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Dig into local wines and farm-to-table produce at cool eatery THE LARK in the heart of the food and wine-loving Funk Zone;
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In Santa Barbara, in a renovated light industrial precinct dubbed the Funk Zone, there’s an old fish market building transformed into a popular eatery called the Lark, complete with flower-filled steel bathtubs out the front.
Tasting Table – Where to Eat in Santa Barbara
The Lark sources ingredients from area farms, and its menu consists of addictive, family style dishes: crispy Brussels sprouts with Medjool dates, harissa and honey–glazed Jidori chicken, and funnel cake drizzled with malted milk cremeux and triple–chocolate ice cream.
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The Lark, the 130-seat restaurant housed in the historic Santa Barbara Fish Market building in the heart of the arts district, is an institution known for its delectable locally sourced and seasonal menu.
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It's gorgeous, mostly outdoors, and the food and drinks are pretty stellar. This contemporary American spot is a centerpiece to the Funk Zone complex that houses a guitar shop, a brewery (Figueroa Mountain), artisanal spirits (Cutler’s), sibling restaurant Lucky Penny and the Les Marchands wine bar. As soon as the doors open at night, locals and visitors fill every seat in the house, from the funky vintage train booths and communal tables inside to the sprawling patio lined with strings of lights, succulents and cool Santa Barbara breezes. The food speaks to the place and season.
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Your family-style dinner at this lauded New American restaurant will probably come out looking more like a piece of art than an edible arrangement. But then you’ll get over it, and realize that your plate is filled with ingredients so fresh they were probably picked from the farm that morning. The cocktail program (which uses seasonal fruits and veggies) is on-point, too.
The Hollywood Reporter – 19 NEW IDEAS FOR WHAT TO DO IN SANTA BARBARA AND OJAI: A 48-HOUR STAYCATION ITINERARY
...Funk Zone from Acme Hospitality, the force behind Santa Barbara dining institutions such as The Lark (fans include Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Conan O’Brien) and Lucky Penny (where Christopher Lloyd dines).
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The Lark makes OpenTable's list of 100 hottest restaurants for 2016.
USA Today – Date Night: 10 Most Romantic Restaurants in Santa Barbara
The Lark is a striking restaurant located in the heart of Santa Barbara's Funk Zone. The menu here celebrates Central Coast fare, from fruits and vegetables to meats and wines.
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The Lark's "Movie, Popcorn and The Vesper": Throughout the film festival, the popular Funk Zone eatery will swap out its regular popcorn for Movie Popcorn, which pairs perfectly with a "Vesper" Cocktail, aka 007's Dirty Martini.
Santa Barbara Seasons – COCKTAIL CORNER: SIP AND SAVOR VALENTINE’S DAY
Set the table for romance at The Lark (131 Anacapa St.), where Executive Chef Jason Paluska and Executive Pastry Chef Jeff Haines present a weekend of Valentine’s Day dining with enticing specials designed to be shared by two for the ultimate romantic dining experience.
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OpenTable—the online restaurant reservations system—just released its “100 Hottest Restaurants in America for 2016.” And it’s refreshing, to say the least.
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Take my word for it, have the Brussels sprouts... no matter how much you think you hate them, this place will change your mind.
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The Lark — The Lark is widely regarded by locals and regulars alike as one of the best dining destinations in Santa Barbara.
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A fairly new and most welcome addition to Santa Barbara is the Funk Zone, which is an artsy little ‘hood replete with two dozen wine tasting rooms and craft breweries alongside numerous galleries and restaurants.
The Infatuation: The Best Restaurants in Santa Barbara
Simply put, The Lark is operating on a different level than everybody else right now in Santa Barbara.
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Thrillist: The Lark
Ingredients for dishes like the autumn beets and butternut salad, roast chicken and grilled octopus are locally sourced and beautifully presented.
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Then it’s onto The Lark, where we bypass the extralong communal table for a quieter spot outside. The menu ranges from pancetta-stuffed deviled eggs to a black garlic–glazed, Flintstones-size lamb shank. It’s all quite good, but I want to bottle the crispy Brussels sprouts and take them home.
7×7: A Modern Guide to Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone
You’ll want to try everything, so bring some friends to share globally inspired dishes ranging from southern pimento cheese to a Moroccan spiced chickpea tagine.
