This Simple Eye Award goes to my favorite restaurant in the world. Now, I haven’t been to every restaurant in the world, but, since I eat out almost every day, you can say I’m working on it. So far, La Super Rica takes the prize.
Now, I must admit, it’s a bit of a stretch to call this place a restaurant. It’s more like a wooden shack. The tables there are one notch above what you’d find in a gang-infested park. The chairs are plastic. In fact, one of the best things about this place is its expansive, democratic, egalitarian spirit. When you get there, prepare to share space with celebrities and carpenters, bankers and bellmen. There’s no velvet rope here. No matter who you are, you’re going to have to wait in a long line before finally approaching the window to order off of a menu printed in chalk. And it’ll be worth every minute.
Owner Isidoro Gonzalez started the place back in 1980 to respond to his yearning for the simple fare he loved so much when he lived in Mexico City. What he has created is a labor of love and passion that transcends its humble origins. This place, above all others, embodies the Simple Eye spirit. In the years since its creation it has been lauded by food lovers all over the world, including the most famous food lover of all, Julia Child.
It’s easier to describe the marvelous fare here by what it isn’t. No store-bought tortillas. No chips and salsa filler, mushy refried beans or stiff stale taco shells. And don’t even think about a chalupa.
Instead, each legume, for example, is its own symphony, somehow both firm and pliant. It’s that kind of freshness and attention to detail that transforms otherwise mundane fare into the sublime. Each menu item is numbered, but he food is anything but by-the-numbers.
Try, for example, #16. A perfectly earthy roasted chile pasilla is bathed in soft clumps of melted cheese and mixed with impossibly tender marinated pork. Or #20. A thick homemade tortilla is somehow stuffed with miraculously spicy ground pinto beans. Or #…you get the point. You won’t find a wrong number.
La Super Rica Santa Barbara CA