Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 24th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Bulli for You

dining hauteenchiladaA creative collection of recipes from one of the world's best chefs graces the menu at Haute Enchilada

A visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium offers sightings of a giant Pacific octopus, a new jellyfish exhibit, and seahorses better disguised than Dana Carvey.For me the journey is enhanced by a stop at one of Moss Landing's unique eateries.. Previously a bustling antiques marketplace, the center is now revitalized by the Haute Enchilada Cafe and Galerias, with local artwork on display and an artist's reception on the third Sunday of the month. 


At the Haute Enchilada, I had a really hard time ordering—so many interesting and unique ingredients and combinations. I owe this dilemma to Chef Ferran Adrià, who closed Spain's El Bulli restaurant last year, one that many considered to have been the world's best. The creative chemist of a chef will continue with gastronomical research, and, apparently, providing a menu to a restaurant in a tiny fishing village on the Monterey Bay.

Tropical-bright vinyl tablecloths cover umbrella-shaded tables on the front patio, which is encircled by pots of succulents, salvia, and cacti. We started with an order of crunchy, house-fried tortilla chips and salsa made with fire-roasted vegetables.

From the list of Light Bites, a Haute Enchilada al Mole ($6.95) was stuffed with free-range chicken, covered with mole and melted cheese, and hidden by organic greens with avocado, cilantro and onion. The complex mole sauce was at once sweet, bitter, and a bit spicy with pumpkin-like undertones.

Four triangles of Rosemary Chicken Panini ($12.95) on focaccia held roasted red bell peppers, onion, feta cheese and mushrooms, and was plated with a pretty green salad topped with bright slices of red onion, carrot shavings, cucumber and croutons.

An opportunity to taste an Aztec delicacy came in the guise of Crab and Huitlacoche Enchiladas ($19.95). Huitlacoche means black excrement in the Nahuatl language, and is a fungus that swells corn kernels to 10 times their size. Two fresh corn tortillas were wrapped around crab and these chewy mushroom-like nuggets, and topped with a light citrus-tart sauce. Accompaniments included black beans with onion and cilantro and Spanish rice dotted with cooked carrot.

I immensely enjoyed the Pescado Cubano ($21). A large, thick fillet of line-caught snapper was coated with pistachio nuts, grilled, and laid upon a bed of black beans. The textures of firm white fish, toothsome nuts and soft beans meshed perfectly. It was sauced generously with a bright green tomatillo-avocado blend. Also topped with sauce were two round plantain fritters; sweet and stuffed with a bit of cotija cheese. A molded scoop of curly-tailed quinoa was dotted with peas and carrots.

Haute Enchilada also offers exotic desserts ($6.95 to $7.50). Warm Ginger Sticky Pudding, sugar-free Salted Caramel Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake, and Flourless Chocolate Decadence by themselves are worth a stop. There are also cookies ($3.50) including lemon bars. We shared two, one just loaded with chocolate chunks, and a super-crisp oatmeal with bits of apricot.

The Haute Enchilada Cafe and Galerias, 7902 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing, 633-5843. Full bar. Open daily for brunch and lunch from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Serving dinner Wednesday through Sunday from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. Visit

Comments (3)Add Comment
written by a guest, June 06, 2012
Actually, they carry a beer, Estrella Damm Inedit (Never been done before) developed at least in part by Mr. Adria ($18 for 750 ml) especially made for food pairing. This is according to the menu. Regards, KP
written by a guest, June 04, 2012
How does Ms. Petersen know that Mr. Adria is advising or "apparently" providing menus to the Haute Enchilada Cafe and Galerias? Does not apparently seem plausible.
written by a guest, May 29, 2012
Thankyou for visiting my restaurant.

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.


Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.


Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.


Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments


Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.


Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.


Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.


How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management