On my parents’ last visit here to UCSB, we decided to look for a new Asian eatery to try. After much research in local newspapers, online and by asking my UCSB legacy family, we decided upon downtown eatery Your Place. Established in 1983 as a family-owned business, Your Place serves authentic Thai food. It was voted the “Best Thai Food in Santa Barbara” from locals in the Santa Barbara News-Press and The Santa Barbara Independent with good reason. The welcoming servers and homey atmosphere led me to have a good impression.
My mother and I are both pescetarians and my father is a more of a carnivore, yet we were fortunate enough to find dishes on their menu that could accommodate all of our tastes. My mother and I agreed to order the panang crispy shrimp and house special, pad Thai with options of beef, pork, shrimp, chicken or tofu. Both dishes we shared were house specials and contained a star on the left symbolizing that you can choose to have your dish range from “mild, medium hot or very hot for the adventurous.” The waitress also offered us flexible meal options if we did not like a particular part of a dish, something that we found unknown and convenient compared to other restaurants that we had been to.
The traditional rice noodles were cooked to a perfect al dente in addition to the smooth stir-fried texture that is a primary characteristic of pad Thai. With the combination of the crispy exterior and the silky interior, the perfect four-by-four cuts of the tofu furthered my enjoyment of the dish. Topped with ground peanuts and bean sprouts, this house special proved to be the highlight of the meal.
The second dish, panang crispy shrimp, satisfied my craving for seafood, fried deliciousness and curry. Normally at the dining commons, seafood is uncommon, so this was a delicacy that I savored. Once I bit through the delicate fried covering on the finger-sized shrimp, the moist and juicy quality pleasantly surprised my mouth. The light, sweet, spicy coconut milk curry and sweet basil fulfilled my craving with the shrimp and vegetables wading in a pool of curry. I would recommend ordering a side of brown or white rice to sop up the remainder of the curry to ensure nothing is wasted.
Whether you are a noodle, soup, curry, vegetable, seafood or meat fan, Your Place has you covered with their extensive eight-page menu, friendly staff and inviting atmosphere.