Santa Barbara > Restaurants > New China
Neighbor Tims BBQ

New China
No longer in business
Opened: ? Closed: 2013-06

5764 Hollister Ave, Goleta
Phone: (805) 683-3611

Reviews by the General Public

Terrible Food, 2/20/2013
Reviewer: Rocky from Santa Barbara, CA
Went to eat lunch there but found out that the place is under new ownership. Thought I give it a try. The food was terrible, tasteless, lukewarm. The old owner did a great job with soups and had the best chicken noodle soup in town. Now with the new menu and owner I would NOT go back there!

New ownership/management/menu, 1/22/2013
Reviewer: Christine from Santa Barbara, CA
Walked in to get Pho and realized the menu was different and the usual family wasn't behind the counter. Now it's Mongolian BBQ. Didn't try the food.

yikes, 7/22/2012
Reviewer: sean from Santa Barbara, CA
went here with a group of coworkers after discovering noodle city was closed for a summer vacation. should have gone to red pepper, all the dishes were a little suspect. my prawns weren't properly cleaned, they still had the entrails inside, coworkers orange chicken was tasteless and so sweet it burned my throat. rest of the standard buffet fare was also questionable. will not be returning, service was okay though.

OK at best, 9/12/2011
Reviewer: Brian T. from Isla Vista, CA
I was in the mood for Chinese food but I didn't want to drive too far from Isla Vista.. I decided to check out New China. The prices are pretty good, but you realize you get what you pay for. The quality of food is sub-par. I got the Mongolian Beef dinner combination. All of the fried goods they throw on the side is no good. The soup of the day was bland and lukewarm. The entree itself was a little better, but the fried rice was also pale and tasteless. All in all I guess you get what you pay for. Looking for a cheap lunch that'll fill you up? This is a good spot.

Should have had the Pho., 4/23/2011
Reviewer: John from Carpinteria, CA
Had the bi bim bap... wasn't that good. Very friendly owner and Great service.

Blegh, 3/4/2011
Reviewer: Paula from Santa Barbara, CA
Orange chicken was way too sweet and the spring rolls were WAY too fishy. I won't be ordering from this place again.

Best Korean food in town, 1/7/2010
Reviewer: Liz from Santa Barbara, CA
I live nearby, so I come here quite a bit. The Chinese and Vietnamese food are decent, but the real reason to come here is the Korean food. The assortment of Korean dishes is very limited, but all are extremely well done. The bi bim bap is the best I've had outside of Seoul! Service is always friendly and fast, and the prices are reasonable for what you get. Try it, you won't be disappointed!

Very good pho!, 9/14/2009
Reviewer: Steve Morrison from Santa Barbara, CA
I came to new china to compare their Vietnamese food with the one across the street. New china has the best pho! If you want a good bowl of noodle soup new china has a very authentic taste with great quality meat and the portions are definitely worth the money! But for other better Vietnamese dishes the one across the street is better with a large variety being just a Vietnamese place. Their Chinese food is exceptional but agree that the sweet and sour pork is really bad. But the service is friendly especially the two younger man and woman. They are very nice and always recomend good dishes like the Mongolian beef. Overall this place is a very good place for great pho, good Chinese food and friendly service.

Good Food but avoid the Sweet Sour Pork, 2/9/2009
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
Everything was great except the Sweet and Sour Pork which had no taste at all. Maybe as other reveiwers say better to steer clear of the Chinese offerings although my other Chinese stuff was good. They get the food to you extremely fast, good touches of whole things in the food and less like manufactured type food on most things. Nice people there. Not sure if parking in the back else you park on busy Hollister.

Quantity good, quality passable, 10/24/2008
Reviewer: Steve from Goleta, CA
Had lunch here to compare with Noodle City across the street. The bun came in a large bowl, but was made with iceberg lettuce and barely any herbs. Seems like a good place to get full for 7 bucks, but for really great Vietnamese food go across the street.

Good Korean Food, 1/29/2008
Reviewer: Bob from Minneapolis/MN
During my visit to socal. I wanted to have some chinese food. But I ended up eating korean dish. It's tough to find korean restaurant in SB area. I searched and found direction to this place(it was lucky to find korean food though). I ordered bibimbap(mixed vege). It was really hot and sour taste but no greasy at all. I loved the side dishes comes with. it looked really healthy. The lady was really nice and pretty too. The restaurant and restroom is clean and neat. I will visit again.

