Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Chef Karim's Moroccan Restaurant
Due Lune Cucina

Chef Karim's Moroccan Restaurant
No longer in business
Opened: ? Closed: 2010-03

1221 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 899-4780

Reviews by the General Public

I miss this place, 1/4/2018
Reviewer: Kyle from Santa Barbara, CA
I must say I truly miss this restaurant. On a whim today I googled Chef Karim. Sounds like he has moved to Lincoln Nebraska and has opened a new restaurant if anyone is in the area.

i know where he is , 5/8/2012
Reviewer: brandon from Santa Barbara, CA
he is still in cali he did a special with two twins cafe here in lincoln ne he is working with another resturant i dont know where but i will ask him

Where did Chef Karim Go?, 1/17/2011
Reviewer: Lindissima from Santa Barbara, CA
I went to Chef Karim's many times and was always pleased with the experience. I have so many great memories of delicious food, pleasant repartee and the bellydancers & ethnic music to make it all so festive and fun! There is really nowhere else around that gives such a unique experience along with good food. I lived in Morocco for three years & sometimes I really long for b'stilla & tagine. Sad to see Chef Karim's is gone. Anybody know if they opened elsewhere? I need some more of his Harrissa!

Saddens me to over the closure. , 3/30/2010
Reviewer: Margo from Santa Clarita
We just heard about it, since my niece just moved to Santa Barbara. My sister's family spoke very highly and strongly recommended it.

Great food, helpful staff, excessively loud music. , 2/13/2010
Reviewer: Linda from Santa Barbara, CA
As we'd heard, the food was plentiful and delicious. The staff were friendly and attentive, without being intrusive. We were also looking forward to being entertained by the belly dancing. But once the music started everyone in our party felt like we were being physically assaulted by the deafening volume. There were two performances while we ate and it would have been a pleasure to watch the dancing if the volume of the music had been cut in half. Everyone in our party felt relieved each time the music stopped.

we love it!!!! , 12/9/2009
Reviewer: sarah from Santa Barbara, CA
we just love everything over there, the eggplant thing you get in the appetizers is just the best thing on earth!!!!

awesome, 11/7/2009
Reviewer: marina borges from Santa Barbara, CA
uouuuu.... really wonderful experience !! IT IS A MUST !

Chef Karim is a fabulous cook, the most gracious host. , 10/10/2009
Reviewer: matt shanaberger from Santa Barbara, CA
I rarely profess to say I so love this place that I hold Chef Karim in my heart as family. In reality, he is the kindest man in Santa Barbara and shares his gifts in the kitchen with our town like no other chef. BUT, in his kitchen he is a star in his own right. He understands Moroccan foods and the flavor shows that he knows his trade. The meal will be great fun, for all ages, and of course the belly-dancing and festivities make it memorable. But go there for the food! Real flavors. The honeyed lamb with prunes, the paprika rabbit, the chicken with olives are all wonderful. The brochette of tenderloin is marvelous in texture and flavor. I cant say enough, and close by sending our love to our friend Karim and hope you have a chance to go enjoy an evening discovering a truly special place in Santa Barbara for an exotic night of celebration.

BEST DINNER EVER!, 8/31/2009
Reviewer: Ashley from Santa Barbara, CA
My boyfriend took me here for my birthday dinner and we had the absolute best time! The dim lighting and pillow lined seats make for a very romantic atmosphere. The menu looked pricey but we actually had a four course meal. Well worth the price! The belly dancing presentation made us feel like we had found a true hidden gem and gave a very unique and authentic feel. I also liked that Chef Karim himself was very involved with the diners and he even sat down and hung out with us or a bit. Overall, I was very impressed with my dining experience and will certainly return for another celebratory meal or fun girls night out.

A TRUE GEM!!!!, 8/13/2009
Reviewer: Scott from Santa Barbara, CA
Chef Karims is really a fantastic find! He makes it a point to come out and greet patrons and welcome them in as friends. The atmosphere makes you feel as if you are in Morocco. The food is delicious and there is a student menu to help make it affordable on certain nights( I think Wed, Thurs/ Sun). It is a real experience eating there and fun in a group! We are leaving town and it was the last place we wanted to go before leaving! He says that soon they will have breakfast Karim style. A true gem. THANKS CHEF KARIM!

Wonderful Experience!, 6/10/2009
Reviewer: Cindy from Jackson, MS
I am from Mississippi, and visited Chef Karim's restaurant with friends from Burbank. Since I had never eaten Moroccan cuisine before, I was unsure as to what I could expect. I was most pleasantly surprised. Without a doubt, this was some of the most delicious food I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy! The entertainment with Shalimar was superb - she makes you WANT to get up and dance! The restaurant's ambiance is great, and Chef Karim is most gracious. All in all, a perfect meal and a lovely evening.

