Category Archives: Events

Trio of events at Santa Cruz’s Assembly and POPUP this weekend

Puerto Rican food by La Sofrita, Photo credit: La Sofrita Facebook page

Puerto Rican food by La Sofrita. Photo credit: La Sofrita Facebook page

There are many events, including some food-related ones, occurring this weekend in the Santa Cruz area. Here are details for three events in Santa Cruz at POPUP and Assembly (all at 1108 Pacific Ave.).

 

Friday night: My Mom’s Mole at POPUP

To celebrate National Tortilla Chip Day, My Mom’s Mole is hosting dinner at POPUP from 5:30-9:30 p.m. (or earlier if the food sells out). There will be mole nachos (chicken and veggie options) made with My Mom’s Mole homemade tortilla chips and a new mole queso sauce.

 

Saturday: La Sofrita at POPUP

La Sofrita will be at POPUP beginning at 5:30 p.m. The Puerto Rican Pop Up menu will feature dishes including empanadas with vegetarian options, Puerto Rican achiote rice and stewed pink beans, and garlic mojo chicken (made with organic thighs). “And, back by popular demand, shrimp a la criolla,” said chef Anna. The shrimp is simmered in a tomato-white wine broth, with sofrito and manzanilla-stuffed olives, and served atop Puerto Rican rice. “We’ll also have yuca fries served with garlic-olive oil dip,” she added. “You think you like French fries? Wait til you try these!” This pop-up doubles as the pre-party for the Santa Cruz Warriors vs. Windy City Bulls game at Kaiser Permanente Arena, but everyone is welcome, whether or not they are attending that game. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit the development of the Scotts Valley Sports Complex.

 

Sunday: Oscars Viewing Party at Assembly

Event Santa Cruz is hosting its second annual gala event—complete with red carpet—to celebrate the Oscars beginning at 5 p.m. at Assembly. People are encouraged to dress in black tie. Tickets are $35 and include several savory and sweet bites throughout the evening and a glass of champagne upon arrival (additional drinks can be purchased at the new Assembly cocktail bar). There will be a large screen to watch the Oscars, and a separate, “no-talking room” for serious fans. All attendees will be entered in a drawing for Santa Cruz Warriors tickets. Purchase tickets or get more information online at eventsantacruz.com.

All events are at POPUP and/or Assembly, 1108 Pacific Ave.

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February at New Leaf includes Valentine themes & classes for kids and families

Decorate Valentine cookies with the family at New Leaf Community Markets

Decorate Valentine cookies with the family at New Leaf Community Markets. Photo credit: New Leaf

New Leaf Community Markets has several events in February including Valentine’s classes and workshops for kids and families. Here are some highlights; these are all at the Westside Santa Cruz location at 1101 Fair Ave. (831-426-1306).

Preregistration is required at newleaf.com/events.

 

Thursday, Feb. 9

Chocolate Creations

Ayurvedic practitioner and chef Talya Lutzker will introduce attendees to a spectrum of delectable chocolate desserts. You will learn “how the taste of sweet is of great benefit to the body, mind and spirit” and discover a “world of good-for-you sweet foods you may not have thought of before.” Plus, learn how to make your own delicious chocolate confections from scratch.

Time & Cost: 6:30–9pm, $40/Two for $70

Register at:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chocolate-creations-tickets-30307158527

 

Friday, Feb. 10

Kids’ Class: Valentine Cookie Decorating Workshop

For ages 8 and up: drop your kids off for a fun workshop led by Kristen Valenza of Living Roots Food and Floral. Valenza will provide homemade sugar cookies made from organic ingredients, and kids get to decorate with an assortment of toppings.

Time & Cost: 6–8pm, $35

Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/valentine-cookie-decorating-workshop-for-kids-tickets-30314128374

 

Sunday, Feb. 12
Family Class: Mommy/Daddy & Me Valentine Cookie Decorating Workshop

This class with Kristen Valenza is for Moms or Dads and their little ones ages 3-6. Families will decorate an assortment of Valentine’s Day cookies made from organic ingredients, then take home a box of creations to give away as gifts–or eat themselves!

