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

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  1. Jonathan says:

    A pizza restaurant right next to it. An Italian restaurant with pizza directly across the street. Another Italian restaurant a half block down the street.

    Olive oil might be unsaturated, but the 1000 block of State Street sure is saturated with Italian restaurants.

    • Christine_Z28 says:

      I had a similar thought. As long as their pizza prices are more reasonable than next door ($65!) they should be fine on that front? LOL! Maybe we should call the 1000 block our unofficial Little Italy.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Christine_Z28. I like the idea of Little Italy. We can ask the city master planners to work a gondola into the State Street master plan for that block.

  3. Hefe says:

    Sherman Oaks location has solid reviews. Menu looks great.