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Aug 12, 2002 11:07 AM

santa barbara

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Visiting Santa Barbara with a group of 8...Any and all suggestions please.

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  1. depending on your price there's a lot of places...if you're interested in japenese Somethings Fishy on lower state is a nice place for a group of 8, you can sit at a hibachi table and the cook will make if righht there hibachi style for you. Another nice place to eat is Cafe Buenos Aires, definetely not overpriced and it has many different flavors. That's upper state across from the arlington. Then for breakfast or brunch you should most definetely go to Sambos on the harbor, the only Sambos in the country left from the old chain. Very beautiful view. If money isn't really that big of a deal go to Ca'dario, you'll definetly need reservations for a group of 8, but some of the best italian food. And then a nice outdoor setting would be Zaytoons, near El presidio on Canon Perdido, it's a hookah lounge and a medditeranean food place, there are table with fire pits in the middle. Very beautiful,and obviously you don't need to use a hookah when you're there.

    1. Depending on when you come, you may want to try the GOURMET DINING ROOM at SANTA BARBARA CITY COLLEGE when it opens again on Thur and Friday evenings.

      This is part of the Culinary Arts Program and they would love the challenge of doing a dinner for 8. 5 course meal with wine for $25 each - lovely setting and close to one of the most spectacular settings in the entire city. Call the college to see if you can make reservations. This is a quieter place, which may or may not work for you.

      Tell us more about your ages, likes, dislikes, first visit or many prior visits to Santa Barbara - want crowds, views, food, atmosphere, easy parking,

      One poster surveyed a lot of our restaurants for her first meeting with her new to be in-laws and found OPAL in the 1300 block of State Street right down from the Arlington Theater in the fine dining "ground zero" area of SB to work out great for the diverse tastes of her larger group - and less pricy than the restaurants immediately around this area.

      OPAL always has a nice "buzz" to it so a larger group can feel more at ease here. Across the street at CAFE BUENOS AIRES would also very nicely handle a table for 8 in its lovely outdoor garden patio setting.

      The 1200 block of State Street and the side streets around this area offer most of the variety of Santa Barbara's better dining. Take your pick and you will most likely be happy. But if you have some special interests, please let us know and we'll see if we can share more specific favorites with you.

      3 Replies
      1. re: glbtrtr

        I second Opal for the reasons glbtrtr mentions.

        I disagree on Cafe Buenos Aires. Super atmosphere, lame restaurant.

        There are many other possibilities, depending on your agenda. If you give more criteria, I'll give more feedback...

        1. re: glbtrtr

          Ca'Dario...great suggestion...EXCEPT for parties of eight or more. They just implemented the lamest rule. They now force a set menu for parties of 8 or more. Things not on the set menu, Ribeye, Rack of Lamb, Ravioli with Sage Butter...cant remember them all, but it was lame. Something like chicken, salmon, and "mixed pasta".
          Anyway, I LOVE Ca'Dario and it is one of may all time favorites (yes it's even on my Chowhound profile), but if I ever had a group of 8 or more, I would either consider someplace else, or decide which of my eight friends I would poison right before dinner.


          1. re: MunkeeCIAO

            Update: Ca'Dario came to their senses and no longer have a set menu for larger parties. However, instead of the lame rule, they won't take a reservation at all for parties of 8 or larger.

        2. Link to a Santa Barbara dining review cite with Zagat reviews:

          Uneven reviews on a lot of the SB "Stars", but an old favorite of mine "Stella Mares" keeps local people happy in a lovely setting - worth taking a look at it.

          1. For great Fish, chips and the sort...Brophy Bros. Upstairs at the Marina. Yum! Call in advance for reservations. They have one big table outside. Fun, busy and overlooking the boats, water and marina. What more could you ask for? :) KQ

            1. I would like to add on to this post: What would you suggest for great food in Santa Barbara at a reasonable price? (Entrees $20 and under.)

              Thanks Hounds!