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Louie's California Bistro, Santa Barbara, CA

Louie's California Bistro

4.7
4.7
424 Reviews
$30 and under
American

Intimate and exclusive due to it's limited seating, Louie’s California Bistro has long been touted as one of Santa Barbara's favorite local secrets. Unconcerned with flashy food trends, the focus at Louie's has always been to take local ingredients and make them shine, often through classic style cooking and recipes. Add in Central Coast wines and a table on the historic wrap around veranda and you have the makings for a truly enjoyable dining experience. Louie's resides within a local landmark: The Upham Hotel. The Upham, built in 1871, is California's longest continuously operating hotel and is one of Santa Barbara's oldest buildings, having survived the earthquake of 1925.

Make a reservation

2 people

May 2022
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7:00 PM


Booked 28 times today
Experiences are available.

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Fine Dining

  • Cuisines

    American, Californian, Comfort Food

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch
    Sun 10:00 am–12:45 pm
    Dinner
    Tue–Sat 5:30 pm–9:30 pm

  • Phone number

    (805) 963-7003

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Private party facilities

    We often cater private events in the meeting rooms of the Upham Hotel. Please inquire for pricing

  • Neighborhood

    Santa Barbara

  • Cross street

    De La Vina Street at Sola Street

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Additional

    Banquet, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Experiences

  • SB Restaurant Week

    $40.00 per person

    May 17 - May 22, 2022
    In honor of SB Restaurant Week, we are offering an optional pre-fixe menu at $40 per person, excluding beverage, tax, and gratuity. Menu: Starters (choice of) Strawberry and Spinach Salad with Caramelized Pecans & Poppy Seed Dressing/ Shrimp and Scallop Cake with Scallion Vinaigrette/ Puree of Asparagus Soup/ Entree (choice of) Sautéed Swordfish with Wild Mushroom Risotto, French Green Beans & Saffron Cream Sauce/ Lightly Breaded Filet of Sole over a Potato Pancake with Steamed Asparagus & Lemon Beurre Blanc/ Louie's Classic Grilled Meatloaf with Sautéed Mushrooms & Onions, Cabernet Sauce and Garlic Mashed Potatoes/ Pizza with Caramelized Onions & Gorgonzola/ Dessert (choice of) Flourless Chocolate Cake/ Creme Brulee/ Trio of Gelato

Popular dishes

Menu

$8 Split Charge per Entree

Starters

  • Filet Mignon Tips$15.00

    Sauteed with Mushrooms and Onions in a Dijon Cabernet Sauce

    • Shrimp and Scallop Cakes$16.00

      Scallion Vinaigrette and Asparagus

      • Crabmeat Dumplings$17.00

        Sun-dried Tomato and Artichoke Cream Sauce

        Salads

        • Tomato, Gorgonzola, Red Onions, Basil, Pine Nuts & Balsamic Vinaigrette$13.00

          • Strawberry and Spinach Salad with Caramelized Pecans & Poppy Seed Dressing$15.00

            • Pear and Gorgonzola Salad Over Spinach with Avocado, Red Onion & Cilantro Vinaigrette$16.00

              • Caesar with French Bread Croutons$13.00

                • Mixed Sweet Greens with Fresh Herb Vinaigrette$10.00

                  Pizza & Pasta

                  • Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Gorgonzola Cheese$18.00

                    • Pizza with Cajun Chicken and Pineapple$19.00

                      • Angel Hair with Tomatoes, Olives, Capers, Oregano, Basil, Pine Nuts and Parmesan$21.00

                        • Fettuccini with Tomato, Fresh Basil and Parmesan In a Light Herb Cream Sauce$23.00

                          • Spaghetti with Meatballs, Marinara Sauce and Topped with Parmesan$24.00

                            • Linguini with Grilled Shrimp, Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Spinach, and Feta Cheese$25.00

                              Entrées

                              • Chicken Piccata$28.00

                                served over Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Spinach and Asparagus with Louie's Piccata Sauce

