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 Service
The Lark - Santa Barbara reviews from OpenTable diners
289 reviews since July 3, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.5
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelEnergetic
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (225)fit for foodies (224)hot spot (200)special occasion (142)neighborhood gem (141)vibrant bar scene (135)good for groups (115)notable wine list (78)romantic (75)late-night find (47)kid-friendly (16)great for brunch (10)great for lunch (7)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Wonderful dinner!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    The Lark has a unique menu full of delicious, interesting dishes. Many of the dishes are meant to be shared so you can go with a group and try many items. The brussel sprouts and the octopus were some of our favorites, but everything was fantastic, including the desserts. Service was exceptional, too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Now when I am asked this, I first think of The Lark - it's the best bar scene in Santa Barbara. Why? Because they make some of the best and creative cocktails around. Then, when you pair it with all that creative and delicious food, well, what can I say? Get there...fast and enjoy!
    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 LevelModerate
  • Good Food.
    RS4649
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    The concept is sharing plates. The food was very good, not amazing. As some previous reviewers have pointed out, the price per item can be high. The amount of protein included per plate is quite small, especially in light of the sharing concept. The service is friendly and attentive. The pace of the plates being presented to us was great. Although we had a "time limit" on the table we did not feel rushed and we had plenty of time to enjoy our meal. We sat inside but the outdoor seating area looked very inviting. The bar was in full gear with no empty seats. The complimentary valet parking was a nice touch, although we did not use it. My favorite dish was the octopus with a wonderfully dressed couscous served alongside. I would go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic!
    Geenafest
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    We just moved to Santa Barbara this week and it was our first night venturing out. WHAT A TREAT! We had heard of The Lark and knew it was hard to get a table and I now know why! The food was fantastic, the staff made you feel like family and the energy was excellent. Everyone in the place was so happy and we can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great service and tasty food
    catwoman
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Enjoyed our dinner at Lark. The patio is a great place to relax and enjoy tasty food with friends. Service was friendly and efficient.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First time better than second time
    Alexandra93101
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    We went twice this month to The Lark. First time was excellent, on a Tuesday night. It was still the summer menu and we had trouble making our choice with all the different offers that attracted us. All plates, wine and service were excellent. Second time, a Sunday night, was less perfect. Service still very good, but fall menu didn't change that much, so it became more difficult to find what we wanted and had not tried yet. Pork chops were overcooked. We will give them a third try, fingers crossed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Will visit every time in SB
    schristieVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    A friend of mine recommended this place to me upon my first visit to SB, and after a fantastic meal, I'll be doing the same for anyone who will listen. Very popular spot (for good reason) with friendly staff, great ambiance and even better food. We had a reservation and called about two hours ahead to see if outdoor seating was available (this was for an anniversary dinner), and not only did the staff grant us an outdoor table ahead of schedule, but were kind enough to send a note and champagne to us for our anniversary. A great touch that you don't see from too many restaurants on that short notice. Very excited to visit again in the near future.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food! Excellent staff
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Everything was great except the hanger steak was only three tony pieces of steak and so many pickled veggies.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food could be better
    johnVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    We were very interested in trying the fresh local and family style concept but came away very underwhelmed and confused. Salad dressing was too salty to eat and came back to the table without salt and bland tasting. Not sure the chef took the time to taste the saltiness of the original plate. Dishes need seasoning but the right amount. The combinations of food paired with the scallops did not seem to compliment the scallops. The service was apologetic. The restaurant was fun and noisy.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • farm to table
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    The food was fabulous with great presentation. Emphasis on seasonal veggies. Loved all of it, but especially the roasted brussel sprout starter.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Only one miss
    Janelle
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    The only thing negative I have to say is that my scallops were overly sandy but they were perfectly cooked.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It's Simple...Get There!
