Chef Lauren Herman and her wife Chef Christina Olufson, have opened Bossie’s Kitchen at 901 North Milpas Street, an address locally famous for being adorned with a cow on the roof. The building was constructed in 1939 to be the creamery and processing plant for Live Oak Dairy.

Bossie’s Kitchen serves dinner and will try to start lunch service mid-next week. “We are into our third week and its been great,” said Olufson. “We started off with dinner, and happy hour, and we have been getting a lot of love from the neighborhood. The cuisine is Farmer’s Market, Californian, we do a little bit of everything. I’m half Korean so there’s few of those influences on the menu, like the Korean fried chicken sandwich. We have a different special every night of the week. ”

People can order items at the counter to go or dine at the restaurant. Current offerings include Hot Sandwiches (grilled cheese, Korean fried chicken, pork belly, meatballs), Cold Sandwiches (pita wrap, roasted turkey, slices salami), Plates (roasted market vegetables, grilled salmon, grilled hamburger), Soups, Salads, and Sides.

Bossie’s Kitchen is open Tuesday-Sunday. Happy hour is 4:30-6 p.m. and dinner is 5 p.m. -close. Visit

1 Comment


Reader Primetime tells me that Bossie’s Kitchen has opened at 901 North Milpas Street, the building famous for having a cow on the roof.



S.Y. Kitchen at 1110 Faraday Street in Santa Ynez presents an evening in the Valley celebrating the holiday of San Valentino on Thursday, February 14, with specials and Valentine’s Day cocktails for an evening of romance. Executive Chef/Partner Luca Crestinelli and his culinary team prepare specials  including Maine Lobster with Citrus, Baby Carrots and Mint; Pappardelle with Sweet Onion, Scallops and Caviar; Arctic Char with Spring Pea Sauce, New Potatoes and Truffles; and Duck Confit with Jerusalem Artichokes, Broccolini and Port. Couples can cuddle in the courtyard at night by the outdoor fire pit before or after dinner, and try an Aperitivo, Digestivo, Valentino with Aperol, Vanilla-Infused Vodka, Lime, Raspberry and Prosecco. In addition to the Valentine’s Day Specials, S.Y. Kitchen will offer their complete à la carte menu on Valentine’s Day for those that prefer the restaurant’s signature dishes. The first dinner seating is at 5 p.m. and reservations highly recommended. Call 691-9794

Photo of Chef Luca Crestanelli, credit: Rob Stark

Leave a comment


Here is a press release from Bettina which opened last October at 1014 Coast Village Road in Montecito.

WHO: Brendan Smith, Rachel Greenspan and Bettina in Montecito, California

WHAT: Husband and wife team Brendan Smith and Rachel Greenspan present Valentine’s Day on Thursday, February 14, 2019, at their new restaurant, Bettina, located at the popular Montecito Country Mart in Santa Barbara. The evening showcases their exceptional farmers’ market-driven à la carte menu for romantics desiring an informal celebration for the international holiday for lovers.

Bettina’s menu includes their signature naturally leavened Wood-Fired Bread with House-Made Butter (add-ons Fennel Salame & Pickles; Mortadella & Pickled Mustard; or Ligurian Anchovies); and Ricotta Crostini with Cara Cara Orange, Fennel & Pea Tendrils. Or try a Spuntini of Marinated Olives with Lemon & Thyme; Chicken Liver Mousse with Market Pickles; Fried Calamari with Aioli; Fried Cauliflower with Ranch; or Winter Squash Arancini with Calabrian Chile.

Antipasto dishes are served with House Sourdough Focaccia and include Burrata with Swiss Chard & Hazelnut Pesto; Prosciutto with Marcona Almonds, Silk Chile & Olive Oil; and Meatballs al Forno with Harissa Tomato Sauce.

Verdure & Secondi includes Roasted Carrots with Labneh, Pistachios & Sumac; Broccolini with Capers, Ricotta Salata & Pine Nuts; Wild Shrimp with Calabrian Butter, & Heirloom Beans; and Half Chicken Cacciatore with Coarse-Ground Polenta (for two).

Pizza selections are made from Brendan Smith’s dough that is naturally leavened, made only with organic flour and fermented for a minimum of 48 hours. Specialties include Pepperoni with Mozzarella, Crushed Tomato, Chili Oil & Hollister Ranch Honey; Ricotta with Marinated Kale, Calabrian Chiles, Maitake Mushrooms & Pecorino; Sausage with Provolone Piccante, Crushed Tomato, Winter Greens & Olives; Fingerling Potato with Raclette, Pancetta, Radicchio & Green Onion; Chanterelle with Sottocenere Truffle Cheese, Mozzarella, Fontina & Thyme; Sunchoke with Aged Cheddar, Escarole, Torpedo Onions, Silk Chili & Sesame; Kabocha Squash with Ricotta, Mozzarella, Broccolini, Garlic, Parmesan & Crushed Red Pepper; and for kids – a classic Cheese Pizza.

