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Party Size
For 2
Date
Thu, 4/19
Time
9:00 PM
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Booked 20 times today

Oswald

4.4
932 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
Oswald is a contemporary American restaurant and bar that focuses on the abundance of delicious ingredients found on the central coast of California. Oswald features an eclectic, international wine list and an exciting, seasonal bar program. While the decor is spare and modern, the atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Wednesday - Saturday 11:30am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Tuesday - Sunday: 5:30pm - close
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Phone number
(831) 423-7427
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Damani Thomas
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Front
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Parking details
Oswald is located on the street level of a four story public parking garage with very reasonable rates.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Wine
What 932 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined 5 days ago

Service is excellent. Food is very good but expensive. Wine list is great.
Hate the table upon table arrangement, though. The restaurant is noisy and having other diners so close makes it impossible for a nice conversation. Everyone is speaking so loudly to be heard that you have to do that, too. Therefore, you hear all the other diners' conversations. There was music playing but all we could hear was the thump of the bass. Don't go here for a romantic evening or if you want to enjoy a private conversation. With all the other wonderful restaurants in the area to choose from, I probably won't be going back.

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4.0Dined 6 days ago

A bit too cold inside!

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3.0Dined on April 12, 2018

Consistently good food; however, the noise level is so high that I could not hear my friend across a small table. Also on that night, a birthday party with children was very loud and the children were running all around the restaurant disturbing the other guests. No one said anything, but
we also pay for a nice evening out in a restaurant and it disturbed our dinner experience.

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5.0Dined on April 8, 2018

One of my longtime favorite spots in Santa Cruz. Delicious food and drinks and excellent service. Only challenge is that it can be a bit loud. Highly recommend.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Oswalds is consistantly amazing! Best Resturant in Santa Cruz. Never had a bad meal here. Always awesome. Wish I could eat here more often, but out of my regular budget.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Always one of my go to places for excellent food. You can’t go wrong with the food here and exceptionally service. It is a bit noisy, but I don’t let it bother me too much.

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Stumble up in this restaurant by accident and absolutely loved it. The bartenders are amazing and have awesome cocktail specials. I love my visit there and look forward to returning.

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2018

One of my favorite spots in Santa Cruz! Great place for a date... Food is wonderful and cocktails are good too, and they always have interesting specials.

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4.0Dined on March 28, 2018

Great place to go. Not cheap but they do a great job. Great atmosphere for a really nice date but I think it would also be good for a nice business meal..

Can't go wrong with this place..

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5.0Dined on March 28, 2018

Excellent, as always. Perhaps not quite as complex and subtle as one other of my favorite restaurants, but still in the top three in Santa Cruz!!! They could use some new desserts, though. Their salmon, lamb and duck are all incredible.

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4.0Dined on March 28, 2018

Good solid American cuisine. One of the best in Santa Cruz.

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4.0Dined on March 24, 2018

I read many reviews about Oswalds and have to agree on a solid 4 stars. The drinks were definitely 5 stars as they were creative, beautiful, and really delicious. The food was beautifully presented, but a little blan. I had the mahi and although it was very colorful, the flavors didn't explode in my mouth like I would expect for $36. Saying that, it was definitely an overall good meal and I enjoyed my birthday.

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5.0Dined on March 21, 2018

Easily one of the best restaurants in Santa Cruz. Maybe the best. Excellent food fairly priced, excellent service.

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3.0Dined on March 19, 2018

The food is very good. However, the service, except at the bar, is always uneven. The bar is crowded and bartenders very attentive (some are terrific). In the restaurant itself, however, you never know. Sometimes the wait staff is conscientious, but sometimes uninvolved and even unwelcoming.

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2018

As usual - exceptional meals, impeccable service, and great cocktails/wine. Always a treat.

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2.0Dined on March 18, 2018

Our server was fantastic. The food was not awful, but it wasn't great, especially for the price. Lacked flavor.

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3.0Dined on March 18, 2018

I had high expectations because I had heard the food and service were good. Turns out both could use improvement. We ordered two starters and shared the fish special. The server delivered our fish before I was even close to finishing my salad (big pet peeve of mine). Then she didn’t check back on us until we were nearly done with our entree and had an empty wine glass (pet peeve number 2). The fish itself was lovely but the squash garnish was dry and chalky. And the portion was quite small despite paying $7 for a split plate charge. Big bummer for a $43 dish. One plus was the nice wine at a reasonable price. Won’t be going back.

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5.0Dined on March 8, 2018

Great soft skirt steak.. great service... nice atmosphere

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5.0Dined on March 4, 2018

Absolutely spectacular!

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5.0Dined on March 1, 2018

Noise level better, service very good and the food preparation was excellent

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5.0Dined on March 1, 2018

There are very few top notch restaurants in Santa Cruz, but Oswald is one of them. We were there on a Wednesday evening. Menu featured an appetizer of mussels but they were not available. :-( Instead, we ordered a Dungeness crab and avocado tower with a parmesan crisp and citrus salsa that was very rich and quite good, though for our tastes, could have adjusted the proportions a bit to have less avocado, more crab and more citrus. For entrees, we had skirt steak -- cooked to order -- and a special: Thai snapper with crispy skin over butternut squash and with a beet pesto. I have not had crispy-skinned snapper before and it was wonderful. Really balanced flavor profile. For dessert, we had the chocolate souffle. Perfect. For wine, we ordered their red blend, Angels and Cowboys. I am not normally a fan of blends, but this one was outstanding. Zinfandel, Malbec and Syrah, I think. Noise level is moderate. Service was good but there was a wait between the time we were seated and our service person showed up. Would definitely go again.

