M A RC H 2019
THE RESTAURANT ISSUE
1235 COAST VILLAGE ROAD I 805.969.0442 SANTA BARBARA, CA 93108 FOUR SEASONS RESORT THE BILTMORE SANTA BARBARA 805.969.3167 I MONTECITO, CA 93108
W W W . S I LV E R H O R N . C O M
31275 LA BAYA DRIVE WESTLAKE VILLAGE CA 91362
818 889 0487
DOORS & WINDOWS
All furnishings including chairs and sofas custom designed by Paul Trent, principal designer.
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G O L E TA
S A N TA B A R B A R A
There are sunsets. Then there’s basking in the horizon’s golden glow before venturing out on a cutting-edge culinary adventure.
That’s more than beautiful, it’s
SANTA BARBARA BRILLIANT Bu t t e r f l y Be a c h – b ri n g yo u r b e s t i e SantaBarbaraCA.com
Santa Barbara’s Staying Power
From savory to sublime, this day-tripper’s paradise is giving us next-level reasons to pack an overnight bag.
RIVIERA TOWEL COMPANY
SANTA BARBARA HOTEL GROUP
Discover stylish Turkish towels, cover-ups & beach bags from the Riviera Towel Company, located in Sevilla Square at State and Gutierrez. Known for its support of the California coast’s precious marine ecosystem, each purchase funds agencies working to heal the oceans.
There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to see everything Santa Barbara has to offer—trust us, we’ve tried! Luckily Santa Barbara Hotel Group offers a collection of unique lodging accommodations from uptown to midtown to waterfront, for families and free-spirits alike. Choose from various packages that highlight the area’s most exciting attractions.
Considered one of the world’s most extraordinary horticultural achievements, Lotusland flourishes across the 37-acre Montecito estate of the late Ganna Walska, and is home to more than 3,000 plant species. Step into the sensory wonderland of this rare botanical nirvana with an inspiring docent-led stroll.
BUELLTON WINE AND CHILI FESTIVAL More than 20 chili and salsa cooks are scheduled to compete, and you get to sample it all! Mix in the flavors of 30+ wineries, craft breweries and spirit companies and you’ll be spooning and sipping the region’s most vibrant tastes. Produced by En Fuego Events: Sunday, March 17th at Flying Flags RV Resort.
Open Wed-Sat by reservation only, call 805.969.9990 or visit
Taste more at
Absorb more at rivieratowel.com and learn about the Merchants of Sevilla Square at sevillasquare.com
Offers and packages at sbhotels.com
Contents M A R C H 2 0 1 9 • T H E R E S TAU R A N T I S S U E
DINING SCENE NEWS FROM A TO Z
Recently opened restaurants, chefs’ new gigs, innovative concepts, and delicious menu updates—805 Living covers the gamut of local happenings. By Victoria Woodard Harvey
FOOD AS ENTERTAINMENT
By Victoria Woodard Harvey
MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
Members of the culinary team at The Silver Bough in Montecito prepare an extraordinary dining adventure.
Offering a dramatic new kind of dining experience, The Silver Bough is the hottest ticket in the 805.
M A R C H 2 0 1 9 • T H E R E S TAU R A N T I S S U E
38 82 56
Departments of the 805
Finds 35 Coffee Talk
Perk up the morning with these eye-opening java-bar essentials. By Jennie Nunn
38 STYLE: Carry a Round Spring handbags come full circle. By Amy Wicks
By Erin Rottman
Go 44 Scottsdale:
Welcome Oasis What lies within this upscale Sonoran Desert community is no mirage. By Heidi Dvorak
Insider By Heidi Dvorak
48 Local Events & Family Fun 50 Hot Ticket 52 Show Your Support 54 Worth a Drive 55 Give Back
MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
Faces in the Crowd 56 Jimmy Wong
A student chef transforms his apartment into a pop-up restaurant. By Jaime Lewis Photograph by Jennifer Olson
Arts & Culture 58 The Writing on the Wall Graffiti artists have taken street art into galleries and onto murals. By Joan Tapper
Upgrades 62 On the Table
To create a welcoming dining room, set the tone with a defining focal point, then surround it with pieces that offer function, color, and style.
Taste 82 FOOD:
Uncloister the Oyster Local experts share recipes and pearls of wisdom to help home cooks dish up these delicacies from the sea. By Shauna Burke
86 WINE: FANTASY FEASTING Building the perfect dinner with wine in the 805. By David Gadd Photograph by Gary Moss
88 DINING OUT:
Ana’s Got It All Day A bright new café in downtown Santa Barbara’s arts and theater district fills the bill for every mealtime. By Nancy Roberts Photographs by Gary Moss
90 Dining Guide P.S. Sketchpad 104 Luddite Diners By Greg Clarke
In Every Issue
12 Editor’s Note 16 Masthead 24 Behind the Scenes
Visit Us Online!
Good Deeds 64 Mending Kids
805living.com Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest keyword: 805Living Check out the free digital version of 805 Living on our website and on issuu.com. It’s smartphone and tablet compatible.
By Mark Langton Photographs by Kenny Backer and Mark Langton
Become an 805 Living Insider! Sign up to receive “The Insider,” our free mid-month newsletter that provides additional suggestions for local events and activities, last-minute getaway ideas, and little extras—like food and wine tips—to help you get through the month. Insiders will also receive special offers, contest news, event invitations, and more. Subscribe at 805living.com.
By Frances Ryan
International, The New West Symphony League, Ventura County Community Foundation
On the Cover At Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, servers usher chef Gabe Garcia’s lastest creations from Tierra Sur’s kosher kitchen to the dining room. Photograph by Gary Moss
44 COURTESY OF EXPERIENCE SCOTTSDALE; 56 JENNIFER OLSON; 82 © MARTA MUÑOZ-CALERO CALDERON/STOCKSY UNITED
Pulse 29 Tracking the Beat
Beauty. Warmth. Comfort. (Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what we do best.)
I N T ERIOR D ESIG N | R EM AR KAB LE R ESO URC ES
Left to right: Kristen Love, Genaro Lagdameo, Karen Shoener, Marcella McCracken, Carla Padour
960 South Westlake Blvd., Suite #6, Westlake Village (805) 418-1890 | www.InteriorDesignWestlake.com We want to help you rebuild after the WOOLSEY FIRE. Learn how at: interiordesignwestlake.com/rebuild-your-life
The Hunger Games IF, LIKE ME, YOU’RE NOT INTO COLLEGE HOOPS, March can sometimes
feel like a lonely month. While basketball fanatics are taking over every television in the house and the restaurants and bars, the rest of society is left to deal with unpredictable weather, the sudden greening of everyone’s wardrobe on the 17th, and whatever the political scandal is at this hour. Well, there’s all that and this Restaurant Issue. For anyone especially enamored with the local dining scene, this month we are flexing our culinary muscles. I would be remiss not to point out that each issue already has considerable restaurant coverage, like our Dining Guide and Dining Out columns. Plus, we publish our Restaurant and Food & Wine issues each year, we’re always delivering dining news on social media, and our online searchable dining guide is updated monthly. Given that dining out has been a pillar of this magazine from the start— 15 years ago—this was no small undertaking. There is a lot to discover within, but I will mention just one story—with 26 parts—that should convince you to keep turning the pages: Victoria Woodard Harvey’s sizeable feature, “Dining Scene News From A to Z” (page 66). It will take you on an eating and drinking tour of Central Coast restaurants and bars that focuses on what’s new, brand-new in most cases, as well as what’s unique, delicious, and always local. Be forewarned, some of the 40-plus places that Harvey mentions will have televisions, and there might be the occasional cheer or groan from those watching the games. But that will hardly matter. After reading this issue, you’re going to be too hungry to notice. See you in April,
Lynne Andujar Editor in Chief & Publisher
MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
CALIFORNIA BRASSERIE: noun; a neighborhood gathering place, known for locally sourced ingredients and wood-fire grilling good enough for seconds OPENING APRIL 2019
818.575.3000 Two Dole Drive / Westlake Village / Califor nia 91362
COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL
Dierberg Star Lane Winery - Zig Ziglar
MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
Lic# 881030 A/C12/C32
in assets under management
Best-in-State Financial Advisor, 2018 (Seth Haye) —Forbes Magazine
Top NextGen Advisors, 2018 (Seth Haye, #11 of top 1000 in U.S.) —Forbes Magazine
FRONT, LEFT: Stephanie Hartmire: Senior Registered Associate; Barry Garapedian:
Managing Director-Wealth Management, Financial Advisor; Seth Haye: Executive Director, Financial Advisor; BACK, LEFT: Clint Spivey: Consulting Group Analyst; Vanessa Renna: Client Service Associate; Carlos Garcia: Associate Vice President, Financial Advisor; Elisa Decker: Group Director * as of August 1, 2018
Top 40 Under 40, 2019
The Oaks Group at Morgan Stanley 100 N. Westlake Blvd. #200, Westlake Village, CA 91362
(Seth Haye, #8 in U.S.) —On Wall Street
Sources: Forbes.com (February 2018). Best-in-State Wealth Advisors ranking was developed by SHOOK Research and is based on in-person and telephone due diligence meetings and a ranking algorithm that includes: client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations; and quantitative criteria, including: assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Investment performance is not a criterion. Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOK Research, LLC and are not indicative of future performance or representative of any one client’s experience. Neither Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC nor its Financial Advisors or Private Wealth Advisors pay a fee to Forbes or SHOOK Research in exchange for the ranking. For more information: www.SHOOKresearch.com. Forbes Magazine (July, 2018). Data provided by SHOOKTM Research, LLC. Data as of 3/31/18. SHOOK considered Financial Advisors born in 1980 or later with a minimum 4 years relevant experience, who have: built their own practices and lead their teams; joined teams and are viewed as future leadership; or a combination of both. Ranking algorithm is based on qualitative measures: telephone and in-person interviews, client retention, industry experience, credentials, review of compliance records, firm nominations; and quantitative criteria, such as: assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Investment performance is not a criterion because client objectives and risk tolerances vary, and advisors rarely have audited performance reports. Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOK Research, LLC, which does not receive compensation from the advisors or their firms in exchange for placement on a ranking. The rating may not be representative of any one client's experience and is not indicative of the Financial Advisor's future performance. Neither Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC nor its Financial Advisors or Private Wealth Advisors pays a fee to Forbes or SHOOK Research in exchange for the ranking. For more information see www.SHOOKresearch.com. On Wall Street's Top 40 Under 40 asks brokerage firms to nominate their top young brokers. Of those nominated, On Wall Street bases its rankings on quantitative and qualitative criteria. Financial Advisors are ranked by their annual trailing-12 month production (as of Sept 30, 2014). The rating is not indicative of the advisor's future performance. Neither Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC nor its financial advisors pay a fee to On Wall Street in exchange for the rating.
©2018 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC
EDITOR IN CHIEF & PUBLISHER
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Bernard Scharf MANAGING EDITOR
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Sophie Patenaude PHOTO EDITOR
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Heidi Dvorak CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
Mark Langton (Philanthropic Events), Jennie Nunn (Shopping), Erin Rottman (Travel), Frances Ryan (Interior Design) CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Ryan Brown, Shauna Burke, David Gadd, Victoria Woodard Harvey, Hilary Dole Klein, Jaime Lewis, Nancy Roberts, Joan Tapper, Amy WIcks CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATOR
Greg Clarke RESEARCH EDITOR
Tajinder Rehal CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Gary Moss, Jennifer Olson CONSULTING EDITOR
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805 LIVING, MARCH 2019
©2019 Ojai Valley Inn
A culinary inspired event center
Ojai Valley Inn is proud to announce the grand opening of THE FARMHOUSE at Ojai, a one-of-a-kind epicurean and event destination. Inspired by Ojai’s farming heritage, the Farmhouse was designed to connect you to the local land and world-class food culture. The exhibition kitchen is home to everything from wine seminars and tastings, cocktail mixology, cooking classes and demonstrations, to intimate dinners with renowned chefs. Visit thefarmhouseojai.com to view our calendar of exclusive events and reserve online.
· C O O K I N G C L AS S E S · M IX O L O G Y · WIN E TA S T ING · W E L L NE S S E V E NT S · A RT IS A NS IN RE S IDE NCE + A ND MUCH MORE
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FRIDAY, MAY 3 Surf Movie Night The historic Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo kicks off this 3-day event with our Featured Film: Original Momentum. This epic movie night is ﬁlled with community, culture, and surﬁng. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. All proceeds from this epic movie event will go to beneﬁt StillFrothy!
SATURDAY, MAY 4 805 Surf Classic & SeaVenture Classic VW Show Rise and shine on Saturday morning for the 805 Surf Classic presented by Still Frothy at the Pismo Beach Pier featuring an invitational team competition with teams comprised of male and female surfers from the 805, an adaptive heat, women’s shortboard, and a local Winemakers & Brew Masters heat. Alongside the surf contest will be our Classic VW Show! Head over to Downtown Pismo Beach to enjoy Buses, Bugs and More!
SUNDAY, MAY 5 Rabobank’s Barrel to Barrel Held on the ocean front lawn at the Cliffs Resort, Rabobank presents a Barrel to Barrel event that can’t be forgotten. With live music, over 40 visiting wineries and breweries, local cuisines, and an incredible silent auction, come down for a glass of wine, tastes from our best local restaurants and a sunset to remember.
Come celebrate the best that Classic California has to offer. Enjoy three days of unforgettable events that embrace the love of California’s traditional surﬁng lifestyle and culture along with exceptional wine and food. Experience Central Coast wines, artisan brews, local California farm-fresh and seaport-inspired cuisine, as well as great music, art, and the amiable coastal community. Wine, Waves & Beyond events take place at several scenic venues throughout Pismo Beach and at the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo. Over the last nine years Wine, Waves & Beyond has raised over $245,000 for local non-proﬁt organizations. Proceeds from this year’s event will beneﬁt GleanSLO who provide fresh, nutritious food to families in need across SLO County.
Behind the Scenes Our contributors really get around, so when they tell us the best thing about a restaurant they’ve tried recently, we take notice. David Gadd “No trip to the Central Coast is complete without lunch at Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe, where I particularly love the chance to discover local wines in situ,” says contributing writer David Gadd (Taste/ Wine, page 86). “I rarely leave without purchasing a couple of bottles from the impressive retail display.”
Joan Tapper “What stood out at Tyger Tyger in Santa Barbara,” says contributing writer Joan Tapper (Arts & Culture, page 58), “was that the cozy communal seating elicited recommendations from our changing tablemates as to what not to miss next time and their suggestions for a great new pizza place and an authentic Chinese restaurant.”
Erin Rottman “I love the deep-fried shrimp at Malibu Seafood, but my favorite thing about this spot on Pacific Coast Highway is the cool biker vibe,” says travel editor Erin Rottman (Finds/Travel, page 40). “Motorcycles line the front lot and black leather dominates inside. I’m definitely out of place in my hiking gear.”
D N G RA NIN G E P O NOODLES
A NEW FAST-CASUAL CONCEPT
NOW OPEN AT WESTLAKE PROMENADE SOCIALMONK.COM DELIVERY POWERED BY
Behind the Scenes Our featured experts share what stood out during their recent experience at a newfound restaurant. “Nonna for great shellfish in a spicy red sauce on GF pasta.” —Karen Shoener
(Upgrades, page 62) CID, ASID, president Designs of the Interior Westlake Village interiordesignwestlake.com
“Mastro’s dirty martinis are the best.” —Kelly “Risk” Graval
(Arts & Culture, page 58) artist Riskrock Studios Thousand Oaks riskrock.com, @riskrock on instagram
“The comfortable patio at Tavern 101 Grill & Tap House for drinks and appetizers.” —Graham Harris
“Lucky’s in Montecito. I went to visit chef Leonard Schwartz and enjoyed a classic steakhouse experience.” —Blake Silberman
(Taste/Food, page 82) sous chef Blackbird at Hotel Californian Santa Barbara thehotelcalifornian.com
SILBERMAN: HOTEL CALIFORNIAN; GRAVAL: GARY MOSS
(“Dining Scene News From A to Z,” page 66) owner Decker Kitchen Westlake Village deckerkitchen.com
© NATHAN YAN/STOCKSY UNITED
T R AC K I N G T H E B E AT O F T H E 8 0 5
RISING FROM THE ASHES
Every year we’re graced with the spectacular beauty of a host of spring flowers. But this year, if you look to the foothills, you may be able to gaze upon another remarkable phenomenon: Beneath ashes left from recent fires, green stems rise from the blackened soil. Leaves form, struggling to reach outward and upward. Buds open. And, as if by some miracle, rare blooms take over a once-devastated landscape. The science behind the existence of fire followers is solid—intense heat followed by heavy rain causes certain seeds to germinate. But the message behind what may transpire—fire poppies, whispering bells, lupine, snapdragons, and others—is fluid and speaks volumes. They are a reminder that the time to appreciate life is now. They are a promise of renewal. They are survivors. —Heidi Dvorak MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
GET ’EM WHILE THEY LAST
These local specialties are brimming with St. Patrick’s Day spirit, and they’re only available for a limited time. Anyone who misses out is sure to be green with envy. What: Vanilla Gorilla or Black & White mini
layer cakes, three small stacked layers of vanilla cake frosted with Tahitian vanilla buttercream or chocolate brown-butter cake frosted with Tahitian vanilla buttercream and coated in chocolate cake crumbs; both decorated to honor Ireland’s patron saint (also available in gluten-free versions) Where: Cake Monkey, Westlake Village, cakemonkey.com When: March; call ahead to preorder
A NEW TEST
Over the past several years, chef Ricky Odbert has earned a devoted following for the multicourse tasting dinners he serves from his parents’ garage turned demonstration kitchen, also known as Six Test Kitchen (sixtestkitchen.com). But in January, Odbert moved to a new, luxe commercial spot in Paso Robles’ Tin City. “It’s economical,” Odbert says, crediting the complex’s industrial aesthetic and 23 wine, beer, and spirit-producing tenants. “That’s what’s cool about Tin City,” he says. “Everyone can afford to mess around with new ideas.” The Tin City venue allows Odbert to serve 12 guests, twice as many as the garage location did, at each intimate two- to three-hour dining experience. Odbert’s favorite part of the change? “Now we have a staff of four people,” he says, including a sommelier. —Jaime Lewis
What: Irish Margherita Pizza, a crispy, wood-fired crust wearing the green—a savory topping of fresh arugula, pesto, and burrata. Where: Lucky Penny, Santa Barbara, luckypennysb.com When: March 15–17 What: Corned Beef, an Irish-inspired dish
showcasing house-made corned beef tongue accompanied by spiced crispy potatoes, pickled cabbage, and stout-flavored mustard. Where: Les Marchands Restaurant & Wine Shop, Santa Barbara, lesmarchandswine.com When: March 16–17
Six Test Kitchen’s new digs (interior shown second from the top) double the number of guests who can take part in chef Ricky Odbert’s scheduled dining experiences, which feature elegantly plated dishes like chicken breast, leg and heart, with smoked sour carrots, celeriac, and berbere spice (above) and chicken roulade cooked in kale and served with roasted fennel, pickled apple, and a sauce made from Pernod (top).
MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
sauerkraut, and Emmentaler cheese with the proprietary sweet and spicy Grandma’s Sauce on Bob’s hearty Corn Rye Bread. Where: Bob’s Well Bread Bakery, Los Alamos, bobswellbread.com When: March 14–18
RIGHT: NATASSIA JOHNSON
What: Reuben Sandwich, a stack of corned beef,
For the past three years, during November and December, 805 Living’s Dishing It Out for Charity challenge has been one of the tastiest culinary fundraisers on the Central Coast. Its success derives from an inspired collaboration between chefs who cook and patrons who partake, all for the greater good of the community. For the third annual challenge, presented by UBS, 25 restaurants, several with multiple locations, selected an iconic dish or devised a brilliant new one and designated a favorite local charity of their choice to benefit from a percentage of its sales. Enthusiastic diners played their part by ordering that dish. Everyone came out a winner. Despite the devastating wildfires that ensued as the challenge began, the results exceeded the previous year’s. Dishes sold numbered 7,994 and charitable organizations received more than $16,909.
PARTICIPANTS IN 2018 DISHING IT OUT FOR CHARITY CHALLENGE PRESENTED BY UBS THE BEAR AND STAR, Los Olivos, for Direct Relief BELLA VISTA AT FOUR SEASONS RESORT THE BILTMORE SANTA BARBARA for the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center BELMOND EL ENCANTO, Santa Barbara, for Youth Interactive CIDER BAR, San Luis Obispo, for the Feline Network of the Central Coast FINCH & FORK, Santa Barbara, for No Kid Hungry’s Share Our Strength FINNEY’S CRAFTHOUSE & KITCHEN, Westlake Village and Santa Barbara, for Support for the Kids FISH GAUCHO CALIFORNIA MEXICAN & TEQUILA BAR, Paso Robles, for Wolf Hybrid Adoption & Rescue FOOD HARMONICS, Ojai, for the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy FOUR SEASONS HOTEL WESTLAKE VILLAGE for Casa Pacifica GASOLINA CAFE, Woodland Hills, for the Live Like Noah Foundation THE HITCHING POST 2, Buellton, for Direct Relief LA BODEGA, Pismo Beach, for 17 Strong LA DOLCE VITA RISTORANTE, Oxnard, for Ventura County Caregivers THE LARK, Santa Barbara, for the Dream Foundation
LES MARCHANDS WINE BAR & SHOP, Santa Barbara, for the Dream Foundation LOQUITA, Santa Barbara, for the Dream Foundation LUCKY PENNY, Santa Barbara, for the Dream Foundation MAD & VIN AT THE LANDSBY, Solvang, for People Helping People OLIO PIZZERIA, Santa Barbara, for the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation OUTPOST AT THE GOODLAND, Goleta, for No Kid Hungry’s Share Our Strength PEARL DISTRICT RESTAURANT, Westlake Village, for Shred Kids’ Cancer ROBIN’S RESTAURANT, Cambria, for CASA—Court-Appointed Special Advocates SHARKY’S WOODFIRED MEXICAN GRILL, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Simi Valley, Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, Goleta, Calabasas, and Woodland Hills, for the Alzheimer’s Association Central Coast Chapter S.Y. KITCHEN, Santa Ynez, for Direct Relief VINA ROBLES VINEYARDS & WINERY, Paso Robles, for the Boys & Girls Club of North San Luis Obispo County
—Hilary Dole Klein
A NEW LOOK FOR
As the Westlake Village Inn’s f lagship restaurant prepares to reopen in the coming weeks after a dramatic makeover, the team weighs in about what excites them the most at the newly reimagined venue. LISA BIONDI Executive Chef
I’m most excited about the kitchen redesign that features a Waldorf cooking suite, which allows for better communication between the chefs and the cooks with no barriers. My team and I will be introducing more Mediterranean-influenced foods, with flavorful vegetables taking center stage. In addition, the star items include simple savory grilled fish, luscious prime meats, and, of course, our mouthwatering housemade pastas. We will also be introducing new desserts including a few vegan options that are sure to be loved by all.
I look forward to introducing guests to a new concept restaurant that exudes a high-end experience and encompasses interactive service and personalized touches to make you feel at home. While we have been closed, we have been preparing the best culinary and service team that will provide superior, unmatched service and showcase a wow factor at every corner.
CHRIS CUILTY COO/CFO
Our latest redesign takes on a Mediterranean feel and is the most recent example of our commitment to raising the bar at the property for the benefit of our hotel guests and locals. The new look radiates the vibe of an open-air villa in the Mediterranean. Guest should be prepared to enjoy a very fresh and upscale environment that will surely make them want to stay awhile. No passport needed to travel here.
Director of Sales and Marketing
Watching the development of the property grow has been an amazing experience. We are constantly reaching for the next level in service and enhancing the guests’ experience. The renovation of Mediterraneo will add to the upscale touch that the Westlake Village Inn has become known for with our community and guests. I am personally eager to watch Mediterraneo go viral and cover everyone’s Instagram feed as it becomes the new local Instagram-worthy hot spot: #MediterraneoWL.
ROBERTO MERIDA, MIGUEL WILSON, CAMREN DORTHALINA Alcohol Architects
Our new bar is sleek, polished, and will be the hub of the restaurant. With over 30 feet of space, we have plenty of room to interact with our guests and create made-to-order innovative craft cocktails. We are so excited for everyone to taste our carefully curated fruit-based cocktails, paired perfectly with our happy hour bites. In addition, our wine list has been carefully selected and is made up of more than 50 incredible wines that we look forward to seeing on the Wine Spectator list.
Finds S H O P P I N G / S T Y L E / T R AV EL
PERK UP THE MORNING WITH THESE EYE-OPENING JAVA-BAR ESSENTIALS. By Jennie Nunn
Bodum eight-cup pour-over coffee maker with double-walled glass, a cork collar, and a stainless-steel filter ($20); Target, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Camarillo, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Ventura, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, and Paso Robles; target.com. MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
4 5 1. Fellow Stagg “EKG” kettle with LCD screen to set and monitor temperature ($149); Chandeliers & Tulips, Agoura Hills, chandeliersandtulips.com.
2. Joulies stainless-steel beans cool steaming-hot beverages and maintain the drinkable temperature longer ($50 for a set of five); joulies.com.
3. Stelton “Emma” vacuum jug ($119); The Copenhagen House, Solvang, thecopenhagenhouse.com. 4. Stainless-steel coffee scoop with bag clip ($8); Crate and Barrel at The Village at Topanga, Woodland Hills, crateandbarrel.com. 5. Cacti Coffee Roasters “Columbia/ Cajibo” roasted coffee beans ($18 for 12 ounces); Scout & Dwell, Santa Barbara, scoutanddwell.com. 6. Rösle dual stainless-steel milk frother ($35); Sur La Table at The Promenade at Westlake, Westlake Village, Santa Barbara, and The Village at Topanga, Woodland Hills; surlatable.com. 7. App-controlled Ember ceramic mug keeps java at desired temperature for one hour ($80); most Starbucks locations; and Westlake Village–based ember.com.
MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
Finds Style By Amy Wicks
2 1 3
Carry a Round
SPRING HANDBAGS COME FULL CIRCLE.
1. Clare V. mini bag ($288); Anthropologie at The Oaks, Thousand Oaks, Santa Barbara, and Westfield Topanga, Canoga Park; anthropologie.com. 2. Rebecca Minkoff “Lucy” leather belt bag ($88); Nordstrom at The Oaks, Thousand Oaks, Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, and Westfield Topanga, Canoga Park; nordstrom.com. 3. “McGraw” cross-body in silver maple ($248); Tory Burch at Westfield Topanga, Canoga Park, toryburch.com. 4. Balmain “Disco” studded cross-body ($1,450); Intermix at The Promenade at Westlake, Westlake Village, and Malibu Lumber Yard; intermixonline.com. 5. Cult Gaia “Luna” stone-beaded acrylic cross-body in butterscotch ($328); Nordstrom at The Oaks, Thousand Oaks, Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, and Westfield Topanga, Canoga Park; nordstrom.com. 6. Loeffler Randall “Indy” crocodile embossed cross-body ($395); Intermix at The Promenade at Westlake, Westlake Village, and Malibu Lumber Yard; intermixonline.com. 7. Gucci “GG Marmont” mini chevron cross-body ($1,290); Gucci at Westfield Topanga, Canoga Park, gucci.com. 8. Day & Mood “Koko” cross-body ($138); Sharon Segal, Nina Segal at The Promenade at Westlake, Westlake Village, facebook.com/sharonsegalninasegal.
MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
Finds Travel By Erin Rottman
GETTING PERSONAL IN LAGUNA BEACH
next to the room’s record player, and when they arrive they can enjoy a spritzer-style cocktail on a couch near a book nook. Rooms are light and airy, with exposed white beams on the ceiling, billowy curtains, and natural-weave area rugs. The hotel is a two-minute walk from the ocean and supplies gear and a guide for adventures like surfing sessions and bike rides. End the day back at Saline, where Bongarra plays with flavor combinations like tahini and turmeric and star anise and smoked paprika. Don’t miss his octopus carpaccio with harissa aioli and marinated artichokes, which is light enough to leave room for a nightcap.
At the new Hotel Joaquin (top, left) chef Leandro Bongarra (top, right) finesses Mediterranean flavors at Saline restaurant. An airy guest room with a vaulted ceiling (above) opens to a private balcony overlooking the ocean.
GOOD TIMES IN THE GASLAMP QUARTER
The bar is always open, screen and face time bring a high-key social scene, and no-fuss accommodations make for maximum fun at Moxy San Diego.
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Moxy Hotels, the Marriott International brand geared toward millennials, has opened its first location in California, Moxy San Diego (moxy-hotels.marriott.com/en/hotels/san-diegogaslamp-downtown; from $250) in the Gaslamp Quarter. “We are challenging the norm, and guests for the most part are absolutely loving the atmosphere,” says Tim Billing, area general manager for Azul Hospitality Group, one of the new hotel’s developers. The main arrival area is the bar, where guests check in not at a registration desk but at a mobile cart or with the bartender, who offers a rum-based dragon-berry cocktail. In the contemporary guest rooms, formal desks have been replaced by drop-down countertops that can be stowed when not in use, and a pegboard for hanging clothes replaces dressers. The Wi-Fi is “furiously fast,” and outlets are everywhere, Billing says. “You get everything you want and nothing you don’t.”
FROM TOP: TERI B PHOTOGRAPHY; ROGER DAVIES; ROGER DAVIES; COURTESY OF MOXY SAN DIEGO
nly hotel guests can eat at Saline, the Mediterranean restaurant at the new Hotel Joaquin (hoteljoaquin. com; from $300) in Laguna Beach, and chef Leandro Bongarra revels in the prospect of serving just 40 diners a day. It’s “the ultimate place for a chef,” Bongarra says, grateful that he can focus on smaller menus to make each item stand out, interact directly with guests, and accommodate special requests. The homey feel extends beyond the restaurant. An ambassador contacts guests in advance to ensure that the type of music they prefer is waiting
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window coverings, turquoise shutters, and high-gloss wood tables reminiscent of surfboards. Summertime brings morning yoga at the pool as well as a taco cart and Marianne’s Ice Cream, a favorite among locals since 1947. Carrying on the vibe, the Jack O’Neill Lounge is named for the surf legend who popularized the wetsuit and made Santa Cruz his home. It’s set to reopen this month after a redesign, and the menu focuses on Monterey Bay seafood, sustainable meats, and organic produce. Items include a signature O’Neill poke bowl and bouillabaisse with jumbo shrimp and crab claws. Diners should feel as comfortable showing up in flip-flops and shorts as they would in collared shirts and slacks.
A recently remodeled beachfront pool area at Santa Cruz’s Dream Inn is just a few steps from the lapping ocean waves.
Design details—natural wood, stonework, and arches— throughout the newly renovated Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country hotel restaurant (above) and guest rooms (below) are contemporary riffs on Tuscan villa style.
NEW ROOMS, AGED SPIRITS
yatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country (hyatt.com;
from $199) in Santa Rosa has transformed its restaurant. The new Railroad Stop Bar + Kitchen features a regularly changing menu of small plates and aged cocktails served straight from the barrel. The revamp of the eatery marks the last chapter of the hotel’s property-wide renovation, which includes a new tower with 90 additional rooms. Railroad Stop’s cocktail program ages classic cocktails in watermelon-size barrels for 30 to 90 days to make specialties like the Mezcalrita—a margarita made with mezcal—and the house version of the Vesper, a vodka martini that pays homage to James Bond, says general manager John McAuliffe. “Everything great in Sonoma County is aged in a barrel,” he says, explaining his desire to do something different from scratch mixology, “so why not do our cocktails that way as well?” Some drinks are topped with herbs from one of the hotel’s four gardens, each of which is cared for by a local elementary school through a partnership with the local nonprofit Seedlings Garden Group.
HOT TIP Play vintner for a day during the Heritage Blend Experience at Amici Cellars (amicicellars.com; $125) boutique
winery in Napa Valley through April 1. Participants, limited to 10 at a time, begin with a 2017 cabernet sauvignon and use graduated cylinders to add blenders like malbec, merlot, and cabernet franc to see how additions enhance the base wine, perhaps boosting the aromatics or making it softer on the finish. “Every component doesn’t need to be perfect,” says Amici Cellars winemaker Jesse Fox. “They just need to come together perfectly.” A tour of the winery and tapas-style pairings round out the experience.
MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
FROM TOP: WILL PRYCE; WILL PRYCE; COURTESY OF DREAM INN SANTA CRUZ
A note and the original registration card from a guest of the Dream Inn (dreaminnsantacruz.com; from $259) in 1967 recently landed on the desk of Darren Pound, general manager of the beachfront Santa Cruz hotel. The card showed a room rate of $23, and back then, “he was in the Dream Suite,” Pound says of the returning guest, who was celebrating an anniversary. “I put him in that [suite again], and I charged him $23.” For former guests who still have their old registration cards, Pound has fun honoring the cards’ room rates. Recently renovated in a retro surf style, the inn now has surfboards hanging as wall art and beach cruisers available for a ride downtown. Guest rooms are bright with tangerine-striped
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Go Scottsdale By Heidi Dvorak
See it in Scottsdale (counterclockwise from right): the view from The Phoenician Spa’s rooftop pool; the geologically unique McDowell Sonoran Preserve; studios of Cattle Track Arts and Preservation artisans, who perpetuate crafts like blacksmithing; architect Paolo Soleri’s bell-making methods; mountain panoramas at Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows.
Welcome Oasis Stay
Southwestern color: Citizen Public House’s Original Chopped Salad (right) feeds the eyes first. The desert flowers in the Desert Botanical Garden (below) bloom in some of the hottest and driest parts of the world.
MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
World-class lodging options await in this luxe-resort town. With panoramic views of Camelback Mountain, the urban-modern Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows
(andazscottsdale.com) reaches across 22.5 acres dotted with 185 bungalows and suites. The serene scene embodies privacy, but plenty of action takes place at three expansive pools and the popular dining patio at sunset. Scottsdale’s newest property, Mountain Shadows (mountainshadows. com) rests in the silhouettes of Mummy and Camelback mountains, making it an optimal place for partially sun-shielded swimming or golfing on the revamped 18-hole course. Opened in 1956, Hotel Valley Ho (hotelvalleyho.com)
exudes a hyper-midcentury modern vibe owing to updated custom details like an elongated curvaceous bar and a happening circular pool. Ask the concierge about booking an on-site historic design tour of this former Hollywood hideaway. Luxurious and allencompassing, The Phoenician (thephoenician.com) has retail shops, an athletic club, a newly redesigned 18-hole golf course, nine pools, and a new three-story spa with rooftop pool, hair and nail salons, fitness studio, aromatherapy bar, and retail boutique.
Learn about architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic philosophy at his residence and architecture school Taliesen West >
FROM TOP: LONNA TUCKER FOR EXPERIENCE SCOTTSDALE; MHSTUDIOS.NET; THE PHOENICIAN; COURTESY OF EXPERIENCE SCOTTSDALE; ANDAZ SCOTTSDALE RESORT & SPA; AN PHAM FOR EXPERIENCE SCOTTSDALE; COURTESY OF EXPERIENCE SCOTTSDALE
WHAT LIES WITHIN THIS UPSCALE SONORAN DESERT COMMUNITY IS NO MIRAGE.
Desert visions (from top): Swim circles around other bathing beauties at Hotel Valley Ho’s Oh Pool. Native plants seem to writhe and flow in the vibrant lights of the Desert Botanical Garden’s nighttime Electric Desert show. James Turrell uses natural light as a medium in Skyspace Knight Rise at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
Museum of Contemporary Art (smoca.org), whether it’s
James Turrell’s Skyspace Knight Rise or the newest exhibition, Now Playing: Video 1999–2019, which samples the last 20 years of video art. Many locals aren’t aware of Cattle Track Arts & Preservation
(cattletrack.org), an art colony hidden behind chaparral off a dusty side street. The 1930s adobe structures ensconced within a rugged natural setting serve as studios for painters, ceramicists, photographers, jewelry makers, furniture makers, fiber artists, printers, and others. Frontier life unfolds at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
A sense of place: Enjoy the fruits of the local mountains at LDV Winery (above) and examine architectural designs that both borrow from and mimic the natural surroundings at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesen West (left).
MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
(scottsdalemuseumwest.org), showcasing Native American and cowboy art, notably a colossal collection of badges, saddles, revolvers, holsters, chaps, and spurs. Scottsdale possesses a dynamic public art scene, both temporary and permanent. Many works are in plain view within the Old Town Arts District, such as the steel jackrabbit One-Eyed Jack and the Soleri Bridge and Plaza. Visit scottsdalepublicart.org for an interactive map.
Spring is the perfect time to develop an appreciation for this desert—the most
biodiverse in the world—so schedule a hiking or biking tour of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve with Arizona Outback Adventures (aoaadventures.com). By day, walk the trails of the Desert Botanical Garden (dbg.org) with 50,000 plants; or experience the evening exhibition, Electric Desert (through May 12), which unites projected light, music, and desert.
Eat and Drink
Healthy cuisine abounds. Developed in part by Dr. Andrew Weil, dishes at True Food Kitchen (truefoodkitchen.com) focus on the anti-inflammatory properties of foods without sacrificing taste. To that end, the Grass-Fed Burger is every bit as satisfying as the Spaghetti Squash Casserole. Equally embracing eating for optimum health is Farm & Craft (ilovefarmandcraft. com) offering dishes such as Protein Pancakes and Probiotic Chicken Bowl. Foodies flock to Citizen Public House (citizenpublichouse. com) for taste sensations, such as Bacon-Fat Heirloom Popcorn, bread with black garlic, Pork Belly Pastrami, and the local favorite, a rainbow-pretty Original Chopped Salad. Arizona has 100-plus wineries, so drink local at FnB Restaurant (fnbrestaurant. com), a James Beard Foundation Outstanding Wine Program nominee that spotlights different growing regions every four weeks. Sample local Rhône varietals at the tasting room of LDV Winery (ldvwinery.com), which grows its grapes in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeast Arizona.
FROM TOP: COURTESY OF EXPERIENCE SCOTTSDALE; COURTESY OF DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN; AN PHAM FOR EXPERIENCE SCOTTSDALE; CONSTANCE HIGLEY FOR EXPERIENCE SCOTTSDALE; TALIESIN WEST
(taliesenpreservation.org), built entirely from desert sand and rocks. Then find out about architect Paolo Soleri’s urban-planning philosophy at Cosanti (cosanti.com), his earthen-formed home and workspaces. On view are hundreds of his famous bronze and ceramic windbells. Thought-provoking work dominates the Scottsdale
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Insider EVENTS IN & AROUND THE 805 By Heidi Dvorak
Through April 1
LIGHT THE WAY
NATURETRACK FILM FESTIVAL
Art Center Morro Bay. In honor of International Women’s Day, this art exhibit commemorates the strength of women as they express encouragement and unification in support of gender equality and social, cultural, and political achievements; artcentermorrobay.org.
Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village. More than just a challenging ride, the three-day cycling experience offers two courses: the Classico (151K) and the Medio (106K) as well as a wine reception, bike wash, recovery ride, and gourmet brunch and lunch. Proceeds benefit the Challenged Athletes Foundation and local fire-relief efforts; ridemalibugranfondo.com.
Los Olivos locations. Hillsides, trails, wildflowers, country roads, and other landscapes are the focus of 50-plus films at a cinematic event sponsored by NatureTrack, a nonprofit organization that helps increase students’ awareness of the natural world. Activities include panel discussions and docent-led hikes; naturetrackfilmfestival.org.
March 29 March 17
BUELLTON WINE & CHILI FESTIVAL
Chumash Casino Resort, Santa Ynez. A special solo concert by the Grammy-winning pop-rock artist gives a voice to those who have none. The show benefits Sidewalk Angels Foundation, a nonprofit organization he and his wife founded to help support more than 20 no-kill animal shelters and rescues in the U.S.; chumashcasino.com.
Flying Flags RV Resort. Chili and salsa both star in a showcase of spice as area restaurants and chefs compete for prizes. Enjoy local wine, beer, and spirits as well as outdoor games and live music; buelltonwineandchilifestival.com.
Here’s an Idea: Fingers can be used for things besides texting and channel changing, but to help give youngsters a clue, take them to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s CERAMIC STUDIO SATURDAYS, a two-part course that offers beginning and advanced students ages 7 and up an opportunity to create their own masterpiece. The first Saturday of each month is devoted to learning sculptural and functional techniques through hand building or throwing. Students return the following Saturday to glaze their work; sbma.net.
STUNT DOG EXPERIENCE
THOMAS P. PESCHAK
Clark Center for the Performing Arts, Arroyo Grande. Trainer Chris Perondi and his troupe of performing pups never cease to amaze audiences with their high jumps, dancing, stunts, and canine comedy. All the dogs have been rescued from pounds and shelters across the country; clarkcenter.org.
Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Sharks! A marine biologist and National Geographic photographer explains how and why these sea creatures are a reason to get in the water; civicartsplaza.com.
Ojai Meadow Preserve. Get creative outdoors using elements from the natural environment. Workshops include Plant Fiber Cordage, Walnut Beads, Natural Dyes, Whittling, Elderberry Whistles, and Wandering as a Skill. Bring a picnic lunch; ojairec.com.
Pepperdine University, Malibu. The audience is encouraged to participate in a musical variety show that began in 1973 and is now a university tradition. The high-energy family-friendly production features sing-alongs, dancing, storytelling, and music performed by a live orchestra; pepperdinesongfest.com.
Alex Madonna Expo Center. Stop in one of the many booths manned by experts to test grip strength, muscular strength, blood sugar, body-fat composition, and more. Anyone can enter the Superhero 5K run, which awards prizes for best costumes, and there’s a Ninja Agility Challenge for kids; inspiredexpos.com.
VENTURA WILD SPRING FAMILY CELEBRATION
March 23–24 SAN LUIS OBISPO HEALTH & FITNESS EXPO
UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN
UC Santa Barbara. Ever heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit” or “Ride of the Valkyries” played on a ukulele? Give a listen to the eclectic repertoire of this strumming and singing group. These pro pluckers also spew out savvy banter, so get ready for an uplifting, if not unusual, concert; artsandlectures.ucsb.edu. >
TOP: TLB VELO
MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
Radisson Hotel, Santa Maria. Women unite to celebrate one another at a networking seminar dedicated to affirmation. Programs include how to strategize, support one another, create personal action plans, make connections, and achieve success in professional and personal arenas; touchstonecc.com.
Chris Perondi guides a stunt dog.
LEADING WITH LOVE CONFERENCE
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Book your seats now for these hot upcoming events. MARCH Through March 30 Elegant design and handcrafting are the hallmarks of the French builders of cars such as Bugatti, Citroën, De Villars, Vanvooren, and others. In L’ÉPOQUE DES CARROSSIERS: THE ART AND TIMES OF THE FRENCH COACHBUILDERS Concours-winning
vehicles are on view, including the famed 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic; Mullin Automotive Museum, Oxnard, mullinautomotivemuseum.com. Through April 21 The Roman city destroyed by a volcano erupting from Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. once flourished as a major city. Witness a 4-D CGI recreation of the destruction in the exhibit POMPEII and view more than 150 2,000-year-old artifacts on loan from the National Archaeological Museum of Naples; Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Simi Valley, reaganlibrary.com. March 1–31 Fans of Ariel might be interested to know that they can have a chat with a “real” mermaid during MERMAID MONTH. These enchanting half-women half-fish are a real catch when they take part in meet and greets. Live entertainment, arts and crafts, and special merchandise at boutiques and galleries feature the sea sprite theme all month long; Ventura Harbor Village, venturaharborvillage.com.
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March 9 Take a cleansing breath to prepare for the San Luis Obispo Symphony’s concert BIG SUR INSPIRATION. Conducted by Andrew Sewell, the orchestra performs Schumann’s Symphony No. 4, Silverman’s Anthem 25, and Adams’ The Dharma at Big Sur. Electric violinist Tracy Silverman is featured; Performing Arts Center San Luis Obispo, slosymphony.org. March 10–June 23 Unprecedented, OUT OF STORAGE AND INTO THE LIGHT: SCULPTURES THAT TELL STORIES is the Santa Barbara Art Museum’s
first exhibition exclusively devoted to sculpture. More than 50 works include pre-Columbian, ancient Egyptian, ancient Greek and Roman, 11th- to 17th-century southeast Asian, ancient to 13th-century Chinese, 19th-century African, and 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century French, English, and American sculpture. Rather than being organized by culture or time period, the installation is organized thematically utilizing the categories of Dance and Music, Flight, The Head, The Body, and The Human-Animal; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, sbma.net. March 12 What’s all the noise about? This show is as loud as all get-out but it’s all good at STOMP, a percussive party performed by an eight-member troupe playing unconventional instruments:
matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, hubcaps, and more; Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, civicartsplaza.com. March 12–17 Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the SAN LUIS OBISPO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
with cinephiles and budding and accomplished filmmakers from all over the world. View new films and classics and attend screenings, networking parties, wine tastings, industry panels, filmmaker Q&As, Surf Nite, awards ceremonies for international, Central Coast, and youth-made films, and the King Vidor Award tribute; San Luis Obispo County locations, slofilmfest.org. March 15–17 A new idea has blossomed at the SANTA BARBARA ORCHID SHOW. Cymbidium fans can attend a special event on Friday night entitled Orchids After Dark. It’s an opportune way to avoid the daytime crowds and enjoy perks such as gourmet appetizers, DJ Darla Bea spinning tunes, and a no-host bar. Day or night, the show includes hundreds of exhibits of various species, a juried exhibition of orchid-themed photography and fine art, demonstration workshops, lectures, and awards. Orchid doctor Bruce Kidd is on hand the entire weekend to answer questions; Earl Warren Showgrounds, sborchidshow.com. March 15–17 Join the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, with a roster of more than 100 winemakers, in its salute to the zinfandel grape at VINTAGE PASO ZINFANDEL WEEKEND. Attend Z After Party, the Zinposium Seminar, a barbecue with live music, Barrel Samples & Sliders, and a bunch of other tasting opportunities and activities; Paso Robles locations, pasowine.com. March 23 Wine snobs can sit this one out, because the WICKED WINE RUN is just for giggles. Believe it or not, wine can be imbibed during and after the race. The 1K Wicked Tasting Walk has no less than four tasting stops en route, although the 5K Wine Run only has wine at the finish. There’s no dilly-dallying, though: 5K runners must complete the course in 1 hour. Ambitious runners can take part in both. Afterward, rock out with a live band and dig into food truck grub. Participants must be age 21 or older; Live Oak Camp, Santa Barbara, wickedwinerun.com.
APRIL April 6 Give the kids some fresh air at NATURAL HISTORY DAY, which offers programs designed around the area’s native wildlife and chaparral as both relate to area history. Activities include a guided nature hike, visits to the Mammal and Bird exhibit, and the Scales and Tales Reptile Encounter; La Purisima Mission State Historic Park, Lompoc, lapurisimamission.org. April 19 Hardly an accurate moniker, the Scottish group AVERAGE WHITE BAND has been pleasing R&B fans since 1973 with their soul and disco hits such as “Crazy ’Bout My Baby” and “Pick Up the Pieces.” Two of the original members are still >
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Insider rockin’ audiences’ worlds, so give them a listen to deduce the secret behind their staying power; Discovery Ventura, discoveryventura.com. April 23 The author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, The Botany of Desire, Food Rules, and Cooked discusses his latest influential tome, How to Change Your Mind, about psychedelic drugs. Join MICHAEL POLLAN as he elaborates on how experts are now exploring the use of these hallucinogens for conditions such as depression, addiction, and anxiety. Pollan also talks about his own psychedelic experiences; The Granada, Santa Barbara, artsandlectures.ucsb.edu. April 25 Behavioral ecologist Anita Stone’s lecture IS BEING FAT SEXIER OR TOUGHER? SOCIAL BEHAVIOR OF SQUIRREL MONKEYS might explain
a lot in the human world—or not. During mating season, male squirrel monkeys stuff themselves with food to look macho, and thus, attract females. Called sexual dimorphism, the natural phenomenon speaks volumes about primate sexual selection and behavior in this Discovery Center for Science and Technology Speaker Series program; Cal Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, discoverycntr.org. April 26–27 More than 100 cars are expected to expose what’s under their hoods at the SOLVANG DATSUN ROADSTER CLASSIC, a gathering that’s been taking place for more than three decades. Devotees of the automobile can ogle every make and model of the brand as well as see frame-up restorations, daily drivers, racers, and worksin-progress. A taco banquet and a barbecue add to the fun. Cars compete for awards such as stock class, diamond in the rough, racer, modified, and best of show; Solvang locations, solvangroadstershow.com. April 27 It’s an ocean-side extravaganza: TASTE OF PISMO commences as an adults-only soiree consisting of culinary indulgences from local restaurants, breweries, and wineries. It’s also the site of the inaugural Pismo Lifestyle Expo, in which local businesses show off how they represent the Pismo Beach way of living in terms of fun-in-thesun activities such as surfing, kayaking, biking, paintballing, RV-ing, boating, hiking, and more. Food and drink are part of the action, natch; Dinosaur Caves Park, tasteofpismo.com.
