Photo courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara / Jay Sinclair
Santa Barbara is a haven for diverse cuisine, libations, and activities. What better way to enjoy all that the south coast has to offer than with a month-long celebration of culture? epicure.sb does just that and shares Santa Barbara's bounty through a wide variety of exclusive experiences and events. Now in its seventh edition, the program features over 55 local businesses participating in this year’s Perfect Pairing theme. Take a look at some of our picks for epicure.sb below!
Relais de Paris
Opened in 1972, this elegant little French bistro is modeled after a 19th century French brasserie. The award-winning restaurant uses fresh, local ingredients to create simple, traditional French dishes like soupe à l'oignon gratinée and entrecôte, which uses a prized steak sauce for which the recipe has remained a secret since it was created in 1959. For epicure.sb, guests can enjoy a special three-course menu that features some of Relais de Paris’ favorite plates. Admission is $40 per person, $49 with a glass of wine.
Little Door Santa Barbara
Along with live music every night, Little Door Santa Barbara offers an eclectic French Mediterranean menu and a serene ambiance — be sure to take a gander at their view of the Sunken Garden at the Sanata Barbara Country Courthouse. Discounted fixed lunch and dinner menus will be available from Tuesday to Saturday for epicure.sb. For $20, lunch will include Spanish paella and sangria; a sunset cocktail, appetizer, and entree will be offered at $40 for dinner. And don’t forget to take pictures of your meal and share them on social media! Use the hashtags #epicureSB, #littledoorSB, or #eyeseeSB. Lunch runs from 11:00am to 2:00pm; dinner from 5:00pm to 11:00pm.
Jaffurs Wine Cellars
Craig Jaffurs has been making wines since 1989 and has received critical praise for his products by esteemed publications from Decanter to the Wall Street Journal. For epicure.sb, Jaffurs Wine Cellars has joined forces with the Black Sheep Restaurant for daily pairings of surf, turf, and vegetables with three wines for $49. Take a look at the full menu here.
Tamales and Tequila Tasting
On October 25 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm, owner and chef of Santa Barbara Tamales-To-Go Richard Lambert will teach the techniques he uses to make his award-winning tamales and salsas in an hour-long class. Participants will get to enjoy an array of tamales, each of which will be paired with Tequila Alquimia, a gold medal-winning sipping tequila. Tickets are $30 per person and include food, drink, and printed recipes.
If you’re going to be in Santa Barbara for epicure.sb, be sure to book your stay with us here at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara. We are offering a special day-to-night package for the program, which includes a Corks n Crowns two-for-one wine tasting, a night in a King guest room (valued at $350), and our handy drawstring, water-resistant backpack that’s filled with convenient and fun treats like Smart Water, a Santa Barbara Bar, baseball caps, and an Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara Frisbee and beach ball.
Planning a visit in October? October offers a perfect introduction to Santa Barbara's rich Asian American history and culture.
Asakura Hotel, Ca 1915. Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, Presidio Research Center, gift of Julie Asakura Slagle.
Nihonmachi Revisited: Santa Barbara's Japanese American Community in Transition, 1900-1940 is now on view at el Presidio de Sánta Barbara. The Presidio is located at a distinctive place in Santa Barbara, being both the site of a Spanish fort and a once thriving Nihonmachi (Japan Town). This insightful exhibition highlights our historic Nihonmachi with a collection of obscure photographs and accounts of daily life from local residents and families as well as fragments of elegant, Japanese ceramics excavated on site. Open Daily from 10:30am–4:30pm at 123 E. Canon Perdido Street in downtown Santa Barbara. For more info please call 805-965-0093 or visit their website here.
Hosted by Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, the Asian American Neighborhood Festival kicks off on October 11 at 11am (goes until 4pm) also at the Presidio. Unfortunately, many of the early structures, which housed Chinese and Japanese residents during the late 19th and early 20th century in the Presidio neighborhood, were destroyed in an earthquake in 1925, but the influence of the communities live on. Celebrate with performances by local shooting star Jason Paris; Filipino American, guitar virtuoso Florante Aguilar; dancers from Sino West and the Camarillo Lion Dance Troupe; and demonstrations including taiko drumming, Japanese flute, calligraphy, origami, hula dancing, and more. Admission is free! Info and calendar...
Asian American Neighborhood Festival 2014 by Dr. Paul Mori, Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
Grab a drink or a bite while admiring the history of the area at The Pickle Room, located across the street from the Presidio on East Canon Perdido Street. Formerly Jimmy's Chinese Restaurant, this is one of the few remaining structures from Santa Barbara's Chinatown and a trendy, fusion bar. Read up on its history and reincarnation as one of Santa Barbara's favorite bars here.
