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Any new info anyone can add here? Is Downey's still great? Is there any other places at that level? I read that AJA was now under new ownership and Tim and his wife are gone? What about Jerry's ( formerly Oysters) place at the Navy building? Is it good? How about the restaurant at Baccarat?

Here is the plan

La Super Rica sunday late breakfast / lunch

Joe's for a steak and a serious drink ( have been going there for 30 years so it's a must no matter how mid level the food is)

Breakwater or ???? For waterfront breakfast Monday. Is Brown Pelican still awful?

Lunch at either La Super Rica or maybe if we are out in Santa Ynez valley we will hit some other place. Open to Mexican suggestions here. Is cocina de terry still out at the indian Bingo hall ?

Dinner open

Tuesday Nice breakfast outside somewhere. Open to suggestions.

LA Super Rica before the trip back to LA.

Of course we will buy burritos to go from Guadalajara market.

We are staying by San Antonio creek so anywhere from Goleta to Montecito is OK.

David West

A.K.A. The Mushroom Man

Founder of http://finepalatefoods.com/

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Yes, Downey's is still great, with probably the best service in town.

Your info is correct, Aja has morphed into Jade, under new ownership - former sous chef and wife purchased from the Aja owners, who have moved to Grant's Pass, OR, where they will open a new Aja. Have yet to visit Jade, so, can't comment.

In no particular order, you could likely have a Downey's level meal at Wine Cask, Nu, Olio e Limone, or Ca Dario. Oh, I almost forgot, the hottest place in town - Sevilla - has gotten rave reviews. Beautiful people, and all that, but the food is terrific, too, and great service.

The navy building restaurant is called the Waterfront - more recently, Chuck's at the Waterfront. A nice place to go for drinks and apps, I guess. Great view. Jerry Wilson no longer is cooking there. The restaurant at the Baccara, Miro, is spectacular. Bring your wallet.

I haven't been near the Brown Pelican in twenty years. I don't think anyone takes it seriously around here.

Bingo Hall? Just how long has it been since you've been here, anyway? The "bingo hall" has been torn down and replaced with a glitzy Vegas style casino and three diamond resort - complete with fancy schmancy restaurant, as well as an all you can eat buffet, and a 24 hour coffee shop. Blecch. There's no good Mexican food in the SYV anymore, at least in my opinion. People like Taco Loco (or is it Roco) and it's okay to be sure, but it's just fast food. You can do way better in Santa Barbara at El Sitio, Taqueria El Bahio, or La Super Rica.

As to the outdoor beachfront breakfasts, I can't help you. I only eat breakfast out on the weekends, and then at the Cafe Del Sol by the bird refuge, but they don't do breakfast on the weekdays.

Have fun.

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  • 1 month later...

there are many good wineries in the area around santa barbara, but almost all are about an hour's drive, in the area around buellton. in town, you can check out santa barbara and lafond winery (same owners, i believe).

lunch is a no-brainer: la super-rica tortilleria on milpas st.

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there are many good wineries in the area around santa barbara, but almost all are about an hour's drive, in the area around buellton. in town, you can check out santa barbara and lafond winery (same owners, i believe).

lunch is a no-brainer: la super-rica tortilleria on milpas st.

right on, Russ. I'm heading there myself in a couple of weeks and very much looking forward to it!

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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edit (too early in the morning): since the poster asked about lunch, i didn't mention the wine cask, because i believe they are dinner-only. but if you have a chance for dinner, i have always found it to be the most reliable of the santa barbara restaurants. and the wine shop has the most complete selection of the best central coast wineries short of driving to los olivos.

Edited by russ parsons (log)
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If you don't fancy Mexican at La Super Rica, consider Olio e Limone (I believe it gets a mention on most SB threads, and deservedly sp). If your situation suits take-out, go to Lazy Acres (an amazing natural foods store) and either gather ingredients or pick up ready-made foods. They have incredible variety of things, as well as wines/beer, and even flowers to decorate your table.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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  • 4 weeks later...

Wine Cask is excellent. They also have Intermezzo, a more casual bistro fare. Oile e Limone was also very good. We like the Patio at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Montecito for lunch.

Out in the wine country, Los Olivos Cafe is very good for dinner, also. Cheers! :)

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there are several very good places in the wine country. in the buellton area, of course, there is the hitching post, famous from sideways. forget that, they still make good steaks. personally, i prefer the original, which is out in casmalia, near santa maria. also, i love brothers restaurant in los olivos. and there's a little italian place in santa ynez that i can't remember the name of that is very good, as well (santa ynez is not so big that you couldn't stand on the main corner and see it).

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t and there's a little italian place in santa ynez that i can't remember the name of that is very good, as well (santa ynez is not so big that you couldn't stand on the main corner and see it).

Trattoria Grappolo is the place you are talking about.

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  • 4 years later...

There are taquerias in your future:

Lilly's: adobada, lengua, cheek (cochete?), and cabeza

La Colmena: adobada, rajas, lomito, chorizo, and cabeza. Do not miss out on the absolutely phenomenal pumpkinseed salsa (the orange one).

