About The Lark - Santa Barbara
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.
Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates, American
Hours of Operation:
5:00 p.m. - Closing Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Late Night Bar Menu available
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Complimentary valet parking available or use nearby street parking. Substantial parking is available at the Santa Barbara train station, just a block away.
Enjoy a train ride to Santa Barbara from southern or northern California and meet us at The Lark. No driving required.
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: email@example.com
The Lark - Santa Barbara Ratings and Reviews
One if the best meals I've had in a long ...
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.
My husband and I were on vacation in San ...
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.
Food excellent wine a bit pricey. Ordere ...
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.
Dont understand all the great reviews - ...
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!
Just such a creative menu. While some th ...
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.
This place was cool because of the atmos ...
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.
Better than ever. We loved everything we ...
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.
Dining at The Lark was definitely an int ...
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.
Liked the restaurant as it's a hot spot ...
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.
I'm finally writing a review after eatin ...
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.
After reading the reviews I had high hop ...
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..
This was a great restaurant and great fo ...
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!
Trendy atmosphere in a great location. ...
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 .
Fresh ingredients, creative presentation ...
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.
"Exceedingly rushed and borderline rude" ...
"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.
Overall our party had a very good time a ...
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.
Superb! Very creative menu; well execute ...
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.
The Lark is outstanding. It has outstan ...
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
The whole experience was just great from ...
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!
The Lark came highly recommended, which ...
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.
Went here with 3 friends so four of us a ...
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.
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