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Sly's
No longer in business
Opened: 2008-08 Closed: 2018-09

686 Linden Ave, Carpinteria
Phone: (805) 684-6666

  • Category: American, Seafood, Steakhouse
  • Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, Dinner Sun-Thu 5-9pm, Fri-Sat 5-10pm, Brunch Sat-Sun, 9am-3pm
  • Price: $20+
  • Serving: Lunch & Dinner
  • Reservations: Yes, recommended
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Sly's writes: James and Annie Sly and crew spent months remodeling the charming structure located at 686 Linden Avenue in Carpinteria, making the historic 90-year old yellow brick building into one of the Central Coast's finest restaurants.

The menu features a wide selection of fishes and seafood, aged, USDA Prime hand-cut steaks, a la carte vegetables, and more than just a little bit of Chef James Sly's forty years of experience in kitchens around the world. From the crusty bread at the beginning of the meal to finely crafted desserts at the end, your food is made right at Sly's.

Sly's features old-fashioned cuisine - James likes to say he specializes in "tired old favorites" - prepared in the traditional way by an experienced kitchen crew - and served by a professional and enthusiastic service staff.

From the iced seafood towers and oysters to the steamed mussels or clams, there are some real seafood treats. Dover sole, grilled or meuniére, challenges Local Sand Dabs for the title of "most popular".

In addition to the impeccable seafood, char-grilled steaks, and daily specials like fresh local abalone and oysters Rockefeller, Sly's features some fascinating pastas - Spaghettini "Caruso" with Marsala and chicken livers, an extremely popular Spaghettini Carbonara, with chunks of bacon, onions, cream, eggs and Parmesan cheese, Linguini with fresh clams, and an ethereal Fettucine "Alfredo" made the traditional way, without a trace of cream.

Desserts are notable, and homemade, too - from the warm, tart apple crisp to the shortcake featuring fresh local berries, you're bound to find a favorite. Of course, James' famous sundae is here - "That" sundae with caramelized pecans from his aunt's recipe, homemade caramel sauce, and chocolate sauce made with Santa Barbara Chocolate Company's incomparable chocolate. In season you might be fortunate enough to find a warm Raspberry Cobbler.

Sly's offers a choice of comfortable dining areas, with the shiny varnished Douglas Fir of the bar contrasting to the exposed yellow brick & glassed-in wine cellar of the dining rooms white table cloth covered tables.

One of the most striking things about the decor at Sly's is the collection of photographer Jesse Alexander's photos on display. This artists eye and lens captured the European racing scene in the 50's and 60's. The images that fill the walls of the dining rooms at Sly's are a timeless glance at a far different world of racing.

Ann and James, and the team at Sly's look forward to your trying our cuisine, cocktails, & wine list at Sly's, and an opportunity to experience the ambiance that has made Sly's an instant classic.

  • Specials: Sly's is all about specials, with two tiers of specials - our daily specials and our rotating regional French fixed price menu. The daily specials include seasonal fresh fish specials, a daily pasta special, and wonderful USDA prime steak specials. Typically, the daily specials feature 8 or 10 local vegetables and one or two of Sly's wonderful homemade desserts. (In winter, the Brioche Bread Pudding with Caramel sauce is one example). The French Menu offers 3 courses at $35. per person, with 3 choices for each course. Specialties are chosen to represent a particular region of France, right down to a cheese choice from the experts at C'est Cheese. Also available with French wines at $55. A great value and interesting selections make this a favorite with regulars and visitors alike.
  • Happy Hour: We think that the best thing about a Happy Hour is when you leave happy. At Sly's, happy hour is from 4 to 6 pm each day. We feature some interesting Local and French wines at $6 a glass, a cocktail special of the day at $8, and an interesting selection of small plates from $5 to $8, including oysters on the half shell, steamed mussels, those amazing onion rings, and an absolutely delicious French Hot Dog with Gruyere. You will leave happy!
  • Brunch: Saturdays & Sundays Sly's adds a Brunch Menu from 9 am to 3 pm with a wide selection of traditional brunch specialties. From waffles and Dutch Baby pancakes to Huevos Rancheros, classic Eggs Benedict, and even Abalone and Eggs, Sly's has your brunch covered. Particularly favored is our Seafood omelette in Lobster sauce. The full lunch menu is also available, so there is no shortage of great choices.
  • Private Room: The Monaco Room at Sly's, so named because of the 8-foot print of the famous Jesse Alexander photograph of the start of the 1962 Monaco Grand Prix, is available for small groups up to 30 people. It is semiprivate, but affords you the opportunity to hold your group celebration with Sly's extraordinary food and service. Please contact us for more information.

Reviews by the General Public

Best Steak I ever had!!!!!!!!
Reviewer: debbie from Santa Barbara, CA
Come for the Steaks....Stay for the Cocktails! This is the real deal, this place beats any steakhouse in he area Bravo to the Chef! They even make their own tonic water! Who still does that? This is a place for people who really appreciate good food!


The Customer is not right
Reviewer: Tamarind from Santa Barbara, CA
First off let me start by saying I used to Love Sly's. It was my go to restaurant when friends or family came out of town or for special occasions. Last night I went for my Boyfriends Birthday and wanted a very special night. We had two very nice appetizers and ordered steak for our main course. I ordered my steak charcoaled rare and my boyfriend ordered his medium rare. When my steak came it was what I would call medium rare, my steak was slightly less pink then my boyfriends steak. When I informed the waitress she took the steak back into the kitchen. A few minutes later the manager came with my original plate and informed that the Chef said that was rare in his option and I should be happy with it. This in my option was very bad manners and not correct. What happened to the customer is always right? In my option a rare steak should be pink/red with blood on the plate, this was not the case. The waiter of my table felt this was not right as well as he offered to buy both of us a dessert to make it up to us out of his own pocket. Of course I declined however that showed me that what transcribed during our meal was not correct.


