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Romantic Anniversary Dinner in Santa Barbara Labor Day Weekend

Not as expensive or elegant as The Stonehouse you might consider Zaytoon. It is middle eastern food with many tables on an outdoor patio with fireplaces in the center of the table. Very relaxing, romantic, and the food is very good. I was there last week and the Baba Ghannouj was still excellent although their pitas were not the best. I had the Phonician Lamb Salad which was rich and delicious. Others at the table had Chicken Shawarma which was excellent. It is a unique experience. Everyone I have sent there likes it.
http://www.cafezaytoon.com/

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Zaytoon
209 E Canon Perdido St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Aug 29, 2010
shedders in California

San Luis Obispo - Korberl At Blue, Review

We had a fantastic dinner at Koberl At Blue last Saturday night. The two of us went for my husband’s birthday. We had a reservation for 8 pm, we arrived about 10 minutes early and they seated us immediately. The place was packed and loud. There were a couple of large groups and one right near us was over the top with their noise level. Our server yelled the specials to us and we yelled our questions back and forth, she then went away, came back in a few minutes and asked us if we wanted to move to a quieter table. We did want to and did move, but note, we had not complained a bit.

For us it was one of those nights when we couldn’t really decide what we wanted. Many appetizers sounded good and we thought we might go with all appetizers. We did end up getting 3 and a bowl of soup and shared all. Then we ordered 2 entree’s and took half of them home. We split dessert. We had brought our own bottle of wine, even though they had a $20 corkage. We were more than delighted that they waved the corkage fee on our bill.

From the menu we ordered the Seared Sea Scallops with artichoke duxelle. It was tasty, but not unusual, and the warm gruyere tart, which was delicious and a nice combination with the greens on the side. We also ordered a special appetizer of pierogis with smoked sturgeon. These were very good and had homey feeling. We also had the soup which was fresh a corn chowder presented with a small crab cake in the center. The soup was one of my favorite things, it was silky with great fresh corn flavor. There were bits of onions in the bottom that made it even better.

There were a number of good sounding specials, Sea Bass, Quail, and Pheasant prepared 2 different ways, but in the end we both ordered off the menu. I had the duck with the potato hash. All excellent. He had the rack of lamb with the herb crusted potato gratin. The potato gratin was another favorite thing as was the broccolini aside his lamb.

We shared a dessert which was a special that night of cheesecake with port marinated berries. It was also terrific.

The service was excellent, and since we were late and took our time the noise level calmed down appreciably. All presentations were attractive. The only negative was the bread. I love good bread and this was nothing special. In the end it worked out because if it was good, I would have eaten too much and not had room for all the other delicious things.

http://www.epkoberl.com/

Sep 14, 2009
shedders in California

Review Boathouse Restaurant Santa Barbara

We ate at the Boathouse last night. This is a newly remodeled restaurant, right on the beach in Santa Barbara. All in all, I would say it was very good and a good experience. Service was efficeint and friendly. It is not over the top gourmet, but not cafe food either. Priced accordingly. Most full dinners were $18 -$25. I liked that they had LOTS of choices of fish. They were also very flexible in how they served it. If it came with rice but you wanted polenta they would switch. The view is unbeatable, it looked like we were sitting IN the water. Everyone in our party of 6 liked their meal. Two had Petrale Sole, two had local Sea Bass, one had seared Ahi, and I had Ono. All good. Dinners came with salad or clam chowder. Salad was a really nice mix of fresh greens, carrots and cucumbers. Chowder was thick but tasty. Bread arrived warm and crusty. The atmosphere was a little noisy, but not intolerable. We ate inside, but the outside patio looked nice. No one had dessert.

May 21, 2009
shedders in California

Roadtrip!

We had family visiting last weekend and 7 of us went to Linns in downtown Cambria for lunch. I see a number of mixed reviews on this restaurant, but I wanted to say that we all had great lunches. I had a wonderful and unusual salad of pistachio crusted chicken on mixed greens with goat cheese and citrus with a citrus dressing. It was a great combination. She didn’t share, but my sister loved her turkey/brie/apple Panini. It was very large and came with their homemade chips. My cousin had the beef stroganoff and though that was good too. The service was excellent and attentive.

Jul 17, 2008
shedders in California

Best eats and Bars in San Luis Obispo / Central Coast

We also love The Park for a more expensive meal. Thai Talay is one of our favorites and we bring everyone there. We also like Yanagi Sushi or the nearby Sushi WOW, same menu as Yanagi, both in Pismo. Excellent service. Lots of variety. The lobster roll is our favorite. We have been to Atari Ya, but like Yanagi better.
We had a really nice meal at Gardens of Avila last year.
Old West Cinnamon Rolls in Pismo are also a great.
Best Wishes to you.