Supplement these explorations with an informative glimpse of Asian art and culture from abroad at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art's Asian Art Collection. Filled with ancient robes, wood and stone religious sculptures, ceramic works, textiles, ceramics, jade, and Tibetan art, the collection was started at the museum's inception in 1941. Currently on view, Visions of Modernity: 20th-Century Japanese Woodblock Prints shows the influence of Western artistic practices on Japanese printmakers. The museum is open Tuesday–Sunday from 11am–5pm, and Thursdays until 8pm and is located at 1130 State Street. For more information, please visit their website here.
Arigato Sushi Restaurant
Hungry for some Asian cuisine to compliment your day about town? China Pavilion offers dim sum on the weekends, 11 am to 3pm, and a Chinese menu with authentic specialties. Arigato is the place to see and be seen and star watch over sushi. For a unique Japanese dining experience, check out the traditional seasonally inspired, multi-course meals (kaiseki) at Yoichi’s.
László Moholy-Nagy, CH for R1 Space Modulator, 1942. Oil on red Formica. Collection Hattula Moholy-Nagy
László Moholy-Nagy (1895 – 1946) was a photographer and an early advocate for incorporating art with technology. Moholy believed that art had to become scientific, egalitarian, and technologically advanced in order to condition the viewer to respond to the challenges of modern life. He became notorious for advising artists to exchange brush and canvas with camera and television. In pursuit of this goal, Moholy abandoned painting in 1928 to focus on his most ambitious project yet, his Light Prop for an Electric Stage (1930), a kinetic device meant to produce lively light displays for a modern stage. He chose to return to painting in the 1930s and 1940s, at a time of crisis marked by the Great Depression and the Second World War.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s exhibition, The Paintings of Moholy-Nagy: The Shape of Things to Come, is the first to examine why Moholy would revise his previously determined abandonment of brush and canvas and re-take up painting in his late career. The exhibit features a variety of paintings executed on traditional mediums, as well as on industrial materials like plastics and aluminum. Organized chronologically and thematically, it displays the evolution of Moholy’s thought and practice over his career, paying particular attention to the political and technological impact World War II had on him.
If you’re planning on visiting Santa Barbara, be sure to book your guest room at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara. Each of our beautiful accommodations include plush bathrobes and premium linens, inviting you to relax. In keeping with our commitment to staying green, the rooms are outfitted with energy-efficient features designed to make the most of the space. We also have fabulous on-site dining situated right in our lobby: Nuance offers a seasonally inspired menu of a fusion of Californian, Asian, French, and Italian cuisines, as well as dishes sourcing local produce from the Santa Barbara Farmers Market.
Santa Barbara is the perfect Southern California beach town and summer playground–there is something here for everybody!
Beaches? Yep, we've got some of the best beaches around for taking a dip, napping, and walking. We are located just a block and a half from West Beach and Stearns Wharf. Nearby you can rent stand-up paddle boards or kayaks, play a pick-up volleyball game, go on a harbor cruise, or just soak in the sun and the sand. Enjoying the freedom of the great outdoors with your pet is a snap when visiting Arroyo Burro Beach where you can take your dog off leash to frolic.
Two-wheeled cruising more your speed? Grab our complimentary bikes and cruise along the Cabrillo Blvd path next to the beach. Stop and relax under the palms at Chase Palm Park and head down to the Santa Barbara Zoo and Andree Clark Bird Refuge. For additional bike paths, check out the Southern Santa Barbara County Bike Map.
Looking for some outdoor adventure? Our mountains and beaches offer spectacular hiking opportunities. Seek out the back country waterholes or head to the top for wide-open views of Santa Barbara, the ocean, and the Channel Islands. You can find guides to the many of the area hikes here.
Come join us for some Santa Barbara summer fun! Check availability today!
From classical works and international compositions to local favorites, there is no shortage of wonderful, and diverse, live music performances to enjoy this month. Take a look at what’s coming up!
The program celebrates the work of J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel. Under the direction of Chris A. Bowman, the concert will open with the orchestra's presentation of Bach's "Sinfoinia" followed by the blending of choral voices and orchestra in Bach cantatas including, "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" and "Dona Nobis Pacem" and Handel's oratorio "Messiah" with its "Hallelujah" chorus. Tickets are available by calling 805-350-4241, online, from Chorale members, and at the door.
Me & Dinosaur - May 6
Local favorites Me & Dinosaur formed in late 2011 as a small acoustic guitar ensemble focused on bluesy riffs, elaborate harmonies, and clever songwriting. All members being fellow UCSB alums, the group then consisting of Sean McClure (lead vocals, guitar), Cole Baviera (guitar, vocals) and Erich Tomkinson (guitar, vocals), eventually evolved into a four piece with the addition of Sean Renken (bass, vocals) and Tomkinson moving to drums. In 2013, Me & Dinosaur solidified their lineup with the addition of Jon Bumgarner (drums, vocals), and Tomkinson again shifting gears, this time to keyboards. The band performs at SOhO Restaurant and Music Club. Tickets are available online.
