Walking into Andre’s Pizza can feel like walking into a home kitchen. As family members chop up veggies for fresh salads and hand-knead dough for pizzas, the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven wafts over the entire scene. The bread is used for toasted deli subs that diners customize with six meats and three cheeses, as well as add-ons such as guacamole and bacon. The aforementioned pizza dough gets slathered with homemade sauce before it’s transformed into specialty pizzas—sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts top the gourmet pie, and sausage, meatballs, and bacon bulk up the all-meat pizza. The rest of the menu includes custom calzones and eight salads that, like the best avant-garde art, can be drizzled with a selection of house-made dressings.
Elegant white plates serve as the canvases for Pacifica Seafood & Bar’s decadent undersea feasts, holding artfully presented helpings of everything from tuna Shanghai to shrimp quesadillas. Diners enjoy fish tacos, 12-ounce skirt steaks, and roasted chicken amid expansive windows overlooking a picturesque mountainous view. Though it sounds swanky, the restaurant pulses with relaxed vibes, with colorful writing and drawings scribbled across the white walls and bartenders pouring drinks directly into patron's mouths. Bottles of Indio beer fuel game-watching sessions around one of six high-definition televisions, or cool off games of full-contact charades played on the outdoor patio.
The menu at Amore Ristorante Pizzeria raises the quintessential dilemma of Italian cuisine: pizza or pasta? Those opting for pies can slice up crusts laden with gourmet toppings such as prosciutto and brie or pesto and feta. Alternatively, plates of pasta entice diners to spear forkfuls of tortellini and ham or fettuccine alfredo bulked up with chicken or salmon. After dinner, tiramisu and spumoni sweeten meals better than a lazy susan carved out of chocolate.
Plumes of aromatic smoke curl from the arms of colorful hookahs as Al-Zaituna’s chefs cook up moist yet crispy falafel and tender kebabs. Stuffed grape leaves and hummus satiate palates alongside gyro meats nestled into pitas that are baked daily, and sips of turkish coffee power up neural search engines.
Chef Patricia Carpio and the crew at Mancora Peruvian Restaurant draw on an array of international flavors sampled from Spain, Italy, Africa, and Quechua to tweak each traditional Peruvian dish. Aromas of pollo saltado, sautéed chicken with tomatoes and french fries over rice, and seafood ceviche marinated in fresh lemon juices mingle and waft into the dining area. There, patrons dig into fire-roasted chicken and classic Peruvian desserts of sweet caramel meringue and baked custards.
As its name implies, Brown Bag Deli focuses its culinary efforts almost exclusively on fresh sandwiches. The shop’s staff stands ready to fashion any meat and veggie-packed sandwich from the deli's menu of more than 30 choices, such as liverwurst and bologna, or genoa and smoked ham. The restaurant also pairs its subs with sweet and sugary sides that range from chips and pickles to carrot cake and cookies, all of which make great bargaining chips for lunch trades that fetch strangers’ savings bonds.