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Sante Adairius-Santa Cruz Portal

  • Sante Adairius--Santa Cruz Portal 1315 Water Street Santa Cruz, California 95062 United States (map)

In August, we’re cooking from “The Food of Northern Thailand” cookbook by Austin Bush!  

“Compared to those of Thailand’s other regional cuisines, northern Thailand’s dishes are arguably the least spicy. Unlike the refined, court-influenced style of cooking n Bangkok and central Thailand, there’s relatively little effort to include or balance the four flavors of salty, sour, sweet, and spicy in a single dish. Instead, many northern Thai dishes, broadly speaking, push more in just one or two directions, typically emphasizing herbal, bitter, fragrant, and/or meaty flavors. Often, the flavor of a dish come from one or two herbs, spices, or other ingredients, rather than a complex blend of multiple seasonings.”

. . .

“The Akha is one of Thailand’s nine officially recognized hill tribes, ethnic minority groups who inhabit the remote mountainous area of the north. With origins in southern China and the Tibetan Plateau, the Akha and other hill tribes began to migrate south approximately two hundred years ago, eventually settling in Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, and northern Thailand. With the more fertile valley areas of northern Thailand already occupied by the Thai and other groups, the hill tribes were forced to make do in the regions’s more distant elevated areas. Not surprisingly, living at high altitudes in far-flung locations meant that many hill tribe groups had to become almost entirely self-sufficient, subsisting on a repertoire of gathered items and the type of high-altitude, cold-weather crops—corn, potatoes, chayote, and a variety of leeks and onions—that one tends to associate more with the United States or Europe than rural Thailand”-Austin Bush.

. . .

“‘ We use a combination of chili and salt to season most dishes.’ explains Jenny Yokryji, an Akha from Doi Chang, in Chiang Rai. ‘Fish sauce is a newer Thai thing—some old Akha people can’t even eat it,’ she tells me, before adding emphatically, ‘We can’t go without chili and salt’”-Austin Bush.


market vegetables (vegan)

“Mal Qer Cael Tahq”


banana flower, Fogline chicken wings, prickly-ash “makuen,” quail eggs

Akha-style PORK LOAF $12 (available after 3pm)

Llano Seco pork cooked in banana leaf, mint, cilantro, garlic chives 

“Saq Byaev Toe Umvq”

Akha-style MASHED POTATOES $6 (available after 3pm)

garlic chives, spring onions, chilies (vegan)

“Ag Lul Tahq”



Everything is gluten-free!

Pricing includes tax. We accept cash & major credit cards.

Menu may change slightly when something unforeseeable happens. No reservation is needed. No ticket is needed. First come first served. Counter service only. Please help us bus your dishes at Sante Adairius.

We love it when you bring your own togo boxes with you!

If you plan to bring a large group, we recommend prepay and preorder food at least 4 days in advance.


Earlier Event: August 2
Super Sonic Summer Block Party
Later Event: August 12
Sante Adairius-Santa Cruz Portal