Santa Barbara--Cheap Eats
We are going to be in the Santa Barbara area in June, 2002 for about a week and are looking for good, inexpensive places to eat--ethnic, seafood, etc. Would also appreciate information on lodging in the area that is good and reasonable. Thanks for your help.
re: Michael Robertson Moore
Looks like I'm too late but if you go back check out Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch at 2618 De La Vina. Similar dining atmosphere to Super Rica. Their grilled chicken is amazing. Every time I read about Zankou Chicken in L.A., I mean to mention this place. Zankou is great but I would put this chicken up against it anytime, although the Zankou garlic sauce makes it a bit unfair. Different style than Zankou but increbibly tasty and moist. The spice blend is fantastic. Served with tortillas salsa and beans. They do a decent tri-tip as well.
We haven't been to Aja for a few years, only because we haven't been to Santa Barbara for dinner lately. The reviews continue to be very good though so I feel comfortable recommending it. California/Pacific Rim fusion. The Indonesian corn fritters with sweet chili sauce are reason enough to dine there. Very casual. Great corkage policy (if it hasn't changed): a taste for the owner/chef. $5 corkage if your wine is on the wine list. We used to go there often when our fellow wine-loving friends lived nearby. If you do take your own wine, include a bottle of something that will complement some of their spicier dishes.
3132 State St. (Las Positas Rd.)
Santa Barbara, CA, 93105-1605
There was a recent thread on Santa Barbara; you might want to do a search. I'll tell you my usual: go to Mousse Odile for breakfast; I wouldn't call it cheap, but the food is lovely. Other breakfast places: Pacific Crepes -- tasty, but slow service. Be prepared to hang out for a while. Paradise Cafe, Cajun Kitchen and Comeback Cafe are all very good, and very popular, so get there early. There. You have five days worth of breakfast covered! :-)
For lunch or dinner, we like Bucatini (they have an amazing dish of fusilli with artichokes, truffle oil, tomato, shiitakes, and ricotta salata cheese. . . I never order anything else any more), Piccola Mollie (try the gnocchi), ShangHai for Chinese, and the Brew House for "creative" American; I love their grilled polenta with chipotle pesto (more like a cream sauce) and their corn cakes. They also like to put gorgonzola in everything -- including their homemade potato chips. This place IS cheap, and looks like a dive, but the food is excellent and they have a great beer selection -- another local hangout.
Can't recommend any seafood or "authentic" Mexican places cuz I'm a vegetarian!
You can find addresses, phone numbers and directions to most, if not all, of these places at Digital City Santa Barbara. Link below. The actual info is REALLY outdated, so don't rely on it for anything but location.