Santa Cruz Good Times

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

So Haute, it’s Cool

dining socialHaute Enchilada’s unique café and gallery has plenty for the palate and the palette

Moss Landing is a quaint historic fishing village that lies about 25 miles south of Santa Cruz. It is a treasure trove of places to explore, including fine antique stores, art galleries, lovely little shops, and is also home to the antique street fair that takes place annually on the last Sunday in July.

Here is where you can go bird watching, whale watching, sailing, fishing, stock up on fresh seafood, or try the food at one of the area’s handful of restaurants. For a small town, Moss Landing certainly has a lot to offer. A friend and I rented a kayak there in the summer, and then went to the Haute Enchilada Café for lunch. 

Most people are more familiar with The Whole Enchilada, which lies in a very visible spot on the corner of Highway 1 and Moss Landing Road, but head down the road a few paces and you can’t miss its little sister café, the decidedly unique Haute Enchilada.

Splashes of color greet you when entering the café and gallery—sexy hot pinks, azure greens and dazzling blues are a feast for the eyes, plus an abundance of wonderful artwork covers every wall. Proprietor Kim Solano has created a restaurant that not only serves fine food, but is also a beautiful gallery displaying local artists’ original work. 
dining hauteenchilada
On a visit there for dinner recently, the restaurant’s vibe put me and my husband in a festive mood. He ordered a Cubano Mojito ($9.50) with Castillo rum, cucumber and lime, served with enough fresh mint to garnish several more mojitos, and he loves its fresh tang and hefty rum kick. For me it was a glass of local Alfaro’s Estate Pinot Noir ($14 a glass or $42 a bottle).  Cocktails are a specialty of the Haute Enchilada, and they carry a good selection of tequilas. A fine array of coffee drinks is offered too, including a Salted Caramel Mocha, which is on my list for next time.

The café’s Soup Taster is a delicious delight of three soups—artichoke bisque, chicken tortilla with a red beet sauce, and poblano bisque with a hot and spicy kick—all imaginatively presented.

My Pescado Cubano (pistachio-encrusted snapper at $21), was fresh and tender with a nice crunchiness from the tasty nuts, served on a bed of black beans with tomatillo and avocado sauce, and a mound of quinoa and plantains stuffed with cotija cheese. A squeeze of fresh lime over the fish brought out even more flavor in this delicious entree. Before my husband’s Trucha Barcelona arrived, he ordered a local draft porter beer—a meaty brew made by English Ales Brewery in Marina. The imaginative Trucha dish ($21) is a whole trout stuffed with flavorful prosciutto and served on a pile of roasted artichoke with fresh fava beans, Bermuda onion, and cherry tomatoes tossed with olive oil and red wine vinegar.
dining haute
The Haute Enchilada Café’s eclectic menu boasts sustainable seafood and local organic produce, and some of their entree choices include Peruvian Causa with garlic prawns; Relleno Del Mar with crab, fresh buffalo mozzarella, and black beans; and Crab and Huitlacoche Enchiladas. Huitlacoche is a black corn truffle (a kind of fungus also called corn smut) which is healthy to eat and also delicious. 

Never able to resist dessert, I ordered a Ginger Sticky Pudding ($7.50). Served warm with a dollop of whipped cream and toasted pecans, it reminds me of the hearty puds I devoured when I was growing up in England. Other desserts,  from a list of more than a dozen, include Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake, Pumpkin Bread Pudding and Tocin Del Cielo (Spanish flan).

Before you enter this splendidly colorful restaurant, take a tour of the front garden. The lovely little fountain, exotic plants and cacti are all there for your eyes to feast on. Frida Kahlo would have loved this place.  


 

Haute Enchilada Café & Gallery, 7902 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing, 633-5843, hauteenchilada.com. Open daily from 10 a.m. for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

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