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California Pasta
[closed, no longer in business]

3979 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 683-1411

  • Category: Italian
  • Hours: Sun-Thu 11am-9:00pm, Fri-Sat 11am-9:30pm
  • Price: $10 - $20
  • Serving: Lunch & Dinner
  • Reservations: Yes, but usually not needed
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Reviews by the General Public

Was never nearly as good as downtown location
Reviewer: Spencer from Santa Barbara, CA
All I can really say is that this place never even came close to matching the quality (in food and service) that their downtown location had. Hopefully the (no offense to the owners) embarassment of this location won't have people judge their restaurant downtown. I tried this location twice before never going back and eating downtown instead although this was right by my house.


Not as good as Paseo Nuevo location
Reviewer: Reid from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I have always liked the food at the Paseo Nuevo California Pasta. Today (5-23-10) we tried the 5-points location for lunch and were not impressed. Suggestions: - Make it clear to patrons that you order at the counter (put the menu above the counter or at least put up a sign that says 'order here'). - Clean the place (it had a nasty odor). - Work on the food (it's not as good as downtown). My main complaint was that the place smelled bad and looked dirty. That's enough to keep me from ever going back. If a restaurant is dirty out front, I can only imagine what's going on in the kitchen. On the plus side, the food was prepared extremely fast! My wife's dish (a chicken pasta with pesto sauce) was really good. My fusili carbonara, however, was totally bland (they definitely need to work on the carbonara sauce). The 'waiter' was very friendly and helpful. I would love to see this place improve. We really like the downtown location and it would be great to have one uptown.


Cilantro in pasta??
Reviewer: Elena from Santa Barbara, CA
I ordered two dishes to-go and only had to wait about 15 min. Not bad considering there was only one person waiting on the entire restaurant. I felt badly for him. He was attentive as he could be even as he told me that a co-worker didn't show up. The dishes were generous in size and tasted pretty good. Yet please no cilantro in the linguini and bolognese sauce! I'm from Boston and used to truly authentic Italian. The meatballs were a bit tasteless as were the rolls. The other dish had artichokes, chicken and sundried tomatoes and was really yummy. I'll order takeout again for sure.


Birthday Dinner Ruined
Reviewer: Maria Doherty from Santa Barbara, CA
Was just there tonight for my birthday dinner. I chose CP in 5-points because I had been there for lunch a couple of months ago and loved the Chinese Chicken Salad. Well, dinner was a very different experience. For starters, my husband ordered the Cajun Shrimp Penne and got the Cajun Chicken Linguini. My eldest daugher and I both were looking forward to the Chinese Chicken Salad for dinner and requested this, although it was not on the dinner menu; however, when we got our orders, the chicken was undercooked and pink and the dressing was not the tangy vinagrette I had experienced at lunch previously, but just an oily dressing with no flavor!!! Needless to say, neither one of us ate our salads and left our plates full and asked that both salads be taken off the tab, which they didn't. However, my youngest daughter ordered the Baked Manicotti, which she thought was ok. So, out of four dinners at one table, they managed to get one right, that's only 25% of a possible 100% score. Needless to say, my birthday dinner was ruined and I left hungry and very dissatisfied!!!! I hope that they will work on getting the ingredients to their meals to be consistent through out lunch and dinner


Horrible service
Reviewer: Lisa from Santa Barbara, CA
Sitting here right now for twenty minutes and have not payed attention to me


lost in translation - across town
Reviewer: ChrisC from Santa Barbara, CA
Order at the counter, take a number, wait for food to be brought to table. Same indoor/outdoor model as downtown, only in a much larger (and rather dark) space. Service was pleasant enough, though minimal. Unfortunately, the same dishes which are delectable at the Paseo Nuevo location were passable at Five Points. While the ingredients appear similar, the treatments are poles apart. Crispy garlic bread is replaced with soft twisted garlic rolls (ala the old Milano). Same self-serve beverages, plus some wines. Hope the owners can translate the downtown touch to the uptown store.


Should have gone to Paseo Nuevo location
Reviewer: Craig from Santa Barbara, CA
I had dined at the Paseo Nuevo location and had been very happy with the food and service, so I was excited about having another location close to home in Five Points. As it turned out, the menu was different and my favorites were not available. The prices were much higher than downtown, based I was told, on that waiters were taking the orders rather than ordering at the counter. The service was fair at best and the dishes were awful. A side dish of fettucine alfredo came with linguini and the sauce was so salty it was inedible. The chicken piccata included a lemon seed that I unfortunately did not see before I bit into it. The chicken was also poorly cooked. Another pasta dish that was ordered was not nearly as delicious as the same dish prepared downtown. And last, we were overcharged for one of the dishes and had to have the bill corrected. It was not a good evening and in the future, I will stick with the Paseo Nuevo location.


