Restaurant Guide

Santa Barbara Restaurants

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Question of the Day

Hi John, I wanted to ask if you happen to know who in Santa Barbara makes the patio dining structures for local restaurants. Like the one Crushcakes has downtown.

Thanks!
James

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Chef’s night out

Chef Justin West tells me that Handlebar Coffee Roasters at 2720 De La Vina Street is holding an event on June 6, 6-9 p.m. titled “Chef’s Night Out.” It will be an evening of unlimited food, wine, beer, and live music that benefits the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. Food stations will feature Grilled Sausages, Rabbit Terrine, Red Cabbage Gazpacho,
Ravioli, Watermelon Salad, Prawn & Crab Siu Mai, Mushroom Pot Stickers, Chinese Steam Cakes, Almond Sable, and Flourlesss Chocolate Cake. Tickets are available on eventbrite.com (search for “chef’s night out”) for $65.

Chef’s Night Out is a benefit that was started by West’s late father, Mike West in Eugene Oregon; the hometown of both Justin and Aaron (from Handlebar). They decided to bring this cocktail-style event to Santa Barbara for the benefit of men’s & women’s recovery programs. Come enjoy small bites prepared by local chefs and support a great cause!


Photos by Paul Wellman

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Foxtail furlough

Reader Jonathan says that there is a sign on the door of Foxtail Kitchen & Bar at 14 East Cota Street that says “closed for renovation until further notice. Exciting things coming.” I am also told that the windows are all papered over.

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See’s Candies coming to Camino Real Marketplace

Earlier this month reader Sande sent me a tip that See’s Candies will be opening a new store in the Calle Real Shopping Center in Goleta. I checked about a dozen empty storefronts in that plaza and all had a for-lease sign except one, next to Kyle’s Kitchen, which I proudly predicted would be the future home of the famous confectionery. Reader Natalie quickly shot that down, telling me that the space will soon be a home goods store called Macher Shop.

Reader Sweet Tooth then had a good idea. They realized that the best way to find information about See’s Candies is to, well, contact See’s Candies. So they did and received this response: “Thank you for visiting us at Sees.com. The Rumor is true! We are very excited to be opening a new location at Camino Real Marketplace, 7044 Market Place Drive, Goleta CA 93117. We estimate opening by late Summer or early Fall and hope to see you there! Sweetest Regards, Lisa Tate, See’s Candies.” I stopped by and found out that the See’s representative is referring to the former-GNC space immediately to the left of the Goleta Police Department and Camino Real Cinemas.


Photos by The Restaurant Guy

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Montecito misfortune

Reader Leonard says that he saw a bright red “Stop Work Notice” for Alma Fonda Fina restaurant, coming to 1024 Coast Village Road, the former home of Little Alex’s. I am told that the sign is dated April 19, 2022 and indicates that all construction must stop for lack of a permit.

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Question of the Day

Hi Restaurant Guy,
Is it my imagination or was there an Arby’s on the corner of Meigs Road and Cliff Drive way back in the 80s or 90s? I’m pretty sure one was there but no one can confirm that for me.
Thanks.
Les

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Mangione’s Italian Ice opens downtown

Way back in March 2019 reader Steve H. noticed that a sign for Mangione’s Italian Ice Company was posted in the window at 1222 State Street, the former home of Spoon. After a near-record three-year run in the Crystal Ball, reader Harry tells me that the dessert destination has finally opened. The longest tenant in the Crystal Ball was the former Sublime at 901 N. Milpas Street, which was “coming soon” for 5 years then stayed open for 5 months.

Italian ices, known as “granita” in Italy, do not require dairy products or eggs. They are made from fresh fruits or juices, sugar and water. Air beaten into the mixture is what distinguishes granita from a fruit-flavored chunk of solid ice. Italian ice is denser, so it can be scooped and eaten with a spoon or in a cone, just like ice cream. I am told that Italian ice is more like sorbet in texture and tends to have similar flavor recipes. Hours are Monday-Thursday noon-8 p.m., Friday-Saturday noon-10 p.m., and Sunday noon-7 p.m. Call (805) 968-0000.


