Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 20th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

A Whole Lot of Heart

dining sudasalSüda’s inventive menu brings pleasure to Portola

Süda means heart in Estonian, and at the newest restaurant in Pleasure Point, I found a lot to love. It is no surprise, that with seasoned owners Mike Pitt of Motiv, and Dan Voskoboynikov of Harbor Café, it has quickly gained a following. The menu is delightful, and the efficient, knowledgeable, and energetic staff, attired professionally in black, worked together as a well-practiced team.

Located where Rock of the Sea once resided, it is spotted easily at night by the flaming towers on the front patio. The interior was vibrant and boisterous. A combination of bar seating with two televisions, tall tables, and short tables surrounded by molded white chairs reminiscent of the ‘60s and BBC’s The Prisoner, provide options for after-work mingling and families alike.

A very unique array of specialty cocktails included a Rustic Margarita ($9) made the old-fashioned way, without high fructose corn syrup, but instead with fresh lime juice and agave nectar. A float of mezcal, fermented hearts of pit-roasted maguey plants, gave it a dark, smoky flavor.

The splendid list of draft beers included Santa Cruz Aleworks, numerous California microbrews, and a smooth, dark porter from local Uncommon Brewers. A moderately priced wine list ($21 to $38) included local favorites as well.

Our first visit happened to coincide with Restaurant Week, when we could each choose a small plate, entrée, and dessert ($25 per person). Each of the selections was also available on the regular menu.

A taste of Asia was found in the Pepper Seared Tuna Tower ($14). Each of two towers was built of a pair of deep fried wonton skin squares, with cucumber and avocado, topped with finely peppered rare ahi, accompanied by chopsticks, soy sauce, pink sheets of pickled ginger, and wasabi paste.

A trio of Lettuce Wraps ($9) offered flimsy fistfuls of decadent flavors. Frilly red leaf lettuce was piled high with chopped chicken ($3), al dente rice noodles, grated carrot and peanuts, seasoned with ginger and coconut, and served with dark, smooth and spicy peanut sauce; the tastiest I’ve found locally. Our server intuitively offered us a bottle of sriracha chili sauce.

The grilled seasonal catch-of-the-day was line-caught salmon cooked to a tender medium-rare, topped with peak-of-the-season small tomatoes and parsley, and rested upon a bed of green beans and summer squashes, with a steaming hillock of brown rice.

In the Southwest Chicken Fettuccini ($16) strips of chicken breast, speckled with small black beans, cilantro, plump corn kernels, diced tomato and shredded cheese were tossed with a red-pepper-flecked ultra-rich, creamy pesto sauce which was plenty spicy, but a dose of sriracha is never a bad choice. It was served with a quartet of toasted points of garlicky cheese bread.

For dessert, the Sorbet Trio included generous icy balls of passion fruit, deep purple blackberry-cabernet, and tart lemon flavors, topped with a sprig of mint.

The Chocolate Lava Cake, an airy timbale of chocolaty flavor, with a soft, melted truffle center was topped with sliced strawberries and a sprig of mint.

Süda, 3910 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz, 600-7068. Full bar. Serving lunch from 11 a.m. Lunch and dinner daily from 11 a.m. Find Süda on Facebook

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.


Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.


Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >


Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments


Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.


How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management


Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.


Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?