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Gala Food & Cocktails  - Gala, Santa Barbara, CA

Gala

4.7
4.7
184 Reviews
$31 to $50
European
Gala exudes a European meets Santa Barbara charm, where you feel like you’re transported to a beautiful bistro somewhere in the Mediterranean. Enjoy shared tapas, seasonal favorites, oysters and a great steak with bone marrow butter & chimichurri. Or cozy up with a pulled pork sandwich or our duck confit. Experience craft cocktails with fresh juices & house infused liquors as well as local Spanish wine & beer. Right down the street from the Santa Barbara Courthouse enjoy an evening at Gala.








1 Block From State Street, Easy Parking, Public Lot Nearby, Free 75 Minute Parking, Walking Distance, El Pueblo Viejo Landmark District, Superior Court, Spanish Colonial Revival Courthouse, Santa Barbara Museum Of Art, Courthouse Gardens, Bell Tower, Farm to table, Farmer's market driven, Tapas, Seafood, Steak, Oysters, Happy Hour, Food, Cocktails, Wine, Restaurant, Vegetarian, Friendly, Dog Friendly, Outdoor Patio, Heaters, Warm, Inviting, Hospitable, Modern Design

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 10 times today

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    European, Spanish, American
  • Hours of operation
    Tue–Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm
  • Phone number
    (805) 869-2813
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Owned/operated by
    Women

What 184 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.7
4.7 based on recent ratings
  • 4.7Food
  • 4.7Service
  • 4.7Ambience
  • 4.5Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • California Central Coast

    Hot spot

  • California Central Coast

    Lively

  • Santa Barbara

    Innovative

  • Santa Barbara

    Healthy

  • Santa Barbara

    Hot spot

  • Santa Barbara

    Lively

184 Reviews
  1. Rick

    Central Coast

    8 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    8 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    We had allotted 1 ½ hours to dine this evening starting at 6pm. We enjoyed our cocktails and starters but after waiting 45 minutes our main courses did not arrive because the kitchen misplaced our order and at 7:20 we had to leave without having our anticipated delicious main course. Very disappointing! Unfortunately, not sure we will return to Gala

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  2. Alina

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    I love Gala restaurant for many reasons, but mostly because I think that the owners love food and want to keep their patrons happy, especially those of us who keep us returning. Beautiful decor, wonderful food, kind servers.

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  3. brusselssprout

    Central Coast

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Perfection in every way! It is such a rare thing to have ambiance, service and amazing food all at once in Santa Barbara.

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  4. Toasteroven

    Central Coast

    4 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    The atmosphere on the patio was a little chaotic and the noise level at our sidewalk-side table was loud but the host and our server were very sweet. The skillet cornbread was good and the quinoa hashbown side was delicious. Our main courses were a little puzzling, we had the bronzino and the duck confit - the bronzino was a pretty little 3 or 4 ounce portion of fish decorated with a pile of greens that definitely left me wanting another side to fill the meal out. The confit portion was equally moderate. Flavors were good, but probably not special enough to bring us back.

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  5. Dakini2

    Boise

    60 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    60 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Santa Barbara is fortunate to have Gala! I was over the top impressed on every level a restaurant can offer. We overstayed our welcome (table) as having so much fun and were accommodated, treated kindly and respectfully as valued customers, despite a full house! My dining partner, native Santa Barbarian!, was also amazed at the level of excellence and care provided us. The food is sublime and creative. The service attentive and professional. Kudos to the management as well! Thank you for an exceptional dining experience!

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  6. KarinJ

    Central Coast

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 21, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Nice ambiance and very tasty food. Plan to go back soon.

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  7. BrianS

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Great food, service. Outdoor patio seating was great, a little tight, but they accommodated our last minute added person so...

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  8. gastro2

    Central Coast

    21 reviews

    5.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This was our first time to dine at Gala and we were very impressed by the overall experience. The menu was well-balanced and very creative. Each course was prepared exceptionally well, serving temperatures were spot-on, and the presentation was beautiful. The service was attentive, knowledgeable, and pleasant. We enjoyed conversing with one of the owners who made several efforts to stop by and check on our experience. We look forward to many great experiences in the future a Gala. Kudos to Team Gala!

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  9. Hydrogen

    Greater Boston

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    It was our first time at this restaurant and we enjoyed the food and the ambience very much. We ordered the tempura pumpkin flowers, uni/seaweed/salmon roe on top of rice, mussels, branzino, and peach tart. Excellent service (attentive waiter and the owner, Tara stopped at our table to say hello) and we plan to come back next wee to try other dishes on the menu. The place was packed on Friday night but the noise was moderate. We could hear each other without the need to scream across the table like some other restaurants in town. I suggest to make a reservation if you don't want to wait.

