Luckys in Montecito, CA–the Best Vegan Steakhouse?

I love Montecito, having spent many happy years there. Lucky’s Steakhouse is located in the heart of Montecito’s “Lower Village” on Coast Village Road, just a couple of blocks away from beautiful Butterfly Beach. One of my family’s favorite traditions was Sunday Brunch at Lucky’s, and I have had many fine dinners and celebrations there as well.

Lucky’s is known as an upscale classic steakhouse and is famous for their many meat and seafood dishes. What is lesser known, though, is that Lucky’s serves some the freshest and best vegetables anywhere!

Here is what Lucky’s website says:

“We believe that what we do reflects what we value:
A comfortable setting that’s right for brunch, a casual midweek burger or a special-occasion dinner
A warm welcome for old friends and new acquaintances
Well-crafted cocktails and a cellar of premium wines
An inviting old-school bar with wainscoted walls and a friendly staff
Unsurpassed ingredients: USDA prime beef and the freshest seafood
The same exacting standards for everything on the menu — steaks, chops, sides, salads and desserts
Professional servers who are caring and attentive
Careful attention to the details
Dedication to our customers’ enjoyment, relaxation and happiness
Lucky’s: Let our values feed your good fortune!”

 Lucky’s has a popular bar for drinks and  for dining in a room separated from the main dining rooms. It’s a great place to relax, have a drink, eat, or watch a game.

Dining at the tables in this bar s a white tablecloth and candlelight affair, so you are not skimming on elegance by dining in the bar. The bar fills up quickly in the evening, so it is best to go early if you want a table.

The bar is actually my favorite place to sit unless I’m with a larger group or want a quieter table for conversation. Then the cozy back dining room with the fireplace is the place to be, and a reservation is suggested.

On my latest visit for dinner, I chose a high top table in the corner of the bar, with a view of the passers-by strolling on Coast Village Road and the hills beyond. I ordered a glass of wine and wanted a little something to eat with the wine. Usually, Lucky’s brings out a bread basket with warm, crusty french, and sourdough bread and some irresistible aromatic and spicy pumpernickel rolls, and butter. As good as their bread is, I wanted something lighter to enjoy with my wine, and one of my favorite side dishes at Lucky’s, when available,  is the sugar snap peas.It was my luck that they were available, on the special menu. I asked for them to be steamed plain with no oil or salt. They were perfectly steamed, crunchy, light, and so fresh–and guilt-free.

I wish more restaurants would offer small dishes like these sugar snap peas, or crudite, instead of bread to start a meal. I could easily have ordered a few other starters–the French Green Beans with Shallots, the Roasted Golden Beets, Asparagus, Mushrooms, or the Grilled Artichoke from the regular menu. Although it is a steakhouse, and the menu is heavily  meat-focused, Lucky’s actually had more vegan options than I find on most restaurants’ menus.

There are also an number of salads that can be made vegan, and oil-free if desired. Lucky’s is very accommodating and willing to make any dish “my way.”

And  they have potatoes–eight types of potatoes, at least, which they will make “my way.”

Although I could have easily made a vegan dinner from a variety of side dishes, I wanted more of an entree. In the past, the chef made me a custom vegan platter of a selection of vegetables. But, right on the menu was what appeared to be the perfect vegan entree. Right under the heading “Chicken, Vegetables, Seafood” was “Sautéed Tofu, with Japanese Vinaigrette, Green Onions, Shitake Mushrooms and Spinach.” That sounded perfect and my waiter heartily recommended it. Done.


The Tofu dish arrived and was beautifully presented. The tofu was light and crispy, the  sauce was very light and delicately flavored, and not at all oily, and the vegetables were perfect. I loved it!  In fact, I would love to re-create this dish at home.


It was a very enjoyable evening in Montecito.



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