Santa Barbara > Restaurants > India Club
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India Club
No longer in business
Opened: 2011-10 Closed: 2016-07

5701 Calle Real, Goleta
Phone: (805) 967-7171

  • Category: Indian
  • Hours: Lunch 11am-2:30pm, Dinner 5pm-9:30pm
  • Price: $10 - $20
  • Serving: Lunch & Dinner
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  • Menu
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Reviews by the General Public

Good Indian food, 10/16/2015
Reviewer: John from Santa Barbara, CA
We took refuge here during the GREAT TRAFFIC JAM when Highway 5 was closed and its traffic came down 101 to get to LA on a Friday night, already usually a bad night for traffic. During the four hours it took to get from the DMV in Goleta to Santa Barbara City and home, we got worried about the gas level in our car and came down from the dead stopped traffic on Foothill/Cathedral Oaks (often five minutes totally stationary!)to Calle Real. Then we noticed The India Club and decided to stop in. We had very courteous and helpful service, and excellent naan, lovely mint raita and very good Chicken Nilgiri and onion fitters. This was proper service, not a buffet nor ordering at the counter. Yes, the decor is maybe bleak modern, but the food is what matters. We will go back.

Winner - but small field, 5/25/2015
Reviewer: Quatre from Santa Barbara, CA
You kinda think the West Coast means better Indian food… much closer to the motherland. Well, not always the case. This spot has some chops. I think it's dreary to eat at, in fact decided to order out once I saw it -- so bright... all hard surfaces and very over lit. Liked the food though! Not Madhur Jaffrey - per another review -- but maybe you don't want to cook. Take it home.

love the food & love the owners, 9/28/2014
Reviewer: Kristena from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been eating INDIA CLUB's food since it was Spice Avenue- the first year they opened. I had birthday's there and met friends for lunch & chai tea. I adore the Sag Paneer and Alloo Gobi (sp?) and the garlic nan & the mango lassi. Everyone I know really likes this restaurant and when they moved to Goleta Yippee! Have you tried their Samosa's?

Best Indian in Goleta, 5/23/2014
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
They are up to 6-8 dishes in the buffet. They are really hopping crowd wise with their buffet now. They added outdoor seating(about 8 tables) to get away from the inside which to me still seems to stuffy/loud. So unless you want to travel to Las Positas or farther into SB this is the best(and only) buffet for Goleta. Female owner(I think) was cordial and nice. For all you can eat $10-12 is good(I was stuffed with one plate ala Thanksgiving).

Buy Madhur Jafffey's Indian Cookery book instead, 4/17/2014
Reviewer: Laurie from Santa Barbara, CA
Their food is akin to frozen Indian food which Trader Joe's does much better for far cheaper. Since there is no other Indian food in Goleta, I tried India Club but was immediately put off by the extreme unfriendliness of the manager. He clearly does not wish to be waiting on the general public. If the food had been somewhat alluring I would have put up with the it, but after three tries...forget it. He does a disservice to his otherwise friendly hired help.

Just passable, 4/15/2014
Reviewer: Nisha from Santa Barbara, CA
Since i come from India, i have tasted far better Indian food than the one you get anywhere in Santa Barbara. But still spice avenue is way better than this one. for the items they provide, the price is too much for buffet. no variety for desserts or starters. Naans were not really naans but regular bread dough with lots of yeast in it, rolled like naan bread. Indian naan bread is too different than this. I didn't return empty stomach and at least one of the rice and curry was decent. But i don't think I would go there again. I would rather take little more pain and go to state street.

Bad again, 3/18/2014
Reviewer: Mukesh from Santa Barbara, CA
The food quality has recently become poor and also they have tossed out out two buffet entry specials like Biryani rice. The service was also not friendly, the manager declined to give me a go box for my unfinished naan breads saying we don't give to go boxes for buffets.