Jul 17, 2008
shedders in California

Wine Cottage Bistro Orcutt

We had a wonderful meal last Friday at the Wine Cottage Bistro in Orcutt. The restaurant is very cute inside, and the noise level is busy but tolerable. There were many good sounding salads and appetizers on the menu, but the entrees came with small salads so we didn’t try anything extra. I had the juniper berry duck breast on sundried tomato polenta with chard and a yummy sauce. My husband had the pork tenderloin with sweet potato puree, chard and another great sauce. The food was nicely presented. The portions weren’t huge, but there was plenty. We had room for dessert and saw many good looking ones being served around us. I had the caramel apple tart and he had the flourless chocolate cake. Both were very nice. We shared a half bottle of wine and the total without tax and tip came to $80. Very reasonable for that nice meal. There were many other good looking items on the menu and we look forward to going back and trying more. The wait staff was also very good, friendly, and informative. There was a locals feeling to the place.

Jul 17, 2008
shedders in California

Sequim in October

We will be in Sequim again this September. This time 8 nights. Where should we eat in Port Townsend?

Is there anything new in Sequim? When we were there we couldn't find the Alderwood. No one had heard of it and it wasn't in the phone book.

Jul 17, 2008
shedders in Pacific Northwest

Santa Barbara?

You might consider Petit Valentien. It is a smaller, more intimate place. Good Food too.

Jun 09, 2008
shedders in California

Chula Vista Fantastic Dinner

I was in Chula Vista last weekend, really the town of Bonita according to the signs, and had a chance to go to a favorite restaurant again. The restaurant is Buon Giorno, a charming place in a small strip mall on Bonita road. The decor inside is warm and inviting, the staff and service are excellent, but the food is super wonderful. They have an extensive menu and a good variety of nightly specials. I went with a friend and we shared a cup of the soup, which was roasted tomato bisque. It was great. Then we shared a portabella mushroom appetizer which was topped with more mushrooms and lots of garlic and onions with a rich sauce. We both used the fantastic rolls to wipe the plate clean. We both ordered the same entree which was a special that night. Seabass stuffed with a crab stuffing on a bed of heated spinach, still bright green and nearly crisp. On the side was fettuccini with a creamy tomato crab sauce - out of this world.
We were too full for dessert, but the offerings looked wonderful.
I had friends at another table who all loved their meals as well. Hopefully they will write in the details.
It was Saturday night and there were not nearly enough people there for the quality of the food and service. I'm sorry I live so far away or I would go more often. This place is a gem.

Jun 09, 2008
shedders in California

Celebrating an 80th Birthday

I didn't realize there were so many choices so close. Has anyone tried the Heights Bistro in Yorktown Heights lately? Their web menu looks good. Is it noisy there?

Celebrating an 80th Birthday

I am a California hound who will be between the areas of Danbury and Somers next week to celebrate my father's 80th birthday. We have an planned event a couple of days after the actual birthday, but a small group of us want to go out for a nice dinner on the actual night. I would like a restaurant with nice food, good service, and a quieter atmosphere (Dad doesn't hear well). I am not particular about type of food, Seafood, Fusion, Italian, etc. We would rather not drive too far. Any ideas?

Big Island - looking for recs on sushi - asian food - fish

We are going to the Big Island later this year and I would love a report of your trip. Where did you eat? What did you like?

Santa Barbara

I think Cava in Montecito has a nice atmosphere and good combination of vegetarian and meat dishes. Lots of good flavors.
http://www.cavarestaurant.com/

Mar 23, 2007
shedders in California

Food & Wine Festivals

I like the following web page as it is very detailed about each area. It is much more than festivals. The link below is San Luis Obispo, but you can go to the map and select other areas. When you go to a specific page the events at the top are special events, scroll down to see ongoing events.
http://sanluisobispo.winecountry.com/...

Dec 06, 2006
shedders in California

Santa Barbara-twin babies and the dog

I think it is worth typing what is in one of the links above. The DogPAC links says:
Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services aggressively enforces the state’s health and food safety regulations, which exclude all but service dogs from restaurants, even in patio or outdoor areas.

