Posted by: Santa Barbara Dreaming | October 26, 2008

Santa Barbara Restaurant Review – Chilango’s Mexican Restaurant

On Friday night, James came over HUNGRY after coaching water polo, but I had already eaten dinner, due to my pretty intense workout. (made me hungry!) I made some sweet potato fries to tide him over till we got to a restaurant. I went with him to get a drink – hey it’s Friday night!

James suggested we go to Chilango’s Mexican Restaurant on Lower State Street (503 State Street). I’ve never been there, so I was excited to try out a new place! It’s a Mexican food and tapas restaurant. Cool combo. 

Apparently, Chilango’s has just finished remodeling, and I must say, it looks great! It’s a very trendy, casual atmosphere; perfect before a night bar hopping on State St! They had a clean, sleek look, with a fire place, bench seats, and very unique paintings on the wall. And the menu was VERY impressive! 

For its prices (entrees are all less than 20 bucks, I would say average is 10 to 15 bucks, and the Tapas are all about 8 bucks)  the menu was creative, new, and surprisingly healthy! All the items that are vegetarian or vegan or conveniently marked out. They had one dish that sounded yummy – spicy BBQ sauce grilled tofu plate. They also use fresh produce from the farmers markets! Nice touch 🙂 

To start, we ordered drinks; Guava Margarita and Sweet Heat


Mmmm... I wasnt actually double fisting, dont worry!

Mmmm... I wasn't actually double fisting, don't worry!

Can I just say, these drinks are mmm mmm mmm Good! The Guava Margarita was a PERFECT blend of guava flavor with just the right amount of kick from the tequila. With a hint of lime, this pretty pink colored drink was sweet, yet tart, and refreshing! I think I may have found my new fave drink!

The SWEET HEAT is just what the name implies; it’s sweet and HOT! It’s passion fruit juice mixed with Habanero peppers. When you first take a sip, it’s sweet like passion fruit, but as soon as it hits your throat, YOWZA! it’s HOOOOOOTTTTTT. You can really only take sips of this, or else you will BURN! It’s great, because it’s a drink you can hold onto all night.

James and I shared these two drinks between the two of us. 

James ordered a spicy sushi-grade Tuna dish. It was pan seared Tuna on a bed of rich, buttery rice, served with roasted onions, green and red peppers, and cilantro.


Yum yum dish

Yum yum dish

James let me nibble. Thanks! It was surprisingly, light and healthy. NOT your typical heartburn-inducing Mexican food. This was delish. THe tuna was fresh, and the veggies kept the meal healthy. He gobbled it up.


Dont bother me, Im eating

Don't bother me, I'm eating

This is definitely a restaurant I want to come back to, next time BEFORE I eat some dinner! Haha. I suggest you go check it out next time before your bar crawl!

Look for another SB restaurant review coming up soon!


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