About The Lark - Santa Barbara

131 Anacapa St. Suite A
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
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The Lark pays homage to the history of California train travel and tributes the treasured and long gone Santa Barbara Fish Market, built in the 1920’s as a commercial fish processing plant, shipping their seafood products throughout the state by rail. With an imaginative yet approachable menu created by the gifted Jason Paluska, The Lark celebrates everything found around Santa Barbara County – wineries, farms, ocean and natural beauty. The stunning design strives to connect to the past and the future, using discovered objects from the past and blending them with modern, urban and industrial materials to spectacular effect.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates, American

Hours of Operation:
Dinner:
5:00 p.m. - Closing Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Late Night Bar Menu available
CLOSED MONDAY

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(805) 284-0370

Website:
http://www.thelarksb.com/

Parking Details:
Complimentary valet parking available or use nearby street parking. Substantial parking is available at the Santa Barbara train station, just a block away.

Public Transit:
Enjoy a train ride to Santa Barbara from southern or northern California and meet us at The Lark. No driving required.

Executive Chef:
Jason Paluska

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Contact our Special Events Director at 805.284.0370 or email Sarah Zwisler: szwisler@acmehospitality.com

Restaurant Photos

  • The Lark - Santa Barbara
  • The Lark - Santa Barbara
  • The Lark - Santa Barbara
  • The Lark - Santa Barbara
  • The Lark - Santa Barbara
  • The Lark - Santa Barbara
The Lark - Santa Barbara
The Lark - Santa Barbara
The Lark - Santa Barbara
The Lark - Santa Barbara
The Lark - Santa Barbara
The Lark - Santa Barbara

The Lark - Santa Barbara Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.4

ambience

4.4

value

4.0

noise

Moderate

87% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Contemporary American
California Central Coast
Most Booked
California Central Coast
Fit for Foodies
Santa Barbara
2 More
Outdoor Dining
Santa Barbara
Most Booked
Santa Barbara
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Fit for Foodies (166)
Great for Outdoor Dining (143)
Hot Spot (119)
See All
Special Occasion (112)
Neighborhood Gem (90)
Good for Groups (80)
Romantic (68)
Vibrant Bar Scene (67)
Notable Wine List (44)
Creative Cuisine (20)
Good for a Date (19)
Local Ingredients (18)
Kid-friendly (15)
Late-night Find (15)
Casual (12)
Handcrafted Cocktails (12)
Family Style (12)
People Watching (11)
Good for Anniversaries (10)
Good for Birthdays (10)
Fun (10)
Seasonal (9)
Modern Decor (9)
Worth the Drive (8)
Bar Seating (8)
Tasting Menu (8)
Authentic (7)
Great for Lunch (7)
Tapas (6)
Great for Brunch (6)
Healthy (6)
Paleo Friendly (4)
Organic (4)
Fireplace (4)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Cozy (3)
Great Beer (3)
Outstanding Value (3)
Business Meals (3)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Open Kitchen (3)
Happy Hour (3)
Spicy (2)
Disabled Access (2)
Quiet Conversation (1)
Wood Oven (1)
Historic (1)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Vegan (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
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Our special occasion with seating for si ...

 
 (Orange County)
·Dined 2 days ago

Our special occasion with seating for six was perfect from beginning to end. Great service, wonderful food, great ambience on the patio. Server was attentive and recommendations were helpful. We will return.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Loved everything about it except for the ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined 4 days ago

Loved everything about it except for the service. Ambiance was really chic and the restaurant was very busy. Food was delicious. The waitress and the wait staff supporting her were not helpful or friendly.

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food5
ambience5
service2

One if the best meals I've had in a long ...

 
 (Phoenix)
·Dined 4 days ago

One if the best meals I've had in a long time. The hamachi, steak tartar, lamb ribs and gnocchi. They never missed a beat. Server was very polite, knowledgeable and made the experience enjoyable. Finished off with apple crumb dessert.

