Pearl of the Ocean

Pearl of the Ocean

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.pearloftheocean.net/
  • Phone: 8314572350
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Daily: 11:30AM - 2:00PM Dinner: Monday - Friday: 5:00PM - 9:00PM Saturday & Sunday: 5:00PM - 9:30PM
  • Payment Options: Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Organic, Vegetarian / Vegan, Indian
  • Executive Chef: Ayoma Wilen
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: We proudly do catering- Please contact us for a unique and memorable event.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: N. Branciforte
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: We have a large parking lot for you in front of the restaurant.
A word from Pearl of the Ocean
Pearl of the Ocean offers a unique luncheon or dining experience for locals and visitors alike. We are conveniently located on Water Street near downtown Santa Cruz, with easy bus access, and plenty of parking. The restaurant first opened in 2004 as Sri Restaurant, and quickly became popular Ayoma Wilen, the new owner/chef, is continuing the tradition of serving delicious Sri Lankan cuisine, using fresh quality organic and locally grown ingredients, and a variety of special ingredients imported directly from Sri Lanka. We have many vegetarian and vegan offerings that are unique to our restaurant, as well as several dishes that include meat and seafood. In addition to all the delicious food, we have a wonderful selection of teas and exotic drinks. You'll enjoy our cuisine in a comfortable atmosphere, at reasonable prices; once you try it, you'll be back for more. Come savor the flavors of Sri Lanka!
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Pearl of the Ocean reviews from OpenTable diners
3 reviews since May 19, 2014
Overall Rating3.3
  • Food3.7
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelQuiet
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for lunch (1)Show More
  • Terrible service
    RobC
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    It was valentines day and they were crowded but atleast 4 tables seated after me and my date were done eating and left before we even got desert. It was like we were invisable. Took 15 minutes to get a menu. Food was good, just terrible service. No discount offered only a verbal apology.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • amazing food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 12/4/2013
    I looked up a few reviews and read how amazing the foos was but the service was not that great. My first experience was wonderful all around. The food and service was amazing. If you like spicy this is the place to go. But there are other dishes that are not spicy for those who do not hot. All and all I am looking forward to going back again.....and again! Two thumbs up for Pearl of the Sea.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sweet little place with great food
    mindianerVIP
    Dined on 10/30/2013
    I love this restaurant. It is quiet and pleasantly decorated. The food id full of flavor with unusual tastes and generous portions. Everything is fresh and unique. Medium spicy still leaves room to savor the flavors.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very tasty healthy food
    Maurice
    Dined on 9/25/2013
    The food here is not only healthy but interesting and exotic as well. It is possible to visit many times and have new and interesting dishes each time. I have had out of town guests who ate there every night during their visit as they were so impressed with the variety and the quality of the ingredients that they wanted to sample the whole menu before they left. The proprietress of the restaurant is a delight to talk to as well.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tasty sri lankan fare
    mindianerVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2013
    This is a cute casual restaurant featuring authentic Sri Lankan food. Simple decor, friendly service, unusual food. There are dishes for vegan, vegetarian or meat eaters. There was a lot of choices in spiciness and side dishes. My husband got a noodle dish with chicken on the side, and I got a chicken main entree with two delicious vegetables on the side. Satisfying.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing dinner and experience
    chrisbVIP
    Dined on 7/15/2013
    Having dined here a few times and having enjoyed the food, we were very disappointed with our recent experience. Portions were very small and not all that tasty. The dish we most wanted, eggplant, we were told they didn't have enough of. Yet, it was served to other tables. Owner kept urging us to order the mango dish, even though we told her several times that we found it to be too sweet. When it came time to leave, owner took us aside and chastised us for having used Open Table to make our reservation. She said that we knew her restaurant, and that we should telephone to make a reservation, thus sparing her the cost associated with using Open Table. The whole experience was uncomfortable and unpleasant, and we will not be returning.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food Great, Ambiance OK.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 6/29/2013
    Interesting food, different from Indian food. Everything I tried was delicious. The restaurant is small and a bit shabby looking. They do have outside seating. This place is casual with prices that were a bit high for what you get. I would still go back though, the food was worth it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved Pearl of the Ocean
    BarbaraV
    Dined on 1/4/2013
    We have a vegan in the family and also meat lovers. It is VERY hard to find restaurants we all enjoy but Pearl made us all very happy. The food is so flavorful and fresh -- they use local ingredients/sources and the quality is just incredible. We were surprised we did not know about it and had not tried it even though we've lived in the area for over 15 years. Now that we have, we will be going back. You should try it too.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Really great food and service.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 12/21/2012
