i love to eat and travel and document as much of it as i can.

day trip: santa barbara.

day trip: santa barbara.

ventura amtrak station.

one of our favorite day trips from LA is santa barbara! we like to take amtrak's pacific surfliner up in the morning, and then catch the last train back. the ride is about two hours, depending on where exactly you leave from. we were in ventura for our last dive adventure, so before heading back to LA, we decided to spend the day in santa barbara.

view from the train.

passing a popular surf spot.

as usual, the first thing we want is a good cup of coffee, and the french press / dune coffee roasters is an excellent place to get one. the pastries are great too!

biscuit & jam; cappuccino at the french press.

for lunch, we headed over to the mill - a combination of several businesses including wildwood kitchen and potek winery. we filled our bellies with tasty bbq at wildwood and then kicked off an afternoon of wine tasting at potek.

frito pie: bag of fritos topped with chili, triple chop of BBQ meats, cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions

tri tip sandwich with cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, horseradish & lettuce on a hoagie roll.

greensboro caesar: little gems lettuce, sliced red onion, cheddar cheese, smoked croutons, house ranch dressing; topped with pulled pork.

inside the tasting room at potek winery.

we discovered municipal winemakers (or muni for short) on our first day trip to santa barbara several years ago and it's the one place we always make a stop at! and no, this isn't a sponsored post or anything - we just genuinely love them, their wines, and their cute tasting room.

lots of wine at muni wine.

shiny, fancy car.

inside loquita.

and last but not least, dinner! since the last southbound train is around 7pm, we usually have an early dinner. luckily, loquita is literally across the street from the train station and serves up some super tasty spanish tapas.

the outdoor patio at loquita.

hechizo (refresco/mocktail): garden elixir, cucumber, elderflower tonic, sherry vinegar; hidalgo: reposado tequila, atxa, nonino amaro, campari.

gildas (pintxos): white anchovy, spicy piparra pepper, manzanilla olive.

pan con tomate: pan de crystal, tomato fresco, thyme, jamon iberico de bellota.

gazpacho on arrival: heirloom tomato, burrata, avocado, cucumber, jamon serrano.

gazpacho served tableside.

setas: maitake, beech, trumpet, smoked onion, mojo verde.

vieiras: hokkaido diver scallops, corn, chorizo, piquillo pepper.

pulpo: spanish octopus, black garlic aioli, potato, pickled red onion.

secreto: spanish acorn fed pork, scallion vinaigrette, lemon aioli.

each dish of the night kept getting better and better - with the pulpo and secreto definitely stealing the show.

after dinner we walked across the street to the train station for the two hour ride back to LA (it's also a great opportunity to sober up if you've been wine tasting all day!). i always wish there was a later train, but when we get home, i'm usually pretty glad it's still early and i won't be completely useless the next day.

santa barbara amtrak station at sunset.

hog island oyster co, san francisco.

hog island oyster co, san francisco.

diving channel islands national park.

diving channel islands national park.