Pricing ranges from $5 – $15 for starters and $10 – $32 for Secondi and Pizzas. Expect stellar cocktail offerings perfectly crafted for Valentine’s Day and decadent desserts to share. Bettina will also serve its à la carte menus for lunch and dinner Friday through Sunday for those celebrating the holiday over the weekend. For reservations visit Bettina’s website or their partner reservation system Tock, or by calling the restaurant at 805.770.2383. Reservations recommended, walk-ins are welcome.

Courtesy photo of owners Brendan Smith and Rachel Greenspan

Leave a comment


Next month, on Thursday, February 14, couples everywhere will go out to honor Valentine’s Day and The Monarch (1295 Coast Village Road) will be an option to consider. The husband and wife duo, Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee, are offering a special Valentine’s Day menu for $125/person that is meant to share as a couple, or with groups of friends who want to celebrate together. 

The Valentine’s Day family-style tasting menu includes:

  • Oysters on the Half Shell, with Caviar and Champagne
  • Tuna Tartar on Lavash
  • Beet Gnocchi with walnut sage butter, roasted walnut, Anacapa, black truffle
  • King Trumpet and Calamari with rapini, pickled pepper, rutabaga puree, vadouvan
  • Black Cod with baby artichoke, olive, leeks, pine nuts
  • Quail with dates, wild rice, grains of paradise, honey
  • 72-Hour Short Rib with cauliflower, rainbow chard, red wine glaze
  • “Chocolate Dipped Strawberry”
  • Selection of House-made Chocolate Bon-Bons

For reservations call 869-0789 or use Open Table.

Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee at The Monarch. Photo by Jakob N. Layman



Chef Justin West, the culinary talent behind award-winning Julienne and Wildwood Kitchen, has opened a new barbecue restaurant named Soul Cal Smokehouse in the Santa Barbara Public Market, 38 West Victoria Street, in the space formerly occupied by Belcampo Meat Co. They must be doing something right because they were packed when I stopped by and Yelp is full of 5-star reviews. Reader George says “Barbecue is back in Santa Barbara, thank God!! Everything was terrific: hot hot wings, juicy ribs, rich Mac n Cheese. I would buy the BBQ sauce to take home if I could. The Public Market is really picking up,” where reader Anne says “Soul Cal Smokehouse is about to send Santa Barbara  BBQ places to BBQ school. The best BBQ I have had in SB.”

The menu includes Smoked Meats $5-14 (Brisket, Tri-Tip, Pulled Pork, Pork Belly, Ham, Chicken, Turkey), Baby Back Ribs $17/lb, House Made Sausages $3-4 (Bratwurst, Jalapeno-Cheese, Turkey Andouille, Soul Cal hots, Kielbasa), Sampler Platters $17-32 (Chef’s Plate, BBQ Sampler, The BBQ King), Soup $11 (Soul Cal Chili, Daily Rotating  Soup), Salads $10-12 (Kale, Thai Cobb, Soul Cal Cobb, Kale Caesar, Little Gem Wedge), Burgers $12-14 (Cheese Burger, Bacon Blue Burger, Mushroom Burger, Patty Melt, Cowboy Burger, Beyond Burger), and Sandwiches $9-14 (Smokehouse Chop, Brisket Sandwich, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Fried Chicken Sandwich, Pork Belly Bahn Mi, Salmon Sandwich). Sides incluse Cole Slaw, Potato Salad, Smokehouse Caviar, BBQ Beans, Braised Greens, Mac & Cheese, BBQ Tempeh, Corn Bread, Fries, and Salad.



After intense concentration and a wave of my hand over the all-knowing crystal ball, my eatery oracle has revealed a list of food and drink locations appearing in your future:

  • Alito’s. 509 State St. (formerly Cadiz)\
  • Bossie’s Kitchen, 901 N. Milpas St. (formerly Mundos)
  • Bristol Farms, 3855 State St. (formerly Vons at La Cumbre Plaza)
  • CA’ Dario, 1187 Coast Village Rd., Montecito (formerly Giovanni’s)
  • California Taco, 956 Embarcadero Del Norte, Isla Vista (formerly Grilled Cheese Truck)
  • Choppa Poke 716 State St.(formerly MAC Cosmetics)
  • Copenhagen Sausage Garden, the Funk Zone
  • Cubaneo, 418 State St. (formerly India House)
  • Fala Bar vegan restaurant, 38 W. Victoria St. (SB Public Market)
  • Flightline, 521 Firestone Rd., Goleta (replacing High Sierra Grill)
  • Institution Ale, 516 State St. (formerly Caffe Primo)
  • Jeannine’s Bakery, 7060 Hollister Ave., Goleta (formerly Dickey’s Barbecue Pit)
  • La Michoacána, 21 N. Milpas St.
  • Leadbetter, 23 E. Cabrillo Blvd (formerly Wheel Fun and L.T. Cinnamon)
  • Little Dom’s Seafood, 686 Linden Ave., Carpinteria (formerly Sly’s)
  • Modern Times Beer, 418 State St. (formerly India House)
  • Oku Sushi, 29 E. Cabrillo Blvd. (formerly El Torito)
  • Patio X, 628 State St. (formerly Blush)
  • Pizza Werk (vegan), 1429 San Andres St. (formerly Paesano’s)
  • Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro, Carpinteria Ave. at Holly, Carpinteria
  • Rusty’s Pizza, 2315 Lillie Ave., Summerland (formerly Stacky’s Seaside)
  • Silver Bough, 1295 Coast Village Rd. (opening end of January)
  • Starbucks Drive-Thru, empty lot at Turnpike Ave. and Calle Real
  • The Daisy Restaurant, 1221 State St. (formerly McDonald’s long ago)
  • Unnamed Steakhouse,  20 W. Figueroa St. (formerly The Sportsman)
Leave a comment


