Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Harry's Plaza Cafe
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Harry's Plaza Cafe
3313 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 687-2800

Reviews by the General Public

Very Disappointing Service, 8/17/2018
Reviewer: Christa from Santa Barbara, CA
My friend and I had a terrible experience with one of the regular waitresses. We have always enjoyed the pasta, and came especially to order that entry. We also enjoy the bread basket that is usually given while the order is being prepared. On our last visit we asked if we could have the wonderful bread basket, while we awaited our pasta. We each ordered a half-order, as we weren't as hungry that evening. The waitress was very unfriendly, and told us since we only ordered a half order of pasta, we weren't entitled to the bread basket. We could hardly believe what she was telling us! We always looked forward to having the bread with our meal. I mentioned this to the manager, and he just walked away. My friend decided to order a side salad, and the unfriendly waitress asked her, sarcastically, if we wanted to split it. We were very insulted. I guess Harry's has enough business so they don't have to appease their customers. I wrote a letter to management regarding our experience, but never received a reply. I suggested that they ask each customer before they ordered how much money they intended to spend to see if they qualified for a basket of bread which has always been provided at every table. Harry's must not feel the need to value their customers, as we are hesitant to return.

A Rewrite --
Reviewer: quatrecoin from Santa Barbara, CA
In some ways, this is the most comfortable place I can think of in Santa Barbara to go to, if you simply want a well-prepared, square meal in a warm atmosphere. I have written about it on here in the past. I would like to always come here. However - I am tired of the indifferent middle-management. The host stand is always oblivious when I come in. The guys in ties on the floor walk around scowling. It's a successful place, and that's deserved. But I still keep noticing these people in the house that are completely lacking in hospitality. It detracts from the experience enough that I decided to write this -- I may withhold my patronage eventually

The rudest waitresses on the planet
Reviewer: Charlotte from Goleta
After my sister asked our waitress if we could order please..she replied, "I have other tables you know, I'll get to you when I can!" She brings the salad with the wrong dressing and when I told her, she argued with me profusely and then stomped off muttering ?? My sister asked a different waitress if she could get us to go boxes, she cocked her head and said, that she could if she was our waitress! It was unbelievable. I think these old battle axes should retire if they can't do their job and be pleasant at the same time. The French Dip is the only thing on the menu that's decent.

Tells a Very Good Story --
Reviewer: Quatre from Santa Barbara, CA
I was fortunate to have an old friend in town before I moved here: he'd already lived here for years, and when I looked him up last spring and asked him out for lunch, this is where he took me. Whether you're known or unknown, this place provides comfort in spades. The legendary big drinks are what they are -- maybe only have one? Great clam chowder, many other successful dishes, fun and unexpected bar conversations. When I want to go out, just to go somewhere that makes me happy, this is itů the first thought. Santa Barbara is very lucky to have Harry's! (I like Lucky's too, but can't afford it very often?!)

Reviewer: David from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I love HARRY'S !!! Last night my wife had a craving for Spaghetti & Meatballs and Turkey Dip (Prego Wife at Home). I got it to go and when we got home they had missed the Au Jus with the Turkey Dip. I gave them a call not to complain just to let them know this had happened. To my surprise the manager called back five minutes later and asked for our home address and sent a wonderful lady to drop off a brand new order.... I mean come on who does this anymore !! I can't even begin to tell you how amazing that was and you have customer for LIFE !! Even considering HARRY as a potential name of our first child :.

Getting less for more
Reviewer: Charlotte from Goleta
We've been coming here for years and have noticed many corners are bring cut and the prices are increasing. Even the once strong drinks are now a lot of ice and $10 for a well Marguerita not even made with fresh juice. I even asked the waitress if there was a mistake in the price of a crappy well Marguerita, she sniped "no". The $16 battered fish and chips is made of frozen Swaii, that came all the way from Vietnam! Really? We don't have any local fish here in SB.! They used to use Halibut or Cod. So they again raise the price and serve less quality for more$$. My Mother's beef dip had 1/2 the meat it had the time before. My daughter asked if the Fresh Salmon was really fresh and if it was wild. The server replied, "neither". So for $$$ we can think we are getting what the menu reads but really we are getting farm raised frozen Salmon. All prices are very high here for mediocre at best diner food. Makes me sad that I won't ever eat here again.

