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The French Table
[closed, no longer in business]

129 E. Anapamu St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 882-0050


Reviews by the General Public

Bizarre Experience, 2/16/2014
Reviewer: Erik from Santa Barbara, CA
We had dinner here for the first time since the new management transition. We called for a last-minute 7:30 reservation as it was a busy Valentine's weekend. The hostess was clearly struggling to see if she could find a spot for us, but said she could squeeze us in. Well, we arrived to find the outside seating empty and maybe a third of the tables full inside. Ominous indeed. Server informed us there were no specials. There were no steaks, no risotto (who runs out of rice?) no salad, and the wine we requested was out. I ordered the King Charcuterie and Cheese platter for 25$. Out came a narrow plate with four knobs of lunch meat quality beef, four knobs of turkey cold cuts, and four mounds of mystery pate. Microgreens garnish. 2 candied pecans, and 6 canned black olives. We had to argue with them to bring cheeses, which were in the same vein of budget uninspired. My wife was informed they couldn't make her entree, and it took them an hour from when we finished the "charcuterie" to make my burger. I came in liking the atmosphere, but the rest was abject failure. I really hope this was not a typical night. At least the server was cordial (but threw the kitchen under the bus) and made appropriate adjustments to the check.


NEW OWNER, MANAGEMENT, & STAFF!!, 1/20/2014
Reviewer: David GM for The French Table from Santa Barbara, CA
Hello, I just wanted to give a quick update on behalf of The French Table! We are a fresh start to this beautiful establishment especially after seeing some of these previous review. This place was bought out Nov. 1st 2013 with new management and staff and are in the process of making this place what it should've been and what it should be! Our chefs are new which have a key scence of food and taste with perfected presentation, our service is excellent with knowledgeable employees that are attentive and warming that make your experience delightful and fun! We have live music every Saturday night from 6-8pm( smooth jazz) amazing food and drink specials with lowered pricing as well. We are going through the changes as the doors are open and welcome everyone to come visit us anytime for I can guarantee you that your experience will completely change your mind of TFT:) The vision will soon be complete hoping by the end of February of this year(2014) with menu changes, slight remodel, ect... We love to host parties, wedding rehearsals, luncheons and have many planned through the whole year! Our weekends are great to with endless mimosas, very good brunch with amazing views. I really hope this touches the ones who have been here before and are working very hard to make this place AMAZING!! My name is David the GM for TFT and hope to be of service to you all and for any further questions or reservations please feel free to call 805-882-0050 Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and wish everybody the best...


Still In Sad Decline
Reviewer: Steve from Santa Barbara, CA
In the beginning when the owner's mother Joelle was running things, the restaurant had great promise, even though the quality was uneven. From one time to the next the same crepe order contained varying amounts of ingredients and the sauces had varying tastes. The onion soup flavor was strictly hit and miss, more often miss. The Croque-monsieur I ordered at brunch recently was a disgrace to French cooking. It contained one thin slice of the cheapest quality deli ham and the cheese wasn't melted. The wait staff mean well but they're disorganized. The chefs are not properly trained. There is no pride in the kitchen or the food. The owner seems to not care. I won't be eating there again.


Learn to cook before opening a restaurant.
Reviewer: Andy from Santa Barbara, CA
Absolutely the worst meal ever, my wife had a risotto, well that's what she ordered what arrived was minuite rice with a cup of warm cream poured on top, I had a fish pastry dish, some sort of cold rubbery fish bits with oily pastry on top and another cup of warm cream for it all to float around in, there is absolutely no way who ever is in the kitchen knows what they are doing. Service was polite but very slow.....how can it take an hour to make food that bad !! We both had one bite and got the tab, they apologized and gave us a token to make up for the wait and cream excess....... $12.00, seems they are also comedians !!