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food5
ambience5
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value5

The service was great Overpriced Food to ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined 4 days ago

The service was great

Overpriced

Food too seasoned

Good ambiance

Will not be on our favorite list

Tags: Local Ingredients
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food2
ambience3
service3
value1

My husband and I were on vacation in San ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined 4 days ago

My husband and I were on vacation in Santa Barbara for a week. Everyone we spoke to said we had to go to the Lark. We made reservation for our anniversary and were nervous it wouldn't live up to the hype. We were happy to say it did. We had the brussels sprouts , gnocchi and short rib. Enough for just the two of us and all were amazing. We did go for dessert since everything else was so good, we had to try. Dessert wasn't as good as the main meal but don't get me wrong, ate every last bite.

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food5
ambience4
service5

Food excellent wine a bit pricey. Ordere ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined 5 days ago

Food excellent wine a bit pricey. Ordered Brussels sprouts. Half cheese board and grilled octopus. Ended up cancelling octopus portions huge and meant for sharing. Would definitely give a second try for other food options.

Tags: Hot Spot
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food4
ambience4
service4
value2

Dont understand all the great reviews - ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined 5 days ago

Dont understand all the great reviews - everything we had tasted the same - they must use the same spices in every dish. We ordered the short ribs that were supposed to be marinated for 72 hours the meat was tough and chewy. A chicken dish was just okay and the gnocchi were horrible. Would not go back!

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food1
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value1

The food was very good and the service w ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on September 19, 2016

The food was very good and the service was wonderful. The noise level was high inside so we opted to sit outside and it was perfect, but if you like high energy then the interior is great.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
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service5
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Just such a creative menu. While some th ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on September 19, 2016

Just such a creative menu. While some things don't work, most of the dishes are so creative, unique and wonderful it makes exploring the menu worth it. Truly one of the best restaurants in the country. This is our third trip and we have tried about 9 Dishes 5 were excellent, 2 good, 2 ehh. However hands down one of the best.

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food5
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This place was cool because of the atmos ...

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on September 17, 2016

This place was cool because of the atmosphere but I thought the food was way overrated. The Ahi was so marinated in 5-spice that you could not even eat it, and the carrots were also not cooked well. I wouldn't go here for the food, but maybe just to drink.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Groups
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

Better than ever. We loved everything we ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on September 17, 2016

Better than ever. We loved everything we had.

Brussel sprouts of course but the wedge salad and the scallops were delicious as well. The were super busy and still everything was perfect. Good service and popcorn too.

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food5
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Dining at The Lark was definitely an int ...

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on September 17, 2016

Dining at The Lark was definitely an interesting experience to collect. The ambiance was lovely. The service was outstanding. My friend and I split an order of Brussels sprouts with bacon and dates which was heavenly, like nothing either of us has ever experienced. The Little Gem salad which we also shared was delicious. We ordered the Seared Ahi Tuna which was exquisitely prepared and served on seasonal Kabocha Squash. The presentation was exquisite. We will return for more, again and again.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Tasting Menu, Casual, Local Ingredients
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food5
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We've come here twice when visiting SB a ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 16, 2016

We've come here twice when visiting SB and it's always a delicious experience. Food is great and the staff is knowledgeable and friendly. Great date spot, or double date but not the best for large parties.

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food5
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Liked the restaurant as it's a hot spot ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on September 15, 2016

Liked the restaurant as it's a hot spot in the Funk Zone. Wish the menu was a bit more diverse. Our service was great when we arrived but got progressively worse as the restaurant filled up so we found ourselves hungry and eager to be fed after the first platters were served and finished. Our popcorn amuse bushe was very salty and rather in edible which was unfortunate as we'd had better on previous visits. Hoping some of these kinks get worked out. Love this new area in Santa Barbara.

Tags: Fun, Creative Cuisine
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food3
ambience3
service2
value3

Food is fantastic however the tables and ...