                                • Grilled Meat Loaf$27.00

                                  Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions, Cabernet Sauce and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

                                  • Lightly Breaded Filet of Sole$29.00

                                    served over a Potato Pancake with Steamed Asparagus and a Lemon Beurre Blanc Sauce

                                    • Beef Stroganoff$32.00

                                      Filet Tips with Mushrooms, Onions in a Stroganoff Cream Sauce over Noodles

                                      • Sesame Crusted Scottish Salmon$35.00

                                        with Stir Fried Vegetables in a Soy Ginger Vinaigrette with Rice Noodles and a Wasabi Cream Sauce

                                        • Louie's Seasonal Seafood and Shrimp Cioppino$35.00

                                          with Saffron Rice

                                          • Sautéed Catch of the Day$36.00

                                            with Wild Mushroom Risotto, French Green Beans and a Saffron Cream Sauce

                                            • Grilled Filet Mignon$41.00

                                              with Sautéed Mushrooms and Caramelized Shallot, Cabernet Sauce and Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese, over a Potato Pancake

                                              Last updated: February 1, 2022

                                              What 424 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
                                              • 4.5Food
                                              • 4.7Service
                                              • 4.7Ambience
                                              • 4.3Value

                                              NoiseModerate

                                              Loved For

                                              • California Central Coast

                                                American

                                              • Santa Barbara

                                                Best Overall

                                              • Santa Barbara

                                                Best Service

                                              • Santa Barbara

                                                Best Ambiance

                                              • Santa Barbara

                                                Healthy

                                              • Santa Barbara

                                                Neighborhood Gem

                                              • Santa Barbara

                                                Outdoor Dining

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                                              1. OT

                                                OpenTable Diner

                                                Washington DC

                                                15 reviews

                                                vip
                                                5.0

                                                15 reviews

                                                Dined 2 days ago

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                Such a lovely quiet brunch on the porch. Excellent shrimp and crab Eggs Benedict and challah French Toast. So clean and wonderful service. Always a perfect place to bring our out of town guests.

                                              2. KS

                                                KathleenS

                                                1 review

                                                5.0

                                                1 review

                                                Dined 2 days ago

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                Wonderful service and lovely atmosphere. All four dishes were fantastic. $20 corkage fee. Definitely will be back.

                                              3. l

                                                luvtoeat

                                                New York Area

                                                12 reviews

                                                5.0

                                                12 reviews

                                                Dined 2 days ago

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                Thoroughly enjoyed our meal as well as the staff.

                                              4. MB

                                                MichaelB

                                                1 review

                                                4.0

                                                1 review

                                                Dined 2 days ago

                                                overall4food4service4ambience5

                                                Lead waitstaff was excellent and so upbeat but the delivery of the main course was not timed properly by another guy. Anya (sp?) was great but a couple of the other workers were less than professional. That said, we still love Louie’s and will be back.

                                              5. OT

                                                OpenTable Diner

                                                San Diego

                                                3 reviews

                                                3.0

                                                3 reviews

                                                Dined 2 days ago

                                                overall3food1service4ambience5

                                                The most chewy filet mignon I have ever had. No kidding. It was not over cooked. It was just so chewy that I splitter out most of it. For that and the slow service I would have given it a 1 out of 5. The waiters were nice and the other food were ok. So I gave it a 3 but it’s more like 2.5.

                                              6. SS

                                                SusanS

                                                Hawaii

                                                4 reviews

                                                5.0

                                                4 reviews

                                                Dined 3 days ago

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                Our server was delightful. We had our very young granddaughter with us and she was super at getting the spaghetti brought out quickly! Wish I remembered her name but she was awesome.

                                              7. WM

                                                WilliamM

                                                Central Coast

                                                5 reviews

                                                vip
                                                4.0

                                                5 reviews

                                                Dined 3 days ago

                                                overall4food4service5ambience4

                                                Good starters and entrees. Nice ambiance. Good wine list.

