Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Sevilla
Ca Dario

No longer in business
Opened: 2005-06 Closed: 2008-05

428 Chapala St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 564-8446

Reviews by the General Public

Very disappointed....., 5/17/2008
Reviewer: R. Williams from Santa Barbara, CA
We usually only go to Sevilla for drinks and after our dinner last night that is how it will remain. On a Saturday night at 8:30 we were one of three tables in the restaurant. Most of the menu items had a sweet theme to them. We asked the waiter to see if the chef would spice up the appetizer and suggest something not so sweet. I ordered the mussel green curry app which was mussels with coconut milk and there was no curry flavor to it. The Waygu Hanger steak was decent. Our waiter recommended the vegetarian tamale which again, was only decent. The bus boy/expediter served our food, cleared our plates, we gave him (busboy) our credit card, he (busboy) brought out our check and then the waiter showed up with our processed CC slip and apologized that the computer system was down and that was why we had to wait. We had already left the table at this point and were standing by the entrance when our server turned up. Basically a disappointing dinner and we will not dine or recommend this place to our friends. Its too bad as well because we sat in a great booth.

Happy Birthday to Me!, 5/11/2008
Reviewer: Catherine and Rick from Santa Barbara
We were referred to Sevilla by Joe, one of the bartenders at a local resort. Sevilla was beautiful. The atmosphere was stylish, but not trying too hard. I was only surprised it wasn't PACKED on a Saturday night, but the next day was to be Mother's Day, perhaps people were saving appetites for brunch. Our table was one of the booths stuffed with soft pillows and a curtain in case you wanted privacy. So romantic. Our waiter made excellent recommendations for appetizers and they were FABULOUS! He also chose my entree of vegetarian tamale and I loved it. We chose our own dessert, the banana trio. I don't even like desserts, but this was absolutely unique and magnificent. I read the other reviews and can't imagine people not enjoying this place. I'm going back.

expected more than we recieved, 3/20/2008
Reviewer: Ken Kushnir from Santa Rosa
Looked like it was highly rated by someone, and we were in the same rut, so a new venture, limited menu, took forever to get drinks, they were out of my favorite bourbon, the appitizer ok, the pricy lobster served cold, as was my wife's pork ribs. So so, not worth the price. Too many other better places in SB!

Downers over even Sevilla bar, I think not!!, 1/6/2008
Reviewer: barb from Santa Barbara,ca
I have to say Sevilla for tapas is a great treat! I have not had dinner here but have enjoyed everything on the tapas menu and even been able to taste all wines by glass before ordering. NATE is now cooking which is great because the MAC n CHEESE is back!! Thanks Nate!! If you have not tried it yet go NOW! This dish is better than anything at Downeys. That place is a stuffy mess! Too chic? Not at all, Sevilla gets ambiance at its finest, thank god! As far as the bathroom, it is coed- very well done. It is a club when the dinners are done and what a great way to meet...HA! Great Bar staff as well. Courtney has been treating the after work crowd like kings and queens. That personal touch is great!! We go often and always have a great experience. By the way you can also have the dinner menu in the bar if you like the vibe better. As far as my thoughts on Downers, check out that review under their restaurant review not here.

Good, but not Great, 12/18/2007
Reviewer: Ryan from Santa Barbara
Overall ambience was very chic. I'd go as far as to say maybe too chic. Umm, excuse me, how does this bathroom work?! :) The waiter was good, but man, relax a bit. It's just dinner! 2 out of 3 dinners did come to the table cold and were sent back. The new dinners were warm and were very good. The smoked bread pudding was freakin crazy good. The wine selection was strange. I had a hard time finding things I recognized. The waiter did pour the 2nd bottle of wine into the glass of my other wine. Ooops. Overall, very hip, interesting menu, overpriced (for same price or less I'd rather go to Downey's any day!), but something fun and different. Not really interested in returning.

Bad Bad Bad News, 11/28/2007
Reviewer: Pema from Santa Barbara
How about this scenario. Book a large enough party to buy out the restaurant. Discuss menu and timing with the chef. Invite the out of towners. Get less than two weeks away from the event date, after weeks of unanswered calls. Then receive a return call from a manager only after tracking down the find out they double-booked the restaurant. Now...what to do with a restaurant full of holiday party guests and no restaurant? Bad news. Bad form. Bad all the way around. Sevilla is imploding.

What happened?, 11/14/2007
Reviewer: Sharon Remacle from Santa Barbara
The last time I went to Sevilla was over a year ago. I have to say it was one of the best meals I had ever had. I was so disappointed when I returned a few weeks ago and had such a different experience. I don't know what happened to the old menu, but I thought I would try the duck. I don't know for sure, but it must have been frozen because it did not have a fresh taste. I do have to say that the service was awesome, too bad I can't say that for the food.

