Julienne is a cute shoebox of a restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara, a relative newcomer to their dining scene. It is owned by Justin and Emma West, a young couple living their dream, so to speak. The space is remarkably tight (comparable to Commis, but with a denser layout of tables), but the two of them and their small team dance very well. The atmosphere is very relaxed, and the simple rusticity of the food matches up well.
Having eaten a rather substantial lunch earlier in the day at an entirely forgettable "Danish" tourist trap in Solvang, we opted for Julienne's $65 5-course prix fixe menu (3-course and 7-course options are also offered) - even this proved to be slightly overwhelming towards the end. Make no mistake, these are not dainty dishes.
|Lonza, finocchiona, garlic toscana, pork pate|
Toasted ciabatta, mustards
|Pig tongue, poached apple, walnut vinaigrette|
Pistachios, chevre whip, baby arugula, balsamic
Broad noodles, radicchio, olives, red pepper-tomato broth
The pasta was very well made, with great bite. Similarly, the octopus was tender on the inside, with a nice exterior char. The sauce, although lovely, was present in large excess (to be fair, they called it a broth, but we're not eating noodle soup here... what is with places oversaucing their pastas!?)
|Roasted duck breast, smoked duck sausage|
Apple, mustard, turnips, duck jus
|Pan-fried Idaho trout|
Green beans, toasted mustard, potatoes, dill creme fraiche
Money beans, Spanish chorizo, onions, kale, sofrito
Crispy chickpeas, baby onions, gremolata, tomato sauce
|Strawberry nitro sorbet|
Is Julienne, as others have claimed, the "best restaurant in Santa Barbara"? I'm certainly not qualified to answer that, but we will add our voices to the chorus of diners recommending it for a meal. This is not progressive cuisine in any way, but Justin West is cooking what he loves to eat, and there is no faulting him for that. It was a good, soulful dinner.
138 E. Canon Perdido
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: (805) 845-6488