Wow! I really like this place! I'm not sure if it would be the "romantic, quiet" date place, so if you know what you're in for then you might not be disapointed with the atmosphere. The tables are shoved into a tight fit between two small rooms. There isn't much of a waiting area inside and the kitchen is open to the rest of the restaurant, occassionally sharing it's smoke and spicy airs.
But the food -- I really don't think you'll be dissatisfied! We came here twice on a recent work trip and I was here years ago remembering it enough then that it was worth coming back. They have many meat dishes, so it's probably not the vegetarian's choice place. Jumbalaya, pastas, N'awleans influenced dishes that are atypical. The muffins are to die for (a wide assortment with dinner). The chicken dishes i had were excellent...and the veggies and rice (one night dirty and spicy..mmm) were good too.
Our food came really fast, also (the night it was just 3) but slower when it was 8 or 10 of us). The martini's were STRONG. Prices reasonable for SANTA BARBARA -- the wallet emptying place that it is.
My only complaint is we sat late one night (in our big group) and the service was a bit poor (surprising, not like the first night we went). They rotate servers so you don't have one person at your beck and call -- it's their "thang". Anyway, they stopped coming by and never refilled any of our waters even though I asked when they brought the check. Then I watched the 20-year old waiter grabassin with another guy in the back, while I was sitting there dying of thirst....