Sup & Jus has opened at 7060 Hollister Avenue in Goleta (near Smart & Final), sharing space with Kyle’s Kitchen. Sup & Jus offers fresh-pressed juices, homemade soups, assorted hot side-dishes, sandwiches, cookies, snacks, and pre-made salads. While I was in the house the hot cart included Chicken with Wild Rice Soup, New England Clam Chowder, Chicken Enchilada Soup,  Lasagna Soup, Lentil with Chick Pea Soup, Ancient Grain Minestrone, Beef Chili with White Beans, Spicy Cauliflower, and White Cheddar Mac & Cheese. The dessert cabinet was stocked with Health Bar Crunch, Royale, Chocolate Chunk, Lemon Cooler, Caramel Rockslide Brownie, Toffee Crunch Blondie, Triple Chocolate Brownie, and Totally Oreo Brownie. The eatery also has a wide variety beverages including juices pressed daily, beer, wine, champagne, cider, smoothies, and more. When you buy any 5 beverages you get a 6th one free, available for take-out with a handy cardboard six-pack carrier. Hours are currently 10 a.m.-8 p.m. which will expand in a couple of weeks to 7 a..m. when Sup & Jus rolls out their breakfast menu that will add breakfast burritos, pastries, and a variety of morning necessities. Visit



Since 2009, Local Harvest Delivery has brought Santa Barbara’s farmers markets to local doorsteps with weekly boxes of organic, hand-raised vegetables, fruits, meats, and more. Now the locally owned company is using technology to take their service one step further. This week, Local Harvest Delivery is announcing complete “a la carte” ordering via their website,  “If you want to shop from your home or your office desk for local and organic produce, plus get it delivered to your doorsteps with a click, then we are the service for you,” said Sarah Coffman, who co-founded the company with Julie Beamount. “After nine years of offering a customizable multi-farm produce box, we’ve invested more into our ordering system to offer a la carte shopping for people who know exactly what they want. You no longer have to figure out what to do with those beets if you don’t want them.” Local Harvest Delivery will continue to work with the wide array of farms and food purveyors that have made their boxes popular over the past decade. “We are proud to continue in working with our panoply of local farms while offering, for a small sum of $50, a weekly delivery of produce, meats, dairy, nuts, honeys, coffees and more, all grown or crafted locally,” said Beamount, who noted that orders less than $50 will be subject to a $10 delivery fee.

Leave a comment


Continuing the tradition of celebrating the Chinese New Year  in Santa Barbara’s original Chinatown favorite that was once Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens (126 East Canon Perdido Street) and is now home to Three Pickles Deli and The Pickle Room chef/owner Clay Lovejoy has some specials he’ll be rolling out over the two-week Spring festival starting February 5th. “I’ll have different specials throughout the two-weeks,” says Lovejoy. “Starting with Fortune Cookies for every order until they run out!”

Leave a comment


Reader DeeDee let me know that Santa Barbara is listed as the #3 destination in the world in the New York Times list of “52 Places to Go in 2019.” The write-up about the South Coast primarily discusses the restaurant scene:

“Long known for drawing movie stars and millionaires to its resorts, Santa Barbara has now become a foodie magnet. The acclaimed Melbourne and Manhattan chef Jesse Singh oversees Bibi Ji, an edgy Indian restaurant — try the uni biryani — with a wine list curated by the noted sommelier Rajat Parr. The “Top Chef” alum Phillip Frankland Lee presides over The Monarch, a posh Californian restaurant, and Chaplin’s Martini Bar, and will open Silver Bough, a 10-seat, tasting-menu venue in January. The Santa Barbara Inn’s Convivo offers upmarket Italian fare and ocean views; nearby, at Tyger Tyger, Daniel Palaima, a veteran of the kitchens of the Chicago-based chef Grant Achatz, serves Southeast Asian fare beneath rose-colored lanterns. (To finish off the night, try the Szechuan pepper soft serve ice-cream at Monkeyshine.) The city offers more than 30 wine tasting rooms that look nothing like their more staid cousins up north. Frequency and Melville feature modern furnishings and party-ready playlists; vinyl rules at Sanguis, a winery run by drummers. -Sheila Marikar”



Claudia Schou, Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort at 633 East Cabrillo Boulevard, tells me that Rodney’s Grill has closed.

Leave a comment


“Hi John,

Do you happen to know who “The Chicken Guy” is? He was at Leadbetter beach on the grass for the Fourth of July and BBQ’ing some of the best chicken I have ever had! Let me know, thank you!


