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“Tasty food - lots of small plates to choose from but...”
Review of Sama Sama Kitchen

Sama Sama Kitchen
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Ranked #104 of 570 Restaurants in Santa Barbara
Cuisines: Asian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 6 April 2018

We went to Sama Sama as a result of a recommendation from a shop owner nearby. He raved about it. The menu is full of small plates to choose from - there are lots of options for all sorts of tastes. If I took my Dad there, who is somewhat of a conventional old school eater, he may have had trouble choosing what to order but if you're a millennial or somewhat of a foodie you probably could navigate the menu fairly easily.

We had crispy brussel sprouts, a nasi goreng fried rice and the special which was ribs. All were very tasty, seasoned really well - the ribs may have been a bit fatty, but a minor issue. Service was prompt and excellent. The owners/chefs seem very committed to what they do and participate in the dining room talking to guests. I think they met in culinary school.

It is a loud restaurant, and seems popular with a young crowd - the bar menu has appealing and creative drinks.

The only drawback, which is a big one for me, is that the upholstery on the bench side of the tables was very dirty. The fabric needed to be replaced - there were spots and stains everywhere and it took away from my dining experience as I sat on the other side. I guess it's an expensive thing to do but it really needs to be done. It's distracting. The other thing is that the wait staff were cleaning tables beside us and near us with what I think was Fantastik cleaning spray. I know the smell. This was problematic and smelled like someone was doing some heavy duty cleaning. Something diluted like vinegar or something I think would suffice. There was also a few pieces of rice on our table when we sat down - not a big deal, but the whole cleaning thing rolled out into a few issues for me. Maybe it sounds picky, but that's my Trip Advisor alias! I just don't want the smell of Fantastik and the spray wafting around me while I eat.

If they improve on these things I definitely would give it a higher rating. I'm also trying to figure out why they rank this low on Trip Advisor - not sure, maybe not enough reviews, or small plates are challenging for some diners to get their head around. This is probably the lowest ranked Trip Advisor restaurant I've been to in a while, but I thought the food was good.

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Thank UsuallyPicky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 104 reviews

Reviewed 20 March 2018

We had tickets at The Granda - so we popped into Sama Sama for dinner (it is right next door). I order the Mule Kick with ginger vodka and it went down fine. We shared several dishes and all walked away satisfied.

The spicy brussel sprouts, chicken wings and the Duck Salad were my favorites. Looks of asian flavors and just enough spice

It is lively and loud with a festive feeling. Not a great place if you want to share your inner most feelings.

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Thank Christa R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2018 via mobile

So glad we made reservations on opentable.com for a rainy Saturday night dinner. The restaurant at 6pm is already full despite the heavy rain. It is a casual resto with some communal, cafeteria-style tables for 6-8 people. Husband and I split the Grilled ribeye steak ($42) , nasi goreng fried rice ($12) and we think they are excellent! The meat was tender and very flavorful. The steak’s lemon aioli, crispy potatoes and the cashew mixed in with the salad topping was super delicious and was perfect to pair with the fried rice. We almost licked the plate as it was so good. We had to compliment the friendly chef before we left. The ambience, lighting, music and friendly servers were wonderful. I’m so glad we discovered this gem on State Street . We will definitely return and we highly recommend!

Thank OC_M_Lu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2018

I was directed to Sama Sama by the manager of a B&B. The bar is awesome with an eclectic selection of wines and mixed drinks (with and without alcohol). Both dinner and dessert were fresh, light, tasty and easy on the wallet. I asked the bar manager to select a dessert wine and was blessed with a perfect apéritif. Let the staff guide you and you won't be disappointed.

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    • Food
Thank Eric W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2018 via mobile

When I eat I love to have different varieties. I want to try everything on the menu so when you have a group of foodies, the tapas style menu is perfect. We tried pretty much everything on the menu. Forgot to take pictures of everything but each dish had so much flavor. You can’t go wrong with anything from the menu. Their desserts were also good. Expect to pay about $40-50 per person including a drink.

Thank Cynthia A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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