Santa Cruz is not often on the cutting edge of chow discoveries but a wonderful new Sri Lankan restaurant has opened in town. Appropriately named Sri, it is on Water Street just before Branciforte (this is the center/East side of town).
I have tried their pakoras, which are wondeful. The mushroom soup is much like a veggie broth with some mushrooms in it (pass on this in favor of pakoras or salad rolls). There are also some wonderful fritters called Wadde. For mains, the Sri Lankan platter is fantastic (choose from many vegetarian curries), and the Chicken curry is very good, although not as exciting as the platter.
Mango Lassi is heavy on mango and one of the best I've tasted....make sure to ask for it without ice, which ruins the flavor.
So that's my plea for all chowhounds in the area to give it a try. I moved to Santa Cruz from NYC just a few months ago and this is really top notch among my South Asian food experiences. Please support Sri or we might go back to being a town with just one terrible Indian restaurant.