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Kai Sushi Shabu-Shabu

$$ - $$$
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738 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3330
+1 805-560-8777
11:30 - 14:30
17:30 - 10:30
Open now
See all hours
Mon - Fri 11:30 - 14:30
17:30 - 10:30
Sat - Sun 13:00 - 23:30
More Info
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45 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
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Showing 39: English reviews
Andover, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
66 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We came in hungry for dinner after a movie, our criterion of choice being "the first nice place we found" while walking down State Street. Kai Sushi Shabu-Shabu is indeed a nice place, with a pleasant, unfussy interior, attentive and friendly waitstaff, a sizeable menu, and a clean bathroom dedicated to its patrons and accessed by a key. Perhaps we... More 

Thank AprilLovesToTravel
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
237 reviews
176 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2017

We went for Shabu shabu and sushi. The beef is excellent quality and the sushi are all good. It's nice and quiet and the service was excellent. Friendly staff. It's right across from Pase Nuevo, so it's very convenient. Will go back again when in Santa Barbara.

Thank veronicaindonesia
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
95 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2017

We went on the 1st of January and had a nice share of some sushi. Didn't have a lot, but as we're adventurous we tried the deep fried roll with a sesame creamy sauce with it. Not sure I'll have to try that again - there's something about warm sushi that does not work for me. It was a big... More 

Thank LisPetersson
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2016

It was just great watching the chef prepare the food in front of us. ThE menu was interesting although a bit difficult to understand.

Thank Veronique C
Level Contributor
33 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2016

We were lucky enough to find this little gem of a sushi bar while walking through Paseo Nuevo. There is a nice little patio out back which we were seated in, it was very private. The decor was nothing special, but the Maki was top notch. We ordered a lot of food, as we were tired from driving the PCH... More 

Thank DamnRodgers
Level Contributor
58 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2016

We tripped upon this restaurant and decided to go for lunch. We appreciated the lower lunch prices and the fresh sushi but as other reviewers have mentioned we did leave hungry.

Thank SheilaH19
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Level Contributor
41 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2016

We ate here once for lunch and once for dinner. The lunch was fantastic, had a cold ramen salad. I ordered 2 rolls for dinner and it was too much food, I would have been better off just getting one. The fish was very fresh and tender.

Thank Lisa K
Level Contributor
54 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 February 2016

Our lunch was very good but we left hungry. The pork was delicious but just a few thin slices and the dish needed more mushrooms and broth. We will try the restaurant again and hopefully have more to eat. Ramen with little else does not a restaurant meal make.

Thank Penny1968
Bend, Oregon
Level Contributor
154 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2016

Yes, tourists trip into this place by accident, but if you are here in SB for any period of time, you'll soon find there are better options. Also on State is Arigato, well known as the best shushi restaurant in town. There are others, and not too far away, but this location will attract the uninitiated for a meal, no... More 

Thank oldfresno
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 December 2015

This was my second visit to Kai after a couple of years' gap. I seem to recall that the restaurant was far more "classy" on my previous visit and was slightly disappointed on entering. OK, maybe it was our fault for not booking a table and it was busy, but we were unceremoniously dumped on a table in front of... More 

Thank 1963AmandaT

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    3 of 5 bubbles
Japanese, Sushi, Asian
Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol
Good for
Open Hours
13:00 - 23:30
11:30 - 14:30
17:30 - 10:30
11:30 - 14:30
17:30 - 10:30
11:30 - 14:30
17:30 - 10:30
11:30 - 14:30
17:30 - 10:30
11:30 - 14:30
17:30 - 10:30
13:00 - 23:30
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 738 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3330
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Barbara
  • Phone Number: +1 805-560-8777

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Kai Sushi Shabu-Shabu staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?