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Where should a couple of moms & their teens eat the night before our visit to UCSB?

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A group of us will be visiting UCSB from the San Diego area - two moms with our three daughters, all around age 17. We're staying at the Pacifica Suites hotel on Hollister Ave. Although we don't mind driving and would eventually like to explore downtown Santa Barbara, it would be ideal to find a restaurant fairly close to the hotel for dinner as we'll be getting in around dinnertime.

All of us are pretty adventurous eaters, with one vegetarian (not vegan) kid in the mix. No particular cuisine in mind, but we all love good Japanese, Thai, Indian, Mexican, or just a nice bistro/cafe type place. We'll probably want a glass of wine (at least the moms)!

Where would you suggest we go? Thanks in advance.

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  1. I love La Super Rica, great mexican food stop made famous by Julia Child. It just a stand with indoor seating but boy is it good. it's always my first stop when ever I visit SB. Always a line but well worth the wait. Cash only and they are closed Wednesdays. A true Santa Barbara landmark.
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/463208

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    La Super Rica
    622 N Milpas St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

    1. The Beachside Cafe is right next to the University, and you won't be disappointed. It's right on the beach with a brilliant view of the ocean. I went to UCSB, and I've been to the Beachside Cafe many, many times with my parents. Awesome. Trust me on this one.

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      Beachside Bar-Cafe
      5905 Sandspit Rd, Goleta, CA 93117

      1 Reply
      1. re: Johnny California

        I just moved from Santa Barbara and I miss my old haunts. For fantastic Indian, Flavor of India on state street can't be beat. Or to dine in true college style, go to Free Birds in Isla Vista. If you feel like Thai, Pattaya on Hollister is delicious and for Mexican, Pepe's is close to UCSB but Super Ricas is better.

        But the truly memorable restaurants are in downtown!

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        Flavor of India
        3026 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

      2. I would go to the Red Pepper for Chinese in Old Town Goleta off Hollister, near where you will be staying. The Chinese food is pretty good but the owner is such a happy, welcoming woman in this nicest way that I think you will feel good knowing you contacted a home away from home feeling for your kids to go to when they feel the need to connect to both food and hospitality while they are away. It is a very casual place and I think all college kids need to know about a good Chinese take out place as well was where to get their pizza and burritos for their all night study sessions, should they decide on UCSB.

        http://www.santabarbara.com/dining/re...

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        Red Pepper Restaurant
        282 Orange Ave, Goleta, CA 93117

        1 Reply
        1. re: glbtrtr

          Thanks, everyone, for the great sounding suggestions. Not sure which one we'll pick, but we look forward to trying one of them!

        2. I'd start with a couple of glasses of wine or a cocktail on the patio next to the sand at Arroyo Burro (aka Hendry's) Beach for a taste of SB seaside ambiance.

          http://www.santabarbara.com/virtual_t...

          2 Replies
          1. re: PolarBear

            Uh, oh. Not sure with the recent gang murder right in the Hendry's Beach parking lot there and the lousy restaurant food that is the taste of SB ambiance we want to be known for.

            1. re: glbtrtr

              Had not heard that. Definitely was NOT making a reco for the food in any event. So are we safer on Milpas than at the beach?

          2. We liked Cafe Luck on Cota St. in the downtown area. Had two very good meals there.