It’s not hard to imagine the large quantities of succulent seafood and fish that make their way from local fisherman to hundreds of dining spots everyday in Santa Barbara. With so many places specializing in this local favorite, it can be hard to decide what to order, so here are five unique dishes you should try.
Ceviche at Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach
This gorgeous restaurant is perched right on the edge of the beach, so anytime during the day there are serene views to accompany scrumptious meals. Endless savory dishes fill the menu, but the Boathouse ceviche, a tasty mix of raw fish cured in the traditional-style mix of spicy Latin seasonings and citrus juice, is a top pick. Accompany this appetizer with one of their famous blood orange margaritas for the perfect beach vibe starter.
Sushi Burrito at Sushi Go Go
Located right on the downtown pier, this is a relatively new sushi bar with some of the freshest ingredients in town. Santa Barbara is well-known for its Spanish cultural influences and Sushi Go Go embraces that with their Superman Burrito Roll. A mammoth-sized sushi roll filled with fresh crab, salmon and veggies, this is the ideal meal for a hungry customer looking for something a little different.
The Hungry Seafood Platter at The Hungry Cat
The Hungry Cat sits right on the Pacific Coast Highway which provides spectacular oceanfront views and even better food. The Hungry Seafood platter is a three-tier bounty filled with oyster, clams, marinated mussels, peel-n-eat shrimp, snow-crab legs, lobster and white caviar. This masterful meal is the ultimate seafood indulgment.
Porcini-dusted Yellowfin Tuna at Bouchon
Reservations on the weekend may be necessary, but are well worth an experience at this masterful local French restaurant. The classy ambiance is made complete with romantic lighting, an elegant vine laden patio, an open kitchen to watch the chefs hard at work and a friendly staff. Bouchon’s menu is filled with exquisite food from start to finish and the Porcini-dusted Yellowfin Tuna is a must-have here. Sauteed slow roasted fingerling potatoes with wild mushrooms and oven roasted tomatoes topped with arugula accompany the tender Yellowfin to create a marvelous, classy meal.
Abalone at Santa Barbara Shellfish Company
The pier is the place to be for top-notch seafood and this is no exception. The menu has a wide-variety of meals to chose from but some of the best dishes can only be found seasonally. When it is on the menu, the abalone is an unforgettable dish that should be tried. With a natural buttery and salty taste, and a chewiness like calamari, it is a mouthwatering delicacy that pairs perfectly with a glass of wine and a view of the harbor.