The Lark - Santa Barbara

4.6
2368 Reviews
$30 and under
Contemporary American

About

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.
What 2368 people are sayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.6based on all time ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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d
davem
San Francisco
2 reviews
Reviewed on June 15, 2019
Overall3foodserviceambience

tiny martinis. Unusual and delicious food. Crowded. Noisy.

CR
vipCaliforniaRed
Orange County
26 reviews
Reviewed on June 3, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

Delicious food, great ambiance and terrific location!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience3

I’ve been to the lark many times and have had a fabulous experience. This time was different. We were sat outside and had a very inattentive waiter. We asked for our food to be spaced out and we received every app/snack portion at the same time. The meals came very quickly after. It felt like they were trying to rush us out when we were there for a special occasion.

RS
RonS
Kansas City
15 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Family vacation final dinner

L
Lili
New England
2 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Kyle the bartender was fantastic, that being said, so was the entire staff! Best meal and experience on this trip without question!
Thanks!

s
sophiegray
Central Coast
6 reviews
Reviewed on February 27, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

Delicious food, great service, cool atmosphere. My only complaint is that it gets a little loud in the dining room. Otherwise, this is an amazing place to visit. You won't be disappointed.

SM
StuartM
Seattle
13 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience4

Utterly ridiculous. The most convoluted dinner menu I’ve ever seen. Not sure what this restaurant is trying to be. It’s a concept, but I’m hard pressed to define exactly what it is. Food over priced and not well prepared. A so called small “carafe” of wine was no different than two glasses, and more expensive. Very nice, attractive ambiance, though. Very disappointing.

M
vipMike
Las Vegas
21 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always wonderful. Best restaurant in Santa Barbara.

ND
NateD
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our server was wonderful and the food was delicious. Everything we tasted was seasoned perfectly. I cannot wait to return.

TB
vipTannerB
Los Angeles
21 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience4

We’ve been to the Lark many times before. It is our favorite spot in Santa Barbara. Maybe our expectations were a lot to live up to, but our most recent experience fell short. The service was not what it has been in the past and the food, at least what we ordered, was nothing to write home about. We will almost certainly give The Lark another try, as it has been so wonderful in the past.

TM
vipTammyM
Houston
16 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience1

The food was fine, the service was poor. The mood in the restaurant is frantic with servers, hostesses all running around! You are rushed, left with no water on your table and not given the proper utensils. This was our first trip to Santa Barbara and read The Lark was a “must”. We were very disappointed.

CO
CathleenO
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Good restaurant. The couple of items we ordered, roasted Brussel sprouts and a arugula salad, were excellent, but were the only options for my vegan daughter. I did comment to our server about the lack of any vegan entrees on the menu, which was surprising in a modern, hip restaurant. It was my daughter's 19th birthday, and I had travelled from San Diego to Santa Barbara to take her out for her special day. The server did surprise us at the end with a serving of vegan avocado ice cream, which was a nice gesture.

AS
AmritS
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

The restaurant is little bit of a hype - the food is ok ok, nothing out of the ordinary - sitting in the patio with the fire on was a salvation.

LR
LisaR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place was amazing. From the outstanding food to the knowledgeable and friendly service, it was definitely top 5 dining experiences ever! The food was like art - each dish that came out was more beautiful than the last one. I wish I lived closer so I could frequent The Lark.

BG
vipBirthdayGirl
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The food here is amazing and so is the wait staff. It does get a little noisy when it’s busy, but not too bad. I come to this restaurant every time I’m in town.

g
vipgeee
Chicago
30 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Food was very good..in fact, delicious..but the prices are outrageous for the portion size and for that reason I will not be back..$36 for 3 scallops and $34 for one fillet of branzino..too much

DG
DebraG
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Great and lively atmosphere but really bad timing on serving the food. We felt very rushed. We received our salad and side vegetable dish less than 10 minutes after sitting down and even before my drink. We had requested that the vegetable come with our entrees. One of the entrees was served 15 minutes before the second entree so I got to watch my date eat his dinner while I waited for mine.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

I wish we could have sat indoors given that it was cold

S
Shagam
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place was a find near what was the Fess Parker. Excellent food; excellent service. I recommend for all special occasions and just a great night out with friends.

MH
MatthewH
New England
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The brussel sprouts were one of the best things I've ever eaten. Everything was great though, and the service was excellent.

