Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Elements Restaurant & Bar
Ca Dario

Elements Restaurant & Bar
No longer in business
Opened: ? Closed: 2012-02

129 E. Anapamu St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 884-9218

  • Category: Fusion
  • Hours: Mon-Sun 11:30am-2pm & Sun-Wed 5:30-9pm & Thu 5:30-10pm
  • Price: $20+
  • Serving: Lunch & Dinner
  • Reservations: Yes, recommended
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Reviews by the General Public

Great food, slow service, 1/1/2012
Reviewer: Rosemary from Chatsworth, CA
The food was fantastic. All four orders were served together and everyone enjoyed their food. Only one waitress was serving outside and inside customers. Also serving drinks from the bar. It was unfortunate someone called in sick and she was the only one serving. She was back and forth and everywhere taking care of customers. We drove from the San Fernando Valley and were happy to have found this charming setting. Hopefully the management will see to it that one server does not cut it, especially on a holiday.

Great dining experience, 11/3/2011
Reviewer: amy chalker from Santa Barbara, CA
I went to elements with a couple of friends the other evening. I had an appitiser an entree and a desert. I had their mixed greens for my starter which was great. very fresh and not over dressed. for the entree i had the duck. it was soooooo yummy. i would go back for that anytime. very well cooked and i really like how they made their own duck sausage in house. "impressive" and for desert i had their molten chocolate cake which was warm and wonderful. the service was great we never had a dull moment the server was very knowledgeable about the food, i don't remember his name but he made our time there unforgettable. so thank you. the food was hot and wonderful and the service was some of the best I have ever had I cant wait to go back.

Mediocre at best, 9/15/2011
Reviewer: Mary from Santa Barbara, CA
Perhaps the most disappointing restaurant experience I've had in years. The food was tasteless, bland and way, way overpriced. I ordered the duck; my boyfriend ordered the steak. Mine was overcooked, dry and tasteless. The dish itself just didn't work -- dry lentils with dry duck sausage. It was like chewing sand. Duck is supposed to be moist, succulent! My boyfriend reported that his steak was just OK, nothing special. We also ordered the scallop starter, which was good, but three little scallops and some creamed corn cost a whopping $18! The service was OK -- waiter was friendly and all, but the food took quite a while to get there. All said and done, a very forgettable dining experience came to about $90. I won't be going back again -- there are too many great restaurants in SB.

Absent without leave?, 10/14/2010
Reviewer: Sophia from Santa Barbara, CA
This used to be a great place for lunch (good food, great service, unbeatable view). The salads are good, portions are right and presentation is excellent. However, for a lunch spot in a working part of town, service needs to be on the ball. In an almost-empty restaurant, there is no reason why the server should disappear before taking an order, bringing the food or dropping off the check. I wonder whether this is why the place has been kind of empty recently: not all of us have an hour and a half for lunch or the patience for charming but absentee waiters.

A perfect birthday dinner!, 4/5/2010
Reviewer: Elicia from Santa Barbara, CA
A friend of mine suggested Elements for our dual-birthday celebration and I hadn’t been in a while so thought it was a good idea. We had such a great dinner on the patio and the view of the courthouse is priceless! We ordered 2 entrees that we decided to share. The coconut-curried swordfish was so fresh and full of flavor (I wish I had the recipe for that sauce!) and the filet mignon was very tender and came with potatoes that I will dream about for a long time to come. It was a great way to celebrate my birthday and I have already made a reservation for Mother’s Day to treat my mom to a special night out!

This restaurant used to be our favorite, 3/6/2010
Reviewer: James from Santa Barbara, CA
We used to dine here every couple weeks, but after the visionary chef who created the menu left (maybe 1.5 years ago), it has not been consistent or superior. We still try it every six-months with hopes that they will get another wonderful chef, but unfortunately it is disappointing given the high prices. I think you must scale reviews relative to prices. This used to be one of the top 3-4 restaurants in SB. That said, we still like stopping by the bar with friends - good scene and drinks.

Forgot to cook the dessert!!!, 1/26/2010
Reviewer: Amanda from Santa Barbara, CA
A friend and I went to eat in the bar and split their house burger and a dessert. The burger was delicious and juicy with yummy garlic fries! We ordered the lava flow chocolate cake to split and when it came out, it was cake batter on a plate!! We tasted and sure enough they forgot to cook it!! My friend is a pastry chef and was quite horrified! We returned it and they apologized and said they forgot to turn on the oven! I understand people make mistakes, but forgetting to cook the dessert is a pretty big one! They comped our coffees which was nice, but I expected more coming to this restaurant and probably will not be returning.

First time visit left me highly disappointed , 1/19/2010
Reviewer: Lynee from Santa Barbara, CA
I am sad to say my first experience here was highly disappointing and will probably never come back. I have read the poor reviews, but wanted to give the restaurant a try and see if they could prove everyone wrong. First, we ordered drinks that took a minimum of 20 minutes to bring. Our waiter was nice, but had NO sense of urgency and took his time with everythng he did. The food was decent, but extremely over priced. My pasta that consisted of spinach, pine nuts, butter, lemon and cheese was $25! When dessert came, our waiter asked us if we wanted coffee, of course I said yes because what is dessert without coffee? 20 minutes after our dessert came and about 10 minutes after my dessert was finished, my coffee arrived. When I walked inside the restaurant (we were outside on the patio) I was surprised to see our waiter engaged in coversation with another waitress, ignoring his surroundings and obviously ignoring our table because while he was chatting away he had someone else bring me my too-late cup of coffee. Just a tip for the owners at Elements, maybe hire workers who actually want to work. After all, there are many other restaurants in town I would be happy to spend my money at. Your restaurant has great potential and it's sad to see it going down hill because your service is bad.

