3 Greater Santa Barbara Restaurants You Must Try

91 days from home, and too many of which had been spent in the cold, we were ready for some beach time.  It was dinner time when we came through Nipomo, CA and thought about checking out Jocko’s Steakhouse.  

Every time we’ve drove this way for the last 8 years, my husband has told me about this rundown place with terrible service where you could get the most amazing steaks of your life.  Thick steaks you can cut with a fork, but I’d yet to see it.  

We walked into a fully packed place and are told it will be an hour and a half wait, but the bar was open seating.  In most places we actually prefer to dine in the bar area, service is usually better and the atmosphere is a bit more fun.  Not here.  A solo bartender was in no hurry, serving an entire 3 sided bar, plus cocktail area of younger drunken patrons.  

The diveyness of it all, which I typically would of enjoyed, suddenly made me feel extremely out of place with my pregs baby belly.  Even if a seat did become available, the likeliness of getting service seemed slim, so we left out the back, walking past the grill pit of steaks, that really did look amazing.

Next option, Los Agaves Santa Barbara, it took 1st place for my “Most Excellent Mexican Food in Santa Barbara/ Ventura” contest I ran with myself in October.  De La Vina st location is the newer (our favorite) location and we’d been craving their Agave Burrito; fresh halibut & shrimp, roasted red peppers, onions, cheese, lettuce & guacamole, topped with chipotle sauce.  6 salsas in the salsa bar, and all of them delicious… really, all of them.  The rice, perfectly seasoned with tiny bits of fresh tomato, and unbelievably fluffy.  Chicken chimichanga, a chile stuffed with cheese and asada,  the best flavor I have ever tried and the asada is cut into nice bigger size pieces.  Oh, and the Mango Dressing, almost like a mango sherbet, I wanted to put it on everything.  I mapped it and we could make it by 9:15pm, but they were closing at 9, no!!!

Hungry and disappointed, I searched to see what might just be close by and was super excited to see we were just 2 exits away from Full of Life Flatbread Los Olivos and it was open!  

On our way back from Jalama Beach last year, my sis-n-law had taken us through this tiny town to an amazing dinning experience filled with fresh local ingredients, fabulous wood fired pizzas, and squid ink pasta.  We’d sipped Hoppy Poppy IPA’s in cold glasses, under strings of lights, and, as recommended, tried anything that was a special.  Everything was outstanding.

We sat by the huge wood fire oven tonight and enjoyed sparklIing water while looking over the menu.  They happily do halves on pizzas, so you can try more of their combinations.  The swirl of wood fire, melting cheeses, and roasting veggies In the air pretty much makes you almost start drooling.

I don’t think babies can smell quite yet, but there must be some sense of delicious things to come as this is where I first felt unmistakeable baby kicks, or flips maybe.  I was laughing out loud as the waiter took our order, and my husband gave me a questioning glance, but I couldn’t help it.  5 times in a row, real baby kicks!  Such strange and wonderful proof that there is a little one in there.

“Full of Life Flatbread, I give you 5 stars and 5 baby kicks!”

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