Monday, November 26, 2012

Beautiful Plates About Town

A few shots to share with all you food loving folks out there...all taken in Santa Barbara.

Fig dessert at Petit Valentien.
The smoked salmon plate at Scarlett Begonia. A true work of art as far as I am concerned. Tasted fantastic too!
Look at those mini pansies!!!
Beautiful in its simplicity...from Scarlett Begonia again.
One of the BEST DISHES IN SANTA BARBARA found at Via Maestra 42. The name escapes me, but it is a delicious plate filled with octopus, potatoes, onions, and tiny diced vegetables covered in lightly spicy flavors.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cooking Chez Eve

I have been doing quite a lot of cooking this fall, not to mention Thanksgiving! Here are few recent creations...

Picnic consisting of local oysters (they were massive!!), smoked salmon, heirloom tomatoes with mozzarella, and some avocado.
Piles of brie with fresh thyme and fig jam created quite the grilled cheeses!!
Fresh clams in a tomato, Vermouth, butter sauce... Clams are from Kanaloa Seafood.
 ...with fresh linguine from the Farmer's Market at the Solvang Bread stand.

Tarte au citron.
Homemade bread...could have let it bake longer though...still can't beat fresh bread.
 Apple tart for Turkey Day...
 Turkey stock from our Thanksgiving bird.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pace in SB

Don't let the super relaxed vibe of this restaurant make you think the cooking isn't going to be up to snuff. The dishes coming out of the kitchen are quite delicious. I was not sold when Pace first opened. I had eaten a mediocre tomato, mozzarella wrap and had little hope, but I was proven wrong! I ventured in for dinner and had a most scrumptious chicken piccata. The chicken was perfectly cooked and moist and the sauce was zingy with lemon and capers. The side vegetables (that night they were green beans) were fresh and flavorful and their mashed potatoes were not the bland mush you usually find in restaurants. The wait staff is cheery and pleasant creating a light atmosphere. Live music fills the space every night from 8pm to 10pm. On top of it, they have a unique variety of beers on tap. I enjoyed a Lagunitas Pilsner from San Diego. Definitely a great spot for a weekday night out!

Pace Restaurant
413 State Street
Santa Barbara
(805) 845-8388

Monday, November 5, 2012

New Lunch & Brunch Spot in Santa Barbara

Here in Santa Barbara many restaurants come and go as it is a small town with loads of restaurants, but I feel optimistic for the newest one: State & Fig. Why? Because there's bacon...and an enticing menu that lives up to what you read. I recently tried their Mac'n'cheese and their Fig Burger, both of which include our beloved bacon.
The ambiance is light and inviting. Smiling faces greet you as you walk in and everyone is quite helpful and ready to answer all your questions. Natural wood and colors fill the large, high-ceilinged space. Small succulents sit on each table, hugged by the salt and pepper. There are several tables on the patio out front which is lovely as this restaurant is located in the historic La Arcada Court. People watching and beautiful architecture make you feel like you are on vacation.

The Mac'n'cheese is made with fontina, provolone, Parmesan, applewood bacon, breadcrumbs and sure is rich! The bacon really stands up to the medley of cheeses bringing a lovely smokiness to the dish. This is a very filling dish and my friend and I thought it might be even more wonderful as a small plate or first course. One of the best mac'n'cheeses I have in a restaurant in a long while!

The Fig Burger includes fig jam, bacon, caramelized onions, arugula, and bleu cheese. This fantastic combo makes each bite a delight. The bacon was perfectly cooked - a perfect crunch yet still with some chew to it. The saltiness of the bacon paired with the fig jam was wonderful and an idea that has inspired me to create some sort of flatbread with these ingredients at home. The fries are home made and very potato-y. All ingredients are super fresh. There is definitely an attention to detail at State & Fig which most restaurants claim to have, but usually don't. The prices are quite reasonable and the iced tea is good too!

Check out the caramelized onions on this guy!
State & Fig does brunch too and is hoping to begin dinner service soon once they have everything running perfectly smoothly. I can't wait!

1114 State Street, Suite 18
Open Monday-Friday 8-4pm, brunch Saturday and Sunday

BTW Do you love bacon? Ever heard of the Royal Bacon Society? Check it out: I'll be doing a bit of writing over there too...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

To Pizza or Not to Pizza - Lunch in Santa Barbara

Olio Pizzeria for lunch! Torn between ordering something new or just eating one of their pizzas (which I have a major addiction to...), I ventured into the unknown of the Olio lunch menu. A variety of salads, sandwiches, and egg dishes made choosing very difficult. I was swayed towards a panini because they made pizza pita things as the bread!
 This is the Cotto sandwich with ham, robiola cheese, and artichoke hearts. Mmmm, good.
My friend enjoyed the butter leaf lettuce salad which looks an awful lot like a salade nicoise... She really enjoyed it as well. Looked delicious.

