miyuki restaurant watsonville
—photo by Todd Guild

“Try This” is a weekly column that celebrates local businesses — especially eateries, watering holes, coffee shops and the like.

Todd Guild

Miyuki Restaurant

I went to Miyuki Restaurant in Watsonville for my son’s 9th birthday. This elegant and unpretentious eatery is a mainstay for us when we want sushi. It is well worth the drive from Capitola.

I got the tempura udon, which came with a serving of rice and some pickled vegetables. My kids each wolfed down three rolls of the restaurant’s excellent sushi rolls.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Years ago, during a hike in the forested hills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, I stopped to take a deep breath of fresh air, and looked up to take in the towering canopy of redwood trees. 

The beams of light filtering through gave a cathedral-like affect, which is appropriate, considering this is as close to church as I get.

As I gazed up, a small but sturdy pine cone fell directly into my eye. A trip to the opthamologist the next day reassured me that there was no lasting damage.

I want to believe that, sitting high in one of the trees, the squirrel who threw the pinecone was high-fiving his friends, having scored a literal bullseye on a human target. Perhaps his portrait is up there, in a squirrel hall of fame.

I relate this anecdote to emphasize the fact that I still love the local state parks, despite the mishap. We go whenever we can. I took a trip to Henry Cowell with my family recently, walking the short and easy redwood loop. I highly recommend this to anyone.

Johanna Miller

Hidden Fortress: Chai Latte

If you’ve been reading “Try This” since it was introduced almost a year ago, you might already know that I love chai lattes. I’ve reviewed them at a few places, from the popular Peet’s Coffee chain to independent shops in the area. Chai lattes are an interesting drink because they are different everywhere you go, depending on the spices used and how they are blended.

hidden fortress watsonville
—photo by Johanna Miller

I stopped by Watsonville’s Hidden Fortress Coffee Roasting, 125 Hangar Way #270, on Tuesday morning and tried their version of the drink. I was surprised as I took the first sip—it did not taste like any other chai I had had before. I asked the barista if I could know the ingredients, but she said that it was Hidden Fortress owner Amelia Loftus’ special recipe.

“It’s a secret homemade recipe… she makes it herself,” the barista said.

The mystery definitely made for an interesting experience—I couldn’t put my finger on what exactly I was tasting. It wasn’t as full of spices as I am used to (and prefer), but the flavor was unique. I ordered it with oat milk, which might have changed the taste slightly.

With my chai I ordered a toasted bagel, since I had only eaten an egg before leaving my house that morning. I had the Everything bagel with cream cheese, and it was delicious. Their bagels are delivered from The Bagelry—an institution in Santa Cruz since 1977—and they offer other toppings such as peanut butter, avocado, Nova Lox salmon and more.

Hidden Fortress is open Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-2 p.m., and as of this week is also open Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You can also find them at farmers markets across the county and inside Cabrillo College’s Watsonville Center, 318 Union St. For information visit hiddenfortresscoffee.com.

Chai latte (small): $3.75

Bagel with cream cheese: $3.75

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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