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Good Eats and Fun in Santa Barbara?

v
Vee Jun 30, 2006 05:41 PM

Hi,

Three girlfriends and myself are going to be in SB for a weekend. We want to find a restaurant that serves good food as well as have a fun ambiance, not too stuffy or formal. I've read past posts here on the nice restaurants in SB, eg, Downeys, Stella Mare's, Sage and Onion, Bouchon, etc. But they sound maybe too "formal" for what we're looking for and I don't mean pricey. We're all single so I think we want something more along the lines of a place that is THE place to be with a little bit of scene, but with good food. :-)

Cheers!

  1. m
    MunkeeCIAO Jun 30, 2006 06:19 PM

    Check out The Palace or Ca'Dario. My personal favorite is Ca'Dario, but given what you have said, you might have more fun at The Palace.
    Also, Sevilla is great and always has a scene.

    M

    1 Reply
    1. re: MunkeeCIAO
      m
      majmaj4 Jun 30, 2006 06:32 PM

      I agree you probably wouldnt be happy at the restaurants you listed. I think based on your description Sevilla, it is the hot place. It is on the expensive side but didn't sound like that was an issue. Other in spots based on your description are Intermezzo, Chads or Blue Aguave. Intermezzo is a wine bar associated with Wine Cask - food is good but not as good as wine cask, but atmosphere is livelier. Brophy's is a good lunch spot - the bar or outside tables are great overlooking the harbor. The salads and fried foods are very good, I don't really like their fish dishes most of the time.

    2. c
      consuela36 Jun 30, 2006 06:40 PM

      For a great "IN" place, try Lucky's on Coast Village Road. It's really fun and has both a great bar and excellent food. Really a place to see and be seen. Best Mexican place (other than little holes in the wall) for good food and a lively atmosphere: Cava, also on Coast Village Road (both of these are in Montecito). For great food and a place directly on the beach, try The Brown Pelican, off Las Positas Drive. Beautiful setting, yet casual.

      1. p
        peasoup Jun 30, 2006 06:53 PM

        Rocks is a happening spot - State Street in the Paseo Nuevo mall.

        Also, the Cafe del Sol at the bird refuge is the place to see and be seen by the Montecito trust fund set - you might go for a drink, and leave with an annuity.

        1. v
          Vee Jun 30, 2006 08:15 PM

          Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I looked at Sevilla and it definitely has a nice hipster feel based on the pics I saw. But I have to admit that the reviews I read for it at www.santabarbara.com didn't seem too great. I then checked out Lucky's and I liked what I read, even with the slams against them. So, I'm going to check them out. I have to admit I was partial to them once I read it was the same owner as Lucky Jeans, which is my favorite jeans maker. :-

          )

          Cheers!

          1. m
            MunkeeCIAO Jun 30, 2006 08:19 PM

            It might not be a bad idea for you to divulge your age ranges and tell us what age range crowd are you looking to hang out with. The above posts are all over the board.

            Lucky's may be the "in place" in Montecito, but only of you are over 45 and looking for a 70 year old rich man. Hey, maybe thats what you girls are looking for. Plus, I am pretty sure you also said you were not looking for pricey. In that case, you dont want Lucky's.

            Rocks on the other hand, good food but a MUCH younger crowd, like the exact opposite of Lucky's. Not where you want to go if Lucky's appeals to you.

            Intermezzo is great and a lot of fun. However, I would not recommend it for dinner. Before going out to dinner elsewhere, stop here for a great cheese plate and wine, one of their other delicious small plates. Great cheese selection and lots of wines by the glass.

            A big second vote for Brophy's for lunch. Request a patio seat but be ready to wait, especially this weekend.

            Another big second vote for the Brown Pellican for breakfast.

            2 Replies
            1. re: MunkeeCIAO
              v
              Vee Jul 4, 2006 03:34 AM

              Well, we're in our 30's and 40's so Lucky's isn't that out of our age range, except for the 70 year olds. :-) Definitely not looking for a place full of 20 somethings trying to be hip. And price is NOT an issue as long as the food is good.

              How is Tupelo Junction Cafe(?) for breakfast?

              1. re: Vee
                m
                MunkeeCIAO Jul 6, 2006 05:01 PM

                For breakfast, I personally dont like it. For lunch I love it. The BBQ pulled pork sandwich is to die for. However, that is contrary to what most people will say. I really want to like it for breakfast but am always left a little unimpressed. If you go, dont be tempted by the bloody mary that has a crab claw sticking out of it. While it may look heavenly, its just ok and the crab is very fishy.
                I will agree that the coffee they serve is great.

            2. c
              consuela36 Jun 30, 2006 10:14 PM

              Hmmmmm - maybe I was at Lucky's at a different time. I AM older, and we noticed that the majority of the crowd appeared to be in their early 30's. Yes, it definitely is not cheap, but maybe just fun to try a drink and see who IS there. I think Brophy's is WAY too touristy now days. Just always seems to be full of large families scrambling around. Fun for drinks and for brunch. (GREAT Bloody Marys)

              1. m
                majmaj4 Jun 30, 2006 10:20 PM

                Seville gets a lot of good press on nippers forum. I wonder why the disparity in views. I thought it definitely had a cool feel and some inventive food. Some worked and some didn't but fun.

                As some one said Lucky's is an older crowd (although I did here George Clooney has been seen there). Rocks has a wider age range.

                1. Paladar Jul 6, 2006 08:01 PM

                  Well, if you haven't already gone for your weekend, here's some additional thoughts:

                  Italian - Ca'Dario (the food was great, lots of flavor, nice atmosphere)
                  Breakfast - Tupelo Junction (we had a great experience here)
                  Mexican - Los Arroyos (very casual -- order at the counter and they bring to your table -- the food was fresh and really good and the prices were low)

                  One last tip -- if you're heading out to the wineries at all, stop at C'est Cheese, it's on the street behind State. Their cheese selection is amazing and they usually have fresh French baguettes from the bakery next door. They'll also give great suggestions and let you taste everything before you buy. We loaded up on cheese and salami, stopped for fruit at the Farmer's Market and went to Gainey and had a beautiful picnic on the grounds.

                  Have a great time!

                  1. g
                    glbtrtr Jul 9, 2006 11:34 PM

                    Chad's on Chapala street, across from the Nordstrom's Paseo Nuevo shopping complex might make a double treat- shopping therapy and lively party crowd restaurant in a lovely old house - right next to each other.

                    Plus there are some lively shopping scene restaurants for people watching right in the center of Paseo Nuevo with sidewalk seating.

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