Tag Archives: cocktails

Casablanca Inn bazaar with food, drinks, art — plus benefit for Sonoma fire victims

Gordo Gustavos at Event Santa Cruz’s “Big Westside Block Party” in June (Photo credit Yvonne Rew-Falk)

Event Santa Cruz is hosting “Bazaar at the Casablanca Inn” this Friday night, Oct. 20, from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

The all-ages event is at 101 Main St. in Santa Cruz. Admission is $1 at the door. Guests are encouraged to register at eventsantacruz.com.

Attendees can enjoy cocktails, craft beer from area breweries, local food, art, crafts, and more. Venus Sprits will be serving Moroccan Nights, a cocktail crafted just for this event.

Featured vendors include:
– Chuy Santa Cruz
– Coco Virostko (artist)
– Flora and Fauna
– Gordo Gustavos
– H&H Fresh Fish Company
– Lion and Lamb Studios
– NotPie Cakery
– Peak Original
– Sleight of Hand Pizza
– Upcycled Skate Art
– Venus Spirits
– Verdant California
– Wetfeet Photography
Guests will have a chance to check out ESC’s first-ever car show: the “Event Santa Cruz’in.” Mobile businesses and unique rides are going to be featured, including:

– Brew Cruz’s “Slowboy”
– Ya Doggie
– Gordo Gustavos new food truck
– Tepui Tents
– Sandbar Solar & Electric

In addition, ESC is teaming up with Yoso Wellness Spa and Santa Cruz Socialites to “Gather for Sonoma.” Attendees are encouraged to bring items or dollars to donate in support of those impacted by the recent wildfires in Sonoma County. Blankets, sheets, personal hygiene items, new and lightly used clothing, new socks and underwear, diapers, baby bottles, and gift cards to stores like Safeway and Target will be appreciated and delivered. One hundred percent of the items and money will be provided to victims, evacuees and first responders.

Follow me on:

Twitter @santacruzfoodie

Instagram @tarafatemiwalker

Facebook @santacruzfoodieexaminer

Hula’s celebrates 10th anniversary with gift certificate giveaways, discount food and drinks

Hula’s is offering a discount burger combo during its anniversary month Photo credit: Hula's

Hula’s is offering a discount burger combo during its anniversary month
Photo credit: Hula’s

Downtown Santa Cruz restaurant Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room is celebrating its 10th birthday with gifts for the local community all month long and special promos on November 16, 2016.


Until Nov. 30, customers can order $10 Hula Burger combos—that’s a burger plus fries and a soda—any time of day, for lunch, dinner or somewhere in between. Hula’s is open for lunch Tuesday- Sunday from 11:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m., dinner nightly from 4:00 p.m.–close, and of course there’s always happy hour with daily specials (Tuesday–Sunday 2-6 p.m., Monday 4:30–6).


On Wednesday, Nov. 16, all day long, Hula’s is serving up special discounts:

  • Tiki Drinks 2/$10 – a couple popular ones are “Dr. Funk” (includes rum, pineapple and coconut) and Mai Tais
  • Pupus 2/$10 – choose from dishes like crispy coconut shrimp rolls or Hawaiian ceviche with whitefish, coconut milk, chili, cilantro and garlic
  • The first 10 customers will receive a $10 gift certificate
  • The 100th lunch customer will win a $100 gift certificate
  • The 100th dinner customer will win a $100 gift certificate


Personally, I am a big fan of family-owned and operated Hula’s. I’ve found over the years that their diverse menu appeals to generations of my family, and I enjoy dishes infused with Asian, Latin and Caribbean flavors.


In case you want to start holiday shopping early, Hula’s is doing a gift certificate promotion until Dec. 23. If you buy a $50 certificate, you receive a $10 gc to keep for yourself. If you buy a $100 gc, you get a $20 gc to treat yourself!


Location: 221 Cathcart St., Santa Cruz, 831-426-HULA


Follow me on:

Twitter @santacruzfoodie

Instagram @tarafatemiwalker

Facebook @santacruzfoodieexaminer

News for Chaminade Resort & Spa: Easter, new tequila program, hotel renovation

Patrón Barrel Select Tequila and a Chaminade Patrón cocktail

Patrón Barrel Select Tequila and a Chaminade Patrón cocktail

Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz has lots of news to share including a decadent Easter brunch this Sunday (with egg hunts!), a unique Patrón tequila program, and the completion of a multi million dollar room renovation.

Easter buffet
The Chaminade offers its annual Easter Brunch buffet from 9am-3pm; the price is $61.95 (adults), $18.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. Selections include honey ham with Jack Daniels glaze; rosemary and garlic encrusted lamb leg; a seafood bar with fried calamari, peel and eat prawns, and more; omelets made to order; Belgian waffles with fresh berry compote; gourmet salads; cheese ravioli; and spinach and cheese mini quiches. Desserts include chocolate fondue and a sundae bar. There will be a special kids’ menu with items like mini pancakes and mac-and-cheese. Kids can enjoy Easter egg hunts at 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30 p.m., 1:30pm, and 2:30pm, and appearances by the Easter Bunny. Egg hunts are for hotel and dining guests only. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.