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Just when you think you've seen it all, tasted it all, you get to be revived at The Lark. Ah The Lark, that special place here in Santa Barbara. They have added some new delights to a already outstanding menu. Get 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 LevelModerate
  • DandAVIP
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    We can't stop talking about the Lark. This restaurant was beyond exceptional. They definitely got it all right - the food, decor, ambiance, service, and bar selections. This place was smoking hot! It was bustling with activity, great energy, fun and festive. For starters we had crispy brussel sprouts and blistered shishito peppers. Divine! We can't stop thinking about the grilled Spanish Octopus with Israeli couscous. For entrees, the whole grilled branzino and the hand rolled pappardelle & crispy braised lamb were oh so tasty. Each dish innovatively blended flavors and ingredients that created a symphony on your tongue. For dessert, don't miss the Meyer Lemon Almond Gateau and the Milk Chocolate Pot de Creme. We can't wait to return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Superb!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    If you are traveling in Santa Barbara and have the opportunity to dine at Lark, DO IT!!!! The food is delicious, eclectic, fresh, and local. And so innovative! We arrived on a Sunday evening and were fortunate enough to score a reservation. We ordered the pimento cheese fritters, the kale salad, the Roasted bone marrow, and the scallops - all excellent. It was so good, that when my husband had a business dinner on Tuesday night, I went there and dined alone. I could not pass up a second opportunity. This time I had the Pork Belly - so savory and delicious. I highly recommend asking for Autumn as your server - she is excellent!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic!
    Hasitall
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Currently our favorite restaurant! Been twice; can't wait til next time. We live in LA And The Lark has become a destination.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rich
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    As a second time during our yearly trek at Anniversary time we pick The Lark as it has always met our expectations. Very much appreciated the 'knowledge' from the hostess "who we were and why we were there". Card with nice comments was added bonus. Food was great. Few comments..I had the steak and it was excellent, however I felt it was overly surrounded by the broccoli..Too much broccoli and not enough meat. The ice cream dessert felt somewhat 'outside vendor prepared'. Would have appreciated the server to come and ask us if there was anything else, how was everything, prior to simply putting the bill down and saying, "No hurry"
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not what we expected
    maliburonVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Menu is misleading ...they recommend sharing all portions however all the dishes we tried including the steak entree only had a small portion of meat...they need to "BEEF" it up to all their dishes.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very hip and happening!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    Had dinner with my college-age daughter - she pronounced it a "hipster" restaurant. Our waiter was great, food was very good and well-presented. Can't wait to go back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Anniversary
    bosherdine
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    This was our 1st time at The Lark. We've been coming to Santa Barbara for 50 years. This was our 55th Anniversary - and we got special treatment by a great staff.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • First Trip Review
    scallopluvr
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    The food was cooked to perfection. The menu had very unique combinations within each dish, which made for fun dining. The patio and indoor dining are very comfortable and not too dark, light, or loud. It is a bit pricey, but I'd definitely return for a cocktail and a favorite dish or special occasion.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So good!
    SBNative
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    I took my wife to dinner for our anniversary. We both heard great things about The Lark and had to see for ourselves. It was the bomb!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Foodies Fun
    begoniamike
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    My second time here. We ordered 5 different dishes for three people. They are tasty, however, two little clams and three scallops for $32.00? I didn't like that the tomatoe salad had more dough balls than tomatoes. Beef and the tiny pork belly had good flavor . I will go back if someone else will pay.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A Good Meal
    ljsp
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    The Lark, in Santa Barbara's happening Funk Zone, serves some tasty food. Our second visit proved as satisfying as our first one did. The service is fine. The atmosphere is relaxed and pleasingly crowded though quite noisy. Drinks from a full bar were excellent even if a bit on the short side. The wine list is paired well to the entrees and appetizers. Our party of four shared appetizers of brussel sprouts, gnocchi and crab, cheeseboard, and the family style chicken entree for the main course. All were delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ver good!
    Ethele
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    The food was delicious and because we are on the patio, it was not too noisy.
    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 LevelQuiet
  • Really wonderful birthday dinner
    MaryT
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Food was delicious and beautifully served in perfect amounts, service was wonderful; they welcomed an 18-month-old toddler with open arms. I expected The Lark to be another one of those over-priced, elbow-knocking tiny restaurants that was too noisy, and I was completely surprised by the amount of space, the wonderful patio and the really warm and somewhat informal ambiance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What a gem.
    Welshstu
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    We had a recent 2 night stay in Santa Barbara and did a bit of homework after the first night to work out what was hot in terms of dining. It was a big benefit that The Lark was within walking distance of our hotel but what a find. Great ambience, great food and excellent attentive staff. The idea of sharing makes it quite a romantic setting but would certainly work equally as well as a group. Great vibe to the venue and very popular with locals and those travellers lucky enough to have found the place. Booking is advised. You will not be disappointed.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • An experience
    1happygirl
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Well although most of Santa Barbara ran out of electricity right after we got our dinner and nothing other than drinks were able to be served we had a great time. I felt bad for everyone else not being able to enjoy their wonderful food because that is all the restaurant has, Really wonderful food.
