After a long wait, Esau's Cafe has reopened in Downtown Santa Barbara. Just one block off of State Street, across the street from Paseo Nuevo Mall, the completely new restaurant is on Chapala Avenue and now serves dinner with a new and innovative evening chef.
Breakfast has the same menu as before with slightly higher prices, but it is like the light turning on in the evening with a different take on the surfer chow digs of the morning. The reasonably priced duck breast salad for $16.95 is almost comparable to the seared duck breast entree at the Ballard Inn Restaurant with chef Budi Kazali. We first munched on fresh and hot potato chips while waiting for our appetizers. The fried green tomatoes need a bit more work, possibly with thicker slices, but the horseradish sauce that accomplemented the dish was tasty. The fried calamari strips were a meal in itself, but the cucumber tartar sauce needed more of a punch that grated cucumber. My cowboy steak with bernaise sauce was more that I could handle, with more than I could possibly eat in one sitting.
The service was wonderful, and I would surely make a return trip for an evening repast.