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  • The Dining Room at El Encanto

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The Dining Room at El Encanto
The Dining Room at El Encanto

The Dining Room at El Encanto Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.elencanto.com
  • Email: elencanto@elencanto.com
  • Phone: (805) 770-3530
  • Hours of Operation: Breakfast

    Monday - Saturday: 7:00am - 10:30am


    Sunday: 11:00am - 2:00pm


    Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 2:00pm


    Daily: 5pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, Californian
  • Executive Chef: Leo Andres Ayala
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, High Tea, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: Whether you’re celebrating a special birthday, hosting a retirement dinner or just because, The Wine Room is the perfect place to gather.

    Enjoy a custom menu in the warm and intimate setting. Sip perfectly paired wines from local vineyards and beyond.
  • Private Party Contact: Kelsey Best (805) 770-3717
  • Special Events & Promotions: Lush gardens and sweeping ocean views set a lovely scene for your wedding or gathering. From the wisteria-lined Arbor and Lily Pond to the elegant ballroom with exclusive patio, you can select from a variety of Belmond El Encanto’s signature locales to host your event. From rehearsal dinners to ceremonies to post wedding brunches, El Encanto offers the ideal venue.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Lasuen
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Complimentary for all restaurant guests.
A word from The Dining Room at El Encanto
Enjoy California coastal cuisine with a side of stunning ocean views.

The Dining Room features comfortable indoor seating and al fresco indulging on The Terrace. The Wine Room is the perfect venue for your private gatherings.

Light dining, sunset hour cocktails, extensive California wines by the glass and Afternoon Tea happen at The Lounge.

