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BizHawk: Somerset to Re-Open as Smith Casual Dining Restaurant

Mundos offers 'global fusion soul food' on Milpas Street; Santa Barbara bed tax up 3.9%

Restaurateur Steve Hermann is opening Smith on Dec. 5 at 7 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara. The new eatery is being touted as ‘is refined, yet approachable.’ Click to view larger
Restaurateur Steve Hermann is opening Smith on Dec. 5 at 7 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara. The new eatery is being touted as ‘is refined, yet approachable.’ (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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The former Somerset restaurant is re-opening on Dec. 5, rebranded to serve a broader audience.

The new restaurant “Smith,” under the ownership of Steve Hermann, “is refined, yet approachable,” said Emel Shaikh, senior account executive with JS2 PR in Los Angeles.

It’s “the perfect spot for everything from a leisurely Sunday brunch, a quick lunch, dinner with friends and family, or a nighttime drink and bite to eat at the bar,” Shaikh said.

Somerset, at 7 E. Anapamu St.,  closed Oct. 23, after it opened in December of 2016. The restaurant was launched as “world-class” and “progressive California cuisine with rustic French and Italian influences.”

Hermann told Noozhawk a year ago that he loved Santa Barbara after moving to Montecito seven years ago, but had one objection: “My big complaint with it is I just don’t think the food tastes very good.”

Although Somerset was not able to find an audience, Herman told Noozhawk on Thursday that he is excited about the new restaurant.

The dishes include fried delicata squash with cauliflower, bagna cauda and Calabrian chili, or mussels and clams with shallot, garlic, crispy pork belly, and bok choy served with grilled toast.

The menu also features squid ink casarecce in lobster bisque with uni and nori breadcrumbs, and cavatelli combined with pork ragu, mustard greens, and tomato confit.

Dishes are priced for eating, according to a news release, with nothing over $20.  

“We want Smith to provide a dining oasis in the heart of Santa Barbara,” Hermann said.  “We hope to become that bar/restaurant that feels like home for all of our guests’ dining and drinking needs, whether small or large.

"Our food is delicious yet accessible, and our environment is welcoming and comfortable. We’d like to create a new history with Smith that matches the history of our iconic Santa Barbara location.”

Soul Food

Mundos, which says it creates “global fusion soul food,” is now open on the corner of Milpas Street and Canon Perdido Street in Santa Barbara.

The restaurant at 901 E. Canon Perdido, at the site of the original McConnell’s Ice Cream Dairy building, opened over the summer and is finding its audience. It features food from all over the world.

“The food is really good,” said assistant manager Mikael Yang. “It features 5-star food and 2-star prices.”

The most expensive meal on the menu is a $22 filet mignon steak, Yang said.

The restaurant format is order at the front and then servers will deliver the food.

Bed tax up

The city of Santa Barbara collected over $1.7 million in transient occupancy tax for the month of October, a 3.9-percent increase compared to October 2016.

The opening of the Californian Hotel likely boosted TOT for the month.

The city has collected about $8 million in TOT revenue in the first four months of the fiscal year, which runs from July 1 through June 30. The adopted TOT budget for fiscal year 2018 is $19,262,400.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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