Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Sama Sama Kitchen

1208 State St. (Anapamu St.) Send to Phone
Indonesian fare with a local twist in downtown Santa Barbara.

Lunch Mon.-Wed., Dinner nightly

* Click here for rating key

Sama Sama Kitchen Restaurant Review

: Sama Sama (meaning “you’re welcome” in Indonesian) is a bright spot for Indonesian-inspired food with a large selection of vegetarian options. Chef Ryan Simorangkir arrives via Bali, and sources ingredients from local farms and markets. The interior is casual, almost unfinished, just straightforward tables and chairs in an unadorned space. However, the simple and rustic food is loaded with flavor and finesse. Consider the pork butt porridge, a confit, mixed with sweet soy and topped with a fried egg and garlic crisps; or the nasi goreng of fried rice combined with diced carrots, celery, garlic and broccolini with a fried egg on top and dusted with green onion, and shrimp crackers. The tempe rice bowl comprises sweet soy-glazed crispy tempe (a soy cake, similar to tofu, originally from Indonesia) mixed with coconut rice and finished with a gado-gado salad of thin sliced cucumber, zucchini and a peanut dressing. Indonesian iced tea is available, too, a jasmine tea with a touch of cream.


GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Awards honor America's best chefs, as well as promising newcomers and a top restaurateur.