The Lark - Santa Barbara
The Lark - Santa Barbara

The Lark - Santa Barbara

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.thelarksb.com/
  • Phone: 8052840370x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner:
    5:00 p.m. - Closing Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
    Late Night Bar Menu available
    CLOSED MONDAY
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: Jason Paluska
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Special Events: Contact our Special Events Director at 805.284.0370 or email at mkremzar@thelarksb.com

Getting there

  • Public Transit: Enjoy a train ride to Santa Barbara from southern or northern California and meet us at The Lark. No driving required.
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Complimentary valet parking available or use nearby street parking. Substantial parking is available at the Santa Barbara train station, just a block away.
A word from The Lark - Santa Barbara
The Lark pays homage to the history of California train travel and tributes the treasured and long gone Santa Barbara Fish Market, built in the 1920’s as a commercial fish processing plant, shipping their seafood products throughout the state by rail. With an imaginative yet approachable menu created by the gifted Jason Paluska, The Lark celebrates everything found around Santa Barbara County – wineries, farms, ocean and natural beauty. The stunning design strives to connect to the past and the future, using discovered objects from the past and blending them with modern, urban and industrial materials to spectacular effect.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
The Lark - Santa Barbara reviews from OpenTable diners
287 reviews since May 5, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.5
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelEnergetic
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (231)great for outdoor dining (221)hot spot (195)neighborhood gem (158)special occasion (149)vibrant bar scene (141)good for groups (107)notable wine list (89)romantic (76)late-night find (60)kid-friendly (18)great for lunch (15)great for brunch (11)scenic view (2)Show More
  • Great spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    This is a great spot for dinner. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was really fun. Everything is family style so be prepared to share your plate. The back patio is really pretty and a good date spot. Would recommend this spot to anyone looking for a lively restaurant in Santa Barbara.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love The Lark!
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Always the best food, best service, and darn near the best time is at The Lark! Got a go there!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • excellent service & food to die for
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Made reservations and waited three minutes before our beautiful patio table was ready. Extemely attentive staff, well trained and easy to converse with. Excellent menu knowlwedge and she paced our courses well. Food was well prepared and showcased perfectly. A real treat to be given an aray of food with different textures and distinctive flavor combinations. It was a two hour dinner not to be forgotten. Will return when in Santa Barbara at Thanksgiving. A must food experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Popular but not amazing as expected
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Based on rave reviews, I made sure to book this place when my BFF & hubby came to town. I always lean towards the "sure thing" when entertaining guests as it takes the stress out of being disappointed. Unfortunately, The Lark fell way short of expectations. The menu seemed a bit confusing as dishes are meant to be "shared" and appetizer dishes are not clearly marked. Presentation was a bit confusing as well since the dishes come with sides making you feel as though you're sifting to get to the entree. We had the salmon dish which was more like an appetizer which we did not expect. And both the Octopus and Flank Steak dishes had a bitter after taste. This place is very pricey, so, would not, in good conscience, recommend The Lark to anyone.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing Experience!
    ChrisM
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    I could not be more thrilled with my experience at The Lark! Not only was our server AMAZING (so knowledgeable and friendly) but the food and drinks surpassed my expectations... which were already set kind of high after hearing numerous reviews. I would like to give a shout out to Victoria, our server. She made us feel like we were the only ones in the restaurant (which we clearly were not) and spent just enough time with us and spoke about the food selections, drinks, atmosphere, etc. We never felt like she was hovering trying to turn over our table - just wanted us to have a great experience. It was a perfect evening and fantastic meal. I will not return to Santa Barbara without making sure I take a trip back to this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • What a surprise!!