Leave a comment


Reader Rex of SB accidentally came across a copy of UCSB’s Nexus from September 17, 1982. It includes an interesting review of over 100 South Coast restaurants (below), with many names from yesteryear, and a few that survived and thrived:

By Jonathan Alburger and Jane Musser

  • Acapulco, 1114 State. Boasting 21 kinds of margaritas, this typical tourist trap really isn’t half bad, unless you don’t like waitresses in skimpy outfits, lots of plants, and getting hassled about having an I.D. must at least once. * * *
  • Aloha Restaurant, 201 W. Carrillo & 370 Storke. As the name suggests, this is upper class drive-in junk food. Good shakes. * * 1/2
  • The Bakery, 129 E. Anapamu. The best croissants and pastries in town, superb soups, and their other stuff isn’t too bad either. * * * * 1/2
  • Baskin-Robbins, 5749 Calle Real, 3611 State, 1253 Coast Village. If you like ice cream, B-R is real typical. Enough flavors to satisfy the average white sugar junkie. **1/2
  • Baudelaire’s, 435 State. A limited beer and wine selection and often very good dance concerts featuring some of Santa Barbara’s latest and finest rock and new wave bands. * * *
  • Bear’s Picnic, 813 State (Piccadilly). Quick stop shakes, snacks and juices. * * 1/2
  • Big Yellow House, 108 Pierpont. Big meals in a big, friendly atmosphere, on the big oceanfront. * *** 1/2
  • Biltmore Hotel, 1260 Channel. Everything is stuffy and polished, but the place is old and on the beach, with a great Sunday buffet, so it’s a must at least once. * * *
  • Bob’s Big Boy, Avoid religiously.
  • Bonanza Sirloin Pit, 3614 State, 6030 Hollister. Two in one city is quite enough. Sufficient and inexpensive. * *
  • Borsodi’s Coffeehouse, 938 Embarcadero del Norte. If you liked the late 1960s, you love this coffeehouse. Slow service and a very mellow atmosphere, featuring some very good cappuccinos and espressos.
  • Boulevard Cafe, 1 State. Great people-watching location and great salads. * **l/2
  • Bray’s 101, 5955 Calle Real. Great pies, but the food stinks, and the bar is right out of Modesto. * 1/2
  • Breakwater, at the harbor. Basic meals, including fish, in a tacky place but at a nice location. * *
  • Budd’s Eggception, 970 Linden, Carpinteria. Same as the one on State Street, only less crowded. Good omelet’s but terribly overpriced. * *
  • Buena Tierra, 5979 Hollister. Remember enchilada days back in your high school cafeteria? This place is almost as cheap and just as bad.
  • Burnardo’z, 956 Embarcadero del Norte. Not only large scoops of great ice cream, but a very friendly I.V.-ish atmosphere. ****
  • Carlitos & Co., 1324 State. Mediocre Mexican fare, but a nice patio area. * * 1/2
  • Carl’s Steak & Seafood House, 3404 State. Middle class Friday-night- out-with-the-family spot. Adequate and friendly. * * *
  • Carrow’s, too many locations. The kind of place you stop at when you first come to Santa Barbara with Mom and Dad so as to ease the adjustment. *
  • Castagnola’s Fish House, 3759 State. Good for lunches. Decently priced and rarely crowded, but too sterile. * * 1/2
  • Casa Blanca, 509 State. Great south-of-the-border atmosphere and large portions make this an old Santa Barbara favorite. * * * 1/2
  • Casa del Charro, 915 Linden. Hit and miss Mexican cuisine. Appropriately tacky. * * 1/2
  • Casa Linda, 1070 Coast Village. Excellent coffee, sterile ambience, fair food. * * 1/2
  • Casey Jones, Corner of State and La Cumbre. Complete with a very used pool table and darts board, this tiny, easy-to-miss spot is suggestively mid-western rural, but kind of fun anyway when those “jungle of ferns” bars become too obtrusive.
  • Cattlemen’s Inn, 3744 State. Recently revamped, now having a great salad bar and funky drinks. So-so entertainment. * * *
  • Charlotte’s, State St., lower district. A sweet mark for pastries, but suffers due to mediocre entrees, rude service, and general pretentiousness. * *
  • Charthouse, 101 E. Cabrillo. Good steaks, comfy, but the drinks leave a lot to be desired. * * 1/2
  • Char West, 3771 State. Outstanding junk food at reasonable prices. For what it is: * * * 1/2
  • Chase Bar and Grill, 1012 State. Best jukebox, small but fun beer and wine bar, very good Italian entrees. * * * *
  • Clementine’s. 4631 Carpinteria. Very good steaks and homemade desserts, but typically small town. * * *
  • Cold Springs Tavern, 5996 Stagecoach. A great place to get away from I.V./S.B., high in the mountains. Good food and a warm atmosphere, once you get past the bikers who hang out at the bar next door. * * *
  • Copper Coffee Pot, 1029 State. The Foster’s of S.B., where all the older folks hang out. * *
  • Crabby Lobster, 7127 Hollister. Fresh seafood in a shop­ ping center atmosphere. Nice. * * 1/2
  • Deano’s, 1950 Cliff (and in ‘Carp.). Tasty pizza, beer, wine, loud, but no movies. * * *
  • Don The Beachcomber, 435 S. Milpas. Gorgeous view, self-proclaimed “exotic” drinks, and overdone Polynesian surroundings. For tourists, or Aunt Betty. * * 1/2
  • Dutch Garden, 4203 State. Lovely setting and toothsome German belly-timber. * * * *
  • Elegant Farmer, 5555 Hollister. Elegant Sambo’s might be a more accurate name. A highly mediocre place. * 1/2
  • El Encanto, Riviera, next to Brooks. Where the waitress is really put out, except toward tip time. Really disappointing drinks, but a gorgeous, really gorgeous setting. * *
  • Eleven 29— 1129 State. Very Santa Barbara: lots of ferns, very cruisy, but satisfying fodder. ** *
