Emulating a true-to-life New York deli, the interior at Gandolfo’s conjures the bustling streets of the Big Apple without the clamor of subways or the rush of the city. Inside each franchise—Gandolfo's locations, like New York City's five boroughs, are spread across 15 states—New York memorabilia dons the walls, overlooking helpings of more than 70 New York–themed sandwiches. From the Long Island chicken salad to the pastrami-stuffed King of Queens, each variety comes piled high atop a freshly baked hero or kaiser roll or sourdough, wheat, or rye bread. The deli also sates Manhattan–size appetites with chili-soaked Nathan’s hot dogs and relieves morning cravings with bagels buried beneath turkey and roast beef.
The Slidebar Rock-n-Roll Kitchen is entrenched in Orange County's music scene. Owned by Jeremy Popoff, guitarist and songwriter for the platinum rock band Lit, the venue celebrates all things rock. Even the comfort food–influenced menu echoes a rock 'n' roll show, with diners choosing from "opening acts" such as the signature deep-fried mac 'n' cheese or seared ahi tuna before moving on to "headliners" such as grilled fish tacos and vodka cream fettuccine. Finally comes the "encore," during which guests dig into desserts such as cheesecake taquitos, then play air guitar on their forks and smash them on the table. Lighter options are also available for health-conscious dining rockstars, such as quinoa with tofu and kale salad. On any given night, local and national bands take the stage, and on Wednesday nights, patrons can attempt to make their own mark on rock 'n' roll history with a karaoke machine.
Max Bloom's treats customers to classic café fare in an old-timey 1940s ambience, as vintage film posters, black-and-white photographs of glamorous starlets, and other remnants of pulp past line the walls. Max Bloom's menu percolates with caffeinated cups of house-blend coffee ($0.89–$1.80) and café lattes ($2.70–3.85), as well as vintage sodas ($1.85) and milkshakes ($4), which are concocted by a 1940s commercial mixer to impart the wholesome taste of postwar America. Diners can don their swellest petticoats and order a roast-beef panini as fuel for future foxtrot competitions ($4.75), or wake up with the breakfast burrito before imparting on a noir-esque detective hunt to find out who murdered the department store's mannequins ($3+). Max Bloom's also has a swinging calendar of events, including open-mic nights, film showings on Mondays, and live music.
Flavorful syrups in bright colors rain over fluffy balls of finely shaved ice as staff at Oahu Shave Ice & Ice Cream craft their titular frozen treats. A whopping 80 different flavors?including sugar-free options with less than five calories per serving?douse the ice, which holds flavor more evenly than a traditional snow cone, creating Hawaiian-style masterpieces infused with tastes of blackberry, red velvet, or horchata. Order yours Oahu-style to add a scoop of ice cream?which comes in 16 milky flavors?and a Snow Cap of sweet vanilla cream.
After moving to the United States in 1968, Mark Lewis sorely missed the fresh fish he had found so readily available across the Atlantic Ocean. He was born in Marseille, France, and grew up in Casablanca, Morocco, where he spent leisurely days fishing the rivers with his friends. Lewis decided to create Dry Dock Fish Company to give Americans a taste of his beloved homeland. For more than 25 years now, Lewis and his family have been listening to customers' fish stories with a smile and working tirelessly to give people a deeper appreciation of the fruits of the sea.
According to his bio, Lewis's favorite selections are the Santa Barbara shrimp, local halibut, and mahi-mahi. But renowned chef and restaurateur Giacomino Drago was drawn to the whole branzino; as part of the Farm to Table video series, he prepared one for dinner after a culinary excursion to the Beverly Hills Farmers' Market. You can find the branzino—along with sashimi-grade tuna or salmon smoked in-house—at the main storefront, in gourmet restaurants from Los Angeles to San Diego, and at more than 20 farmers' markets in Southern California. The shop also stocks delicacies, such as jars of preserved lemons and limes from Morocco and jars of preserved jelly bracelets from 1986.
Though recently opened at this location, Patty's Cakes and Desserts has been lovingly constructing hand-decorated and freshly-baked cakes and other desserts since 1985. Patty's original flavors and piping-bag artistry are on display with cupcake eye-catchers like the Elvis (luscious banana cake, peanut butter, and bacon) and chocolate with chocolate Chambord mousse cupcakes (both $3 each). Cake balls, Patty's moist, chocolate-dipped spheres, come in flavors like German chocolate with almonds, classic red velvet, and s'mores ($3 each or $36 for a dozen), and can be used in minor league baseball games.