The Little Door - Santa Barbara

4.4
192 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Romantic
  • Special Occasion
The Little Door - Santa Barbara provides Contemporary American Cuisine with local & Mediterranean region inspired menu; our chef Oscar Ledesma creates a healthy, simple menu composed of local, seasonal, organic ingredients and spices. We bring together harmonious dishes and the right ambiance, overlooking the breathtaking Sunken Garden to please all your senses.
Come and enjoy a unique dining experience & celebrate Santa Barbara's "Joie De Vivre" with us!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Mediterranean, Farm-to-table
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Hours of operation
***Happy Hour: Tuesday - Saturday (4:30pm - 6:00pm)***

Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm (5:00 first reservation, 9:30pm last reservation)
Wednesday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm (5:00 first reservation, 9:30pm last reservation)
Thursday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm (5:00 first reservation, 9:30pm last reservation)
Friday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm (5:00 first reservation, 10pm last reservation)
Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm (5:00 first reservation, 10pm last reservation)
Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm (11:00am first reservation, 2:45pm last reservation)
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Phone number
(805) 560-8002
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Chef Oscar Ledesma
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Catering
Our Catering department will open soon, feel free to contact us for further inquiries.
805 560 8002 / events@thelittledoorsb.com
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Santa Barbara Street
Additional
Beer, Corkage Fee, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, View, Wine
What 192 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.2
service
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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AT
Phoenix
2 reviews
5.0Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I've been twice and both times have had a very good experience here, trying different dishes each time. Service has been great, and the owner was there both times checking on everything. Seems like they are still exploring their menu, which I appreciated as well. The ambiance is fantastic, the decor is beautiful yet cozy, great outdoor and indoor seating. I love also that it's off of State Street and away from the main buzz of the tourist traffic in a great location. I will definitely be back and hope for much success for this restaurant!

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s
Central Coast
4 reviews
4.0Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 2

Excellent service and food but very noisy, tacky decor (my opinion), and the time between dishes and water refills can be excruciatingly slow. When you do get the attention of the servers, they are very friendly and professional but they are often out of sight. Perhaps more staff is needed?

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HH
Los Angeles
6 reviews
5.0Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They have great appetizers and a nice wine selection. Beautifully decorated and our waitress was super sweet! I will definitely make this a regular spot to eat at

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r
Central Coast
30 reviews
5.0Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely dinner. If I could give more than five stars for food and service I would.

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OT
San Francisco
7 reviews
5.0Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience. Food was interesting and flavorful, service was great.

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m
Central Coast
7 reviews
3.0Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

We hadn’t been here in a while and suggested it to our friends. I had the chicken with risotto. It was a beige tasteless plate. The there seemed to like their food more than I did. I was very disappointed as I like the place and want to see it do well.
Hopefully it was an off night.

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OT
1 review
5.0Dined on September 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fatoush the owner came to our table and described some of her favorite dishes on the menu. Amazing food and ambiance. No better restaurant for a date in Santa Barbara. Across from the sunken gardens at the Santa Barbara courthouse. Amazing experience.

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CS
Los Angeles
6 reviews
5.0Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent French cuisine. Steak frites and Tagine were both delectable entrees. Steak was perfectly cooked and the lamb was excellent. We will definitely make this a go to restaurant in SB. The setting across from the sunken garden at the courthouse is beautiful and a bonus!!!!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
3.0Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

Food took awhile to come out. Also when we arrived several servers looked at us and moved past is without acknowledgement us or asking if we needed anything. Finally we had to say "we have a reservation" and they took us to our table.

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b
Los Angeles
12 reviews
5.0Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brunch, happy hour, dinner, all great!
Perfect place for a leisurely brunch or dinner.

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LG
1 review
5.0Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've eaten in many of the restaurants in Santa Barbara and The Little door is by far my new favorite

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J
1 review
5.0Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service. Right across the street from the Santa Barbara Courthouse which is a local icon and Romantic spot. The service was really top notch. Ashlin was our server, and gave great recommendations for wine and entrees. Wonderful place for a date!

