Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Jimmy's Oriental Gardens
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Jimmy's Oriental Gardens
No longer in business
Opened: ? Closed: 2006

126 E. Canon Perdido St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 962-7582

Reviews by the General Public

Im'pressed' !!!!, 3/28/2010
Reviewer: Valerie Hewitt Green from Saint Augustine, FL
I was devastated to learn one of my all time favorite places to go as a child is closing. Jimmy's was like a second home and the staff always treated us as if we were family. Though we children were too young to be invited to the festivities, I will always remember my parents' descriptions of the wonderful food served at their private Chinese New year's party. It took me almost 30 years and searching too many states to find a dish that came close to their pressed duck. Jimmy's closing is a part of Santa Barbara dying...and, as with all things, won't ever be quite the same. I'm glad I had the chance to be part of the Jimmy's family.

Reviewer: Marilyn & David Nelson from Albion Pennsylvania
My husband and I lived in SB from 1980 to 1986 and ate at Jimmy's everytime we could afford it (my husband was as student at Brooks) We live in pennsylvania now and have often talked about going to SB for a visit just so we could have Jimmy's hot & spicy ribs one more time! The best we've ever had! Not to mention the good times we had there with friends! We will be sorry to see jimmy's close!

Gonna miss this place..., 7/28/2006
Reviewer: Tom from Carpinteria
Too many fond memories wrapped up in that wonderful place. Flashing back to when they used to allow flaming Mai Tais! Wonderful atmosphere. Great clientele. Perhaps I'll get lucky and be able to squeeze in tomorrow (Saturday, July 29th) for one final toast!

get it before it closes, 7/27/2006
Reviewer: Minah from Santa Barbara
There are only a few days left before Jimmy's shuts down. There is now a queue out the door during prime dining and drinking hours, so if you want that last mai tai and some eggrolls, be prepared to wait. It's worth it, too. Five stars for Jimmy's longstanding service to Santa Barbara.

Wow, 6/29/2006
Reviewer: Daniel from Santa Barbara, CA
Now come on, Jimmy's is not for those looking for "authentic" Chinese cuisine. But what you do get is one huge, delicious dinner plate of whatever you order at the most reasonable price in SB. The Mai Tais? None better. Service? Nothing can go wrong with two sports TVs, 3 generous Mai Tais, and Miles Davis in the backgroud. WARNING: After you finish your Mai Tai, you will be asked if you'd like another. DO NOT exceed 5 Mai Tais. Sucks to see Jimmy's go...

'Fraid it IS true... from the Indy:, 6/22/2006
Reviewer: A Jimmy's Fan from Santa Barbara CA
The rumors are true. One of Santa Barbara’s most beloved eating and drinking establishments is calling it quits at the end of next month. July 29 will mark the last call for alcohol and egg rolls at Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens on East Canon Perdido Street. A staple in the local community since it opened in 1947, Jimmy’s has been a favorite of downtown workers, the theater community, and anyone just looking for a good drink and a welcoming place with arguably the best jazz soundtrack this side of the Mississippi. According to current owner and chef Tommy Chung?—?whose family has been in Santa Barbara since the late 19th century and are the original founders of Jimmy’s?—?he is looking to sell the building in light of a recent decision to retire after having run the bar/restaurant since the 1970s. Aside from good food and good company, Jimmy’s is also home to Willy Gilbert?—?the patriarch of S.B.’s bartenders?—?who has been pouring drinks there for the past 22 years. Though the building’s future remains uncertain, regulars seemed sadly resigned to the inevitable during Tuesday’s happy hour. As Willy’s first customer, Robert Valenzuela, who has been buying drinks at Jimmy’s for more than 30 years, observed from his usual spot at the bar, “Everything comes to an end, I guess.” 

say it ain't so..., 6/21/2006
Reviewer: Kris Kallman from Santa Barbara
Read on line that Jimmy's is closing at the end of June. Wow...what a loss. Any news on this?

The best for the best, 5/29/2006
Reviewer: Michael from Seattle, WA
I usually just have drinks here but I had the food and it was great. The drink and the night life is chill and Willy is the best bar tender around. Lots of love.

No longer open for lunch, 5/25/2006
Reviewer: Chris G from Santa Barbara, CA
This is just to let readers know that Jimmy's is not open for lunch. The serve food Tues-Thurs 5-9:30 and 5-10:30 on Fri & Sat. I can't believe I've lived here 26 years and never really had dinner at this landmark! I ordered a bowl of noodle soup the one time I was in the bar having a drink with an old friend. The noodles were delicious. Before Summer Solstice this year I will have dinner at Jimmy's!

One of two best Chinese in Santa Barbara, 3/19/2006
Reviewer: food junki from santa barbara, ca
Jimmy's Oriental Garden, the first and original chinese restaurant and lounge in Santa Barbara has great food and the classic style. Their food is very good and very clean. I recommend Jimmy's to everyone.

