UC-Santa Cruz is a challenging place to learn: the academic standards are high, you have to avoid the distraction of a beautiful campus, and John Travolta keeps stealing all your Banana Slugs t-shirts. For serious chow from some guys who managed to pay attention, climb up to 2nd Story.
The savory dream of three buds who met in a Santa Cruz organic farming program, 2nd Story plates market-fresh dishes in upstairs digs featuring a bar built from a repurposed 18thC China hutch, huge street-facing windows, and a room whose banquettes wrap its entire perimeter, making it essentially one big booth, except it never unwittingly knocked up Emily Deschanel. The seasonal whims of the Farmers Market'll dictate the menu, but pan-everything cuisine'll potentially include seasonal pickled fare ranging from cumin carrots to asparagus; a Little T baguette stuffed with Caldera Pilsner-braised Carlton Farms pork shoulder and peach chutney; and sushi-grade tuna carpaccio the chef claims is "summer on a plate", though not 500 days of it, because that would just be too many Deschanel sister references for one restaurant. Story's also all about housemade boozy goodness (that're easy on the sweetness), like the Garden Lemonade with vodka, lemon, cava, and their own elderflower liqueur; a whiskey sour with fresh peach puree; and the cane sugar "Mexi-Sprite"/herb-infused vodka Basil Press, a much better way to apply defensive pressure in basketball than anything involving Curry.
Because why ever stop getting fat, the cook's experience as the pastry chef at Higgins propels a killer savory/ sweet dessert menu including awesomeness like housemade mascarpone, ice cream, and pudding, though likely not banana, cause that stuff will make you mad sluggish.