The Z Café in Bonsall is a bustling, lively place with zebra-printed bar stools and benches. I don’t know if all those Zs are just a coincidence, but I like the zebra prints – hence the striped background for the photos this week. But this buzzing café offers more than just zebra-printed furniture – it serves an eclectic assortment of dishes at reasonable prices. Also, owner John Toma is Hawaiian and the establishment exudes the spirit of Aloha.
Speaking of aloha…raspberry vinaigrette sets off the assertive Hawaiian Spring Mix salad with a mingling of sweet and tart. On a base of baby greens, the salad is bursting with fresh fruit: Succulent strawberries, kiwi fruit and mango. Dried cranberries add a natural sweetness. It’s a perfectly crafted and refreshing summer salad. But, wait, there’s more. A generous piece of grilled salmon filet drizzled with a bit of teriyaki sauce tops the salad. Make sure you flake the salmon and mix it with the greens to gain the full benefit of the combination.
Jaime Lusher, a student at Baylor University who is in town for the summer, was obviously enthralled with the salad. “It’s summer in a bite,” she said.
The Veggie sandwich is available on either wheat or squaw bread, but I recommend the squaw bread. It’s dark, rather heavy bread with a slightly sweet taste and is bolder than traditional wheat bread. This dark brown wrap is perfect for fresh vegetables.
Don’t just nibble at the sides of this sandwich. I know it is difficult to take a large bite, but press on, it’s worth it! It’s a crisp and light summer delight overflowing with creamy avocados, tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, sprouts and mild provolone cheese.
Sample the grilled halibut after five o’clock. This dinner-only entrée is quite mild, but the creamy white sauce perks it up.
So, spring into summer at Z Café – grab a fork and stab that salmon or halibut with gusto, or tackle that brut of a veggie sandwich – it’s the perfect way to say “hello” to the season.
Z Café is located in River Village at 5256 S. Mission Rd. in Bonsall. Contact them by telephone at: (760) 940-1751 or find them on the Web at zcafeinbonsall.com. The restaurant is open Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Coming this summer are “Family BBQ Nights” on Sundays from 4 to 8 p.m. with baby back ribs and other grilled meats.