Elements does not deserve to be open for business, 12/27/2009
Reviewer: Scott from Santa Barbara, CA
We ate at elements restaurant 12-26-09 1300 hours for lunch. On this day we found one waiter and one brand new busser and no bar tender. The service was not close to what I would expect from a restaurant like this with outragious prices. I would ass- u- me d they try to provide a good service at lunch as well as dinner. Of five meals served, four came with ice cold french fries, the fifth meal was 5 minutes after the others with hot fries. Im guessing they gave us old and cold, tell they ran out then cooked some more cause they had too. Also, the soup we received was only sort of warm. The phone rang loudly off the hook with no one to answer it. All in all the experiance on this day with my family was about a 1 out of 10, with the $120 bill to boot. This place has gone from ok to terrible, do not go there. To many good restaurants in SB to deal with this.

a bad element to our Sunday., 12/13/2009
Reviewer: Ticki T. from Santa Barbara, CA
Let's start with a positive. We positively will never eat at Elements again. To be fair, our Bloody Marys and drinks were great. Frankly, it went downhill from there. The negatives were many, but for brevity's sake: The food arrived cold (that was the best part), and just plain wrong. Poached eggs without yolks, rancid, grey colored "smoked ham", even the hollandaise was turned. When we brought this to the server's attention, her response was indifferent. We ordered something different, and had pretty much the same result. Poorly prepared, bad flavors and not warm. Having dined here many times before, we were really shocked at both the quality and the total lack of apology. We were extrememly polite and discrete about the whole thing, so as not to alarm the other diners. Even still, the check was dropped abruptly, as if to sweep the whole experience under the rug. Thanks for not even asking, but yes, we'll skip dessert.

Some of the Best Food in Town!!!, 12/1/2009
Reviewer: Jill from San Francisco, CA
My husband and I visited Santa Barbara about two weeks ago and we went to several of the nicer restaurants in town. Our favorite, by far, was Elements. I had one of the best meals I've had in a very long time. We have lived in New York, San Francisco and have spent a lot of time Chicago and LA. This restaurant is on par with the great ones of these big cities. It was great to have real quality food where the chef is truly in tune with flavors. We will definitely be back on our next trip!!!

I saved and dreamed of going to this restaurant for years,, 9/7/2009
Reviewer: Shirley Gardner from Santa Barbara, CA
I saved and dreamed of going to this restaurant for years, after seeing it on foodnetwork. The food is overpriced, I had a Monk fish salad that was not fit to serve my cat. It took the one waiter forever, the busboy and barmaid was of great help. Have to say, my husband ordered the pork chop, and it was good, thank God he shared it with me. I should have said something to them, or, returned the dish, I was just in shock, and so very disappointed.

Amazing food, beautiful views, thoughtful service , 5/27/2009
Reviewer: Mike & Martha from Santa Barbara/ Phoenix, AZ
It was our 28th anniversary and our dinner at Elements was our best anniversary event ever. Since my husband had called in advance,the chefs & staff went the extra mile for us - we were seated with a gorgeous view of the Courthouse at sunset, and our own printed menu that included special wine pairings for each course. Chef Matt & Sous Chef Cosmo came out to greet us during the meal, and made some special dishes,starting with an abalone appetizer (incredibly tender), a poached duck egg & romaine salad (rich AND light), and a melt-in-our-mouths halibut carpaccio,to mention only a few of the memorable dishes. The sommelier Nuri picked out great local and regional wines to pair with it all. We had been to Elements a few years ago, but the new chefs are offering crazy-good & innovative dishes! We would highly recommend a meal at Elements for anyone, anytime.

Dissapointing birthday meal..., 5/22/2009
Reviewer: sandra from Santa Barbara, CA
We have just eaten at Elements for the first time,and honestly i can't understand all the praise it has received. I left feeling underwhelmed, the service was slow and our waitress was so cold and unfriendly we felt like she was doing us a favor!!The food was really very average and lacked finesse for an alleged fine dining!!The desserts were terrible the s'mores profiteroles were a crime against food!!! not one thing reflecting the season i.e stawberries, go look at the farmers market. Again no finesse,agree with other reviewer very last thing they really should check their menu's hate to see greasy prints from previous diners and crumbs inside menu not a good start, would not go back again...

New Favorite!, 5/11/2009
Reviewer: Rachel from Santa Barbara, CA
My boyfriend and I just ate dinner at Elements for our anniversary. It is not an exaggeration to say that the entire experience was amazing. Our appetizer, seared scallops with spinach, kumquats, and bacon was delicious. We also had halibut carpaccio which was served with arugula, which was also divine. My boyfriend enjoyed seared sesame encrusted ahi tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes. The fish was very fresh and the sauce drizzled on it went perfectly. I ordered the oven roasted chicken breast after it was recommended by the waitress. It was literally the most delicious piece of chicken I have ever had! It was perfectly moist and hot and full of flavor. FOr dessert, we had some sort of chocolate dome filled with peanut butter and chocolate mousse. My boyfriend said it was the best dessert he had ever had. The waitress told us that Avery made our meal. We will definitely be going back to Elements and recommending it to everyone. They made our anniversary very memorable.

Wedding reception- Elements Rocks!, 3/26/2009
Reviewer: Barbara from Santa Barbara, CA
We had our wedding reception at Elements last August. It is definitely worth noting that all of my guests raved about how good the food was and the service was wonderful. I thank everyone at Elements and the catering staff for hosting a memorable occasion for my myself, my husband and our guests. The fact that we could walk straight from the wedding at the courthouse to the restaurant and had the entire restaurant for the reception really made it very easy for our guests. Instead of the traditional wedding cake, the Elements pastry chef prepared the assorted cupcakes and these were served family style to our guests. The price was affordable, the atmosphere was warm and we all had a wonderful afternoon.

Had Very High Hopes, 2/19/2009
Reviewer: Jonathan N. from Santa Barbara, CA
Went here on a date because of the reputation it had. The inside has a very nice decor, a little pretentious with the mini salt and pepper shakers. Our waiter was very nice until we said we did not want any wine or drinks and then I only saw him once more the whole night... when he brought the bill. Others were helpful and brought us our food which took much too long (another couple ordered the same thing after us and got it before us). I got the Slow Braised Beef Short Rib, it was very dry and very one note: Sweet. For dessert I had the Mint Ice Cream Sandwich, and the ice cream was good. The cookie part of the sandwich however was so frozen that I could not break it with a spoon, so I had to scoop out the ice cream from in between the cookies. It was close to being a good meal, moisten up the short rib and unfreeze the cookie a bit and it would have lived up to the expectations.

