Rachel Wisotsky explains the quirky, homespun vibe of the Mission Street spot
When Rachel Wisotsky from Your Place teamed up with chef Art Russell to open a restaurant, she wanted to create something that captured the magic of the home where she grew up, in Aromas. “I call it grandma food,” she says. “Grandma loved you. She loved everything about you. She grew her own tomatoes. She grew her own lettuce. She picked it for you. She took it inside and lovingly cut it up and then she watched you eat it, and she really enjoyed that.”
GT: Wait, do I live here?
Rachel Wisotsky: You do! It’s Your Place. The joke on that is I love “Who’s On First?” I love the confusion. You’re on the phone: ‘Where do you want to go?’ ‘I want to go to Your Place.’ I love that for a brief moment your brain goes, “What’s in my fridge? Did I clean my house?” Eventually I’m hoping to do a commercial.
Do people ask why the old flowery plates don’t match?
No, people have enjoyed it. I just went on eBay. The things your grandma
told you to be careful with: all that stuff is pennies on eBay, pennies. I’m investing more in the postage than I am in actual items, because grandkids say “This isn’t cool.”
I notice your menu fuses homey ideas with surprising twists.
You just want it to fricking taste good and be yummy and good for you, but at the same time it is mashed potatoes with gravy. It’s not going to be the only thing you should ever eat. There are things that are traditional, and then there are healthier things. The menu reflects that, [e.g.,] the pear salad. The Gorgonzola salad is probably my favorite. Everything’s good with bacon. The warm spinach salad has bacon and egg.
Where do you get your creamy butter?
We’re making butter! You have whole milk, and you shake it quite a bit, and you make butter. It’s really one of the easiest things to make, and you whip it. People are liking it because it’s not salted.
INFO: 1719 Mission St., Santa Cruz, 426-3654.
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