Salt + Lime in Del Mar, CA

 Salt + Lime is a new, modern Mexican restaurant on the main street of Del Mar.  The menu is a contemporary and refreshing take on Mexican staples.  It diverges from the typical rice, beans and loads of cheese and shredded lettuce of typical Mexican restaurants in the U.S.  The menu is seafood-forward with three types of ceviche and seafood selections in every category.  There are also lots of vegetarian items.  It had the nopalito tostada with a side of esquites (roasted corn with cheese).  Nopalito is the thick "flesh" of a cactus.  It has a mild, slightly tart flavor and a hearty robust texture.  The tostado base was crisp and the topping was pleasantly acidic, balanced with the cheese and avocado.  The esquites are rich, sweet and delicious.  I started with two salsas - a chili verde one with a good acidic bite and a creamy tomato-based salsa.  It was a good pairing.

I learned that the owner is from Mexico City, the chef is Colombian and the sous chef is Spanish.  I think that explains the interesting menu that includes asparagus tacos, a heart of palms ceviche and also more traditional dishes, such as queso fundido.  The waiter was very friendly and happy to talk about the restaurant.

I'm looking forward to a return visit.  I was there for lunch by myself, so I didn't try a cocktail.  The restaurant is in the space under Beeside Balcony.  (There used to be an Italian restaurant there).  It is an attractive space and the restaurant is a good addition to the Del Mar scene.   


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