Located on Calle Real in Goleta, Outpost is the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious meal for any occasion. We visited this hidden gem for dinner to get a taste of what sous chef Phillip Arellanes describes as “redefined comfort food.” The restaurant ambiance was sophisticated and trendy yet cozy, complete with vibrant wall decor and decorative succulents at each table.
Outpost’s ingredients are sourced locally in California, and executive chef Damien Giliberti’s debut menu features simple, yet flavorful, California cuisine with Asian and Latin twists, making the food truly unique. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a delicious meal, take a look at a few dishes that Outpost proudly serves.
Fried Brussel Sprouts
These brussel sprouts were our first taste of this restaurant and they blew our minds away. The brussel sprouts were tossed and toasted in yellow curry and green onions. They were then topped with a roasted garlic aioli and chili flakes. The sauce was one of my favorite parts of this dish, and it paired very nicely with the roasted flavors. The sprouts almost had an addicting flavor, as I kept finding myself going back for more throughout the meal.
Pork Belly Bao Buns
These pork belly buns were full of flavor, and the tenderness of the pork belly itself was very impressive. The pork belly was roasted for three hours to achieve a perfectly crispy crust while keeping the meat tender and juicy. The buns went through three separate proofs, which gave them that pillow-like softness. They were then garnished with hoisin sauce, sesame seeds, jalapeno kewpie, pickled cucumber and cilantro. I especially enjoyed the addition of the pickles because their sour flavor and crunch really helped bring out the taste of the savory pork belly meat.
Crispy Chicken Wings
As soon as the dish was placed in front of us, I was hit with the aroma of fish sauce. I’m a big fan of Vietnamese fried chicken, which also incorporates fish sauce into the chicken, so I was excited to try this dish. The chicken wings were pressed with batter before deep frying and topped with garlic, ginger, jalapeno and a chili vinaigrette. The chicken itself was very juicy, and the batter was crispy yet not too oily, as chicken wings can often be. I really enjoyed the vinaigrette, as it helped cut through the oils and fats from the chicken.
Caramelized Sweet Potato
This dish came with thick slices of roasted yam paired with a turmeric yogurt and topped with crispy chickpeas and a bit of parsley. The yams were absolutely delicious because of their savory and sweet flavor. While the yam itself was creamy and smooth, the skin gave it a nice crunch. Dipping the yam into the tart turmeric yogurt and chickpeas created a perfect combination of hot and cold as well as creamy and crunchy. This appetizer offered many flavors that reminded me of fall, which is perfect for the season!
By the time our main entree was served, we were already pretty full, but as soon as we took our first bites of this dish, we knew we could make more room in our stomachs. The dish consisted of a grilled pork chop plated on top of upland watercress and caramelized fuji apples. It was paired with a mustard aioli and mustard seeds and garnished with dried parsnips. The meat was extremely flavorful, especially paired with the aioli, and the portions were generous. My favorite part of the dish was the fuji apples because their sweetness contrasted well with the meat, and they were so soft that they simply melted in my mouth.
Fried Carrot Cake
When I found out the dessert item was going to be a deep-fried carrot cake, I was ecstatic. I almost forgot that the cake was deep fried when I first saw it, since I could barely tell there was any fried batter around it. This entire dish was made in-house. The cake was bedded on top of a burnt orange sauce and topped with a white chocolate cream cheese and vanilla ice cream. The richness of the cream cheese helped balance out the acidity from the orange sauce, and the cake itself had a nutty and sweet flavor.
We followed our dinner with Trivia Night at the Good Bar. Don’t let the word “bar” in the name throw you off, because all guests are welcome to hang out and participate in Trivia Night every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Throughout the night, we tested our knowledge with fun trivia questions about a variety of topics in a lively environment. It was definitely a cool place to hang out after filling our stomachs with amazing food! After eating at Outpost, we would definitely come back for a dinner date or just to hang out with friends during Ramen Sundays. Make a reservation now at OutpostSB.com.
Winnie Lam currently serves as the On The Menu Co-Editor. She has been apart of the Nexus since 2017.