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Scotch Bonnet
[closed, no longer in business]

428 Chapala St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 564-8446


Reviews by the General Public

Some dishes hit or miss... great service
Reviewer: Nancy Kim from Santa Barbara, CA
I recently had dinner with my fiance at Scotch Bonnet. The host was very polite and seated us quickly - the restaurant had only one other table occupied. After perusing the menu, we decided on the mussels as an appetizer and the jerk trio and paella to share. The mussels were absolutely divine - very fresh and well cooked. The jerk trio was equally delicious with all 3 cuts of meat cooked perfectly. The flavor combinations for the jerk trio were wonderful - a mix of sweet, spicy, sour and salty. The paella was the only sour note from our meal - We had ordered it after hearing glowing praise for the dish from the server. It was an extreme disappointment. The dish was over-salted in an attempt to compensate for the flavorless rice. The texture was what you'd expect from rice that has been cooked and sat drying out for several hours. The seafood and other meats in the paella were cooked well, but the dry, hard texture of the rice and the extreme saltiness ruined the dish. Service was wonderful though and the waitstaff was very attentive. I would definitely recommend this place, but suggest avoiding the paella.


Food was fabulous
Reviewer: Dee from Santa Barbara, CA
This was our first time here. Four of us eat at a new restaurant once a month and I have to say this one was one of our favorites after almost two years of restaurants. Each of our meals was excellently prepared--delicious. Beautiful atmosphere, great service. We went on a Friday night and there wasn't a big crowd--but I doubt that will last once the word gets out.


Food missing balance and harmony
Reviewer: Sarah from Goleta, CA
I *loved* the atmosphere at this place and was very excited after I sat down and got my glass of wine. I ordered the ceviche sampler starter. None of the ceviches were really that great at all. The flavors didn't go well together and was difficult to eat; I guess I mean the plantain scallop dish. The shrimp ceviche didn't taste right and I didn't know what the grapefruit was doing on top, honestly. The other fish (can't recall what it was) was just ok, The presentation was confusing too. There were sauces scattered here and there and nothing seemed to go together. I could make better (and I will). My husband ordered the green curry mussels which were quite good, but he complained about getting one that wasn't opened. I also thought that the pancake was very dense and too salty. I got the baby back ribs which were SUCH a disappointment. The flavor of the sauce was ok, but it needed ACID or some kind of ZIP! It was blah on my palate. Honest. The black bean pulled pork egg roll was out of this world! So good. I guess the citrus segments on top was supposed to be part of the tang in it. The paella was just ok. The chicken was overcooked and my husband describes the rice as "zattaran's?" Anyway. I WANTED to like it. I will come back for tapas with friends because of the atmosphere, but never again for dinner. Such a shame because it's a darling place. Oh, the churros and chocolate were satisfying, but the chocolate could be a bit thicker and more chocolate like.


Wonderful Birthday!
Reviewer: Alexandra (Anja) from Santa Barbara
I had never heard of Sevilla in my ten years of living in Santa Barbara and I was short on time to plan my boyfriends 35th B-day. I tried almost every single "fusion" restraunt in town and finally someone recommended Sevilla (Scotch Bonnet) and they made it happen in one day! They accommodated 15 people, had wonderful food, amazing service, and unique mixed drinks (when they say spicy they mean SPICY!) The inside is also very beautiful. Chef Katie was fabulous and made the whole thing come together. I will definitely be coming again. THANK YOU SCOTCH BONNET! (P.S. the wine recommendation was superb!)


the emergence of a santa barbara culinary gem
Reviewer: Hajir Sailors from Santa Barbara, CA
From the moment I walked in the new sevilla, i.e. scotch bonnet, was full of pleasant surprises! the ambiance to start with works well for a date for any age, well high school and beyond at least, or it works for a night out with friends in a classy eclectic environment. The drinks are wonderful, but the tapas are what calls me here. May I suggest the foie gras on vanilla brioche french toast in a berry zinfandel reduction sauce. Never before have I tasted anything near that combination. To taste cinnamon, foie gras, vanilla, all in a sauce that had flavors of both zinfandel and berry was shocking! Everything else I tried had a definite difference in taste, it was amazing. I will certainly be back for a full meal and report on that as well, but i doubt it will not live up to the standards set forth by this wonderful tapas, dessert, and drink encounter I had.


