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Kyoto Japanese Restaurant
3232 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 687-1252

  • Category: Japanese
  • Hours: Mon-Fir 11:30am-2pm, Sat 12:00am-2:30, Mon-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-10:30pm, Sun 5pm-10pm
  • Price: $10 - $20
  • Serving: Lunch & Dinner
  • Reservations: No
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Reviews by the General Public

Gone Downhill
Reviewer: Steve from Santa Barbara, CA
Time to pass on Kyoto - service was horrible - no food after an hour. Simple order for two at an off hour. And the waitstaff's lack of hygiene when handling dishes was unappetizing.

Mexican rolls are the best
Reviewer: Elizabeth from Santa Barbara, CA
Love this place. The food is always fresh and tastes great. The servers and owners are very friendly, but it seems theres always someone new everytime we go. It can get a little loud and obnoxious with the private rooms but i myself have had loud moments in there with my friends and family so i understand and its part of the experience! Its totally worth it i always reccomend this restaurant to people! Mexican rolls are like $6 and they are huge! Best deal in town!

Good Birthday dinner
Reviewer: Walter from San Diego
Went here for daughter's birthday dinner, a party of 7. First time eating here. The food was good, serving size was right, service was attentive. 7 PM on a Tuesday night & the place was packed & noisy. Lots of UCSB students having fun, the Sake was flowing. Good chance we will be back.

BIG rolls
Reviewer: Rian I. from Santa Barbara, CA
I eat A LOT of sushi. Ive been to every sushi restaurant listed on this website. And I feel his place has the biggest rolls!! Their prices are average to everyone else, however you get your moneys worth with the size of these rolls. Very filling!! Great variety of rolls and still have the classics. I always return to this place, it is always concistent and service is good.

Good Food, Drunk Students
Reviewer: Tory from Santa Barbara, CA
I know that sounds funny and it is, the first time you go. My husband and I have been here 3 times. All of the times, the food has been phenomenal. The service is wonderful and you always feel welcome. HOWEVER, they have these little rooms where you can be "private" and eat sushi with your friends. Sound Awesome right? All 3 times those rooms have been filled with drunk college students yelling at the top of their lungs ( all happy thougts, nothing bad) just loud and obnoxious, which is sad because the sushi is really fantastic. I drink, my husband drinks and sometimes we get loud.....AT A BAR. It's actually funny because we tried to go a fourth time. Parked the car, opened their door . Heard ," Go Kappa Phi ( or whatever house it was) SAKKEEEE BOMB!!!" We then promptly left. So sad.

Great food, so-so service
Reviewer: Helly from Santa Barbara, CA
Came here with a large group and sat in the floor-seating areas, which got a bit cramped, but we made do. It took a while for the servers to come around for our drink orders, and even longer for them to come back for our food orders. When the food finally did arrive, they kept getting orders mixed up, outright forgot to bring out some dishes, and kept forgetting smaller requests (I had to ask repeatedly for a fork, for instance). I understand that maybe they were busy and short-staffed, but for that I would expect stuff to take a little longer to receive, not for requests to be outright forgotten and have to be repeated. The saving grace to the sub-par service, however, was the food. It was delicious! Best California roll I'd ever eaten, wonderful miso soup, and terrific sirloin teriyaki steak. Definitely recommended when your group isn't as large and unwieldy.

Perfectly acceptable neighborhood sushi restaurant
Reviewer: SLV from Santa Barbara, CA
I went to Kyoto earlier this week, in need of some quiet solo dining time and some sushi. I've been eating at Kyoto, on and off, for well over 25 years, and one of the things I appreciate about it most as an adult is that I can go in with a book and sit down and have a leisurely meal, and still be treated well. Not all restaurants are as kind to solo diners, but Kyoto succeeds at this. I had a mixture of items, and the highlights were the yellowtail nigiri (great fish!) and the futomaki, despite its departure from traditional ingredients. Points to improve on: The salmon skin roll's salmon skin was strangely textured (overcooked? caramelized was the word that came to mind) but still tasty. My hot sake carafe was extremely sticky, making it unpleasant to pick up and pour. None of these minor issues would keep me from returning. I had a very pleasant meal, as I've had in the past. Thanks, Kyoto!

Excellent food, good service, excellent prices
Reviewer: Laura from Lindsay, CA
Lunch specials "fish" are awesome. Good food. Good service. You really get a good portion of food and don't leave feeling hungry. Atmosphere is enjoyable. We live in the valley and like to eat lunch when we are in Santa Barbara. Parking is limited, so get there early.

Less-than-terrific takeout experience
Reviewer: Sharon from Santa Barbara, CA
Since all of these reviews seem to be good, maybe my bad experience was an isolated one. Going off of my experience, I'd recommend any sushi place in town over Kyoto. I ordered takeout a couple of weeks ago - 2 rolls. The rolls were PRICEY (nearly $30 total) and marginal at best (sloppy, didn't taste all that fresh). They weren't busy at all either...just one table of three and me waiting for my takeout, so there was really no excuse. However, the staff was very friendly and service was prompt.

Very pleased!
Reviewer: Jeanne from Philadelphia, PA
We stopped here on a road trip and really enjoyed our meal. We were here during happy hour (5-6) and so most of the sushi was half price. The servers were excellent and the sushi was great- fresh an large pieces of fish.

Ok food and service
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
Interesting that they have Tatami rooms here(not sure if any other place in the area has them). I could see how people's shoes would not be a welcome sight in the booths next to the doors. Food was average. Lunch special was Ok. I prefer Shintori Sushi better down the street or Kobachi Izakaya for high end. Servers nice, wait for food. Limited Parking. They have a sitdown sushi bar also.

Sake bomb!!
Reviewer: Marry Collins from Santa Barbara, CA
So, I love Kyoto! Great atmosphere and the rolls are HUGE. My husband and I were there last week and had a lovely experience. If you go, ask for the white guy as a waiter, He's so cute and pays close attention to his tables. The only downside to Kyoto is that if you decide to go on a friday night at around eight, eight thirty. You will most likely be sharing the experience with some loud and often quite drunken collage kids. Regardless, Kyoto is awesome and I would recommend it to anyone who loves sushi and having fun!

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