Splendid food and wine! MEDIOCROE service!, 2/2/2009
Reviewer: Sonya from Santa Barbara, CA
I wanted to take my significant other to expierience a fine dining atmosphere. We absolutely loved the food! It was so delicious we considered getting seconds. Unfortunately, I was very discouraged by the horrible service by our waiter. Re-considering to return, it's unfortunate since the food is superb! Might just not request him next time!

A Wonderful Dining Experience, 12/13/2008
Reviewer: Cameron from Santa Barbara, CA
Went here for a company Christmas party recently and had a fantastic time. The ambiance was elegant, but had a very warm feel. The exposed back kitchen is a nice touch. The wait staff was extremely attentive; service was great. I had the filet mignon, which, while expensive, was probably the thickest, most tender cut I've ever had, and perfectly cooked. My girlfriend had the duck, which was also fantastic. My only complaint would be that both dishes tasted heavy on the salt (and in the case of the filet, pepper too).

Delightful Dinner, 10/6/2008
Reviewer: Arlene from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been here many times for lunch (the burger is awesome!) and thought I'd try dinner with my visiting mom. It was an excellent choice. The food is unique and wonderful. The service is friendly and unpretentious. Too bad the previous reviewer couldn't get past the theme. I will remeber eating heavenly scallops while watching the sunset's reflection on the courthouse for a long time.

ridiculous & pretentious menu, 8/19/2008
Reviewer: Nora from santa barbara, ca
Food is ok, the kind of food you can get anywhere in this town (piece of fish, veg, potato puree) but more expensive and ridiculously described. Your salmon: water. Get it? What will the archaeologists think of our civilization when they find such menus I wonder. If you need to have your food described in spa-language (there is no other way to describe this particular dialect), then this is your place. If you want good food (piece of fish, veg, potato puree), there are many places in town where it can be had just as good or better. For less money. And without the absurdity.

Good food, bad service., 8/14/2008
Reviewer: Sandy from Santa Barbara, CA
Food was excellent, everything on the table was spotlessly clean. I am not certain who the server was. The first thing the server said was "What do you want?" Later, when having needed some things for some time, we flagged down another staff member, who explained our server was and had been on the phone. Although there were plenty of waitstaff, the person with our table left us stranded and abandoned, and his interactions with us lacked courtesy or consideration.

Great Brunch, 6/2/2008
Reviewer: Dennis from Goleta
Had some friends in town and gave Element a shot for a Sunday lunch. Interesting assortment of burgers, salads & sandwiches. Patio seating was wonderful, awesome view of the sunken gardens. Great attention by staff and our server. My buffalo burger was well prepared and neatly presented w/ a caesar salad. Friends had the Duck Confeit and Ahi wrap which were both to their liking. This was a great place to go if you have guests in town, maybe a little pricey for your average lunch, but a wonderful dining experience overall.

Bravo. . very consistent, 3/14/2008
Reviewer: James from Santa Barbara
Inasmuch as I am a frequent patron of bouchon, san ysidro ranch's stonehouse, seagrass (& old sage & onion), along with other Santa Barbara notable restaurants, I find elements has it all with respect to: diverse menu, quality of food, creativity of ingredients, dish presentation and attentive staff. I also like the bustling atmosphere that complements a balanced fine dining and active bar. My (& several friends) favorites are the scallop dish (unique chili sauce), the vegetarian option (tempura tofu stuffed portabello mushroom is outstanding), baby back ribs and the organic salad w/ candied walnuts.

Valentines Perfection!, 2/15/2008
Reviewer: Krista and Tony from Goleta
Let me first say that I don't hand out 5 star ratings lightly. I usually feel theres at least a little room for improvement in most situations, but not this time. We had a fantastic dinner and a fantastic dining experience. Sometimes special occasion dinners with special menus can end up a bit lacking but not this valentines dinner at Elements. The crew there decked the place out in a classy yet romantic motif for the evening and the menu was perfectly crafted to serve any palate and still be fantastic. Even though my wife and I didn't go for the most interesting things on the menu, we were still extremely happy with our dinners. I had the filet mignon and my wife ordered the salmon, both were excellent and wonderfully paired with sides. On the service side, the crew there really shined with a team approach that never once felt intrusive yet never left us wanting for even the smallest thing. Our deserts (baked Alaska!) were even hand delivered by the pastry chef herself. And they were wonderful as well. I realize you can't always judge a restaurant in general terms by a special event like this but Elements has always done well by us and they deserve the accolades for working so hard to get it right. T

A nice time, 12/20/2007
Reviewer: Brandon from Goleta, CA
Had a great meal with a couple friends of mine. The cocktails are tasty as was the food. The chef was accommodating to my request for a vegan preparation, which is always appreciated. Only complaint is that my girlfriend caught me staring at our waitress's busom, which was a little distracting. She wasn't dressed inappropriately or anything, just looked very pretty.

Wonderful Evening, 12/19/2007
Reviewer: Dana Alexander from Santa Barbara CA
Had a great time at dinner. Excellent and attentive service and delicious food. It was my wife's birthday and they made it very special. Couldn't have been better.

Excellent waitstaff and amazing food, 12/11/2007
Reviewer: Nancy from Santa Barbara, CA
I attended a business dinner at Elements and was very impressed with the food and service. The bartender was very friendly and welcoming as soon as we entered the door. The wait staff was also very good and unobtrusive; I ordered the Tofu Stuffed Portobello Mushroom and it was excellent. The others at my table ordered the Halibut and Ahi; both of which were highly praised. While a bit on the pricey side for a casual dinner, Elements is definitely the place to go for a more formal occasion or a special night out. I would recommend this place to a friend.

