Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Bricks Cafe
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Bricks Cafe
No longer in business
Opened: 2006-09 Closed: 2008-11

509 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 899-8833

Reviews by the General Public

Great Food but Poor Comedy!, 10/22/2008
Reviewer: Jessi Hanson from Santa Barbara, CA
My husband took our international family to Bricks for their weekly Comedy night. The food was fabs! The servers were nice but slow, but the comedy was a terror! They were making fun of the customers not in a funny way, and a dozen or so people walked out because they were being just mean, and no one was laughing. We got laughed at for is a restaurant, no? And when we were whispering to our family who do not speak English to translate the jokes, a comedian came up and said we should leave if we were going to talk. We were very attentive and listening (the only people it seemed trying to) and my husband's parents were so offended we left, and got booed by the comedian as we left. It was a terrible experience! Great attention to your food, but more attention please Bricks to who you actually invite to your place. I hear from friends they hate going on comedy night to Bricks because it is often the same.

Great bands and location, but the food... not so much, 8/2/2008
Reviewer: Jonathan from Santa Barbara, CA
We go to Bricks every few weeks to watch a friend perform in a band. The monday night jazz jam session is a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the food there is not very good. The bacon wrapped jalapenos are the only appetizer that I like. Part of the problem seems that they can't quite figure out what they want to be. Sometimes it seems geared toward older people, and sometimes toward UCSB students. I hope they improve the food and focus it as a more sophisticated live music venue.

Great new find! , 8/6/2007
Reviewer: Heidi from Santa Barbara Ca
Came here on a whim and found some of the best martinis in SB. Not too sweet and good variety. And several at the $5 price when good martinis go for $8-12. We really enjoyed the food too - we had appetizers mostly- spicy but real nice. The Happy hour lasts generously to 7 pm so there is time to get there after work. We will be back with friends. Staff was friendly and helpful.

A great Go-To!!, 7/12/2007
Reviewer: Melissa from Goleta/ CA
I stumbled across Bricks Cafe and was pleasantly surprised! The food is great, pretty quick, and the service was awesome! The bartender made some of the best cocktails I've ever had! This has become my favorite Go-To!

A good neighborhood restaurant, 6/3/2007
Reviewer: Erica from Santa Barbara, CA
I recently went to Bricks for dinner with my family, and had a lovely time. I sampled various dishes, including a delicious pasta dish with pappardelle, Argentinian sausage, and gorgonzola cream sauce; a fantastic swordfish steak with mushroom and olive orzo; and a steak burrito with guacamole. My mother raved about her spinach salad with smoked salmon. I think the menu, though eclectic, offers some truly flavorful and satisfying dishes. The atmosphere was comfortable and unpretentious, and the live string music was a real treat! Check out Bricks for a relaxed dinner!

Reviewer: Stella Johnson from Goleta
I have eaten at Bricks a few times now and I keep coming back for the music (Sunday is my favorite! Brazilian....) . The waiters and bar man are super nice! I have to say that he food needs a lot of improvement. It does not taste bad but is not good either. The food needs to improve its looks too. I will come back for the music but PLEASE IMPROVE THE FOOD FAST. Food is the main reason why people come back to a restaurant.

FOOD was BORING , 1/22/2007
Reviewer: kt cleary from santa barbara, ca
we ordered tapas to share and not ONE of the things that we ordered was anything special. portions were small and although it's not too expensive, it's expensive for what you get. the food not only tastes boring but looks boring, as well. my extra dirty, dry martini was not what i ordered and very small for the price. we told the management what we thought, and brought up the concept that it's "possible to have good food that looks nice and doesn't cost much". he argued that if the "food was better [and/or more creative], it would cost alot more" or something like that. he feigned being receptive to our viewpoints, we felt, and from what we could gather from the staff, the owners have no problem serving sub-par dishes, either (with that attitude, we will NOT be back.)

Come for the food, Stay for the entertainment!, 1/5/2007
Reviewer: Mae I. from Santa Barbara, CA
It's hard to find a decent restaurant with an entertainment line-up like Brick's Cafe. With an eclectic collection of musicians --ranging from acoustic rock with "Roosterfish" to Latin and Contemporary Jazz to the authentic Peruvian "Wayeri", this restaurant is perfect for someone who likes a little bit of everything. Also, you can't forget the live comedy nights; although the opening acts can get...awkward, the headliners are always great (I recommend showing up at around 10:30PM to catch the best acts).

