The Little Door - Santa Barbara

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4.5
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327 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
The Little Door - Santa Barbara Restaurant Bar 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! We are now open on Sundays which feature blues/jazz music and more. Please see our website for a full list of events.
What 327 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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J
Orange County
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the food and ambiance so much that we wanted to stay longer.

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SC
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love The Little Door! The food, drink, ambience and service are all outstanding. Our party devoured the superb clam chowder, beet salad, Branzino, Tazine, and the classic Steak Frittes, all done to perfection. The crime brûlée and terrine made excellent desserts. My 94-year-old mother was pleased to use the lift for the disabled, as she uses a walker and cannot climb stairs. The charming and gracious owner and host, Frederic Meschin is a lovely presence and should be very proud of his gorgeous establishment. We’ll be going back many more times!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Tuna tartare was not good. Artichokes out of can

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RV
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 4

Don’t list “handmade” farfalle on the menu if it’s going to come out as boxed pasta. Sauce was okay, but not worth the $26. Branzino was dry and on the small side and vegetables on the side had no flavor, some wilted and some par boiled, like under seasoned stock veggies. And then why serve a side of mashed potatoes when you already have boiled potatoes in the mixed vegetables? Mash was over seasoned and just an afterthought to fill the plate. Didn’t make any sense. And $30+ for that dish, what a waste of money. The only thing good about this place was the service and ambiance, cute patio. Our server and greeter were very warm and consistently refilling water and asking if we wanted anything else...unfortunately we will not be back.

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DR
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Wonderful intimate and romantic restaurant. Delicious food. Friendly service. I've been here a number of times. Love it and have recommended it to all my friends!

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OT
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The staff was warm and welcoming. Loved the decor, music and of course the steak and frites.

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RS
Los Angeles
57 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 4

You decide: upon entry the matre'd barely greeted us. After sitting for 15 minutes without water or signs of life from our waiter we finally called over a waiter from another table. He brought us water and bread. 10 minutes later our water came over: Rome, was his name. We made our order. After another 10 minutes he can over and politely informed us that they were out of two of the things we ordered (it was 8:30 on Memorial Day weekend (Sunday). "We'll have the lasagna", we said. Ten minutes later he came over and said: "We're out of that too." No menu in hand to offer alternatives. Could we have a menu..."oh yeah" he said. The wine that I first ordered had yet to arrive. First there was no fish, then surprise: salmon. Water glasses empty. No refills. Still no wine. We asked for the wine. It was sitting poured on the bar. It seemed our waiter forgot about it. Finally the salmon arrived. Someone had just purchased it from Cosco. Clearly farm raised. Empty plates were left on the table. Neopolotan pizza was ok. Gem salad was actually quite good. At no time was there any attempt to account for the inattentive service, the inability to provide what was on the menu, the forgotten wine...nothing. Bill arrived, no apology, no offer for even coffee or desert. We love the little door in LA. We'll never go back to the one in Santa Barbara.

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s
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 5ambience 5

Went in at 8pm they were out of all entrees except 2 which were chicken and vegetable lasagna, nothing my husband wanted. Also out of mussels. Appetizers were ok. Lovely ambience but should be prepared on a busy long weekend, left and went elsewhere for main entrees.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Cute, off the beaten path quaint and cool little spot. Tried French onion soup, mussels and branzino. The French onion soup was probably my favorite. Perfect temperature, nice flavored broth with perfectly rendered onions, topped with lots of cheese. Good portion size for the mussels and they sat in a nice, flavorful broth perfect for dipping their awesome bread. The branzino was Just ok. Nothing special in the preparation of the fish, but the sauce which accompanied the fish was excellent. For dessert, we tried the pound cake. For me, just ok. Nothing spectacular or overly creative. Overall, I would say it’s solid restaurant, clean, nice kitchen, great service a bit overpriced, especially since they don’t have to pay State St. rental prices.

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O
Seattle
8 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We enjoyed our evening and plan to return when the menu is not as limited. Loved the ambiance and music- piano and guitar on Sunday evening. Worth hanging out at the bar.
Outside table meant table under cover by the entrance so better to sit inside or at a high top table outside of bar. Server tried to do his best but hard to flag him down and host forgot to tell him what we needed. Roast chicken was bit dry and mushroom tartine was raw mushrooms on a crostini covered in cheese but lemon dessert was divine. Hoping next time is the charm!

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EL
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

All 4 of us thoroughly enjoyed the entire dining experience!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food, ambience, & service, we thoroughly enjoyed!

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MG
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Lovely service. The atmosphere is really charming. You have a great view of the amazing courthouse.

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OT
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really cute place. Good service and great wine list.

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W
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We arrived a bit early and were able to be seated early. Our server was attentive and able to suggest a wine to go with my entree. My husband’s steak was not cooked to his liking, our server not only made sure it was redone but also spoke to the manager to have our bill adjusted which was not expected. Definitely a great place for a date or special occasion!

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CG
Central Coast
5 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A very pretty setting, casual, friendly, great food.

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z
Central Coast
19 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had the tangine and salmon. Both delicious. Appetizers beet salad and clam chowder. The chowder was amazing. Bread is delicious too!!! Fun, lively atmosphere.

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A
Central Coast
39 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

It seems every time we go the food and whole experience gets better. The portions are quite generous although it is a limited menu - which equates to the chef being able to do better with each dish. Our server and service was very good and it was a busy Friday night with the place packed. Impressive. We will continue to go back.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Delicious food, nice patio!

