Faces of our Community
Located on State Street in Downtown Santa Barbara, Bibi Ji offers residents and visitors an approachable and modern twist on traditional Indian cuisine with an extensive list of low-intervention, sustainably and organically farmed wines served in a vibrant and eclectic atmosphere.
Meet Alejandro Medina, Owner of Bibi Ji.
Q: How did you start your business?
A: Bibi Ji opened in 2018 amidst the Thomas Fire and Debris Flow. We really wanted to be a part of the recovery process and to help bring some life back to State Street.
Q: Why did you start your business?
A: With the direction of my best friend and mentor, Raj Parr, I decided it was time for me to take on my own project. Bibi Ji is the culmination of years of relationships built in the Santa Rita Hills and beyond. As a kid growing up in Lompoc working service jobs I was surrounded by local winemakers that opened my mind to the possibilities of a career in wine. I studied economics at UC Riverside which ultimately brought me back to working in wine on the sales and management side.
Q: What makes your the most passionate about your work?
A: My real passion is our wine program. We focus on low to no intervention wines that not only subscribe to regenerative farming practices but also make their wines without the use of additives or manipulation in the cellar. Not only do I admire these producers for their craft, they are also my dear friends. I take great pride in being a part of showcasing young independent winemakers to the world. We really strive to educate people to start to think about where and how their wine is made in the same way they consider what type of food they consume. The beautiful local organic produce and seafood of Santa Barbara deserve to be enjoyed with wines of purpose.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of what you do?
A: There is nothing more enjoyable to me than to see my friends enjoy a meal and to be able to pour great wines for them. It is truly my biggest thrill in life.
Q: Favorite menu item?
A: Right now I’m loving the Malai Kebab (marinated chicken breast, nutmeg, mace, sharp cheddar). While all the items cooked in our tandoor ovens are super succulent the chicken is so moist with a bright pop of acid. I can’t get enough of it. My go to paring? Anything on the wine list and a fork.
Q: Connection to Santa Barbara, why do you work/live here?
A: I was born and raised in the area and have a real passion for supporting local businesses. I wanted to provide a different standard of what a restaurant in Santa Barbara can look like. Our wine list includes bottles you can’t find anywhere else in the world. I want to provide a dining experience as simple yet focused and progressive as something you could find in NY or Paris right here in my home town.
Q: Where can we find you on a weekend or your day off?
A: Without fail—Sandpiper Golf Club.
Q: How long have you been in business?
A: We are approaching 4 years in February 2022.
A: 734 State Street, Santa Barbara
Q: Contact & social media