The Happiest Hour
One of the most delectable happy hours Santa Barbara has to offer–after all, it's 5 o'clock somewhere.
Written by Anna Constantino| Photographed by Silas Fallstich
As pink skies descend over Montecito, I settle into the patio of Los Arroyos. The hustle and bustle of Coast Village Road tells me it's rush-hour, but the passionfruit coconut margarita in my hand says otherwise--it feels like I've been transported to a tropical beach in Mexico.
I glaze over the happy hour menu and my mouth begins to water…and it's not just the habanero chile-infused tequila in my margarita. My server steps in and suggests the Flautitas de Cangrejo––fried crab rolls––and the Barbecue Shrimp (wrapped in bacon, that is). The empty glass of my first margarita is whisked away as another appears in front of me; this time, a bright red hue. The blood orange margarita is accompanied by a basket of homemade chips and an array of salsas: green tomatillo, hot chipotle, and a mild pico de gallo, alongside a zesty guacamole.
As I snack, a waft of bacon lingers across the patio; I see my food approaching. The shrimp appears first, plated beautifully with a drizzle of barbecue and fresh avocado. These bites are the perfect balance of surf meets turf--the bacon adds smoky flavor without masking the butteriness of the shrimp. Next comes the Flautitas, arranged in a star pattern over a bed of guacamole with chipotle aioli and cotija cheese accenting the wooden board. The crunchy outside of the fried tortilla and creamy inside of the chipotle crab makes for a balanced bite; I dip the roll in the passionfruit glaze accompanying it, and my tastebuds are sent to heaven. Who knew that crab and passionfruit could make such a delectable pair.