Though Enterprise’s menu focuses solely on seafood, the offerings are still diverse. The fresh fish dishes include British Columbian salmon sweetened with a Coca-Cola barbecue glaze, Costa Rican mahi-mahi topped with toasted macadamia nuts, and basa swai paired with citrus jasmine rice and Asian slaw. Seafood also bulks up pastas and sandwiches, and the dessert roster presents molten chocolate cake and key-lime pie.
Upon entering Enterprise, patrons may feel as though they’ve waded onto an immense sailboat. A blue-green marlin perches above the bar, and ship wheels and colorful buoys hang on the walls. Dock lights hook over each table, and an old-fashioned diving suit with a bronze helmet stands above the open grill, haughtily asking patrons how many leagues they can go under the sea.
Owners Tom and Alin Prom source fruits and vegetables for their Thai and Laotian dishes from farmers' markets and harvest fresh lemongrass and galangal from the Alin's sister's local garden. The fresh ingredients come together in elaborate salads, curries, and meat dishes with the option of vegetarian substitutions. After flavor, presentation is paramount: papaya salad piles upward in a delicate tower, and pineapple fried rice arrives in a hollowed pineapple or in the midst of a pineapple bush. Floral arrangements, Southeast Asian artwork, and golden tablecloths complement the colors of vibrant lunch and dinner entrees.
When Don Disraeli and his wife, Randee, turned their attention to seafood retail in 1983, they considered more than their love of tasty fish. Drawing upon his PhD in Biology and her stint as a Scripps Institute of Oceanography researcher, the duo worked to ensure that each aspect of their business would be environmentally sustainable. Those standards are still upheld today, as Kanaloa Seafood remains one of the only North American and European seafood companies environmentally certified by the International Organization of Standardization.
Environmentally responsible fisheries supply the Disraelis with sushi-grade fish, which cutters clean and slice behind large viewing windows at Kanaloa Seafood’s Santa Barbara and Napa storefronts. The succulent cuts are then sustainably packaged inside recyclable corrugated boxes. Every Monday to Friday, guests can procure fish ranging from wild-caught black cod to Hawaiian ahi tuna. Patrons who are unsure of what to pick from the vast assortment will be greeted by a knowledgable staff member who will assist in picking out an ideal choice. Kanaloa Seafood also distributes a variety of marinades, rubs, oils, and sauces, as well as prepared dishes from the staff chef.
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.
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.
At Relais de Paris, guests nestle in a cozy dining room modeled after a 19th-century French brasserie. With its rich woods and exposed bricks, the decor expertly balances simplicity with refinement. This approach to interior design mirrors the eatery's treatment of food, which chefs craft from all-natural meats and local organic produce. Dishes range from black mussels steamed in white wine to free-range chicken dressed in the house sauce, which is made from a secret recipe that, like a grandparent's phone, hasn't change a bit since 1959. Even though pours of red and white wine can complement any lunch or dinnertime bite, bartenders such as Shaun Belway?winner of the Santa Barbara Independent's second annual cocktail contest?also mix tasty libations including the French Quarter, a blend of bourbon, vermouth, and three types of bitters.