Santa Cruz and nearby restaurant news highlights, Part 1 of 2

Dinner at Santa Cruz's Mozaic Mediterranean Restaurant

Dinner at Santa Cruz’s Mozaic Mediterranean Restaurant

Here is some restaurant news for Santa Cruz and other local areas. I haven’t published a roundup of restaurant news since June, so there’s a lot of information to share. I’ll be publishing part two in the next few days. I also wanted to remind my readers: if you have any food/restaurant/wine/culinary event news to share, please email me at tfatemi@gmail.com.

Openings
Five Guys Burgers and Fries opened a Capitola location in November, in the old Carl’s Jr. spot at Capitola Mall (1855 41st Ave.). Hours are 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and you can reach the restaurant at (831) 475-1948. There are hundreds of Five Guys locations in the U.S., including approximately 100 in California. A Santa Cruz location is opening soon at 1101 Pacific Ave. in the old Taqueria Vallarta spot next to Mission Hill Creamery.

Mozaic Mediterranean Restaurant opened in downtown Santa Cruz in August. I went the second day it opened; read my recap. I’ve been back many times since then and enjoyed more dishes such as the fun and tasty flaming cheese appetizer. Last time I split the grilled octopus appetizer with my sister and it was heavenly (a colleague of mine had recommended it, saying she has extremely high octopus standards and it’s the best she’s had in a long, long time). It’s very rich so I advise splitting it with at least one other person. Mozaic is at 110 Church St. off Pacific in the former Louie’s Cajun Grill location, (831) 454-8663. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun-Thurs and 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri-Sat.

Steel Bonnet Brewing Company opened in Scotts Valley in October. The family-owned-and-operated brewery produces small batches of craft beer in various styles such as stout and IPA. They usually have about seven beers on tap. Steel Bonnet is at 20 Victor Square, (831) 454-8429. They’re open from 4-8 p.m. Mon-Fri and 1-8 p.m. Sat-Sun.

Café Hanna opened in Scotts Valley in June. Husband-and-wife owners Adbeen and Jamie Karam serve what they call Greek fusion; selections include falafel sandwiches and spanakopita. According to the restaurant’s web site, all sauces and dressings are made in-house, including an olive oil-based hot pepper sauce. Falafel fritters are made from scratch with ground garbanzo beans and several dishes use the restaurant’s housemade yogurt. Café Hanna is at 5272 Scotts Valley Dr., (831) 708-8845. It’s open from 11 a.m. -7 p.m. Mon-Fri (closed Sat-Sun).

Sushi Garden opened its third location in Scotts Valley in August. The other restaurants are in Capitola and Watsonville.  The newest location is at 5600 Scotts Valley Dr. where Yamamori used to be. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m. daily. You can contact them at (831) 438-9260.

Mandarin Gourmet opened in downtown Santa Cruz in October, in the old Little Shanghai location at 1010 Cedar St., (831) 458-2460. It’s open from 11 a.m. -9:30 p.m. Mon-Sat and 5-9 p.m. Sun.

Starbucks opened a new Santa Cruz location in October. It’s located at 21620 E Cliff Dr. Hours are 5 a.m. -10 p.m. Sun-Thurs and 5 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Fri-Sat.

Opening in the Future
The Bywater, from Santa Cruz resident David Kinch (owner/chef at Michelin-starred Manresa), will open in Los Gatos in January. Read my preview article.

Closings
Taqueria Vallarta at 1101 Pacific Ave. closed in October; the restaurant still has four locations (three in Santa Cruz and one in Felton).

Yamamori Sushi & Grill in Scotts Valley closed during the summer.

Little Shanghai closed at the end of June.

Changes

Lúpulo Craft Beer House expanded in October. Their new space includes a second dining room, which the existing bar wraps into, as well as a “pub” room in the back equipped with two large screen TVs, shuffleboard, and a stand up-piano for “Pianoman” nights. These rooms added extra seating for Lúpulo, plus there are now spaces available for private parties and meetings. Lúpulo’s menu remains the same: the food is a seasonal rotation of tapas and other selections designed for sharing, while the beer is 16 constantly rotating taps.

Santa Cruz Food Lounge: some pop-up tenants have changed schedules, or plan to in the near future. See below.
Ty’s Eatery: although they no longer offer pop-up dinner Wednesdays, they serve pop-up brunch every Sunday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
LionFish SupperClub: they now serve pop-up dinner every Tuesday from 5-9p.m. (they used to only serve it every 2 weeks)
Mortal Dumpling: the Monday night pop-up dinner (5:30-9p.m.) will stop at the end of December

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.