What a great and fun restaurant, 5/24/2009
Reviewer: Sue from Burbank
We drove from Burbank to experience this really great restaurant. The food was amazing and the service was top notch! Chef Karim came out at times to make sure everything was to our satisfaction. Where do you get that kind of attention? The dancer, Shalimar,was wonderful. She put on a very enjoyable show. I had so much fun that I even went up to dance. Hated to see the evening end. I will take the trip up to Santa Barbara again and bring lots of my friends.

3 Strikes you're out, 5/14/2009
Reviewer: D from Santa Barbara, CA
I've gone to this place 3 times in the last year and a half and suspect that most positive reviews on this site must be spam. I can only describe the whole experience as being disappointing. Ergonomics, although extremely uncomfortable and not suited to eating, are authentic for establishments serving North African Cuisine. Service is rushed, food is tasteless and bland of spices but overly salted, and cost is exorbitant. There are so many fine dining extablishments in this town to enjoy, I will never return to Chef Karim's

Real hospitality!, 3/22/2009
Reviewer: marla S Wilson from Santa Barbara, CA
Here is a restaurant where they really welcome you. The food was lovely, lemon chicken , bestiilla,( which I could eat as a main course, nice yeasty bread for dipping, honey lamb. The owner remembers you and welcomes you. Unfortunately there is no sign on State street so finding it can be an adventure- how can they survive in this economy without a sign. Guess you have to be psychic, but if you are you will enjoy their dinner even if it is just two of you.

good for parties not couples, 11/8/2008
Reviewer: Ann from Washington, DC
We were in town and wanted something fun. With all the great restaurants here in Santa Barbara, we saw the reviews and this looked like a fun choice. However, the food was brought to us in a hurried manner and after the large party that arrived before us left, we were asked no less than 10 times if we were done yet. This is not the service that you expect for the expensive price. I think it would be good for large groups but probably wouldn't go again. I was also confused by the dessert -which was basically a cold basket of apples, oranges and nuts.

Fantastic food and atmosphere!, 7/6/2008
Reviewer: John M. from Santa Barbara, CA
Chef Karim's is fabulous; it had to be one of the best dinners I have had in Santa Barbara. The whole atmosphere is entertaining, the servers are nice and polite, and the belly dancing is great. I was apprehensive about dining at a Moroccan restaurant, but the food was amazing. I really liked the 'eating w/ your hands'. For our main course, my wife and I had the beef skewers and the prawns skewers. Both were full of flavor and delicious. The separate courses were all delicious as well. I especially enjoyed the chicken pastry course. Overall, it was a very romantic, fun night. I recommend it to any person who is looking for an entertaining and enjoyable night. We left in fantastic moods and chatted about coming back again soon!

Over Priced and under Serviced, 6/17/2008
Reviewer: Ken from Los Angeles
I had read all of the glowing reviews on this place and decided to give it a try. What I found was for the first three dishes to be average at best and the dessert to be confusing...What do you do with a bowl of whole fruit and a thousand nuts? I liked the lamb, but thought the service during the whole dinner was scattered and overwhelmed. The inconsistency of service and overpriced five course meal was this restaurants downfall and is the reason we won't go back.

Very good value, special hospitality, 5/13/2008
Reviewer: Tom Tollefsen from Glen Ellen, CA
First time visitors to this restaurant; on a short trip from Northern California. The food was very good, with complex and balanced seasonings --- flaky chicken bastilla, rabbit with peppers, lamb with honey and prunes --- and not stingy "small bites". Our bellies and palates were well satisfied. But the extra ingredients were Chef Karim and his lovely bellydancer(s), who go out of their way to extend Moroccan hospitality. Perhaps because we showed genuine interest in the culture, they returned often to our table to converse, but were in no way obtrusive. If you wanted to be left alone, you would be. But we enjoyed their personal stories and found it added to the experience. And the dancing is a plus. Highly recommended on all counts.

Vegan friendly! , 3/14/2008
Reviewer: Jen from Goleta, CA
I went here six years ago before I became vegan, and didn't think I'd ever be back. Then I checked out their website and found to my surprise that they cater to vegetarians and vegans! There are two veg "feasts" and they can make their appetizers vegan too! We just sat down and said "we're vegan" and they took care of us. But be aware, they didn't realize honey is not vegan and served us honey-dipped cookies, which was politely taken away when I pointed this out to our server. Other than the delicious vegan food, it's such a fun restaurant, lively music and belly dancing, a great place for a date or a big group. Now if only they would bring back the Moroccan coffee!!! Thank you Chef Karim's for being veggie friendly!

