Tag Archives: The Artbar

Santa Cruz First Friday food highlights for March 4

For First Friday, HGP’s Angie Smith is making sweet potato and kale boxty with gingered applesauce

For First Friday, HGP’s Angie Smith is making sweet potato and kale boxty with gingered applesauce

Friday, March 4 is the next “First Friday Art Tour” in Santa Cruz; that night there are lots of related events with good food plus a couple unrelated events with delicious food that happen to be the same day. Here are a few highlights. FYI, the free First Friday tour happens every month, rain or shine, at different venues including restaurants, cafes, wineries and galleries.

Santa Cruz’s Homeless Garden Project (HGP) is hosting an event at its downtown shop to coincide with First Friday. Retail store and product manager Angie Smith will be cooking up tasty treats for attendees: sweet potato and kale boxty (latkes) with gingered applesauce (vegan and gluten-free), and vegan chocolate Stout cupcakes (plus some non-alcoholic chocolate cupcakes). There will also be “Sasquatch Red” wine (a blend from Humboldt County). There will be a special exhibit by Jessie Case, “Volunteers Giving While Getting Back,” which is a photo essay. Jessie photographed and interviewed some of Homeless Garden Project’s volunteers. The theme of the night is “Celebrating our Growing Community.” In 2015, nearly 2,500 people volunteered their time at HGP. “It’s also National Social Work Month so we are celebrating the Social Work interns that work with our trainees,” says Smith. “Since it’s March, we are having an Irish band and Irish themed appetizers.”

The HGP store stocks items including culinary products made in its training program from herbs and flowers grown at its organic farm. Income from sales helps provide job training and transitional employment for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and volunteer and educational opportunities for community members who want to learn about and practice sustainable agriculture and social justice.
Location: 110 Cooper St.

The Art Bar at the Tannery Art Center is having a grand opening celebration during First Friday with paella and more. Chef Antonette Wood is cooking up Spanish seafood paella for 100 (!) in the Art Bar’s patio using a traditional paellara. Read more about The Art Bar and its current offerings in my Feb. 27 restaurant news article. Ian McRae of Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room has taken over as sole proprietor of The Art Bar. On First Friday, The Great Morgani will perform from 7-8 p.m., and Kirby Scudder will be creating a 6 x 8 ft. live action painting of “a prominent politician… he won’t say who,” says McRae. “I think it will be Trump.” As usual, there will be lots of Tannery artists participating in First Friday; people are encouraged to visit the surrounding studios at 1050 and 1060 River St.
Location of The Art Bar: 1060 River St. #112 in the Tannery Arts Center

My Mom’s Mole will be at POPUP for dinner on Friday, March 4. The menu, which will include items from $3-10, will feature their signature mole sauce AND a new mole verde (green mole) served with chicken, pork and veggie tostadas paired with a locally sourced cactus and kale salad. I have tasted the signature mole several times—including at last week’s wonderful Event Watsonville night at the Commercial Kitchen Incubator—and can vouch that it’s delectable!

Here is a description of the food from Cesario Ruiz, who created the My Mom’s Mole recipe after watching his mother make mole and seeing all of the different ingredients she used: “My Mom’s Mole was named Best Mole, People’s Choice at the 2015 Mole & Mariachi Festival at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park. The signature recipe is in the Guanajuato style and is more savory with a bit of heat at the back of the palate…our mole verde, also known as pipián, has a subtle, yet rich & fresh flavor to it. We are excited to share it with you; it may be our next product in stores so we can’t wait for you to try it!” There will be vegetarian/vegan (Guanajuato style) and gluten-free (verde) options available.
Location: POPUP, 1108 Pacific Ave.

LionFish SupperClub is having its grand opening celebration and Santa Cruz Chamber ribbon cutting at the MOTIV upstairs bar/kitchen starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The menu that night will include chili-carmel brussels sprouts, rosemary-parmesan fries, French onion soup, smoked duck carnitas tacos, foraged mushroom ragout, candy cap souffle cheesecake, and caramel creme brulee. Read more about LionFish in my March 2 restaurant news article.
Location: 1209 Pacific Ave.

Mutari Chocolate is hosting a First Friday popup café and shop at Front Street Kitchen from 5 to 9 p.m. accompanied by the art of Randy Cardona. Mutari will be serving up a full menu of hot chocolates and sipping chocolates. Bean-to-bar, single origin chocolate bars will also be available. During First Friday, customers will receive 10% off any in-store retail purchases. For more news on Mutari changes, see March 2 restaurant news article.
Location: 504A Front St.

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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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