I’ve heard that the Aztec Empire practically ran on the hearty protein in the grain we call quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”). Lucky for us, Kanaloa’s new weekend brunch menu features the power bowl, a rich bowl of quinoa with soft cremini mushrooms, little purple hints of kale, and then two perfectly poached eggs on top. Sunny egg yolks river down onto a substantial, nourishing portion of quinoa, with bites of savory turkey sausage. We don’t have many rainy days in this town, but this exactly the kind of breakfast that will fortify you against the vicissitudes of the day. Creamy, rich, and utterly filling.

But I have my eye on the banana bread pudding berry bowl. I admit anything with the word “berry bowl” in it might seem, at first glance, to be a virtuous choice for breakfast. But oh wait, this is luxuriant, rich bread pudding perched on a moat of house-made cinnamon granola, dotted with chewy raisins and crunchy pecans. A profusion of red, purple, and blueberries glisten under a sweet coconut glaze. This bowl instantly speak of summer, even though we’re not quite there yet. The bread pudding is warm, soft, infused with bananas, and gentle rolling music is being played live on the patio. “Ain’t got no coffee that’s perking,” sings the guitar player, but Kanaloa does have coffee perking. I enjoy a rich cup of Dune coffee from French Press with aromatic steam curling up on the patio. Yes, this is just about right for a Sunday morning. Comfort food, coffee, and live music in a little oasis just off the hustle and bustle of State Street.  

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