Time & Cost: 1–3pm, $45 for one adult & one child, $30 each additional child

Register at:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mommydaddy-me-valentine-cookie-decorating-workshop-tickets-30314804396

 

Tuesday, Feb. 21

For Seniors: Tuesday Talk & Tea on Heart-Healthy Foods

While you enjoy tea and snacks, you can learn which heart-healthy foods are high in antioxidants, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. The session is led by Nutrition Consultant Madia Jamgochian.

Time & Cost: 12–1pm, Free (but registration required)

Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tuesday-tea-for-seniors-heart-healthy-foods-tickets-30236352745

 

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Annual crab feed Saturday at Saratoga’s Mountain Winery

crab feed photo

Cold and hot crab, plus sauces, at the 2015 Mountain Winery crab feed. Credit: Mountain Winery

The Mountain Winery in Saratoga is offering its popular annual all-you-can-eat crab feed on Saturay, January 28. The cost is $105 for adults, $55 for kids 3-11, and free for kids under 3. Advance online ticket purchase is required. Parking is free.

The event takes place at the winery’s Historic Winery Building. Tickets include fresh local crab (choice of cold and/or hot) plus pasta, garlic bread, salad, and dessert. Beverages will be sold separately, and gratuity is not included. When buying tickets, attendees can choose a 4, 4:30 5, 5:30 or 6 p.m. seating. But that doesn’t mean you only have a half-hour or hour to eat. You can choose to have a quick meal or linger for a couple hours. The separate seatings and staggered arrival times are for the purpose of eliminating long lines.

I tremendously enjoyed this event in 2015 and 2016; in 2016, the winery brought in crab from Oregon due to the seafood being unavailable in the Monterey Bay area. How wonderful that local crab is back!

The Details

Crab Feed

Saturday Jan. 28, 4-8 p.m.

Mountain Winery, 14831 Pierce Rd., Saratoga

$105 for adults; $55 for kids 3-11

 

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Inauguration day Planned Parenthood benefits in Santa Cruz

Equinox Winery is one of many California businesses donating a portion of proceeds on Inauguration Day to Planned Parenthood

Equinox Winery is one of many California businesses donating a portion of proceeds on Inauguration Day to Planned Parenthood. Photo credit: Equinox Facebook page

To coincide with Inauguration Day, today and tomorrow Friday and Saturday Jan. 20 and 21, companies across California including ones in Santa Cruz are showing their support for Planned Parenthood by donating sales proceeds and making other contributions to the reproductive health care organization. There are also a variety of businesses donating to other worthy causes like immigrants’ rights. See highlights below.

  • Downtown Santa Cruz’s Soif Wine Bar and Restaurant has announced it will donate company sales from Jan. 20 to Planned Parenthood. Hours today are 5-10 p.m.
  • Equinox and Bartolo Winery and Tasting Room in Westside Santa Cruz will donate 20% of profits from today to Planned Parenthood’s Santa Cruz chapter. Hours are 2-7 p.m.; they are staying open an extra hour for this fundraiser.
  • Fish Princess Farm is donating 20% of all purchases through Sunday, Jan. 22, to Planned Parenthood. They are open today from noon-6 p.m. Customers can select which chapter when they make their purchase. Fish Princess produces goat milk soap, chicken eggs, cut flowers and fresh produce; its downtown retail shop stocks soaps, lotions, edible treats (like Ashby Confections) and other goodies.
  • Chocolate the Restaurant will donate 20% of sales today to Planned Parenthood. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Pacific Cookie Company is donating 20% of sales from noon-5 p.m. tomorrow, Sat. Jan. 21, to PP.
  • Discretion Brewing is donating 20% of pint sales today to the Santa Cruz County Immigration Project (SSCIP), a program of the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

 

Details:

