Santa Barbara Hotels
Santa Barbara Restaurants
 Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Ma Dolce Vita
  
 List your business

Ma Dolce Vita
[closed, no longer in business]

700 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 965-3535


Reviews by the General Public

It not the food its the people
Reviewer: J.D. Flick from Tulsa, Oklahoma
Resturants are usually what you make out of them. If a customer such as many of these stuck up snobs, who are rude to their servers and forget the basic concept, that these hard working young adults are servers not servants. Will put themselves at the bottom of the priority list due to their "I am better then you attitude" at that point the server would write you off because they know that you are a worthless table anyway. So before people start blaming a wait staff they should look at themselves, because they are probably bad customers. And if people are unhappy with the food, send it back. DON'T EAT IT because then the problem cannot be resolved. I think that a mojority of these negative comments are probably writen by some stuck up self-centered snobs. I have eaten there on many occasions during my vacations to Santa Barbara and the food has been exceptional, and the wait staff has been nothing more then WONDERFUL and FRIENDLY. As a matter of fact last time I was in there, the resturant was having a "tip-a-cop night" or something raising money for the special olymipics. As consumer we should all support resturants that are trying to make a difference. It shows that this resturant is run by good hearted Americans. And as a consumer I would definatly recommend this place to everyone. The Wild Horse Pino Noir "recommended by the server" paired with the Rib-eye topped with a port reduction is to die for!!!!!!


What You See is What You Get
Reviewer: Paco from Palos Verdes, CA
Everything about the restaurant is four-star. The patio is exceptionally pleasant, and the Mushroom Soup and the Linguini with Mussels are also decent. As far as service goes, there really isn't anything to complain about. The menu (with prices) is posted on the outside wall, and so what you see is what you get.


Worst service in Santa Barbara-actually in all of California
Reviewer: Worst Food Ever!!! from Santa Barbara, ca
Having lived in California for the last 18 years and Santa Barbara for the last 2, I've eaten out quite a bit, from the greatest burritos in the world in San Diego to excellent Chinese in San Francisco. I've had good, I've had bad, but this place, this place is the worst place in the entire state. The waiter, who was just some scruffed up college dropout, was inattentive, or rude when he actually did come over. The salmon, which was a quality cut, was merely heated up and covered in sauce that tasted like orange juice with corn starch. The pasta tasted like it was Kraft. Overall a terrible experience.


Ma Dolce Refund
Reviewer: Jake from Santa Barbara
This restaurant is beautiful inside and out, and that was what caught my eye. I usually am on State Street during the day, and the restaurant is often not open. Finally I saved enough money to go on a date there, and it was terrible. The hostess put us at a table tucked in the corner, and we were frequently forgotten about. The overpriced meals were less-than-appetizer sized, and had no flavor. I got a ravioli dish that had maybe 4 ravioli, but no bread, soup or salad, all for over $20. My date got chicken, and it was seriously a small chicken wing with 5 slices of cold zucchini for a side dish. Portions were small, bland and not worth it. This restaurant is great for ambiance and is great for a date, but not if you're actually hungry.


My date went away happy (isnt that was really matters?)
Reviewer: Tom from Santa Barbara, CA
As a young professional living in Santa Barbara, I was pleased to find a nice atmosphere, good portions, and courteous service at Ma Dolce Vita. The waiter was very professional yet non-intrusive (as I was on a date). Having been been to Italy and of Italian descent, I was impressed by the overall experience and so was my date. The hostess was quick to find a table on the patio that was not in the way of traffic... Although the bus boy forgot to bring the extra rolls as I had asked for... for this reason only, 4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend Ma Dolce Vita for the ambiance of State Street with an Italian feel.


Terrible Place to eat
Reviewer: Sarah from Goleta, Ca
I dined here a couple of weeks ago with my mom and fiancee, and it was terrible. I frequently have walked passed it and always thought it was so cute and so "Santa Barbara". While the patio and ambience is really nice, the quality of food lacked. I had a vegetable lasagna special which tasted like something you would buy in bulk at Costco. I can´t even remember what the rest of my party had, needless to say it was only memorable because of what it lacked. It was disapointing to have our waitress be so rude as well. I did read other reviewers comments, one in particular from an actual waiter of the restaurant, and I urge Ma Dolce Vita to look into the consistency of the reviews. Terrible service and mediocore food seem to be echoed from eveyone. As for everyone else- Don´t waste your time here, trust me.


Great place to eat
Reviewer: Kim Quinonez from Los Angeles
My husband and I came to eat here for our 11th anaversery. And we had a very nice time, it was real romantic. Our food was great, and the service was excellent. Not once was anybody rude, we were well taken care of. And we will go back again!!!!


