This signature appetizer at Tocqueville has been on the menu since the restaurant opened in 2000. It’s not hard to imagine why it’s such a popular dish — sea urchin plus carbonara can easily equate to gastronomic heaven. Thin strands of angel hair pasta bask in a rich and frothy sauce of whisked butter, soy sauce, lime juice and egg, reminiscent of a Japanese pasta, many of which use butter and soy sauce as a base; in this case, the soy and lime provide a light accent, a splash of umami and brightness. You’ll find pieces of Santa Barbara sea urchin — also creamy with sweet notes — in this frothy sea of deliciousness. A mix of sea lettuce counters all the creaminess with its both crunchy and rubbery texture, and its light ethereal essence of the sea. I’m in the camp of those who love both sea urchin and carbonara, so this marriage of favorites is simply marvelous.