Guests rarely glance at their watches at Liaison Lounge and Restaurant, where smooth jazz music and soft lighting create an unhurried and easygoing atmosphere. Instead, diners fix their attention on conversations with friends, occasionally signaling the bartender for another glass of wine. Servers dart nimbly around the white-clothed tables, bearing plates of upscale pub fare, such as warm paninis, juicy pork sliders, and smoked salmon bites. Occasionally, live performers fill the patio with soft music.
Founded with the goal of bolstering childhood development via confidence- and fitness-boosting programs, Tricks Gymnastics, Dance, and Swim's team of instructors keeps kids of all ages active and engaged via a host of high-energy classes. The highly skilled and friendly crew works hard to foster a nurturing environment within each class, keeping a close eye on the kids while teaching them new skills via positive reinforcement and recognition of effort. All three locations offer dance classes that introduce preschool Baryshnikovs to the world of movement and grant school-aged pupils a chance to explore various styles ranging from ballet to jazz to ballroom hokey pokey.
Meanwhile, experienced coaches man gymnastics programs designed to combat inactivity and encourage healthy lifestyles. Young ones aged 0–5 burn excess energy and hone flexibility during Tumblebunny classes, and big kids build strength and character thanks to both noncompetitive and competitive programs. A variety of special events include date nights that enable parents to sneak off for an evening of fun while their progeny plays at the gym. The Folsom location further fortifies its kinetic curriculum with swim programs focused on teaching pupils the essentials of water safety and basic swimming techniques. Paddlers grouped into classes by age hop into the crystalline pool, splashing about in waters kept at a balmy 89 degrees to ward off loitering snowflakes.
The Buggy Whip shuttles diners back in history to an era when meat and potatoes ruled the roost at dinnertime. Open since 1958, the family-owned steak house brims with more vintage ambiance than the century-old wine corks that form the Statue of Liberty. Customers’ knives liberate savory juices from rib eyes as forks dive into dishes of sizzling scampi and herbed scallops. At lunch, diners can savor hearty broiled sirloins stuffed with sautéed mushrooms and peppers or lighter plates flanked with cottage cheese and tomatoes. In addition to serving steaks, seafood, and potables in the dining room seven days a week, the restaurant accommodates groups by building banquet spreads from fare such as prime rib, teriyaki chicken, and sweet, creamy cheesecake.
Though The Office Lounge was created as a comfy place for professionals to grab an after-work drink, there’s much more to it than just happy hour. Patrons can swing through anytime to watch Giants and 49ers games or sip on cocktails and beers as they fuel their own competitive drive over darts, an arcade game, or betting how many different liquors are in a gin and tonic.
The best pool halls keep it simple: fresh green felt on the tables; cues that haven't been warped by age or splintered by bar room jousters; pitchers of beer on tap with neon signs to match. And, of course, a jukebox, preferably one with Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" or George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone." These are the basics of a good pool experience, and Hot Shots Billiards has got them down pat. The 22-year-old establishment is a paradise for players tired of hunting down pool tables in the back of noisy bars and staking claim over them with guttural growls. The pool hall treats players to Monday night 8-ball tournaments, Wednesday and Friday night 9-ball tourneys, and Thursday night specials for ladies. Besides the bevy of maintained tables, Hot Shots also sports ping-pong tables, comfort foods such as tacos and nachos, and lessons for novice players.
Nestled inside a hub of chance-based games, Casino Royale's kitchen sates families and high rollers with a menu of American and Asian specialties. Nachos, buffalo wings, and other regular bar appetizers share the spotlight with tightly wound egg rolls and tiger prawns fried crispy and served with spicy mustard, soy sauce, and a miniature lion tamer in case flavors get too wild. Omnivores sink their teeth into both the grilled rib-eye steak coated with rich cabernet demi-glace and its roasted sidekick of yukon gold potatoes. Asian specialties send taste buds sailing across the Pacific while savoring the pepper-salted shrimp stir fried with jalapeños, sweet peppers, and snow peas or a vietnamese salad tossed with noodles and topped with grilled pork, grilled chicken, shrimp, or beef short ribs.