Local Counsel with Louise A. LaMothe

Santa Barbara’s Louise LaMothe tells us what’s good in the neighborhood

Published in 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers magazine

By Louise A. LaMothe on January 20, 2017


Favorite watering hole  –  The Dutch Garden. It’s really quaint and unique—a wonderful selection of beers and great eats. Locals only!

Best restaurant  –  Louie’s California Bistro in the Upham Hotel, which was built in 1871. A good romantic getaway spot with bungalows on the grounds, yet a quick walk to State Street.

Weekend getaway  –  Amtrak to San Diego—not the fastest way to get there, but oh so relaxing! Kick back and watch the waves all the way down the coast. 

Favorite historical fact about Santa Barbara  –  President Teddy Roosevelt first saw the Pacific Ocean in Santa Barbara, and his escorts were rangers from what is now Los Padres National Forest—part of my federal lands jurisdiction as a U.S. magistrate judge.

Favorite city event​​​​​​​  –  Old Spanish Days and the Fiesta Parade. For almost a week in early August, we turn back the clock to celebrate our Spanish heritage. 

Favorite historical resident ​​​​​​​  –  Father Virgil Cordano, pastor of the Santa Barbara Mission, who died in 2008. He was a beloved interfaith leader revered by many. 

Favorite building​​​​​​​  –  The Santa Barbara Mission, Laguna Street. The self-guided tour of the church and its extensive grounds is a tour of the history of the Pueblo.

Favorite breakfast spot​​​​​​​  –  Le Café Stella. Not only good food but a casual atmosphere with a fireplace and courtyard, conducive to relaxation and conversation.

Favorite lunch spot​​​​​​​  –  South Coast Deli on Chapala Street. Be sure to try The Phatty.

Best place to reflect​​​​​​​  –  Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens. It’s so close to everything, yet feels far away.

Best view​​​​​​​  –  The top of our county courthouse—where else? It’s a Spanish Revival-style building built in 1929. It’s also known for its mural room.

Favorite park​​​​​​​  –  The Douglas Family Preserve overlooking Hendry’s Beach. It’s going to be your dog’s favorite spot, too.

Go-to arts venue​​​​​​​  –  The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is really well-known, but now the Funk Zone Arts District has brought a whole new flavor to the arts scene.
Enjoy the Arts Fund Community Gallery or take in the Funk Zone Art Walks every two months
on a designated Friday night.

Favorite movie theater​​​​​​​  –  The Arlington Theatre, which opened in 1931, has the ambiance of a Spanish colonial plaza. The Riviera Theatre is another great movie venue—tucked away in the hills and showing the more experimental films.

Favorite local shop​​​​​​​  –  Wendy Foster on State Street. Wendy makes frequent runs to the New York and Paris fashion weeks, so the store has a sophisticated vibe but is never stuffy.

Best place for people watching​​​​​​​  –  The beach, of course.

Favorite coffee shop​​​​​​​  –  Handlebar Coffee Roasters

Favorite pizza joint​​​​​​​  –  Rusty’s: a Santa Barbara staple. And don’t miss Lucky Penny, very upscale and hip, in the Funk Zone.

Place to take out-of-town guests​​​​​​​  –  The Funk Zone, and especially The Lark for dinner.

Favorite lesser-known tourist attraction​​​​​​​​​​​​​​  –  Knapp’s Castle, a ruined estate home in the Santa Ynez Mountains. The view is worth the drive.

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