The Bar is your place for handcrafted cocktails complemented by live entertainment.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Diner Reviews
  • "Can't say enough about the service, food and atmosphere. Tucked up in the hills of Santa Barbara, the El Encanto dining room and hotel is among the best. Wonderful romantic get a way."
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "We were treated like royalty. Great service. Food was good. The salmon was a bit overcooked for my taste and it would be nice to have some rice or other starch with the meal, but presentation was very nice. The chocolate cake was yummy. Great coffee and beautiful china cups. Love the biscotti that came with coffee. Nice touch. The view and ambiance was stellar."
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "Up in the hills of Santa Barbara is a wonderful restaurant and hotel. We recently (4 of us) celebrated a birthday. I hadn't been to the El Encanto since it was remodeled. What a beauty. The lunch menu was varied. We all ordered different meals and all were delicious. The wait staff were vigilant and helpful. A great place for a special occasion"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "A beautiful location. Attentive service. Very accommodating for food restrictions"
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "Our party included a child and 2 babies, and the staff were accommodating by providing us what we needed: high chairs, bread (even if we had to ask a few times), kids' cups for water, etc. lunch was delicious, as usual, and we'll be back."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "For a magnificent panoramic setting with superior service, the El reigns supreme in town. As others have said, the newly extended patio is stunning and unique, and the service is attentive, efficient and super-polite. At first sight of the menu, the limited meat choices of chicken/beef/lamb/ribs may look unadventurous. And there's no pasta. But looks are deceptive. The garnishes add creativity and the execution of your everyday dish is excellent -- tasty and beautifully presented. Wines by the glass are also unadventurous and (like the food) pricey. But then, nowhere else compares."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "The El Encanto has been a part of the Rudolph family life for over 60 years, family parties, dinners, floating island desserts and even some childhood fishing in the pond. Coming for lunch this past week brought back many memories, and the ambiance is still the most wonderful in Santa Barbara. Yes, much has changed, but not glaringly so; the smell of the old building and its years of use are gone (a memory of days gone by) but its charm still prevails reminding you as you leave that you will be back again."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "The view from above the city of Santa Barbara is spectacular. And the redesigned and redecorated dining room is lovely. Airy, bright, windows all around. We are vegetarians, and the choices here were slim, downright pedestrian. El Encanto apparently lacks either the capability or the interest in offering anything other than the stock 2 veggie entrees. Table service was almost intrusive; too much attention from too many differing levels of service/management, all wanting to ensure everything was to our liking. Enough already. Wine list is deep, but very pricey. Most bottles at almost 3x retail. Bottom line, we will not return. There is simply no spark, no magic, and very little if any creativity in the kitchen."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "A very special spot, maybe too special to have great food. The setting is worth the visit. The food isn't bad, just not great. I expected it to knock my sox off, but it just satisfied. Being in Santa Barbara, the bar is set pretty high and the just don't quite get over it. Service was really good, prices not bad. We loved the afternoon tea and the breakfasts."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "My husband and I had a beautiful meal at El Encanto. The chicken and the salmon were cooked perfectly and the service was friendly in a romantic ambiance. We loved our wine being decanted in the prettiest decanter ever seen. The china is georgous...from "Bernardeau" France of course and made especially for the Hotel-restaurant "El Encanto". We made sure to reserve a table a few days in advance after reading some reviews suggesting not to just walk-in. We will return and probably enjoy either lunch or diner on the patio with the beautiful view of the Santa Barbara coast."
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "We went for lunch for my husbands birthday and it was superb. The food, service and setting are beyond compare. Every need was attended too including complementary valet parking. We will go back!"
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "El Encanto's setting is incredible -- hidden in the hills, with an ocean view from the terrace and dining room. Exceptional, friendly service. The food melts in your mouth. Though El Encanto is elegant, it also has a casual ambiance that makes it comfortable and welcoming."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Most everything was as expected given we knew the prices were on the upper end. All who had the Bento Boxes were highly pleased. Although this may sound odd as a minor complaint, it was a little disconcerting that one server didn't seem to be assigned to our group of 6, and our 'main' server didn't come back to check on any needs often enough. Also, if there's a possibility to situate tables for groups so all have a view of the area, that would be kind to those who, in our case, had their backs to the view and were facing the wall of the building. Overall, it was a pleasant afternoon, and Hospitality Manager Marco added to the pleasure."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "Excellent venue, food and service. The staff was very accommodating and attentive. Special requests were quietly honored."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "Dining at El Encanto was a memorable experience. The service was impeccable from the moment we drove up to the front door. The food was outstanding - we had the calamari which was large enough as an appetizer for the table or an entree, tuna tartare and beet salad and lamb chops and cod for main course. Each of us loved our dish. A very extensive wine list and excellent recommendations from our server. We are visiting in the area and we will definitely return during our stay."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "We had a very nice dinner for two in front of a bay window with beautiful view (it was too cold for outside deck). The Hamachi/jalepeno appetizer was very good, as were the Black Cod and Grilled Whole Fish entrees. Service was top notch and ambience was high end yet warm and comfortable."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "As we live in the neighborhood, we'd been waiting years for El Encanto to reopen. We chose a special occasion to try it out and had high hopes. The wait staff are friendly and attentive but overly-solicitous. We were continually asked how everything looked, tasted, and how we were doing. We were underwhelmed at the taste, size & price of the appetizers we chose (clam chowder & beet salad) but the main entrees were really excellent. A perfectly cooked salmon and the diver scallops were delicious, well-presented and not skimpy at all. The dining room is lovely and fairly quiet. A good spot for a romantic evening if you don't mind being interrupted by a hovering staff."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "I have had brunch at the El Encanto before and had top notch service. This time the food was as usually fantastic, but the service was off. My husband and I ordered the Bellini brunch with bottomless Bellini's and Mimosas. Several times we had to ask for a refill and many times we had to sit for 15 minutes or more with an empty glass. One time my husband needed a refill on his mimosa and we had to asked 4 different people before getting one and instead the server took my half empty glass and gave me the full one, where my husband sat there still with an empty glass. Also we didn't get any bread with our 3 starters so we ate the meat and cheeses without bread. It was disappointing that my husbands first experience was mediocre."
