“They could double the price, and I would still order it. I would sell my cats for this.”

Coming from my friend Margie, who is a devoted cat lover and recently built her own “Paws Mahal” for her caboodle of kittens, this dinner review means a heck of a lot.

This past weekend, my friend and I went on a writing retreat to Santa Cruz, California. Although the intent was to knock out a good chunk of our book manuscripts, this basically meant we went clothes shopping and toured all the best local ice cream shops. One night, we decided it was seafood or bust. Walking along the Boardwalk wharf, we stopped at one of the menus posted on the wall of a place called Splash. It claimed to have spinach artichoke crab dip, and at that #hangry hour we were all about that, so we slipped inside the grotto-style restaurant and got seated at the revolving bar.

Let me say that again…

We got seated at a revolving bar.

Our table sat on a circular floor that moved ever so slowly in a 360-degree orbit around the bay windows, so that customers not only got a great view, but every view. We were basically on a carousel that served dinner, and it was awesome (after we realized the movement wasn’t due to our sleep-deprived eyes playing tricks on us).

We ordered the spinach artichoke crab dip.

Here’s the part where I should confess that I’m 99% gluten-free. But there are a few exceptions, and one of those is crusty sourdough bread on the Santa Cruz wharf. Our dip showed up in a tiny cast iron pan with several slices of charred sourdough that allowed us to slurp up the cheesy, tangy mixture. It was the best thing I’d ever eaten. But we hadn’t even ordered our entrees yet.

Margie ordered the Lobster Roll with french fries and vinegar coleslaw. She had a little trouble justifying the $25 as we sat there waiting for our food to come, but as soon as she took her second bite, she was smitten. I had a house salad and the Duo of Seafood Grilled Cheese (again, so not gluten-free friendly), which were saturated with grilled salmon, crab, and butter. I hardly knew what was happening, it was that good.

Margie had quite a lot to say about her lobster roll:

“I’m coming back to get this every time.”

“This is so good, I almost swore.”

“This bread tastes like it’s made out of clouds from heaven… dipped in butter.”

No joke, this was the best thing we’d ever eaten. Revolving around the room with a view of a seagull to our left and the boardwalk roller coasters to our right—afire with orange lights—it was the perfect night.

“How long were we in there?” asked Margie, when we got back to our hotel. “It felt like two hours.”

A quick glance at the clock confirmed it had been two and a half. But it was worth every minute on that revolving bar.

.        .        .

For exceptional flavors and beautiful scenic views, I can’t recommend Splash enough. If you have the time to settle in and enjoy a quality, leisurely dinner on the Santa Cruz wharf, you should definitely consider taking a good friend out to eat here — especially if you’re a fan of clouds from heaven dipped in butter.

Visit Splash’s website here and be sure to like them on Facebook.

Twinning on Day 1 at the boardwalk
The magic hour along the Santa Cruz wharf
Serenity at its finest
Duo of Seafood Grilled Cheese (Salmon & Crab)