Sherry Villanueva is the owner/managing partner of ACME Hospitality in Santa Barbara which operates seven restaurant concepts in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. Chances are if you’ve spent time there, you’ve visited some of their places. Listen to the Podcast
The inaugural Michelin Guide California, the first statewide version of the guide in the country, was recently released. Although no stars were awarded to 805-area eateries, 12 Santa Barbara County restaurants, including The Lark received recognition. View full article
The Lark is all about embodying Santa Barbara dining, from the local ingredient–driven menu to the abundance of wine selections from nearby producers. Chef Jason Paluska crafts crowd-pleasing dishes family-style, like caramelized cauliflower with black garlic vinaigrette, cured salmon with roasted shishito pepper aioli and crispy duck leg confit with a duck fat biscuit. View full article
With an eye toward deliciously creative flavor pairings without borders, Chef Jason Paluska has a little something for everyone, from pimento cheese sliders to his signature Brussels sprouts. On the drinks side, Wine Director W. Hayden Felice has rounded out a California-centric list with an exciting array of Old World and natural wines. View full article
The trendy Funk Zone has new diverse dining, including The Lark for quintessential Californian food, Loquita for Spanish tapas and Tyger Tyger for Southeast Asian street food.
If you can slip away for some grown-up fun: Head straight to the Funk Zone, parents will find about six square blocks of wine tasting rooms and art galleries, plus a fun boutique or two and delicious dining. Dine without the kids at The Lark, Lucky Penny, or Tyger Tyger, all within easy walking distance or with the kids along the wharf. View full article
At The Lark in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, belly up to the bar or communal table…and dig into chef Jason Paluska’s new cocktail hour snacks, including pimento cheese sliders, hush puppies with salted honey butter, and duck fat roasted pecans.
Highlights come from land and sea, like the grilled Australian wagyu beef short rib, or caramelized diver scallops. Burrata doused with local citrus, castelvetrano olive tapenade, and marcona almonds is almost too beautiful to eat, and works particularly well as a snack with cocktails before dinner. View full article
A favorite amongst locals and tourists alike is The Lark in the eclectic Funk Zone neighborhood. Ingredients are locally sourced from California’s Central Coast and the drink menu highlights local winemakers and artisan craft cocktails. Portions are large, so share a snack and a few dishes from each category and a bottle of Santa Ynez pinot noir to keep it all in the family. View full article
The Lark has been a destination for fine food and wine since it opened in 2013, landing on several best-of lists including EaterLA’s. Bar manager Nicholas Priedite and team creates a new cocktail menu every season, celebrating the very best of the Central Coast.
Santa Barbara’s The Funk Zone, The Lark’s fresh market-driven drinks are influenced by the California climate and are designed to complement the seasonally changing menu of small and large plates by Executive Chef Jason Paluska.
Nab a table in their fire pit-strewn courtyard and settle in for the night – this is one meal you don’t want to rush.
We love that the menu options are not only locally sourced but responsibly grown. Seasonal ingredients keep the food fresh, served up family style for sharing. Looking over to the full bar, you’ll find a series of classics as well as craft cocktails using the finest artisan spirits and mixers.
The Funk Zone staple The Lark may be Santa Barbara’s most enduring modern restaurant. Perennially packed and beloved by locals and travelers alike, this is the restaurant for of-the-moment produce, grilled proteins, and a stiff cocktail — all available just blocks from the beach.
Drop by The Lark for a five star dinner on a patio studded with fire-pits. Don’t miss the Niman Ranch pork chop, accompanied by grilled nectarines, or the crispy Brussels sprouts.
OpenTable analyzes over 12 million reviews to find the 100 best open-air restaurants in the United States.
If this restaurant was in LA, it’d be one of the hardest reservations in town. But it’s here, in Santa Barbara, and still one of the hardest reservations in town. Plan ahead.
This unique place is the crux of Santa Barbara’s food and wine loving community as the restaurant is located at the strategic location of central Funk Zone, which is a bustling arts district full of galleries and local surf shops, and the popular Urban Wine Trail, which houses some of the finest wines in the whole of Santa Barbara. View full article
Set in a former fish warehouse dating back to the 1920s, The Lark is easily one of Santa Barbara’s most venerable locales. It’s an entirely communal dining experience here.
