Santa Barbara Shellfish Company
230 Stearns Wharf
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
A full day in Santa Barbara and no beach sighting, but it wouldn’t last. Prior to leaving, we grabbed some lunch on the pier at Santa Barbara Shellfish Company, which has been a staple on the oceanfront since 1980. The menu runs the expected gamut from raw seafood and salads, chowders, various shrimp preparations that would satisfy Bubba Blue, grilled fish and sandwiches. A lot of choices, but there would be no need to contemplate the menu. As soon as we approached the entrance, there was a large aquarium showcasing their colossal market price spider crabs. This would make for a more memorable meal than any other item on the regular menu.
(Spider crab aquarium at Santa Barbara Shellfish Company, Santa Barbara, CA)
We handpicked our crab and waited for it to be boiled. While we waited, our side salad and soups arrived. All were less than inspiring. The crab soon arrived dwarfing any seafood tower that we have seen, any other dish for that matter as well. We attacked it like we would any normal sized crab: opened the head, soaked up the juices, sampled the tomalley and dipped the leg meat in the drawn butter. The legs were so robust, there were a couple pieces impossible to break with the provided lobster cracker. Those pieces were sent back to the kitchen for assistance. Once we got to the leg meat, it was noticeably tougher than a Dungeness or blue crab. Nonetheless, a very cool experience.
Camarillo Premium Outlets
740 E Ventura Blvd
Camarillo, CA 93010
Not the Champs-Élysées, but we ended the trip with some relaxing shopping at the Camarillo outlets. Another hour’s drive and we were back in Los Angeles. Not bad for a first trip. I could get used to this.