Courtesy

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Paradise Store 2.0?

This just in from reader Joseph: “As the ‘Restaurant Guy’ I would like you to look into the recent sale of the Paradise Store [at 1 Paradise Road] and its potential of being a restaurant/store again. I live in the canyon and believe that the property has much potential as a ½ way stopping point for the recent wine/beer tasting industry in Santa Ynez. The always available customer base of locals and visitors in the Paradise Canyon area could make it a great local destination again. My understanding his that Derek Duncan (Seymour/Duncan family) was the purchaser.”


Photos by The Restaurant Guy

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Rare Society, a retro-inspired steakhouse, opening in June

Rare Society is set to open their steakhouse this summer in the Funk Zone at 214 State Street, the former home of Corazon Cocina, American Ale, Yankee Noodle, Rebar Coffee, Tri Tip Company, Union Ale Brewing Company, and Couchez. The third location of the San Diego-born concept, Rare Society is the brainchild of Chef Brad Wise who has combined inspiration from the infamous Vegas-style steakhouses of the early-2000s with his signature style of Santa Maria-style grilling. Chef Wise’s menu places proteins and seafood in the spotlight, with cuts of dry-aged ribeyes, American wagyu, and classic Filet Mignon complementing steakhouse specialties such as oyster Rockefeller, snow crab legs, and Caesar salad. Extra touches will include classic caviar service, a seafood tower, house-made sauces, and a dessert selection. Rare Society is brought to you by Trust Restaurant Group, a San Diego-based hospitality collective helmed by Chef Wise. The group’s portfolio includes five distinct concepts that run the gamut from fine dining to a butcher shop to an ice cream window.


Courtesy

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Shalhoob’s update

In April I wrote that Shalhoob’s has signed a lease to take over 5112 Hollister Avenue in Noleta, the former home of Woody’s BBQ. I called Funk Zone location and was told they are planning to open at the old Woody’s spot but don’t yet have a time line. Reader Eric says that a Shalhoob’s sign has just gone up, signaling that things are rolling.

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Red Piano food phased out?

Reader Tom says that he went to the Red Piano at 519 State Street recently and noticed they are no longer serving food. They used to have a contract with Paxi Pizza next-door, they said it has since ended but you are allowed to bring your own food in.

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Pascucci – Dine Out for Solstice

Summer Solstice is back and making plans for this year’s Parade and Festival.  One of Solstice’s favorite pre-parade events has been the “Dine-Out” fundraiser, in which fun loving and costume clad Solstice volunteers act as hosts, servers, bartenders and drink runners. The event is May 25th, 5-10 p.m. and The Restaurant Guy will again be a waiter.

Laura Knight, owner of Pascucci (and Solstice Board Member), again is turning over her fine establishment at 509 State Street to Solstice volunteers for an entire evening – with the exceptions of the kitchen (wisely!), which is staffed by the pros. Guests are encouraged to come in costume to enjoy dinner and drinks while they support the Summer Solstice Celebration.­ All sales from the evening (food, drink, tips) go directly to support this year’s Summer Solstice Parade held this year on Saturday, June 25 and the Festival at Alameda Park, June 24-25. The Staff Costume Theme is “SHINE.”

Reader Primetime, The Restaurant Kid, and The Restaurant Guy at the Fiesta-themed Pascucci fundraiser for Solstice in 2016.

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Carpinteria considers restrictions on chain stores

Reader Primetime says that the Carpinteria city council is asking for an ordinance that could restrict chain or franchise businesses in the future to keep the small town feel. That may include fast-food chains, a limited number of franchise operations, or a certain area that is preserved from these operators in order to keep the available locations open for local small businesses. I am told that Ojai has a similar ordinance with some restrictions and conditions, along with several other California small towns.