  • El Mexicano—6529 Trigo. If you have absolutely no choice but to spend an evening in I.V., this place is good for chips, salsa and pitchers of beer. **1/2
  • El Paseo, 814 State. Nothing great, nothing awful. * * 1
  • El Presidents, 2921 De La Vina. Big, soapy margaritas and very American Mexican food. Good brunch. * * 1/2
  • Epicurean, 125 E. Carrillo. Posh decor and fantastic Continental food. Expensive but not at all overpriced. Bon appetite. * * * * 1/2
  • España, 29 E. Cabrillo. Used to have the best margaritas in town, but has slipped horrendously. A real trap.*
  • Erik’s Bakery, La Cumbre Plaza, Fairview Center, and Solvang. Pit stop for coffee and sticky, gooey Danish and pastries. * * *
  • Esau’s, 625 State (and in Carp.). Generous breakfasts at a savings. * * * 1/2
  • Falafel Stand, Embarcadero del Norte and Pardall corner. Definitely an I.V. institution. Like black jelly beans, you either love falafels or you hate them. Worth a try. * * *
  • Farmer Boy, 3427 State. Only for cinnamon rolls! *
  • Fifi’s, State St. Greeted with “Would you like to taste some, honey,” this authentic Italian ice cream parlor is perfect after dinner on the strip. Pleasantly different. * * * 1/2
  • Fish Enterprise, Lower State. Annoyingly crowded, but fun, fine food fare. * * * 1/2
  • Flapper Alley, 217 State. Hardly the “ultra utopia” they claim, but the drinks are good and strong. Up­ stairs cover charge for disco. * * 1/2
  • Flying Pizza, 436 State. New York style delivered. Not bad.***
  • Four Winds, 3435 State. Tacky nautical decor and tacky polyester-clad clientele, but good food and reasonable prices. Bring your visiting grandparents here, they’ll feel real comfortable. * * * 1/2
  • Fred C. Dobbs, 1014 Coast Village. Slow, but open 24 hours so there’s no hurry for the homemade goodies. * * *
  • The Golden Cock, Upper State St. Unpretentious and fernless, this is the kind of exquisitely tacky dive that local patrons keep alive and flowing. Perfect for just… drinking. * * *
  • Good Earth, 21 W. Canon Perdido. Like the other G.E.’s: fabulous baked goods, solid entrees, a bit overpriced. Not quite what it used to be. * * *
  • Great Wall, 615 State. Some of the most mouth­watering, awe-inspiring Chinese food in S.B. Quiet atmosphere, good service. * * * *
  • The Habit—Isla Vista. Another I.V. institution. The combo of chili, onions £1 and grease on the ham­ burgers is not for the weak at heart, but if you’re feeling brave, it’s worth the after effects. * * *
  • Haagen Dazs, 1213 State. Incredibly overpriced and incredibly delicious ice cream. * * *
  • Harbor Restaurant, on Stearns Wharf. Really fun. Piano with Oma, great cheer, outdoor deck, and delicious abalone. Call in advance. * * * *
  • Harry Gorillas, 6581 Pardall. An I.V. restaurant trying hard to be anything but an I.V. restaurant. Green wall paper lots of ferns, and worse than mediocre, and very overpriced food. *
  • Harry’s Plaza Cafe, 3313-B State. Lively atmosphere if you want to be loud. This place has a lot of heart, fairly home cooking at reasonable prices and the strongest drinks in town. * * *
  • Head of the Wolf, 633 State. Pleasing provisions, but after 10 p.m. turns into heavy meat market scene. Go for dinner and drinks. * * * (before 10).
  • Heidi’s Cafe & Bakery, 5940 Calle Real. Along the same lines as Frimple’s, but for some reason not as good and certainly not as much fun. Open all night. * * 1/2
  • Hen’s Nest, 1218 Santa Barbara St. Little, small town milieu and good breakfasts. * * *
  • Hobey Baker’s, 5918 Hollister. Why this mediocre and overpriced restaurant (turned meat market at night) is so popular is beyond us. *1/2
  • Holiday Inn, La Mancha Room, 5650 Calle Real. A real polyester bar scene, but fun if you like to people-watch and/or dance to live and wonderfully bad muzak. **1/2
  • Howard Johnson’s, La Cumbre Center. What can we say? 1/2
  • I.V. General Store, 955 Embarcadero del Norte.
  • Jasper’s, Fairview Center. A great college hang-out, featuring very eager servers and good food and drinks. But in the Fairview Shopping Center? ***
  • J. K. Frimple’s, 1701 State The absolute best big desserts in S.B. Open all night.****
  • J. Michael’s, State St. One of the best happy hours in town: $1 a drink. Yep. Worth a visit or two or… * * * 1/2
  • Joe’s Café, 512 State. Enormous, knock-you-on-your-ass drinks. Often crowded. * * * *
  • John Dory’s, At break­ water/harbor. Well-executed meals in romantic harbor surroundings. * * * 1/2
  • Jolly Tiger, 900 Chapala Sambo’s in disguise. *
  • Kayser’s, La Cumbre Center. The best hi-pro shakes, frappes, and flips. Complete health food market. * * * *
  • Kelly’s Corner, La Cumbre and State. Salad bar, drinks, potato skins, and atmosphere top notch. * * * *
  • Maggie McFly’s, 536 State. Another of the McFly’s: good eating, so-so bar, lots of scoping. * * 1/2
  • Mandarin Cuisine, 3514 State. Pleasing authentic Chinese consumables. * * * ½
  • Maya, 3955 State. Run-of-the-mill Mexican sustenance. * *
  • Mayita s, 6547 Trigo. A good place to drink too much beer on sunny Friday afternoons. Nachos are a better bet than any of the mediocre main courses. * * 1/2
  • McConnell’s Ice Cream, 2001 State. Expensive but such good ice cream. And if you think the basic cones are good, try a banana split. * * * 1/2
  • Michael Anthony’s Pizzeria, 1020 State. Savory Italian specialties, beer. Nice people eager to please. * * * *