Great food and service, 3/7/2008
Reviewer: Whitney from Oklahoma
I am from Oklahoma. When I came here with my husband(then boyfriend) I was amazed. The service was great and the food was out of this world. When we come to visit my inlaws this is a place that I always want to come to. (This place is also great because this is where my husband proposed to me)

I'm haunted to come back!, 3/5/2008
Reviewer: Dulce from Oxnard, Ca
My husband surprised me last year for our fourth wedding anniversay (3/8)dinner at this place. The whole experience was awesome!The food is fantastic! Fr. the appetizer to the dessert, its heavenly. For the whole year I always wanna come back and I brag about it to all of my friends. Now a friend is visiting us here in Oxnard from Chicago, I'll bring her and some other friends to the place on Sat.(3/8/08)I'm so excited!The belly dancer is very entertaining.Some kids danced w/ her by the end of the performance. I could just picture out my kids doing the same when they're bigger.I also appreciate the chef going to each table to talk to the dinners after the meal.

Not just a meal, AN EXPERIENCE!!!!!, 2/9/2008
Reviewer: Dayna Packer from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been to Chef Karim's twice in the past month and I absolutely love it!!! Not only is the food amazing, but the atmosphere is incredible. As soon as I walked through the doors I felt as if I had entered another world. I have been here for a date with my boyfriend as well as with a group of friends and it is perfect for both. Whether you feel like cuddling up next to the one you love on your own personal couch, or laughing and getting up to dance with the belly dancers, you are guaranteed to have a wonderful night that you will remember for a long time to come! The beef skewers are my personal favorite and the mint tea is amazing! Schedule about 2-2 1/2 hours for this adventure because like I said, it is not just a meal, it is an experience!

Too expensive, 1/16/2008
Reviewer: Sonia from Santa Barbara, CA
We got there and couldn't even order because we did not anticipate spending over $30 per plate. They did not allow us to share any plates, as we are students and cannot afford such high expenses. The ambiance was lovely and it looked like a fun place, but it's a shame it was so much per meal.

great!, 12/19/2007
Reviewer: Biff Charlie from santa barbara
i have never even eaten here, but based on the other reviews this is the best restaurant in the world!

Everything was flawless, 12/14/2007
Reviewer: otto from Santa Barbara
I heard of this place from a friend and the reviews online were high so I decided to try it out. A friend and myself went here for dinner and everything was perfect. First, the atmosphere is dim and comfortable with pillows everywhere. The staff including the chef himself was also extremely friendly and made sure he greeted and conversed with everyone in the restaurant. The belly dancer was fun although by the time we got there she only danced for a little bit after that. The atmosphere itself is entertaining enough. So the food..YUM! firstly they brought out some bread which was very soft tasty. Aside from this they provided some dipping sauces which are quite tasty. After this they brought out the most delicious and sweet piece of heaven i have ever had. It was a chicken filled pie wrapped in paper thin pastry leaves and topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon. It is a cross between an appetizer and a dessert. Then what I was waiting for came; my honey lamb with prunes. The meat was the tenderest meat I have ever had...I had not had lamb in years and I was a bit concerned that I would not like it but I loved it! To top it all off, since it was a sort of an early bday dinner for me they ended up coming out with a huge slice of chocolate cake and then brought out some Moroccan cookies. I was completely full and satisfied by now, but you better believe I stuffed myself even more. I cannot wait until I come here again because everything was perfect. It is a sit down restaurant where you should enjoy it and not rush it. This would make for a perfect date due to the dim and romantic ambiance.

Trust us, we know!, 12/5/2007
Reviewer: Luc and Fahtma from Glendale, CA
I see many of the people who reviewed this restaurant are FROM the great city of Santa Barbara. Well my wife and I are from Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley to be exact. We have been to MANY middle eastern restaurants down here in Los Angeles, there are many nice ones down in Los Angeles. I say this not to brag in any kind of way, but more to explain that because we've been to a variety of different middle eastern restaurants down here, we've had the good, the bad, and the ugly. Still to this day, not ONE of those restaurants has measured up to the great food and service that we have been privelged enough to receive at Chef Karim's. We first came a year ago during a stay in SB for our honeymoon and we just fell in love with this place. No, not because we were in a lovey dovey type of mood, but because Chef Karim provdided such an excellent experience. He was there on hand and foot for any and everything that we needed. He made sure that we were more than happy during our entire meal. And since then, we have came back often, even once with our 5 year old daughter (who truly enjoyed the belly dancing ). You will get EXCELLENT food of the most exquisite taste, and very personalized service from Chef Karim. On every visit, the entire staff has been charmingly pleasant. We will be there this upcoming weekend for our one year anniversary. As we tell many of our friends who sometimes take a trip up to Santa Barbara, "You haven't seen the beautiful delights of Santa Barbara until you've had dinner at Chef Karim's". We recommend this place to anyone who is search of a delicious meal and an enjoyable time.