Read the full story

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Downtown McDonald’s to close

McDonald’s Corporation publicly announced that they are closing all 850 locations in Russia, yet, with little fanfare, their downtown Santa Barbara store was the first to get the axe. I don’t believe the two events are related. Reader Primetime says the McDonald’s at 1221 State Street, across from the Granada Theatre, is closing in July.


Photo by Primetime

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Red Pepper location on De la Vina may have fizzled

Readers Brendan, Bill, Laura, Dianne, and Richard tell me that it looks like plans for a Red Pepper location on De la Vina Street, breathlessly reported in this column in June 2021, have been scrapped. I am told that the alcohol license notice is gone from the window and the banner that said “Coming Soon” has been flipped around with “For Sale” written on it. Last summer I called the popular Red Pepper’s worldwide headquarters at 282 Orange Avenue Goleta and they said that they are opening a second location at 2840 De la Vina Street, in the former home of New Si Chuan Garden, Yen Ching Restaurant, and Andy’s Chuck Wagon. Instead Red Pepper opened restaurant #2 last December at 966 Embarcadero Del Mar Ste. C in Isla Vista in the former home of Dumpling King.


Upper photo by reader Richard. Lower photo by reader Laura.

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See’s Candies coming to Calle Real?

Here is a message from reader Sande: “See’s Candies will be opening a new store in the Calle Real shopping plaza. My neighbor’s house is a vacation rental and yesterday two See’s construction crews arrived and will stay there till July, while they work on the new store.”

In case this report is true I stopped by Calle Real in Goleta to take a look. There are about a dozen empty storefronts and all but one have a for-lease sign on the front. The one without a sign is at 5731 Calle Real, immediately to the right of Kyle’s Kitchen, and the windows are papered over. Boxes of supplies and a ladder, ready for action, are the lonely occupants in an otherwise empty room. The confectionery has stores locally in La Cumbre Plaza and Paseo Nuevo Mall, and, if the rumor is true, this would mark See’s Candies return to Goleta. Reader Suzanne says that the dessert destination briefly had a storefront on the north side of Calle Real a few years ago.

See’s Candies is an American manufacturer and distributor of candy, particularly chocolates. There are 297 See’s Candies locations in the United States as of last year and the state with the most number of See’s Candies locations is our own, with 202 locations, which is 68% of all See’s Candies locations in America. It was founded by Charles See, his wife Florence, and his mother Mary in Los Angeles in 1921. The company is now headquartered in South San Francisco and has been owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Corporation since 1972.


Photos by The Restaurant Guy

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Carp Moon Cafe opens

Reader Stef let me know that Carp Moon Cafe has opened at 4991 Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria, the former home of Juice N Things and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. I am told that the restaurant and coffee shop is having a soft opening this week. Seasonal and local is the theme at Carp Moon Cafe. “We refuse to compromise on quality in our Coffee Shop,” says owner Laura Samperio. “That’s why we source our fresh ingredients from local farmers’ markets. No matter what time of year, you can be sure you’re eating the best of the season.” Carp Moon Cafe is available for dine-in or take-out. “We have worked to package our meals in a way that lets you bring the quality of our meals into your home,” says Samperio. “We always love to see you in person, but even when we can’t we ensure that your dining experience is top notch. With many years of experience serving in the finest restaurants, our staff is excited to present their vision to you and all our guests.” Carp Moon Cafe is open 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.


Courtesy

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Finch & Fork reopens

Press release:

Kimpton Canary Hotel today announces the reopening of its fully renovated signature restaurant Finch & Fork with a brand-new space, concept and menus by Executive Chef Craig Riker, bringing a diverse, California-inspired culinary experience to the thriving Santa Barbara restaurant scene.

