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Apr 27th
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Food & Drink

Dining Reviews

Griddled, not Fried

Griddled, not Fried

Tucked in at the back of an alleyway in the Rancho del Mar shopping center is a little taqueria called Sofia’s. The staff is friendly, the menu is hand-written on a white board, and they have my vote for the best chimichanga ever eaten. 

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Wine Reviews

Kirigin Cellars

Kirigin Cellars

California champagne—a delicious sparkling wine

Although we are a couple of weeks into 2013, it doesn’t mean that we should put away the Champagnes and sparkling wines. I love to open up a nice sparkler when friends come to visit, and a drop of bubbly always puts one in a celebratory mood.

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Dining Reviews

Keeping it Real

Keeping it Real

Real Thai Kitchen updates both its look and its menu

The Seabright neighborhood’s Real Thai Kitchen, which is on my short list of Thai restaurants, has seen three owners in a year and a half. The current proprietor Ratana Bowden has made some changes, one of which is fortunately not the chef, who has dazzled me with her dishes since my first visit. There is, however, a new menu and interior.

 

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Wine Reviews

Year in Review

Year in Review

Wining and dining in 2012

Now that 2012 is behind us, here is a partial list of local wining and dining I enjoyed last year. As you’re thinking ahead for 2013, you might want to visit some of these wonderful eateries and try their food and wines. Here’s wishing you all a very Happy New year. Cheers!

 

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Dining Reviews

Pizza, Pasta, Amore

Pizza, Pasta, Amore

Focaccia brings a slice of Italy to Water Street 

Grana Padano is popping up on menus around the county. This medieval cheese is made similarly to Parmagiano-Reggiano, but the cows graze a different terroir, and since it is not aged as long, I has a milder flavor.

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Dining Reviews

Lounging Around

Lounging Around

Gazing out a window from the lounge at the Dream Inn’s Aquarius restaurant on a sunny mid-afternoon, the wharf stretched out on sapphire water while seagulls had the Cowells Beach sand to themselves.

Over our heads, pendant white surfboards faced the incoming waves, surrounded by soft strains of jazzy big-band music.

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Dining Reviews

Steppe Inside

Steppe Inside

Oyunaa’s brings traditional Mongolian nomadic fare with a dash of Russia to midtown 

In the 1970s, Mongolian barbecue chains spread like wildfire into strip malls across America. I recall gathering my choice of raw vegetables from a buffet and handing them over to a cook who would add meat and stir-fry it on a griddle; rather like the American version of Japanese teppanyaki without the cleaver acrobatics and flying shrimp.

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Wine Reviews

DaVine Cellars

DaVine Cellars

Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Fandango in Pacific Grove is one of the most popular restaurants in the area. It has gained a fine reputation over the years due, in no small part, to the expertise of chef and owner Pierre Bain, who runs this upscale restaurant with his wife Marietta.

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Wine Reviews

Quinta Cruz

Quinta Cruz

Rabelo Dessert Wine 2007

When Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard makes wine, he goes all out to make sure it is the very best product in every way. He is a talented and dedicated winemaker who likes a challenge—and he gravitates toward the more adventurous wines.

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Dining Reviews

Fins To The Left

Fins To The Left

The long menu at Watsonville’s Cadillac Café offers sensory satisfaction 

At any time of year, I find visiting the rural landscape rejuvenating. On a recent drive down Freedom Boulevard, cows on a hillside freely grazed on newly greened grass, while bright bundles of persimmon orbs dangled from leafless branches.

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We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Mission Critical

How reading Lisa Jensen’s reviews taught me to love film
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Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise