Dishing It Out for Charity
Chef Isaac Hernandez’s Carpinteria Avocado on Sourdough Toast layers fresh local avocado, Persian cucumber, sunflower seeds, French feta, and sprouts on a toasted slice of Helena Avenue Bakery’s fresh sourdough bread; diners can further elevate the dish with a poached egg. Bakery manager Wyatt Davidson hopes the popular take on avocado toast will be a great selection to boost their donation.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Helena Avenue Bakery will donate $2 to Know Your Rights Camp.
Executive chef Jason Paluska’s Hand-Cut Tagliatelle Pasta, made with grilled sweet corn, sungold cherry tomatoes, garlic, serrano chile, shaved bottarga, preserved lemon, and Old Bay–seasoned breadcrumbs, is a hearty fall favorite at The Lark. The popularity of this locally sourced, handmade pasta plate makes it a promising candidate for the charity challenge.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, The Lark will donate $2 to Know Your Rights Camp.
For this year’s challenge, Loquita picked executive chef Nikolas Ramirez’s signature Mariscos Paella, featuring locally sourced fish, scallops, octopus, manila clams, squid ink sofrito (a Spanish sauce made from onion, green pepper, and garlic), yuzu, and salmon roe. It was manager Stephanie Perkins who brought Know Your Rights Camp to Acme’s attention. “I believe it is crucial for the younger generation to know their rights, to truly understand who they are, and to learn they have the power to change future generations for the better,” she says.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Loquita will donate $2 to Know Your Rights Camp.
Chef Dante Bogan chose the Margherita Pizza for this year’s challenge, knowing its popularity among patrons getting takeout and eating on Lucky Penny’s new extended patio. A classic that appeals to many diners, including vegetarians, the wood-fired pizza is topped with San Marzano marinara, burrata, cherry tomatoes, and opal basil.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Lucky Penny will donate $2 to Know Your Rights Camp.
At Bell’s, where the menu is “Franch-inspired” (borrowing from both French and ranch-style cuisines), chef Daisy Ryan’s Egg Salad Sandwich is an iconic selection. “We feel something as simple and satisfying as an egg salad sandwich really speaks to our collaboration with No Kid Hungry (nokidhungry.org), whose mission is to end hunger and poverty,” says Ryan, co-owner of the restaurant with her husband, Gregory Ryan.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Bell’s will donate $2 to No Kid Hungry.
“While our doors were closed to the public due to the global pandemic, we partnered with Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade (sbbucketbrigade.org) to make and provide masks for those in need, and we were able to provide hundreds of handmade masks,” says Belmond Encanto spokeswoman Julia Solomon. “We look forward to supporting them in their future endeavors.” To that end, the restaurant chose sous chef Carlos Ramirez’s Seared Wild King Salmon, caught fresh and prepared with herbs, spices, summer squash, shallot confit, and tomato jus, as its featured menu item to benefit the community crisis–response organization.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Belmond El Encanto will donate $2 to Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade.
“As a Latino business owner, I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to La Casa de la Raza (lacasadelaraza.org), an organization that helps educate Latino youth about their culture and build community,” says Bibi Ji co-owner Alejandro Medina. “I am hopeful that one day any of these kids may own a local business themselves and be able to do the same.” The restaurant’s designated dish is Chicken Tikka, which Medina’s business partner Rajat Parr grew up eating at his home in Kolkata, India.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Bibi Ji will donate $2 to La Casa de la Raza.
Chef de cuisine Ben Drahos opted for Cello’s Certified Black Angus Filet. The oak pit–grilled steak is served in a red wine demi-glace with horseradish mascarpone and seasonal vegetables. The dish will benefit the nonprofit Bailliage de Central Coast Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs (centralcoast.chaineus.org). Currently overseen by Allegretto Vineyard Resort food and beverage manager Thomas Humphrey, the organization supports the development of young chefs and recently raised money for the culinary program at San Luis Obispo’s Cuesta College.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Cello Ristorante & Bar will donate $2 to Bailliage de Central Coast Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.