Located within the Kimpton Canary Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara, the reopening marks a new era in the evolution of the iconic restaurant, which originally opened in April 2013. Today, Finch & Fork is poised to be the go-to destination for a refined, yet approachable meal reflecting the bounty of local farms, ranches and the Pacific Ocean. The new space, designed by Los Angeles-based Beleco, takes inspiration from the coast with deep blues and aqua marines against earthy textures and finishes such as leather and terra cotta. With an aesthetic that is warm and inviting, yet glamorous, Finch & Fork echoes the experience of dining in an elegant California estate.

Complementing Chef Riker’s menus is a world class wine program, overseen by Beverage Manager Jazz Moralez, showcasing the best of the Central Coast with a selection of over 100 wines and local beer. A thoughtfully curated cocktail list includes Finch & Fork’s twist on classics and spectacular signature libations such as a Maple Old Fashioned, an infusion of maple syrup, Suntory Toki Whiskey and black lemon bitters; the Rosefinch, Malfy Gin Rosa, Compari, Grapefruit and monkfruit; and a Cabrillo Boulevardier, featuring Monkey Shoulder scotch, Campari, Carpano Antica vermouth and orange peel – among others.

“We are beyond proud to reintroduce Finch & Fork to Santa Barbara with Executive Chef Craig Riker at the helm,” said Tim Thomas, Director of Food and Beverage. “The elevated design, refreshed concept and compelling, locally-inspired menus are sure to resonate with both our wonderful community and our cherished guests.”

Chef Riker has pulled from his background across the Southeast and the West Coast to curate menus that offer a mix of comforting and crave-worthy dishes, highlighting locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

Dinner is relaxed and elegant, with appetizers, entrees and sides such as Deviled Eggs with pickled shallots, Cajun maple pork belly and chives, White Sweet Potato Soup with truffle and espellette; and Bellwether Farms Ricotta Gnocchi with pancetta, grilled king trumpet mushrooms and parmesan cream; a daily Fresh Local Catch served with roasted, caper-golden raisin and pine nuts; Lemon Herb Broccolini with preserved lemon, Calabrian chili and garlic; and comfort food favorite Mac & Cheese with orecchiette pasta and fontina cheese sauce. Signature dishes include Riker’s Fried Chicken “Oysters,” the coveted tender, juicy pieces of dark meat on a ROCKY Free Range chicken served with potato puree and hot honey sauce; local Diver Scallops with Acquerello risotto, Serrano ham, Roman artichokes and Grana Padano; and plump local Hope Ranch Mussels in a coconut curry broth, served with grilled sourdough.

A robust brunch menu includes a selection of artisan toasts with toppings such as avocado or almond butter and banana; classic egg dishes, smoked salmon and bagel, and specialties such as a standout Chilaquiles or Short Rib and Potato Hash with poached eggs. Beverages include a full list of wine and cocktails, featuring a variety of spritzes and sparkling wine; along with coffee and espresso drinks.

Finch & Fork’s whimsical dessert selection, also from the culinary imagination of Chef Riker, include sweet twists on nostalgic flavors such as with the Fire Roasted Milk Shake with caramelized banana and salted caramel, a S’mores Panna Cotta with marshmallow fluff and graham cracker crumble; and Cinnamon Sugar Churros with Dulce De Leche and dark chocolate dipping sauce.

Finch & Fork offers indoor seating for 122 bar and lounge seating for 51, with daily specials and curated wine experiences, and also offers full event buyouts Sunday-Thursday. Finch & Fork is located within Kimpton Canary Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara at 31 West Carrillo Street.

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XO Santa Barbara Ribbon Cutting

XO Santa Barbara at 121 East Yanonali Street will have their grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, May 12th, 3:30-5:30 p.m. XO offers seared brisket-blend smashburgers on a buttered potato bun, crispy fried chicken sandwiches, fresh salads, fries, milkshakes, and soft serve ice cream.

