Late Risers

dining sudaEarlier in the summer, Süda served breakfast. With the introduction of dinner, early morning meals were discontinued in order to focus on the other two. However, when lunch service begins at 11 a.m., some of the most popular morning dishes are served until 2 p.m., perfect for a weekend brunch.

The morning experience was more casual, as the servers, while still sporting long black aprons, wore jeans or shorts underneath. The bartender prepared for the busy day, placing fresh basil, mint, and cilantro sprigs in glasses of cold water.

The three breakfast items included waffles, Huevos Rancheros, and a Fried Egg Sando with bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado and cheese.

The tender, thin circular Waimea Waffle ($9.50) was topped with juicy fresh pineapple, vivid orange mango, sliced banana, whipped cream and toasted coconut.

Huevos Rancheros ($11) was more substantial than any we had encountered. One crisply-fried corn tortilla was topped with black beans, another tortilla, two eggs, sliced avocado roasted salsa. It was surrounded by a dark, chili-infused ranchero sauce and melting chunks of queso fresco and pepper jack cheese..

The lunch menu includes a handful of small plates from the dinner menu, salads, burgers, sandwiches and tacos. Gluten-free items are noted. I chose a Süda Side Salad ($4) and the plate was heaped with rings of white onion, grated carrot, cooked peas, sliced cucumber, and grated raw variegated beets. The selection of greens included a pretty lettuce with burgundy-colored markings. I chose a side of miso-plum dressing, sweet and tart with saltiness from the fermented soybeans.

It seemed an appropriate time to try the Green Mary ($9), a pale green house-batched mixture of greens, peppers, and Stoli hot vodka flecked with spice and topped with an assortment of skewered vegetables. | KP

Süda, 3910 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz, 600-7068. Full bar. Serving lunch from 11 a.m. Lunch and dinner daily from 11 a.m. Find Süda on Facebook

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