Romantic and Beautiful!
Reviewer: Tracy from Fresno, CA
We visited this beautiful restaurant for our two year anniversary. We sat on the patio where we listened to the relaxing waterfall and watched as people walked along the streets. Our server "SAM" was excellent. Being a server myself, I could tell that he was very busy, but he gave us more than excellent service. We started with drinks...which were wonderful, and moved to appetizers and our entrees. The food and service was prompt and wonderful. Our dinner ended with Crem Brule, my absolute favorite!! Our special night was made even more beautiful by visiting this wonderful restaurant. We will definitely go back on our next visit to Santa Barbara!


Half a star at best!
Reviewer: Lisa
Horrible service, less than average food and to top it my credit card was used to pay for another tables food as well as ours. Our waiter was busy flirting with another table. He offered nothing without us asking twice first. Food was poor at best, very bland. When I received my credit card bill I found that I had two charges for the same evening at Ma Dolce Vita. My guess is that we paid for the table our waiter was busy flirting with. When I tried to get the manager to credit my account for the meal that was not ours I was refused. I had my credit card company send me a copy of the signed receipts and very clearly a different name was signed. The credit card company considered this fraud and cancelled my card and issued me a new one.


Best Mediterranean Food
Reviewer: ROBERT LEWIS from Algarrobo, Chile (near to Viña del Mar)
Few words por this Restaurant: Excellent, nice place a very good food and dishes, good presentation. The owners are wonderfull people, great place.


for tourists only

This restaurant is on the corner of one of the busiest pedestrian intersections downtown. Their patio opens to the street on 2 sides, they have a fountain with flowers, big padded chairs, and refurbished the whole building in the "Spanish" style of S.B. development. This brings in enough walk-in tourist traffic to keep them open. However, if this food were to be served anywhere off of State Street they would never last. It´s just not that good, and I doubt they have many repeat or local customers.


Nice Patio, Sub Par Service
Reviewer: Fritz from Pasadena, Ca
My girl friend and I ate here recently and liked the patio but the service was average at best. It took a while to have anyone ask for our order and then the order was incorrect. Food was good but as I said, the incorrect order came. Our server was not very attentive in fact, she disappeared leaving us waterless and breadless. Portions were ok although I guess I could see how big eaters might be unhappy. I am not sure if I would go back again.


Yuck.
Reviewer: LocalGrl
A beautiful patio and terrible food, bad service, cheap cutlery and ugly dishes. It sucks in every way. Too bad, it´s got so much potential....


re: "IT´S WONDERFUL" review
Reviewer: James from Santa Barbara
WELL, WHEN THE REVIEWER IS THE OWNER WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THEM TO SAY


A waiter´s rebuttle
Reviewer: Chris Olerich from Santa Barbara, CA.
I am writing this as a response to the "dusted and disgusted" review, because I want to straighten a few things out. As far as his complaints about the service are concerned, I am glad these were brought to our attention, as we are working to rectify the situation (ie: waitstaff and busboy changes.) However, the claims that the portions are too small are ridiculous, in my five years of waiting tables at Ma Dolce Vita, I have never heard this complaint once, in fact I would say that the majority of the people that I wait on cannot finish the amount of food, and have to take the rest home. As for the food being overpriced, there is a menu right outside the building, complete with prices, so if you feel it is too expensive, then you can go elsewhere. If you do a comparison of prices from similar resturants, you will see that our prices are quite reasonable. Now I feel I must address the bigger issue, the one about the mice, for this issue has been our #1 concern for a long time. Our resturant is on State Street, the busiest pedestrian street in Santa Barbara. We have a patio that is right next to the sidewalk. We have open gates that are right off this sidewalk. It is virtually impossible to stop a mouse, scurrying in from the street, to enter our resturant (we have told the hostess not to seat anyone under 4 inches tall!) This is a problem for all resturants on state street with open patios (just ask Pascucci). We have taken great pains to alert the City of Santa Barbara of this, and every time we do, we are met with empty promises. Recently, Vector Control has been making progress on this issue, no doubt because of the pressure from State Street businesses. There are no mice inside the resturant, and we have one of the cleanest kitchens in town. As for the young waiter that "fed him a line of B.S." that was me, and I want to explain exactly what I said. I simply informed him that which was stated above, and asked him nicely to write a letter to us, or even better, to the city, so that we could bring further pressure down to have the mice problem taken care of. He chose not to do this. He instead chose to write a vicious review, and personally attack myself, and other members of the staff. I may have stuttered throught the conversation, as I do when I am being put on the defensive from an extremely rude customer, but I did all that was in my power to make him happy. I spoke with his server, and she informed me that he had no complaints until the bill arrived, which he wanted comped. If there was a problem earlier, as he stated, then why not move inside, where there are no mice? I know that this is not so much a review, it is kind of a "review of the review," but I have alot of pride in my resturant, (I don´t own it, but that does not matter) and I am tired of people that trash it and my fellow workers. This man wanted something for free, and when we did not give it to him, he started slinging the mud. I think that we are a good resturant, we have excellent food (I personally eat here at least twice a week) and although sometimes the service can be less than perfect, I will always do whatever I can to make a customer happy.