Where's the beef?!
Reviewer: Anthony from Santa Barbara, CA
Recently dined at Sly's... specifically for the Hambugrer. The burger at Sly's is historically wonderful... We've had it countless times... Big... Juicy... Beautifully melted cheese... Well, the other night we received a burger that looked like about a 3 to 1 or 4 to 1 patty... we ordered Med-Rare... delivered well Well-Done... a slice of cold unmelted cheese... The patty was lost in the poppy seed bun... It seemed like a Costco patty... or something a restaurant might buy from Jordanos or Sysco... but a lower-end patty product. Very disappointing needless to say. Hopefully this is not their new burger offering... Sad if it is... BTW our server was great!!


Nothing special for BIG bucks
Reviewer: Bob from Santa Barbara, CA
We were excited to try Sly's after hearing lots of good things about it but a bit disappointed. The cheeseburger was terrific and for $12 a bargain, but the fries were soggy and kind of gross, we didn't eat them. My steak was $50 and for that much I expect a steak to be cooked perfectly and to taste spectacular. I asked for rare and it was much more medium rare, almost on the medium side. Since they forgot our mac & cheese appetizer, I was too hungry to send it back. Also, it just wasn't that great and for that kind of money it should be. Quite frankly you can get a better steak at The Tee-Off, which is a good steak but not a great one, for less money and it comes with all the sides, soup, etc. At Sly's everything is $$$. Creamed spinach was good but nothing special for 7 bucks. The service was ok. There's plenty of staff running around but our waiter seemed overly rushed and the place just wasn't that crowded. Like I mentioned, they forgot our mac & cheese appetizer, annoying. Ambiance is a little weird as well. Really bright, far too much overhead lighting and noisy for the amount people there. Glad we tried it once, but we'll never go back.


Very Disappointed...
Reviewer: Tina from Former Carpinterian
We had a $100 gift certificate for Sly's that we decided to use it for lunch. First I want to say that the service was very good. Our waiter was great, so no complaints there. The food, however was very disappointing, especially for the price. We started off with the Escargot which was okay. I had the Sand Dabs with greens for $14. There were two small pieces of fish which were very greasy, but I added a lot of lemon and they tasted okay. The greens were just a small pile of Spring Mix with a couple slices of mushy tomatoes and some kind of vinaigrette...definitely not 5 or even 4-star quality. My husband, ordered a shrimp and crab Louis salad for $20, after I told him how great Louis salads are. What he got was a pile of yellow iceberg lettuce chunks, not anything crisp, green and leafy (it looked old), a couple of sticks of asparagus, some hard boiled egg, shrimp and crab meat, and the dressing (he asked for no tomatoes on it.) This was the worst salad I have seen served in a restaurant and by the look on my husbands face as he picked through the inedible chunks of lettuce said that it tasted pretty bad too. Maybe we came on a bad day, maybe we ordered the wrong items, I don't know. Needless to say the whole meal was such a disappointment that the bill came to $55 and we left the $45 balance of the gift card to the waiter as a tip knowing we would never be back to use it.


Ridiculous
Reviewer: J.K. from Santa Barbara, CA
Went for a friend's birthday lunch hoping for some amazing food. Wasn't very busy but the wait staff was surly and seemed to be doing us a favor by allowing us to eat there. Their char-grilled artichoke was inedible except for a part of the heart. Our entrees came to the table but since no one had cleared any of the appetizer plates, bread plates, bread basket the server just stared at us until we each agreed to take our hot plates and hold them in the air as he leisurely bussed the table so we could set our plates down. Food wasn't terrible but certainly nothing to go back for. Other nearby tables couldn't get waters refilled or get their checks to leave. We kind of laughed about the whole thing until we looked back and realized we spent over $200 for lunch for pretty mediocre food. Save your money for someplace that deserves it!


So disappointed
Reviewer: Grace from Santa Barbara, CA
Went for a special occasion and were treated so badly by staff we should have left. Drink orders wrong, rude and sullen waiter threw things onto our table, the food was very expensive and just so so. All of this took place in front of the owner who was dining at a table nearby. Why we didn't get up and leave I don't know but I will never go back. Still feeling the sting the next day.


Not worth the price
Reviewer: Sarge M. from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been to Sly's a few times. It's amazing how busy they are considering the high prices. Sly's tries to be a high-end American bistro, but unfortunately the food doesn't live up to the prices. The last time I went the pork chop I ordered was too tough and dry for me to finish. If I'm going to spend upwards of $50 per person for dinner, I except great food.


Superb!
Reviewer: Dana from Santa Barbara, CA
One of the best meals my wife and I have had. We ordered the Porterhouse steak and were both astounded -- never eaten anything so good! The service was superb (thanks Izzy). Loved the cocktails. Minor complaint: the chocolate souffle was a bit dry. Expensive, yes, but we were celebrating and prepared for that.


Over priced and over rated.
Reviewer: Rose from Santa Barbara, CA
Great drinks, but the food is over rated. Have tried this restaurant three times - won't go again. Raw pancetta/bacon in the carbonara dish (which when pointed out to the waitress her reponse was "that's how it always is"). Fourteen dollar steamed artichoke that was too tough to eat. Miniscule size abalone. Dry salmon. Stick with a bowl of clam chowder and the fresh bread (with a Bloody Mary). Disappointed.