 
 (Las Vegas)
·Dined on September 15, 2016

Food is fantastic however the tables and chairs etc. are not very comfortable

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Healthy, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience2
service5
value5

Fantastic service and dog friendly. Good ...

 
 (Orange County)
·Dined on September 12, 2016

Fantastic service and dog friendly. Good place to come your well-behaved pups.

Tags: Family Style, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We had heard rave reviews about The Lark ...

 
 (Denver)
·Dined on September 11, 2016

We had heard rave reviews about The Lark and it turns out they were completely warranted, it is a wonderful restaurant!!! Your only disappointment will be that you could not eat more of the fabulous food!

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Healthy, Good for Groups, Handcrafted Cocktails, Worth the Drive, Family Style, Romantic, Local Ingredients, Cozy, Seasonal
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food5
ambience5
service5
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Amazing overall. Staff was very accommod ...

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on September 11, 2016

Amazing overall. Staff was very accommodating when we switched tables 3 times. Food was fabulous and large portions.

Would definitely return

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food5
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Chefs, especially young ambitious ones, ...

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on September 11, 2016

Chefs, especially young ambitious ones, feel they have to try so hard to stand out - it is disappointing when that is what stands out the most about a meal.

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food1
ambience3
service5
value3

I'm finally writing a review after eatin ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on September 11, 2016

I'm finally writing a review after eating here with regularity for the past few years.

The Lark is consistently wonderful. Me and my husband love this place, and we take all of our friends and family who come and visit us. It's always a highlight for our guests to eat here. Foodie friends who live and eat in New York City say The Lark is great! My Seattle friends too love The Lark, and Seattle is a city with lots of amazing chef-inspired restaurants.

I've never been disappointed in my 20+ dining experiences The Lark. In fact, I've only had great experiences every time, which I cannot say about anywhere else I dine, and I eat out regularly and at lots of different places.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Casual, Fit for Foodies, Modern Decor
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food5
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After reading the reviews I had high hop ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on September 10, 2016

After reading the reviews I had high hopes, but I was seriously underwhelmed. We were told the plates were for sharing, more like "tapas"- that's the type of food I'm used to, but I am used to smaller portions and higher quality (for reference... I love the John Dory in NYC, Gjelina, Bestia and Gjusta in LA, Sitka & Spruce, Restaurant Marron and The London Plane in Seattle). The flavors here were lacking- melon salad was enormous and melon had no flavor. Server even specified it was ambrosia melon and watermelon, so he knew his stuff, but neither were ripe. There was not enough acid to offset- not enough salt either. They paired with Ricotta Salata, but there's was particularly mild. Ricotta Salata usually is mild, but this was really mild and not salty enough. There is a reason people usually pair the melon salads with feta. They needed to add more salty brinyness- some botija olives, crunchy bits of sea salt, some tomatoes -all would have contrast to a (sweeter/more ripe) melo and to bring those melon flavors forward. It was an effort, just not very good.

The hamachi crudo with jicama was also a strange combo- the starchiness of the jicama overpowered the delicate hamachi crudo. The avocado mousse was so creamy it overwhelmed the hamachi. And that was the best dish, by far. My husband's gnocchi was insanely rich and heavy, the intense creaminess overpowering and drowning out the sea of the crab. The roe was lost. I probably won't return. Their sister restaurant, Lucky Penny was a good, really casual lunch spot (order at the counter), but if you're looking for a great meal, this isn't the spot.

This was a Friday night and the server was great, but they were seriously understaffed. Took ages to get my husband a glass of wine..

Tags: Fun
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food3
ambience4
service3
value4

This was a great restaurant and great fo ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on September 9, 2016

This was a great restaurant and great food. While the waiter was very attentive and helpful in making selections, it did take us over 20 minutes to get some water. The meal overall took a little longer than usual. Seemed like they were at a bit short staffed!

