former Pacifica Suites

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Clay Holdren, namesake owner of Holdren’s Steaks & Seafood at 512 State Street, sent me a  message this morning:

The 20th anniversary menu at Holdren’s went so well, I have decided to extend it through the month of March starting this Wednesday March 1! Every Tuesday & Wednesday night in March we will be offering our $20 menu which includes the crusted pork chop, an 8 oz prime sirloin, linguini with prawns, herb crusted chicken and a few others. All entrees include soup or salad and a side dish. It’s a great deal and I hope to see you all. Reservations are recommended. Call (805)965-3363.

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Pascucci at 509 State Street is celebrating its 30-year anniversary and as a special thank you to their loyal customers they are having a “30×30” promotion, offering their top-30 selling items for 30% off of lunch and dinner, every day, all day, for 2 weeks, March 2-16, 2023.

“We want to thank Santa Barbara for supporting their establishment for three decades as a treasured local Italian restaurant, serving quality, regionally sourced food items, with friendly service at a fair price,” says the popular downtown eatery. “Our customers have enjoyed Pascucci’s fresh house-made sauces, dressings, and desserts, and extensive local wine list, and full bar for 30 years. We do not accept reservations, but can accommodate guests swiftly and look forward to celebrating with you.”

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The Daily Mail reports that Ellen DeGeneres was seen taking a tour of the future home of East Valley Kitchen (formerly Montecito Wine Bistro and Cafe del Sol), with new owner Graham Duncan, raising speculation that she might be a partner.

“Photos show Graham showing DeGeneres around and pointing out what will be the patio area, with Ellen listening and chiming in with her own ideas,” the site reports. “He unlocked the entrance and entered the empty space where they spent about 15 minutes inside.”

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Jordano’s Foodservice has grown to become the premier distributor of food, beverages, and culinary equipment in Central and Southern California. Numerous Santa Barbara restaurants depend on Jordano’s and its sister business, Pacific Beverage. To keep up with the growth, Jordano’s has opened a huge new warehouse in Goleta.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held this month, hosted by CEO Peter Jordano and his son, company President Jeff Jordano. “Why are we doing this?,” asked Jeff Jordano, about the new changes they have made. “We want to grow for the future, hopefully for the next 10 or 15 years. We want to improve our efficiency. These floors are built to have freezer capacity at below zero degrees.” The warehouse now has nearly 140,000 square feet of overall space with 27,000 square feet of cooler space.

In 1915 the first Jordano Brother’s Market opened in Santa Barbara. Four sons of an Italian rancher joined forces to open a grocery store on State Street and their hard work grew that single store into Santa Barbara’s first chain of modern supermarkets. By the 1960’s, there were 18 Jordano’s Supermarkets up and down the Central California Coast.

But the growing dominance of national supermarket chains forced the company to adapt to changing times, so in 1975, with CEO Peter Jordano at the helm, Jordano’s sold its supermarkets to focus on a wholesale food and beverage operation. Having been raised here I remember that many of today’s local grocery markets used to be a Jordano’s.

Pete Jordano is one of my all-time heroes and a great friend. His company is known for its integrity and as an amazing place to work, often retaining individual employees for decades. Jordano’s turns 108 years old next month. Visit


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It’s not Earth-shattering news but in case you’re interested… Starbucks at 539 State Street, where State Street crosses Cota Street, has switched to take-out-only and removed all chairs from the building. The other downtown Starbucks at 1235 State Street, where State Street crosses Victoria Street, continues to offer seating.

Photo by The Restaurant Guy

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Everytable restaurant is coming to 1001 State Street, the former home of Saks Fifth Avenue, J.C. Penny, Wells Fargo Bank, and Crocker Bank. The eatery will be sharing space with Amazon which occupies most of the building. On August 19, 2021 I wrote that it appears they have completed construction. Can you spot the changes since then? I see a red object has moved from a chair to the table.

Photos by The Restaurant Guy

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In September 2021 reader Brendan let me know that Belching Dragon Tavern is coming to 800 State Street, the former home of Starbucks and Weston’s Camera, at the corner of State and De la Guerra. I stopped by the other day and noticed that the property appears to still be in early stage renovation. I had read that there was a dispute over the alcoholic beverage permit that they were acquiring which likely contributed to the delay.

Photo by The Restaurant Guy

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Readers Steve H., Christine K., and Jonathan L. suggest that a region centered on the 1000 block of State Street is becoming Santa Barbara’s Little Italy.

