Secret Bao

4.8
72 Reviews
$30 and under
Asian
Modern Asian American Restaurant from Chefs Peter Lee & Felicia Medina. Former Chefs of Loquita, Joel Robuchon, Jaleo, Osteria Mozza & Scarpetta to name a few.

We grew up in California and have been travelling and cooking for a living, let us take you on a culinary adventure.

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, Bao, Food, Restaurant, Asian, American, New, Modern, Fried, Chicken, Octopus, Vegan, Vegetarian, Paelo, Friendly, Dog Friendly, Outdoor Patio, Heaters, Warm, Inviting, Hospitable, Modern Design

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 72 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
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e
ejay
Central Coast
1 review
Dined 19 hours ago
Overall4food4service4ambience3

fun fusion menu; delicious food! surprised us with glasses of champagne for our anniversary💘!! high noise level inside and quite crowded-- request their patio seating if available.

SH
SawyerH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 20 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal. Food and service were excellent. Don't miss the desserts! We would have loved the option to have coffee or tea with dessert, but this was the only fault we found with the whole experience.

d
domyam
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The bao we had were all delicious. We tried almost every filling and each one was really good. Loved this place.

B
Bourdainlives
Jackson Hole
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

delicious food and great service - everything was perfect - we'll definitely go back!

SC
vipSeanC
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great outdoor dining

AH
AshleighH
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love Secret Bao! Our favorites are the baos, angry shrimp, noodles, tuna tartare and the sticky date cake for dessert! So good and can’t wait to go back!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Central Coast
6 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience, 2nd time here, great value, wonderful flavors, and friendly staff, I would recommend to anybody!

K
vipKittykitchen
Los Angeles
43 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Wow, what a great addition to the Santa Barbara food scene. We had several of the bao (which are large and sort of taco like in style) and the angry shrimp and the tomato salad and the eggplant. Overall, I’d say just a touch pricy for the size of portions but so yummy! Service for beverages a bit slow but food service great. Super great quality. Highly recommend

S
vipSavor
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

an outstanding first experience of this restaurant. Can't wait to return!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent variety and food quality.

f
food10
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience3

We made reservations to sit on the patio. We were seated at a table facing the parking structure, and trash / recycle cans, that seemed to be in an alleyway, outside of the patio area. Not pleasant.
Our server Tony is excellent, the food also creative, delicious as usual. We have been here several times and look forward to new menus items.
PS, limited options for those who don’t eat meat or poultry.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food as always

MS
vipMSublett
Central Coast
13 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time here. It was Great. A fun place with really good food.

DS
DezSB
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Been to this place many times. Ordered a few different Baos and the special that night. Everything tasted great. Wish they would bring back their Asian noodle dishes they originally started with. They serve a few during lunch still but not for dinner. Those are our favorite dishes. The Korean Paella looks amazing and heard from others it is great!

t
tomandtol
Central Coast
6 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was creative and fresh. Presentations were lovely and waitstaff was appropriately attentive. Recommend outdoor seating.

ML
MarissaL
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall1food2service2ambience2

Honestly, I had higher hopes. I ordered the cauliflower as my appetizer, and the udon carbonara for my main dish. My carbonara came out first, then they said the cauliflower would be done shortly. I was told this a few times within the next 30 minutes until I finally told my server that I didn’t want it anymore. The food was very subpar, my pasta was incredibly salty. My friend did not like her fried rice either. When the owner came to the table I had told her the story about the cauliflower, and she seem like she really didn’t care. She said that it’s a dish that usually takes 10 to 15 minutes to make, and that of us guests would like dishes brought out in a certain order, that we need to tell the server that. How would we know that? Typically when you see appetizer you would just assume that that comes out before a main dish.Am I wrong? She had also said that the cauliflower takes at least 10 to 15 minutes to prepare, well then maybe you should have that written next to it on the menu. Just a thought anyway, I won’t be back.

a
vipashleyp
Las Vegas
12 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the food. Service was very attentive and friendly. Can’t wait to go back for the Udon Carbonara soon!

BL
BrendaL
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Secret Bao really is a secret. I barely noticed their sign while stopped at the stoplight nearby. Curiosity brought me to Yelp which had excellent reviews. Our first try was take out due to necessity of reservations. It was so amazing we decided to have the full experience and make reservations for our second visit. The service was excellent just as the well as the food. The baos are about slider size which is great because you can try more than one but make sure to save room for the donut bao. See you soon Secret Bao!

