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Apr 25, 2011 05:25 PM

Driving up from LA to Santa Barbara


Been reading the board for years but have only recently started to post. And now I have a question....

My partner and I will be driving up to Santa Barbara this Saturday in the late morning and will heading back to LA sometime Sunday afternoon. I'm going up for a friend's wedding, but it's also the weekend before my birthday, and I'd like to have a tasty (although inexpensive) lunch on the way back. Any recommendations? We're both open to cuisine, but we're also on a budget. Hopefully no more than $25 per person (not including drinks, tax, and tip).

Casual is fine (and actually preferred).


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  1. Eat at Super Rica before you drive back.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ideefixed

      its La Super Rica and its on Milpas I second this recomendation

      1. re: sdv231

        A third vote for Julia Child's favorite La Super Rica and know it is cash only and there will be a line out the door. Hours: Mon-Tue, Thu, Sun 11 am - 9 pm and Fri-Sat 11 am - 9:30 pm Closed Wednesdays
        622 N Milpas St
        Santa Barbara, CA 93103

    2. Brophy Brothers at the harbor in Santa Barbara if its fresh seafood you crave. Very casual and reasonably priced. Very good too.

      Brophy Brothers
      1559 Spinnaker Dr, San Buenaventura (Ventura, CA 93001

      1 Reply
      1. re: Baron

        On a pleasant day, it's hard to do better than Brophy Bros. Good food, *and* an ocean view: a combination nearly impossible to find in the L.A. area, as strange as that sounds.

      2. Stella Mares or Petit Valentin will keep you in the dressed-up romantic mood - both very pretty locations and very nice appropriately portioned, well-priced French bistro type menus. (If they are open on Sundays) Brunch tends to be the order of the day on Sundays in this town:

        Stella Mare's
        50 Los Patos Way, Santa Barbara, CA 93108

        1. Thank you all for the recs! I'll let you know what we chose and how it turned out.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ilysla

            Local reviews for Brophy Bros indicates a recent downturn - have not been there myself, but you may want to check them out on

          2. Got back to LA today.

            My partner and I went to Montecito cafe (part of Montecito Inn, I presume) for Saturday lunch. It was situated on really charming street and the cafe had a lovely interior. Service was prompt, attention, and warm. We split the goat cheese pancakes w/ lox and caviar. Wish had dish had a stronger goat cheese flavor (there was non detectable), but perhaps they would've overpowered the lox? I had the romaine and gorgonzola salad. Very tasty, although the chicken pieces were a wee bit too large (to indicate that they came straight from a "real" chicken and weren't processed) and slightly overcooked. My partner had the swordfish sandwich w/ a side of fries and salad (they allow you to do half fries/half salad, which is a nice touch). He thought the sandwich was great (so much so that he ate all of it, not leaving any for me.... ::sniff, sniff::). The fries were nicely seasoned; I wish they had been more consistently crispy, though.

            Our friends suggested that we all eat brunch together the next day, and one of them is a vegetarian. Since we were a party of 6, that ruled out La Super Rica (darn). We went to Downtown location of Jeannie's Bakery (my partner and I had walked by the Montecito branch the previous day). Thought the lobster benedict and the banana/kahlua french toast were excellent. My asparagus/goat cheese/spinach omelette was a little bland. Polite (almost scarily so) service and lovely seating in the patio/alleyway compensated for the omelette, though.

            Hoping I can make the drive up again to try some of the recommendations above!

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: ilysla

              Montecito Cafe is a pleasant choice, Thanks for the reminder. There is also a branch now downtown next to the Arlington Theater on State Street that has many of the same menu items, named "Jane":