Staff Report

For the 14th consecutive year, both the Gathering Table at the Ballard Inn and The Willows at the Chumash Casino Resort have been rated “four-diamond” restaurants by the American Automobile Association.

Bouchon in Santa Barbara and Angel Oak at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Resort are the only other four-diamond winners in Santa Barbara County.

According to the Auto Club, only 41 restaurants in Southern California received either four- or five-diamond status. Just 2.1 percent of restaurants inspected by AAA received four diamonds, and only 0.2 percent received five. There are only 656 four-diamond restaurants in the country.

The AAA announcement noted that four-diamond restaurants “offer a distinctive fine-dining experience, employing creative preparations that are skillfully served amid upscale ambience.”