JD and Sarah Gardner's vacation to Cabo San Lucas on the Baja coast changed their lives. Both the fresh-made local cuisine and the surf-side lifestyle inspired the pair to re-create their experience in their restaurant, Costa Vida. Now a chain, each location showcases videos of surfers on flat-screen TVs, upbeat music, and the award-winning cuisine of their executive chef. The cooks in each kitchen handcraft fresh flour and stone-ground-wheat tortillas each day and slow-cook shredded pork and beef with all-natural ingredients. To accommodate a range of customers, the chef recommends options for healthier eating and avoidance of allergens, as well as a nutrition calculator for almost all the restaurant's?offerings.
Situated amid grand columns, flowing curtains, and the golden fabric of high-backed chairs, the main tearoom of Coco’s Tea Room & Bistro surrounds patrons in the grandeur of a traditional high tea. Steaming pots of tea for two are full of the steeping leaves of free-trade teas in varieties such as darjeeling second flush oolong, or organic blueberry rooibos. To accompany teas, patrons can order homemade cakes and cobblers crowned with scoops of ice cream. Heartier meals of café-style food include muffuletta sandwiches, slices of garden quiche, and caesar salads, led unknowingly to tabletops to meet the forks of their destruction.
At Which Way Pizza, guests stand face-to-face with a humble, unadorned round of dough. No matter what happens in the next six minutes—two to pile on unlimited toppings, and four to cook the pie—every pizza costs the same.
Ordering kicks off with the sauce. You could choose the roma tomato or you go for the gusto with pesto, barbeque, ranch, or a blend of all three. Next comes as many of the seven cheeses, including cheddar and asiago, as your conscience will allow, laying the groundwork for veggies such as artichokes, spinach, and jalapenos. Last but not least come the meats, including grilled, barbecue, and buffalo chicken, as well as Italian sausage, and Canadian and traditional bacon.
At Anna's Mexican Grill, chefs build family Tex-Mex recipes from scratch everyday. They get creative with deep-fried cheese-stuffed poblano chili peppers and jumbo shrimp bundled in bacon or honor the classics with traditional enchiladas, tamales, and sizzling fajitas. They also wrap up taco fillings in oversized lettuce leaves, a meal that is light in calories and tastes good, unlike taco fillings wrapped in napkins. On Sunday mornings, the chefs fry and scramble eggs that join onions and ranchero sauce in huevos rancheros and chilaquiles dishes.
Sushi Nikko’s menu spans borders with its selection of Japanese sushi, Korean-style grilled meats, and Chinese entrees. The sushi chefs line plates with molecule-thin slices of sashimi and fill specialty maki with innovative ingredients, including sautéed onions, deep-fried crawfish, and jalapeños. Hand-battered pork cutlets, fried rice, and marinated beef ribs round out the rest of the menu and serve as heartier alternatives to the sushi creations, which emphasize freshness and clean flavors.