Much improved now, 2/6/2014
Reviewer: Mukesh from Santa Barbara, CA
I gave this one more try, they have a new chef I believe, the chicken tikka masala, madras chicken curry, pokaras and rice pudding were yummy!, the tandoori chicken was not that great though,

Improved!, 10/31/2013
Reviewer: Hugh from Santa Barbara, CA
Very pleased to see they have added a Soda Fountain. No more pay-per-can drinks! They have moved the deserts to the chutney bar and added 2 vegetarian dishes to the last chaffing dish for the buffet. Tandoori chicken was great as was the Tikka Masala. The vegetarian dishes were a spiced noodles and tofu Biriyani, a very highly spiced rice, amazing flavors. Counter service has always been good and they take your dishes promptly. Not much to the salad but it's free, I douse it in raita and wrap it in my naan bread, theirs is so fresh and good. They have a lunch club card for a future free buffet. I am still liking this place very much and now it has gotten even better imho.

Very good all around, 7/15/2013
Reviewer: PJ from Santa Barbara, CA
Have had lunch here 4 or 5 times. They now have a lunch buffet. The food is fresh and there is a nice variety. The staff is pleasant. It is overall very good.

Not Impressed, 7/10/2013
Reviewer: Tina from Santa Barbara, CA
I was not very impressed by the food, but I have never had Indian food before so I don't know if the food isn't good Indian food or I personally just don't like Indian food. The service wasn't bad but there really isn't any as you order at the counter. They did pick up plates promptly and bring the naan out quickly. I had the lunch buffet and it didn't seem like very many choices. Also, the food wasn't very hot. I did love the naan bread. Glad I tried it but won't be going back.

Good Food and Service, 5/3/2013
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
Yay, they opened the buffet! Had the buffet and it was good, similar to the Spice Avenue one that I believe are the same owners(or related) as this place. So its a good place for all those in Goleta who can't make it to Flavor of India, All India Cafe or Spice. Hard to say to make the trip from SB just for this place when those others are there. Their buffet choices were wider than Flavor of India but the pure simplicity of Flavor and customer service(really good naan at your table when you sit) as opposed to this place where it came near the end of the meal and was just Ok makes it hard to top Flavor. But this is a good place to go for the lunch buffet crowd in Goleta now. I believe one of the owners was there and was nice. Definitely try the desserts. It would be could if they could crank AC on hot days. Overall the best Goleta option for Indian food.

Eh, Oh, Way to Go, Goleta, 4/18/2013
Reviewer: Greg & Yukari from Santa Barbara, CA
A very fine addition to Goleta’s wanting food community. India club is not a fancy restaurant: You order at the counter; you find a table; you get your own water. There is even a “chutney bar” modeled after Salsa Fresh, only most of them are quite tasty. The upside is that it is better Indian food than you will find in SB — including the tourist spots on State (or that other place). Frankly, we’ve tried them all and we don’t have a good Indian restaurant. But this place puts out good honest ethnic cuisine at a reasonable price. I had the lamb special, which was very good. (Order spicy cuz that’s just a mild burn). She had the fish tikka masala, which was fine but a tiddlywink sweet to match the fish. The breads were good. We look forward to trying more dishes. They are very take-out friendly. I you need to pick up dinner on the way home, Idea club could be an excellent choice.

Not impressed, 2/9/2013
Reviewer: Mukesh from Santa Barbara, CA
I have had the lunch specials and Dosa on weekends, the food does not have taste, it is bland, only moderate quantity and quality and the manager is not friendly, good friendly owners though

Okay Food But Overpriced - Service Was Somewhat Lacking, 8/5/2012
Reviewer: Ken from Santa Barbara, CA
We looked at the chutneys when we first entered the place, but the server was convinced we wanted the buffet. Despite telling him we didn't, he explained at great length that there was no buffet. Okay, got it. Service was, shall we say, "selective," with some guests getting a good welcome, but we didn't. We noticed a server brought cutlery for one guest, whereas we were just told where to get that for ourselves. Our meal, for two, cost nearly $30, which is way too much considering what you get, and the fact that this is more of a cafe than a real restaurant (I mean to say, $5 for two somosas?). Food was okay, but it lacked a distinct flavor and texture, so it wasn't the best Indian food I've ever had. The offhand service alone doesn't make me want to go again, and there are better Indian restaurants that offer far more value for money. With more competitive pricing, and far better service, this place could pack them in, but it won't be doing that anytime soon, I think.