    Really great food and service. The staff were very helpful, great suggestions on the specials.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I was disappointed in the
    PattyoboeVIP
    Dined on 6/16/2012
    I was disappointed in the service this time. It took so much time to even get a glass of water. I'm not sure why, but it seemed we were just a bother to them. I wondered if they were just angry that we used OpenTable to make the reservation.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I love going to Pearl of the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/11/2012
    I love going to Pearl of the Ocean. This was my second time, once was lunch and the other dinner. Both times I came away wanting to come back for more.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • This is a very good restaurant.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 3/23/2012
    This is a very good restaurant. I appreciate that they use organic ingredients and they have lots of vegetarian offerings. I will definitely be going back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The food is outstanding! The
    Sandy
    Dined on 2/24/2012
    The food is outstanding! The service lacked. I found a note on the table saying the owner was out of town and the menu was shortened. That made sense, even though I've never been here before, the menu online had more choices. That may have been why the service was not so great? I'll be back anyhow to try other dishes (when the owner gets back)...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Be prepared for exotic spicy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/14/2012
    Be prepared for exotic spicy food. A vibrant colorful menu, you'll likely have left overs if you order two meals with an appetizer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 12/28/2011
    We LOVE this place for its food. It is one of the best Indian food places I have ever eaten at. They use all local and organic ingredients the food has tons of flavor and as spicy as you can handle( they ask how spicy you like it). This little place is unpretentious the only two issues we have is the atmosphere need allot of improvement and the service needs work. We keep going back though because the food is so good!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice food and nice service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 12/10/2011
    The owner of the restaurant was very sweet and so were the server. The server took best efforts to explain us the menu and also suggested one and we liked it very much. TThe only negative I can say was the table arrangement was not so spacious, we could hear what the guests on other table were actually talking about and I think so did they :) Rest all this was very nice find on open table and we liked the food very much. We will definitely come there once again
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A place good for lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/23/2011
    We went to lunch and the prices were quite affordable with quality foods. Almost all dishes were vegetarian except one with chicken. The chicken curry was quite spicy, but all of the entrees we tried were delicious. The server was very friendly and attentive.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ok Food...poor service..over priced
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/30/2011
    This was my first time at Pearl of the Ocean. I had made a reservation for saturday evening and arrived on time. The restaurant had a table open but took 10 minutes to seat us. We waited for another 10 minutes until someone showed up to offer us water and take our orders. Three of the 6 vegetarian entrees were not available! We nevertheless placed the order. By the time the food arrived.It was almost an hour since we arrived to the restaurant. The food itself smelled and tasted fresh. The breads were quite nice. The overal taste I though was average. The quantity of food for the price was not justifiable. The desert was good. But even here they had run out of 2/3 deserts. All in all, I would probably skip this restaurant if given an option.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A bit overwhelmed by Groupon
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/12/2011
    A bit overwhelmed by Groupon coupon users, perhaps? They had no record ("We don't have a computer") on my online reservation but cheerfully made room for us in their packed tiny restaurant. We waited a long time for food, which seemed hastily prepared and over-spiced. We'll never go again. At least the waitress was nice.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The name says it all...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 1/22/2011
    Pearl of the Ocean is truly a Pearl. The food is exquisite, fresh & organic, local and authentic to a T. Service is great – the proprietor is a lovely, motherly Sri Lankan lady who is very attuned to what your food preferences are, and is more than happy to recommend appropriate dishes to pair with your entreé and with your tastes. Every taste is delightful and unique. Even the richer foods are prepared lightly, so even after eating a full meal you leave feeling light with a happy belly! It is a little pricey, but you definitely get what you pay for here. After just 2 dining experiences Pearl of the Ocean has already become my favorite restaurant in Santa Cruz.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The portions are fairly small,
    ElizVIP
    Dined on 11/13/2010
    The portions are fairly small, though you can tell the ingredients are of high quality. The eggplant moju was particularly good, an appealing melange of vegetables that weren't overly sauced. The ginger rice was also delicate. The chicken curry was a larger portion than I recall (good thing, as they charge $2 extra for it), but also much, much spicier (and I eat spicy food all the time). The server was sweet to the point of being apologetic but clearly new and/or untrained; it took a good 15 minutes between the time I got a menu and the time the order was taken, and she had to keep running back and forth to the kitchen (so they were obviously understaffed). I'd go again, but I think things might be more efficient on a weekday.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet