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The Lark
131 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 284-0370

  • Category: American
  • Hours: Tue-Thu 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm, Fri-Sat 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm, Sun 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm, Closed Mon
  • Price: $20+
  • Serving: Dinner
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Reviews by the General Public

Amazing birthday dinner with large group
Reviewer: Christine from Santa Barbara, CA
Was part of a group of 11 for dinner on Sat night (1/3/15) for a friend's birthday. She told us that she'd called ahead to create a set menu, to be easiest on the kitchen and servers and to offer us the best dining experience, per management's request. The menu she chose was varied and all the food was excellent. But the service was phenomenal. THAT is why I go back to The Lark. When I pay more at a restaurant I expect the service to match the price. The Lark is a local gem, congrats to the owner, management, kitchen and wait staff for working so seamlessly together so foodies like me can enjoy an unforgettable night with friends.

Reviewer: Heidi from Ardmore, Ok
Dined at Lark last night and can't say enough good things about it. Creative food prep, tried something from every category on the menu and enjoyed everything. Hip vibe, creative decor and an awesome waiter, Hans! Loved everything about it. Will be back soon.

Two nights on a row at the Lark
Reviewer: Eric from Ft Lauderdale fl
Eric from Ft Lauderdale. Had two wonderful meals at the Lark. Atmosphere and service is unbeatable. Will try it again upon returning to Santa Barbara

Excellent Mothers day brunch
Reviewer: Andy from Santa Barbara, CA
This restaurant is a good addition to Santa Barbara which has lacked creative food until recently. The restaurant lends itself to eating family style, which allows everyone to try different things. Some of the highlights of our meal were the Kale Salad and the Pastrami cured Salmon. The pressed pork dish was also excellent. The chef is very good at mixing taste combinations with good quality ingredients. We will go back for sure.

Overpriced and unsatisfactory - I won't go back
Reviewer: Bernard from Santa Barbara, CA
As a birthday treat for my wife I took her to The Lark at lunchtime today. My wife ordered a frittata which she enjoyed, and I ordered a salmon entrée which arrived as though it was part of a sushi arrangement. I took a cautious bite, and it was raw. I also ordered an orange juice which was served in a miniature glass. To be fair, they credited back the price of the salmon without any fuss - other than the waitress arguing that "it's cured, so technically it's cooked". No, my dear - technically it's RAW. Earlier, the same waitress had repeatedly and quite aggressively tried to get us to order four or five things from the menu so we could share them. Two hours later I'm still hungry and regretting that we could have had three times as much food for about a quarter of the price elsewhere. This pretentious experiment in "nouvelle cuisine" left me feeling very unsatisfied.

Very creative menu but wines by the glass are tiny
Reviewer: CBrez from Santa Barbara, CA
Small and very creative plates, fresh and delicious. Great ambience and location, always busy. We had a drink at Les Marchands first then came over to the lark to buy a bottle. We were wondering if anyone else had issues with the absolutely minuscule wine pours. We each ordered a $15 glass of wine and it was literally a generous tasting or they say 5oz. Pretty lame, so we ordered a bottle at the lark. Feels like ordering a glass of wine is deterred, but ordering a bottle from Les Marchands is also deterred because of their high corkage fee at the lark. Not sure why since they are somewhat affiliated. Anyway, all and all, very good, lesson learned, would be back.

Creative & Very Good Food
Reviewer: Marna from Toluca Lake, CA
This restaurant is lovely ... we sat outside by the heater ... such a beautiful atmosphere. The food is creative & so good ... the portions are made for two people to share. Plated with perfection. The wait staff is wonderful ... they know what is in every dish! Wonderful dinner & we will be back!

Upscale, but same old fat-salt-sugar flavor combos
Reviewer: Kathy from Santa Barbara, CA
Limited menu. There are more alcohol than food choices. Heavy emphasis on pork, which seemed to be in every dish. Overall, the flavor points were the addictive fast-food combo of fat, salt and sugar. Definitely upscale, but still not healthy eating. As one reviewer pointed out, the polenta was loaded with butter. Afterwards, I was thirsty for hours from the salt. Not a restaurant for vegans or vegetarians. Extremely expensive for the quality and quantity. Everyone in my party was still hungry after the meal. Great ambiance. There's a glass wall into the kitchen and the decor is nice. A good place to meet for cocktails and small plates. However, we won't return for a meal.

Your posting of hours is incorrect, but Lark is a must try.
Reviewer: Barbara from Santa Barbara, CA
The Lark is closed on Mondays. The awesome Lucky Penny is open, so if people show up for the Lark, they can still get a nice meal. Because I'm not a meat eater, I won't say much about the food, - other than that the menu is a bit flesh-heavy, so vegetarians...plan accordingly. However, the staff are excellent. Eager, professional, attentive. You can feel how important good execution is to the entire team. If you have the opportunity to stand outside and watch the kitchen work, it's fascinating and impressive. I don't see a separate listing for The Lucky Penny, so I will add that that place is a treasure. One of the young cooks at the pizza oven at night is a dynamo, perfectionist. You are in good hands with him.

Just what SB needs
Reviewer: Brian from Santa Barbara, CA
This place is just what Santa Barbara needs. Finally, a restaurant that isn't following the usual pattern of other restaurants in town. Up until now Santa Barbara has had no restaurants that reminded me of dining experiences I've had in SF, Seattle or LA. Lark has done that. Four of us went a week or so ago and it was great. Great atmosphere, knowledgeable and courteous staff and wonderful food. We were told to share a couple of platters and get a couple of smaller items and they were all great. Branzino was excellent. The rib-eye was really good too. Great beer and wine selection. Definitely going back.

Speed, not fine, dining
Reviewer: Bruce from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I ordered a bottle of wine which we normally pair with at least three courses. Instead, they wanted us to order all of the food at once. We resisted and tried to order three "courses". We would not order a new course until we finished one despite much pressure from the waiter. My wife spotted two tables eating pizza, and we asked our waiter who brought a pizza menu. Shortly after ordering a pizza as our third course, the manager came around and told us we could not order a pizza as we were not sitting at a table near the separate pizza establishment. We were there about 80 minutes, spent $125, and felt rushed to leave.

Great Ambiance, Food okay
Reviewer: Peter from Santa Barbara, CA
As has been written many times before, the vibe that this place exudes is outstanding. It does not feel like anything else in Santa Barbara. And for that reason alone, I know I'll be back. The food was just okay in my opinion. The burrata salad was excellent (and way too small to share....order your own), Pork sliders (buns were barely warm), scallops were just okay (and with only 3 not a good serving for sharing) and the pork shank was a little dry (and sure did not look like the serving photographed for some of the print publications). There were not a lot of other dishes that I would be excited to go back and try. The menu felt too limited to me. I hope they add a few more items because I really liked the place and the service. Drinks were fantastic.....order "the mule".

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