The word express in Vito's Express refers to more than the gourmet New York-style pizza available for takeout. A love for speed is on display throughout the restaurant, from the Raiders helmets on the walls to the authentic Vespa scooters parked inside. At the full bar, a beer-cooling system pours drafts from the bottom of the glass, resulting in less of the foam that falls out of taps after they're unpacked. A selection of robust red wines also pairs well with Vito's signature pizzas, whose toppings range from pesto sauce, feta, garlic, and chicken—co-owner Scotty's favorite—to marinated lobster and amaretto cream sauce.
Chemmeen's chefs remain true to the spice-laden essence of southern Indian cuisine by faithfully re-creating some of the region's most iconic dishes. In addition to crisping dosas on the griddle and roasting skewered chicken in the kitchen's tandoor, the chefs incorporate familiar flavors by adding liberal doses of dried red chilies, coconut, and native vegetables to the entrees. The menu also acknowledges Indian cuisine's international influences by featuring a selection of Indo-Chinese fried rice and noodle dishes, which combine ingredients from both countries.
Behind a façade of yellow bricks and twinkling string lights is Citrus Indian Fusion, a hub for North and South Indian dishes. Through the glass doors, aromas strike first––indication that morsels of marinated lamb, chicken, and fish are curing in a tandoor grill. Scents of ginger, garlic, and Andhra spice waft through the air, prompting guests to sop up zesty curries and their tears of joy with whole-wheat roti or warm naan.
When you accidentally plant tomato seeds instead of building a treehouse for your children, you'll have to learn how to put a tomato to good use. Today's Groupon gives you a tasty education in the red fruitgetable with $20 worth of Italian cuisine at Tomatina for $10. Bring a flavorful tutorial to your palate with professorial pizzas and pastas straight from the tomato academy.
Clad in revealing outfits, Tokyo Playground's beautiful waitresses don't adhere to the quiet formalness normally associated with Japanese dining. Then again, at Tokyo Playground, neither does anything else. Helped by its scantily clad waitstaff, the restaurant instead throws on the mantle of a rowdy American sports bar, pairing Japanese cuisine with upbeat music and sports broadcast on HDTVs. Like a dolphin's toy box, the menu is predominantly filled with sushi—36 specialty rolls include the Fiesta roll with spicy tuna, sweet fried tofu, and avocado. Forgoing the roll, the nigiri and sashimi selection includes live giant clams and spanish mackerel. Bento boxes pair sushi or teriyaki entrees with rice and salad, and a chef's-choice sushi combo gives the chef license to pair rolls thought up on the spot. Of course, pockets of the menu highlight the sports-bar angle with snacks such as the japanese nachos covered in spicy ground tuna. To wash it all down, the bar slings sake bombs made from hot sake and Sapporo.
When it first opened in 1979, La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill was a simple taqueria in Los Angeles. Its open kitchen gave patrons a front-row seat to watch chefs transform fresh ingredients into bold, memorable Mexican dishes. Today, the original concept has evolved into a booming franchise, but each location works on the same principle: add a modern twist to classic Mexican food. Chefs continue to work in an open-kitchen environment where they concoct seven types of homemade salsas—laced with ingredients such as fire-roasted roma tomatoes, cilantro and garlic, and even mango—to complement carne asada tacos, Los Cabos shrimp burritos, and hefty bowls packed with chicken, fire-roasted veggies, and plenty of cheese. The kitchen crew also assembles large breakfasts of eggs and chorizo, as well as huevos rancheros for early risers.