The staff at Bricks is definitely among the friendliest on state Street -- they aren't afraid to take the time to explain the menu or offer recommendations. I went in with a group of friends for steaks and wine -- the bartender (who was pulling triple duty as waiter and busboy) let us know that we'd be saving a few bucks by ordering wine by the bottle rather than by the glass. (We obliged by ordering two bottles of merlot and pinot noir over the course of the evening.)

My friends and I have been in a handful of times now, and we agree that although it's the new kid on the block, Bricks Cafe has the potential to be a landmark establishment.

WE WOULD RECOMMEND: Any of the "tapas" (appetizers) and the steaks or seafood. The steaks are tender and flavorful, and this is the first establishment I've been to that offers good swordfish at a reasonable price. Be warned, the food comes a la carte, so your plate can look a little sad unless you choose a side dish (for an additional three bucks) to accompany your meal.

WE ALSO RECOMMEND: The bar, for sure, is one of my favorites on State street. The bartenders are flexible and always ready to make your drink the way YOU like it, rather than churning it out assembly-line style. One of the bartenders has a signature "Mango Mojito" which is easily the BEST drink I've ever had!

WE'D STAY AWAY FROM: The lamb shank. My boyfriend loves lamb and was excited to try this, but the meat came out tough and dry -- almost like mutton, he said. The good news is, the manager let us change the order without any hassle.

Great Burger, 12/15/2006
Reviewer: Mary from Santa Barbara, CA
The quality of the meat was outstanding. Plus, there were just the right amount of lettuce, tomato and condiments.

My Double five star retraction., 12/14/2006
Reviewer: W Tramontana from Santa Barbara, CA
I've eaten at Bricks a lot now, and now that there's been a change in management the food is never prepared the same, and the service... Well I am really kind of disgusted now. The previous manager was great at making sure everything was perfect. Now I walk in, receive no greeting, and asked if someone was working that evening and received a very snotty response to the effect of "I think we told you this the other night." I took a friend and recommended the filet mignon. It was horrible. Ordered at medium, and served extremely raw, red and bloody in side. The service was already horrible so why bother sending it back to the kitchen to have it cooked properly? The last four times I've eaten an entree rubbed with the "daily herbed butter" - well it's made daily alright. One time it's garlicy and delicious, another time it was just plain butter with minced garlic (when I was told it was a garlic, with a hint of lime and other seasonings). And another time it tasted as though someone drenched my meat in pure lime juice. If you go to this restaurant and want to have a good enjoyable time, make sure Dan or Daniel is the cook (I was told he's the head cook, and was in the kitchen the last time I had an exceptional meal at this restaurant).

Awkward experience, 12/14/2006
Reviewer: Eric from Santa Barbara, CA
I ate at Bricks in its first week. The menu was cool, interesting idea. The service, awkward...the waiter seemed overly nervous and just couldn't get things right. New restaurant, no problem. Then the food came. Terrible steak. Terrible sandwiches. Things were wrong, took forever to fix. Poor food quality (steak was tough, overcooked), poor preparation, just plain bad all around. Anyhow, I hope they figure it out, as it truly is a cool concept and its nice to know there is somewhere open late. I hear they are nice people too, so please give me a reason to come back!

A great place to go any time of the week, 12/12/2006
Reviewer: Sonia from Santa Barbara, ca
The food is good, tasty and fairly priced. The service is wonderful and the $5 martinis are delicious! (Esp "The Ortega") The first time we went there for dinner we were so pleasantly surprised how much food (and drinks) we got for the price. A great staple to enjoy any night when you just dont feel like cooking!

Overpriced and Tasteless..., 12/10/2006
Reviewer: Erin from Long Beach
The service was great; the young lady that took care of us was sweet and lovely to talk to. The service is the only enjoyable part of the meal. My boyfriend and I decided to try this restaurant because it seemed like a nice place to celebrate my birthday. We had been wine tasting during the day and decided to bring a bottle of wine to dinner that we had purchased on our adventure. I understand that almost every restaurant has a corkage fee, but $15??? That seems a little ridiculous. Then came the food, we ordered a caprese salad, the tomatoes were dry and lacked flavor, not forgetting that the portion was small. The fact that it was my birthday I wanted to order something special for my entrée, the server recommended the Fillet with the Green Peppercorn cream sauce, the steak was of poor quality and it was difficult to cut even with a steak knife. The sauce was incredibly bland and tasteless. This was the first and last time we will eat at this restaurant having had a poor dinning experience.

