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Jul 19, 2007 12:31 PM

Food recs near Bacara resort in SB


We'll be staying at the Bacara resort and need to find couple of places for dinner this coming weekend.

I'm planning on trying out Brophy Brothers and La Superrica for lunch based on previous posts, but any recs for dinner closer to the resort? I realize Bacara is actually about 12 miles from downtown SB, so I wanted to see if we could minimize driving for dinner (when I plan on imbibing a bit).

I'm looking for nothing too upscale, somewhere 20/entree, nice atmosphere, patio with a view would be a plus.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Not so fast on the Brophy Bros, I had a thoroughly disappointing meal there just weeks ago. Fish overcooked, sauce was insipid, rice was too firm and my wife fared no better. I'll admit that the chowder was good, but considering the indifferent service, the bad food and cramped conditions, I'd rather have the $70 back and miss the chowder.

    Lots of good food in SB, go eat elsewhere is my advice.

    4 Replies
    1. re: deckape

      That is too bad... I had my heart set on some raw oysters, bloody marys and clam chowder. We're going there for lunch, so maybe that would fare better?

      Or what would be your recommendation for a good seafood restuarant?

      1. re: spicychow

        The new Hungry Cat (downtown SB - Chapala at West Anapamu) is supposedly the best for LA quality seafood, and makes one terrific hamburger in a very busy, stylish small setting to get a feel for the liveliness of younger Santa Barbara.

        Many good reports about Santa Barbara Shellfish on the end of Stearns Wharf for seafood - simple direct restaurant with lovely views of the city from the water - the other restaurants out there are not worth the money except for basic food and views.

        The re-opened Bay Cafe hidden in the streets between the freeway and the ocean in downtown SB has always been a favorite for seafood - good to give them a try to see if they are back on their game. Sorry I don't have their address.

      2. re: deckape

        I wouldn't put Brophy Bros on my short list either.

        But drive a little you must as I can't think of anything really special in near by Goleta, though there are some good simple ethnic choices out there, scattered around - I like the Sushi-Teri restaurants for basic Japanese and fresh sushi.

        You may want to consider a short drive into the mountains to Cold Springs Tavern up Highway 154 that goes on into Solvang and Santa Ynez - CST is only about 15 minutes from Santa Barbara - look for the Hwy 154 exit on 101. Wonderful old stage coach stop - beautiful for lunch and fun for dinner and Sundays they have music (and crowds), but it is such a historic gem in a delightful setting if you are going to drive, head up that way too.

        1. re: glbtrtr

          LOVED Cold Spring Tavern. Felt like I was in the old west. I have always like the Plough and Angel at the San Ysidro Ranch.

          Concur on Brophy Bros.

      3. Website for the Bay Cafe - on Anacapa Street by the ocean - was always a long time favorite for seafood - now recently reopened:

        5 Replies
        1. re: glbtrtr

          Thanks for all your suggestions!

          I think SB Shellfish will be a nice alternate to Brophy Brothers. I don't know that my friends will want to drive to Cold Spring Tavern (they're more likely to drive out to downtown SB area than head north), but I like the menu from SB Bay Cafe. Also another post recommended The Palace Grill, so we might just wing it tomorrow night and see which one looks better to us when we actually get there.

          I'm going to be sad if we don't squeeze in La Superrica sometime this weekend, so I'm going to try really hard to make it out to that one.

          1. re: spicychow

            Updated website and reviews for newly reopened Bay Cafe for seafood:


            1. re: glbtrtr

              Although I agree the fish dishes at Brophy's are not great the Bloody Mary's are awesome. I always prefer the bar food there: soup, fried appetizers, etc.

              1. re: majmaj4

                Agree completely, always found a bowl of cioppino at the bar very satisfying, can't beat the view and controlled chaos entertainment behind and around the bar area.