Great first experience, 4/17/2012
Reviewer: Jeff from Goleta, CA
My first visit. Was favorably impressed. Had the Lamb Vindaloo and it was GREAT. All of the people in my party commented on the good food. Service was attentive but not suffocating. This is a good place that I will go back to. Recommended.

yummy lunch specials, 4/6/2012
Reviewer: lemonjelly from santa barbara, ca
The basic lunches are a main curry, rice, lentils and naan, with five vegetarian choices ($9), and four each of chicken ($10), lamb ($11), and fish ($13). Served in a tray that seems part thali, and part bento, with compartments. For lunch, it's pretty simple, and a good price. The greater variety of curries are available a la carte.
There're three additional vegetarian lunch specials that's a chickpea curry (chole or chana), and deep fried breads or samosas, those are each $9. I got the chana and samosa option and really liked it. The chana was a good balance of spicy, spiceful, and the portion was decent - I had to take home some of it. And I love samosas. I wish they came with a little bit of sweet mango chutney. It's okay, I ate them with the raita and mint chutney from the chutney bar.
The weekend dosa special looks great too, like a weekend brunch prix fixe that included dessert.
There is supposed to be rotating recipes for the dal, which is pretty cool. Nothing like the variety available in India, I am sure, but it's nice to know there's some variety to the side dishes in the lunch specials.
Ambiance: stripmall style (unfortunately). BUT there're two televisions showing Bollywood films to keep you occupied from watching the soul-sucked KFC diners trundling by next door with their buckets.
Timid eaters: try the butter chicken.

I hate the Indian Wars, 3/9/2012
Reviewer: Richard Lambert from Santa Barbara, CA
Why don't the Indian restaurants in town stop trashing each other and focus on your own food and service?

Generic Indian Food That's Too Expensive, 3/8/2012
Reviewer: Nancy from Santa Barbara, CA
India Club looks like a fast food restaurant to be rather pricey. Why is this food and service worth the isn't. It took forever to get our drinks and everything else too more than forever. The wrong entree was served to me and I worried it would take forever to get the right dish. At least that was something that was done quickly. The food was all right if one doesn't know a lot about Indian food. It was very generic and not even that great for generic Indian. I can go to Flavor of India and get wonderful food, great service and pay less. At least the Dosa Festival on weekends is nice. Maybe they should serve Southern Indian food only.

Great modified fast-food, 3/8/2012
Reviewer: patrick m from Santa Barbara, CA
We ate dinner here and we really liked the food. This is basically a glorified fast food restaurant, at which you order at a counter, get a number and sit down, then your food is brought to you. When ordering, we were a little disappointed at the limited selection. I also was surprised when told they were out of sweet lassi -- I thought 'why not mix up some more?'. We took our number and sat down. When the food came, it was great -- really delicious. When my wife's mango lassi came, it was in a plastic cup with a sealed plastic film top that appeared to have Chinese writing on it. That solved the mystery of their running out of sweet lassi: it appears the lassi are pre-made in a factory. Overall , the food was delicious, the modified fast food setup was disappointing (we'd prefer a real restaurant with waitstaff), and therefore the price a little high for this meal. We'll probably come back, but not as often as we would if it were a bonafide sit-down restaurant. On the plus side -- we did eat with real utensils and dishes instead of throwaway ones.

Great Indian Food - in comfortable setting, 1/22/2012
Reviewer: kfresh from Santa Barbara, CA
6 friends came here and we had a great experience - the kitchen was a little rushed so our stuff came out at different times-but we forgot about that as we feasted on great Indian food! Everything we had - except the special south indian fish dish was great: Lamb kebob, Biryani, chicken tikka masala, special lamb dish, navattam korma. Also special nod to the cauliflower appetizer - super yummy.

