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/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), 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
We were extremely disappointed. The food ...
We were extremely disappointed. The food was far from delicious. We had the grilled octopus which was burnt - I mean really, really burnt. Same goes for the cauliflower which came with it. On top of that the entire dish was over salted. We could not finish it.
As a second course we had the gnocchi. The sauce would have been nice if it had not been over salted again. The same goes for the fries.
Our waiter was very very nice in the beginning. After he had taken our order he was however not seen again. He rather chatted along with a bigger group of guests on another table. He never asked us if we were happy with our food. He only returned to get us the check. When he realised that we had not been happy with our food and his service he obviously realised that there was no chance for a big tip. He could therefore not be less bothered to at least appear to care about us. He rather threw us a very short good bye without even looking at us. He then took off....
The manager took the octopus off the check which was nice of him. Also, he was very sorry that we did not enjoy our experience.
We loved the wine room before dinner wit ...
We loved the wine room before dinner with the charcuterie platter. The gal behind the bar was delightful and helpful with our selections.
Dinner dining: our servers seemed very rushed and no one checked how we liked our dinners. The lamb was terrible-very over seasoned, no meat, couldn't eat any of it. The specialty cocktails were overpriced for what we received-nothing special. The sea bass was good but had a lot of beans added to it that weren't needed. Piece of fish was good, however.
The pre-dinner experience made the whole evening worth the time.
This is a glorified bar. Albeit a good ...
This is a glorified bar. Albeit a good bar. Food extraordinarily salty. Maybe they want people to drink more? But the patrons most likely don't notice the fussy salty food because they're happily distracted by the scene.
First the good: our server was outstandi ...
First the good: our server was outstanding in every way, and the food tasted quite good. The meal was adventurous in its combination of flavors and showed a genuine skill in its preparation. Also it was really easy to use OpenTable to make a reservation.
Now the mediocre: both of our meals were pitifully small in proportion, and I am not a big eater in any stretch of imagination. Don't go there if you're hungry! Also the menu is surprisingly limited and rather strange, but maybe if you're a wealthy foodie you won't mind those things.
Now the bad: their beer list is embarrassing. It's short, risk-averse, and cheap. They sit surrounded by craft brewers of superb quality and they reach hundreds of miles away for cheaply made bottles and blasé tap selections. Inexcusable!
i've frequented here in the past and hav ...
i've frequented here in the past and have always enjoyed the food AND service. this last visit the service was a complete miss - in the bar, at least. table service was lovely as our server was very attentive and took care of us well. although my only complaint once seated was the excruciating wait for the food. we ordered many items and the time between plates was ridiculous. considering people arriving after us were getting their food before us - and many of the same dishes.
the bar was the real problem. the total a-hole bartender made my date and i two cocktails. they weren't even full (in tiny glasses for $16/each). one glass had noticeably less than the other and when i asked the bartender why he said "it's the same amount" and "how do i know you didn't drink some?" when i hadn't even taken them from the bar. then he said "you can pour some out of one into the other to make them even" - yes, this was a full service restaurant with a bartender too important to care about the customer enough to make $32 worth of cocktails the right way.
i complained to the floor manager who had them remade which was great. there was a mention to "make things right" when we are seated and get our food. the only thing "right" was the food/drinks we ordered as being charged as-is. so not sure what was done to compensate us for the embarrassing experience - which it was. and it's exactly why i will not return. and my friends who recommended this place and have gone for a long time will also not be returning. too many great places in SB to visit, especially for out of town frequent visitors like us.
the restaurant made no attempt to accomm ...
the restaurant made no attempt to accommodate our request for a larger table. That is understandable, but the food was overly seasoned and very disappointing. I think they are a bit arrogant given their popularity. Servers were fine but management was non engaging
This was our first time at the Lark and ...
