100 Favorite OC Dishes, #61: Risotto Con Burrata at Taverna

Pop your risotto cherry!EXPAND
Pop your risotto cherry!
Edwin Goei

I remember the first risotto I ever had. I ordered it at some random restaurant I decided to try on a whim one night in downtown Santa Barbara. It was a long time ago. The place is probably not there anymore. But the risotto I had was so good, so creamy, I compare every risotto I've had since to it. 

The new Taverna in Laguna Beach, which specializes in risottos, has just four on its menus, including one with wild mushrooms, another with shrimp and prosecco. The cheapest version on the list, the risotto con burrata, is also the most basic: risotto stripped to its foundations. In this dish, more than the others, the grains are as translucent as pearls, suspended in the gravy they helped to create.

There are bits of tomato for acidity, a fleck of oven-crisped prosciutto for saltiness, and a gob of melting burrata cheese for richness. But when you eat it, it's the creaminess and lusciousness of the rice that bubbles to the top. Paradoxically, it's also a light dish.

This is the risotto you want to eat during an early-summer weekend brunch on the patio, next to a gurgling fountain and with a view of beach volleyball. Even if you're not one to eat something so starchy so early in the morning, you should get it above all else, shunning the traditional brunch menu that has a Benedict and French toast among them. If it's your first risotto, it'll also be the one that makes you fall in love with the dish. Trust me: You always remember your first risotto...

The List:

62. Pineapple Float at Jollibee 
63. Szechuan Fries at Wok N Tandoor 
64. Banh Xeo at Quan Mii 
65. Chanko Nabe at Torizo 
66. Hamshuka from Hummus Bowl 
67. The Reuben at A Market 
68. Everything Cake from Slice Deli And Cakery 
69. Spicy Shrimp And Eggplant from Brio Tuscan Grille
70. Crawfish Mac & Cheese from The Wharf
71. Malasadas from Dough Doughs Hawaiian Cafe 
72. Salsas from Salsa Bandolera 
73. Chorizo Breakfast Bagel at Spigas Bakery and Cafe 
74. Whole Chicken Combo at Falafelo  
75. Toothpick Lamb at Sichuan Impression 
76. Hainan Chicken Rice at Baos Hog 
77. Fruit- and Ice Cream-Topped Waffles at Crave 
78. Garlic Shrimp Poke at Costco 
79. Chimichurri Fries at Piaggo on Wheels 
80. Torta Cubana at Cancun Juice 
81. Adobo Bowl at Irenia 
82. Garlic Noodles at Krave Asian Fusion 
83. Broccolini at SeaSalt WoodFire Grill 
84. Spicy Tuna Roll at Yard House 
85. Amber Roll at Orange Roll and Sushi 
86. Frito Chili Cheeseburger at Burger Parlor 
87. Maui Sunrise at The Original Banzai Bowls 
88. Meals from The Performance Kitchen 
89. Pizza-Sized Quesadilla at Los Sanchez
90. Filipino Brunch at EATS Kitchen And Bar
91. Mexican Chocolate at the Pie Hole 
92. Biscuits at James Republic 
93. Mushroom Flatbread with Kale and Kumquat Salad at Lemonade 
94. Mexican-Style Gelatins from Santa Ana's Gelatina Goddess 
95. Hot Pastrami Caesar Salad at Bruxie
96. Jalapeño Pupusas at Las Cazuelas
97. Meatball Sliders at Fresh Brothers
98. Buffalo Cauliflower at Mead's Green Door Cafe
99. Raindrop Cake at Sunmerry Bakery
100. Doughrito at Surfin' Donuts

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miles
Taverna

222 Ocean Ave.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

949-715-0821

tavernabylombardi.com


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