Please work on your communication skills...
Reviewer: Zana from Santa Barbara, CA
I decided to give CP a try since it's close to my work and I had a discount card. I called in my order because I am at work and didn't have time to wait. I told him I was calling in for pick up and said what I wanted. He said "ok" and then hung up. I called right back thinking it was a mistake, the same guy answered and took my order again, but then realized that I had just placed the exact same order and he asked why I was calling again. I told him because he just hung up and didn't say how long it was going to be or say goodbye so I figured it was a mistake. He said, no he got my order. Weird, but fine. He said it would take 10 mins. I drove over after 15 mins and walked in and said I was here to pick up my order. He seemed surprised and asked what I ordered again. Then went back to the kitchen and I heard him order it. He came back to me and said it would just be another 3 mins (like they were already making it...) 15 mins later my food came out. Seriously??? I had to have been the only person to call in (twice, mind you) and was the only person in the restaurant. I left so mad. Cajun chicken pasta was missing the peas and the avo pasta was missing the tomato. (I liked the sauce on the avo pasta though, yummy.) The cajun chicken wasn't anything special, a bit oily.


Cosi-cosi
Reviewer: Jason Koivu from Santa Barbara, CA
Went on a busy night, which is good for the business, but not so good for the dining experience. The lay out and sparse decor allow noise to carry, so it gets loud. The servers were running around ragged, and wasting a lot of their own valuable time. Instead of grabbing one cup at a time and taking it to the kitchen for a water refill, why not walk around with a pitcher? Also I noticed waiters were often carrying plates of food around the restaurant unsure of which table to deliver it to. One of our dishes was incorrect. I saw the manager with his head in his hands at one point. Here's hoping this wasn't their usual performance and they were just having an off night. The food was fine. The chicken was a little gristly and the bread was a bit dry, but the flavors in general were tasty. I had a difficult time choosing something from the menu, because they had so many delicious sounding dishes. However, with so many other solid choices for Italian in this town, I'd be hard pressed to return to California Pasta.


Avocado farfalle
Reviewer: Kate from Santa Barbara, CA
So glad they opened this location. As an self-admitted avocado addict, I'm glad to see that I no longer have to brave the downtown traffic to get my fix. Thanks CP!


The Food is AMAZING and the patio can be quite entertaining
Reviewer: Rachel from Santa Barbara
I loved the fact that the menu had so many choices, yet it was not overwhelming. I went in with a party of 4 and we all tried something different. Everything that came out looked fresh and tasted amazing (Lemon Herb Chicken Penne, Spinach Salad, Cajun Avocado Sandwich and yummy Lasagna). I liked the fact that the portions were big and even had some left overs. The ceasar salad that my bf had with his sandwich was the bomb!!! We sat on the patio, and even though it is next to the parking lot, it was quite entertaining watching people trying to get a parking spot. It was really nice sitting by the water fountain and listening to the music playing on the patio. It was our first time and we will definately be back for more!!!


BEST LASAGNA EVER!!!!
Reviewer: Oria from orange county, ca
I live in Orange County and have been to the new California Pasta (formerly Milano's and Maria's)...why did you have to open 'after' I moved from SB?! I daydream all day about your meat lasagna! It's made fresh (wait is about 15 min) and it's well worth the wait...I love it, love it, love it! I've been there 3 times since you've changed ownership, menu and staff...I do NOT have 1 complaint...except, for maybe not having a CP in the OC! The staff is wonderful and very knowledgeable. Also, the patio is very inviting and a wonderful way to spend an afternoon/evening after shopping and just relaxing with delicious food and a glass of wine, (or bottle, depending on your day).


BEST LASAGNA EVER!!!!
Reviewer: Oria from Santa Barbara, CA
I live in Orange County and have been to the new California Pasta (formerly Milano's and Maria's)...why did you have to open 'after' I moved from SB?! I daydream all day about your meat lasagna! It's made fresh (wait is about 15 min) and it's well worth the wait...I love it, love it, love it! I've been there 3 times since you've changed ownership, menu and staff...I do NOT have 1 complaint...except, for maybe not having a CP in the OC! The staff is wonderful and very knowledgeable. Also, the patio is very inviting and a wonderful way to spend an afternoon/evening after shopping and just relaxing with delicious food and a glass of wine, (or bottle, depending on your day).


BREAD
Reviewer: Kathy from Santa Barbara, CA
Best bread ever!!! We are on our way now, because we love that bread. The service was great.


Great food and service
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
Food I got was great(I like garlic!) and the waiter was very nice and professional. The inside is very elegantly decorated and inviting. Only thing I would recommend is to keep the front doors closed to keep the parking lot noise traffic out as its right there along with any knats flying in. Wait a little long for food. Bread was really good. They basically are California Pasta now with their menus. They also have kids menus. Inside and Out seating and far back seating available away from the parking lot.