Amazing food!, 10/14/2007
Reviewer: Laura from Santa Barbara, CA
I went to Elements for the first time last night with my boyfriend and another friend - needless to say, we'll be back! To start, all the drinks we ordered were delicious, even the intriguing firetini! Very spicy but definitely unlike anything we'd tried before. Appetizers were also a hit - the roasted corn and avocado pancakes were something I could eat every day, I absolutely loved them! We ordered the "special" salad of the day which was good, but ended up being $16, which was a little surprising. For entrees, we had the salmon, pork ribs, and tempura tofu/portabello - they were all amazing! Especially those ribs - my boyfriend and I don't like pork OR ribs yet we loved them! Deserts were also delicious, of course. Only downside was that our server seemed a bit too into himself and tried to be a little too "showy", but nothing put a damper on our night! I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good time.

Pretty good..., 9/11/2007
Reviewer: Kristen from Carpinteria
We were seated fairly quickly on a Saturday night without reservation and even given our choice of tables. The drinks were fantastic, if way overpriced, but most are in Santa Barbara. I had the Jamaican jerk chicken, which was cooked perfectly but seasoned a bit oddly. I know this sounds weird, but it tasted like it had been cooked in potpourri or something - it was a very perfumey and almost pungent taste. It wasn't horrible, but it was much less than I expected. My boyfriend had the surf and turf and said it was very good. The dessert we had (chocolate cherry ice cream sandwich) was one of the best desserts I had ever had. It even came with a tiny cup of hot chocolate. Service was good, not overly friendly, but nicer than many places in SB. I would try it agian.

Food was Brilliant, 9/6/2007
Reviewer: Cynthia Acosta from Santa Barbara
My husband and I had dinner with two friends on 8/31/07. This was a last minute idea, and with much of my surprise the food brilliant. We were seated promptly with no wait; I thought that was weird on a Friday night. I should have known something would be wrong. Our waitress took 10 minutes to take our drink orders, and then took another 15 minutes to get two beers, Vodka & Mojito. By the time we got our drink we received our bread. Half way through our drinks our waitress finally came by to take our dinner order, must have taken about 20 minutes. The food took a long while to get to our table also. They must have had only one chef available that night, this is the only reason I could come up with. The food was excellent so I quickly forgot about the horrible service we had to endear. From start to finish we were there over 2 hours, not by choice. We had plans after dinner and we were late.

Usually ...this is my favortie place, 6/8/2007
Reviewer: Sharon Remacle from Santa Barbara, CA
Last Saturday 6/2/07, myself and 2 of my friends went to Elements to enjoy the beautiful day sitting outside and anticipating the view of the Courthouse. I happen to be partial to the Cucumber Martini and was really looking forward to my friends enjoying this scrumptious drink. Well....I have to say how very disappointed I was. Not only were the drinks not as great as they usually are, our view was blocked by a truck. Apparently the restaurant was catering an event later that evening so the truck needed to stay parked in front of the restaurant, and not only that, but the truck had to be running because it was refrigerated so the food needed to stay cold. Needless to say, my friends who had never been to Elements before were not impressed. Our waiter even came over to tell us that he was going to have start helping load food onto the truck for the event that was being catered so if we were to want any more drinks we were going to have to go inside and order from the bar. And if that wasn't enough, the bar had used the last of one of the ingredients that goes into one of the most popular martini's! Bottom line my friends and I still had a good time, making the best of the whole situation. The food was awesome and I was in great company!

Excellent except for the roast pork, 5/30/2007
Reviewer: Grover Diemert from San Deigo, CA
This was our first time, we selected the mussels starter on May 23. It was fantastic as was the other entrees which included duck, but stuffed pork roast was a overdone, and thus dry. always!, 5/4/2007
Reviewer: Marie H. from Santa Barbara, CA
I took my Mother to dinner at Elements for her birthday last week and as usual the meal, from beginning to end, was superb. I have been going to Elements since they opened a couple of summers ago and I have yet to be disappointed. I will remain, as always, a loyal and devoted fan.

Disappointing, 5/1/2007
Reviewer: Jason Wright from Santa Barbara, CA
Four of us dined recently at Elements. Our drinks took 20 minutes to arrive at the table (it was a quiet Wed. night!) Our dinners arrived in a fairly decent time frame. However, two of the meals were almost cold and one of my friends steak was very over-cooked. Our server was friendly, but seemed rather distracted at times. We have not been to Elements for about 5 months and it seems things have gone down hill. The atmosphere is still quite nice and the view of the courthouse is great! Someone at Elements should clean up the act and fix the kitchen issues while they are at it. Overall. . . Disappointing.

Great atmosphere, poor service, dirty bathroom!, 5/1/2007
Reviewer: Sue from Goleta, Ca
The outside patio with the outdoor heaters was lovely! We were a party of 8. It took 30 minutes to get our cocktails. Pricey cocktails, but fun and delicious! We soon realized we had to order any subsequent cocktails 30 minutes before we really needed them, as this was the standard turn around time from the bar. The food was tastey, but one meal came out about 5 minutes after the other 7 had been brought out. In this "classy" of a restaurant, I found this appauling. Lastly, the woman's bathroom was something you might expect to find in a bus depot....Only a few drops came out of the sink, making it almost impossible to wash hands. There was paper all over the floor, and it just generally needed a good cleaning. Given the prices Elements is charging, I felt like I did not get my money's worth in terms of having a great dining experience.

Reviewer: br chefs from santa barbara, ca
Elements originally drew us in for its amazing food, but talk about amazing... try the cucumbertini or the firetini for the best martinis in town!! They are worth the steep price ($11/$12), but you can get them during happy hour for something like $4 off. The menu recently changed and has some interesting entrees like the maple duck risotto. The sea bass is a great dish, but we really miss the halibut!! Bottom line... try the martinis!!

overall - very good, 1/22/2007
Reviewer: kt cleary from santa barbara, ca
we always enjoy dining here. many delious options, although it's not cheap, and the staff is very nice and attentive. desserts are wonderful, as well. i would recommend this to anyone who wants to show folks around, from out-of-town. the courthouse view is gorgeous.


love the bar!, 12/15/2006
Reviewer: Blake from Santa Barbara CA
my girlfriend and i go to the elements bar at least once a week for the one of a kind cocktails, the bartenders are always friendly and provide great service; to the comment above they must have been some fablous olives! We especially love the duck rissoto and the sweet geshia martini, thanks elements!