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MR
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a lovely Mother's Day brunch at The Little Door. The prix fixe menu choices were extensive and everything we ordered was scrumptuous, with generous portions. I especially loved the beautiful music the sax player and guitarist were playing that complimented the experience perfectly. I will definitely go back to the Little Door again and again!

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RF
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Little Door has created a great ambiance and combined with the incredible food makes a very special and unique dining experience in Santa Barbara.

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JF
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and ambience. A true dining experience.

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M
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Although we requested patio seating in our reservation (and there were available tables outside) the hostess quickly started to seat us indoors without even acknowledging our request. Then she would have seated us outside at the only remaining low 2-top except a woman behind us quickly spoke up and said SHE wanted that table...and the hostess seated her there. There seemed to be some confusion on her part whether this woman was with our party. Anyway, drinks were ordered and the wrong one brought--that was corrected. Food was delicious and after the initial glitches, the server was lovely and accommodating. Wish the trend to high top tables would end!!! Very easy access to Granada Theatre but be sure to tell them you are attending a performance.

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JE
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite restaurants in SB. Beautiful setting. Food and service always excellent.

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j
Central Coast
5 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The menu was limited, however everything that we ordered was very delicious.

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A
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is such a charming "Take me Back to France" spot in SB. Lively European ambiance with a pretty bar and fanciful nocturnal decor on the inside, with cafe tables and festive lights on the deck for outside dining with a wonderful view of the Courtyard Sunken garden before us. We had a relaxed evening with friends, relaxed atmosphere with live music, lovely Bruna, our Brazilian waitress, and the owner, Frederic, stopping by to introduce himself. Delicious fresh mussels, steak/frites and chicken Tagine, all cooked to perfection. So happy to have discovered "The Little Door". We'll be back soon!

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b
San Diego
12 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

Love the interior of the restaurant, especially the blue ceiling and beautiful chandelier. The food was good and delivered hot, although the couple next to us had to send their food back twice because it was cold. The crime brûlée was the best I ever had! I would go again when in S.B.

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E
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I took my niece who was visiting from out of town. We both loved the ambiance and were looking forward to a delicious meal. Our server Berna was wonderful...friendly and courteous. We decided to share plates and ordered sliders, a salad, and eggplant lasagne. The sliders were delicious but the salad was way too spicy 🌶. We had just started on the salad when our eggplant arrived. It was lukewarm. We sent it back to be reheated and were told they would make us a new one. This one also arrived on the cold side. We sent it back again and the third time was a charm although it wasn’t a new one this time. To their credit, they took the eggplant off the bill and brought us a dessert. I would love to try it again when some of the kinks have been worked out.

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g
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Mussels were fantastic- best thing we had. Service was impeccable. Ambience was beautiful. It wasn’t very busy when we were there, but it was a little noisy.

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DH
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful birthday dinner at The Little Door! Michelle was a highly attentive server and the drinks and entrees were delicious!

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H
London
14 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was wonderful We were given choice of seating and choose seating close to outside The decor music food all lovely , particularly liked the blue ceiling

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TC
Central Coast
15 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

As usual, the ambiance was delightful and the service we warm and skillful. Unfortunately they were out of both the Dark Weisse beer and the menu item that had attracted me for this occasion: the skate wing. Salmon was substituted with my permission, but it was disappointing to have arrived for a 5:45 seating and be told they were out of their top-listed choice. The chef's choice vegetarian dish was tasty but unremarkable. Come for the Santa Barbara-ness of the location and the chic lushness of the decor, plus the friendly and accommodating crew—but we can't assure you of a culinary high.

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N
Central Coast
17 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Nice place very good food for the pop up we went to . Looking forward to going back to try the regular menu for the restaurant . It was a Little chaotic service wise but the Maitre D was fabulous. Great job sweetie 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

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s
Central Coast
20 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

The food is beautifully prepared, ample quantity, and uses fresh, innovative ingredients. Our server, Michelle, was lovely, attentive, engaging, without being intrusive. We really enjoyed her. We sat outside with wisteria around us, and the sun going down behind the courthouse gardens. It was a very enjoyable evening. Thank you.

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GL
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great ambiance, wait staff and food!
We went on a Thursday and enjoyed the Jazz band!

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C
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely evening, as always, divine dining on hors d'oeuvres with great cocktails, wonderful view of the courthouse before theatre event....A REAL FAVORITE!!! Thanks,
Caroline

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CS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Little Door is a hidden gem that I was so impressed with! Delicious cocktails, a unique and eclectic menu, incredible staff, and an overall great experience. Cannot wait to go back!

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N
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Service was slow. Food was delicious Mussels were outstanding! Fries were not cooked to my liking (very dark and crispy), so I sent them back and had to wait quite a while for them to return. But the owner comped me a glass of wine which was exceptionally nice!

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JT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

I have been another little Door restaraunt in Hollywood that was much much better. Gave this one a try and was not very impressed. Small entrees and food was not that great.

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WL
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 5ambience 5

We loved the decor, the service was excellent, however the food prices were high compared to the quantity of the food that was provided. My wife ordered the ravioli but it was served with only one medium sized ravioli with sauce on the side.

I had the steak and frittes and the steak was very small but cooked well.

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