I thought every place in Santa Cruz would be packed on the evening of July 3rd. Imagine my surprise when I wandered onto the patio at Ideal and there were only a few people sitting there. The calm before the storm as July 4th is a big weekend at this local favorite right next to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. I've had several meals here in the past and can tell you that the food at any time of day is very good. I had a calamari appetizer and some cocktails and I ended up sharing the calamari with a couple sitting at the bar because it was a very large portion. The weather was sunny and warm and the bartender was wonderful. I tried a pomegranate margarita before my usual "go to" Grey Goose Martini. Very relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff and patrons. Like a little vacation right in my own backyard.