They charged me for the olives in my $12 martini!, 12/11/2006
Reviewer: karen smith from santa barbara
Good food, excellent service. When I went over the bill (dinner for 2; 1 drink each - $150) I was shocked to see that they charged us $2.00 for olives. When the martini costs $12, one would think they could throw in the olive.

Hit and Miss service, good food, 11/16/2006
Reviewer: C. Redmond from Santa Barbara, CA
My husband and I dine at Elements once-three times a month and we usually have a pretty good experience and we both love the food, and consider it one of our favorite restaurants in SB(especially the Greek cheese appetizer and portebello mushroom). However, I feel compelled to write a review because whenever they are short staffed by even just one person they completely ignore our table. We literally have to wave someone down for everything that they normally would just bring you (water, bread, drink, taking our order, food, check). They are never apologetic when this happens and it really bothers me because we are loyal customers and I can't figure out why they haven't fixed the problem. I hope the management reads this review because it has happened more then once and we haven't been back since.

Good food, hot service, 9/29/2006
Reviewer: Max Gonzales from Santa Barbara
I ate at Elements last Friday and ate the Kobe Burger. The burger was good, but what was even better was Nadine, our server. Not only did she provide good service in spite of our friend's rampant criticisms of the use of trans-fats. She handled his attacks very well with her award wining smile and cheery personality. Like osama held up in the tora bora mountain range fending off the superbly funded US troops, she handled the attacks in stride. Over powering our friends negativity with her positivity. They did also make a great raspberry mojito.

My favorite in Santa Barbara, 8/18/2006
Reviewer: Lauren L. from Santa Barbara, CA
This is a wonderful restaurant, with exceptional food and service! I have been going here since it opened until now, and the food has stayed the same(perfect). They have an array of dishes from Jamaican Jerk Chicken(my favorite on the menu), nice steak, seafood, and the best tomato soup. The service is great and the restaurant has a great modern decor with orchids everywhere. I highly recommend this restaurant to locals and vistors. A must!

Exceptional - quality, creative entrees and 5 star service, 3/23/2006
Reviewer: Seth from Santa Barbara, CA
I was asked to attend a working dinner with my company's national management team. It was the first time I had visited Elements Restaurant and by doing so, I felt compelled to write about my experience. We had a party of 28, and usually with parties this large, something preparation, service. But I was astonished at how attentive, responsive and pleasant our servers were, in addition to the busboys and the other staff helping with our party. I had the halibut (OUTSTANDING), and our managers raved about their entrees. They have been to several higher end establishments in town, and rated their OVERALL (food AND service!!!) experience at Elements as the best by far....we were treated like true dining guests...the chef even came out to see how are entrees were. Thank you Elements for working so hard to make our dining experience exceptional...We had an outstanding meal and a truly FUN night.....

Great place to go., 3/21/2006
Reviewer: Jeff from Santa Barbara, CA
Elements has a great menu and some of the best dishes in town. Ask for their martini's soaked in fruit. When the courthouse is lit up at nigth, the view is awesome. The place is trendy and not cheap but worth it. I would highly recommend Elements as a place to take a special date over any restaurant in SB.

Not what we expected, 3/18/2006
Reviewer: Jeff DiMarco from Goleta, CA
After hearing so much about this restaurant from friends we finally visited much to our dismay. Upon arrival the "hostess" was rude and seemed bothered to seat us. (altough we did not wait wait long) It took forever for our server to come to the table. We actually flagged down the hostess to get us our server. Drinks took way too long to get to the table and when they did they were the wrong ones. Our meal was good enough, however we thought for the price could of been better! The steak was flavorless. All in all we were dissappointed because it had been built up in our minds for so long. It seems like their management are not quite on it. On the positive, the location is superb and the ambiance is nice (the sofa table was fun!)

Disappointing, 3/17/2006
Reviewer: Robert from Washington, D.C.
Went here for Saturday brunch. The seating outside is great and we did not have to wait long. However, the service was not only slow, but they brought us the wrong food twice. Also, for the price you pay the food was not up to par. I would consider another restaurant if you are visiting from out of town.

Not a steak house, 3/9/2006
Reviewer: Richard from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife talked me into going to Elements for our birthdays. The best treat this place has, as far as I’m concerned, is the fritters, best ever and they have lobster in them mmmmm – can you believe? Very light and fluffy just like they should be. The other treat was the Fat Tire beer. Great stuff! The main entry was a filet. Boring. No flavor to speak of – nothing special. It was cooked just the way I like it. Maybe 8 oz for $33!So it was our birthdays. They should try the steaks at Costco – at least you get a little more for your buck.

Great Service, Great Food, Great Experience!, 3/2/2006
Reviewer: Laura from Santa Barbara, CA
After reading some of the reviews that were posted previously my boyfriend and I were a little nervous. But our reservations had already been made, so we decided to go and form our own opinion. We are happy we did. The food was excellent and the service could not have been better! From the minute we stepped into the door we were never ignored or looking for our waiter. The entire staff seemed to be "on top" of things! Thanks to our waiter Don, and the entire staff. We will be back!

Valentines Day, 2/18/2006
Reviewer: J.F. from Santa Barbara
Overall this place wasn't that bad. They had a specific menu for Valentines Day, a 4 Course Meal. Started off with either Tomato Basil Soup or Salad. I had the Tomato Basil Soup which was awesome and my fiancee had the salad which he seemed to liek as well. Next was an appetizer, they had a choice of Sauteed Local Mushrooms, Sea Scallops, Pheasant?, and... I don't remember. I had the Local Mushrooms, which I wasn't a big fan of, and my fiancee has the Scallops which he seemed to like but wasn't amazed. Our Main Course was a choice of Austrailian Lobster Tail, Filet Mignon, Halibut, and I forget what the fourth choice was. I choose the Lobster Tail, again I liked it, I just wasn't crazy about it. And my fiancee had the Halibut and he thought it was alright as well. The dessert was delicious, and I got a red rose at the end of night which I thought was sweet. Our waiter could have had better manners, he approached us and asked for ID's right away and said it was for the complimentary champagne, I didn't bring my ID so we skipped that, I just thought he was rude so ask us for ID's as soon as we got seated and didn't even ask if we would like anything to drink first. It was busy. He didn't seem to know the menu very well and I thought that was poor service.

bad server for valentines day (the day for love), 2/14/2006
Reviewer: steph from santa barbara
first off, our server was quite the rude individual. my boyfriend and i are out of college, and we may look young. but, we both work for fine dining and were treated badly. it took an eternity to greet us, it took forever to ask how our food was,and she didn't ask how we wanted our filet mignon cooked. we saw the food runners and bussers more than her. the bottom line is that it was not a good experience for us, or the people sitting next to us. they felt the same way. i would not recommend this to anyone. If you are the manager, this waitress needs to be fired. it was not quality service and people like this don't make an independent restaurant with good food, look good!as stated before, the food was great, but the service brings us back.

