Ethel Reds Chop House is named for a red-haired woman hallowed in family legend and yarns: the indomitable Ethel. Her ninety-some years of life were apparently filled with daring adventures, from jumping off waterfalls to riding a bull. The Chop House still serves her famed chili, and massive cuts of steak and chops challenge patrons. The eatery brims with bone-in ribeye and pork ribs like a ballad written by a hungry cowboy, and bacon celebrates an affinity for beef by embracing cuts of filet mignon and piling on top of cheeseburgers.
Diners bond over live country music, chicken wings, and copious use of napkins in the Western-style dining room, which is decorated by saddles, horseshoes, and other riding accessories. On balmy days, visitors toting drinks from the full bar wander to the patio garden to take in the fresh air.
Chino's Rock & Tacos pairs authentic Mexican eats with a socially conscious cooking philosophy, and serves them both in a party-minded rock 'n’ roll atmosphere. Two double-item combo plates can include crispy tacos and chimichangas that scale mountains of spanish rice with pinto beans led by chicken or beef sherpas. Mouthwatering fish tacos filled with grilled mahi-mahi, ahi tuna, or shrimp are fashioned with sustainable seafood practices, and the enchilada packs your choice of chicken, beef, or cheese into a pillowy tortilla. Popular bottled beers such as Corona wash down free chips and salsa, or supply the high notes during glass-bottle family-band showcases.
Fugazzis brings sophisticated ambience and casual fine dining to its clients with menus melded from fresh, local ingredients. Fugazzis California Bistro, the collective's flagship restaurant, parachutes palates into a metropolitan atmosphere matched with modern appetite appeasers. Delve into its menu with an order of sweet-potato fries ($6.75) or coconut prawns ($8.95) before opting for the Fugazzis Pizza, boasting barbecue sauce, chicken, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes ($13). Sandwichy sustenance includes the halibut wrap ($11.50), and more elaborate entrees range from spinach-striped raviolis ($12.75) to a grilled rack of lamb ($24.95). Fugazzis California Grill serves up lunch and dinner for both midday marauders and moonlit mischief makers. Dinner highlights include a pear and walnut salad tiara’d in tangy honey-mustard dressing and blackened grilled chicken ($10.75), as well as fire-flicked flare such as a 10 oz. filet mignon ($24.95) and an Atlantic salmon filet ($19.95).
The chefs at Fratello’s Bistro, who’ve been practicing for more than a decade, cook comforting Italian food from fresh ingredients that are grown locally in the Valley. Starters of mussels marinara or stuffed mushrooms jump out from a menu of pastas, pizzas, and meatier entrees. The chefs prepare chicken, calamari, veal, and shrimp as entrees characterized by different vivid sauces. Spicy red fra diablo sauce brings zest to bell peppers, red wine adds complex depth to marsala sauce with mushrooms, and white-wine lemon-butter sauce graces plates with a lighter, delicate touch akin to a flower petal falling onto a marshmallow. Glasses of local wine and imported Chianti accent each meal.
Pacifica Pizza hand-tosses its dough to create a strong and delicious foundation for a menu of specialty pizzas created with toppings fresh from California farms. The traditional veggie pizza contains a veritable garden of mushrooms, green peppers, black olives, tomatoes, and a hedge maze. The heart attack special combines a plethora of meats— sausage, pepperoni, salami, canadian bacon, and ground beef—into a super-pizza packed with enough animal to legally qualify as livestock. Try a traditional hawaiian pizza topped with canadian bacon, pineapple, and extra cheese, or choose not to choose with the almost-everything-on-it bulldog special. A sidecar of breadsticks and a handle of soda transform your pizza from part of a complete breakfast into a complete breakfast.
Slice into the menu with a cool, cold sandwich ($3.39–$13.79) such as the veggie sub, with your choice of three cheeses and avocado, the salami-turkey-provolone, or the ham-salami-capicolla-pepperoni-provolone. Load a gastronomic cargo carrier with a medium fountain drink ($1.39) or chips ($1), or turn on the mouth heat with a stomach-warming griller, such as the 12-inch New York steak ’n’ cheese on ciabatta ($4.99–$7.99) or the 8-inch barbecue pork ($4.99–$7.99). Any sandwich can also be made into a wrap ($4.99–$6.29).