California Dreaming

April 6, 2017

Last night I dreamed of …. not Manderly, but the incredible yellowtail and uni tacos at Holbox, a small perfect seafood stand in the La Paloma Market near USC.

Little wonder; I’m not in LA anymore, but in the cold, gray Berkshires where it’s mud season and the skies drip endless rain. Of course I’m thinking about this tropical dream of a dish: it’s rare to find such exquisite balance in a simple seafood dish. Every element here, from the smooth avocado to the chewy little nubbins of fish and the marvelously seductive sea urchin adds a different element, which is pulled together by the sharp, fruity bite of the chile morita.

There are lots of other dishes to love here.  Blood clams, almost scary in their red-rimmed shells, but incredibly fresh and delicious. Giant oysters. Wonderful shrimp cocktails, piled into tall glasses like savory sundaes.  And the most delicious surf clams, sliced into thin ribbons and swirled in bitter orange juice.  If you love the crisp crunch of giant clams at sushi bars, you’ll love this.

But when I dream, it’s the uni-yellowtail tacos I think of. I may just have to go back to LA…..


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