Show Your Support
Fun and fundraising go hand-inhand at these local events. MARCH March 9 Choose a course of 51 miles, 56 miles, 70 miles, or 100 miles, and have some wheel fun at the SOLVANG CENTURY, METRIC & HALF
CENTURY. This is not a race but rather a ride sponsored by SCOR, which stands for Specialized Coronary Outpatient Rehabilitation. The nonprofit recreational biking club espouses cycling as a form of rehabilitative therapy after heart attack, coronary bypass surgery, angioplasty, stents, valve replacement, congestive heart failure, and other forms of heart disease. A festival goes on all day with massage therapists, a barbecue lunch, cycling vendors, a DJ, live music, beer, and raffles. Money raised benefits three summer camps for children with congenital heart disease; Marriott Hotel, bikescor.com.
VINEYARD R ESORT
March 17 Put on a lovely hat and spend the afternoon with honorary chair Christina Markiewicz, DDS, VP of community and employer relations at Los Robles Hospital Amy Commans, and chief of police for the city of Thousand Oaks Tom Hagel to raise money for Cal Lutheran University student scholarships and educational grants at HATS AND HIGH TEA. Activities include a silent auction, a raffle, table decorating, and best hat awards; Cal Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, callutheran.edu. March 23 It’s anyone’s guess where the Assistance League of Ventura County will figuratively transport guests at COME TRAVEL WITH US, a fundraiser to help support the nonprofit organization’s mission of enriching the lives of children in Ventura County; Spanish Hills Country Club, Camarillo, assistanceleagueventuracounty.org. March 23 Margaritas and beer for the grown-ups plus tons of tacos for everyone are shelled out at the MARGARITA TACO FESTIVAL, a family-friendly fundraiser benefiting the Welcome Home Soldier Foundation. Money raised goes to the purchase of sleeping bags for homeless veterans as well as transitional housing; Simi Valley Town Center, margaritatacofestival.com. March 30 Give the gift of music to youngsters by attending HOOP IT UP!, a benefit for the instrumental music department at Thousand Oaks High School. Basketball is the theme as the school’s faculty challenges the Hollywood Knights Basketball Team for a wild and wacky game. Food trucks are on site; Thousand Oaks High School gymnasium, conejousd.org.
APRIL April 6 A whopping seven races—the Old Agoura 10K, the Deena Kastor 5K, the Kids 1 Mile, the Camp Kinneret Family Fun Run, the Team Marathon Challenge, the Pacific Half Marathon, and the Chesebro Half Marathon—comprise the DOLE GREAT RACE, in which gorgeous scenery and earnest fundraising combine for winning results. Money raised helps to pay for programs at Agoura Hills and Oak Park schools; Agoura Hills locations, greatrace.run. April 6–7 “Helping homeless pets, one glass at a time” is the motto of the Woods Humane >
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Complimentary Valet Parking
2700 Buena Vista Drive, Paso Robles, CA 93446
805. 369. 2500
Insider Society’s fundraiser WINE 4 PAWS, and contributing money to the cause couldn’t be easier or more enjoyable. Just stop in any of 80-plus wineries, breweries, and olive oil tasting rooms and partake of the offerings; a portion of the proceeds goes to the animal rescue organization. Many of the venues offer live music, food, and wine specials. To find out which venues are participating, print out a map from the website, get in the car, and let the adventure begin; Central Coast locations, wine4paws.com.
Photos courtesy of Olio e Limone and Kevin Steele / kevsteele.com
Photos courtesy of Olio Crudo Bar and Gary Moss /garymossphotography.com
April 13–14 Spend the day outdoors perusing more than 120 booths exhibiting and selling handmade arts, crafts, and fine arts such as sculpture, paintings, woodwork, jewelry, photography, clothing, and pottery at PASO ROBLES ART IN THE PARK. Local restaurants provide refreshment; Downtown City Park, pasoroblesartinthepark.com. April 26 The Westlake Women’s Club connects with women of all races, religions, and national origins—and who doesn’t connect with stylish clothing? Find out about this nonprofit organization at FASHION ON PARADE IN MAGICAL GREECE, a charitable event to raise money for scholarships at area high schools, the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, the Hugh O’Brien Youth Foundation, the New West Symphony Youth Program, Thousand Oaks Police Foundation’s Safe Passage program, Court-Appointed Special Advocates, and other regional and international organizations. Make a toast with other caring, civic-minded women by clinking flutes of complimentary champagne and enjoying a fashion show and lunch. There are also boutique shopping opportunities and a silent auction; Hyatt Regency Westlake, Westlake Village, westlakewomensclub.org. April 28 Everyone really ought to run, walk, skip, or just participate in any way possible at the AUT2RUN CHARITY RACE to benefit the Autism Society of Ventura County. Choose from a 5K runwalk, a 10K trail and road race, a 15K superhero race, a 1-mile fun run, a Fun-K, and a virtual race. New this year are awards for age groups; everyone gets medals and T-shirts; Cal State University Channel Islands, Camarillo, aut2run.org.
Worth a Drive
Venture just outside the 805 for these choice events.
Photos courtesy of Olio Pizzeria® and Kevin Steele / kevsteele.com
OLIOCUCINA.COM 11 W. Victoria St., Ste.’s 17, 18 & 21
| Santa Barbara, CA 93101 | 805.899.2699
Through April 21 As the most comprehensive Porsche exhibit outside of Stuttgart, THE PORSCHE EFFECT showcases a historically significant collection of the German brand’s street and race cars as well as artifacts, historical documents tracing the marque’s history in engineering, kinetic art, and branding, presenting some of
the marque’s rarest automobiles. Vehicular eye candy includes the 1939 Berlin-Rome Type 64 race car, a 906 race car, the 919 endurance racer, the Petersen Collection’s 901 and Continental, a rare model X83 Turbo S Flachbau 964, and the legendary 935 K3 Le Mans winner; Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, petersen.org. Through June 30 Opened in October, the Natural History Museum’s first large-screen 3-D theater— the NHM 3D Theater—is dedicated to presenting immersive experiences on the natural and cultural worlds. The film INCREDIBLE PREDATORS presents extraordinary footage of predators—cheetahs, leopards, polar bears, frigate birds, blue whales, and others—in terms of what enables them to survive. Admission includes museum entry; Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, nhm.org. Ongoing For the first time since the museum at La Brea Tar Pits opened in 1977, new interactive experiences become part of the learning process at the exhibit MAMMOTHS AND MASTODONS: AT LA BREA TAR PITS. Life-size animal models, three-dimensional replicas, and more than 20 hands-on displays enable visitors to gain a deeper understanding of these giants from the Ice Age. The interactive stations explore the animals’ diets, their habitats, and their movement and behavior and provide opportunities for visitors to see what it’s like to have a prehensile trunk and to engage in mammoth tusk jousting. Many of these beasts are locals, from the Los Angeles Basin and Channel Islands; others roamed Asia, Africa, and Europe. A new gallery focusing on the family to which both these giants and elephants belong features a model of a juvenile from 35 million years ago the size of a modern-day bovine adult as well as a replica of Lyuba, the world’s bestpreserved baby woolly mammoth. The 3D film Titans of the Ice Age plays in the Tar Pits Theater; La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, tarpits.org.
Whatever your interests, there’s a volunteer opportunity just right for you. Find out what it’s like to work within the medical community or just let others benefit from your nurturing or organizational abilities by volunteering at ARROYO GRANDE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL. Adults and teens between the ages of 14 and 18 can contribute by performing tasks such as making discharge calls and reading to patients. Assistance is needed in administrative, emergency, and acute rehabilitation departments, at the main lobby desk, and in patient rooms. If you would like to submit your event or organization for possible inclusion in Insider, please email the information and a contact number/email to email@example.com. Please submit your request no later than 14 weeks prior to the issue in which you’d like the information to appear.
We create beautiful outdoor living spaces with the ingenuity of nature-inspired technology.
Faces in the Crowd By Jaime Lewis Photograph by Jennifer Olson
Jimmy Wong A STUDENT CHEF TRANSFORMS HIS APARTMENT INTO A POP-UP RESTAURANT.
pening the door to his studio apartment, chef and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Jimmy Wong requests that all shoes be removed. After all, this isn’t just his home; it’s his multicourse pop-up restaurant, Dench (denchrestaurant.com), one of the hottest reservations in San Luis Obispo. Wong sits at his four-top plastic dining table, where he serves seven-course tasting menus on most Saturday nights. “I wish I
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could do more, but I only have four chairs,” he says, “and four plates.” Guests at Dench run the gamut from hungry students to Cal Poly president Jeffrey D. Armstrong, all of whom dine on dishes like Steamed Pacific Oyster with XO sauce and Hokkaido Milk Bread. Half of the apartment appears much the same as any college student’s— an IKEA bookshelf stands near a twin bed—but the other half betrays Wong’s obsession. Freshly laundered kitchen towels rest on a stainless-steel island, and multiple baking racks hold mixing bowls, sieves, plastic food storage containers, even a brûlée torch. The son of Chinese immigrants, Wong grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and credits his mother’s excellent cooking with his earliest desire to be in the kitchen. But it was his apprenticeships with two Michelin-starred Silicon Valley restaurants, The Plumed Horse and Chez TJ, that cemented his culinary pursuits. When it came time to decide where to go to college, he chose Cal Poly San Luis Obispo over culinary school. “I thought that if I could take this opportunity to learn food science at Cal Poly, learn food at a more molecular level, learn food on a biological, physical, chemical level,” he says, “I could combine that with culinary knowledge and do some pretty cool stuff.” Since Wong opened Dench in 2017, he has made campus, local, and even national news. “When [you live in] such a small community and you see a niche or you see something that’s missing, and you just do it, I think there’s an immediate response,” he says. “In a larger city, you can get drowned out by everybody trying to hustle. Here, people take notice of things that are exciting and creative.” Wong is set to graduate this spring, and to fulfill a requirement for his food science senior project he is self-publishing the Dench Cookbook, due out in May or June. His next stop after graduation: Hong Kong, where he plans to work, learn, and connect with family. For more about Jimmy Wong and Dench, check out 805 Living’s podcast with contributing writer Jaime Lewis and Wong at 805living.com.
Arts & Culture By Joan Tapper
The Writing on the Wall GRAFFITI ARTISTS HAVE TAKEN STREET ART INTO GALLERIES AND ONTO MURALS.
elly Graval, aka Risk, has a lot going on these days. The multimedia artist, color field muralist, and pioneer of street art on the West Coast is working on two retrospective exhibits. One is for the Chase Contemporary Gallery in New York. The other is for the California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks (CMATO), now located at The Oaks, just a few miles from the home Graval bought a dozen years ago on the street where his wife grew up. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot going on there, too: The print shop where he produces his limited-edition prints is being moved from one end of the house to a new space above his studio,
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OPPOSITE: GARY MOSS; THIS PAGE, FROM TOP: GARY MOSS; BRYAN BIRDMAN MIER; BRYAN BIRDMAN MIER
The creative spirit of Kelly “Risk” Graval (opposite, with some of his art in a photo collage) shows through in the range of his work (this page, from top)—from a miniature, handheld billboard to an array of neon and other colorful images to a supersize signature color-wash wall.
prompting major renovations in the residence; in the metal shop an assistant is polishing old tools and keys for the outer skin of a mixed-media shark that is destined for a gallery exhibit. And all around the double-lot property huge palms and other plants are waiting to be planted. “I’m trying to make the whole place like a jungle,” Graval says of his unique space for creating art. Meanwhile, he is planning a huge mural that will soon go up in downtown Thousand Oaks. He’s also the subject of two documentaries in progress, perhaps not surprising when you consider how dramatically his career has evolved over the past three decades. Born in 1967 and originally from Louisiana, Graval grew up in the Los Angeles area, where he soon launched his graffiti career as Risk—a name he adopted from the board game—and headed a crew known as West Coast Artists. In 1988 he traveled to New York and painted on subway cars, but when he returned to Los Angeles he translated that work to freeway overpasses. Pushed by his father to pursue a business major at USC, he earned a fine arts degree there instead, but he’s always had a strong entrepreneurial streak. In 1992 he started Third Rail Clothing, a street art–inspired company he ran for years. And he kept creating artwork that appeared in music videos, on albums, and in magazines. By the mid-2000s, however, he was turning more to gallery work and, eventually, murals. Graval’s style was changing as well, away from letters of his street name toward color-wash abstractions. He was painting in London with some other iconic artists for a project connected to the Olympics, he remembers, when a colleague asked what made him happiest. He began to wonder: “Could I evoke emotion without letters?” The answer was yes, and these days his murals are fields of color in his trademark bright spray-paint palette. Last year he took on the curation of art featured inside The Mayfair Hotel in downtown L.A., showcasing an artist and a different medium on each floor and setting up a gallery with changing exhibits that Graval continues to oversee. He’s also > MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
Arts & Culture
still fine-tuning the setting for what’s sure to be a rooftop pool-bar hot spot. The range of his work will be on exhibit on April 11, when his retrospective opens at CMATO. “I’ll do a timeline,” Graval says. One room will be dedicated to a color-wash mural. There will also be mixed media—a shark or a car or a large sculpture that harks back to the Ferus Gallery artists, like Ed Kienholz, of the 1960s. “I’m looking forward to the exit to the gift shop, too,” he says, for which he might create pillows, limited-edition prints, or skateboards—accessible objects for sale. “I want to do cool stuff.” Where Risk is concerned, that undoubtedly goes without saying.
hat Risk has done is to give a road map to someone like me,” says Evan Mendel, a 31-year-old painter and muralist whose work is visible on walls in Ventura, around L.A., and in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. “He showed me what’s possible.” Mendel, who grew up in Simi Valley and lives in Oxnard, was always into drawing and skateboarding graphics. Self-taught, he did graffiti but as he got older, he realized that wasn’t his path, though “I wanted to paint big and have other people see it,” he says.
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“I wanted to paint big and have other people see it,” says muralist Evan Mendel. Inspired by the collaborative murals of artists El Mac and Augustine Kofie, Mendel created what he calls a “starter mural” for a homeless shelter in Hollywood. But he got his first taste of bigger projects when he assisted a couple of Brazilian artists working on a six-story building in L.A. He began querying building owners about using their property for his work and searched Google maps for likely walls to use. Eventually he got permission to do a mural in Ventura and connected with an organization called Beautify Earth, which helped with expenses. Of the several murals he’s produced since, including one in Koreatown, Mendel says he’s most proud of the huge eye-catching creation of a beautiful woman with flowing tresses on the wall of a cosmetology school at the corner of Thompson Boulevard and California Street in Ventura. In his studio nearby, Mendel is also working on paintings that mix figures with abstraction and experimenting with oil sketches based on old photographic portraits. He remains excited about street work, however. “There’s a certain movement among young artists who see murals as a way to get their art out there,” he says. “It’s trendy. It’s public. You don’t have to go through a gallery establishment. It’s out there for everyone.”
Evan Mendel stops in front of his downtown Ventura mural— an inspired tribute to the cosmetology school it graces.
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ART DISTRICT Santa Barbara Museum of Art
10 West Gallery
10 West Anapamu Street 805-770-7711 Mon - Sat 11 am - 5:30 pm Sun 12 - 5 pm. Closed Tues 10westgallery.com
1130 State Street 805-963-4364 Tues - Sun 11am - 5 pm Thurs evenings 5 - 8 pm (Free) sbma.net
1321 State Street 805-962-6909 Mon - Fri 10 am - 5 pm Sat 11 am - 5 pm indigointeriors.com
11 East Anapamu Street 805-730-1460 Sun - Wed 10 am - 5:30 pm Thurs - Sat 10 am - 8 pm sullivangoss.com
Santa Barbara Fine Art
Arlington Plaza 1324 State Street, Suite J 805-845-4270 Thurs - Mon, 10 am - 5 pm santabarbaraďŹ neart.com Dark Rain by Richard Schloss
La Arcada Court 1114 State Street, Suite 9 805-962-8885 11 am - 5 pm daily waterhousegallery.com
Upgrades On the Table TO CREATE A WELCOMING DINING ROOM, SET THE TONE WITH A DEFINING FOCAL POINT, THEN SURROUND IT WITH PIECES THAT OFFER FUNCTION, COLOR, AND STYLE. By Frances Ryan
805 Living: What are the main considerations when designing a dining room? Karen Shoener: As with any room, consider the floorplan for size and window and door placement (and whether or not to change that), the desired style, and how it will be used to
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entertain. The owners of the dining room [shown on this page] wanted formal seating for 12 and a space with Europeaninfluenced furnishings and objets d’art with major elements of contemporary design. The addition of the intricate ceiling detail was a huge compliment to our design team—the client first saw it in a 2013 Pasadena Showcase family room fashioned by Designs of the Interior and had to have it. What does a dining room reveal about its owner? Personality. They may love artistic flair, have a sense of adventure with bold or playful colors, or want a quiet space >
A great dining room beckons guests to sit and relax, enjoy the company, and relish in the delightful offerings on the table. Here, Karen Shoener, CID, ASID, president of Designs of the Interior in Westlake Village, answers a few questions about how to create the perfect space.
with 50 shades of beige. It’s great fun to discover that little something extra that makes each room unique. What are some practical considerations when choosing a table? Table heights these days are 30 inches, and seat heights on dining chairs should be 19.5 to 20 inches for a comfortable sit. The size of the table’s apron is more important than table height for armchair selection. It’s very important to measure the distance from the bottom of the apron to the floor and compare that to the arm height to ensure adequate clearance. What other elements make a dining room welcoming? Good lighting is key, as is a place to put and serve food. A sideboard is always a good choice, and we love the ones with marble or stone on top so food can be put on them without worry about harming a wood finish. A great rug makes the space welcoming, too, by adding complementary colors or texture; it grounds the space and eliminates an unwelcoming echo. A rug in a dining room can add a dramatic perspective change—it actually makes the space appear larger. What are some ways to create a pleasant ambience? Great ambience is created with a well-coordinated color palette, including paint and design elements that add interest and exude comfort. Those elements might be textures in fabric, lighting, mirrors, art, or wood finishes. What are some pitfalls to avoid? The most important aspect is to keep the global view in mind. If one likes each piece in the room and adjacent areas individually, but when all pieces are all seen together they don’t relate well in style, color, or scale, the room just won’t feel right. In a welcoming dining room, one must be able to pull out the chairs comfortably and see out of any windows in the space.
1 Century Furniture “Bobbin” ($4,650); Alderman Bushé Interiors, Thousand Oaks, aldermanbusheinteriors.com.
Greenington “City Lights” Montreal Collection dining table ($1,699); For Your Home Furniture, Ventura, fyhfurn.com.
Bernhardt “Decorage” ($2,664); Cabana Home, Santa Barbara, cabanahome.com.
Palecek “Addison” ($3,274); The Sofa Guy, Thousand Oaks, thesofaguy.com.
5 Verellen “Diabolo” ($7,810); Beautiful Mess Home & Garden, Agoura Hills, abeautifulmesshome.com.
6 “Pavia Bell’Arte” ($5,299 for 54-inch); Arhaus at The Oaks, Thousand Oaks, arhaus.com.
7 Alfonso Marina “Argueil” square dining table ($16,900); Cabana Home, Santa Barbara, cabanahome.com.
Swaim “Pedigree” ($9,299); Designs of the Interior, Westlake Village, interiordesignwestlake.com.
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Good Deeds By Mark Langton
New West Symphony League
The New West Symphony League (newwestsymphony. org) held its inaugural Reflections Gala at the Hyatt Regency Westlake in Westlake Village on December 7. The fundraiser for the symphony also honored Paul Finkel, M.D., who became a member of the board of directors in 2008 and served as chairman from 2014 to 2018. A prominent member of the Thousand Oaks medical community, Finkel most recently practiced privately and at Los Robles Regional Medical Center and retired in 2014. In addition to special performances by symphony musicians, the gala’s entertainment included a comedy routine by actor Nancy Cartwright, who is best known as the voice of Bart Simpson on the television series The Simpsons.
1. Kirin Binsal, Paul and Karen Finkel 2. Natalia Staneva, David Campbell, Pauline Frechette 3. Phillippa Klessig, Chuck and Eloise Cohen, Susan Burgos 4. Peter and Rain Van Name 5. Kim Woods, Denise Danne 6. Linda and David Catlin 7. Fern and Arnold Heyman, A.J. Steinberg 8. Elizabeth Pitcairn, Nancy Israel 9. Nancy Cartwright 10. Anton Jeftha, Monica Gil Photographs by Kenny Backer
Mending Kids International and Ventura County Community Foundation Founded in 2010, Beautiful Mess Home & Garden (abeautifulmesshome.com) in Agoura Hills features an eclectic collection of furniture, artwork, and home accessories. Each December the store has an open house and holiday party to thank patrons, and in recent years these events have included a charitable component. A portion of the proceeds from items purchased at the 2018 party was donated to Mending Kids International (mendingkids.org), a nonprofit organization that provides free surgical services to children around the world. However, with the Woolsey fire burning hillsides and homes surrounding the store, owner Kymberley Fraser decided to also dedicate the remainder of the event’s proceeds to Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF.org) to assist residents affected by the flames.
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1. Grace Fraser, Kymberley Fraser, Scarlet Fraser 2. Karen Marlow, Dorothy Lucey, Caren Niewisch 3. Jennifer Vogelbach, Bri Huffman, Cindy Huffman 4. Lynda Franzen, James Knight, Brenda Borum 5. Terra and Juan Bonilla, Peter Gelber, Elizabeth Ribons 6. Auria Williams, Trevor Peterson, Lisa Feinbloom, Tara Lynch 7. Amy LaBrie, Disa Grant 8. Gregoire Moulin, Andrea and Ron Bryman 9. Ana Kolb, Lesley Aletter, Antonette Illg 10. Lori Mancuso, Tim Ferrie 11. Carolyn and Daniel Slaton Photographs by Mark Langton
Social Monk Asian Kitchen The Royal Egg Café
Sage Mindful Meals & Elixirs
Head bartender Paul Jones of Oak and Iron
Recently opened restaurants, chefs’ new gigs, innovative concepts, and delicious menu updates—805 Living covers the gamut of local happenings.
Frank Ostini of Hitching Post Wines
BY VICTORIA WOODARD HARVEY
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King’s Fish House
Is for All-Day Breakfast
Crystal “Pink” DeLongpré of Root 246
Owners Bree and Jaron Gugliuzza at the newly opened The Royal Egg Café (theroyaleggcafe.com) at the North Ranch Gateway Plaza in Westlake Village, are wild about breakfast, and it’s all the husband-and-wife culinary team serves from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Everything on the extensive menu of items like Spicy Jalapeño Chicken Hash and House-Made Ricotta Artisan Toast with Seasonal House-Made Jam is made from scratch. Look for Breakfast Tacos with soft scrambled eggs, feta, and avocado with a choice of grassfed Wagyu steak and crispy potatoes, or roasted yams, red quinoa, kale, and wild mushrooms. In Ventura, 2686 Kitchen (the2686.com), a hidden gem for its Loaded Lasagna and Mediterranean Chicken, now has an all-day (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) brunch on Saturdays and Sundays that is just as alluring. For the Shroom Toast, house-made peppered beer bread is crisped and topped with mushroom puree and goat cheese. What keeps people-in-the-know from sleeping in on a Saturday morning, however, is That Fried Chicken & Donuts— Middle Eastern–spiced chicken thighs with orange and cardamom brioche doughnut holes and beerinfused marmalade. MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
Dining Scene News From A to Z
Is for Cult Beer
Sure, every beer drinker’s got a favorite brew, but few craft beers achieve the kind of cult status of Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder, which debuted eight years ago and is served in limited allotments. It’s on tap at Ojai Pub (ojaipub.com), a new hangout spot opened in late December that also serves comfort food, wine, and cocktails from happy hour to late night. Owned by Tony Yanow of the Artisanal Brewers Collective, it’s the only Ojai bar–restaurant to pour the recently released Pliny the Younger, another cult favorite that has followers queuing up.
