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The Ballard Inn
The Ballard Inn

The Ballard Inn Details

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.ballardinn.com
  • Email: innkeeper@ballardinn.com
  • Phone: (800) 638-2466
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Wednesday - Sunday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Californian, Fusion / Eclectic, Asian
  • Executive Chef: Budi Kazali
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Fireplace, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: We can prepare private dinners in your home or for events. Please call for details.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Alamo Pintado Rd.
  • Parking: Hotel Parking
A word from The Ballard Inn
The Restaurant at the Ballard Inn is considered by many to be among the best dining destinations in the Santa Ynez Valley. With just 12 tables, soft music, candle light, and a roaring fireplace, the atmosphere is intimate and inviting. Chef Budi Kazali's award winning French Asian cuisine is sure to please, with signature dishes such as Hamachi Sashimi with Soy-Yuzu Vinaigrette and Grilled Kurobuta Pork Belly . Our servers are eager to help guests to relax and enjoy what we hope is a memorable dining experience. They will help to navigate our extensive wine list, replete with local and international offerings, to select the perfect wine to compliment your meal.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "We have been there for 4 times and foods always so delicious. We will return to have dinner there again soon. Thanks!!😍 "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "I had one of the best meals I've had in a long time, and the 3 people I was with felt the same. I'm a foodie and a sommelier and I must say, everything was great at this place: amazing food, great service, a very nice reasonably priced wine list. We were celebrating an anniversary and a birthday and our server and the restaurant really made the occasion feel very special! Thank you Ballard Inn!!!"
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "It was a fabulous experience. Incredibly tasty food and lovely service. The Creme Brûlée was the best we've ever had! Would go back for a special occasion."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Had been looking forward to this experience for so long, but we were very disappointed, especially for the prices charged. The flavors were fine, but the presentation and unprofessional attitude of the server made for a disappointing evening. We won't go back. The server swore she served us the Arctic Char, but it was definitely not Char but the grouper instead. Finally she admitted it was the grouper and when we sent it back, she immediately returned with 2 orders of char that was barely warm. We're not stupid, don't try to fool us."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "My wife and I have dinned all over the Santa Ynez Valley and the Ballard Inn has been the best experience we've had in over 9 years of dining. The food was outstanding and the best surprise of all was the excellent service which I couldn't stop talking about with my wife (she finally told me to zip-it). I would highly recommend The Ballard Inn to anyone who enjoys excellent food and service!!! Nice job Ballard Inn!"
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "We went there for our 55th anniversary and thought the place was charming. The food was excellent . My husband and I had the sliced duck breast and was very tender and tasty. We also had the asparagus soup first and thought it to be nicely seasoned. The dessert was to die for. Chocolate cake (warm) think it had another name, but it was topped with homemade vanilla ice cream. Worth every calorie."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Something has gone horribly wrong with the servers/kitchen staff timing. Our two previous dinners here have come one course right on top of the other: I had to ask the person delivering my entree to take my salad plate away first because the table was too small to accommodate both plates; another time, I was not even finished with my appetizer when entree was delivered. This visit: we requested a brief 5 min. pause between courses, only to discover that it was one of those nights when the wait between courses was quite lengthy, so an eternity passed between courses, as was the case for the other tables around us (as happened to us about 3 and 4 visits ago). The food sparkles; we just wish the dining experience did, as well...as it used to!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Great food and service. Just wish the tables were a bit more spread out, felt a little cramped. Overall, great evening."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "Food was delicious and service was impeccable. The chef came out after our dinner to ask how everything was. We'll go back!"
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "The food was really good at this restaurant - Budi is an amazing chef! However, the ambience and the service leave something to be desired. There were may 20-25 people in the restaurant the entire time we were there, and yet, the service was very slow and lack luster. It's a shame because the food is amazing! For the caliber and the price of the food, they should invest more in their service!"
