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Santa Barbara Bar


davicus
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Hey all, I'm headed to Montecito / Santa Barbara soon and I'm looking for bar recommendations (think M&H, violet hour, etc). Anybody got any suggestions?

Thanks!

Dave

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Dave Kaye

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Despite their tony reputation, Santa Barbara and Montecito are pretty small towns. Considering that the hulking behemoth of LA has but a few places that take cocktails seriously, we would consider ourselves lucky to have even a halfway decent one, let alone a destination like TVH, PDT, and the like. Alas, we haven't. The only recommendation that you're likely to find is the Hungry Cat. They have a small menu featuring poorly-balanced very fruity, sweet drinks. The bartenders know what's on the menu and that's about it. A miss.

That said, if you're thirsty, you can always stop by my place and I can whip something up.

dave

 

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Or, walk into a bar, check out their inventory (Rye, Bourbons, Gins, Vermouths, Angostura) and tell the person behind the stick EXACTLY what you want.

That approach is always an option. The Hungry Cat does have the best selection of spirits that I've seen. If you can stand a little frustration and maybe a bad drink before you get a good one, you might be able to whip their bartenders into shape.

To elaborate on my above post, their really aren't any stand-alone cocktail establishments in the area. There are restaurants where you may or may not be able to procure a competently executed cocktail, and there are bars where you'd press your luck with anything beyond a Campari and soda. I'm sure I could come up with a few other places that stock decent hooch, but I offer no assurances that things will turn out well in the glass.

 

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Thanks for the input... that's too bad. But being from Detroit, I can relate to having a whole city full of bars and not a single one able to make a decent cocktail. As for going into bars and telling them exactly what I’d like, I’d rather just have a beer or stay home, as everyone involved is going to walk away feeling bad about that situation. Me that I paid too much for a drink I could have made better myself, and the bartender that some d-bag walked into his joint and tried to tell him what to do.

If there is a solid cocktail bar in LA I'd love to hear about it... I'm sure I'll be down there at some point.

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Dave Kaye

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Hey all, I'm headed to Montecito / Santa Barbara soon and I'm looking for bar recommendations (think M&H, violet hour, etc).  Anybody got any suggestions?

Thanks!

Dave

I do hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is nothing worth your time in Santa Barbara. If you like beer, for pure atmosphere, go to Elsie's, or the Mercury Lounge in Goleta (weird, but low-key and good). If you like ales, order the Firestone Double Barrel; you won't be upset with it. Do not waste your time trying to order any kind of mixed drink.

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