Is for Decker Kitchen
Conejo Valley native Graham Harris transitioned from skateboarder to baker, earning a reputation for his fantastic, naturally leavened sourdough loaves. But the story doesn’t end there. Late last year he opened his first restaurant at Westlake Village’s County Line Shopping Center, Decker Kitchen (deckerkitchen.com). Named after his young son and the Decker Canyon route to the beach, the venture features choices like his fabled bread topped with feta mousse and heirloom tomatoes or house-smoked salmon, hand-cut rib eyes for nightly specials, and at lunchtime, a white pizza (with olive oil, garlic, mozzarella, ricotta, and oregano) so popular it should have its own
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Instagram handle. “We’re just continuing to learn from our customers giving feedback since we started,” says Harris, who recently brought in two more chefs to keep up with demand.
Is for Edgy Cocktails at Slate Bistro + Craft Bar
Happy hour in Camarillo? Excellent idea. Head straight to the stylish Slate Bistro + Craft Bar (theslatebistro.com), which opened in December in the Mission Oaks Plaza. Head mixologist Jeff Hamilton concocts cocktails like the Smoking Pig, complete with a domed smoky presentation, to honor the Chinese New Year, and the No Southern Gentleman, a blend of bourbons, Hamilton’s apricot agave, and ancho chili liqueur served over a block of ice and garnished with herbs. Chef Abdu Romero’s happy hour noshes include cornmeal calamari and a Hasselback potato with bacon bits and smoked Gouda sauce. With elevated snacks like these, you might be inclined to see what he’s got cooking for dinner.
Is for Fan Base
It seems no matter what chef Justin West does, he has a loyal fan following. At Julienne, his upscale dishes caught the attention of Bon Appétit and the late, great Anthony Bourdain, and his subsequent venture, Wildwood Kitchen, showed his keen skills with southern-style barbecue. Now, West has just opened SoulCal Smokehouse (soulcalsmokehouse.com), a walk-up counterservice venue in the Santa Barbara Public Market. Executive chef Jason Carter dishes out West’s signature oak-smoked brisket and tri tip, pork, poultry, and house-made sausages, all served on platters or in sandwiches with sides of braised collard greens or a vegan caviar of black beans, corn, and smoked tomatoes. The on-site 65,000 BTU smoker cranks out enough goodness daily to keep West’s fans coming back, and his renowned charcuterie— pork rillettes, country-style pâté, and peppered king salmon—is just as smokin’.
Is for Good Food Movement–Driven Menus
Foods that nourish our bodies and are produced in ways that safeguard the planet are what the Good Food Movement is all about. This healthy dining trend is the driving philosophy behind Sage Mindful Meals & Elixirs (sagemindfulmeals.com), a new café that just opened in downtown Ojai. The breakfast, brunch, and lunch menus by chef Michael Chavez Martinez offer a huge variety of
PAGES 66–67: SOUP: COURTESY OF SOCIAL MONK; COUNTER: BLAK BRONSTADT; COCKTAIL: NICHOLAS GINGOLD/CRAFT MEDIA SOLUTIONS; TRIKE: ROB STARK PHOTO; SEAFOOD PLATTER: COURTESY OF KING’S FISH HOUSE; DELONGPRÉ: COURTESY OF ROOT 246; EGG DISH: WISE PHOTOGRAPHY; THIS PAGE: KENDALL KLEIN
Is for Bossie’s Kitchen
It was big news when former A.O.C. chef Lauren Herman moseyed up the coast to Santa Barbara with her pastry chef wife, Christina Olufson, to helm the kitchen at Somerset (now closed). Last month the talented duo realized their own vision of a neighborhood spot for take-out or dining in at Bossie’s Kitchen (bossieskitchen.com), named for the life-size plaster cow atop the former 1930s dairy plant that houses the new eatery. The menu is all about comfort food: grilled cheese sandos with white cheddar, Manchego, and caramelized onions; fresh salad selections such as kale and arugula with roasted vegetables and quinoa; garlic-herb rotisserie chicken served with gravy; and mac ’n’ cheese topped with garlic breadcrumbs that screams Sunday night at Grandma’s. Daily weeknight specials include meatballs with polenta and pesto, salmon with pork belly–fried barley and market vegetables, and chicken potpie. All breads and pastries are baked in-house, but it’s Olufson’s market-fruit galettes, carrot-beet layer cake with walnuts and candied orange, and chocolate cake with caramel and malted chocolate buttercream that, well, take the cake.
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP, LEFT: © 2018 DARREN EDWARDS PHOTOGRAPHS, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; GARY MOSS; GARY MOSS
King’s Fish House
nutritious scrambles and Benedicts, tapas, and broths. A beverage menu showcases specially formulated blends of ingredients purported to have health benefits, and beer, wine, and kombucha are on tap. “Because we have the health food store,” says Mary Trudeau, co-owner of both the new café and Rainbow Bridge Natural Foods next door, “we can buy things that aren’t available in most restaurants. We really are trying to bring that into our daily diet, to make sure we are eating well and having a good time.” All menu items at the café can be customized to meet dietary needs.
Is for the Hiatus Is Over
Dining on the patio at Montecito’s Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch
Is for Instruction in Bread-Making
Chef Brendan Smith, formerly head of the bread program at acclaimed Roberta’s in Brooklyn, brings his own Neapolitan-style pizzas to Bettina (bettinapizzeria.com), a charming, family-friendly Cal-Italian hangout with a full bar that opened late last year in the Montecito Country Mart. In an added twist, Brendan occasionally invites interested DIYers
Is for Joint Domain
The popular new concept of shared space came into play for four artisanal food and beverage purveyors when they banded together last fall to open Mosaic Locale (mosaiclocale.com) in Santa Barbara. In the morning, come for the Hook & Press (hookandpressdonuts.com) doughnuts, made entirely from scratch by baker John Burnett. Try the habit-forming Browned Butter variety and other rotating flavors like Blood Orange Creamsicle or Mango Matcha, which is the special this month. By noon, handcrafted Argentinian empanadas from family-owned Buena Onda (buenaondasb. com) are baked to order, with favorites like the classic Carne Picada or the Suiza with organic Swiss chard, leeks, sage, and Brie. “Sharing one space is something fun and different, plus it helps with the high costs of rent,” says owner and manager Matias Requena. Come evening, Goleta-based microbrewery Draughtsmen Aleworks (draughtsmenaleworks. com) pours lagers, ales, porters, stouts, and a host of IPAs, from five-ounce flights to 64-ounce growlers. Try the Best Friends special: six tasters and three Buena Onda empanadas of your choice. Available day or night, fresh-pressed juices from Juice Ranch (juiceranch.com) are sold from a grab-and-go fridge, including the popular Little Miss Sunshine, Greens ’N’ Ginger, Jalapiña, and Johnny 5 Alive flavors.
Dining Scene News From A to Z
(sanysidroranch.com), with its panoramic ocean and mountain views, stone hearths aglow, and a galaxy of twinkling white lights overhead, is a soul-satisfying experience relinquished to memory, until now. After a yearlong hiatus due to the disastrous debris flow of 2018, the Stonehouse reopened in late January with executive chef Matthew Johnson back in the kitchen. “The downtime gave us an opportunity to reimagine the menu and really work on our dishes,” says Johnson. Appetizer highlights include the Kona Kampachi and Local Uni Crudo with Pixie tangerines, black radish, micro cucumber, and seagrass in shiro dashi vinaigrette as well as seared Santa Barbara abalone with a trio of young clams, tender artichoke, and pancetta with celeriac cream. The entrée of Pan-Roasted Maine Diver Scallops is prepared with king oyster mushrooms and braised oxtail, pea shoots, sweet corn puree, and black garlic vinaigrette. Another option: lavender-scented crisped-skin duck breast topped with a plumped–golden raisin mostarda, served with wild rice, whole Tokyo turnips, and heirloom carrots. The Classic Steak Diane with cognac is flambéed tableside, as is the organic Bing Cherries Jubilee with kirsch to end the meal. Among other desserts from pastry chef Michelle Straub are a gluten-free coconut panna cotta with passion fruit and warm soufflés flavored with raspberries or Valhrona chocolate.
to learn the secrets of making his naturally leavened sourdough bread. Reserve early, as classes sell out quickly.
Is for King’s Fish House Recast
An open dining area, more patio seating, plus a new lounge are all part of the recently completed major renovation of King’s Fish House (kingsfishhouse.com) at The Commons in Calabasas. The seafood behemoth’s attractive, nautically themed design was carried over into the redo along with favorites from its vast menu, including the raw bar plates, sashimi and sushi rolls, pastas, seafood platters, and seasonal highlights like wild spiny lobster or Dungeness crab from California.
Is for Luxe-by-the-Sea
Beachfront restaurants, especially the deluxe variety, are few and far between along our coast, making Caruso’s (rosewoodmiramarbeach.com) at the Rosewood Miramar Beach on the Montecito shoreline a very special draw. Expect to find elevated southern Italian fare from executive chef Massimo Falsini, MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
M Dining Scene News From A to Z
Is for Mediterraneo Makeover
When the radical, top-to-bottom remodel of Mediterraneo (med-rest. com) at the Westlake Village Inn is completed, the only things that won’t be new are the gorgeous views of the property’s 17 acres and the great service. The interior’s fresh decor will include a long, custom-built bar for delivering libations from a new craft cocktail program and an expanded wine list. The enlarged, stateof-the-art culinary kitchen will still dish out popular favorites but will also feature updates from executive chef Lisa Biondi, including a new selection of bar bites, additional Mediterraneaninspired dishes for lunch and dinner, and an emphasis on classic steak-house fare, fresh off the spanking-new grill.
Is for Nightcap
In San Luis Obispo, a newly remodeled space at the urban-chic Granada Hotel is now Nightcap (granadahotelandbistro.com), where grownups come for “small-town service and the nicest experience possible—away from the college crowds,” says front-of-the-house and bar manager Ulisses Avina. Try the Crystal Collins, made with Singani 63 brandy, verjuice, vouvray (chenin blanc from France’s Loire Valley), and tonic. And don’t resist the French-onion dip in a jar with Dirty Cracked Pepper & Sea Salt Kettle Chips, straight from the bag.
Is for Outpost Overhaul
With a recent makeover of the dining and indoor-outdoor bar areas at Outpost at the Goodland (outpostsb. com), it’s an especially good time to sample the establishment’s creative spring cocktails: Sip Back, Relax, made with London dry-style Beefeater gin infused with dried lavender, Benedictine, and blueberry gomme (a sweet syrup); and the Yuzu Dreamer, a mix of Hangar 1 vodka infused with butterfly pea (a Southeast Asia flower revered by mixologists because it changes liquids to a brilliant blue color in reaction to citrus), yuzu, a cold-brewed jasmine tea blend, and aquafaba, the popular vegan substitute for egg whites.
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Is for Pub Food Finney’s Crafthouse & Kitchen
(finneyscrafthouse.com) has pub food down pat, as fans can attest at locations in Westlake Village and Santa Barbara (and soon, Ventura). Now, the family-friendly gastropub is adding to its already diverse menu of elevated sliders, flatbread pizzas, burgers, tacos, salads, sandwiches, and starter favorites like Bratwurst Minis and Buffalo Cauliflower, by introducing a host of new items. Look for mini-shrimp tostadas with guacamole, roasted corn salsa, and micro cilantro as well as a blackened king salmon sandwich on squaw bread with fontina, prosciutto, arugula, and roasted-tomato jam. Along with its beer offerings, Rincon Brewery (rinconbrewery.com) serves up food at its new location in Ventura, which opened last December. The brewery suggests pairing Jill’s Breakfast Sandwich—grilled ham, a fried egg, jalapeño, tomato, and melted cheese on sourdough—with its La Reina Lager. A more obvious match: The Mac Brown Cheesy Bacon Beer Dip—hot cheese, spiked with hormone-free bacon and Rincon’s Mac Brown Ale, topped with a panko crust and served with pretzel bites—enjoyed with more Mac Brown Ale on draught. In Santa Paula, it’s all sports all the time at The Draft at Mupu Grill (805-420-9178), the casual, familyfriendly spot that also opened last fall with no less than 18 big-screen TVs. Convivial owner Greg Grimes says his guests like to order chicken wings half-andhalf style so they don’t have to choose between the chipotle-barbecue and garlic lemon-pepper flavors. In February Institution Ale Company (institutionales.com) expanded on its popular original site in Camarillo with a new location on State Street in Santa Barbara. Patrons can enjoy fresh-baked pretzels, dips, and a full menu of artisanal pizzas along with the beer.
Is for Quick Weeknight Dinners at Home
“We wanted to provide good alternatives for working families who want good food, without the cost of a personal private chef,” says Jamie Poe, formerly of Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern, and now co-owner with her husband, chef Jayson Poe, of Poe to Go (poe-and-co.com), which opened early this year. Locally and sustainably sourced, customized, prepared dinners are delivered weeknights in environmentally friendly reusable glass containers (deposit required). Among the offerings are braised short ribs with panzanella salad, and curried, braised chicken with forbidden rice and creamed spinach. The company currently serves Ojai, Ventura, Carpinteria, Summerland, Montecito, Santa Barbara, and Goleta.
OPPOSITE, FROM TOP: GARY MOSS; COURTESY OF GRANADA HOTEL
formerly of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and the legendary Harry’s Bar in Rome. The opening of this property has been a long time coming, but at last, owner Rick Caruso’s vision of la dolce vita can be experienced at his namesake restaurant, where the waitstaff’s spiffy white tuxedo jackets declare the standard.
Finneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Crafthouse & Kitchen
Is for Renaud’s, Now in Montecito
French pastry chef Renaud Gonthier, who wowed the Central Coast with his award-winning croissants at his first location in Santa Barbara back in 2008, recently opened his third, Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro (renaudsbakery. com) in Coast Village Plaza in Montecito. Look for the row of pert red umbrellas on the outdoor patio fronting a chic, Paris-worthy interior in which espresso drinks and mimosas emerge with morning pastries, omelets, and eggs Florentine. Lunchtime brings elevated sandwich options like a ratatouille tartine and a French Cubano with Gruyère and ham on Renaud’s signature rustic croissant. Weekend brunch is ongoing, and Gonthier is cooking up more plans for this location. “I want to bring in a long table for special dinners and private events and focus on really great wines as well,” says the former Food Network star. Pastry classes are also in the works.
In January, chef Gabe Garcia of Tierra Sur (tierrasuratherzog.com), the kosher
restaurant at Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, unveiled a new bar menu of small plates to go with boozy cocktails and a deep wine list that includes Herzog’s own. Highlights are an elevated take on fish and chips featuring fried mahi-mahi, yucca fries, jalapeño aioli, pickled onion, and lime; a hummus-topped flatbread with pepitas, acorn squash, and cranberries; and the Tierra Sur Burger with arugula, lamb bacon, and a fried egg, all sandwiched in a challah bun.
Is for Tricycle Deliveries
Late last year, Hitching Post Wines (hpwines.com) in Buellton debuted its first tasting room, along with an expanded lunch menu and, more recently, an all-new snacks menu. Offerings like Santa Maria– style barbecue, oak-grilled artichokes, Grilled Texas Quail with Wild Turkey Sweet Potatoes, and other wine-friendly, hot nibbles come from the kitchen of the popular Hitching Post 2, also on the 12-acre property. To keep the food orders piping hot, they’re delivered to the tasting room via tricycle or a three-wheeled electric cart. Some days, guests may even catch a glimpse of ebullient owner Frank Ostini in his signature pith helmet personally pushing the pedals.
Is for Upstart Sister
Head of wok operations at Santa Barbara’s popular Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar since its 2014 opening, chef Nui Pannak created several
Is for Victuals in Tin City
Until last November, serious eats were sparse among the beverage-tasting rooms of Paso Robles’ Tin City, but that’s all changed since the opening of Tin Canteen (tincanteenpaso.com), a real-deal Italian restaurant. Tin Canteen’s Tuscan-born chef Michele Gargani trained in Italy before arriving in Los Angeles to work at Mélisse and Enoteca Drago in Beverly Hills. Expect a seasonal menu that’s big on made-to-order wood-fired pizzas, yellowfin tuna crudo with Meyer lemon and mint, squid ink pasta with crab and uni, and Wagyu beef ragú served on casarecce, a pasta made in the adjoining Etto Pastificio factory. Shared plates, including options like the Kurobuta pork ribs with roasted fennel and lemon oregano aioli, can be enhanced with a sampling of the 12 beers and four wines rotating on tap.
Is for Wait for It . . .
A handful of openings were imminent as this issue went to press. The craft cocktail experience in Thousand Oaks may very well be redefined with the opening (planned this month) of Oak and Iron (2955 Thousand Oaks Blvd.). “Our aim is a local atmosphere with a drink menu drawing from a DTLA playbook, where all rules for cocktails are off,” says co-owner Drew Pletcher. The cozy street-level scene offers a customized short menu from Bad Ass Street Tacos, while a sumptuous, reservations-only speakeasy bustles downstairs in a commercial-use basement. Antonio Sessa’s Made in Italy Deli and Bistro (madeinitalybistro.com; set to open late last month at presstime) at the North Ranch Mall in Westlake Village is a hip, high-end eatery offering fine Italian specialties from the Sessa family. Equipped with a wood-fired pizza oven, the restaurant features community tables, concrete floors, and cases of fresh and traditional antipasti, handmade pastas, and deli-style meats made from recipes passed down for generations. Tabu Shabu (tabushabu.com), a restaurant chain that offers Japanese hot pot experiences and has been popularized in the Southland by
Dining Scene News From A to Z
Is for Small Plates at Tierra Sur
new dishes that are unique to Khao Kaeng (khaokaeng.com), the noodle bar’s sister location, which opened in November in Montecito. Drawing from experiences cooking with her father on their Bangkok farm, Pannak makes fresh curries with premium filet mignon, freerange Jidori chicken, and organic salmon. The Montecito location also serves beer and wine from a 300-bottle cellar.
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Dining Scene News From A to Z
founder Jeff Chon since 2012, is expected to come to Thousand Oaks this summer. It’s okay to play with your food here, where choices of premium thinly sliced meats, seafood, and fresh vegetables are provided for you to cook by dunking them in a hot seasoned broth of your choosing. Known for his use of bold flavors from Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Singaporean, Chinese, and Indonesian cuisines, award-winning chef Mohan Ismail was slated to debut his first fast-casual concept, Social Monk Asian Kitchen (socialmonk. com), at The Promenade in Westlake Village in late February. Expect items such as Thai chicken wings with bird’s-eye chili glaze, short-rib rice bowls, hot noodle dishes made to order, and house-made frozen custards with flavors like Vietnamese Coffee and Corn Flake Crunch, for dessert. Coin & Candor, a brasserie and bar, is replacing Lobby Lounge at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village (fourseasons.com/westlakevillage). Barcelona-born chef Jose Fernandez’s menu of rustic dishes call on wood-fired cooking techniques and honor local seasonality, relying in part on the new kitchen gardens he helped implement on the property. The new name is inspired by Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village owner David Murdock’s work ethic and humble beginnings. It’s scheduled to open in April.
Is for Xenophile Adventures
For xenophiles in Santa Ynez Valley seeking south-of-the-border flavors, longtime Santa Barbara favorite Los Arroyos (losarroyossolvang.com) opened a new location in Solvang last autumn serving pozole, crab enchiladas, and house-made sopes. An extensive and imaginative desayuno, or breakfast, features items like chilaquiles and carne Azteca on weekends. Chappell Architecture and McFadden Design Group created the sleek, welcoming space, a clean white backdrop with lively bursts of red and black, wooden details, patterned tile, and geometric fixtures. Also last fall, in Goleta, the team behind the popular Los Agaves restaurants opened Vicenta’s (vicentasrestaurant.com), offering dishes such as Costilla de Res, or slow-cooked ribs, and Aguachile de Camarón, or spicy shrimp. For guests whose idea of Mexico’s flavors includes a margarita, there’s a full bar. If you’re yearning for Asian street food with a foamy pint, you’ll find both under one roof at the new location of Sama Sama Kitchen (samasamakitchen.com), which opened in November within Topa Topa Brewing in downtown Ojai. “This menu is similar [to our Santa Barbara location], but more tailored to go with Topa Topa’s brews,” says co-owner Ryan Simorangkir. Crack Wings with tamarind glaze,
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crispy rice salad, and Naughty Nuri Pork Spare Ribs with chili soy are served from a walk-up window. Get started with a beer while waiting indoors or on the sunny street-side patio. Native Sri Lankan chef Rajesh Chandru Selvarathnam sources fresh ingredients— including spinach from Watsonville and curry leaves from Oxnard—for the huge choice of paneers, curries, tandoori, and kormas available at Masala Spice (805-770-8989), which opened in Goleta in January. After holding posts in Abu Dhabi and Miami, Selvarathnam opened his own restaurants, first in Beverly Hills and then in Palo Alto, where he met Laxman Perera, owner of Santa Barbara’s Sushi Teri and Craft Ramen. Perera persuaded Selvarathnam to bring his favorite specialties, including dosa flat-cakes and house-made chutneys, to this casual, modest site, where they make a satisfying lunch or dinner.
Is for Yo Pops by Alex Montoya
At Fluid State Beer Garden (fluidstatebeer.com) in Ventura, new executive chef Alex Montoya is knocking out dishes like Dr. Pepperoni Party Fries, creative sourdough pizzas, and all manner of wings and dips to go with the company’s fine selection of brews. But he gets really crazy when experimenting with the frozen custard desserts he calls Yo Pops, concoctions like butterscotch frozen custard dipped in a dark chocolate shell and coated with caramelized pecans and crispy speck ham bits and frozen chocolate milk–stout custard sandwiched between peanut butter churros.
Is for the Zany Dishes of Chef Pink
At Root 246 (root-246.com) new chef de cuisine Crystal “Pink” DeLongpré is shaking up more than the heirloom benne seeds she sprinkles on her harissa-spiced cauliflower. Her expansion of the menu at the recently reimagined Solvang restaurant, which is owned by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, reflects her philosophy of using hyperlocal and ethically sourced ingredients. Among her signature dishes are Legit Fried Chicken, bone-in rib eye, Bomb Ass burgers grilled over local oak, and smoked local white sea bass with dill and rye bread, a nod to Solvang’s Danish culture. “I’m excited to be able to put my personal stamp on the dishes coming out of this kitchen,” says DeLongpré, the Cutthroat Kitchen celeb whose long list of former posts include one at The Spotted Pig in New York and another at her own Bacon & Brine. “I’m keeping it real, but also fun, foodie, and entirely entertaining.” Vegan and vegetarian dishes are also plentiful on the Root 246 menu.
TABLE: MOLLIE CRUTCHER; COUNTER: BLAKE BRONSTAD; BONE-IN RIB EYE: COURTESY OF ROOT 246; HOT POT COURTESY OF TABU SHABU
Sama Sama Kitchen
FOOD AS ENTERTAINMENT Truffles from Burgundy and olive-fed A-5 Wagyu rib eye from Japan’s Kagawa prefecture are some of the premium ingredients featured in The Silver Bough’s 18-course tasting menu. Tenderloin of wild venison from upper New York state (top) is butter-roasted in a cast-iron skillet with port and verjuice and served with a mélange of black truffle and matsutake and blue-foot chanterelle mushrooms.
BY VICTORIA WOODARD HARVEY 78
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PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOE SCHMELZER
Offering a dramatic new kind of dining experience, The Silver Bough is the hottest ticket in the 805.
The adventure begins in a curtained vestibule where diners gather around a tableau of the fabled silver bough laden with canapĂŠs of Wagyu tartare, meringue and rye mousse, and chive matcha sponge cake with whipped butter and salmon roe. Coowner and executive chef Phillip Frankland Lee (in front, below) leads the culinary team in the kitchen.
