La Casita de Barreales is far and away the best restaurant in Santa Cruz. It is consistently excellent. And best of all, it's Peruvian. The best food you'll eat is Chile is Peruvian. Thankfully, the general animosity felt by many Chileans towards the country of Peru is put to one side when it come to Peruvian cuisine, rather like the English and the French, Italians, Spanish, Germans etc :)
This restaurant is probably the best Peruvian restaurant I've been to in Chile. It does certain things really, really well...such as the incredible ceviche and the excellent lomo saltado and tacu tacu. The lamb is also very good at the moment as it's Marchigue Spring lamb season at the moment. I haven't had anything that I wouldn't readily choose again. That's really something in a Chilean restaurant..!
La Casita de Barreales is a couple of minutes drive from the Plaza de Armas, on the road out towards Barreales (just past Vina Laura Hartwig).