I am a dog person, I have 3. I live in Santa Barbara and I know not to bother bringing my dogs to farmers markets and restuarants -patio or otherwise. I had my dog lying under a table on the beach at an outdoor place and was told she couldn't stay.
What we do is go to a park and get them good and tired. Give them plenty of water and, if it is cool, park in a good shady spot and go enjoy our meal while our dogs snooze in the car. Santa Barbara does have plenty of parking garages that should be very cool at the time you are here.
One area you might be able to dine with your dogs is in Goleta. The Costco shopping area has a number of sort of fast food places with outdoor tables. Mika, the Japanese place has Bulgulgi bowls that are good, their sushi is not good. Kahuna Grill has some nice things, there is also a Bakery, a Fres Mex type place, a Blenders, Starbucks, McConnells ice cream and an Italian place all sort of the scale of take-out. They are by the movie theater.

Nov 21, 2006
shedders in California

Asian Food in Santa Barbara County

Seems to me that Pismo is as close to Vandenburg Village as Goleta, maybe closer. In that case Thai Talay would be the place for Thai food. Many complimentary posts about it on this board. I have had several excellent meals there and think it is better than all that were mentioned in S.B.county.

I have not had good experiences at the Sushi Teri in Goleta. When I open the door I am turned off by a very fishy smell. There is a new place for Japanese in Goleta called Goleta Sushi House. It is in old town Goleta (5744 Hollister) where Kashima used to be. The service is very fun and friendly and the food very fresh and delicious. I have only been once, but need to go back and try more. My sister has been many times and another family eating there when we were there go every week.

Also in the northern direction we have enjoyed the sushi at Yanagi's in Pismo. They have a million dollar view and a loud festive atmosphere. Lots of great choices for food and the shushi is very good. They also have teppanyaki tables, but I have not tried them.

Many people feel that Atari Ya in Santa Maria is the best sushi you can get anywhere. The location is a dreary strip mall, 1551 Stowell. I tried it and thought it was good, but not as good as Yanagi.

Nov 15, 2006
shedders in California

Sequim in October

Thanks for all your inputs on Sequim. We had a great trip. Sequim is a lovely place.
Three of us went to the 3 Crabs and thought it was OK. I had the salmon, one friend had the mixed seafood Louie and the other had the seafood platter steamed. It was all OK. Nothing gourmet or outstanding, nothing bad either.

Another night 2 of us went to the Paradise Cafe, it wasn't anything special. Again not a bad meal, just OK.

A third night we went to The Old Mill Cafe. We were warned ahead of time that the service would be slow. I would call it super slow. But the meal did come and it was excellent. We both had the cedar planked Salmon which was topped with Crab. The were nice choices of sides, I had the cous cous and my friend had a pasta. I started with the seafood bisque and it was yummy.

The last night we went to a Japanese Restaurant which I think was called Great House Teriyaki. This was probably the worst meal we had. Orders were messed up, forgotten or brought at the wrong time, the beef teriyaki was awful, and the California rolls did not arrive as pictured in the menu (no masago which I love). We were surprised that the Gyozas were deep friend instead of steamed and lightly sauteed.

We asked around and looked in the phone book and could not find anyone who had heard of the Alderwood Bistro. We were sad to miss it. Maybe next time.

Oct 13, 2006
shedders in Pacific Northwest

Favorite Santa Barbara Restaurants

We and several friends have had great meals at Frescos at the Beach. We have definitely added that to our list of favorites in town.
We had a great dinner at Dish, Calle Real at Fairview a couple weeks ago. We shared a salad (something with papaya) and each had a main dish, I had swordfish pasta which I thought would be chunks of fish in the pasta, but instead it was pasta with a nice smoky flavor from grilled artichoke hearts, capers, and olives with the grilled fish on top. My spouse had jambalaya and loved it. We took home half of each dish, including half the salad and had another entire meal.

Oct 12, 2006
shedders in California

Where to get good eats in the Avila Beach area?

We recently ate at The Old Port Inn at the end of the pier in Port San Luis, beyond Avila. The experience was not very good. At night it would be nice to sit in the bar, have drinks, and maybe an appetizer because the bar has a great view of the lights from Avila to Oceano. You don't see much from rest of the restaurant at night. The prices were really high, ($44 for steak and shrimp combo) as you might expect for a restaurant on a pier with a great view, but there was no view. The paint on the tables is old so our shirt sleeves stuck to the tables. The tables were unique in that they are windows to the underside of the pier, but there wasn't anything to see. The service was poor. Our server brought us our salad, said she made them large because the kitchen was backed up and it would be a while before our dinners came out. That was nice, but she never came by to see if we wanted more drinks, water, bread or anything. The food, when it did arrive, was only OK. No one checked on us after our meals arrived. There are better places in the area.