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D Dinner at The Silver Bough (silverbough montecito.com) is a revelrous experience, garnering national attention from food critics since its debut in late January. The seating for no more than eight guests Thursday through Sunday evenings is a ticketed event, much like a theatrical show that takes place behind an unmarked door within the historic Montecito Inn. The new restaurant could well become the global dining destination it aims to be, attracting those with a deep appreciation for international ingredients, imaginatively and impeccably prepared, much like The French Laundry or Atelier Crenn in the San Francisco Bay area, or the similarly phenomenal Somni or Vespertine, both in Los Angeles. The force behind this venture is chef and owner Phillip Frankland Lee, whose accolades include being chosen as one of Zagat’s 30 under 30 in 2014, as a finalist for S. Pellegrino’s Young Chef 2015, as a semi-finalist in Eater dining guide’s Young Guns in 2016, and Global Cuisine Awards’ Chef of the Year in 2018. Within six years’ time, Lee and his wife, pastry chef Margarita Kallas-Lee, have opened six restaurants, including The Monarch, which is also at the Montecito Inn. Until now, Lee was best known for Scratch Bar & Kitchen in Encino, where he implemented the tasting-menu-only concept for the past three years, making the list of the Los Angeles Times’ 101 Restaurants We Love in 2018. Lee is openly ambitious about shooting for the stars—as in Michelin, which many chefs, Lee included, hope will soon assess Southern California again. (Its last
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In Irish folklore, the silver bough is a legendary portal to the Celtic Otherworld where visitors are bestowed with endless feasts and eternal joy, beauty, health, and youth. annual guide for Los Angeles was published back in 2009.) Throughout his prodigious past decade, Lee has nurtured the fantasy of what has now become The Silver Bough. Patience while dream-tending may have served the chef well, and he admits his skills and creativity have evolved. “These dishes are more mature and more restrained,” he says of The Silver Bough offerings. “Instead of trying to impress people, which you do when you’re young, [this is] more about preparing food so well that people have to have another bite.” Kallas-Lee, whose own accolades include being a semifinalist for Eater’s Young Guns 2016 and one of Zagat’s 30 Under 30 in 2016, recalls Lee’s vision. “Phillip had this idea of guests walking in for a cocktail in a room that opens up to a staffed kitchen ready to prepare an incredible meal,” she says, which is exactly how an evening at The Silver Bough begins. With glasses in hand, guests enter a small antechamber with ruby velvet curtains and sounds of ethereal music. Over canapés that hint at the courses to follow, a narrator shares the Irish folkloric tale of the silver bough, the legendary portal to the hidden Celtic Otherworld where visitors were temporarily bestowed with endless feasts and eternal joy, beauty, health, and youth by the gods. From this tiny vestibule, there’s not a kitchen in sight, until a dramatic moment when one curtained wall opens to reveal a prepared chef’s table behind which stands the ready team. Ingredients for the evening’s dishes are presented in a stunning display, like a visual playbill, and introduced by the loquacious chef Lee before each of the three themed acts. Kinmedai (golden eye snapper) from Japan, live spiny lobster, and king crab caught off the coast of Russia are just some of the edible players in Act I titled, The Sea. Costars of Act II, The Land, include local squab from Flying H Ranch in Carpinteria, a rack of wild venison from upstate New York, and, the culinary diva of the night, the olive-fed A-5 Wagyu rib eye from Japan’s Kagawa prefecture, which Lee describes as the most highly prized beef in the world. With such a lineup, it’s almost surprising that pescatarian requests are accommodated, with advance notice. Around course 15 or so (who’s counting in the Otherworld?) come confections by Kallas-Lee: shaved truffles over sweet custard with candied bee pollen and a combination of macerated fruits with duck liver mousse and frozen granita. These flavor hybrids of savory and sweet lead to her signature mignardises, an assortment of perfect confections that signal the end to the revelry is near. And each bite serves to transition participants from what may be the meal of a lifetime back to the realm of mortals.
JOE SCHMELZER; BOTTOM, RIGHT: PHOTO BY CECELIA ROSELL/COURTESY OF VISIT SANTA BARBARA.
On with the show (clockwise from top, left): Act I, The Sea, presents a ring of smoked eel and roasted-lobster broth gelée, topped with local caviar, hazelnut cream, and edible 24-karat gold. In Act II, The Land, a tea broth made from pigeon bones is poured over lightly seared wild venison tenderloin, butterroasted chanterelles, shaved black truffle, and radish, for venison soup. In a captivating presentation, a cloche is lifted from a tartlette of duck liver with a sherry and verjuice gastrique.
Nature-themed serving and dinnerware (far left) by artist Michael Aram evokes The Silver Bough’s idyllic fantasy. Ticket prices are tiered to include pairings of premium wines, such as 2013 Pelissero Barbaresco Nubiola or 2013 Wenzlau Blanc de Blanc Cuvée l’Inconnu, or nonalcoholic herbal elixirs, with each course by sommelier Brian Lockwood. Coowner and pastry chef Margarita Kallas-Lee pauses between the presentation of courses.
Taste FOOD / WINE / DINING OUT
Uncloister the Oyster LOCAL EXPERTS SHARE RECIPES AND PEARLS OF WISDOM TO HELP HOME COOKS DISH UP THESE DELICACIES FROM THE SEA.
By Shauna Burke
OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER Tognazzini’s Dockside Restaurant (morrobay dockside.com) in Morro Bay shares this recipe for its classic Rockefeller appetizer, created by longtime head preparation chef Mauro Nuñez. “We use only Pacific oysters (crassostrea gigas) and prefer to use local oysters from either Grassy Bar Oyster Co. or Morro Bay Oyster Company,” says owner Mark Tognazzini. “Both of these companies have the best quality and consistency of any oyster we have ever used.” Serves 4 ¼ pound bacon, diced 1 teaspoon minced garlic ½ red onion, diced 10 mushrooms, diced ⅓ pound fresh spinach, chopped ¼ cup sherry ¼ cup heavy cream ¼ teaspoon cumin ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese ½ cup mayonnaise 12 fresh oysters in shell Add bacon to a large saucepan and cook on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally, reducing heat when bacon turns golden brown. Add garlic and cook
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for about 1 minute. Add red onion and continue to cook for 2 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 more minutes. Add spinach, sherry, heavy cream, cumin, and cayenne and black pepper and cook for about 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. In a medium-size mixing bowl combine Parmesan cheese with mayonnaise. Set aside. Preheat oven broiler to 450°F. As it preheats, place whole, unshucked oysters crown-side up on a large ovenproof sheet pan and cook them under the broiler for 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer sheet pan to a work surface to cool. When oysters are cool enough to handle, use an oyster knife to carefully shuck the top shell from each oyster. The oysters should be thoroughly cooked, so it should be fairly easy to remove. Cut the adductor muscle that connects the oyster meat to the shell beneath it and remove and discard any shell fragments. Return the oysters in the bottom halves of their shells to the sheet pan. Heap 4 to 6 tablespoons of the baconmushroom-spinach mixture onto the face of each half shell to fully cover it. Top with 1 to 2 heaping tablespoons of the cheesemayonnaise mixture. Place half shells under broiler for 4 to 5 minutes or until cheese topping is golden brown. Serve hot. >
© MARTA MUÑOZ-CALERO CALDERON/STOCKSY UNITED
ysters are like salty prizes from the sea—little packages as unique and nuanced as fine wines. An oyster’s flavor depends on where it is harvested and the balance of minerals, nutrients, and even the temperature of the water. Some can be sweet, some salty, some richer in texture. For the freshest taste, many local chefs choose to serve oysters from the waters of Central California. Thanks to the expert recipes and tips that follow, buying, shucking, and serving fresh oysters at home doesn’t have to be daunting. With some practice, the celebrated shellfish might even become your next dinner-party staple.
OYSTERS WITH SUMAC TAPIOCA PEARLS At Hotel Californian’s Blackbird Restaurant (thehotelcalifornina.com) in Santa Barbara, sous chef Blake Silberman elevates an oyster starter by adding flavored tapioca pearls. This versatile way to play with seasonal ingredients is easy to do at home but requires an overnight infusion, so start preparing this recipe the day before you plan to serve the oysters. Serves 4 1 cup dried sumac 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper 3 black limes, crushed, plus more for garnish 1 red beet, peeled and sliced 1 cup tapioca pearls 12 Kusshi oysters, shucked and set aside on ice
As chef and owner of Santa Barbara’s Poe & Co. (poe-and-co.com) catering company and mobile oyster bar The Oyster Tin (theoystertin.com), Jamie Poe knows oysters. Her company provides local and sustainable oysters raw (shucked and un-shucked) and grilled with a proprietary barbecue sauce, as well as shrimp and caviar for weddings and other events. Here she shares selection, storing, and shucking tips.
Selection Although it’s fun to try different varieties— West Coast oysters tend to be sweeter, the East Coast’s are briny, and the Gulf Coast’s are larger and meatier—eating local means you’re getting the freshest oysters available with a minimum carbon footprint. Look for closed shells, free of chips and cracks, with a tight seal, and deep cups, that don’t sound hollow when you gently tap them.
Storage The most important thing is to keep oysters cold, so refrigerate them as soon as possible. Some believe in cold, dry storage, others prefer self-draining ice baths. Both methods do the job. Oysters like 100 percent humidity, so cup-side down on a damp towel in a sealed container in the refrigerator works well if you have manageable quantities. Just make sure to keep the container toward the back of the
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In a medium bowl, combine sumac, Aleppo pepper, limes, and beet. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 quart water to a boil. Pour hot water over sumac mixture. Cover and steep one hour. Strain sumacinfused water through a coffee filter into a clean vessel. Discard solids. In the same saucepan, bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Add tapioca pearls and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until only a tiny bit of white remains. Transfer tapioca pearls to a colander and drain and rinse with cold water until they are completely cold. Pour reserved sumac infusion over tapioca pearls, cover, and set aside overnight. When ready to serve, top shucked oysters with a pinch of finely grated black lime and a small scoop of flavored tapioca pearls. Serve immediately.
OYSTERS WITH YUZU GEL AND HEIRLOOM TOMATO GRANITA
fridge if you open the door a lot. Don’t put them in the freezer.
HEIRLOOM TOMATO GRANITA 1 red heirloom tomato, diced ½ teaspoon sherry vinegar Pinch of salt Pinch of black pepper
Shucking Using very cold water, rinse oysters or submerge them a few times to remove grit. Use a vegetable brush if necessary to help with extra gritty shells. Always use an oyster knife, never a paring knife. To keep the oyster still and your hands safe, wear heavy-duty gloves or hold the oyster in a folded towel. If you’re right-handed, use your left hand to hold the oyster cupped-side down on a cutting board with the tapered tip (where the shell’s hinge is located) pointing toward 3 o’clock. Lefties, use your right hand and point the tip of the oyster toward 9 o’clock. Press down firmly on the oyster to prevent it from slipping. Insert the knife tip into the hinge, where there is a little gap between the top and bottom halves of the shell. Wiggle the oyster up and down, so the knife tip slowly goes in deeper. When you feel you have enough leverage, pull the knife handle downward and the top shell should pop up. Don’t use force; let gravity and the knife do the work. After the top shell is removed, slide the knife under the oyster to cut the adductor muscle that connects it to the shell beneath, keeping the meat and liquid in the shell. Use the knife to carefully scrape away any shards of shell.
Chef Jose Fernandez of Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village (fourseasons.com/ westlakevillage) prefers to use Kumamoto oysters from Humboldt Bay for this recipe, which brings together the refreshing grapefruitlike taste of yuzu and the rich, sweet flavor of heirloom tomatoes. Although simple syrup (called for below) is bottled commercially, it is easy to make at home: Bring ¼ cup water and ¼ cup sugar to a simmer in a heavy saucepan; remove from heat and set aside to cool. Serves 2 YUZU GEL ½ cup simple syrup 1 teaspoon agar-agar powder (available at specialty cooking stores, such as Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma) ½ cup yuzu juice (available at Asian markets and amazon.com)
OYSTERS 6 Kumamoto oysters Fresh cilantro or chives, chopped, for garnish To make Yuzu Gel: In a saucepan, bring simple syrup to a low simmer, add agaragar, and whisk for 2 to 3 minutes until dissolved. Remove from heat. In a separate saucepan, heat yuzu juice without letting it boil. Add agar-agar mixture and stir until incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a small container and let it cool until solid. Cut yuzu gel into small pieces and mix with a hand blender, then pass it through a finemesh sieve. To make Heirloom Tomato Granita: Blend tomato, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a food processor until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. Pour the mixture into a shallow container and freeze until solid. To serve: Remove top halves of oyster shells, keeping as much of the natural juice in the bottom half shells as possible. With a small knife, sever the adductor muscle that connects each oyster to the half shell beneath it, keeping oyster meat in the half shell. Place 3 small dots of yuzu gel around each oyster in the half shell. With a fork, scrape a small portion of tomato granita over the top of each oyster to cover. Garnish with fresh cilantro or chives.
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Taste Wine By David Gadd Photograph by Gary Moss
Fantasy Feasting BUILDING THE PERFECT DINNER WITH WINE IN THE 805
A dreamy pairing in Santa Barbara: Olio e Limone Ristorante’s Fettuccine con Spugnole e Asparagi with a glass of Andrew Murray Enchanté.
n fantasy football, avid participants select their very own dream team from among top real-life gridiron heroes and lead them to victory (or defeat) in a virtual game. What if we applied this best-of-the-best scenario to dining and top real-life favorite
MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
dishes? Virtual diners might opt to visit Tokyo for sushi and Bologna for salumi, followed by Singapore for lobster, Buenos Aires for beefsteak, and Paris for chocolate soufflé. The 805’s wide range of exciting, innovative restaurants brings this
game much closer to home—maybe even within the realm of the possible. We’ve selected five courses from top chef-driven establishments on the Central Coast to create a fantasy feast, matching each dish with local wines from the restaurants’ lists.
Our first stop is just outside the quaint village of Arroyo Grande, where Ember (emberwoodfire.com) is the Italianinspired domain of chef-owner Brian Collins. Embrace the self-styled funky vibe of this foodie destination and dig into an inventive surf-meets-turf starter. While Ember’s offerings change monthly, the Cayucos Abalone & Pork Belly— pan‑fried Ocean Rose red California abalone with pork-belly confit, pickled ginger, cilantro, and hollandaise sauce— stays on the menu year-round by popular demand. The tasty mollusks are sourced from the Abalone Farm in Cayucos. To offset the rich nature of this appetizer, Ember general manager Nik Batti suggests pairing it with the crisp, vibrant Laetitia Brut Cuvée, a bubbly blend of pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot blanc that’s made just down the road at Laetitia Vineyard & Winery (laetitiawine.com) in Arroyo Grande by the company’s veteran sparkling winemaker, Dave Hickey. “The bubbles and acid of the Laetitia Brut pair beautifully with the complex, decadent flavors of the abalone and pork belly,” says Batti.
Spoilsports on low-carb diets may opt to skip this course, but true belt-line-bedamned gourmands will head to Santa Barbara for the spring-fresh Fettuccine con Spugnole e Asparagi—ribbon pasta with morel mushrooms and asparagus— served at the bustling Olio e Limone Ristorante (olioelimone.com). Native Sicilian chef-owner Alberto Morello and his wife, director of operations Elaine Andersen Morello, have been serving house-made pastas to a sophisticated crowd at this white-tablecloth downtown staple since 1999, as well as pizza at the adjacent Olio Pizzeria since 2010. Elaine suggests pairing their silky fettuccine with
Andrew Murray Enchanté (andrewmurray
vineyards.com), from Curtis Vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley. The roussanne– grenache blanc blend is from the restaurant’s Wine Spectator Award of Excellence–winning list of wines. “Pairing asparagus and wine is challenging,” she says. “It needs a crisp, refreshing wine.” This white Rhône-style blend sees no new oak and does not go through malolactic fermentation to preserve freshness.
A gourmet meal without fish is as unthinkable as a grand opera without a middle act. Stroll down Santa Barbara’s State Street in the direction of Stearns Wharf to reach the next destination, the Hotel Californian (thehotelcalifornian. com), a recently rebuilt property with a beautiful 1925 Spanish Revival–style façade, and its Mediterranean-accented restaurant Blackbird. This is no time for skimping: Try the locally sourced Whole Roasted Branzino with eggplant puree, butter-poached parsnips, pickled date puree, and fines herbes salad with bacon vinaigrette. Sommelier Andrew Villarreal recommends matching the fish with the Point & Line Sauvignon Blanc (point-linewines.myshopify.com) from Jack McGinley Vineyard in Santa Barbara’s Happy Canyon AVA. “It’s a great pairing,” says the sommelier, “because the sauvignon blanc is light-bodied, with aromas of grapefruit, lemongrass, and lime, and crisp acidity that will not overpower the delicate nature of the branzino.”
Perhaps no one has done more to put Paso Robles on the culinary map than Frenchborn chef Laurent Grangien. For more than two decades, his Bistro Laurent was the go-to foodie destination in this burgeoning wine enclave—not surprising considering his previous work in France alongside Michelin-starred luminaries Michel Guérard and Michel Rostang. Last year, Grangien decided to restyle
the bistro into the more casual but still elegant BL Brasserie (blbrasserie.com). Although the tasting menu is gone, several well-loved dishes remain alongside enticing new options. Choose the succulent pan-seared, oven-roasted Lamb Sirloin with a choice of three sauces: mustard, red wine, or peppercorn. Potatoes go all transcendent in the creamy, garliclaced gratin dauphinois that accompanies this dish. Grangien suggests pairing this course with Rosemary’s Vineyard Pinot Noir (talleyvineyards.com),
from Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande Valley, which is on his French-heavy wine list sprinkled with choice California options. “The lamb and a light garlic sauce are a perfect pairing with the pinot noir,” Grangien says. “As with the lighter sauce, the dish complements rather than subdues the wine.”
Admit it—dessert is what you’ve really been waiting for, so drive back to Santa Barbara and its cozy, chic, ocean-view restaurant Toma (tomarestaurant.com), opened in 2013 by Tom and Vicki Dolan. There’s a reason this stretch of the Central Coast is called the American Riviera, and Toma’s deeply satisfying Olive Oil Cake with Marcona almonds, citrus zest, vanilla bean cream, and citrus segments puts an apropos Mediterranean-flavored finish to this fantasy feast. Vicki suggests the Jaffurs Late Harvest Viognier
( jaffurswine.com) from Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Barbara County, to enjoy with the cake. “It offers aromas of honey, golden raisin, date, and fig, and perfectly complements the Marcona almond nuttiness and citrus flavors,” she says. Should you actually want to attempt this feast in the non-virtual space known as reality, use a designated driver so you can truly enjoy the wine. MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
Taste Dining Out By Nancy Roberts Photographs by Gary Moss
Ana’s Got It All Day
A BRIGHT NEW CAFÉ IN DOWNTOWN SANTA BARBARA’S ARTS AND THEATER DISTRICT FILLS THE BILL FOR EVERY MEALTIME.
afe Ana (cafeanasb.
com) is one of those restaurants that, once you try it you wonder how you did without it. Located in the completely remodeled former Coffee Cat space in downtown Santa Barbara, the café is named for its spot at the corner of East Anapamu and Anacapa streets. Light, bright, and inviting, the upscale all-day eatery melds an urban-chic feel with neighborhood-hangout warmth. Husband and wife owners Julian Sanders and Katherine Guzman Sanders are veterans of the hospitality industry. Julian’s most recent stint was at Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco. Katherine’s work at restaurants, hotels, and a winery, along with her study of food communications in Florence, Italy, have all nurtured her passion. “We have both always worked in hospitality, and we’re both obsessed with it— the food, the wine, and the service,” Katherine says. Julian is a third-generation Santa Barbaran and Katherine grew up in the Los Angeles area, so Cafe Ana represents a homecoming of sorts. For the concept, “We were inspired by the wonderful coffee shops we found while traveling in Europe, where you can experience café culture all parts of the day,” says Katherine. “It’s a place where the community can gather for coffee, a glass of wine, and good quality food.” The airy, high-ceilinged venue has plenty of seating at tables, a communal table, and marble counters; the overall look was inspired by Scandinavian design.
During the more than two-year renovation process, the couple enlarged windows and worked with Ventura-based Brothers of Industry on woodwork, cabinetry, and details like an iron-and-glass wine rack that hangs from the ceiling. The inventive yet accessible food reflects chef Ryan Whyte-Buck’s approach and culinary background. An Ojai native, Whyte-Buck honed his skills in Portland, Oregon, and most recently at Golda, a buzzedabout all-day café in Brooklyn. His menu combines influences from the Mediterranean and the Pacific Rim with the fresh flavors of local produce. “My philosophy is that food is a focus of all of our cultures, and it’s a way of bringing people together,” he says. “I want to make people feel safe, comfortable, and happy—that same feeling of going home.” Breakfast offerings include homey dishes with elevated creative twists: a satisfying sandwich of pork sausage, soft scrambled egg, and cheese is punched up with arugula and dill pickles; toasts with toppings like salmon and labneh (tangy, creamy yogurt cheese) are made with fluffy, slightly sweet Japanese milk bread that’s baked at Ana’s every morning; house-baked pastries change with the season, but a recent blood orange and poppy seed mini-Bundt was a sweet revelation. A key ingredient at any all-day café is a really good cup o’ joe, sourced here from specialty coffee roaster Lamill. Weekend brunch from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. includes a few breakfast menu items with some addictive additions that could fuel a hike up Tunnel Trail or a stroll along East Beach: blueberry
The new restaurant, wine bar, and coffee shop turns out a selection of house-made pastries daily (top) and pours specialty coffee drinks featuring the gourmet roasts of Lamill as well as beers and local and international wines (above).
MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
pancakes bursting with fresh berries are sprinkled with a crumble of freeze-dried berries for their concentrated flavor before a dollop of whipped cream tops it all off; Whyte-Buck’s spin on eggs Benedict is a polenta cake base capped with a pair of soft-boiled eggs, béarnaise sauce, escarole, and Chinese broccoli, for layers of textures and savory tastes. Folks who live or work in the neighborhood, along with visitors to the kitty-corner Santa Barbara County Courthouse or Santa Barbara Museum of Art, make up much of the lunch crowd that comes for the seasonal soups, fresh salads, and creative sandwiches like eggplant with adzuki bean and squash hummus, or smoked tuna melt. Dishes change frequently, but recent evening menu offerings have included house-made country pâté, cheese plates, and a popular caviar program. They all pair well with an informed wine and beer list curated by Julian, who is a certified sommelier. The wine list includes international labels, along with Central Coast gems from the likes of Tyler, Presqu’ile, and Sans Liege wineries and Jalama Cañon Ranch and Vineyard. Three draft beers are available and more by the bottle are coming soon. “As we grow, everything will keep evolving,” says Julian. And yes, you just might want to stay all day.
Among Cafe Ana’s comforting breakfast dishes is the Mezze Plate, a soft egg and toast with hummus, tomatoes, and cucumber, spiced with za’atar (left). Counters around the perimeter take full advantage of enlarged windows in the bright space (top) where a large communal table adds to the plentiful seating. Owners Katherine Guzman Sanders and Julian Sanders (below) dish out their brand of café culture from morning to early evening.
The Guide W H E R E TO E AT N OW
Our aim is to inform you of restaurants with great food that you might not have experienced yet. The guide is arranged not by cuisine type, but by style of restaurant. “Fine Dining” choices have an elegant atmosphere and very professional service. Restaurants included under the “Foodie” heading are heralded for their wonderful chef-driven cuisine, regardless of atmosphere. “A Good Bet” listings are just that—solid, casual, and delicious. The “Fun, Fun, Fun” category brings you spots geared toward a good time.
cocktail menu and a wine list that includes several otherwise impossible-to-get bottles.
New listings will appear in The Guide in every issue. Please send any comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Romantic With the cozy upscale ambience of an old-fashioned supper club, The Chase Restaurant and Lounge has offered enduring Italian favorites along with American steaks, chops, and seafood, since 1979, proving that the classics never lose their appeal. Sparkling garlands of tiny white lights, white tablecloths, a marble-inlaid bar, tip-top service, and Frank Sinatra in the background set the scene for traditional, satisfying meals.
ON THE WEB: Visit 805living.com for more listings and to make quick and easy reservations at many of the restaurants listed here through Open Table.