Downward Spiral, 10/21/2007
Reviewer: Caren from Santa Barbara
I use to be a frequent Sevilla customer a long time ago and finally decided to give it another shot after all the changes. My husband and I ate there last night and it was a huge disappointment. It was especially disappointing because we were celebrating as well. The restaurant was not extremely busy on a Saturday night and we had to wait 45 minutes for appetizers and an hour 1/2 for entrees. The waitress was completely inattentive and didn't check on us once during the entire 2 plus hours we were there which is ridiculous. As a whole, the wait staff and hostess has gone to hell because it use to be one of best in SB. Also, if you don't eat red meat I wouldn't suggest eating there as well since there might be one entree to choose from since they combine even their fish dishes with a meat sauce. Weird. I had the sea bass and it was only seared and I don't usually send back food but I am pregnant and can't eat raw fish so I did. It took them close to another 1/2 hour to bring my food back (the waitress wasn't checking with kitchen apparently) and by the time they did my husband was finished with his. The service was so horrible that we decided to just skip the dessert we were looking forward to because we felt like we have been there all night. Another thing I noticed was the new crowd that goes there seems to be in the 50 plus age range so we felt a bit out of place there as well. I don't think we will ever go back to Sevilla again which is really a bummer since it use to be so fun. :(

Fine atmosphere and bar, terrible customer service., 10/12/2007
Reviewer: Rachael from Santa Barbara, CA
Being from Santa Barbara, my friends and I were excited to head back to Sevilla and check out the new chef for what we hoped would be a lovely meal with friends. Instead, our night out was stressful and a a huge disapointment. The bar was fine, but things turned ugly when we sat down. Since the restaurant was empty and we were a big party ordering wine and entrees, we hoped they would "allow" us to order off the forbidden bar menu (according to TMZ, they did it for Lindsay Lohan!) but no, they wouldn't even consider it. So we tried to order off the dinning room menu, but they were out of three of the items we requested...still, they weren't going to budge on allowing us to order off the bar menu. It was a huge let down and an average, somewhat uninspired menu (way too many lima beans in every dish.) Not only will we not go back, but unless you're Lindsay Lohan, we strongly urge you to make other plans as well!

Curtain Call!, 3/31/2007
Reviewer: Greg & Yukari from Goleta, CA
We went to Sevilla for a late Valentine's dinner. (Fabulous web site). We reserved a private booth with curtains. The overall atmosphere was superb. We ordered the prefix sampler, which was pricey but the best (non-Japanese) restaurant experience we've had since the Clinton administration. We had a lovely broiled tequila prawn appetizer. The sea bass was divine — fresh and delicate (not that bacon-like chilean sea bass). The duck was a metaphysical experience. Now I understand how the Buddha felt under the Bodi tree; there was no "me," no "self," no mental "chatter" — There was only the duck, I was one with the duck.... On the down side, the bread was boring; the service was surprisingly quick but informal (we don't really mind, but at $55/plate it was surprising). Also the curtains to the booth rarely stayed closed long enough for any serious snogging. Finally, it was disappointing that you can only order off the tapas menu from the bar — even for appetizers. We're going back this week, but we see that none of our favorites are still on the menu. Samsara desu. For a more casual experience, try the tapas bar. We put this down as a "must."

great atmosphere....service unacceptable, 3/24/2007
Reviewer: Joseph Yaghi from Santa Barbara
i would like to first say that whoever designed the restaurant did a very good job. i went there on thursday night. the decour is orginal and comfy...but i called three times before i arrived to get directions and no one picked up. i thought they were very busy but i soon found out that they were quite empty... i told our waitress (who was also the hostess) that i tried calling, her answer was that "it wasnt her job to answer the phone." so aparently she got offended by my question and really gave us all a cold treatment. its really disheartening to see the image of a restaurant like that being put down by insolent behaviour. food was good and i like the set up but i had a bad experience.

Dissapointed with Bouillabaisse soup, 3/17/2007
Reviewer: David Graham from Santa Barbara, Ca
My girlfriend and I checked out the restaurant's web site and were extremely impressed with the deisgn and layout and decided to make a reservation. The decor of the restaurant was very sleek and trendy but the food portions were very small. I ordered the bouillabaisse soup which had won the top prize in the Santa Barbara bouillabaisse cookoff. The portion of the soup was way too too small to be a main course and the bouillabaisse was far superior at Brothy Brothers at half the price. I was appalled that the restaurant did not serve incredible French bread to accompany the soup. The only bread they served were very dried out dinner rolls which the waiter did not replenish until we requested more. I will admit that the white wine we were served was wonderful. Dinner for $87.00 for two people which included two glasses of wine and no dessert, seemed expensive, especially since we left hungry! I doubt if we would ever return to this restaurant. David & Mary (Residents of Santa Barbara)

Knowledgable, friendly staff, YUM food & wine, 11/26/2006
Reviewer: C. Redmond from Santa Barbara/Montecito
I LOVE Sevilla and I don't understand the negative reviews. My husband and I eat here frequently because the staff is great and the atmosphere reminds us of being back in San Francisco where we lived before we were married. It is perfect for celebrating or having romantic nights because they have booths where a curtain encloses it so you have total privacy. The food is definitely unique and I have to admit it is not something I can eat frequently but is still pretty tasty. They have a good wine list and VERY knowledgeable waiters which I really appreciate and all and all it makes for an enjoyable night out. I can't understand not liking it. It's fun!

