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Santa Barbara on a Budget

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Santa Barbara on a Budget

Bjartmarr | Jul 20, 2008 10:29 PM

Hi folks,

The sweetie and I will be visiting Santa Barbara (from Los Angeles) next weekend, and I'm looking for a couple of dinner recommendations, and maybe a breakfast or lunch recommendation as well. Paying lots of money for uninteresting food makes me grumpy, though, so I was hoping to avoid that.

I'm interested in two kinds of places. First, are holes in the wall with tasty and interesting dishes in the $5-12 range. You guys know what I'm talking about -- bread and butter for any hound. Ideally this would be something we can't easily get back in LA, but I know that's a tall order. Anything Mexican or Chinese is probably out, unless it's unusually authentic.

The second kind of place I'm interested in may not have astounding food (though astounding food is always a plus), but has a pleasant atmosphere or "theme", in the $10-25 range. Cloth napkins aren't a necessity, but a peaceful patio or a view or something like that would be nice.

I'd like to avoid anything that could be described as "hip", "trendy", "touristy", or "corporate". La Super Rica sounds like a great taco stand, but she lives in Highland Park so we'll likely skip that. We'll be camping up off of 154, so we'll probably try Cold Spring for breakfast or lunch one day -- the website looks interesting. Local seafood would be good, if you guys have a fish shack or something up there; but a white-tablecloth seafood place is probably out of the budget. The $22 prix-fixe at Mimosa looks like it might be interesting, though at the upper end of the price range; is it worth it?

On the LA board we're always telling people that their query is too broad. Santa Barbara is smaller than LA, though, so hopefully I've narrowed it down enough to get some recommendations. If not, I can narrow it down some more.

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