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“Not at all what we Expected -- Definately NOT Spanish!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Alcazar Restaurant

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Alcazar Restaurant
1812 Cliff Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93109
(805) 962-0337
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Ranked #154 of 450 Restaurants in Santa Barbara
Price range: $29 - $31
Cuisines: Spanish, Tapas
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Private Dining
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Meigs Rd
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
219 reviews 219 reviews
139 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
156 helpful votes 156 helpful votes
“Not at all what we Expected -- Definately NOT Spanish!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2011

Came here with high expectations for our 22nd Anniversary.
Expecting a Spanish style Tapas restaurant -- one of our favorite cuisines -- but that's not what we got. Being from Chicago originally, where there are some excellent authentic Spanish-style Tapas Restaurants -- and, also have visited and lived in Spain, we know what we're talking about. To start with, the decor is all over the place, with the only thing reminiscent of Spain being a some framed photos on the wall. Even the much-too-loud music playing, was not spanish or mexican or anything close. (Rosas next door, looked and sounded more Spanish than this -- and, which we first mistakenly walked into, thinking it was Alcazar). We wanted to start with -- as we traditionally do -- a nice glass of our favorite Fino Sherry from Tio Pepe. The Waitress didn't even know what we were talking about. 'Fortunately' my wife spotted the bottle on the bar shelf alongside the whiskeys and vodkas. (Even more amazingly, it was apparently the only Sherry they had). However, not only was it not chilled, it had been already been opened (about a glass missing). And, based on the waitress telling us she 'never knew they had it' ... it might have been sitting there opened for months. We had her chill a glass for us anyway to try it ... yuck. Spoiled as expected. Tried to explain to her it was essentially a wine, that once opened must be consumed within a couple of days (unless you have a preserving system). I think my advice 'flew over her head', because she just put the bottle back on the shelf (instead of disposing of it). (Oh, and she served it in a mini-Champagne glass ???). Next, we reviewed the wine list for something else -- lo and behold -- not a single Spanish Wine on the menu ('closest' they had was one Argentine wine from Mendoza, but of course that wasn't chilled either, so she offered us an SB haut that was ok ,albeit pricey at $9/glass). As for the menu and purported 'Tapas', well we couldn't find anything I would consider Spanish. More Italian and French style than anything, with a majority being cheese-centered (which is ok, as long as you like and can eat cheese), and lots of pizza/flat-bread appetizers. We did try the baked goat-cheese 'tapa' which was alright, and the Mushrooms in sherry sauce. The only problem with the Mushroom dish (which I also thought was fairly good), was they didn't bother to offer any sliced bread to eat it with and soak up the sauce (as is expected in any traditional Spanish Tapas restaurant) ... and, we had to ask twice to get some. We were so dissappointed that we left after that, not even having a complete meal. Good news is, our Anniversary dinner was not spoiled, because we walked across the street to the Thai Restaurant which was fabulous (see our next review). Bottom Line: This is NOT a Spanish Tapas Restaurant as one would assume; the servers and bartender are friendly but clueless; the decor and menu have no consistent theme; ... But, if you are looking for a basic California-style Bar and restaurant then its okay/average albeit pricey in our opinion.

  • Visited August 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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16 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    5
    7
    2
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Santa Barbara, California
1 review
“al cazar is not tpas bar”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2010

Hi my naem is Yosi I was today 11-13-10 in al cazar the birthday for me wife.
The food was tarbel we have order vge pella and it was the wars pella evaer.
We order oalso the bri cheese with onoin and apell this dish was average.
I was expkting alot more from resturant that have so many exclent reviews.
I will not go over evaer .
Best Regards Yosi

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“I like the tapas but its...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2009

I like the tapas but its sooo loud.

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A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“cool atmosphere; great cocktails”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2008

cool atmosphere; great cocktails

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“Tapas! Sangria!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2008

Tapas! Sangria!

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