Sep 27, 2006
shedders in California

Sequim in October

Hi,
Some friends and I wil be in Sequim for several nights in early October. Most of the Sequim posts are a couple years old so I was looking for updates on dinner recommendations. Any new places?
Thanks.

Sep 21, 2006
shedders in Pacific Northwest

Fresco at the Beach Santa Barbara

We went to the new Fresco location last night. It is in the Santa Barbara Inn where Citronelle used to be. We went with a party of 5 and had reservations. We were there at 6:30 and there were a few empty tables, those filled quickly and the place was still bustling at 9 when we left.

First the atmosphere in the restaurant and décor were wonderful. It is clean, open, and simply decorated without being too stark. The view from the many windows is outstanding looking right across to the beach. Fresco in 5 Points has always had great food, but more of a lunch atmosphere. Not so at this location. Once it got crowded it was a bit noisy.

They started us with a variety of breads served with olive oil, butter and a white bean spread which was excellent.

We were all interested in many items on the menu. Prices in the 20s. Several appetizers looked good, but we were all taken by the pistachio crusted halibut with burre blanc as a special. Four of the 5 of us ordered that dish. The fifth got the flattened chicken which we all expected to be a pounded out chicken breast, but turned out to be a half chicken, with bones.

We shared a small bite each of the tomato, basil and goat cheese on puff pastry tart appetizer. It tasted like a fresh pizza on puff dough. Yummy. Two shared the Caesar salad and thought it was good, 2 of us had the tomato and roasted eggplant soup, which was good but not earth shaking, one had a gorgonzola on salad greens which was delicious.

The main dishes were wonderful. The halibut moist and the nut crust was light and crisp, not overloaded. It came with mashed potatoes but 3 of us wanted roasted potatoes and they were happy to substitute. The roasteds were great. There was also asparagus on the side cooked perfectly.

We had 4 different desserts and all were wonderful. I had panna cotta which was perfect. My mother had the cannoli which was also great, my sister had what was like a custard crème brulee but I can’t remember what it was called. This was fantastic. Her SO had the cheesecake which was espresso flavored. All good.

The wine list was well balanced and had a lot of good choices local, and foreign, and a variety of prices. There was also a library of special wines at very special prices.

All agreed that the experience was wonderful and we all enjoyed our meals completely. The service was also very good. We will be happy to return.

Sep 18, 2006
shedders in California

Coconut Cupcakes in Santa Barbara

I second the coconut cake at Montecito Cafe. I think they will make a cake to order. I have never had coconut cupcakes anywhere in town. If Hennings makes them they are an OK bakery. Jeannine's Bakery also does some nice things, but I don't know about coconut cupcakes. In comparison to NYC, your friend will feel very bakery deprived here.

Sep 15, 2006
shedders in California

The best restaurants in SLO?

A couple of weeks ago we went to the Avila Friday evening farmers market. Various restuarants have booths out there. Pete's Pierside was serving what they called fish tacos. It was pieces of rockfish sauteed in abundant onions and white wine. Layered on a couple of corn tortillas with shredded threads of interesting white cheese, guacalmole, and fresh salsa. For $5 it was an outstanding meal and huge. If it is any indication of how good the restaurant is, I'll be excited to try it.

Sep 09, 2006
shedders in California

Santa Barbara fine dining recommendations needed [moved from L.A. board]

In the past few months we have eaten at Sevilla and had a fun time in the little booth with the curtains, but the food was only OK, better descriptions than taste. We were particularly put off by the comment that they don't serve bread because the chef wants to control our portions. Huh?

We used to love Cafe Buenos Aires, but they changed their menu a few years ago and we were not happy with the new choices.

A couple of months ago we ate at El Encanto, they may be closed right now for remodeling, but we had the best time, best meal, best service with the best view of any we have been to in Santa Barbara in a long time. So often we go out and are really impressed with the appetizers and the main dish is pale in comparison. Not true at El Encanto.
The only thing lame was the square plates that our sliverware kept sliding into, but there was always a server right there with a replacement piece. I hope when they reopen they do away with those plates, even though we had a great laugh.

I had one of the worst dining experience ever at Buchon many years ago and will never go back.

Sep 09, 2006
shedders in California

Chinese in Scottsdale

I will be at function at West World for several days in November. A group of us will be there in our RVs and want to get take-out Chinese food one night. We would like a local place with lots of choices. I have seen Flo's mentioned in previous posts, but I wasn't sure if their on-line menu was the extent of what they have. Any other ideas?
Thanks

Sep 07, 2006
shedders in Southwest

Review Square One Santa Barbara

Dish is not gone. It has moved to Goleta. Calle Real at Fairview.

