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.
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.
The Cake Mamas whip up confectionary concoctions from scratch with real butter, milk, flour, sugar, and eggs, crafting a kaleidoscope of more than 18 rotating flavors. Finely grind a raspberry lemonade and sip it through a straw or fill your stomach suitcase with a fully intact marble fudge.
After a course at Village Kitchen, accomplished chefs will inch closer to pro status, while those who've chopped more fingers than potatoes will have their clumsiness exorcised thanks to patient instruction from Village's enlightened gurus of all things edible. Classes are held every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (the classes are also offered one Wednesday a month at 6 p.m.), while the theme varies from week to week. On April 10, learn to master the pressure cooker to easily turn out incredible delights like coq au vin with button mushrooms, or discover the joys of the spring harvest on April 24 with a complete tutorial in a four-course seasonal feast with salmon medallions, baked gnocchi, and cherry-chocolate gelato. On May 8, harness the subtle power of Indian spices to create tandoori shrimp, curried salmon with cinnamon rice and golden raisins, and warm rice pudding; or craft the perfect wine appetizers (you'll make five), like scallop ceviche with melon and red-onion asparagus quesadillas, on May 22. You'll eat everything you make and get a beverage, so no one escapes hungry. Classes are limited to 18 people, so when you find the apple class of your human eye, call to schedule before it fills up.
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.