Of course, there are other ways to knock out the blues. Paris is not the only fix. A visit to the ocean can help mightily. A blast of negative ions from the sea air has set me right on more than a few occasions.
Naturally, the delicious food to be consumed on the way to, while enjoying, and returning from the ocean can prove uplifting as well.
Just a few hours up the coast from Los Angeles is Moonstone Beach. It's a mere skip away from Cambria. Last week, Fe. and I packed our bags (okay, I did the packing. Fe. barked out orders.) and headed north with Mo. and my parents for a mid-week get-away.
Conveniently located between Los Angeles and Moonstone Beach lies Santa Barbara, home to Julia Child's favorite taqueria, La Super-Rica. Mo, Fe. and I were there at 11:00 a.m. as the doors opened. I find it hard to believe that this was only my third visit, considering I have traveled up and down California's coast, right past La Super-Rica's doors, an uncountable number of times.
Amusingly, the three times have all been in the last few months. When I latch onto a restaurant, I can't let go!
The definite favorite is #16, Super-Rica Especial. On the recommendation of the friendly cashier, I've opted for chicken instead of pork each time. That's not typically my style (chicken instead of pork? no way!), but I liked it so much the first time, I can't possibly change my order now. So, so good and juicy with the smoky roasted pasilla chiles and gobs of melted cheese resting atop the addictive hand-made corn tortillas.
I've also happily consumed tasty carne asada and marinated pork tacos. A large dollop of the vibrant green guacamole and a generous splash of the coriander-heavy green salsa and you are near bliss. I'm not talking cilantro, but dried coriander. The salsa is redolent with the stuff and I love it.
We've had great success on our previous visits with a dish of beef, bacon, green peppers and onions, but this last go round the meat was sadly over-cooked, so I can't give it the hearty vote of approval that I wish I could. Also the vegetable tamale, while a success for Fe. and probably for other little ones is a bit bland for the adults in the family.
I want to try, must try, in fact, the Tocino Especial -- melted cheese with bacon! -- because I'm certain it must be extraordinary. I mean, right?
622 N. Milpas Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93103