Where is a manager or owner?
Reviewer: Jenn from Santa Barbara, CA
This was my 3rd visit and the service has dropped each time. The staff seems overwhelmed and un-supported. There seem to be no busboys, host or manager. We had a reservation but it seemed nobody was aware of it. It took awhile to get seated and then there were scrambled eggs on the floor under our seats from "the previous guest who had a child with them". I'm glad they are popular as the food and location are good but they'll need more than tourists wandering in to stay in business. They seem to be burning bridges with locals at quite a clip. Oh, and my potato gratin was cold but I didn't say anything because I didn't know what good it would do.


what time can do
Reviewer: matt from Santa Barbara, CA
For this place I don't know what will happen but the vibe is nice and the burgers go great with one, two, three, or four of the delicious beers they have. Service is getting a lot of bad reviews and I don't agree. I have come in this place a few times such as one of the first days they opened, that was not so good of service, but I must be the most understanding person in the world if I can be able to find the good in a restaurant that is trying to find its place in this food loven world. I say this place is going to be one of the top spots of sb one day


Do the owners read any of these reviews??
Reviewer: Jerry from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been to the French Table twice with friends for brunch. The food was fine but the service is so slow and almost non existent I wonder how they are still in business. Takes forever to get served, food, refills, check etc. Waitress was friendly but seems overwhelmed? Vast majority of the reviews say the same thing but yet the owners seem to ignore them?? oh well. Wonder what the next restaurant will be in that beautiful location.


Food might have been good - but service was terrible
Reviewer: Sophia from Santa Barbara, CA
I can't really speak to the quality of the food at French Table, because when my lunch finally arrived (50 minutes after it had been ordered) the filling of my crepe had been kept warm for so long it was inedible. I suspect that the lunches we ordered had been forgotten by wait staff and the kitchen had re-wrapped the crepe filling in fresh pancakes. This meant a fresh (but cold) buckwheat crepe wrapped around prosciutto so tough that I couldn't chew it or cut it with a knife. Total time for lunch was nearly two hours, and hello, some of us have to go back to work.


Food above average, Service terrible!
Reviewer: Ann from Santa Barbara, CA
Went for brunch on Sunday. Food was better than average however no matter how good the food, it did not make up for the service. One of the worst dining experiences I have had in Santa Barbara. Waited for 10 mins for menus, at least another 15 mins to order, had to ask for the check. Asked for more coffee, never came. Received our check by a waitress who was talking on her cell phone - really, I could not believe it! Everything about the service was terrible. Other tables appeared to be suffering the same fate. Servers need training! Rather than feeling welcomed, we felt like were imposing on the staff. There are too many restaurants in SB at this price point that have way better service to ever come here again. We could not wait to leave and will never be back!


A Pleasant Birthday Lunch
Reviewer: Sharron from Santa Barbara, CA
The French Table is in one of the most picturesque settings in Santa Barbara opposite the Courthouse. This was the first time that my husband and I dined here. We had the Marina Crepe with a bottle of French Brut Apple Cider. The crepes with greens were delicious. The cider a bit sweet. The French woman server (owner?) surprised us with a complimentary dessert crepe topped with an amazing firework. Very nice touch. However, to us The French Table is pricey and has rather spotty service. Perhaps we will save it for special occasions.


Good Food, SLOW Service
Reviewer: Sarah from Santa Barbara, CA
I work downtown, and have come here for lunch twice. The restaurant was fairly empty both times - in one case, I was one of only two patrons in the entire restaurant - but you'd think every table was full given how slow the service was. If you are a working professional with a one hour lunch break, this is not the place for you. You will waste 45 minutes hour waiting for your food, which you will then have to scarf down in a rush. It will take another 15-20 minutes for anyone to notice that you have been done eating for quite some time, and it will take another 15 minutes to pay. I could understand this if the restaurant was very busy, but it is unacceptable otherwise.


bad music average food
Reviewer: Gary from Santa Barbara, CA
The food was average. The selection was limit. Part French & part world food. The Perry Como and Dean Martin musuc was awful


Repeat Customer
Reviewer: Gary Yencich from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been here 3 times now which coming from me is a pretty positive recommendation. The food is great, and has been from the start. The atmosphere is agreeable, prices reasonable, and a great location. The service? Well intentioned... but needing some polish. Each time I've returned however, it's gotten better, so I think a lot of the early on wrinkles have been ironed-out.


