Where: 129 East Anapamu Street, 884-9218, elementsrestaurantandbar.com.
What: Serving a creative fusion menu for lunch and dinner across the street from the Santa Barbara Courthouse since 2004.
How much? Duck confit and pumpkin wafflette appetizer ($14); lunch entrees ($13-$16); dinner entrees ($19-$30); Elementinis ($11-$12; save $4 at Happy Hour).
The dish: Elements Restaurant & Bar provides a unique venue for an unforgettable dining experience with views of the ascending Riviera, the Courthouse’s elegant clock tower, and the manicured grass of the Sunken Gardens. Enjoy brunch, lunch, dinner, or signature Elementini cocktails inside of the golden-hued, orchid-filled main dining area or outside on the terrace. A diverse lunch menu includes perfectly spiced fire-roasted tomato soup, a grilled vegetable panini, entree salads, and an assortment of gourmet burgers, which include Kobe beef and pulled pork. Eclectic dinner options range from unexpectedly rich grilled jumbo diver scallops, tempura tofu-stuffed portobello mushroom, and buttery textured filet mignon. Miniature cupcake sampler plates are prepared for dessert by the onsite pastry chef. The active bar serves up jalape±o-infused Firetinis and offers one of the best selections of Santa Barbara wines. Not many restaurants are able to pull off successfully balancing a bustling atmosphere night after night while still maintaining focus on fine dining, but Elements does it all and somehow manages never to spread itself too thin. -Joanie Hudson
This week at independent.com, E is also for East Beach Grill (independent.com/eastbeachgrill) and European Deli (independent.com/eurodeli). And for all of our restaurants, see independent.com/restaurants. Next week, see what F is for :