The most amazing restaurant in Santa Barbara!!, 12/4/2007
Reviewer: Jen C. from Santa Barbara, CA
My boyfriend surprised me by taking me to Chef Karim's about a month ago. I'm very skeptical about international food so I wasn't too happy about his choice. But, WOW!!, I was wrong. I sat down on comfy couches and did the "hand washing". I got to cuddle up to my boyfriend and enjoy the conversation. The food was all amazing! I made sure to try everything. And the "dessert" made from chicken before the main course was the best thing I've ever ate! I didn't even realize it had chicken in it (I must have not heard the waiter because he did tell us what was in it) and when my boyfriend mentioned it to me I was shocked! So tasty! Oh and the belly dancing was fantastic! I had such an amazing time and my boyfriend and I made sure to tell Chef Karim himself when he stopped by our table to make sure everything was ok! Again, highly recommended and AMAZING!!

Flawless!, 10/14/2007
Reviewer: Alana Pergis from Santa Barbara
Had dinner party for 30+. Food, Service, Atmosphere, Music and Belly Dancing was perfect! Salmon was delicious! Merci Chef Karim!

AMAZIR!, 10/11/2007
Reviewer: Stephen Goularte from Santa Barbara, CA
When you walk into Chef Karim's make sure you shout AMAZIR! This instantly alerts Chef Karim that you have arrived and are to "Do Work". Next you will want to roll your sleeves for what I believe is the most unique dinning experience in Santa Barbara The best place to take fun social group of people for a night full of magical memories. The food, service, and atmosphere are amazing. You will not be disappointed.

fabulous and not so pricey, 8/10/2007
Reviewer: Pinar from Santa Monica, CA
I just got back from a wonderful meal at Chef Karim's - I wholeheartedly recommend the honey lamb and the spicy chicken kabob! Moreover, the service was prompt and cheerful, and our experience was really satisfying. While I'm reviewing, though, I especially wish to contradict those who have suggested that the pricing guide is incorrect. My boyfriend and I ate for ~$50 total, and that included appetizers, entrees, a small dessert, and non-alcoholic drinks... if that isn't in the range listed, I don't know what is! I wonder if there is confusion between the normal menu and the ceremonial menu going on here?

Amazing, 6/22/2007
Reviewer: Ella from CA
Food and service are both impecable, even on busier nights. However, this review needs to alter it's price range...there is no way you could eat here for $10-$20. The meal alone is about $35-$40, not including tax, drinks, or tips for the belly dancer.


Great Food Great Service With a Crux, 6/17/2007
Reviewer: Cameron from Santa Barbara, CA
I went here to celebrate my graduation from UCSB and the food was DELICIOUS! I liked nearly everything which is shocking for me when I try new things. Also $10-20? This profile is dead wrong this restaurant is quite a bit pricey but worth every penny. Now for the crux. It took quite a long time to recieve our entrees and the manager was rude he even said "if I give you a discount will I see you again?" meaning if I give you a discount don't come back. But then the chef/owner came out to speak with us and gave us not only complimentary cake and ice cream but complimentary French champaign as well! Easily a $100 value since it was all made from scratch. He was a genuinely nice guy and he really made things right. I would highly recommend the restaurant to anyone just avoid the manager.

Fun Atmosphere!, 6/15/2007
Reviewer: Amanda from Santa Barbara, CA
This was the first time I was at Chef Karim's. I was eagerly awaiting going to this restaurant after all of the reviews I read. My two friends and I came at about 6:30 on a Thursday night. Not too many people. Sat right down and "washed" our hands. From beginning to end, the service and food was on-point. What made it even better was the belly dancer. We all got up and danced with her and had a great time. Beware though, the portions are large (6 courses) and the prices reflect this. But, you pay for the experience, food, and comfy decor!

Love Chef Karim's!, 6/1/2007
Reviewer: Ashley from Santa Barbara, CA
My fiancé and I visit Karim's on occasion and have a fantastic experience every time! The service is friendly, attentive and knowledgeable. The food is full of flavor and you will certainly not leave hungry. Because there are seven courses, be prepared to spend a good (and fun!) two hours or more. The belly dancing is entertaining - and so is watching other diners get up and dance. Chef Karim is friendly and truly cares about his guests and their satisfaction. I would recommend Chef Karim's to anyone that is looking for a good fun time and amazing food.

Reviewer: Ash from Santa Barbara, CA
I went here for the first time and really enjoyed the whole experience. The food, the service, the belly dancer-- the whole night was just wonderful! I have never been to any place like this and I can't wait to go back. It was also so refreshing to go to a restaurant in SB that has such a great staff that seems to genuinely enjoy their job and care about their patrons. If you are sick of the same old places in SB-- you MUST come here!

