China Pavilion At Chapala
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China Pavilion At Chapala Restaurant Review: Santa Barbara lacks copious Chinese restaurants, so it's fortunate that China Pavilion excels at good food and ambience. The sleek décor --- petite canned lights above, deep red on the walls and a mahogany floor --- and a large menu that exceeds expectations keep drawing in locals and tourists. The restaurant prides itself on a menu that fuses provincial Chinese flavors, chicken and corn soup, for example, which has a creamy texture and liberal amounts of chicken breast and corn kernels, and is finished off with a swirl of egg drops. The half-rack of barbecued baby-back ribs appetizer is fine for sharing. Our favorite dinner entrée is the spicy basil-ginger beef --- tender morsels of lean meat stir-fried with ginger, red chili and soy sauce, with a bevy of Thai basil leaves. Dim sum, available on weekends only, is a good brunch option. For dessert, go for the velvety green tea ice cream, served inside a flaky edible shell.