Well worth visting again...very soon!
Reviewer: Kerrie from Santa Barbara
We recently visited the Scotch Bonnet after hearing great reviews from friends. Both the service and the food were outstanding! Our server, Tim, was patient, knowledgeable and accomodating. We had our seven year old daughter with us, who loves dining out and experiencing new food, but really needed dinner an hour before arriving at the restaurant. Tim ordered flatbread and had it delivered to our table ASAP. He also made her a special drink (Portofino), which she liked very much and now makes herself (Thanks for the recipe!). We ordered the Ahi Tuna tapas and salads to start the evening. I LOVED the baby beet salad and mixed greens with goat cheese. For my entree, I ordered the Jerk Trio and was incredibly happy with my choice. The duck, lamb, and pork (all prepared jerk-style) were all bursting with flavor and very tender. The three different preparations of plantain that came with the entree were delicious. My husband ordered the Wagyu hanger steak with exotic mushrooms, which was also outstanding. We especially liked the mashed Okinawa sweet potatoes that came with it...very good! For dessert, we each ordered something different. I ordered the banana trio, my husband ordered the churros with hot chocolate, and my daughter ordered the carrot cake. All three were very tasty! I read these restaurant reviews often and don't usually feel the need to write one myself--not because the food at other restaurants in Santa Barbara isn't good, but because it's pretty much in the same class as other restaurants in the area. I am writing a review for Scotch Bonnet because they are the WHOLE package. Great atmosphere, great service and OUTSTANDING food. This restaurant is one which stands out of all of the MANY restaurants we frequent in Santa Barbara, and it's a fun, relaxing place to dine. Thanks to the new chef and Tim, our server, we had a great first experience at the Scotch Bonnet and will be back very soon! One more detail worth noting: In addition to the great service Tim provided to us, we were also waited on by several others who never allowed our drinks to sit empty or for us to sit with dirty dishes in front of us. They were all very attentive and polite. Truly a pleasant experience! Thank you all!


Great Changes!
Reviewer: Kendyl from SB
I went to Scotch a few nights ago with acouple friends. The name is not the only thing that has changed! The menu is amazing, I wanted to try literally eveything on it. Our server was very sweet and attentive. She seemed to always be there when we needed her, but not around too much. The carrot cake was great and the cocktails tasted as if they were made with fresh squeezed juices. I will be back again!


New Chef = Great Food
Reviewer: Em from Goleta, CA
I've heard that this place wasn't very good before the new chef came in. its the same chef from Tupelo Junction on state st, and she's really done wonders for the menu at this place. The tapas here are probably the best prepared tapas in town. Great selection, not tooo expensive for santa barbara, and service was friendly if not always the most attentive. Drinks were also nice, atmosphere was friendly and interestingly decorated. I definitely recommend their churros for dessert - seriously the best churros I've ever had. I plan on going again. Great place to go with a few friends for some drinks and delicious snacks/entrees.


Not a pleasant experience
Reviewer: Rebecca from Santa Barbara
We had not been here since it was Sevilla. We were not happy with the food at all. It was so salty or very bland. I had the lobster and it was tasteless. The rest of the platter was overpowered by saltiness and you couldn't tell what you were eating. My husband had the ribs and he thought they weren't that great. We have made our own at home and they were much better. The tapas were also unimpressive. I ordered a glass of wine from three different servers and it came right before the bill was given to us. It took more than 45 minutes and three request for the only glass of wine I ordered. It was a big dissappointment.


Very pleasant surprise!
Reviewer: C. Redmond from Santa Barbara
I didn't know what to expect from Scotch Bonnet since I haven't been to the restaurant since it was the old Sevilla (and not good). The restaurant looks very much the same and the menu covers still read "Sevilla" but the food was completely different and absolutely fabulous. I am really surprised that word hasn't seemed to spread around about it yet. Chef Katie Scott does a wonderful job with the quality (very fresh), preparation, and flavor of the dishes. I had the mussels, butterfish, and churros with chocolate sauce and they were all amazing. My only suggestion would be to add more fish options to the menu for entree. I really hope they can keep it up and stay consistent. I will definitely be back.


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