Another High-End Mexican Restaurant Is Opening Downtown

••• A high-end Mexican restaurant called Azul, with an emphasis on wine, is coming to the former Somerset/Smithy/La Cocina space at 7 E. Anapamu. The Yelp page says it could debut as soon as December.

••• Motley Crew Ranch has opened a shop in Buellton (181 Industrial Way, next to Industrial Eats) selling meat, eggs, vegetables, and fish.

••• As if you needed another reason to go to Tuesday’s Na Na Thai pop-up in Los Olivos: “We’ll be selling jars of ‘the sauce’ at this week’s pop-up.” There are two varieties: “Nam jim seafood: meant to accompany seafood and sticky rice. It’s made with fresh chilis, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime—basically a giant umami bomb. Nam jim jaew: meant to accompany meat dishes and made using dried chilis, palm sugar, fish sauce and lime.”

••• “In-N-Out Plan in Buellton Raises Traffic Concerns; Planning Commission Keeps Project Alive […] Staff will return with conditions and findings to be considered for approval of the project next month.” —Noozhawk

••• Secret Bao is going on vacation for two weeks.

••• A profile of the new-ish Good Land Wine Shop: Doug “Trantow’s shop focuses on smaller wineries from across the Central Coast, with a special emphasis on the Santa Ynez Valley and Paso Robles. He sees that as a change of pace from the other premium wine shops in town, where the regional selections can be overwhelmed by international imports.” —Independent

••• First impressions of Tyger Tyger 2.0…. 1) Here’s a menu with prices. 2) When your food is ready, the restaurant texts you to get up and retrieve it—which may make you wonder why you’re prompted to tip around 20 percent when all the front-of-house staff does is take your order. 3) The plates, bowls, and utensils are all disposable, unlike in the old days. 4) We enjoyed the fried yuba (tofu skin) sandwich, and the sweet potatoes were fine, but the Tyger bowl was one-note, gloppy, and almost entirely rice. Some of this is obviously on us for ordering two fried items, but the food we had didn’t have the zest and tang of Tyger Tyger 1.0.


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I had very different impressions of Tyger Tyger’s food, but agreed on 2 & 3. We ordered the tea leaf noodle salad, the fish dish, and mushroom carbonara. It was fabulous.


Tyger Tyger’s new menu is amazing and should not be written off to your readers because you ordered wrong one time :)

Karen Wiener

Some people might respond to this review by saying ‘shame on you’ for going one more time. We are very sorry to say, that wanting the San Ysidro Ranch restaurant to finally be back to their pre-Covid ways and before ‘staffing problems’ was an acceptable excuse for poor service, it continues to disappoint in a big way.
Let’s go back to February, 2022; a time when Covid restrictions were loosening and there was a feeling that we were rounding the corner from a very bad dream. Our well traveled friends were visiting us in Santa Barbara for the weekend. We knew that one of our dinners would be at a restaurant and chose San Ysidro. One reason was that this was a very special occasion and because our friends knew the place well after previously being guests at the ranch. Dinner turned out to be a comedy of errors and quite entertaining from the standpoint of the unbelievable under performance of the staff. From our server not knowing how to operate the table side cooking equipment to the food that we were served being cold, it was embarrassingly comedic – which is the only reason we look back on our meal with good memories. In August, we celebrated a birthday in the lovely gardens of SYR. The entire meal was boring and the service painfully non-attentive. Not what you expect from a restaurant of this caliber. Fast forward to today, we had a reservation for our Thanksgiving meal at San Ysidro. I don’t think we still are over the shock of just how poor the service was. I could list multiple examples of how lacking the customer service was from not being greeted by anyone (our server) for at least 20 minutes, having to get up more than once to fill our own water glasses, to never getting the coffee we ordered with desert, and then when we asked our server about it, his remark, would you like it now? Never once did he acknowledge that he had forgotten the coffee.
I am very sorry that I was the person who suggested we go to San Ysidro for Thanksgiving. We had such a lovely Christmas meal at SYR 3 years ago.
Is this another example of Ty Warner’s excellent way to run a high end resort?
Not to mention the table behind us was also experiencing the same awful service from the same server. I felt badly for the Santa Barbarian who brought her out of town guests to what she was hoping would be a lovely experience. It was not. And I believe she was embarrassed.
3 strikes and you’re out.
Then again, maybe that’s what the ranch wants. If you’re not a guest staying at the ranch, it’s better that you go someplace else for dinner?