This place has gone downhill.
Reviewer: Morgan C. from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been going here for years, and typically have a wonderful experience. However, my partner and I went there for our anniversary. It took three hostesses and ten minutes to get a table, even though there was no wait. We were seated in the very back, next to the bar, the bathroom, the kitchen, and the wait station. Not exactly romantic. When we asked to be reseated, the hostess gave us quite a bit of attitude. Our waiter was average, and the food was mediocre. We weren't even offered the fresh ground pepper that is usually floating around. Seems like a management issue; we won't be celebrating this former SB tradition anytime soon.

Wonderful non sports bar bar!
Reviewer: Kathy from Santa Barbara, CA
I like how the people complaining about not being able to watch the game say they are all locals, yet one of the people (obviously the party wrote two complaints) claim to be from buellton. Anyways, I have been there several times where they have been able to accommodate our tv requests, and several times they can't. It has never bothered us because IT IS NOT A SPORTS BAR!!! The food and service is wonderful always! My guess is that you had a negative experience because you were negative.

Still and will always love it
Reviewer: Steve L from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I have been coming to Harry's for 30 years and we love the atmoshere here! I just dont understand the last reviews. We have never gone to Harry's to "Watch TV" we eat, we drink(and I must admit they are really strong), have a good conversation with each other and friends. I dont think of Harrys as a sports bar and most of our friends don't either. As always we love the steak bites. PS if you REALY WANT TO WATCH A GAME STAY HOME

Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
Weird that the manager would not be in the know of the Dodgers clinching the playoff series that night over a Falcons Jets game, get your SoCal priorities straight manager or go back to Atlanta or NY where you are probably from!

Worst Experience Ever
Reviewer: Kay from Santa Barbara, CA
We went to Harry's last night to sit at a booth by the bar with another couple so that we could watch the Dodger playoff game. I had called in advance to make sure that the game was on, and the hostess was great. She seated us in a great booth with a view of the game. We all ordered a drink and we were just about to order dinner, when the TV was switched to football. It seems that the booth next to us (that was seated after us) requested it. We asked the manager to switch it back but he refused. We asked the nice people in the booth next to us if we could switch back to baseball at halftime and they said yes, when the manager walked by and asked us to quit "harassing the guests". We tried to talk to him but he needlessly escalated the situation and asked us to leave. We are all locals, over 60, and have eaten at Harry's for years. The manager was angry, rude, and disrespectful throughout the encounter. Wow, this was the worst experience ever.

Harry's has gotten even better
Reviewer: Jinelle from Santa Barbara, CA
Such a long tradition here but too long since I have returned, though we see the stream of regulars marching in when we sit in the Renaud's patio. Time to return and so glad we did: the bread, butter salsa starter was even better than I remembered, really fresh flavors, delicious clam chowder soup of the day -best in town so far, very flavorful prime 8 ounce sirloin which is too hard to find that size in town and really this is a very adequate portion. Fries could have been better, more on the softer than crispy side but tasty enough. Yes there was room for dessert so a split of the lemon meringue pie was the perfect topper. Fresh flavor and lots of merge - quite a treat over the usual industrial version of this classic. Service was efficient, friendly and professional. Wonderful ambience to the whole place and one felt they had landed on a treasured local secret with all generations present from young to old, and all looked very much at home at their Harry's. Gorgeous long wooden bar, low key lighting, lots of old time photos, yup it is throwback time, yet current in its menu offerings of classics with a contemporary twist. Even the vegetable side was credible with some crunch left in the array of ubiquitous choices. Only low point was in fact the seating felt too low for the table height . I felt like I was sitting at the big kid's table and they should have handed me the kiddie menu. Booths would be a better choice than the tables, if they are available. Keep Harry's on your short-list when you just want good old fashion classical American dining.

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