Where: 30 W. Anapamu Street, 805-275-4232
What: Downtown’s hippest tapas bar is always packed with people and has a menu loaded with flavor and a spicy kick.
How much? Tapas $8.00-$16.00; freshly squeezed cocktails $8.50-$12.00
The dish: Milk and Honey has a decidedly swanky metropolitan feel and a sexy, dimly lit atmosphere right off State Street. Tapas are meant for sharing alongside freshly squeezed fruit juice cocktails such as coconut mojitos and grapefruit, lychee, and blood orange martinis. Heavy flavors grace the tapas menu with tequila chipotle infusions, chili-garlic sauces, and chorizo. Its sister restaurant is the Mesa’s acclaimed Alcazar, whose Spanish influence has been a central element on Milk and Honey’s radar. A tight interior accommodates a small bar and a compact array of two and four top tables that are often pulled together. Street side tables are set up next to a gas-lit fireplace, framed by the draped glass windows that peek inside the restaurant. Date with a Pig is their creatively named version of Serrano wrapped dates. A deep bowl of tequila tofu is a favorite, as well as the avocado hummus plate, green apple and brie quesadillas, and chipotle shrimp. Their paella dish is a tasty balance of flavors with its seasonal seafood, chorizo, and tequila chipotle sauce served over garlic cilantro rice.