This place doesn't do it for me and my friends, 1/7/2006
Reviewer: Amanda Lieber from Santa Barbara, CA
I have worked many years in the restaurant business-(including fine dining) I was excited to go to Elements. First off our waitress had so much attitude and took awhile to get aroud to our table. The food was good but it wasn't great. I thought the menu wasn't that impressive or original. The portions were pretty small for the price-which would be fine if the meal was outstanding- but it was not. The waitress forgot to ask if we would like more drinks. Overall I deciced that I would not need to return to this place ever again-It's just not worth it. Unless you have a lower standards in how food should taste and you have a lot of money to burn and you like service without a smile

Great atmosphere, but definitely overpriced, 11/16/2005
Reviewer: A local from santa barbara, CA
I've always wanted to eat here because its really close to my house and I love the nice and dark outdoor seating... good for a date. Now I was ready to spend a lot of money on dinner, but $100 for a couple?? And I only had one glass of wine. $14 for 3 little scallops, wine glasses between $8 and $20, filet minon for $33, and little salads between $8 and $10. It definitely adds up... Entrees between $25 and $33. The filet actually wasnt that good for what I expected, but the Shepherds salad was great... scallops were good too, if you feel like paying a lot of money for a tiny appetizer. The service wasn't as professional and classy as I would have expected though. Oh well... it was a really nice place, and I had great company.

On my last visit to this location it was "The Bakery", 11/12/2005
Reviewer: David from Irvine, CA
Hadn't been at this location for a long evidenced by my recollection. Our B 'n B's owner/manager had personal recommendations for eateries in Santa Barbara...Elements was a favorite... a quick review of this web site made the decision complete. I had the special...sea bass over white beans with the "house" green salad, a good choice. My wife enjoyed the lamb shank with cous cous and sauteed vegetables. We concluded with the pear tarte...very tasty. However, there was no need for the mater dei to tell me, when I called, that the restaurant was "booked" until nine pm, requiring us to eat outside under the infrared heater, next to the garden hose and empty propane tanks. Fully 1/2 of the tables remained empty from 5:30 until 7:30pm on a Saturday night.

i love their scotch....scotch, scotch,scotch, 11/4/2005
Reviewer: warner from Santa Barbara
best looking staff in is superb!

Great Experience, 10/24/2005
Reviewer: Jessica from Santa Barbara, CA
I had heard great things about this restaurant & finally decided to give it a try for our my anniversary. So HAPPY we did. We sat at the sofa tables ( which I wasn't sure of at first but loved by the end of our meal), our waiter was very attentive but let us take our time (2 1/2 hours), the drinks were very creative & delicious, & the food was wonderful (I had the seared ahi...seems to be a favorite). I will definitely be back.

"$10 - $20"?? Hardly., 10/10/2005
Reviewer: Timmy from Santa Barbara CA
I'll leave actual reviews of the restaurant to others; what I'm writing about is the price. As of this writing, the heading information for this place indicates that the price is "$10 - $20". I ate there with two friends a few nights ago, and our bill (including tip) was $150. That was with no salads or appetizers - just three entrees and five drinks. As I recall, the cheapest entree was $18; most were in the mid $20's range. Maybe it's $10-20 for lunch with no drinks.

I'm very proud to know Andy Winchester, 10/6/2005
Reviewer: Sean Winchester from Boston/MA
There is a reason this restaurant is so successful. It is owned and run by none other than the awesome, Andy Winchester. Rated #1 fusion restaurant!!! Way to go. See you @ christmas.

Great food, great service, 8/22/2005
Reviewer: A. from Goleta, CA
I don't understand why anyone would complain about this place. It had amazing food (I had the jerk chicken, my friend had the filet mignon) and great service. The drinks we had were so creative and really good. Try this place for something a bit different and expect a great outcome.

great dinner and cocktails, 8/14/2005
Reviewer: Liza from Santa Barbara
Three of us stopped into Elements on Saturday night for cocktails and dinner and had a fantastic experience - I never write reviews of anything but felt I had to put in a good word. We were warmly welcomed at the door (even though we were very casually dressed), enjoyed good cocktails at the bar and then had an amazing leisurely dinner with a fantastic server. The atmosphere was lively, but we could certainly carry on a conversation at a comfortable level. By far the highlight was the food - everything was wonderful. I woke up dreaming of my seared Ahi entree in it's passion fruit beurre blanc sauce and the wasabi mashed potatoes... With dinner and wine for the three of us (not the pre-dinner cocktails) it came to $130 before gratuity - and I felt it was a bargain. I will definitely go back, and will encourage others to give it a try.

Excellent!, 8/5/2005
Reviewer: David Bowser from Newport Beach, CA
I have eaten in a lot of places around the world and this country, and Elements has to rank close to the top of my list. The food was amazing, yes the prices were high but well worth it, unlike most places the price fit the dish. They have a wide selection of martinis that compliment each dish, I would recommend Elements to any person traveling to Santa Barbara.

