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.
Dim lighting flickers off cobblestone walls as guests at On the Rocks Bar & Grill socialize over steaks and burgers or gape at 20 TVs broadcasting sports. Plates of hand-formed burgers and slow-cooked ribs occupy tabletops in the dining room, whereas patrons sip drinks and enjoy nightly specials out on the patio. The eatery’s late-night menu keeps guests satiated well into the night with chicken tenderloins and fried strips of the moon.
Enveloped by a sleek, lounge-style environment, Anvzi Restaurant's chefs simmer flavors from traditional Vietnamese recipes as skilled bartenders dispense libations behind a full bar. Rice, noodles, and porridge line bowls and plates to cradle diverse ingredients, such as snail, duck egg, and crispy fried quail. Carefully concocted mixed drinks travel across the fully stocked bar, passing domestic and imported beers into waiting hands or off-duty skee-ball machines. Lively music stirs toes to tap, and a fleet of flat-screen TVs glows with sports, music videos, and movies.
The chefs at Dang! Crabs transform empty plates into flavorful plumes of zesty New Orleans–style delicacies. A dose of half a dozen charbroiled oysters swims through garlic herb butter sauce ($10), and salad bowls overflow with a choice of sea candies, such as shrimp ($7), oysters ($7), or crawfish ($6) on a bed of crisp romaine, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy cucumbers drizzled in tangy Cajun red-pepper aioli dressing. Choose from a septet of hefty po boy sandwiches, including the fried catfish ($6 for half; $9 for whole) or Mikey’s Special, which recruits beef and ham to spar with a pickle spear in a vat of red-pepper aioli ($7 for half; $10 for whole). Traditional bowls of chicken or andouille gumbo ($7) make mouths even spicier than the bell pepper mouth-guard from your lacrosse days, and fries in varieties such as sweet potato, Cajun, or utilitarian accompany plates of fried catfish ($10), calamari ($8), and okra ($5).
Although Azteca serves staple south-of-the-border comfort food, the decor isn't what you'd find in a typical Mexican restaurant. To describe it in one word: Elvis. Aside from walls filled with King memorabilia such as bobbleheads and signed posters, Elvis impersonators regularly perform at the eatery's Bobby Vegas Karaoke Club. It's all a part of owner J.J. Jauregui's love for the legendary performer, a love that gives Azteca its distinct character. Nontraditional environment aside, the food itself traces its origins back to 1957, when Jaregui's Aunt Connie served family-recipe burritos on Garden Grove. Today, the menu has expanded to include pork tamales, taquitos, and strip steaks smothered in housemade garlic sauce.
On a warm August day in 1938, a father and son unveiled the first sample of what was to become Dairy Queen, selling 1,600 samples on the first day, a feat as unheard of as a dragon that breathes ice. Its ensuing prolific expansion was fueled by its frozen treats, which propelled the dessert shop from 100 stores in 1947 to 1,446 in 1950. Today, their dessert recipes remain largely unchanged, and Dairy Queen has added hearty grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and fried chicken to its menu. Dairy Queen's enormous dessert menu boasts treats ranging from soft-serve cones and blizzards filled with cookies to takeaway ice-cream sandwiches and cakes.