Reyhan Persian Grill's chefs keep things natural in the kitchen, forswearing preservatives and food coloring of any kind. Taking this freshness creed even further, all meats used for the eatery's Persian dishes and flame-kissed kebabs are purchased daily, then cut or ground onsite.
In the casual dining room, tiered fan blades mingle the aromas of marinated salmon and filet mignon kebabs with the steam of Reyhan's signature lamb-shank stew, simmered with either lima beans and dill rice or fresh green beans and tomato-sauce rice. Outside, a covered patio guards cool hummus and cucumber dips with the swaying leaves of miniature palms. Parasols protect patrons' eyes from the sun, ensuring that they can see clearly should an engagement ring be hidden in the saffron basmati rice.
The Dinner Detective eschews campy costumes and plots for an exciting evening of food-accompanied mystery and paranoia, where actors hide among the diners, playing innocent and making everyone a potential suspect. To solve the crime, guests freely interrogate one another, chivvying out clues about the murderer and determining who has a bloodthirsty look in their eyes. Between dramatic deaths and simulated police involvement, guests dig into three-course meals, washed down with bottomless iced tea, coffee, and drinks from the cash bar. The diner who comes closest to solving the mystery through their snooping goes home with a prize basket to show off to their friends or split with the murderer as per their shadowy conspiracy. Prop guns and gunshot sound effects may be used during the performance.
The crispness of the golden crust on Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken’s eponymous dish is what “sets this place apart,” according to LA magazine. Chefs fry poultry the old-fashion way, sizzling it in heavy-gauge stainless-steel drums whose intense heat seals in natural juices and ensures un-soggy crunch. Scratch-made country classics, including buttermilk biscuits and sweet-potato pie, round out the menu alongside veggie sides such as hand-shucked corn on the cob.
Hover over almost any salad or sandwich ingredient on Tender Greens’ online menu, and its source immediately pops up. Artisan cheese hails from Drake Family Farms; golden balsamic vinaigrette comes from Sonoma Vinegar Works; free-range chicken once roamed at Pitman Family Farms. But Tender Greens’ most valuable partners reside at Scarborough Farms in Oxnard. According to an interview with Restaurant Business, Tender Greens’ cofounder enlisted the Scarborough family’s help before he even opened the first restaurant. As a result, Tender Greens gets preference over other customers, and in return, Scarborough keeps on its biggest client and even owns equity in the restaurants. Tender Greens’ commitment to knowing its sources—and making sure customers do, too—extends to its wine (from local boutique wineries), beer (from nearby microbreweries), and breads (baked each morning at artisan bakeries). But the desserts originate in house, where chefs spend each morning baking, just like storks do before making their daily drop-offs. The eatery’s earth-conscious philosophy also extends to its décor, crafted largely from recycled or eco-friendly materials. Inside, sunlight floods through plentiful windows, and outside, rays filter through patio umbrellas.
When Lois Margolet first opened Capriotti’s in Wilmington, Delaware, 36 years ago, she and her brother, Alan, worked from the second story of a boarded-up building, roasting 10–12 whole turkeys every night and churning out a “real turkey lover’s” sandwich each day. Today, Capriotti’s has expanded across 12 states, each location stacking the same award-winning hot and cold sandwiches, racking up such accolades as The Best of Las Vegas 2012, Best of Culver City 2012, and Best of Delaware 2012 prizes from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Culver City News, and Delaware Today, respectively. Though the shop is still known for its slow-roasted-turkey creations—such as the Thanksgiving-inspired Bobbie, named America's best sandwich by AOL's Lemondrop.com, piled with cranberry sauce and stuffing—its menu now ventures into the realm of roast beef, italian deli meats with such sandwiches as the capastrami, cheesesteaks, and vegetarian treats, such as meatless chicken and turkey.
At Island Monarch Coffee, named the top coffee house in Los Angeles by CulverCityCoffee.com, the coffee beans are world travelers. Collectively, they've made quite a journey; imported from South America, the beans arrive at the coffee shop a distinctive green color. The shop's baristas roast them in-house before grinding them each day, prepping beans for life as steaming espressos and lattes. Each drink comes brewed and flavored to order, with macchiatos and peppermint espressos made using water that has been filtered multiple times for purity. In addition to coffees, baristas also oversee an extensive selection of organic tea, can blend more than a dozen types of fresh fruit smoothies.
Replete with natural wood accents, the shop gives of a welcoming, rustic vibe. However, it's not all country living; guests can take advantage of free WiFi to catch up on work, finish special projects, or email love sonnets to Michael Cera.