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Rodeo Room whiskey lounge opens next week

If you have ever been to the Brewhouse or Neighborhood, you may have failed to notice that there is a nook between the two, hidden in plain sight. This space, at 231 West Montecito Street, will be the home of the Rodeo Room whiskey lounge starting next week. Rodeo Room is brought to you by Grace Austin, who for years ran the recently-closed Little Kitchen on West Ortega Street, Colton Krueger, and Dudley Michael, founder of The Shop restaurant on Milpas Street.

“Our idea, for me especially, was to answer the question: where can I go have a cocktail that’s a higher-end level and eat a meal that’s not fried bar food all the time?” says Michael. “On top of that I don’t want to feel like I am sitting in a library where the music is turned all the way down. Trying to create a place where there is energy and a vibe is sort of the goal here.”

The Rodeo Room, which has a custom-built old-world interior, offers a menu where everything is made from scratch, including Grilled Little Gem Caesar Salad, Street Tacos, Salmon Poke Tacos, Egg Rolls, Burgers, Wings, and more. Food prices will top out at $16 and cocktails will be $14-$16. Drinks will focus on whiskey, specifically Old Fashion cocktails.

Rodeo Room will be open Wedneday-Monday from 4 p.m. to late. Food will be available until 11 p.m. Rodeo Room will offer “Wasabi Wednesdays” where you can pickup pre-ordered sushi boxes provided by chef Kevin Slemmons who offers a similar service at the Pickle Room on Canon Perdido Street. On Tuesdays, when Rodeo Room is closed, the space may transform into a pop-up that’s a totally different business that has yet to be determined.


Courtesy

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Mariscos Santa Barbara opens

A new restaurant named Mariscos Santa Barbara has opened at 5892 Hollister Avenue, the former home of Wingman Rodeo, Gimeal Cafe, and The Natural Cafe. Karlos Gonzales, a chef who learned his craft at a culinary school in Mexico as well as at various restaurants in Santa Barbara including Brown Pelican, El Torito, and Bacara, is at the helm. “We are trying to bring a new flavor to Old Town Goleta, the Mariscos flavors which are Mexican seafood like ceviche. You find those places in Mexico when you go to the beach.” The eatery also offers a variety of Micheladas beverages which are made from a mixture of cold light beer, fresh lime juice, hot sauce, a savory ingredient like Worcestershire sauce, and it is served in a salt-rimmed glass.

The menu includes a range of seafood platters such as Camarones (shrimp) A La Diabla, Camarones Al Mojo De Ajo, Camarones Empanizados, Camarones Zarandeados, Filete A La Diabla, and Filete Al Mojo De Ajo, each available for $17.95. The seafood taco menu lists Shrimp Baja Tacos $15, Fish Baja Tacos $14, Shrimp Crispy Tacos $15, Tacos Campechanos $16, Tacos De Pulpo $15, and Tacos Gobernador $15.95. The cold food menu includes Fish Ceviche $19.95, Shrimp Ceviche $21.95, Ceviche Campechano $23.95, and a variety of Ceviche Tostadas, Cocteles, and Aguachiles. Kids menu items are available for $8.50. Expanded offerings outside the seafood realm is planned, including chicken salads.

Mariscos Santa Barbara is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.


Photos by The Restaurant Guy plus courtesy.

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Carp Moon Cafe coming to Carpinteria

Readers Primetime and Sarah let me know that Carp Moon Cafe is coming to the former space of Juice N Things at 4991 Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria. Before it was Juice N Things, this was the long-time home of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf which closed in May 2020. There are “coming soon” banners hanging outside the store and it looks like furniture and other items are being arranged within the store. Carp Moon Cafe, which is brought to you by the same owner of now-closed Juice N Things, is currently seeking job applicants on Craigslist.