Soif Restaurant & Wine Bar, 105 Walnut Ave., 831-423-2020

Equinox & Bartolo Winery & Tasting Room, 334 Ingalls St., 831-471-8608

Fish Princess Farm, 109 Locust St., 831-402-0635

Chocolate the Restaurant, 1522 Pacific Ave., 831-427-9900

Pacific Cookie Company, 1203 Pacific Ave., 831-429-6905

Discretion Brewing, 2703 41st Ave., Ste. A, 831-316-0662

 

 

 

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Two Santa Cruz food popups on Friday, Jan 6

A curry dish by HANLOH Thai Food (served at an event in December)

A curry dish by HANLOH Thai Food (photo is from an event in December)

Santa Cruz’s popup food scene is deliciously thriving; here are two events occurring this Friday, Jan. 6.

HANLOH will be at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing from 6:45-10 p.m. The menu for “Ultimate Thai Beer Snack” will include Moo bing (charcoal grilled pork), Pla mug yang (charcoal grilled Monterey squid), and Khao rad geng (rice and spicy red curry bowl with two options–vegan or with chicken). The curry will be made from homemade curry paste; some of the ingredients are lemongrass, galangal, bird eye chili, dried shrimp, shallot, and garlic.  Owner/chef Lalita Kaewsawang, a Santa Cruz resident, recently started her Thai popup/catering business. As she proclaims on her web site (hanloh.com), her mission is to “bring justice back to Thai food by staying away from canned curry paste and super sweet stir-fry. We focus on the comfort and vibrancy of Thai street food.”

Location: Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, 402 Ingalls St.

 

La Sofrita is doing a “Dia de los Reyes Puerto Rican Popup” from 5:30-9 p.m., at POPUP next to Assembly. Chef Anna says she will be serving traditional Puerto Rican holiday fare like “mouth-watering pernil, or Puerto Rican succulent, skin-on, bone-in, roasted pork shoulder stuffed with garlic mojo. The pernil, made with pasture-raised pork from local Fogline Farm, will be accompanied by avocado-tomato salad over mixed greens plus arroz con gandules (Anna says the latter is “the quintessential rice dish that is served on every Puerto Rican table on Christmas Day and on Dia de los Reyes”). A selection of La Sofrita empanadas will also be available; I tasted one of these for the first time a few weeks back and it was absolutely delectable! The variety I had was veggie (kabocha squash, spinach, and leeks with goat cheese) but I’ve heard that the beef picadillo, chicken and shrimp ones are fantastic too.

Here’s a bit of background on Dia de los Reyes from La Sofrita’s Facebook event page: “in Puerto Rico, January 6th is Dia de los Reyes Magos, or Three Kings Day. It marks the culmination of the Christmas season. In Puerto Rico, this is a bigger celebration than Christmas Day itself; gifts are traditionally exchanged on this day rather than Christmas. The night before, children put shoeboxes of hay under their beds for the camels to eat after their long journey, and are rewarded with a gift left under their bed. The day is filled with festivities that include traditional foods and drinks.

Location: POPUP, 1108 Pacific Ave.

 

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Last minute foodie holiday gifts in Santa Cruz

Cookies from Pacific Cookie Co. Photo credit: PCC web site

Cookies from Pacific Cookie Co.
Photo credit: PCC web site

Haven’t finished your holiday shopping and have some foodies on your list? Want to shop local? There are lots of choices in the Santa Cruz area including some discounts; here are some highlights including a gift fair tomorrow that has plenty of options–whether you want to buy something food/drink-related or something else that’s made locally.

First, the gift fair:

2nd Annual Holiday Artisan Food & Gift Market — Saturday 12/17 at Food Lounge

I went to this fabulous event last year and bought gift items for several friends/family members, not to mention a few things for myself! The market will feature locally made packaged foods including jams, olive oil and hot sauce that are currently available in the Food Lounge Pantry, which opened in September. The holiday market will also offer beautiful jewelry, textiles, glass art, print art and kitchen antiques. Additionally, a few small-batch food producers will offer tamales, empanadas, meat pies and other items that would work well for holiday entertaining or for a delicious dinner with your family. Plus they will sell ready to eat food that customers can enjoy while shopping like empanadas (from La Sofrita Puerto Rican pop-up), tamales (Yoli’s Adobo) and savory pies (Artisan Hand Pies).

