The Leta Resort’s restaurant CAYA stands for “Come As You Are,” and with a vivid and breezy ambiance, colourful cocktails, artistic menu, and laid again vibes, it actually lives as much as the title. Good factor we got here hungry as effectively; their wide-ranging menu presents one thing for everybody underneath the deft hand of Govt Chef Philip Stein.
“I exploit the seasonality of substances to encourage our California Coastal menu, providing company elevated meals choices in a classy, however relaxed environment,” Stein mentioned.
We had been handled to a lovely show of late spring’s bounty within the type of contemporary juicy strawberries layered beneath a creamy cloud of burrata and dotted with blood orange, flower petals, and a beneficiant drizzle of basil oil and balsamic discount. Simply as spring blooms sign the heat of summer time to come back, this perky appetizer was the proper gateway to a night of deliciousness.
The intelligent cocktail record helps usher in a celebratory meal as effectively.
We began with the Apple of My Pie cocktail. I used to be a bit hesitant because the title made me worry it could be too candy, however as an alternative we had been delighted by a crisp and tangy coupe of Ketel One vodka, Cutler’s Grandma Tommie’s Apple Pie liqueur (straight from the Funk Zone), contemporary lemon, and egg white. Beer and wine is sourced domestically as effectively, together with alternatives from their always-delicious neighbor Draughtsmen Aleworks and Behavior Wine Co.’s Grüner Veltliner.
“I really like making a wine program that showcases not solely the highest three varietals in Santa Barbara County (pinot noir, chardonnay, and syrah), but additionally varietals that you just don’t get the chance to style on daily basis that may change the course of your eating expertise in essentially the most optimistic manner,” mentioned Meals and Beverage Supervisor and Sommelier Romy Buhringer.
With a stunning bar that appears out on quaint Goleta streets, though it’s a lodge restaurant (previously The Goodland), CAYA appears like the proper native’s joint, combining the vibe of a Palm Springs getaway with a straightforward neighborhood commute.
“We hope folks can have a relaxed, but elevated eating expertise whether or not visiting for cocktails and a fast chew after browsing, eating with reside music … or becoming a member of us for an important day,” Chef Stein mentioned.
Dishes are made with as many Central Coast substances as attainable, together with Gaviota strawberries, Ojai pixie tangerines, and contemporary greens from Ventura. Highlights embody the cauliflower tempura with sesame gochujang, scallion, and ginger, and our entrée of Delmonico Steak, a juicy bone-in New York Strip, served with papas bravas, grilled asparagus, and a luscious layer of inexperienced chile corn butter. The quick rib macaroni and cheese can be a crowd favourite.
CAYA goals to complement your eats and drinks with leisure as effectively. The restaurant hosts reside music Thursday by means of Saturday and a comedy night time each different Wednesday.
“We’re planning Memorial Day and Fourth of July events for each lodge company and locals to take pleasure in, every with a buffet and pool entry,” Stein mentioned, including, “At The Leta we’re always supporting enjoyable nationwide holidays; equivalent to, nationwide margarita day, Negroni Week and Satisfaction Month. We attempt to have a welcoming atmosphere for each our locals and out-of-town guests.”
Whereas Chef Stein brings a wealth of expertise from varied eating places, together with the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (working underneath Emeril Lagasse), and the Portland Golf Membership, he considers Ventura County dwelling. You may style the extent of consolation and sense of place in every of his dishes. Chef Stein’s most up-to-date gig on the town was on the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, and his pleasure to be again within the land of contemporary produce and peaceable power is clear within the CAYA restaurant expertise.
“At CAYA, we wish our company to recollect the ‘Come as you’re’ relaxed vibe that welcomes you again time and time once more,” he mentioned.
CAYA Restaurant in The Leta Santa Barbara Goleta, 5650 Calle Actual, Goleta, cayarestaurant.com