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About Peter Darling

(Peter Darling has written 68 articles for us)
Peter Darling is a Santa Cruz resident, and an enthusiastic eater. Over the past three decades, he’s explored the restaurant scene in cities ranging from New York to San Francisco to Singapore and Seoul. Personal favorite cuisines are Korean, Italian and, of course, a perfectly-done steak. He is still grieving the closure, after thirty years, of Hama-Ko Sushi in San Francisco, source of the best restaurant meal he’s ever had. And he believes that the French had it right when they coined the expression “Hunger is the best sauce.”

Posts by Peter Darling:

Mozaic, Santa Cruz — Restaurant Review

Mozaic, Santa Cruz — Restaurant Review

Mozaic is the latest incarnation in a location that’s seem at least three different restaurants in the past ten or so years. First, it was Clouds, a nice, upscale, downtown-business-networking kind of place. Clouds gave way to a New Orleans-themed place, which I reviewed – Louie’s Cajun. That place departed last year, to be replaced(…)

Published On: Thursday, December 10th, 2015
Martine Café Salt Lake City Restaurant Review

Martine Café Salt Lake City Restaurant Review

Martine Café is a place with an enormous amount of promise that, unfortunately, does not quite deliver. Most of the meal was pretty good. However, the entrée was unbelievably not, and it was also, for this market and this restaurant, really expensive. Plus, the service was slow on a night when this place was not(…)

Published On: Thursday, November 19th, 2015
Original Pantry, Los Angeles Restaurant Review

Original Pantry, Los Angeles Restaurant Review

The diner is a uniquely American invention. It was originally a side effect of the construction of the interstate highway system, in the 1950s. The idea was to create a kind of restaurant where people could quickly, efficiently get decent food into them – calories, really – and then get back on the road. This(…)

Published On: Wednesday, November 18th, 2015
Memphis Cafe Costa Mesa Restaurant Review

Memphis Cafe Costa Mesa Restaurant Review

The city of Memphis sits on the Mississippi River, kind of where the three states of Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas all come together. It’s famous for music, being one of the classic cities of the deep South, and the list of stars who got their start in Memphis is mind-bending — Aretha Franklin, Jerry Lee(…)

Published On: Friday, November 13th, 2015
Sesame Santa Cruz Restaurant Review

Sesame Santa Cruz Restaurant Review

This place is great. The food is great, the location is super-convenient, and the service could not have been better or more attentive, without being obtrusive. Plus, they put a nice, interesting twist on a lot of conventional Korean dishes. Santa Cruz has lacked a Korean place for years. For a small city, there’s everything(…)

Published On: Friday, November 13th, 2015
Pacific Thai, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

Pacific Thai, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

Pacific Avenue is Santa Cruz’s main street. It’s a fascinating place to go for a walk – there is a lot of street theatre, both deliberate and accidental, and always someone down there making balloon animals, playing the guitar (there’s actually a guy who plays the didgeridoo) or just acting bizarrely. There are also a(…)

Published On: Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Café Mare, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

Café Mare, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

I hate restaurant reviews that breathlessly announce that Restaurant Whatever is a “hidden gem.” Basically, this is a humble brag, demonstrating that the reviewer knows more than you do, is more plugged into the restaurant scene, and is being magnanimous enough to share with you what he’s learned in his exciting, glamorous restaurant life. Café(…)

Published On: Wednesday, March 4th, 2015
Tortilla Flats (Soquel) - Restaurant Review

Tortilla Flats (Soquel) - Restaurant Review

In Mexico, one of the big holidays is the Day of the Dead, or in Spanish, Dia de Muertos. It’s a three-day holiday during which people remember and pray for the deceased, and it’s celebrated with elaborate, amazing and more than a little creepy decorations and displays. Wikipedia has this to say: Traditions connected with(…)

Published On: Monday, October 27th, 2014
Café Gratitude, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

Café Gratitude, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

I have always been kind of uncomfortable with the while concept of obligatory gratitude. All the treacly demands that I practice daily gratitude, that it’s some kind of moral obligation, always seems insincere to me, and more than a little manipulative. You know, gratitude, great. And floss your teeth. And vote. And make sure to(…)

Published On: Saturday, October 18th, 2014