This restaurant is part of the Ritz Carlton Bacara hotel and is beautifully situated right on the ocean. Well worth booking in advance after a long day's travel to Santa Barbara - choose a local wine (of which there are many, of course - see next post), some abalone pasta, and enjoy the view and the excellent service. This is, by the way, the most expensive of the three I'm writing about today because after a long days travel, and just a few steps away from my room, it was paradise.....
Angel Oak Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Bacara
8301 Hollister Avenue, Santa Barbara, CA 93117
805 571 4220
Book via Open Table.
Toma Italian Restaurant Santa Barbara
One of the most popular restaurants in Santa Barbara don't try to get in to Toma without a reservation. Serving excellent Italian cuisine such as black spaghetti with shellfish (my favourite) polenta with Puttanesca sauce and on occasion tomato gazpacho with crab and avocado this is a must visit, highly rated, great food, excellent service, you really couldn't ask for much more. Just book, as I say......
Toma Restaurant and Bar
324 West Cabrillo Blvd.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Book via Google/Open Table
Loquita Santa Barbara
Loquita is another of the most popular restaurants in town - don't come to this marvellous Spanish restaurant if you don't like to share - from the delicious tapas to the excellent paella everything is for sharing. If you like your sprouts please try one of their tapas starters - Brusela which is brussel sprouts with peanut romesco, chorizo, honey dates and gremolata - it is out of this world. The paella too is superb with the tenderest chicken and incredibly flavoursome rice, chorizo and gigante beans.
Loquita Restaurant - book ahead
202 State Street
Santa Barbara CA 93101
(805) 880 3380Book via Google/Open Table
With most of the restaurants in Santa Barbara you can eat outside or inside so make sure you know which you prefer and ask in advance. And as I've said, casual is the order of the day whether daytime dining or evening.
The temperature in Santa Barbara, being so near to the ocean, is usually warm but not boiling in daytime and can cool down quite rapidly in the evening so make sure you take a jacket or wrap with you.