Horrible experience!
Reviewer: Charlotte from Goleta
My family and I usually enjoy Sly's very much, but last Sunday afternoon our dining experience was Horrible! First of all there was our absentee waiter (all he did was take our order, he had the untrained busboy take over, whole he busied himself setting up the other room for dinner service.??? We asked repeatedly for bread, finally 4 whole pieces of cold, dry bread arrives with 4 tiny balls of butter for four people...wow! You shouldn't have! Then our food arrives and I had to tell the busboy/runner to clear the tiny table BEFORE serving us our meals, which there was no room on the table for. Then the guy slams my son's head when he attempted to serve him!! Good thing the kid has a hard head!! I still can't believe it! And then he serves me spilled clam chowder, which was not to my liking either. Still no waiter!! I had to ask the bartender for the check and when I complained about our experience to him, he was totally flippant about everything! The place was empty (with the exception of a photo shoot going on right next to us???) What the hell kind of place is this? We felt invisible! Where was everyone?? In retrospect, we should have just left!


we're so lucky it's in town...
Reviewer: Theresa and Tom from Carpinteria, Ca
We used to drive to Monticeto to get what we thought was a delicious meal....but no more. We feel so lucky to be able to drive five minutes into town and sit down to an excellent meal and be served by a very professional and personable staff. We have eaten almost every bit of food offered on the menu (and tried most of their cocktails) and have never been disappointed nor have our guests. We have friends who can"t wait to come back to visit knowing that we will enjoy a meal at Sly's. We look forward to our weekly visit....our hats off to chef Sly, wife Annie and their fantastic staff.


Gave them another chance - still disappointed!
Reviewer: Joy Anders from Carpinteria, CA
My husband and I went to lunch at Sly's / Carpinteria this past week and were very disappointed in the food. We had been there once before, were disappointed, I wrote them a personal note of how they may want to improve their service and food - they never even acknowledged the letter. Then a friend gave us a gift card for Sly's. We went there hungry with a positive attitude. My husband's BLT: bacon was just short of being turned into charcoal and the bread was way too crusty for a BLT....then there was me, I had the Mac n' Cheese with Greens - well I think Kraft mac n' cheese is better than this was - it was dry and it was "crusty" on the top from sitting some where too long and the "greens" - we're talking about just a bit of greens and the croutons were like Melba toast chopped. We were surprised their lunch pricing is the same as their dinner pricing. On the positive, the staff was very friendly but had to ask for water. For those of you wanting to not get a lot for your money and you settle for less than great food, then go for it and go to Sly's!


Added $5 because we shared a plate
Reviewer: Shelby Sim from Goleta, CA
Went Saturday morning with my wife and kids. We took the train from Goleta. Ordered for everyone. Since my kids don't finish thier plates, my wife and I were going to share an eggs benedict. I specifically told the waitress not to split the plate. It came as two plates. I reminded her and she said they were going to charge me $5 regardless. The Manager showed where it states on the menu there is a charge to share. Our bill was already $45. But they added $5 for.......what? Bad call. That $5 cost you a lifetime of family business.


WAY OVERPRICED
Reviewer: Jaun Castro from Santa Barbara, CA
Wouldn't go back way overpriced, wanted to buy a meal not the whole market of food!!!!!!!! Food was good BUT NOT WORTH THE PRICE!


Best Happy Hour Hot Dog Ever!
Reviewer: Monique from Santa Barbara, CA
I've eaten at Sly's many times- but only yesterday happened to stop by after a walk on the beach---and it was Happy Hour (on SATURDAY)...Annie Sly (the owner's wife) suggested the Happy Hour Hot Dog....and let me tell you....it was the most delicious French Hot Dog (2 of them, really) sitting atop a gruyere and mustard toast! It was so delicious that I'm telling you about it at 7:52 AM on a Sunday.....YUM....Perfection on a plate...and the price was very fair ($6-7 I think)....wonderful.


Very Enjoyable Dinner
Reviewer: Steve from Santa Barbara, CA
After reading some of these reviews we were a little skeptical of celebrating our anniversary here but the menu looked too good to pass up. We were seated promptly without a reservation(6:00 Sat) and our waiter(Chris) was extremely attentive and knowledgable. Everything we ordered arrived very quickly and tasted exceptional. The Oysters Rockefeller were the best we've ever tasted in S.B. Their wine by the glass prices were a little high so we'd get a bottle next time. Highly recommend Sly's.


Overpriced and Overrated
Reviewer: Kristin Walker from Santa Barbara, CA
I can't understand how this restaurant stays in business. Every entree comes with nothing else, and the side dishes are about $10 each. This would be fine if they picked high quality meats, spiced them right, and actually presented the food nicely on the plate. This is not the case. We ordered Seabass ($26) and got a piece of purplish fish (undercooked with no spices) and a lemon wedge plopped on a long plate. The meat looked and tasted very low quality, and the side of veggies were no great shakes. The service, however, is even worse than the food. We had a female with a nose earring who (when we rarely saw her) would yell at us in a shrill voice. She had no clue what she was doing. Someone who couldn't speak English finally brought our food, but it was the wrong food. When we told him it wasn't ours, he acted like he didn't believe us. (He picked up the dishes, then sat them back down.) We had to tell him 3 times it wasn't ours and he walked off shaking his head (like we were to blame.) They really need to train their staff. I gave the food 2 stars, because they have a decent burger (although overpriced) and a good fried Calamari appetizer. Stay away from the pricey entrees though, (especially the fish!), as they will disappoint.


Totally mismanaged no leadership
Reviewer: Mitchell from Santa Barbara, CA
I traveled from Montecito as a friend of mine said the food is excellent.The problem is the service.It was the worst service I ever expierenced.I waited an average of 20 minutes between courses with finished plates on my table the entire time.I ordered Bloodly Marys and the glass smelled so bad I couldnt even drink the cocktail.It either was a dirty glass or the ice cubes were dirty.I also was charge for two coffee's instead of one.The waiter had sweat coming down off his forehead throughout the entire meal and I couldnt wait to get out of there.It was terrible.I even had to get out of my chair to find someone to let them know I wanted my check.


