Marmalade Cafe could easily be called Marmalot. Or Megalade. Something that tips off folks that they’re in for a big experience. If you go to the restaurant’s biweekly Live Jazz Brunch, cosponsored by Magic KMGQ 106.3, you’ll get two menus, lunch and brunch. The lunch kicks off with 10 soups, which has to be a record for an establishment without the word “pot” in its name. The brunch menu offers a “mere” 29 dishes, assuming you don’t start making variations on each with la carte sides. Do not bring the indecisive here or it will be a long day’s journey into brunch.

The atmosphere is very Anthropologie-weathered chandeliers and framed prints of starfish. You can also sit outside and take in the many phases of Santa Barbara, from Vons to Tiffany’s to the mountains. Wherever you sit, very young wait folks will eagerly aim to please.

The music on April 20 featured Chris Standring, who’s climbing up the smooth jazz charts as you read. Playing his Fender along to prerecorded rhythm and sometimes sax tracks, it’s a bit hard to know how he improvises in those preset structures, but he got some grooves going and some heads bobbing, even at a tad too loud a volume. But that’s just more of the bigness.

As for the food, bigness rules there, too. Platter-sized portions are heaped with your main dish and toast and home fries. A tortilla scramble is a messy delight of eggs, tortilla chips, turkey sausage, onions, jalape±os, tomatoes, and ice cream scooper-sized servings of black beans, salsa, guac, sour cream, plus tortillas so you can make your own breakfast taco. Probably enough for the rest of the table, too. Unless they have the bacon, mushroom, and Swiss frittata-that’s more an omelet stuffed with bacon and mushrooms, with a melted cheese roof. Good, but mighty rich.


Marmalade Cafe is located in La Cumbre Plaza at 3825 State Street. Call 682-5246 or visit The next Sunday Live Jazz Brunch is on May 4.


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