Saturday, June 04, 2011

Super Cucas and Its Opposite


We really enjoyed the burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and green and red salsas at Super Cuca's Taqueria, quite near our temporary home in Santa Barbara. It's a completely informal place -- order at the counter, eat in a kind of garden area or take it home, which we've done a couple times. Cucas' kitchen makes a much more interesting photo subject than the food.



Cucas' also has a grocery section with an outstanding selection of fresh and dried chiles:


Earlier this week, we had a very different meal at the elegant French-California restaurant called Bouchon. Local food is their focus. The chef shops at the same farmer's market where I've spent almost every Tuesday afternoon. Probably he was one of the guys I saw with a wheelbarrow or other huge conveyance, buying in large quantities.

I've eyed the artistically arranged red and yellow beets at various farmers' stalls each week: at Bouchon, I ordered the beet salad with local greens and a sort of croquette made of wonderfully flavored cheese:


I love the contrast between delicious but informal tortilla-based food to eat with coke or beer, and special boutique-y food with local wine pairings. Other dishes in our Bouchon meal included rillettes of duck (Len's appetizer), local sea bass for Len and a duck main dish for me, and a meyer-lemon bread pudding and a blood-orange-and-strawberry tarte for dessert.

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