Good Place
Reviewer: Trisha from Santa Barbara, CA
I've eaten here about 3 times and sat in the bar several times. The food has always been good. I wish the menu had a little more to choose from. The food is very fresh. I had an issue with some chicken on the fettuccini dish and the server was very polite and comp'd the dish. It was cool because they didn't make a huge deal about it. The desserts are SO good, the coconut cake is delicious and light. The bartender is very knowledgeble and friendly. They have a big screen so you can watch games. Great and fun.


Good Place
Reviewer: Trisha from Santa Barbara, CA
I've eaten here about 3 times and sat in the bar several times. The food has always been good. I wish the menu had a little more to choose from. The food is very fresh. I had an issue with some chicken on the fettuccini dish and the server was very polite and comp'd the dish. It was cool because they didn't make a huge deal about it. The desserts are SO good, the coconut cake is delicious and light. The bartender is very knowledgeble and friendly. They have a big screen so you can watch games. Great and fun.


One of My Favorite Yearly West Coast Stops!
Reviewer: Marilyn Baseman from Sheffield, Ma.
Friendly staff immediately makes me feel at home. Everything from appetizer to dessert is always excellent. My favorite lunch: steak frites with green peppercorn sauce. My favorite dinner: potato skins & skinny onion rings with a nice smooth wine while awaiting the best veal liver I've eaten in an age. This year I'd love to eat there daily so I could have each day's Blue Plate Special.


Awesome restaurant, but please turn down the lights!
Reviewer: Ryan from Santa Barbara, CA
This restaurant is amazing. The menu is so diverse and just classic. From the homemade tonic to the homemade rock and rye, simply the best bar in town. The service is fantastic as well. The only way to improve this place is to please turn down the lights. The ambiance is horrible with the super bright lights. It honestly really takes away from the experience. Please consider it!


Seating Issues
Reviewer: Karen from Santa Barbara, CA
My husband and I drove down to Carp. to have a nice midweek lunch. Upon entering, the hostess told us we couldn't sit in the back room because all the tables there were full or reserved. She said we had our choice in the front room which was empty and on this particular day drafty with the front door open(not my idea of a cozy atmosphere). As we started toward the door to try our luck elsewhere, the hostess suddenly found a table in the back room. We had a good lunch...the food quality was fine, but not excellent. The wait service was very good. We observed for the course of our lunch that the back room had several open tables, at least a third of the room. Don't know why they tried to put us up front, but we felt like little kids again being sent to eat in the kitchen, instead of the dining room!


Over priced mediocre food
Reviewer: Shane Smith from Santa Barbara, CA
First of all I ordered a very over priced ribeye steak that was over cooked and dry. The steak tartar came out brown and not red. The service and atmosphere was good. Need to hire a qualified chief instead of day labors.


Best Restaurant in Santa Barbara
Reviewer: Joe F. from Carpinteria, CA
Sly's is the best kept secret in Santa Barbara. My family and I go there at least once a week. The waitstaff works hard to remember your name, and the food is always delicious. The regular menu is great, but I always gravitate to the specials (like bone-in filet, cassoulet, halibut cheeks or short ribs). Sunday brunch is delicious and a real value (try the chile omelette). Although the menu is similar to Lucky's, the food is better, the atmosphere is better, and there is no pretension. Sit in the bar for a fun, casual evening with the kids. Or sit in the dining room for a romantic, white table-cloth experience.


Disapointment at it's best
Reviewer: Alan from Montecito, CA
The service was welcoming an friendly. Cute place, but will never return. The food was absolutly terrible. If that. For a steak house to serve dry over cooked braised short ribs with a bland tastless sauce, past the date tournade veggies. And soggy fries for my kid. Wow. I'm supprised there still in buisness. Especialy with those prices. Over priced bad food is such a disapointment. I have never written a review but thought this should be heard. Nothing more to say


Couldn't have been better
Reviewer: Robert from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I finally made the long drive out to Carpinteria to have dinner at Sly's and I can't tell you how happy we were. First of all I didn't remember Carp being such charming little beach town. When we arrived at Sly's and I opened my menu it was like traveling back to a better time when restaurants were welcoming and served REAL food. It was easy to see that we were going to have a hard time not ordering half of the menu. After painful deliberation we settled on Spanish mussels to start and to follow with short ribs and th Dover Sole and I got to tell you they were the best we've had. Our waiter was a true professional and it was such a treat to find French wine on a list and if you're not sold yet they bake their own bread and desserts. Do yourself a favor and make that long drive to Carp you will not be disappointed.


Classic. Authentic. Very impressed!
Reviewer: lemonjelly from santa barbara, ca
Sly's is the kind of place inspired by the tried-and-true classics that need no improvements. Well, they've improved one thing - the declining quality pervasive in our food through industrial and commodity agriculture. I spent an evening at the bar sharing drinks and food with friends and we were continually pleased to learn they make their own orgeat, their own tonic water, and they use real Marasca cherries in their Manhattans. The bartender really knew her stuff, including the food menu. She could name where the beef came from, where the lobster and abalone came from, and pointed out the farms where the fresh fruit and vegetables came from, especially when they were grown in Carp itself. I had no idea what to expect from Sly's, and hadn't even seen the menu before walking in, but there are a few items I have a weakness for. One is a steak *with green peppercorn sauce* and french fries with freshly made mayonnaise, the other is profiteroles. And Sly's had it, prepared perfectly. The steak is a sensible 4 oz. portion, and the steak frite combination is a correspondingly sensible $14 price. We also had the Spanish style mussels, with firm chorizo and caramelized onions, also $14 and we didn't dare waste the wonderful juices thanks to the fresh bread from the kitchen. There are two distinct dining areas: the bar/bistro area in the front that's very casual, and the dining room in the back with the linen tables and a view of the wine cellar. A third dining option is your own home - you can easily order your food for pick-up.


