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Casa Blanca
330 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 845-8966


Reviews by the General Public

Fantastic!, 5/28/2014
Reviewer: Amy from Santa Barbara, CA
My husband and I met a group of friends for brunch @ Casa Blanca on Sunday. We had made a reservation because we had a group of 8 and we know it gets really busy. The meal was truly delicious. Between the 8 of us we pretty much covered every corner of the food and drink menu. I thought the service was great too! Seems like the staff really likes working at this restaurant, which is always refreshing to see. I've been a few times to Casa and can without a doubt tell you that it's a delicious, fun, beautiful restaurant! Muy Bien!


First Experience at Casa Blanca Restaurant, 4/28/2014
Reviewer: Deb from Santa Barbara, CA
We are SB locals that decided to finally try out the Casa Blanca Restaurant for Sunday Brunch on April 27th. We were first seated at 10 a.m. in the main room, but the music was blaring, so we opted for a nice table outside in the sun. It took 25 MINUTES to even be recognized, and I ordered a soft-drink, and my husband water. It took another 15 minutes to get them, and we hadn't even ordered yet. Around us were waitresses galore, serving up Mimosas, bottomless Bloody Marie's, Margaritas, etc...all laughing and partying it up LOUD!! FINALLY, after waving down the waitress, she said, "OMGosh, are you guys ready to order"? Gave us party necklaces, beads, and sunglasses...(Please, we are not 21 and didn't come to party and drink at 10 a.m.) We both ordered the Casa Blanca Omelet.....Took 30 minutes to receive our breakfast....and what a shock....The eggs were still runny in the omelet (yuk), the bacon was RAW, the avocado was old and tasteless, the only thing good was the salsa. Next to the omelet, was about 1/4 C soft soggy home potatoes, and the runniest, tasteless black beans in the world. By this time, my husband and I were both STARVING, we couldn't even spot our waitress, so decided to just make the best of it and eat. We did, left without paying a penny for a tip. Within the hour, my husband became very ill, with stomach cramps, etc....Needless to say not only our Sunday Brunch was ruined, so was the rest of the day since we had to scrap our beach walk because my husband was feeling so nauseated! Folks, this place is for DRINKING, PARTYING, and super loud canned music...NOT for any type of authentic Mexican food, who are they kidding??? We'll be sticking with the best of the best, Rose Cafe and Los Arroyos. DO NOT RECOMMEND, you will be sorry!!!!


Mediocre at Best
Reviewer: Ann from Santa Barbara, CA
First time visit. The service and the beer were better than the food which just so-so. Had a chili relleno,chicken soft taco, rice and mushy pinto beans.


Favorite Mexican Restaurant in SB
Reviewer: Eric from Santa Barbara, CA
I love the decor in Casa Blanca. The food is very good and reasonably priced for what you get. I love the happy hour specials and it's just a fun place to go after work for a quick bite in a fun upbeat place on State. I'll be back soon!


Mixed Bag
Reviewer: James from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I decided to try Casa Blanca for a second time last night. The first time was several months ago and we found the food mediocre at best. That time I had the Chef's special Chile Verde and found it pretty ordinary. Also the black bean salsa was not to my liking. On the other hand the decor is absolutely gorgeous and I so wanted to like the place. Last night we were seated at the back of the dining area where my middle aged eyes needed a flashlight to see the menu properly. This time we got red salsa which tasted like slightly spiced canned tomatoes. We ordered a zucchini quesadilla appetizer which was the high point of the meal. It was delicious. I had the tacos al pastor with rice and beans which were very tasty, but the meat was a bit dry. My wife had the pozole into which, in the dim light, she scooped too many chopped jalapenos along with the other garnishes. It was too spicy for her - not the restaurant's fault - so I ate most of it. Other than the jalapeno heat, I found it rather bland. My wife then ordered the tortilla soup which I tasted and thought was quite good. Service was also hit and miss. Our waiter came back to check on us immediately after our entrees arrived, but then disappeared. We had to flag a waiter down to order the late soup and then again to refill my wife's ice tea. He never came to offer me another beer. In all I think there were just enough positives that we might try again and further explore the menu.