Quintessential Stanta Barbara, 8/2/2005
Reviewer: Richard Heston from Newport Beach, CA
I realize that the Festival is of limtred run, but the atmospherics of dining alfresco while troupes of youth dancers performed traditional dances across the street (and plaza) were memorable. So was the menu. Service: attentive, if not overly so. Wine list: Local, but extensive. Appetizers: Very good. Try the Hawaiin ahi poke and the smoked Buffalo carpacio was far leaner than what you may have had in the past, but the hints of smoke added a richness that more than offset the lean-ness. Lamb: Great, spicy Halibut: Excellent, Desserts: What preceded was too gfood to need, but later told may be the restaurant's forte. The after diner port/dsauterne/etc selection was varied and well-priced. I'll be back

Great service, Great menu!, 7/11/2005
Reviewer: Mychelle Marston from Woodland Hills, CA
We first encountered this tiny jewel while cruising the SB Wine Festival… their booth was offering tuna cerviche – tiny portions, but enough to tantalize our taste buds and leave us wanting more. We called for dinner reservations that very night; but apparently, great minds think alike and there were no openings until well after 9:00 p.m. The hostess suggested that we try our luck by just coming in and hopefully getting a seat at the bar since there were only three people in our party. As luck would have it, fate was on our side and we were seated on the porch with no waiting. The service was great and the menu offered a savory, eclectic selection for the discerning palate. The salmon was much better than the filet and we absolutely loved our various appetizers. We had such an enjoyable experience that we went there for brunch the following afternoon and had a phenomenal Kobe beef burger (with caramelized onions and bleu cheese crumbles) and eggs benedict with crab cakes – scrumptious! Elements has definitely been added to our list of favorite dining spots for SB – thanks for such a pleasurable dining event.

Awesome service!!!, 6/16/2005
Reviewer: janet from Santa Barbara, Ca
As a chef I found the food to be lacking in taste. My husband and I had lunch and both ordered wraps. The wraps were okay but they really lacked any flavor. The waitor was fantastic and really distratic from the the lack of taste of the food. I do not know his name but he deserves a standing ovation for his interest in our party ( of 2). We have dined in SB many times and never have we had such great service. As one who has been the industry for 20 years I am always looking for a bad wait staff but you will not find one here. ( at least at lunch on Tuesdays)...

Fine food Fine experience, 6/11/2005
Reviewer: Marc from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I worried about eating ANYWHERE on UC graduation weekend. But Elements seated us at six and we were off to a wonderful experience. They had an army of staff, all very upbeat, ready for the impending rush. Put simply, the service was wonderful. The food was fabulous. My Buffalo Carpaccio was perfect and my swordfish special was perfectly cooked with a cream, sesame, and other really good stuff for a sauce. My wife´s Thai inspired halibut was also perfectly cooked and really flavorful. The only caution I offer is the noise level. Some people like that "energy" and some have a hard time conversing over it. It depends on what you like and when this place gets hoppin, the noise definitely climbs. In summary, great food, great service. We´ll be back.

Unforgiveable service, 5/14/2005
Reviewer: Patrick from Santa Barbara
Friday evening the new female bartender took my $5 bill for a $4 beer and returned no change. She treated my friend the same way. I usually leave a $2 tip. Why am I not happy coming out $1 ahead? It is up to me to decide on the tip I leave not the server. When Elements gets rid of this hack I will consider visiting again. She is tall, thin, ~26 yrs old. Get rid of her. And no, I did not come on to her and get rejected. I ordered one beer after work and sat and talked with my friend before going to a movie.

Excellent Food and Excellent Service = Wonderful Dining, 4/11/2005

This was my first time at Elements and I met friends for lunch there last week. The restaurant is cozy and contemporary with excellent service. I had the Ahi salad and a friend had the grilled chicken with brie sandwich. We shared lunches which were delicious! We topped it off with an unbelievable cappucino and "to die for" goat cheese cake! Wow! I have heard it is spectacular at night when you look across the street at the uplighting of the courthouse palms. I can´t wait to go back for dinner! Definitely five stars!! I´ll be back again and again!!

snobby service, tasty food, 4/1/2005

I made reservations for dinner early in the week so I could request one of their sofa tables in the back. When I arrived on Friday night I was asked if I still wanted the sofa becase they were "really busy and a lot of people have been asking for it." Fine, that´s why I reserved it ahead of time. After they had prepared the table for me they asked again, "are you sure you want to sit there?" The implication seemed to be that my party of 2 was a waste of the 4-person table with the sofa. Once I was seated everything went perfectly, with wonderful food and service, but the initial treatment I got gives me a poor opinion of the experience overall.

we never forget elements, 3/28/2005
Reviewer: jesper olsen from denmark
hey again.This is Jesper from Denmark. We still miss your restaurant ! The food was amazing, and YES, the service was on top ! NADINE, miss you so much in Denmark...... see you...

Very Disappointed, 2/11/2005

Had friends visiting from San Diego, both had read a review in the motorclub magazine, so they wanted to try Elements. The hostess was rude, our food took 45 minutes to come to the table. We had to send back two dishes to be re-cooked. . . that took another 20 minutes! Overall service was apathetic, When we asked to speak to an owner or manager, the server told us there was no owner present and a manager would be right over. We waited 15 minutes and no one came to the table! We did not quite understand what the problem was because the retaurant was not that busy. On a positive note, the location is quite nice and the dining room is beautiful. Our suggestion is not to believe the hype.

overrated, 2/3/2005
Reviewer: todd borden from santa barbara
they seem to have read their own publicity and are treating the rank and file customer poorly. we had a meal there and were underwhelmed. some people around us seemed to be treated more curteously; we did not know why; maybe it was my timex triathlon watch compared to my table neighbor´s baume and mercier. oh well, you win some you lose some.

the best ever restaurant ever for Danish trained eaters, 1/27/2005
Reviewer: jesper olsen from Denmark, Copenhagen
we came three nights in a row - we have never had better food ! The chef Paul was amazing and honestly, his staff was service minded as hell ! perfect experience !!! congratulations, may we come again someday ! I might bring one of your staff members to Denmark, guess who !

great ambience, 1/21/2005

Very pleasant lunch location. Food was fresh and tasty, but service extremely slow. I hope this incarnation of this location makes it!

