Friday, September 13, 2013

Feeling Lucky in SB

I finally ventured into Lucky Penny in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone, with my trusty four legged friend, and discovered yet another welcoming spot in this corner of our wonderful town. La Colombe is their coffee of choice and it tastes mighty good to me!
Caper (The Dog) had to wait for me to order my drink. Though not allowed inside, dogs are allowed on the patio.

Take a peek inside The Lark's kitchen as you sit on the patio. There is always something happening in Santa Barbara's hottest new be reviewed soon...
There are creative details everywhere, including bathtubs and wall fountains filled with plants.

A silver bowl for the pooch! Wow!
And now I share with you the most amazing creative thing about Lucky Penny - the building is covered in pennies! Whoever figured out how to make a wall of pennies is quite the creative genius.
Lucky Penny is not only a coffee place, it is also a pizza joint with its very own, very hot pizza oven cranking out fresh pizzas daily. Grab a pizza to-go or enjoy it straight out of the oven out on the patio. They also make sandwiches and salads, which I have not tried, but they sure sounded tasty.
The people working there are kind and smiling. Check it out for yourself and bon appétit!

Lucky Penny
127 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, California 93101
Hours 7:00 am - 9:00 pm
Phone 805-284-0358

Friday, September 6, 2013

Taste of Paris at Les Marchands

Santa Barbara's FunkZone has officially become THE place to go on the weekend...or any day really! One of the newest additions is Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant. Filled with wonderful decorative details, Les Marchands sells a fantastic selection of local and international wines (and beers!) and serves up wonderful share plates, wines, and beer in the wine bar.
Beautiful antiques are used as serving stations adding a bit of old world flare. At one point during our time there, there was a champagne bucket filled, with bottle in it, hanging out in front of the piece seen below, making me feel like I was in a brasserie of old in Paris.
 Neat details around every corner.

Ah, a jambon beurre. They've done a great job with this Parisian classic. The baguette comes from a bakery in Santa Ynez and is filled with prosciutto, European butter, and sea salt. Took me back...well done!
The house cured salmon with a tarragon creme fraiche seen below was fresh and wonderfully balanced allowing the salmon flavors to come through paired with light tarragon hints.
They have a beautiful wine selection of both local and international wines. On the blackboard, you'll find a selection of wines specially open that day.
Marinated white tuna, watercress, lemon vinaigrette. Fresh and simple.
No matching silverware to be found. Fantastic touch!
One of the beers on the menu that many people were ordering on the toasty day we ventured in. Refreshing indeed!
Can't wait to go back!

Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant
131 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, California 93101
(805) 284-0380
Mon - Thu: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 11:00 am - 12:00 am
Sun: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tea Time at Savoy Deli

Savoy Deli serves up fresh goodies prepared daily. Their deli holds creative, fresh salads and made-to-order sandwiches. I love a tuna salad sandwich on ciabatta bread. Their tuna salad is quite unique, with bits of fresh apple and nuts in there. But my favorite thing to order there is tea. They serve their loose leaf tea in wonderful little cast iron tea pots and each person gets an unmatched set of cup and saucer. Pair the Earl Grey with the ginger molasses cookie and you're in for a relaxing moment indeed.

Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives show, with Guy Fieri, came to town and made a stop at Savoy Deli. Pretty neat!

Savoy Deli
24 West Figueroa
Monday-Saturday 7:30am-8:30pm
Sunday 7:30am-5:00pm

Friday, July 19, 2013

Kinfolk Honey Event

Everyone! We need to save the bees! Without them, basically nothing gets pollinated. Nothing gets pollinated, nothing grows, and there is no food. Not a good plan. Our dear bees are dying because of pesticides and other toxic things 'popping up' in our environment. The balance is broken! One way to help is to get a beehive. This is one thing we learned at Kinfolk's Honey Event. What a joy it was to see such passionate people speak about their love: bees. On top of infusing our own honey, we were served a delicious, local ingredient lunch on a perfectly decorated table. Kinfolk, you always know how to throw a fabulous party...

 A beautiful bee, hard at work.

 Our very own honey bottle.
 Infusing station.
 The menu, by Kim Schiffer, with reusable utensils.

 Gluten free breaded chicken on salad full of edible flowers.
 Cheese plate including goat cheese made the night prior!
Coconut sorbet and lime basil infused melon.

If you don't know Kinfolk Magazine, you should check it out because they are an inspiration and capture all that I hold dear: friends, gatherings, hospitality, sharing special moments with special people and so much more...

Kinfolk is bringing a series of events to Santa Barbara that they are calling Fruitful Collaborations. Check out the next ones here and get tickets soon as they are small, intimate gatherings!

Oh, the fun to be had! See you there!

Monday, April 8, 2013


I have been eating Pierre Lafond Montecito Market Chocolate Chip Walnut cookies for 23 years now. They are officially my favorite cookie in Santa Barbara. The Earthquake cookie (all chocolate with chocolate chips and powdered sugar all over it...) is a close second, but nothing beats a classic like this one. Perfectly chewy and oh so satisfying...

