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“Nice view but the food is below average”

Aquarius - Dream Inn
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Ranked #23 of 372 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $60
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Bay Street
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
46 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Nice view but the food is below average”
Reviewed June 16, 2013

This restaurant has a great view but the food is just not very good. We went there for a romantic dinner and were seated next to a table of about 15 college students that were throwing a birthday party. They were so loud that we could hardly hear each other talk. The only thing we had that I would ever go back for was the clam chowder, at least that was good.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Old_Porsche_Guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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280 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    109
    104
    39
    15
    13
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great dining with unobstructed ocean views”
Reviewed May 31, 2013

I highly recommend visiting the Aquarius Restaurant at the Dream Inn, even if you are not staying there. The restaurant is enclosed with glass windows and there's great views of the beach from nearly every table. There are many tables that are right by the windows and you can look out at the boardwalk and watch swimmers and strollers on the beach. The service and food are excellent - and I've been a few times and the specials and menu changes regularly. I've enjoyed the Aquarius Restaurant each time I've visited Santa Cruz (usually about once a year) and it's definitely not to be missed if you happen to be there.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank svrh4463
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
38 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Excellent!”
Reviewed May 26, 2013

From the warm bread to the birthday dessert, to the cuisine in between, Aquarius met the needs of adult and child. We were staying at the hotel, and loved our view, it did not disappoint. Definitely more of a foodie vibe than the other restaurants on the pier - cannot speak for elsewhere.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank SFMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Beautiful restaurant with a wonderful beach/ocean view.”
Reviewed May 21, 2013

Our dinner club group descended on Aquarius with fairly high expectation. The food was pretty good - I will give a nod to the scallops the rest of the group were fairly d. They were quite tasty. Even though we had a slow start with drinks which took management took care of - the rest of the service was right on. I wanted to taste something that would have really set the restaurant apart but it was good food with great ambiance and view. As they say....location, location, location!!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank lynnd13travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
136 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Nice setting, wonderful views”
Reviewed May 20, 2013

The bar and dining areas are very comfortable. You could have a conversation without having to shout/raise your voice, even with lots of people around. The cocktail menu is fun & inventive and I especially liked our bartender's personality (didn't get her name). The servers in the dining room are spot on with bread and water. We ordered the ceviche as an appetizer and ooffff- not good. All previously frozen tiny little shrimp with salsa that seemed to come out of a jar. It was served in a large flat bowl lined with tortilla chips that came out of a Sysco food services bag. Honestly, I was embarrassed for the kitchen and weary of what the entrees would be. However, there was some redemption on the main course. My friend had the chicken (moist, flavorful) and I had the Mahi Mahi. My sweet pea purée was delicious. The fish was overcooked but not so bad I wanted to wait for another piece. We went back the next day (post half-marathon brunch) and ordered basic eggs/bacon/toast. Those were fine but our server (we think it was her first day), never checked back to refill coffee cups (we had to ask two times) and never brought over butter or jam for the toast. For a $40 breakfast, I shouldn't have to go begging for coffee.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Kelly P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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