Santa Barbara: Brunch at Bibi Ji
I was lucky enough to be in Santa Barbara for Bibi Ji‘s inaugural brunch. The popular Indian restaurant just started brunch service last month and I got to try lamb curry chilaquiles and more.
We started our brunch with the kati rolls. These vegetarian rolls were like the Indian version of a breakfast burrito. But much more manageable. It was almost an appetizer. We saved our sauces to spoon over everything but worked best with the eggs in the kati roll.
For brunch, Bibi Ji will featuring rotating pet nat (petillant naturale) list. Pet Nat is an older way to make sparkling wine and many call it a forerunner to Champagne. At Bibi Ji, you can mix an array of fresh juices for the ultimate mimosa. Or there are a couple of remarkable spritzers by the can. I tried the watermelon one. It was like a La Croix but boozy! And for those that don’t want to imbibe, you can get an coffee or tea– I went with an iced chai.
Santa Barbara uni (sea urchin) is some of the best I ever had. And when it’s from See Stephanie Fish, you know it’s going to be excellent. For a decadent avocado toast, get the uni toast. I was going to make a joke about millennials and avo toast but this is too good to joke about. I also really loved the crunch of the radishes.
Whenever I’m in SB, I love getting fresh seafood. The uni from the toast was just the start. Next we had ceviche with local fish. I made little ceviche cones (see above) to complete my instagram life (but because the cone-shaped “chips” demanded it). However you eat this ceviche, it’ll be damn good.
And we also tried the lamb curry chilaquiles. I feel this dish and other can only be appreciated in California. This new California fusion of Indian food plus Santa Barbara local seafood was meant to be. And in a nod to our state’s Mexican heritage, the lamb curry chilaquiles dish was born.
Where else will you go before visiting the mission? I’m glad we filled up at brunch before we walked around the Santa Barbara mission to check out the chalk festival Memorial Day weekend.
I can’t wait to go back to Bibi Ji for dinner the next time I’m up in Santa Barbara.
734 State St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101 — (805) 560-6845