“We offer this market as close to the holidays as possible so that all of our vendors’ food-based products are fresh for gift-giving and entertaining,” said Andrea Conklin Mollenauer, one of the three partners in the Food Lounge, an incubator kitchen and event venue that will celebrate its second birthday in January. “We are excited to offer market space to 25 local vendors who don’t have their own brick-and- mortar places to sell products.”

Vendors with food gifts will include Friend in Cheeses Jam Co., Notso Hot Sauce, My Mom’s Mole, Ashby Confections, and Farmer Freed Salts. Non-food vendors will include True Blue Indigo (textiles), Love Light Vintage Candles, Verdant California (body products) and  Fereshteh Fatemi (artisan jewelry and greeting cards – disclaimer, this is the author’s mother).

In addition to the holiday market, the Food Lounge Pantry is open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to

7 p.m. as a hub for local artisan food products – a perfect stop for holiday shopping, including next week when you realize which folks you forgot to buy for!

Location: Food Lounge, 1001 Center St. Santa Cruz

Date/Time: Sat Dec. 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Next, some gift card discount highlights:

Until Christmas, Hula’s Santa Cruz (221 Cathcart St.) is offering a special: Purchase a $50 gift certificate for someone else and get a free $10 certificate for yourself; purchase $100 and get a free $20 gift card to treat yourself.

Mission Hill Creamery (1101 Pacific Ave.) has these discounts until Christmas: Buy a $25 gift card for $20 OR buy four $10 gift cards and receive the fifth free OR re-Charge your existing gift card with at least $20 and get 20% off your gift card purchase.

Through Dec. 24, Johnny’s Harborside (493 Lake) is offering a bonus: Purchase a $50 gift certificate for someone else and get $10 free; spend $100 and get $20 free, etc.

Other gift ideas

Last but not least, other foodie gift options include certificates from local restaurants. The Glass Jar announced they’re offering a card that’s good at any of their three restaurants—that’s Assembly, The Picnic Basket AND The Penny Ice Creamery. If you know people who are fans of Soif and/or La Posta, you can also purchase gift cards that are good at both. And Crow’s Nest gift cards are redeemable at the restaurant or its neighboring Crow’s Nest Beach Market.

Want to send a sweet Santa Cruz-themed food gift to someone? Pacific Cookie Company has lots of options. These include Top Tier Cookies & Chocolate Box ($49.95), with 36 two-ounce cookies and 32 white and milk chocolate flower medallions made by local chocolatier Mackenzies Chocolate; Sweet Elegance Cookie Gift Box ($37.95) with 24 two-oz. cookies, Season’s Eatings Christmas Tin ($26.95) with 36 one-oz. cookies, and Classic Cookies and Milk ($24.95) with a dozen two-ounce cookies and two 8-oz cartons of organic milk (it’s shelf-stable low-fat Horizon milk which doesn’t require refrigeration). Also, Los Gatos-based Manresa Bread now ships its scrumptious artisan bread anywhere in the continental U.S.; see my November article and/or the Manresa site for details.

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Midtown Café & Burn Hot Sauce partner for Standing Rock benefit pop-up

Midtown Café is the site of Friday’s benefit

Midtown Café is the site of Friday’s benefit, photo courtesy of Midtown Facebook page

 

Stand with Standing Rock: A Pop-Up Fundraiser, from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 16 at Santa Cruz’s Midtown Café, will feature creations from Burn Hot Sauce, Assembly and Outstanding in the Field.

 

Amanda Pargh of Burn Hot Sauce, Jessica Yarr of Assembly, and Seth Heitzenrater of Outstanding in the Field will be collaborating to serve up heaping bowls of beans-and-brown rice made with ingredients including Everett Family Farm onions, and a variety of optional toppings such as Burn pickled jalapenos and hot sauce and sprouts from New Natives. Local musicians Spurs, Jessie Marks, and Aliza Hava will perform in the back patio.

