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Madam Lu
3524 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 898-9289

Reviews by the General Public

Stubled upon a treasure
Reviewer: Joe & Pat from Riverside, CA
A recent road trip (whatever the road brings)brought us to Santa Barbara. We had decided to eat at the nearest restaurant, which happened to be Madam Lu. We were immediately greeted and seated. Décor was very elegant and relaxing after some hours on the road. Now, to what a restaurant is all about the food. Awesome. The portions were generous and everything was perfectly prepared. The taste was a little different than most places and that is meant as a compliment. Our meal was a great gift from the "Road Trip" gods and a perfect anniversary celebration meal.

Service is back at Madame Lu!
Reviewer: Christine from Santa Barbara, CA
I wrote a review awhile ago to complain about the lack of service and issues with delivery. I'm happy to report we've ordered delivery from Madame Lu twice during the past month and both orders were just as ordered and on time. The food is still "OK" American-style Chinese but it's what's tastiest to us here in SB. Very glad that whatever was wrong at Madame Lu now seems to be RIGHT again!

salty or tasteless
Reviewer: Karen from Santa Barbara, CA
We have been eating at this restuarant for years, they are either cuting corners or trying to save a buck! the food has gotten completely tasteless and the soup is so salty we threw it out. they are not cheap, I don't mind spending the money if the food is good. We will be finding another place that appreciates the businness and takes pride in what they serve. Madame Lu's does not do this. It doesn't take long before the word gets out and people just stop going.

Reviewer: Nicholas and family from Santa Barbara, CA
We ordered a meal to be delivered. The food was not to order and sooooo overpriced even with the generous cash tip he took. We will never do business again with Madam Lu. Their customer service is hideous. Although we requested no msg or salt, the order was so salty it was not edible. We have given Madam Lu many chances over the past 8 years. It's over...never again after gouging prices & their delivery men who are so blatantly aggressive! We will go back to China Pavilion on Coast Village Road who is loving and cares about the simple details like "no salt/msg" China Pavilion is worth the $2. extra dollars per meal which are soo much more generous in size, pure and delicious.

Madam Lu
Reviewer: Sally Spork from Santa Barbara, CA
My review for Madam Lu. Atmosphere: Most Chinese resturants I have been to are dark with heavy brocade like tapestry or decor. Not Madam Lu: spacious dining area, white walls and white tables and chairs. Elegant glass etchings of Asian empresses adorned the walls and entry way. Service: We were seated promptly, we did go on a weekday night and there was plenty of seating. Our order was taken promptly and food delivered quickly. Food: We ordered two soups: Wonton and Hot and Sour.The server (owner?) came to our table to serve the soup, gave it a stir and quickly dashed back to the kitchen with it. We wondered why the quick exit, and after we asked, she told us "No wontons. I had to find them." The soups were hot and tasty. We ordered a dish with scallops which had a tasty gravy and also curry fried wontons as an appetizer. These had no flavor and the 'curry' part were two side small bowls with a hot mustard and a sweet sauce in another. Summary: the overall experience was a positive one, however I will say I'm really wanting to find Chinese food in the Santa Barbara area that knocks my socks off which I have NOT found. Oh well, I guess that is what a good trip to the city is for.

End of era? So disappointed
Reviewer: Christine from Santa Barbara, CA
We've been loving Madame Lu as our exclusive Chinese delivery for 13 years. The last two deliveries were a mess. The first one, we ordered and after over an hour called back, our order was left out for "pick up" although we specified delivery. The second one was last night. We called at 6. Called back at 7:15 and were told 15 minutes. Called back at 8, were told they missed our order and would make immediately. Food arrived 15 minutes later, tasted great as always, but the scallions for the duck were forgotten. What's going on at Madame Lu? Time for retirement to take a break? We'd understand and will miss you. Rather than think poorly of you, as our recent experiences have left us.

Best Chinese Food in SB, Period.
Reviewer: Kevin from Santa Barbara, CA
I'll make this simple. Madam Lu is good for, 1. More traditional tasting authentic Chinese food. 2. No sweet sauce or sweet taste in every freakin darn dish, like so many other so called Chinese restaurants that non-Chinese people tend to love. 3. Always order from the Chinese menu, ask for it. They don't give it out be default. We never have the buffet there, order from the CHINESE MENU. All the good stuff is on there. I see people going there and order Broccoli Beef, common, this isn't Panda Express.

Good basic Chinese.
Reviewer: Madelyn from San Luis Obispo, CA
First time there and was only passing through SB. Not my favorite ever but good Chinese food. Water boy was way better than the waitress but it didnt really matter.

Worst buffet ever
Reviewer: Keith Connes from Goleta, CA
I dined here once before at dinner time and the food was okay. Then my wife and I returned for the lunch buffet and it was pretty bad. One real annoyance was that some of the dishes were not labeled so we had to try them to find out what they were and that didn't help much. A so-called crab dish had some sort of filler minced in and bore little resemblance to seafood. The shrimp dish also had filler in the form of a thick breading. Fortunately, I've forgotten about most of the rest except that we didn't really like anything. The owner and chef ought to pay a visit to Yen Ching or Ming Dynasty to learn about a proper Chinese buffet.

Worst chinese buffet
Reviewer: Tanya from Santa Barbara, CA
The buffet was very disappointing. We arrived at one thirty and they were aldready breaking down part of the buffet. The dim sum appetizer area. The shrimp were tasteless mush or fried salty grease balls. I would not recomend this resturant to anyone. Service slow and no water refill

freshest hottest mustard
Reviewer: Darius Lundberg from Santa Barbara, CA
A multitude of mediocre sins were once again amply disguised by the best kept secret about this establishment-- their made-fresh-daily hot mustard. All that's tough, old, or cold is transformed by it. But you have to ask for it with a knowing nod and a wink. They'll know what you mean.

Always Insist On The Fresh Hot Mustard
Reviewer: Darius Lundberg from Santa Barbara, CA
It is probable that the little plastic packs of hot mustard have far exceeded their expiration dates. Always ask for the freshly made hot mustard.

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