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The Lark, surrounded by local surf shops and galleries, is located in the historic Santa Barbara Fish Market building. You can sit inside or enjoy the breeze on the outside porch. The ambience is romantic with flickering candles and old lamps, and the large communal tables are homey and welcoming – you can share one of them with 23 friends or make new friends with some of the other guests. The cheery atmosphere is just the beginning...
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Another example of Santa Barbara’s “New Urbanism” trend is 131 Anacapa in the city’s Funk Zone, which encompasses The Lark restaurant, Lucky Penny, Les Marchands wine shop and the Santa Barbara Wine Collective.
Donna Polizzi: Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone Draws a Crowd from Throughout Central Coast
The Lark has a comfortable energy and the food is consistently good. You must order the Crispy Brussel Sprouts appetizer. It sounds unusual, but it’s out of this world.
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Walk into Santa Barbara restaurant and reigning hot spot The Lark most any night of the week and you’ll feel as though you’ve been invited to the party of the year. Even if you don’t know a single soul situated around the large communal table or the radiant hearth, you’ll soon become engrossed in conversation with a neighboring diner.
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Dinner at The Lark, a really cool outdoor restaurant with a warehouse vibe. We had huge sharing plates including scallops, steak and pork belly.’
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Open just 18 months, the already uber-hot restaurant made OpenTable's national "top 100 hot spots" list in March.
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The Lark’s porch is lovely, but the communal table is where the party's at. Plan to meet new folks and eat spicy pineapple and jalapeño octopus.
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Santa Barbara Life & Style: The Lark
The Lark clearly takes advantage of the values we hold near and dear to our hearts. It manages to embody the local culture, while dressing it up with decadence, in the best way possible. Chef Jason Paluska’s inspired menu is crafted with fragments of memories from various travels. The result is a melting pot of flavors, whose pairing is executed with unparalleled precision.
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"For our businesses we continue to be a business where locals want to come and where visitors want to come where they feel the authentic , real Santa Barbara." said Sherry Villanueva with the Lark restaurant in the Funk Zone. It is in a grouping of new businesses including the Lucky Penny and the Les Marchands Wine bar.
The hip Funk Zone adds color to often-stodgy Santa Barbara
Diners fill every chair at the popular Lark restaurant, including those at a long communal table. Like many other Funk Zone businesses, it is pet friendly and pups join their masters on the patio.
Playful New American food is the hallmark at this one-and-a-half-year-old restaurant, which shares a complex in Santa Barbara’s western “Funk Zone” with the popular Les Marchands wine bar and The Lucky Penny pizzeria, making it a must-visit destination in the city.
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Professional chefs are pretty good at predicting what their customers will go for on a menu. Seasoned chefs trust their instincts and years of experience.
The Nose-to-Tail Trend
Transforming Santa Barbara's Funk Zone into an even more hip zone, The Lark is attracting diners in droves.
Why you should be adding this versatile fruit to your cooking – and cocktail – repertoire
“Yuzu is rad!” says Jason Paluska, executive chef at The Lark in Santa Barbara, one of the hottest reservations in Southern California right now.
OC Register: Quick Getaways: Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone lives up to its name
Head to The Lark, a much-ballyhooed restaurant where exposed brick walls, mellow lighting, and a convivial crowd are the backdrop to a delicious menu heavy on shared plates (try the grilled hanger steak and charred broccoli spiked with chile and mint).
Santa Barbara Independent: The S.B. Questionnaire
New Year’s Chat with the Marketing Exec-Turned-Funk Zone Restaurateur
Los Angeles Magazine: The Weekender: Santa Barbara
"You’re steps from what is arguably Santa Barbara’s best restaurant, The Lark. Everything about the seasonal cuisine shows Jason Paluska’s gift for pairings, such as the duck liver mousse with roasted strawberries."
805 LIVING: A FREESTYLE THANKSGIVING
Chef Cat Cora rounds up a few of her favorite Santa Barbara chefs for an outside-the-box feast.
Food Republic: The Lark/ Lucky Penny
The Lark and Lucky Penny, "the two-for-one hotspot in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone — a micro 'hood featuring restaurants, wine tasting rooms and distilleries — offers the best of all worlds."
Tasting Table: Dinner at The Lark
Tasting Table discusses where to eat, drink and stay in the coastal town of Santa Barbara. "Newer on the scene is The Lark. Here, comfort foods meet seasonal ingredients, so the wedge salad is made with Little Gems, chicory-glazed bacon and spicy pecans, and the housemade gnocchi is served with Dungeness crab, grilled corn, jalapeño and preserved lemon."