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  10. AnitaS

    San Diego

    10 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We’ve been to Gala so many times, and enjoy every time! The food is excellent. Fun to share the tapas. Love the ambience. Tara the owner always so warm and welcoming. Our Valentine’s Day server, Greyson was excellent

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  11. MicheleWQ

    Los Angeles

    20 reviews

    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    This was our first visit to Gala, and we had a very nice dinner experience. The staff is friendly and attentive. They have Spanish-influenced food with tapas and main course portions. We decided to share everything and enjoyed sampling the different flavors, which were delicious. We look forward to dining with Gala again!

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  12. WilliamJ

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 14, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great fresh food….good service…would definitely recommend

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  13. OpenTable Diner

    Central Coast

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 11, 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 2
    I went to Gala to celebrate my sister’s pregnancy with my mother and sister. We enjoyed our dinner (where we spent over $250 for 3 of us), and were wrapping up our conversation when the owner came up to our table and asked us to leave for the incoming reservation. We had only been at the table for an hour and fifteen minutes. We would have graciously left, but the owner was incredibly snarky and rude to my mother while asking us to leave. When we left we went back up to the owner to express that we had only been there an hour and fifteen minutes and did not deserve that treatment after spending so much on our evening and tipping incredibly well. She did apologize and admit she’d thought we’d been there longer, but said “I’m already worried about the review you’ll write.” What happened to doing the right thing because you want to not because of the potential review someone may write?? We would have gone back to Gala, but after that customer service (from the owner especially) we have a horrible taste left in our mouth and will let our friends know as well. Disrespecting your customer (especially my mom!) is never ok.

    3 people found this helpful

  14. PBfromSB

    Central Coast

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on February 11, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Exceptional service, really good food (the Branzino and tempura battered zucchini flowers especially), and festive, warm atmosphere. Loved it!

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  15. ShelleyK

    Central Coast

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on February 11, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Always delicious, fun and with wonderful service :)

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  16. DeborahU

    Central Coast

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 10, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Always delicious Great variety Beautiful restaurant

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  17. MichaelP

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 4, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Looking forward to coming back again soon with friends.

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  18. KristenM

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 3, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We were a big group and the service was outstanding

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  19. ARSB

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 28, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 3
    First time coming here and it was just ok. I feel like this place is trying to deliver a quality, modern dining experience but it fell short for me. The restaurant is packed tight, it was a full house and staff and customers were squeezing between tables, bumping into one another. Our server wasn't the most attentive, nice guy but room for improvement. The timing on our food and drinks was off. Ordered drinks, 3 of us got cocktails 1 got a glass of wine. Ordered 3 appetizers and 2 came out before cocktails, but glass of wine was instantaneous. Ordered our entrees several minutes after finishing apps and the wait for the entrees was long, the amount of time that goes by when you start to notice how long its been between courses. Apps were fine. 2/4 of us enjoyed our meals. I got the duck confit and honestly the plate was mostly a HUGE salad. One duck thigh and really watery and under seasoned mashed potatoes. I was hungry so I ate my plate, but disappointed. My FIL ordered the steak, asked for rare/med-rare and got medium, he was disappointed. I did tell him after the first bite to say something, but he too was hungry he didn't want to wait for a new steak. Also, I had mentioned it was my birthday in the reservation, but nothing was done until after the check was paid when our server brought over 4 small pours of sparkling wine and said happy birthday to the table (he didn't ask whose birthday it was) and then followed up by saying "I don't usually do this, but you all were nice." Weird thing to say. Overall, it was an "eh" experience, had higher hopes.

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  20. OpenTable Diner

    Central Coast

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on January 28, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The best, most interesting restaurant in Santa Barbara. There is not a miss on the menu…and those beautiful cocktails are swoon worthy! The standout of downtown by far.

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  21. brittanyb

    New York City

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 24, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Gala has the most beautiful atmosphere and such amazing food.

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  22. BenjieSB

    Central Coast

    20 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on January 21, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Consistently one of the best restaurants in Santa Barbara and definitely the one that feels the most like being in Europe!! Well done guys

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  23. Kevin

    Los Angeles

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on January 20, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had glasses of Cava and Albariño, which went perfectly with our appetizer Burrata with squash and pomegranate and pumpkin seeds, and shared the Tagliatelle entree. Everything was presented beautifully and tasted delicious. We finished it off with orange crème brûlée for dessert, which had a perfect texture and taste.