upscale dining 10/17/09
Reviewer: dpa from Thousand Oaks, CA
We had reservations and were ushered to the back of the restaurant where the formal dining is located (carpet, white table cloths); however we asked to be seated in the front where it was bright, had windows, and was less formal. The owners James and Ann Sly were very gracious and accommodating. The food had excellent flavor; you got what you paid for. Everything is a la cart, which does make it an expensive dining venue. We went specifically for the abalone and I was disappointed that several pieces had rubbery/grissle edges especially for the price. The menu is not correct for the abalone; it lists 3 piece appetizer and 3 piece dinner entree but the dinner costs 2x as much. The waitress thought it was the same portion so I asked Ann and she assured me the dinner portion was twice as much. I informed the waitress of this fact. While the wine by the bottle is quite an extensive list, the wines by the glass are somewhat limited. The only item we did not like was the raspberry cobbler, which was a piece of cake on top of very tart mashed raspberries with a small dollop of ice cream. We will probably not return as we prefer a restaurant with more of a view and more relaxing; this reminded us of a Ruth Chris restaurant.


Chilly wine and wine service
Reviewer: Richard Fuller from Goleta, CA
Three of us had dinner at Sly's last night. The food was wonderful, and the waiter was good. However, the wine service was terrible. I ordered a Margerum Pinot Gris. With no explanation, the wine guy brought a Carr Pinot Gris, said he liked that better, plopped it down on the table, and left. The wine was frigid, but we asked our waiter to open it and let it warm up. Then it was passable. Later, when I could finaly get his attention, I asked the wine guy about the temperature, and he said he maintains whites at 40 degrees! I don't know what wine planet he's from. I, along with wine experts I know or read, prefer whites at 52-57 degrees. At 40 degrees, one doesn't get any of the flavors of the wine, just the chill. So even though the seafood we had was wonderful, next time I'd order a steak and red wine, or, if hungry for fish, call in advance and get a bottle of white warmed up.


gross
Reviewer: Rebecca from Carpinteria, ca
My husband and I went to lunch here. It looked like it would have good food, but it was awful. The flavors were really bland and the bread on my openfaced sandwich was soggy. And for the price of our lunch, we really should have had better quality food. We won't be returning.


Best meal I've ever had!
Reviewer: Sean from Santa Barbara, CA
Honestly the best steak I've ever had, and those skinny onion rings..... Good service, great atmosphere, too pricey though.


Over Priced!!
Reviewer: Taylor from Santa Barbara, CA
We went there for dinner and were seated right away. Our waiter was very very frinedly almost too friendly. I felt like he was hovering over the table kinda wierd. We had a great steak but not sure if I would go back for the price. The feel of the restaurant was more like a casual resturant didnt feel like a $40+ steak restaurant.


Great Gumbo!
Reviewer: Preston Marx, III from Carpinteria, CA
Had the gumbo on a Tuesday night. As a New Orleans native, I can say it is very good.


A la carte...
Reviewer: Claire from Santa Barbara, CA
The food was great...the service was fab! I had salmon and greek salad and my bf had steak and potato... it was his birthday so we also orders the apple crisp a la mode...which is better then sex! haha Altough I'm not happy about the menu being a la carte... where you order your meat and salad seperate and pay double for it but despite the overall costIT WAS DELICIOUS! I probably wont be back unless I strike it rich tho. (This was the most expensive meal I ever paided for!)


Don't go!
Reviewer: Jerry from Santa Barbara, CA
Second time we went here for lunch. We will never go again. Both times the waiter was awful(he was our waiter on both visits).We both ordered turkey burgers with fries. Cold soggy fries, dry unapealing burgers. Plus we waited 45 minutes because the turkey was frozen. The bill,which included l ice tea and 1 coke came to $30.Only one other table was filled during our entire lunch. This was true on our first visit too. The first lunch salty french onion soup and my husband had a uninspired cobb salad. Pricey, terrible but plush surroundings.


I hope she'll give me a second chance...
Reviewer: David from Carpinteria, CA
I went on a date to Sly's and we were both less than amused. The evening started out with under par wine and segued into a mediocre appetizer. My date had a cesar salad, which looked like was from a bag, and appeared to have Kraft Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. My garden salad consisted of spinach, romaine, and 1.5 croutons. Was that an accident? When dinner arrived we were starving because the appetizers were not eatable and we had been there already for an hour and a half. My date ordered the salty, flavorless ravioli while I devoured the dry, salty, flavorless Salmon. On top of all of this our waitress had something stuck in her teeth the entire time. I was thoroughly embarrassed for exposing my date to this experience, and I hope she will give me a second chance...


enjoyable dinner at Sly's
Reviewer: Kat from Santa Barbara, CA
Had dinner at Sly's last night. The menu is great - I love the way they list the classic cocktails with the year they were created. Very clever and original. The restaurant smelled like bleach when we first walked in - they must have done some heavy duty cleaning yesterday. A bit of a turn off but it wasn't too bad where we sat. The hostess was beautiful and friendly. Our waiter was a bit of a goofball and seemed pretty inexperienced. He could use some more training. The onion rings are to die for and the salads we had were tasty. Cocktails were fantastic. All in all, it was an enjoyable evening. I think Sly's is a great addition to Carp and will go there again.


