Santa Barbara Recs?


#1

Any LA FTCers have recs for lunch and dinner in Santa Barbara?

We will be with a young kid so that needs to be considered.

Ideally, something fairly close to the zoo or The new kids museum.


#2

Was just there yesterday. Had lunch at The Palace Grill. Everyone liked it (10 of us, including 2 kids). Casual, well priced food. Complimentary corn- jalapeno and banana-walnut muffins to start. Couple of us had the crab cakes, which were good, but not east coast style, if you are picky. Jambalaya was good, but heavy on tomatoes. My son loved his soft shell crab po-boy. Had the bread pudding souffle with whiskey sauce and swan dessert for shared family eating. With a couple of soft drinks, and a cajun martini, our total including tax and tip was $210, which was good for what we got. Excellent service as well. Manager told us theyve been there for 32 years so they are definitely doing something right!

Other places we’ve been wanting to try are Los Agaves and Jeannines, based on recommendations from friends. Skip the Santa Barbara FisHouse - so-so food and so-so service.


#3

Rad. Thank you!


#4

I love Jeannines for lunch. Olio Pizzeria for dinner (or any of the Olio plex restaurants). Of course, La Super Rica for tacos (although we have great tacos here).


#5

#6

This was recommended by a local on a wine tour, probably about 10 years ago, on a wine tour. Love the food and hospitality there.


#7

Loquita


#8

Well that didn’t go as planned. Everyone wants to cede control . . . until they don’t.
Went to the Santa Barbara Public Market so there were more options.
My family went to Corazon . . . and it totally didn’t suck. In fact, I thought it was pretty damn tasty. Like, I’d be happy with this place in my ‘hood. Recommended.


#9

Oh, wow. Yeah. Next time. For sure.


#10

Anybody have good spot for coffee and breakfast/pastries? I’ve been checking online and seems like people like Handlebar.


#11

Helena Avenue Bakery. I really like their breads, and they are serving Dart coffee. Good stuff all around. This would be my choice.

Handlebar is really good, especially for espresso-based drinks. They don’t have a huge variety of pastries at the E Canon Perdido location, but it’s enough. They have more at the De La Vina location.

Renaud’s up further on State St. has a lot of pastrises, some of which are pretty good. The coffee there is at best serviceable. If you’re looking for a wide variety of French-style pastries then this is a good bet.


#12

Thanks will probably go to Helena Ave Bakery. Their menu of breads and pastries looks great. Handlebar seems kind of light on the food front and my kids can be picky.


#13

Good call. Handlebar works well for a quick afternoon coffee, too. I like their beans.

If your kids are not teenagers, then definitely check out if your kids are not teenagers, then definitely check out MOXI. You can walk from Helena to the museum very easily.


#14

Recipes Bakery


#15

That looks interesting. I haven’t seen anyone making Australian-style corn fritters out here.
Thanks!


#16

Thanks. This places looks cute. Will add this to our list for day 2.


#17

I ate there last Friday for the first time since 1985 or so. Yum.


#18

Seems like this is as good of a thread as any to put some Santa Barbara spots I went to over the past weekend.

RECIPES BAKERY
Saw @ipsedixit mention this, so I stopped by for the cinnamon roll and a flat white while I waited for La Super Rica to open. Really friendly. And a dang solid cinnamon roll.

LA SUPER RICA
I got there right after open, so not much of a wait. But I did have to walk to the 7Eleven down the block to get cash. Not pictured is the great horchata. Loved this place.

#16 Super Rica Especial (added chicken - would add a different protein next time)

TOPA TOPA
This trendy brew pub was bumping on a Friday night. The tux stout tasted like a chocolate milk shake. In a good way.

LOS AGAVES
Went to the location on Milpas. This reminded me of Los Anayas in LA, which is a place I hold dear. The Tampiquena (steak / enchilada / taquito / beans) was a plate heaving with food, and there’s no way I would have finished it all if it hadn’t all been so friggin good. But it was all great. Which was a bit surprising because this was ready literally within two minutes of me ordering. They churn and burn.