BAD value for the food, 1/20/2012
Reviewer: jimcaveez from Santa Barbara, CA
the food is way overpriced, menu variety is very poor. if you want more than one entree, a la carte prices are ridiculously high. you can get a full service waiter, free naan, drink refills etc. at an indian restaurant near downtown for the same as what you pay here. the food isnt even that good; often over-spiced (i love indian food from many locations, so its not that im not used to the flavors). service? there is none. and the workers are unfriendly when taking your order/money. prices befitting a nice restaurant, but service you get at a fast food joint in return. one of the worst values in town, imo.

Very good food but no real table service or refills, 1/19/2012
Reviewer: Hugh from Santa Barbara, CA
This was my second time there. I really enjoyed the food; Chicken Korma today, the Masala last time. Dahl and rice included and good. Excellent naan I thought, very soft and fresh. Hmmm it was suspiciously like pita bread. I like it. They really need to let people know that there are Lunch Specials for only $9.95 and it includes Naan which dinners apparently do not. Perfect portion but we had to get our own napkins and silverware. Also the "Free Chutney Bar" had no chutney but raita, hot green relish, hot sauce, and tamarind sauce. The raita lacks much flavor or ingredients but is welcome nonetheless. I love Chutney and missed it but Flavor of India doesn't give you any either and it's not cheap. My dish did not require it at all anyways. My friend also bought Pakoras, you get two and he gave me one. Honestly the best I ever had, light, crunchy, and tasty. Good sized too, made the lunch quite filling. Major gripe is the soda by the can although you can serve yourself water near the door. You can pay a tip when you order at the counter; I always do, food service is tough and I appreciate it. They seemed to have added more tables which is good. They bring you your order fairly quickly and then you are on your own. I've no problem with that really. Was a fair crowd at 12:30pm; 3/4 full. I will return and enjoy it. I hope they do well. I don't mean by my low service rating that anything was lacking there is just no real service to rate like any counter ordered eatery. Everyone is very pleasant. The place is very clean. Try it!

Quite Delicious!, 1/15/2012
Reviewer: Valla from Santa Barbara, CA

Will keep coming back, 1/8/2012
Reviewer: Kim from Santa Barbara, CA
We love Indian food and love to go to Artesia in L.A. We were to have a place in Goleta! And so excited to see Dosa and Uttapam on the menu on the weekends. We had a great meal today. Some reviews said they should just have a buffet. I disagree. The presentation was great with good size proportions. Some say it was pricey but I think it was reasonable and cheaper than if I went downtown or to L.A. It is comparable to Chinese food prices. They have a great extensive menu for ordering at the counter. I think it is a great addition to Calle Real. We'll be back on a regular basis. My son said, "This is my new favorite restaurant!"

Great Food, friendly service, 1/6/2012
Reviewer: Eric from Santa Barbara, CA
I really enjoyed my Saag Paneer lunch combo (came with salad, rice, bread and lentils) Unlike other reviewers I found their service very friendly. I actually asked the owner if they would have a buffet and he explained that it was unlikely as the quality drops in buffets as waste increases. My feeling about most buffets is they fill them with poor quality, fried, greasy crap (panda express) Too bad as I love the variety of Indian buffets. Taj was fantastic as is Flavor of India. The food quality at India Club was top notch, I'll definitely go back.

*, 1/5/2012
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
I agree Charlotte plus I miss Pick Up Stix which I thought was great. Since its similar owners as Naan and Spice which do well I think they will stick it out until people like them more/change things as needed(i.e. a buffet!). I don't like their business model.

$$$$$$, 1/5/2012
Reviewer: Charlotte from Santa Barbara, CA
Second time going to India Club..... I'm sorry I know I've said this before, but they seriously need to cave in and have a buffet, like at Spice (Mother restaurant) $10.95 for a terrific lunch buffet with all of my favorites and most of which is Vegetarian, which I am not but is very tasty and healthy. At India Club $14.00 for lunch.....limp salad, Raita, rice and entree (which my Tilka chicken was all way too mild sauce) and bread was $$! And it was served on a plastic tray by the grumpiest waiter ever!??? I will not be joining this club.

