Salads at Coast, Santa Barbara, California

At about the third forkfull of of crab Louis salad, I couldn’t help thinking that this is what Santa Barbara would taste like if it were a food. Made from fine ingredients, elegantly turned out, but not overly dressed (lemon caper vinaigrette instead of the usual mayo dressing). It’s served on a rustic table in keeping with the city’s Spanish Colonial flavor, and Coast’s many windows let you look out on the sunny sidewalks. My friend had a tropical flavored hamachi and spinach salad with pickled ginger, mango and almonds.

Coast is inside the charming Canary Hotel, sister property of the landmark Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica.