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El Encanto restaurant: Good food, great view at lunchtime
The restaurant is on the El Encanto hotel grounds in the hills above Santa Barbara. There is both indoor and patio seating, and hardly a seat without an ocean view.
The decor is elegant and understated, the waiters were flawless, and the food wasn't too bad.
The one disapointment was the shrimp bisque - a bowl of it had two small, overcooked shrimps in it. But the meal improved steadily throughout; two seafood entrees were tasty and well presented. Dessert was a pleasant surprise. Now, mind you, I don't consider any dessert to be properly prepared if it doesn't have chocolate in it, but their meringue concoction was superb.
NB: lunch is a better bet than dinner for the ocean view - it often gets overcast in late afternoon in SB.
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