Santa Barbara favorite Bacara Resort & Spa has a brand new signature restaurant and it’s divine.
The property’s Executive Chef Vincent Lesage is overseeing the culinary team with a menu that celebrates the theme of duality, showcasing traditionally robust steakhouse offerings juxtaposed alongside refined seafood dishes, all crafted with Lesage’s classically-trained and deft hand.
Following his tenure at Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach – as well as his time at Michelin-starred restaurants L’Astrance in Paris and Bras in Laguiole – Lesage debuts Angel Oak, a modern seafood and steakhouse restaurant, while also continuing his role as executive chef for the resort.
“The inspiration behind the menu was to reimagine the ordinary, what you classically see in a steakhouse with a twist,” said Lesage. “We wanted to showcase the best of seasonal ingredients and preparing every single one of them with an element of surprise.
“When I first came to Bacara it felt like the closest place to heaven on earth,” said Nate Tanner, vice president of food & beverage, Pacific Hospitality Group (PHG) – Angel Oak’s parent company.
“We wanted to build a restaurant that would stand the test of time and become the iconic destination for Bacara and for Santa Barbara. Vincent has done an amazing job curating a menu that inspires and excites the steak and seafood lover in all of us.”
The menu features appetizers, soup & salad, and a reinvented Market Seafood Tower to start, with larger meat and seafood dishes and a variety of unique side dishes following. Additionally, the restaurant offers certified Kobe beef and a dry age program developed exclusively for Angel Oak. Menu highlights include:
• Market Seafood, poached Maine lobster, daily selection of oysters, split king crab legs, boiled jumbo shrimp, fresh lump crab ceviche, house cocktail sauce, signature mignonette, lemon caviar
• Foie Gras Torchon, toasted brioche, strawberry chutney
• French Onion Dip, roasted Walla Walla onion, Passmore Ranch caviar, potato gaufrette • Kobe Beef Tataki, soy-cured melon, yuzu, puffed rice
• Angel Oak Dry Aged New York (12 oz.), shaved black truffle, brown butter • Angel Oak Burger (10 oz. house grind), a house made potato bun, porcini crusted, stuffed with foie gras, lettuce, and heirloom tomato
• New Zealand Grass Fed Rack of Lamb, house made harissa and apricot puree
• Steamed Halibut, spring pea and verbena puree, citrus vinaigrette, and local greens
• Lobster ‘a L’Americaine, roasted potatoes, celery root, heirloom carrots
• Lobster and House Made Gnocchi Gratin, local lemon
• Wild Mushroom with soft poached egg and crispy house bacon
Angel Oak’s dessert menu, created by Bacara’s award-winning Pastry Chef Brooke Martin, presents revived classics with selections including the Baked Alaska with toasted coconut ice cream, strawberry elderflower gel and grand marnier; Warm Dark Chocolate Molten with malt ganache, almond nougatine, and a bailey’s milkshake; Cinnamon Apple Cobbler with hazelnut feuilletine crunch and vanilla ice cream; a “Candy Bar” with dark chocolate cremeux, peanut butter crunch and salted ice cream; and finally, a Banana Split with chocolate meringue, banana spuma, waffle crisp, and brandied cherries.
Angel Oak’s wine and spirits program features a curated selection of Old and New World wines housed inside the restaurant’s 12,000-bottle cellar. The expansive cellar is climate controlled to ensure quality, doubling as an impressive event space for up to 40 seated guests. Angel Oak’s General Manager Branden Bidwell serves as the head of both the wine program and service team.
New Orleans native and PHG’s lauded Mixologist Cassie Hesse – formerly of Rose. Rabbit. Lie., AC Lounge, Compère Lapin, and currently “The Bartender” at Treehouse at Tanner’s in Huntington Beach – spearheads the cocktail program. Angel Oak’s craft cocktails highlight refreshing takes on time-honored classics such as the Manhattan’s Angel with High West Rendevous Rye, Sweet Vermouth, and Bitters; Our Signature Daiquiri No 6 with Denizen, Lime, Sugar and Absinthe; Smoke on the Water, a cherry wood smoked spirit forward cocktail served tableside. Additionally, Angel Oak provides one-of-a-kind after dinner drinks and delicious alcohol free elixirs.
Under the creative direction of the Hatch Design Group, Angel Oak’s interiors emphasize the surrounding oceanfront scenery with an elegant open-air design. With the ceiling-to-floor windows and panoramic views, each of the 162 seats from the dining room and bar are ensured a view of the Pacific Ocean. California’s natural beauty is reflected in the dark wood and earth-toned accents of the restaurant, such as the hand-carved granite podium, exotic Chamcha wood table, hand-blown chandeliers, and the Amazonite bar that serves as a focal point and anchor in the dining room. Guests can also enjoy the coastal views with their meal al fresco on the outdoor dining terrace.
Angel Oak is open for dinner from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. seven days a week (8301 Hollister Avenue, Santa Barbara, CA 93117). For more information or to make reservations, visit angeloaksb.com or follow Angel Oak on Twitter and Instagram at @angeloaksb.