Tag Archives: Mozaic

More Mother’s Day restaurants for the Santa Cruz area

Aquarius Restaurant – Photo courtesy of Aquarius Facebook page

Did Mother’s Day 2018 sneak up on you? Mother’s Day is Sunday – some restaurants in the Santa Cruz area, including Bargetto Winery, which only has one seating – are fully booked, but others are still available. Below are a few.

Refer to my May 3 article for a few Santa Cruz County restaurant highlights (plus one for Monterey), but I am not sure which of those still have reservations available.

Also, if you want something off the beaten path, Roaring Camp Railroads is hosting a brunch buffet ($39 adults, $29 kids) from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at Bret Harte Hall (last seating at 1). There are train rides to go on after brunch (diners receive $2 fare discount); visit this site.

As of 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, the following restaurants still had selected Mother’s Day brunch reservations available—these are based on a party of 4. Call or make reservations through OpenTable.com.


  • Chocolate the Restaurant (831) 427-9900
  • Ideal Bar & Grill (831) 423-5271
  • Jaguar Restaurant (831) 600-7428
  • Mozaic (831) 600-7428
  • Solaire Restaurant & Bar (831) 600-4545
  • Suda (831) 600-7068
  • Zelda’s on the Beach (831) 475-4900



  • Aquarius-Dream Inn (831) 740-8138
  • Café Cruz (831) 476-3801
  • Chocolate the Restaurant (831) 427-9900
  • Gabriella Café (831) 457-1677
  • Ideal Bar & Grill (831) 423-5271
  • Jaguar Restaurant (831) 600-7428
  • Mozaic (831) 600-7428
  • Pearl of the Ocean (831) 457-2350
  • Persephone (831) 612-6511
  • Solaire Restaurant & Bar (831) 600-4545
  • Suda (831) 600-7068
  • Zelda’s on the Beach (831) 475-4900


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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.

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.

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.


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.

Mozaic Mediterranean Restaurant & Bar now open in downtown Santa Cruz


Mozaic’s watermelon-feta salad tower with walnuts, Photo by Tara Fatemi Walker

Mozaic’s watermelon-feta salad tower with walnuts, Photo by Tara Fatemi Walker

I was very excited to try Santa Cruz’s newest eatery Mozaic – so excited, in fact, that I dined there at lunchtime Aug. 12—just the second day it was open. It was quite wonderful, and I know it can only get better, so that bodes extremely well for Santa Cruz’s future. I can’t wait to go back; next time I’ll go at dinnertime and try some of the meat dishes (It was a warm day so I was in a lighter mood and ended up ordering all-vegetarian).

Two of Mozaic’s co-owners, Ben Khader and Faisal Nimri, also run Dametra Cafe and Yafa in Carmel and Dametra Fresh Mediterranean in Monterey (opened in December 2014). In December, after a morning expedition to Monterey Bay Aquarium, I went to Dametra Fresh Med and enjoyed a wonderful lunch where I could taste how fresh the ingredients were. That restaurant falls under the fast-casual category; it’s in Del Monte Mall and you order at the counter from a limited menu. It seems designed for affordable-yet-delicious food on the go. The variety of choices, including flavorful sauces, is impressive. Let me add that I was with my mother and my then-three-year-old daughter and it satisfied all three generations.

Back to my Mozaic lunch yesterday in downtown Santa Cruz. A few minutes after sitting down, fresh bread and a pesto dipping sauce were brought over (a few minutes apart—but I didn’t mind; it was their second day and that was the main kink in service). The bread and dip were delicious.

I ordered a few dishes: hearty lentil soup (comforting and satisfying without being too heavy), a vegetarian combo platter with several tasty components, and a watermelon-feta-walnut salad that turned out to be a gorgeous and refreshingly flavored tower. I would recommend all of these dishes. The vegetarian platter included—among other things—spanakopita, falafel, creamy hummus, smoky baba ghanoush, tzatziki, an aioli with a good kick, rice pilaf, and Greek salad.

I also relished the ending of the meal: flaky, moist baklava plus sweet Moroccan tea whose ingredients included fresh mint, green tea, and honey.

Mozaic’s team welcomed my dining companion and I like old friends—and we’d never met. Literally from the moment we stepped foot in the doorway, the staff were incredibly gracious—including our waitress, the busboys, and co-owner Nimri, who was going from table to table making sure everyone had what they needed. It’s obvious that they really care about making people happy. This includes co-owner Jay Dib, who I later realized was the smiling, attentive and enthusiastic man who first greeted us. Mozaic is definitely lucky to have him on the lookout; I feel like Santa Cruz is in for some very good service, not to mention delicious food. Like I said, I can’t wait to go back and try more selections. I noticed lamb shank on the menu, a grilled octopus appetizer, gyros, chicken shawarma, butternut squash ravioli…Wait, what am I doing still writing? See you there!

Location: 110 Church St. off Pacific (former Louie’s Cajun Grill & Clouds location—in fact, a staff member mentioned that Mozaic’s management kept on a bartender that’s “been at the site for 14-15 years and really knows his stuff”)

Hours: Open at 11 a.m. daily, and closing time varies depending on how busy they are. For now, they’re estimating 9ish for weekdays and 11 or midnight on weekends.

More: Contact Mozaic at (831) 454-8663; restaurant web site is coming soon

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.