  • Miramar Hotel, 1555 S. Jameson The food’s not too bad, but why would you go there? * *
  • Moby Dick, 20 Stearns Wharf. Like the Harbor, only on a smaller scale. * * *.
  • Mom’s Italian Village, 421 Cota. S.B. landmark. Still fine and fun. ***l/2
  • Mongolian Barbeque, 1325 State. A mish-mash of spicy Mongolian food is cooked before your eyes. Interesting style and very tasty. * * * 1/2
  • New York Bagel Factory, All over. Go beyond the usual plain bagel with cream cheese, and you’ll enjoy some of the best and least expensive taste treats found in I.V. or S.B. Whole wheat onion smothered in cream cheese with olives is a personal favorite. * * * *
  • New York Hero House, 900 Embarcadero del Norte. The atmosphere, right down to the greasy walls and obnoxious but very friendly counter help, is I.V.-style New York. The sandwiches are the perfect grab it and run meal. Very decent fast food.***
  • Omelette Parlor, Summerland. Old fashioned appeal and terrific omelettes for the discriminating. Now to hitch a ride there. * * * *
  • Omelettes Etc., 119 State, 910 Embarcadero del Norte. Scrumptious breakfasts, large, generous portions. They keep the coffee flowing. * * * *
  • The Palms, 701 Linden, Carp. Cook your own steak. Fun, full bar, and entertainment. * * *
  • Papa John’s, 1046 Coast Village. Interesting variations on Italian themes, but not always successful. * * 1/2
  • Paula’s, 2700 De La Vina. Very bourgeois. * *
  • Paul’s Jade Terrace, 30 Los Patos. Above par far Eastern cuisine. * * * 1/2
  • Pavlako’s, 217 N. Milpas. Growing in popularity, featuring old country Greek recipes. * * *
  • Peabody’s Bar & Grill, Coast Village Rd., Montecito. Small and cozy, fun and delicious. * * * 1/2.
  • Penelope’s, 50 Los Patos. Pretentious, overpriced, but a great cocktail greenhouse. * * *
  • Pepe Delgados, 1201 State. Inferior Mexican cuisine. *
  • Pepper’s, 27 W. Canon Perdido The ultimate meat market. Bad drinks, generally fun and danceable music, flashing lights and a crowded dance floor. A little too typical for our taste. * *
  • Perry’s Pizza, 6560 Pardall. You can’t live in I.V. for too long without spending a couple slow Saturdays at Perry’s. His pizza is fairly good, and by the time you get it you’ll probably have had too much beer to care anyway.***
  • Peter’s Flying Machine, At the airport. Where you have those last five drinks before saying goodbye to your loved one. * * *
  • Petrini’s, 5711 Calle Real, 14 W. Calle Laureles. Delectable lasagna with a sunny family tone. * * *
  • Philadelphia House, 4422 Hollister.
  • Pino’s Italian Pizzeria, 5863 Hollister. One of the very best. Warm, friendly, courteous, delicious ****
  • Pizza Bob’s, Isla Vista. The atmosphere isn’t usually quite as drunken as it is at Perry’s. The pizza is average and they have a wide-screen TV always tuned to THE game. * * 1/2
  • Pizza Luau, 3132 State. Weird transmogrification of the pizza. **
  • Playa Azul, 902 Santa Barbara. A slow and easy place to eat, with inexpensive and way above average Mexican food. ***l/2
  • Plow & Angel, San Ysidro Ranch, Montecito. One of the best brunches in the world. Country atmosphere and full bar. All around excellence. *****
  • Presidio Cafe, 812 Anacapa. Superb quiche, delightful atmosphere, the kind of great place where the owner is there everyday helping. Beer and, of course, chocolate mousse. * * * * *
  • Real Texas Chili Factory, 4223 State. A fun place to get really happy during Happy Hour, but avoid the dinner crunch, the food and the prices make the wait thoroughly unworthwhile. * *
  • Rocky Galenti’s, 35 State. Desperately trying to be so L.A., they fail. Drinks are expensive and the help absolutely obnoxious. The food, however, is their only saving grace. Who wants to wait an hour in a long line to get into a meat market? Only for the fettuccine and lasagna (****). Bar: 1/2
  • Rudy’s, 6527 Madrid. Just one more mediocre Mexican food place in I.V. However, beer, beer and more beer make any burn to decent. * *1/2
  • Rusty’s, Multi-locational. Typically appetizing. That’s all. * * *
  • Sambo’s/Pleaser’s, Too many. A Sambo’s by any other name is still cheap, fast, and really awful. 1/2
  • Say Cheese, 1112 State. Carefully prepared sandwiches, lots of cheese! * * *
  • Schooner Inn Donuts, 3623 State, lower State. Where the “night people” hang out after the liquor stores close. Eminently better than Winchell’s. * * *
  • Second Story, 1221 State. Could be better. * * 1/2
  • Serranito’s, 6565 Trigo. The flautas are big and good, definitely worth a try. Otherwise, very average. * * 1/2
  • Sonny’s Pizza, 324 W. Cabrillo. Once you get past the Val Gals, the pizza is quite tasty. Next to the beach. * * * *
  • Straw Hat Pizza, 5687 Calle Real. A lot like Shakey’s, or Taffy’s. * *
  • Suishin Sukiyaki, 511 State. Superbly traditional Japanese food and atmosphere. * * * *
  • Swensen’s, All over. Another place to get ooey- gooey, sticky ice cream. Who needs it? Well, if a hot fudge sundae made with peanut butter and chocolate ice cream sounds as good to you as it does to us, you do. * * *
  • Taffy’s Pizza, All over. Basic cardboard and red sauce product. **
  • Timbers Lodge, 10 Winchester Canyon. Why go out of your way for very typical and typically overpriced food? * 1/2.
  • Wimbledon Tavern, 2611 De la Vina. Great selection of beers, hospitable atmosphere. * * *.
  • The Wine Cask, 813 Anacapa. Light, imaginative dishes served in a cozy, un­ pretentious setting. * * * 1/2