A wonderfully experiential evening., 11/26/2006
Reviewer: Claudia from Los Angeles, CA
From the moment you walk into Sevilla you are transported into an experiential evening. The decor has a spanish flare interpreted into a mix of eclectic contemporary casual. A relaxing and inviting environment with cozy tables, secluded booths, seperated rooms which cuts down the noise level experienced in many larger roomed restaurants. The servers and hostesses were friendly and accomodating from the moment we walked in the door. The place was busy but not super crowded on a Saturday night. Our server was extremely pleasant and well versed about the food and wine. It was a needed change of pace from the standard beach bar that SB overflows with. We been to nice restaurants here in SB over the past 4 days but with dirty tables and floors and service was variable. We were most impressed with Sevilla seems they paid attention to the details in artistic presentation of the food, decor, and demeanor of their staff. The food was imaginative and delicious. We loved the lobster mashed potato soup shots..the combination of this soup with beacon and balsamic vinger was wonderful. The ravoli apps. though beautifully presented did not hold up to the rest...a little bland. The marinated pork shoulder fell from the bone loved the pairing of citrus and black beans. It was large portion not skimpy. The recommended oreo cookie desert was a lovely pallet of flavors. Who would have thunk it .. no ordinary cookie. The port was seems they served us the very last bit in the bottle...which is why they received 4.5 not 5.0 from us. We recommend it to anyone who is looking for something out of the ordinary. We look forward to seeing them in Los Angeles

Good Food/Service BUT they DOUBLE BILLED us!, 11/22/2006
Reviewer: Simon from Santa Barbara
My wife and I went there for a very nice anniversary dinner. We had a great time; the food was great and so was the service. I felt fine about putting down ~$150 for dinner. However (and this is the reason I put 0 stars for service), I found that they put through two charges for the same amount! Then when my wife called to correct the situation (after placing several calls) they told her that she should just contact the bank and have them deal with it! I would have thought that at the very least they would take the initiative to correct their error but no. After several weeks this is still an unresolved case with the fraud department of our bank though the bank was good enough to credit our account right away. I thought it was a very unprofessional way for the restaurant to deal with this and because of that I won't be going back there.

Decent but definitely not a 5 star, 10/31/2006
Reviewer: Adam from Santa Barbara
The atmosphere is obnoxious - it is as if the owners wanted to impress everyone and simply couldn't decide what the theme of the decor should be so they mixes and mashed - The dining room feels cramped and is poorly lit with a mish mas of spotlights and darkness. There are 3 "booths" in a side room that are more intimate but are not comfortable if you are tall. I found the food to be "ehhh". Not great and not bad but definitely lacking a real identity and on the high side of pricing. The wine list was fantastic and had a great selection of both local, French and Napa wines. The staff is gorgeous, they are literally models and that pretty much sums up the experience. Superficial and thin. I agree with one of the other posters about Santa Barbara locals lacking a real sense of quality. This restaurant would not last a month in SF or NYC and the Esquire rating must be a paid placement for the food while good was nowhere near the quality that you would recieve at a true 5 star restaurant.

We miss the old Sevilla and Flamenco, 10/23/2006
Reviewer: cristina from santa barbara
This place should not have taken the old name "Sevilla". It has nothing to do with Spain. The music in there is god-awful and is was what you hear in a teenage clothing store. The food was good but we just miss the old place and the ambience with the red chairs and the Flamenco dance show on Wednesdays.

Trying too hard, 9/28/2006
Reviewer: Chris from Los Angeles, CA
I agree with the reviewer below - there is too much sensory overload as far as the decor, its all too weird. I did however enjoy the interesting fusion dishes..and the different cocktails..of course it was all overpriced..someone has to pay the crazy lease on this place! It is SB afterall! Give or take - it was an okay experience for us.

An Experience I will never forget, 9/28/2006
Reviewer: Charlene from Santa Barbara, Ca
The experience was something I will never forget. It was my Birthday and my first time at Sevilla, also, a first date. it was romantic and fun. We had incredible service, food, and wine.

Knocked my socks off!, 9/26/2006
Reviewer: Kris from Santa Barbara
I work concierge at a resort in town, and frequently send guests here based on the reviews. I finally had a night off and decided to dine here last evening.... Wow! It is a fantastic place for a first date. We had one of their booth tables set towards the back. Granted, it was a little snug to get in, but definitely adaptable. The biggest plus about reserving a booth table has got to be the privacy. How many restaurants that you can go to allow you to pull the curtain closed, secluding you to your very own dining experience? This gave us all the privacy that we needed, without taking away from the service. We enjoyed a cocktail while looking over the menu *Great full bar to choose from*, then got some great suggestions from our capable server. We started with two appetizers; yes they were on the smaller side, but definitely worth every penny! People... This is not Outback with ginourmous servings, it was just enough with inventive flavors. Next, my date and I both enjoyed two fish entrees. Wowed once again. I had the bacon wrapped monkfish... AMAZING!! I am usually a steak and potato girl, but this dish was a great steer from the norm! We finished our wine without any room to spare... Next time we will save room for the tempting desserts. Yes, Santa Barbara, this is not your typical "Santa Barbara" restaurant, but it is a breath of fresh air. No, we did not have your average college student for a server; rather, we did have a knowledgeable gentleman who provided great service while representing the chef to the fullest. Take a risk and enjoy yourself!

