You'll detect hints of Asian spices in many of the dishes at 7 Sea Sports Bar and Grill, from the Thai Basil Cayenne that peppers the popcorn chicken to the Vietnamese barbeque sauce that glazes the Ngon Ngon burger. Aided by the skilled burger-smiths from Savori, the eatery's skilled chefs whip up Asian takes on American pub favorites and fold choice beef and fresh buns into the imaginative, Vietnamese-inspired burgers lauded by reporters from OC Weekly. The chef's Asian culinary influences shine brightest, however, in their sushi—traditional Japanese rolls made from fresh fish and crisp vegetables.
Customers lounge on cushy red banquettes out in the lively dining room, clinking glasses of lychee martinis and coconut margaritas beneath soft blue lighting. Appeasing diehard fans of sports or glowing rectangular devices, massive flat screens speckle the exposed brick walls.
At Bleu/XO Restaurant & Sports Lounge, diversity reigns. It's visible not only in the entertainment—which ranges from Sunday-night dance lessons to televised sports games—but also in the cuisine itself. The house special fried rice mixes the classic Chinese dish with egg, shrimp, and Chinese sausage, though that's not the only twist the menu harbors. Savory crepes brim with shrimp, pork and sprouts in the Vietnamese tradition, rather than the traditional French style of filling a crepe with a baguette. The menu even touches on Thai flavors with a tabeletop hot pot in which diners cook their own mussels and shrimp with in a spicy broth.
After 9 p.m., diners are invited to enjoy live music in the restaurant.
At Café Tu Tu Tango, edibles and art merge with far more dynamism than your average still life. Paintings and brick pillars surround the tables, where pizzas decked in pears and brie flank the miniature campfires of tabletop s'mores. Murals and mosaics fill the space beneath counters, and plush sofas on the patio replace the chairs and moss-covered motorcycles of traditional outdoor seating. Even the napkins "are a rainbow of jewel toned colors," reports The Food Channel's "Raves & Faves" feature, which labels the restaurant's design "pure local artist eclectic." The review documents the café's other artistic quirks, including the dessert menu's catalogue of painted depictions, the commissioned artists who compose their opuses live in the space, and the range of performers who parade through the restaurant, from belly dancers to balloon artists.
The kitchen makes its own chicken and beef empanadas alongside six types of skewers, which spear meats such as salmon, shrimp, and steak. A classic sangria recipe complements bites of roasted pears or mango-duck quesadillas, and seven specialty pizzas bake in a brick oven. To top off an original lunch date, groups can visit nearby attractions such as Disneyland and the Anaheim Convention Center.
After memorizing the menu, start a food-eating contest with yourself by devouring a basket of chili-cheese fries (shoestring fries, $2.99, plus jack-and-cheddar chili mix, $1.29) or sixteen Angel wings tossed in your choice of one or two sauces (buffalo, blazing habanero, firecracker, Thai peanut, spicy barbecue, garlic parmesan, or blasphemy, $14.99). For the main event, chow down on a pulled-pork sandwich ($9.99), or the dos tacos, stuffed with steak or chicken and lettuce, cheddar and jack cheeses, and salsa inferno, and served with a side of tortilla chips and salsa ($7.49). Burgers, wraps, and pizzas fill out the remainder of the robust menu.
There are few things as exhilarating as locking eyes with an attractive stranger through delicate curls of smoke. That’s why spending an evening at Titanium Hookah is the ideal way to socialize, with guests mingling around pipes as they share stories, hookah nozzles, and ATM codes. House DJs spin music on weekend nights, when doors stay open until 4 a.m. so guests can continue puffing on aromatic smoke in flavors such as pumpkin pie, strawberry margaritas, or mint. For an enhanced flavor, guests can filter their smoke through juices or milk, or they can simply sip on drinks after passing along the hookah.
Inside Chapter One: The Modern Local, high, lofted ceilings, geometric light fixtures, and chunky wooden furnishings complement Executive Chef David Martinico's menu of seasonal contemporary cuisine. Patrons clink glasses of handpicked brews or craft cocktails⎯such as the restaurant's signature moscow mule⎯as they dine on locally sourced produce and humane meat. Meals draw on flavors from across the globe: étoufée fries covered in spicy Cajun roux bespeak a New Orleans influence, and yakisoba stir-fries and a housemade sausage topped in kimchi import East Asian tastes. The Frank Sinatra–themed Sunday brunch pairs classic dishes such as brioche french toast with bacon-bourbon bloody marys and other creative drinks. Chapter One: the modern local also breaks up up the drudgery of the workweek with regular events such as charity bingo, jazz performances, and a fortnightly burning of uncomfortable business shoes.