More Food In Santa Cruz!

Takara Japanese Restaurant: SUSHI!!!

Most of my friends already know that I am a big fan of sushi. There is just something about all those flavors hitting your pallet all at once! Some people ask:

“But you’re a vegetarian! That’s not real sushi!”

Well, let us dive a little bit deeper into that statement.

According to the ever so reliable Google, the definition reads:

Sushi: a Japanese dish consisting of small balls or rolls of vinegar-flavored cold cooked rice served with a garnish of raw fish, vegetables, or egg.


We live in an evolving world, and to be perfectly honest, I have gotten more satisfaction from vegan and vegetarian sushi than I did with raw fish. Either way, Takara is a great option.

Takara is located right on the outskirts of the Capitola Mall in the city of Capitola. A great location, as it sits directly across the street from the newly remodeled Cinelux Theater.

There are a few other options if sushi is not for you, but most people go there for the sushi! This is my second favorite sushi restaurant in Santa Cruz. This county is saturated with sushi restaurants and it takes a lot of exploring to find the high quality places. (Later this month I will post an article on my favorite sushi restaurant in town)

The atmosphere at Takara is definitely unique. The lighting is dim and the restaurant is always very clean and elegant. Just by the look, I would call it “romantic” or “intimate”. However, when you come sit down and the crowds start to enter, you realize that it is more of a family friendly atmosphere that can get a little bit loud. The restaurant is quite large, so there are definitely more quiet areas where someone could bring a date and woo one’s partner with great taste in sushi restaurants!

The sushi bar is nice and large

The booths are lined with what I assume to be artificial bamboo. It really brings out the Japanese feel in the restaurant.

I definitely enjoy the feeling of a restaurant that offers an experience to go with their wonderful food!

As far as their food goes, I have never been disappointed. A great vegetarian selection with a rather small vegan selection, however, they are very accommodating when small changes are asked for in their rolls.

My partner and I came here with a couple of fish lovers and it was good to get another opinion on the sushi.

Caterpillar roll!

The caterpillar roll was adorable with a couple of chopped octopus tentacles playing the roll of “eyes” on the caterpillar.

They enjoyed this roll as well as their other traditional fish rolls.

The only complaint came when ordering the uni (Sea Urchin).

Our friend said that it was quite bitter, which is usually a sign that it is not fresh. I hate to say anything bad about places I love, but let’s be honest, order uni at your own risk.

She still admitted that it was okay to eat, however, she says it should usually have a sweeter flavor to it.

“How about the alcohol,” you ask?

Well, they have all the traditional stuff: Sake, Kirin, Supporo etc. But they do also have a full bar and some other average beers for options. If I’m going to eat sushi, I always want some hot sake. The only complaint I have for Takara is that they only have one size for their hot sake. When you come with a table of 4–6 people, it is a little frustrating that you have to get 3–4 bottles instead of 2 large ones for the table. It’s a pretty minor complaint, since it is still delicious!

Ten ounce sake; one liter beer

You didn’t forget about how much Santa Cruzians love their beer did you?!

Next to our ten ounce sake bottle is our one liter mug of Kirin! At least they know their audience, right?

Just remember that when you are looking for sushi in Santa Cruz: BE PICKY! This teeming industry has a lot of options, so make sure you do your research and play it safe. This may sound superficial, but if it is more expensive, it is probably better quality. That is the case for the sushi we have tried in SC so far.

I hope you enjoy your sushi in Santa Cruz.

Heading to Cantine wine pub in Aptos next!