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.
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.
The Cookie Mill revels in an array of delightful desserts, with a simple but sinfully delectable selection of frozen treats and bakery-fresh morsels. Traditional and imaginative cookies ($0.75 each) complement luscious ice-cream flavors ($1.25 for one scoop), such as pistachio, oatmeal cookie, and chocolate malted crunch. Like a dolphin wearing a monocle, two beloved things come together to make a classy combination with The Cookie Mill's signature ice-cream sandwich ($3), which includes a choice of any two cookies and one flavor of ice cream. Or, treat sugar-famished taste buds to the dough-and-dairy delight of a cookie shake ($4). Since The Cookie Mill is open until 10 p.m. every day, clamorous confectionary cravings can even be sated right before crawling into their cocoons for a six-month hibernation.
Robeks uses the freshest ingredients to craft made-to-order drinks and eats that will make you feel guilt-free about grabbing a quick bite. Join the berry party with berry smoothies such as the Banzai Blueberry, Strawnana Berry, and Cranberry Quest, all of which pulverize fruit together with non-fat yogurt and sodium-free ice ($3.45 junior, $4.45 regular, $5.45 large). For more pulchritudinous pulverized pulp, energize your day with power smoothies, including the Cardio Cooler (with a base of passion fruit and mango juice), which blend juices, sherbets, soy and whey protein, and vitamin boosters ($5.45 regular, $6.45 large) into an elixir that that will revitalize even the most workout-withered body. Bites include protein-packed Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels such as pizza or spinach feta ($2.45 each), and the hair-raising goodness of Lenny & Larry's power muffins or cookies with flavors such as banana, chocolate chip, pumpkin, and more ($1.99 each).
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.