Photos by Primetime

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Crush Bar one-year anniversary

Crush Bar & Tap opened on May 29, 2021 at 1129 A State Street, in the historical San Marcos Courtyard spot previously occupied by Armada Wine Merchant. Owner Shannon Gaston sent me a message about how they are soon celebrating the end of their first lap around the sun:

Hi John,

We are so excited to announce that our One Year Anniversary at Crush Bar & Tap is coming up and we have some really fun events planned for it. If you have not been to Crush Bar yet, we are a family owned bar (The Crushcakes Fam) serving locally sourced wine, beer, charcuterie, snacks and cupcakes (of course!). And we have some really unique cocktails as well. We offer Happy Hour everyday from open until 6 p.m., 7 days a week.

Here is our Anniversary Event line up:
– Friday May 27th – Drag Queen Show hosted by Angel D’Mon featuring FREE giveaways, raffle prizes, complimentary cupcakes and more.
– Saturday May 28th – “Comedy is a Drag” Stand-Up hosted by Sam Bear
– Sunday May 29th – Live Music (artist tbd)

Come meet your Crush at Crush!

Thank you,
Shannon Gaston
Crushcakes Cafe
Crush Bar & Tap


Top: Owner Shannon Gaston (left) and the crew at Crush Bar & Tap, 1129A State Street. Courtesy photos.

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Finch & Fork set to reopen May 10

Reopening after a full renovation in Spring 2022, restaurant Finch & Fork is the reimagined vision of Executive Chef Craig Riker, with menus reflecting the multicultural flavors of California and featuring fresh seafood and sustainable produce. Complementing Chef Riker’s cuisine is a wine program highlighting Central Coast vineyards, along with handcrafted cocktails, spirit-free libations and a robust local beer selection. Fresh new interiors by Los Angeles-based Beleco design group are Mediterranean-meets-California inspired, saturated in deep blues and aqua marines against earthy textures and finishes, giving the new space “the feeling of an elegant estate on the American Riviera.”

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Chick-fil-A introduces new cloudberry drink

The popular fast food chain available locally on upper State Street, and eventually, on Calle Real, has announced that it would be adding the Cloudberry Sunjoy drink at restaurants nationwide starting immediately. The Cloudberry Sunjoy drink combines the tart cloudberry and cherry blossom with Chick-fil-A’s Sunjoy drink – made of the chain’s signature lemonade and sweetened iced tea.

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Question of the Day

Hi John,
I have a question for your readers. I’m trying to recall the name of the ice cream parlor that was on Anapamu between State and Chapala in the 1980s. If I remember correctly, the name started with an “L” and was a popular evening spot to meet friends. Thanks,
Ted

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Saint Bibiana pizzeria opens downtown

Reader Nathan tells me that Saint Bibiana pizzeria has opened and that last Saturday he enjoyed an amazing pie at 17 West Ortega Street, the former home of Little Kitchen which closed March 31st. Saint Bibiana is owned by Cindy Black, who opened Blue Owl restaurant in June 2012 then sold it in April 2018.

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Lighthouse Coffee opens in Turnpike Center

I was driving down Turnpike Road as I do every Saturday morning and noticed umbrellas and customers dining outside of the new Lighthouse Coffee at Turnpike Center, the home of Vons Market, Rusty’s Pizza, and several other eateries coming soon. Last February Turnpike Center lost the area’s only java joint, Goleta Coffee Company, which closed after decades in business.


Photo by The Restaurant Guy

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Daniel’s Bakery closed?

Readers suggest that Daniel’s Mexican Bakery 2714 De La Vina Street has ended their decades-long run at 2714 De la Vina Street. The bakery’s phone number is now disconnected.