Of course, their lunch is fantastic and I can't wait to go there for brunch and try one of their egg dishes as they looked very enticing. It's going to be mighty hard not to order a pizza though...

Olio Pizzeria
11 West Victoria Street, Suite 21
No reservations
Open 11:30am-close Daily

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mammoth Eats

Sushi in the mountains tends to sound like an odd combo, but if you find the right spot, it can be a welcome treat. In Mammoth, you'll find Sushi Rei. This very hiptser cool restaurant located in The Village, is filled with locals, beautiful art, and colorful rolls. Exhausted from days of backpacking and still quite full from the restorative burgers we had once off the trail, our stomachs led us to Sushi Rei.
Octopus sunomono. The octopus wasn't too chewy and their sauce was quite good, though I like mine on a more acidic side.
Over the years, I've become more sushi-snobby and moved away from the cream cheese in a roll concept, but for some reason I wanted to try it again. This New York roll (more often known as a Philadelphia roll) was quite tasty and the fried capers were an interesting twist!
These dumplings were delicious. If I lived there, I would crave these and need to eat them that day. Filled with pork and veggies and cooked perfectly, I'll be ordering these during my next visit.
My boyfriend ordered the soup which was filled with pork, mushrooms, noodles, a poached egg, and jalapenos. He ate the entire thing except for a few bites of the noodles I stole. I bet this one is a big seller during the winter months.
Overall, we were both quite pleased with our experience. Though the service was a bit odd, it wasn't bad (if you don't count the young lady that picked up every water glass by the rim with her fingers to refill the glass - ohhhhhh boy...) we found this to be a warm and welcoming locals spot with good food and an awesome atmosphere. Dial 760.934.0774 for reservations.

Jumping on the coffee shop craze that has hit the US, Mammoth has joined in with a new coffee spot called Black Velvet. They must have spent a fortune getting the space the way they wanted it and the machines they have in there and the equipment must have cost a mint. All this creates a very clean, hip, industrial ambiance. White washed floors, off set the darker touches and wooden tables. They do cold-brews (literally cold water poured over ground coffee for hours and hours) and pour overs and fancy drinks with artsy foam designs. It's definitely got all the touches of the cool coffee shop trend including chandeliers, the clear wine bottle water bottles, and sparse shelves. They, of course, roast their own beans!
 The cold brew set up.
 Fancy machines and pour-over station.
I unfortunately forgot to write down which brew I ordered, but I believe it was the Peru...the darkest roast, as I love an intense cup of coffee. It was prepared pour-over style and I wish he hadn't put so much water in it, but perhaps I just don't know enough about coffee and this is the way it is supposed to be... Either way, it was quite delicious.
We'll go back for sure, but I hope they get more speedy because there sure are going to be a lot of cold skier and snowboarders standing in line waiting for their hot coffee this winter.

Black Velvet - 3343 Main Street, Suite F
Mammoth Lakes, CA

Monday, August 20, 2012

Spare Parts Bistro - Pop Up Dining in Santa Barbara

In my humble opinion, Spare Parts Bistro is the coolest thing you can do in the food world in Santa Barbara right now. Each week, Spare Parts pops up at a different location inviting 20 guests to dine around a long communal table and eat an amazing 5-course meal made from fresh ingredients. Santa Barbara local's Chef Weston Richards and restaurant owner Alvaro Rojas joined forces to create these unique experiences.
This past Sunday's dinner was amazing. We sat at their custom wooden table, al fresco, in a residential neighborhood home's backyard. Chef Weston Richards, who has worked at many of Santa Barbara's top restaurants, is full of passion and love for his craft. Each dish that is served comes with a little explanation of creation, inspiration, and story by Weston, which makes the dish even more of a gift from his passion to our plates. Yum.

