On our way back home, my mom and I decided we would drive through Santa Barbara. We got there a little bit after 1PM and we were ready for some lunch. I remember wanting to try out a place that Rachel Ray featured several years back when she used to shoot $40 a Day. Luckily, I found the restaurant and decided to give it a try.
Since this was featured on TV, but on a budget show, I had high hopes for a delicious, yet affordable meal. I was afraid it was going to be too touristy, but there are also many locals who come to eat here.
Here is what their special menu for the day looked like.
We did have to wait a bit for the lunch rush crowd to finish, but once they did we grabbed a seat in front of the kitchen. It was so much fun watching the cooks do their thang. Can you believe the size of those spider crabs in the background? On a side note, I saw one of the cooks literally melt a stick of butter in a pan to make the sauce of something. That’s when I got a little worried but excited at the same time.
The lady sitting next to us at the counter was raving about their clam chowder so I just had to try a cup. It was pretty awesome. Get this . . . they added bacon in it! Yup. Bacon. The only thing I did not like was that there were some clumps of something spongy that I can’t remember the name of right now. There was just the right about of clams in the chowder and wasn’t overly creamy.
When my mom saw that they were serving abalone, she quickly made up her mind. If abalone is not cooked properly, it will become tough and rubbery. Man oh man! This was cooked to perfection. It was so tender that you didn’t even have to use a knife to cut it. It was like eating a huge clam soaked in butter and the taste buds were very satisfied.
I was in pasta mood so I went for the lobster pasta. There were bits of lobster on top so I was wondering if I made the wrong choice because I didn’t see too much of it. But then I struck the motherload as I did some rummaging throught the pasta. I literally found a bed of lobster at the bottom of my plate. I really felt like doing a happy dance! Again, it tasted very buttery and I didn’t care one bit how many calories that meal cost me.
After paying the bill we walked along the pier that the restaurant in located on, took some pictures, and stopped by an ice cream shop for dessert.
If you ever visit Santa Barbara (The American Riviera), you have to check this place out. I highly recommend it and would love to go back to try out more of what The Santa Barbara Shellfish Company has to offer.
Food: 4.7 / 5
Service: 4.5 / 5
Atmosphere: 5 /5