So much fun!, 12/15/2006
Reviewer: Reed from Santa Barbara, CA
We had our company Christmas party at Chef Karim's. It was by far the best party that we have had (we've had some good ones too!). The service was friendly and affable as always. The multiple courses complimented each other perfectly and left everyone in our party feeling quite satisfied. A few people in our group were vegetarian and/or vegan and were able to find plenty of delicious options. The best part of the experience though is Chef Karim himself. He treats his customers like guests in his own home and makes sure that all are happy. Our night ended with an impromptu after hours dance party! Don't plan on a quick meal because one you get settled you won't want to leave!

Best restraunt in Santa Barbara, 11/9/2006
Reviewer: Megan from Santa Barbara,CA
Chef Karim is amazing! Not only is he your sever, but he cooks your food also. He is very kind and interested in his customers and tries to make your dining experience unique. The ambiance is amazing, Moroccan music, belly dancers, the smell and feel of the mediterranean is in the air. Afterwards, he closed the restraunt, turned up the music and had a little moroccan dance party with us. It was absolutely amazing, and I can't wait to go back. Everyone should try this place out. Thanks Chef Karim!

Great overall experience - Though you will pay for it. , 11/5/2006
Reviewer: Mike from Santa Barbara, CA
This is a great place, lots of fun, very casual, etc. The service was great, and with a smile. The seating is comfortable, casual, you might meet the people sitting next to you. However, even though this website states that the dishes are $10-20 dollars, they start at $28. It starts at $28 and goes to $50. It is a multiple course meal, so I won't say that this place is expensive for the overall experience, but definitely don't go in there expecting to spend $30 dollars for 2 people for dinner. The belly dancers are great though, and the overall atmosphere is a lot of fun.

Reviewer: AnaMaria from Santa Barbara
Chef Karim is one of those rare people that is both passionate about his craft and business as well as being incredibly genuine with his customers.. so much so you feel like you are in his own living room as plate after delicious plate of food is delivered to you. The B'astilla is heavenly: delicate pastry with chicken, and a must is the Honeyed Lamb (even if you are not a lamb lover, trust me on this one.) Suzanne, is the beautiful dancer who entertains as you dine. Bravo Chef Karim!

Out of this World!, 6/14/2006
Reviewer: Briza Sholars from Fresno CA
I love Chef Karims. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed, the service extrememly attentive, and the food is out of this world. I had my college graduation dinner party there years ago and it has been my favorite place to go since. The running chicken (rabbit) is my favorite however everthing on the menu is delicious. Plan to spend an evening eating, drinking, dancing and having a blast.

Moroccan's have the best food for good reason, 5/30/2006
Reviewer: lemonjelly from santa barbara
Spend any time in Morocco and you will discover that their cuisine is so lip-smackingly delicious that you'll dream about it for years afterward. You can live out that dream at Karim's because he's brought that food to Santa Barbara. And just as importantly, he's brought Moroccan hospitality. The hand washing from the Tass, the tea, and personal conversation - Karim provides all of this. My main favorites would be the chicken tagine with preserved lemon and olives, and the lamb tagine with prunes and sesame. Eat it with your fingers, using your bread to scoop up the stew, that is the way to go. I find the prices reasonable because it includes the salads, the b'stilla (sweet and savory phyllo pastry filled with nuts and chicken - out of this world!), the main, proper couscous with vegetables, endless Moroccan bread, an overflowing basket of fruit and dessert pastries, and Moroccan mint tea. Sometimes it's overwhelming because it's *so* much food, but that is typical Moroccan hospitality for you. The food has been slow-cooked for hours to make them their juicy and flavorful best - accordingly the diner should linger over the feast and take the time to sit back and enjoy being a guest of Karim's.

GREAT food, very friendly!!, 5/29/2006
Reviewer: Josh from Santa Barbara, CA
I went here on a Sunday night with a few friends. While the place may seem small it certaintly comes alive. I had the student special with honey lamb. It was amazing, very tender! The chef was very courteous and came to our table and had a chat with us and even poured some wine on the house. Very hospitable~ The belly dancer was entertaining, I even went out there and did a little of my own dance. A great and entertaining place. Do not go here if you want to get in and get out, its a place to relax and enjoy yourself!

Bad Service, too expensive, 4/9/2006
Reviewer: Michele from Santa Barbara
Although the food was very good, it is WAY over priced. Expect to pay $30-$50 per person! Also, the service was very slow. We almost walked out but stuck it out. They seemed very disorganized.

Great Place in Santa Barbara, 4/8/2006
Reviewer: Deniz Tarim from Santa Barbara, Ca
Chef Karim's restaurand is unbelievable. I had great food and great time. Chef Karim was very hospitable, the service was amazing. If you have not been there yet, it is time to go and see what I am telling...