                                              8. S

                                                Saltbread

                                                Dallas

                                                13 reviews

                                                vip
                                                4.0

                                                13 reviews

                                                Dined 4 days ago

                                                overall4food4service5ambience5

                                                Quaint and quiet spot situated in an inn. Great service. Food was very good. Would definitely come back

                                              9. SG

                                                SheilaGG

                                                Chicago

                                                13 reviews

                                                vip
                                                4.0

                                                13 reviews

                                                Dined on May 8, 2022

                                                overall4food5service4ambience5

                                                Mother’s Day was a little understaffed. We love this restaurant and come here for many holidays, but they were a bit overwhelmed on Sunday.

                                              10. BB

                                                BryanB

                                                1 review

                                                5.0

                                                1 review

                                                Dined on May 8, 2022

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

                                              11. OT

                                                OpenTable Diner

                                                1 review

                                                5.0

                                                1 review

                                                Dined on May 8, 2022

                                                overall5food5service4ambience5

                                                Mothers Day. Lovely!

                                              12. E

                                                Edie

                                                Central Coast

                                                86 reviews

                                                4.0

                                                86 reviews

                                                Dined on May 8, 2022

                                                overall4food3service5ambience5

                                                It was Mother’s Day. Very special place to go for any occasion. We love it there. The food for brunch was okay I’m afraid. But we’ve had wonderful meals there most of the time.

                                              13. SF

                                                ShaniF

                                                1 review

                                                4.0

                                                1 review

                                                Dined on May 8, 2022

                                                overall4food5service4ambience5

                                                Mother’s Day brunch was a total success! The food was delicious and the setting was beautiful.

                                              14. B

                                                Bobcat

                                                Los Angeles

                                                121 reviews

                                                vip
                                                5.0

                                                121 reviews

                                                Dined on May 8, 2022

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                We had brunch and food was way beyond Excellent!

                                              15. OT

                                                OpenTable Diner

                                                San Diego

                                                2 reviews

                                                5.0

                                                2 reviews

                                                Dined on May 8, 2022

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                I love this restaurant. Brunch is amazing. Best quiche ever!

                                              16. FF

                                                FiFi

                                                Dublin

                                                4 reviews

                                                5.0

                                                4 reviews

                                                Dined on May 7, 2022

                                                overall5food5service4ambience5

                                                We had an absolutely divine dinner. Food was absolutely delicious. Ambiance lovely, loved the outdoor terrace, quiet, neighbourhood feel but two blocks to state st. We'll be back!!

                                              17. M

                                                Mark

                                                Las Vegas

                                                11 reviews

                                                4.0

                                                11 reviews

                                                Dined on May 7, 2022

                                                overall4food4service5ambience5

                                                Nice place, limited menu, food was good portion size was good. Parking is an issue.

                                              18. g

                                                grateful

                                                Central Coast

                                                5 reviews

                                                5.0

                                                5 reviews

                                                Dined on May 5, 2022

                                                overall5food5service4ambience4

                                                We returned to celebrate two wedding anniversaries and were once again delighted with our food and service. This is a lovely restaurant that we'd highly recommend.

                                              19. SB

                                                StevieB

                                                Los Angeles

                                                14 reviews

                                                4.0

                                                14 reviews

                                                Dined on May 1, 2022

                                                overall4food4service4ambience4

                                                The salmon was excellent! Lamb was cooked perfectly. We enjoyed the steak tips starters as well.

                                              20. OT

                                                OpenTable Diner

                                                Los Angeles

                                                9 reviews

                                                5.0

                                                9 reviews

                                                Dined on April 30, 2022

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                Food was very good; service very good; very cute old building; a little expensive so not a value but also a very nice meal.

                                              21. R

                                                Roundmidnight

                                                Los Angeles

                                                24 reviews

                                                5.0

                                                24 reviews

                                                Dined on April 29, 2022

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                Food was delicious and well prepared. I loved my curried carrot soup, and the Scottish salmon was perfect. Our server was very attentive and cordial. We sat outside on a lovely wrap-around porch with heaters to keep us toasty. I would definitely go back again.

