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Red Pepper Restaurant
282 Orange Ave, Goleta
Phone: (805) 964-0995

Reviews by the General Public

Hidden Gem
Reviewer: Jess from Santa Barbara, CA
This is by far one of the best Chinese spots in the SB area. The atmosphere is very casual, which is nice - the quality of food from a more fancy Chinese place like those downtown, but not so uptight. Its an unfussy atmosphere and the food shines. The salt and pepper spare ribs are delicious. The chow mein was great - not too greasy and all of the ingredients were cooked perfectly. I will definitely be coming back!

Big Big Secret!
Reviewer: Quatre from VA
I have lived in Santa Barbara for two years now, and with my past being in New York and Los Angeles, with a lot of exposure to quality Chinese cooking, I have been frustrated here. But sometimes it takes awhile to find the right place. This is perhaps even more true when the right place turns out to be on a random side street off of Hollister Avenue in Goleta. I mean, who would have known? I think I have this guide to thank for finding it: I may have systematically gone through the other names listed here before I found Red Pepper. Anyway, I think it's extremely good, in an era where most Chinese cuisine in America is in a complete and utter slump. I have only had one visit -- there will be more. I want to mention how clean and nice it is - very simple - don't expect Shun Lee Palace. The ladies running the dining room are so sweet and attentive. One kept saying, after I complimented her: 'Welcome Home.' I think she's on to something. Go

A family run restaurant that will make your family happy
Reviewer: George from Goleta, CA
I'm a local business person who entertains both his out of town guests and family at the Red Pepper at least monthly, sometimes weekly. When I want a nice meal and casual atmosphere, its my go to favorite in Goleta. It is a hard to find, out of the way place, which is good, because it is small. Locals that know it love it. The hostess is usually very warm and gracious and they will make almost anything you would like, just ask for it. Our favorites are General's chicken, basil beef, kung pao chicken, marinated, sautÚd green beans, "pancakes" (definitely best in SB). Just remember, this is not Denny's, it is a family restaurant. Treat it with gratitude, love and respect and you will be rewarded, and so will your kids and guests.

My favorite Chinese Food place!
Reviewer: Sue from Santa Barbara, CA
If you are looking for Orange Chicken or beef and brocolli chicken, fine but you are missing out on the good stuff! My boyfriend and I always choose the Soy Kung Pao Chicken, Cashew Chicken and Shrimp Fried Rice. IT IS SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS. IF you decide to go, please take my word for it and try one of the entrees I listed. Neither of us are vegetarian but we order the soy kung pao chicken bc it is so moist and flavorful.

Tofu and Mixed Chinese Vegetables
Reviewer: Robert from Santa Barbara, CA
I asked if they could make something not on the menu: mixed Chinese vegetables with tofu. They asked me what kind of tofu, and I said it didn't matter. It didn't take long for them to bring me an incredible dish for dinner. The sauce was awesome, the vegetables truly a mixture of different Chinese types, and the price was not extra because I asked for something off the menu. This dinner was so good i went back a couple weeks later and tried the vegetarian curry chicken. It was out of this world. I just loved it. Spicy but not too much. Flavorful but not overwhelming. Never had tofu curry this great. I'm a regular now.

History is the best judge
Reviewer: Robert from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been going to the Red Pepper for about ten years and have never had a bad meal. The food is always very good and the prices very reasonable. I love the basil scallops and shrimp, but also the tofu curry chicken is awesome. They always have good sauces, not overwhelming but delicate and tasty. The service varies depending upon circumstances but Sue nor anyone else there has always been courteous to me and helpful. I have no idea why some people have issues with this place. Let history be the judge. Ten years is a long time to really like a place, and I still go there and will continue to do so. It's a great deal and a special secret of Goleta.

Don't ask for service, they get offended.
Reviewer: Paula from Santa Barbara, CA
We had been here before and had no problems. This time, it was a Thursday night, we had a little over 90 minutes set aside for dinner. There was only two of us and many of the tables were for 4 or more people each. We were seated a tiny corner that must have been a closet at some point. We were given water and tiny salads but no chopsticks (or other utensils) and no menus. After waiting 10 minutes, one of us decided to go get some menus. After waiting 15 additional minutes, we succeed in flagging down a waitress who immediately asks if we are in a hurry. We say no but tell her that we do have another place to be at in an hour. She then starts yelling at us, saying that we shouldn't come to this restaurant if we were in a hurry, NEVER MIND THAT WE WERE ALREADY WAITING NEARLY A HALF AN HOUR ALREADY. Yeah, we're not going to go there again.

Awful Food
Reviewer: Brett from Santa Barbara, CA
I don't know what the hype is behind this place. Last week I picked up Orange Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken and Vegetable Chow Mein. We were very excited to try "the best chinese food" in Santa Barbara. Seriously, Panda Express is better. The Orange Chicken....where is the chicken. All we got were orange peels and deep fried batter. No chicken. It was rubbery and made me think of old socks. It was awful. The Kung Pao chicken, watery, spicy, no flavor. The Chow Mein, rubbery, dry, flavorless. What a waste of $30 plus gas driving to and from downtown. I know everyone loves the onion pancake, but what about the real food????? I'm so confused as to what the attraction is here. I won't eat here again. We threw away all the leftover. What a waste.

So so
Reviewer: Charlotte from Goleta
Went there with family. Orange chicken and Kung pao beef dry and salty. Hot & sour soup and onion pancakes were worth going! No hugs, no smiles?? We were very polite, what's the deal? Just ok. :( We desperately miss Hu's in Palms, West L.A.!!!!!

Best Food!!
Reviewer: Claire from Santa Barbara, CA
I come here for lunch all the time... the food is amazing and the service is fast! I usually order an onion pancake and kong pao's the best!

Great food, Great Prices and Hugs
Reviewer: Marilyn M from Santa Barbara, CA
Read the reviews and was curious to see how accurate they were. The food was so good with generous portions and super reasonable prices. We had the onion pancakes, pot stickers, sweet and sour pork and spicy basil beef. The two meat dishes were overflowing with meat and fresh and tasty. Service was friendly and welcoming. My husband mentioned to the waiter that he liked the music playing and the owner Su came over and gave him the CD. That's when I got my first hug. i got my second on the way out. Great place, off the beaten path! We'll be back for sure.

Best Chinese Food Outside of San Francisco
Reviewer: Nancy from Santa Barbara
Love the onion pancakes, the general's chicken, the soup, the salad and the kiss from Mama when I leave. I look forward to eating at the Red Pepper on a regular basis...I hope it never goes away!!!

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