••• Edible Santa Barbara noticed a sign saying that Café La Fonda is opening in the former Courthouse Tavern space, so I popped my head in. The owners have been doing catering out of La Casa de la Raza on E. Montecito Street, and this will be their first restaurant. The food is Mexican, with mariachi performances. They’re shooting to open December 1.
••• While I was in the area, I checked in on Azul. They’re pushing to open for lunch and dinner the week after next, with brunch to follow at some point.
••• After I posted about the imminent reopening of the San Ysidro Ranch’s Plow & Angel under a new name, two readers weighed in that they’ve heard it will be a “speakeasy”—whatever that means in 2023.
••• Remember the plan to allow cars to pull up in front of the Granada Theatre? What no one mentioned—including to The Daisy—is that it entails the removal of all of the restaurant’s tables on the street. Late Thursday afternoon, the city told the Daisy’s owners that they had until today to get rid of everything—and if they don’t, the city will store it all at the restaurant’s expense. (And of course Friday was a holiday, so there was no way to push back.) Now the owners have to track down someone empowered to make the situation work for everyone—indeed, they’re offering to put away their tables on the rare nights when the Granada has a performance. There’s no excuse for parklet policy to be so hamfisted.
••• Bell’s has raised the price of its prix-fixe dinner menu from $90 to $110. That’s still a small price to pay for the county’s marquee restaurant, and you get something for it: a dollop of caviar now comes with the uni mille crêpe canapé, instead of being offered as a supplement. Of course, this change also affects the 20% service charge (and gratuity?) accordingly.
••• Bettina celebrated its fifth anniversary with a bunch of special menu items, the most popular of which was “cheesy bread”—pizza dough, low-moisture mozzarella, garlic confit, and ‘nduja, with marinara for dipping. (My dad declared it “outstanding,” his highest food compliment.) Now the restaurant is offering it at dinnertime every Wednesday.
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