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food5
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service4
value5

Trendy atmosphere in a great location. ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on September 9, 2016

Trendy atmosphere in a great location. Our server was in a grumpy mood however was attentive enough to keep the wine glasses full. Great popcorn. Pimento spread was so spicy none of us could eat it. Scallops were pretty good if you don't mind them being cooked rare. Unique presentation of dishes. Don't go when you're really hungry as it is a tapas place .

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Tapas, Hot Spot, Spicy
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food2
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Fresh ingredients, creative presentation ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on September 7, 2016

Fresh ingredients, creative presentation, and much larger portions than expected. You MUST try the brussle sprouts and the wedge salad--comes with crispy bacon. Great for large groups because the portions are huge! Wonderful wine menu and the ambiance is intimate for a date, but a perfect set up for a large group. We were dressed up for a special occasion, but the vibe is more laid back.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fun, Notable Wine List, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine
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food5
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The visit of Santa Barbara is not complè ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on September 7, 2016

The visit of Santa Barbara is not complète of you are not diner to The Lark.

Tags: Good for Groups, Good for Birthdays, Great for Outdoor Dining, Late-night Find, Notable Wine List, Great Beer, Paleo Friendly, Hot Spot, Handcrafted Cocktails, Business Meals, Tapas, Healthy, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Romantic, Local Ingredients
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food5
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"Exceedingly rushed and borderline rude" ...

vip
 (Austin)
·Dined on September 3, 2016

"Exceedingly rushed and borderline rude" would be the way I'd describe our experience at this supposedly "fine" Santa Barbara restaurant. It certainly attracts a trendy, youthful crowd, but it was obvious that all of the staff was on overdrive to get us in, rush the food out to us, and get us out the door so they could flip the table on a busy weekend night.

After our visit, I would NEVER credit this place for a "enjoyable dining experience", and while the menu was inventive and the food exceptionally tasty, it came way too fast one on top of the other course to enjoy. I even asked the serving staff to "throttle it back" and nothing changed...until the second time I asked a little more sternly over the outrageously loud ambiance, and our two main courses came out FIFTEEN minutes apart. Rudeness doesn't warrant a return trip, and unfortunately while most of the food was delicious, the taste the serving staff left in our mouths was of total disappointment.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Hot Spot, Local Ingredients, Vibrant Bar Scene, Special Occasion
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
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Good service, great food. Brussels sprou ...

 
 (London)
·Dined on September 2, 2016

Good service, great food. Brussels sprouts surprisingly great.

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food5
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Overall our party had a very good time a ...

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on September 2, 2016

Overall our party had a very good time at Lark. The waitress was great with excellent suggestions about menu choices and amounts of food in the "shared dining" style of Lark.

Our greatest concern about the evening was the seating location. We arranged our reservation at opening (5:00 PM) and the restaurant was essentially empty at that time. We were seated in the direct sun without any options for shade other that shuffling next to each other to avoid the heat and direct sun exposure. I cannot understand why the staff would sit anyone at that table at that time of the evening. A weak attempt to raise an umbrella in the patio didn't offer any relief for the sun. There were a number of tables open for the entire time we were there. When we asked if we could move the staff declined our request stating the tables were reserved, yet no one sat at them for the 1+ hours we were eating! A suggestion would be to place a shade/blind on the adjacent door, or better yet don't sit folks at that table until the sun sets, then it would be a perfect place to have the great food.

Tags: Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
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Superb! Very creative menu; well execute ...

vip
 (Iowa)
·Dined on August 31, 2016

Superb! Very creative menu; well executed. The indoor outdoor ambiance is perfect for the cool Santa Barbara nights. Reservation was as 9:00 but the restaurant was still packed, which result in a half-cocktail wait time. Would definitely go back.

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food5
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Great creative food in a nice setting. C ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 31, 2016

Great creative food in a nice setting. Complimentary valet parking.

Tags: Historic, Bar Seating, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Fun, Worth the Drive, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Disabled Access
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food5
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The Lark is outstanding. It has outstan ...

vip
 (Baltimore)
·Dined on August 29, 2016

The Lark is outstanding. It has outstanding food, outstanding, accommodating service.