This was our first time at the Lark and OpenTable allowed us to make the reservation 3 days in advance. Although we live in Santa Barbara, we were late due to unusually slow traffic on a Thursday. We called and they said they would give us a 15 minute grace period, and we just did make it! The free valet parking helped on our time as well as it is so often difficult to find a parking spot nearby.
There were a good variety of mixed drinks but only bottled beer (I had The Great Divide IPA), which went well with the nicely prepared boneless short ribs. The crispy brussel sprouts appetizer was especially good.
I would definitely go again.
Not a kid-friendly restaurant. We had a ...
Not a kid-friendly restaurant. We had a 9-month old baby and brought our own bottle warmer. We needed only a plug in and the staff acted like that we were requesting a very odd and usually difficult request. Eventually we were told there was a plug-in behind another couple seated near us but we were told we couldn't possibly disturb them! I worked as a restaurant manager in a high-end resort and know that most people are more than happy to accommodate such a simple request. I approached the people and they were very kind. However, none of the plug-ins worked! We had been told that we couldn't possible ask the kitchen either. It was quite a struggle for us to accomplish this simply request! We had been to many restaurants in the area and many wineries and had no problem whatsoever. It was clear that the staff was not used to this and did not care to accommodate us. Eventually a very nice - possibly food runner - who had children himself came to our rescue and saved the night.
Loved the brussels sprouts appetizer and ...
Loved the brussels sprouts appetizer and salad with blue cheese and bacon lardons. They were both excellent. Did not like the hamachi (no texture, weird flavor profile; although the fish was very fresh). The roast chicken entree was just ok. Disappointed that the much publicized deviled eggs were not available (we were told that they were working on a new recipe). Also, no IPA available as were were informed that the line blew out. When we left my wife mentioned we never got popcorn which I recalled seeing on other peoples tables. Lastly, the pacing of the food was rushed. We were finished with our meal and drinks (2 rounds and no dessert) in 1 hour and 15 minutes.
I should note that the staff was very accommodating for a gluten allergy with a depth of knowledge on the issue.
We were on vacation in Santa Barbara and ...
We were on vacation in Santa Barbara and I had read about The Lark and it sounded fun, so we decided to check it out. It was good, but nothing special, really. Our service was really mediocre...friendly but inattentive and not especially helpful in picking out menu items. The food was good, but not exceptional. It could be what we picked, but we didn't get much guidance for that. The oysters were excellent, the brussel sprouts and sea bass were good, but not excellent. Has the potential to be a relaxing and fun place - really beautiful outdoor patio, but honestly, we have been to better restaurants of this style and supposed caliber. I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it, but I wouldn't go out of my way to say "Don't go there."
First time to The Lark and it was everyt ...
First time to The Lark and it was everything we anticipated. We LOVED the Brussels sprouts! Short ribs were more like slices of a tri tip without a bone in sight. "Ribs"were served with fresh tomatillo salsa and tomatoes on a plank. Like our server David said, "its like summer on a plate. "
We shared several items between five people and were impressed with everything but the Sea bass which just didn't come together like the other dishes. Presentation of the dishes are photo worthy of you can pause long enough before diving in. Oh, and save room for desert!
Outdoor patio is a good choice if you want to have a conversation as the bar area gets very crowded and loud.
Always an amazing treat. This would be o ...
Always an amazing treat. This would be our 3rd time at The Lark. When we come up from Pasadena to see a concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl we always try to get a reservation here.
Top notch, knowledgeable and well trained staff. We only have one complaint... We can't come here more often enough.
Good food presentation. My Entree dish-F ...
Good food presentation.
My Entree dish-Fish-was not good. Fish was very fresh but the broth and combination of veggies were not good. Dessert was not impressed.
It's kind of weird that all your wait staffs introduced same appetizers to most of the tables. Every table has Brussel Sprouts.
My new favorite restaurant in California ...
My new favorite restaurant in California!!! My husband and i went there to celebrate our anniversary and they surprised us with a beautiful post card and bubbles on the house. The service was great, friendly and nice as always.
The food: Amazing!!!
