Crowsnest restaurant Santa Cruz
I am visiting Santa Cruz - here for 2 nights, 3 days, but only one night available for dinner. Our hosts recommended several restaurants in response to our "local, fresh seafood" request. Now, maybe there is nothing fresh, local at this time of year? Because they sent us to the Crow's Nest which actually says on its menu "buy local, buy fresh" but then pushes lobster from Australia or the Caribbean, Hawaiian Ahi, Nova Scotia Sea Scallops...
Service was not great. We were seated and handed menus and then....nothing. No one greeted us. No one brought bread. No one asked if we wanted water or drinks. Nothing. We just sat there. The place was not busy. It was half empty. Finally our waiter appeared. When asked questions about certain dishes, he just recited the menu description verbatim. We asked if anything was actually local and he didn't know.
The food actually arrived quickly and it was pretty good. My Yellowfin was slightly overcooked. I had worried that the honey-hoison glaze might be too sweet or strong but it was fine. The veggies - a pile of plain steamed broccoli, carrots, and summer squash. Now no way was that summer squash fresh or local in November. Colleagues had Dungeness crab cakes which were said to be good and ahi tuna which was cooked to order and also said to be good. We passed on dessert.
I disagree. I have been to the Crow's Nest many times for drinks or food. They have a very nice old-style salad bar, good fish, and a very nice view. I'd recommend it as one of the nicer places in Santa Cruz. And you can wander out on the beach after dinner, which is a nice ending to a meal (as long as you bring a warm jacket if you are there for dinner).
The Crow's Nest has always been and will always be very popular -- due to its location at the mouth of the Yacht Harbor. The food is fine, but it's nothing to write home about. The Crow's Nest is where everyone goes after sailing for a drink, and where you end up staying for something to eat . . .
Shadowbrook is better, but . . .