I am going to let you in on a secret. Most of the restaurants in this town do not make their own desserts. If you’re lucky, they get a local bakery to supply them with dessert. But most get their desserts delivered by food services that provide that same rubbery cheesecake and uninspired tart to the entire country. If you have every puzzled why a fresh, tasty entrée was followed with an uninspired dessert, that is likely the reason. Luckily, Chef Antonio is a chocolate fan. And he worked really hard to create the dessert at Kanaloa, a gluten free brownie topped with a thin layer of cheesecake and then chocolate ganache. Delightfully rich, soft, and full of flavor. On the side sit sliced strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, on little pillows of house-made raspberry jam. House-made jam. This is the kind of detail that distinguishes an okay restaurant from an amazing one. You may not be sitting there like a food critic, letting the jam play on your taste buds, and declaring to the chef, “This is house made, isn’t it!” But you will notice that what you’re eating tastes delicious, far more so that a normal dessert experience.
Chef Antonio savors and bite and says, “I can’t imagine having dinner and not having dessert. You need to have that sweet ending.” So save room for dessert, and if you’re feeling decadent, ask for a scoop of McConnell’s ice cream to go with it.
Angela Borda is a Santa Barbara food writer who is delighted to be blogging about one of her favorite restaurants, Kanaloa Seafood.