Okay food, bad service!, 12/27/2007
Reviewer: Timothy from San Diego, Ca
On a winter vacation to Santa Barbara, driving up north to Goleta is very nice... stopped by to get a hot bowl of pho, but came upon a bowl of something not so appealing... I imagined a hot steaming bowl of good authentic pho with juicy tender meat.... I got the opposite. The pho was a hot, but the noodles were still hard and tasted bland. The meat was literally like rubber to me! Service was okay, but not very great. I would like to try this place again to see if it improves. It definately needs it!

The pho is awesome, 12/1/2007
Reviewer: Dylan from Santa Barbara
I came to New China expecting to eat Chinese food, but decided I wanted to try something else. I have never tried Vietnamese food, but the pretty waitress recommended me the raresteak pho. For the first time, tasting Vietnamese food I thought it was delicious. I'm definetly coming back.

Ugh, 11/14/2007
Reviewer: Ella from Santa Barbara, CA
I had read the reviews on here and was looking for a cheap lunch place with good Pho, which I love. At New China, it started off badly as the cashier charged me for a drink and didn't give it to me. When I remembered I went back to ask for it and she told me I hadn't paid for one, even though I had. After arguing for a while, she convinced me that my Pho was more expensive than it really was, and double charged me for my soda. The Pho was pretty disgusting. The flank steak was ok, but my friend got the other one with the beef brisket and other assorted meats, and it was all grissle and fat! My other friend ordered the Chinese food, I believe it was sesame beef, which was incredibly inedible. I would never go here again.

it's OK if you're Hungry, 8/30/2007
Reviewer: grace from Santa Barbara
Well we just ate there the other day and the food is okay but not that too fantastic. The Pho noodle soup is not bad but not that good. They give you like a kid's size bowl for their regular size soup. The bun thic num/ BBQ pork with rice stick is okay. The BBQ meat tasted like korean marinated. It's not what I expect. overall, their food is just decent.

Very Good, 8/21/2007
Reviewer: Tim from Goleta
the PHO is the best! i always get it everytime. the best i've tasted. even better than the ones in LA!

Best Vietnamese in SB, Korean dishes excellent as well..., 3/26/2007
Reviewer: JB from Goleta, CA
I've found the Pho at New China to be consistently the best in Santa Barbara. The owners changed a while ago now, but the food hasn't (same chefs), well except for the addition of Korean food to the menu. If you aren't into the more "exotic" cuts of meat in the original Pho, the #94 "Rare Steak" version of the Pho is an excellent choice. thinly sliced lean steak and the usual Pho broth, noodles, etc. With an order of spring rolls, a tasty and healthy meal, but still comfort food. The Chinese food here on the other hand, I can't recommend. For some reason as earlier reviewers mentioned, the Chinese food is exceptionally greasy in many cases. Stick to the Vietnamese and Korean dishes it's a great place. It's a family run place and they are very nice people who truly appreciate your business. Service has always been great for me and they make a big effort during crowded hours.

Best Pho in Town, 3/26/2007
Reviewer: Nancy from Santa Barbara, CA
I have gone here for years for pho. Every time I go elsewhere I am disappointed because New China has the best Vietnamese food in Santa Barbara. I hope tourists don't find out about this place :-)

Excellent Korean food, friendly service!, 3/19/2007
Reviewer: Gini from Santa Barbara, CA
Looks like a hole-in-the-wall, BUT they have really great bee bim bap! My boyfriend had the mongolian chicken and that was really good too. The service is friendly and quick. They give you a lot of food and the large variety of vegetables in the bee bim bap were awesome!

BEST Korean and Vietnamese in SB!!!, 3/14/2007
Reviewer: Erin from Santa Barbara, CA
If you love Korean and Vietnamese food, this is the best place in town! The prices are quite reasonable, and the owners go out of their way to accomodate you. Being Korean food lovers, my husband and I asked if "japchae" could be made, and to our surprise, the owner (a Korean lady) said she would make it for us, as long as we called ahead to let her know so she could prepare it since it's not on the menu. Yes, it is a whole-in-the-wall, but if you want quality Korean and Vietnamese food, get over it. The restaurant and restroom are clean, and the owners are kind and generous. We can't get enough of the food at New China---at least the Korean and Vietnamese food. My husband tried a Chinese dish and it was so-so. Advice: Stick to the Korean and Vietnamese menu. You cannot find better Korean or Vietnamese in SB!

