Over the past 18 years, SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State Street, [805] 962-7776, sohosb.com) has probably been better known for the latter part of its name. That’s going to change, as SOhO’s menu certainly has — 75 percent of the food is now sourced locally and sustainably.

Why? Co-owner Gail Hansen gave three major reasons at a recent rollout of the menu: “First, this is how we eat at home, so we thought we should be doing it here, too. Second, we like to support the Santa Barbara community, so what we do for musicians we can do for farmers, too. Third, with all the concern about the environment and the economy, the world is changing, and we must change, too. We want to give people want they want.”

Gail Hansen and Orlando Luna
Paul Wellman

Who? Gail’s husband and co-owner Bob is back in a kitchen for the first time in 20 years, supervising and letting us have some of his longtime great home recipes (meat eaters, try the baby back ribs, pronto). SOhO is also reaching out to Rancho San Julian for beef, Santa Barbara Fish Market for seafood, and Farmer Direct Produce (FDP) for the rest. In fact, SOhO is FDP’s first restaurant client, as the group typically has worked with larger institutions like UCSB and Cottage Hospital.

What? You can now get Coastal Kale Salad, crisp in a Bragg’s amino acid dressing, before you catch your favorite band. If you want something a bit exotic, why not nosh on wild boar shank with port wine sauce, fingerling potatoes, and bacon green beans?


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