Maximilian Masluk, born in New Orleans and raised in Napa, started working at the Dolphin nine years ago, after getting the job through a friend. He was promoted to assistant manager four years ago, and says he loves working there for myriad reasons: the wharf location with great views, being outside near the beach, the highly social culture and getting to know and connect with so many people.
Masluk says the Dolphin has the most epic under-the-radar breakfast menu in town, with great eggs benedict—including an option with in-house smoked beef brisket and avocado. The lunch/dinner menu is all about seafood classics, from clam chowder in a bread bowl to calamari steak sautéed in white wine and butter, to salmon dijonnaise in a light creamy mustard sauce. They also feature a decadent smoked oysters rockefeller appetizer, complete with bacon, onion, pesto and homemade chardonnay hollandaise. Hours are 8am-9pm every day. GT asked Masluk recently about his music background and how the universe nudged him to stay in Santa Cruz after college.
Tell me about your musical prowess.
MAXIMILIAN MASLUK: Both my parents were music majors at UCLA, so they encouraged me to take voice lessons in classic Italian and German opera. I’m also the singer in a reggae band called Pacific Roots that plays locally and around the country, and sometimes on slow days here at the restaurant I will bust out my ukulele and sing some island reggae or Italian opera for our guests. It gives them a special experience and a treat they’re not expecting. I love having a job that allows me to express my artistic side.
Tell me about the random moment that kept you in Santa Cruz.
After graduating from UCSC, I wanted to stay in Santa Cruz. But after a few years of working locally in some dead-end jobs in food service, I was thinking of moving away and making a life change. But then one day, a skimboard showed up at my door by mistaken delivery. I went out and tried it and instantly fell in love. After falling on my butt for three months, I eventually got good at it and that one package showing up on my doorstep completely changed my life trajectory. It kept me in Santa Cruz, and, soon after, I got the job here. I am so happy I stayed.
The Dolphin, 71 Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz, 831-426-5830; dolphinrestaurant.net.