Ben Canter and his brothers had been manning the counter of their deli in Jersey City, New Jersey, for five years?familiarizing faces of regulars and catching their culinary stride?when the stock market plummeted in 1929. Like many, they were forced to scrape together the little they had retained, a mere $500, and head west. Los Angeles in 1931 wasn't a delicatessen owner's dream location, but they opened Canter's Deli nonetheless.
Throughout the next 83 years, three generations of Canters would do their parts to help the displaced deli fit into its Hollywood setting. They moved to their current location at the old Esquire Theatre, added a cocktail lounge named the Kibitz Room, opened a new store in the "O" of the Hollywood sign, and watched their doors open to a who's who of celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe, Jack Benny, Elizabeth Taylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Prince, and the band members from Guns N' Roses.
The Canters overhauled their menu in 2012 to reflect the changing times and West Coast tastes. Among the newcomers are panini-style deli melts (all less than $10) and updated burgers such as the Black and Blue, which comes loaded with thick-cut bacon. The best East Coast staples remain, of course. A good example is the hot corned-beef Reuben served on rye bread that's double-baked in-house and grilled to perfection. Available 24 hours a day, the expansive selection of deli fare and baked goods has garnered an equally expansive amount of press, including the monte cristo?s designation as one of Esquire's Best Sandwiches in America.
As a microcosm of the deli's convenience and culture, the staff validates parking for up to 90 minutes in its parking lot, where muralist Art Mortimer's seven-panel collage-style mural depicts Jewish history in Los Angeles.
In 1927, after seven years of Prohibition, Vincent Rizzo had an idea. He would buy a winery. While this may have been an unconventional move, he knew he could get Bernardo Winery at a lower price and keep the business thriving with an unlikely product: olive oil. In a stroke of cunning and arguable genius, the first-generation Rizzo owner made use of the olive trees growing on his property, selling the cold-pressed virgin oil to many of the tuna canneries in downtown San Diego. He also continued production of sacramental wine and grape juice that was, according to the winery's website, "guaranteed to ferment by the end of the road."
The winery grew to be one of San Diego County's major wine suppliers in the late 1940s, and Vincent turned the family business over to his son, Ross, in 1962. Ross's passion and dedication fueled the winery's success until his passing in 2008. Ross Rizzo, Jr. now keeps his father and grandfather's legacies alive, adding new varietals and winemaking techniques to the company's repertoire while paying homage to the old ways. Ross still sources his grapes from local vineyards and produces and cellars his wine to develop each variety?s distinct flavor.
Guests can get a behind-the-scenes look at the historic winery during tours and tastings, and the scenic spot also hosts private parties at several outdoor venues and in the Barrel Room, where wooden rafters and huge redwood wine-storage vats create a rustic feel. Once they are done tasting, visitors can wander through a micro village of shops and studios or get a bite to eat at Cafe Merlot. The sprawling property features nods to its storied past with accents such as wagon wheels and an antique thresher machine and events such as grape stompings, otherwise known as do-it-yourself purple pedicures.
At 2,600 feet up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, one might expect to find sprawling views of the ocean and surrounding forest and not flourishing vineyards. Yet there are more than 70 wineries dappling the hills at various altitudes, privy to the dewy, cooling breezes of the sea and the richness of the rocky soil. The San Francisco Chronicle speaks to their scattered presence, deeming them "less a cohesive wine region than a patchwork of vineyards." Still, this characteristic isolation has resulted in "a perfect laboratory for winemaking not held hostage to fashion"—no one style dominates in this rustic setting.
Pinot noirs and chardonnays populate the western front, and the east yields cabernets, merlots, and zinfandels. The majority of the vineyards are small and family owned—a fact reflected in their meticulously bottled libations and the matching sweaters of their holiday photos—but though they exist in chosen hermitage, many of them welcome visitors to their scenic sites. They host weddings, festivals, and open events such as Pathway to Pinot Paradise, a self-guided tour of the pinot noir hotspots.
Philz Coffee founder Phil Jaber claims in a video on his website he was “born to make coffee.” Given that he’s created more than 30 unique blends, it seems he’s fulfilling his destiny, like an electrician named Dwight D. Electrician. Along with hosting single-bean coffees from Columbia, Africa, and Yemen, Jaber blends coffees that use anywhere from two to seven different beans. Jaber agonizes over every aspect of each flavor, even the name. As he puts it, “I want to come up with names that match my products, my concept, and what it is all about.” Take his “Tesora” blend for example. Meaning “treasure” in Italian, Tesora is something you could, Jaber says, “put in the archive in your heart.” Jaber knows something about taking things to heart. His love of coffee is what led him to open his own coffee station, where he and his staff make each cup one at a time so it suits the customer’s specific taste. Along with a passion for coffee, the staff at each Philz Coffee location shares a passion for the earth. Each day, the company composts more than 2,000 pounds of coffee grounds, recycles as much as possible, and refrains from slapping endangered birds. The company also encourages customers to bring their own reusable mugs by charging the price of a small cup to fill the mug regardless of its size.
At Lassen's Natural Foods and Vitamins, you can find ayurvedic herb blends and homeopathic herbs. You can find kelp granules, kelp capsules, and kelp powder. And you can peruse more than a dozen varieties of tahini and cashew and almond butter. The vast inventory of wholesome foods and supplements may overwhelm newcomers. Fortunately, staff members strive to not only provide shoppers access to healthy products, but also educate and empower them to make healthy decisions.
Each month, for instance, local health experts lead health lectures, discussing topics that range from managing stress to working up to a Hulk-like immune system. Staff members are happy to let customers sample any product, and even offer educational literature when a customer wavers between brands. Most importantly, staff members receive weekly educational trainings, and pass their knowledge on to customers: cashiers can explain the difference between organic and free range, for instance, and herb experts can explain the health benefits of dozens of plants and herbs.
The Scribner family has been a fixture of the Sacramento River Delta since 1893, when George Washington Scribner settled along the river bend that would eventually bear his name. Five generations since the fertile soil first beckoned the patriarch, the family is still putting the original barn to good use—now as a tasting room where the Scribners' award-winning wines get the attention and ambiance they deserve. The family’s alluring adult beverages reach their palate-pleasing potential thanks to the expertise of 50-year winemaker William Ghiglieri, who helps the Scribners maintain their century-old legacy. Visitors can rent out the vineyard for private events, lending a convivial elegance to such get-togethers as corporate parties, bridal showers, or pet goldfish funerals.