Food good, Service needs lots of help
Reviewer: Jim from Santa Barbara, CA
We've been here twice, both times early on Saturday evening. The first visit was pretty good, with the food being fine, although at the high end of the price scale for what you get. The service was friendly, but not exceptional for a restaurant of this expense. The second time was probably our last as there are just too many alternatives in Santa Barbara that can match the food and beat the service. It started with the hostess asking where we wanted to sit, and when we told her "in the back room" , she replied, "You can't sit there". That happened twice and we said, "So you tell us where we can sit". She said the front area was the only place open, but one table was reserved so we couldn't sit at it. It never was occupied the time we were there. The owner's wife came by as we were trying to figure out just what was going on and told us that they had a wine tasters dinner going on that night, so the back would get filled later. It actually never did get filled either. She also mentioned that we should be glad that they were so busy. I'm not sure why I should be glad if it makes my dining experience less enjoyable. No bread or water for many minutes. Friendly waiter, sounded knowledgeable . We then had a good meal, but the waiter kept going into the back room to help the other waiters. So he forgot my second glass of wine, although I flagged him down twice. I got it when they were clearing the table! He gave us the dessert menu and again disappered so long that we changed our minds and decided to skip dessert. Got tired of waiting for my card to get picked up, so I just left cash ($165)and left. Lot's of chatter and people that seemed to know each other at the door. Maybe it's just the locals or Lucky's transplants. Neither the hostess nor the owners wife ever stopped by to see how we were doing. For the money they need lots of work on the "front-office". We'll go to Downey's where Liz really knows how to treat customers and the wait staff is fully trained.


Blissfully perfect
Reviewer: Meridith from Santa Barbara, CA
Went to lunch with frugal friend yesterday at Sly's. Although well off, she considers Taco Bell a bit pricey. But convinced her to have lunch at Sly's. Flawless service from entering the door to being seated in the fine dining room. Luxury of linen tablecloths and napkins, weighty cutlery. So difficult to decide what to eat, frugal friend (ff) ordered sand dabs with no hesitation. The owner's wife stopped by and suggested the crab and shrimp louie which I ordered. Perfect bloody mary's, ff delighted with her sand dabs, as good a louie as it can get. Splurged and split the apple crisp ala mode upon the perfect waiter's suggestion... so good that ff said, "this is better than sex!" FF will be back with boyfriend for Valentine's Lunch. I'll be back as often as possible.


Maybe Our Expectations Were Too High For Fine Dining
Reviewer: Joyce from Manhattan Beach CA
We went to Sly's for a gourmet dinner for my birthday. The hostess and waiter, Henry, were very cordial.....however: - my husband ordered French onion soup, it came LUKE warm, asked to get a hot one - they obviously put it in the microwave as when the waiter returned the bread was soggy (know it gets this way with time) - Henry said their "chopped salad" was enough for two people, well, it came - was not chopped, old iceberg lettuce with a trace of dressing, cheese tasted like Velvetta cheese, no fresh ground pepper offered for my salad (basic ???) - My husband had "mac n' cheese" as a side dish - packaged Kraft does a better job - salt and pepper shakers were less than half full (HMMM) - I ordered the filet with pepper sauce medium, came almost raw in the middle, - I had to ask for a fork in order to eat my steak - no steak knife either Their prices for what you get are HIGH. BIG disappointment to say the least as we had eaten at Lucky's previously when Sly was at that location and had a wonderful meal.


$14 artichoke at lunch?
Reviewer: Ron from Santa Barbara, CA
Nicest place in Carp, good service but ordered the artichoke as an ap and expected something really special...just your ordinary restaurant choke, food was very good but some arbitrary ridiculous prices.


Sly's to go
Reviewer: Preston from Carpinteria, CA
Got some Sly's to go for lunch today. We ordered their hamburger. The service was prompt and we enjoyed a free soda at the bar - nice touch. The food was ready quickly, and was conveniently packaged. We asked for grilled onions on the side, but got them on the burger. The burger is top quality. The bun was poppyseed which was ok, but a more hearty bun is needed to match the hearty burger. Pricing was appropriate for upscale lunch. We will go back.


Really worth it....but be aware of one thing
Reviewer: Andriana from Tarzana, CA
Sly's is a wonderful addition to Carpinteria--good food, good service, good atmosphere. Recommend it highly. Just know though that if you order a cocktail with a name brand alcohol (such as Sapphire Martini) you will pay a steep price. Yes, plenty of other restaurants do the same, but they usually amount to 2 to 2 1/2 drinks with a generous pour. You're better off ordering a cocktail without the grand name cocktail. Otherwise, well worth going.


Food was excellent but service was very poor.
Reviewer: Andy M Gault from Santa Barbara, CA
Arrived and they could not find our reservations. Bad start. Saw lots of old Lucky's customers there. Finally seated and we ordered. Forty five minutes later no food or explanations from our bewildered waitress. Finally they came to tell us that our food had been dropped on the floor and they had reordered for us. After an hour we had our food and it was good. HOWEVER they charged us for the food they dropped and the food we originally ordered. I discovered this when we got home. We will get a refund. I hope. The following week they called to find out why we hadn't shown up. They had put our names down on the wrong week. Guess we will go back and give them another chance.