Too much sensory distractions!, 7/27/2006
Reviewer: Bobbi Thomas from West Hollywood, CA
This was the first time I dined at Sevilla - I liked the fact that the location was off the main drag of State St, and tucked away from the crowds.... so I thought - this cramped little restaurant was filled with interesting yet gawdy decor. The food was fine borderline okay -but NOT okay for the prices that they charge. The service was the type of service you would expect to find at any other restaurant in S.B - college kids doing what it takes to get good tips. For people who do decide to check this place out - be forewarned it is NOT a "Santa Barbara" style restaurant. Overall our experience at Sevilla was nothing to write home about, and does not live up to all of the hype.

A unique experience, 5/23/2006
Reviewer: F.Sal from Montecito, CA
I came here with a couple of business associates - as we wanted to try something unique. We had a quality dining experience, the service was good, and we loved the bar area. Will be back -

Great Place, 5/15/2006
Reviewer: Sanja from Santa Barbara, CA
Sevilla is a place where you don't see flip flops and shorts and that is a good thing! Sevilla is a cool and hip place and people dress up for a change. As far as the portotions are concered...well...if you need your food to be supersized then you should go to McDonalds!. I love Sevilla!

Not all that it is hyped up to be, 5/2/2006
Reviewer: Kristine M from Oakland, CA
My friends and I decided to give this place a try for two reasons. 1) a lady who gave me a facial recommended it to me and 2) we saw that the chef was highly acclaimed (restaurant award from Esquire) I sat in the lounge with 5 friends. We live in the Bay Area, Monterey Peninsula and LA, so I think we know good food and service. Started with drinks- the waitress did not know what was in the sangria- "maybe peach flavored vodka and a bunch of stuff". Three of us ordered it. Two of us thought it was too bitter. I ordered a mojito, it was good. As for the food- wild boar meatballs- way too salty, as was the parpadella. After tasting a lot of tapas and entrees, we were under whelmed. The artichoke soup was boring. My butterflied shrimp entree was okay, small for what you pay for. They ran out of the pork. None of the dished popped out- we had a hard time discerning unique flavors. Our server didn't seem to know the menu well. The service was not good (actually the busboys were attentive). We had to ask for a soup spoon. One time I got up to use the restroom and found our waitress at the bar twirling her hair and chatting with the bartender. Meanwhile, we had been waiting for a beer and mixed drink for well over ten minutes. She forgot to place the order. Another time I walked by and she was drinking tea. Nice ambience though.

What happened?, 3/27/2006
Reviewer: Jamie Down from Santa Barbara, CA
I would consider myself a regular at Sevilla. I do not dine there frequently, but I have drinks there about once a week, and I have to say, I think what they did in the bar area is AWFUL. What happened to the wonderful, comfortable, red velvet chairs and the fabulous ambiance? That white bench and the new tables look terrible and completely ruin the aura of the whole place. My best friend and I used to go every single Thursday and sit at the same table, and when I walked in last week I was shocked to see the changes. We left because there was no place to sit down and just have a quiet drink. I will probably come back, because they do serve the best peach bellini in town, (and Jess is still my favorite server!) but I am super disappointed. I loved those red chairs.

Sevilla COULD be a Great place.... , 3/25/2006
Reviewer: Suzanne from Santa Barbara, CA
I find it quite Amusing that those who rate Sevilla so highly are from Santa Barbara. Not to say that this is a bad thing, because I live here also, but I feel some of these locals need to get out of town more often to experience what truely Amazing Food & Service is like, and then perhaps come back home and demand the same of Restaurants like Sevilla here in SB. (which charge the same prices for much less quality.) Like so many of the Top, Trendy Restaurants in L.A., San Diego and San Francisco, Santa Barbara is TRYING with Sevilla, but not quite making it! When you walk in the door you DO feel like you are in a Trendy L.A. Hotspot, because the Atmosphere IS Amazing, but the Food and Service have alot to be desired! I had the Halibut and much to my surprise, it was actually quite good (not dry/overcooked like most SB restaurants!) My Friend's Dinner, on the other hand, was not so good..he was very dissapointed (especially after waiting 2 hours for a table!) I also agree with the others, that the wait staff was very inexperienced and really didn't know anything about the menue. Also, we had to wait 2 hours for a table, when they said the wait would be 1 hour. Furthermore, if anyone from Sevilla is reading this, please take note. Here are a few Design Errors which could easily be changed: the Bar is too narrow. I'ts difficult to get through the few people standing there just to get to the restroom (and I'm quite thin!) Get rid of that wall, or push it back because squeezing through the narrow pathway is comparable to driving South on 101 through Montecito during Rushhour. Difficult! (we also need another lane+ there!) Also, the Lighting is Terrible at the tables against the North Side of Restaurant. I was sitting on the "Chapala Street side" facing outward into the dining room and the Ceiling Light was focused directly in my eyes. It could be tilted down a little, or could use a filter or something! I asked the waiter to dim the light as they were directly in my eyes, but he said it would make the other tables too dark! So, I ate my dinner with my sunglasses on! (Ha Ha) This was very annoying! All in all, I would NOT rush back to eat at Sevilla, or for that matter even to go have a glass of wine in the Bar.(Well... Maybe a glass of wine in the Bar!) Please keep improving, and I'll come back for another try!

