root 217: Not only has the UCSB campus introduced a food composting program, but it’s also offering up some healthy food choices at the UCen at the recently opened root 217. Grass-fed, hormone-free beef, Seafood Watch–approved fish sandwiches, scratch-made chilis. Despite the name’s similarity to the Hotel Corque’s fine-dining spot, Sue Hawkins, Director of the UCen Dining Services says, “The name is a play on Route 217 and, even though we are not related to the Root 246 in Solvang, we did get a blessing from Bradley Ogden to use a similar name for our sustainable restaurant.” (UCen, lower floor, UCSB campus)
Hollister Brewing Company’s New Co-Brewer: It’s not like brewer Eric Rose needed help, as he’s able to keep a surprising range of fine beers on tap, from the Hippie Kicker IPA to the Belgian-style Glen Annie Golden. But now he’s got a partner in crime, Noah Regnery, most recently head brewer at Pizza Port San Clemente. That might not mean anything to you, but it should: He won Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival. Who knows what hoppy heights Rose and Regnery might reach together? (6980 Marketplace Dr., Goleta,  968-2810, hollisterbrewco.com)
Kobachi Izakaya Closed: For a few years there, Kobachi was a hidden treasure at State Street where the 154 ends, serving izakaya dining deliciously — oh, those lovely mackerel. The specials were a great value, the service charming. But last fall, they decided to play up the market end of the business, shortened the menu, had fumbling if sincere help. Now, it’s all gone, the owners opting to focus on their other property, Ahi Sushi (3631 State St.,  687-6942, ahisb.com). Still, a sad moment.