Tried a couple new to me places in greater SC this week.
Following up on Carb Lover's rec. I tried the newest Thai place: Sawasdee in Soquel. Overall I thought it was very good and worth a return visit though probably not good enough to always justify the long drive from the far west side.
Started with the ground pork salad- I liked the balance of the dressing but would order some extra chile next time as I like a fair amount of heat in these dishes.
Moved on to the red curry with pumpkin/seafood/chicken. The curry was good, bit more heat than most places though no seperated oil. Big scallops and the chicken was cut larger than most places which kept it from drying out. The pumpkin was a nice addition with a sweet note to counter the heat.
The best dish was the devil duck which was basicaly duck with basil. The sauce was good and with a fair amount of heat but the duck was what impressed me. The duck was fairly meaty, had been deboned but was very juicy and did not taste at all like last nights roast duck re-heated for dinner.
A good place and I will return to try a few other things- nice staff including an ex server from Thai House who remembered me.
Randomly stopped into Cafe Cruz for lunch. Located on 41st Avenue this place has been around and I have tried to go there in the past but been foiled by a lack of parking. The interior was very nice and shockingly large compared to the outside of the building. Sat out in the nice tile courtyard for lunch which was surpisingly busy for a Monday. The menu was mostly big salads and sandwiches and a bit on the pricy side. Not in that mood I tried one of the few entrees; the grilled skirt steak ($15).
The steak was cooked perfectly to med-rare. Accompanying mushrooms were cooked well but a bit overwhelmed by dry herbs. (at this price point, a few exotics in the mushroom mix would have been nice) The nice surprise was that the unnamed vegetable side was a large pile of very fresh and perfectly cooked asparagus. A good dish and while pricy the portion was very large. The salads that went buy were about the size I would start a dinner for 4 with but the greens from Happy Boy looked very fresh. A pretty good lunch spot for someone looking for a nicer meal in that area. The dinner menu looked a bit dissapointing as it was fairly similar to the lunch menu but had more rotisserie meats added. All wines were local if that is a plus or minus for anyone and the service was typical of Santa Cruz.
5050 Soquel Dr
2621 41st Ave