California grill. $$. Solid American dining, with spit-roasted chicken. Attractive room can be noisy. Lunch Mon-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm; dinner nightly 5:30-10pm. 2621 41st Ave, 831.476.3801
California/American. $. The self-serve menu may not be fancy, but the food is cheap and good. Carpo's features hamburgers and a well-stocked salad bar. 11am-9pm. 2400 Porter St, 831.476.6260
Chinese. $$. Chinese country cooking like vegetarian spring rolls, fiery MaPo tofu and Mongolian beef. Lunch daily 11am-2:30pm; dinner nIghtly 4:30-9:30pm. 4610 Soquel Dr. 831.479.0788.
Star of Siam
Thai, sushi. $$. Luscious curries of northern Thailand plus sushi bar. Mon-Thu 11am-9:30pm, Fri-Sun 11am-10pm. 3005 Porter St, 831.479.0366
New American. $$$$. Chef Pete Dressen knows when to stand back and let dishes go supernova. Dinner Tue-Sat from 5:30pm. 3101 N. Main St, 831.462.3657
Mexican. $$. Mexican classics with a North American spin fuel this popular Soquel spot. Daily 11:30am-9:30pm. 4616 Soquel Dr, 831.476.1754