These restaurants have a skilled kitchen team, a lovely dining room, and great service. UPDATE BELLA VISTA RESTAURANT IN FOUR SEASONS RESORT THE BILTMORE SANTA BARBARA 1260 Channel Drive Santa Barbara, 805-969-2261 fourseasons.com/santabarbara/dining Californian and Italian; Entrées $19–45; Sunday Brunch $85 per person Great Views
Named for its sweeping views of lawn, ocean, and sky, Bella Vista has an Italian bent thanks to executive chef Marco Fossati. He uses local fish and organic farmers’ market produce, handmade pastas, and herbs from the chef’s garden at the resort to create such dishes as Tajarin Carbonara di Mare, and jidori chicken with farrotto and smoked corn. Specials include table-side service of spaghetti with caciocavallo cheese and Tellicherry pepper. At the adjacent Ty Lounge, an extensive menu of Spanish tapas echoes the Hacienda-style decor featuring a fireplace, an ocean-view terrace, and hand-painted walls and ceilings. The wine list offers local and international labels. Happy hour Mondays through Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. includes specials on featured tapas ($5 to $9), draught beer and wine on tap ($4 to $6), and select cocktails ($7).
BELMOND EL ENCANTO 800 Alvarado Place Santa Barbara, 805-845-5800 belmond.com/el-encanto-santa-barbara Entrées $28–$48 Great Views, Romantic
The luxe Belmond El Encanto hotel perches atop its seven-acre hilltop property with sweeping city and ocean views. Settle in on the spacious terrace or in the elegant dining room and linger over artfully presented California coastal cuisine crafted by executive chef Johan Denizot. Local ingredients shine, including herbs from the chef’s garden and cheese made from the milk of Ellie, the resort’s cow. The seasonal menu features appetizers such as halibut sashimi and mains like king crab leg in lobster-chili broth and classic New York steak with a choice of sides. The wine list includes Santa Barbara County gems and globetrotting labels. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served daily,
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although Sunday lunch is replaced with a bottomless Bellini brunch. Afternoon tea (reservations highly recommended) is served Monday through Saturday. In-the-know locals and hotel guests take in the sunset, cocktail in hand, on the terrace.
UPDATE CA’ DARIO 37 E. Victoria St. Santa Barbara, 805-884-9419 cadario.net and 29 E. Victoria St. Santa Barbara, 805-884-9419 cadariopizza.net and 38 W. Victoria St. Santa Barbara and 250 Storke Road, Unit B Goleta, 805-884-9419 cadario-cucina-italiana.business.site Italian; Entrées $11–$30
The flagship of Dario Furlati’s growing restaurant empire sits at the corner of Victoria and Anacapa streets somewhat off the Santa Barbara tourist path but decidedly worth the walk. House-made pastas with Bolognese, or tomatoes with olives and capers, or with smoked salmon, peas, tomatoes, and cream are available here, along with terra-cotta baked chicken, roasted quails with porcini ragout sauce, and fish-of-the-day specials. Located just a few doors away, the cozy Ca’ Dario Pizzeria focuses on variations of the titular dish, plus salads, pastas and, at lunch, sandwiches. For faster fare, check out Ca’ Dario Pizzeria Veloce and Ca’ Dario Pasta Veloce, both found inside the Santa Barbara Public Market. And people of Goleta, take note: Ca’ Dario Cucina Italiana serves lunch and dinner in a Storke Plaza space decorated with dark woods and white tablecloths.
CELLO RISTORANTE & BAR 2700 Buena Vista Drive Paso Robles, 805-369-2503 allegrettovineyardresort.com/dining.aspx Mediterranean; Entrées $14–$38 Romantic
Located at the luxurious Allegretto Vineyard Resort, Cello showcases the cuisine of executive chef Justin Picard, a veteran of kitchens in San Francisco and Aspen who has made two guest appearances at the James Beard House in New York. Look for local, seasonal ingredients (some grown on site) in his pastas, salads, flatbreads, steaks, and seafood. A serene covered patio near the substantial kitchen garden is a fine place for enjoying breakfast, lunch, small plates, or dinner outdoors. Cello also offers an extensive farm-to-bar
THE CHASE RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE 1012 State St. Santa Barbara, 805-965-4351 chasebarandgrill.com Italian; Entrées $16–$44
UPDATE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL WESTLAKE VILLAGE 2 Dole Drive Westlake Village, 818-575-3000 fourseasons.com/westlakevillage/dining Californian; Entrées $10–$24
Open during renovations to other dining spaces at the resort, The Art Gallery offers daily buffet-style breakfast and an à la carte menu of sushi, salads, pastas, sandwiches, and more for lunch and dinner. Located near the lobby, Stir is open daily from 6 a.m. with a grab-and-go menu of baked-on-site pastries and savory options to go with cold-brewed coffee, gelato, and other treats. With its fire pits and urban vibe, The Lookout is a sophisticated outdoor spot to start the evening with a cocktail and a small plate or two. The Tasting Room features California labels and a menu of wine-friendly nibbles. Valet parking is $10 with validation; self-parking is free for up to four hours with validation.
GIANNFRANCO’S TRATTORIA 666 Linden Ave. Carpinteria, 805-684-0720 Italian; Entrées $13–$28 Great Patio
The family of owners welcomes you here with open arms. In good weather, opt for a seat on the back patio with its garden setting. Some customers always start dinner with a glass of wine and the calamari appetizer, which comes with perfectly grilled baby squid and shrimp next to a crock of slightly spicy dipping sauce. It’s a great idea. Salads are also quite nice and take advantage of the local growers. The pastas are lightly sauced and there’s a daily fresh risotto. Meats include grass-fed free-range lamb chops and rib-eye steaks as well as farm-raised chicken. Giannfranco’s is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Monday.
THE GRILL ON THE ALLEY 120 E. Promenade Way Westlake Village, 805-418-1760 thegrill.com American; Entrées $11–$59 Saturday & Sunday Brunch
Steaks and chops are legendary here and at the original Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills, the ultimate powerlunch spot. At this location, whether out on the patio or in the dining room and bar, diners enjoy American comfort food with international flair. Sushi is available at lunch and dinner, and the menu’s friendly reminder
The San Luis Obispo County Cattlemen’s Association Presents The 29th Annual
Cattlemen’s Western art shoW and sale SHOW OPENS FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 5 PM - 9 PM Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA Artist’s Wine and Hors d’oeuvre Reception and Preview Sale 5 pm-9 pm. Tickets for the reception will be available at the door for $20. The show continues Saturday 10 am-5 pm and Sunday 10 am-3 pm, no admission charge, open to the public, and features a catt lemen’s BBQ lunch for $10, from 11:30 am-1:30 pm.
ORIGINALS FOR SALE
From more than 40 nationally and locally known artists. For more information visit:
cattlemenswesternartshow.com or contact Dee Pellandini 805-423-1319 The Guiding Hand • Vicki Catapano
The Dining Guide that “any turf can surf” is an invitation to order jumbo prawns and other seafood with your filet mignon or dryaged New York strip. Weekend brunch offers avocado toast, Niman Ranch slab bacon and eggs, and $15 bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys. Happy hour is daily from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., when you can make a meal of the specially priced lollipop chicken wings, spicy tuna rolls, and wood-fired cheeseburger bites offered with cocktails, draft beers, and wines by the glass.
IL CORTILE RISTORANTE 608 12th St. Paso Robles, 805-226-0300 ilcortileristorante.com Italian; Entrées $18–$34
Il cortile is Italian for “the courtyard.” At this upscale restaurant at the edge of downtown Paso, the courtyard invites diners to breathe in beautiful evenings. A more intimate experience awaits inside, where diners find what the owners call contemporary Old World styling. Northern and Southern Italian dishes are the heart of executive chef and co-owner Santos MacDonal’s seasonal menu. Along with caldi (hot) and freddi (cold) antipasti, there is a section of the menu dedicated to mozzarella. Pasta, ravioli, and gnocchi have fresh, inspired flavors, hallmarks of being housemade. Secondi (main courses) cover beef, lamb, and seafood; osso bucco is particularly nice. The restaurant has a small bar area and a wine list that raises a glass to California’s Central Coast and Italy.
Boost your gut health with the help of Vintage Grocers (vintagegrocers. com). Get your dose of probiotic-rich draft kombucha from Carpinteriabrewer Conscious Kombucha on tap at the Westlake Village and Malibu locations. Sip it at an indoor table in the Westlake Village store or choose a spot on the enclosed outdoor patio or grassy picnic area in Malibu.
UPDATE LA DOLCE VITA RISTORANTE 740 S. B St. Oxnard, 805-486-6878 ladolcevitadimare.com Mediterranean; Entrées $11–Market Price for steaks and seafood Romantic, Great Views, Live Music
From the pergola-covered patio of this pretty Colonial Revival house, diners can often see docents in Victorian-era costumes giving tours of Oxnard’s Heritage Square. Dining rooms inside the historic former home offer bird’s-eye views of the grounds through diamondpane windows. The eclectic menu by co-owner and executive chef Michelle Kenney includes grilled onion chowder, lemon-pistachio pasta, and portobello Florentine, the latter topped with sautéed spinach, pancetta, Gruyère, and capellini. Afternoon teas and hands-on cooking classes are available. Named for the year in which the house was built, the 1901 Speakeasy Lounge in the basement specializes in live music and Prohibition-themed cocktails.
LUCKY’S 1279 Coast Village Road Montecito, 805-565-7540 luckys-steakhouse.com Steak House; Entrées $16–$69 Saturday & Sunday Brunch
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Black-and-white portraits of stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Sammy Davis Jr., Andy Warhol, and Julia Child adorn the walls of this upscale steak house in Montecito. The plates and napkins are monogrammed, the patio is tented and heated for year-round enjoyment, and the bar opens an hour before dinner service begins. Steaks can be dressed with seven different sauces, there are eight versions of potato side dishes, and the onion rings should have their own Facebook Fan page.
THE MONARCH 1295 Coast Village Road Santa Barbara, 805-869-0789 themonarchmontecito.com Entrées $24–$54 Daily Brunch
Located within the historic Montecito Inn, The Monarch offers a unique dining experience with a sumptuous interior, a full bar, and an innovative menu inspired by old world–tradition. Co-owner and executive chef Phillip Frankland Lee offers composed dishes and shared plates showcasing Central Coast ingredients. Highlights include yellowtail crudo with fried capers and papaya confit, housemade pappardelle with lamb ragout, grilled whole chermoula-marinated spot prawns, and double-cut pork chop brined in brown sugar. The kitchen’s stone and brick wood-fired hearth calls for centuries-old cooking methods, such as heating bone marrow in a metal cone to sear local abalone à la flambadou; slow-roasting beef short ribs hung fireside and sliced to order; and baking simple, delicious breads by Margarita Kallas-Lee, co-owner and pastry chef.
MOQUECA BRAZILIAN 3550 S. Harbor Blvd., Suite 201 Oxnard, 805-204-0970 and 1610 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suites I and J Thousand Oaks, 805-230-3585 moquecarestaurant.com Brazilian; Entrées $12–$74
Moqueca specializes in, and is named for, a Brazilian seafood stew typically made with onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and coconut milk and served in a handmade, black clay pot known as a capixaba. At dinner, you’ll need friends or a to-go container to help get to the bottom of small and large orders alike (variations include a vegetarian moqueca made with plantains and a particularly luxurious combination of lobster tails and large shrimp). At lunch, smaller moquequinhas are available along with prato feito, which is a combination plate of black beans, rice, and diner’s choice of fried plantains or yucca with fish, shrimp, chicken, or steak. Feijoada, a stew of black beans, ham hocks, pork ribs, linguica sausage, and bacon, is served only on Sundays. Beer, wine, and cocktails are available at both locations.
MR. CHOW 3835 Cross Creek Road, Suite 18A Malibu, 310-456-7600 mrchow.com Chinese; Family-style service $60–$80 per person; à la carte service available Romantic
Located in the Malibu Country Mart, this Mr. Chow location shares a menu and sense of showmanship with its famous older brother in Beverly Hills. (Both offer hand-pulled noodle demonstrations.) Decor is minimalist, putting the cuisine in sharp focus. Favorite dishes include honey-glazed prawns with walnuts, enlivened with dabs of spicy chili sauce from the small pots found on each table. A three-course Beijing Duck dinner ($78 per person) is among the prix-fixe, familystyle dining options, which tend to be less spendy than going à la carte. A small-bites menu is available in the bar, where the cocktails change with the seasons.
NONNA 951 S. Westlake Blvd. #102 Westlake Village, 805-497-8482 nonna.restaurant Italian; Entrées $18–$45 Romantic, Great Patio
A casually elegant dining room of distressed wood lit with unique light sculptures by artist Timothy J. Ferrie is a beautiful fit for Florence-born and -trained restaurateur Jacopo Falleni. The menu avoids the faddish, instead cutting a culinary swath through the Italian peninsula and islands with tradition-rich dishes that reflect Falleni’s Tuscan upbringing (gnudi with pomodoro sauce), executive chef Gianluca Maita’s Sicilian heritage (arancini), and pasta chef Pamela Ganci’s influences from Bologna (passatelli with peas). Service is engaging and professional, while Falleni himself fills the role of sommelier and designed signature cocktails for the full bar.
UPDATE OJAI VALLEY INN 905 Country Club Road Ojai, 805-646-1111 ojaivalleyinn.com Various cuisines Entrées $11–$60; Saturday Buffet Brunch $32; Sunday Bluegrass Brunch $55
The resort’s beautiful setting can be enjoyed by hotel guests and others who simply want to patronize the restaurants. As the fine-dining flagship, Olivella features California-Italian cuisine (see separate listing). Start the evening with small bites and cocktails in the Wallace Neff Heritage Bar, located in the resort’s original golf clubhouse and named for the architect who set the inn’s Spanish Revival tone. Other dining venues include the tranquil Spa Café in Spa Ojai, where light breakfast, fresh-pressed juices, and spa lunch are served inside or on the poolside terrace. The Oak is famous for its casual but attentive lunch service on a shaded patio overlooking the 10th hole of the resort’s golf course. It also serves breakfast and dinner and two styles of brunch: buffet on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and bottomless Champagne with live bluegrass music on Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Indigo Pool & Bar offers salads, sandwiches, and adult libations served poolside and in cabanas. The Pixie Café is located at the family-friendly Pixie Pool. Jimmy’s Pub offers a menu of salads, sandwiches, wood-fired pizzas, and entrées plus craft beers and cocktails. (It’s also one of the few restaurants in Ojai to stay open past 10 p.m. on weekends.) Next door, Libbey’s Market is the place to go for a quick sandwich and a scoop of McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams.
UPDATE TIERRA SUR RESTAURANT AT HERZOG WINE CELLARS 3201 Camino del Sol Oxnard, 805-983-1560 tierrasuratherzog.com New American; Entrées $16–$144 (for 32-ounce rib eye for two), Buffet Brunch $65 Sunday Brunch Tucked inside Herzog’s winery and tasting room, Tierra Sur specializes in wine-friendly meals made with careful attention to detail. Executive chef Gabe Garcia maintains a local, seasonal vibe at lunch and dinner. Marinated olives and lamb bacon are made in-house. Tapas feature Wagyu sliders and a Margherita pizza with basil-cashew cheese. Watch carefully, and you may see your bone-in rib eye for two prepared on the patio’s wood-burning grill before it is served with fried kale and roasted potatoes. Desserts include frozen custards, vanillaspiced doughnuts, and a show-stopping Baked Alaska. Surrounded by the coppery glow of the walls and the burnished-wood wine rack that frames the kitchen pass-through, diners may forget
they’re at a kosher restaurant in an Oxnard industrial park. The restaurant is closed on Fridays and Saturdays in observance of the Sabbath. Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. is served buffet style, with carving and omelet stations and weekly specials inspired by ingredients from local farms.
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NEW TOMA RESTAURANT & BAR 324 W. Cabrillo Blvd. Santa Barbara, 805-962-0777 tomarestaurant.com Italian; Entrées $26–$38 Romantic
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Located along Santa Barbara’s palm tree–lined waterfront with views of the harbor, Toma offers a romantic atmosphere that strikes the perfect balance of upscale but unstuffy, consistently top-notch food, and attentive service. Executive chef Nat Ely uses locally sourced ingredients to put his own spin on Italian and Mediterranean dishes like gnocchi with rock shrimp, rack of lamb revved up with harissa, and house-made pastas like braised beef and pork ragù lasagna. Dinner is served nightly, and there’s a full bar and wine list with local and international labels.
TRA DI NOI RISTORANTE 3835 Cross Creek Road, Suite 8A Malibu, 310-456-0169 tradinoimalibu.com Italian; Entrées $18–$36; market price for some seafood Sunday Brunch
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Even though locals know what they want without opening a menu, the kitchen at this restaurant in the Malibu Country Mart can still impress the rest of us with its handmade pastas, shaved truffles, grass-fed beef, local olive oil, and salads made with produce from Malibu’s Thorn Family Farm. The spaghetti carbonara manages to be both low fat and delicious, and the seasonal specials are a treat. The well-curated wine list matches the food and offers prime selections for sipping on the patio.
340 N Westlake Blvd Suite 165 Westlake Village, CA 91362 805-496-5584
www.edwardjones.com Member SIPC
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TUSCANY IL RISTORANTE 968 S. Westlake Blvd. Westlake Village, 805-495-2768 Italian; Entrées $18–$32 Romantic
Village dwellers pack this beautiful space for its warm, friendly service and top-notch food. The menu is small, but the nightly specials are worth investigating. High rollers and celebs consider this their neighborhood boîte. Others come just for special occasions. The lobster and shrimp martini salad has hearts of palm, avocado, and pink grapefruit segments; the baby greens salad has shaved fennel and toasted pine nuts; the whole Dover sole is topped with a lemon-chervil sauce; and the chicken breast comes under a sun-dried tomato pesto.
A Vintage Marketplace
ZIN BISTRO AMERICANA 32131 Lindero Canyon Rd., Suite 111 Westlake Village, 818-865-0095 zinwestlake.com Eclectic; Entrées $15–$42 Great View, Romantic
The fire pit on the patio and the view of the lake make this quite a romantic spot for dinner. Begin by nibbling on oysters, or a seafood cocktail, or a cheese and charcuterie plate. Main courses have influences from France and England. Farfalle pasta is tossed with roasted salmon and caviar, and at lunchtime, a British steak and ale stew over mashed potatoes. A long list of main-course salads includes tuna Niçoise with seared ahi, mixed greens, caper berries, and potatoes. Happy hour is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday though Friday.
Mon.-Sat. 10-6 Sunday 11-5 818-706-8366
28879 Agoura Road Agoura Hills, CA 91301 agouraantiquemart.com MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
The Dining Guide
Cuisine that shines regardless of decor, service, ambience, or even views. 101 NORTH EATERY & BAR 30760 Russell Ranch Rd., Suite D Westlake Village, 805-852-1588 101northeateryandbar.com New American Entrées $22–$46 Sunday Brunch, Late-night Menu
Award-winning chef and owner Anthony Alaimo delivers seasonal dishes that are big on international flavors along with wine, beer, and signature cocktails. The restaurant’s relaxed, modern setting includes a bar with a large flat-screen TV, a rustic communal table, and an outdoor patio. Expect starters like wild albacore kabobs with Calabrian chili tapenade and grilled Spanish octopus with white bean hummus and mains such as a cumin-rubbed lamb rack, Mediterranean sea bass with green romesco, house-made tagliolini pasta with Selva prawns, and wood-fired, thin-crust pizzas. Sandwiches and sides are on the happy hour menu on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. A late-night menu is offered on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
San Luis Obispo’s über-popular High St. Deli (highstdeli.com) is getting a new sister in Los Osos called Randy’s Shack. Deli owner Randy “Doobie” Coates is poised to open a back window in the renovated space formerly occupied by Sculptured Egg, where fans will be able to get their Dutch Punch or Mother Nature Veg “Sando” (aka sandwich) fix. The front of the new family-friendly restaurant will offer Cal-Mex cuisine (think fresh fish tacos and Dungeness crab enchiladas) and an ocean-view deck.
BARBAREÑO 205 W. Canon Perdido St. Santa Barbara, 805-963-9591 barbareno.com Californian; Entrées $18–$29
This restaurant highlights ingredients from the Central Coast in menus that feature a few changes monthly. Head chef Justin Snyder focused on pastry in his previous culinary lives, evident from the carefully composed salads, tartares, and desserts that emerge from the kitchen. Recurring favorites include starters like avocado roulade made with hamachi crudo and coconut-oolong milk, and cheeky Eggamuffins featuring buttermilk blini stacked with Seascape cheese, speck, and shavings of salt-cured egg yolk. Hope Ranch Mussels with fennel and mustard broth and slow-cooked Wagyu tri tip are also available, along with an extensive inventory of local beers and a wine list that recently garnered a Wine Spectator award of excellence.
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THE BEAR AND STAR 2860 Grand Ave. Los Olivos, 805-686-1359 thebearandstar.com American; Entrées $15–$49 Saturday & Sunday Brunch
EMBER RESTAURANT 1200 E. Grand Ave. Arroyo Grande, 805-474-7700 emberwoodfire.com California-Mediterranean; Small Plates $10–$17, Pizzas $18–$20, Entrées $23–$32
NEW BELL’S 406 Bell St. Los Alamos bellsrestaurant.com French; Entrées $18–$27
FARMER AND THE COOK 339 W. El Roblar Drive Ojai, 805-640-9608 farmerandcook.com Vegetarian; Entrées $6–$14 Kid-Friendly
Named for the motifs on the California and Texas state flags, this restaurant, located at the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn, sources much of its beef, poultry, and produce from the nearby 714-acre Parker family ranch. The wood-smoked traditions of both states are represented on what is referred to as a “refined ranch cuisine” menu by chef and partner John Cox. Dishes have included cured Wagyu carpaccio topped with shavings of cured egg yolk, stuffed local quail with molasses gastrique, grilled catfish with charred onion dressing, and, for dessert, a chess pie to make Cox’s Lone Star–state brethren proud. Brunch features an à la carte menu with specialty cocktails.
Daisy and Gregory Ryan, alums of Per Se, Thomas Keller’s Michelin-starred New York restaurant, helm this French-inspired bistro in the historic town of Los Alamos. Located in a building that served as a bank in the early 1900s and as a biker bar later, Bell’s delivers classics like steak tartare, wild Burgundy snails served with bread from Bob’s Well Bread Bakery down the street, and coq au vin. For lunch, try the French dip made with roasted rib eye. Reservations are available through the website or via email to email@example.com.
BIBI JI 734 State Street Santa Barbara, 805-560-6845 bibijisb.com Indian, Australian, and American Street Food $10–$16, Grill $15–$25, Curries $10–$18, Chef’s Tasting $50 per person
Chef and restaurateur Jessi Singh partners with star sommelier and winemaker Rajat Parr to offer vibrant Indian fare and local and international wines and beers in this casual downtown bistro. Don’t miss the gol gappa, surprising sweet-and-spicy flatbread balls flavored with mint, coriander, dates, and tamarind chutney or Singh’s signature dish, Mr. Tso’s Cauliflower, featuring the nutty florets tossed in a tangy chili sauce.
BOB’S WELL BREAD BAKERY 550 Bell St. Los Alamos, 805-344-3000 bobswellbread.com European; Pastries and Breads $1.50–$20, Entrées $7–$13
Located in a refurbished 1920s-era service station with its original Douglas fir floors intact, this artisanal bakery is well worth a visit. For the best selection, arrive at 7 a.m. on Thursdays through Mondays, when the doors open and aromatic scones, bagels, kouign-amann, pain au chocolat, and other pastries come out of the ovens. Loaves of naturally leavened, burnished-crust breads follow soon after. Special daily breads include pain aux lardons (Saturdays and Sundays), and glutenfree Centennial Loaf (Mondays). The on-site café serves breakfast and lunch (think avocado toast tartine, croque monsieur sandwiches, and grilled bread with pâté and onion-bacon marmalade) until 3 p.m. Grab-and-go items for DIY picnics include ficelle sandwiches made with French ham, Emmentaler cheese, and house-made butter. Check the Facebook page for details about monthly meet-the-winemakers gatherings that include food-and-wine pairings.
Named for the wood fires used to cook the restaurant’s seasonal and farm-fresh dishes, Ember is the project of executive chef Brian Collins, an Arroyo Grande native who shares skills he honed at Chez Panisse in Berkeley and Full of Life Flatbread in Los Alamos with his hometown. The menu, like the beer and wine list, is locally focused, changes monthly, and includes rustic specialties such as crispy kale and house-made fennel sausage pizza, Jidori chicken alongside a wedge of grilled polenta and farmers’ market veggies, and grilled rib eye served over roasted potatoes and topped with a decadent garlic confit and avocado chimichurri.
