Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Jake's Cafe
Ca Dario

Jake's Cafe
No longer in business
Opened: 2007-05 Closed: 2009-10

2911 De La Vina St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 898-2233

Reviews by the General Public

Terrible Service!, 10/19/2009
Reviewer: Leslie from Santa Barbara, CA
My husband and I went to eat a late breakfast at Jake's Cafe on Saturday at 11am. The morning rush was over and there were only two other tables eating. We sat down and the owner, Jake, greeted us as he gave us the menus. The waitress (the only one there) took our drink orders and said she'd be right back. 5 minutes go by, then 10, and then we realize that the waitress is SITTING DOWN chatting with Jake towards the back of the restaurant. Excuse me, but if you're on the clock and supposed to be getting drinks for customers but you're sitting down and chatting, that is unacceptable, considering the restaurant is empty! And for Jake to not even notice that we're obviously waiting for drinks? We couldn't believe it! So we gave ourselves another 5 minutes before walking out. We timed it, and with only 30 more seconds to go, the waitress came back with our drinks (which she got wrong, by the way). And then when the bill came back, we noticed she charged us for an extra coffee. We told her, and she said "oh, i thought I overcharged you." Well, if you thought you overcharged, then you should DOUBLE CHECK the bill!!! The food was average, but because of the awful service, we will never return!!

Steve's is just a short walk, 8/26/2009
Reviewer: Dan from Santa Barbara, CA
This place is not terrible, just mediocre food and service. Why would you eat breakfast or lunch here when Steve's is just a short walk up De La Vina?

Terrible Experience , 8/6/2009
Reviewer: Kathleen from Santa Barbara, CA
What a complete disappointment. Let's just say the only reason I gave Jake's a .5 for service is because we finally received our food. We waited over 45 minutes for our order to be taken and Jake finally ask us what we would like to order while we were walking out the door to leave! It took 10 minutes to get a refill on drinks and we finally just got them ourselves. Although the service was terrible we had fun and a good attitude with our friends because at that point all you could do was laugh. If you are over 70 and have nothing better to do I highly recommend it. By the way the food was pretty good!

Reviewer: CHRISTINE from Santa Barbara, CA

don't even bother, 6/22/2009
Reviewer: sarah from Santa Barbara, CA
Lets just say we left before we ordered! They forgot about us!!! Felt like we were in an old folks home cafeteria......what is up with the decor and why did you reopen again?

Great Breakfast, 6/21/2009
Reviewer: Lewis Rivera from Santa Barbara, CA
Had breakfast here and couldn't decide what to order. Everything looked good. Had an omelett that was delicious. Nice sides and nice prices to go with the tasty food.

What happened to Jake's?, 5/9/2009
Reviewer: Alyssa from Santa Barbara, CA
We were excited to see Jake's reopen but what a disappointment. The patty melt I ordered came as toasted bread, an overcooked underseasoned patty, and one slice of unmelted cheese. My girlfriend ordered the turkey havarti crossant sandwich (which the menu said comes with a chutney mayo) and it arrived with a thick layer of jam, not a trace of mayo. I don't know if they ran out of what was supposed to be on the sandwich or if they honestly think that a sickeningly sweet jam is appropriate for a turkey sandwich but it rendered the sandwich completely inedible. On top of the disappointing food, service was slow, waitresses didn't seem to know the menu or have ever waited tables before, food is pretty overpriced as well. I gave them one star for food because the fries were tasty.

Nice place to eat .... bizarre menu, 4/24/2009
Reviewer: Sam from Santa Barbara, CA
This place make you feel like you are in Tijuana (blue walls) but modern ( plasma tv everywhere). Generous portions, good prices. The menu is bizarre with all different names and cities. If you are having a baby and can not find a name for your baby, check Jake's menu you will find a name for sure. It was confusing when we four were ordering the food with all those names and cities. Kitchen was too noisy with all that mareichi music. TJ!! Maybe catering is better for you, like the other person wrote. Good luck!!!

