Where: 428 Chapala St., 805-564-8446
What: Fascinating fusion of all sorts of Spanish-related cuisines
How much? Entrees from $22-$38; Tapas from $8-$13.
The dish: Scotch Bonnet packs some heat in its new space on Chapala, which formerly housed Sevilla Restaurant. Not exactly a wallflower, Scotch Bonnet takes its name from one of the world’s hottest chili peppers. A kick, a punch, and a twist on Spanish cuisine, the revamped restaurant’s Cuban flair features tapas and a variety of fish and meat-based entrees. Sevilla owners Marc Jones and Steve Karan have brought on Katie and Amy Scott from State Street’s popular Tupelo Junction Cafe to manage the fresh venture. Focusing on interesting fusions of flavor, which marry techniques and spices from a variety of Latin American, Caribbean, and Cuban influences, the menu does not exactly fit into a conventional restaurant mold. Intriguing starters include Coconut Green Curry Steamed Black Mussels, and a refreshingly light Ceviche Trio Sampler that is perfect for a summertime bite. Curious palates will be pleased when scanning the entree selection, which boasts Guava and Ginger Glazed Baby Back Ribs with Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork and Pan Roasted Butterfish with Lemongrass Glaze. Tapas such as Jerk Chicken Drumettes with Smoky Plantain Crema are also available to further encourage sampling. If at the end of your meal your taste buds have not fatigued, the Trio of Banana desserts is the cherry on top of the icing on the cake.