Great food, great people., 3/2/2006
Reviewer: Michelle from Camarillo, Ca
The first time I went to Chef Karim's was about three years ago and the moment I walked in Karim made us feel like family. I have been there so many times I can't even count and I have tried everything on the menu more then once. From the staff to the food and every minute in between is wonderful. I would have to say the best night I had there was...well I can't pick one really, they were all great. From taking my parents for the first time to having my birthday party in the bottom room to just bringing my friends in to share the wonderful times. I am actually planning on taking my boyfriend there very soon. I can't wait to go back. Thank you

One of our favorite places in all of SB!, 2/11/2006
Reviewer: April Hoffmann from Santa Barbara
We've been here many times and are always pleased with the food, service, and the friendliness of Chef Karim. We think the food is fantastic, and while the service might be slower than "normal" restaurants, it's because it's supposed to be that way. A 5 to 7 coarse meal is meant to be eaten slowly while lounging on the pillows; unlike our American culture where you're in and out in 30 minutes. Don't expect it to be a fast experience, but expect some of the best food you've ever had. Try the Morrocan beer; it's amazing and we don't even like beer! The lamb dish is out of this world, too!

Lively and Adventurous, Fun Fun Fun, 11/8/2005
Reviewer: Franchesca from Visalia, CA
My husband and I went to Santa Barbara for our first wedding anniversary and we wanted something different and after some investigating we found Chef Karims. We loved the atmospher and the service was terrific. The food was very good. I was a little disapointed that there was not more to chose from on the menu but what we had was very tasty. We are adventurous and always look for something different and fun and we found that with Chef Karims. If you are a stick in the mudd and want the same old thing this is not a place for you. Oh, the belly dancers are a fabulous touch.

Supurb Restaurants Can Be Counted On One Hand, 9/29/2005
Reviewer: Steve Krampach from Thousand Oaks, CA
While there are many excellent restaurants in Southern California to choose from, the number of what I would consider "superb" restaurants can be counted on one hand. It is these type of restaurants that we use as a standard for comparison to all others. Chef Karim's has made the grade in this category. While prices were a bit more than I am used to at common restaurants, they are well within the price range for world class meals. The meals include appetizer, main course, dessert and drinks. The ambience was wonderful as well. The Harira Soup was VERY flavorful and one not liking spicy food, loved this. It was perfect, being about as spicy as a very mild hot sauce. B'Stilla!! OH MY GOSH! Phyllo wrapped chicken or vegetables with cinnamon and spices then sprinkled with powdered sugar! Simply to die for! For the main course we had the Honey Roast Lamb, Saffron Chicken and the Stewed Rabbit. Everyone at our table shared with each other trying all the main courses. WONDERFUL! While we live some 60 miles from this restaurant, we will be coming back as this is now a family favorite place! Chef Karim would make trips from the kitchen into the dining area overseeing every aspect of our dining experience. When he asked how things were and we suggested something could be better or if we wanted something, the whole staff jumped as if we were the only customers. What a crew! The belly dancer had everyone in the dining room up and dancing with her (except me - I'm a fuddy-dud). What a hoot! My 15 year old son ended up getting a dollar placed in HIS belt. I'm afraid his head is still swollen. Bottom line - You HAVE to try this place at least once or you will never know what you've been missing!

It's like taking a vacation, 9/14/2005
Reviewer: Mike from Santa Barbara, CA
From the moment we walked into Chef Karim's restaurant, we knew this meal was going to be special. The service was extraordinary, the food was phenomenal, and the ambience was outstanding. To the incredible Chef Karim and his gracious staff, thank you so much for making our evening so amazing.

Do it, 8/10/2005
Reviewer: Shaun Oster from Santa Barbara
Kareem Treats people like family, and as far as im concerned he is family. Best morrocan food in California. The Fish tagine is amazing. The bastilla is amazing. The bread is amazing.

the BEST Moroccan Ever!! if you´re a Snob don´t COME!!, 7/6/2005
Reviewer: Sally M from Montecito, CA
I dine at Chef Karim´s on occasion and I am absolutely in LOVE with his food, service, and most of all the belly-dancing! I have encountered on occasion the infiltration of this amazing restaurant by a host of so called "prestigous individuals" these kind of people can ruin your dining experience with their bad attitudes and critical intent. I have seen the "Montecito Type" come in and look for things to complain about. I have also seen a Few Celebrities come in and have the time of their lives. So with that said, I am appalled to read such a nasty review of my Favorite Restaurant, (I´ve been going almost ten years!) BARBARA ROGERS is most likely a Snobby old maid that would not be happy unless she could eat of the backs of those hard working servers! Once again I must say THANK YOU KARIM!!! He stays true to those that accept the Fun and sometimes extreme business, and will do what he can to make you happy.... unless of course you are just a Unhappy Snob that doesn´t want to be happy unless you spit your vile opinion at anyone who will listen! But If you like Wild, and Warm family style eating then You Must try CHEF KARIM´s, but please check your EGO at the door... this is like nothing you have ever tried.

