At Cicciotti’s Trattoria Italiana & Seafood, chef and author Gaetano Cicciotti and his staff of kitchen craftsmen wood-fire pizza crusts and sauté fresh seafood using original recipes. Like Pac-Man’s Italian relatives, diners chomp their way through morsels of tender pasta mixed with mouthwatering ingredients such as creamy tiger shrimp, homemade meatballs, sun-dried tomatoes, and a creamy gorgonzola pesto sauce. Noodle-free fare includes chicken, veal, and seafood, which arrives shrouded in white-wine sauce or cloaked in mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. In addition, an extensive wine list helps patrons match their meal with a vintage vino for a duo of flavors that’s more dynamic than a Bruce Willis and Mr. Peanut buddy-cop flick.
After a quarter-century of pizza-smithing, the kitchen at Papa Toni's Pizza still crafts tasty pies out of freshly baked dough, creamy italian cheeses, and savory meats and sauces. Diners sink their teeth into specialty pies such as the all-meat Tutta Carne or the california spinach-covered Popeye, or take their cheese-covered fate into their own hands and create their own pie with 20 different toppings and a choice of flavored hammers to use on the pizza anvil. Classic pastas, subs, and calzones provide alternatives to a nonstop diet of pizza, while treats such as fresh, cherry-topped cannoli top off meals.
With 32 beers on tap and a full menu of American bistro-style food, trivia-players, pool sharks, and sports fans needn't move from their spot at Thirty Three North. Weekly trivia tests the knowledge of those who wish to play, while a 125" HD TV broadcasts sports games. Nightly specials occur throughout the week, and a fire pit provides a cozy spot to gather round and tell gruesome ghost stories to complete strangers.
After graduating from high school, Reza Karkouti dreamed of opening his own teriyaki restaurant. He garnered support from family and friends, and he and his father, Ahad, opened a tiny eatery called Tokyo's Teriyaki in Encinitas in 1992. Through hard work and an attention to detail, the restaurant's reputation grew, and the demand for juicy, teriyaki-glazed chicken and beef quickly spread to other cities. This led Reza’s younger brother, Amir, to help open a second location. Now a seven-location, family-owned chain, Surf Brothers Teriyaki still sees its two siblings focusing on customer service and quality products.
The duo chooses natural meats that are minimally processed, hand trimmed, and grilled, avoiding shortcuts such as microwaves, frozen foods, and laser-based slicing. Their Hawaiian-themed restaurants and catering business have been featured in numerous television spots, radio shows, and newspaper articles. Michelle Murphy Zive of SanDiegoFamily.com says the restaurant offers "a taste of Hawaii" and "healthy food served fast." The brothers give back to the community that helped them grow by donating to charitable organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Homes project.
In her time abroad, Tomiko touched down in Taiwan, Turkey, and Korea, savoring the cuisines of each region and even delving into eats native to the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Thirteen years ago, she used her encyclopedic knowledge of world cuisine to found Tomiko Restaurant & Bar, an eatery that sits on a hilltop overlooking purple and pink ocean sunsets. The menu brings together diverse dishes that Tomiko sampled on her travels, from sushi netted via sustainable practices to Asian beef wraps tucked around Korean-style barbecue beef. Chefs add healthy touches to their signature dishes, including hormone-free meats, gluten-free rice, and soy sauce lighter than an astronaut's toothbrush. In the lounge area, exposed wooden beams come to a point overhead as diners sit at a horseshoe-shaped bar, topped with glasses of chilled sake, wine, and microbrew beers. DJ-spun beats prompt dancing or rhythmic sneezing every second Tuesday and last Thursday of the month.
It's not every day that offering to grill at a friend's birthday party leads to a wildly successful business. But in the case of husband and wife team Ana Simon and Rafael Pedroso, it did. What began as just catering eventually transformed into a restaurant, when Ana and Rafael's friends insisted the slow-cooked cuisine was too good to keep under wraps. At Sabor de Vida, the two showcase their love of Brazilian-style barbecue, known as churrasco. Meals begin with the Brazilian-style tapas, or 'petiscos,' such as crispy yuca or polenta. On weekends, the kitchen prepares feijoada, a traditional Brazilian dish of black beans, barbecue beef, and sausage that's smoked like a little league team playing the Yankees.