Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > California >
May 1, 2007 09:20 PM

Santa Barbara Wine For My Birthday

Headed up to SB to celebrate my birthday.
Had to pull off the road to relax and have a pre-dinner drink on our way to Los Olivos. Had drinks at El Torito in SB. The happy hour prices are great butr the chips, salsa and happy hour appetizers not even edible. What they serve purporting to be salsa probably comes from a jar that reads: Pace Picante! The service was AWFUL! When I inquired about getting a different salsa I was informed that the restaurant was out of any other salsa. Yes, A "Mexican" restaurant that uses some type of green or red salsa was out of this ingredient.

After regretting this pit stop and drowning my salsa sorrows with two cosmopolitans, we headed up to dinner at Hitching Post II. Couldn't get a table until 2 hours later. We were so hungry, we decided to pick something up and head for our hotel room.

The next morning we woke up pretty early and walked to Paula's Pancake House in Solvang. The breakfast was quite yummy. The think Sweadish pankcakes dusted with plenty of powdered sugar were excitingly delicious.

Drove up towards Los Olivos but had to stop at Blackjack Winery and had too much wine. Didn't think it was enough wine so we popped into Andrew Murray once we arrived in Los Olivos. Had a nice chat with the women at both wineries. Enjoyed the wine imensly.

Lunch at Los Olivos Cafe was a delight. We had some warm bread served with a lucsious herbed olive oil for dipping. I had the salmon, my boyfriend had another fish which came with crispy breaded green onions and was fantastic. best part of the meal had to be the flourless chocolate cake. I am still dreaming about it.

That evening, we finally caught a table at Hitching Post II. Everything was great. They serve a lot of food along with the dinner. We each had the filet mignon which was the most tender, juicy and delicious steak I have had in a while. I had a glass of their bien nacido syrah. The wine was fine, nothing spectacular.

Overall a very enjoyable weekend. Am excited to start drinking my great wine finds I brought back.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Where on earth is "El Torito" in Santa Barbara - some place well under local chowhounders radar I bet - is this at the beach - those industrial tourists places?

    Sorry you picked this spot. We could have sent you in a lot of better directions -- like even to Carlito's carry out on Montecito Street for the beer and fresh good chips and salsa with authentic drop in atmosphere

    3 Replies
    1. re: glbtrtr

      Out of all the great mexican places in SB, you had to find El Torito -- which is a chain, isn't it? shoulda checked the boards =)

      1. re: Jeters

        You are right. You are absolutely right. It was on the way, convenient, at the moment. But you are right, I should be punished for being such a fool. I deserve the torture I endured for venturing into this excuse for a Mexican restaurant.

      2. re: glbtrtr

        It's on One Street facing the beache but who cares where it is. DO NOT go there. Unless ofcourse you want to be ignored for a while and then have crappy appetizers in a cacophonously loud and annoying setting!