A foreign exchange student is spending a week with you. What is the one restaurant you want to take the student to?
I live in Santa Cruz County, California which has a cornucopia of dining possibilities. Along with the ubiquitous Thai, Japanese and Mexican places, we have Himalayan, Cambodian, Mongolian and not one, but two Brazilian restaurants. We have the frequent pop-ups, the farm to table places, and even a non-GMO organic spot right down the street from where I work. And here as in many other places in California, dining establishments seem to come and go with the seasons, as food fads fade away or rents become impossible to manage.
There are a few institutions though that have hung on over time, and one of those is my choice to take the imaginary foreign exchange student: The Crepe Place. The Crepe Place is about as Santa Cruz as you can get. Funky interior and a menu that hearkens back more to an earlier time in “healthy eating” with amazing crepes and salads. Like Santa Cruz, its survived several disasters over its forty years in existence–a cliff collapse in 1988 and the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake to name just two.
I would hope that our student would be visiting in the summer because the Crepe Place has a beautiful garden out back. On warm summer days, its nice to sit outside among the flowering plants, with humming birds flitting about, drinking an excellent cocktail from the bar and eating your crepe of choice. Oh, and along with those crepes, their bread basket is a whole un-sliced mini loaf of the most delicious honey wheat bread I have ever eaten. (I can easily make a meal of just the bread with some butter.) The restaurant’s bar area also hosts local and national bands during the evenings, and is one of the few local small music venues left for up and coming bands to perform. It gets a bit crowded at times, but its a fun place to see a local band gig.
So local Santa Cruz funkiness, a great menu and bar, garden dining and live music? Yes, imaginary foreign exchange student this is the Crepe Place, the most Santa Cruz of Santa Cruz institutions.