 

Organizers invite attendees to join for “an evening of community and solidarity with the water protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota.” All proceeds from this event—including sales from a silent auction with many local products and services—will go directly to the camps at Standing Rock and their medical and legal funds. Food and drink-related businesses donating to the auction include Live Earth Farm, Companion Bakeshop, Alta Organic Coffee and Steamer Lane Supply.

Also, there will be a presentation by a member of the Lakota People’s Law Project, who will share their experiences and explain the current reality and future of the anti-pipeline efforts.

 

Location: Midtown Café, 1121 Soquel Ave. Santa Cruz

Date/Time: Friday, Dec. 16, 5-9 p.m.

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Ty’s Eatery returns to Santa Cruz for benefit dinner at Food Lounge

At the 2nd annual Give Back Dinner at the Food Lounge, 100% of the proceeds will benefit Wings Homeless Advocacy

At the 2nd annual Give Back Dinner at the Food Lounge, 100% of the proceeds will benefit Wings Homeless Advocacy

Ty Pearce, owner and chef of Ty’s Eatery, had a loyal following for his popup brunches and dinners at the Food Lounge before relocating to the East Bay earlier this year. So people are thrilled that he’s returning for one night—Thursday, Dec. 1—especially because it’s for his second annual Give Back dinner.

 

The 2015 version of this dinner raised more than $1,300 in cash plus many in-kind donations for the Walnut Avenue Women’s Center. This year’s event benefits Wings Homeless Advocacy; read more about the nonprofit below. I attended last year’s dinner; there was delicious food, but what I remember even more was the palpable spirit of community and generosity that filled the room.

 

Ty’s Eatery and a group of volunteers will create and serve a buffet dinner from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1. Cost is $15 for adults and $7 for kids. The meal features local, organic produce and dessert is included. There will be options for vegetarians. All attendees who bring an in-kind donation for Wings (see welcome home basket list below) will receive a free raffle ticket and raffle tickets will also be for sale.

 

Here’s the menu for Thursday:

  • Kale salad (green goddess dressing, Parmesan, croutons)
  • Carrot salad (fresh herbs, raisins, cumin citrus vinaigrette)
  • Beets (goat cheese, dill, hazelnuts)
  • Broccolini with garlic
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Spinach/ricotta lasagna
  • Lemon & rosemary roasted chicken

 

Desserts will include Sunrise Bistro lemon bars and brownies, Buttercup Cakes mini cupcakes and Susie Cakes cupcakes. There will be many raffle prizes from local businesses such as Stripe, Berdels, Verve Coffee, Crossfit West and Palace Arts. There will be live music, a photo booth, a visit from Santa and a yummy-and-fun kids’ activity: decorating homemade gingerbread cookies!

 

Wings Homeless Advocacy provides newly housed individuals and families with a mattress and a “welcome home” laundry basket filled with new, basic household supplies to get them started. The organization is committed to living out its values of compassion, respect and dignity for all people by uniting the community to be volunteer advocates for those moving out of homelessness and onto a path of healing. Their goal is for all to work together to end chronic homelessness in Santa Cruz County. Working with professional case managers, Wings acts as advocates to some of the most vulnerable, chronically homeless individuals in our community.

 

Wings Welcome Home Basket list (optional contributions for people to bring Thursday)

  • New dishtowels
  • Can opener
  • Spatula
  • Serving spoon
  • Dish soap
  • Laundry soap
  • Hangers
  • Plunger
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo

Location: Santa Cruz Food Lounge, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz

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A Taste of Santa Cruz 2016 with 30 restaurants, wineries and breweries

A Taste of Santa Cruz includes lots of bites from local restaurants

A Taste of Santa Cruz includes lots of bites from local restaurants

The 12th annual “A Taste of Santa Cruz,” at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk’s Cocoanut Grove Thursday, Nov. 10, features 30 restaurants, wineries, and breweries. The event runs from 5:30-9 p.m. and benefits first-time home buyers. Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door. Buy tickets online or at the Santa Cruz Association of REALTORS (2525 Main St., Soquel). For more information, visit the site atosc.com or call 831-464-2000.