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "This was a very special evening for us. I was disappointed that when we arrived we had to wait 5 minutes for a hostess to seat us. We also requested bread three times before we received any. Other than those disappointments, the evening and dining was superb. I highly recommend the roasted butternut squash soup and sashimi for appetizers, as well as the succulent duck and rack of lamb for the main course. They were sublime."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "Without a doubt, this was the finest meal I have had when visiting the Santa Barbara area. Equal to the best in LA and NYC. A true pleasure! I rarely take the time to review or critique anything but this was such a fabulous meal I felt compelled to comment."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Possibly one of the best meals i've ever had. It felt like being served in the dining room of a friend's or family member's home. Very warm and cozy environment anchored by an inviting fireplace. i ordered the duck and it was a revelation. Perfectly prepared! My companion has the fish and he and i both thought it was amazing. Great local wines. Impeccable flavors and presentation. Ballard Inn was indeed a treat!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "I took my wife out to the Ballard Inn for Valentine's Day. The menu was a 4 course fixed price menu with optional wine pairings. Although the food was very good, and our server nice, the food took extremely long between courses. Also, with the wine pairing, our wine would be poured, and yet the food for that course came 30 minutes later. Meanwhile, we saw other tables get their wine actually with their food. The food and wine may have been worth the $120 each, but the service was not. Maybe this was because we were the youngest people in the restaurant."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We thoroughly enjoyed our 3 nights at the Ballard Inn. The special Valentine's Day dinner on Friday was the perfect start to a memorable birthday weekend. Early morning coffee, a very nice breakfast and delicious cookies hanging on our door at night were all a treat. Our bed was very comfortable too. My wife and I along with our daughter and son-in-law all had a great time. Thank you to all at the Ballard Inn."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "For our second trip to the Ballard Inn we had a late reservation on a Saturday. Dining room was busy, with a boisterous group dominating the room. Could have made for a really difficult evening, but the service, food and wine more than made up for a bit of inconvenience. I started with tempura oysters and followed with duck breast. Oysters were fabulous. Great taste and texture with nice accompaniments. Duck was perfectly prepared and delicious. Companion had the soup starter and loved it, followed with fish entree that she loved. Can't rave enough about the Ballard Inn. Great food complemented by the best service in a warm, cozy room at reasonable prices. Any chance you have to eat here... take it!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "This little restaurant was outstanding...everything from the ambience to the service was phenomenal. I rarely leave reviews but felt compelled to in this instance. My lady and I had a reservation here after a long day of wine tasting up in Solvang. We walked in and were seated next to the fireplace. We immediately commented on the intimate environment. The food was some of the best that I've had. We literally wanted to pay the chef a compliment in person. Appetizers were delicious, the wine was amazing, entrees out of this world, and the creme brûlée for dessert was off the charts! Overall, I rate this experience five stars and will be going back for sure. You have to try this little gem!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "If you ever get a chance to visit the Solvang/Los Olivos area, treat yourself to a wonderful evening at the Ballard Inn."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "The food was superb and the service was outstanding. It was a little cramped and the tables are very close together. It was a truly great fine dining experience in spite of the closeness."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "A great place to eat. Doesnt get any better. And Budi is an incredible person and chef."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Nice and quaint. Great food, great service. They should have a stricter dress code A classy place but some dressed like they came off the beach"
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "...of the Ballard Inn B&B! Best duck breast ever, delicious black cod, imaginatively selected sides, toothsome desserts. Chef and owner Kazali is a master, and has an empathetic approach to cooking: taste, not showmanship, is his priority and each fresh dish reaches its apex in his hands through thoughtful preparation and fine ingredients. We would return in a New York minute!"
    Dined on 2/5/2014
  • "Crowded, noisy, slow service, cheap coffe. Good entree, fair desert...won't be goin back."
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "Small(12 table) restaurant with white tabel cloths and fireplace. AMAZING food. Layers of flavors in every bite. I made so much noise responding to my tastbuds I was afraid the couple near us would complaine. WOW ..Ohhhh..yummmm...ooohhh....I did not want it to end......"