    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 LevelModerate
  • Excellent diner
    Alexandra93101
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Had diner at The Lark this past Tuesday evening at 6 pm. Easy parking, could have also used the valet parking. Nice indoor table. By 7 pm, both in-and outside were packed. Good service, staff was very knowledgable about menu. All dishes figured on the online menu. My husband had the oysters, me the marrow. Both were good. My husband then had the Prime Steak, me the Octopus with Israeli couscous. Both delicious. Took a desert, lemon tart with fig, also very good. Drank the Syrah by the glass, good value for money and asked the second glass to be chilled, which was promptly executed. To sum it up, we loved it, and it has been one of the best eating experiences we had in Santa Barbara the last three months. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • foodhappy
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Excellent service, adventuresome food, great atmosphere. . .just a bit too loud in the main room.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    915Films
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    OYSTERS ON THE HALF SHELL - were bland, sitting in water and not their own liquor. MELON & CUCUMBER - Great idea, poorly executed. Honeydew and cantaloupe were mushy and should not have been used. DUNGENESS CRAB & HOUSEMADE GNOCCHI - fantastic. Crab was fresh and the gnocchi was creamy.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Would I Recommend This To A Friend?
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    You bet. Every chance I get to recommend The Lark is a pleasure! The Lark is the best for "everything" you want in Santa Barbara. Love it!
    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.
  • The Lark is My Place!
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Just when you think you had enough pleasure at the Lark, they just keep making it better! They changed up the menu and added a few new goodies for all to enjoy - and boy do you enjoy. Thank you Lark for keeping my experience the best. You are my place!
    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 LevelModerate
  • Fantastic food + outdoor fireplace
    vinaVIP
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Yes please!!! Interesting menu, great combination of tastes, nice local wines, all to be consumed on a cozy, firepit-lit patio. We had the fried olives, the Brussels sprouts, the beets and goat cheese salad, the heirloom tomato basil feta salad, and the grilled octopus with couscous. All of it was incredibly tasty, and I would get all of it again in a heartbeat. Thoroughly enjoyed this visit!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Great ambience, food just ok. My main course was so salty I could not finish it.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • must like pepper
    katonk
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    We had a hard time trying to avoid pepper on the menu. There are a variety of peppers in different dishes which often required us to ask how spicy is this type of pepper? We had a charcuterie plate, crab gnocchi and fish (branzini) The dishes came out and yes the jalapeno was omitted from the gnocchi as we requested but both dishes were heavy on the cumin which was probably a custom hotter blend. The gnocchi were in a heavier cream cumin sauce which totally overpowered any hint of a crab taste in the dish. The fish was good but it would have been nice to have 2 dishes that complement each other instead of both of them tasting very similar. If we go back we would probably try the roasted chicken which we also saw being served.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Lark sings!
    Habanero
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    This place us deservedly crowded as it is fantastic. Try the communal table if you can't get a reservation. Chicken with smashed potatoes, onions and pancetta is a winner. The panzanella and other salads are great and big enough to share. The divers scallops are delicious, too. One of the best places in Santa Barbara.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    One of the best places anywhere. Unique food preparation and presentation. Wonderful flavors. Great ambiance and service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My Heart Belongs To The Lark
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Yep....every single time. The Lark is it! I never tire of this place - it's magic. The food continues to please, please and please me! And I love the service...you guys rock.
    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 LevelModerate
  • Skyler
    baranc
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Skyler is AMAZING, and one of the reasons why we "frequent" The Lark! He is the the ultimate in providing friendly and professional service; and makes you feel so welcome when you arrive at the restaurant! The food is excellent, as is the service!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The Lark Made Our Trip
    PenquinVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    An acquaintance said we had to try The Lark - well, we did and we will return to California soon to enjoy it again!!!! From the friendly valet parkers to the hostess to the bar to the table and our outstanding server we didn't miss a beat and we had no regrets. The ambience of the patio was outstanding and the hostess remembered that my Open Table reservation asked for a quiet one because of hearing issues! This means a lot. We had four or five courses of "to die for" food - each course seemed to outdo the previous one in creativity, preparation and presentation. Creative combinations of fresh foods along with special spices and "just the right prep" are here. Go before it is too late to get a reservation ! Must do in Santa Barbara.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.