The most famous restaurant in Santa Barbara isn’t along the ocean, doesn’t offer table service and sports a glaring aqua roof shaped like a Wall Street earnings graph. This is all part of the charm of La Super-Rica, a family-run restaurant that produces some of the best Mexican food in Southern California.
Jalisco native Isidoro Gonzalez opened La Super-Rica in 1980. Santa Barbara resident Julia Child was a vocal fan by the mid-80’s, and a legend was born soon after. Over 20 years later, La Super-Rica is still going strong.
La Super-Rica keeps things simple. They offer a blackboard menu that lists only 20 dishes, all revolving around beef, pork, chicken, chorizo or vegetables. There’s a smaller blackboard sporting a couple Daily Specials, on this day tacos and a vegetarian tamale. One thing you shouldn’t expect to find at La Super-Rica: seafood.
Super-Rica Especial ($6.80) consisted of chunks of roasted pasilla chile tossed with crusty mangles of spice-marinated pork and gooey cheese, then piled on a stack of corn tortillas. The smoky mix was basically a deconstructed chile relleno, only easier to eat, with incredible flavor.
Alambre de Filete ($5.80) was nearly as sensational, a stir-fry of juicy tri-tip, green bell peppers, onions and bacon. The onions were practically caramelized and infused with the juices from the beef and bacon.
While there’s some really good Mexican food in Los Angeles, it’s still worth driving 180 miles round trip to experience La Super-Rica at least once.