Willy and Esther are the best husband and wife team ever!, 2/12/2006
Reviewer: Jim Evers from Freeport, Illinois
We come to Santa Barbara every year and stop off at Jimmy's to have drinks and great food. We have been visiting there for 20 years now and Willy the Bartender and Esther the Waitress are tops in our book. He has great taste in music (Jazz) and she is the "master of the eggroll". Parking is a problem, but hey we're talking Santa Barbara, get out of your car and walk....its a great city to walk in! At Jimmy's they like cats, they don't serve them!!!!!

My family and I loved our dinning experience, 1/20/2006
Reviewer: Bill Koch from Palmdale, CA
This was the second time that we have eaten at Jimmey's. We ordered the family combination meal (#2). The food was excellent. You have to have one of Jimmey's spring rolls - very good. Every thing that we had was the best. As to the service, it was friendly and efficient and made it a truely enjoyable experience. The atmosphere is classic Santa Barbara. You can tell the locals love it too. The next time we are in S.B., you can be assured that we will add Jimmey's to our list of Santa Barbara's best restaurants and come back again and again.

Great service, 12/28/2005
Reviewer: Laney from Santa B
My son and I go here frequently. I really like the woman who is the main server. She remembers us and is always friendly, guessing our needs before we have to ask. Mai tais are killer, and rival Chucks. Fun downtown spot to go near work too.

We LOVE Pearl, 12/25/2005
Reviewer: Ondine from Santa Barbara, CA
We've been eating in and getting take away from Jimmy's for four years. The service here is consistently THE BEST in Santa Barbara. Food is fun and fresh, but Pearl and the rest of the staff keep us coming back again and again. If you've dining in enjoy a Mai Tai, the best you'll find.

funny, i tried it first on my 21st too..., 11/11/2005
Reviewer: lexi from santa barbara, ca
and i really loved it. might have been the mai-tai's, or that it was a fantastic spot to bring such a large group, but i was really fond of the place. santa barbara isn't much for chinese food, and this is the best place for it that i've found after five years of living here.

Best Chinese food EVER!!!, 10/30/2005
Reviewer: charis from Santa Barbara
I have been dining at Jimmy's since I discovered it two years ago. The food here is unbeatable and they make everything when it is ordered, not microwaved or reheated. The service is not only sensational but also surprisinigly efficient considering that there is only one waitress working during dinnertime. I have never experienced anything but the best here and I would definitely recommend Jimmy's to anyone looking for a great night out.

Since I was old enough to drink---, 10/26/2005
Reviewer: suzanne from Arcata,CA
When I turned 21 was the first time I went to Jimmy's. Let me say this the charm that this place has can't be beat any where in Santa Barbara. It certianly has character and good food. I have never once had a rude staff person there. My husband swears by the mai-tais and side cars. Tells me they are the best drink he has in Santa Barbara. I can recommend this eating estishment to anyone.

Reviewer: Kristina from Santa Barbara, CA
Great friendly service! Mat tais are very strong and tasty and by far the best in SB. The food is also the best chinese food in town. I like to get the dinner combo in the back of the menu.

???, 10/19/2004
Reviewer: Tony from SB
Are you kidding me? I went there after reading about all the history of the place and thought this place should be pretty authentic. Boy was I wrong. My lunch came served on a plastic TV dinner tray, you know, the one´s with the little compartments. I´ve never seen chinese food served like that until I came here. Noticed 3 other restaurants serving the same way. Must be an SB thing. The food was very bland and they´re stingy with the meat. Granted it was the lunch menu, but still...

service at Jimmy´s, 9/16/2004
Reviewer: Anita from Santa Barbara, CA
I´ve been going to Jimmy´s since I was a kid with my folk. Never have I experienced such a rude waitress/server. Her mannisms have much to be desired but the food has always been good. She needs to brush up on her people skills!

Food´s good, service is horrible, 8/13/2004
Reviewer: Doug from Santa Barbara
What did I do to tick of the waitress? Does she treat everyone this way? Food is good, especially the egg roll.

Mediocre, 6/28/2004
Reviewer: Eric from Montecito
I found the food to be very bland and boring, the staff disinterested. I won´t be going back with so many other local choices

It´s all about the MAI TAIs at Jimmy´s, 2/20/2004
Reviewer: Lindsay from Santa Barbara
Food barely adequate, but who cares when the Mai Tais are so damn good! Love the bar atmosphere, too!

Best Service, Best Drinks, Pretty Good food, 2/18/2004
Reviewer: Joshua from Goleta, CA
Let me start by saying that Jimmy´s service is the best I have ever, i repeat, EVER had in my life. They are personable and always happy (maybe there´s something in their elephant-sized egg rolls). The atmosphere is unique since it is divided into two parts: A) Bar / restaurant B) Restaurant. The food comes in generous portions. The bartender won the best bartender of 2004 award (ask for the "scorpion" or mai tai). My only gripe is the parking situation - there´s really not a parking lot dedicated to it.

pretty good, 11/25/2002

it´s the best Chinese food I´ve had in SB so far--and I´ve eaten at about 4 different places. I´ll go back.

The Good Person of Sezuan, 7/8/2002

Maybe the best Chinese food on this planet (outside the ROC) certainly the best in town. Try their "Crispy Chicken" or the "Chicken Sezuan Style" and you´ll know, what I´m talking about.

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