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“Delicious food on the Santa Cruz beach” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aquarius - Dream Inn

Aquarius - Dream Inn
175 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
8314605012
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Ranked #35 of 287 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Price range: $30 - $30
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Restaurant details
Good for: Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Bay Street
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Delicious food on the Santa Cruz beach”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 via mobile

Aquarius is the hotel restaurant for the Dream Inn. It sits 20 feet above the beach with an outstanding view if the Santa Cruz wharf and beach. There is a wonderful selection of fresh local seafood and well-aged beef. Our waitress was well - informed and very knowledgeable. We were greated warmly by the host when we entered. Valet parking at the Dream Inn
makes visiting this beach restaurant easy.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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157 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    62
    56
    21
    11
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, California
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“great views and location, good food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014

Validated parking was nice. Service was off that day. There is plenty to do in the area, including the new Monterey bay National marine center. I would return.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, Ca
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“View-licious. Bar is overlooked gem. But American cheese? Seriously?”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2014

The whole O'Neill Bar thing is super-cool. Love the new sign and surf history art. The style is clean and modern. And, of course, the view is amazing. Now, about the meal...

It is possibly worth the experience of seeing your kids relive the anachronistic classic icky fav of the t.v. dinner generation: American Cheese grilled sandwich to the backdrop of 70's hits like The Captian and Tannile hit "Love will Keep Us Together" and Village People doing YMCA. (Seriously, what self-respecting graduate of the 70's roller rink can restrain from doing the YMCA w their arms when it comes on?) -Maybe THAT's what kept the server away?

The waitress looked at me like I was visiting from Mars when I requested the salmon dish hold the fish, but vegetarian options were few. After checking with the chef they made it and it was delicious: hot garbanzo beans in a lightly spicy tomato sauce w flecks of spinach and dabs of yogurt. In the end, everyone at our table was happy with their food and that's saying something.

The bar drinks are good- (bartenders, however, are hit and miss). I highly recommend the house made Bloody Mary (spicy!!) and the 209 Martini w Point Reyes blue cheese stuffed olives. It is one of the best cocktails in Santa Cruz. Sophisticated, classy, simple, smooth. Umm...

Basically, Aquarius menu is a fresh if safe entry point to the Monterey Bay local food scene. There is something for almost everyone- including pasta with "absolutely nothing green" for the munchkins, though the menu definitely leans toward the middle of the road.

Service: Locals and visitors alike will appreciate rarely having to wait for a table. Once seated, however, you can sit for long periods over empty plates with no server to collect dishes or bring the check for no apparent reason ( one other table in the place). That shouldn't happen. Getting food service in the bar can also be a painful experience.

Playing it safe with the menu isn't so surprising considering It IS a hotel restaurant. Being able to valet park (for free w validated ticket) and not having to wait 30min. before being seated is a huge plus in Santa Cruz. I've been many times and will keep coming back. But I do always wish the menu were a bit more interesting.

Personally, I would like to see them bring back the cotton candy finish.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Santa Cruz, California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“wonderful dinner(s)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

Have had 3 mouth watering dinners @ Aquarius - the menu had varied choices, the flavors blend wel, the meal was nicely plated and the staff was professional - friendly (they anticipate vs. having to ask). Its not inexpensive. Thre was not any noise factor. Valet service was a +: they borught the car to the exit door.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hayward, California, Usa
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Anniversary Weekend”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

I started to rate this place very Good and adjusted the rating to Average. The valet parking was a plus. The noisy cocktail lounge was a negitive. In the bar it was hard to hear the singer over the din. We were far enough away in the restaurant to not be greatly impactied by the noise. The only real highlight on the Prix Fixe Valentine's Day menu was the lobster bisque. Our waiter was excellent. The wide view of the Santa Cruz wharf, the Boardwalk and the beach was very nice and made the night special. We took the desserts home and enjoyed them immensely the next morning for breakfast. Are we bad or what?

  • Visited February 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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