“When [you] walk through the door, the first thing you’re gonna smell is bacon.” That’s a promise from Slater’s 50/50 founder Scott Slater, whose restaurant serves an infamous burger patty built from half ground beef and half ground bacon. Executive Chef Brad Lyons helped with the recipe, though the original inspiration came from the all-bacon patties Scott and his friends used to grill up during Chargers tailgate parties. For the restaurant, he decided to cut the bacon with high-quality beef that, like a baby's fake ID, is aged 21 days. As if the bacon-infused patties weren’t distinctive enough (as far as they know, Slater’s 50/50 the only restaurant in the world that serves them), Scott and Brad designed a DIY menu that lets patrons customize their burgers by size and with 11 cheeses, 40 toppings, 19 sauces, and four kinds of bread. Patrons overwhelmed by these options can instead order one of the specialty burgers, such as a Peanut Butter and Jellousy with creamy peanut butter, strawberry jam, and of course, thick-cut bacon. Bacon reappears throughout the menu, including as candied crumbles on brownies and in the syrup used in bacon milkshakes.
Like a paperweight resting on a pile of love letters, this golf-course clubhouse nurtures romance while holding down the verdant, undulating Anaheim Hills. Sunday-brunch companions can clink chalices of champagne and scan a spread of delicacies from across the globe, including breakfast beloveds, such as eggs Benedict and belgian waffles, and cooked-to-order pastas and omelets. Alaskan king-crab legs preside over distinguished fleets of norwegian smoked salmon and jumbo shrimp as insubordinate oysters pile into half shells for a wild ride down tempestuous throat slides. Succulent cuts of carved-to-order prime rib and honey-cured ham sate carnivorous noshers, and blazing plates of bananas flambé employ heat to help finish off feasts, much like how flat-irons finish off hairdos and toaster ovens finish off plastic forks.
They say that practice makes perfect. Open since 1973, Gallo's Italian deli has had 40 years to perfect its Italian sub sandwiches. Each one starts with Gallo's fluffy bread, which is then topped with cheeses such as cheddar, swiss, jack, or provolone, and meats such as mortadella, capacolla, and pastrami. Customers can compile these deli cuts into custom sandwiches, or opt for one one of the house specialties like the Italian meatball sub, which is topped with Gallo's signature tomato sauce.
Though a sports bar at heart—the walls are lined with flat-screen TVs tuned to football and basketball games—Sammy’s Bar & Grill’s dark wood tables and a natural stone accent wall give the dining room an upscale feel. There’s even a heated outdoor patio with a stone fountain and a sculpture of a lion drinking beer with his pinkie out. In addition to traditional burgers, sliders, and wings, diners can also feast on Southwestern and Italian specialties including sizzling fajitas and flatbread pizzas. Behind the bar, mixologists serve up a full selection of spirits, California wines, and bottled beers, plus a dozen brews on tap including local finds.
Grab a bagel ring for all 12 fingers ($10.95 a dozen), or grab an individual for a baby bracelet ($1.14 per bagel). Many toppings, cream cheeses, and spreads are also available. Although Bagel Me!'s name is both direct and delicious, the menu expands beyond the realm of the round. Breakfast items such as gooey cheddar and egg melts served alongside cinnamon baked apples ($4.19) and freshly blended smoothies ($4.39) will cause smiles at sunrise. Afternoon diners can hang fangs on tri-tip steak sandwiches such as the jalapeno-pineapple pairing, loaded liberally with caramelized onions, Tillamook cheddar, and monterey jack cheese ($7.49). Or fork up a variety of starters, such as Irish nachos based in French fries and topped with bacon, onions, cheddar and jack cheeses, and lucky wishes ($5.79).
Pizza is only one of the many tasty specialties that Canyon Pizza has to offer, but it sets a good precedent for the care and quality the chefs pour into all their dishes. Fresh ground sausage adorn the Spicy Sicilian pie, along with jalapenos, vine-ripened tomatoes, basil, and a thick layer of cheese, and they also arrive stuffed inside hot toasted subs brimming with gooey, melted mozzarella. If you're more of a veggie-lover, the Veggie Delight pizza features a medley of the freshest mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, and black olives, while salads see the same crunchy ingredients tossed together with lettuce that the chefs chop fresh each and every day. Other homemade items include the garlic spread that cooks spread onto slices of garlic bread, and the chocolate chip cookies that they bake-to-order to ensure they taste just as good as the ones customers bake at home or inside their car's toaster oven. Of course, if you'd rather play the role of chef, Canyon Pizza also invites guests to create their own pies by choosing from a list of nearly two dozen ingredients, including ground beef, pepperonchini, sun-dried tomatoes, and hot buffalo wing sauce .