Scratch Restaurants, the creative restaurant group, known for its multiple restaurants in Encino (Scratch|Bar & Kitchen, Sushi|Bar, Woodley Proper), once again combines the crackerjack talents of chef-owners Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee for their first hotel venture outside of Los Angeles. Starting with Frankland’s Crab & Co., the group plans to open four concepts at the historic Montecito Inn. Capturing fond early memories of jaunts to the Santa Barbara coast and weekend drives down Pacific Coast Highway, Lee reminisces through the nostalgia of lobster rolls, peel-and-eat shrimp, clam chowder, and good times with loved ones—arriving at the modern-day, casual seafood shack that is Frankland’s Crab & Co.
The breezy menu highlights Santa Barbara’s freshest catches like local ridgeback shrimp, wild-caught crab, clams, and oysters, served raw, steamed, fried, or whipped with homemade butter on house-baked brioche sandwiches. Standout fish & chips are comprised of a flavorful filet of wild-caught branzino battered in Scrimshaw brew, while chowder features an intense stock made from a variety of shellfish, teeming with jewels like house-cured bacon, crab, lobster, and prawn. Riffs on other classics include freshly-shucked fried local oysters & clams and a fried chicken roll. Upgraded sides like a corn on the cob is brushed with lobster butter, a freshly churned butter drawn and steeped with lobster shells.
For dessert, Margarita’s Homemade Iced Cream Sandwich rotates through flavors such as Peruvian dark chocolate chip cookies surrounding Madagascar vanilla bean ice cream. To drink, homemade root beer on draft, fresh lemonade, and iced tea are given the option to be spiked with mini bottles of premium gin, vodka, tequila and other spirits. A house keg on display allows for easy pints and pitchers of rotating local beers, while a selection of individual wine cans, showcase favorites from the region.
Entering the sunny, windowed storefront perched at the main drive of the Montecito Inn, diners are greeted by an ordering counter and wall-sized menu. A smattering of wooden tables and stools fill the counter-lined interior, anchored by distressed concrete and cheery Crab & Co. sign lit with exposed bulbs. Pops of red catch the eye throughout the room, complemented by swaths of cheeky green AstroTurf.
From the best catches of the region at Frankland’s Crab & Co. to composed ice cream cones and sweets at Margarita’s Snacks, The Monarch’s wood-hearth ode to the Central Coast, to artful fine dining at the world-class Silver Bough, Scratch Restaurants aims to present a dynamic range of dining options for locals and visitors to Santa Barbara, at the Montecito Inn.