GREAT ATMOSPHERE BUT,..........

Yes, great atmosphere but, the service is exceptionally BAD. Y´ ve been there two times now and had two different servers, all were aweful!


Two Thumbs Up!
Reviewer: Mia from Ventura .
Everything here rocks, food,atmosphere, and the good service.What I love most about your choice, is the chicken and protuco sandwich. I recommend all food lovers that place. 2 thumbs up!


great patio for lunch
Reviewer: Cécile Wallerand from Modave, Belgium in Europe
The time we have spent in this place was particulary good because of the atmsosphere of the patio. Try sandwiches, excellent!


Its wonderful
Reviewer: Enih from Goleta
We have been waiting for them to change their menu. Finally they did it, and what a scrumptious menu. We were skeptical so we went back for dinner and we tried lunch. The consistency was there. We will be going back


Great dinner
Reviewer: Daniel from Santa Barbara
My wife and I had dinner with some friends and we found this place enchanting. The only thing we wish they had was a more extensive international wine menu. Service was better then most places in town and the food was excellent. We put this on our favorite places to eat list.


WHAT´S WORSE, MICE OR THE BAD SERVICE?
Reviewer: DUSTED & DISGUSTED from CALIFORNIA
RECENTLY MY GIRLFRIEND AND I HAD DINNER HERE OUT ON THE PATIO. OUR FIRST IMPRESSION WAS THAT IT SEEMED LIKE A VERY NICE PLACE BUT IT DIDN´T TAKE LONG TO CHANGE OUR OPINIONS. FOR ONE, THE SERVICE WAS EXTREMELY SLOW. WHEN OUR WAITRESS FINALLY GREETED US SHE WAS SNOBBY AND UNPROFESSIONAL. IT TOOK EVEN LONGER TO RECIEVE WATER AND BREAD, WHICH WE HAD TO ASK FOR BOTH. THE FOOD WAS PRETTY GOOD BUT THE PORTIONS WERE EXTREMLY SMALL AND IT WAS WAY OVER PRICED. IN THE MIDDLE OF EATING OUR MEAL WE STARTED TO NOTICE MICE RUNNING AROUND THE PATIO. THEY WERE CLIMBING UP VINES, RUNNING ALL OVER THE FLOOR AND ONE LITTERALLY RAN OVER MY GIRLFRIEND´S FOOT WHILE SHE ATE. DISGUSTING! WHEN WE ADDRESSED THIS ISSUE WITH THE WAITRESS, SHE DIDN´T APOLOGIZE OR EVEN ACT LIKE SHE CARED. SHE SAID SOMETHING LIKE ...."AND?, THERE´S NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT." WE ASKED TO SPEAK TO A MANAGER BUT WERE TOLD THERE WASN´T ONE THERE. SO A YOUNG WAITER CAME OUT CLAIMING TO BE A SUPERVISOR BUT HE WAS NO HELP EITHER.HE JUST FED US A LINE OF BULLSH**, STUTTERED THE WHOLE WAY THROUGH, AND EVEN TOLD US THAT THE CITY DIDN´T CARE.WE SPENT OVER $70 ON A VERY UNPLEASENT EXPREIENCE. WE EVEN TOOK PICTURES OF THE MICE AND WE´LL BE SENDING THEM TO THE FOOD AND HEALTH DEPARTMENT. E-MAIL ME IF YOU´D LIKE TO SEE THEM AS WELL. DON´T EAT HERE!!!!!


Excellent

I was there just yesterday evening, with my wife and son. The food was very good, the service friendly, well-timed and precise. The decor is lovely. Unless you´re some snotty and picky prince or princess equating perfection with your expectations, go there, relax. You will be treated well and have a fine dining experience in a wonderful decor. Enjoy!


GOOD,GOOD LUNCH!!

Good lunch(chicken sandwich,mmmm is ;)good!), very good service, and nice ambience.


Best patio in town, worst food around

I think that says it all. Go for a cup of coffee, and a pre-made frozen mediocre dessert just to sit on the patio and watch the world walk by. Then get out of there. (The stars are for the decor, not the food or service.)


