••• I ran into Ramon Velazquez while I was leaving Corazón Comedor the other day, and he gave me a few updates on his many projects: 1) The restaurant in the Montecito Country Mart will now be called Taco Roma (after the Mexico City neighborhood), not Alma Fonda Fina, and the soonest we can hope it’ll open is spring. 2) He is indeed taking over the food program at the M. Special taproom on State Street (Ortega/Cota); it’ll be known as Beast Tacos. 3) Neither of the two projects with Chris Chiarappa—one in the former Romanti-Ezer building (above) at Chapala and Ortega and the other in Goleta’s Turnpike Center—is happening. The improvements required at the Romanti-Ezer building are just too extensive.
••• Speaking of Turnpike Center, signage is up for Dave’s Drip House, the ice cream and cereal bar spinoff from Dave’s Dogs.
••• Congratulations to Peasants Feast in Solvang for earning Bib Gourmand status from the Michelin Guide. (It’s kind of between a mention and a star, the latter being reserved for fancier establishments.)
••• The Black Sheep 2.0 says it’s now shooting to open in mid-December.
••• Intriguing news from Good Lion Hospitality: it’s taking over another space in Ventura’s Bank of Italy building (where it already has Bank of Italy Cocktail Trust), to collaborate with the Sama Sama folks on a riff on an izakaya.
••• Those of you who never read the comments may find a recent exchange about the San Ysidro Ranch’s Stonehouse restaurant interesting. You’d hope that if nothing else (besides the spectacular setting, of course), those prices would at least buy consistency.
••• Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant in Goleta has finally reopened after being closed for nearly two years.
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