Ryan Sutton may have been less than enthused by the bucatini with smoked uni at All'onda in his otherwise positive review, but it is far and away the most popular pasta on the menu, according to chef Chris Jaeckle. Unfortunately the chef has been forced to stop selling the hot dish due to uni being completely unavailable. Jaeckle uses Maine uni and the waters there have been closed to allow urchin population to rebuild. The restaurant was using as many as 200 trays of uni a week, equating to an average of 45 orders of the pasta a day.
So, why not use Santa Barbara uni? Jaeckle has two reasons. Firstly, the cost is prohibitively expensive. Santa Barbara uni costs him double what he pays for Maine uni, which would force him to raise the price of the dish from $23 to over $50. Secondly, the chef prefers the flavor profile of Maine uni, which he describes as sweeter and richer than its California counterpart, and closer to the uni in Japan. Jaeckle tells Eater: "I don't want people feeling ripped off. All my other pastas cost around $23, so I had to make the difficult decision to take it off the menu." He has heard differing stories as to when the waters will reopen, so check with the restaurant first if you are going there specifically for the dish.
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