Patrón Tequila program
The Chaminade is the only resort in Santa Cruz area offering Patrón’s “Barrel Select” program, which they launched in January. Through this program, businesses can do a taste testing and hand-select their own “bespoke barrel” of Patrón aged tequila. This is equal to about 27 cases. Because each barrel has been in Patrón’s aging room for a specific period of time, no two are alike. Chaminade chose a Reposado that had been aged for 9 months in a Hungarian Oak barrel.  It’s a blend of tahona and roller mill produced tequila, characterized by an aroma of citrus, fresh wood and light vanilla.  “We wanted to be able to offer our guests and the locals something unique and different,” said Kevin Herbst, general manager at Chaminade.  “This barrel is exclusive to Chaminade and there’s not another tequila like it-which is exciting!” The quantity is limited, so Herbst encourages anyone interested to come in for a taste soon.  Customers can try the tequila in a variety of ways. Two options are the Chaminade Paloma (Patrón Reposado tequila, grapefruit juice, agave nectar, lime, topped off with Cava Freixenet and dash of salt) or the Renovation-rita (Patrón Reposado Tequila, Cointreau, lime, and orange juice).

Hotel Renovation
Speaking of renovations, the Chaminade recently finished a $7.9 million renovation. All 156 guest rooms and corridors—located across 11 villas—were transformed. The new designs were inspired by themes such as “vintage technology” (railroads, etc.) and “eclectic, bohemian styles from the artisan community of Santa Cruz.” You can book an overnight stay online or call 800-283-6569. Be sure to browse the web site for assorted packages, which include family- and romance-inspired options.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Chaminade location: One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Carmel Valley’s Bernardus offers lavender event and Lucia has new menus

Cal Stamenov in the gardens at Bernardus Lodge & Spa Credit: Bernardus Lodge & Spa

Cal Stamenov in the gardens at Bernardus Lodge & Spa
Credit: Bernardus Lodge & Spa

The renowned Carmel Valley-based Bernardus Lodge & Spa and executive chef Cal Stamenov are hosting a lavender harvest celebration at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 11.

The annual event honors the 1,000 lavender plants that are in full bloom among the venue’s olive trees, rosemary and rose gardens. Horticulturist Mark Marino will guide attendees on a tour of the Chef’s Garden that includes wine. Then, guests will enjoy a lavender-inspired buffet lunch with ingredients from Bernardus’ garden and vineyard. Tickets are $95 and reservations are required at 831-658-3400.

Lucia Restaurant & Bar has announced a new summer menu. Dishes include salads with roasted nectarines/arugula/prosciutto or local octopus/King salmon belly/preserved lemon relish; butter-braised Maine lobster with sweet corn puree, tarragon and black truffle vinaigrette; Day Boat Scallop Wellington with chanterelle mushrooms and foie gras; housemade sweet potato pasta; a variety of brick oven pizzas; and Wagyu beef. Also, a four-course chef’s tasting menu is available.

Lucia Bar, in a separate area from the restaurant with more casual dining, has new summer craft cocktails such as Green Tea Collins (Charbay Green Tea vodka, fresh lemon and soda) and Summer in Jalisco (pressed watermelon, muddled cucumber, fresh lime, jalapeno agave and Corralejo Silver Tequila).

In April 2015, Forbes Travel Guide four-star luxury property Bernardus re-opened with new ownership after being closed during a four-month multimillion-dollar transformation. The former on-site restaurant, Marinus, is now closed, but chef Stamenov remained and he is now at the helm of brand-new Lucia. The restaurant was named after the Santa Lucia Range that provides the backdrop to the new 2,300-square-foot outdoor dining terrace. Other highlights include a 25,000-bottle wine cellar, and a food menu that features ingredients from local farmers, foragers, and fishermen.

For more information, visit bernarduslodge.com. Bernardus is at 415 W. Carmel Valley Road in Carmel Valley.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Organic Happy Girl Kitchen Co. housewarming party and sale at SF Ferry Building

A few of Happy GIrl Kitchen's beautiful and delicious products

Organic Happy Girl Kitchen Co. has a new spot in the popular San Francisco Ferry Building (an absolute mecca for foodies), and it’s celebrating with a big shindig Friday April 20. Its new location is closer to the center of the building, and HGK is neighbors with Cowgirl Creamery and Acme Bread.

The event lasts from 5-7pm with live music, HGK cocktails (think Kimchee-nis, housemade lavender lemonade, mint-marmalade mojito), and prizes. Plus you get 15% off all products, including workshop registrations, and there will be samples from Taylor’s Tonics and Nana Mae Organics. In addition to creating scrumptious products and fun pop-up events, Happy Girl Kitchen offers workshops in topics like cheesemaking and tomato-preserving.

The following morning (Saturday April 21), visit the HGK Ferry Building kiosk for a special “brunch pop-up” with b. patisserie. Note that the last b. patisserie event at the Ferry Building sold out in 35 minutes, so you’ll want to arrive as close to the 10am starting time as possible. Here is the pastry menu for that morning, which will feature HGK artisan jams and marmalades.

*Kouign Amann with Strawberry and Happy Girl Kitchen Raspberry Jam

*Sugar Brioche Tarts with Happy Girl Kitchen Plum Jam and Vanilla Cream

*Macarons with White Chocolate and Happy Girl Kitchen Grapefruit Marmalade

*Lemon Tarts with Happy Girl Kitchen Meyer Lemon Marmalade

*Orange-Passionfruit-Almond Bostock with Happy Girl Kitchen Orange Marmalade

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie

SF Ferry Building: The Ferry Building Marketplace is located along the Embarcadero at the foot of Market Street. For more info, see the Visitor Info section of the Ferry Building web site.