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California Restaurants

The Crow’s Nest, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

The Crow’s Nest, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

If you walk down the breakwater in Santa Cruz towards the lighthouse on a summer night, you often can look across the harbor and see an enormous party going on at the Crow’s Nest. There will be a couple hundred people on the beach, a band, lights, music, raucous laughter and all sorts of fun(…)

Published On: Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
Assembly, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

Assembly, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

Assembly is the new “it” girl of Santa Cruz restaurants. Located in the former Aqua Bleu, Assembly has been packed since the night it opened. The day we reviewed it, the earliest seating we could get was at 8 PM. Restaurants in Santa Cruz seem to be divided into basically three categories. The top tier(…)

Published On: Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
Stockton Bridge Grille, Capitola - Restaurant Review

Stockton Bridge Grille, Capitola - Restaurant Review

  It’s important to remember that, at the end of the day, restaurants are businesses. Not everyone can be (or should be) Thomas Keller. Foodies are, for the most part, pretentious clowns. And sitting around writing about what I inserted into my piehole in a restaurant is a hell of a lot easier than actually(…)

Published On: Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
La Posta, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

La Posta, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

We tried out La Posta on Oscar night, 2014. Maybe, as Patrick O’Brian put it in one of his novels, I’m turning into a cantankerous old dog rather than being a friendly young one, but the entire self-congratulatory Oscar spectacle leaves me cold and more than a little annoyed. I don’t care what some actor(…)

Published On: Saturday, March 8th, 2014
Malabar, Santa Cruz

Malabar, Santa Cruz

In a little spasm of curiosity, I googled the word “Malabar” before beginning to write this. Turns out, “Malabar” is a Spanish word that means “juggling.” Which is appropriate. This place is, if nothing else, an impressive exercise in juggling, plate-spinning and category-defying. It seems to combine several different kinds of cuisine. It is, or(…)

Published On: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
Hula’s Island Grill, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

Hula’s Island Grill, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

  Santa Cruz is one of America’s capitals of surfing. According to history, three Hawaiian princes who were in town to attend a military academy had crude wooden boards milled out of local redwood trees, and surfed here in the late nineteenth century, amazing the locals and launching the sport. Since then the town has(…)

Published On: Thursday, February 20th, 2014
The Tyrolean Inn, Ben Lomond

The Tyrolean Inn, Ben Lomond

This place is fantastic. No beating around the bush – it is just plain great. I never really had any idea what German food was, or could be, so maybe I’m overexcited because this is something entirely new for me, but I really loved this place. I’m kind of embarrassed that I was so ignorant(…)

Published On: Monday, February 3rd, 2014
Suda, Santa Cruz

Suda, Santa Cruz

Suda is a great, big, huge, giant surprise. It looks like it’s going to be sort of run-of-the-mill. The restaurant is one big concrete box, with some arty touches for décor, but nothing special. The menus look kind of limited, and in what may be a detail, but I think a telling one, they’re kind(…)

Published On: Thursday, January 30th, 2014
Oswald, Santa Cruz

Oswald, Santa Cruz

Oswald is a great little place, with exceptional food, but interestingly, it’s located in a seriously unglamorous part of Santa Cruz. It’s kind of a food fortress – there is absolutely no interaction with the outside word in this place—no garden, no sign, no nothing except concrete, cinderblock and glass. You sort of eat in(…)

Published On: Saturday, January 25th, 2014
The Red Pearl, Boulder Creek - Restaurant Review

The Red Pearl, Boulder Creek - Restaurant Review

The Red Pearl is a dump. For ambience, it is easily the worst place I’ve reviewed in the Santa Cruz area. It’s cold, not especially clean, and decorated like an exceptionally cheap Chinese restaurant, which it is. The primary feature of the place is a large-screen television showing ridiculous Hong Kong action flicks. However –(…)

Published On: Thursday, January 16th, 2014