Maíz Picante Taqueria on De La Vina Has Opened

••• Morro Bay’s Sweet Reef—specializing in boba tea and the fish-shaped cakes called taiyaki—is opening a Santa Barbara outpost in the former Rockin’ Yogurt space on State Street (Ortega/Cota). —Edible Santa Barbara

••• A documentary about the Press Room is screening at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival: “Locals Only will premiere at the Fiesta 5 Theater on Tuesday, February 14 […] and screen again on Wednesday February 15, at the Metro 4. There will be another screening and afterparty on Saturday, February 18, at The Press Room at 7:30 p.m. All are invited.” —Independent

••• Edible Santa Barbara noticed that the owners of the former Magic Castle Cabaret on Los Patos Way are promoting it on Craigslist as “a very unique location for a deli, sandwich shop, or food truck. […] We have an inside lounge area where your customers may purchase a glass of wine, a beer, or maybe a very special drink from our bar and then sit down in comfort to enjoy your food.”

••• Now that parklets on the State Street Promenade adhere to the new design guidelines, do we think it’s an improvement?

••• Red Pepper’s Goleta restaurant has closed; the Isla Vista one remains open. —Restaurant Guy

••• Azul, the Mexican restaurant on Anapamu between State and Chapala, postponed its opening again.

••• The Italian restaurant coming to 1027 State Street (Figueroa/Carrillo) is an outpost of Trattoria del Sole in Sherman Oaks. The menu is extremely traditional: spaghetti with meatballs, chicken Marsala, fettuccine Alfredo, etc. And there might be pizza, even though L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is next door. —Restaurant Guy

••• Maíz Picante, on De La Vina just below Handlebar, has opened. The owners are David Back and Monika Draggoo, who are apparently also owners of Santo Mezcal. The taqueria’s interior is no-frills, but the staff is extremely nice (and maybe too helpful—they hardly need to come out from behind the counter to explain to every customer that the menu is up on the wall). My favorite tacos were the carnitas and the birria (not shown), and the quartet of salsas was a nice touch. I also quite enjoyed an aqua fresca that was described as pineapple-ginger but tasted mainly of cucumber. And the Avolutions straw was the first biodegradable straw I’ve ever had that didn’t get soggy. (UPDATE 2/16: The restaurant posted its menu on the website so I switched out my crummy photos of it.)


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I’m sorry Eric, but I was under the impression that carlos the owner of los agaves was the owner of santo mezcal.? I’m confused. Can you please shed some light?

Erik Torkells

The liquor license for Santo Mezcal lists David Back and Carlos Luna as the two owners.


The drink you tried was the agua fresca “Piña Pepino”- that means pineapple and cucumber, not ginger. That’s why it tasted a lot like cucumber!

Erik Torkells

The menu posted on the wall at the restaurant said “piña jengibre”—I guess changed it to match what they’re serving!