                                              22. OT

                                                OpenTable Diner

                                                Denver

                                                2 reviews

                                                5.0

                                                2 reviews

                                                Dined on April 24, 2022

                                                overall5food5service5ambience4

                                                Very nice. The service was particularly good.

                                              23. F

                                                Frank

                                                1 review

                                                3.0

                                                1 review

                                                Dined on April 24, 2022

                                                overall3food2service2ambience3

                                                Our food was served room-temp. Wife had the fish, which was over-cooked. I had the beef stroganoff--beef was over-cooked and dry. Our dinner salad which was a modified caprese salad was good--only 6 slice of tomatoes the size of a small plum for $14 dollars--wow. The only thing that was delicious was their crab dumplings.

                                              24. OT

                                                OpenTable Diner

                                                Central Coast

                                                1 review

                                                4.0

                                                1 review

                                                Dined on April 24, 2022

                                                overall4food4service5ambience4

                                                Good food with some innovative touches. Very attentive service

                                              25. OT

                                                OpenTable Diner

                                                New York Area

                                                2 reviews

                                                vip
                                                5.0

                                                2 reviews

                                                Dined on April 23, 2022

                                                overall5food4service5ambience5

                                                A charming restaurant with a fantastic menu and exceptional service. Our waitress was a gem! The food was delicious and the ambiance very cozy.

                                              26. OT

                                                OpenTable Diner

                                                London

                                                8 reviews

                                                5.0

                                                8 reviews

                                                Dined on April 21, 2022

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                The food is always 5 stars as is the wait staff. The ambiance is wonderful with lots of wood, very cozy, warm and inviting. The food is top drawer. It was a friends birthday and everything turned out perfect! One of the most outstanding restaurants in Santa Barbara!

                                              27. SG

                                                SheilaGG

                                                Chicago

                                                14 reviews

                                                vip
                                                5.0

                                                14 reviews

                                                Dined on April 17, 2022

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                Easter brunch was perfect in a beautiful setting

                                              28. OT

                                                OpenTable Diner

                                                Central Coast

                                                3 reviews

                                                vip
                                                5.0

                                                3 reviews

                                                Dined on April 17, 2022

                                                overall5food4service5ambience5

                                                Sean at Louie’s stayed in phone contact to update us on the menu’s holiday additions. Our table was beautifully set snd decorated when we arrived and the waiter attentive to our needs. The meal was well-prepared and nicely paced. Heater were available and the porch area was comfortable for our party of ten. Several in our party ordered the special lobster omelette but all who ate it found the sauce too bland and unappealing. Everything else was up to Louie’s exceptional standards, including the shrimp and crab eggs benedict, the fluffy spinach and bacon quiche, and the pear and gorgonzola salad with grilled chicken.

                                              29. c

                                                croatia

                                                Central Coast

                                                5 reviews

                                                5.0

                                                5 reviews

                                                Dined on April 17, 2022

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                Perfect Easter brunch with family from out of town. Exceptional food and service, beautiful table service and the Upham's garden was beautiful.

                                              30. CM

                                                CarlaM

                                                1 review

                                                5.0

                                                1 review

                                                Dined on April 17, 2022

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                We had a fabulous time as always at Louie's, the food is aways so good and the service is on point. We will definitely keep coming back.

                                              31. K

                                                Keegan

                                                Central Coast

                                                1 review

                                                4.0

                                                1 review

                                                Dined on April 17, 2022

                                                overall4food4service5ambience4

                                                The Easter menu was typical of what you would see in a bistro, however the food was good. Service and ambiance were also good. I plan on returning to try their other items.

                                              32. RL

                                                RicardoL

                                                1 review

                                                5.0

                                                1 review

                                                Dined on April 17, 2022

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                The food was superb service was outstanding invited my friend for Easter better than expected can't wait to return it was especially nice to see the owner manager with their sleeves rolled up helping out

                                              33. OT

                                                OpenTable Diner

                                                Central Coast

                                                1 review

                                                5.0

                                                1 review

                                                Dined on April 15, 2022

                                                overall5food5service5ambience4

                                                I didn’t get her name, but our server was delightful!

