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Boathouse
2981 Cliff Dr, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 898-2628


Reviews by the General Public

Please! Those who complain are ingrates --, 6/28/2015
Reviewer: Quatre from Santa Barbara, CA
I don't know what happened to the people who came here and were displeased, but suspect they may be naturally unhappy? If you were in Los Angeles or New York, and you could walk into a place with a setting this idyllic in the mid-afternoon, without even wondering what the wait would be, with food as good as it is -- you would be ecstatic. It's just about the best go-to place to take visitors from out of town. Seriously, unless you can beam me to the Riviera or an island in Greece, I'm staying put.


I don't know where the previous reviewers went...., 6/12/2015
Reviewer: Arlene from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been several times since they changed the menu. Ceviche is delish as is pretty much everything else here I've tried. The chef is from Arlington Tavern. I've had excellent service, even on days they are packed. Perhaps some patience would be helpful.....


Great Sunsets, 5/31/2015
Reviewer: debbie from Santa Barbara, CA
Absolutely beautiful scenery, great Sunsets! But that is where it ends. I have to agree with the previous review. The Service, IF you can call it that is absolutely horrendous and the employees are generally RUDE. The food is blah! How can you mess up simple things like calamari or seared tuna? I will not be back!


New management incompetent, 5/26/2015
Reviewer: Marti from Santa Barbara, CA
May 2015. Menu has changed. I ordered fish n chips and it was overdone FISH STICKS! (With a thimbleful of faux coleslaw). My friends and I used to love the shrimp tostada but it is no longer available, so they ordered the fish tacos which had stale (!?) tortillas and very little fish. This used to be a great restaurant in a beautiful setting; now it's mediocre and expensive. I feel sorry for the staff; they could not be proud of the product. The mud pie is served in a small jar--much smaller portion than before. Prices are UP--quality is DOWN. Very disappointing. I hope the owners are reading the reviews and will take appropriate action.


More on those mysterious reservations (and the hostess)., 9/25/2014
Reviewer: AnnieB from Santa Barbara, CA
We wanted to take some out-of-town visitors here for lunch. I called beforehand and was told they didn't take reservations but that if I called 30 minutes before we arrived, they'd put our name on a list. I ended up driving by en route to pick up our friends; the hostess took my name and we returned in about 20 minutes. I'd asked for a window table on the patio, but understood that might not be possible, so we opted to wait for a while. There was a window table empty at that point, but we were told that had been reserved for 12 noon. We waited for about 25 minutes and noticed that that table was still empty and that another window table was now also sitting vacant. When I went in around 12:30 to ask about the two empty window tables, the hostess said they were still waiting for the 12 noon party and that the second table had been reserved by someone two months ago for 12:15. Two months ago? Seriously? OK, so now we have a 12 noon reserved table and a 12:15 reserved table both still empty at 12:30. Right about then, a party was seated at the first table. I asked the hostess how long they held reservations because we'd really like the second table if possible. She pointed to a woman who'd walked in behind me and said she was the person who'd reserved the second table. The hostess then offered us a table away from the window, which we accepted. However, as our party passed the hostess on the way to that table, I heard her tell the lady who allegedly had reserved the second window table that it would be another 10 or so minutes before her party could be seated. Huh? What gives at this place? Meanwhile, after we stood and waited for about four minutes for someone to clear our table, the hostess came up and said she could let us have the second window table after all. Go figure. The food was really good, the waitress was good, and the location is wonderful, but surely they could find a hostess who could put a professional face on the place and while they're at it, make up their mind about reservations. A very frustrating experience.


Do they or don't they take reservations?
Reviewer: Karen from Santa Barbara, CA
Unless they have recently changed their policy I was told that they do not take reservations. I called about a half hour before we were going to arrive to leave my name for a party of 8. When we arrived they said they had a table for us inside but we would have to leave by 10:30. Hmmmm......I thought they didn't take reservations so why were we told we had to leave by a certain time? Other than that, the food was good, the service was pleasant and we had a good time. Do they or don't they take reservations??


Lovely lunch
Reviewer: Charlotte from Goleta
Had a lovely lunch today out on the patio. The crab cakes Benedict with Chipotle Hollandaise, one of the best homemade pico de gallo and avocado. Nice crunchy potatoes, excellent crab cakes (lots of crab!). Nice wine pour, prices and selection and an excellent waiter to boot! I'll be back for sure. A place with a gorgeous view and good food and service... The Beachside in Goleta should take some pointers from this place!


