.Double Wonder

Two huge debuts, Izakaya West End and Dos Pescados, stoke the Westside and Aptos

One of Westside Santa Cruz’s more popular gastropubs has undergone a dramatic makeover.

Yes, the patio and bar area are completely revamped, but the most interesting things happening at the former West End Tap—now Izakaya West End (334 Ingalls St. D, Santa Cruz)—are on the menu.

That’s where a career of training in Japanese cuisine for co-owner-chef Geoff Hargrave and a lifetime of Japanese heritage (and mom’s cooking) for co-owner Quinn Cormier find vibrant expression.

We’re talking miso bone broth, dash-braised pork belly bao buns, chilled soba salads, karaage chicken sandwiches, seared Tahitian albacore and more, all dished with sauces slow-crafted in house.

“We have an awesome location, but we felt West End could use a rebrand, and we’re both passionate about Japanese ingredients and execution,” says Cormier, who also partners with Hargrave on East End Gastropub (1501 41st Ave., Suite I, Capitola). “We decided, ‘Let’s move on an idea we’ve been putting together for a long time.’ It felt like a natural next step.”

That evolution gathers additional pop with the debut of a new cocktail program once a new liquor license takes effect in a little over a week.

“We’ve worked hard on putting together a great menu,” Hargrave says. “It’s fire—and unlike anything in the area.” westendtap.com


Dos Pescados (21 Seascape Village) is now open in Aptos, at least in a limited fashion, and will be fully open in another week. The seafood-forward spot in the remade Palapas Restaurant y Cantina comes courtesy of owner Brandon Smittcamp and Executive Chef Trent Lidgey, with a focus on both sustainable fish and a vibrant vibe.

Smittcamp totes along a wealth of experience in restaurants, including historic Fresno fixture Lime Lite, and other Central Valley spots Heirloom, Butterfish, Mayd Modern Mediterranean and Saizon. Lidgey, meanwhile, is chef-owner of One Fish Raw Bar in Campbell.

A robust raw bar settles in among the offerings at Dos, with shellfish preps ranging from little neck clams with calamansi and guajillo to oysters on the half shell with margarita mignonette.

Tacos featuring both fresh fish and slow-braised meats also figure in prominently, with style points to spare. Two examples to anticipate: 1) hamachi collar “al pastor” with roasted pineapple salsa on blue corn tortillas; and 2) smoked short rib tacos with fermented salsa verde.

A strong cocktail menu will star an extensive selection of agave spirits.

L.A.-based Studio UNLTD—renowned for work with establishments such as Otium, Bestia and Bavel—will oversee the space’s wider refresh come December, with an emphasis on a coastal and unpretentious environment.

Dos’ promotional materials promise “a fresh perspective on ocean-inspired fare paired with warm hospitality and innovative cocktails.”



Too Good to Go keeps stoking savvy consumers with deals on restaurant surpluses at the end of the day, while reducing waste and expanding foodie adventure, toogoodtogo.com/en-us…New Leaf Community Markets’ downtown Santa Cruz store closes in October, with its new location landing in the Gateway Plaza on River Street next year…Summer time is prime time for organic shroomsicles courtesy of Santa Cruz Fungi, scfungi.com…Take us out Taylor Swift: “When I figured out how to work my grill, it was quite a moment. I discovered that summer is a completely different experience when you know how to grill.”



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