••• My husband and I might be the last people in Montecito to make it to Local, judging from how hopping it was on Tuesday night. With its comfort-food menu, patrons who all seem to know each other, and smoother service than at establishments open much longer, the restaurant is like a cross between Lucky’s and Honor Bar. While the outdoor space feels much livelier than when Khao Kaeng had just part of it, and the heaters are fierce, I found the big TV intrusive. (“SportsCenter” flickering across my husband’s cheek was like a glimpse of another, unwanted life.) Having heard from two different people who were underwhelmed by the restaurant, we ordered defensively, but the burger and the oyster po’boy were fine and the portions are certainly substantial. That said, our neighbors’ salmon looked even better, so we’ll likely go bolder next time. P.S. What’s up with that statue of a frog-on-a-frog spying on us through LED binoculars?
••• Kai Sushi Shabu Shabu at 738 State Street (De La Guerra/Ortega) is for sale: “An opportunity to own a well established Japanese restaurant [with] 28 Shabu-Shabu stations, sushi bar, and cozy patio and sidewalk seating. Kai Sushi Shabu-Shabu opened in 2000, and has been a place of culinary enjoyment ever since opening day. Savor the flavorful combinations and sauces from award winning chef, Kazumoto Sato. Remaining Lease Term: 2-3/4 years + (1) 5 year Option.”
••• Augie’s, the tequila bar and restaurant coming to the corner of State and Ortega, has been running help-wanted posts, but it sure seems unlikely to be opening imminently.
••• From A.: “Rumor is Finney’s is moving on purchasing The Palms in Carpinteria. Get some dirt on that!” Yes, sir! “Unfortunately, we are not pursuing the Palms at this time,” said Brad Finefrock. “We considered it but could not get a deal to work out.”
••• Lilac Patisserie‘s next-door annex looks finished, but it’s not yet open (or at least it wasn’t on Tuesday).
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