MM
MichelleM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was great. You have to do the Brussel sprouts and risotto is they are available. Those were my favs. Ben our waiter was wonderful and very helpful.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
33 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

One of the best spots in SB! We had a truly amazing meal based on the recommendations of the bartender (thanks Wyatt!) and had wonderful cocktails to boot. It's a cute space but definitely a bit loud, otherwise we loved the vibe and everything we ordered. Service was great and everyone was so nice!

J
Jersee
Los Angeles
22 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Our experience was wonderful
Service was really good and menu very interesting

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
London
5 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and wine on a cool hip environment

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great atmosphere, original menu, attentive service.

NB
NatashaB
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

everything was beyond delicious, I'm dreaming of your house made fromage blanc....

OT
OpenTable Diner
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Had to wait an hour despite arriving on time for our reservation. The vegetarian options are poor and all the plates are generally too salty.

TA
TonyAndreas
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

The Lark has great food and drinks. They dropped the ball on my wife’s birthday but we still had fun and enjoyed our food. I wouldn’t recommend the Branzino. I think the fish is overrated but I liked the flavor of the complete dish. My wife enjoyed her Risotto as well. Server was blah. This was our second time there. We went for my birthday back in September. Our server last time was amazing! I think the energy and personality and attentiveness of the server can make or break the entire visit.

EC
ElleC
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Awesome spot! Most food was exceptional. Service was friendly but not outstanding.

p
vippudljmpr
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

To us this is one of the best restaurants in Santa Barbara.
The menu is creative and always good. The service is always spot on.
Every time we pass through Santa Barbara we eat here.

ZJ
ZoeJ
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was incredible, mix of flavours. Service was impecable and atmosphere W was great.solo diner.

s
saschas
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

The Lark has been touted and praised by many friends. We went there for the first time on our anniversary, the receptionist picked up on that, and we were given champagne to start with, and the waiter was addressing us by name, and with much enthusiasm and obvious love for the restaurant. He had recommendations and was also very knowledgeable about the food preparation and the wines. All in all it was a wonderful anniversary experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orange County
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Lark has amazing food, great ambiance, and wonderful service! You can’t go wrong! We came here to celebrate my husband’s birthday and they made it very special. We can’t wait to go back again next time we are in Santa Barbara!

DB
vipDamienB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience4

We loved this restaurant the first couple times we came here, but this visit was very disappointing. None of the dishes clicked in terms of flavor/balance. Our pasta dish had a sauce that was very acidic and generally unappetizing. And the pear salad was overly dressed with bland pears and hardly any persimmon - we needed some sweetness from the fruit to balance the dish but there was none. The scallop dish tasted ok but there were so many components on the dish that we totally lost the scallops ... most of the ingredients were totally unnecessary.

KV
vipKatyV
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I went back to the Lark again after a few months and was not disappointed. I had friends visiting from out of town and there was no question where we were going to eat - The Lark! The menu celebrates local farmers, fisherman and winemakers and brings together the perfect balance of elevated chic with southern comfort. Some of my favorites included the hangar steak tartare served on chicharrones with a mini Budweiser beer (so fun!), the title gems wedge salad, the half roasted chicken, and chicken-fried oysters. I tried the Kaleidoscope Eyes cocktail for the first time and fell in love with this modern take on a Moscow mule.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Delicious popcorn popped in sage oil and tossed in cinnamon, sugar, and salt! Our server was wonderful about making suggestions. We ordered the arugula and pear autumn salad, Brussels sprouts, and the vegan plate. All were wonderful with dairy and animal omitted.

PS
PaulaS
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best dining experience in SB. Surprised at how many families (kids) dine here. The noise we experienced was kid noise. Food is impeccable. Service is expert. We will return again and again.

J
vipJessica
New England
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall3food3service5ambience4

We got reservations for NYE while visiting Santa Barbara and were so excited — unfortunately, the food really didn't live up to our expectations... to the point where we finally said something to our server, who was so gracious and understanding. Perhaps it was due to the busy night, or maybe we just ordered wrong, but it felt as if the ideas were there but the execution lacked follow-through (and flavor). Oh well. Pretty space though!

It's also worth noting that we ate at their bakery, Helena's, for breakfast a few days before and it was delicious!

S
Sarahh
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waitress was amazing! So friendly and quick to anticipate our needs. Good was delicious. Always exceeds our expectations!!

AM
vipAmberMo
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience4

My NYE dinner at The Lark was great! Delicious and creative food in an excellent atmosphere.

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The Lark - Santa Barbara is rated 4.6 stars by 2368 OpenTable diners.

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