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
293 reviews since June 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.5
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (233)fit for foodies (230)hot spot (201)special occasion (149)neighborhood gem (144)vibrant bar scene (139)good for groups (108)notable wine list (80)romantic (76)late-night find (49)kid-friendly (18)great for brunch (11)great for lunch (8)scenic view (2)Show More
  • Only one miss
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    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.
  • 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.
  • Love this place
    LlmelyteVIP
    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.
    SurfDawg
    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