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Nick Bajal

Paul Wellman

Nick Bajal


Chef’s Corner: Nick Bajal

New Lead Chef at Outpost Inspires Globally Driven Menu and Street Food Fusion


Tenure: Acting as sous chef at the Outpost since July 2015, Bajal was selected as the new lead chef in March 2016.

Résumé: A Chicago native, Bajal is new to the West Coast scene, with stints at such notable Chicago restaurants Bohemian House and Atwood (where he worked under former Outpost chef Derek Simcik).

Dishes he digs: Beets and burrata, an Asian-inspired take on a fresh summer dish, with miso-honey vinaigrette, salt-roasted beets, white sesame seeds, nori, and burrata.

“I like to take a little bit from everything … a technique, a spice … world cuisines inspire me to create my own style,” said Bajal. “It’s about respecting tradition while making it new, fun, and exciting.”

Make sure to also check out their rotating Sunday-night ramen, where Chef Bajal gets creative — from hot pastrami ramen to the more traditional shoyu ramen with marinated egg. Dishes sell out quick, so arrive early.

The scoop: The Outpost blends Californian coastal cuisine with Latin and Asian influences, so guests can look forward to dishes that explore the vibrant flavors and street foods of Korea, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, and Thailand. The new menu will feature Korean bibimbap, served in a hot stone bowl with rice, egg yolk, and rotating flavors and proteins, such as pickled cucumbers, char siu pork belly, green onion, and black-garlic-roasted carrots. Another global (and gluten-free) dish will be jibarito, a Puerto Rican dish with fried green plantains, pork carnitas, fried egg, lime aioli, and pickled jalapeño.

“Cooking for me is a way to express myself, express my feelings, and emotions,” said Bajal. “I love making people happy through food. I love seeing the gratitude.”

5650 Calle Real, Goleta, (805) 964-1288, outpostsb.com

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