Select A Category
Travel BLOG
November 30, 2015

Lunchtime Goals: A Look at PopUp’s New Weekly Lineup

PopUp Counter Photo Garrick Ramirez PopUp Counter

Pop-up restaurants are generating a lot of buzz lately with temporary eateries sprouting up all over Santa Cruz. The city has always been a hub for new restaurants and creativity and pop-ups are the latest example, allowing culinary talents a chance to experiment. New venues such as the Food Lounge and existing restaurants like Midtown Cafe offer supportive venues for new ideas...and delicious food. Given the popularity of impromptu eateries, we thought we’d check in with the original mobile eatery venue: PopUp.

Kendra Baker and Zachary Davis -- the duo behind the beloved Penny Ice Creamery and Picnic Basket -- created the versatile event space as an adjunct to their full-service restaurant, Assembly. The cozy space allows for take-away as well as al fresco dining on a small patio overlooking lively Pacific Avenue. After hosting various projects throughout their first year and a half, PopUp recently secured a regular daytime line-up of three buzzworthy eateries. Here’s what diners can look forward to each week: Manresa Bread

Wednesdays, 11:00 am - 4pm
Manresa Bread is the bakery offshoot of Los Gatos’ three Michelin-star restaurant, Manresa. Each Wednesday, they set up shop at PopUp with a rotating selection of hand-crafted, small batch breads and pastries. Overseeing the bakery is Avery Ruzicka who studied at the French Culinary Institute in New York and honed her craft at Thomas Keller’s Per Se. Bread lovers tear into hearty, aromatic loaves of levain, pullmans and sourdough baguettes. Not to be missed are their exceptional pastries like an almond croissant, pain au chocolat and stellar kouign amann. Pastry pro-tip: pre-order online-- up to 2 weeks in advance -- and pick up on Wednesday.

Mortal Dumpling

Thursdays, 11:30 am - 2pm
The dumpling devotees at Mortal Dumpling shape savory Asian-inspired bites, from Chinese dim sum to Japanese mochis. Baked and steamed baos come stuffed with delectable fillings like ginger pork, tofu and mushroom, or a Himalayan chicken curry. In addition to dumplings, the weekly menu features specials like a giant meatball soup, sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves, and burdock root with tofu. Just save room for sweet treats like a coconut custard bao and mochi made with local Mutari chocolate.

Shiitake Bowl at Lawman Ramen - Photo Credit: Garrick Ramirez

Fridays, 11:30 am - 2pm Each Friday,
Assembly cook Amy Ajas takes a break from the line to dish up big, colorful bowls of ramen at next door’s PopUp. When a former ramen pop-up packed up shop, Amy was tapped to create her own temporary noodle joint drawing upon previous experience at a Bay Area ramen eatery. Diners choose from two slurptastic bowls: the Tonkotsu Bowl -- filled with pork belly, pickled chard, scallions, and black garlic oil swimming in a luscious pork broth; and a vegetarian bowl with shiitake mushrooms, pickled carrots and daikons, and sunflower sprouts in a shiitake broth. A soft-boiled egg adds $1; bringing your own bowl takes $1 off.


You need to login to comment.
  • Bettina 2 years 273 days ago
    Saved as a favourite, brilliant website!