Atmosphere gives Casa blanca an edge.
Reviewer: Dorrance from Carpinteria, CA
Design by Jeff Shelton lured us to lunch and we were not disappointed. The details of the large interior are captivating. It is a treat to see all of the handicrafts in place all the accomplishments of local artisans. We walked in for lunch on Tuesday, Dec. 4 to find we had the restaurant to ourselves. Two guys were at the bar. Lucky for us, because we were able to see the attention to detail throughout. We even checked out the tile work in both bathrooms. Splendid! As to lunch, we were served in the wink of an eye. (Well yes, there were no others to attend.) My green chicken enchilada was perfect. Topped with freshly shredded lettuce and queso cotija, served with the obligatory rice and beans. (I chose black beans.) Their slip shows over their salsa slightly spiced red water in a small bowl with too-large-globs of canned tomato. Too bad. However, I was able to order pico de gallo and that solved the problem (although it needed cilantro.) Lunch for 2 was under $20. Yes I will go back and order exactly the same thing, and take the opportunity to marvel again at the lights, woodwork, glasswork, ironwork and tile.


First try a success, looking forward to going again
Reviewer: Travis from Goleta, CA
My girlfriend and I went to Casa Blanca for the first time on 10/1, and left pleasantly surprised. We each got the ~$10 2-item combos, and were both very satisfied. The meal as a whole was great, but the rice stands out in our minds. It was super flavorful, we loved it. Hoping that next time we go it will be just as good, if so, this is our new go-to Mexican food in SB. As for the service, there was nothing technically wrong with it, nothing to complain about, but it was a little slow. I was a server for 7 years, so I have high standards to what good/great service is.


delicious!
Reviewer: Amy from Santa Barbara, CA
We went in for dinner on a busy Friday night. We didn't have a reservation and waited in the bar for a bit, which was to be expected. My husband and I ordered a margarita and took in the amazing architecture of the place. Wow, the tile, the light fixtures, all so cool! The sweet hostess came and got us when our table was ready. The menu is quite large, lots of options. I chose the trio taco platter and my husband got the pork belly. All was truly delicious!!!! I was very pleased with their food. The price point was right, the food was out quickly, the drinks were excellent, chips and salsa great, service was also very good! We will definitely be back, again and again!


Manager with a SCOWL!
Reviewer: Dawn Grace from Santa Barbara, CA
The food is o.k. but the service is enough to put a bad taste in anyone's mouth! The female manager that folds her arms over her chest and stares at tables, rather than asking if they "need anything" (apparently beneath her) needs to find a new job. Perhaps one that doesn't include customer service! My girlfriends and I were confused by the lack of interest in our dining experience- Our order was incorrect not once, but twice and they delivered our dish to another table... ??? plenty of other great places to dine. thanks anyway


Weak food and service, great ambiance
Reviewer: Pablo from Santa Barbara, CA
A group of co-workers and myself shared a birthday luncheon here. It was the first time for myself and a few others. The ambiance of the restaurant is great. But, where they shine in looks they lack in food and service. Our order took a very, very long time to arrive and when it did come one of us that ordered the Fajitas with shrimp (found they were frozen and cold). Our waitress never checked back with us about drink refills or if everything was to satisfaction, this is not good customer service. For the high prices charged, the food and service do not meet the cost. I would not recommend this restaurant to friends.


Nice restaurant but bad food.
Reviewer: Jessica from Santa Barbara, CA
The place looks nice. I ordered "carnitas" and they were dry and hard to chew, I did not like my food. My friend ordered quesadillas and they were okay. Dessert was amazing i have to say. The server was nice when she came around, she took a long time to take our order and to bring drinks. The bus boy was great. I wanted to try this restaurant and i did, but i do not want to go back. I usually don't care much about the service if the food is great but in this case i did not like the food or the service.


Design over content. Meh.
Reviewer: Sophia from Santa Barbara, CA
Went here for happy hour and was excited to try it. The interior (Jeff Shelton designed?) looks nice and State Street is certainly lacking a "mid-market" place for drinks and food in this area. Maybe my expectations were too high, but since this place is new, I was amazed at how dirty the patio area was. It was just plain grimy, as if the place had been open for ages and not cleaned - come on, bring out a power washer once in a while! The drinks were really watery, salsa was blah and other food mediocre. Service was absent (no water offered, drink refills not suggested, etc). Beautiful place, lousy food and drinks - a big missed opportunity.


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