In the midst of successful careers in the corporate and educational realms, the head chef of Picasso's Cafe, Vincent DeRosa, and his wife Maria decided to make use of their artistic leanings by opening a sustainable-focused café and catering business. The same creative side that fueled Chef DeRosa's training as a classical pianist inspired him to craft a menu evocative of Picasso's vibrant masterpieces alongside executive chef and lifelong culinary virtuoso Paul Vigil. With help from a professionally trained staff and singing appliances, the culinary duo delivers a colorful, creative menu flanked by a veritable trophy room of awards and press.
As early as 7 a.m., diners can greet the day with a selection of fresh baked goods and full breakfast dishes, which range from light meals of coffee, a muffin, and granola-topped yogurt to salsa-tinged breakfast wraps stuffed with eggs, bacon, and potatoes. As the hours wear on, the encyclopedic lunch menu comes into play: salads, paninis, wraps, and towering sandwiches share table space with such pasta dishes as seven-cheese tortellini bathed in a marinara-alfredo sauce. But where Picasso's Café shines brightest may be in its catering menu. With more than two decades of experience catering for events of all sizes, the catering staff can create anything from modest boxed lunches to full-scale wedding feasts. They'll also recommend the ideal location for the event, whether it's at one of the many historic estates, museums, or other venues that call them a preferred caterer, or at their own handsome location crafted with eco-friendly principles.
From the bounty of farmers'-market produce, sustainable seafood, and hormone-free meat flecking Picasso's menu to the patio's local flora and recycled building materials, the café lives in harmony with its surrounding land. Patio diners sample light fare amid recycled-steel and recycled-wood structures and inhale the scents of lush flowers, citrus trees, and free-range wait staff. Internal features, including plug-in vehicle ports, compostable dishware, and evaporation-powered air conditioners, join low-usage generators at professionally catered events. When not acting as steward of the environment, the staff at Picasso's joins City of Hope and Children's Miracle Network in the fight against cancer and lends far-reaching relief with its own PAINT program.
A graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu program at the California School of Culinary Arts, Kristi Harfman passionately fills the roles of owner, manager, and head chef at Two A Tea. With a refined afternoon-tea program that boasts a selection of more than 40 loose-leaf teas, she oversees a traditional menu of scones, soups, salads, tea sandwiches, and desserts, served midday into the early evening, Wednesday–Sunday. Over pastel-colored tablecloths, tea takers raise cups brimming with jasmine, earl grey, and passionfruit teas to toast to birthdays, new babies, and the memory of all the leaves lost at the Boston Tea Party.
Two a Tea's boutique outfits at-home tea rooms with all the necessary teas and accessories, including infusers, books, and loose-leaf teas.
A colorful sign juts from Manny’s El Loco, proudly proclaiming “World Famous Burritos Since 1971.” Inside, chefs busily pack the eatery’s claim to fame with carnitas, carne asada, and chicken, or up the ante with rib-eye steak or chorizo. Forks and knives find a place at Manny’s as well, thanks to taco salads tossed with meat and avocado and enchilada platters paired with authentic rice and beans. The kitchen crew incorporates hamburgers and french fries into its primarily Mexican menu, and helps customers tackle the morning or their nemesis with eggs prepared any style, which they can take to go or enjoy on the outdoor patio.
Though he couldn't have known it at the time, Adam Caldwell arranged what arguably could be considered one of the most successful first dates in modern history. He not only ended up marrying his date, Danna, but also had such a memorable time with her in the frozen-yogurt shop that the two of them were eventually inspired to start their own. They opened Menchie's Frozen Yogurt in California in 2007, and within just a few years, found themselves with a family of hundreds of thriving stores sprinkled all around the world.
As the Menchie's brand grew, Adam and Danna kept a simple mission in mind: to make their customers smile. An adorable cast of animated characters is featured throughout the stores, including on the colorful spoons, and customers can have fun creating endless frozen-yogurt combinations. There are more than 100 rotating yogurt flavors, and the selection includes eight versions of vanilla. Of course, there are plenty of toppings as well, displayed in help-yourself bins filled with fresh fruit, nuts, cereal, and candy.
The yogurt is made from fresh milk from a Canadian dairy. All the yogurt is kosher, and certain flavors accommodate vegan and gluten-free diets.
Dragica Grabovac’s love of cooking started at home, first as a child when she would bake dozens upon dozens of holiday cookies, then as an adult when she and her late husband, Bosko, would entertain guests visiting from across Europe and the United States. So it’s no surprise, then, that when she finally followed the suggestion from countless friends and family to open her own restaurant, she was inspired by her background.
At Cafe LuMar (a combination of her children’s names, Lucia and Mario) Dragica’s menu reflects her love of European home-style cooking: sweet and savory crepes, paninis, and dinner entrees such as goulash and lamb shank. Her long love of baking is also on display with her classic homemade cookies.