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OT
1 review
5.0Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Anniversary

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L
Orange County
2 reviews
5.0Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful neighborhood gem! Great food great service !
Will definitely come back when i’m in town and will bring my friends.

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d
Los Angeles
17 reviews
5.0Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Lovely location, great service. we had a wonderful salmon entry, but our burrata and tomato was way over salted, and green salad was dripping in dressing.

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SL
Central Coast
1 review
3.0Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

We were shocked by the uneveness of the food being served by the kitchen. It seemed like no one was tasting the food they were preparing. The burrata was so over-salted you could not taste the ingredients. In the second course, the risotto served with the roast chicken had no seasoning and was incredibly bland. The flaccid skin on the roast chicken was also very unappetizing. The duck dish we had was the best of the three items we ordered and the only one that had appropriate seasoning.

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M
Central Coast
2 reviews
3.0Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Second visit was nowhere as good as first. Ambiance is great, patio has charm. But unfortunately dinner fell short. Pekin Duck for me. Two slices of meat about the size of an index finger. Cooked medium (so much for the 'Chef prefers preparing medium rare"). Unlike Peking duck, no crispy skin here. Not much flavor to meat, and the brussel sprout and peach managed to fall flat. Wife had Branzino. Wading through the bones in the "expertly filleted" fish was akin to walking a minefield in Vietnam. Not just a bone or two - dozens. Too much work.

Changed wine list from last visit. Selections are not great. Inexpensive wines are just that, downright cheap wines at $42-$56. Then you have to take a big leap.

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OT
Los Angeles
7 reviews
5.0Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food. Loved the duck & mussels

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TG
1 review
5.0Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So yummy and great ambiance! and the view! worth every penny.

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N
Central Coast
3 reviews
5.0Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great ambiance, friendly service. Our server`s recommendations were spot on , we had a delicious meal , including dessert.. I wish they had a liquor license since I love a martini when dining out !

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s
Central Coast
10 reviews
4.0Dined on August 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 1ambience 5

We really like this place and have been there a few times. This night, we had a waiter that was poor; not only to us but all his tables seemed to be chasing him. You know the type that will walk by you and not make eye contact? It is not a good trait and he probably wont be there long.
We tried not to let him spoil the night for us. They were out of the chicken at 6:30PM (how does that happen?) and ran out of Pinot Noir by the glass at 7PM...yes, in Santa Barbara, that is virtually impossible.
Anyway, we like the owner and the hostess and all the other servers so it was still a nice night and we would recommend it.

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KP
Central Coast
1 review
1.0Dined on August 9, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 1

This is the second time I've dined here, and it will be the last. Each time I've made a reservation for outdoor dining, and both times we were denied outdoor seating. The happy hour menu is great, but the main menu is incredibly overpriced. And don't order a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc! The only one they have on the menu is $83 and we were not warned as to the price.

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J
Orange County
4 reviews
5.0Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We really like this place. It is charming and has a great view of the sunken gardens at the court house. The staff is attentive and it just has a great feel. I have dined there twice and expect to dine there again!

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r
Central Coast
8 reviews
4.0Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Best bread in town and good to see a wine list featuring French wines. Interesting dishes from a chef who clearly knows his business.

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OT
Central Coast
7 reviews
5.0Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

amazing food

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M
Central Coast
1 review
5.0Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic addition to Santa Barbara. Great flavors, ingredients were clearly local and fresh. Only suggestion is to work on wine list to get a broader selection mid-range pricing.

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MS
1 review
5.0Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome experience. We found this place on a blog. We came here for the wine and food and were not disappointed. We had a reservation but upon arriving, there were two bar seats. We also prefer bar seats so we jumped at the opportunity. The bartenders were quiet, but we met some really nice locals that made food suggestions and even suggestions for cocktails after.
We started our meal with the charcuterie board and the tuna carpaccio. Both were amazing. I'd go back for either. After that we tried the steak tartar, which was good, but slightly overdressed for my tastebuds. The steak frites were great, we wish we hadn't been so full already.
The ambiance was great, there was an artist on the patio painting. Also cool location, not near all of the congestion. We will definitely return next time in SB.

