I have rarely been this excited for a dish. Mushroom ceviche. One of the new dishes on the dinner menu at Kanaloa Seafood. Chef Antonio brings it to the table, and I am just short of jiggling with glee. It’s a beautiful presentation of soft, silky mushrooms that equal any fish in their richness. Poached briefly, they are then cooled and floated in chilled ginger vegan broth and lime juice. The effect is a mouth feel that might be ahi tuna but is entirely vegetarian. What else is in the ring with these knockout mushrooms? Sweet kernels of corn, buttery avocado, light and crisp cucumber, wisps of red onion, and a tiny kick of heat. Beautiful yellow heirloom tomatoes speak of summer, and micro greens and cilantro dot a generous mountain of exquisitely prepared, precisely diced vegetables. Scoop a spoonful of this chilled concoction on a thick, salty warm tortilla chip, and you have a dish worth visiting and revisiting Kanaloa for. The aim of this dish was fresh flavor, and given its popularity on the dinner menu, I will bet on Chef Antonio’s mushroom ceviche against any ceviche in this town, fish or otherwise.

Angela Borda is a Santa Barbara food writer who is delighted to be blogging about one of her favorite restaurants, Kanaloa Seafood