Great Flavors, Bad Execution, 3/25/2006
Reviewer: Cynthia from Santa Barbara
I agree with the rest of you. The bar and dining room are BEAUTIFUL, there is nothing like it in the downtown area. I did however have many challenges, over several visits with the service. Although the wait staff were friendly they seemed untrained. The bartender was by far the worst excuse of customer service I have seen to date in my 20 years in the Food & Beverage business. Rude and arrogant. I really thought that this was going to be a great place to hang out after my own dinner rush. Too bad I will keep searching for a new venue.

Great new restaurant in Santa Barbara, 3/21/2006
Reviewer: Jeff from Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara finally has a fun new restaurant. Sevilla's decor is amazing. A lot of thought went into the design of this restaurant. The enclosed chairs and unique bathroom are memorable. For visitors to Santa Barbara, Sevilla is an excellent place to go for dinner and drinks. It can also be a nice quiet atmosphere for a date. Dishes are stylish and good but for the price I have trouble recommending Sevilla over the Wine Cask or Elements. If you're with a group of friends out for a night downtown then Sevilla can't be beat. Be sure to make reservations!

Nice and service could be better, 3/12/2006
Reviewer: Mary from San Francisco, Ca
I really enjoyed the ambiance of Sevilla as well as the art. However, the service was mediocre. The servers seemed young and inexperienced and more concerned about the way they looked than the experience we had dining there. I often felt rushed and pressured to make decisions with little inquiry or guidance toward the dish or wine that I was looking for. The halibut was rather bland with a lack of seasoning components that complimented one another. The halibut needed a flavorful sauce. I wouldn't say it was worth the money.

Good Fun, Hip Restaurant, 2/8/2006
Reviewer: Lauren L. from Santa Barbara, CA
Ive only eaten at this restaurant once, but i have been to the bar part quite a few times. The restaurant/bar is decorated beautifully. It has a darker atmosphere so it seems more romantic. The food was delicious. The desserts are phenomanal also. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who is trying to find somwhere new to eat!

Good food, great service, 2/7/2006
Reviewer: vicky from santa barbara, ca
I've gone to Sevilla several times now and I have to admit that their service has always been consistently good. Our waitress presented our bottle of wine, bottle of water and our eating utensils very elegantly. While our particular waitress was helping another table another waiter walked by and saw that we had our dessert menus closed so he begin to take our order which I thought was extremely nice and attention to detail.

"VIP List" Are you kidding ??, 2/6/2006
Reviewer: Sarah from Santa Barbara, CA
A little taste of over the top trendy - a la' west hollywood in historic Santa Barbara is not exactly a breathe of fresh air as was expected with the re-opening of the once historic "Casa De Sevilla" restaurant. The food is alright, but nothing you cannot find at Rudy's for $5 or less - the service is okay, but not up to par with what you would expect to find at a true fine dining restaurant.

Greatest restaurant in Santa Barbara, 2/3/2006

I am completely addicted to the food at this restaurant and the atmosphere. I’ve eaten at Sevilla 10 times and each time it keeps getting better (which I did not think was possible). I am a bit dismayed by some of the comments about this not being the greatest restaurant in Santa Barbara. As a person who worked in Food & Beverage for 12 years I am wondering how this statement could occur. I’ve lived and worked in SB for 3 years always unsatisfied with the quality unless I ate at the Four Seasons. The food at Sevilla is excellent, the bar appetizers are spectacular but I would agree that the beef is not as tasy and does not score as many points as the other entrees. I am also getting a bit concerned with the “party scene” crowd that continues to grow. The folks that continuously visit their parked vehicles during dinner raise a few eyebrows. Overall it is a great place to take friends, loved one's and business associates. I ate there twice last week and I am hoping to get a reservation this evening. Would it be possible to get on a VIP list?

Just not there yet!, 1/29/2006
Reviewer: EDG from Santa Barbara, CA
I really want to love this place. I've tried it twice now. I had the duck one night, it was very tasty, piece was overcooked, one under. I sent it back and I watched the chef put both pieces back in the oven. Then I waited and waited and waited and it never returned. I gave up and had them take it off the bill. Next time I had the Duet of Beef. The medallions were very tasty, but tough (it can happen). But the short rib on mine and my wife's plate (we had the same thing) was really dry...for a short rib to be dry, something had to have gone very wrong in the kitchen. Please fix these things Sevilla team...the decor and the tastes, along with the menu choices are stellar and I really want to see this restaurant be a winner. I'm rootin for ya and I'm sure you will solve these problems.

overpriced & trendy, 1/19/2006
Reviewer: James from Santa Barbara
A little piece of West Hollywood in Santa Barbara... you decide whether that's a good thing or not. The fact that they got a restaurant award from Esquire (as opposed to Gourmet or Food & Wine) is an indication of the appeal this place has. Bring your velvet blazer and remember to pop your shirt collar. The food was not bad, but no better than other SB restaurants. Overall, the social/theatrical experience was distinctive, but the culinary experience was not. I went for the food and I'm not sure I'll return.

wonderful , 1/15/2006
Reviewer: Brandon T. from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been here numerous times and if you want to spend a decent amount of money and be 'WOW'd' come here. Fois Gras is awesome, plates are very nice, cheese plate not so great, good priced wine list, awesome service, amazing ambiance, a restaurant that goes 'extra' in every way.

