A and J Limousine chauffeurs intrepid travelers, tours, partiers, and wedding groups through the Santa Barbara area in the spacious, entertainment-enhanced environs of its large limousine fleet, with packages ranging in price from $100 to around $800. Birthday celebrations and bachelor partiers slugging Kool-Aid can usher in the event in the cavernous Super Stretch limo, an elegant, elongated vessel that comfortably entertains 10–14 passengers. Large groups and small countries can opt for the 14- to 16-capacity Lincoln Navigator limo, an enormous entertainment center on wheels that raises a full-chrome mirrored ceiling above passengers and lays a lighted dance floor below them, accompanying the heart-thumping music blossoming from 20 sub-woofed speakers. Airport-bound ascenders stretch their legs in the corporate sedan, a Town Car driven by a professional, fully uniformed driver who is prompt, punctual, and wearing a second, smaller hat underneath his visible one.
At first glance, the menu of Restaurant Open might appear simple and static with a selection of sandwiches and burgers. This, however, is only half of the story. Each day, the restaurant's chefs post daily specials, and here is where the restaurant shines. Not only do they "freestyle" improvised, off-the-menu dishes after conversing with patrons, but they also mingle in nearby markets and chat up vendors, looking for interesting ingredients to convert into the specials for that day's morning and afternoon. A quick browse through a photostream shows off delectable selections. Tri-tip filets sizzle on a grill, ready to be cut and put into tortas, sandwiches, or the mouths of passersby. Noodles swirl with veggies and sesame oil to be converted into lo mein, while fresh cuts of fish and whole lobsters rest on ice. Other specials—detailed on the restaurant's whiteboard—include meatball sandwiches and honey batter-dipped corn dogs.
As the sun slowly sinks in the sky, painting the horizon in brilliant pinks and golds, a fire pit, electric heaters, candles, and twinkling lights cast a warm glow over patrons dining on the outdoor patio at Boathouse at Hendry's Beach. Below, waves gently lap the shoreline, carrying the unmistakable aromas of sea spray and Spanish doubloons up into the air. Large plate windows inside the dining room line one entire wall, flooding the space with natural light and presenting guests with a clear view of the water.
Boathouse at Hendry's Beach’s chefs embrace their setting by forging a seasonally rotating menu that can include local catches, such as spiny lobster and dungeness crab. Mesquite-grilled yellowtail and panko-crusted Alaskan halibut with a pineapple-ginger salsa demonstrate the chefs' dedication to imbuing the ocean-fresh seafood with new, vibrant flavors. Beyond the maritime offerings, the menus also feature grilled steaks, roasted free-range chicken, and a selection of breakfast staples, including eggs benedict with citrus hollandaise sauce and a pair of poached eggs over dungeness-crab cakes.
With an adventurous spirit and love for California's central coast, Captain Jack began his tour company to give him a platform to share his passion with others. After gathering the best team of tour guides he could find, each exhibiting the same enthusiasm and upbeat outlook he has, he devised tours that got people outdoors to experience physical activities such as kayaking the sea caves at Channel Islands or paragliding over Santa Barbara's verdant, rolling landscape. The tour ideas he has in mind know no bounds, involving everything from wine-tasting tours and glider rides to whale watching, sailing, and fishing the deep sea for the sneakers that fell out of Davy Jones's locker. To ensure safe and memorable outings, Captain Jack backs up his guides and tours with required licenses, insurance, and years of experience in various backgrounds.
Upscale yet unpretentious, like a hood ornament in the shape of Morgan Freeman, Coast Restaurant offers landlubbers a comfort food menu that avails itself of Santa Barbara’s aquatic adjacency. Local farms and wharfs supply ingredients, and a raw bar stocks recently netted oysters, clams, crabs, and shrimp. Dip a toe into the local rock fish, pan-roasted with brussel sprouts and roasted onions ($25), or dive delicately into the crab cakes, with poquillo peppers, local citrus salad, and a smoked paprika vinaigrette ($14). Sea-shunners can shimmy toward the popular tortilla soup, with avocado, chicken, poblano chiles, and cheddar cheese ($9), letting Coast’s warm wooden furniture and soft lighting belly-dance captivatingly across pleasure receptors.
At Zagat-rated Seagrass, chef Robért Perez prepares coastal cuisine with seafood sustainably fished from the Pacific Ocean. Top-shelf ingredients get a creative twist in entrees such as jumbo diver scallops with apple-smoked bacon, wilted rainbow chard, and a vanilla-and-cardamom-infused sauce. At times, Perez creates a fresh culinary experience by fusing cooking methods. The Muscovy duck breast, for example, is both seared and smoked, and the black cod is sautéed before being poached in butter. An abundant wine list, representative of Santa Barbara's diverse wine country, keeps pairing from becoming a tiresome chore like washing the dishes or organizing all the kids’ sweaters by mouthfeel. Inside the dining room, the eponymous seagrass covers the walls, and vaulted ceilings soften conversational sounds.