The California Honeydrops - May 7, 8
Like his influences (ranging from Louis Armgstrong to Sam Cooke), the Honeydrops frontman Lech Wierzynski has the unique ability to carry a tune casually, conversationally, and powerfully. In just few years, the group of street performers would be selling out venues across California. The band draws heavily on Southern soul and Bay Area R&B, with a twist of New Orleans second-line street music. Growing bigger and gathering steam, the Honeydrops have now expanded from an acoustic street trio to a full band: piano and keyboards, electric bass, and additional percussion to round out their sound. They perform back-to-back nights at SOhO Restaurant and Music Club. Tickets are available online.
An Evening of Vietnamese Music - May 8
Emmy Award-winning artist Vân Ánh Vo dedicates her life to creating music on the dan Tranh (16-string zither). She fuses her traditional Vietnamese foundation with freshness in new structures and compositions. Vân Ánh will take the audience on a journey to Vietnam through this performance of traditional sounds of North, Central, and South Vietnam will blend with modern Western soundscapes as Vân Ánh presents solo works and collaborative performances with her ensemble The VA’V. Contact the A.S. Ticket Office at 805-893-2064 or buy online. Seating is limited.
If you’re visiting Santa Barbara, be sure to book your suite at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara for the most comfortable, convenient, and affordable accommodation in town. Not only do we have a wide-variety of suites, but we’re also pet friendly, and a proud Green hotel, committed to eco-friendly facilities and policies. Book today!
Earth Day has a special connection to Santa Barbara, and each year we celebrate it in grand style! In response to a massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, the Community Environment Council was created and hosted the first Earth Day Festival in 1970. Since then, the festival has lead to other Earth Day celebrations around the globe and continues to be a not-to-be-missed community event.
The festival aims for sustainability and producing low amounts of waste - just as our hotel does. Earth Day has inspired us to be water wise, conserve electricity, recycle, and supply eco-friendly toiletries and cleaning solutions. Learn more about our green features here.
Head up to the festival on Saturday, April 18 from 11am-7pm and Sunday, April 19 from 11am-6pm to celebrate our beautiful city and Earth! Alameda Park is a fantastic venue with sunny grass areas and shady tress. Browse the vendors in the Eco-Marketplace, munch on some local food favorites, and talk with the experts about how to Live Green! There will be live music and other performances, sports and recreation booths, a Kids Corner, Green Car Show, and bike valet!
Don't miss this Uniquely Local Santa Barbara celebration!
We’re so excited for the new exhibition at our hotel opening as part of MCASB’s Satellite museum this Saturday! Each year MCASB's exhibitions infuse and enliven our space with stimulating contemporary artworks and this year is no exception. This year's exhibition is inspired by quests and obsessions, such as traveling to remote mountain villages, seaside escapes, and desert oases, and the mysteries and truths that arise during these journeys for medicinal and healing attributes. The artworks address the mythologies and marketplace of natural cures - spiritual, physical, and psychological - at a time when humankind's relationship to the environment is rapidly changing.
Entitled Magic Mountain, after Thomas Mann’s novel, it pays tribute to Santa Barbara's contribution to searching for natural cures. Santa Barbara's history as a spa town started with the discovery of the Montecito hot springs in 1857 when Wilbur Curtiss was led to the springs by a native Chumash. Believing the waters cured him, Curtiss built a bathhouse which attracted travelers and helped put Santa Barbara on the map.
We invite everyone to stop by travel through Magic Mountain and we hope you will join us for the opening this Saturday, March 7, from 6 - 8 pm.
Image caption: Zachary Cahill, USSADREAM, 2014, 9 X 12 in., Watercolor on paper. Courtesy the Artist.
Mural pictured by Rafael Vargas-Suarez.
The MCASB Satellite @ Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara exhibition The Vastness is Bearable ran from January 26, 2013 - February 15, 2015.
In his book, Contact (1985), noted astronomer and science writer, Carl Sagan wrote, “She had studied the universe all her life, but had overlooked its clearest message: For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.” Inspired by this quote and the themes of the book—contact between humanity and a more technologically advanced, extraterrestrial life form—the third annual exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara’s satellite location at Hotel Indigo features artists who contemplate the vastness of the cosmos. Whereas last year’s exhibition looked to the mysteries of the sea, this year’s presentation gazes up, featuring artists whose works reflect human fascination, curiosity, and awe with the universe.
Participating artists include: Rodolfo Choperena, Russell Crotty, Ala Ebtekar, Desiree Holman, Cassandra C. Jones, and Rafael Vargas-Suarez.
Russell Crotty, Milky Way Over Ponderosas, 2001, Ink on paper mounted on lucite, 36 in. diameter, Courtesy the Artist
Desirée Holman, Channeling Aura 2, 2012, Gouache on paper, 30 x 22 inches, Courtesy the Artist
Rodolfo Choperena, Untitled #1, 2013, Archival digital print with mica glaze, 29 x 39 in., Edition of 3, Courtesy the Artist.
Inviting ambiance; exquisite food; exceptional service; even better company. Santa Barbara is a haven for fabulous restaurants, but if you're looking for something extra special this Valentine's Day (or any time, really), there are a few that stand out as some of the most romantic this side of the Pacific.
Bouchon - 9 W. Victoria St.
Chef Greg Murphy works with only the best of the region, crafting his intriguing array of dishes from local and organic farm-fresh ingredients. Fusing French and Californian cuisines, bouchon's menu includes bourbon and maple glazed duck breast, a scallop trio with vanilla risotto, and coriander-crusted venison loin. The wine list is made up exclusively of Santa Barbara vintners, pairing nicely with fine cheeses and a to-die-for molten lava cake. Call 805-730-1160 for reservations.
Ca'Dario - 37 E. Victoria St.
You'd be forgiven for thinking you were in a trattoria in the Old Country. Ca'Dario's Chef and owner, Dario Furlati, was born in Italy and brings true authentic flavour to this popular eatery. Look for classic Northern Italian dishes like spinach ravioli with butter-safe sauce, baked chicken with porcini mushrooms, and grilled veal chop seasoned with rosemary and olive oil. If you're in the mood for something more casual, the neighbouring Ca'Dario Pizzeria offers some of the best pies in the city. For reservations, call 805-884-9419.
The Lark - 131 Anacapa St. (E. Yanonali St.)
Sitting right in the trendy Funk Zone, the Lark is arguably one of Santa Barbara's best restaurants. Housed in the long gone 1920s Santa Barbara Fish Market, the Lark's charming decor is wood-lined and pays tribute to train travel with hints of rustic car parts. The menu is just as impressive, with appetizers such as spicy root vegetable chips and mains like herb-roasted diver scallops with grapefruit, manila clams, celery root, pickled Fresno chiles, and Thai basil. Call 805-284-0370 for reservations.
While you’re in town, be sure to book one of the beautiful and comfortable suites at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara. Each of our accommodations feature premium plush bedding and European collapsible wall showers, and we also have a variety of packages to choose from, including the Santa Barbara Lovin’—perfect for Valentine’s Day.
We're so excited for our next MCASB-curated exhibition that is in the works! Until it opens enjoy some of our favorite highlights from past, thought-provoking exhibitions at the hotel. Remember our current exhibition, The Vastness is Bearable, is still up for a few more months. Come on by and take a look!
2013 - Limuw: an Ode to the Sea
Zoe Crosher, Transgressing the Pacific: Where Norman Maine Disappeared at Laguna Beach, 2010, Fujiflex archive print mounted on Dibond, 40 x 40 in. Edition of 6 + 2 AP, Courtesy the Artist and Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Virginia McCracken, Off Leash, Boat House, Ship Leave, Skipping Rope in Crystal Waters, and Hector and Lionel Sitting on the Dock, 2012, Mixed media and paper mache, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the Artist
An artwork commissioned from artist Kimberly Hahn.
Kimberly Hahn, Chromatic Variation 1, 2013, Fabric dye, dowel rods, muslin, monofiliament, pain, plywood, and salt, Commissioned by Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the Artist
An artwork commissioned from artist Graham Caldwell.
Graham Caldwell, Mansions of the Moon, 2013, Blown glass, shells, wood, shell, and found objects, Dimensions variable, Commissioned by Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Courtesy the Artist
2012 - Open House exhibition
Alejandro Diaz, Does This Sign Make Me Look Fat? 2009.
Kirsten Stoltmann, I AM SO HAPPY, 2011, Acrylic gemstones and crystals on foam core, 48 x 96 in., Courtesy the Artist; Stephanie Dotson, Drugrugs, 2012, Silkscreen on vellum, 48 ½ x 96 ½ in., Courtesy the Artist
James Van Arsdale, Spinning Star, Spinning Mine, and Spinning Bomb, 2011
Jennifer Nocon, Collective Noun, 2011.
Detail from a commissioned wall drawing by Nathan Hayden.
Nathan Hayden, you are like a dancing constellation (Detail), 2012.
Details of commissioned wall paintings by Saul Gray-Hildenbrand.
Saul Gray-Hildenbrand, Tryst (Detail), 2012.
Francesca Gabbiani, Gold Rush, 2008, Colored.