 

Attendees sample food and drinks, and all proceeds from the event benefit the Santa Cruz Association of REALTORS Housing Foundation grant program that provides closing costs for first time, low-income home-buyers in Santa Cruz County. Several hundred people attend this event, raising approximately $30,000 annually. Over the years, more than $430,000 has been awarded to 200 families and individuals. Purchasing your tickets in advance is recommended.

 

Participating food providers include Home (the new restaurant from chef Brad Briske, in the former Main St. Garden location), The Hideout, Aldo’s, Café Hanna, Paradise Beach Grille, Hula’s, Burger, The Point, Little Owl Italian Kitchen, Ristorante Italiano, and Woodstock’s Pizza. Breweries include Santa Cruz Ale Works.

 

Other highlights include more than 100 silent and live auction items from local businesses and artisans. Prizes include a San Jose Giants package (10 general admission tickets plus a family pass for two adults & two kids); tickets to places like Gilroy Gardens and Winchester Mystery House; wine including bottles from Beauregard; and handcrafted wood pieces by artist Andy Orsini. There is also live music with the Jazz Birds & Friends.

Event location: Cocoanut Grove, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz

 

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Trifecta of food events in Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley Friday, Oct. 28

Food from vendors  in the Oct. 28 Food Trucks A Go Go event: Choke Coach carne asada fries, Ate3One poke nachos, G's Mexican Tacos taco plate, Aunt LaLi's sundae

Food from vendors in the Oct. 28 Food Trucks A Go Go event: Choke Coach carne asada fries, Ate3One poke nachos, G’s Mexican Tacos taco plate, Aunt LaLi’s sundae

There are several food- and wine-related events in the Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley areas this weekend; here are three going on tonight, Friday Oct. 28 — actually they all start in the late afternoon, at 4 or 4:30 p.m., depending on the specific event.

Scotts Valley Dinner & Movie with Food Trucks A Go Go

Food Trucks A Go Go has organized dinner & a movie at Scotts Valley Community Center. The original venue was the outdoor Skypark one block away, but that was changed due to the rain forecast. Dinner service is from 4:30-7:30 pm. The movie, Transylvania 2, begins at 6:30pm. Valley Churches United is hosting a Beer & Wine Garden and is also collecting canned goods. People who come dressed in a Halloween costume and who make a canned good donation will receive a treat. The food truck line-up is Ate3One, G’s Mexican Tacos, Aunt LaLi’s and Choke Coach.

Location: Scotts Valley Community Center, 360 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley

 

Tanglewood Halloween Popup at MJA

Chef Rachel Hughes of Tanglewood Catering is collaborating with MJA Vineyards for Pop Up in the Cellar: Halloween by Tanglewood at the Westside Santa Cruz wine tasting room. The menu is influenced by Halloween and the wines of MJA. Food will be available from 4 p.m. until it’s sold out; items are sold individually. The menu is Carrot Ginger Soup with a Sour Cream Web ($5), Meatballs in a Red Sauce with Alfredo ($8), Green-eyed Deviled Eggs with Red veins ($6), Bleeding Panna Cotta ($7) and Medusa Chocolate Mousse Cake ($7). There will be a costume contest as well.

Location: MJA, 328 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz

 

My Mom’s Mole at Food Lounge

My Mom’s Mole is doing a “Dia de los Muertos” night of dining and dancing at the Food Lounge.  Costumes are encouraged. It starts with Happy Hour from 4-6 with dinner service from 5 to 9 pm (or until sold out). There will be rueda de casino (Cuban-style salsa) dance throughout the night. Beverages (beer, wine, cider & cocktails) will be available from the bar. The food choices will be roasted chicken, pulled pork, roasted root vegetables, and wild rice & butternut squash with fall herbs, all served with My Mom’s Mole (vegan), Mole Poblano (Gluten Free), or Mole Verde (Gluten Free).

Location: Santa Cruz Food Lounge, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz

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