Their dosas ARE vegan, 12/31/2011
Reviewer: Steve from Santa Barbara, CA
I'm vegan and was concerned to see Carrie's review. I can totally understand her concern since the first time I queried them I got a kind of glib and suspect "it's all vegan" answer. So the next time I grilled the owner Sonny at some length and he gave me a comprehensive list of ingredients in the dosas and uttapams. They are indeed completely vegan (i.e. entirely plant-based), including the soup, sauces, and "donut" sides, except 1) the two variants on the dosa menu that explicitly list meat in the filling, and 2) skip the vermicelli dessert course, which uses milk, or ask him ahead of time to make it with water instead. On the regular (non-dosa) menu they have 5 or 6 vegan items, but I haven't tried those as they are the usual suspects at most Indian restaurants. The weekend lunch dosa menu is more special. However, don't miss the cauliflower appetizer on the main menu, which I've never seen elsewhere and found to be awesomely tasty. Deep fried so not the healthiest but it makes your taste buds sit up and beg. :-) In sum, this place has lots of vegan choices and is a very tasty addition to our local vegan communities' restaurant options.

Agree with Owen, 12/13/2011
Reviewer: James from Santa Barbara, CA
I had more or less the same experience as another reviewer down below. This is a take-out place with decent food and poor service that thinks it can charge restaurant prices. Some positive points: 1) Location - if you live and Goleta you really need Indian food RIGHT NOW you can save some gas and time by going here, since there's nothing else with ~6 miles. 2) Food - It's served hot and it's Indian food. 3) Decent Interior. Some negative points: 1) Price - for the portions, atmosphere, service, and utilities, spending $14 on one person for lunch is just ridiculous. Maybe they think everyone in Santa Barbara is old or retired (and they'd be right). 2) Service - Cashier was not friendly and did not listen. When I go to get some Indian I want extremely spicy food (which I specifically asked for) and the cashier did not understand me, despite two attempts to drive the point home. Food was not spicy. 3) Food - Not a lot of choice here and the taste is nothing special. Lentils were sort of watery, naan was very flavorless, limp, and disappointing compared to what I'm used to. 4) Portion - Skimpy. I like to do things with my life so I need a lot of energy, and I don't want to have to go next door afterwards for a smoothie to get this energy (especially after spending $14). 5) Tap Water - this is probably mostly a personal thing but they've filled their water dispenser with tap water that tastes a lot like the inside of metal pipe. Had to pay $2 for a bloody CAN of coke. I probably won't return here. At this point it's worth the time and effort to drive six miles to at LEAST get to Flavor of India (hell, I might even go to Naan Stop despite their pathetic food and even worse service, but at least I won't be ripped off). This restaurant is new and I would expect a bit more effort, but I'm optimistic that they'll change in the future.

Very attentive service; good food, 12/12/2011
Reviewer: Nancy from Santa Barbara, CA
We went to India Club for their dosas. They were some of the best I have ever had. The service was very attentive and pleasant. Despite their higher price point for the neighborhood, we will return for great Indian food.

Would try their food if they were ever open!, 11/22/2011
Reviewer: Nicole from Santa Barbara, CA
I drive by this place daily and I've been eager to give them a chance, though I've had little luck. During my first attempt, I strolled up at 4:30 pm and saw some people seated inside, so naturally I thought they were open for business - wrong. The door was locked, and the people inside simply waved me off. I looked at the posted hours and saw they wouldn't open for 30 minutes, so I wandered elsewhere for food. I went back yesterday at 6:00 pm since per their posted hours they should be open at that time on a Monday, but when I arrived the lights were off and nobody was home. FAIL. If you're going to run a business, I suggest being open during your advertised hours. Otherwise you'll just keep losing business to the closest open restaurant. Next time I'm craving Indian food, I won't even bother with this place.