Pretty good food decent but slow service.
Reviewer: JoAnna from Santa Barbara, CA
I currently live in Santa Barbara but this was my first time there, and I must say that it is my last also! I thought the food was pretty good, the server was a wonderful person, but the length of time and the atmosphere were horrible! It's nothing against out server because she was great! I don't blame her whatsoever. But the amount of time that it took for the food to get to us was outrageous! There were people sitting right next to us that came in about 10 minutes after us that had their food about 10 minutes before us! I really did not like the atmosphere at all! We walked in and there was a 15 minute wait with nowhere to sit! We had a young child with us and it was diffucult to even move around! The atmosphere reminded me of Denny's. I was very fast pace and crowded. I believe that if they slowed down the pace, had somewhere to sit, and made more room to move around the entire restaurant this would be a great family restaurant!


Large portions of low average food
Reviewer: Hajir Sailors from Santa Barbara, CA
Real italian food made by real italian women...that's what a whole bunch of placards on the tables say...of course looking into that kitchen you see a bunch of hispanic men...if you remember mama maria's italian kitchen, an older restaraunt in santa barbara you would rememer food that did fit this quality, unfortuantely the owenrs of that restaraunt are now too old to run a restaraunt but they have eaten here with me and the food according to them is more the kind of taste you would get from sticking a frozen lasagna into your oven. It's average food, in large portions at a reasonable price. The menu is huge, but nothing on the menu that i've tried has been amazingingly good. The calzones are good for part of it, but half of the calzone is just bread and cheese. More filling would be nice. There are many changes that could be made, but it is not worth the price for this type of italian food.


great place
Reviewer: john from santa barbara ca
service,food was all excellent!!!!! bread was not bad either


Go for the style of food, Ignore the service.
Reviewer: Tony Mollica from Santa Ynez, CA
I dined at Marias with my wife on December 18th about 40 minutes till closing time. We were seated promptly and they brought out fresh basil-olive oil bread to our table. I ordered the chicken fettucine alfredo and I have to say that it was done very well...very simple just the way I like it. My wife ordered the pasta with meat sauce and italian sausage and said it was not over saucy and not undercooked. In fact she made the same comment about how simple and delicious it was. Which brings me to my final point: Many people...better yet 90% of people in general dont know didly squat about italian food styles and difference. I have been trying to educate friends and family for years about the difference between east coast-jersey italian food and what pascucci on state st. likes to call "gourmet". People that dont do their homework are really dumb....because food doesnt have to be overworked. I dont need to pay 41.00 dollars for a plate of alfredo served in Montecito at Mollies when I can get the same stuff for 10.00 at Marias! My wife doesnt need to drive to Olio E Limone and pay 37.50 for a plate of pasta when she ordered the same food for 10.00. Bottom line: who cares about the service, Im only going for what counts-east coast style italian food.


McDonalds Italian Kitchen
Reviewer: Joe and Nicole from Santa Barbara, CA
My Wife and I came to Maria’s on a Thursday night and we were looking for a relaxing dining experience, but the whole atmosphere of the restaurant felt extremely rushed as if we were in a fast food joint. Our food was sent back to the kitchen because it was not made correctly the first time. Personal opinion, I feel like Maria's should take more time preparing their food and slow down the pace of the restaurant.


First and last visit.
Reviewer: Frequent Diner from Santa Barbara
Mediocre food and inept service. Went to Maria's for the first time. Garlic rolls were hot and good. But it went downhill from there. Large portions of just OK pasta. Waitress dropped off food, never came back to see if we needed something. Dropped off bill while we were 3/4 through dinner and said "I'll take that when your ready" Did it ever occur to our waitress that we might want desert and coffee? We asked another waitress about coffee and desert. She recommended the flour-less chocolate cake and told us how good it was when heated. Then she brought it and looked at the dirty dishes covering the table and moved them around to make room for the desert which by the way was not heated. I then politely suggested she remove some dishes and she did, but of course she picks up my wine glass which was 1/2 full. Then our long lost original waitress brings back the check with a smiley face thank you on the check and pours on the charm. Been there, done that. $65.00 dinner. Better off at Presto Pasta,


Great bread and service; Weird taste of food
Reviewer: Brent from Goleta, CA
The GOOD: The servers were welcoming and attentive; in fact, it I seemed to have 2 or 3. The atmosphere was pleasant, although clearly franchise-y. The warm fresh bread coated with pesto & served with herbed olive oil for dipping was GREAT-- & probably raised my expectations for the rest of the meal. With regard to other comments: I won't say portions were generous, but they were adequate, especially considering the bottomless bread. The BAD: the tomato sauce used in my meal had such a strange taste that I couldn't identify (something like soap), and definitely did not taste as "fresh" as proclaimed. This tarnished the whole experience. Furthermore, the veal that I was served had the texture of a sponge, as if overly processed-- not the expected tender, "fresh" cutlet. And again with the weird taste in the sauce. I don't trust whoever is giving this place 5 stars: I simply could not eat here again, except for the bread.