The best food & service in Santa Barbara., 11/23/2006
Reviewer: Walter Tramontana from Santa Barbara, CA
I have eaten at Bricks Cafe several times now sampling different menu items. At first the A la Carte menu style was a little different, but I've warmed up to it nicely. I am a very picky and finiky eater so I love that I can pick and choose how I want my different meats "rubbed" with different spice combinations. The review that mentioned the food is bland - they really should give brick's a second chance and order a different rub.

The food is to die for, and I have recommended this restaurant to many top level execs that come into town looking for a nice place to have a casual business meeting. *Also note that the booths in the back are great for privacy.

The service, also excellent. On my first visit I sat at a table, and was very well taken care of, the staff has a social appetite when invited, and I enjoy that. Now I usually visit with my good friend when he comes to town and we enjoy sitting at the bar. Usually the manager is behind the bar, and the food kitchen window is within eye sight of whom ever is working the bar, so you always receive your food hot.

At first I thought the menu was a little expensive, but I promise you'll have no dispute once you taste how delicious the food is, and also leave satisfied with good service. I have lived in Santa Barbara for just over one year now and it seems every other restaurant on State Street is lacking one or the other; good food or decent service. Bricks simply overtakes with both.

Many restaurants only last on State St. for six months or less. This one will "make it" and last forever.

Item's I like on the menu;

Chicken Breast, with the Herb Butter. It has a slight spice and a hint of lime, and is absolutely my favorite. I prefer to order this with a side of mashed potatoes. The poatoes have parmesan cheese blended into the creamy potatoes, and I believe I might have tasted a little garlic also. I will not lie, my grandmother has met her match.
The Club Sandwich is also very good, and also a little more affordable. I highly recommend you try this if you're living on a budget of a student (like myself), but would still like to take your friends of higher places to a casual place where they will be still be impressed. My friend always enjoys the Filet Mignon, and after trying my mashed potatoes decided he needed a side order as well. He says it is the best steak he has tasted in Santa Barbara.

Thanks Bricks - stick around.

Strange menu - OK food, 10/31/2006
Reviewer: Adam from Santa Barbara
This location has so much potential and the idea of Bricks is a good one but... The menu is just plain strange. Everything is A LA Carte. If you want a salad you order lettuce, then you pick your toppings at .50c each. If you want a steak you pick your meat. Then you pick your sauce at $2. The food was OK nothing special and the service was attentive but I really dont get the whole idea behind this place. It takes a long time to figure out the menu and then you have to many decisions for a simple meal. My advice is to lose the Choose Your Own Adventure and create some variety in the dishes. Give the customer some ideas and they will tell you what sells. I do like the fact that it is open late and has a full bar. So it was not a bad experience just not a very welcome one.

Bravo Senior Munoz!, 10/27/2006
Reviewer: Kate Frances from Ventura, CA
Fair - calamari
Great - marinated olives
Excellent - Tuna albondigas
Stellar - Martini
Zenith - Service
And Beyond - Andrew and Nathaniel
Bricks Cafe is a wonderful new restaurant you haven't tried. So go! They're open! Former New Yorkers- we now have REAL late night dining.

Good food fun atmosphere, 10/23/2006
Reviewer: Casey B. from Santa Barbara, CA
Went there while I was at work on a Friday night. Nice atmosphere fun easy going staff. Food was pretty good. Simple menu. Cant wait to go there again.

Good Food, 10/16/2006
Reviewer: Mark Miller from Santa Barbara, CA
I was there with some friends a week ago and I had the best burger I've ever had. It was however the only item I've tried. I can't recall anything negative about the service, but the overall experience was great with the lineup of comedy acts that evening.

Can't wait to go back..., 10/7/2006
Reviewer: D. Sullivan from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been several times and enjoyed myself. I tend to bring guests here because it is an interesting place which has the food variety to please everyone. There is also no way to beat their original $5 Martinis... Try the Ortega!

Bricks Cafe writes: Thanks for the Review! Isn't that a great Martini! -Nathaniel Munoz, Culinary Partner
good service...but bad food!!!, 10/3/2006
Reviewer: M.Lee from Santa Barbara, Ca
We went last night and the food was just bad and over priced. However,the service was nice. I just wished I could say the same about the food. It was bland and tasted weird like they used some kinda funny spices, not the good kind. After we left we had to go some place else for dinner. not fun!!

Bricks Cafe writes: Sorry to hear you felt this way. We are trying with all of our ability to please our guests with both our food and service. I would love to hear more about your experience in order to discover how we may better serve Santa Barbara. Please feel free to contact me anytime at 805*807*4211, or come into the restaurant again and give us a second chance. I am proud of the food we serve and would ensure a good experience at Bricks Cafe. -Nathaniel Munoz, Culinary Partner

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