Tasty, greasy food, 3/7/2007
Reviewer: Sydney from Santa Barbara, CA
The place seems like a hole in the wall. The food has flavor but that's because it's drenched in grease. I got a beef entree and I literally found a puddle of oil sitting at the bottom of the takeout box. I had to throw a good amount of food away because the amount of grease is dangerously unhealthy. While decent Chinese restaurants are few and far in between in Santa Barbara, do not settle for New China.

109!, 2/25/2007
Reviewer: Bone from G-Land, CA
You know you want it! When you've had too much Chicken Ranch go for New China over the freeway!

AWESOME, 6/13/2006
Reviewer: Chris Morris from Oxnard, California
I eat at NC atleast 2x's a week. The Chef and new owner are the best. Pablo is as friendly as they come. Get to know the new owner and her family they are truely good people that want your satisfaction to be tops. Ludia has a great smile and wonderful personality. They have and continue to make sure I feel right at home . In fact they insure I get "my table" any time I'm there. Ludias kids are great as well. What a well manered family and a great lunch or dinner. Chris Morris

Stick with the Vietnamese Dishes!, 4/23/2006
Reviewer: Joe from Goleta
For Pho and a few other Vietnamese this is the place. The Pho, spring rolls, as well as the Vietnamese rice dishes are always excellent. The Pho is the highlight and I always leave full and satisified with my dining choice. However the other dishes are liking. Recently we tried a few of the Chinese dishes and the were severly lacking. The meat (beef w/ brocolli) was extremely fatty and the dish seemed to be overwhelmed by fish sauce ( a flavor I usually like) it actually ended up in the trash. The orange chicken dish we tried was borderline. Again it was greasy and overall lacked flavor and was disapointing. It does seem to be cheaper than other chinese places, but the quality shows. Also for the chinese take out they are served it styrafoam containers. The heat of the food causes the containers to basically melt and almost fall apart, making a mess if your not careful bringing them home, not to mention what sort of toxic chemicals you recieve thanks to melted styrafoam in your food. The current service is overall decent. The two young ladies that usually run the counter are friendly and make sure the customers are satisfied. I had a to go order that was missing an item and they made sure it was made up to me, which I appreciated. However the young man (maybe the younger brother?) that sometimes work is very immature and was downright rude to my girlfriend after an order was recieved wrong. He seems like a young kid that doesn't want to do the wrong thing, but being rude and accusing the customer of being in the worng is not the way to ensure returning customers. If New China reads these reviews please educate the young man so he can provide the same service as the others. I must admit I miss the old management! The older couple running the place were good people, always felt they really appreicated the customers loyalty. Overall the best palce to head for a great bowl of Pho!

Good food, 4/18/2006
Reviewer: Vivian from SANTA barbara

Best Pho in town, hands down!!!!, 3/4/2006
Reviewer: E & T from Goleta, CA
Finally, in our quest to find decent Pho north of Little Saigon, my husband and I finally found it here at New China! This is REAL Pho, too, with tendon and tripe, just like they do it "down south", and the broth is genuine, too, not the bullion-tasting stuff at the other places in SB and Goleta. In addition to Pho, New China also serves three basic (but delicious) Korean dishes, too. So if you can't make up your mind between Korean or Vietnamese food, you can try their Chinese dishes. We haven't because we can't get past their delicious Pho or Bi Bim Bap. Service is to be expected for a walk-up and order place, but everyone was kind and friendly.

Best Pho in town, everone else must be crazed, 8/12/2005
Reviewer: Shaun from Santa Barbara, CA
I lived in LA, where the pho is fresh made. I frequented the best places. Noone in Santa Barbara can remotly compare. However this is without question the most acceptable pho in town. Noodles might not be handmade that day, but they are really good, the broth is really fresh, not fishy, nothing bad. Generous with the shrimp, they have a really good quality healthy bowl of pho. Mind you if they went across the street and bought some ti tao or rau raum leaves then they would be amazing, however NO VIETNAMESE resturant in town is doing that despite the fact that the sell it at the indochina market, or the vietnamese market on hollister. Big DUH guys. Nevertheless, go here and its still damned tasty.