Boathouse Domino Effect
Reviewer: Amy from Long Beach, CA
Came here yesterday for breakfast and i fell in love with the view. We left our dog in the car since we could not bring her on the patio (only service dogs allowed) which is completely understandable, ate as fast as we could so we could take her out to dog beach. We have lived in beach cities all of our lives but this view was amazing. I had the corned beef hash, it was very unique but I really enjoyed it and my husband had the yogurt & granola, delicious. The service was non existant but hey, the environment and ambiance made up for it. I met such awesome people and dogs there on the beach. Today, I came back for breakfast because I had such a remarkable time yesterday. The bartender was super friendly, had great suggestions and was great for conversing since I was there by myself. I explained to him how I'm from Los Angeles but was moving up here Dec 1. and that I really loved this place, since I'm a creature of habit and this place could be my new breakfast place. I was sitting in the sun at the bar and moved inside due to the sun getting a bit too hot outside. I started chatting with the regulars there and they seemed really intriguing and nice, very diverse restaurant, young people, elderly people, business people, everyone that came to the bar whether it was just for a coffee refill or someone in town for business seemed like wholesome people. I ordered a pacifico michelada which are usually my favorites, 2 eggs, extra crispy bacon and a side of fruit. Food and bartenders attentiveness was on point. I was just sitting there finishing my beer about 9:30am, because I had to go back to Long Beach at noon and still had to pack my things at the hotel.Then the dreaded UNIMAGINABLE happened. There was an older man who was apparently the owner who just started literally picking me apart due to my shirt. I was wearing yellow shorts and a cut off shirt and sandals. Yes my shirt did say f*** off, I'm sorry, I'm not from here just came for a few days and came for a quick breakfast by myself to enjoy the sun. Not that it matters but the bar counter was so tall it completely covered my shirt anyway. There HAS TO BE a better more respectful way of letting me know I am out of dress code instead of the offensive and demeaning way he did. How dare you question my morals and principles in front of your staff and customers in your restaurant. I would've definitely understood if he asked me to leave because my shirt or whatever the matter was RESPECTFULLY, not only because I am in nursing school & ALSO in the restaurant industry and my husband is a GM of a bar on State Street BUT I am a human being, you don't just treat people in that impolite and rude manner. He said that his restaurant was a family establishment and I had to put my sweater on because my shirt was completely unacceptable, mind you I didn't see any dress code sign at the front and since i was 1 of 2 customers inside (the other customer was literally saying "are you kidding?!" to the owner while he was on his rant to me, and the bartender just stared at me and looked sorry for me). I was already on my way out, like i said just enjoying the conversation before my 3 hour drive to Long Beach. Nonetheless, I completely complied and put my sweater on, saying I completely understand the situation and respecting his wishes the whole time. THEN he just kept going on and on started talking about my hat, asked me what I was thinking wearing it and completely started talking about my ethics, telling me he didn't understand what was up with me and asked me if it was a Los Angeles thing. He mentioned that he was trying to entertain his guests and that my outfit was deplorable. There was no one inside the restaurant! He even offered to pay for my breakfast if I put on my jacket (but in a very offensive way). I'm sorry sir I AM NOT A LEPER. I did my best to comply and apologized even left your bartender $10 on $20, I even said thank you on my way out to all of your staff members because I don't stoop down to people's levels, were you trying to get a reaction out of me? Is that why you kept pushing the subject? Do you feel better about yourself and your restaurant patronizing people and making them feel humiliated? YOU set the example in your own restaurant for your employees and are the reflection of your staff, I can't imagine how they can deal with your snobbiness & incompetence. Sure, I wore a shirt with profanity, i apologized for offending you. I'm 24 years old, I am NOT your daughter and certainly did not deserve the insolent and uncouth attitude coming from an elderly man and bar owner like yourself. I know you don't know me and I don't know you but I suggest when taking things in your own hands, keep the brashness and arrogance out and politely ask someone to leave.


Brattiest hostessses ever
Reviewer: Catherine from Santa Barbara, CA
Just laughing after an interaction with the hostess at the Boathouse. We were trying to make a reservation and this girl, who was no doubt very pretty, came across as a combination of your bratty teenage daughter and the mean girl from high school. Where do they get their training? Do they get any training? She acted like making a reservation was a HUGE imposition and would provide no information without my emailing another manager. It wasn't what she said, it was how she said it. I had to laugh it was such terrible service. Well, it is a pretty location.


Just OK
Reviewer: Mark from Burbank, CA
The food is good but there are better locally. I will agree that management is the worst. The place lives and survives on it's location. Wonderful. That does not complete my experience. I will not fault the staff as most appear to be students at USB. I fault the fact that no one seems be be running it. The food could be rated higher if it did not sit waiting to be delivered to me while I starve. Comes a time that the view is no longer my concern


Worse service ever!
Reviewer: Amber from Santa Barbara, CA
It was my first time and most likely my last. When my party of 8 arrived they said it would be a thirty minute wait. After 45 minutes we asked if we could split up the party, but they said it would'nt make a difference. After an hour we saw people who had arrived after us walking into the restaurant and being seated. Finally after an hour and fifteen minutes we asked one last time how long the wait would be and they told they didn't know so we decided to leave. We did notice several other parties that left upset because of the wait as well


Good not great
Reviewer: Son'so from Santa Barbara, CA
Would have liked more personal attention from the manager over a problem I had with a Groupon coupon I had but we worked it all out. Beautiful location on the beach. Mirrored back wall makes you fell surrounded by the ocean. Server service, waitress and bussers, was excellent and friendly but the waitress' fingernail polish was ratty looking and therefore unappetizing holding our food plates. The Ceasar salad was ordinary at best, the wedge salad was much better but very sharp to my taste. The red clam chowder was too spicy and resembled a gumbo with clams more than a Manhattan clam chowder. It was very thick. My wife had Cajun style sea bass which was excellent. My grilled yellowtail tuna had a sharp taste which may be the nature of this fish, the result of my singing my tongue on the Very Hot soup, or the preparation. I certainly would not order it again. About a year ago we had Sunday brunch here and loved it. We will go back for that but not for dinner. Not that they will miss our business. Midweek early (6pm) they were packed.


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