Catering might be better fit, 4/23/2009
Reviewer: Elaine from Santa Barbara, CA
Always hoping a local business keeps its doors open, a catering gig may be a better opportunity for Jake's and leave the breakfast and lunch meals to Cajan Kitchen and Steve's Patio Cafe. Sincerely wishing Jake's Many A Party To Serve!

Best Breakfast on de la Vina!, 3/24/2009
Reviewer: CS from Santa Barbara, CA
Jake's is a great little neighborhood breakfast spot. Never had a bad breakfast here. Pretty straight forward breakfast offerings, homemade and fresh. You can tell the owner takes pride in his business and he will likely stop by your table to ensure everything is up to par. The staff is always friendly and welcoming, makes you feel at home. Only thing to watch out for the live music on the weekend can be a bit much if you are nursing a hangover, but if that's the case sit outside. Beats the mostly microwaved Cajun Kitchen breakfast by far. Steve's just up the road too, but the food (especially the biscuits) has them slightly beat.

Disappointed -, 3/23/2009
Reviewer: Barbara Potter from Santa Barbara, CA
This is the second time we have eaten at Jakes...with apprehension.(First time was bad) But thought give it another try!!!! Big mistake.....Place was busy, no one acknowledged us sitting at table,we almost walked out! (Should have) Eventually got a waitress who was friendly, otherwise we would have walked out! Kitchen couldn't get my order right, even after four trys... after sometime didn't even return with order..... and it was so simple.... Felt like they were overwhelmed and short staffed. Same feeling as first time....there will not be a "third time lucky"

A long wait that finally paid off, 3/9/2009
Reviewer: Justine from Santa Barbara, CA
I have eaten here many times and am a fan of the food for sure. Their service was shaky at first but has gotten much better over time. Yesterday I took 2 friends to Jake's for brunch who had not been there other than for the special New Year's Eve dinner with impressive fried chicken. When we walked in, it was packed, including two very large parties. It was quickly apparent that they were overwhelmed, and we had a very long wait for our food and some strange service. One person's food came out a good 15 minutes before the rest of ours, which is frustrating. But when the food came, it was good as always. Jake came to our table, as usual, to check on how everything was. He listened to our friendly feedback, admitting it had been crazy that morning. Our waitress told us our sodas were on the house, which was nice. Later when the check was placed on our table, I picked it up, and Jake walked by and took it from me, saying "Thank You." We were a little confused at first, but then found that our entire meal was comped! He is clearly a smart business owner who knows that the satisfaction of the customer (especially a recognized regular) is a proiority. Bravo, Jake!

Recommended: Good Overall, 2/20/2009
Reviewer: Michael from Santa Barbara, CA
This establishment isn't intended to offer fine dining. It's a good breakfast/lunch dive, probably of a higher quality than Cajun Kitchen. The decor is unattractive (an unintentionally kitchy) but the food is good and the staff/owner friendly. I usually eat there several times a week. Even if I've had to wait a bit for service (they're busy on weekend lunches), the food has always reached my table very quickly after ordering. Not a bad spot if you're looking for an inexpensive breakfast/lunch with good food, fast& friendly "down home" service, free wireless and somewhat less-than-talented live music on the weekends. If you don't expect it to be anything more than that, you'll likely enjoy yourself. - Great grits, by the way, but if your vegetarian be sure to tell them to hold the bacon.

fantastic omelets + egg scrambles, and great service, 9/19/2008
Reviewer: Dena Kaplowitz from Santa Barbara, CA
mmmmmm, my favorite breakfast and lunch place, hands down! thanks for the considerate, attentive, and helpful service. your eggs are the very best in town, or perhaps the best that i've ever had anywhere. your extensive and healthy menu options are wonderful!

Great Breakfast Spot, 7/2/2008
Reviewer: Elizabeth Wong from Santa Barbara, CA
I took my kids here for breakfast for the first time today and loved it! The interior was comfortable and welcoming and the service was very friendly. We were greeted immediately and the kids were brought coloring books and crayons. The food was really delicious and quite beautifully presented (even the kids plates), with generous portions. Our family is always on the lookout for a great breakfast spot that is family-friendly, and I'm happy to say, this looks like a great one!

