The spring brings a swarm of new vendors to Smorgasburg, the weekend Brooklyn food bazaar that resumed its occupation of the Williamsburg waterfront and the Brooklyn Bridge Park on April 5th. El Super is just one of the new additions. The LA-style mariscos tostadas set-up comes from a wife-and-husband team, Nic Ulrich and Fanny Moy, who recently relocated from Los Angeles to Brooklyn.
Each weekend, the couple offers a menu of various tostadas (all $8), crunchy deep-fried tortilla rounds layered with a shifting array of seafood-centric toppings like gravlax with caper and dill crema and smoked trout rillettes with a rough chop of radish and cilantro salad. All are crowned with avocado and hot sauce.
The menu focuses on the dearth of coastal seafood dishes among New York City’s Mexican fare. A tostada with citrus-marinated chunks of tilapia, onion, and tomato tasted like classically executed ceviche, while octopus, braised until tender and piled with white beans and salsa verde, was a pleasant deviation from textbook Mexican mariscos.
Another unconventional tostada, heaped with tuna conserva and pickled red onion, had a powdery crumble of preserved duck egg on top. The green salsa underneath was a blend of avocado pureed with peanut, a nutty, creamy base that recalled the inventive, market-driven cooking of the Venice Beach institution, Gjelina, where Ulrich used to cook.
For the time being, Foy says she and her husband are not looking for a brick-and-mortar, but are “just doing the weekend, market thing… while it’s fun.” Let’s hope it stays that way.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 30, 2014