Great Food!!, 6/5/2005
Reviewer: Kristy from Los Angeles, CA
I visit Santa Barbara at least twice a year and the first time I dropped by New China, I knew I had to come back. They make the best beef with broccoli. The meat is just so tender and the sauce is soo good. The soup is great too.

Everything tired and old is new and fresh yet again..., 5/14/2005
Reviewer: VP from SB CA
If you´re like me, you think all Chinese food is old. Not at New China! It´s practically embryonic, it´s THAT new! Go there IMMEDIATELY!!!

THE BEST IN TOWN, 4/5/2005
Reviewer: Sarah from Santa Clarita, CA
I was a newcomer in the city of Santa Barbara and I was starved! So i see this little restaurant in Goleta and decided to give it a shot. MY first impression may have not been good about the restuarants appearance,but it all changed when the owners of the restaurant gave me a nice heartwarming smile. The owners are very kind. And THE FOOD is just delicious! I´ve been eating at Panda Express for chinese all my life, but when i went to New China for Chinese i couldn´t believe how good it was! When the menu said the food was spicy, it really was spicy and delicious. The tastes were there and it was good. I also decided to try Pho, and i never did in my whole life, i was a newcomer with Pho. NOw because of New China, i am a fan of Pho and Vietnamese food. Give it a try! Dont judge a book by its cover, because New China is really the best in town.

Just say "105"!, 9/5/2004
Reviewer: Greg & Yukari from Goleta
Best bun in town by far (grilled pork or eggplant only). All you need to know is "#105 Combo!". The pork can be a bit fatty, still this is the single best vietnamese food item you can get. The other items are okay, but it´s not clear why one would go there if you´re not having bun.

New China´s losing its touch, 8/20/2004
Reviewer: lcn from Goleta, CA
I´ve dined at NC throughout the years, and they´re really losing their touch. Quantity for the price is good, but the quality is not the same as it used to be. My suggestion: Take your $$$ elsewhere and try another restaurant.

New China writes: New management has been established since last summer, We try our best and you will be surprised by sincere smile and hearty service! ^^
Good all around, 6/20/2004

Good pho, good chinese buffet. Nice service and free tea.

Yummy soup!, 12/11/2003
Reviewer: Karin from Santa Barbara, CA
Thank god there is a place to have Pho in town (there´s actually another Vietnamese restaurant up the street by the Mercury, but I remain true to New China). Even though it´s not top-top-notch food, it´s BETTER THAN NOTHING. I give 4 stars just for existing. I love Pho.

The best pho, the only pho in Santa Barbara, 6/7/2003

New City gets four stars for being the only restaurant in Santa Barbara to have pho. Not the best, the broth is a little sweeter than places in Little Saigon and the assortment of fresh herbs is seriously lacking (only basil and cilantro). Nevertheless, if you have a pho craving, you can satisfy it here. They also have roasted meat which is really good, too!

Best Pho in town,, 5/26/2003

Best Vietnames in SB, Pho (soups) are perfect, never tried the chinese menu items but why would I when I could have spring rolls and tendon???

Torn between food and cleanliness, 2/21/2003
Reviewer: Amy from Goleta, CA
I had the chinese food dinner, which wasn´t as pleasing as some of the other Chinese restaurants I´ve gone to in Santa Barbara. You get alot of food, but not alot of quality. The buffet is less than appealing since I saw flies the first time I went there. Also, the forks and chopsticks felt sticky. However, I would say a plus for being the only PHO I know in town, since I am a fan of PHO. Personally, I am torn between PHO (vietnamese noodles) and the cleanliness factor.

I´ll go back to them., 6/3/2002
Reviewer: Tom J from Santa Barbara, CA
Try the Szechwan stuff. The food is good and you get plenty of it too for a very good price. It´s a rather out-of-sight place. Never crowded. Service is reasonable. Fast too. Their sauces are great. Choose the the size of your portions carefully or you might end with too much. Great for student budgets and very close to UCSB too!

The best PHO in town!, 11/19/2001
Reviewer: Charlie from Santa Barbara, CA
If you are in the mood for great PHO New china is the place. I would also recommend the spring rolls which are the best in town.

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