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "Intimate (12 tables) small quite restaurant with excellent food."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "We must have had at least three different servers but all of them were wonderful, attentive ladies. The teamwork here was obvious. The food was incredible. We'll be back."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "We live in the area and still always feel like it's a "getaway experience" to spend the evening at Ballard Inn Restaurant, enjoying the ambience and a terrific meal. The service had fallen off, quite despairingly, with Stacy on maternity leave but it was much improved the other night. The meals are always a treat. One wish: that the desserts, especially the ice cream, matched the quality, creativity and level of satisfaction that is experienced in the rest of the menu. Otherwise, Budi and his staff present an impressive spread!"
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "Great food, great service, great atmosphere, equals a great restaurant"
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Once a restaurant and chef receives great reviews, it can be hard to continually hit the mark. Our meal was prepared well and was of high quality. The service was far too slow, with significant gaps between courses. The dining room was only half full, so we suspect there was either a challenge in the kitchen or a breakdown in communication between our server and the chefs. The food seemed to have started cooling off before it made it to the table. Overall it was a good meal and we will give them another try. When reviews and price point are high, you expect a bit more. The ambiance of the Inn sets a great backdrop."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Wonderful, warm country inn. Food, presentation and service were all top-notch. Great spot for a romantic meal or special occasion - especially with the large fireplace and the ambiance."
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "Last year was the first time I stayed at Ballard Inn and I was disappointed to find out the restaurant was closed on Monday and Tuesday evenings, the only days I was there. This visit I looked forward to finally having dinner at the restaurant. The meal was simlply outstanding. I had the black cod prepared with mashed potatoes and Swiss chard, very delicious. My dining companions had the steak and the rack of lamb and they also loved their meals. I am looking forward to trying the duck on my next visit."
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "I am a sucker for history and this beautiful Inn is so romantic. The staircase that you see as you enter the lobby is beautiful. Dinner was wonderful. So romantic. The food was wonderful and our server was so sweet!"
    Dined on 12/18/2013
  • "My requests were met . The staff was very professional and as always Ben was great."
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "Our table was ready when we arrived. The dining room has a warm romantic setting. The food was outstanding. I started with the goat cheese and beet salad. The presentation was artistic, the salad delicious. My entree was Australian rack of lamb...cooked perfectly medium rare as ordered and served with an artistic flair. The lamb was mild and very tender...just right. For desert I enjoyed the house made sorbet...I had pineapple and mango...light and refreshing, a perfect ending to a perfect meal. Great service and a terrific dining experience. THANKS!!! What an evening...I can't wait to return. It's easily the best food I've had in the last couple of years and rates up there with some of my all-time favorites!! Enjoy."
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "went to Ballard Inn for the new year's eve dinner. This is our third time going to the Ballard Inn and we have never been disappointed. First the food is outstanding. I am usually not a big fan of fusion cuisine but Bud Kazali's cooking has always been spot on and this year was no exception. Furthermore the wine pairing is always interesting and excellent. I like that he tends to choose eclectic or local wines -this year he had a wine from New Mexico that made an already excellent dish even more appetizing. The service is always impeccable. The staff at the Ballard Inn have a way of always making you feel welcome -Chef Kazali will always come out from the kitchen and greet every table after the meal. It was simply a fantastic experience."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "As always the food is great. A very special place."
    Dined on 12/26/2013
  • "As usual, (we've eaten there a number of times) everything was just great!"
    Dined on 12/4/2013
  • "Our 27th wedding anniversary. Everything was outstanding. My husband enjoyed the special - bison for dinner. Since I don't eat meat, I had two choices - local black bass or mediterranean sea bass. Since I always try to eat local, I chose the local black bass. Expertly prepared. I wasn't sure I even liked black bass, but I sure do now. The service was also outstanding. Our server was patient, helpful, prompt, friendly and very kind. We will certainly return to this wonderful restaurant in the heart of the SB wine country. Highly recommend."
    Dined on 11/29/2013
  • "I had an out of town visitor and wanted to try something more than the usual local seen. What a lovely place and amazing food. This will be my special night out location."
    Dined on 11/21/2013
  • "While the decor isn't upscale, the food is out of this world. Truly outstanding and nice wine list."
    Dined on 11/8/2013