Santa Cruz has been called the Hawaii of California, and Aloha Island Grille is representative of this. Owned and operated by Bruddha Timmy Hunt, a Hawaiian from Maui armed with secret family recipes, Aloha Island Grille offers aloha spirit and an ohana (family) mentality, along with poi, taro, and other traditional Hawaiian dishes. With indoor dining areas and a spacious deck that catches sunshine after the morning fog disappears, Aloha Island Grille is a great place to convene after a morning surf session. Try the Pork Lau Lau, cubed pork with butterfish and Hawaiian salt, wrapped in taro and ti leaves.
1700 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz, California, USA, +1 831-479-3299
Charlie Hong Kong has been open for business on the busy midtown street corner of Soquel and Seabright since 1988. Charlie Hong Kong’s menu is based on food served from street stands in Southeast Asia, with a focus on organic, locally purchased ingredients. Heat lamps and an enclosed awning provide the setting for patrons who choose to eat-in before catching a show or film at the nearby independent Rio Theatre, or for those who just want to relax and enjoy a conversation and delectable food. Meanwhile, take out is just as popular as the food is created and served quickly. Order the spicy dan’s peanut delight.
1141 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz, California, USA, +1 831-471-2609