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Party Size
For 2
7:00 PM

Pearl of the Ocean

75 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Organic
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!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Indian, Organic, Vegetarian / Vegan
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Daily: 11:30AM - 2:00PM Dinner: Monday - Friday: 5:00PM - 9:00PM Saturday & Sunday: 5:00PM - 9:30PM
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Phone number
(831) 457-2350
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Payment options
Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Ayoma Wilen
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We proudly do catering- Please contact us for a unique and memorable event.
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Cross street
N. Branciforte
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Parking details
We have a large parking lot for you in front of the restaurant.
Beer, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 75 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.8  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 22, 2017

This is my new favorite place! Yummy organic, locally sourced & VEGAN sri lankan food. I had the triple mushroom curry with brown rice & salad rolls and 2 glasses of their signature wine. The owner/chef was also serving due to pre-holiday reduction in staff and she never gave off any impression that she was hurried or harried but was lovely and friendly and helpful. The food was fresh, interesting & delicious. The wine was sweet, rich and full bodied and fun to drink. One of my favorite things was the ambience was like a cafe with mellow dimmed lighting. It has less than 20 tables and the result is you can converse with your friend/s. This may not seem like a big deal but I am hearing impaired so a general din as you find in most restaurants was noticeably missing here & it made the whole dining experience so peaceful. Prices were reasonable and the food was excellent. I'll be back!! Thank you.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 10, 2017

Really love this place every time I come I get something different, food has flavors that are so yummy, if it's says Spicey it really is so be careful if you don't like hot spices.

BirthdayGirl (Sacramento)
4.0  Dined on October 20, 2017

My husband and I were visiting Santa Cruz for the weekend to celebrate my birthday. This wasn't my birthday celebration restaurant, but we were looking forward to a new experience in Sri Lankan cooking. We had very early reservations (5:30) and so the service was quick. The fixed price menu for restaurant week had been extended to Friday, October 20th even though the menu indicated it would end on October 18th. The food was good but a small criticism was that it was served only slightly warm even though it had come directly from the kitchen. Perhaps that is the way Sri Lankan food is served. The staff service was delightful and gracious.

Lynn (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on October 15, 2017

We decided to give this place a second try, but found it much like our first experience: loud, crowded, and over-priced with slow service.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on October 13, 2017

The deviled beef with eggplant was scrumptious. The salmon was overdone (I asked for it rare, and they told me it couldn't be done, so that's on me), and I wasn't crazy about the sauce on top. The coconut/leek sambal was also too spicy for me. But dessert was fab (chocolate cake for hubby and tapioca for me), and I loved that the chef came out for a short visit. She was lovely. I'd go back and just not order the salmon.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on August 26, 2017

The food was really delicious, healthy and fresh. The flavors were unique and vibrant! I would come here next time I visit Santa Cruz. There was only one waiter and he was serving all the tables, so a few things were forgotten and we needed to be patient. I have a friend who is allergic to coconut and soy, and she was not able to eat anything other than a noodle dish. So, I wish I could have seen more of the menu online prior to arriving.

vipKDavis (Sacramento)
5.0  Dined on August 12, 2017

Food was creative and delicious, in a small but bright and cheerful space. Service was friendly but quite slow. The house-label wine (we had the cab) was surprisingly good.

vipOpenTable Diner (Orange County)
4.0  Dined on July 26, 2017

Great spicy food, $. Groupon next time!!

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on June 25, 2017

The food was beautifully presented, very colorful, with varied textures and spiciness.
I especially recommend the pakora--a deep fried variety of vegetables with a chili sauce for dipping.
Waitstaff seemed friendly and helpful, but somewhat inexperienced.
Many vegetarian and vegan choices.

OpenTable Diner (Key West)
4.0  Dined on June 2, 2017

The food was great. My son-in-law is from Sri Lanka and he confirmed that the food was authentic and very good. However, the prices were a bit over-the-top. 3 Adults and a child and the bill with tip came to $145. We ordered 3 main entrees, one shared appetizer and three beers plus one Tea. The child shared our food. The servings were good-sized and we had some to take home with us. I would consider going back for a special occasion, but would not take the family for a regular dinner out considering the prices.

The evening sun was a bit too bright and glaring in the restaurant. It really detracted from the atmosphere.

Service was very good even with a first-day employee. She did very well for it being her first day on the job. Very friendly! The manager was also very attentive and stopped by a couple times to make sure we were being taken cared of well.