THIS PLACE IS AWFUL

My husband and I dined here on Valentine´s Day and boy was that a BIG mistake. I had done some research and read all the terrible reviews of this place but thought hey it looks nice it can´t be all that bad. Was I wrong. Yes, the decor and setting is nice, but the service is HORRIBLE. Our waiter and bus boys had no clue what they were doing. We had to ask to be served bread twice and when they did finally come with it they only gave us one stick when there were two of us. We had to ask for water, we had to ask for napkins, we had to ask for everything! The appetizer came (rubbery calamari) and then not two minutes later our entrees arrived. We told the waiter to take them back so we could at least finish our appetizer. They must have set our dinners under heat lamps because when we were ready to eat them the pasta was all stuck together in a big lump and the osso bucco was overcooked and dry. Basically we hated this place and would never go back. Save your money and order Domino´s.


Horrible Food
Reviewer: Celeste from San Luis Obispo,
Horrible food, that is all there is to say!!!!!!


Just weirdo

Well, I ate at this place twice. Both times were so "odd". The waitors, hostess, "bus boys"...all a little weird. On top of that, the food was way overpriced. Small portions...not that wonderful tasting. Wouldn´t suggest eating here! Sorry-


Reasonable, yet not worth it

Ma Dolce Vita, from the outside seems a wonderful place to dine. The ambiance is great and quite enjoyable, but that is where it ends. The waitstaff was sluggish, as I had to wait a good thirty minutes for my meal, my comrades and I felt ignored by the waitstaff(although I always attribute that to being a college student and have become accustomed to such), and the food did not live up to my expectations. The worst and most imprinted memory of my meal was the desert. My favorite dish, Creme Brulee, ruined by their chefs. Over glazed sugar left my treat less than desireable and I left the restaurant dissapointed. Not worth my dining dollars eventhough the menu prices are rather resonable.


Pleasing to the stomach and the eyes

Best described as Italian-American, the food was delicious and the staff were very friendly and accomodating. The restaurant located at a busy intersection, so the patio can be a bit noisy in the middle of the day, however it is such an attractive patio that one could easily overlook the noise. The restaurants interior is stunning as well.


Great Lunch...nice ambience...

the shortline... three years ago we had a couple of superb garden salads along with a delectibly nouvelle italian pasta and mushroom entre; It was excellent...I´m visiting Santa Barbara now and I plan a second sampling.


Enjoyable lunch
Reviewer: John from Atlanta, georgia
Was doing the tourist lunch thing in Santa Barbara and had a very nice lunch


ONE OF THE WORST PLACES TO EAT!

We went there the 1st time when they opened thinking that we were there on a "bad" day. The 2nd time we gave it a try was a mistake. They have the worst pasta dishes. How can you go wrong on a simple tomato sauce dish? The service is slow & incompetent. We will never go back there!


Excellent Spinach and Cheese Ravioli

I went to this restaurant with some of my friends. We all liked the decor. The service was pretty prompt, because the restaurant was practically empty. I ordered the Spinach and Cheese ravioli, which was extremely delicious. My friends ate chicken and portabella sandwiches, which I heard was tasty too. I definitely plan to eat there again some day.


"TRY AGAIN"
Reviewer: COL.MITCH URSICH from SAN FRANCISCO
HOW CAN A PERSON RAVE ABOUT THE FOOD WHEN THE SERVICE SUCKS.I DON´T KNOW WHERE THESE WAITRESSES GOT THERE TRAINING, BUT THEY SHOULD BE RE-TRAINED.


OVERRATED

NICE DECOR, AND THATS WHERE THE BUCK STOPS. VERY SLOW SERVICE WITH HIGH PRICES. THERE´S TOO MANY GOOD BISTROS IN S.B. TO WASTE YOUR MONEY HERE.


"WHAT A RIPOFF"
Reviewer: DENNIS & LU BARBIERI from SAN PEDRO, CAL.
THIS IS THE PLACE TO GO IF YOU LIKE BEING RIPPED OFF. THE SERVICE STINKS. NO REFILLS ON WATER, ONE LOUSY BREAD STICK (AFTER THE MEAL I WAS TOLD THAT THE OWNER CHARGES $1 PER BREAD STICK EXTRA ,TRY "PALAZZIO´S" THEY SERVE GARLIC ROLLS CONTINUEOUSLY) SMALL PORTIONS, HIGH PRICES AND UGLY SERVICE


Wonderful
Reviewer: Jackie from Goleta, CA
I would give them five stars, but I´ve only been there once. I enjoyed my dinner very much and found their handmade raviolis to be excellent. The service was good and the atmosphere was superb. I do plan on going back.


Have you eaten here? Write a review of this location!  Terms of Service