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5.0Dined on February 26, 2018

Always great!!!

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4.0Dined on February 25, 2018

All the foods, even simple things like French Fries that I normally dislike, were completely delicious. The side of greens,for $6 was surprisingly yummy, wholesome and plentiful. I would return just for that.

I had the fried chicken from the bar menu. The tenderness of the meat was perfect. I would like a bit more flavor in the flesh of the meat through maybe marination or covering the chicken in salt for 8 hours before. It was low in salt which was perfect for feeling good the next day and for my 81 year old friend whom I was treating for her birthday. She loved it completely.

The fried chicken comes with a salad which was truly fresh and perfect. I mean really good salad!! Most resturant salads seem like a rip off because it’s Costco Spring mix with an ok vinaigrette. The vinaigrette at Oswald was bright and perfectly balanced and the greens were the right size (so no one appears to be a cow when chewing them) and so, so fresh . They used lots of high quality greens like butter lettuce that you normally don’t get in restaurants. The salad and chicken together cost $14 which I think is a great value considering the superior quality of both.

I looked longingly at the mushroom bread pudding at the next table and wished I had ordered it. It looked ectstatically good. The people eating it appeared transported. It came with a lovely, huge side of sautéed greens. $36 for that combo is a lot for me but, I will get that when I return.

Despite my one gripe, that it was loud and hard for anyone with a hearing aide to participate in the conversation, I am definitely going back. My hard of hearing friends tell me they prefer Oswald at lunch when it is quieter for them.

I truly look forward to another meal at Oswald!!l

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5.0Dined on February 24, 2018

We have dined here before...maybe last summer and I love that the menu was almost completely different. The seasonality of the dishes excite and delight. Cocktails and wines are delicious; may have to visit more often!

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4.0Dined on February 21, 2018

Always consistent and very good! Burgers are amazing!! We love everything we ever try! Oh, and the cocktails are outstanding!! Don't miss one of there seasonal drinks! Fun Vibe!

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4.0Dined on February 19, 2018

This was our second time to Oswald and we really enjoyed it.

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4.0Dined on February 18, 2018

Excellent food, very good service. Worth the price. Looking forward to coming back again. Cheers

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4.0Dined on February 16, 2018

Janet, our server and the wine buyer, was a pleasure to work with. She was attentive and very helpful. She made our night and we thank her for the recommendations.

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3.0Dined on February 14, 2018

We visited on Valentines Day to find a prefixed menu which was not that big of a deal, but the choices were limited. The biggest disappointment was the skirt steak and fries option for $65 (salad & dessert included) Not only could you have done this at home for $10, the presentation was steak, fries and a ceramic ramekin sliding around on the plate. The artic char ordered by my better half was great! We’ll be back, it was just a bit disappointing and unexpected

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3.0Dined on February 13, 2018

Bartender seemed to have forgotten our drinks...but the restaurant paid for them since cocktails arrived after our salads and during dinner.

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4.0Dined on February 11, 2018

Service was great
They change menu often didn’t have what we came for

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4.0Dined on February 9, 2018

We shared a bowl of sherried mussels. They were cooked perfectly, and the sherried juice was just the right amount of sweet/buttery. The aioli was light and lemony. It was a very good representation of aioli. We shared the pasta which was good but nothing special. We also shared the fish special - NZ snapper with squashes. It would have been perfect - the squashes were a dynamic addition, but the fish was overcooked. Probably just an unfamiliarity with the fish itself. No dessert - the servings were just the right amount. The service was impeccable! We love the wine list.

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5.0Dined on February 3, 2018

The cocktails were really creative and yummy. Food was delicious and service was great. The restaurant is small but very lively. Fun place for special event.

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4.0Dined on February 1, 2018

I've enjoyed Oswald every time I've been there. Expensive, but worth it!

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5.0Dined on February 1, 2018

Great lunch. Food delicious. Service excellent

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5.0Dined on January 28, 2018

Everything was excellent! The rack of lamb was amazing!

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5.0Dined on January 27, 2018

Crab and avocado appetizer was very nice and my husband loved the special app of wild mushroom bruschetta. Skirt steak was cooked perfectly and so tender and the vegetarian fettuccine was delicious.

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3.0Dined on January 26, 2018

Drinks and apps were great. Duck comfit was disappointing, but the skirt steak was great. Service was lacking: didn't bring wine with dinner. Had to ask for extra bread for the mussels, which were great.

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5.0Dined on January 26, 2018

We chose Oswald because it was close to our movie at the Nick. We didn't have a full menu, instead 2 starters & a shared salad, plus a cocktail & glass of wine. Our waiter was excellent & behaved as if we had ordered a 4 course meal w/ 2 bottles of wine. We've been to Oswald several times & it's always very good.

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4.0Dined on January 24, 2018

The food at Oswald is consistently excellent. We took friends who’d never been there and they enjoyed it too.

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