Now one of the town’s most celebrated gems, The Lark dishes food that is just as exciting as when Paluska became one of the first chefs with a pedigree to make the transition from a big city. House-made porchetta di testa comes adorned with roast strawberries, West Coast oysters are bracingly refreshing thanks to a tangerine granita and vegetable dishes are all sourced from within 30 miles, without having to boast about it on the menu. View full article
T+L designates The Lark as the most romantic restaurant in Santa Barbara.
For dessert, we had the luscious ooey gooey butter cake. You know when you take that first bite and your eyes light up? Well, this cake caused our eyes to sparkle.
The just-published Around the Table: Recipes & Stories from The Lark in Santa Barbara is certainly as amazing as The French Laundry Cookbook. With more than 160 recipes, gorgeous photos by Macduff Everton, and tales of Santa Barbara past and present, it’s no surprise to learn that this accomplishment was part of Acme Hospitality founder and managing partner Sherry Villanueva’s dream before she even opened The Lark. View full article
The Lark owes its lasting appeal to a lively, fire-pit warmed patio, bowls of garum-splashed Brussels sprouts, and exceptional cocktails such as the bright, rose-colored California negroni made with St. George terroir gin, Aperol maraschino, and Cocchi Americano.
Lark, named after an old Pullman railway car, is particularly inventive in its flavour combinations – how about a black pepper pappardelle with smoked kurobuta pork belly, 12-month-old manchego, cured egg yolk and fennel pollen?
At THE LARK (thelarksb. com) chef Jason Paluska uses squid ink and black sesame seeds in the crackers he serves with uni as a special.
The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County hosted a gathering at The Lark’s Pullman Room on Wednesday evening to thank sponsors and patrons of its annual gala fundraiser Table of Life. Jeff Bridges, the 2017 Table of Life honoree, and Susan Bridges, both active and longtime supporters of the Foodbank, were present, along with Maryan Schall, 2016 Table of Life honoree and this year’s honorary event chair.
There may be no hipper place to dine on the Central Coast right now than The Lark, which acts as a pseudo-hub for tourists and locals exploring the area’s artsy Funk Zone.
Luxury Magazine explores the virtues of Santa Barbara’s unique atmosphere.
Smack in the heart of the Funk Zone, The Lark is the pride and joy of Santa Barbara. If this restaurant was in LA, it’d be one of the hardest reservations in town.
Executive Chef Jason Paluska’s kitchen creations at The Lark are as beautiful as they are delicious. Every item on the menu is a one-of-a-kind, gorgeously plated and imaginatively assembled.
There are plenty of restaurants and eateries in town, which makes for an exciting pit stop for lunch or dinner. Right next to Les Marchands is The Lark, one of the hottest restaurants in town.
If you’re looking for a lively scene with great food, amazing cocktails and a really chill relaxed setting both inside or outside The Lark is the spot for you.
Santa Barbara Seasons rounds up the best places to eat for Easter.
Chef Jason Paluska cooks creative comfort food inspired by farmers’ markets—smoked pork belly, for example, might come with roasted berries, pickled summer peppers and candied brittle of fat local almonds.
The Lark’s Executive Chef, Jason Paluska, serves up crispy brussels sprouts in support of charity.
Head to the myriad restaurants downtown or by the shore. The Lark is a must.
Charmed by the area, I went back several times for wine by the glass at Les Marchands Wine Bar and for dinner at The Lark, super popular for their ambiance and dishes such as crispy brussels sprouts, hangar steak tartar and charcuterie platter.
The bar features classic and craft cocktails and a comprehensive wine list that highlights small Santa Barbara County producers as well as artisan winemakers from afar. Ingredients for Chef Jason Paluska‘s menus are grown responsibly, locally sourced and served family-style for sharing in this truly lively space.
Food lovers are beyond spoilt for fine-dining options in Santa Barbara. However, the current culinary hot spot is The Lark.
