The Lark - Santa Barbara

4.6
2298 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
The Lark pays homage to the history of California train travel and tributes the treasured and long gone Santa Barbara Fish Market, built in the 1920’s as a commercial fish processing plant, shipping their seafood products throughout the state by rail. With an imaginative yet approachable menu created by the gifted Jason Paluska, The Lark celebrates everything found around Santa Barbara County – wineries, farms, ocean and natural beauty. The stunning design strives to connect to the past and the future, using discovered objects from the past and blending them with modern, urban and industrial materials to spectacular effect.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates, American
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Hours of operation
Dinner:
5:00 p.m. - Closing Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Late Night Bar Menu available
CLOSED MONDAY
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Phone number
(805) 284-0370
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Jason Paluska
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
Complimentary valet parking available or use nearby street parking. Substantial parking is available at the Santa Barbara train station, just a block away.
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Public transit
Enjoy a train ride to Santa Barbara from southern or northern California and meet us at The Lark. No driving required.
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Entertainment
Upcoming events:
Make memories Christmas Eve at The Lark! Enjoy holiday specials in addition to The Lark's a la carte menu.
Ring in the New Year at The Lark! Chef Paluska has New Year's Eve specials and a complimentary sparkling toast.
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Special events & promotions
Contact our Private Event Manager at 805-705-8895 or email events@acmehospitality.com
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 2298 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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L
Central Coast
12 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We live down the street and love going when it’s not super busy. The server was really fun to chat with. The burgers were over done, the pear and arugula salad was awesome and I love that you offer Storm Sauvignon Blanc by the glass. Thanks!

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JB
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed the evening and Bill our server was wonderful . Food was great !

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JK
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic meal, great atmosphere. In mid Dec was extremely comfortable outside between their fire pit and an overhead heater. Wine list was amazing too.

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R
Orlando
21 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

visiting from Atlanta and was suggested we go to Lark. Great choice. Amazing atmosphere, really cool outdoor seating with fire pits and mood lighting. Our server was really good, not pushy at all and helped with suggesting items we might like. The portions were very large, well worth the price. We had the Brussel sprouts appetizer, the cheese plate and we shared the half-chicken which was huge. Absolutely delicious food, really loved this place. Get the Brussel sprouts...maybe get two!

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k
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cozy, romantic, and hip. Lark is a great place for a date night or family gathering. Delicious food with a creative bent.

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SG
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and great service as always! Our number one favorite place🌟

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RA
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner one Friday and cocktails at the bar the next night. Creative and finely prepared food. We had scallops and Spanish octopus -- the plates are filling and lots of variety. Waiter was great as was the bartender the next night. Highly popular place in a funk-chic neighborhood.

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Holy moly! Amazing!! Delicious + the atmosphere was fabulous. I really "judge" a place on atmosphere and The Lark delivered. We got to sit by the fire place outside and the service + music where lovely.

We had the sun-chocks (WTF?! Amazing)... kale and butternut squash salad (holy moly!) and pork belly w/cornbread (Bury me in this dish please).

What I loved even more than the service and food quality was ..... the fact that they do not rush you out the door! Each dish came individually- not all at once. I felt no pressure for The Lark to move me out of the restaurant ASAP to turn over the table. This method of "feeding someone" made me feel important! No pressure to get out and having the patron enjoy their meal is valued here. It's the little things!!

Lovely dinner! The Lark was my suggestion so it made me look good! Hence- I'll be back!!

Farm fresh food
Valet parking + street parking
Music
Atmosphere
Amazing food
Great for a birthday/special dinner too

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food and atmosphere..our first time and we will be back! Great outdoor patio seating

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c
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Wait person Bill was top notch! Brussels were totally awesome (i mean it!!)

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OT
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Really enjoyable far more field to table Cuisine. Flavors were interesting and well-integrated and Blended the wine list is extremely good with many creative opportunities. We really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who values flavor and freshness

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D
Central Coast
5 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Lark continues to be a fantastic experience. The old favorites are great, and I love the seasonal menu changes that keep things interesting. Still my favorite restaurant in Santa Barbara.

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CM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Lark is the one place I come without fail every time I’m in SB. The wait staff and atmosphere are perfect!

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MY
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 3

The music was very loud the night we were there. It was hard to have a conversation. Food was good but overpriced as were the wines by the glass

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CB
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The “scene” led me to believe that service would be slow, we’d have to wait for our table & noise level could be a problem. We were pleasantly surprised! Seated at time of reservation, our waiter, Bill, was friendly and knowledgeable, and food was excellent.

