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