Service NEEDS WORK!!
Reviewer: Janel & Bob from Santa Barbara, CA
We'd read the poor reviews, but the menu looked interesting, so we decided to give it a try. Huge mistake! The place has a nice look...nice view and the food was good. However the service was horrible. Menus came quickly. We were acknowledged by the waiter and our wine order taken a good 15 minutes later. Wine came 15 minutes past that and we had to flag down our waiter to take our food order and that was the last time we saw him for the rest of the evening. We watched as another table had to flag down the same waiter for their order. We ordered an appetizer to share and our entrees. After a bit of a wait for the food, appetizer and entrees came out at the same time. Food was good, as was our wine. After much of a wait we had to flag down the hostess to clear our table, explaining that our waiter had forgotten about us. And flagged the hostess down again to receive our check. Someone came later to pick up our bill and brought it back quickly. And as an after thought , he actually TOSSED a pen onto our table. This was witness by the hostess who apologized saying "he's made because I keep asking him to do things." The hostess was busy, but very helpful and apologetic. We suggested that Management give a look at Santabarbara.com reviews and hopefully realize a pattern of poor service, which will cause this customer not to return.


Poor Food & Poor Service
Reviewer: Michelle from Santa Barbara, CA
Visited TFT a couple weeks ago for lunch & it was overall amazing, but sadly had the opposite experience when going for dinner tonight. After being seated we waited a additional 15 minutes for a server even take our food orders. After that my table waited 75 minutes being completely ignored by staff. Never once was our water filled until we finally made a request to have them refilled. When they did get refilled, we asked how much longer would it be before we receive our appetizer and they replied we thought you already received your food. When we finally received our meals, the food tasted rubbery & they gave a pitiful representation of a vegetable risotto which was more like over-cooked minute rice rather than a creamy risotto. Luckily I have the sb axxess card, so 1 meal was comped in addition, as well as an additional free meal because of sending the risotto back to the kitchen. The waitstaff was sweet in apologizing for their errors, but the manager never addressed the situation. That's just not right. Honestly I've never written a mean review, but the damage was already done. The entire meals should have been comped instead of charged for a below par dinner.


Good Food but Service Has Not Improved Enough
Reviewer: Mike from Santa Barbara, CA
Our 3rd visit (on a Sunday). Food remains delicious. Service needs improvement but NOT because of the server who ended up helping us when the server who initially took care of our table was MIA. There is one server there who works hard and cares. Very nice girl. The other server who initially took our order needs both an attitude lesson as well as tips on how to be a good server (the Asian lady is wonderful -- the other lady who wears her hair up and is Caucasian needs to find another line of work). Bad Server forgot to bring over our water, forgot to bring over our coffee (after 2 reminders) and as stated already, is unduly impressed with herself and has a bad attitude). The Good Server is a real sweetheart and couldn't do enough for us after we asked her for assistance as she passed by our table. The Manager-Co Owner, while a nice lady, needs to 'manage'. The man who plays at being the bartender is totally unprofessional, also impressed with himself and an amateur. Customers at the restaurant were visably upset with him, as well. We will go back to The French Table again but will wait a bit for them to get their act together. With a tab of over $70 (there were 3 of us) for lunch, the current service at this restaurant is not acceptable -- unless you are fortunate enough to have the Good Server wait on you.


Needs improvement
Reviewer: Eric from Santa Barbara, CA
My crab cake appetizer was very tasty and packed full of delicious crab BUT it was not jumbo lump crab as their menu describes. Despite this it rates higher than most because it was mostly crab where so many eateries give you a bread crumb cake with bits of crab. My dessert crepe was also very tasty and I enjoyed it despite the fact that I was stuffed. The needs improvement remark was very specific to my main course of Lobster Ravioli with a Cognac Lobster sauce. The sauce had not even the slightest hint of cognac nor any other alcohol and the ravioli, while well cooked in texture, had pretty much no flavor at all. The sauce tasted remarkably like Kraft Mac and Cheese sauce. I know it wasn't as it didn't have the fluorescent orange color but I was disappointed in this $19 portion of my $43 meal. I hope they tighten up their menu and improve things a bit. Service was pleasant and attentive and the atmosphere was warm and inviting. EMI


Great spot...need new bartender!
Reviewer: Sam from Santa Barbara, CA
Went here last night for the first time! Great spot, more casual and welcoming than previous restaurant! Food was great, and good wine selections. The bartender was terrible! A place like this NEEDS a welcoming, personable, professional bartender. This guy had blood stains all over his shirt, was abrasive, and I saw him pounding beers twice on his "runs back to the kitchen". We will be back, but hope he is not!


