Santa Barbara: Brunch at Khao Kaeng by Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar

boozy brunch

On my last day in Santa Barbara, we headed to the new Khao Kaeng by Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar.

It’s on the main drag in Montecito but downstairs so you may not first see it off the street. We sat on the patio. It was a holiday weekend and there weren’t many others dining so it felt like our own private party.

We started with cocktails — hey, it’s Monday but a holiday and brunch!

We shared the drinks per usual but my friend ordered the To Escape from the Tiger to the Crocodile which may be the best name yet. And then I discovered all the spirits in the drinks have been infused with sake so it’s on brand with an Asian restaurant specializing in noodles.

Tom Yum – Sabe blanco tequila, Kaffir lime leaf, Thai chile, star anise, agave, coconut cream, lime

To Escape from the Tiger to the Crocodile – Sabe Copper bourbon, Sabe yuzu vodka, tamarindo, spiced molasses, egg white



I am forever on a mushroom kick. I started my Santa Barbara weekend with a lot of mushrooms and went home happy with more in my tummy.


pad thai

We got the Pad Thai Khao San Road with shrimp. It was a good one with perhaps just a little bit more lime.


khao soi


We also had the highly refined khao soi. I love this curry noodle soup so it’s fun to try different versions. The fried noodles were so cute in the circular bundle. I did take out the chicken to shred before adding it back to the bowl.

If you love Empty Bowl Gourmet at the Santa Barbara Market, then you’ll enjoy this sit down experience with lots of great service.


Khao Kaeng by Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar

1187 Coast Village Rd.,Ste 9, Montecito, CA 93108  —  (805) 770-7170


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