The new year kicks off with a quintessential Southern California culinary event: Santa Monica Restaurant Week! For the eighth year, the Santa Monica Travel & Tourism program celebrates the city’s renowned farmers markets by inviting local chefs to create a signature dish around a single seasonal and healthy ingredient. For 2020, that ingredient is the golden-orange kumquat, which is available at Santa Monica Farmers Markets during the winter months.
As the tourism board notes, the grape-sized citrus packs two flavors into its petite package, with a sweet edible peel and tart flesh. Rich in vitamin C and fiber, the kumquat also contains vitamin E and B vitamins, iron, magnesium and more.
During the weeklong event (January 6 to 20) diners will be able to discover the versatility of the kumquat, and event planners will experience the creativity of Santa Monica’s chefs at dozens of restaurants. Dishes include pumpkin toast with burrata, kumquats and pumpkin seed crumble at Little Prince; Baja-style yellowtail featuring kumquats as a garnish and in the
chile sauce; koji-fried quail in a kumquat and Calabrian chile sauce at the rooftop Calabra at Santa Monica Proper Hotel; and at the newly opened Socalo, which marks the return of beloved chefs Mary Sun Milliken and Susan Feniger to Santa Monica, salmon poke is flavored with kumquat ponzu.
“We are fortunate to have a city that boasts a proclivity of world-class restaurants, fueled by the fresh, local ingredients found at our four weekly Farmers Markets and bold practices of our beloved chefs,” says Misti Kerns, President/CEO of SMTT. “As a long-time resident of the beach city, Santa Monica Restaurant Week is one of my favorite times to enjoy our restaurant scene with friends and family, and I hope many of my neighbors do the same this year.”