La Super Rica: chorizo especial, rajas, tamales

I'm afraid I can't recommend anything on lower State St. If you see a crowd, you should be eating somewhere else. The Tee-Off on upper State puts out a mean prime rib and a very serviceable Martini (best in town, IMO, but that ain't saying much). Dutch Gardens, even farther up on State, is your source for schnitzel, bratwurst, and beer (and an insane chocolate cake). Now that I've said all that, by "recent recommendations to good restaurants", do you mean you're somewhat familiar with the area, and if so, when were you last in town?

 

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Definitely you dine can "worthwhile" here. The aforementioned mexican rec's are all good and the same I and many others would give. But Santa Barbara has other "ethnic" restaurants too.

http://www.brummis-restaurant.com/ Brummis is an amazing little German restaurant run by a mom and daughter team from Germany. It is on the map for all S.B. Germany expats and we have many. I love this place. It would be a favorite restaurant of mine anywhere. If I lived back in NYC or LA or SF it would not matter, this place is great, not just "great for Santa Barbara. If you have ever eaten in a small town local casual "bar - cafe" in Europe and had amazing food you will like this. All home made, real honest to goodness "homemade" German food like you would have in Germany. Simple things like Schnitzels, wursts, stews. The stews are all served with homemade noodles or dumplings or spetzle. This in my opinion should be on every visitors list if they enjoy true European home cooking. This place transports me.

There is other worthwhile and fine dinning in SB.:

http://www.restaurantroy.com/ 20 years in SB turning out great local fare. Roy is man who understands how important quality is. From the homemade bread to the homemade deserts with everything in between, your meal will be tasty, fresh, well made, local and cooked to order by people who care. Solid food with insanely cheap prices for what it is. BTW website has contact info only. Carrillo and State in the heart of downtown. Also features live music after dinner crowds and serves a full menu up until midnight, unheard of here in SB. Hard to find good food late on a weeknight after movie or something. Roy's ! I will admit I am biased here as I worked for Roy 20 years ago when he opened on lower Chapala and we were both young.

http://restaurantjulienne.com/ For solid California (sometimes called wine country food, though not by me) cooking is another family place run by a wife and husband team. Fresh, locally sourced, such as Farmers Market and local fisherman, ingredients and solid wait staff. Small efficient kitchen paces meal well and the food is served as the chef intends. Small enough where every diner gets the level of VIP service and cooking. Good for romantic or casual. A very diverse menu spanning many palates.

http://www.downeyssb.com/ A classic and a stalwart of the SB fine dinning. Better for a serious meal you would dress for, although this is SB and nothing here is ever too formal. Owner operator, chef driven by a man who would have most definitely mad a much bigger name for himself had he been in SF or Napa these past 20 years we are lucky he loves SB as so many do. Having John Downey here is great. A really well stocked wine list, fairly priced, packed with fantastic local Pinots and Chards if you want to enjoy some of SB counties finest wines.

http://www.bouchonsantabarbara.com/ French country / bistro menu done a bit more seriously then a typical American bistro would. Bistro food in a fine dining atmosphere. I have eaten here and liked it but found it a bit pretentious (the crowd, not the waitstaff) and stuffy. The food is really tasty.

For steaks I like Holgrens. I eat at the one in Goleta but the original is the same on lower State. I would concur to avoid just about any crowded place on Sate, especially if it serves what I call faux italian. The indian places are pretty good if you have a hankering for some Indian food. Locals and tourists alike love Eladios. I cant say, I have not been there in many years.

Joes is a weak shadow of its former self and frankly too depressing for me and all the other multi decade fans of Joes to go to anymore. Harrys is raucous locals place up in San Roque area and has solid cooking but is as much a bar as a restaurant. I tis the same as it has been unlike Joes which is not. The Tee-off is purely a local thing and if you want big slabs of prime rib like you would get at a 1980's Vegas Buffet it is fine. It is a bar and eatery but not a place to "dine". Super yummy and potent handmade Bloody Marys to die for and juicy rare meat. That is the Tee Off.

Most sushi here is OK at best. Quality and price varies all over the place and seems sometimes disconnected. I have had really good $40 dinners and really mediocre $80 ones. Have never had a memorable sushi meal.

If you want to try some amazing sushi and have a car I have a secret place in Woodland Hills, about an hour south of here. Word has gotten out but it is still pretty stealth and a bit too far into the Valley for most Los Angeles folks. Chef Go and his two helpers have been in the same spot for nearly 20 years. Go's wife goes to the market every day and comes from a well known family of the Tokyo fish market. She gets first pick on nearly everything and is highly respected. This type of sushi does not come cheap. Expect to spend $100 PP to really do it up. I can add more info if you are interested. This place is amazing. No atmosphere be certain to sit at the tiny sushi bar which seats about ten. At the bar, in front of Go is where you want to be so he can watch you and know when to make you something else or ask you if you like certain things. Avoid the tables, wait for seat at the bar if he is full. Usually pretty quiet on weeknights. He has avery loyal (and well heeled) following and he shuns being popular, famous or busy. He likes to buy a few pounds of the best fish available every day and serve 40 or 50 very lucky people.

Edited by dfunghi (log)

David West

A.K.A. The Mushroom Man

Founder of http://finepalatefoods.com/

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