What a GREAT evening!
Reviewer: Michael from Carpinteria Ca.
What a great time we had and we needed it! Not only was the food great and menu extensive but the whole place was fun. Reminded me of a cross between a neighborhood English pub and New York steak house. We came in at 7:45 and would have been promptly seated except that it took us 10 minutes to get to our table because we were saying hello to half the people in the place that we knew. What a delight! I had the Dover sole. Wonderful and boned at our table. Alice had the Italian steak which is filet mignon sliced and placed on a bed of arugula. Also delightful. We split a side of creamed spinach and then ordered another one. We made a reservation to return on our way out and will be back again and again. It's like going to a party at Sly's house or having one and not having to clean up after is over. Just perfect for us. Michael


Very disappointed
Reviewer: Eric from Carpinteria
Knowing that the menu at Sly's was a bit pricy, my wife and I decided to try it out for our anniversary. It's not often that Carpinteria gets a new restaurant, so we were excited. We went early in the evening without a reservation and were seated at a nice table overlooking Linden. After about 10 minutes, we were asked to move to a different table to accomodate a larger party (which didn't show up while we were there). When we ordered our wine, I was informed that the glass of wine I ordered was no longer being served and they are substituting with a different wine. This was fine with me until I later received our bill and realized the waitress didn't bother to inform me that the substitute wine was a higher price. It was only a few dollars more, but I thought this was very tacky. The food being a la carte, not all of the meals can be paired well with the a la carte choices. We considered the scallops until we realized that nothing on the a la carte menu went with scallops. My wife ended up ordering a half order of pasta, which was indeed about half the size of an adult-sized portion. I ordered a $24 pot pie which contained possibly a third of a chicken breast. We left hungry and disappointed that we spent close to $100 for a glass of wine each and meals that did not come close to filling us up.


So good to eat Sly's food again!!!!
Reviewer: R. Williams from Santa Barbara, CA
Went to Slys' Friday night for dinner and it was packed! The menu, of course, is amazing and while I was reading it I wanted to order about 15 things all at once. He offers a great selection of both California and French wines. We started with the oysters rockefeller and the tomato onion salad. I knew James would be serving only the best. Yes! Beautiful farmers market, ripe, red (not white, pink, or light red) and soft tomatoes!!!! You cannot find those ANYWHERE else in town. Our entrees were chicken parmesan and pasta carbonara. He offers both 1/2 and full orders on all pasta dishes and 1/2 is definitely enough. We can't wait to go back!


Food great, hostess not so great....
Reviewer: cheryl from Santa Barbara, CA
We are locals, we walked to Sly's and boy, did Carp ever need a nice CLEAN place to eat. Carp has very few restaurants I would eat in without Purell-ing the table first. Sly's is beautiful inside and a great improvement on the old place which was filthy. I was a little turned off when I called to make reservations and asked about corking fees. We thought we should bring our own wine given the history of wine selections in Carp. I was a little insulted when the man answering the phone told me it was 15.00 unless we brought something very nice which the chef would consider good, then the fee would be dropped. I said OK that's fine and he said "Don't go bring a cheap bottle of Muscat". It was a little rude. I think they should keep that to themselves and figure out what to do with your corkage on their own in private. Our corkage was waved on the bill, I guess he liked our selection. As for service, it was great! We were very impressed and everyone did a super job. Just 1 issue and I won't let her ruin it for everyone else who did a great job. The hostess was a little to busy chatting up some friends to acknowledge us, we just stood there and felt a bit stupid. It was not a great 1st impression. As for food, we had the Lump crab cocktail, the mussels in cream (they brought the wrong mussels) but they were good, so we didn't point it out. We also had the Abalone (bless you for having it on the menu and it was FANTASTIC!! Please don't take it off!) a 10oz steak cooked perfect, broccoli as a side (also perfect) and chocolate cake to finish which was rich however very dry as if it had been opened and left uncovered since about 4 in the afternoon. So, overall, I will be recommending it for visiting friends, family and anyone else. It FAR outranks ANY restaurant in Carp in both food and service. Hands down, Slys is the cleanest restaurant in Carp and for just opening a few weeks ago, I saw no issues needing attention with the exception of the hostess needing reminding she is the 1st person we meet.


What a looker!
Reviewer: Jill Brouillard from Goleta
Dined at Sly's with friends and a great experience was had by all. The building is wonderfully retro right down to the front door with it's "air conditioning" sign, and when entering, it reminds you of the first nice restaurant you got to go to when you were growing up. The interior dining rooms are warm with a feeling of privacy even when crowded. The food is very simple, flavorful and the menu is varied enough for any palate. The dessert selection was interesting and tasty. Service was unpretentious and friendly, if needing a bit of buffing up. I would say for just two weeks along, they are doing very nicely. Sly's is a great addition to what is already a cool little street in Carpinteria. He and Annie go out of their way to make everyone feel welcome. It's the place to be, and it's not Lucky's at all, it's Sly"s.


Don't Bother
Reviewer: Kathryn from Montecito
After awaiting their opening for months, my husband & I were VERY disappointed with our experience at Sly's. Not enough room here to list all the problems at this poorly-run establishment, but I'll summarize: From the hostess when you walk in to your waiter, the service is extremely inexperienced. Our waiter, (when we finally got one), knew zero about food, wine or service. And it took forever to just get a glass of wine, because there was a line for the computer to put in the order (they'll have to get a second one.) But why he couldn't just go directly to the bartender who was somewhat slow we'll never know. The prices are as high as Lucky's in Montecito (the place that Sly once worked), without the location, ambiance, or service. All the food is a-la-carte, and not worth the big bucks. The sand dabs were good, but not great, and the Seabass (on special) was a joke! It was about 4 ounces of tasteless fish, just the pointy tail, sitting in the middle of a long empty plate! I wonder if Sly saw it before it left the kitchen? (Perhaps it was the last piece they had left.) I was offended, and wanted to send it back, but was starving and knew it would take too long. So my husband gave me half of his meal. We split a $9 iceberg wedge to accompany it, which was plain compared to the one at Montecito Cafe (for less $). They have a huge number of staff running around aimlessly, but nothing seems to get done on time. Sly's wife was seen leisurely talking to waiters, but never once asked us or any patrons how things were going. The back dining rooms were small, plain and cold, so we sat in the bar with the one TV on the wrong wall (like Murf here says.) I wouldn't bother trying this place. $110 plus tip for a subpar meal and bad service means we will not be returning.


