HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT: A person can venture to a place, for years, only to find out later on that the door at the back, the one by the kitchen, led to an auxiliary restaurant or tavern or record store or all of the above. And while Good Bar at Outpost, which is described as "the hidden bar inside the Goodland Hotel," doesn't require any hard-to-find doors or magical staircases or secret knocks, it just helps knowing that there's a relaxed, beachy-sweet hangout for grown-ups located within the Goodland's walls. It's not so mellow that there isn't the occasional trivia night, and live music keeps that we're-near-the-ocean vibe alive, but the decor definitely telegraphs the fact that you're not in a high-rise-y hotel plunk in the middle of a big city. The Goodland Hotel, which is located in Goleta, personifies the other side of that intense card (if hotels can personify anything; perhaps they "hotelify"). The hotel is just a hop off the 101, and a seven-minute drive to Goleta Beach Park. Surfboard decor, woodsy accents, an ocean-amazing, room-commanding painting and bright, sunset-lovely colors lend Good Bar its tones, and the drinks bear monikers like Feelin' Renegade (cynum, house falernum, fresh lime and pineapple, and cinnamon syrup) and Nerd Alert (which rolls out the pear brandy and other tony ingredients).
AS FOR OUTPOST, the restaurant that's cheek-by-jowl -- or surfboard-by-surf -- with the bar? A selection of interesting bao-buns, a get-creative guacamole (the people at the table have reign with what goes into it), and a smoked meat board bring the savory sustenance to the creative cocktailing found next door at Good Bar. It's a Kimpton property, by the by, so keep an eye out for those consistently cash-saving Kimpton-style deals and packages. If you nab one, and nab a stay-over, just don't forget the "hidden" bar on the property, one that comes with a pool table and backgammon and tunes and swanky artisanal beverages with memorable names.