My husband is handicapped and the Lark went out of its way to accommodate him before our table was ready and after. It was our first big outting since surgery and it was delightful, easy and a great experience.

We have eaten at the Lark before and were just as pleased.

A pleased couple

Tags: Quiet Conversation
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food5
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The Lark is a unique dining experience i ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on August 29, 2016

The Lark is a unique dining experience in a town full of competition. I've been there four times and I continue to be delighted each time with the ever-increasing creativity of the dishes and their presentation.

Tags: Disabled Access, Hot Spot, Great for Outdoor Dining, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
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service5
value4

Restaurant is loosing its cachet. Overpr ...

vip
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on August 28, 2016

Restaurant is loosing its cachet. Overpriced, average service, presentable fine dining but has disappointed three times in a row.

Tags: Family Style
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food3
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service2
value1

Celebrated a birthday & everything was o ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on August 27, 2016

Celebrated a birthday & everything was outstanding! Great cocktails, wine, all the food was wonderful. Our server Sydney was amazing too. The Lark is must for any foodie going to Santa Barbara.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Casual, Wood Oven, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Gluten Free Options, Good for a Date, Seasonal, Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Organic, Fireplace, Modern Decor, Handcrafted Cocktails, Spicy, Molecular Gastronomy, Great Beer, Vibrant Bar Scene, Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups, Local Ingredients, Family Style, Tapas, Fun, People Watching, Paleo Friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic
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food5
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service5
value5

The whole experience was just great from ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on August 27, 2016

The whole experience was just great from the friendly valet taking the car to the welcome by the hostess to the wait staff to the ambiance to THE FOOD! I love interesting and creative food and when it tastes as good as it's presented it's even better. I am a local and can't believe that this was my first time there. For once, the hype matched the reality and I will definitely go back again!

Tags: Modern Decor, Hot Spot, Family Style, Business Meals, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Seasonal
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food5
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service5
value4

The food was very good, and our server w ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on August 27, 2016

The food was very good, and our server was outstanding!

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food4
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service5
value4

Very fun atmosphere with great food! Se ...

 
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on August 27, 2016

Very fun atmosphere with great food! Service was top...Excellent food..

The only negative we felt was our table was a bit close to enjoy a private conversation..

Tags: Tapas, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

Wonderful, beautifully presented cuisine ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on August 27, 2016

Wonderful, beautifully presented cuisine. Loved our evening here. Our server was gracious and attentive.

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food5
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The Lark came highly recommended, which ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 27, 2016

The Lark came highly recommended, which could be why it fell slightly short. The food is solid, although a bit too heavy on pork components. The server told us that they like to work down the menu with selections from each category but then served the items out of order. We ordered the muscles and shrimp among other items and I have to say the potatoes were over whipped to the point of being gummy. On the up side, the flavored popcorn was great (but you have to know to ask for it) and our daughter, a young foodie herself, ordered off menu and they graciously accommodated her request. The above leaves me at a 3 rating not great but not bad either, middle of the line.

Tags: Tapas, Casual
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food4
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Went here with 3 friends so four of us a ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 26, 2016

Went here with 3 friends so four of us and tried to order a main dish each, we were told by the waiter that we had ordered too much and we should order less, I explained we were hungry and 2 of our party wanted octopus, to which we were told that 1 octopus dish would serve four people. When the food arrived it was suprisingly small portions and clearly not enough, which for a sharing concept was odd! The 1 octopus dish contained hardly any octopus and we were lucky to get a small piece each, most of the dish was salad leaves and cauliflower. Overall just ok, ambience was nice and drinks were good but being told what we can order was strange, especially given the small portion sizes. We all left a little hungry after paying the $220 check. A trendy restaurant serving expensive small portions of food.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Fireplace, Paleo Friendly, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Organic
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food3
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