May 15, 2018 - In an important step towards the sustainability of our oceans, Red Lobster—the nation's largest seafood restaurant chain—is partnering with the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program and promising to buy only Seafood Watch recommended products by 2025.
“Because of our size and scale, we can use our influence to drive positive change in the industry and lead the way in sustainable and responsible seafood sourcing,” said Kim Lopdrup, CEO of the Orlando, Florida based chain. "Red Lobster is committed to taking a leadership position in conserving and protecting every kind of seafood we source. Our partnership with Seafood Watch is the natural next step in keeping our commitments and driving ... Read More
May 15, 2018 - It doesn’t feel like so long ago that Mikey Nguyen was working 10 hour days doing nails at a salon he opened at just 19, with money earned working at Burger King, McDonald’s and Taco Bell as a teenager.
He owned and operated the salon for eight years, all while dreaming of something besides clear coats and French tips, like opening a family restaurant built around the foods of his heritage—bahn mi, boba and “broken” rice included—at a price point that wouldn’t break the bank.
“I wanted to feed people,” he says. “Not just work on their beauty.”
But it was a while ago, ... Read More
May 8, 2018 - The planning process is not yet complete, but Soquel's popular Beer Thirty won zoning approval last Friday for a new 3-acre taproom-restaurant-nursery complex just a few doors down from its current location.
The new project, called Soquel Farmhouse, includes a two-story building with a taproom, walk-up counter service restaurant, a bottle shop and outdoor seating with an entertainment area for live music and room for food trucks. It will also include converting the existing retail nursery into a home and garden gift shop similar to Dig Gardens in Santa Cruz or Hidden Gardens Nursery in Aptos.
The owners of Beer Thirty initially acquired the property as a way to deal with overflow parking issues, ... Read More
May 1, 2018 - Staff is being trained and beer taps are getting installed in a last minute push to get Pacific Grove's first ever pub open by early next week. The Monarch Pub on the corner of Lighthouse Ave and 17th St. is a British-style pub owned by Birmingham-native Paul Whitecross, who also owns the Britannia Arms in Monterey.
“We just got the Guinness tap working and we're going to have eight beers in bottles from across the pond," Whitecross says. Another six taps will offer locally-produced Mad Otter Ale, Ratel Cider and more.
While details of the opening menu are still being worked out, Whitecross says they will serve "good pub comfort food" similar to fare served ... Read More
May 1, 2018 - A taste of Mardi Gras is coming to the already carnival-like scene on Pacific Ave. in Santa Cruz. Roux Dat Cajun Creole—which operates a bricks and mortar restaurant near the Capitola Mall—has leased the kiosk in front of Bookshop Santa Cruz and is getting ready to open later this month.
"It's going to be a kind of stew shack with jambalaya, gumbo, chicken creole, red beans and sausage, and spinach-mushroom etouffee," says Chad Glassley, who owns the business with his wife Aurelia. The couple's hearty New Orleans-style fare has attracted loyal fans, since they opened four years ago.
"More people are familiar with New Orleans food than you would expect," he says. "I ... Read More
April 24, 2018 - Commercial salmon fishing in the Monterey Bay is set to start next Tuesday, May 1, but the season looks to be one of the shortest ever—just 18 days.
"Some of the local fisherman have decided it's not worth gearing up and are planning to stick with fishing for black cod or crabbing," says Charlie Lambert, who runs the CSF Ocean2Table with fellow fisherman Ian Cole.
The California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife has set the full season for May 1-7 and June 19-30 for waters from Pigeon Point south to the Mexican border. Last year the season for local king salmon was two months long, but normally it runs for at least three months.
"It's kind ... Read More
April 24, 2018 - Three years ago marked an exciting marriage for our community. The union that took place in the early wedding season of 2015 did not feature cake or champagne. Instead, when the Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Market (SCCFM) tied the knot with Mountain Feed & Farm Supply, the collaboration that has followed every year since is a loving example of solid partnership.
And luckily for all of us, these free market classes that we have grown to expect and look forward to at various market locations throughout the summer, all taught by long-time Mountain Feed super star Jessica Tunis, will continue. Expect high amounts of wit and wisdom while getting some schooling ... Read More
April 17, 2018 - Chef Phillip Wojtowicz—co-founder of the iconic Big Sur Bakery and co-author of the Big Sur Bakery cookbook with Michelle Rizzolo—is opening his own restaurant called Poppy Hall in Pacific Grove early next month.
"It's a life-long dream and in my mind will be the ultimate restaurant," Wojtowicz says. He is partnering on the project with Brendan Esons, former sous chef at BSB, and Anna Wilson, who will be general manager.
Located at 589 Lighthouse Ave. in the space that was formerly Mauricio's restaurant, Poppy Hall will aim for a new style of cuisine.
"We're going in a new direction I call California soul food," the chef explained. "Rustic Californian and farm-to-table (cuisine) are in the past, we will ... Read More
April 17, 2018 - Known for its crusty sourdough breads and seasonal pastries, Companion Bakeshop is getting ready to open its second location, in Aptos Center shopping center.
"It's going to be a duplicate of our westside location, a true neighborhood bakery," says owner Erin Lampel.
The space at 7486 Soquel Drive—formerly occupied by Heather's Patisserie—will include a café serving Cat & Cloud Coffee and a retail area. There is an enormous kitchen in the back of the building which will be dedicated to pie and pastry production. All bread will continue to be made at Companion's westside location and trucked over to the Aptos shop daily.
Workers are busy upgrading the kitchen area and will begin a ... Read More
April 10, 2018 - A Morro Bay family has stepped in to save the 40-year-old Cornucopia Community Market at Carmel Rancho Shopping Center.
"They were just going to close it and we felt it was a good opportunity to save something the community really needs and keep it alive," says Greg Barnard, who reopened the health food shop last week with his brother Tanner.
The family also own Sunshine Health Foods and Shine Cafe in Morro Bay. Cornucopia was purchased by the Salt Lake City-based Nutraceutical vitamin company in 2008 as part of a nationwide expansion, but after being acquired by a private equity firm last year the firm has shuttered 33 markets.
"We're going to try to keep it ... Read More