Quantcast

Santa Cruz

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
Ideal Bar and Grill, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

Ideal Bar and Grill, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

Santa Cruz is a town with a split identity. Wow, that sounds like the beginning of a detective novel, doesn’t it? One personality is Beach. Sun, sand, surfing, families, Monterey Bay. Everyone likes Beach. The other is, for want of a better term, Junkie. Santa Cruz has a HUGE drug and homelessness problem. There are(…)

Published On: Thursday, September 18th, 2014
Pearl of the Ocean, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

Pearl of the Ocean, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

After you’ve done it enough, reviewing restaurants becomes, unsurprisingly, a little predictable. Preparing and serving food is, after all, a business. There are best practices, like in every business, and categories into which restaurants fit – Mexican, high-end French, the dinner-as-exciting-experience place, and so on. What really makes this work worthwhile, however, is the rare(…)

Published On: Friday, September 12th, 2014
Hollins House, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

Hollins House, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

This place is a hidden gem, and an unbelievably romantic throwback to a whole other era in the history of the Bay Area. A little background: Santa Cruz is overwhelmingly about the city of Santa Cruz, and the University of California Santa Cruz. That means leftist, hippie-ish sixties throwbacks, generally. It does not mean affluence,(…)

Published On: Monday, August 18th, 2014
Center Street Grill, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

Center Street Grill, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

One of the things I find profoundly irritating about restaurants is the unfortunately common practice of Trying Too Hard. This entails dressing up what ought to be straight-ahead dishes with garnishes, decoration from squeeze bottles, fancy names or other affectations in an effort to both raise the price and make them appear trickier than they(…)

Published On: Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
Aquarius, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

Aquarius, Santa Cruz - Restaurant Review

Santa Cruz is an unusual town. It has an amazing, and slightly unreal list of world-class things to do and see – the Boardwalk, Big Basin, Monterey Bay, surfing. But it also has a gritty, discouraging underside – an enormous drug problem, an army of homeless people, and the highest crime rate of any city(…)

Published On: Saturday, July 26th, 2014