Aug 10, 2006
shedders in California

Review Square One Santa Barbara

Just the messenger. As I said in my post, I did not go to Square One, my friend did. She writes vivid reviews so I asked her if I could post her review. She is not one to post herself. This is her response to glbtrtr:
Although the entree presentation was a artsy, the atmosphere and waiter was not pretentious. It had a very mixed-age crowd, but they were not too "with it" like you might find at Sevilla. It was very comfortable. We gave the restaurant a "plus' for creativity and for trying something a little different because the food was still good. My mom especially liked the presentation. The salmon could have been served in one piece instead of 3 and it wouldn't have been quite as good because the presentation encouraged me to eat the salmon combined with the garlic mashed potatoes rather than one at a time. I suspect they served the filet thinly precut to allow it to absorb some of the sauce. I agree the presentation of sides with the filet was not so successful, but at least they tried something different.

The prices were a bit on the high side, our meals were $28 and $29. But, the salad was $8, our wine was $7 and desserts were $8. My husband also had a tomato salad that was varities of little tomatoes cut in half with a tasty vinegarette. It was excellent, very fresh tasty tomatoes, no fancy presentation.

I thought it was a little pricey, but then Montecito Cafe is still our favorite, but it was worth it to try.

Aug 10, 2006
shedders in California

Favorite Seafood - Morro Bay

We went to dinner just a few days after my original post and went to Windows on the Water. This was before Stan's post, but oddly enough my husband had the Albacore Tatki Style and I had the Sand Dabs. Both were great. The evening was very nice and we were there through sunset, at least it got dark, this place might have been called Windows on the Foggy Water for as often as Morro Bay has fog. It was still beautiful. Thanks.

Aug 09, 2006
shedders in California

Review Square One Santa Barbara

There is a fairly new place in Santa Barbara called Square One. My friend went and wrote this great reveiw and gave me permission to post it.

Square One got a mixed review from us. The interior was nice, but a bit too stark for me (which means it's probably too stark for most everyone). I liked the light fixtures, and a few pieces of artwork would have solved the problem. There was not much on the menu that sounded great, can't say for sure why. So Mom and I had salmon and my husband had the filet. The presentation was very artsy and they got bonus points for it. Mom especially liked how creative they were. The meals were served on rectagular plates that gave an slight Asian influence. The meals were laid out to make the most of the shape of the plates. Our salmon was in three sections (square shapes) of exactly the same thing: garlic mashed potatoes with salmon on top, with diced pieces of fingerling potatoes (kind of like french fries) and a twig of green between. It didn't look like much food because it was divided up into 3 small sections, but it was more that it looked like and I was stuffed by the time I was done. It was great and tasty, the garlic mashed potatoes added just the right flavor with the salmon. The salmon was done med-rare. Mom and I agreed it was missing a green veggie. Neither of us had ordered a salad.

My husband got the filet. It came pre-sliced thinly and sitting on a brown sauce with three tiny rectangular white square bowls lined up across the top of the rectangular plate. It had a small amount of pureed asparagus, creamed corn and something else like sauteed ham in them. It looked artsy, but he wasn't that crazy about it. I think it was tasty, but he wanted to cut the filet, I guess it was a manly thing. The things in the little bowls didn't look too appetizing to me.

They didn't have a full liquor licsence, so my husband had a beer and mom and I had wine. We both wanted a Merlot, but there was none by the glass on the menu, so we asked about it. The waiter suggested another type of wine (Spanish? I don't remember the type) that he said drank like a Merlot. It was the cheapest on the menu $7 and was excellent. The waiter was great, happy and helpful, but didn't overdo it.

For dessert my husband had the Bananas Foster (we all had bites). It was excellent, the bananas were deep fried in a light batter, not sauteed. It was served on a caramel sauce, but the best part was the coconut ice cream. yum.

Aug 09, 2006
shedders in California

Dinner with Dog in Santa Barbara?

I live in Santa Barbara, Goleta actually, and have 3 labs. It is not the most dog friendly place in California. There are laws forbidding dogs in restaurants and at the outdoor cafes. Some places may be stretching the rules, but you can't count on it. I was at an outdoor Cafe, at a table on the sand, at Ledbetter Beach with one of my dogs lying quietly under the table. I was asked to put her in the car. Health regulations. Good Luck.

Aug 09, 2006
shedders in California