Wonderful Christmas breakfast
Reviewer: Jean and Davis from Santa Barbara, CA
First timers...My husband and I weren't sure that the restauarant would be open on Christmas BUT it was and breakfast was one of the best we've had in Santa Barbara. Fabulous 3-choices of many egg white omelet, delicious jam with the good bread and excellent coffee. Excellent service and atmosphere. We will go back as well as trying lunch and dinner.


Great neighborhood place
Reviewer: Allan from Santa Barbara, CA
Had breakfast and it was delicious. Have enjoyed the Happy Hour which is excellent. We enjoy this place very much. Great wait staff.


New favorite restaurant!
Reviewer: pjt from Santa Barbara, CA
The decor is welcoming, light and bright and the large table with bar stools looks great for a party. I love that they serve breakfast all day. Four of us went there for the first time and each of us raved about the food (nicoise salad with white anchovies; panini of the day special, omelette with smoked salmon, asparagas & cream cheese; sandwich & french onion soup). All of the meals came with a small salad, amazing potato gratin and bread with butter or jam. The portions were quite large and the prices very competitive. Looking forward to going for dinner.


Good Food, Drinks & Service Every Time
Reviewer: Sharon from Santa Barbara, CA
I love the location across from the sunken garden at the Courthouse. I've eaten at The French Table at least 5 times and had fast friendly service every time. My favorite meal is the salmon & asparagus omlette. Delicious! And large. Wonderful scalloped potatoes. My favorite drink - the Bellini with lychee. Give it a try.


Good Food -- Bad Service
Reviewer: Joy from Santa Barbara, CA
5 of us were there for brunch this past Saturday -- we made a reservation. Host was a bit confused - we finally were seated. We sat for about 15 minutes for someone to come over to our table to take our drink order. I finally had to go to host and ask him to send over our server - which is ridiculous. Server (female) was very sweet and competent -- but disjointed. Took forever for us to get our drinks and we had to ask several times for water. Finally, she took our food orders. Food was delicious including dessert crepes. We will return to this restaurant as I want to give them the benefit of the doubt but they do need to train their amateurish crew on how to be more responsive to their patrons.


Horrendous
Reviewer: Kat from Santa Barbara, CA
I usually will not post a bad rating for a restaurant - I just won't go back. But I have to post this. My husband and I ate here today at noon. Arrived and no management/host available. I will say the staff that finally acknowledged me was cordial. I requested a table for 2 outside. "Well, if there's an open table, go ahead and sit down". Okay, did that. Menus were brought. My husband was parking the car and that took several minutes. No one ever came to the table until many minutes after he arrived. Placed our order. Savory smoked salmon crepe for me, croque monsieur for him. Americano and Cappuccino were nice. Lunch arrived. Croque Monsieur consisted of two pieces of white bread toasted with generic swiss cheese, ham. Bechamel was basically a dollop on top, with another slice of cheese, broiled. The ham, cheese was still cold, never melted. My husband's words, "A four year old could have made this". The potato gratin was luke warm at best, under seasoned. Salad side was a mesclun mix, not tossed with the dressing. My crepe? Holy smokes this was bad. I actually took a couple bites and had my husband taste it, and we both decided this was not the salmon crepe we had ordered. The meat (salmon?) was thick, chewy and devoid of flavor. We decided it must be ham? We notified a staff member and she apologized for the wrong order and brought it back to the kitchen. Our waitress came back a few minutes later and stated: "This is actually the salmon crepe." Okay, well, not going to argue with you, but this was not like any smoked salmon I have ever had. She recommended the seafood crepe. Scallops, shrimp and herb cream. Fine. Should have just stopped there. What I finally got what a dish I can only describe as bland, overcooked seafood and a salt lick of crepe batter. Presentation was just as bad as it tasted. She never came back to check to see if everything was okay. I took a couple bites and covered my plate with my napkin. It took a very long time for her to come back and remove our plates. I will say that when we got our bill, we were not charged for either crepe, so this was a point in her favor. Again though, no mention of apologies for a horrible meal. It was almost like the front of house knows just how bad the food coming out of the kitchen is, and yet they are not at liberty to say. I give this place 6 months.


