Open since 1985 and having survived one ownership change, the Palace Grill has earned a place as an S.B. institution, bringing us closer to New Orleans via the best way to know that city-one’s stomach. Since July, the executive chef has been Galen Vasquez, an honored graduate of the hotel/restaurant/culinary program at Santa Barbara City College. Before his Palace gig, Vasquez did time at the CIA (the culinary one, not the spook), Napa’s Auberge du Soleil, and John Loxterman’s Wicked Garden in Dana Point. While all the Cajun and Creole classics remain, Vasquez is tweaking the menu to express his own style, for example adding a prized Kurobuto pork chop with a whisky vanilla glaze. Sounds pork-tastic to me, and I haven’t been sipping the whisky glaze, either.
Palace Grill is located at 8 East Cota Street. Call 963-5000 or visit palacegrill.com.