The chefs at Alex's concoct a spread of homestyle chicken, beef, pork, and fish dishes that evoke a taste of Cuba. An assortment of starters silences hunger rumblings more effectively than a soundproof fanny pack with plates such as the tamal cubano with sweet cornmeal hiding tender morsels of ham and pork ($2.25). Foursomes can toast fork tines over platters such as the pollo asado, a roasted half-chicken adorned with onions and garlic ($9.75). Beef, pork, or fish platters sate heart appetites with the likes of the bistec, thin-sliced steak seasoned with garlic and topped with grilled onions ($9.25). Each robust platter balances piquant proteins with servings of white or yellow rice, red or black beans, and ripe or green plantains, the banana's more savory, overachieving cousin.
The dark-wood accents that permeate the dimly lit dining room at Romansa Restaurant, Wine Bar & Lounge project a refined, yet casual ambiance. Behind the bar, an upscale collection of international wines reaches toward the ceiling—though few of the bottles are load-bearing.
Throughout this space, servers carry dishes spanning the cuisines of Europe. They might ferry examples of Italian, Greek, and German cuisine alongside American staples, such as burgers and sandwiches. Giving visitors a beat to sip and chew to, the lounge sometimes features live music from DJs late into the night.
Pancho's chefs pile plates with big portions of authentic Mexican fare 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Delve into the labyrinth menu, unearthing such dishes as the carnitas burrito stuffed with marinated pork, guacamole, and pico de gallo ($5.50), or shredded beef tostadas on crunchy tortillas smothered in refried beans, lettuce, cheese, pico de gallo, and sour cream ($5.50). Epic entrées, such as the bistec a la mexicana, a sizzling steak grilled with onions, tomato and jalapeños, surrounded by mountains of rice, beans, and tortillas ($8), fill stomachs like dreams of being a bullpen catcher for the San Diego Padres fills the heads of most children and can be partnered with tortilla chips and myriad toppers from the bountiful salsa bar. Sweeten spiced palates with creamy caramelized flan ($2–3.50) or a churro, available plain or with strawberry or caramel filling ($1.50 each).
Crafting notably delectable frozen treats in small batches, Marble Slab Creamery utilizes ingredients from around the world and fresh dairy from local farms to percolate palates with super-premium ice cream. Just like tax forms, chef-inspired concoctions are prepared on frozen marble slabs to ensure optimal freshness and easy customization. The frozen slab enables expert dippers and mixers to gently incorporate your choice of candies, nuts, and more into the ice cream on the spot. Grab a heaping dish of original flavors ($3.79 for a regular size) such as pumpkin, honey, bubblegum, mango, and amaretto, or opt for the hefty Big Dipper size ($4.89), which comes standard with one mix-in such as cashews or Kit Kat pieces ($0.59 for additional mix-ins). Enjoy your custom creation in a cup or a freshly baked waffle cone, which can also be painted orange to mark off hazardous potholes in living-room floors.