The table set up.
Delicious, super cooling and relaxing Margarita. Cheers!
Sourdough flatbread, grilled pacific squid, spicy greens, egg yolk. The word FRESH is going to occur many times in this post as that is just how all the ingredients were. Clean flavors were the star and the squid was prepared perfectly and had the perfect bite. The egg yolk dressing was out of this world. Well, there you go, now I am drooling...
Halibut ceviche, roasted summer corn, jalapeno, cilantro, creme fraiche. This dish he created just for that night and wasn't sure how it would be in the end. Let me tell on. The balance of flavors elated my taste buds. He even makes his own creme fraiche and when speaking about it he said smiling, "It's just a cream and acidophilus thing..." As if making every ingredient in one single dish was the easiest thing in the world. Oh the patience of these inventive chefs! This is one of the best halibut dishes I've ever had!
Pork broth, carrots, egg noodles, herbs, olive oil. At last! A menu that lists herbs and you actually taste herbs! Vibrant, vibrant dish. And the pork broth...oh, the pork broth. The amount of time and thought that went into that broth including pig hooves. Delicious. Probably cures most any ailment one might have.
So very beautiful!

Lamb carnitas, cannellini beans, sofrito, asparagus, salsa verde. The lamb was cooked in olive oil. Do I need to say more? There was an amazing crust on it and the beans, fondly referred to as 'crack beans' for their addictive quality, lived up to their name! The sofrito mixed in with all the other flavors married wonderfully.

Meyer lemon, shortbread, strawberries, bavarian cream, mint. Beautifully tart meyer lemon paired with the shortbread and sweet berries was just what I enjoy for dessert. Not too much sweet and just enough to make it a proper ending to a most delightful meal. As dessert was served, the sun had set and the darkness started in. The candlelit table and happy banter made for a festive ambiance.

Wonderful. Amazing. Satisfying. Thank goodness Spare Parts Bistro happens every weekend!

Get on their email list through their site: or on their Facebook page at:
Usually $75 and usually is BYOB

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Julienne (yes again) For Lunch!

Yes, I am writing about Julienne again as they are now serving lunch! Hurray! The atmosphere is just as enjoyable in the daytime as it is in the evening. Santa Barbara really needed a high caliber place for lunch and the prices are high for everyday lunches, but spot on for those days when you feel like more than a sandwich.

The Charcuterie Plate with pork pate, chicken liver toasts, sliced Serrano ham, and pickled veggies (pickled stuff, as they say...). Chef Justin sure knows how to make pates...mmmm....
Pan Fried Trout with sauteed French beans and a creme fraiche potato salad. I adored this dish. It made me think of France and the wonderful lunches one can have there. The beans still had a crunch, the potato salad was delightful, and the pan fried trout was cooked perfectly, still moist and with a satisfying crunch from the crust. I did add a hint of salt to the fish, but I have a severe love affair with salt...
My friend ordered the Pulled Pork sandwich served with cole slaw, West Bros BBQ sauce, and a brioche bun from the bakery next door (Our Daily Bread). I snagged a piece of the meat and it was nice and tangy from the BBQ sauce. She ate the whole thing and had a smile on her face so I think that meant she liked it!

I love Julienne for lunch and look forward to how their menu will change with the seasons.

Unfortunately, Julienne is no longer serving lunch. Have no fear! They aren't going anywhere so go there for dinner!!

138 East Canon Perdido, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Friday, July 27, 2012

Chocolate & Coffee Break in Santa Barbara

Personally, I think twenty-four blackbirds makes some of the best chocolate in town. It's nice and dark with the perfect balance of bitter and sweet. Perfect with a cup of coffee.
Find out more about them at their site:
And you should get that cup of coffee AND your piece of chocolate at French Press. This hipster coffee scene is a wonderful place to work or hang out. They make a mean americano and the staff is kind and know their stuff. They also have rotating art on the walls and change it up often. Get your caffeine fix with the locals at French Press.
French Press
1101 State Street  Santa Barbara, CA 93101

(805) 963-2721

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Julienne's Farewell to Foie Gras

Oh Julienne, how you satisfy my cravings and please my taste buds so...
Thank you for your Farewell to Foie Gras menu, which truly showed it off! FYI Foie Gras will be outlawed in the state of California starting July 1st. So get out there and eat up fellow Californians!!

Braised Lettuce Soup - Seared Foie Gras. Yes, lettuce soup! The broth was out of this world and complemented the foie gras perfectly.
Duck Breast Pastrami - Smoked Foie Gras, Rye, Mustard, Cabbage. Wonderful idea and the concept was executed perfectly. The foie gras mousse was AMAZING. I wiped the plate with my finger...
Seared Sea Scallops - Shaved Foie Gras, Radish, Turnip, Mizuna, Turnip Puree. Wonderful, rich yet fresh combo.
Foie Gras & Donuts - Market Berry Compote. Yes please! A surprising dish indeed!
Foie Gras Ice Cream. This was a surprise addition to our meal. And I don't know just quite how he did it, but boy did it taste like foie gras. Bravo!

138 E. Canon Perdido  Santa Barbara, CA 93101