“The Huevos Rancheros is our signature dish,” says Chulo’s executive chef Luis Ruiz. It “speaks to our Mexican heritage, and we love sharing our delicious culture with our patrons.” The menu item will support the anti-racism organization R.A.C.E. Matters SLO (racemattersslo.org). “We are so grateful to have a local charity on the ground here in SLO doing the work and fighting the fight for equality and justice for people of all colors, religions, histories, and sexual orientations,” he says. “We love to support them in any way we can.”
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Chulo’s Cafe & Cantina will donate $2 to R.A.C.E. Matters SLO.
Westlake Village, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo
“My family has supported this amazing charity Support for the Kids (supportforthekids.org) for many years,” says Finney’s owner Greg Finefrock. Dedicated to providing educational enrichment and comprehensive services to underprivileged and foster children and their families in Ventura County, the organization provides essentials like food, clothing, and school supplies. For this year’s challenge, Finefrock has selected a new menu item: executive chef Eric Bosrau’s Bison Burger, made with bison sourced from Flocchini Family Ranch in Wyoming.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Finney’s Crafthouse will donate $2 to Support for the Kids.
“In the wake of the current pandemic, it has become more important than ever to feature whole-animal butchery,” says Goat Tree executive chef Travis Watson. “The Braised Oxtail Tagliatelle features an often-overlooked cut of beef in a dish that nurtures the soul as we welcome the cooler seasons.” The pasta entrée is earmarked to support the Dream Foundation (dreamfoundation.org), which helps realize the dreams of terminally ill adults and provides emotional support to them and their families.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Goat Tree at Hotel Californian will donate $2 to Dream Foundation.
Lido’s picked Crab Cakes, a favorite starter among locals. “Being nestled along the Central Coast and having the privilege to sit and watch the sunset while dining on these tasty morsels is the perfect recipe for a truly breathtaking experience,” says spokeswoman Christina Stieb. “That wouldn’t be possible without our beautiful Pacific Ocean. That’s why we chose the Ocean Conservancy (oceanconservancy.org) as our charity, to protect and conserve the very thing that gives us the main ingredients of the dish and many others.”
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Lido Restaurant & Lounge will donate $2 to Ocean Conservancy.
Thousand Oaks/Westlake Village
“We are creating unique spins on a frozen dessert classic just in time for the holidays,” says Little Calf Creamery owner Scott Levin, whose two new treats will support Special Olympics Ventura (sosc.org/ventura), an organization that enriches the lives of nearly 600 athletes who have intellectual disabilities. For the November Mud Pie, a graham cracker crust is filled with Pumpkin Cheesecake ice cream topped with an oatmeal crumble. For the December Mud Pie, an Oreo cookie crust is loaded with peppermint-stick ice cream sprinkled with crushed peppermint candy.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Little Calf Creamery will donate $2 to Special Olympics Ventura.
Westlake Village, Oxnard, Goleta, Santa Barbara
Los Agaves Restaurant’s Land & Sea Molcajete, a hearty stew with steak, chicken, fish, shrimp, pork, and grilled nopal, is the ultimate Mexican comfort food and a cult favorite, especially during the cold season. “We serve you so we can be of service to others,” says owner Carlos Luna. “For every dish sold, Los Agaves will donate $2 to the Santa Barbara Zoostr (sbzoo.org) to support and sustain a beloved community treasure that educates so many children, families, and visitors in the region.”
“Burrata is always in season at Milk & Honey, so this is our nod to the cheese we love so much and the earthy flavors of fall,” says chef-owner Alvaro Rojas of the Falling For Burrata plate he designated to support the Organic Soup Kitchen (organicsoupkitchen.org), which produces and delivers soup meals to the elderly and low-income cancer patients. “ ‘Take your food as your medicine or your medicine will be your food,’ is a quote that resonates with me, given that my father, grandmother, and uncle all died of cancer,” says Rojas, who admires the nonprofit’s nutritional approach to treatment.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Milk & Honey Tapas will donate $2 to Organic Soup Kitchen.
