Where: 1404 De la Vina St., 963-7003, uphamhotel.com.
What: California Bistro-style dining in one of downtown Santa Barbara’s oldest hotels.
How much: Lunch salads $10-$14.95, dinner entrees $24-$30, deep apple torte $7.
The dish: Appropriately fitting to the historic Upham Hotel, Louie’s California Bistro is an intimate, upscale eatery built on tradition. Tucked away on the Victorian hotel’s first floor amid sweeping verandas and a shaded porch, the focus is on the freshest ingredients, professional service, and matching the array of wines to the menu. The restaurant’s consistency is based in part on the experience of head chef Tony Manzanares, who has been there for almost 20 years. Elegant presentation never seems stuffy in the romantic ambiance that paints the perfect backdrop for a memorable meal. Lunch, which is served Monday through Friday only, features classic salads such as the tossed Cobb and classic crab and shrimp Louie salad. Light pasta dishes accompany entrees that range from an Asian stir fry to a caramelized onion and gorgonzola pizza. The dinner menu includes plenty of shellfish appetizers, a selection of pizza and pastas, meatloaf, pork chop, and a richly prepared grilled filet mignon with cabernet sauce and gorgonzola cheese. Save room for the deep apple torte la mode or unique espresso flan dessert.
This week at independent.com, K/L is also for: Kobachi and Los Arroyos. And for all of our restaurants, see independent.com/restaurants. Next week, see what M is for :