Reunion Kitchen opens at East Beach

Years in the making, Reunion Kitchen has opened at the Cabrillo Pavilion, 1118 East Cabrillo Boulevard in the space formerly occupied by the East Beach Grill. Originally the new tenant was set to be La Sirena restaurant then Reunion Kitchen took over the lease last May. Reunion Kitchen has locations in Anaheim Hills and Laguna Beach. “Nice table set up for outside and a pretty extensive menu!” says reader Tom. “Looks like lunch only, with weekend brunch and dinner coming soon.”

“A place where you can unwind over food or catch up with friends over a drink,” is how the business is described at reunionkitchen.net. “A place to disconnect from the always connected world and experience superior service and value. A place worth talking about. Modern Comfort informs everything we do at Reunion. It’s innovative interpretations on the foods you love.”


Photos by reader Tom S.

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11 Responses to Reunion Kitchen opens at East Beach

  1. Dawn OBrien says:

    Nice blue railings! – for 1 1/2 years!!!! Kind of makes me skeptical….

  2. Vic says:

    For any of us who fondly remember relaxing at the laid-back East Beach Grill on a sunny weekend, this is a sad development. Ooo, another joint offering a $17 hamburger or $14 French toast.* Just what Santa Barbara needs. I’m sure the Angelinos will love it.

    *(Based on the Anaheim menu. The SB menu isn’t up yet.)

    • JJ says:

      Vic, I am just curious where you buy your beef? Considering the cost of beef, cheese, labor, fryer oil and SB oceanfront rent…what should a burger cost in an environment that preps it, stores it, cooks it, serves it and cleans it up for you? Funny, 10 years ago my house was valued at $550k, now its valued at $1.6 million. CA min wage was $8/hr, yet we all expect a burger to cost today what it cost 10 years ago?

      • Brendan says:

        I don’t know about Vic, but for me it is not really a matter of the price of beef, but the price point and vibe of the restaurant. A burger at The Habit is about $6. Okay maybe that’s a smaller burger. I went to Jack’s Bagels the other day and had a pretty hefty and tasty burger for $12 which came with a salad.

        It’s not like a burger automatically has to cost $17 just because of the price of beef. The question is are you operating a casual beach hamburger stand with a low-key vibe that is accessible to locals, or are you running an upscale restaurant that is targeted at tourist dollars? What I find sad (and perhaps Vic does too) is that the East Beach Grill was closer to the former and this new thing is the latter. The shift towards more expensive meals is not due to the price of ingredients, it’s due to restaurateurs targeting a higher price point and trying to justify it with fancier ambience, artfully plated meals, etc. That kind of restaurant has its place but it’s nice to also have places that offer affordable, no-frills food. (Besides, who needs fancy decor with a location like that?)

        • Vic says:

          Brendan, thanks, that’s exactly what I was trying to get across. We used to grab a great burger at East Beach Grill in our bathing suits and flip-flops. I don’t see that happening at Reunion. So sad. They may end up being very successful, but they’ll do it without my money.

  3. Alan Smithee says:

    Lucky for JJ that he has benefitted from the real estate boom and is comfortable with the idea of a $17 hamburger. Sadly, I hear from many local proprietors of Santa Barbara restaurants that the cost of rents in this town are forcing them to turn to tourists for their business, and that they are no longer interested in attracting Santa Barbarans to their locally-owned establishments. If this attitude spreads any further, I guess I’ll just have to crack open my copy of _The Way to Cook_ by our beloved former resident, Julia Child, and stay home.

  4. JJ says:

    Actually Alan, I didn’t benefit from the boom…except on paper. If I sold, would have to leave our beloved city as $1.6 wouldn’t even find me a condo nowadays and that was not an option for me. Just saying that a full service restaurant, with current rents and market commodity prices…yes, its going to be $17. Why did E.B. Grill leave? Because the city wanted more rent and wouldn’t give them a break. A percentage rent on top of base rent (pretty sure that space is over $15-20k/month now) even EB wouldn’t be able to sell a cheap burger and stay in business, which is why he was smart and didn’t try..and is why, a new proprietor has to charge their prices. (I believe I read only 2 businesses bid on that RFP..imagine that, a prime location…and only 2, out of town businesses nonetheless, would even consider that rent) Its not that our proprietors aren’t interested in attracting us, we just don’t want to pay a price that they need to charge in order to stay in business and for the tourists, that is a normal price.
    so, just taking a shot in the dark here..what will happen to State Street rents when the current property owners are allowed to offer tenants “free” patio space to expand on a closed pedestrian promenade (once it is finally approved by the property owners…I mean the new committee advising the council)? I am banking that most will raise their rents even higher and you will see that happen as soon as they can. Or even better, if they are allowed to add 1-2 floors for residential above the street level retail…and they choose to cash in and sell it..who ever finances that purchase will demand higher rents be charged (which will in turn at least bring a pretty property tax revenue increase to our city coffers).I think Pascucci’s building is now for sale at a cool $3 mill..when that lease runs out, let’s see what happens next….these high rates are definitely going higher in the immediate future, and when the promenade and new residential units becomes official, the sky is the limit!.

  5. Hefe says:

    I dont think $17 is a lot for a burger with full service in a prime location.

    I wish my favorite places would raise their prices so they stay in business.

    This idea the higher prices are only affordable to tourists? Not true.

  6. Gary Sudder says:

    More touristy traps for Los Angeles-ers and others. No thanks to $17+, +tax+ tip.

  7. Gary Sudder says:

    You only make $ when you sell. All those websites are jokes with bloated prices to getcha emotional and excited to buy buy buy and sell sell sell. After all the fees, repairs, maintenance, taxes, inspections, real turd commissions, etc.etc.reality is the HUD-1 closing sheet.

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