Good entrance bad follow
Reviewer: Burte from Goleta
We went there for a lunch. Atmosphere was nice. Service was good. It was the first time. The bread they bring at the beginning is really good but then food was really horrible. We got eggplant parmesan and veal parmesan, they were both not good at all. They were greasy and tasting sort of sour almost, maybe too much tomato paste. I don't think we would go there again.


Excellent Italian
Reviewer: Lola from Goleta, CA
The food at Maria's is authentic and very reasonably priced. I have tried numerous dishes on their menu and have yet to be disapointed. The portions are fair for the price. I don't think you need to be served massive portions to have an excellent meal. Quantity does not equal quality. The service is excellent. Everyone is really nice and prompt.


Authentic quality food; mangiamo!

I have been eating Maria´s each week since my first bite of this authentic, quality food! I grew up on Italian food that my grandmother and mother cooked and they are from Italy. I can appreciate the quality ingredients that Maria´s chooses to prepare with; fresh meats and incredibly delicious meatballs; quality olive oil; fresh, robust garlic, fresh, ripe, juicy tomatoes, Pecorino/Romano cheese, and the pasta can´t be beat! It´s one of life´s simple treasures with the best and biggest taste in town! You aren´t living unless you try Maria´s for yourself! The other "italian" restaurants better watch out!


best in s.b.
Reviewer: Billy from Santa Barbara
it was my first time eating here,I was walking by with my friends.We loved it,service,food and the music was great.I had the bbq chopped salad and it was the best I have ever had.The cheese cake is to die for.Parking a little tough but well worth it.


So good!
Reviewer: Andrea from Santa Barbara, CA
Since this restaurant now has a new owner/manager, it has improved tremendously. Mylast experience there was amazing, the servers seem happy and the food was fabulous. You can really tell this restaurant has turned around. I would urge everyone who has tried this restaurant before to try it again like I did. It was well worth the second try!!


Over priced

The food is just okay. The prices are a rip off. For the money, I would expect far better Italian. You are better off going to Aldo´s!! At least you get what you pay for there.


Good Food

I have been three times now and the first two trips were fine with the third producing undercooked pasta.


THE BEST BBQ CHICKEN SALAD

If you love California Pizza kitchen BBQ salad, you would love Marie´s!!!!!!


just coffee - fancy and expensive
Reviewer: Carole Ybarra from USA
I was so upset , I ordered cup of fancy coffee that I could of gotten at StarBucks instead which I will next time .My server did not give me a spoon or napkin , then when I asked for it , she gave me a dirty one. And never gave me a napkin, what I payed for that special coffee I should have gotten a gold spoon. The server was not nice and seem to hate her job. I will never stop there again,unless I need to rest after shopping , but ordering nothing. Now I am glad that I did not eat there. Carole


Horrible
Reviewer: Jay from Santa Barbara
Service sucked, forgot my soup and when it came I had to send it back because it was literally cold. The meal was fair and I could have made it better my self.


Blechhh!!!!

Abysmal "food." The tomato sauce tasted like artificial sweetener. My friend and I left most of it untouched.


Great!

I absolutely love this place. I eat here all the time. Their ravioli is the best I´ve ever had and I´ve had my share!


Great to take-out or eat in
Reviewer: Jessica from Santa Barbara, CA
I´ve only eaten here a few times, but I love the food every time! Usually, I just do the take-out thing, but my cousins and I ate at the restaurant when they were in town last month. The seating and service was very prompt, and my cousin (from San Francisco) raved about the Veggie lasagna. I usually get the bucatini all´amatriciana (sp?), which is a little spicy, but really good! I´ve also had the plain old spaghetti and meatballs, which is good. In reference to the previous review, I thought the portions were very reasonably sized--not huge like Palazzios, but not tiny at all. They were average-sized. We had a bottle of wine that we enjoyed, but I don´t really know (or care) about the rest of the bar or alcohol selection. I go to restaurants for food, and I like a good wine, but I usually just to a bar if I want more than wine. I don´t think a restaurant has to have a full bar to have good food.


Don´t waste your time!

First off, this place is located where the old "Hudson´s Grill" used to be in Five Points center. There is no full bar anymore, just wine and beer. The beer selection is VERY LIMITED, serving only trendy yuppie beers and Italian imports, both are over priced. I didn´t see the wine list. They serve bread sticks as appitizers, but then again so does Olive Garden. The meal I ordered was the ravioli w/???sauce, I don´t consider six ravioli to be a meal, also the sauce was sub par and an orangeish color I can only describe as vomit looking. Not very tasty. Also the ravioli was priced at 12.95. You are better off going to Presto Pasta and saving your money!!


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