Best Chicken ever...., 1/13/2006
Reviewer: Richard from SB
I couldn't find anything wrong with this place and I usally can - wellllll! The large group of lady were very noisy.

Is the food and excellent service worth the price?, 12/12/2005
Reviewer: Richard Solomon from Santa Barbara, CA
Went here to celebrate a birthday; made the reservation a month ahead, and when we arrived were were told that someone had called a few days ago and cancelled it! No... They accommodated us, fortunately. Impecable service; the food was inventive, but overpriced. E.g., ten bucks for a bottle of Voss water?! My wife's steak had a layer of silver membrane down the middle, and the pork shank was a bit overdone, tho both very tasty. Appetizers were excellent. We spent a bit under $140 per couple. That's an expensive meal, and I'm not sure that it's worth the tab, given what that could buy at, for example, Downey's or Bouchon.

April from Santa Barbara, 12/2/2005
Reviewer: April Henderson from Santa Barbara, CA
I went to Sevilla in October to celebrate a friends birthday. We had a marvelous time. The decor is beautiful, the ambiance is lovely and the food was fabulous. The chef sent out 3 or 4 appetizers for us and each one was better than the other. The Romaine is to die for and my entree, the munkfish, melted in my mouth. My friend had the scallops and they were wonderful. We then had dessert (which I never order) and it was out of this world. We spent about 2 hours at the table enjoying this fine cuisine. We had a lovely bottle of champagne. Our waitperson was pleasant and helpful. We had a marvelous time. I can't wait to go again. The bathrooms were really unique.

Date Night, 12/1/2005
Reviewer: Jason from Santa Barbara, Ca
This was is a great date night place if you're into the whole shi-shi bar thing (defined as a dimly lit space, trendy people, smaller portions that taste better than most other places in Santa Barbara and $10 cocktails). My wife and I went there last Friday and had a great time. Had the calamari appetizer and a salad, both were pretty good, not great. We were sitting at the chef's table which is a table that looks onto the grill that they cook at, fun if you like to cook, but not too intimate, when we saw the prawns they were cooking we had to order those too, those were great. We split the N.Y Strip for dinner, pretty good, but not Ruth's Chris. Had the walnut torte appetizer, once again pretty good. Drinks were nice and strong. If you're into ambiance this is the place to go.

Dinner perfect, 11/10/2005
Reviewer: Sanja from Santa Barbara, CA
This is my third time eating at Sevilla and I just LOVE it!!! Again it is beautiful and great tasting fresh food! Finally a place that is NOT boring and it does NOT attract sloppy dressed people asking for "Super sized" meals. This is now my absolute Favorite Bar and Restaurant in Santa Barbara.

A unique and enjoyable experience, 10/28/2005
Reviewer: Jim Patterson from Santa Barbara
The most unique decor in Santa Barbara combined with a creative menu makes this new restaurant a most enjoyable experience. We have eaten there twice and left both times with smiles on our faces. The atmosphere is much more New York City than Santa Barbara and maybe that is what makes it stand out. Although the wait staff is quite attractive, there is still room for improvement in their service, thus, the 4 star rating. The food is creative and delicious. We prefer quality or quantity and found the portions very satisfying. My wife and I are both "foodies" and seek out the best restaurants when we travel - New York, Paris, Rome or even Ashland, Oregon - so we appreciate it when restaurant owners try so hard to make our dining experience exceptional. Kudo's to Christian Hunter and his associates for bringing Santa Barbara a new dining pleasure.

beautiful flavors, 10/21/2005
Reviewer: AW from Santa Barbara, CA
Last night was the first time I dined at Sevilla eventhough I had been there before for drinks prior to my dining experience. I sort heard mixed opinions around town but definitely trust my own and was happy to go and have diner there. I was more than pleasantly delighted with everything I had a chance to try. It was nice as there was a group of 4 of us and we each sampled each others dish. We started the evening with some cocktails and then appetizers which were honestly divine: perfectly portioned and beautifully flavored: grilled Romaine (absolutely yum), tuna appetizer(topped with pop corn: very nice), and the ravioli (ohh soo good). For my dish I had the Australian Sea Bass which was truly amazing; every bit just melted in my mouth, plus I also got to enjoy a bit of the skewered scallops and the duck (which can often be hit a miss): what a hit, slightly crispy on the outside and the meat just perfectly tender!! I definitely recommend going for a delicious meal! Furthermore, I do also have to say that the service is wonderful (very professional) and there isn't a time were you are lacking anything. Fantastic food and great service makes for a nice atmosphere even though I did find our table to be a touch too dark. To conclude, I cannot wait to go back again to enjoy some other beautiful flavors!