Needs help, 11/17/2011
Reviewer: Owen from Santa Barbara, CA
I wanted to like this place. It's clean and attractively decorated, and we could use another good Indian restaurant. Sadly, they have some work to do. The staff is inexperienced and not friendly (not UNfriendly, but not friendly either, just kind of cold). The cashier didn't seem to know how to handle a cash purchase; it took forever and he seemed unnerved to the degree that we felt bad for him. There is a whole row of small tables, at least 30 percent of the total capacity of the place, that are permanently reserved for groups even though they are in no way suitable for a group (the tables are fastened to the floor and cannot be slid together). We were there at 5:00 on a weeknight and were the only people in the place, but they refused to let us sit at one of the reserved tables. Groups? Show me the groups already. Sheesh! And later a couple came in and sat at the reserved tables, taking up one table for each of them because they are really too small to accommodate two plates, drinks, etc. None of this made any sense. There were no spoons at the chutney station, so I had to go get some in order to serve myself. And for the price of the food, one should expect table service, tablecloths, and maybe even a lighted candle. They're serving mediocre fast food in what is admittedly an upscale but still very fast food environment, at prices that are on par with other local Indian places that provide quality, interesting food and gracious table service. This is just not going to compete. About the food: it was not all that interesting. It was fresh enough and certainly not bad, but it was nothing special either. The menu stated that the entrees would come with salad and raita, but they came with potatoes and lentils instead. If they change their food, they should change their menus at the same time. And really, we would have preferred the salad and raita because our meals were all carbohydrates with no refreshing relief of something fresh and alive. The lentils were mainly a thin bland gruel with few discernible lentils – ecch. They did not ask about the level of spiciness, so it was too mild for me and too spicy for my mate. I hate to leave a negative review, and I do wish them well. But I hope they read this and realize they're not meeting the expectations of, well, at least us and the people next to us who were also complaining. Gotta do better, folks, if you want to be around for a while.

Delicious food!, 11/14/2011
Reviewer: Martin from Goleta, CA
If you like Indian food, you must try this place. The flavors are fantastic! We are putting this place into our regular "rotation". This is Naan Stop in Isla Vista on steroids!

No vegan dosa festival, 11/11/2011
Reviewer: Carrie from Santa Barbara, CA
They seem to be a bit confused about how to use the word vegan. I was excited when I saw that they were advertising a special vegan festival at lunch on the weekends, but had to leave when it became obvious that they weren't clear "vegan" means no animal products whatsoever (it seems as though they think it means "no milk"). Vegans---don't rush over like I did! Would love it if they would do vegan lunch specials, though!! :)

Wonderful Food. A must try. , 10/30/2011
Reviewer: Justin from Santa Barbara, CA
As with most Indian restaurants, there are very solemn young gentlemen serving. Not sure why they are all so emotionless, but makes up for it in taste and quality. A bit pricey, but I think it's worth it. Been here twice now. Butter chicken is wonderful.

Diwali 2011, 10/27/2011
Reviewer: EatsALot from Santa Barbara, CA
I had some friends over for Diwali and ordered take out from here. The food was excellent. The portions were generous and unlike other places they gave rice, lentils and veggies with every order. This was great. To top it off, they gave me free sweets because it was Diwali. I am sold on this place for my weekly CTM fix.

Pretty Good Food but pricey over a buffet, 10/19/2011
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
They have got Goletans by the somasas if they are craving Indian and don’t want to drive towards SB. No buffet in the future(=long wait for food so call in), you can just get “plates” of things, naan bread is extra $. Same layout as Pickup Stix w/o soda fountain just canned soda(go to Blenders!) though they have Boba apparently(not a fan of Boba). I wish as a rule they would put utensils/napkins into to go orders, trying to save money I guess.

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