Better than I could have hoped for, 1/19/2005
Reviewer: Kisha from Santa Barbara
I was told to pick a restaurant for my boyfriend´s parent´s 35th anniversary; the pressure was on! After reading some of the less favorable reviews (slow service, etc.) I had some reservations (ha!ha!) when chosing elements, however, we couldn´t have been more impressed. I loved the way it looked (awesome wrought iron chandeliers, orchids, ect.); I loved all the unique touches (the way the butter is served in a mini ramekin with rosemary, how champagne is poured into something similar to bud vases); the service was impeccable (we had Don who I will remember to request in the future and I have never requested a server in my life, meals were delivered quickly and at the right temps, water and bread refills were frequent, silverware was replaced quietly and rapidly); and the foooooood....ohmigosh!!! I had the Ahi, but between us we had four apps, four salads, four entrees, one dessert, and one cappuccino so I feel we really had a good sampling of the menu. We were jokingly rating everything during the night and serioulsy we gave a ten to everything. None of us used the restroom so I can´t comment on that, but I would hope that no one would let one of those less favorable reviews disuade them from dining at elements. While I will have to save some money before I can return (not cheap, but not unusually high) I can´t wait to go again!!! I am not exaggerating when I say it was the best restaurant experience I have ever had!!!

Overall Great Experience, 1/7/2005

We´ve dined several times at Elements. Each visit the food has been fabulous. The atmosphere is very warm and inviting and the staff has always been friendly and accommodating. The location is great with views of the courthouse. Our dining experiences have always been positive and we would highly recommend Elements.

Essential Elements, 1/3/2005

My husband and I tried Elements (for the third time) over the holidays while visiting friends and I have to say that it was exceptional! We visited Elements when it first opened and I have to say that it was a bit pretentious with the previous Manager in place. It could have just been the opening atmosphere... On our recent visit, the food was spectacular, the staff were very kind and courteous and the price was right. What more could you ask for? We will definately visit Elements again on our next trip to SB.

Something is different!?!, 12/19/2004
Reviewer: Tom from SB
I´ve been to Elements twice in the past two weeks and something is different. Both the service and the food quality has dropped dramatically recently. After speaking to a few friends who have had similar bad experiences, we discovered the original manager who built the place is no longer a part of the place! It´s too bad the place showed promise . . .

Things Have Changed?, 12/16/2004

I went there several times in its first few months of operation and it was fantastic. Great service, ambiance, menu, bar. Recently seems that service has dipped. Heard the original manager left (?). Excellent location across from SB Courthouse. I will try again in the new year.

Awesome food and great service......, 10/29/2004

My husband and I tried Elements last night. WOW! We had such a great time. Started out with a martini at the bar and finished with a delicious dinner. My husband had the Pork Chops and I had the halibut. The flavors were out of this world! It´s so nice to have a place like this in our neighborhood. We´re bringing our friends in next week to check it out.

Not impressed, 10/27/2004
Reviewer: Kayte from Santa Barbara, Ca
Tried drink and appetizers. Nice atmosphere but products were so-so. A lot of people reccommended trying elements, but honestly I prefer to go to someplace I can rely on for Happy Hour where I have never been dissapointed, try Brophies, or Blue Agave or Chad´s, I was not impressed with elements. Maybe dinner would be better.....

Average ;unch-maybe dinner is better, 10/26/2004

Went for lunch and the service was very slow but the waitress was very nice and did her best. The portions and presentation was ok but the flavors could be improved. The sauces on the sandwiches were not flavorful-Keeping working at it. Maybe I´ll try it for dinner, but I got the impression that the bar was more important than the food? This place could use some refining.

Bad Element, 10/20/2004

Last week while my famliy was visiting from S. America, I wanted to take them to this new restaurant. I had heard really good things about it. I work in the restaurant business, and I understand how things work. We got to the restaurant and were told there would be an hour wait. No prolem....After we agreed to an hour wait, however the hostess said "actually it´s an hour and a half." After we agreed to wait she changed her story again, this time it was two full hours for a table. We agreed to wait, and asked if we could enjoy a bottle of wine on the patio, while waiting for the table. The hostess gasped with frustration at my request. I wasn´t demanding a table, or requesting the manager, I wanted to have a glass of wine. This girl really made me feel uncomfortable and embarrassed in front of my family. She made us feel like we were putting her out. After all that we decided to go somwhere else. Often, new restaurants get very busy here in SB. The managers need to inform staff memebers how fleeting it might be. There is nothing more off putting than a SBCC dropout, that got a job by chance as a hostess and thinks she´s working the door at the Palladium on a Saturday night. First impressions are the longest lasting, my first impression of Elements was the hostess, and she really blew it. We won´t be back.

Yum!, 9/20/2004
Reviewer: Sue from Santa Barbara, CA
Went to Element´s for the first time after hearing rave reviews from several of my friends-- boy were they right! It is the most picturesque spot for a restaurant in town besides being near the ocean. I felt comfortable inside with the warm decor and the inviting music. The food was imaginative, delicious, and a good value. I thought the wine list was diverse without being overwhelming,although I opted for a signature elementini which was made perfectly. The service was professional and thourough. It is my new fav in town, and I recommend it highly!

Overall very good, 9/19/2004
Reviewer: Terry from Santa Barbara, CA
Ambiance is trendy and appealing although a little loud. The entree’s were very good (pork chop and filet mignon). Caesar salad was so so and the buffalo carpaccio was also good. Service was friendly though slightly slow. The dessert was good (5 spice peach tart). They don´t have decaf espresso yet and also don’t have decanters for wine. We brought our own bottle and were charged a reasonable $15 corkage. The overall cost for dinner was very reasonable ($100 for two before gratuity). Overall I’d say the food, service, and ambiance were all good, but the overall value was very good. We would definitely return for another meal but wouldn’t rush back.

New Upscale Hot Spot!!, 9/10/2004
Reviewer: Dean from SB
I stumbled across this restaurant the other day. The atmosphere was great, the food was excellent and there was a nice view of the courthouse from the patio. Prices were a little pricey, but the quality of food made it worth it. Service was great as well. It´s also a great place to go for a drink at the bar. One of my top 5 places in SB!

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