Once upon a time there was a seedy underbelly of Santa Barbara located on East Haley Street and the undoubted heart of that seediness was a little bar/nightclub/taqueria called Las Conchas, a place eerily reminiscent of any number of barren, unclean and generally unsafe bars you might find in that fine city of Tijuana. By day it was relatively low key, but by night it transformed into a bizarre scene of belligerent drunks, transvestite hookers and frequent visitation by law enforcement. I know what you're thinking, "Transvestite hookers in Santa Barbara? No way." Like I said: seedy underbelly. Every town has one (on a side note I used to live down the street from a married couple that had an S & M dungeon in their basement....seedy underbelly). That said, I only went to Las Conchas a couple times because the food was so-so and in its heyday I just so happened to be at a period in my life where I was making an effort to cut back on soliciting trannie hookers. In retrospect, probably a wise decision.
Well, Las Conchas is no more (maybe for 5 years now), and it has been replaced with a far more tame restaurant (s far as I can tell) called Las Palmeras that I just recently visited. First impressions are nice. It's still a barren, open space, the long bar remains and the floor is scattered with several tables. Menu is standard for Mexican fare, the usual tortas, burritos, chile verdes, etc. There was a guy in there eating a very nice looking pile of what looked like chile colorado but I played it safe with my usual order for trying out a new place, an asada burrito ($6.50 for the supreme). Fair price for a decent burro with asada, cheese, sour cream and cilantro and a couple very nice salsas, but nothing mind-blowing. I'll definitely check out other menu items next visit.