Santa Barbara Independent, September 2014
The Lark receives the "Funk Zone Epicenter Award" in the Fifth Annual Foodie Awards - The Santa Barbara Independent’s Celebration of Culinary Culture.
Noozhawk, September 2014
Foodbank Serves Up ‘Table of LIfe’ Pre-Event Fundraiser
The Lark Hosts an Art Contest, August 2014
The Funk Zone’s hottest dinner reservation is making moves to become home to some of the area’s coolest new artists. The Lark is currently hosting a friendly competition for any and all Santa Barbara artists. The restaurant is providing 5” by 8” wood boards that contestants are being challenged to create their best original art masterpiece on. Artists of all age ranges and levels of experience are encouraged to participate.
Food & Beverage World, July 2014
The Lark: Latest Star in Santa Barbara Restaurant Scene
GMA Yahoo, June 2014
Skip the Bar, Get Funky Downtown Santa Barbara, especially lower State Street, is well-known for its bar action. But for more educated sipping, the Funk Zone’s the place to be.
Visit California, May 2014
California has had a long love affair with spirits and cocktail culture stretching back to the Prohibition-era rum runners and speakeasies of San Francisco and gilded lounges frequented by Hollywood’s Golden Age screen stars. Prohibition is a distant memory and today bars everywhere try to emulate speakeasy style, but California continues to stay in the mix by leading the field with an ingredient found everywhere in the Golden State: innovation.
Food 52, May 2014
Jason Paluska's kitchen letters featured in Food 52. Roasted Pineapple and Habanero Salsa recipe.
Zagat, May 2014
When it's time for a quick jaunt away from LA for a weekend or even a day, Santa Barbara is the closest getaway - only 90 miles - yet it feels so much further off. And that's a good thing. With the beautiful coastline, local farms and ranches and wine-country influence, it's also a culinary paradise. Plus, Oprah lives nearby. Here are 10 delicious new reasons to check out the Santa Barbara dining scene, from hopping around the Funk Zone to eating your way around the grand Santa Barbara Public Market.
Sky Magazine, April 2014
Snag a table at The Lark, opened last year, and dig into Brus- sel sprouts with medjool dates and mussels with charred pineapple and chili. Finish with rieslings from Austria or pinot noirs from the nearby Santa Maria Valley at Les Marchands Wine Bar and Mer- chant, a stunning wine bar around the corner.
Westways Magazine, February 2014
Home to the Urban Wine Trail with its mix of topnotch tasting rooms, Santa Barbara's Funk Zone has a new culinary crown jewel: The Lark.
The Tasting Panel, Febuary 2014
The concept was simple: sharing plates in a communal setting. But the execution was no lark. Owner Sherry Villanueva’s family-style restaurant goes beyond meeting your tablemate. As the new Funk Zone favorite, neighbor to popular wine tasting rooms and retail shops, a reservation at Lark is a coveted treasure.
News Press, January 2014
Executive chef Jason Paluska leaves San Fran to help make Funk Zone eatery an overnight success.
A Lady in London, January 2014
The Lark has a huge communal table made from a single piece of Douglas fir from Oregon, and as I sit down to fresh salads and delicious local meat and produce, I learn that in addition to the unique table, the restaurant also has furniture in the form of former church pews and a 100-year-old Catholic confessional.
Santa Barbara Magazine, Winter 2014
At the helm of The Lark, the latest hot spot to open in the Funk Zone, are executive chef Jason Paluska and executive sous/pastry chef Nick Flores, the dynamic duo that creates fresh food with a modern twist.
Edible Magazine, December 2013
An evening sharing the edible art of Jason and Nick brings spice and warmth, happiness and satisfaction to the soul.
Noozhawk, November 2013
Word of Mouth sent out our “20 Questions” survey to Chef Jason Paluska of The Lark in the revitalized Funk Zone, and he fills us in on a few of his favorite eats.
Wine Enthusiast Magazine, 2013
No venture into the Funk Zone is complete without a stop at the new half-block complex housing The Lark restaurant
Santa Barbara News Press, October 2013
Very creative food in a very cool environment, The Lark has laid down new tracks for restaurants in the area. The Cauliflower Gratin and the Roasted Mary's Chicken are a must try.
