In 2008, four sisters started Bambu Desserts & Drinks as a hobby. Today, the San Jose?born brand has established a major presence in the Bay Area, and has expanded to other states including Hawaii, Nevada, and Texas. Bambu?s success can be traced to the quality of its treats, as well as its variety: the menu is packed with about 100 Asian-inspired desserts and beverages. Tapioca balls float in their milk teas, which range in flavor from lychee to coconut to jasmine, and their dessert drinks combine such intriguing ingredients as coconut, pandan jelly, longan, basil seed?which form the Bambu special. Various hot and cold coffee drinks, such as Vietnamese coffee, caf? mochas, and lattes, put a spring in guests' step?more convenient than filling your shoes with jumping beans. The staffers also concoct blended coffees and smoothies, which come in flavors including strawberry, coconut, papaya, and avocado.
Upon first glance, Tiki Monster H2O looks like your average snack shop—there's shelves packed with colorful candies and bags of chips, coolers filled with frosty soda bottles, and a counter lined with flavored syrups for snow-cones. Examine the inventory more closely, however, and you'll encounter retro, novelty, and unusual treats interspersed with familiar selections of Coca-Cola cans and packets of Cheetos. There are more than 100 different types of gourmet sodas, many in inventive flavors such as chocolate-covered maple-smoked bacon, green-apple jalapeno, and key lime pie. Shelves are also lined with vintage candies and international sweets, ranging from kitschy candy cigarettes to Asian red-bean ice-cream bars.
As guests marvel at the colorful labels of cartoon-character energy drinks and peruse racks of sunglasses, staffers keep busy behind the counter. They blend up simmering specialty Marley coffee beverages and shaved-ice drinks in flavors such as orange cream, chai tea, and salted-caramel cream. They frequently screen old westerns on the shop's TV, transporting viewers back to a time when cowboys still rode horses and regularly dined on tree bark.
The Daily Grind features specialty coffees that earned the 2011 Roaster of the Year Award from Roast Magazine. Our exceptional single origin and coffee blends are brought to you from boutique farms around the world.
DG also features a full compliment of baked goods and fare that are made fresh daily.
With a name that's a riff on the French phrase for golden bread, Pandor Bakery and Cafe specializes in regional French pastries OC Weekly once said inspire "where-have-you-been-all-my-life epiphanies". Pandor is far from just a pastry shop, though, as it boasts an extensive menu that includes everything from breakfast plates to paninis. By morning, guests can be found digging into Nutella french toast or croque madames?and head in early for its Dornut pastry, which OC Weekly calls "obscenely good." At lunch, the kitchen sizzles with the sound of pressed sandwiches layered with pesto chicken or grilled zucchini. Though Pandor's flagship location can be found in the south of France, the California locations incorporate local goods such as coffee from Costa Mesa's Portola Coffee Lab and forks grown within Orange County.
Though the bakers at The Funnel House experiment with state-fair-style recipes, they don't limit themselves to dishes from, well, the states. Instead, they specialize in funnel cakes, as well as the dessert's Latin American equivalent: handmade churros. They serve both dishes in their classic, sugar-dusted form or topped with scoops of ice cream, whipped cream, or fruit. It isn't just the desserts that are state-fair classics, however. Staffers also fill glasses with cold lemonade and creamy cinnamon horchata.
Blends Soft Serve Creations sets their frozen treats apart and puts the power of invention in the hands of the people by offering them the chance to blend individual flavors into their own new creation. Patrons can choose a base of ice cream or frozen yogurt or opt for a smoothie or fruit-juice freeze to sip through a straw. Next, they can infuse the treat with one or a combination of 30 available flavors, including watermelon, cinnamon spice, and peach, and top it off with candy and fruit mix-ins. Blends also lists its recommendations for tasty treats that have passed flavor-quality and brain-freeze-probability tests, including cake-batter ice cream topped with vanilla-wafer crumbles and sprinkles, and fruit punch with cherry and orange flavors, highlighted by cherry, strawberry, and raspberry mix-ins.