Steve Sprinkel is the farmer and wife Olivia Chase is the cook at this combination café, bakery, market, and community center in the Meiners Oaks area of the Ojai Valley. A soup-and-salad bar offers fresh, organic fare for those on the go. The daily menu of vegetarian Mexican dishes like Swiss chard enchiladas and huaraches topped with grilled veggies, Feta, and Jack cheeses, and salsa roja can be made vegan with the substitution of a housemade cashew “cheese.” Gluten-free and raw foods are also available. On Friday and Saturday nights, the weekend farm café menu features dishes inspired by what Chase has harvested from the couple’s farm less than 3 miles away.
UPDATE FINCH & FORK 31 W. Carrillo St. Santa Barbara, 805-879-9100 finchandforkrestaurant.com American; Entrées $22–$36 Weekend Brunch
Located in the Kimpton Canary Hotel, the restaurant has its own entrance at Chapala and Carrillo streets. The vibe in the dining room is sophisticated but comfortable, words that also describe the locally sourced menu by executive chef Peter Cham, a Santa Barbara native. Creative starters, flatbread, salads, and entrées change with the seasons for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. The latter, served from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, even has its own cocktail menu. The daily specials menu offers buttermilk fried chicken on Tuesdays and cioppino every Thursday. Happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays includes drinks starting at $5 and snacks starting at $3. Go ahead and splurge on the $8 harissa buffalo wings, served with pickled celery and crumbled Point Reyes blue cheese.
GRANADA BISTRO 1126 Morro St. San Luis Obispo, 805-544-9110 granadahotelandbistro.com Californian, French-Asian; Entrées $14–$29 Romantic, Sunday Brunch
Connected to the 17-room Granada Hotel, the bistro is both intimate and big-city urban, combining exposed brick walls with velvet upholstery and an eclectic art collection. (Check out the sculptural “tree” on the patio.) Executive chef Kenny Bigwood’s seasonal menus start with creative small plates, sides, and cheese and charcuterie selections. Don’t-miss entrées include cherry cola–braised ribs at dinner, Cuban panini, and a chef’s selection bento box at lunch, and eggs Benedict
made with corn bread, bacon, and chipotle hollandaise during Sunday brunch. The wine list focuses on smallproduction labels from around the world. Cocktails often include locally foraged ingredients like lavender, rosemary, and pink peppercorns.
HELENA AVENUE BAKERY 131 Anacapa St., Suite C Santa Barbara, 805-880-3383 helenaavenuebakery.com Baked Goods, California-Eclectic Entrées $4–$14
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This artisanal bakery and café is brought to you by the masterminds behind The Lark, Lucky Penny, and Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant, with which it shares a renovated 1920s-era warehouse space in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. The address says Anacapa Street, but walk in from Helena Avenue for the quickest access to Dart Coffee drinks and croissants, scones, cookies, and other pastries made with seasonal ingredients. Open daily, the bakery serves breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., when don’t-miss items include Green Eggs & Ham made with spicy green harissa and grits topped with a fried egg. During lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., head chef Adam Shoebridge offers salads and sandwiches, plus specials like Nashville Hot Chicken served with house-made pickles. Graband-go items (think sandwiches, packaged chilled soups, and more) are available from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. for impromptu picnics off-site or on the rustic patio. The latter is shared by the bakery and its neighbor, the Santa Barbara Wine Collective, which offers curated tasting flights and wines by the glass and bottle.
HOTEL CALIFORNIAN 36 State St. Santa Barbara, 805-882-0100 thehotelcalifornian.com/santa_barbara_ restaurants/ Eclectic; Entrées $31–$50
Built on the grounds of the original Hotel Californian less than a block from Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara’s newest resort pays careful attention to all the luxurious details while retaining a casual yet elegant vibe. Its dining options are equally skilled. At Blackbird, dinner menus showcase local ingredients in dishes inspired by the Mediterranean with some North African influences; the bar serves signature cocktails in addition to local brews on tap. (Fans of Alfred Hitchcock will get a kick out of his photo in the dining room.) Located in a separate building from Blackbird, Goat Tree is an order-at-the-counter café with its own patio and, in the dining room, windows with a view of the kitchen. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with grab-and-go options for impromptu picnics.
UPDATE INDUSTRIAL EATS 181 Industrial Way Buellton, 805-688-8807 industrialeats.com New American; Entrées $9–$45
To find this destination restaurant on Buellton’s aptly named Industrial Way, drive past the Central Coast Water Authority office and look for a building painted with a mural of floating sausages, carrots, and wine glasses. Inside, you’ll find imported cheeses, housecured meats, and locally sourced dishes by owner and executive chef Jeff Olsson. The frequently changing menu is noted by pull-down rolls of butcher paper behind the order counter. Wood-fired pizzas can be simple (rosemary with Parmesan) or adventurous (crispy pig’s ear salad with sriracha and an egg on top). Offerings from the Not Pizza section of the menu include chicken liver with guanciale, while the sandwich list offers selections like the Next Level BLT and a beef-tongue pastrami Reuben. Clipboard specials often feature a must-have oysteruni-avocado combo. Local wine and beer options are on tap. Located two doors down, The Grand Room is available for large private parties and is the setting for monthly chef dinners. Tickets go fast.
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MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
The Dining Guide NEW KHAO KAENG 1187 Coast Village Road, Suite 9 Montecito, 805-770-7170 khaokaeng.com Thai; Entrées $19–$28
The enticing aromas of Thai spices greet you as you step from the sidewalk down the stairs to this tucked-away gem. The sister restaurant to Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar at the Santa Barbara Public Market, Khao Kaeng offers crave-worthy dishes inspired by family recipes from chef Nui Pannak’s Bangkok childhood. Fresh takes on classic Thai comfort food include Mama’s Hand-Wrapped Jiaozi Pot Stickers and zippy noodle and rice dishes. Quaff wines from a 300-bottle cellar. Lunch is served Mondays through Fridays; dinner is served nightly.
Leroy’s, the new restaurant at The Kinney hotel (thekinneyslo.com) in San Luis Obispo, serves up a fun atmosphere and elevated pubstyle classics. Executive chef Adam Measurall’s hits include SmokedBacon IPA Mac ’n’ Cheese, Molasses SLO Brined Half Chicken, and Farmer’s Market Chop Salad. Pair them with a rotating selection of local draft beers and Central Coast labels. The place is open daily for breakfast, happy hour, and dinner. Shout-out to home-towners: San Luis Obispo locals and Cal Poly students get a 10 percent discount.
LA COSECHA MODERN COCINA 450 E. Harbor Blvd. Ventura, 805-652-5151 lacosecharestaurant.com Mexican; Entrées $13–$23
Located inside the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach hotel, this casually upscale restaurant is named for “the harvest” in Spanish. The menu by executive chef Luis Martinez, a native of Jalisco, marries authentic Mexican flavors with contemporary cooking techniques and locally grown produce. Shareable plates include shrimp and octopus ceviche as well as barbacoa beef taquitos with avocado-tomatillo salsa. House specialties include chicken tinga enchiladas and grilled salmon marinated in orange and achiote and served with tequila butter. Thematic specials are available throughout the week: On Margarita Mondays, the featured drink is $6.
UPDATE THE LARK 131 Anacapa St. Santa Barbara, 805-284-0370 thelarksb.com New American; Entrées $18–$42
Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone takes flight with The Lark, named for the Pullman train that once made overnight runs between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The past is present in the restaurant’s setting, a former fish market remodeled to include exposed brick walls, subway tile, communal tables, and private booths fashioned from church pews. As culinary conductor, executive chef Jason Paluska oversees a thoroughly modern menu that highlights local ingredients. West Coast oysters with
MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
Goleta caviar lime are popular starters to shared plates of roasted chicken with green peppercorn gastrique, depending on the season. Craft brews, wines by the glass, cocktails, and mocktails extend the artisanal spirit into the bar. Desserts by pastry chef Joey Vega include warm Meyer lemon fritters with slow-cooked blueberries and lemon thyme.
UPDATE LES MARCHANDS RESTAURANT & MERCHANT 131 Anacapa St., Suite B Santa Barbara, 805-284-0380 lesmarchandswine.com European; Small Plates $5–$15; Entrées $18–$30 Weekend Brunch The vibe is Parisian bistro, but selections at this combination restaurant and retail shop in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone give equal opportunity to the United States and other countries. The by-the-glass wine selection is well-rounded, craft beer is available on draft and in bottles, and the cocktails showcase vintage and contemporary recipes. The menu by executive chef Weston Richards includes charcuterie, cheese platters, and artisanal toasts made with bread from the neighboring Helena Avenue Bakery. Dinner is served daily from 5 p.m., when selections include a local strawberry-arugula salad with house-made ricotta and mint pesto and lemon-brined chicken with crispy fingerling potatoes. Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. offers dishes such as shakshuka (a Middle Eastern poached-egg dish) and fried chicken and waffles with rosemary honey.
UPDATE LIDO AT DOLPHIN BAY 2727 Shell Beach Road Pismo Beach, 805-773-8900 thedolphinbay.com/lido Californian; Entrées $16–$58 Great View, Daily Brunch
Chef Hector Ibarra brings an eye for seasonal ingredients to a menu that echoes the creativity of the art glass displayed in Lido’s dining room. Appetizers include oysters with pink peppercorn mignonette and braised pork belly with fennel slaw. Entrées include house-made squid-ink pasta, quinoa veggie burgers, and a generous rib eye with curry compound butter. The Chef’s Tasting Menu offers five courses for $75 ($100 with wine pairings). A daily affair, brunch from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., features a three-course plated option with bottomless mimosas as well as à la carte dishes.
LOQUITA 202 State St. Santa Barbara, 805-880-3380 loquitasb.com Modern Spanish; Entrées $19–$42 Great Patio
Loquita is Spanish slang for a wild, fun-loving girl, but this eatery’s menu and food are seriously irreproachable. Executive chef Peter Lee sources the finest meat, fish, cheese, and produce to create festive, communal, à la carte meals, including tapas, pintxos (small bites typically pierced with a toothpick), and signature paella dishes. Drinks autentico include sangria and Spanish-style gin and tonics. Enjoy the spacious patio with two inviting fireplaces, or try the small-bites bar named, naturally, Poquita.
UPDATE MAD & VIN 1576 Mission Drive Solvang, 805-688-3121 thelandsby.com Eclectic; Entrées $16–$38
This restaurant located inside The Landsby hotel is named for the Danish words for “food” and “wine.” You won’t find a single aebleskiver in the sleek but comfy dining room, but Mad & Vin still pays homage to Solvang’s heritage with a Nordic Caesar salad
of local greens, sautéed shrimp, fried sourdough croutons, and dill-caraway Caesar dressing. At dinner, the lamb porterhouse with mint-pesto yogurt and seafood hot pot, paired with selections from the primarily Santa Barbara County wine list, are not to be missed. The bar is a Scandinavian-chic spot to meet friends for lunch on the weekends or for cocktails and small bites daily from 4 p.m.
THE MIDDLE CHILD 18 East Cota St. Santa Barbara, 805-770-5626 themiddlechildsb.com Californian; Shared Plates and Entrées $9–$16 Kid-Friendly
Elevated, seasonal dishes are the focus of chef’s chef Taylor Melonuk, formerly of The Lark in the nearby Funk Zone. The casual, loftlike venue is relaxed, with an outdoor patio, an upstairs dining area for larger groups, and a wine bar with local faves and beer on draught. Menu highlights are buttermilk fried chicken with coconut grits; white shrimp in lemongrass garlic butter on grilled bread; salads with arugula, burrata and peach as well as frisée with heirloom tomatoes and pluots; and pizzas topped with wild mushrooms and Taleggio or cured salmon, mascarpone, crispy capers, and egg.
MOUTHFUL EATERY 2626 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Thousand Oaks, 805-777-9222 mouthfuleatery.com Peruvian, Californian; Entrées $9–$14 Kid-Friendly
Don’t let the multicolored chalkboard menu or the solar-powered toy pigs decorating the dining room fool you: This order-at-the-counter café may specialize in salads, sandwiches, and what are called “powerbowls” in a fun, casual atmosphere, but chef and co-owner Luis Sanchez is serious about the food—witness Mouthful’s inclusion on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. for 2015. La Sarita, a sandwich of house-roasted pork shoulder served with fried sweet potatoes and pickled red onions, gets its heat from an aioli made with aji amarillo, a pepper from Sanchez’s native Peru. Additions at dinner might include malbec-braised short ribs on polenta one night and savory chicken stew called aji de gallina the next. Desserts include alfajores, delicate shortbread cookies filled with salted caramel. The Foodies in Training children’s menu includes a turkey slider with fruit, yucca fries, and a drink, all for $6.
OLIO E LIMONE RISTORANTE AND OLIO CRUDO BAR 11 W. Victoria St., Suites 17-18 Santa Barbara 805-899-2699, Ext. 1 olicucina.com Italian; Entrées $18–$41; Crudo Bar $12–$25
Husband-and-wife owners Alberto Morello and Elaine Andersen Morello treat their restaurants in downtown Santa Barbara like the gems they are: No ingredient is too good to employ. The organic extra-virgin olive oil from a grove near Alberto’s home village in Italy is so popular, patrons buy bottles of it for their own use. At the Ristorante, salads are fresh and the pastas and sauces are house-made. Standouts include gnocchi alla Riviera, which combines spinach-and-ricotta dumplings with fresh tomato sauce. With its glass shelves and glowing marble walls, the crudo bar is a jewel-box showcase for carefully executed dishes. Thinly sliced pieces of raw fish are accented with simple but excellent olio e limone (olive oil and lemon) and sometimes a bit more: Try the Atlantic Bluefin tuna belly with ginger vinaigrette and wasabi shoots for a meaningful experience. Selected appetizers, beers, cocktails, proseccos, and wines by the glass
are half-price during happy hour service available Sundays through Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
UPDATE OLIVELLA 905 Country Club Road Ojai, 805-646-1111 ojaivalleyinn.com California-Italian Entrées $37–$65 (a three-course experience is $90 or $150 with wine pairings; four-course experience is $110 or $180 with wine pairings) Romantic, Great Views
This fine-dining restaurant at Ojai Valley Inn features California cuisine with an Italian twist. From chef de cuisine Andrew Foskey’s menus come beautifully plated dishes like Kabocha Squash Ravioli, Tails & Trotters Farm Tenderloin of Pork, and Wild Pacific Sea Bass. Save room for the Citrus Olive Oil Cake or Crème Fraîche Panna Cotta, just two of executive pastry chef Joel Gonzalez’s creative dessert options. Dining spaces include a private wine room as well as a veranda overlooking the first and final holes of the property’s world-class golf course. The restaurant also hosts winemaker dinners.
UPDATE OUTPOST AT THE GOODLAND 5650 Calle Real Goleta, 805-964-1288 outpostsb.com Cal-Eclectic; Shareable Plates $7–$29 Weekend Brunch
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The mint-condition Airstream trailer parked out front is one sign that The Kimpton Goodland is not the Holiday Inn it once was. Another is the menu at Outpost, the on-site restaurant overseen by executive chef Damien Giliberti. Playful takes on classics like guacamole (served with toasted pumpkin-seed gremolata) join pork belly bao buns and roasted sea bass lettuce wraps with crispy shallots. Other highlights include a lamb burger with date chutney and watercress and caramelized sweet potato with turmeric yogurt. Local wines, beers, and craft cocktails are great for sipping poolside, in the dining room, and at the hotel’s Good Bar, which offers mealworthy snacks. Happy hour specials are available from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Ramen is a Sunday-night thing from 5 p.m. (go early). Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
PICO AT THE LOS ALAMOS GENERAL STORE 458 Bell St. Los Alamos, 805-344-1122 picolosalamos.com New American Shared Plates and Entrées $12–$31 Live Music
The spirit of a one-stop general store lives on in the historic town of Los Alamos, the northern gateway to the Santa Ynez Valley. Expect to find an extraordinary chef-driven, locally sourced menu by Drew Terp (formerly of Auberge du Soleil in Napa and Alain Ducasse at the Essex House in New York) offering heart of rib eye, duck confit risotto, smoked scallops, house-made pasta dishes, and charcuterie and cheese platters, along with signature cocktails, beer, and a world-class wine list. The spacious, refurbished building is also the tasting room of Lane Tanner and Will Henry’s Lumen Wines of Santa Maria. Sunday is Burger Night. Upscale but down home, Pico is keeping destination diners as well as the local cowboys coming back for more.
SIDES HARDWARE AND SHOES, A BROTHERS RESTAURANT 2375 Alamo Pintado Ave. Los Olivos, 805-688-4820 sidesrestaurant.com American; Entrées $14–$35
Brothers Jeff and Matt Nichols named their restaurant after a business that occupied the building in the early 1900s. The country-store vibe appears
TEPPANYAKI 400 Thousand Oaks Blvd. Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 • 805-379-9300 TARZANA SUSHI BAR • ENCINO SUSHI BAR AND DINING THOUSAND OAKS & KISHO (VALENCIA) TEPPANYAKI, SUSHI BAR, AND DINING
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The Dining Guide in the decorative tin ceiling and menu items like the Hammered Pig, a lunch dish of pork tenderloin that has been pounded thin, breaded, deep-fried, then served in a salad of arugula, pecans, and Parmesan or as part of a sandwich with applemustard seed slaw. Lunch options also include fish tacos, sandwiches, and an array of burgers. You can’t go wrong with the ever-changing chef’s burger by chef de cuisine Michael Cherney, who also lets loose with a new Taco Tuesday menu available at lunch and dinner each week. Dinner fare takes on an international flair: A banh mi-inspired appetizer pairs miso-cured bacon with steamed buns, mussels are served in coconut broth and red curry, and lamb sirloin comes with goat cheese gnocchi and maitake mushrooms. Desserts by pastry chef Stephanie Jackson are homey yet elegantly plated. Local wines are available by the glass and in carafes, supplementing the full bar.
The Bear and Star (thebearandstar. com) at the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn in Los Olivos continues its Chef’s Table dinner series on March 26 with Nancy Silverton, chef and co-owner of the Mozza Restaurant Group. The six-course meal includes three from Silverton’s own inspiration and three from The Bear and Star chefs John Cox and Trent Shank. Tickets are $125 per guest, with an optional $75 wine pairing; available for purchase online at exploretock.com/thebearandstar.
THE SPOON TRADE 295 West Grand Ave. Grover Beach, 805-904-6773 thespoontrade.com American; Entrées $15–$32 Great Patio, Sunday Brunch
The Spoon Trade serves what chef Jacob Town calls “elevated comfort food” in a bright and comfortable neighborhood hangout. Classic dishes (think: fried chicken, pasta, and upside-down cakes) are reimagined with of-the-moment flavors and local ingredients alongside a progressive beer and wine list.
UPDATE S.Y. KITCHEN 1110 Faraday St. Santa Ynez, 805-691-9794 sykitchen.com Italian; Entrées $20–$38
Located on a quiet side street in Santa Ynez, this cozy spot is an oasis of craft cocktails and rustic Italian fare in wine and tri-tip country. Executive chef Luca Crestanelli lets his native Italian roots show in house-made pastas such as wild mushroom pappardelle, salmon puttanesca, and a don’t-miss grilled globe-artichoke appetizer. With its firepits and padded lounge seating, The Courtyard is a great place to settle in for pre-dinner cocktails and glasses of local wine or to stay for the whole meal. A lunch menu of salads, pastas, and oak-grilled meats and seafood is served daily.
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UPDATE THOMAS HILL ORGANICS 1313 Park St. Paso Robles, 805-226-5888 thomashillorganics.com Wine Country Cuisine; Entrées $15–$41 Sunday Brunch
At this chic but casual restaurant in downtown Paso Robles, executive corporate chef Kurt Metzger builds on the vision of owner and founding chef Debbie Thomas by turning ingredients from local purveyors into elegant, satisfying fare at lunch, brunch, and dinner. (Why, yes, those are Windrose Farm apples in the burrata salad.) Wine, beer, and ciders from the region are also featured, adding to the restaurant’s farm-to-table bona fides.
TRE LUNE 1151 Coast Village Road Montecito, 805-969-2646 trelunesb.com Italian; Entrées $18–$37
Tre Lune, or “three moons,” is part of the Montesano Group, which owns Lucky’s in Montecito and Joe’s and Bucatini in Santa Barbara—and it shows. The walls are dressed in black-and-white photos of celebrities from yesteryear, the floors are Old World wood, and the tables are covered in white linen. Teeny tiny chairs mounted high on the wall bear brass plates engraved with the names of regular patrons. A ring-shaped, rolled pizza-bread appetizer is stuffed with smoked mozzarella and braised radicchio. It’s crispy outside and delicious inside. Pizzas from the stone oven can be topped with roasted eggplant, spicy sausage, or mushrooms and truffle oil. The wide selection of pastas are available in half or full portions. Veal scaloppine, rack of lamb, chicken Marsala, and even a cheeseburger round out the menu and support the extensive Italian wine list.
NEW TYGER TYGER 121 E. Yanonali St. Santa Barbara, 805-880-4227 tygertygersb.com Thai-Vietnamese Entrées $13–$17; Platters $21–$23
Located in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, Tyger Tyger burns bright with creativity. Hundreds of illuminated pink lanterns ring the exterior of the restaurant’s shared marketplace space. Inside is an order-atthe-counter menu of street food–inspired dishes by chef Daniel Palaima, who’s now back in his native Santa Barbara after stints with culinary heavyweights Grant Achatz and Stephanie Izard. Dishes include pork belly bahn mi, crispy chicken wings with caramelized fish sauce, octopus salad with glass noodles and a Vietnamese fish sauce called nouc cham, and Vietnamese crepes with duck and shrimp confit. Beer and wine selections are from around the globe. Also on site is Monkeyshine, which serves frozen treats flavored with Asian spices and ingredients (start with the toasted rice and black sesame options). Dart Coffee, a small-lot specialty roaster, opens its coffee counter at 7 a.m. daily.
A Good Bet
Not too fancy, not too expensive, and a good experience all around. BLUE TABLE 28912 Roadside Drive Agoura Hills, 818-597-2583 bluetable.net International; Entrées $8–$15 Live Music
A few blue tables provide seating for outside dining at this charming deli with high-quality Italian eats for lunch and dinner. The indigo theme continues inside, where blue-wash wooden tables are topped with bouquets of fresh flowers. Different salads rotate through the deli case, and the list of sandwiches is written on a blackboard. (The proscuitto and burrata panini is not to be missed.) Pizzas, soups, cookies, and all other items here are made fresh daily. A small freezer carries pastas and sauces for home use, but anything on the menu can be taken to go. You’ll want to stay for dinner, available daily from around 6 p.m. The menu of comfort-food classics includes eggplant Parmesan and spaghetti with organic ground turkey meatballs. Local musicians are featured on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
BOLLYWOOD INDIAN RESTAURANT #3 860 Hampshire Road Westlake Village, 805-777-7100 bollywood3.net Indian; Entrées $10–$15
Fresh vegetables are used in the curries, masalas, and kormas at this casual Indian restaurant. Chicken, lamb, fish, and shrimp are prepared a variety of ways: in the tandoori oven, with coconut-milk sauces, and in spicy vindaloos. Naan comes topped with garlic, basil, cilantro, and onions, or stuffed with cheese or potatoes. Beer and wine are on offer, along with excellent yogurt drinks like mango lassi and Indian spiced tea.
BRENT’S DELI 2799 Townsgate Road Westlake Village, 805-557-1882 brentsdeli.com Deli; Entrées $6–$20 Kid-Friendly
For amazingly good Reuben sandwiches on rye bread piled high with pastrami or corned beef, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing, you can’t beat this slick deli. The booths are cushy and roomy, leaving space for your tummy to expand as you down a four-layer slice of chocolate cake or a plate full of stuffed cabbage rolls. A separate bar also offers the full menu. The patio out back allows for even more seating. A counter up front expedites take-out orders. Brent’s Deli is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.
NEW CHO CHO SAN, THOUSAND OAKS 400 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Thousand Oaks, 805-379-9300 Chochosan.com Japanese; Entrées $12-$20; Rolls $7–$14
This lively spot is known for its reliable and reasonably priced Japanese specialties. Teppanyaki tables, popular for birthday celebrations, showcase entertaining chefs cooking over sizzling-hot iron plates. In the main dining room, sushi chefs turn out fresh sushi, sashimi, and traditional and specialty rolls. Look for the dragonfly roll with shrimp tempura and spicy tuna, and check out daily specials. There’s something for everyone, including non-Japanese items such as burgers and chicken sandwiches, and for kids, bento boxes with mini corn dogs.
