My Santa Barbara Picks

Half the fun of discovering a new restaurant is sharing it with people you know will enjoy it. As Rachael Ray’s resident restaurant guru, here’s an inside look at what I report back to Rach about some of my favorite restaurant finds and food experiences!

From: Kappy

To: RR

Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 3:22pm

Subject: My Santa Barbara Picks

Hi Rachael –

I thought I’d send some recs your way for Santa Barbara. I’m lucky because Katy’s dad lives there, so whenever I’m in the L.A. area, I always try and detour for a couple days for a visit. Santa Barbara is beautiful and has a casual, laid-back food scene with great fresh seafood.

Starting with dessert first, we picked up some pies from Simply Pies. It’s a cute little shop that sources mostly local, uses organic ingredients when possible and, in doing so, supports Santa Barbara County farmers. We were picking the pies up for Katy’s dad’s birthday, so we got his faves, a Pecan Pie and a Coconut Cream Pie. Santa Barbara doesn’t have a ton of bakery options, but with Simply Pies in town, it doesn’t need another option!

Another locals’ favorite right in town is Opal. It’s a small, cozy place that headlines its eclectic California cuisine. When I was there, I was picking up a lot of Italian influences, but it was really good nonetheless. We tried their Shredded Phyllo-Wrapped Prawn appetizer served with a coconut curry dipping sauce and added a Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp app as well. For my entrée, I ordered Bouillabaisse with shrimp and scallops in a tomato-herb garlic broth with chiles. Turning down the heat from the chiles, we all picked at some mango, blood orange and peach sorbets for dessert.

For Katy’s dad’s birthday lunch, we hit up The Hungry Cat, an outpost of Suzanne Goin and husband David Lentz’s L.A. spot. I split the Crab Cake Benedict, Fish Tacos and the Peel n’ Eat Shrimp. Everything was solid all around. I’m a fan of all of her and her husband’s restaurants in L.A. so I knew this would be a good meal. But what blew us away was the amazing Meyer Lemon Parfait for dessert!

One afternoon we were taking a walk along the water and walked by the Sugar & Salt Creamery truck. You know I wasn’t passing this one up! I tried the Maple Bacon Ice Cream, which tasted like, yep, you guessed it… Maple…and Bacon. Perfect.

On the way back to the house one night before dinner we made a little pit stop at La Super-Rica Taqueria. We brought back some tacos and tamales. I think they had been closed for a while, because they were slammed with locals getting their taco fix and people were all saying how they missed them when they were gone. I tried a Pork Taco and a Tamale – if you go, definitely don’t miss the tamales.

While we didn’t stop in this trip, I’m throwing in a bonus recommendation: Cava. Located in downtown Montecito, it features a mix of Mexican and Spanish food. Everything is creative and tasty and with everything on the menu ranging from steak to fish to tacos and rellenos, you’ll be sure to find something you’re in the mood for. It’s at the bottom of this email, but put it at the top of your list! Wait… one more… if you plan to cook seafood at home, don’t miss the Santa Barbara Fish Market right on the water.

And that’s what’s on my plate!

~ Kappy

Simply Pies

5392 Hollister Avenue

Goleta, CA 93111

(805) 845-2200


1325 State Street

Santa Barbara, CA 93101

(805) 966-9676

The Hungry Cat Restaurant

1134 Chapala Street

Santa Barbara, CA 93101

(805) 884-4701

Sugar and Salt Creamery (Truck)

Santa Barbara, CA 93103

La Super-Rica Taqueria

622 North Milpas Street

Santa Barbara, CA 93103

(805) 963-4940


1212 Coast Village Road

Montecito, CA 93108

(805) 969-8500

Andrew “Kappy” Kaplan loves food. A professionally trained chef, by day he runs Yum-o!, Rachael Ray’s charity focused on kids and cooking, and keeps special projects running smoothly for her. By night he hops course to course, place to place, all across the country. He’s Rach’s own personal dining guide! You can also follow Kappy on Twitter to see what’s On Kappy’s Plate in real-time!

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