Daniel’s Bakery on upper De La Vina has appeared closed recently. Not sure if it is permanently closed or renovations or what. Might want to take a look.
– Brendan

Daniel’s Bakery on De La Vina next to Edomasa looks to be closed. Any information on that?
– Maureen


Photos by The Restaurant Guy

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Loca Vivant Kitchen coming to El Mercado Shopping Center

When Goleta Coffee Company at 177 South Turnpike Road closed last February, co-tenant Loca Vivant Kitchen started looking for a new home. “Although the shopping center management has chosen a new coffee shop to operate in the Turnpike Center, we are optimistic and excited about the future for Loca Vivant Kitchen,” said co-owner Stacy Rebich Hespanha at the time. “We value our customers and are looking forward to serving them through Loca Vivant Kitchen as a wholesale vegan-friendly, gluten-free bakery, offering locally-grown, prepared foods.”

Well, Loca Vivant Kitchen has indeed found their new home and I am happy to report that it will be in the El Mercado Shopping Center at 4141 State Street Ste. E1, the former home Restaurant OPEN, Kobachi Izakaya Dining, and Kampai. Restaurant OPEN closed earlier this year after nine years in business. Loca Vivant Kitchen shares space with Menchaca Chocolates of Santa Barbara.

I am told that Loca Vivant Kitchen will have have their food items distributed wholesale, available online for pickup or eaten at benches on the patio, and also can be purchased at popups around town. They hope to open by June.


Photos by The Restaurant Guy

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Wine Legend Pierre Lafond Dies

Pierre Lafond, the Montreal-born entrepreneur who ushered in the region’s modern era of commercial winemaking by founding Santa Barbara Winery 60 years ago, died last Sunday morning. He was 92 years old.

View the story in the Santa Barbara Independent

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Sneak Peek: former home of Outback Steakhouse in Goleta


Photo by The Restaurant Guy

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New Mexican restaurant coming to Old Town Goleta

A new Mexican restaurant is coming to 5892 Hollister Avenue in Goleta, the former home of Wingman Rodeo, Gimeal Cafe, and The Natural Cafe. Karlos Gonzales, a chef who learned his craft at a culinary school in Mexico as well as at various restaurants in Santa Barbara, will be at the helm. Gonzales had worked with catering service Mariscos Titas earlier this year to open at that address but the partnership ended and I am told they went separate ways. Rumor has it that the new restaurant might be serving Mexican seafood.

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Ballard Inn update

This just in from reader Tyler:

Just wanted to let you know that The Ballard Inn [at 2436 Baseline Avenue in Ballard, CA] changed hands a couple of months ago. They have an excellent chef who is creating some Creole dishes that are amazing. It is one of my new favorite restaurants here in the Santa Ynez Valley.

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Sazon Latino restaurant opens on the west side

A new Mexican restaurant has opened on the west side at 1417 San Andres Street, the former home of Su Casa. Sazon Latino, a spinoff from Sazon Latino Catering, will have a ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration on Wednesday, April 28th from 5-8 p.m.

“I grew up in the kitchen helping my mom cook and have over the years worked at several different hotels and restaurants,” says owner/chef Omar Mozqueda. “I always dreamed of opening my own restaurant and like many businesses Sazon Latino Catering was born during the pandemic. After a couple years my good friend Roberto Mendoza and I decided to team up and open Sazon Latino Restaurant. With his knowledge in meats and my passion for cooking we created a menu based on what we know best, Mexican food and more.”

Sazon Latino is open daily from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. Call (805) 722-7721


Courtesy

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Photos from the field: Casa Comal

Here are pictures from reader Steve H. of Casa Comal which opened on April 15 at 505 State Street:

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Local opens in Montecito

Last December the Montecito Journal reported that a restaurant named “Local” is coming to 1187 Coast Village Road in Montecito, formerly Khao Kaeng. Entrepreneur Chris Chiarappa is helping bring the project to fruition. In recent years Chiarappa has opened Corner Tap, Lighthouse Coffee, Mesa Burger, and M. Kitchen. Last Saturday reader Stephen was walking to Ca’Dario Montecito and noticed that Local that was having a soft opening and said that they are having their real opening this week. Local is open 11:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturdays. Call (805) 770-2269 or visit localmontecito.com