We didn't just choose this restaurant for our anniversary, I have to say, we also got married there a year ago.
I know there's only 5 stars i could give, but this place deserves 10.
I made the reservation online. When the ...
I made the reservation online. When the host called back to confirm the reservation I explained how special this dinner was for us ( 3 birthday celebrations).I had been to the lark once before and thought it was unique and worth such a big moment. Looks like the booking staff didn't think it was even worth mentioning. Imagine my disappointment when at my check in I realized no note was mentioning that occasion... I had to tell them again about the birthdays, they kind of brushed me off sending us to the table... Dinner went well. Then we ordered desert: no candle on it. I felt so bad for my parents we were eating that plain regular desert while watching the table right next to us enjoying their birthday celebration with a candle on theirs. When I saw that we were not treated as fairly as the others I asked to talk to the manager who never came. The waitress did talk to us and she was very nice but no manager. Overall good food and good service but very poor communication. Either they need to work on management and host training or maybe we were not important enough to be worth the celebration...
Pricey but worth it. Our waitress didn't ...
Pricey but worth it. Our waitress didn't seem to really like us, but the other servers were really friendly! They forgot to give us the fancy popcorn so they wrapped some up in a to-go box, which was really nice. Food was different and excellent.
Food was amazing. Great feel and vibe to ...
Food was amazing. Great feel and vibe to the restaurant and the service was courteous, responsive and very friendly. Food was inventive, creative, bursting with so many flavors. It was such an enjoyable evening, we went back for a double dose of heaven 2 days later. Honestly, we could have spent the night and had breakfast there if it were available.
This was our third time at Lark. We enj ...
This was our third time at Lark. We enjoyed our first visits to check out the newest, most popular restaurant in town. It was very impersonal, starting with the waitress telling us we had to order everything we wanted at one time "to help out the kitchen"......no adding on if we were still hungry. The very expensive glass of wine was very disappointing - beer on tap disappointing - extremely busy, guests a little drunk and noisy. The overall feeling was of getting us in and out as quickly as possible. Too touristy for a couple of locals.
Trust the reviews! This place is great. ...
Trust the reviews! This place is great. So glad that they opened up more reservation spots on Sunday evening. Check Open Table a couple hours before you go if you didn't get a reservation earlier. I checked an hour prior and was able to get a spot that evening.
Excellent service. Food was above averag ...
Excellent service. Food was above average, except for the sou vide octopus which was somewhat flavorless and could have done with some more seasoning, and perhaps a little time on the grill after the sou vide bath. The lavender ink sauce was tasty.
Went on our weekly night out with sister ...
Went on our weekly night out with sister & friends at my cousins request, she had never been. Had a wonderful time deconstructing menu items and thinking of incorporating into everyday cooking at home. Would go again when I didn't mind spending too much money
Amazing food--the flavor profile in each ...
Amazing food--the flavor profile in each dish was just incredible. As they brought the various small plates to the table for our sharing, we could not wait to taste the absolute deliciousness and creativity with which the dishes were prepared. This restaurant is a must for anyone who loves small plates and great flavors, with innovation!
The food was bad, we tried three entrées ...
The food was bad, we tried three entrées, short rib, shrimp/oysters, and gnocchi. All recommended by the server. They all just tasted horrible. The Brussel sprout appetizer was good however. This restaurant was highly recommended from a friend, however, we were very disappointed. The couple next to us was saying the same thing, they were displeased with all their choices. I have never complained about food, I'll eat anything. Averaging $30 dollars a dish, I expected it to at least be edible.
Went here on a friends recommendation wh ...
Went here on a friends recommendation when we were visiting. We were very happy with the entire night. The atmosphere was great, service was great, and most importantly to us, the food was incredible and well priced. The portions were bigger than we expected too. My wife and I shared 4 dishes (the brussel sprouts, wedge, beets, and half chicken). This was more than enough. They make a mean old fashioned too! Definitely recommend this for all around dining experience.
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