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California Restaurants

Cafe Cruz Rosticceria & Bar

Cafe Cruz Rosticceria & Bar

One of the fascinating things about review restaurants is that along with being a place to eat, a restaurant is also a business. It has a number of different moving parts – the kitchen, the waitstaff, ingredients, the customers – all of which have to be fit together properly. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.(…)

Published On: Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Johnny’s Harborside Restaurant

Johnny’s Harborside Restaurant

The Santa Cruz Harbor is home to several hundred boats – everything from stand-up paddleboats to the Chardonnay  to every kind of boat in between. Particularly in the summer, it’s a busy, crowded plane, and it’s well-served by several restaurants, including Aldo’s, El Palomar, the Crow’s Nest and Johnny’s Harborside. Of all of them, Johnny’s(…)

Published On: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Mexico Tortilla Factory & Deli

Mexico Tortilla Factory & Deli

Some of the best authentic Mexican food is found in the strangest of places around here. It’s not unheard of to find great home-style Mexican food served in the back of a neighborhood market, and that’s just what Mexico Tortilla Factory & Deli does. This taqueria has been in business since 1970, and is family(…)

Published On: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Spanky

Spanky's Dog House

It was the name and the logo that got me first. Spanky’s Dog House – the logo of a cartoon hotdog wearing a spiked collar. How could I pass that up? Though hot dogs are not exactly a novel concept, Spanky’s makes them new again with innovative creations like the Mac Attack, a mac and(…)

Published On: Monday, July 22nd, 2013
Paradise Beach Grille

Paradise Beach Grille

I hardly know where to begin to review the Paradise Beach Grille, in Capitola. To say that it was bad is an understatement. It was bad in a way that’s immoral, that left me feeling as though I had been swindled by someone who was very good at it – had years of practice. It’s(…)

Published On: Thursday, July 18th, 2013
Cafe El Palomar

Cafe El Palomar

There’s a certain mystique attached to the California beach restaurant. A lot of the myth about California is attached to the beach scene, and places right on the water almost always come with really high expectations. El Palomar Cafe in Santa Cruz delivers. By the way, if you’re interested in such things, “Palomar” is Spanish(…)

Published On: Wednesday, July 17th, 2013
Laili Restaurant

Laili Restaurant

There is a lot – I mean, a LOT – of mediocre Middle Eastern food out there. Here’s your hummus, here’s you falafel, here’s your pita, thanks a lot, pal. That’ll be $15.99. It a cuisine that’s kind of hard to get excited about because, especially to an American, it’s distinct, but it’s not different,(…)

Published On: Tuesday, July 16th, 2013
Mission Pizza - Pizza, beer and family fun

Mission Pizza - Pizza, beer and family fun

A local establishment that’s been run by the same family for over 20 years, Mission Pizza is a surprising spot, not just for food, but entertainment, too. In all those years of experience, this pizza place has discovered some crazy combos: the ’55 Bacon Cheese Burger pizza and the St. Paddy’s Corned Beef and Cabbage(…)

Published On: Monday, July 15th, 2013
Le Moose Crepe Cafe - Thai Fusion, Restaurant Review

Le Moose Crepe Cafe - Thai Fusion, Restaurant Review

Le Moose Crepe Cafe offers what sounds like a bizarre blend: Thai food and French crepes. This strange mixture of cuisines may have been why I was hesitant to try Le Moose – I’ve driven past it for years before finally trying it today. I love Thai food, and I love crepes. Why not try(…)

Published On: Monday, July 8th, 2013
La Casa Nostra - Serious Italian Food

La Casa Nostra - Serious Italian Food

  If you drive North up Route 9 out of Santa Cruz, one of the first towns you come to is Ben Lomen. Tucked into the redwoods on the southern slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains, this little town is a classic blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hamlet on the way to Big Basin, or Boulder Creek, or one(…)

Published On: Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013