“Do you know if there are any restaurants in town that will gather a few people around and sing Happy Birthday to someone?  – Cora”



Institution Ale is coming to 516 State Street. Photos by reader Primetime.

Leave a comment


“Hi John,

Do any restaurants in the Santa Barbara area have a no-corkage policy for people who bring their own bottle?




Readers James,Tilly Bird, Annie, and Lucas let me know that the new fine dining Indian restaurant Masala Spice has opened at 5796 Calle Real in Goleta, the former home of El Pollo Loco. It’s owned by Laxman Perera (Sushi Teri, Nikka Ramen, Craft Ramen) and partner Chef Rajesh Selvarathnam. The cuisine appears to be an exciting and fresh take on Indian food. Sri Lankan-born Selvarathnam tells me that the eatery offers lunch from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5-9 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays, and that the business is closed on Mondays. The lunch menu includes Vegetable Curry dishes (Aloo Pindi Chole, Bhindi Masala, Paneer Tikka Masala, Saag Paneer), Chicken Curry dishes (Butter Chicken, Masala Spice Chicken Curry, Chicken Saag), Lamb Curry dishes (Lamb Rogan Josh, Methi Palak Gosht), and Shrimp Curry (Shrimp’s Tikka Masala, Kadai Shrimp), and a variety of Dosa favorites (Plain Dosa, Idly, Vegetable Uthappam, Masal Dosa, Spicy Kara Masala Dosa, Mysore Masala Dosa). Call 770-8989

THE REAL DEAL: Indian restaurant Masala Spice has opened on Calle Real in Goleta. Photos by The Restaurant Guy

Leave a comment


Ca’ Dario Italian restaurant, with five South Coast locations including the pizzerias and pasta shops, will soon be adding a 6th. The new address is the current home of Giovanni’s Pizza at 1187 Coast Village Road in Montecito which is closing this month. Giovanni’s Montecito is considering three places to relocate to, including Summerland. I am told that Ca’ Dario is currently waiting for permits before they will be given the green light.

Leave a comment


Last June I reported that Jeannine’s Bakery is coming to Hollister Village Plaza at 7060 Hollister Avenue in Goleta, the former home of Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, which is next to Smart & Final. I stopped by last weekend and was told they hope to open in March.

Leave a comment


Here is a message to you from Neighbor Tim’s BBQ Food Truck: “Heads up to you and your audience we are continuing our Smoked Meat Saturdays BBQ food truck service at Captain Fatty’s Brewery in Goleta this year.  We are now offering online Brisket Reservations (up to 10 briskets per week). To reserve, head to Keep Eating! – Neighbor Tim”

1 Comment


Reader Primetime tells me that Guichos Eatery, offering “Fresh Italian Take-Out” since 2017 at 901 Linden Avenue in Carpinteria, has posted a notice of application to sell alcoholic beverages.

