Posted by lemonjelly on:
The State and A will always remind me of high school and stuffed potato skins. The place has so much potential for its location, and I have to give it props for hosting some fun events over the years, and for being an after-party sponsor for the SBIFF. But...it always seems to strive for mediocrity. I'm making a sad panda face while I'm typing this!
By Friday night, 4 February, people at the film festival were really starting to get along, and this carried the event along successfully. I'm sorry to say, though, that the food was distinctly average and very hard to get a hold of.
People were famished, and the nibbles came out on roaming trays. Hands would grab slices of quesadilla five at a time with a coat fringe dragging across the remaining pieces left on the tray.
The only pictures I could get were of the quesadillas sans coat fringe and some simple toasted white bread mini-burgers. I did see some brownies roaming at some point. Someone nearby commented, "I think the menu was put together by a stoner."
I'm fine with the food itself, nobody got sick, right? It just seemed so stingy. Indoors there was a completely empty salad bar area that would have been perfect even for some chips, salsa and crudite. It would have brought people in the mingle more. Instead, everyone stayed outside near the booze and were ushered out promptly around 1 am. A group went down to Rocco's for pizza afterwards.
I hope the State and A considers hosting a SBIFF event in the future, but I also hope they consider this: by Friday, people have bonded, most of the stress of premiering films has passed, and everyone's primed - whether they know it or not - to have that special experience that will leave long lasting positive memories of the festival. There's so much potential to this night which a venue can help nurture and the opportunity just slipped away. Better luck next year?
State and A Bar and Grill
1201 State St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101