Pearl of the Ocean in Santa Cruz serves natural Sri Lankan organic cuisine. The organic cuisine part gave us the clue that it would be a bit more pricey than a lunch buffet. None the less, this a great place for vegetarian and vegan meals or a great lunch spot for those of us who love taking meat ‘home’ for dinner. We did become very informed about the jackfruit, of South East Asia by our waitress, who turned out to be the owner and chef. She described the jackfruit as being very much filling like meat, very starchy and fibrous!
We ordered the Vegetable Rolls, sautéed vegetables fried in Sri Lankan–style pancake for an appetizer and they were really tasty. They have many creative salads but their dinner curries and entrées are served with a choice of two main dishes, brown or ginger rice, and a side order of dhal, papadam and chutney so we went for the entrees. I thought the portions were a great size to be able to then eat desert but the guys of course are ogres and need so much food that it is tough to take them out to a dinner with small entrees for $15. For dinner we had the Lamb Curry (see their recipe on next page or on their website under products) which was lamb cooked with roasted curry powder in almond sauce served sides of Kale and coconut and Cashew and cauliflower. The sides are very delicate and wonderfully spiced. With our other curry we ordered the Eggplant moju and it was out of this world tasty!!! The presentation was beautiful with a palette of warm colors and a very symmetrical placement of the sides on a square dish. The papadam was a great addition to the meal and broken in half to stay within the perimeters of the balanced presentation of the meal but a full one would have been awesome!
Open for lunch:
Tuesday through Sunday 11:00 am–2:30 pm
Open for dinner:
Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
Friday and Saturday 5:00 pm–9:30 pm
Chicken Curry Recipe (from their website)
*I haven’t tried it yet!
Curried Chicken or Lamb Curry
1 pound of chicken cut in small pieces
1 red onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely cut
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cardamom
2 or 3 tsp Sri Roasted Spice Mix (from their store – see it under PRODUCTS on their website http://www.pearloftheocean.net/)
2 or 3 curry leaves (if available) or bay leaves
1/3 tsp salt
Lightly fry onion, curry leaves and garlic in a pan. When the onion turns light brown, add tomatoes and mix well for a minute. Now add chicken/lamb and all the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Turn the heat down to low after 10 minutes. Cover the pan with a lid and slow-cook for another 35 minutes.
Add 1 tsp of soy sauce and 1 tbsp of ketchup and mix well before serving.