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China Palace
1070 Coast Village Rd, Montecito
Phone: (805) 565-9380

  • Category: Chinese
  • Hours: Mon-Sun 11:30am-3pm, 5pm-9:30pm
  • Price: $10 - $20
  • Serving: Lunch & Dinner
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Reviews by the General Public

Service was HORRIBLE!!!
Reviewer: Tanya from Santa Barbara, CA
Horrible experience!!! It started when my husband and I walked in. No one to greet us and only 1 tables with 2 guests in whole restaurant. We looked around and finally a lady guided us to table and went to walk away-- no how are you etc, Very rude. We knew what we wanted and waited to be attended. Again the one bus person and waitress were more concerned about other things than us, When she came back, I explained I had an Axxess card and wanted to get 2 for 1, she said only for entree? I explained i would like to use it for this, she finally accepted and we got our teas but after asking several times did not bring splenda, when I looked for them to ask the bus person he gave me 3!( i use this in one glass, and I always drink multiple glasses not to mention my husband), he did not know what it was at first. the looks I got from both of them made my husbsnd just want to leave and we eat out a lot! Because we were hungry we stayed, and I sat there forever with an empty tea glass, finally she appeared and set a carafe of tea of table and took off, never asked about anything! Worst experience ever, and even tho food was good sitting there with what happened just made it a super bad experience....

Customers not welcome
Reviewer: Michael from Santa Barbara, CA
I had not been here for about a year. We were rushed, cut off in mid-sentence for the waitress to run off. Hot brown sauce was pervasive. I used to love their hot and sour soup, now it is hot brown.

Interesting evening!
Reviewer: Quatre from VA
Since coming to town a year and a half ago, I have doggedly searched for a Chinese place with the chops I used to find easily 25 years ago in California. Well, not easily -- but they existed -- in L.A. on Pico Blvd., maybe some of the ones in Chinatown. I have been disappointed by Chinese cuisine all over America in the last 15 years... I mean Everywhere. There's a theory out there that a lot of talented chefs went back to China for better opportunities in the recent past. I don't know. But it's been frustrating. So I'm happy to say that China Palace, which took a while to get on my radar -- I was asking around frequently, but no one mentioned it -- is surprisingly good. It also has attributes you would scarcely ever find in even classic Chinese spots: the room is warm, the service is on point, and the hospitality is great. I had gotten to the point where I was trying places in Westlake and Newbury Park that people had told me about, after they said there's nothing good in Santa Barbara. Wrong on both counts. China Palace is working. Thanks!

My Favorite Chinese Restaurant in Santa Barbara
Reviewer: Robert Bernstein from Goleta, CA
Former owner Lisa started Szechuan on the Mesa, then China Pavilion at this Coast Village Road location. Each was the best. After it was sold and became China Palace they kept their best chef and it is still the best. Try the Orange Peel Shrimp the way it is supposed to be made! They pioneered it! Same goes for the Dry Sauteed String Beans! But every dish they make is also the best.

Nice folks ~ good food!
Reviewer: sigi b from Santa Barbara, CA
This restaurant is very neighborhood friendly ... they know their customers and are very good to them. Speaking about Good, so is the food with friendly, fast service in house and take out. Try it , you'll like it!

Pleasantly surprized
Reviewer: Stu from Santa Barbara, CA
Exceeded my expectations. Food was delicious and different that dishes at other local places. Service was great. Portions were large. They honored the Axxess card w/o a problem. Singapore style noodles in a yellow curry sauce was Very tasty. We liked it and will return. The Smoked Duck dish was fabulous!

Service was Excellent-- Too bad the food wasn't
Reviewer: bren from Santa Barbara, CA
TAKE_OUT-- I ordered the Hot & Sour Soup (large) which had good flavor, but it was basically ALL broth (no meat) and they only filled the contained about 2/3 full (really how much do cloud ears and tofu cost?!!). I also ordered the Wor Wonton soup--(large) which smelled like yeast or ? The soup only had 2 shrimp, a couple of pieces of chicken and some spinach or ? the rest was wontons and broth (at $12.95 a HUGE ripoff!). The beef with brocoli was okay-- lots of beef but not much flavor. I won't be going back that's for sure.

Very enjoyable!
Reviewer: Erica, from Santa Barbara, CA
A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of eating dinner here with my parents. We enjoyed an excellent meal and friendly service. The servers were very gracious with me when I launched into ordering our meal with my basic Mandarin skills, brought us extra bowls to eat our rice out of at our request, and attentively refilled our water glasses throughout the evening. The 長壽麵 (chang shou mian/long-life noodles) with tomato and seafood, garnished with baby bok choy, was a new flavor combination I'd not encountered in Chinese cuisine before--a delicious new dish to me! The classic 麻婆豆腐 (mapo dofu/tofu and minced pork) was the perfect stick-to-your-tummy comfort food for a chilly February evening, warming with its generous amounts of spicy sauce. To round out our meal, we had an order of 岳陽牛 (yue yang rou/"Capital Beef"), which they recommended when I asked for their favorite dish. It surely didn't disappoint, with bite-sized pieces of beef fried until crispy with peppers and onions in a lightly spicy sauce. I will certainly be going back to try many more of the great-looking items on their menu!

so good!!!!
Reviewer: martijn from carpinteria, CA
The food is very good i would say yum-yum served by a very good and friendly waitress called ling-ling!! She had a "cead mile failte" for the irish. So 'go raibh mile maith agat' From M , G and S @ Carpinteria

Very disappointing
Reviewer: Alex from Santa Barbara, CA
First time dining here and I left feeling disappointed and upset. From the get-go of arriving there was no one to assist to seat us. After standing around awkwardly a waiter finally sat us. I had the impression it's a get us in get us out restutant to make more room for others. Even though that was all pretty lame the vegetable chow men is what lost my hope in the china palace. There was about three small pieces of brocollie and maybe a few cabbage fragments and an enormous aray of noodles. We actually told the waiter - to our surprise they physically spooned over our dish repeatedly saying "this is what we serve if you wanted more vegetables you should order extra". ...?! Really!!! The waiter brought an extra veggie plate but it was an after thought to our initial complaint. Don't recommend this place and won't be going back either.

Not your usual fare
Reviewer: Barbara from Montecito, CA
Read your reviews beforehand (the two negative ones I saw on this site were re China Pavilion, a different restaurant...). Service was excellent. Companion had dietary considerations and server made some great suggestions. We ordered two chef's specials = Shitake Mushroom appetizer and Tea Duck entree (both were awesome) plus Basil Beef on main menu (very good). Meal arrived, beautifully presented, and was delighted that it was not the usual Chinese restaurant fare where everything is bland and bathed in either hoisin or cornstarch-based sauce. Rather, each item's distinct texture and taste were to be savored. Had been to China Palace many years ago and was disappointed. After last night's experience China Palace is back on my list.

Best Chinese I've Had In A Long Time
Reviewer: Sara T from Bakersfield, CA
Beautiful restaurant, great service, friendly staff, amazing food. Our family ordered egg flower soup, cream cheese stuffed wontons, broccoli beef, orange chicken, asparagus chicken, pork soft noodles. ALL the best we've EVER had. Went back two nights in a row. The search for a great Chinese restaurant is finally over!

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