Note from an owner..., 10/20/2005
Reviewer: Christian Hunter from Santa Barbara, California
A brief note of comment on the great variety of posts/opinions so many have shared of our new restaurant Sevilla. From time to time I read these posts for objective feedback, sometimes I'm informed, sometimes warmed, other times confused. Overall, I'm greatly pleased with the reception Sevilla has recieved. Critical reviews have been excellent, and public reception is heating up quickly. Just this week Esquire Magazine came out with its annual report on restaurants in U.S. We were named one of the 20 best new restaurants in the United States. A high honor indeed, but this type of recognition is hardly the end-all for us. To those of you who weren't moved by our food (allow me some diplomatic translation), please know that we are constantly striving to formulate a menu that appeals to everyone. A lofty and arguably impossible goal, but we view that as our mandate as a fine restaurant: "knock everyone's socks off". We're ambitious but young as a restaurant. Please consider visiting us again in the future. For anyone that had a less than exhilarating experience at Sevilla, please consider calling me personally. My telephone is 805.403.2001. I'd love the feedback + a second chance to "wow you". Lastly, to all those who praised Sevilla on this board: A heart-felt "thank you". In birthing Sevilla we poured our love, money, and highest effort into creating our Perfect Restaurant. Any validation is of great comfort. Cheers, Christian Hunter Owner - Sevilla Restaurant 805.564.8446

Identity Crisis?, 9/28/2005
Reviewer: Dominic from Santa Barbara
Yes yes, it's hip, it's cool, that's for sure. But it's a restaurant first and foremost, to me in SB that means the quality, flavor and price have to work.

Quality - I thought that all the ingredients were fresh and good. I had 3 starters and 2 entrees - all were good but nothing special or memorable.

Flavor - I kinda thought everything was typical and there wasn't a *wow* moment. I've experienced the same flavors an combinations before. So while it was good it lacked that special touch that would set it in the unique category.

Value/Cost - 2 glasses of wine, 3 starters, 2 entrees and tip = $150. That's what I expect from say Wine Cask or Sage and Onion. Saying Sevilla is on par with them would be a bit of a reach unless you personally rate interior design high. If that's the case then I could see that. Personally, I figure this meal would be a fantastic value at less than $90 (I use the Sushi scale). My expectations are modest and I am willing to pay to play, but Sevilla is just not there yet.

My final analysis : great decor, normal/average service, average food, pricing itself to compete with the heavy weights. If Sevilla dropped to the middle weight class in price they would be best in class and have a loyal following. As for me, I will spend my next $150 and have a great meal elsewhere.

The bar is cool until the predator A-type alpha males arrive chasing the SB Chicklets. If that's your scene this is the place. There are some cool *pods* where you can hide from the crowd. I guess it's fun to watch the chase too!

Brilliant Ambience- Abysmal Food , 9/15/2005
Reviewer: sss from santa barbara, ca
I have to start off by saying that the place looks AMAZING, the atmosphere is great, waitresses are beautiful, food is beatiful, but unfotunately that's where all the good things end. If this was a woman, I would give her 5 stars for the looks, but just like anything else, you can't judge a book by it's cover. The food is absolutely abysmal, nothing special, tiny and absolutely unfulfilling. Ate there 3 times, and every time was disapointed by the food, but always came back for the atmosphere in hopes of believing that this time the food will be better, but NO. If you want to just go relax and have a couple of cocktails, this place is perfect. If you like tiny portions and tasteless food, this place is perfect. Otherwise, stop by In-n-Out for a burger on your way to Sevilla, you'll enjoy it a lot more than anything on theie menu, and a drink or a glass of wine (they have a great selection, but most of it is by the bottle) and try to relax.

Too expensive to be just OK, 9/14/2005
Reviewer: Brian from Santa Barbara
I ate at Sevilla on a Friday night with a group of friends. None of us had been before. I loved the design aspect of the place -the atmosphere was fun and interesting. Some of my friends thought it was "too LA like for SB", but I thought it was fine. The service was just OK as our server had a hard time explaining items on the menu and recommending. Our server also was very inexperienced with the wine list..which is a shame because the wine list was really well chosen. I think it is fair to expect good wine knowledge if a place is going to have a rather expensive wine list. OK THE FOOD - honestly it was just OK - nothing that I ate, from appetizer to dessert was memorable at all. The presentation was fine and I am sure that the preparation was as well. The food just frankly did not taste as good as it sounded. I think that the combo of all of these things would be OK if you received a moderate bill but this place is pricey by SB standards and just doesn't deliver value to price well enough for me to return.

