Since debuting in Taiwan in the 1980s, sweet tapioca pearls have traveled the world, jockeying for the title of America’s next taste sensation upon landing in California. Made of sweet potato, cassava root, and a hint of brown sugar, each pearl is soft on the outside and chewy on the inside, much like a nerf ball filled with creamy mashed potatoes. Tapioca Express captures the gems in more than 100 frosty, fruit-flavored bubble drinks and velvety milk teas—crafted from authentic ingredients imported from Taiwan and hand-selected tea leaves—in flavors such as mango, lavender, almond, and smoky oolong. The pearlescent bubble drinks pair with a menu of Taiwanese snacks, including fried steam buns and crispy calamari rings and combo entrees such as curried chicken and braised pork ribs.
Although Jessica James officially created Fluff Cupcakery in 2010, that wasn’t when she started baking. Having grown up with a mother who was a cake decorator, Jessica took to baking like a duck to water, and she’s been practicing the are since before she knew how to cook. This passion naturally grew into Fluff Cupcakery. There, she offers five unique flavors of cupcakes every day. She also keeps her menu extra fresh by rotating in two to three different cupcakes varieties every day. Fluff Cupcakery stays open until 5 p.m. during the week, and 3 p.m. on Saturdays, but has been known to close up shop early if their cupcakes have sold out or they’ve used all the flour in California to make one Rose Bowl-sized cupcake.
The bean barons at Second Street Café sling brewed-to-order fair-trade coffee, specialized sippables, and breakfast and lunch fare that employs fresh organic produce. Shake off nightmares of showing up fully clothed at a nudist beach with the Jump Start ($2.85–$3.25), which drops a double shot of espresso in a cup of classic joe from the nearby Verve's Coffee Roasters. A selection of bagels ($1.65–$2.95), breakfast sandwiches ($3.95–$4.95), and breakfast burritos ($3.95–$4.25) ensure a mollified morning, while iced americanos ($2.50) and lattes ($3.50) cool off humid highway hoppers.
Every morning, Rocquel Chagolla gets to spend time with her boyfriend and kids. But instead of sitting around the breakfast table, the whole family is hard at work baking together at their bright-coral bakery, Roc's Cupcakes. The pint-sized treats are made from scratch every morning, and while the flavors change daily, the spread can include varieties such as red velvet, maple bacon, Fruity Pebbles, and salted caramel. And, on the weekends, the crew also takes special orders for miniature cupcakes or gluten-free varieties, to ensure that everyone can enjoy their fresh-baked treats, even if they have food allergies or really tiny mouths.
Amid the bustle of Mi Pueblo Foods, aromas of Latino cooking traditions fill the air. At one end of the store, shredded carnitas simmer in copper tubs, soft breads bake in ovens, and traditional pollo al carbon char over mesquite and open flames. At the other end, thinly sliced sirloin arrachera soaks up the flavors of Mi Pueblo's lauded green marinade while delicious 'tres leches' cakes are baked and decorated for special occassions. Here, the store's team of culinary traditionalists cull flavors from generational recipes and pass them onto their guests. In fact, for more than two decades, Mi Pueblo Foods has provided classic Latino flavors and products alongside national brands to create a unique grocery shopping experience. The store stocks fresh fish and seafood, natural yogurts and cheeses, homemade tortillas, and store-prepared mole. Mi Pueblo Foods also celebrates numerous holidays with its local communities, including Latin American ones, such as El Dia de los Reyes, when stores bake the holiday's traditional Rosca de Reyes using the original recipe.
Paradise Tans accommodates customers of all shade preferences with a fleet of tanning beds that deliver four levels of tan. Among these beds is the Beauty Angel bed, which stimulates collagen to diminish signs of aging, skin blemishes, and floating halos. The staff also offers custom airbrush spray tans, administered by hand for an even, natural-looking bronze.