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
296 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.5
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelEnergetic
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (246)great for outdoor dining (237)hot spot (208)neighborhood gem (157)vibrant bar scene (150)special occasion (147)good for groups (114)notable wine list (90)romantic (77)late-night find (58)kid-friendly (18)great for lunch (12)great for brunch (11)scenic view (2)Show More
  • 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
  • Love this place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    This is one of my favorite restaurants ever. Food is always delicious and fantastic. Service is amazing. Ambience is always perfect. Love coming here whenever I'm in town.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great but pricey.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Signature drinks are incredible, The Apple Jack was my favorite, the Mule comes in a close second. Service was also very good. Server was polite/attentive, quite knowledgable about menu and ingredients. Of the 7 tapas we ate, the brussels spouts were surprisingly awesome. and the bone marrow was good too, but I was expecting a larger part of the shank for a beefier favor, the bread served with the bone marrow was a bit too spicy and it killed the delicate fatty favor of the marrow. Dessert was heavenly, the chicory ice cream sandwich was spot on. Over-all the lark is a hit but a tad pricey. The ambiance of the restaurant and quality and favor are very good. The Lark for me will be for special occasions and once in a while food spot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Lark IS Outstanding!
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Simply the best spot in town for the best food, drink and company. I can't say enough of about the goodness that I experience at The Lark! Go there, don't wait!
    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
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • CGJG
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Did not like the ecclectic food. Would NEVER go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My Place In Santa Barbara
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    You would think I would tire of this place, since I go there, 3 times a week. Yup, I'm guilty of going there that much. The Lark is the best place to eat, hang and just, well, feel good. The food is creative and excellent each and every time. I can go on and on about The Lark, but simply I will suggest this: get in your car and 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.
  • Best In Town
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Simply the best in town. The Lark is like no other here in Santa Barbara. Always the best on every level. I love them!
    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
    AngieVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Great service and food, will definitely return. Loved the location
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Brilliant!
    Bellinski
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Wife and I visited for our anniversary and were not dissapointed. The atmosphere and decor were nicely done and it was obvious the staff and kitchen were proud of the great food they served. Would come back anytime!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Continues to be stellar
    Dimmy
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    This is hands down the best dining experience in Santa Barbara! The food is outstanding and creative, the service is a big step above anything else in SB, and the energy and ambiance are very fun. The new pork chop is a new favorite, the crag gnocchi is delicious. Love The Lark!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food service
    Adub
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    First I want to say the server was very friendly and knowledgable with the menu. The server expressed all plates are meant for sharing, and the food ordered would be appropriately spaced/coursed for sharing. The order in which the courses arrived was kind of funky, but that wasn't a big deal. The big deal, was at one point 4 plates of food basically came out at once, and we were at a small outside table. They arrived one min after the next. It was very intrusive, and each time we had to play the game of Tetris trying to make room for each platter, moving our water glasses, our cocktail glasses, the current platters on the table. It was annoying, and for the price of the dishes, they should know better. It made the experience 'not the best'.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • As always
    Sblove
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Service was excellent. We were a group of five and tried many different dishes tapas style. Everything was a big hit, the pavlova was amazing. I love the feel of the outside seating, even thigh Santa Barbara is gorgeous you almost feel transformed to France or Italy. Skykar is still there smiling at everyone as the dine and always has a kind word to say. Will return in my next trip back...
    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
  • Surprise in Santa Barbara
    bobinlove
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    We went for our wedding anniversary and were delighted by the food, service, and ambience. Also great, we didn't have to slog through Santa Barbara proper to get here. The location was easily accessible and the valet parking free.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Across the board excellence!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    From the front desk, to the server, to the bus staff and runners, great service! Food delicious and intriguing! Thank you for a great night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Super!
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    My favorite...dear Lark! Perfect every time. The best place in Santa Barbara.