The WORST Moroccan ever!, 6/12/2005
Reviewer: Barbara Rogers from Santa Barbara
There was NOTHING redeeming about this place; from the time we arrived (with reservation) to the moment we left it was awful. To call this Moroccan food is ludicrous; we eat Moroccan cuisine often in France and this didn´t even resermble it. When we arrived we stood around for 10 minutes or so while the staff tried to figure out where to seat us, passing us along from one person to another. The service was horrendous; it took 15 minutes for the waiter to ask us if we wanted a drink, 15 more minutes to get the bottle of wine and another 15 minutes to take our order. Dinner arrived 30 minutes later. The crowning touch was that we were given the wrong check. We had been extremely polite until this moment, then the frustration kicked in. We paid with credit card before realizing it was the wrong check and the waiter wanted to give us the difference in cash rather than void the transaction and do it correctly. Really, don´t go! The dancer was in-your-face even after nicely saying we didn´t want to participate.

Chef Karim's Moroccan Restaurant writes: We are very customer oriented and this review concerned us, so we immediately offered Barbara Rogers a free dinner for two so that we could redeem ourselves, but she has not responded.
EXCELLENT - a complete experience, 5/26/2005

I have been to Chef Karim´s twice and both times, the service, food, hospitality, entertainment and ambience was exceptional. Chef Karim´s a brilliant personality and it shows in his generosity! Words can´t describe this place! Just try it - it’s definitely an unforgettable experience. You won’t hesitate to try it over and over and over again!

Moroccan Food on Cinco De Mayo?, 5/6/2005
Reviewer: The Sabster from Santa Maria, CA
I visited Chef Karim´s yesterday, and the food, service and entertainment was OUTSTANDING. The overall atmosphere was festive and you will actually feel as though you are in Morocco! I had the "honey Lamb" and Spicy JUMBO Prawns on a skewer. The "Belly Dancer" is geogeous and I appreciated how she came out to speak to the diner´s ... definitely added a personal touch. A wide variety of imported beer is here as well. I can not say enough about my experience. I will surely be back to Chef Karim´s!!

SB´s Wonderful Secret, 4/25/2005
Reviewer: Anna from Redondo Beach, CA
I recently found this restaurant while checking out this website and boy am I glad I did. The food was Wonderful and entertainment was great! If you live in SB and haven´t been there you are missing out. The Chef did great us too!

Experience Chef Karim´s!!!!, 4/23/2005
Reviewer: Adam from Santa Barbara, CA
Chef Karim´s is a place that must be experience. The food there is absolutely amazaing but the atmosphere and presentation are what put it at the top of my list of favorite restaurants in Santa Barbara. You sit on low sitting cushions around a traditional brass Moroccan serving platter. The servers then come out and pour warm water over every one´s hand since Moroccan food is eaten without any utinsels. The meal contains several different courses which are all spaced perfectly by belly dancing from Chef Karim´s wife. She always encourages guest´s to get up and dance with her. If you´re there late enough Chef Karim himself usually makes an appearance to dance and have fun with his guest. Dinner can easily take over two hours if you´re experiencing it fully. Hands down the best restaurant in Santa Barbara

Great dining experience, 4/11/2005
Reviewer: Sarah from Santa Barbara, CA
A group of us went here for dinner on a Friday night and had a great time! The service was excellent, and Chef Karim was so friendly and hospitable. It was my first time eating Moroccan food but I will definitely be back again!

Avoid peak nights and you´ll have a five-star experience, 11/12/2004
Reviewer: Montecito Matt from Montecito
First, Chef Karim is one of the crown jewels of Santa Barbara. He is a genuine gentleman, and truly cares about the community. Those of you in the know, know what I mean. I am very proud to consider him my friend and a friend to Santa Barbara. Now, people cannot say enough good about his restaurant. It is, really, a true taste of Morocco. Be sure to enjoy a Casablanca Beer, it is an excellent one! The ´problems´ people generally have at Chef Karim´s universally occur on the peak nights - those busy Friday/Saturdays from 7pm to 8;30pm. The problems tend to be forgotten orders or slow service. Rarely is food quality an issue, but sometimes it can be just as frustrating to lose interest in dinner half way through it. It can be a bit maddening during those times, and sometimes it just cant help but turn into a bit of a party scene, at which time you can count on things going out the window. Solution is easy...come on a weekday night or Sunday, or one of SB´s slower weekend evening. Guaranteed fix. Now, be sure to try the lamb with honey and prunes, even my wife (who hates lamb) loves this one. Chicken with Olives and Lemon is a staple, and the couscous with vegetables is excellent.

Chef Karim's Moroccan Restaurant writes: Thanks for that honesty. Since this review, we have updated and added staff and we have also added two additonal rooms for dining. I'm glad that Matt's experience was overall good. Nowadays, even busy days are good days to come. Chef Karim
A litte taste of Morraccan, whole lot of flavor, 11/5/2004

The service is the best, you will be pampered and treated like family. THe food is hands only, and they will not stay clean (its that good. It is a two level resturaunt, both very romantic to a party foe a few freinds. We go there a least every month or two, at that one heck of a drive!

