Secret Bao

4.7
91 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 91 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
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s
stewiel
Los Angeles
40 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The Baos are fantastic. The othe foods are also quite good. Have had the carbonera a few times....always great.

TV
TimV
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ate outside. Weather was perfect. Food was amazing. Great date nite with my wife.

J
Jermeister
Los Angeles
25 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience3

First time there and did not disappoint! All 4 Bao’s we tried were fantastic! And the Date Cake with ice cream was amazing. We will be back !

BS
BSmith
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Secret Bao is an awesome place for a chill but memorable dinner.

j
janem
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved everything about it...great flavors, ambience, and service....EXCELLENT!!!!

D
Daniel
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and food. Staff were friendly and attentive. Food was very tasty and came out fast. A little overpriced.

FS
FoodienSB
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Food was great! Felt a little rushed by the server(s) but loved everything I tried!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love their depth of flavors, presentation and service.

JS
JuleeS
Central Coast
4 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience4

I was really looking forward to eating here based on the reviews and reccomendations.

But the food was very underwhelming, especially for the price.

We won’t be back.

FR
FeliciaR
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The food was delicious, especially the variety of Bao on the menu. We especially enjoyed the Pork Belly Bao and the carbonara Udon. We will definitely return.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orange County
10 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the lunch menu on many occasions and finally got to experience their dinner menu. So many wonderful items to choose from that our group decided to dine “family style”. EVERYTHING was amazing and flavorful! Service was great. Can’t wait to return the next time we’re in SB!

AG
AnnaG
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is unreal. We got a sampler of baos and of course wanted more. The paella is also so flavorful and was plenty for our group of four. Would go back to this flavor factory in a heartbeat!!

PJ
vipPegJ
London
4 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very very good food. Different from the usual Asian fare. Enjoyable.

j
jenns
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enjoyed our experience and highly thought this wonderful restaurant! The Baos are incredible.

a
vipashleyp
Las Vegas
14 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The KFC Bao never disappoints!

FS
vipFranksinSB
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Always a special dish worth trying. I like their small menu; they do a very good job on what they offer. Try the lychee martini – looks like the real thing, tastes great, but doesn't knock me over like a vodka martini tends to do. Service is excellent. This is an excellent spot for dining outdoors...

e
ejay
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2021
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 on September 18, 2021
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.

F
Fussy
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience2

A hip vibe but very crowded, very noisy, waiters kept bringing wrong orders, food mediocre and overpriced.

d
domyam
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2021
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 on September 15, 2021
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
3 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
3 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
14 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
4 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
3 reviews
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!

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 4.7 stars by 91 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.