Shame on me, total shame on SYR.

Joan Swift

Sadly, I agree. We’ve been fortunate to have enjoyed many wonderful meals over the years at SYR Stonehouse restaurant. And yes, always for a special occasion and one we always looked forward to. We recently celebrated my birthday in September and were beyond appalled. Everything you described; a 25-minute wait before we were handed menus, no drink service and, even worse, my-all time favorite halibut entree that I had been eagerly anticipating, was poorly prepared and mediocre, at best. There was no attempt to apologize for the poor service even after we pointed it out. If Ty Warner & the SYR staff are going to the trouble of defining non-hotel guest reservations…shame on them. However, my feeling is this utter lack of service and quality is extended to ALL dining patrons. Conversely, Rick Caruso does understand how to run a high end-hotel with top notch dining experiences.


I worked at SYR before and after Ty took over. Both restaurants rely heavily on the local patrons, especially when vacancy is high. I realize prices have skyrocketed (my god, the macaroni and cheese is over $30) but there was almost never a differentiation taken between ranch guests and any other patrons. In fact, a few locals received preferential treatment over any guests, every time they visited. It’s sad to hear the service has gone downhill, as customer service was probably the #1 focus. If a guest, staying or not wanted something, if we didn’t have it, we would often send someone into town to a grocery store, wine or liquor shop etc to get it for them. It is also my opinion that Ty has little to no experience with restaurant customer service, and management should focus on better training of their staff. Sounds like it’s lacking in that department.


Stonehouse is constantly seeking staff on craigslist – a place of that standing should be hiring from the same pool as the top tier hotels in larger cities

Anne Call

We had dinner there in early Sept and had a lovely time. We usually get drinks from the bar and wander around the property before our reservation. We were married there long ago so it holds a lot of great memories. I personally don’t remember any problems with service or wait staff. We enjoyed dining once again on the state’s most beautiful patio and though the food doesn’t blow me away we go for special occasions and when family is in town. Now Ty W not reopening the Biltmore? That makes me mad…


San Ysidro Ranch is one of the most beautiful dinning experiences in California. We are locals and dine there often – always perfection.


Your experience is definitely rare amongst our circle of friends, service is consistently the worst — hands down the biggest waste of money in SB for the prices. We used to love going… now it’s painful and embarrassing all the way from the GM to the waitstaff. The only thing that rivals the inconsistency of service is probably the food and bev concepts at the rosewood. Every time we go back to both of them the service is just plain awful. We keep saying “maybe next time will be better” or “just give them one more chance” and regret it every time we go.

Anne Call

I had a good lunch at the Rosewood when Malibu Farms was still there. Since then I’ve only been back for drinks and maybe one very unmemorable lunch at the upstairs bar. Comments about SYR are pretty typical about any restaurant. People love it or hate and very expensive places probably get even stronger feedback. We go because it’s where we got married and holds so many great memories. Probably get the burger next time I go, although my husband has really liked their cioppino on our last few visits. Service and finding wait staff is difficult for every restaurant these days, although I do marvel at how many familiar faces I continue to see at Lucky’s. Definitely a career for their servers.


The food and prices belie the beautiful setting. The cioppino was the most mediocre and expensive example of the dish I’ve ever had. Lukewarm too. Service wasn’t bad, a bit slow, but I recognized several servers who worked elsewhere in our fair town. No raves either from others in our party. Get the burger while they sort things out.


SY Ranch is still yummy. Worst thing about the place is the terrible fonts and graphic design on the print ads in the local magazines. Ugly fonts, yikes pixelation, mismatching colors, accidental whitespace – they always look like a first draft of a high school graphic design project.


I’m writing this as I don’t even understand the other reviews on SYR. Our San Ysidro Ranch Thanksgiving dining experience was perfection. I ordered vegetarian which was wonderfully creative and delicious. The staff, like always made us feel at home. The service was absolutely impeccable.


I too had a wonderful experience this Thanksgiving. We were a table of 4 and we all thoroughly enjoyed our meal, and even had a birthday desert surprise brought to our table, after discussing one of us had an upcoming b.d. while our server was at the table. Surroundings impeccable, food delicious, and all of us very thankful to be able to have this lovely restaurant available to us.