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Santa Barbara Nightlife-Focused Funk Zone Earns Three New Restaurants

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From Acme Hospitality, the city’s most prolific restaurant owners

Tyger Tyger Santa Barbara
Inside Tyger Tyger
Rob Stark Photography
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Santa Barbara continues to put down new culinary roots these days, as more and more travelers continue to flock to the jewel of the Central Coast. Next up is a trio of small restaurant ideas landing in an open warehouse space in the Funk Zone, the city’s popular restaurant, cocktail, and wine bar corridor.

First up is new anchor tenant Tyger Tyger, offering a take on modern casual Vietnamese dishes. That means a menu that runs from things like crab chips and Thai-style papaya salad to shrimp summer rolls, chicken wings with fish sauce, and classics like banh mi and pork larb. The space is filled with dozens of pink-hued hanging lanterns and an open kitchen to be run by chef Daniel Palaima, who has spent time at Alinea, Duck Duck Goat, and more.

Inside the same former fish netting warehouse is Monkeyshine, an ice cream stall doing inventive flavors like orange Sichuan pepper or toasted rice, all done as soft serve instead of scoops. And finally there’s Dart Coffee Co., a standalone walk-up for drip coffee and espresso drinks, plus tea and pastry. All three projects are open now.

Tyger Tyger Santa Barbara
Rob Stark Photography

All three new Funk Zone entrants are the work of prolific Santa Barbara restaurant group Acme Hospitality. They’re the ones behind popular places like the Lark, Lucky Penny, casual Spanish mainstay Loquita, and more than a few other wine and bakery tenants across the Funk Zone. Add in plans for Modern Times to grow a big new brewery and restaurant compound not far away, plus Phillip Frankland Lee’s projects at the Montecito Inn, and suddenly the Central Coast is looking busier than ever.

Tyger Tyger. 121 E. Yanonali Street, Santa Barbara, CA.