Monday, March 31, 2014

West Coast Eats

California has great food; it's undeniable. On this trip to California (to friends' wedding in Santa Barbara) there were a couple of meals that really stood out:

1) Poke on the Venice Beach boardwalk (Los Angeles): is there anything better than a bowl heaping with buttery raw tuna? It's my favorite protein, hands down. We went back to eat it a second time, it was that good, and there were many options to choose from:

2) Sama Sama Kitchen (Santa Barbara): it's all fresh, local, farm-to-table with an awesome cocktail list to boot. We went there for drinks and appetizers and were so impressed. My munchies pick: the kale chips.

3) Luca (Carmel): this Italian restaurant tucked away on a side street of the quaint coastal town served, in the words of my Italian boyfriend, "the best meal I've had in the U.S."

First we shared the grilled octopus appetizer:

Tender grilled meat served over Israeli couscous with fresh vegetables, it was both light and filled with flavor. And not at all fishy.

For my entree I ordered the catch of the day, which was swordfish:

 Just a hint of char from the perfect grill marks, sitting in a broth of caponata-style vegetables, this was just how swordfish should be done.

For dessert we shared the cassata cake with pistachio gelato (all made in house, of course), and it was such a departure from the routine chocolate desserts that I've had at restaurants, it was excellent: