As Lou Solis—owner of Don Carmelo's Mexican Grill—sees it, going out to a Mexican restaurant is a two-part experience. The first part is the food, which he bases on authentic Mexican family recipes and whispers from aging cacti. The second component is the air of festivity. “I loved the Mexican atmosphere,” Solis says. “It’s a party. It’s a destination. It’s not just to get something to eat quickly.” And the food is easy to savor––Solis sources his ingredients from Mexican distributors and fresh deliveries of local produce and meat every day.
Every sandwich, soup, or salad from Jimmy's Mediterranean Deli packs a colorful wallop of imported ingredients. Fresh soups ($3.50–$6.50), breakfast platters, and piping hot daily specials furnish visitors with an island of variability within the meatball-flooded ocean of life. The deli’s specialty Greek- and Italian-style cuisine parades proudly in their sandwich menu. Encased meat-seekers can escape to the boot-shaped birthplace of Pinocchio with the italian classic decked with genoa salami, rosemary, ham, provolone, tomato, and onion ($6.25), or sink into a gyro or chicken souvlaki served on a bed of pita and blanketed with sheets of tomato, onion, and a comforter of cucumber sauce ($5.50). Meanwhile, the sandwich-averse can grab pizza by the slice ($1.75+) or pie ($5.25+).
The Beach Burger’s chef, Marc Anthony Bynum, a champion on the Food Network’s Chopped, unites all-natural, grass-fed, Angus-beef patties with an array of inventive ingredients, including fresh seafood, homemade sauces, and local produce. The eatery’s beefy options run the gamut from the burger-purist-pleasing Classic burger, adorned with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and pickle ($5), to the spiciness of the Taco burger, topped with guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, and lettuce ($6.50). The Surf and Turf bridges the gap between land and sea, binding together Angus beef and fried oysters, then topping the combination with arugula, lemon-chive aioli, and optional hot sauce ($9). Meat-less options include the Falafel, a veggie burger served atop an open-faced pita with hummus, cucumber, tomato, and Greek yogurt ($7), which, like any burger, can be accompanied into your mouth by a side of homespun fries (additional $1.50 for making a meal a combo) or a hand-scooped milkshake such as the Sandy Beach—coffee ice cream, Oreos, and chocolate syrup ($5).
OceanView Bistro’s BYOB policy doesn’t apply to its chefs, who use wine as an ingredient in several dishes, including a chicken stew marinated in red wine and mussels sautéed in white wine. The bistro's dinner menu boasts an all-French lineup of escargot hors d’oeuvres, stews, seafood, and dessert crepes drizzled in lemon or orange sauce and served with scoops of ice cream. During breakfast and lunch hours, the chefs shift gears from French to American and serve up deli sandwiches, burgers, and pancakes.
Flavors from around the world mingle at Atlas Restaurant and Bar, where dishes inspired by the Middle East, Italy, America, and other countries share the spotlight on the menu. Chefs simmer sunny-side-up eggs in shakshuka’s spicy tomato sauce, and douse steamed Prince Edward Island mussels in house-made champagne sauce. They accompany the 12-ounce Atlas Steak with garlic mashed potatoes, and complement bronzini stuffed with zucchini and red peppers with artichoke tapenade. Like Houses of Parliament at the end of the day, Atlas’ back room transforms into a dance floor on Friday and Saturday nights, piping tunes from the 1970s and ‘80s through a powerful sound system.
Whether beneath the thatched roof of the tiki hut or at an intimate table surrounded by bamboo shoots, Papaya Thai and Asian BBQ’s tropical themes pervade the eatery’s confines. The barbecue bar grants diners a front-row seat to watch chefs expertly grill marinated meats and veggies on wooden skewers, wielding the power of fire like Prometheus to cook beef to its tender best state. A variety of Thai tasting plates and main dishes include classics such as pad thai, sizzling chicken in a thai barbecue sauce, and skewered chicken satay. From the tiki bar, bartenders pour tropical drinks such as papaya thai-ritas made with sweet mango and nutty monkeys, an almond-rum-banana concoction the staff delivers to tables by way of swinging through the rafters.
With a space designed for casual mingling alongside a menu more suited for white tablecloths and expensive cutlery, Tinto Tapas Bar chef and owner Carlos Hernandez has created an eatery that is both upscale and unrefined. Guests lounge at tables amid vibrant hues of red and yellow as servers ferry out small, shareable plates of mushroom risotto with truffle oil and manchego, piquillo peppers stuffed with duck confit, and boneless Black Angus short ribs in a beer and rioja-wine reduction. Private parties mingle and celebrate in private rooms capable of accommodating up to 150 guests, and regular special events highlight rich Spanish wines, savory paella, and other authentic flavors.