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "I had the BLT. It was very nice. I liked the soft bun variation since it makes it easier to eat than the multi-layer toast approach. The dressing and tomatoes were tasty, and the bacon excellent. The fries were crisp as requested. The portion was too small. I'm not a big eater, but this was a bit on the skimpy side. My wife had the chicken salad. One word: boring. The dressing was nice, but a few pieces of drab, tasteless chicken on a tiny bed of lettuce doesn't really live up to even modest expectations. And it was way overpriced at $22. I gave the food 3 stars because the BLT was tasty if small. The food here should be rave-worthy. The setting is legendary and truly wonderful. Management needs to bring the food up to that standard."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Not impressed with the menu. Probably will not return unless the chef changes."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "We had a very nice dinner, the views were beautiful, and the dining room is lovely. I had called to see if we could come a little earlier than our 8 PM reservation, and someone called back to offer us a 5:30 table outside, which we refused. When we got to the restaurant at 7:45, the dining room was a bit more than half full, so we do not understand why they were unwilling to move our reservation."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "We came for dinner in the off season and found the menu quite limited. No appetizers appealed to us but we tried the sea urchin anyway. It' was ok but for $30 not that exciting. Two of us had scallops in an herb crust and we both ended up peeling the herb crust off as it took away from the flavor of the scallops. We also tried a short rib in tomato sauce which was ok but more like something you'd make at home on Sunday night than a fine dining restaurant experience. The dining room was dead and there was absolutely no energy in the place. Maybe it's a lot more interesting in the summer but for us it was a dud."
    Dined on 1/29/2014
  • "Monday evening my friend and I went for "wine at sunset" at The Encanto. (the sunset was beautiful!) The bar service was attentive with professionalism rimming the service. Then we slipped into the dining room for dinner. Beautifully appointed room, views of Santa Barbara and the coastline. I ordered the salmon on a bed of spinach and root vegetables. Nicely prepared & presented, delicious. The scallops were also ordered on our table. Over cooked and over sauced. Our server was not attentive. Water glasses always empty. Wine list was not followed up Service for a table of six next to us was much more attended. I have lunch at The Encanto about 1 - 2 times a month with clients. We always sit on the terrace and never disappointed."
    Dined on 1/27/2014
  • "What a gem in the hills of Santa Barbara. An enchanted location overlooking the lights below and the ocean. Beautiful patio with heating lamps so the night was very comfortable. Food and service were top notch, would certainly go here again for a special occasion!"
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "This is the first time to this restaurant since the reopen last March. Be sure to specify you want to eat INSIDE otherwise you will be outside for dinner. In the summer, outdoor dining would be great but in late January, it was too cold. When making the reservation it was never specified we would be outside for our party of 5. Luckily the restaurant manager Marco fixed the situation promptly for us when the hostess could not accommodate us. Marco was very attentive the entire night to make sure our experience was a good one. Our only complaints: we had to ask several times for a napkin that didn't arrive until before our entree was served, service was slow and the dinner menu did not have much variety and the choices sparse."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "the salads were over salted, the meat overcooked, accompanying dishes inedible (even after 3 tries) - service was spotty - the menu limited and overpriced ($400/couple)"
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "Very attentive service. Elegant setting w/remarkable views. Quite expensive."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "I've now been to the new El Encanto twice.....and it's been absolutely terrible both times. The view is still beautiful, but the service is appallingly bad. It quite literally took over 25 minutes just to get water brought to the table. Ordering was another 20 minutes later, from a waiter who was very sweet but clearly overwhelmed by how understaffed the restaurant was. The food was extremely slow to arrive and depressingly average. Pricing is high even by Santa Barbara standards, especially considering how tiny the portions are. I would not dine there again, ever."
    Dined on 5/11/2013
  • "Friends raved about he lunch they had at El Encanto. We chose to have dinner. We were shocked at the obsequious greetings we received upon arrival. No fewer than five peiople "welcomed us to El Encanto" on our way from valet parking to the dining room. To say the dining staff was pretentious is an understatement. The food was good, not great. The service was good, not great. All in all a very expensive evening that we will never repeat and never recommend."
    Dined on 12/30/2013
  • "We loved every aspect of this great restaurant. Food, service and ambiance were exceptional."
    Dined on 12/29/2013
  • "Outstanding staff. Beautiful indoors and picture-perfect outdoors. Delicious food - especially the phenomenal breakfasts!"
    Dined on 12/4/2013
  • "El Encanto is a great place to have lunch or dinner on warm days and evenings because of the great views of Santa Barbara and the Pacific from the outdoor patio. However, our food was only average except for the amazing chocolate desert which was one of the best deserts we have ever had including from 3 star Michelle restaurants. We had to wait almost ten minutes for a waiter to come to our table. Then another waiter came and asked the same questions - what type of water, etc. I had to soften up our eventual waiter who seemed disinterested but after that he performed better. All the other employees at the hotel were very pleasant. I hope El Encanto works this time because it has such potential."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "We remain impressed with the restaurant at El Encanto. The food is superb, atmosphere sublime and service friendly. We had the eel donburi and the ramen - quality exceeds any Japanese restaurant in town, and the chocolate desert was to die for!"
    Dined on 12/14/2013
  • "The service was exceptional. Very welcoming and provided personalized service such as providing purse holders for us. Perfect for getting together with friends or family; our group had five. Food as great as hoped for - loved the abalone small plate and floating island dessert."
    Dined on 12/12/2013
  • "As locals, we've been hearing disappointing reviews on the food but for a special celebration we decided to give it a try. The bar area was always a lot of fun in the old hotel, but now it's in a corner of the lobby looking through the terrace diners and it's lost its ambience. The restaurant still has great views and we liked the idea of the banquettes, though we took a window table. The service for check-in, in the bar and in the (partially filled) restaurant was outstanding. The food was disappointing in that all the entrees were lukewarm when served, and the lamb was overcooked. The salads were very good and the chef's version of the famous Floating Island was also very good."
    Dined on 12/11/2013
  • "We returned for the first time since shortly after it opened and were amazed! The setting was always wonderful, but now each dish was excellent and the service was also great! This is truly one of the best restaurants in Santa Barbara!"
    Dined on 11/23/2013
  • "My wife and I had Sunday Brunch on the outdoor terrace. It was our first time at the Hotel and this restaurant. The food was outstanding, especially the selection and variety of appetizers. All of the ingredients were of the highest quality and incredible taste. Also, the staff and service was excellent. They were very attentive and personable. Last, but not least, the views of the Ocean, Santa Barbara Bay, and the surrounding hills are magical. I highly recommend this restaurant for a special occasion, romantic time, or just getting together with great friends."
    Dined on 11/24/2013
  • "Great romantic place for dinner and excellent services inside and out. Will go back again and highly recommend to everyone."
    Dined on 11/21/2013
  • "Appetizer lobster & gnocci was excellant, the food failed from there.....my wife's short ribs the signature dish tasted like dry pot roast. THe veal chop was dry and tasteless. Very disappointing and embarrassing for our 35th Anniversary."
    Dined on 11/18/2013
  • "We returned here for another fabulous dinner. The food, the wine, the service, the view - everything was perfect. One small suggestion - a little more light would be helpful. It's hard to read the menu and see the food on the plates the way it is now. Other than that we loved everything. Our guests had just arrived from New York where it was starting to snow and here we were, having dinner, in the middle of November, sitting outside on the terrace! They were blown away!! We will be back soon."
    Dined on 11/12/2013