UPDATE FINNEY’S CRAFTHOUSE & KITCHEN 982 S. Westlake Blvd., Suite 2 Westlake Village, 805-230-9950 and 35 State St., Suite A Santa Barbara, 805-845-3100 finneyscrafthouse.com American; Entrées $10–$16 Kid-Friendly
The “craft beer spoken here” neon sign in the dining room doesn’t quite say it all at this casual but polished gastropub owned by Greg Finefrock, an 805 local
whose childhood nickname inspired the restaurant’s moniker. In addition to the 30 brews on tap, you’ll find craft cocktails, California wines by the glass and bottle, and a fun atmosphere and menu that has something for everyone. With slight variations between the Santa Barbara and Westlake Village locations, shareable appetizers include gluten-free buffalo cauliflower tossed in yuzu sauce and chicken-and-waffle bites that come with a tangy surprise: Tabasco-braised kale. The house burger is made with a chuck, brisket, and hanger steak patty on a brioche bun (options include gluten-free buns and plant-based Impossible Burger patties). Crispy tacos, salads, and flatbread pizzas are also available. Families and other groups gravitate to the communal tables inside and on the patio. Seating is first-come, first-served at the copper bar.
FOOD HARMONICS 254 E. Ojai Ave. Ojai, 805-798-9253 foodharmonicsojai.com Gluten-Free; Entrées $7–$16
Ojai’s historic Arcade is the setting for this light-filled café specializing in gluten-free fare. There’s something for almost every diet, including vegan and paleo. Highlights include a raw vegan pizza that tends to sell out early in the day, the vegetarian sundara dosa with egg and sliced avocado tucked into a crepe-like wrapper, and the bison burger accompanied by greens and sweet potatoes. Bison bone broth is available with optional add-ons like ghee and seaweed. Beverages include beer, wine, and turmeric matcha lattes.
HARVEST KITCHEN & BAR AT HYATT REGENCY WESTLAKE 880 S. Westlake Blvd. Westlake Village, 805-557-4710 westlake.regency.hyatt.com Californian; Entrées $11–$29 Kid-Friendly
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, Harvest welcomes hotel guests and the public alike. The dining rooms are sleek and comfortable with natural light, and patio and garden views. Executive chef Steve Johnson, a Hyatt Regency veteran, turns up the flavor in offerings such as the grass-fed burger and Alaskan Halibut in Rosemary Butter Sauce served with summer squash and jubilee rice. The For Kids by Kids children’s menu features dishes created by Haile Thomas, host of the YouTube series Plant-Powered Haile. Furnished with fire pits and lounges, the outdoor patio is the perfect place to sample $5 cocktails and food specials during happy hours from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
HIMALAYA 35 W. Main St. Ventura, 805-643-0795 and 720 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Thousand Oaks, 805-409-1041 himalayacuisine.com Nepalese, Indian, Tibetan; Entrées $8–$32 Live Entertainment
Adventurous eaters will delight in dishes such as the Sherpa curry goat and chef specials featuring yak meat. Even the pizzas and burritos on the fusion-food portion of the menu are on the exotic side, since they’re made with naan and chapati from the tandoori oven. Vegetarian selections include bhindi masala, which is okra cooked with tomatoes and Indian spices. Feeling nimble? Try sitting cross-legged at one of the low tables set on a raised platform. The Ventura location serves beer and wine; the Thousand Oaks site has a full bar. Both offer a belly dance show about once a month.
JANE 1311 State St. Santa Barbara, 805-962-1311 and 6940 Marketplace Drive Goleta, 805-770-5388 janeatthemarketplace.com; janerestaurantsb.com Eclectic; Entrées $9–$25 MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
The Dining Guide
Let us surprise and delight you with the best this region has to offer! 1313 Park Street, Paso Robles 805.226.5888 Open 7 days a week for lunch + dinner Brunch on Sundays thomashillorganics.com
wine country cuisine in the heart of the Historic Arts District Fresh, local ingredients, prepared with care. Excellent wines that reflect the quality and character of our region and work in concert with the cuisine. Warm, inviting ambience with engaging service at a relaxed, leisurely pace. This is bouchon.
dinner nightly Sun-Thurs 5-9pm | Fri-Sat 5-10pm
bouchon 9 west victoria street | 805.730.1160 | bouchonsantabarbara.com
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Lots of interesting salads, sandwiches, and burgers are set down at lunchtime on small wooden and marble tables in this cute spot on State Street from the family that owns the Montecito Cafe. Jane is the name of the owner (Jane Chapman) and her grandmother (Jane Moody), whose pictures adorn the high walls. The loft seating and upstairs patio are cool and a bit secluded compared to the downstairs tables, which are always packed in the afternoon. The eclectic dinner menu offers pastas, steaks, and grilled duck breast. For dessert, the soft-serve ice cream is a fun choice, as is the coconut cake.
LOS AGAVES RESTAURANT 600 N. Milpas St. Santa Barbara, 805-564-2626 and 2911 De la Vina St. Santa Barbara, 805-682-2600 and 7024 Market Place Drive Goleta, 805-968-4000 and 2810 Portico Way, Suite 1105 Oxnard, 805-278-9101 and 30750 Russell Ranch Road, Suite G Westlake Village, 818-874-0779 los-agaves.com Mexican; Entrées $9–$17
Launched in Santa Barbara in 2008, this family-owned and operated group of restaurants has clearly struck a chord: Its original location was number 16 on Yelp’s list of Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. for 2016. The mix of authentic Mexican cuisine with casual but attentive order-at-the-counter service can now be found at five sites in and around the 805. Each offers the same menu of house-made tortillas, ceviche, salads, and burritos filled with all manner of seafood, poultry, or beef. Signature dishes include the show-stopping Land and Sea molcajete, a bubblinghot mixture of meat and seafood with house-made salsa, avocado, chorizo, grilled onion, and nopal, served in a three-legged bowl carved from volcanic rock. Los Agaves restaurants in Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Oxnard serve beer and wine as well as agave margaritas and micheladas. The Shoppes at Westlake Village location has a full bar that offers top-shelf tequilas and drink specials. Diners who sit at the bar can order food there, too.
NEW OJAI BOWLS 11492 N. Ventura Ave. Ojai, 805-633-9044 ojaibowls.org Californian-Asian; Entrées $9–$15
An Ojai Valley shopping center anchored by a Rite Aid is the setting for this casual, order-at-the-counter restaurant specializing in customizable poke and ramen bowls, plus what co-owners Don Hull and Doug Hernandez call “crafted bowls.” The latter include the vegan Golden Flower Bowl, named for its pairing of turmericdusted cauliflower, beet chips, and quinoa, and the Braised Beef Bowl, made with local Watkins Cattle Co. beef, brown rice, and crispy leeks. Hull,
a sommelier, oversees the list of wines served by the glass and local beers and kombuchas on tap. Hernandez lets his imagination—and his sweet tooth— run free in desserts like banana spring rolls with vegan coconut ice cream and a Kona pie that involves a chocolatecookie crust, macadamia nut–vanilla ice cream, and oodles of hot fudge.
POOKIE’S THAI CUISINE 900 Hampshire Road Westlake Village, 805-381-0094 Thai; Entrées $7–$13 Kid-Friendly
Downstairs in the Water Court Plaza office complex, owner Pookie creates delicious Thai dishes for lunch and dinner daily. Lunch specials are a steal at $7 to $8 each. She also has a wide selection of interesting salads like the Outrageous Beef Salad with a spicy lime dressing and the protein-rich Yam Yai salad with shrimp, chicken, egg, and peanuts in a sweet-andsour dressing. Noodle dishes are generously sized and include the classic pad Thai and the interesting Hi Yo Silver with fried noodles, shrimp, and bean sprouts. Curries, vegetarian options, and fish dishes (such as the crispy sole with tamarind and chili sauce) give diners lots of great choices not found elsewhere.
THE STONEHAUS 32039 Agoura Road Westlake Village, 818-483-1152 the-stonehaus.com Mediterranean; Sandwiches & Platters $10–$17 Dog-Friendly, Great Views, Kid‑Friendly, Romantic
Patterned after an Italian enoteca, the aptly named Stonehaus starts each day as a coffeehouse, serving kale-berry smoothies along with baked goods, wraps, and breakfast sandwiches from Lisa Biondi, executive chef at the adjacent Mediterraneo at the Westlake Village Inn. It switches to wine bar mode in the afternoons and evenings, when the menu includes charcuterie and crostini platters, salads, panini, and desserts. The outdoor pizza oven is fired up nightly (check website for hours). Wine flights are arranged by regions, varietals, and themes. Patios overlook the waterfall and the working vineyard, which is open for picnicking on Stonehaus fare (check website for information about seasonal tastings and festivals). The picnic tables and bocce ball court are family friendly, and visiting canines get a water fountain of their own near the courtyard fireplace.
SUSHI PLANET 951 S. Westlake Blvd., Suite 114 Thousand Oaks, 805-379-9844 sushiplanet.net Japanese; Entrées $7 and up Prices vary for sushi, sashimi, and premium rolls.
Tempura, bento boxes, udon, and sashimi are on the menu. But what this local chain is really known for is its colorful and creatively named rolls. The
Some might live by bread alone if it’s from Café Ficelle (cafeficelle.com) in Ventura. Learn how to DIY with head baker Jarrett Chambers in his popular classes. On March 19 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Chambers shares the science and chemistry behind sourdough. Topics include how to foster slow fermentation, maintain a sourdough culture at home, and make levain. Wine, cheese, and charcuterie are available, too, just in case bread alone is not enough.
Saint Valentine consists of crab salad, avocado, tuna, salmon, and shrimp rolled in soy paper to form a teardrop shape; they’re served in pairs, which resemble hearts. Some of the simplest preparations are also the best: You can’t go wrong with tuna tataki, a beautifully plated dish of seared tuna cut into thin pieces and topped with slivers of jalapeño; baby spinach leaves and a sweet ponzu sauce help cut the considerable heat. Beer and wine are available.
Fun, Fun, Fun
Look to these eateries for festive food, an upbeat atmosphere, and a good time. ANDRIA’S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT & MARKET 1449 Spinnaker Drive Ventura, 805-654-0546 andriasseafood.com Seafood; Entrées $8–$24 Kid-Friendly
No visit to Ventura Harbor—or to Ventura, period—is complete without a stop at Andria’s, a locals’ favorite since 1982. On weekends, the fast-moving line to order can stretch out onto the restaurant’s front patio. Additional seating includes indoor dining rooms decorated with vintage photos and fishing gear, and a protected patio with a view of the docks. Charbroiled fresh catch of the day dinners come with rice pilaf, bread, and a choice of salads. Some items are available in stir-fry dishes. But deep-fried is the preferred method of preparation for everything from onion rings (served in a towering stack) to halibut and chips, oysters and chips, popcorn shrimp and chips, and, well, you get the idea. The atmosphere is beach casual: Orders are called out by number when ready, and it’s up to diners to gather utensils, tartar sauce, and other fixin’s from a counter near the kitchen. Beer and wine are available. An on-site fish market is open daily.
UPDATE THE ANNEX 550 Collection Blvd. Oxnard, 805-278-9500 thecollectionrp.com/the_annex Cuisines and prices vary by location Kid-Friendly
Seven restaurants offer as many dining experiences at this public market-style spot in the heart of The Collection at RiverPark. House-roasted coffee, avocado toast, and gluten-free muffins help jump-start the day at Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters, while The Blend Superfood Bar serves smoothies, juices, and acai bowls made with local berries and honey. Other order-atthe-counter options include Love Pho, Taqueria el Tapatio, and PokeCeviche, specializing in build-your-own Hawaiian poke bowls and chef-curated Latin American ceviche. Seoul Sausage Kitchen, the season-three winner of Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race, offers an updated take on Korean barbecue. The craft-beer bar Bottle & Pint serves local brews and ciders on tap and by the bottle and can; wines are available by the glass. Fun artwork, inventive communal seating areas, and two retail shops add to the vibe.
NEW BETTINA 1014 Coast Village Road Montecito Country Mart Montecito, 805-770-2383 bettinapizzeria.com Pizza/Italian Entrées and pizzas $12–$22
First-timers to Bettina may think they’ve taken a wrong turn and ended up in Italy. At this bustling, cozy neighborhood restaurant patrons sip a Venetian spritz or Negroni and nosh on naturally leavened, Neapolitanstyle pizzas dressed up with inventive toppings. Antipasti, entrées such as chicken cacciatore, and fresh salads are also on the menu, which changes seasonally but always includes vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Lunch is served Fridays to Sundays, and dinner is served nightly; online orders are available for pickup.
BOGIES BAR & LOUNGE 32001 Agoura Road Westlake Village, 818-889-2394 bogies-bar.com Spanish-California Small Plates & Entrées $4–$15 Great Views, Live Music
Surrounded by greenery and water, this bar on the grounds of the Westlake Village Inn is a gorgeous place to get your groove on: Live music and/or club nights are scheduled nearly every night of the week. On the patio, wicker chaise lounges are arranged in semiprivate groupings around fire pits and a bar counter looks onto the dance
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The Dining Guide
April 13-14th, 2019
floor through roll-up doors. Inside, bronze curtains and silver wall sconces shimmer in the mood-setting darkness. (Some areas are available by reservation.) It all adds up to a great backdrop for a menu that includes happy hour specials like $3 draft beers, $5 glasses of wine, and dinner-and-drink duos ($10–$14) on Mondays through Fridays from 5 pm. to 7 p.m. Spanish influences are evident in dishes like paella and crispy patatas bravas with Fresno chilies and garlic aioli.
THE CAVE AT VENTURA WINE COMPANY 4435 McGrath St., Suites 301-303 Ventura, 805-642-9449 venturawineco.com International; Small Plates $3–$18; Salads and Sandwiches $7–$11 Saturday Brunch
Patrons at The Cave conduct their own tastings via Enomatic machines, which dispense 1-, 3- and 5-ounce pours at the push of a button. Executive chef Alex Montoya’s creative, wine-friendly menu of shareable small plates changes on the first Tuesday of each month. Look for combinations like prosciuttowrapped pork chops with apricot-cashew stuffing and Arctic char with sinigang broth and tomato concasse, plus an assortment of pizzas, burgers, and desserts. (Save room for one of Montoya’s awardwinning frozen custards.) For the best acoustics, nab a table in the Barrel Room decorated with dozens of glass balls hanging from the ceiling. It’s also available for private events.
THE COPA CUBANA 1575 Spinnaker Drive, Suite 103 Ventura, 805-642-9463 805copa.com Cuban; Entrées $12–$18 Great Views, Live Music
This lively spot in Ventura Harbor Village may inspire you to book a flight to Cuba. Owner Andres Fernandez runs it and the neighboring 805 Bar & Grilled Cheese out of the same kitchen (the two eateries share a phone number), but the Copa Cubana maintains its identity with a separate menu that includes a classic Cubano sandwich, the hashlike picadillo topped with fried eggs, and lechón asado, which is roasted pork served with black beans and yucca marinated in garlic. The dog-friendly patio, with views of nearby boat docks, is an especially fine place to sip a piña colada on a lazy afternoon. Live entertainment is scheduled most days, with an emphasis on Latin jazz.
DUKE’S MALIBU 21150 Pacific Coast Highway Malibu, 310-317-0777 dukesmalibu.com Seafood; Entrées $14–$45 Great Views, Sunday Brunch
Gorgeous ocean views are maximized in the dining rooms and bars of this large, Hawaiian-themed seafood and steak house, which in summer 2016 marked its 20th anniversary with updates to the decor and menu. Swinging chairs and a life-size bronze statue of surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku greet diners before they step through the front doors and into an interior filled with wood screens, glass mosaic tiles, and chairs sporting surfboard stripes. New dishes presented by chef Eric BosRau showcase regional ingredients in beautiful platings. Fresh fish is available in a variety of preparations, including Parmesan-herb crusted with lemon, capers, and macadamia nuts. Longtime Duke’s fans, take note: Your favorite coconut shrimp dish is back as coconut shrimp croquettes. Kimo’s Original Hula Pie remains as advertised. A Sunday brunch buffet is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit the Barefoot Bar
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for breakfast items (think loco moco and banana and macadamia nut pancakes) from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and Sundays. Poké tacos, fish and chips, and pulled-pork sandwiches are served daily.
NEW FIGUEROA MOUNTAIN BREWING CO. 1462 E. Grand Ave. Arroyo Grande, 805-474-8525 and 45 Industrial Way Buellton, 805-694-2252, ext. 110 and 2363 Alamo Pintado Ave., Los Olivos, 805-694-2252, ext. 343 and 137 Anacapa St., Suite F, Santa Barbara, 805-694-2252, ext. 344 and 30770 Russell Ranch Road, Suites E and F, Westlake Village, 818-874-1305 figmtnbrew.com New American; Entrées $8–$34, depending on location
Founded in Buellton in 2010, this family-owned craft brewery now has brewhouses and taprooms throughout the 805. Each offers a unique, local-flavor lineup of beers, with individual menus to match. The overall theme is gastropub, with beer-friendly fare such as burgers and pretzels available at locations that include on-site kitchens. In Arroyo Grande, guests will find Avila Fish Tacos and a turkey, bacon, and avocado sandwich dubbed The Dunes. The flagship Buellton site adds Animal Fries topped with caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, and Thousand Island dressing to the mix, while Westlake Village serves flatbreads and, after 5 p.m., entrées such as grilled salmon and rib eye. Taprooms in Los Olivos and Santa Barbara offer food service from neighboring restaurants Sides Hardware and Shoes and Lucky Penny, respectively.
Raise a fork and a falafel to honor the newest addition to the Santa Barbara Public Market. Opening this month is Fala Bar (falabar.com), a vegan falafel, sandwich, and salad bar featuring Middle Eastern cuisine with a healthy twist. The menu is vegan, organic, dairy free, and nut free. FLOUR HOUSE 690 Higuera St. San Luis Obispo, 805-544-5282 flourhouseslo.com Italian; Starters $5–$21; Pizzas $15–$20; Pastas $19–$28
With a sleek interior, dynamic menu, and portrait of Sophia Loren, Flour House isn’t just a pizzeria: It’s a love song to Italy. Co-owner and Salerno native Alberto Russo works magic with imported flour and a Stefano Ferrara pizza oven, the gold standard for traditional pizza napolitana. During Meter Mondays, pizzas are available in different sizes depending on the number in your party: a half-meter for four people includes a choice of three tastings ($28), while a full meter serves eight with a choice of six tastings ($50). Don’t miss Russo’s house-made pastas or the weekday-night aperitivo hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., featuring cocktails such as the classic Negroni and Aperol Spritz as well as beer and wine and appetizers from $4 to $6.
Things are heating up in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. Adam Shoebridge, head chef for Helena Avenue Bakery, shares his passion for Southern cooking with lip-smackin’ dinners served in the shared space of the Santa Barbara Wine Collective (santabarbarawinecollective.com). On March 1 and April 5, Nashville Hot Chicken Night features Southern-style spicy chicken served with house-made pickles and two traditional sides for $17, excluding tax and gratuity. For information on this and other dinners in the series, call 805-880-3383.
NEW HITCHING POST 2 406 E. Highway 246 Buellton, 805-688-0676 hitchingpost2.com Steak House; Entrées $26–$56
A fan favorite since its star turn in the 2004 movie Sideways, Hitching Post 2 radiates a western-style steak-house feel with down-home service and hearty portions of Santa Maria–style barbecue. In addition to oak-grilled steaks, the menu features ribs, quail, turkey, duck, and seafood. Sip from the Wine Spectator award-winning wine list that includes a selection of Hitching Post labels.
LADYFACE ALEHOUSE & BRASSERIE 29281 Agoura Road Agoura Hills, 818-477-4566 ladyfaceale.com French, Belgian, and American; Entrées $8–$17
A brewpub with a Belgian accent, Ladyface delivers top-notch beers from brewmaster David Griffiths and an elegant menu that includes moules frites (mussels and fries), ale-brined chicken, and chocolate porter cake. Ale-pairing suggestions are printed on the menu. A communal table lends to the convivial atmosphere as do the beer floats made with local ice cream. Growlers (reusable half-gallon glass jugs) filled with Ladyface ales are available for takeout.
LOS OLIVOS WINE MERCHANT & CAFÉ 2879 Grand Ave. Los Olivos, 805-688-7265 losolivoscafe.com Wine Country; Entrées $12–$29
This retail wine shop adjoins an all-day café with seating indoors by the stone fireplace and outside on the wisteria-covered patio. Cheese plates and olives are small bites perfect for pairing with wines at the bar. Salads, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and pizza comprise the lunch menu. At night choices get a little fancier with pot roast, lamb shank, pasta, chicken, steak, and fresh fish. The wine selection from the shop (available to diners) has more than 400 labels and specializes in picks from California’s Central Coast. Now that’s fun.
LUCKY PENNY 127 Anacapa St. Santa Barbara, 805-284-0358 luckypennysb.com Californian; Entrées $11–$16
Located in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, this orderat-the-counter spot ranks as one of the city’s most Instagrammed restaurants. The exterior covered in thousands of shiny copper pennies is a draw, but so is the creative menu of close-up-worthy salads, sandwiches, small plates, and wood-fired pizzas. The latter includes such local-place-named favorites as the Milpas, topped with fingerling potatoes, chorizo, and a sunny-side-up egg. Salads are big enough to turn into a meal or to share with a friend who orders pizza. Seating is on a pet-friendly patio adjacent to The Lark restaurant. Coffee is served, along with beer, wine, cider, and a life-giving frosé accented with local strawberries and tarragon.
OLIO PIZZERIA 11 W. Victoria St., Suite 21 Santa Barbara, 805-899-2699 oliocucina.com Italian; Small and Shared Plates $5–$19; Entrées $15–$21
This combination Italian pizzeria and enoteca is brought to you by the owners of Olio e Limone Ristorante, the more formal eatery located next door. The Victoria Court setting includes a long bar with a peekaboo view of the pizza oven, plus small tables. Menu offerings include chicken, fish, and beef entrées, as well as pasta, antipasti, salads, cured meats, cheeses, vegetables, and house-made dolci. The pizzas, with thin, chewy crusts, are individually sized and topped with excellent ingredients—sautéed rapini, spicy salami, cremini mushrooms, and black truffles among them. Lunch or brunch is served daily from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and the dinner menu is available daily from 11:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. Wines from California and Italy are available by the glass, carafe, half liter, and bottle.
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PLATA TAQUERIA & CANTINA 28914 Roadside Drive, Suite 10 Agoura Hills, 818-735-9982 plataagoura.com Mexican; Entrées $14–$26
Plata means “silver” in Spanish—and a good time in the Whizin Market Square. The menu at this taqueria is homey but elevated: House-made tortillas and mix-and-match trios of soft tacos are featured, the latter with a choice of veggies or eight types of protein, including ahi tuna and short ribs. Spa Nachos are made with roasted cauliflower and crispy kale; guacamole is available in three variations, including tradicional and ranchero, made with bacon and roasted pumpkin seeds. Other standouts include chamorro de cordero, a chile-marinated lamb shank served with spinach tamales, and pollo con Elvia’s mole, named for chef Elvia Saldivar, who is co-owner with her husband. Nearly a dozen specialty margaritas star on the cocktails list. Pull up a colorfully upholstered stool at the copper-topped bar to enjoy $7 margaritas and other drink and food specials during daily happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
TAVERNA TONY 23410 Civic Center Way Malibu, 310-317-9667 tavernatony.com Greek; Entrées $13–$37
This huge space at the northeast corner of the Malibu Country Mart is almost never closed and never empty. There’s always fun to be had: If the classical guitarists aren’t playing, the waiters might be singing, or the owner, Tony Koursaris, might be telling stories at one of the tables. Every meal starts with Greek-style country bread and house-made dip. The roast baby lamb is a specialty of the house for good reasons: The meat is garlicky and mostly tender with some crispy bites. The accompanying potatoes are roasted with lemon juice and the carrots are cooked with dill. Greek coffee is a perfect end here.
MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
P.S. Sketchpad By Greg Clarke
MARCH 2019 / 805LIVING.COM
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