The shared dining experience at The Lark features artisanal and seasonal ingredients, which celebrates the abundance of incredible produce available on the Central Coast of California.
A collection of boutique food and beverage concepts can be found in the heart of Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, with restaurants Loquita, The Lark and Lucky Penny among the local favourites.
The Santa Barbara Independent breaks down the best places to eat in Santa Barbara.
reat space and delicious food and drinks. Aztec cocktail is delicious, and be sure to order deviled eggs, scallops, hanger steak, brussel sprouts and octopus. Don’t miss dessert.
Arguably the top restaurant in Santa Barbara currently, The Lark is no stranger to top local restaurant lists. Since 2013, they have been serving locally-sourced and responsibly grown cuisine from the Central Coast.
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;
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
…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).
The Lark makes OpenTable’s list of 100 hottest restaurants for 2016.
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.
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.
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.
The Lark makes the top 100 hottest restaurants.
OpenTable—the online restaurant reservations system—just released its “100 Hottest Restaurants in America for 2016.” And it’s refreshing, to say the least.
Take my word for it, have the Brussels sprouts… no matter how much you think you hate them, this place will change your mind.
The Lark — The Lark is widely regarded by locals and regulars alike as one of the best dining destinations in Santa Barbara.
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.
Simply put, The Lark is operating on a different level than everybody else right now in Santa Barbara.
Executive Chef Jason Paluska dishes out advice on local food…
Ingredients for dishes like the autumn beets and butternut salad, roast chicken and grilled octopus are locally sourced and beautifully presented.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Dinner at The Lark, a really cool outdoor restaurant with a warehouse vibe. We had huge sharing plates including scallops, steak and pork belly.’
Open just 18 months, the already uber-hot restaurant made OpenTable’s national “top 100 hot spots” list in March.
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.
Because friends don’t let friends suck at drinking in Santa Barbara, we’re rounding up the absolute best places to get your booze on in/near SB (a bunch of which we guarantee you don’t even know exist)
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.
“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.
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.
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.
Transforming Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone into an even more hip zone, The Lark is attracting diners in droves.
“Yuzu is rad!” says Jason Paluska, executive chef at The Lark in Santa Barbara, one of the hottest reservations in Southern California right now.
A spirited toast to all things alcoholic!
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).
New Year’s Chat with the Marketing Exec-Turned-Funk Zone Restaurateur
“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.”
Best Restaurant Concept. “A fabulous Californian experience.”
Chef Cat Cora rounds up a few of her favorite Santa Barbara chefs for an outside-the-box feast.
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 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.”
The Lark receives the “Funk Zone Epicenter Award” in the Fifth Annual Foodie Awards – The Santa Barbara Independent’s Celebration of Culinary Culture.
Foodbank Serves Up ‘Table of LIfe’ Pre-Event Fundraiser
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.
The Lark: Latest Star in Santa Barbara Restaurant Scene
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.
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.
Jason Paluska’s kitchen letters featured in Food 52. Roasted Pineapple and Habanero Salsa recipe.
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.
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.
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 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.
Executive chef Jason Paluska leaves San Fran to help make Funk Zone eatery an overnight success.
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.
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.
An evening sharing the edible art of Jason and Nick brings spice and warmth, happiness and satisfaction to the soul.
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.
No venture into the Funk Zone is complete without a stop at the new half-block complex housing The Lark restaurant
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.
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.
A new Santa Barbara destination has it all: Wine shop, restaurant and take-out pizza
The Californian grande dame is being rejuvenated with a clutch of contemporary restaurants and spaces
The Lark in Santa Barbara, Mary Ann Norbom
The Lark Lands in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, Shannon Kelley
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.
A new restaurant called The Lark has opened in Santa Barbara’s rapidly changing “Funk Zone.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Lark Opens with a Perfect Recipe for Success, Judy Foreman
Welcome to The Lark, Matt Mazza, August 2, 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.
Santa Barbara, Ann Wycoff,
One Enchanted Evening (or two), Kathy McDonald
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
The Funk Zone in June, Taylor Micaela Davis
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.
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.
The Lark, Lucky Penny and Les Marchands poised for June Opening in Santa Barbara
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.