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Opal Restaurant and Bar
1325 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 966-9676

  • Category: Californian, Fusion
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm, Sun-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5-11pm
  • Chef: Felipe Barajas Head Chef Gerardo Barajas Executive Sous Chef
  • Price: $10 - $20
  • Serving: Lunch & Dinner
  • Reservations: Yes, recommended
  • Map
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  • Menu
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Reviews by the General Public

Consistently Great!
Reviewer: Bob W. from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife Julie and I dine here 3-4 times a year. It is where we first met and where we ate dinner after we got married four months ago. We just had dinner there again last week after the 10th Anniversary showing of Sideways next door at The Arlington Theatre. The food is always delicious (Julie always has the Penne with Chicken in a Chipotle Cream Sauce), the service first rate, and they are nice enough to always give us the same table. Richard (it is always nice to share our wine with him), Tina and their staff are wonderful and friendly and it is always a treat for Julie and I to eat there. It is one of our favorite restaurants in all of Santa Barbara. They always make us feel like family!

Reviewer: Paula Kenny from Santa Barbara, CA
My family and I had a wonderful dining experience at Opal. We all chose different dishes and everything tasted fantastic. The service was great and atmosphere was good. I highly recommend the lemon grass salmon. Can't wait to go back.

Remarkable food and Service
Reviewer: Sylvia from Santa Barbara, CA
During the SBIFF I went to Opal's to enjoy a nice dinner before going to the Arlington. Even though they were completely full, the server made room at the bar where my party enjoyed the company of local Santa Barbara florist. The food was amazing, the service was perfect and the ambiance was inviting. This is one of best restaurants in SB. I had the Lemon Grass/Salmon which was cooked to perfection. Thanks Opal for making my dining experience memorable.

Terrible service
Reviewer: James from Cheshire, UK
First time customer. Starters were taken away the second that we finished eating, and mains were brought out immediately. We commented that it was too quick and didn't want to be rushed but the waitress just walked away. The 'locals favourite' seafood salad was served containing one prawn and no seabass. After asking the manager why, we were informed that they had run out of sea bass and had just neglected to inform us when ordering. In the end, we weren't charged for the seafood salad but this was an empty gesture after the evening was over in just 40 MINUTES! Very disappointed and will definitely not return! 'Bouchon' is just 2mins round the corner and is in a another league, would highly recommend it as an alternative.

Humanitarian Award
Reviewer: Karin from Santa Barbara, CA
My Father had to cancel a standing Sat. Luncheon reservation. Ron, the manager inquired, why? My father explained due my mother's declining health, he would not be able to ger her in the car. Ron, stated "you will have your favorite Lemon Grass Salmon today" On his break, Ron personally delivered my parents favorite lunch and Tiramizu, along with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. All this on the house. The saying "Mi Casa, es su Casa" sure was demonstrated here. Our family is so touched by the generosity of Tina and Ron of Opal Restaurant. Thank you, just doesn't seem to adequately state how this generous and kind gesture lifted our families spirits.

Opal runner up?
Reviewer: Leo from Santa Barbara, CA
This place is ok but really, the runner up to best restaurant in santa barbara? Who votes and I would love to see how many people voted for this restaurant? And what criteria do you have for voting? Seems really fishy to me.

Good, over all, but not great
Reviewer: CB from Santa Barbara, CA
This is my second time to Opal, once before for lunch some years ago. Went with girlfriends and will be the first to say, especially being a server myself, that I know we took over our table too long and on a Friday evening! I felt badly about that and can only excuse myself somewhat by saying I don't get out much and so we all had a lot to say! Our server was gracious about it and took good care of us even though I am sure we stretched his patience. As for the food. Hmmm. I had a chicken dish that had goat cheese and was supposed to have pesto which was why I chose it but I never detected much pesto flavor at all. It was served on greens, arrugula I think, another flavor I love but more so when the greens are tender and these were kind of tough. It was good but the chicken a bit dry so missed out on being what I hoped. My companions didn't say a lot about their entrees so now I wonder if they weren't quite what they hoped for as well. All in all we definitely enjoyed the atmosphere and our wine so I would go back for another try.

Exellant Food... Good Service
Reviewer: Denise from Santa Barbara, CA
I'm a bit embarrassed to say as a Santa Barbara native, this was my first visit to Opal and I enjoyed every minute. The food was great (probably not as hot as I would have loved but it wasn't cold either), full of flavor and was very filling. I had the Macadamia Crusted Mahi Mahi and then Jack Daniel's Dark Chocolate Crème Brulee (my new fav!). It's a bit loud once it gets busy but not too loud where you can't hear others at your table. We had two waiters who could not have been nicer. I noticed other reviews noted how it's "gone downhill", this makes me curious how it might have been before because I loved it as it is now. :) Can't wait to go back!

excellent food! Usually excellent service!
Reviewer: Megan from Santa Barbara, CA
Fantastic food, never disappointing desserts. Service is usually excellent, but female server can be snippy.

Consistently Good
Reviewer: Justin from Santa Barbara, CA
Been in many times, and have never had a bad experience. Opal is often busy, so make a reservation and you might just end up with the best table in the house like my wife and I did: up front in the alcove, perfect for people watching on State Street and food watching as other patrons are delivered stunning dishes. The staff is very knowledgeable, on both the dishes and wines to pair them with from the extensive list. You won't be disappointed.

Keeps me coming back
Reviewer: Matt from Goleta, CA
I've been coming here for the last year and have never been disappointed by the food. The mushroom chicken with risotto is incredible, fantastic sauce and moist chicken but the risotto is always an experience. Their sauces are always delectable and the flavors strong and usually not overpowering, honey wheat you can taste the honey as well as the orange rice. The duck is some of the best I've had, not greasy but not dry either especially with the compote. Service is typically good, Chris my most recent waiter was on the ball although others in the past have not been as diligent. I will say that it is small and has been a bit loud every time I've dined but when the food's as good as it is the place is typically packed. I highly recommend calling ahead for reservations. All in all one of my favorite places in Santa Barbara and that's saying something.

Bad Experience
Reviewer: Howard from Santa Barbara, CA
We were anticipating a nice romantic dinner for our anniversary but instead had a horrible experience. The waiter apparently lost our order and never returned to our table to check on us. We were forced solicit the manager to find our waiter who did apologize for loosing our order, never checking on us and making us wait 1:15 for our meal. The manager did comp us each a drink after we asked for it. All that aside this was not the intimate dining experience we were expecting. The tables are shoulder to shoulder where we were seated and it is quite loud and noisy. The food was fine but over priced for the ambiance. Try the Stonehouse if you want a special experience.

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