Home Town Food, 5/24/2008
Reviewer: Gina from Santa Barbara
Finally a place in Santa Barbara that you can get a REAL breakfast. I had a BLT Omelet with fresh fruit, my husband had fried chicken breast, eggs, potatoes and toast. Jake himself came around to each table with fresh muffins. YUM! Will go back again. Give this place a try, and remember it is a NEW restaurant! Santa Barbara needs to support it's local small restaurants! Good Job Jake's!

waitresses and cigarettes, 3/26/2008
Reviewer: SKip from Santa Barbara, CA
For me, it was a second choice after the first choice was closed. Still though, I kept an open mind as we ordered our early afternoon lunch. The thing that really gets me is the billing as a quality food operation, and then you get served food from a waitress who had just come in from out back to smoke a cigarette. The cigarette breath was bad enough, but w/o washing her hands made the bad breath almost tolerable. My food dollars are going a little further down the road.

What's up with Jake's 'tude?, 3/16/2008
Reviewer: Marie from Santa Barbara
The food wasn't outstanding, but filling... A bit on the pricey side, as well.. As I went to the front to pay my bill, I noticed "Jake" didn't ask me how "things were." Basically, didn't acknowledge me at all, but was all too eager to swipe my card, set the receipt on the counter and expect me to sign it... Mind you not one word was spoken between us.. I expect more from an owner of an establishment. Based solely on his less than pleasant attitude, I won't be back. It really doesn't matter to me whether he visited other tables or was "chatty" to other people, he isn't consistent, so he comes off as phony. It's a shame when a business owner doesn't realize that good service and kindness keep people coming back.. It's NOT just about the food.

They are never open for dinner when they say, 3/1/2008
Reviewer: Marla from Santa Barbara Ca
I have visited this restaurant 5 times since Nov, looking to try their thur- Sat dinners. Yes although the phone message said they are open for dinners every week since - they are not! NOW the phone message says march 1st , but again on the 1st they are not open. Is there no truth in advertising? What does advertising do Why not stop promoting something you are not doing Frustrating!! Now there is an ad in the paper and they are still not open - I will not go back again. Really too bad

Great new breakfast spot, 2/6/2008
Reviewer: Aaron from Santa Barbara, CA
Jake's offers great food and good prices. It's one of few restaurants that knows to put the butter for panckaes on the plate, not on top of the hot pancakes. That way, half of it doesn't melt onto the top pancake. The servers have always been polite and helpful to me, but I did notice they were a bit forgetful when it came to my friends' orders. If you're looking for a great breakfast, you now have two choices - Cajun Kitchen, or Jakes.

Skip it and go to Cajun Kitchen!, 2/2/2008
Reviewer: Amy from Santa Barbara
My husband and I decided to try Jake's for breakfast on a Saturday, they weren't too busy, about 15-20 people there. My first impression of the atmosphere wasn't very good. It seemed kind of unorganized and the decor was confusing. The waitress seemed nice, and I ordered the quiche with fruit and hashbrowns, my husband ordered a "spanish" omelette. My quiche came out looking like a left-over from 2 nights ago... dried up and overcooked with soggy crust! My fruit consisted of three small slices of old mushy watermelon and a couple slices of honeydew melon with no taste. My husbands omelette was just egg whites with no seasoning, some salsa and a couple pieces of avocado on top and a tiny bit of cheese... his biggest complaint was the lack of taste. Now when the check came we were charged for 4 coffees instead of 2 and charged for 4 meals instead of 2!!! I gave it to our waitress, and after looking it over she tried to tell the people behind us that it was their bill...after they had paid! Then the owner fixed the bill, but that took another 10 min. so we were pretty annoyed by the time we left! So much for trying new places! Good luck.

Best BLT I've ever had!, 1/20/2008
Reviewer: John from Santa barbara
Everything I've had there since Jake's opened has been quite good but their BLT on their lunch menu is outstanding. To top it off the service is as good as it gets. I like the idea that Jake goes from table to table and personally connects with his customers. This is very unusual for this kind of eatery. The place is cheerful and almost always packed.

