It started as a simple idea shared by two moms. Karen Bain and Lisa Kudrika wanted to make their favorite dessert, shave ice, ?hip and trendy,? according to 805 Living magazine. So when they opened Shave It?which recently celebrated the grand opening of its new Tarzana location?they made sure to express their sense of style with chic interior design inspired by water, ice, and snow. Inside the shop, blue plexiglass hangs like icicles over steel tables and chairs. Flat-screen TVs broadcast shots of surfers and snowboarders, and a colorful floor changes design with every step.
Each cup of fluffy shave ice comes drenched with fruity ?flavas? flown in from Hawaii, such as mango, guava, or green tea, or a combination, such as root beer ice over vanilla ice cream. Beyond the storefront, Shave It also purveys the frozen concoctions on the go, thanks to a mobile truck that is often spotted at beaches and parks, unless its cloaking device is turned on. They also donate a percentage of their sales to their foster-child foundation, Foster a Miracle.
Since 1992, Potato Corner has fascinated international crowds with its wholly customizable menu of crispy french fries, though franchises only broke ground in America during February of 2010. The new U.S. shops cropped up in places with lots of foot traffic, entrancing people with the scent of fresh-fried potatoes in malls, airports, theme parks, and at marathon starting lines. Potato Corner’s straight-, loopy-, and criss-cut fries come unadorned in their lightly salted glory, or they can be tossed in gourmet flavorings such as barbecue, cheddar, chili, and sour cream and onion. The shop has also expanded its repertoire to include baked potatoes, chicken tenders, and a butler who tucks cloth napkins into collars in order to sate customers in search of a full meal.
Though it sounds like a mixed drink, the campechana cocktail is actually a meal. Diners spear shrimp, octopus, and chunks of white abalone as they swim in cocktail sauce flavored with avocado and cilantro. The seafood stew is just one of Cabrera?s house specialties, which populate nearly half of the Mexican eatery?s menu. Other specialty dishes include steak ranchero, marinated sirloin served alongside grilled cactus and jalape?os, and salmon con salsa de arandano, a fresh, pan-roasted fish steeped in cranberry chipotle sauce. Traditionalists can take comfort in the eateries? abidance to serving food on plates rather than mini hovercrafts, and south-of-the-border staples such as mole-drenched chicken and burritos blanketed with melted cheese.
Hot Dog on a Stick Founder Dave Barham opened his first Hot Dog on a Stick in Santa Monica in 1946, and the company has since burgeoned into an employee-owned franchise that's more than 100 eateries strong and spans 11 states. Best known for a 100% turkey hot dog dunked in corn-bread batter made from Dave's mother's recipe and cooked in soy oil, Hot Dog on a Stick also pioneered the dipping and be-sticking of mild american and spicy jalapeño jack cheese. Smiling employees in red-, white-, and blue-striped uniforms with, as Dave put it, "a splash of lemonade," hand over cherry, lime, sugar-free, or original lemonade that they make fresh every two hours by squeezing Ventura County lemons until they cry.
The chefs at The Patio grill, sauté, and bake a menu of traditional Lebanese dishes, relying heavily on the simple, healthy flavors of garlic and olive oil. These ingredients play a starring roll in appetizers such as hummus and white-bean salad, and kisses from the grill's open flames leave charred lipstick on the collar of chicken, beef, or shrimp kebabs. Smoke from flavored Al Fakher, Starbuzz, and house-blended tobacco wafts through the air in the restaurant's hookah bar, mingling with ethereal genies released from nearby bottles of pop.
Family owned since opening its doors in 2006, Zapata Vive pairs its authentic Mexican cuisine with familial hospitality. Patrons gather around tables to slice into cheese-topped burritos or soft tacos or sup from sizzling fajita plates, kept at exactly the same temperature as the sun over Mexico. Zapata Vive also caters to diners who rise with the sun with breakfast dishes, including a tostada omelet with tortilla strips, and takes care of those who rise with the sunset with a full bar stocked with margaritas, wines, and domestic and imported beers.