Santa Barbara Independent, September 2013
Here's an audio report on the emerging scene in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone, the waterfront neighborhood now full of wine tasting rooms, galleries, restaurants, and a bit of controversy.
Los Angeles Times, September 2013
A new Santa Barbara destination has it all: Wine shop, restaurant and take-out pizza
Centurion Magazine, Fall 2013
The Californian grande dame is being rejuvenated with a clutch of contemporary restaurants and spaces
805 Living, September 2013
The Lark in Santa Barbara, Mary Ann Norbom
Santa Barbara Independent, August 29, 2013
The Lark Lands in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone, Shannon Kelley
10 Best, August 2013
The menu at The Lark changes seasonally, favoring Central Coast ingredients like local figs and freshly caught fish. Appetizers include deviled eggs, stuffed Castelvetrano olives and charcuterie. Salads burst with bright farmers market fare and larger platters celebrate sustainably farmed meats.
KEYT, August 2013
A new restaurant called The Lark has opened in Santa Barbara's rapidly changing "Funk Zone."
Santa Barbara Seasons, August 2013
The Lark, one of Santa Barbara’s newest restaurants in a triad including Lucky Penny (127 Anacapa St.) and Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant (131 Anacapa St.), is now open for business! The Lark is led by general manager Dan Russo, executive chef Jason Paluska and executive sous chef Nick Flores, who intend to create a magical culinary experience. The Lark pays homage to the legendary California luxury train of the same name, and hopes to bring together the past and future to depict Santa Barbara’s rich history, landscape and community.
Gayot, August 2013
The Lark has opened in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone, a burgeoning arts district where recently there's been an upswing in wine and food. Expect seasonally inspired dishes like herb roasted diver scallops with chorizo, grilled corn, gypsy peppers, romano beans, lime and cilantro.
Santabarbara.com, August 2013
Menu items for The Lark will be locally sourced and responsibly grown, using seasonal ingredients based on the abundant bounty available on the Central Coast. The Lark’s full bar will feature classic as well as craft cocktails using the finest in artisan spirits, mixers and seasonal fruits and vegetables. The interior and exterior design of the space has an urban style that integrates vintage and re-purposed materials for a sophisticated yet casual sensibility.
San Francisco Magazine, August 2013
In the same complex, the Zone’s new restaurants—the Lark, an upscale spot, and the casual Lucky Penny—are bending the town’s burger-and-fries palate toward calamari cassoulet and pork-fennel meatball pizza.
Los Angeles Magazine
Our neighbors up in Santa Barbara welcomed a new restaurant this past Tuesday, The Lark. Located within the Funk Zone, home to the Urban Wine Trail and minutes from the 101, this New American spot is an easy trip up from the L.A. area.
Noozhawk, August 8, 2013
The Lark Opens with a Perfect Recipe for Success, Judy Foreman
Santa Barbara Sentinel, August 2, 2013
Welcome to The Lark, Matt Mazza, August 2, 2013
Sunset Magazine, July 2013
Start with The Lark, named for the overnight train that ran between L.A. and San Francisco, where you eat at railcar-inspired booths or, better yet, firepits on the patio.
L.A. Confidential, June 2013
One Enchanted Evening (or two), Kathy McDonald
Montecito Journal, June 2013
Montecito Journal 30 May – 6 June 2013. Catherine Remak, Lori Gaskin, The Lark chef Jason Paluska and Sarafina Brown from Fairview Gardens Education Farm at Taste of the Nation
Seasons Magazine Press Blog
The Funk Zone in June, Taylor Micaela Davis
Santa Maria Times, May 2013
A taste of Santa Barbara. Food from more than 25 restaurants, and beverages from more than 20 wineries and breweries will be served at Sunday’s “Taste of the Nation” at the Montecito Country Club.
Pacific Coast Business Times, May 2013
The main sit-down restaurant will be called The Lark and will feature seating for up to 130 people and casual American-style food, served family-style.
Santa Barbara Independent, April 16, 2013
The Lark, Lucky Penny and Les Marchands poised for June Opening in Santa Barbara
Santabarbara.com, April 2013
A 120-seat restaurant named The Lark is coming to 131 Anacapa Street, the former home of Bay Café. Most of the seats will be out door in 2 large patios. The Lark will offer seasonal, local New America cuisine including new ethnic twists on traditional modern comfort food. The chef is Jason Paluska.