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  24. Ilikefood

    New York City

    38 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    38 reviews

    Dined on January 20, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Nice experience. Duck was delicious. Fantastic charcoal margarita. Branzino was good too. Portion of mussels seemed skimpy & fries were too salty. Maybe fresh bread would have been nice to sop up the broth. Server cleared dishes while one member of our party was still dining.

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  25. Lala

    Central Coast

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on January 19, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Went for happy hour and enjoyed the house margarita and appetizers.

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  26. VanessaU

    Central Coast

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 14, 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    Kept us waiting outside, because apparently the people who sat at our table weren’t leaving. It was cold and the only option to sit was outside, yet with one chair missing. So we decided to stand, they kept coming by to apologize and ultimately we ordered a drink standing and waiting. You’d think they covered that, since they kept asking us if we wanted to get drinks already. But no. Finally after waiting for around 30min, we were seated. They were super busy, food took too long to come out. “Kitchen was closing” after 30min of being seated. Dessert took forever to come out. Overall poor evpiernce

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  27. CodyR

    Central Coast

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on January 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    We had a truly delicious meal for our anniversary and the service was excellent. All the recommended dishes were fantastic, including Thai style moules frites, fried zucchini blossoms, and the orange creme brûlée. We also had the mushroom risotto and duck confit entrees, which were perfectly executed. We will definitely be back!

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  28. AnaH

    Las Vegas

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 7, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Delicious and reasonably priced for Santa Barbara. The service was wonderful.

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  29. Capo

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on January 4, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Cozy place, interesting menu, good food, very professional and friendly staff.

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  30. Vivian

    Los Angeles

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on January 3, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Delicious. High Ceilings make it a noisy place but the food was wonderful.

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  31. Munzeee123

    Central Coast

    69 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    69 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    A locals favorite. Thank you Tara and staff. See you next year!

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  32. SallyM

    Central Coast

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 29, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    The atmosphere inside is very attractive. It was modern and warm. The food was excellent. We would have preferred to have some local wines included on the wine list. The noise level inside was the only draw back. We had a party of six and the people at either ends of the table could not hear the conversations at the table. We will definitely go back and will try the patio.

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  33. CCSB

    Central Coast

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 28, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    This was our first time at Gala and it was exceptional! Good cocktails, and everything we ordered was delicious! I highly recommend giving it a try.

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  34. SBPenn

    Central Coast

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 24, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Never disappoints! Classy, friendly atmosphere and the best food.

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  35. PeterW

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on December 21, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Great, relatively new restaurant in SB. Our first time here and we loved every dish we had. Service was polite, timely, friendly and precise.

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  36. HBDiner

    Los Angeles

    83 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    83 reviews

    Dined on December 21, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful dining experience from olives to perfectly fresh and flavorful kumiai oysters to excellent main courses like rack of lamb! Comprehensive wine list, innovative cocktails and unforgettable desserts. Very capable and responsive service in a relaxing and comfortable setting. Highly recommended.

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  37. ThomasT

    Central Coast

    15 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on December 16, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This was our first visit to GALA and it was terrific. Service was incredibly attentive and informative and it is a beautiful. Very open air and the food was awesome. Be sure to try the marinated olives and be sure to buy the guys in the kitchen a beer too!

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  38. NAAMAF

    San Francisco

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on December 16, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful experience! Go there- it’s great! Awesome service, excellent food. Great ambience

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  39. mysharonany

    Los Angeles

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on December 16, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 4
    The food is very delicious but totally understaffed. Took 30 min to get our drinks at 4:45. Can't imagine what it is like the restaurant is packed. But the food is in fact very, very, very good.

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  40. DiliaD

    San Francisco

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 15, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 4
    I feel like Gala continues to struggle with the service aspect. There were not enough servers. We were a party of only 2 people, and we ended up waiting a lot: 1. We waited for our reserved table 2. We waited for the servers to even look at us and to acknowledge us 3. Then we waisted to order 4. Then drink took way long and arrived after the food arrived Its unfortunate because the food was good. I hope they are able to figure it out.

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Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
    • Contactless payment available
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

Gala is rated 4.7 stars by 184 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 10 times today
Google Map for Gala

705 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Cross street
    Ortega St.
  • Neighborhood
    Santa Barbara
  • Hours of operation
    Tue–Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    European, Spanish, American
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Parking details
    Public Lot
  • Owned/operated by
    Women
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Counter Seating, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining
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