Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Mandarin Palace
Neighbor Tims BBQ

Mandarin Palace
3955 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 683-2158

Reviews by the General Public

A hair in the egg foo yung!
Reviewer: Bernard from Santa Barbara, CA
A Friday evening takeaway turned into a gagging session when my wife found a hair in her egg foo yung. I'd chosen the chicken chow mein which (up until then) I'd been enjoying, but my wife said she'd never eat anything from this place again. The next day I went back and (to their credit) they refunded my money with no problems, but if you eat at this place, please check your food very carefully before you eat it.

After 15+ years, we're finding a new Chinese restaurant
Reviewer: Don from Santa Barbara, CA
We've stuck by the new owners expecting as good as or better than the previous owners. We eat there or pick-up about once a week. Between the last 3 orders, the order was either wrong or unappealing. The last meal had the extra order of rice forgotten (twice now), the soup was so salty it was inedible and the chicken was so tough, it ate like jerky, as if it had been cooked again and again. I hope you have a better experience as the new owners seem nice, but we're moving on.

Reviewer: Glenn from Santa Barbara, CA
Ok when I went awhile ago under new management maybe? Have you tried China Palace in Montecito yet?

That's it! I give up!
Reviewer: Charlotte from Goleta
That's it! I have given up on finding a half way decent Chinese restaurant here in town! I'm done throwing my $ down a rat hole! Our lunch quickly came out of the kitchen with only the entree hot. Cold fried rice (with no egg or veg.) egg roll, wonton was also served cold. The strangest egg drop soup. It was this clear, (I think they make the soup with water instead of chicken stock, hence the lack of color and flavor) the soup was really gelatinous (wayyy too much cornstarch folks!) tasteless, no point of eating it whatsoever. The orange peel chicken was over breaded and again with the heavy handed cornstarch already! Sechwan shrimp was over seasoned I think to mask the fishy tasting shrimp. The dessert offering was a canned pineapple niblet and a tiny square of jello. A sliced orange would have been fine.The last time I had fantastic Chinese was at Hu's Sechwan in W. L.A. 5 years ago. Well worth a road trip!

Love It
Reviewer: Tiffany from Santa Barbara, CA
This place has me hooked. I love the owners, they treat us with something every time as we are regulars. Also, the food is incredible. Steamed fish all the way! My family and I come here weekly because we just can't get enough

Reviewer: Don from Santa Barbara, CA
Have had literally hundreds of meals here over the years, but not recently. Unfortuately, their service and food quality has gone downhill in a big way. The egg rolls were soggy. I drove several miles to pick up the order. Upon opening it they gave us chicken and broccoli, which we did not order. They did not include the salad which the internet site phone order clearly noted was to be included.I showed them that it was included, on the first line. They showed me a mention at the bottom that it is excludes. Barely read the small print. Now, after two trips to get the order right, wouldn't you think they would comp a salad which costs them 50 cents? Given the confusing info on the phone order site? OF COURSE NOT, and I found that amazing. If they do not correct their site, I am sending a negative review to the 3100 SB folks on my email list.

Best Chinese Food Ever
Reviewer: Jamie from Santa Barbara, CA
We've been going to Mandarin Palace for over 25 years and the food there is absolutely the best Chinese food in Santa Barbara. We have eaten Chinese food in China town in many large cities (NYC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc) and none of those meals compare to the consistently delicious meals we get at Mandarin Palace. We recently decided to change to a plant-based diet, and Mandarin Palace is even able to accommodate that lifestyle change with their soy chicken options (all delicious). Also, the owners, Jennifer and Jerry are really nice people who support the local community. This is a true locals treasure!

Lunch let-down
Reviewer: Eric from Santa Barbara, CA
I've eaten dinner here in the past and enjoyed the food and service but my lunch experience today was very different. I sat waiting to order for nearly 5 minutes as the waitress chatted with someone in Chinese. She finally came over and took my order all seemed right with the world again. Then the soup arrived - it was served in a generous sized bowl that was filled 1/3 of the way. It made it look like they were rationing the last of the food to see such a tiny amount of soup in such a large bowl. My food arrived on a sectional plate with appetizers, rice, salad and the main course, salt and pepper chicken. It also included a small plate with an orange slice and a wedge of jello that reminded me of nearly every hospital cafeteria I've ever been in. My apps were cold as if they had been prepped an hour earlier and sat waiting for a customer to come along. The real downer of the experience though was the quality of the chicken. It was fatty dark meat like you would expect at Panda Express. I did my best to find the actual meaty sections before paying my bill and leaving dissatisfied. Bummer of a meal.

Reviewer: Mike from North Hollywood,CA
Christmas Day and looking for something open We were so happy for this find. Best sweet and sour chicken we've ever had. Great soup. Polite staff!

Used to be our favorite Chinese restaurant in town.
Reviewer: Lisa from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been going to Mandarin Palace for years and it has consistently been delicious. Though the last three times we have been in the quality has declined significantly. I called to find out if their chef had changed and they said no. We are now on the search for a new favorite :(

Great Food....Sweet Place
Reviewer: Jacquie from Santa Barbara, CA
My husband and I have been to many of the Chinese places in town...And Mandarin Palace is by far one of the best...and I can be very picky about restaurants, and the wait staff is very nice. Love they're salad dressing! And the Mongolian Beef!

Ok Food, large portions, Nice people
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
The only negatives I could see were some of the meat I had was not the choicest and served fried instead of steamed rice. Also the decor was tired, the place was small and the parking can be bad. Other than that the food was fairly good, the people were nice there and portions were really big so worth a try to compare with other places around.

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