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Ichiban Sushi
1812 Cliff Dr, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 564-7653

  • Category: Japanese
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm & 5pm-9:30pm, Sun 5pm-9:30pm
  • Price: $10 - $20
  • Serving: Lunch & Dinner
  • Reservations: Yes, but usually not needed
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Reviews by the General Public

Sushi for Lunch
Reviewer: Quatre from Santa Barbara
I have this funny thing -- I like sushi in the daytime. Since I'm a late riser, it's often frustrating for me to have to rush out for lunch, because pretty much every sushi spot in this town cuts service off at 2:30. I haven't liked many of them much either. But Ichiban wins the go-to prize, at least at lunch, for Japanese. Not only is it better quality -- it also has a more than agreeable ambience. The afternoon sun will flood the windows, and it's a great feeling, in February anyways. (Staff is most attentive, and will lower blinds if this is not your thing.) So I'm happy to have somewhere to go with more charm than Lazy Acres, which I had chosen as my last resort for sushi for lunch. (They're okay too - actually better than some, but no comparison to Ichiban.)

They are open on Mondays
Reviewer: Steve from Santa Barbara, CA
Just went there on a Monday; they're open. The food and service were good.

I Don't Think They Are Open On Mondays...
Reviewer: Jay from Santa Barbara, CA
You might want to change the business hours to reflect that. I called several times and no answer. You would think they would have something as simple as an answering machine.

Excellent food, cute little restaurant
Reviewer: Brittany from Santa Barbara, CA
My boyfriend and I went to this place for our 1-year anniversary dinner on New Years Day. We've been to Sushi Teri in Carp a billion times and love it but decided to try a different place for a change. We were very impressed! The Ichiban roll is like heaven in your mouth, and the spicy tuna rolls were delicious and flavorful; not painfully spicy, but a nice burn. For entrees we ordered the tonkatsu and the shrimp & vegetable tempura. I didn't care for the tonkatsu but my boyfriend raved about it. The tempura pieces were huge and perfectly crispy. Also, they came with A Salad. Let me say that I am not a salad person. I don't eat salad. I generally hate salad dressing, especially the kind that usually comes on the side of my plate at other Japanese restaurants. But oh my gosh, the thick orange dressing that came on this salad was FANTASTIC. I have no idea what's in it but it doesn't taste like vinegary butt like 99% of salad dressing. It's refreshing and sweet and I wish I had a giant bottle of it. I'd eat salad three times a day if I did. Anyway I devoured every scrap of everything on the table until my stomach felt like it was going to literally explode and I waddled out to my car like a fat penguin. Last but not least, this place has reasonable prices for a sushi restaurant, so just get off the computer and go make your reservations now please.

Reviewer: Rian from Santa Barbara, CA
I go to a lot of sushi places in town and I always end up returning here. Very fresh, good size rolls. The "007" roll is a must have!

Yummy Udon
Reviewer: Elena from Santa Barbara, CA
We arrived at 9pm and they were great about letting us stay as long as we wanted. The eel sushi was great. I think they roasted it a bit. The noodles were also yummy with all the veggies. I do wish they would serve soba though. The service was attentive and kind. A touch more expensive than Edomasa but closer to home.

Closed 15 minutes early and wouldn't let us in!
Reviewer: Mari from Santa Barbara, CA
We tried to go to have a nice lunch at this restaurant and when we walked in they told us that they were no longer seating people and that they were closed. It was 15 minutes before they closed!! I told them that and they were not apologetic or anything. Then while waiting for my husband to return from the restroom, they were talking about how stupid we were to come early. Very rude and we will not be back. Terrible, terrible service!

Delicious and fast
Reviewer: Sam from Santa Barbara, CA
I've driven past this little place hundreds of times before finally deciding to give it a shot. I'm glad I did! Food was delicious. The Ichiban roll is HUGE. You definitely get your moneys worth when compared to other sushi places. Even the plain old california roll was delectible. Coated with fish eggs, it was so much better than other sushi places in SB.

Very bland, lackluster flavor :(
Reviewer: C. Redmond from Santa Barbara, CA
We had the 007 roll, chicken yacatori, miso soup, & salmon sushi. I was so disappointed in the flavor and texture of the food. I cannot pinpoint it but something was missing flavor wise; all of it was very bland and lacked flavor. The 007 roll had to be soaked in soy sauce to taste good which good sushi should never need soy sauce. This was especially disappointing to me because the description of the roll sounds great in concept but it was not executed well. It was also @ $16, and for bad sushi, drastically overpriced. It was also fairly mushy in consistency (probably due to overcooked rice and/or salmon). The miso soup is so simple but was very dark in color and didn't taste good and only had two tofu pieces in it. The chicken was also bland and really just average. The salmon sushi was the only thing that was good but that really requires no preparation from the chefs other then a knife and some rice. I am left feeling really perplexed. I was expecting at least slightly above average sushi (not Arigato or Sakana good but decent to good). This was just really not worth the calories. Won't eat here again.

Terrible Chef
Reviewer: Fox from Santa Barbara, CA
I sat at the middle of sushi bar with my boyfriend on Friday night. The middle sushi chef looked dirty, he was keep coughing in front of us without washing hands. That is so terrible!

Good Food and Service
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
Got the Teriyaki and Tempura which were both good. Looks expensive w/o a lunch special but overall not too bad. Some non private tatami tables. Good food, nice presentation and the girls were nice. The sushi chefs looked gruff if that's what someone else had issues with(Deli Sushi Go Go is NOT better than this place) but the waitresses were very nice. 2 for 1 indoor dining coupon available. Park in the back. Definitely worth a try!

Late Nite Sushi
Reviewer: Lisa from Vista, CA
Strolling in at 9:30pm from San Diego on a Friday evening...we were so surprised that this place was not only open..but was packed! GREAT alternative to State St chaos. Try the spicy edamame. Our son's coach at SBCC recommended this restaurant as a local favorite for there you have it! Lisa

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