                                              34. OT

                                                OpenTable Diner

                                                1 review

                                                3.0

                                                1 review

                                                Dined on April 10, 2022

                                                overall3food4service2ambience2

                                                Food was pretty good. Bad table location in a corner behind a wall so server forgot about us. No check back and there was an issue with one of the three entrees but never able to communicate that. Server literally never came back. Had to request check with a table full of dirty dishes only to be told she was tied up talking at another table. We will try again but do not sit back behind the black wall!

                                              35. JN

                                                JohnN

                                                Denver

                                                1 review

                                                4.0

                                                1 review

                                                Dined on April 10, 2022

                                                overall4food4service4ambience4

                                                The only problem we had was that the restaurant did not have our Open Table reservation but they were very accommodating and gave us a great table on the patio with a heat lamp. Both the service and the food were very good.

                                              36. KG

                                                KathyG

                                                1 review

                                                5.0

                                                1 review

                                                Dined on April 10, 2022

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                It was a beautiful evening, the food was great, actually big servings couldn't finish it all. Sitting outside on the front porch by the roses was spectacular. Service was great!

                                              37. KC

                                                KristinC

                                                1 review

                                                5.0

                                                1 review

                                                Dined on April 9, 2022

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                We went to Louie’s to celebrate our 22 wedding anniversary. The food was fantastic and the server was friendly, helpful and very attentive. Great night!!

                                              38. E

                                                billieE

                                                1 review

                                                5.0

                                                1 review

                                                Dined on April 9, 2022

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                I love going to Louie's. The food was great! Our waitress was excellent!!

                                              39. OT

                                                OpenTable Diner

                                                Central Coast

                                                4 reviews

                                                4.0

                                                4 reviews

                                                Dined on April 6, 2022

                                                overall4food4service5ambience5

                                                Went for our anniversary dinner.

                                              40. D

                                                Docalex

                                                Central Coast

                                                37 reviews

                                                vip
                                                5.0

                                                37 reviews

                                                Dined on April 3, 2022

                                                overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                Always a treat to dine here. Food is always outstanding, service is great, and a terrific value. Great to see them open for brunch. Hoping they are open daily for lunch soon.

                                              Safety precautions

                                              • Cleaning & sanitizing

                                                • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
                                                • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
                                                • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
                                                • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
                                                • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
                                              • Physical distancing

                                                • Limited number of seated diners
                                                • Distancing maintained in common areas
                                                • Extra space between tables
                                              • Protective equipment

                                                • Waitstaff wear masks
                                                • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
                                              • Screening

                                                • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

                                              FAQs

                                              Louie's California Bistro offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (805) 963-7003.

                                              Louie's California Bistro is rated 4.7 stars by 424 OpenTable diners.

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

                                              Make a reservation

                                              2 people

                                              May 2022
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                                              7:00 PM


                                              Booked 28 times today
                                              Experiences are available.
                                              Google Map for Louie's California Bistro

                                              1404 De La Vina St Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3027

                                              Additional information

                                              • Cross street

                                                De La Vina Street at Sola Street

                                              • Neighborhood

                                                Santa Barbara

                                              • Hours of operation

                                                Brunch
                                                Sun 10:00 am–12:45 pm
                                                Dinner
                                                Tue–Sat 5:30 pm–9:30 pm

                                              • Cuisines

                                                American, Californian, Comfort Food

                                              • Dining style

                                                Fine Dining

                                              • Dress code

                                                Business Casual

                                              • Parking details

                                                Street Parking

                                              • Payment options

                                                AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

                                              • Additional

                                                Banquet, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

                                              • Phone number

                                                (805) 963-7003

                                              • Private party facilities

                                                We often cater private events in the meeting rooms of the Upham Hotel. Please inquire for pricing

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