••• “Santa Barbara Council Supports Keeping Most Outdoor Dining, Parklets Along State Street […] However, city leaders decide that sidewalk tables and chairs that were not permitted before the Covid-19 pandemic must be removed […] to make it safer for people with disabilities and others to use the sidewalks. Those restaurants can still apply to have outdoor dining, but they must go through a process.” —Noozhawk
••• Goleta’s Red Pepper Chinese restaurant is “opening a second location at 2840 De la Vina Street, in the former home of New Si Chuan Garden.” —Restaurant Guy
••• Every few years, my husband and I get it together to celebrate our anniversary; this year, we went to the Belmond El Encanto—we hadn’t been in years, and the restaurant has a new chef. The setting is as magical as ever. The menu, meanwhile, is mainly what you’d expect at a high-end hotel, along with some intriguing choices (multiple vegetarian options, including a kombo portobello ramen, and the lone chicken dish serves two) and odd vagueness (the salmon comes with “curly seasonal vegetable,” while the Riviera gratin is made with “vegetable”). And then there’s the “caviar journey,” a delusion of grandeur for a restaurant with Chilewich placemats. Anyway, we each had the endive salad, which was void of flavor and desperate for salt. The entrées—black cod, duck breast—were solid, even if I was miffed to see that a neighbor’s duck was showered with potato chips, while I only got five. (I can’t explain why the chips were there at all, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want more.) Fifty percent is not a great batting average at this price point; fortunately for us, our affable waiter comped us for one round of wine as an anniversary gift, which made the value proposition much more agreeable.
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