Music schedule:
4/27 Wednesday David Segall
5/2 Monday Pete Muller
5/4 Wednesday Jacob Cole
5/9 Monday Alexandra Riorden
5/11 Wednesday Pete Muller and the Kindred Souls
5/16 Monday David Segall
5/18 Wednesday Luminesse
5/23 Monday Lindsey Marie

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Charity Dinner for Ukraine

On Wednesday, May 4th, Coast Range restaurant at 1635 Mission Drive in Solvang is having a fundraising dinner to benefit World Central Kitchen’s Ukraine efforts. World Central Kitchen is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters.

Five courses will be offered by the chefs: Lincoln Carson, Anthony Carron & Steven Fretz of Coast Range (Solvang); Jeff Olsson of Industrial Eats (Buellton); Budi Kazali of Ramen Kotori (Solvang); Clark Staub of Full of Life Flatbread (Los Alamos); and Luca Crestanelli of S.Y. Kitchen and Nella Kitchen & Bar (Santa Ynez and Los Olivos). Rajat Parr is gathering winemakers including Whitecraft, Stolpman, D’Alonso-Curran, Domain de la Cote, and LoFi. There will be one winemaker matched per course.

Tickets are available for $250 per person at coastrangeforukraine.eventbrite.com. Schedule: 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Canapes and beverages plus a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:00 p.m. 100% of proceeds from the fundraising dinner will go directly to World Central Kitchen.

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Happy Hour returns to Pascucci

Pascucci at 509 State Street is bringing back their Happy Hour which will be offered Monday-Friday 3-5 p.m. They will be featuring:  a signature house Margaritas made with 100% agave Rancho Alegre tequila and fresh lime juice for $5, House Chardonnay and Cabernet $5, Well cocktails $5, and bottle beer and white claws $4. Pascucci offers pet friendly outdoor seating with a large covered patio, seating on State Street, as well as indoor seating.

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First Ever Crawfish Boils at Little Dom’s Seafood in Carpintaria

This just in from 686 Linden Avenue:

We’re pleased to announce that Little Dom’s Seafood, a top locally-sourced seafood destination in Carpinteria, will be hosting its very first celebratory Crawfish Boil events on Saturday, April 30 and Saturday, May 14 from 11:00am – 4:00pm, and we’d love to work with you to share these southern-inspired culinary feasts with your readers!

Growing up in New Orleans, crawfish boils were an annual childhood tradition for New Orleans-native, and Little Dom’s Seafood’s co-owner and executive chef, Brandon Boudet. Having hosted dozens of Crawfish Boils in the past, Chef Boudet is excited to celebrate this year’s mudbug season and bring his best-of-the-bayou boil and big easy-inspired eats to Carpinteria for the first time! The seaside sister restaurant to Los Angeles’ Italian food institution, Little Dom’s, Little Dom’s Seafood will be hosting the Crawfish Boils in the restaurants breezy outdoor parking lot, which will complete with newspaper-lined picnic tables, cocktail specials, Abita beer and locally sourced wines.

Known for offering some of the freshest, locally-sourced, seasonal seafood dishes in Southern California, Little Dom’s Seafood’s exclusive Crawfish Boil menu will feature:

  • Alligator Meatballs ($14)
  • Mustard Green Salad with Toasted pecans, Roasted Yams and Creole Mustard vinaigrette ($14)
  • Crawfish with Corn & Potatoes ($M/P)
  • Chargrilled Oysters ($21)
  • Jambalaya Balls ($11)
  • Roast Beef Po Boy ($14)
  • Oysters on the 1/2 shell ($M/P)
  • Grilled Shrimp & Pork patty with Creole Marinated Shredded Mustard Greens on Toasted Brioche Bun ($14)
  • Roast Beef Po boy ($14)
  • Fried Oyster Mushrooms Po Boy ($14)
  • Boozy New Orleans SnoBalls ($8)
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