Santa Barbara Coastal News


Opal's eclectic menu makes it a Santa Barbara mainstay

11 Jun 2013 11:58 AM
Opal's eclectic menu makes it a Santa Barbara mainstay

Throughout its history, Opal Restaurant and Bar has become one of the most reliable, popular and elegant restaurants in Santa Barbara. Propelled by Executive Chef Felipe Barajas and Executive Sous Chef Gerardo Barajas, the venue offers top-of-the-line cuisine that is infused with a decidedly California flavor. 

Situated next to the historic Arlington Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara, Opal has garnered a loyal following by offering casual yet sophisticated food in a welcoming ambience. In a review for the Santa Barbara Independent, food critic Joanie Hudson explained how the restaurant's idiosyncratic atmosphere and deep commitment to local ingredients and delicious food results in a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

"The menu's eclectic cuisine comes from the culinary creativity made possible by the contemporary fusion of cultures," she wrote. "Enjoy gourmet pizzas from the wood-burning oven, a delicious vegetable Napoleon stacked high with freshly grilled veggies and polenta, or an array of fish and meat dishes each with their own colorful twists and flairs."

Regular patrons of the Opal know to expect something slightly different every time they dine at the restaurant. Specials are frequently changed and new ingredients are added to the menu depending on the season.

This isn't to say that Opal is inconsistent. Indeed, the restaurant has remained a stalwart on the Santa Barbara dining scene precisely for its ability to constantly surprise guests without ever disappointing them. The longstanding owners Tina Takaya and Richard Yates ensure that Opal always turns out delicious food that is as dependable as it is inventive. 

To pair with its eclectic and diverse menu, Opal offers a wine list that has earned widespread acclaim. Of course, the many vineyards of Wine Country are well represented, but there are also bottles from around the world, including from some of the most renowned vineyards of Europe and South America.

Whether you're looking for a local, extremely fresh fish dish or a carefully prepared French-style meal, Opal will have what you're looking for. Owners of Santa Barbara real estate and visitors to the area alike stream into Opal's elegant dining room, and everybody leaves happy.