Pierre Lafond Montecito Market
516 San Ysidro Road, 805.565.1502 
Open: 6:00am - 8:00pm Every Day

Sama Sama Santa Barbara

At last some different flavors hit the restaurant scene in Santa Barbara! Sama Sama Test Kitchen creates Indonesian inspired dishes and they are treats for the palate. I have now gone there twice and though they are still getting everything organized (don't ask for an iced tea...) and working out the kinks, I think it's going to be quite a hit! 

A view from the bar seating area and our fried rice with kale, carrots, and cilantro. Has a bit of spice to it too! They change up their fried rice depending on the chef's whim.

 One of the two tables out front on the sidewalk. Perfect people watching place. There is also seating on an amazing outdoor patio (a hidden gem for SB), but they don't always serve out there (yet). We lucked out on our first visit and got to enjoy being out in the sun surrounded by growing vegetables.

Up close on the Fried Rice.

 Soto Ayam - roasted Jidori chicken breast, rice noodle, turmeric chicken broth, cabbage, sprouts, and celery leaves. The chicken was perfectly moist and had large bits of salt on top. I really enjoyed this dish. Very fresh flavors.

Had to add the view from the parking lot because it's pretty ridiculous. Santa Barbara, you are amazing.

Sama Sama Test Kitchen
1208 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Tue - Sat: 11:30 am - 2:00 pm, 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Sun: 9:00 am - 1:30 pm

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Color Rumble in Santa Barbara

My wonderful Mom, Tana Sommer, is showing her artwork at COUCH Santa Barbara at 9 West Ortega Street and I think you should all stop by and see her recent beautiful creations. The show runs through May 15th. To learn more about her visit

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Chocolate Maya

If you love chocolate as much as I do, you MUST visit Chocolate Maya here in Santa Barbara. Not only is this a hand-crafted chocolates, chocolate shop, it is also a learning-all-about-chocolate zone where they serve hot chocolate. Now, this isn't your normal watery hot chocolate with whipped cream on top. This is a true cup of chocolate. It's like chocolate lava - thick, rich, and dark. Served in charming little cups, grab a seat at the bar and enjoy the goodness! Throw in a couple of their truffles too, you know, since a rich cup of chocolate just isn't enough... Did I mention they make a spicy one too?? Cheers!

Chocolate Maya - The Chocolate store

In the Chocolate Bar portion

Chocolate Maya is located at:
15 West Gutierrez Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 965-5956

Store Hours:
Monday-Friday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Bourbon Room

Need a fine cocktail and an all night happy hour? Check out The Bourbon Room for unique cocktails created with fresh juices and homemade jazzed up alcohols (cherry, cherry, cherry). On Wednesdays, it's happy hour all night. Yep, that's right. Can't beat that!

They also serve dinner so make it a night and soak up your cocktails with Date with a Pig...or the other tasty dishes their menu holds.

I enjoyed the French Gimlet seen above. A cool atmosphere, friendly staff and good eats ensure a cozy, happy evening.

The Bourbon Room
4444 Hollister Ave, Goleta, California 93110
Phone:(805) 265-3788

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cold-Pressed Juice

Mmmmm, fresh squeezed juice. Sure tastes wonderful on a sunny Santa Barbara day. Sure, you could buy your own juicer and the 3-4 lbs of local organic fruits and veggies needed for just one bottle, but why when you can pop over to the Juice Ranch and get yourself a fresh, cool bottle? It costs $10, which at first seems pricey, but just think about it from the cost of the produce to the machine to the time. With a $2 deposit for the bottles, your next juices only cost $8! And in my opinion, it's worth it. Instead of 2 Starbucks coffee drinks in a week, have a juice instead. Fennel in the Machine is my favorite...

Juice Ranch
33 Parker Way, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone:(805) 845-4657

The Shop, Soooo Santa Barbara

The Shop Cafe is bound to become a favorite spot for hanging out and enjoying great home cooking, especially by us Santa Barbara folk! The relaxed, welcoming feel is so inviting and once your eyes hit the menu options, your taste buds will make sure you keep coming back to try everything! Started by four locals, this is a great example of wonderful, creative people coming together to make a business happen.

You can see right into the kitchen to watch the magic happen. There is indoor space to dine in or a spacious patio with the American Riviera as your backdrop.
Special of the day - Quinoa salad with kale, tangerine, squash, and other goodies! Check out all those pistachios on top!

The General Sanders fried chicken sandwich (my favorite right now). The brioche bun is homemade, as is everything on that beautiful thing - the coleslaw, the pickled onions, the pesto-y sauce. The chicken was perfectly moist and not too oily.
The breakfast items are also so enticing! I enjoyed the Rolex, like a breakfast wrap with egg, bacon, avocado and a tomato relish spread inside, which is made on a type of Ugandian flatbread (called a Rolex) the co-owner's discovered while in Africa for their nonprofit The Boso Foundation. Amazing fusion going on here! I love this about The Shop - each menu item has its own story to go along with it, whether it's actual ingredients or culinary notes or just a story to how it got its name.

During the Santa Barbara Bowl season, they will open their doors into the evening to blast tunes of the featured band and so us concert goers have an amazing place to grab a bite to eat and a beer before a show. Personally, I can't wait!!

730 North Milpas

Mon - Sat: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sun: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

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