Earlier this month Steve H. let me know that an Italian restaurant is coming to 1027 State Street, the former home of Tamira and Spice Avenue. A pizza restaurant is right next to that address, an Italian restaurant with pizza is directly across the street, and another Italian restaurant is a half block down the street.

I stopped by the property and spoke with owner Gheorghe Grasu who tells me that the new restaurant will be called Trattoria Del Sole, serving Tuscany-style cuisine. Grasu says this will be his second location and that his flagship restaurant is located at 14228 West Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. He expects the downtown destination to open in about 3-6 months and said that hiring quality staff is one of the biggest hurdles at the moment.

The Sherman Oaks location includes a restaurant, a European-style full bar, and a market, features which may or not come to the Santa Barbara eatery. If the dinner menu remains the same it may include:

– Antipasto del Sole (prosciutto, parmigiana, artichokes, olives, tomatoes and bruschetta)
– Calamari Fried or Grilled (grilled calamari served on a bed of arugula salad)
– Polipo (grilled octopus served with arugula, cherry tomatoes, onions and lemon dressing)
– Scampi del Sole (shrimp bathed in garlic, lemon butter sauce and white wine)
– Polpette del Sole (home-made meatballs served with marinara sauce and bruschetta bread)

– Insalata Verde (organic mixed greens, caramelized pecans, goat cheese, balsamic dressing)
– Insalata Caesar (organic romaine, parmesan cheese, classic caesar dressing, croutons)
– Insalata Burrata (heirloom tomatoes, burrata cheese, basil)
– Insalata Arugula (organic arugula, radicchio, almonds, avocado, parmesan cheeses, lemon dressing)
– Insalata Caprese (fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, salt and pepper, extra virgin oil and balsamic reduction)

– Cheese (Tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese)
– Margherita (Tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil)
– Burrata (Tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, burrata cheese and basil)
– Bianca (Mozzarella, prosciutto, arugula)
– Pepperoni (Tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni)
– Vegetables (Tomato sauce, mozzarella, grilled eggplant and zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes)
– Romana (Tomato sauce, mozzarella, artichokes, olives)
– Funghi (Tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms)

– Ravioli Cheese (ricotta, spinach, tomato sauce and a touch of cream)
– Ravioli Zucca (butternut squash, butter, sage, parmesan)
– Cacio e Pepe (spaghetti, pecorino, cracked black pepper)
– Penne alla Vodka (pink creamy vodka sauce, topped with parmesan cheese)
– Fettucine Alfredo (traditional Alfredo sauce)
– Spaghetti Meatballs (home made meatballs and marinara sauce)
– Gnocchi (potato dumplings, gorgonzola mushroom sauce)
– Penne Arrabiata (spicy tomato sauce)
– Lasagna (home-made meat sauce, creamy béchamel)
– Pappardele Bolognese (home-made meat sauce, parmesan)
– Linguini Vongole (clams, white wine sauce, grape tomatoes)
– Seafood Spaghetti or Risotto (shrimp, clams,calamari, spicy tomato sauce)
– Risotto (porcini mushrooms,burrata, parmesan)

– Branzino (pan seared mediterranean sea bass, served with green beans and cherry tomatoes)
– Salmone Grigliata (wild caught salmon, vegetables)
– Cioppino (mixed seafood, spicy tomato broth)
– Pollo Milanese (breaded chicken breast, arugula, cherry tomatoes)
– Pollo Toscana (marinated chicken, roasted potatoes and spinach)
– Pollo Parmigiana (breaded chicken breast, tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmesan)
– Pollo Marsala (chicken breast, marsala wine and mushrooms)
– Pollo Piccata (chicken breast dredged in flour and sauteed in lemon-butter and capers)
– Veal Marsala (veal scallopini, marsala wine and mushrooms)
– Veal Picatta (veal scallopini, lemon-butter sauce and capers)
– Filet Mignon (grilled sliced beef tenderloin, roasted potatoes)
– Brasato di Manzo (braised short ribs, potato dumplings, butter, sage)
– Melazana di Parmigiana (grilled eggplant, tomato sauce, mozzarella)

For more menus and information visit

Posted in Restaurant News | 4 Comments


This just in from Sushi Bar 29 (formerly Yume Sushi) at 1134 Chapala Street:

Hi Restaurant Guy,

I would like to share a dinner happy hour deal at Sushi Bar 29 with you. Happy hour is from 5 pm to 7 pm Monday to Saturday. The menu includes tap beer, hot or cold sake & wine, also serve some new appetizers (not on the regular menu) like crispy seaweed roll, crab nuggets, tempura green bean, etc. Please check out the website for more updated information.

Thank you,


Posted in Restaurant News | 2 Comments