#19

We spent a lovely weekend in Santa Barbara recently. The weather was fantastic, and we got to try a lot of new things recommended by a good friend who used to work in town…I had totally forgotten to check this board for recs.
Woke up early and skipped breakfast for a leisurely drive on PCH starting in Santa Monica. That drive, while a tad long, is just lovely. There are few lovelier drives in California than this. We made it all the way to Oxnard before deciding to stop for a late breakfast/early brunch. In hindsight, we probably should have stopped at Moqueca. We ended up at Fishermen’s Catch (Oxnard) with fish & chips with fresh local sea bass…I’ve never had sea bass for fish and chips before and we both really enjoyed it. Well-cooked and when prepared in this manner, the sea bass becomes meaty and similar to swordfish. It was a nice rendition. I wanted to highlight that there were folks already in line before Fishermen’s Catch opened…they were all in line to pick up fresh rock crab being sold at $2.99 /lb…what a great deal! We gave the kids each cash and they ended up with sandwiches from Jersey Mike’s…go figure. There are plenty of other options in the plaza.
On the pier, we took the kids to the candy shop for some salt water taffy.
We got some ice cream at McConnell’s on State Street. I went all in and had 4 different scoops. I had gotten my walking in at the zoo and did some biking and more walking on the pier…I deserved it. I had pistachio Amaretto, Pineapple Rum Guava, Boysenberry Rose Milk Jam, and Strawberry Rhubarb. I loved them all, but found the pineapple rum guava and strawberry rhubarb the most.
While out and about on State Street, I stopped by Lilac Patisserie. It was slim pickins’ because I showed up half an hour before close. I was able to snag a slice of peach pie (delish) and the last 3 lemon squares…these were magnificent. Set on a super crispy graham cracker crust, the lemon mixture was so good…tart and sweet…like eating sunshine. Note to self, get here earlier next time.


We had a late dinner at The Lark. Didn’t have reservations, so we had a bit of a wait. But the easiest way to offset a wait after a short walk about the neighborhood? Go order a pizza from Lucky Penny if your quoted wait time is more than 30 minutes. The woodfired oven makes a delightful pie. The OG pie has housemade pork & fennel sausage, Calabrian chiles, and smoked mozzarella and is topped with arugula. The crust was the right balance of crisp and chew…and the underskirt had a lovely char.
Back to The Lark. Once we were seated, we got cocktails for us and soft drinks for the kids. They make a Shirley Temple with Luxardo syrup and it looks and tastes more like a Roy Rogers. But the kids enjoyed it. We both rather enjoyed our cocktails and the lime popcorn that comes to the table. Dinner was great as a whole.
Jack Motter’s Early Summer Garden
chiogga beets, snap peas, compressed strawberries, sheep’s milk cheese, coriander pickled carrots, pistachio, lemon-thyme honey, squash blossom

Caramelized Broccolini
diStefano burrata, chile de arbol, sunchoke chips, shaved bottarga, lemon balm

Southern Pimento Cheese Toast
smoked gouda, aged provolone, trumer beer aioli, pickled chiles, grilled sourdough

Cast Iron Chicken
green peppercorn gastrique, crispy confit fingerling potatoes, California delta asparagus, grilled spring onions, wild rocket arugula, chicken skin cracklin’

Grilled Prime Hanger Steak
charred japanese eggplant, shishito peppers, crispy wild rice, scallion, black garlic butter, thai basil

For dessert the kitchen brought out a Pavlova filled with a super thick lemon custard/curd. It was the best lemon custard/curd we had ever had.
Before we got out of town, we stopped by La Super Rica. We got an assortment of things to share because we weren’t terribly hungry, but the highlights for me were anything with the adobada and/or cheese. The watermelon agua fresca was great, too.

On the way home, we pit-stopped in Oxnard for strawberries. There’s a stand a few minutes to the west of the Victoria Ave exit off the 101. The nice cashier let us sample different sizes and we picked the candy-sweet medium size. A flat was $20…we bought 2 because they were so good!


#20

Les Marchands / Lark combo is pretty dang great I have to say. We pigged out.

tagliatelle with tons of corn, too much butter, great mushrooms and cheese… i skipped the truffles but shouldn’t have.

wagyu short rib was pretty amazing! shocking amount and variety of roasted veg it was served with… (was really hard to cut with a butter knife tho and the sauce was nearly useless)

a really great gems salad

a small board at Les Marchands

im’ putting them together since they’re 1 company