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Los Olivos Cafe
2879 Grand Ave, Los Olivos
Phone: (805) 688-7265

Reviews by the General Public

Apps delicious, entrees just ok.....
Reviewer: amanda from Santa Barbara, CA
We went here for lunch with a group of 6 girls and were prepared to eat, drink and stay awhile! Ordered the Caprese, beets and burrata and baked brie appetizers! We love cheese! All were excellent! The baked brie is a must if you here! My friend and i shared two dishes and neither one was that great. the risotto special was crunchy and the pasta was way too salty! Always great service and fun place to be, but would like to see a little improvements in those dishes!

Great Food
Reviewer: Amanda from Santa Barbara, CA
I’ve visited Los Olivos Café twice, once for lunch and once for my birthday dinner. The restaurant is fantastic, I finished every single bite of my food and both times they had something innovative, unique, and tasty on the menu. Service is good and I was served an excellent dessert for my birthday. I wish I lived closer; I would definitely go more often. I love how the Wine Merchant is connected to the restaurant; they have so many wines for every budget.

Great lunch on a fine day
Reviewer: Joe from Santa Barbara, CA
Enjoyed a terrific lunch here on a Sunday afternoon when Los Olivos was fairly mobbed with daytrippers (including us). Service was very prompt and attentive -- our server was really excellent. I had the pulled lamb au jus sandwich, which was tasty but I'd rate it just "okay" and wouldn't have it again (the brioche roll is too soft to hold up to the wet filling, let alone dipping in the jus. Rosemary fries and wine selections were really good. Friend had the fish & chips -- fish was great and the homemade tartar sauce excellent. Definitely a good experience on a busy weekend -- you can tell the place had been slammed all afternoon. Would definitely return.

Reviewer: Ellie from Santa Barbara, CA
I love going to the Los Olivos Cafe when I am in the valley. I have been several times (although only for lunch). The front patio is just lovely, pleasant, and comfortable. They have great wines on the menu. I have not had a problem with the service. Also, one reviewer below complained about there being too much taste - strange complaint but I agree, there are a lot of robust flavors, which I think is the mark of a good restaurant. But to each his/her own. In all, I highly recommend the restaurant.

Waiter smelled like ashtray - food overpriced and blah
Reviewer: ann from Santa Barbara, CA
Ordered the $20 fish and chips, and expected decadence. Very disappointed; fish batter was soggy, unoriginal and unimpressive. My wife ordered the southwest salad and for $15 you would expect some flavor; salad was tasteless and stuffed with beans as a filler. We are locals and eat at great restaurants all over the world ; needless to say, we were extremely disappointed. Won't be back. If this place doesn't shape up, they won't be around for another summer.

Fine dining or small town cafe
Reviewer: Carl from Santa Barbara, CA
If you are a family of four, you will pay around 70 bucks for lunch. The kids meals were seasoned with alot of rosemary or parmesan. The tastes were too strong for our kids. My wife and I had sandwiches which also had a strong sense of strange seasoning. The appetizer bread is wonderful. Overall, we felt the food was overseasoned and definitely overpriced. On a weekend afternoon when the restaurant was about half-full, the service was extremely slow. Our server was kind but he was nowhere to be found most of the time. Maybe dinner is better than lunch. I have only been here for lunch. At this point, I can't tell whether they are trying to be fine dining or small town cafe.

Order the Cinnamon-Brie Appetizer...
Reviewer: Sara N. from Santa Barbara, CA
OMG, it is delicious. My girlfriends and I call ourselves the Dinner Club, affectionately, as we indulge ourselves often. We are in love with the brie. It is definitely unique! And the salads are delicious. Love the vino selection as well. The entrees are great, but this is more of my ideal place for light smatterings of different plates. So good, a meal can definitely be made from just an appetizers or a salad (the French way).

Such arrogance in such a small town!
Reviewer: Michael Williams from Los Angeles, CA
We went to Los Olivos and found it an adorable little town. Unfortunately, we didn't make it there until about 2 p.m. and I guess the town pretty much shuts down around for an afternoon siesta then... We went into this cafe and the atmosphere was fine, wine cellar on one side, restaurant on the other, some outside dining and white linen tablecloths. We had six in our party, two of which were kids. We were seated and given an "afternoon" menu?? Salads, pizza and appetizers. When we inquired with the chef(?) if we could get a sandwich, we were told it would disrupt his kitchen. At one point I had to raise my hand to get the attention of the staff who were all huddled together talking at the bar. We asked another question of the original gentleman and his response was quite condescending and unhelpful. I can't remember ever leaving a restaurant before, but all six of us made the decision after looking over the menu and not finding enough of a variety-- and got up and left. For such a small restaurant you would think they could have tried to be a little accomodating. Pretty bad experience. Who knows if the food is good, certainly the service was not.

An All Around Great Place!
Reviewer: Beth from Santa Barbara, CA
I went here with my brother and sister (in-laws) and we had a great time! Food was very tasty- baked brie was fantastic. Local halibut special with risotto was to die for! We sat at the bar- and the bartender was very personable and super attentive. The wine selection is also well worth the trip when in wine country. We'll be back!!

Los Olivos Cafe
Reviewer: Brandon from Goleta
Went here with 6 friends on a tuesday night, which was not busy, sat at the bar and had pretty inadequate service. Bartenders did not know how to acknowledge us, or know basic serving skills. Had to wait fifteen minutes to get a drink, and longer to get his attention to order food. Food was good, but they need to pay more attention to service, at the bar at least. Atmosphere is great, have been here before, but my experience was VERY frustrating. Bartenders, learn how to acknowledge your guests.

An Awesome First Experience
Reviewer: Kristin from Brea, CA
This was my first time at Los Olivos, and I have never seen "Sideways". We found the place by "accident" while antique shopping. Needless to say, it was the best "accident" I've ever had. I was there with my husband in late January during a severe rain and windstorm at lunchtime, and we sought refuge. We ordered spring rolls for appetizer, which were delicious, while we stuffed our faces with the fabulous bread and oil. My husband had the roasted lamb sandwich, which he said was the best he had had outside of his native Australia. I had the butternut gorgonzola ravioli, which was so memorable that I will drive the 3 hours to come back here again just for lunch! It just melted in my mouth and was the best I have EVER had. Wine was fab and the atmosphere, although a tad noisy, was great. DEFINITELY a great place to eat - extraordinarily highly recommended!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to go back!

Sideways is SO Over
Reviewer: Val from Buellton, CA
Tried this place for the first time for an early dinner. The menu looked good, so we tried the brie appetizer which was delicious in a puff pastry and sauce, but the "crisps" provided were really hard, so I declined breaking a tooth. We ordered pasta which looked quite reasonable. The check was a bit pricey with the $9. glass of wine. The food was quite good, lots of interesting menu items, and the wine list was extensive. I enjoyed the bread; very flavorful with oil. The service was fine, especially the bread/water server who checked on us repeatedly. There was a Sideways dinner in the menu which seemed odd as the movie was years ago. I did appreciate the owner (?) stopping to ask how the dinner was, which is always nice. I liked the lower noise level much better than Mattei's and the portions were generous. For a town filled with boots and bluejeans this restaurant is pretty fancy and I will try it again.

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