Claiming a slew of awards, including Best Chicken Dinner by the Orange County Register, El Pollo Loco fills stomachs on the go with a menu of flavorful poultry inspired by Mexico's kitchens. Enjoy the rich tastes of a four-piece combo ($7.99)—including breasts and wings marinated in herbs, spices, and citrus juices—entouraged by two sides from an expansive selection, including spanish rice, barbecue black beans, corn cobbettes, and mac 'n' cheese. For a more portable lunch during parkour breaks from the office, wrap your chicken in the warm tortilla blanket of a twice-grilled burrito ($5.99). El Pollo Loco's innovative salsa bar can tickle to your tongue until milk comes out its nose with fresh varieties of avocado, chipotle, and pico de gallo.
Step inside Alhambra's modern dining room to relax amid comfortable tangerine and chocolate furnishings and feast on fresh Moorish- and Spanish-inspired dishes illuminated by cool cerulean glow. Executive chef James Canter bills the restaurant's menu of tongue-ticklers "New Mediterranean" and "cuisine with a conscience," as dishes are prepared using fresh ingredients from local and organic farms. Warm up your palate with hot small plates like the crispy avocado ($7) or crispy calamari with goat cheese fritter ($9), or extinguish swallowed firecrackers with a cold platter of Persian tuna tar-tar ($12). If you fill up on appetizers before embarking on a house specialty, like the Moroccan chicken tagine ($24), top off your taste buds with airy and fruity flavors in Alhambra's hookah lounge.
Kolache Factory sates handheld cravings with its sweet and savory sachets stuffed with more than 25 flavorful fillings. The pastry purveyor's innovative bakers put a tasty twist on the traditional fruit-and-poppy-seed kolaches that originated in Eastern Europe, packing them with delectable stuffings, such as pepperoni and mushroom ($1.65 each, $17.82/dozen), bacon, egg, and cheese ($2.19 each, $23.65/dozen), and sausage, jalapeño, and cheese ($1.45 each, $15.66/dozen). Greet the slowly receding swirling darkness of morning with nibbles of sausage and gravy kolaches ($1.69 each, $18.25/dozen), or take a bite-size break with one of seven fruit options ($1.09 each, $11.77/dozen).