It's a fine restaurant.., 12/11/2007
Reviewer: G from Santa Barbara
It's a comfortable, good place for breakfast. It's exactly what you would expect. I just want to complain about people who complain about it. The threesome sitting next to us on Sunday morning were probably the most irritating people to begin with, because of their shallow, unintelligent, but LOUD conversation. But they just chattered annoyingly and loudly and then finally after their bill came and they paid it, THEN the guy decides to complain that there was not sausage in his sausage and biscuits... but "don't worry he will still come back"... he told this to the owner, Jake, and then the waitress came back and asked why he didn't tell her when he first got his food, and that they would have been happy to rectify the situation.. he had no answer for her.. i just hate when people gobble up their meal and then complain to a manager over a completely empty plate! And the fact that this guy thought he was God's Gift to the World and reassured them that he would still come back, that was just the icing on the cake!! Okay, that's my rant.

Won't be back , 12/11/2007
Reviewer: Mike from Santa Barbara
Open up our menus to find smeared food and salt inside...very appetizing. That prompts you to look around and the place is pretty cluttered and dirty for a fairly new restaurant. Jake's serves average food that is served much better and cheaper at countless other diners in town.

Down Home & Humble, 11/23/2007
Reviewer: Jim from Santa Barbara
I've been searching for something new, casual, and down home for some time, and, Jakes has become my new regular spot for breakfast and lunch. It's not fine dining, simply, down home old fashion comfort food. Jakes bills itself as Carolina/Southern, and as such, offers chicken fried steak, grits, fried chicken, real country gravy, mac n cheese, etc. It's definately not "California" fare, but that's what I like about it. They've started serving a buffet style dinner (under $15) which you won't let you leave still hungry. They're still working out some of the kinks, but always make things right. If you're hungry, go with no expectations, and are open to something simple and new, you'll like Jakes.

Dinner too..., 10/22/2007
Reviewer: Emily from Santa Barbara
We went to Jake's for dinner (I think they are open thurs-sat?). The approach is fun, you can choose from 4 meat options (tuna, chicken, chicken fried steak, and pork chop, you get sald, bread, and then a buffet of yummy sides. I had the chicken, which was good. My husband had the chicken fried steak, which he feared was not homemade. The best side was the yam souffle. You also get dessert, which was fine. The overall experience was good. They were really nice to change a TV to the football game we wanted to watch. The process of ordering and where/when to get you food was a little confusing though and I felt like some of the veggies could have been more inspired.

Needs a new cook, 10/19/2007
Reviewer: Mya Bean from Santa Barbara
After seeing the advertisements and reading the reviews for this place we decided to try it out. we have our usual breakfast place which is Cajun Kitchen and we love it but felt we needed something new. BIG mistake because afterwards my boyfriend and I went to Cajun Kitchen. The menu is great everything looks good, and the service was ok. But when our cold breakfast came it was horrible. The cheese was missing from his omlet and it wasn't even what he ordered. Mine was cold and the veggies were still raw. it was a disappointment to say the least.

Hopefully sticking around, 9/14/2007
Reviewer: Mireya from Santa Barbara, CA
The place is certainly country cottage by looking at the decor, but the food isn't as bland. The food is fresh with interesting combinations of flavors, in a good way. I would recommend breakfast, the santa barbara omelet with egg whites is my favorite. The service is excelent as well, everyone, including Jake, is very friendly. And the hostess walks around with free muffins that are very good too. The Salvadorean place before this was great as well and the people were so nice. I am sad to see them go, but having a breakfast place around the corner for Sunday mornings isn't all that bad.

Great breakfast, 9/12/2007
Reviewer: Albert Melkonian from Santa Barbara CA
I've been there twice for breakfast and enjoyed it both times—good food and good value. Look forward to trying lunch soon.

The food was OK, but bland. The muffins were good and tasty. The coffee was average. The wait staff was unattentive not making sure customers requests were followed and when bringing Joann's attention to the fact that she did not bring our requested order, nor did she follow up on the meal, including not bringing the ordered toast, she made a joke out of it. For a first time customer, it was a dissapointment. I appreciate good food and service.

