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“Has great potential” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Actor's Corner Cafe

Actor's Corner Cafe
443, 2nd Street, Solvang, CA 93463
(805) 686-2409
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Ranked #7 of 57 Restaurants in Solvang
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Solvang, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Has great potential”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

This recently opened small restaurant is trying very hard to make an impact in a town already crowded with mediocre restaurants; so far, so good. It's a charming, bright spot, where one can dine inside or outside, and it is across the street from Solvang's well attended PCPA outdoor summer theater. The chef is Italian and the pasta dishes are probably the best things on the menu. That said, the menu is very small and limited. There is one appetizer and three salads (two green, one Caesar); there is no soup or any fish dish. We found this odd, as most main courses here also come with a side salad. Bread is not served separately, but occasionally accompanies a dish, well toasted and tasty. The risotto is one of the best I've had, but it was supposed to come with a 5oz. filet steak, which I ordered rare - the "steak" was little bites of overcooked meat, but still tender. There is a nice selection of local wines. We did not have dessert, as there is no coffee available - only espresso or cappuccino. The service was a bit "too" good, meaning the server/owner seemed so anxious to please that she hovered around our table which we found distracting. Would try this place again, but if it doesn't up it's game, we won't go very often.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace L, Owner at Actor's Corner Cafe, responded to this review, March 31, 2014
Thank you so much for sharing your feedback from your recent dining experience at our restaurant. We deeply appreciate your valuable comments and we will attempt to answer your concerns. Due to the size of our food facility and the requirements of The Health Department we cannot expand our menu. We serve freshly prepared dishes with high quality ingredients carefully chosen and sourced locally as much as we can. Currently, we serve only Cappuccino and Espresso, not a regular coffee. Our goal is to be both healthy and delicious and to create a friendly and positive ambiance for our clients to enjoy. I deeply apologize if you have found the service overly done. All I can sincerely say: “we try our best”. Thank you for visiting our restaurant and we hope we will see you again in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Santa Maria, California
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“European Flair”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

This charming restaurant truly captures the feel of an intimate dining experience in a small European bistro. The owners, Grace and Santo, make every diner feel special and the food is exceptional. My husband and I have dined here twice and certainly will return. This is the type of restaurant that we want to share with friends. I tried the risotto on my first visit and loved it so much that I ordered it again. The small steak that accompanied it was seasoned and cooked perfectly and the marinated tomatoes added the right acidic touch. My husband loved the capellini with kobe beef and we all shared the yummy vegetarian appetizer and two wonderful desserts. It was the ideal dining experience, and I would recommend this lovely place to anyone who enjoys turning a meal into an event.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Excellent Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

After trying several highly rated restaurants in the area and being rather disappointed, we decided on this one simply because it was very close to our hotel and we were tired. I hadn't seen any advertisements or read any but the two reviews on Trip Advisor.

We arrived and were greeted warmly. The restaurant is small, but very charming and inviting. I ordered roast chicken with a cherry and wine sauce while my companion ordered risotto with filet mignon. There was also a gluten free lasagna special that sounded good. I don't eat gluten and am very sensitive to certain types of oils that most restaurants use. The hostess/server (Grace, I suppose from the other reviews) verified for me that the chicken was a safe choice for me to order.

When she brought the salad out, she said the greens had come from the farmers market that morning and the vinaigrette was made with a local organic olive oil. My dining companion doesn't care about such things, but I almost cried in relief after days of eating processed, industrial restaurant garbage at even the nicest restaurants on our vacation. Normally, I source my food very carefully and cook at home a lot, but that isn't possible on a vacation and I'd been suffering from the lack of decent food.

My chicken was delicious, as was my companion's meal. The service was absolutely outstanding, so good I'm not sure I remember ever eating at a place with better service. And I didn't even feel ill afterwards as I do most of the time when I eat in restaurants. I'm shocked that this restaurant has so few reviews. And I'm stunned at the mediocre restaurants in Solvang that do have lots of great reviews. I think the Actor's Corner Cafe needs a lot more publicity and advertising so people will know that this is one of the best, if not the best, restaurants in the area.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Perfect”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2014 via mobile

It's a bit daunting to try to capture our dining experience in this review because it was so wonderful I feel like my task here is akin to sharing a particularly funny moment; you really had to be there. So I'll say simply to start that if you are anywhere nearby you really ought to stop by and be treated to some of the finest food and best service in the area. Grace and Santo are a remarkable duo who run this lovely little restaurant perfectly. Grace, who handles the front of the house, has all the warmth, charm, and professionalism needed to make you feel like a welcome guest rather than just a paying customer. Santo turns out beautiful meals efficiently all if which are wonderfully seasoned. Our party of three started with the asparagus app and moved to mains of chicken, lasagne, and kobe beef pasta. Each was infused with fresh herbs, nicely salted, and perfectly cooked. We paired the meal with local wine recommended by Grace (and bought a bottle to take home it was so good). We had the pleasure of trying both deserts that were on offer that evening; the tiramisu and the chocolate ... I don’t even remember what the chocolate was called since I tuned out when Grace mentioned that it was gluten free but when Santos sent it out, his compliments, for my birthday I wished I had paid more attention! I don't usually go for chocolate but this was indescribably good. Yes, that good. I want more just writing about it. We tried without success to convince Santos to move back to Canada so we could enjoy his cooking again but we'll just have to be satisfied sharing the good and hoping more folks find this definitely worth finding restaurant so we can come here again when we're back in Socal. And yes, we did try some of the other highly rated restaurants in Solvang and this was the best.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Modern European”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

Across from the Solvang Theater, the Actor's Corner Cafe is a place where you will be treated like royalty by Grace and Santo, who moved here from Santa Monica and Toronto. It seems like Santo creates every meal just for you, almost as if you where visiting them in their house. Grace buys fresh ingredients at the local farmers market and is genuinely happy that you are visiting.
I had the Tofu Lasagna which tasted fresh, wholesome and very flavorful, without the stuffy feeling afterwards. Give it a try, even if you don't care about tofu.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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