Oku executive chef Koji Nomura happily created a new dish for this year’s 805 Living challenge to support the work of CADA (Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; cadasb.org), which provides addiction prevention, education, and treatment services to teens and adults in Santa Barbara County. The 805CADA Roll is as delicious as it is beautiful, says co-owner Tina Takaya. Featuring fresh wild-caught salmon, crispy shrimp tempura, avocado, and cucumber, and a sauce made from fresh shiso leaf, miso, and yuzo, the roll is finished with flying fish roe and served with a side of sriracha aioli. “We enjoyed creating a special sushi roll for an amazing cause,” Takaya says.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Oku Restaurant will donate $2 to CADA (Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse).
“Our Umbra pizza is a signature favorite,” says Alberto Morello, executive chef and co-owner of Olio Pizzeria. “You may need to order an entire pizza just for yourself, it’s so addictive.” Morello selected the dish, which showcases Umbrian black truffles, to support Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (teddybearcancerfoundation.org), an organization that provides financial, educational, and emotional support to Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo county families with a child who has cancer.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Olio Pizzeria will donate $2 to Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.
Since they opened Opal Restaurant & Bar 20 years ago, owners Tina Takaya and Richard Yates have been deeply committed to supporting the Arthritis Foundation (arthritis.org) by participating in and often chairing its Taste of the Town fundraiser, Santa Barbara’s oldest wine and food event. That event could not be held this year, but Takaya and Yates offer their continuing support to the organization that provides assistance to people living with the disabling disorder by taking part in the 805 Living challenge with a riff on a local Opal favorite, the Chicken & Wild Mushroom Chipotle Pasta Charity Special.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Opal Restaurant & Bar will donate $2 to Arthritis Foundation.
Earmarking Pico’s donation to the Save the Waves Coalition (savethewaves.org), a nonprofit founded by the restaurant’s co-owner Will Henry to protect surf ecosystems across the globe, executive chef John Wayne Formica designates his Crispy Viet Brussels, made with garden herbs, carrot, red onion, chilis, fried shallot, and coconut-chili-lime agrodolce (sweet-and-sour sauce). The starter manifests the chef’s desire to share his experiences while traveling.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2019, Pico Restaurant will donate $2 to Save the Waves Coalition.
Santo Mezcal executive chef Ricardo Garcia picked Enchiladas Verde—two chicken or beef enchiladas topped with special house-made verde sauce and served with rice and pinto beans—to support the Santa Barbara Zoo (sbzoo.org). A cause that’s close to owner Carlos Luna’s heart, the zoo relies on donations to provide the best possible care for its resident animals and to impart conservation education.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Santo Mezcal will donate $2 to Santa Barbara Zoo.
“Our communities rely now more than ever on the support of food banks for access to wholesome nutrition,” says spokeswoman Catherine Jaeger. “Vina Robles Vineyards & Winery supports the SLO Food Bank (slofoodbank.org) to raise awareness as it works to meet the increased demand in our communities.” Served at the winery’s alfresco bistro, the Vina Robles Burger—made with grass-fed beef and topped with roasted portabella mushrooms, garlic aioli, arugula, and red onions sautéed in a rosemary-infused reduction of Vina Robles Cabernet Sauvignon and balsamic vinaigrette—is the dish designated for the challenge.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Vina Robles Vineyard & Winery will donate $2 to SLO Food Bank.
It’s an ode to our local strawberries,” says Water’s Edge executive chef Alex Montoya of his Straw-Brie Crostini, which he says has “bright and light flavors, each with a different texture for you to enjoy in every bite.” The starter will support Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties
(tri-counties.wish.org), because he says, “being able to make a child’s wish come true or to even be a part of that process has always been a dream of mine.”
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Water’s Edge Restaurant & Bar will donate $2 to Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties.
Agoura Hills, Moorpark, Camarillo, Ventura
The rich, decadent WR Butter Cake is a proven favorite at Wood Ranch. Served with vanilla bean ice cream, fresh raspberries, and raspberry sauce, “it’s popular beyond all our expectations,” says director of culinary development Alejandro Benes. The dessert will benefit Happy Trails Children’s Foundation (happytrails.org), a nonprofit whose mission is to promote the prevention and treatment of child abuse and provide fun activities and support for foster children.
For every order of this dish sold through December 31, 2020, Wood Ranch will donate $2 to Happy Trails Children’s Foundation.