We’re headed to the Funk Zone in Santa Barbara this summer so this news is very interesting to me and you should check it out too:
In 2019, Santa Barbara, California, is undergoing one of its most transformational periods in decades, with the highly anticipated arrivals of vibrant new eateries and food complexes, a new luxury resort, and hotel renovations and rebrands.
FOOD & WINE
Trends: Buzzy chefs are arriving from major metropolitan areas to set up shop, and exciting food complexes are opening in spades. (Santa Barbara County’s ingredients, from world-class wine and beer to seafood and produce, take center stage.)
Mini food complexes, part I: Tyger Tyger in the Funk Zone
Tyger Tyger, which opened in the Funk Zone in October 2018, is the newest offering from Acme Hospitality (The Lark). The dynamic 1,900-square-foot marketplace features “fast-fine” Southeast Asian restaurant Tyger Tyger, helmed by Chef Daniel Palaima (veteran of Grant Achatz’s Next); Asian-inspired soft-serve ice cream counter Monkeyshine serving up flavors like ginger and black sesame with Pocky sticks and other toppings; and local Dart Coffee, roasted inside the complex by David Dart, a dentist, and co-run by his wife, talented Funk Zone artist Erika Carter.
Next-level local: The Monarch, The Silver Bough and Sushi|Bar at Montecito Inn
“Top Chef” competitor and chef Phillip Frankland Lee of LA’s Scratch|Restaurants and his wife, pastry chef Margarita Kallas-Lee, have launched exciting new eateries in the family-run Montecito Inn. Concepts include The Monarch (August 2018), which pays tribute to Central Coast cuisine; The Silver Bough, an eight-seat chef’s table experience, high on culinary theatrics, at $550 per person (Jan. 31, 2019; “the most insane new restaurant in California,” says Food & Wine) and Sushi|Bar (April 2019), an omakase-style sushi restaurant, overseen by Phillip’s brother, Lennon Lee. The Monarch takes local to the next level with menu pages dedicated to purveyors, plus hand-crafted ceramic plateware and leather sofas. https://www.themonarchmontecito.com/, https://www.silverboughmontecito.com/
Buzzy new restaurants bring new talent and tasty offerings to Santa Barbara and Montecito
Other recent restaurant openings:
Bettina, Neapolitan-style pizzeria, by Brendan Smith + Rachel Greenspan – October 2018
Bossie’s Kitchen, local, casual, by Lauren Herman + Cristina Olfuson (LA’s Lucques) – February 2019
Cafe Ana, coffeehouse w/bites, by Ryan Whyte-Buck (Brooklyn’s Golda) – December 2018
Bibi Ji, “Australian-Indian-American” restaurant and natural wine bar by Gary Singh, brother of Jessi Singh (SF and NYC’s Babu Ji) and Rajat Parr (renowned expert-turned-winemaker, featured in “Somm III”) – January 2018
Mini food complexes, part II: Kim’s Service Department on State Street
Kim’s Service Dept., a new complex from developers of the Funk Zone’s popular Waterline, opened on downtown State Street in spring 2019 with Cubaneo (a Cuban restaurant from creators of acclaimed Barbareño) and Shaker Mill cocktail lounge (from The Good Lion mixologists). In June 2019, major craft brewer Modern Times will open what it cheekily calls its “Modern Times Academy of Recreational Science… 5,000 square feet of pure, unmitigated libational wonder,” including an indoor-outdoor eatery and taproom. Independent craft boutique Gear will open, too.
Mini food complexes, part III: Developments along State Street and downtown
Businesses are getting creative in smaller cooperatives on State Street. Mosaic Locale opened in October 2018 in the Historic Theatre District and features Draughtsmen Aleworks, Hook & Press Donuts and Buena Onda Empanadas. Later in 2019, a duplex near the Funk Zone will house second locations for both Corázon Cocina, a tasty taqueria known for its ceviches and tacos with handmade tortillas, and Captain Fatty’s brewery. Finally, the original Santa Barbara Public Market, which opened in 2014, welcomes new vendors, Soul Cal Smokehouse (a barbecue eatery from the highly respected chef of the late Julienne) and vegan restaurant Fala Bar from WeHo.
Trends: Resort renaissance: Unprecedented new builds, renovations and renewals are happening on the Santa Barbara South Coast, from mid-tier to luxury properties, and highly respected brands burnishing SB’s legacy.
Highly anticipated Rosewood Miramar Beach opens in March 2019
Rosewood Miramar Beach opened in March 2019. The 124-room, 37-suite idyllic coastal ultra-luxury resort is located directly on one of the most beautiful and secluded beaches in Santa Barbara. Bungalows, two pools, Sense spa, plus six restaurants and bars are all part of the experience. The Miramar is the first resort development from Caruso Affiliated, developer of The Grove in Los Angeles, and features the first hotel boutique from lifestyle brand Goop. https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/miramar- beach-montecito
Montecito luxury resorts return refreshed and renewed
The celebrity enclave of Montecito, located southeast of Santa Barbara, was impacted over a year ago by a mudslide. Thankfully, the main shopping district of Coast Village Road rebounded quickly and is better than before, with new restaurants drawing acclaim. Travel + Leisure named Montecito a “Best Place to Travel in 2019.” Beloved Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara welcomed back visitors in June 2018. San Ysidro Ranch and lauded restaurant, The Stonehouse, reopened in April 2019.
Harbor View Inn unveils stylish and contemporary new wing on State Street
Harbor View Inn, a AAA Four-Diamond family-friendly resort, has expanded its existing 115-room inventory to add 34 new guest rooms in a separate three-story North Wing, which opened in October 2018. Located near Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone and waterfront, the new building reflects Spanish Revival architecture. Rooms feature modern Spanish Colonial furnishings emphasized by tall ceilings, white plaster and sun- bleached walnut wood. Hints of Pacific blue and Hermès-inspired tangerine give visual texture, color and style. https://www.harborviewinnsb.com/
Hotel Californian, major resort complex, transforms Santa Barbara waterfront
Featuring Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and modern Moorish décor from designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Hotel Californian opened in fall 2017 along Santa Barbara’s waterfront. This 121-room resort includes a rooftop pool and event deck with expansive views, a luxurious Moroccan-inspired spa, three distinctive dining venues, a best-in-class ballroom and stunning al fresco settings. http://www.thehotelcalifornian.com/
Major hotel rebrandings/purchases: Ritz-Carlton acquired and rebranded 358-room The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara in late 2017; club enhancements rolled out in January 2019; LVMH purchased 101-year-old Belmond El Encanto in late 2019; 360-room Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort completed a $15M interior renovation/rebrand in spring 2018.
Notable anniversaries: The iconic Santa Barbara County Courthouse marks its 90th anniversary in August 2019, and Santa Barbara’s signature festival, Old Spanish Days Fiesta, celebrates its 95th anniversary in August 2019.