    jules
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Our 1st time to Santa Barbara, College touring. I made reservations at Lark because it was walking distance from our hotel. We it was such a wonderful surprise. The open air seating was a delight and the food was just outstanding. If our child does end up going to Santa Barbara for school we know the cool place to go!!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved it
    EatlovebehappyVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    The Lark didn't disappoint at any level. Incredible service, wonderful food, great location, cool vibe. We are definitely making the drive up from the OC again! It's worth it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Schoey1
    Schoey1
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Amazing menu and place. We would recommend this place to anyone. A must see in Santa Barbara
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • NOT JUST FOR THE BIRDS
    Foodie
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    We would highly recommend The Lark. Different, excellent cuisine Great experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • excellent
    pullmanbooked
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    The food was amazing, the service was exceptional. Our server, Jane, was perfect. I can't wait to eat at the Lark again. I will highly recommend it to anyone that asks.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not consistent
    SB4diningVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    I love the ambiance of The Lark, but since they opened the food has been inconsistent. We had the chicken the first time and it was awesome! Haven't had the same luck with the 4 subsequent meals there (we keep trying!). The popcorn they bring to the table is great, deviled eggs are pretty good, but we have not had good luck with the platters. This week we took friends from Texas and we had the pork and chicken platters, and both were disappointing. It's not inexpensive food - and not very good. Whatever they had going when they first opened they need to recapture.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    What a gem! I've eaten at many restaurants all over the world, but this dinner was an absolute delight. My wife is very discriminating when it comes to good food. For her to say "wow," that is something you rarely hear her say. Had the melon salad, and the wedge. Both were fabulous. The melon salad was mind blowing and gave my taste buds a ride through food heaven. We've eaten at other restaurants in Santa Barbara, but this is the best one we've enjoyed ever. We will definitely pass through again on our next vacation through the central coast.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Must Go
    1happygirl
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    It is a fantastic restaurant but you definitely need to book about a week ahead if you want a specific time. You can walk around either before dinner or after to all the wineries that are all adjacent or just take a stroll on the beach a few blocks away. The brussel sprouts are off the hook.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Go, Go, and Go Again To The Lark!
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I can't speak highly enough of The Lark. It's just soooooooo great! Go there!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner at the Lark
    Thomas1
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Another fine dinner at the Lark. The scallops are to die for as is the pastrami cured salmon. Highly recommend the chocolate tart to round out the evening. Need toe reserve for dinner well in advance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Third time still a charm
    JustokVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Went three times so far during a stay in SB each time had something different each time great!! Brussels, flat iron steak, diver scallops, pavlova all 5 star
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Get There!
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    I love The Lark! Everything there is "on" spot perfection! Go, go there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Savor the Savory
    AandJ
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    The wedge salad & the brussels sprouts were GREAT with a nice red wine from Lompoc! Heavy reliance on savory bacon flavors made things seem salty, but overall 0K. Chicken was done nicely & was juicy. We could make a full meal of the Brussels & the Wedge & a bottle of wine but there are many more things we"d like to try! Glad to be on the patio, in the future will ask to be seated away from the parking area, as we were blasted occasionally by headlights and fumes (both from cars and smokers). Noise level was just fine for intimate conversation though. We look forward to another occasion to dine at The Lark! All of the servers were VERY friendly and attentive and that made our experience much more pleasurable! Thank you, Adria and Jim
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not Sure What The Hype Is About
    bricesmom
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    I've been hearing about The Lark for months and months and finally got the chance to eat there. While the food was interesting, tasty, unique and very creatively served, several issues took away from our meal. First, as a 2-top, our seating was super tight with the adjoining tables. I could barely talk over their conversations and we were practically rubbing elbows with our neighbors. Second, service was very, very slow and it was not crowded. From food delivery to getting our check, the wait was painful. Third, prices are high for the amount of food. Call me old fashion but if two people (one a 16 year old boy) spend $120 for a meal with NO drinks but water and no dessert, you'd expect to feel full. Nice to try it, but won't return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • BIRD232
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    The food fabulous. The noise level awful. The seating very close. No room for legs U are involved in neighbors dinner and voices
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Recommend The Lark?
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    YES! YES! The Lark has every single thing you could want for a great dining experience. The best food, best presentation, the best cocktails - all served by the best individuals you can imagine. Bar none...The Lark is one stop eatery!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Playful food and fun atmosphere
    tbunting
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    The brussel sprouts are the best I've ever had. The bone marrow was a fun play on bread, butter and jam, but I felt like lacked in flavor. But the marmalade that accompanied it was delicious. The hanger steak was gorgeous - a wooden platter full of food. Just delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome experience
    Sebb
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    This place is a must if you're in the Santa Barbara area! Great food that is meant to be shared. The Charcuterie board is phenomenal!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful.
    Casey
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Had the best dining experience. Waiter was very knowable about the food and how it is served. Made some great suggestions. Items on the menu are meant to be shared. Food and it's presentation are amazing. Our only regret, we should have gone another night.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing!!!
    ShorerunnergirlVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    We loved this cool, funky neighborhood gem! We ordered 2 small plates & one entree which was plenty for 2. The pork shank entree is not to be missed....utterly amazing!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Disappointing
    TexasTaster
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    We were expecting a fabulous dining experience on our last evening in Santa Barbara since the restaurant was recommended by a local we met. We were very disappointed! We read many positive reviews but we were not impressed. We read service was impeccable. We were warmly greeted and given an outdoor table as we requested. After that our waiter service was ho-hum. The crispy brussel sprouts were good but way too many on the plate! The house made pimento cheese was excellent. The duck liver mousse had too many competing flavors and we could not taste the duck liver. Crispy smoked pork belly only fair. Crab gnocchi was mushy with uncomplimentary flavors. Chef does not need to recreate the wheel. Overall too many competing flavors.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Again fantastic
    JustokVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Staff so knowledgeable thank you Thalia. pork incredible, little gems and diver scallops great
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing dinner
    sb1980
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We had an incredible first visit to Lark. Love the family style presentation. The food was truly fresh, delicious, with complex pairing of ingredients and the best of the season. It was perfect to try dishes to share. The waiter was warm and knowledgeable. Each dish was brought out by different wait staff describing the ingredients and answering questions. Excellent waitstaff! Food is fresh, interesting, all delicious with many flavors that intrigued us. Also, amazing wine and beer selection as well as a novel take on classic cocktails. I can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Saturday Dinner
    foodieeveryday
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    This is one of my favorite local restaurants. I brought special out of town guests this week. As always, great, energetic staff. New items on the menu which is always lovely. Fantastic flavors, tastes, presentations. Make a reservation and go, you will not be disappointed!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Restaurant in Santa Barbara
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    I'm a local and I eat here 2-3 times a month. The food is outstanding, and the chefs change up the menu every season so there are new things to try. Generous portions that are great for sharing, the brussel sprouts of all things are my #1 fave item on the menu. The space itself is very cool, modern but still comfortable, like the kind of hot spot you'd find in a city like San Francisco or Montreal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing dinner
    Lara
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    We had such an excellent dining experience at The Lark. We were in Santa Barbara for a week and this was our one special night out without the kids, and it did not disappoint. Every dish was interesting without being fussy. When there was a miscommunication (we thought we ordered one steak dish and they brought a different one), the manager came right over and apologized and got us the correct dish. They were intent on making us happy. The ambiance is great, fun, warm, stylish. Can't say enough good things!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Find
    Bradjie
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Read about this place online and found it to be awesome. We were a table of 4, sat on the patio and Had a great time. Our server was totally professional with lots of personality. Kitchen nailed it on every dish. We will be back...
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Off the Hook
    BillVIP
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Our favorite restaurant in SB, awesome food and staff in a great location.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Outstanding
    JustokVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    From start to finish outstanding servers were so helpful and knowledge can't wait to return. Very hot crowd!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Fantastic Food
    Mike
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    One of the best meals my wife and I have had in Santa Barbara. We visited from San Diego for the weekend, and as self proclaimed "foodies" this is the exact type of food, drinks and restaurant my wife and I always wanted Santa Barbara to have. We ordered the scallops, crab gnocchi, pork belly and brussel sprouts, all of which were fantastic. I plan on coming back here very soon. Make sure to try the pizza next door too at Lucky Penny for lunch. They have some of the best coffee and pizzas I have found in SB.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Favorite Spot
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    The Lark is my favorite spot....for everything! I simply love each dish that is made - a delight indeed. I have been going here for 1 year and it has not changed a beat in quality, creativity, freshness: all in a very alive scene. I love you Lark!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Oustanding find
    sbfoodie
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Great food and fun dinner for 4 - food is served and meant to be shared and allowed the table to try a number of dishes. Desserts were outstanding, big fan of the ice cream sandwich. Entrance to the restaurant was very inviting valet to table.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Overrated
    MIBoricua
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    The waiter recommended one entree for us to share between the 3 of us. We ordered 3. The portions of steak and seafood (octopus & scallops) were so incredibly small and they just placed it around the plate to make it look presentable. The food was just not up to par with what I expected. I don't understand what the hype is about and I was quite frankly disappointed. We left hungry and went elsewhere.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Great patio dining. The goose liver bruschetta was wonderful--fascinating flavors. Forget the beet salad. Our courses came too quickly (especially the early ones) so we felt inundated rather than able to savor each dish. It was the first time we'd eaten with four people, so perhaps that was part of the problem. The crab ravioli was very expensive for the little dish and not noteworthy. Our dessert order was taken and served without an offer of coffee. We had to ask for it. We'll be back, but may approach things differently by ordering individually rather than as a group.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Over eager server
    Gastrocinterruptus
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Server was delightful just took too much attention and too much emphasis on the restaurant s theme of " family style." Server was Very interruptive of an engaging evening with a friend. Had painful disruption in my gastrointestinals all evening-don't recommend starting a meal with popcorn and a pile of Brussel sprouts. Although very tastey- better eaten, respectively, solo and with a meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.