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California Restaurants

Bittersweet Bistro, Aptos

Bittersweet Bistro, Aptos

An initial word of caution, please, or a recommendation for a grain of salt. When I went to Bittersweet, I was sick. I mean, really sick. Like, people sitting nearby were sort of alarmed at the noises I was making, and I wasn’t exactly at my razor-sharp best. It turns out, however, that Bittersweet is(…)

Published On: Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
Café Sparrow, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

Café Sparrow, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

The Stranger: Beer… and a bottle. Lutie Naylor: Ain’t much good, but it’s all there is. [brings drinks] Lutie Naylor: You want anything else? The Stranger: Just a peaceful hour to drink it in.           -An example of service in the Old West, from High Plains Drifter When most people think(…)

Published On: Tuesday, December 24th, 2013
Booka Restaurant and Bar

Booka Restaurant and Bar

In many, many ways, I am a complete sucker for a pretty face. For obvious reasons, this has gotten me into real trouble on more than one occasion. However, at Booka, it didn’t happen. For the most part, the place lived up to its appearance, and delivered excellent food that was also, interestingly, beautiful. The(…)

Published On: Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
Bantam, Santa Cruz

Bantam, Santa Cruz

They always mess up the coffee. Every restaurant I have ever eaten in, that I can remember, always serves mediocre coffee at the end of the meal. It’s either watery, stewed, or has that slightly metallic aftertaste you remember from college, when they made the stuff in ten-gallon urns. At Bantam, the coffee was perfect.(…)

Published On: Monday, December 16th, 2013
Café Rio, Aptos

Café Rio, Aptos

This place wasn’t actually bad. I have had bad. I know bad. Sometimes it makes you physically sick, or sometimes it makes the entire act of eating seem sort of ridiculous. You know, “So, let me get this straight. I’m supposed to put what’s on this round, white flat thing in front of me into(…)

Published On: Thursday, December 5th, 2013
Oyunaa’s, Santa Cruz | Restaurant Review

Oyunaa’s, Santa Cruz | Restaurant Review

I sat and did a little sobering math before writing this review. If you multiply the number of meals per day (3) by the number of years I’ve been eating meals (never mind) and then make an assumption about the amount of food I eat in an average day, the total amount of food I’ve(…)

Published On: Monday, November 25th, 2013
Bella Roma, Capitola - Restaurant Review

Bella Roma, Capitola - Restaurant Review

Capitola is a little seaside resort town that’s kind of an extension of Santa Cruz. Downtown Capitola, such as it is, is wedged into a tiny little spit of land extending into Monterey Bay. It’s a mini-maze of little streets, which are jammed with souvenir shops, restaurants, bars and other establishments that sell things that(…)

Published On: Thursday, November 21st, 2013
The Point Chophouse, Santa Cruz

The Point Chophouse, Santa Cruz

There are steak places in every major American city where the whole point seems to be excess. The steaks are wonderful, but they’re incredibly expensive. The side dishes are all unbelievably rich, as are the desserts. If you order a drink – a real drink – before dinner, it will put you into an alcoholic(…)

Published On: Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
Horatio

Horatio's Restaurant Review

For seafood and steaks in an interesting setting, Horatio’s in the San Leandro Marina is a great spot. With great views of the waterfront and a menu that includes signature dishes, like surf and turf and the seafood etoufee, several daily specials, as well as a full bar, Horatio’s can be the right choice for(…)

Published On: Monday, November 4th, 2013
I Love Sushi, Santa Cruz

I Love Sushi, Santa Cruz

I Love Sushi is fun. There’s really no other way to describe it. When you think of Japanese culture, at least as an American, you think of seriousness. Tea ceremonies. Driven businessmen who work until they drop dead at their desks. Serious, organized, methodical, disciplined, etc. A relatively formal culture, where appearance and harmony are(…)

Published On: Friday, November 1st, 2013