The new darling of the Santa Barbara dining scene, Sama Sama is keeping State Street fresh. Started by two passionate twenty-somethings, Ryan and Tyler, this place has a vibrant, energetic atmosphere that is sometimes hard to find in Santa Barbara.
The menu was inspired both by the owner's travels in Indonesia and the local bounty of Santa Barbara. Produce is seasonal from surrounding farms, and there's a good selection of local meat and fish. Choices ranges from traditional staples like Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and Mie Goreng (fried noodles) to pork belly and a whole seabass sautéed with shiitakes and soy broth.
Bold flavors pair well with strong, creative cocktails, carefully created by a barman who takes his craft seriously. Try the Mule Kick.
If Santa Barbara ever had a hipster hangout, this might be it.
Insiders tips: - Their most popular dish is the brussel sprouts, and for good reason. They come perfectly blackened at the edges, caramelized with a sweet soy sauce and crisp shiitakes.
- Try a tapas style meal, ordering dishes to share from the extensive 'Little Plates' menu.
- The outdoor patio is swathed in emerald vines and fairy lights. If you're looking to get romantic, this is the spot to sit.