Inspired by the eternally ripe produce and bountiful sea meats of California, RED Restaurant's executive chef Alberto Morales crafts a menu of locally sourced foods, working with local farmers or purveyors to fill his cupboards each morning. He calls the cooking style modern California cuisine, and incorporates flavors as diverse as 40-day aged prime ribeye steak, wasabi-encrusted tuna, and basil-scented mashed potatoes. Equally as impressive as the ingredients list is his eye-catching plating, featuring modern arrangements that resemble sushi, such as the delectable tower of crabmeat and beet root salad.
Chef Morales serves his creations in a late-night-friendly dining room and lounge, where crowds cheer on live musical acts and DJs. Bouts of dancing are fueled by a roster of signature cocktails that range from the classic old fashioned to the Pink Lotus, which is a concoction of grapefruit vodka, cointreau, hand-pressed juice, and pink cotton candy. Large groups can opt for bottle service, which plies tables with champagne and spirits, keeping friends from arm wrestling over who has to pay for each round.
Inside Orlando Entertainment, groups of friends gather in 16 private karaoke rooms to wail the lyrics of popular songs. But instead of a stage and giant amplifiers, each of the lounge's rooms surround performers with stylish decor, including plush couches and recessed neon lighting. Groups can even have food and drinks delivered to their private space at the touch of a screen, so they never have to leave their room or communicate with servers telepathically. Outside the karaoke suites, neon lights and bright colors snake throughout the rest of the venue, ultimately leading to the full bar area lit with glittery chandeliers.
Ask Lourdes Limon why her raspados taste so good. She'll say, "Por que los hice con amor"—"Because they're made with love." Now that her sons have taken over the family business, they use the same secret ingredient, but they've added a few new specialties. Supplementing the shaved ice treats that give them their name are freshly squeezed juices, chili-imbued slush-drinks, and healthy fruit salads. But the raspados remain the main event. Flavors include exotic fruit such as guava, tamarind, kiwi, and jamaica, as well as more decadent flavors such as caramel, egg nog, cookies and cream, and plain water.
With a name that translates to “a little of everything,” it's no surprise that the seasonally changing menu of Cafe Mundial includes dishes such as steamed mussels with shallot cream sauce, duck confit, fresh pastas, and filet mignon with bordelaise sauce. In the kitchen, chefs add zesty wasabi vinaigrette to seared ahi-tuna appetizers and top personal pizzas with goat cheese, fresh basil, and monogrammed sun-dried tomatoes. The extensive wine list includes crisp California chardonnays, bold cabernets, and sparkling pours to pair with dinner entrees or new ties. Diners may opt to slide into a booth or jump onto stools at the full bar to watch sports or cheer on bartenders during martini preparation.
In 2004, four friends who happened to be bowling aficionados lamented the absence of a nearby bowling center. Rather than complain, petition, or stage a protest that involved a cosmic-bowl laser show on the mayor's front yard at 3 a.m., they simply opened their own. Thus Action Lanes was born out of need, but its 32 lanes transcend necessity and border on luxury. To wit, players keep track of each roll on animated scoreboards while jamming to the beat of tunes playing on the sound system. This modern bowling center features all the amenities—a pro shop for gear, a snack bar for eats, and a sports bar to celebrate a win or lament a loss with a drink and a toast. Action Lanes also houses an arcade and separate rooms that can accommodate parties and events.
Cafe 322's homey atmosphere and fare will remind you of your Italian grandmother’s Polish dinner table. Try a different lasagna each day ($12.95) with the lasagna de la casa, or opt for the sophisticated mélange of flavors in the fettuccini di spinaci e salsiccia with fresh spinach, Italian sausage, and fresh garlic sautéed in olive oil ($12.95). Cafe 322 also serves up some tasty meatier dishes, such as rack of lamb, herb-crusted and served with butter mashed potatoes that fall directly into that place in your heart reserved for mom, America, and butter ($22.95). Smaller plates include salads, sandwiches, grilled panini, and burgers. Stars of the gourmet pizza menu include the quatro formaggio (layered with fontina, mozzarella, gorgonzola, and parmesan cheeses, $12.95) and the flavorful grilled chicken pesto ($14.95).