Spiced Cauliflower Taco: 3 Pairings

Table Mates by | Nov 2017 | Issue #130

Believe it or not, a taco without meat can be awesome, but a taco without beer? Not a chance! Even vegan tacos are meant for beer. At Sausal, a restaurant in Southern California offering “nuevo rancho” cuisine, chef and Certified Cicerone Anne Conness serves up Hispanic flavors with contemporary farmers market fare. Her Spiced Cauliflower Taco is topped with pepita-chili “hummus,” cashew crema, avocado, pickled red onions, chia seeds, and tomatillo salsa. She pairs the vegan dish with three Los Angeles-brewed beers.

L.A. Gold West Coast Keller
6.0% ABV | El Segundo Brewing Company and Highland Park Brewery
When our neighbors at ESBC collaborated with HPB, they came up with a hoppy unfiltered lager. The beer intensifies the earthy sweetness in the cauliflower and brings the chili and spices into laser focus, extending all of the flavors in your mouth.

Lé Banquet Bière
6.0% ABV | Eagle Rock Brewery and Los Angeles Ale Works
Clever names aside, this is a crisp, peppery Saison with a good bit of fruit esters and just enough Brett funk. The beer embraces the sour component of the tomatillos and brings out the nutty flavors of the cashew crema and pepitas. It elevates the taco’s punchy notes while keeping the cauliflower the “meaty” star, making the pairing sing.

Small Gods
6.0% ABV | Brouwerij West
This delicious Dry Irish Stout has beautiful notes of dark fruit, roasted barley, and bittersweet chocolate. It envelops the taco flavors like a soft blanket, enhancing the roastiness of the cauliflower and the tart-sour notes of the guajillo chili, while its dry finish sets you up for the next bite.