Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Killer Shrimp
Omni Catering

Killer Shrimp
No longer in business
Opened: 2013-07 Closed: 2014-12

416 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 284-9262

Reviews by the General Public

Good "One-Dish Saloon", 1/10/2014
Reviewer: Greg & Yukari from Santa Barbara, CA
We liked this place, with some qualifications. Don’t let the name fool you — it’s not very fancy. It’s pretty much a one-dish saloon, and that’s okay. The best gruel they fling is the "Killer Shrimp" — that's what you come here for. It’s a tasty, piquant Cajun sauce (a bit of cream) with a generous fistful of shrimp & bread for dipping. We would have preferred half as much of a nicer loaf, but it’s still a solid gear. The entree menu is about as intriguing as the DMV' Driver's Handbook — steaks, pork chops, “grilled mango salmon,” but we didn't go down that road. The happy hour runs all night. You will find a wine or draft beer you like. For the most part, the happy/app menu is like daytime TV (“crispy calamari” — OMG!), but they have oysters, steamed clams, etc. The only items we tried were a dandy grilled Caesar and a wee bit wonky fish taco. The servers were friendly but distant — I think they had homework for Philosophy 101. Don’t expect too much, have some drinks, and it’s good gear; go there with a fancy date and you’re crispy calamari. We would definitely return for happy hour. G&Y

Love! , 1/8/2014
Reviewer: Kristine from Santa Barbara, CA
I am so excited we finally got a Killer Shrimp in Santa Barbara! I eat here at least three to four times a week since it opened and have had a fantastic experience every time. Love the 'killer shrimp,' spicy chicken tenders and the killer mojito. The staff is always very friendly and the prices are very reasonable.

New Favorite Happy Hour, 11/22/2013
Reviewer: Sean from Santa Barbara, CA
Great food good service and one of the best and under hyped happy hours in town.

shrimp, crab, taters, 11/2/2013
Reviewer: chris from Santa Barbara, CA
The Killer Shrimp is a nice portion in a thin, spicy broth that's zippy rather than hyper-hot - no need for salsa-loving locals to fear Scoville ratings. A basket full of plain baguette slices for sopping it up. That's it, and for many that will be enough. Order salad or sides for more variety. We also tried the crab cakes which were quite tasty and a reasonable size, though minced very fine rather than lumpy. (Good for here, no threat to Baltimore.) The mashed potatoes that came with the crab were great, and a hefty portion. Minor negative is the decor - including 4 TV's over the bar - which could still use some visual tweaking to pull the long, thin, dark, and rather boring shape together. Flowers or lanterns on the tables, for example. Staff is obviously interested in delivering good customer service, and management goes the extra mile. Shall return to try other menu items.

Pretty good, 10/24/2013
Reviewer: Phil from Santa Barbara, CA
We dined here this week and everything was pretty good. The oysters were fresh and the calamari was tasty - Long happy hour with very reasonable prices and a good selection of items. I went for the "original" killer shrimp in the broth. Bonus points for not overcooking to a rubbery shrimp like many places do. The shrimps were tender and the sauce has a little kick to it, not spicy enough to freak out someone with a sensitive palate. It's like a homemade version of Old Bay broth with some other stuff to make it more rich, but it is still relatively light (not creamy or buttery or thick). The bread was horrible though. Plain nasty white cheap stuff, cut right off the loaf, unheated and bland. It would be nice to have some good crusty on the out and goo in the middle quality sourdough. This place could use an atmosphere upgrade, it's very stale, but the food is good and service is actually better than most places that hire staff of the lower to mid 20 age group, so management did well with their training program.

OK shrimp, 9/24/2013
Reviewer: Mike F from Santa Barbara, CA
Food was OK. With the shrimp I go some pasta and bread. Tried to get a small ceasar salad but they brought house salad. Told them what I ordered and I was told they did not have single serving ceasar. SO I got some slaw. The loud music had so much base that you could not tell what the song was.