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thank you for comping the food and drinks. Julie Woods is my cousin. Your restaurant is my favorite in Santa Barbara.

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M
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Overpriced for decent but not outstanding food. Menu was typical of higher end Santa Barbara. Cocktails were the highlight.

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CK
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every single dish was amazing. We thoroughly enjoyed the service. Super friendly waiter and all of the support staff. An amazing restaurant with amazing food!

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K
New England
4 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So great, and very memorable! Romantic dinner with a nice ambiance, great service and phenomenal food. We had the: wedge salad, beef tartare, scallops and the chicken - which was plenty for two people.

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DH
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Waiter was outstanding. Food was very good. They do change the menu, so some of our favorites were not on it. The scallop dish was good, scallops cooked perfect, but felt a little bit underwhelmed by the rest of it. The rest of the dishes we tried were excellent!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. Loved it!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful restaurant with excellent food and a friendly staff! What more could you want?

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SN
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Lark was our favorite restaurant while visiting Santa Barbara. We loved sharing all the small plates, giving each member of our family an opportunity to select their favorite. Food was inventive and really tasty. Wine was a wonderful accent to our food and delicious. The ambiance was especially wonderful, with little twinkle lights, a burning fire and space heaters to keep us comfortable. My entire family would highly recommend The Lark to anyone visiting the Santa Barbara area.

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J
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I adore the atmosphere at the Lark, terrific staff and the food is excellent, varied, creative and just yum yum. Love this place!

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MM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

So good we came back another night of our trip. The sunchokes are amazing and the octopus. Also loved the cheese board!

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TE
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Lark has long been, and continues to be, my favorite restaurant in Santa Barbara.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

The food was good, though I think overpriced. I knew this going in so it wasn’t too much of a surprise. We were seated inside and honestly it was so loud at times that I had to ask my date to repeat things just from across a two person table. The service was fantastic however. We were there about three hours just enjoying each other’s company and chatting most of the time and the server was so nice about us being there so long. She never once rushed us or pushed us to order. Made some great suggestions as well. Very much appreciate that.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and atmosphere. Even though it was very busy we still had attentive service.

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OT
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Easily, the best place to eat in the city

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OT
Palm Springs
2 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a reso, quick seating, excellent service and food. Only note would be for the servers to speak up because it’s rather loud

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S
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our third trip here and every time love it more

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TC
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Very disappointing food. The menue did't offer a lot of choice and the food was too confused - a chef trying to be creative but missing the boat completely on flavors

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m
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great experience

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TL
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service! Enjoyed total experience

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DG
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

I had such high hopes for this place, where, out of all the restaurants in SB, I chose to bring my partner to celebrate his birthday. I booked well I’m advance, requested an indoor table. We arrive, asked to wait another 15 minutes- and seated outside in a corner of the patio, heaters blazing hot, table and chairs... dirty. Water brought out to the table- hot. No ice. I request ice. After third request, I get one small glass (for 3 people). Dairy allergies were supposedly accommodated- I ended up with hives!! The beef I ordered was fatty and tasted like a TV dinner, the chicken was dry and bland- yams were cold. Wine glasses were dirty... Food was not brought out together, or even in the same thirty minute span. While we were dining, a couple with a misbehaved dog was sat next to us. I spent the rest of the dinner listening to them correct their dog’s behavior and I had the bonus of smelling the dog’s apparent flatuelence. I’m allergic to dogs as well as dairy. Epic fail. $155 for this failure. I paid $155 for hives and a terrible time!! I felt so bad about the “birthday dinner”, I took my partner out the following night for a “do-over”. Ugh.

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K
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So good! Get the Brussels sprouts!

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D
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was great although portion sizes we're smaller than I expected. And location of where we were seated for a bday celebration was not to my liking. Waiter almost crashed into me...plenty of open tables around me.

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NB
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

It's good but it's all been done. They could use a remodel on the menu to freshen things up

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JS
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I loved The Lark...it's now my favorite Santa Barbara dinner spot. The outdoor seating was really great...really fun ambiance. And the food was to die for. We had the crispy brussel sprouts, the carmelized scallops, and the shortribs. Loved the cocktail menu and they also had really nice wines by the glass. Overall fantastic experience and I can't wait to return. (Oh, and the desserts were incredible, too!!)

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C
Milwaukee
45 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Chestnut pappardelle was extraordinary as was the arugula, squash, burrata salad. A wonderful contemporary farm-to-table establishment in a hip environment.

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