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Oct 14, 2008 11:19 AM

Best High-End Seafood Joint in Santa Barbara

My girlfriend is taking me up to Santa Barbara wine country for my birthday this weekend and we're looking for suggestions for a nice place to celebrate in SB. We're both pescatarians and a good wine list and cheese plate would be a bonus. Something nice and foodie and memorable.

So far Bouchon and Seagrass look pretty good. Thoughts on those 2 places?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. I'm a huge fan of San Ysidro Ranch..Plow & Angel or Stonehouse are lovely.
    Had the best calamari piccata ever at the Chase at the bar a couple of weeks was just like eating abalone..
    We will be up in Montecito for Thanksgiving and friends are taking us to Opal but have no idea how much fish is on the menu but they rave about it.
    glbtrtr is very active on this board from SB and will give you excellent advice.
    Happy Birthday!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Beach Chick

      awesome, thanks..they moved my topic to the generic "California" board, so who knows if anyone will see it.

      1. re: suicidemartini

        They moved it because it belongs on the CA board, which is exactly where people look for SB info.

        1. re: PolarBear

          I get that, I just value my LA friend's opinions

    2. Hungry Cat is also very good for seafood and has a nice cheese plate for dessert. Very nice wine choices. These people know their food, but their service is a bit LA aggressive. Located downtown corner of Chapala and West Anapamu Streets near restaurant row on West Victoria Street.

      Here are the local reviews for seafood restaurants - not very reliable but they give you an idea of the variety of venues in town in this catagory - too many of them seem like touts or pouts than authentic dining reveiws, but hey, this is Santa Barbara:

      1. Too late, I know...Opal is fabulous for everything, a local treasure, plenty of seafood options. San Ysidro Ranch is terrific, and I can also recommend Bouchon. Have only had catered food from Elements but people love the restaurant and I know they have a great cheese plate. Square One has very good and interesting food, but the service and vibe when we went were offputting. I would go again and eat at the bar, though. Stell aMare's always has seafood on their menu and the atmosphere is very warm and comfortable. Info for your return trip!

        2 Replies
        1. re: sbgirl

          I second Opal although its not seafood centric but offers much more than that.
          And I live in San Diego.
          I think they need to expand their wine list although I no longer order wine out because its so expensive.

          1. re: pantani

            There warm seafood salad at Opal is pretty darn good, but it has so much glop on it, it kind of disqualifies as "real" seafood. It uses seafood, but it also relies on a lot of other stuff to pull it all together. Face it, it is the dressing that makes this seafood dish yummy, not the quality of the seafood itself.

        2. Just an update, we ended up at Seagrass and had a really pretty amazing meal. The service was boarding on overly attentive, but made the evening really enjoyable. It was exactly what we were looking for and coincidentally close to our hotel.

          Thanks for all the suggestions, although I guess we didn't really pay attention to them

          2 Replies
          1. re: suicidemartini

            Thanks for the report back to us - you went to the best we have in town, but Seagrass is not exactly a "joint" in our minds so we did have to stretch our imaginations for your original request.

            Very glad you had such a good time in our town and especially glad this new addition to our restaurant scene is off to a good start. When this spot was its former Sage and Onion I had one of my best meals ever in SB, but later it became erratic so I am happy to hear this location is again back on track. Seagrass has good parentage.

            1. re: glbtrtr

              haha, ya it was very impressive....joint was totally me just jive-talking

          2. Sounds like the Hungry Cat would probbly be right up your alley - my husband and I had two great dinners there (in a row!) at the bar. Very good and interesting - especially the cocktails and raw bar.