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

Reviews by the General Public

Flies inside restaurant, poor tasting grill, 10/1/2016
Reviewer: Heidi from Santa Barbara
Ate lunch inside, with flies on us, on our food... Windows opp en, no screens. Grilled bread rancid taste... terribly loud due to bar noise.

Always a great time here!, 7/16/2016
Reviewer: John from Atlantic Beach, Fl.
I used to take my mother here when I was in Santa Barbara many years ago. it was one of her favorite places for brunch. The staff was great, scenary beautiful and food very tasty. A great place for locals or tourists!

Great experience, 6/5/2016
Reviewer: Larry from Santa Barbara, CA
I have eaten here many times, beginning when it was the Rusty Pelican. I have usually been disappointed in the meal but accepted it as a price to be paid for a great atmosphere. But we have lately been very impressed with both service and the quality of the meals. We have had lunch and two evening meals, most recent--Saturday evening. This is such an improvement it has become my place to go. I have had the Ahi (excellent), the scallops (wow, done perfectly), my wife the Salmon (great).

Not a good experience today., 2/23/2016
Reviewer: Richard from Santa Barbara, CA
Worst fish and chips I have ever seen or eaten!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Clam Chowder was not the best. Stomach acted up shortly after the chowder. Parking is a big problem. The parking lot is also used by the beach goers, and there are many. 1/2 hour wait seems to be the norm. Sat at the bar, no tables available. The only bartender, who handles all the drink orders for the entire place, and food orders for the bar, couldn't give good service. Poor guy was charged with too much to do.

Please! Those who complain are ingrates --
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....
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
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
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).
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.

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