Santa Barbara Hotels
Santa Barbara Restaurants
Santa Barbara Real Estate
 Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar
 List your business

Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar
38 W. Victoria St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 335-2426

Reviews by the General Public

Best Pad Thai Ever!
Reviewer: Mary S from Carlsbad, CA
What a gem! We knew when we arrived to a line of people waiting it was a good sign. We arrived at 8:15pm on a Thursday. VERY MUCH WORTH The 15-20 min wait. A bit of confusion however staff was quick to explain - wait in line if you want counter seating. Walk up to order if you want to go order to either take home or take to eat at open tables located throughout the market. Line moves relatively fast. We were quickly seated. Ordered Pad Thai 1 chicken 1 tofu and an order of Pork Pot stickers and paired with a glass of Rose'. AMAZING! Wow. Fresh, light, not greasy. Also amazing was watching the team of synchronized staff members create their magic. Best Pad Thai Ever and my husband and I are tough critics.

A little too one dimensional flavoring
Reviewer: Jinelle from Santa Barbara, CA
Close to being great for so many things - a nice buzz, friendly service, easy access, but the Thai beef salad was just too one dimensional to have again, and does not compete with any of the full Thai restaurants in town. I will be back and wander the menu a bit more - lots to like with this place, but this was not one of them. Please, make your flavorings more complex and nuanced, which you can do while still making them fast because you have a good system. A touch of sweetness may have all that was missing. Unctuousness. Hope you figure out why.

They need to figure out their queue
Reviewer: Keith from Santa Barbara, CA
I ate here a few weeks back and it was fairly good, so I thought I would go back and try something else on the menu. There was a long line of people in the line marked "TO GO ORDERS HERE" and I saw an employee clearing off a spot at the counter so I asked him if I could grab a seat, he told me no, and that I had to wait in the long line. So I waited in the line, when I got to the register the cashier started counting out tips instead of acknowledging me in any way, he then seemed very confused as to why I waited in the to go orders line for a table, and said I would have to go to the end of the line for a table. I'm not sure what he meant by this, but he kept repeating it and I kept telling him I already waited in that line, and I'm now in the front of it. Another guy came over and told me he has a lot of people waiting in line for a seat and I had to wait in line. They seemed very confused by their own system. This might have been a one time mistake on their part, or I might have misinterpreted their system, but they made me feel very awkward and unwelcome... So I walked around the block and had fish and chips at Jane for the same price.

Random act of kindness
Reviewer: Lee Jordan from Santa Barbara, CA
My sister lives 6 blocks from your restaurant and loves your food. Recently she had a rough surgery and was recuperating so I called hoping you would deliver a meal to her, even though your web site said you don't deliver. A couple hours later the owner is at her door with the order. I know, sounds like a marketing scheme, but I live in Florida and this really happened. So I just wanted to thank you. My sister thinks your food is fantastic, and I think you are fantastic. Next time I'm in SB I'll definitely stop by for some pad Thai..

Reviewer: Jane from Santa Barbara, CA
Jer and his team, rock!!! Great food, every time, whether at the bar or takeout. Frequent customer of tastes so good! Try it and you will see...

Yummy, but a little spendy
Reviewer: Nicholle from Santa Barbara, CA
The hubs and I went on a date after wanting to try Empty Bowl for months. The larb lettuce tacos and pot stickers are delicious! Hubby got the filet mignon salad, which he said was tasty. It was a good portion and dressed well. I got the pad thai which is tasty and a ton of food. My only critique on the pad thai is that it's really really sweet. I'd order it again and ask for them to tone down the sweetness a bit. We enjoyed watching the action in the kitchen and really appreciated that the staff wear gloves and hair nets. Everything is made to order and very fresh. For the two of us dinner was $70 which is a bit on the pricey side, but it's a nice spot for the occasional night out.

Great noodles, so-so service
Reviewer: Lisa from Santa Barbara, CA
The noodles were great. 3 of us ordered 3 different entrees and an order of duck buns. The server said that the duck buns would come after the noodles--okay. Our noodles arrived, and once we finished no duck buns. When the server came back to take my bowl I told him that we didn't get the duck buns, but that was okay, and I'd like the rest of my entree to go. He came back and said that it was his error on the duck buns, and I asked about my to go noodles and he had discarded them. Disappointed to say the least. He just looked at me blankly and asked if I wanted some broth with noodles, which I declined.

Duck dumplings
Reviewer: Geri from Santa Barbara, CA
We've been several times and food is excellent, service is good. I tried duck dumplings and am still dreaming of them! Delicious. We will return often

Great Food, Sweet Little Spot
Reviewer: jill from Santa Barbara, CA
Jerry Lee and his partners have created a very sweet little counter in the Public market. The food is freshly prepared, served promptly and with a smile always. It is a go to when you are hungry and on the run with a nice wine selection too!

Don't miss it!
Reviewer: Steven SHulem from Santa Barbara, CA
I can't remember one thing on the menu that is not amazing. You have to go back again and again because there are so many great dishes. Don't miss the Duck Tacos. ANY of the noodle dishes are great!!!

Have you eaten here? Write a review of this location!  Terms of Service