Seagrass - Sea Urchin (Uni) in Santa Barbara
A day in Sant Barbabra ... in search for Uni. I spent the day in Santa Barbara looking for fresh uni. Interestingly enough, I could not find many restaurants or fish markets selling the elusive sea urchin. I did watch the uni being unloaded from the boats, directly to the trucks that whisk this fine delicacy to Los Angeles (barely a stop in Santa Barbara!!) ... Nevertheless, Seagrass came thru - all local fish, including the elusive uni. First course consisted of Heirloom tomatoes and burrata. A little fresh pepper, a light vingegrette, perfect combo, need I say more. Next, a scallop trio ... scallop trio ... progressively more savory and tasty! .. a carpaccio (lime, cilantro, mint & jalapeno), panna cotta (cucumber, shaved radish, grain mustard vinaigrette), seared (saffron & vanilla sauce, baby bok choy, oyster mushrooms ). Could not get enough of the saffron & vanilla sauce. Next - Yellowtail (sunchoke purée, tarragon, local abalone, heirloom carrot reduction) - the abolone made it worth it. Last, a modified Spiny lobster ... no lobster but grana padano risotto with Santa Barbara sea urchin sauce. What a gem. Thanks, Seagrass for a fine end to uni hunting in Santa Barbara
Understand there is a new chef at Seagrass and it appears it is starting to live up to expectations as a premier seafood restaurant in our little town again. It has good bones, but it was missing a bit in its execution a while back. Thanks for your nicely detailed description.