Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Bibi Ji
Neighbor Tims BBQ

Bibi Ji
734 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 560-6845

Reviews by the General Public

Hit, Miss & Punt, 6/20/2018
Reviewer: Greg & Yukari from Santa Barbara, CA
Mixed results. Sparknotes: Some nice items, but way too much sweet food with dubious wine recommendations and blaring pop music. We had to yell at each other the whole time. The papadum & naan platter was quite nice. It came with 5 or 6 sauces ó mostly eye-poppingly sweet. It was unclear how to eat the naan with these sauces. Raita makes sense, but it was far too sweet to go with naan. The tandoori trout was lovely. The cilantro sauce was intolerably sweet, but safely stowed in a ramekin. Unfortunately the plate was inexplicably covered with honey, which seeped into the fish like a beluga baklava. Ask for no honey and maybe a slice of lime. *The dahl was first rate!* After commenting on overly sweet items, the staff warned us away from several curries and recommended the short rib korma. It was fine but uninspired. Then came the raita. Stupid me for failing to take that off the order!!! It was a generous bowl of the very same sickly sweet curd, suitable only to be served over sliced bananas. We hate wasting food, but we put it on the table next to us. We recommend just asking for plain yogurt. I quickly ordered the onion salad. I liked it fine, but the wife thought it was too sweet. I think it could be tweaked into a very nice side with some lime and chilies. The Pinot was $60, and was pitched as the best deal. Ethically, you cannot send back a bottle just b/c itís not to your liking ó you can only send a bottle back if it is corked or something has gone wrong. It wasnít corked; it was just tasted like $7 Trader Joe Pinot. We suffered it stoically while shouting over the loud pop music. To be fair, there were a number of good-looking items we did not try. They were out of the mussels, and I regret not ordering the lamb tandoori.

Head and shoulders above the rest, 6/3/2018
Reviewer: The other Eric from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been for lunch twice and dinner once. (I've also been to India, and I cook Indian food at home.) The butter chicken was a favorite each time: rich, creamy, redolent. The lamb chops are the most tender and delicious I've ever had. The pork ribs are lean and smoky and falling off the bone. The papadums-and-chutney appetizer is not to be missed: a spectacular variety of flavors, much less salty than the commercial brands. The beef curry and the chana masala...not quite so much. The shrimp in the pescatarian combo I had for lunch were swimming benthically in a delicious turmeric-coconut soup, but I got only two pieces of shrimp. Presentation is exquisite in hand-hammered cups and bowls with colorful garnishes (the raita has a splash of pomegranate). Papadums are shaped into cute little cones. Shows real pride and respect! Service is friendly, attentive and personable, and the food came out quick even when during a busy Saturday dinner. The room is somewhat noisy. Bibiji's creativity stands head and shoulders above any of the Indian restaurants we have ever had in SB, which have all served pretty much the same standard fare.

strangely only just ok, 3/17/2018
Reviewer: Nora from Santa Barbara, CA
It's easy to see what they're going for and it all works on the surface or at the level of appearances but the food is, surprisingly, not all that. Don't get the cauliflower and you can probably make better chana masala and dal at home.

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