JC
JimC
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2021
Overall3food2service5ambience4

We tried only 3 dishes so our review is limited to that. Many, many attractive dishes are shown in the pictures that are not on the extremely limited menu. We found it difficult to choose due to the limited and mostly unattractive, to us, choices. First for the good the udon carbonara was quite wonderful. Better than pasta in this dish. Our other two dishes were based on pork belly. The pork belly "bao" and the "szechuan sauce gyoza". Both preparations were disappointing. We really like pork belly and have eaten it many times in Chinese, French, and even Mexican restaurants. The pork in these dishes at Secret Bao was not fresh. The "bao" pork belly just was very fat and lightly cooked. The "gyoza" was a strange dish with little packets of meat in wonton skins fried crisp with a "Szechuan" sauce. The sauce had no, absolutely no, relation to real Szechuan sauce or Szechuan flavors. It was some sort of slightly spicy sweet sauce. Giving this any reference to Szechuan cuisine is completely false and misleading. This place offers unusual trendy stuff that will not stand the test of time.

LL
vipLingLing
Central Coast
13 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Chef Peter and Felicia are so talented. I am a big fan of Loquita and glad I reconnected with them again.
Chef James and Peter from Finch Fork say hi to both of you :)

e
elainesb
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Excellent food, servers were very accommodating and upbeat, overall a great dining experience. Outdoor tables could use a little charm, maybe a little flower or something so it was not so bare. But bottom line, we will go back...and bring friends!

s
sygyzy
Central Coast
6 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

July was not a great month for the restaurant but they turned it all around with this meal. Great experience from check in til leaving. Great and fast service, all the dishes were delicious!

K
Karen
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

The food was very good & the service was even better! We are definitely going back, but ordering all the different baos next time!

JD
JoeD
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fun place, great food. Glad we stumbled across this little jewel.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, friendly staff .

OT
OpenTable Diner
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and service

RG
RebeccaG
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it! Wish the wine selections were a bit better but the food was fantastic!

C
Cynthia
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant is excellent for both lunch or dinner. Two different menus and they have new dishes all the time. I cannot get enough of this food!

t
tomandtol
Central Coast
6 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was very creative. The presentations were wonderful. The service was attentive and appropriate. We had two different baos and shared two salads and each was fresh and delicious and wonderfully prepared.

GM
GinaM
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Baos really good but high priced. Kimchi paella sooo good, pork belly literally melts in your mouth.

s
stephaniec
San Francisco
45 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Love the location and unique menu selections. We loved the Bao selections and tuna tartare. A bit overpriced as one needs at least two Bao for a meal. We tried the Bao donut dessert which was delicious! Waitperson was good

AG
AdamG
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My wife and I went to celebrate our 15 year wedding anniversary. Before we left we were already planning our next date here food was amazing service was excellent chef was so nice I would go back for any occasion 10 thumbs up

IT
vipIoneTaylor
Central Coast
64 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I'm obsessed with the food at Secret Bao. Their baos are inventive and delicious. My husband ordered the shrimp and K.F.C. baos, which are his favorites. I ordered the gyoza and the bagel bao with lox and cream cheese. Both were excellent. We wrapped up our dinner with sticky date cake made with my favorite DaVall dates. (My mom has me send her DaVall dates by the pound.) What a treat. Our server was friendly and attentive. She offered good suggestions when I asked her a question about the menu. The food arrived at our table in a timely manner but without us feeling rushed. We were seated outside next to the restaurant in their outdoor seating area. We appreciated the opportunity to dine outdoors during a pandemic. We look forward to our next dining experience here!

e
vipelosb
Central Coast
40 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Good food & service. But $15 for a glass of wine that wasn't really a full glass was disappointing.

L
vipLisa
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Our favorite dish was the Octopus- the flavors were outstanding! All of the dishes that we ordered were delicious. Perfect place to share plates and enjoy so many different flavors.

N
Nata
Seattle
15 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience4

KFC Bao didnt dissapointed.. but cautflower was undercooked, almost raw.
Good service but ambiance is lucking.. not comfy seatings :(

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic service all around and incredible food!!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

A nice adventure in dining. Creative dishes, good ingredients, well presented. Some reasonably priced wine selections and friendly, attentive service. Enjoyed our evening.

B
vipBunny
New York Area
48 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was just great. The food was delicious and the staff very helpful.
We can’t wait to return!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience3

The table we were given was on the side walk, They gave us this table when 90% of outside tables were available. …. I honestly doesn’t like the host of the place . It’s my second experience with the same person and again not happy how she treat customers.

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Secret Bao using the Order Online button. Secret Bao also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (805) 259-3226.

Secret Bao is rated 4.8 stars by 72 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.