Santa Cruz & Capitola restaurant news, Part 1 of 2

Food from Lawmen Ramen at POPUP Photo credit: POPUP Facebook page

Food from Lawmen Ramen at POPUP
Photo credit: POPUP Facebook page

Here is some restaurant news for Santa Cruz and other local areas. I’ll be publishing part two in the next few days. I also wanted to remind folks: if you have any food/restaurant/wine/culinary event news to share, please email me at tfatemi@gmail.com.

Openings
The Artbar & Cafe
at the Tannery Arts Center has reopened with a new chef and new menu after a period of closure, restructuring and renovations. The bar serves beer, wine, and cocktails. Food selections prepared by chef Antonette Wood of SwingTime Catering include soups, salads and scones. Earlier this month, the menu featured beef barley soup with fresh spinach; butternut apple goat cheese soup; gouda and chive scones; and mac and cheese. Cocktails included Gimlet Da Vinci (ingredients include rosemary and vanilla) and Woolf’s Moon (vodka, fresh raspberries, Nigori, lemon). Hours are Mon-Thurs from 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. and Fri-Sat from 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. The location is 1060 River St., (831) 234-5356.

Gyros & Grill Express at the food court of the Capitola Mall is now open. Their mostly-Mediterranean menu includes selections such as falafel, hummus, Greek salad, chicken gyros, beef gyros, koobideh kabob, and burgers. Sides and accompaniments include garlic sauce and French fries. There are several wraps and platters to choose from, and many of the platters include rice and salad. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. daily. The location is 1855 41st Ave., (831) 477-0777.

Pho 831 is a new Santa Cruz popup. It had its first appearance Feb. 12 at the winery Sones Cellars and announced that its second popup will be Saturday, March 5 at 6pm, also at Sones Cellars. This time, customers can order food to go or eat on-site. FYI, people under 21 years of age are welcome. Pho 831 will be serving two versions of pho: 1) beef, and 2) vegan mushroom. Event organizers say that both broths are made “with Chef Shane’s medley of flavors inspired by traditional pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) including ginger, star anise, and lemon grass.” Food will be sold until 8:30 p.m. or sellout, whichever comes first. In addition to pho, there will be spring rolls available from Pho 831 plus wine by the glass and bottle, nonalcoholic drinks and water from Sones. The location is at Swift St. Courtyard, 334 Ingalls St. Suite B.

East Cliff Brewing Co. is open for business in the East Cliff Shopping Center, in a storefront next to Dollar Tree. They specialize in English-style ales and current beers include Burton’s Bounty (IPA), Black Point (Porter) and The Gypsy (Irish stout). Hours: Friday 4-9 p.m., Saturday noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The brewery just opened Feb. 19 and plans to expand hours in the future. Location: 21517 East Cliff Drive, (831) 713-5540.

Lawman Ramen from chef Amy Ajas is a weekly Friday lunch popup at POPUP. Ajas has great cred — her day job is working as a line cook at Assembly right next door and she formerly worked at a Bay Area ramen eatery. Up until recently, the popup featured two choices–a Tonkotsu bowl with pork belly and a vegetarian bowl; now Ajas has added vegan ramen with a savory mushroom broth and buckwheat noodles to the regular lunch service. Bring your own bowl for a $1 discount. Hours are Fridays 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. POPUP is at 1108 Pacific Ave.
Changes

Oswald is now open for lunch Friday through Sunday; it used to only serve lunch Fridays. In addition, the restaurant features a new cocktail hour 4:30-6 Tues-Sat in the bar and lounge. The lunch menu features many new dishes. Chef Damani Thomas says his favorite current lunch item is a sautéed spinach and farro dish; customers can order as-is or add a chicken breast, Arctic char, or fried egg. The bar menu includes Caesar salad, soup (recent varieties have included Fuyu persimmon-squash or mushroom with crème fraiche and scallions), a cheese plate with fruit/nuts/baguette, and a bleu cheese burger and fries. Oswald is at 121 Soquel Ave., (831) 423-7427.

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