South Coast Pizza Parlors' dedicated pizza artisans arise each morning to craft fresh dough, blend a new batch of piquant sauce, and grate cheese to all be harmoniously commingled in the day's savory, circular creations depicted on the menu. Mollify mandibles with a 12-inch two-topping pie adorned with a duo of cheese-embedded accessories such as canadian bacon, pepperoni, pineapple, jalapeños, or bell peppers ($14.34). Sandwich options include the salami, ham, melted cheese, lettuce, and tomato ensemble that plays a culinary show on the South Coast sub ($5.38) and the tasty turkey sandwich, served hot and smothered with cheese ($5.38). A 60-ounce pitcher of beer can be used to toast breakthroughs in backyard gene-splicing experiments ($7.42–$8.77), and a small platter of spaghetti with meatballs can thwart hunger pangs with saucy goodness ($4.87).
After spending 38 years cooking for her husband and seven children in New York, Mama D decided to move to California. She packed her grandmother's recipes, arrived on the West Coast, and opened a traditional Italian eatery. Nowadays, Mama D, Papa D, and their children take turns supervising the eatery's kitchen, where chefs roll signature homemade raviolis and fill them with chicken, sautéed spinach, or lobster and crab. Using dough made with filtered water, they knead Mama D's Neapolitan pizzas and top them with homemade sauce and freshly grated parmesan. Most of the restaurant's dishes are named after their inventors. Names such as Julianna's homemade meatball, Gary's veal parmigiana, Jr.'s chicken limone, and Cheryl's steamed clams contribute to Mama D's family atmosphere and make it easier for Julianna, Gary, and Cheryl to remember their favorite dishes.
The door to Mama D's rests beneath a green awning and opens to a casual eatery with tables veiled in red-and-white checkered tablecloths. Passing through the interior, diners arrive at an outdoor seating area decked out with a fireplace and sun umbrellas.
Though it has no legal bearing in the U.S., the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516 is gospel at Newport Beach Brewing Company. It stipulates that only three ingredients should be found in beer: barley, hops, and water. Brewer Derek Bougie sticks to this 16th century decree when creating all of Newport Beach's beers, which include hefeweizens, pale ales, and the comically named Crash with RYEality IPA. And the Bavarian approach pays off: Derek's beers have earned the brewery two bronze medals, two silver medals, and one gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival.
While Derek sticks to tradition, Newport Beach's head chef, Gabriel Beltran, prefers putting an contemporary spin on classic bar food. Made entirely in-house, his cuisine ranges from bourbon stout salmon, 1/2 lb. Harris ranch raised burgers, and fish and chips to brick-fired, garlic-crusted pizza topped with macaroni and cheese. His innovation even extends to desserts such as calzone filled with white and dark chocolate. Beer-fueled feasts unfold in front of Newport's HD televisions and 101-inch flat-screens, which stay tuned to the latest sports and weather reports from neighboring planets.
On the café's sign, a tiny green leaf glows like a hyphen between the words “Sweet” and “Basil.” Through the glass doors, the ebb and flow of conversation rolls against the canary-yellow walls. Peeking around at the black lacquered tables, patrons see steaming pies draped in thick, emerald cloaks of pesto, whose scent hints at garlic, pine nuts, and the eatery’s namesake herb, basil. Forks spool richly sauced pastas and bury themselves deep into stuffed calzones. Scoops of spumoni ease feasts to a close, unlike the decision to show off how strong a homemade table is.
Lamppost Pizza understands its target audience. The pizzeria’s tagline, "for those with a taste for great pizza and sports,” beckons to an easy-going crowd, and then the chefs follow through by serving up creative pies with toppings such as jalapeño, pepperoni, avocado, and fresh garlic as diners watch the game. Specialty pizzas include the four-meat, four-veggie The Whole Nine Yards, as well as the artichoke-spangled Pesto Supreme. Sandwiches are served hot or cold, and the appetizer menu includes more wings than the vision board of a penguin.