Wanted to love it, just liked it
Reviewer: Jason from Carpinteria, CA
Like a lot of Carpinteria residents, we've been eagerly watching this place get constructed for what seems like an eternity. As Carp residents who have limited dining options, we really wanted to love it. We finally tried it for the first time last night. As noted, it's basically just like Lucky's: good, fresh food, classically prepared, for premium prices. Certainly nothing to quibble about on the food front, aside from being expensive. The problem we had is why we'd come here again when Lucky's is so close: the menus are nearly identical, Lucky's has far more ambiance (and world class people watching, all the time) and the prices are the same. If you can afford to eat here (or at Lucky's), you can certainly afford the gas to travel the extra four miles to get the magic of the original location. And, though it's nice that Carp has a new restaurant, I wish it offered something unique food-wise that wasn't easily obtained just down the 101 in Montecito (at Lucky's). Our local restaurant Zooker's, for instance, at half the price, at least has some dishes you can't find elsewhere (though I know that's comparing apples and oranges). I'll end on a positive: we finally have another full-service bar in Carp! Before Sly's, the only option for a stiff drink in Carp was buy it yourself at a liquor store, go to the Palm's or try the second floor of the Best Western (I kid you not; it can actually get kind of popular on weekends). I think we'll probably be back for appetizers and drinks if not actual entrees. Service was great once we were in. But it took them a while (three visits) to let us know we could just sit at the bar or the bar area without a reservation. Before that, when I asked if tables for two were available, it was just a standard response of "we're full for tonight."


Lucky's comes to Carp
Reviewer: Mike Mantalos from Carpinteria
The delay in opening that missed most of the summer will affect this restaurant and it will be a long, local winter. Relocating Lucky's, Sly must not have done any demographic studies and did not take into consideration this town. The staff is Lucky's, the menu is Lucky's and the prices are Lucky's, but this is a town the Palms has survived in.... meaning 14 dollar MEALS. The prime, a la carte direction will be sorely challenged once the easy money leaves town for home. The food was fine, and Lucky's wait staff was instructed to be more friendly, but they need to dumb down the menu to reflect the reality of it's location. Sly will answer the question many have pondered.... Will Montecito drive to Carp for anything?


Great Food
Reviewer: Kelly from Santa Barbara
The food during my dining experience was really good. The onion soup is probably the best I've ever had - came out piping hot. The caesar salad was fresh and great as well; even the bread was outstanding. Ask for the brown bread - much better than the other that's brought to you. My chicken, sausage and shrimp gumbo with rice was great. I really like that the red wine by the glass is served colder than room temp; however, it is a LITTLE TOO COLD! 58 - 60 degrees is perfect for drinking and storage; my wine was definitely colder than 58. Letting the glass sit for about 5-10 minutes solved that. The wine temp for the glass orders should be checked and adjusted if needed. The atmosphere is really nice. The chairs in the dining room are a little uncomfortable though - low backs. I found it kind of cheesy that there is an "air conditioned" sticker running across the front door; not sure why that needs to be advertised. I had a really nice server who was attentive. I will definitely go back even though it's a little expensive.


Not worth the Benji
Reviewer: murf from carpinteria, ca
Sly's just opened, I understand. The Bar Atmosphere...Big neck turn just to watch the only TV in the bar, look straight ahead and behold, you have an old Vespa. BTW, if you are setting in the wrong seat at the bar, they will ask you to move or leave, to make room for their new patrons. Food-wise, I had the "lobster burger" $24. Not bad, however, nothing that should be on a bun, any bun. It should be served on a bed of lettuce as are crab cakes and $24, not worth it. My opinion is that if they don't change, we will have another empty building in Carp. I do wish them best of luck without my patronage. Murf


Opening Weekend!
Reviewer: Eileen from Santa Barbara
We dined at Sly's on their third night in business. We were hosting family from out of town and staying at the B&B on that block. The restaurant was very busy on opening night and all weekend. We showed up with a party of ten at 7 pm on Sunday. They said they could not possibly seat our party at any time that night. But then someone else in our group went in and asked how many they could seat so we were proptly seated with a party of six. The decor is simple but very nice, eleganly casual. I love the retro font of the menu and design touches. The casual bar dining area up front gives way to two dining rooms with cloth tablecloths. The whole resuarant is surprisingly large as you walk through to the back. The look from the street is a bit deceiving. Our server was wonderful! She was so accomidating and cheerful throughout the evening. Even when two of the rest of our party came to join us at our table (just for drinks). Even the bus staff was polite and efficiant. The menu & food? I would describe it as expensive comfort food. As with most steakhouses and Lucky's (Sly's previous spot as chef) the vegetables and potatoes are to be ordered sparate from your entree. So you may have a $24-$46. entree and then need to order a $7-$12 side vegetable. Most of the sides would serve two or three people though. The special of the night was a Chicken Pot Pie for $24. I had $10. french onion soup that was was cold by the time it arrived but would have been wonderful if it had been hot. The waitress & kitchen accomidated a vegetarian pasta request, even though it came out wrong the first time it was great when it came the second. Our party had a steak, grilled salmon, a hamburger, pasta and shellfish. Everyone agreed the food was "pricy" for what it was but "very good", with a just few disappointments. They have classic American cocktails, fresh squeezed juice instead of mixer in mine. The wine list is organised by Us & Them for American & European. It would be impossible for a new restaurant to be perfect right out of the gate so I assume that with a few weeks of experience Sly's will be great. We will return on our own to give it another try.


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