Sad
Reviewer: JO from Santa Barbara, CA
The French Table was absolutely horrible!! And that is not because of my restaurant connection... it was just simply dreadful... Really kinda sad actually. Service staff did not have a clue... I asked our server what her favorite dish was and she responded that she has not eaten the food... Really? Why is she working the floor? Rubber chicken... Rubber duck,,, indelible Beef Bourguignon... Sadly over braised stew meat... Stringy... Gamey... Shoe stew... We so wanted the restaurant to be good!... And it just simply was not...Bathrooms were filthy... Dining room was steaming hot... Awkward seating... No music... Bad pacing during service... Actually no service!! Don't waste your time or money... To top the night off we walked over to Maggie's for dessert and a nightcap!! Even worse... Come on SB... Is this all ya have?!


Delicious French bistro foodand great service
Reviewer: Meg from Santa Barbara, CA
A group of us had lunch there, and had really great food and very attentive helpful service. The soup, house-made tomato basil was absolutely delicious, as was the salad nicoise, and its vinaigrette. Others in our group had crepes pronounced absolutely wonderful, and the other lunchtime main dish salads. Staff were French and did a great job of letting us our pradctice our French with them! My only complaint was that it is a bit noisy. They have gotten rid of the last soft, sound-absorbing furniture that Elements had, and the voices and music are a bit much. The location and view of the Courthouse courtyard are wonderful.


Not worth your time!
Reviewer: Rhonda from Santa Barbara, CA
We dropped in for dinner and was so excited to have the location opened again as it is really a beautiful setting. Was really disappointed. The wait staff was awful - got our order wrong, the people next to us wrong. No management to be seen. With no hard alcohol, just beer and wine, couldn’t figure out why it took so long to get our drinks. The crepe was awful. The cheese platter is very nice. I may give them a second chance due to location – but really hoping they have their staff trained by then.


Mediocre at best...
Reviewer: Bob from Santa Barbara, CA
OK, so while there was nothing really wrong, other than some slow service, there really was nothing great either. We didn't have drinks; all they have is wine and beer and the prices were too high for something that requires no skill or effort to create. If you're looking for something that you'll remember the next day, then keep looking. If you're just looking for a place to eat that's going to have good food this may be the place for you. In short, if it were the only decent place in town I'd eat there again, but it is. We did have an issue with our bill and it was quickly fixed without any drama -- so I can say that they at least try to take care of their customers.


Needs a little help...
Reviewer: Tony & Jenn from Santa Barbara, CA
Having dined twice now at TFT... All I can say is the restaurant seems to have opened without being ready to provide the proper level of service for success. The staff seems poorly trained and uninformed about the menu. At lunch we asked questions about the wide selection of crepes and the sever seemed unfamiliar with ingredients and preparation. Our lunch turn around was fairly quick but at the of the day the “value for money” did not quite seem to be there with the other choices in town. However, we decided to give TFT a second shot for dinner before a show at the SB Bowl… all I can say is we almost did not make the show as the service dragged between courses and main entrees were delivered cold (Cajun Chicken Breast & Bolognaise Crepe). I am sure this is just a case of the “opening jitters”… but for a company that has multiple locations… you would think they would have it dialed in from the get go… We hope it gets better soon for them… as the location is obviously special in SB. They did do I nice job cleaning up the place after the sad decline of the prior establishment caused by the previous proprietors lack of attention towards then end of their run. Will give another shot after the new year, hoping the kinks get worked out.


Needs Help
Reviewer: Fred from Santa Barbara, CA
Great location , always loud inside this space don't expect a quiet dinner if you sit inside. Just opened and they were not ready. Very slow to get meals out. Meals cold and not very well paced , 20 minutes apart. Owners need to get involved or they will not last long.


Yeah! A great new place!
Reviewer: Arlene from Santa Barbara, CA
Just got back from lunch and had to comment - the food is wonderful (the burgers are amazing and the fries...yum!!) The service is very attentive - they got the group of 8 of us out in under an hour without feeling rushed. The staff's french accents didn't hurt the experience either....


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