Leave a comment


This just in from Camino Real Marketplace:

Hi John,

After 11 1/2 very successful years with tremendous support from the Goleta and Santa Barbara communities, Eric and Marshall Rose sold Hollister Brewing Company on November 1st to Tom Fuhrmann. Tom will be hosting a “Re-launch Party” this coming Saturday (January 12th) and invites everyone to come see some of the ongoing changes. There will be a special beer garden from 4-close with Happy Hour prices all day plus free swag and other drawing prizes.  The same excellent beer selection and food menu continue and there will be samples of possible future menu items.  We hope to see you there!


Jennifer Rose
General Manager
Hollister Brewing Company
6980 Marketplace Drive
Goleta, CA 93117

1 Comment


If you live near Santa Ynez could you confirm the status of the Burger Barn at 3621 Sagunto Street? I have been receiving messages for weeks that they are closed. Burger Barn’s phone number is still active and Yelp, the Solvang Visitors Bureau and Trip Advisor all list them as still being in business. A photo would be appreciated. I know this is usually my job but it’s a long way from The Restaurant Guy’s house to the valley and it is not a particularly fun voyage when the end result is being denied a burger 🙂



The second annual Santa Barbara Restaurant Week (February 22nd- March 3rd) 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 Food Service and Pacific Beverage Company, Restaurant Week 2019 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.

This year’s local event will benefit the California Restaurant Association Foundation’s ProStart program. Developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, ProStart is a two-year culinary arts and hospitality management program that reaches more than 9,000 students at 127 public high schools in California. With curriculum aimed at empowering tomorrow’s culinary leaders, the ProStart program perfectly aligns with the vision of the Santa Barbara Restaurant Week founders and the mission of this annual celebration.

From February 22nd- March 3rd, each participating restaurant will offer a prix-fixe menu that includes a $25 2-course lunch and $40 3-course dinner option. Throughout the week, tasting rooms will also offer special wine tasting experiences and many local hotels will offer discounted SBRW room rates to participating guests.

Featured restaurants include:

  • Olio e Limone Ristorant
  • The Dining Room
  • Toma
  • Chuck’s Waterfront Grill
  • Due Lune
  • Tre Lune
  • Lucky’s Steakhouse
  • Wine Cask
  • Convivo
  • Bella Vista
  • The Monarch Montecito
  • Bluewater Grill
  • Los Arroyos
  • Cava

The second 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.

Leave a comment


“Do you know what’s happening with the space that used to be Stacky’s in Summerland? When Rusty’s bought it a couple of years ago, for a while it looked like they were starting on renovation, but there hasn’t been any activity in a long time. My friends and I, who work in the area, wouldn’t be at all sad if Rusty’s DIDN’T occupy that space, but it would be nice if something were to go in there. Thanks! – Laurie”



Reader Carp4Ever sent me a tip that the liquor license owned by recently-closed Sly’s Restaurant at 686 Linden Avenue in Carpinteria is being transferred to Little Dom’s Seafood for use at the same address. I confirmed this with a search of the ABC license query system. This appears to be a second location for owner Warner Ebbink who operates Little Dom’s in Los Feliz at 2128 Hillhurst Avenue in Los Angeles.

Ebbink is a native Angeleno whose passion for restaurants extends beyond cuisine into architectural restoration. Ebbink and chef Brandon Boudet opened Hollywood’s 101 Coffee Shop in 2001.  In 2004, Boudet and Ebbink, both proud of their Italian heritage, purchased the historic Dominick’s in West Hollywood, originally established in 1948. They went on to establish Little Dom’s in Los Feliz. Boudet was born and raised in New Orleans, influenced by Louisiana and Italian cooking. He has refined his skills in simple Italian cuisine with California market influence.

The menu at Little Dom’s in the Los Feliz features fresh Italian-American fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Popular dishes include Homemade Linguine Carbonara, Crescenza and Burrata Agnolotti and Meatballs.  For Breakfast they offer Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes, Scrambled Egg Bruschetta or Steak and Eggs with a Fennel Pollen Hollandaise sauce. Other favorite dishes include wood-oven Pizzas, the Meatball & Mozzarella Sandwich and Cedar Plank Salmon. Visit

Photo by The Restaurant Guy



In May of last year I wrote that vegan restaurant Fala Bar, which has a location at 7751 1/2 Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, announced that it is coming to Santa Barbara in July or August of last year. I contacted them for an update and they replied: “We will be opening this winter, 2018-2019, but we aren’t disclosing the address just yet. We will make an announcement as soon as we’re able!” Reader Jennifer has now updated the story. She spotted a coming-soon sign for Fala Bar in the Santa Barbara Public Market at 38 West Victoria Street. Visit

Photo by reader Jennifer



Co-owner Tracy Clark tells me that Yellow Belly restaurant at 2611 De la Vina Street  is now open for Happy Hour at 4-6 p.m. Monday – Friday. Call 770-5694 or visit

Leave a comment


“I’m trying to track down family members related to the original owners of the Swiss Echo restaurant in West LA at Pico and Westwood Blvd. The proprietors were Jeannette Ohme and her niece & nephew Jeannette & Paul Codoni.   I’ve been told they moved up to Goleta in the early 80s and opened a Swiss restaurant up there – does this ring any bells with anyone?  Cheers, Randy”