FUN, FUN, FUN, 9/24/2004
Reviewer: KRYSTLE from VENTURA, CA

A little disappointed, 6/14/2004

I have been to Chef Karim´s before and enjoyed the experience. Unfortunately, this last time, my party and I went on a busy weekend night. The servers were doing their best to keep everyone happy. A few of the tables around us had people from their parties get up and leave. It was so disorganized that multiple courses were overlooked. It wasn´t until the end, they realized we had not been brought everything. When the entrees were finally brought out, sporadically, some were cold. The food has been deserving of compliments in the past. When approached, in regards to the three-hour fiasco we tried to make the best of, Chef Karim was anything but warm and understanding. We were not rude or overbearing, just voicing our opinions- balancing positive and negative feelings by refering to our pleasant, past experiences. He was unfriendly and curt. It is hard to support someone who doesn´t truly care about their customers. The service is the main redeeming factor. Avoid investing in this if you have any inkling it may be a busy night.

A fun and tasty dining experience, 12/16/2003
Reviewer: Rachel from Santa Barbara, CA
Ok, we fell in love with Morroccan food while in San Diego, and when we moved home to Santa Barbara we didn´t think we´d be able to enjoy it nearly as often, but boy were we ever wrong. Chef Karim´s is some of the tastiest food we´ve had, and the atmosphere of the restraurant is so cool. Averyone on the staff is amazingly friendly and attentive, and the food is not only some of the tastiest around, but it leaves you feeling as though you weren´t naughty in the least. Everything seems pretty darn healthy, and though you´ll leave probably uncomfortably full from the amount of food you´ll consume, it won´t sit there like lead in your stomach for hours. I cannot recommend this restaurant more!

An Amazing Experience, 11/10/2003
Reviewer: Ben from Berkeley, CA
Chef Karim made my experience amazing. He goes out of his way to make you feel comfortable. The food is well-presented and delicious. The atmosphere is amazing, the colors and textures of the walls are unique and lively. Chef Karim is an amazing host and the service was great. They even wash your hands for you. Whether you live in Santa Barbara or this is your first visit Chef Karim is a MUST.

The most awesome place in SB, 9/29/2003

Chef Karmin is kind and generous. The foood is outstanding and the entertainment wonderful. I have had a birthday party there and he was such a great host!

A Rare Jewel!!!!!!!!!!!!, 3/24/2003
Reviewer: Esther from Laguna Niguel, USA
This was the most amazing experience I have ever had. Chef Karim is so wonderful, his staff is sooooo friendly. Alice served us, Shalimar danced for us (she dances every Sunday night and is the BEST). We also met Peter (he is sooooo cute). The food . . . is out of this world with the most incredible flavors . . . the atmosphere is to die for. I want to thank the whole staff for making our evening a very memorable one. We will be back every time we are in Santa Barbara. Chef Karim, you are a STAR!!!!!!!!!!!!

My personal Favorite in SB, 3/20/2003
Reviewer: Robert from SB
I have lived in Sb for 5 years now, and this is by far the best restaurant in my eyes. The food is spectacular, the service is always wonderful and the atmosphere will bring a smile to the sternest of characters. Make sure you have plenty of time (3 hrs) and ready to dance w/ the belly dancer. Its a 5 course meal, so bring an appetite.

Best Dining Experience in Santa Barbara, 1/7/2003
Reviewer: Victoria from Santa Barbara, CA
Chef Karims is about the whole dining experience. You really feel like one of his guests at a royal feast. Every dish is different and exceptional. The food is execellent, the service is phenomnal, and the belly dancer only is the the beginning of your fun, but the brightest star of all has to be the Chef himself. Enjoy!

A must go!, 4/27/2002
Reviewer: Robert from santa barbara, ca
I´ve lived in Santa Barbara now for three years and this restaurant is by far the best experience I´ve had in a restaurant. The food is excellent. The service is great, and the atmosphere is perfect. The entire meal takes about 2-3 hours so don´t be in a hurry. There are four or five courses and...well I don´t want to ruin it. Try it!

A great experience!, 3/15/2002
Reviewer: Mea from Santa Barbara, CA
Previously, I had never even heard of the place until a friend asked me to go. From the outside it sort-of looks like a hole in the wall, but inside it is quite different. I went to Chef Karim´s on a Friday night. There were 5 courses, all VERY delicious. You order your main meal, and the other courses come with everything on the menu. The food, I can´t even describe except that it was VERY good! After we finished our delightful mint tea and quiche-pastry-like appetizer the music started to play. A costumed belly dancer emerged from the back room and lit up the whole room. The guests were invited to get up and join and altogether it was just a very great time!

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