    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
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Kashtanka
    Kashtanka
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    The food here is always creative and well presented. Our two vegetarians were quite happy as were our carnivores. The skirt steak was to die for. I especially liked that we were not rushed at all and that the food was well paced. And excellent service staff. Week-ends are a bit crowded (tables very close together).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Rushed Dinner!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    The Lark is the hot spot in SB for foodies. We had an early reservation and were seated immediately. Right from the start we felt rushed through the evening. We said we would choose a wine and the server asked twice in short succession if we were ready to order a wine. As the wine was delivered (one glass was the wrong wine) we were asked what we wanted and decided to share both a salad and a hanger steak plates. The salad was fresh produce and a great flavor combination. Unfortunately we were half way through our salad when the hanger steak arrived at the table. We refused it. We also noticed other tables had the same issue with plates arriving out of sequence. Great food but not the professional experience expected.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Memorable Dining at the Lark
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Visited the Lark for my Mom's 60th Birthday and it didn't disappoint. The family style dining means the portions are good sized and perfect for our party of 4 to split. We had the pimiento cheese, charred broccolini, gnocchi with crab and whole roasted branzino for our dinner. Then for dessert shared a delicious passion fruit and white chocolate number. Highly recommend this Santa Barbara hot spot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Overindulged
    mangia2
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Party of two, we were told to order all dishes at once without knowing how large they were--too much food for us to finish. Dishes tend to be over done, the thin layer of goose liver pate was indistinguishable with the thick bread, balsamic, and strawberries. We booth enjoyed the scallops, the most simple prep allowed the delicate scallops to shine. Wine list is lovely.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • SPECTACULAR
    FineDiningFanaticVIP
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    This establishment is becoming the best in Santa Barbara. Food, beverage, and service are unchallenged by any other local hot spot. Ryan the manager came by the table a few times to ensure we were enjoying our dining experience, which we absolutely did! The full cheese board, charcuterie plate and brussels sprouts are must for starters. Scallops, gnocchi and steak are great for entrees. Overall a wonderful evening in an a great lively atmosphere. We'll definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome dining experience!
    Petra
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    All dishes we ordered were fantastic in taste and look. Had a great seat indoors inside the confession stand, which was nice and private. Way too much food for 2 people, but worth tasting it all and taking leftovers home. Dessert is a must, even when belly is full! Server was very informative on the dishes and drinks, helping us make great decisions. Restaurant filled up quickly and got crowded, but didn't bother us, since we were in the corner by ourselves.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Family style
    EddieVIP
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    The food was served family style. We liked being able to enjoy everything without eating off each other's plate. Very generous portions.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Relaxed, hip hot spot
    NotVegan
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    We thought The Lark was our best restaurant in quite some time. A perfect balance of the relaxed vibe appropriate for a resort town and hipness factor for the LA/SF crowds who vacation in Santa Barbara. We tried the Brussels sprouts, little gems salad, grilled octopus, ribeye, and chocolate pot de creme for dessert. All delicious and recommended. I made a reservation 2-3 weeks in advance for a Tuesday night, good thing because it was hopping. Loved sitting outside under the cafe lights.
    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.
  • Felt like a factory
    magnolia123
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    This was the 2nd time I have been to the lark, both times the food was a mix -- some dishes were stellar (brussel sprouts, gnocchi, pavlova were stand outs) and some were okay/bad (chicory ice-cream bar (over salted), diver scallops, (not good). It is the service drives me crazy -- I can read the menu perfectly well and I do NOT need my server to recite it to me or tell me what's not on the menu. It is also strange to have a good 6-8 different people come bring you your food, basically a new person for each dish, including the popcorn. I also noticed a girl who was working there, lurking around the tables taking notes on what diners were eating. Weird big brother vibe going on - I think I'll be staying away for a long time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great spot
    Dhjsjajai
    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
    dinner42
    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
    1chance2impress
    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
  • Just outstanding
    Foodlover
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Celebrated my husband's birthday at Lark last week. Service was wonderful and the food was truly amazing. We tried the crab gnocchi, octopus with couscous, beet salad and the absolute best chicken ever. We sat outside on the patio on a beautiful night. Too bad we didn't live in Santa Barbara. Noteworthy, their sister restaurant Lucky Penny, next door, makes the world's best chicken salad sandwich. Nothing like I have ever had and I have been craving it since.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 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.