Excellent! , 9/12/2005
Reviewer: Sanja from Santa Barbara, CA
I love the decor a really cool place. The Bar and restaurant is filled with sopisticated and stylish dressed people. The food was flavor full and excotic. Yes, the portions are small, but you won't leave hungry. The service was on top of everything and we felt like we had our on private waiter and bus boy!!! I highly recommend this romtic and chic Bar and Restaurant! 5 stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

confused food, 9/5/2005
Reviewer: G from Santa Barbara
The ambience is gets you in the mood and then the food is a let down. I give it three stars because they are trying hard to impress-probably too hard and the chef can't live up to the expectations of image at this place. First you think it is spanish food because of Sevilla Spain and find out its an old Santa Barbara name-so what-rename the place without the ego...second the waitress called it Latin American fusion and then the food came out pan Asian fusion style on Asian style plates--Definitely an identity crisis going on here. And to top it off the food was O.K. The plates had nice presentation but with little flavor of interest. We order about nine different items and they all seemed to miss the flavor break through with everyone saying the food was OK. and not meeting expectations. Service was good and I liked the idea of the wine glass matching the wine varietal. The Halibut was the only dish that came through above average. Everything else was average at best. With some major work on identity of the food and someone there to really tell the chef how to improve some of the dishes (finish the flavor full circle and have more identity to the dishes) to match the beautiful ambiance. If this is done then this could become a decent place to dine. Pricing was good except $10 for a bottle of water is way too high. $7 or less is more reasonable for a bottle of water.

What a let down! , 8/26/2005
Reviewer: Javier from Santa Barbara, CA
Alright, so it took me the longest time to get reservations here... for a long time it wasnt even listed. So, my girlfriend and I arrive, we are seated promptly (very nice). We loved the atmosphere.... So we are sitting there reading our menus (i think the wine list is WAYYYYYYY over priced!), we decide on an appetiser (a "teaser" on the menu), our meals, and a bottle of wine. So, we sit, and sit, and sit. There must have been at least 8 times where the blond waitress was standing right infront of our table, looking at us, but not even asking us if we needed anything. So, finally 20 minutes into it, a busser comes by and notices that we havent been waited on, still no waiter. Just when i was about to call it quits, the hostess comes to our table and apologizes for the lack of service. WOW! some attention! Mind you, the whole time, the two table next to us were being waited on. So our waiter finally comes to take our order (slightly with an attitude), get our food, the app was pretty tasty, just not very much. Our meals come, decent, not very much again. We get our dessert, ok, not very much again. Finally the bill came, my god! That was expensive for the service, or lack there of, and the little amount of food. I dont think i'll ever go there again......

awesme, 8/23/2005
Reviewer: Lindsay from Santa Barbara, CA
this resturant is way cool! the atmosphere is very romantic (good place for a date), and I love how everything is designed. The co-ed bathrooms are really neat, too. The food was incredible and healthy! I can't wait to return.

Another Santa Barbara Scene , 8/19/2005
Reviewer: SB diner from Santa Barbara, CA
First and last time dining here. Food was fine but not good enough to have to put up with the attitude. The poster below is spot on about the bar scene. Was also glad I wasn't one of the people sitting with their knees in there chest on those silly little stools pulled up to the tables. This place could be great if they cut the attitude and catered to their local patrons. Wine list is great but the "wine service" fee is absurd.

Exotic Decor/Divine Cuisine, 8/18/2005
Reviewer: Joanne and Cisco from Antelope, CA
We thoroughly enjoyed our recent dining experience at Sevilla. It was the first time, as we were vacationing in the area. The food was elegantly served and delicious. (The Blueberry Bread Pudding Dessert was over the top!) Everything we sampled had a unique and remarkable flavor, and the service was superior. The bronzed decor has a dramatic flair; and we loved the seating arrangments -- which provide little islands of intimacy. Can't wait to go back during our next vacation.

good food, expensive, 8/15/2005
Reviewer: Ron Schroeder from Santa Barbara
Great food and menu choices. The romain salad is wonderful, as was my filet mignon, although a bit overcooked. Their food presentation alone is the most creative I've seen in Santa Barbara. Nice staff with good freindly and professional service. The only downside was the scene in the bar. It's just like Lucky's in Montecito. Lot's of single women "hoochied" out hanging onto rich looking men. Aside from that, the interior design is very interesting and the bathrooms are great (you have to see them to understand).

Best Place in SB, 8/8/2005
Reviewer: Renee from Santa Barbara, CA
The atmosphere is the first thing you notice when you walk in. It's amazing. The food is simply perfect Compliments to Michael the chef. It's a little different sometimes, but always wonderful.The Snickers Tempura is Divine. As for the comment about small servings, I've never left Sevilla still hungry. It's not fast food, you don't get Super Sized servings, but you get enough to enjoy. Definitly check this place out, even if its just for the bar. The vibe is amazing. The owners really our-did themselves with this one.

Santa Barbara Cool, 8/3/2005
Reviewer: Gerald from Santa Barbara
I read about Sevilla in Santa Barbara Magazine. The atmosphere was terrific, and the food was Latin/Fusion. It was delicious. I will be back. It is a bar as well as a restaurant, I havn't tried the bar yet.

Are you kidding me?, 8/2/2005
Reviewer: Big Eater from Santa Barbara, CA
To begin, the atmosphere is all too weird. Don't let the picture trick you. I could barely see my dinner. Of course, seeing the dinner shouldn't matter since there's hardly any food on the plate. Portion control? Try a serving of four pieces of asparagus. Dessert? Diet? They actually go together here! Good luck enjoying this place.

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