Respond to Review of The Natural Cafe - State St
Review: All the Natural Café locations serve the same middle-of-the-road fare: nothing stellar, but plenty of OK options. Our main complaint about the Natural Café, besides the fact that it serves meat and doesn't always get special orders right (e.g. vegan special orders are sometimes served with dairy and must be sent back, etc.), is that the food is neither remarkably flavorful nor remarkably healthful. It's perfectly acceptable and better than a restaurant that makes no effort to use healthful, natural ingredients, but that's about all we can say in praise of the food. They do not make a point of using organic produce, and a lot of the food is fattening, so though "natural" is in the name, that doesn't strongly equate with genuinely healthful food. Put less delicately: the Natural Cafe serves food that tastes like "health food" but isn't in fact especially healthful. That said, we still prefer it to most other restaurants in Santa Barbara because at least they do have some OK vegan options and at least they do make a minimal effort to use fresh and "natural" (though not organic) ingredients. Recommended (though not very enthusiastically) are the tempeh tacos (order without cheese) and the "natural tamale" (order without sour cream). In the end, if flavor is more important to you than the minimal attempt at "natural" cuisine, you might be happier with one of Santa Barbara's several veg*n-friendly Asian and Italian restaurants (e.g. Shanghai on Milpas or Galanga just down State Street).