Name: Matt Kettmann
Title: Senior Editor
Why dive into the Live Oak Café? I’ve written about restaurants in Santa Barbara for almost 20 years, but Live Oak was the first that I watched go from a daydream into reality, which is because I am good friends with the owners.
How long have you known them? I’ve known Mark Dela Cruz — who we’ve always called Dirty — since probably 2000, right after we both graduated UCSB. Among other shared adventures — roasting pigs, sleeping in deserts, backpacking the Los Padres, eating through Cuba — we spent 18 glorious days exploring Costa Rica back in 2003, and you can see us here trekking through some jungle. I’ve known Molly for probably a dozen years, and she plays a mean guitar — well, at least she used to, before this whole restaurant thing.
Your favorite Live Oak dish? That bacon-fried rice is ridiculous for breakfast or lunch.