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The Daisy Opens to Brighten State Street in Downtown Santa Barbara

Release Date: November 21,2019

Dominic Shiach and Carmen Deforest inside The Daisy at 1221 State Street in downtown Santa Barbara.
Dominic Shiach and Carmen Deforest have opened The Daisy, a new restaurant at 1221 State Street in downtown Santa Barbara. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

By Joshua Molina, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @JECMolina | November 21, 2019 | 9:21 p.m.

A bright and cheery new restaurant has opened on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara. The Daisy began serving Tuesday at 1221 State St.

The husband and wife team of Dominic Shiach and Carmen Deforest wanted to bring high-quality dining in a casual environment.

Deforest's nickname is "Daisy," and she's also the chef. Prior to the restaurant business, they worked in Los Angeles, he as a documentary maker and she worked in the fashion industry.

The menu includes items such as chickpea chorizo and spinach stew, smoked ribs, beef and lamb kofta meatballs, and, of course, the Daisy Burger for $16 and the little Daisy Burger for $7. 

The restaurant also offers 16 wines on tap. 

"Our food is elevated, but our environment is relaxed," said Shiach, who hails from the Scottish Highlands. 

The restaurant offers seating for 80 people, including a communal table and 20 people at the bar. 

It's the couple's second restaurant venture. They formerly ran Book Ends cafe, a sandwich shop on the roof of Antioch University.

After closing that business, which didn't have a kitchen, they looked for a new spot. They considered the Funk Zone, but ended up choosing State Street because of the other high-quality restaurants in the area, including, Arigato SushiScarlett Begonia, and Bouchon, Shiach said. 

"It's a place for the locals," Shiach told Noozhawk.

The restaurant serves lunch with good "price points," he said, and then the place slowly transforms. 

In the evening, he said, the lights come down, the music goes up, and they place candles on the tables.

"It becomes kind of a sexy, intimate space, it's lovely," Shiach said. 

The restaurant makes its own bread and houses a smoker to cook some food. Daisies are painted on the front and back wall.

"The Daisy is emblematic of the freshness and the vitality, which I think expresses our food," Shiach said. "Our food is clean and light and bright and vital and vibrant, and so is this place, and so is a daisy."

The restaurant is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday and Monday.

— Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk@NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.