Killer Shrimp, 8/19/2013
Reviewer: Sally from Santa Barbara, CA
Atmosphere: Large narrow resturant with comfortable booth and spacious bar. Flat screen tv over bar area, low key decor. Service: We went midweek around 3pm, plenty of seating. The server was perky and available, again at a slow time of day. Food/drink: Okay, brace yourself. We tried the touted classic, "Killer Shrimp" which they brag is an amazing broth, simmered for hours, etc. etc. So here's what we got: a large bowl of a hot 'broth': which had little more flavor than hot water with a dash of some sort of 'heat' (dry peppers, fresh hot peppers, etc.) While there was plenty of shrimp, it was overcooked as well. We also ordered the seafood salad which was very tasty, plenty of seafood in it with crisp lettuce. Summary: In one word: Disappointed. Most especially when the establishment is raving about their amazing dish that the entire restaurant, no entire CHAIN of restaurants, is based. Wouldn't go back.

excellent food- horrible-loud music , 8/12/2013
Reviewer: Barbara from Santa Barbara, CA
I tried the restaurant for the first time and the food was excellent and I found the menu very diverse. I don't like spicy food so I was able to find other options to enjoy. I was not able to enjoy my food as the choice of music and volume was not appropriate for people who are educated and classy and world traveled. The music does not coordinate with the sophistication of the food choices. The music is for the tattoo crowd so I will not be returning or recommending this place to my sophisticated friends who would have enjoyed a good restaurant in this town that is so limited with good places to eat when you are from The East Coast. Most places here would not last for three hours there. this place would- if not for the tasteless, overwhelming loud music..

Great addition to the area, 7/31/2013
Reviewer: Chris from Santa Barbara, CA
I ate there Monday and everything was amazing. The original dish *is* spicy, and that's why I like it. However, there seemed to be a good array of non-spicy items on the menu for those who prefer less spice. For happy hour, they had great drink options (I had a $3 Figueroa Mtn beer) as well as lots of reasonably-priced food options. Happy hour is apparently every day from 3 - close in the bar, and extends to the dining room later in the evening. When I was there, music was at reasonable levels. They had an festive and friendly atmosphere, much like the Palace.

I'd call it "Pretty Good Shrimp", 7/30/2013
Reviewer: Eric from Santa Barbara, CA
I ate here the day after they opened and they were packed. I'm impressed things ran so smoothly for a new place with so many customers. The service was very friendly and attentive. Even when our server wasn't nearby there was someone asking if we needed anything.

As for the food... The specialty dish is basically a half pound of shrimp in a spiced broth and a bowl of bread for dipping. I didn't find it to be particularly spicy as the previous reviewer mentioned but I have a pretty high tolerance for spice. The flavor was enjoyable but I wouldn't rate it "killer." My friend also ordered a bowl of clam chowder which was a very generous portion. I tasted a spoonful and found it adequate but nothing special.

I ordered the "jumbo lump" crab cakes. I should mention that I am a crab cake snob and pretty much only ever like the ones I make myself. That said, Killer Shrimp's crab cakes are among the few restaurant crab cakes that consist mostly of crab. So many places use tons of bread crumbs and other fillers to the point where you can hardly find the crab, let alone taste it. I'd rate the cakes as solid but not jumbo lump by any stretch. Perhaps they started that way but put them in a mixer that broke the lumps down? Whenever I make the dish I use extreme care when mixing them so as not to destroy the integrity of the jumbo lumps. The KS crab cakes were stringy but pretty good. The Buerre Blanc sauce was relatively spicy, if you don't enjoy spice you might ask for it on the side.

I also ordered a $10 cocktail that sounded interesting. When it arrived I couldn't remember what was supposed to be in it but I really didn't like the flavor, sort of like flat coke and bitters... When the bill arrived it showed they served me the "Black Tea Collins" instead of the "Pieces of Eight" I had ordered. So black tea, vodka and soda water instead of rum, passion fruit syrup and pineapple. No wonder it tasted off. But again for the 2nd night of being open and only having one error I give them props.

Based on the crowd I think they'll do fine as they are situated in a party zone and have pretty good food, generous sized drinks and servers with Hooters-esque uniforms.

Spicy, 7/30/2013
Reviewer: Gary from Santa Barbara, CA
Last night we ate at Killer Shrimp. I realize that the place (here) is new, but they have some problems. Their signature dishes are very SPICY. We got more than one interpretation as to what that meant, which caused us to shy away. We were not offered a taste. Two of us ordered beers, but the beer list doesn't match with what they have for sale. One of us ordered a Margarita, and was amazed that a plain Margarita was $10 (sounds a bit high). The food that we ordered was okay [when it finally showed up with the help of the manager], but we were not warned that the tartar sauce was very SPICY as well. Our waitress kept disappearing into the ten or so wait people around- and then she announce that we were her first table ever. Ambiance wise, don't go unless you like your dinner accompanied by very LOUD music that drowns out table conversation. I believe that this place will not make it here, so I probably don't have to decide whether to return.

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