Dining Reviews

Ocean2Table Delivers Fresh, Seasonal, Sustainable Food

Community Supported Fishery provides convenient home delivery

Charlie Lambert (right) and Ian Cole, owners of Ocean2Table in Santa Cruz, show a sampling of the fresh fish they offer through their Center Street business. PHOTO: TARMO HANNULA

So many of my friends were praising the incredible fresh fish, the bountiful organic produce, the mushrooms, the eggs, and the convenient home delivery—all from Ocean2Table. I’d heard enough. It was time for me to place an order myself. 

The fact that it was the opening of king salmon season was the final nudge. So I went to the website, drooled over the possibilities and made my first order. Simple. Then on Friday when they make Santa Cruz deliveries ($7 delivery fee), I put out a freshly sanitized Igloo cooler on my front porch and waited.  

The first king salmon of the local season, thick creamy sweet salmon—a thick one pound slab of it for $25. I ordered two so that another package is safely tucked in our freezer for the future. Each week the Ocean2Table entrepreneurs, Ian Cole and Charlie Lambert put together a Fish and Farm box, which includes the featured seafood of the week, plus a fresh-baked loaf from Companion Bakeshop bread, along with an assortment of produce—last week it included chard, dino kale, beets, Gem lettuce, dill lemons, Fuji apples, sweet potatoes fennel and a basket of strawberries. To this order patrons can also add salmon, or halibut, or mushrooms (porcini, morels, matsutake), Fogline Farm chicken, Pajaro Pastures eggs, and Swanton Farm jam. It arrives at your doorstep on Fridays. The mouth-watering website provides details and recipes. 

Essentially the fresh-caught/fresh-harvest concept allows those of us who crave fresh, seasonal and sustainably captured seafoods to get the best. Ocean2Table partners Cole and Lambert, former marine field biologists who both graduated from the UCSC Environmental Studies program, started up the marine equivalent of a CSA, a CSF—Community Supported Fishery, in 2014. Consumers buy into each upcoming harvest, thereby allowing Ocean2Table to bring in fresh supplies at sustainable prices. 

The salmon, which came onshore at Moss Landing, was delicious, practically vibrating with that wild rich flavor that defines king salmon. I top it with seasonings, salt it, and roast at 425 degrees for exactly 14 minutes. And it’s always perfect. You can bet I’ll be checking out Ocean2Table deliveries all summer long. 

Getocean2table.com.

Gayle’s Pops Back Up

I got a recent email from Gayle Ortiz with the news that the team at Gayle’s Bakery and Rosticceria had been “crazy busy reinventing the business” for prepaid, curbside pickup orders (plus DoorDash delivery). The items now available from the Capitola landmark include the most popular on past menus. A huge array of pastries, sandwiches, and those wonderful dinners, including a daily Blue Plate Dinner—are all ready to pop in your own oven or microwave. 

A heads up: You place your order for second day pickup, 11am-5pm daily. In other words, if you place your online order by 11am on Monday, your order will be ready for pickup on Wednesday. So plan ahead. I’ve been craving Gayle’s comfort meatloaf and tri-tip dinners. Okay, and the morning buns. 

Gaylesbakery.com.

Open!

Bantam on the Westside is now open for pickup Monday-Friday, 4-8pm, and that means Caesar salad, pastas, and countless pizzas. There’s even a make-it-yourself pizza kit! 

Bantam, 1010 Fair Ave., Santa Cruz. Bantam.alohaorderonline.com.

Bagelry is open! You know where your favorite neighborhood Bagelry is! Well, now it’s open and loaded with Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company java and all your bagel favorites. Live a little—order The Duke! 

Oswald is open (more on that next week), as is Zameen, Laili, Walnut Avenue Cafe, and Sotola Bar and Grill

However, after two decades on the Capitola Esplanade, Gary and Leslie Wetsel have closed their popular Paradise Beach Grille for good. Thanks for the delicious memories.

Correcting an error from last week’s column: India Joze pickup meals are online orders only at indiajoze.com/order/eat, Tuesday-Saturday, 5-8pm (not 8:30pm).

Christina Waters was born in Santa Cruz and raised all over the world (thanks to an Air Force dad), with real-world training in painting, music, winetasting, trail running, organic gardening, and teaching. She has a PhD in Philosophy, teaches in the Arts at UCSC and sings with the UCSC Concert Choir. Look for her recent memoir “Inside the Flame” at bookstores everywhere.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. June Smith

    May 26, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    Ted Burke tells me that he can’t open as planned on June 1.
    Will be anxious to hear when he can jump through the hoops put before him.

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