Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Dec 22nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Sushi Surpise

dining_SushiGardenCapitola's Sushi Garden combines the best of traditional Japanese cuisine with creative fusion rolls
At Japanese restaurants I find it difficult to choose between traditional dishes, old school sushi, and the gustatory surprises that may be hidden in a fusion roll. And so it was at Capitola's Sushi Garden where all of the above are offered. Japanese ingredients like shiso herb leaves and burdock root gobo join jalapeños and macadamia nuts integrating cultures.

At lunch, when most entrées cost $9.50 or less, choose from noodle soups, teriyaki, and donburi rice bowls. Two- and three-item Bento Box combos ($9.50/$12.50) include a small selection of main dishes, potstickers, sushi, sashimi or a California Roll. At dinner, expect to add about $7.

After studying the extensive sushi menu I ordered a two-item Bento along with a specialty roll. I savored the salty blonde miso soup with an unusually rich broth, tofu, and translucent emerald strips of seaweed while gazing out the window at the pond. Goldfish and koi hunted for food beneath the water's rain-speckled surface, protected from herons by a graceful mushroom-shaped maple.

I was surprised by the next arrival, a piping hot bowl of bright green edamame which I hadn't noticed on the menu. Taking hold of the stem end I scraped the salt-speckled soybean pods between my teeth to release the toothsome vegan protein pellets.

The colorful Pinto Lake Roll ($10.50) with raw salmon, fresh basil, slivers of bitter lemon and crunchy nuts, was rolled and capped with candy apple-red slices of maguro tuna. The toasty macadamia flavor was surprisingly complementary.

The bento box held a large flattened pork cutlet Tonkatsu, ever so lightly breaded and fried for a crisp exterior. Salmon Shioyaki, typically salt-rubbed and broiled, was moist and tender. Mixed green salad was drizzled with creamy sweet-tart dressing. The box too had a surprise of its own. Two pieces of sushi roll, which appear to have been lightly tempura-battered and fried to a light golden color, had an enjoyable crunchy texture.


Sushi Garden, 820 Bay Ave., Capitola, 464-9192. Beer and wine. Serving lunch and dinner daily 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Visit sushi-garden.com Also in Watsonville at the Target shopping center, 728-9192. ★★★


Speaking of raw, Scotts Valley's Mint will host a class on the science and art of Raw Foods on Sunday May 16, including tasting and Silver Mountain’s organic wine.

The instructors are accomplished chefs and leaders in the raw food movement. Robyn Boyd, author of "RawSome Recipes" is herself evidence of the benefits from the eating of RAW foods with SOME cooked foods, overcoming numerous health issues after changing her diet.

Melissa Mango, author of "Melissa Mango's Green Cuisine," delivers raw vegan meals to local homes and businesses.

While the scientific jury is still out with respect to some raw foodist beliefs, it's clear that cooking destroys nutrients like vitamin C, that heating meat above certain temperatures creates carcinogens, and that additives in processed foods just aren't as healthy as freshly harvested local foods. Pass the salad!

Raw Foods Workshop at Mint, Sunday May 16, noon to 3 p.m. Cost $125. 4652 Scotts Valley Dr., Scotts Valley, 438-5900. To reserve a spot in the class, call Robyn at 566-0500.

 


+++


Hot Plate


One Fish, Two Fish, Green Fish

 

Three years ago I interviewed Dave Greenberger, owner of Dave's Gourmet Albacore in the Harvey West neighborhood, where he cans flash-frozen, line-caught fish. Recently I noticed they've added a large deli complete with tables, as well as numerous canned products.

Dave's albacore has so much flavor that it can be enjoyed undressed. Each piece of prime fish is cut by hand, individually canned, and then cooked, retaining all of its flavorful and healthy juices. The Tuna Bagel Melt ($8) showcased this mildly flavored white fish with tomatoes on two bagel halves, topped with thin slices of cheese and broiled. Salty, smoky albacore was pulled from the case to fill another tender bagel with cream cheese and capers ($8).

The crab Roll ($10) featured a cylinder of sweet, shredded, naked Dungeness crab, cradled in a soft sesame-seeded bun with romaine lettuce. It was served with sides of spicy aioli and a salad with big pieces of potato mixed with shredded carrots and herbs in a creamy dressing.

The retail shop and deli operate on Fisherman's hours, so you can stop in for coffee or chai and select a pre-prepared sandwich on the way to work. On Saturday mornings, celebrate a Little League or GALS game with lunch and a Polar Bear ice cream sandwich, or sip a mocha during the kids' midweek practice.

From the retail shelves, choose cans of albacore with pesto or garlic, alder- or mesquite-smoked salmon, and seafood chowder. Shrink-wrapped pieces of frozen and smoked fish are also available. You may pay upwards of a dollar per ounce, (as you might for a martini), but for the flavor and the elimination of by-catch, Dave's offers the tastiest, greenest canned fish I've ever popped a top off of.


Dave's Gourmet Albacore, 310-A Coral St., Santa Cruz, 457-2250. Open Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit davesalbacore.com

 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire