Santa Barbara Public Market debuted in April 2014, but has already entered stage two of its development. Many first generation food and drink vendors are no longer in business, which has left the market’s aisles with several empty stalls while creating opportunities for new vendors like Corazon Cocina. Chef Ramón Velazquez makes “fresh ceviches, mouthwatering tacos and homemade agua frescas” in an open kitchen behind a counter with seriously stylish tile and a heart logo. I found their tacos hit or miss, but really enjoyed a seasonal ceviche.
Sal de Mar ($12), which translates from Spanish as salt of the sea, is actually a well-balanced, towering raw seafood preparation. In this case, firm cubes of Baja California yellowtail joined sweet watermelon, crunchy slices of watermelon radish, creamy avocado, cucumber, and mild Fresno chiles, all dressed with tangy pomegranate and hibiscus aguachile and served on a crispy tostada that’s buried under an avalanche of seasonal, complementary ingredients.