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S
Central Coast
3 reviews
3.0Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

We loved the ambiance and the food. I loved especially the tuna carpaccio and the panna cotta with passion fruit. The waiter was kind of odd. He was not able to communicate very well. He never came to pour more wine or clear empty plates from the table. He did not know anything about wine, was not able to make any suggestions. We finally asked him to get someone with more wine knowledge. She was a little bit more knowledgeable. But when we decided on a wine, they told us they were out of it. Three of the wines we picked were not available and they were just normal wine by the glass selections. But we really liked the food and ambiance and will probably go back and sit by the bar. We had a really good experience a previous time when we sat by the bar and had a very nice bartender.

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KA
Miami
449 reviews
3.0Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

This was our third time here and for some reason it was off tonight. Service was off. We sat for perhaps 30 minutes waiting for our waitress to come over, tell us the specials and take our order. Seems she didn’t know she was assigned our table of 6. Process was tighter in our early visits. I didn’t see the co-owner up front running the show and perhaps it was this that led to decent but not nearly as good experience as our other visits of the past few months. I suspect this was just an off night. The food was good, the place very pretty and for these reasons we will come back on another note hoping tonight was just a one off.

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OT
Black Forest
11 reviews
5.0Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The mussels are TO DIE FOR but everything is delicious and creative! Go!!!

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RR
1 review
5.0Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

one of top restaurants in Santa Barbara. Lovely deck and view.

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m
Los Angeles
1 review
5.0Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Service was great. Food was good. Price was reasonable. Great spot to people watch and enjoy the fresh air.

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MP
San Diego
1 review
5.0Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I were in Santa Barbara for our wedding anniversary weekend and we booked Little Door as we were familiar with the restaurant in LA. The Santa Barbara restaurant had just opened 4 months ago and the food, ambiance, staff, level of service was ALL superb!! Everything on the menu looked amazing and the meal we had - everything from the starters, main course and dessert was phenomenal! Oscar the Head Chef makes his food with fresh local ingredients and he uses a complexity of spices and ingredients that makes each dish delicious and unique. We met him at the end of our meal as we were so impressed! We will definitely be back and next time to try the Chef's Table.

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S
Los Angeles
110 reviews
2.0Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 4

Really wanted to love this place. Charming hosts, everyone very friendly. Great vibe, and very good food. But WOW, was the service BAD. 8:00 reservation, and our drinks didn't come till 8:40. 9:20 before appetizers came. And because our server was AWOL the whole night, they ended up running out of the special that the owner spent 5 mins raving about. They were kind enough to comp some items on the bill, for which we thanked them. But I would've preferred competent service

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W
New York Area
72 reviews
5.0Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

We had low expectations. Every time we try a new restaurant in Santa Barbara it disappoints. And when our server didn't show up for ten minutes, we were sure Little Door would disappoint as well. But another waiter came to us, asked if we'd seen our waiter and when he told him we hadn't, he took over and gave excellent service. The food was spectacular. The owner came to the table, greeted us and apologized for the service and brought us two glasses of a dessert wine he makes himself. It was delicious. But best of all was the dessert. An eleven layer cake. Fabulous. And remarkable because the one thing that no other restaurant in Santa Barbara gets right is the dessert. We've already made reservations to go back.

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CG
Central Coast
4 reviews
5.0Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Excellent addition to the SB dining world. So happy they are open.
The owner usually stops at every table, and the front of the house woman is amazing.
Such a welcoming place with great food. We have been there several times, and are anxious to have many more wonderful meals at The Little Door.

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RG
1 review
5.0Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A very very very good restaurant . Everything is done with the heart

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C
Central Coast
2 reviews
5.0Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great spot. Will be back for sure

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LZ
Central Coast
1 review
5.0Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Santa Barbara’s must go restaurant. Beautiful atmosphere, readable menu-delicious food, & fun music. Professional staff that delights in service and making your experience memorable. I felt ‘at home’ comfortable the minute I walked in the Little Door.

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m
Central Coast
7 reviews
5.0Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We have always enjoyed coming here. The food is delicious and beautifully presented, the restaurant is cozy and very charming.

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