Restaurants & Bars

California

West End Tap [Santa Cruz] [Split from burger.aptos thread]

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West End Tap [Santa Cruz] [Split from burger.aptos thread]

bouncepass | Sep 28, 2013 12:13 AM

West End Tap & Kitchen is in the (really nice) space that used to house the Bonny Doon tasting room and the associated restaurants (Cellar Door, later renamed Cigare Volant). They only made some relatively minor changes, which I'm glad about since I've rather liked the space since it first opened.

I would describe the concept as firmly in the gastropub genre, which is a good addition to Santa Cruz as I don't think any other place could lay claim to that. Maybe the nearby Parrish but it's more pub than gastro. The beer comes from three breweries from what I can tell: Tied House and Hermitage (San Jose) and Almanac (SF). I think Hermitage makes some pretty decent IPAs (they have a single hop line that is pretty tasty in addition to being very educational - a good way to learn about the difference between citra, simcoe, sorachi ace, etc.).

The food was, I thought, very decent gastropub fare. The flatbreads weren't very inspiring (dough was mediocre, toppings too cheesy) but the burger was cooked as requested, was juicy with good beefy flavor, and was rather large as well. The generous portion of shoestring fries was well-cooked. I didn't try anything else but I'm sure I will slowly work my way around the menu since it will probably join my second-tier rotation. Good place for groups with different levels of interest in food and beer. They also have wine, but I don't think they have a full bar. Website wasn't enlightening on that last point unfortunately.

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