Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Luck Café opens in August

In January 2005 a notice about the pending arrival of “Luck Cafe” appeared on a door at 18 E. Cota Street, between Blue Agave and Square One. Then nothing happened. Last November the Rumor Machine popped out a message revealing that the lease was held by Gene Montesano, owner of Lucky’s, Joe’s Cafe & more.

Last week, a few hours before the start of the Gap Fire in Goleta, I happened to be walking by Cota Street and peeked through a hole in the papered window of the restaurant. I was surprised to see the interior looking nearly complete. Sources tell me that the Luck Café will be a French restaurant and will likely open in August. I am told that John Bennett from Joe’s Café is a consultant.

RUMOR MACHINE: Speaking of the Rumor Machine, it required a backup generator periodically last week due to the power outages caused by the Gap Fire. As I prepared to put the Outspoken Oracle in the trunk of my car, due to an evacuation warning, I noticed that an ash-sprinkled sheet of 100% recycled paper was sitting in the lower tray. It read: “11 W. De La Guerra Street in Paseo Nuevo mall, the former home of Pierre Lafond, will become a deli.” As always, this rumor might be completely false or a brilliant forecast of future events. Your call.

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT: I am told that many restaurants, particularly those in Goleta, have been hit hard financially by last week’s Gap Fire. Power outages caused many restaurants to give away or throw out food, and the dark smoky skies kept customers away. You can show your support by having breakfast, lunch or dinner out on the town as much as possible this week and next.

JULIENNE OPENING DOWNTOWN: “Progressive American” restaurant Julienne will open next month at 138 E. Canon Perdido Street, the former home of Le Bon Cafe. Owner Justin West tells me that the restaurant will offer a “sustainable local seasonal menu” and will use “classic European cooking techniques.” Julienne will be open for dinner five nights a week and should start serving customers in early August.

SAIGON IN & OUT OPENS: Saigon In and Out Vietnamese restaurant on Milpas Street has a new sibling. 1230 State Street, next to the Granada Theater, is the home of the new Saigon In and Out. Both restaurants are owned and operated by William Lam, a resident of Santa Barbara for more than 30 years. Lam learned the art of quality food preparation and restaurant management from his mother, who owned an eatery in Saigon. Popular menu items include the #2 spring roll and the #21 Pho Dac. The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information visit saigoninandout.com.

SUMMERLAND MARKET OPENS: Daily Sound columnist Leslie Westbrook reported last week that the new Cantwell’s Summerland Market at 2580 Lillie Avenue in Summerland opened on the Fourth of July. I interviewed Jim Gally, owner of Cantwell’s Market in downtown Santa Barbara and in Summerland, and he says the hours will likely be 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. In addition to being a fully-stocked market, Cantwell’s has more than 25 tables inside and out where you can have a breakfast, lunch and dinner. The store will have twice as many groceries as the original Summerland Market it replaces while also offering a large cheese selection, sausages, organic produce, party platters and catering services.

YOYOYUM YOGURT: Baskin Robbins at 1005 Casitas Pass Road in Carpinteria closed last March. Reader Preston tells me that new construction has started at that address and that it will be the future home of “YoYoYum Yogurt.”

FRENCH FESTIVAL: This Saturday and Sunday, July 12-13, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., enjoy the 21st annual Santa Barbara French Festival at Oak Park. Admission is free and over 20,000 people are expected to attend. This year’s event will feature dozens of chefs preparing fine French food...everything from crêpes to Cajun, and from café au lait to decadent desserts and pastries. Enjoy French beer, wine, champagne and soft drinks.
Food vendors at the event include Pacific Crepes, Southern Delight (Cajun cuisine), Acadie Crepes Company, Josette’s Bistro, Lemoine Crepes, An Lac Buddhist Mission Vietnamese, Edelweiss Choir (Alsatian cuisine), The French Grille (Santa Barbara Catering Company), Starr Events (featuring chef Jean-Paul of the now defunct Le Bon Cafe) and Le Hot Dog (in a baguette, French style).
There will be continuous free entertainment on three stages, including cancan, Moroccan belly dancers, grand opera, Cajun and classical groups, folk dancing, jazz, and cabaret music. Wandering mimes, jugglers, and accordion players will perform throughout the crowd. Kids will enjoy puppet shows, storytellers, and a wading pool. For more information call 564-7274 or visit frenchfestival.com.

CHOCOLATE TOUR: Chocolats du CaliBressan, at 4193 Carpinteria Avenue #4 in Carpinteria, is starting a series of chocolate tour and tasting events. If you are interested in the process of creating (or eating!) chocolates, Chocolats du CaliBressan will be hosting the events on two Thursdays of each month, including July 17 & 31, August 14 & 28, and September 11 & 25. Time is 6 to 6:30 p.m., reservations required (10 persons minimum, 15 maximum), and the cost is $20.00 per person. Includes complimentary glass of champagne. You should RSVP by Monday before each scheduled Thursday event. For more information call 684-6900 or visit chococalibressan.com.

BAJA FRESH: It has come to my attention that the local Baja Fresh restaurants in Goleta and Santa Barbara (and La Salsa in Five Points Center) have changed ownership. They had been company-owned outlets and have now been sold as franchises to a local businessman. I am told that the new owner, who takes over the restaurants this month, will be adding cold beer to the menu at Baja Fresh.

John Dickson’s column appears every Tuesday in the Daily Sound. E-mail your restaurant news tips to info@SantaBarbara.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it's been known for a long time that Montesano intended to open a French restaurant in the hallowed space that was once home to our most-beloved (AND GREATLY MISSED!) Mousse Odile for 25+ years...the real question is this: why did he not keep Mousse Odile open and what has taken all these many moons to get the new place ready?