            2. re: spicychow

              The Palace Grill is NOT New Orleans fare. I'm a LA transplant and it is not that good. My favorite: Pascucci's on State Street. They have this butterleaf salad that is to die for... and I don't even like gorgonzola or blue cheese, but this is awesome, and get grilled shrimp on it and it's a meal. I'm in SB every 6 mos. like clockwork for doc. appts. and I never miss this!

          2. Hi all,

            Just got back from a lovely weekend in Santa Barbara. I really love SB... it has such a cute, beachy, casual atmosphere.

            We ended up going to Brophy Brothers for a late lunch, mainly because we realized when we got to SB Shellfish Co. we had been there before. So we decided to try a new place and went to Brophy Brothers. It was about 2 pm on Sat, and it was packed! They told us it would be an hour wait to sit at the dining area, so we just sat downstairs by the bar. We had clam chowder, baked garlic clams, calamari and bloody marys. I liked the clam chowder, but I really, really liked the bloody marys. Really spicy with a good balance of alcohol.

            For dinner, we headed over to Santa Barbara Bay Cafe, and I have to say it was the most disappointing dinner. The atmosphere was okay, but the food was pretty bad. First we shared oysters on the half shell, and I don't know about anyone else, but I like mine on a bed of ice, with oysters pretty cold. Well, our oysters came on a bed of lettuce, with no ice. And while it wasn't warm, it definitely wasn't icy cold the way I like it. For main entree, I had the paella and my BF had the almond crusted halibut with bernaise sauce that was on the special. His entree was terrible. The almond was crusted so heavily, and the flavor was so overpowering, you couldn't tell what kind of fish you were eating. Veggies were uninspired, and potatoes were bland. But the fish was so awful, why would anyone do that to a good piece of halibut?? My paella wasn't as bad, but it was pretty mediocre, nothing special.

            Had lunch at La Superrica the next day. I liked the tortillas and the plates we got, esp the chorizo quesadilla and the superrica special. My favorite is still King Taco in LA (due to personal history, more than anything else), but La Superrica hit the spot nicely.

            Oh, and we had breakfast at Tupelo Junction, which was great. I had the hash with chicken and sausage, and it was yummy. I really liked the blend of spices on that dish.

            Anyways, sorry for the long post, but just wanted to thank you guys for all your suggestions, and I had a great time in SB! Hope to be back real soon... definitely will go to Palace Grill next time, no SB Bay Cafe for me!

            4 Replies
            1. re: spicychow

              And you have to make time for Cold Spring Tavern next time. Unique spot worth the scenic-ish drive.

              1. re: spicychow

                I am so sorry I offered the Bay Cafe suggestion. The old menu is what you looked at on the offered website link, which was when it was in its better days when it had its good share of local fans.

                All reports since its new re-opening confirm what you found. I am so sorry you ended up wasting a lovely evening dining in Santa Barbara taking this suggestion. But we appreciate your detailed report. They need to hear this.

                I tried to get this more negative updated info out in a follow-up on the Bay Cafe here, but sadly I am sure you missed it. We can do so much better in Santa Barbara than what you found there. And we locals are also sad to know the new Bay Cafe pretty much blew it.

                Yep, have to agree with others, hope next time you do go to Cold Springs Tavern. And glad you loved our little (?) city who is feeling a bit too many growing pains right now but we try hard to keep it all together.

                1. re: glbtrtr

                  If you are a real foodie, I wouldn't suggest the Palace. I enjoy it occassionally for the fun atmosphere. Although the food is okay it is not great.

                  1. re: glbtrtr

                    Please don't feel bad! I thoroughly enjoyed everyone's thoughts and ideas, and I knew you had not been there recently so could not speak from firsthand experience. One redeeming aspect was that it was a really inexpensive meal... I think it came to 60 bucks before tip, and that included two drinks, appetizer of fresh oysters and two entrees. So overall, it wasn't too bad. :)

                    I'm looking forward to visiting SB again. It's so close, yet so far (from LA). I'll definitely give you another report when I make it back there!