Recently, friends invited us over to make pierogies; butter-fried, empanada-like peasant food stuffed with potatoes, onions, and cheese. It became an opportunity to connect with my lost heritage.
A large selection of mild Thai flavors awaits you at Thai House
On the way to our daughter’s apartment, we stopped in L.A.’s Thai Town. Although there is now much diversity, we did find an Oriental market that had all of the ingredients I was looking for. We had prior plans for lunch and I’ve been craving Thai food ever since. Aside from some worn upholstered booths, Santa Cruz’s Thai House redecorated a former ice cream shop with live plants, elaborate carvings, and Burmese architectural elements, offering diners an elegant sojourn.
Nearby—and perfect for a staycation getaway—the Carmel Hyatt Highlands charms with its world-class food, wine and more
Situated in a magical spot on the California coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the stunning Carmel Hyatt Highlands offers the guest much more than simply an upscale place to stay.
Small plates at Bonny Doon Vineyard's restaurant are big on fresh flavors
It may have been April Fool's day, but it was no joke. Randall Grahm, winemaker and self-proclaimed "President-for-Life" of Bonny Doon Vineyard, announced the renaming of his Cellar Door Restaurant and Tasting Room. It is now called Le Cigare Volant, in honor of his winery's flagship wine, first released in 1984.
One of my favorite places downtown is the sidewalk that passes in front of Pacific Cookie Company. The sugary aroma of cookies baking draws me through the doorway, and after choosing one of my favorite flavors I head back onto that sidewalk and slowly savor its comforting crumbliness.
Variety and accessibility make Santa Cruz Diner a popular destination
A yellow banner hangs from the roof at the Santa Cruz Diner announcing that "Guy ate here." This would be a reference to Guy Fieri, host of Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Clearly, this give owners Chip and Kim Kirchner something to cheer about.
Casablanca Bistro offers inviting fare and stunning views
Located on the site of the enormous turreted, Victorian Sea Beach Hotel, which burned to the ground in 1912, the historic Casablanca Inn and Bistro was once the secluded private residence of Marcel Cerf. From our window seat in the multi-level Casablanca Room we admired the fog bank hugging the horizon at the edge of the sapphire bay. On Main Beach below, volleyball players frolicked under the spring day's final hour of sun.
Extensive lunch menu at ABC Chinese fills you up without emptying your wallet
Business is brisk during the lunch hour at ABC Chinese Restaurant in a tidy Scotts Valley business park. More than 40 lunch specials include huge bowls of soup ($5.25) and main courses ($5.45 to $6.45) which are served with the appetizer and soup of the day, and fried or steamed rice.