City Council Decides to Let Restaurant Parklets Stay for Now

••• “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

••• Rincon Beach Bar on Santa Claus Lane is reverting to an event space for Events by Rincon; the restaurant is closing after this weekend.

••• Edible Santa Barbara profiles Lindsay Koenig of Triple Chip bakery.

••• 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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Priya R. Kapoor

Funny you should say what you did about the El Encanto. Yes, the patio is magical but I had dinner there a couple months ago with a friend from La Jolla and neither of us was impressed with the menu or the food. You’re right… it just tasted blah. Such a shame.

Nicolas G

Your review is consistent with my recent experiences there. Love the property, and the staff are always helpful and friendly, but I actually feel that their new menu is a downgrade from their previous menu (brunch, lunch and dinner). I’d recommend sticking to sunset drinks or dessert :)

Amy B.

Re: El encanto…Little known fact – check out the Bar menu when dining at the restaurant. Avocado fries are very good. Burger is solid, and I’ve always enjoyed their Caesar (although haven’t had the new iteration since the new chef took over)…Yes it’s supposed to be fine dining, but hey, you like what you like, and as the writer said, the food is typical of a hotel, and nothing beats a good burger.The Ramen is delicious, BUT it’s noodles and cabbage,…nothing more, which was a disappointment. I’d order it again, but request salmon or poached egg, ect…