Great Place To Eat!, 8/23/2007
Reviewer: Franco from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I went to Jake's the first week it open. Yes, the sevice was slow-But the food was GREAT! We always give restaurants a second chance especially when they are new, because in the beginning they are not as experienced. So my wife and kids went there for the second time for lunch. The service was GREAT and the Food was WONDERFUL and the host was very pleasen't. I will recommend Jake's restaurant to Friends and Family at anytime. Franco & Hellen

Jakes is a clean well lighted place , 8/15/2007
Reviewer: John Smith from Santa Barbara
Wonderful food, great grits, and overall just a great feeling in my stomach when I leave. I feel good because its good clean food with a touch of flair. Jake comes around to say hi and that is rare in this town! When certain staff is there, the place is just such a pleasure to be at, but I do know that sundays can be a bit too much for their crew to handle. I will continue to go, and hope it stays the same!

Apparently I've only been on their good days, 7/29/2007
Reviewer: Eric from Montecito, CA
I am surprised at the previous comments about bad service. I've been to Jake's several times and found the service bordering on too helpful. Pretty much every server in the place stopped by and asked if I needed anything and Jake always takes a moment to say hello and ask how the meal is. My only criticism is the Sunday Buffet which I have only visited once. Maybe its a health permit thing but usually buffets are self service but here they have all the food behind glass and one person dishing it out. Not the most efficient system but the blueberry stuffed french toast was quite tasty.
While I was disappointed at losing my beloved Cuzcatlan, I wish Jake's Cottage Cafe great success and would recommend it to friends and family without hesitation.

Good Food - BAD SERVICE!, 7/10/2007
Reviewer: Kristy from Santa Barbara, CA
Too bad good tasting food can't save a restaurant if the service is bad! First of all, we were seated in the back next to the location where the waiters get juice, coffee, etc. (Seems like this location should be in the kitchen or something.) So there were always people passing by us, it was really loud, and we could see "behind-the-scenes". So try to get a seat somewhere else! We had to ask multiple times for water and we got our own ketchup and hot sauce. When the waitress asked for our order, she asked if we wanted bacon, ham, or sausage...what she failed to tell us is that this is $3-$4 EXTRA! Boy were we suprised when we got the bill. We also got charged for an extra coffee. At this point, we were all fed up and just paid the extra amount. A lot of the staff looked really young and inexperienced. Hopefully the service will get better.

Not a great experience, 6/24/2007
Reviewer: Andrea from Santa Barbara, CA
Saw the ads, and tried it for breakfast a few weeks ago. Service was very poor and disorganized. Took 10 minutes for us to get menus, and there were several wait staff and few customers...we couldn't figure it out, and apparently neither could they. Food arrived and was cold. Owner came by and realized something was wrong, as we were asking for the check before finishing our meal. To his credit, he didn't charge us. I wish I could say that we'll be giving it another try, but the overall experience was so poor, that I know we won't. You can tell the owner is trying, but perhaps he doesn't have any prior restaurant experience???

Don't know about the food, 6/14/2007
Reviewer: Rachel from Santa Barbara, CA
My husband and I heard good things about Jake's so we decided to give it a try. We waited for quite some time and while we waited, watched the service which in my opinion left something to be desired. After watching the owner, who clearly needs to hire more help, run around and deliver poor service to customers and ignore many other customers, we decided to leave and go to our usual breakfast location.

Great Food , Poor Service, 6/10/2007
Reviewer: Jon from Santa Barbara Ca.
Ate here for the first time today. Was seated at a dirty table took 15 minutes for someone to acknowledge we were there. Took Drink Orders and returned 20 minutes later with drinks. Ordered Food, Came quite quickly and was very good.The kitchen is doing a good job. The wait staff was confused and did not know what to do.I saw 3 groups of peeople leave after not being attended to 1 group was already at a table. I wish the owner well and hope that things pull together.Tri tip was excellent.

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