A little piece of Germany lies on 8 acres of Huntington Beach. Traditional restaurants and grocery stores line the quaint cobblestone streets, and people decked out in German dress meander through their wooden doors. As the sun rises over rows of dangling shop shingles, the air becomes electrified with the sounds of puffing tubas, sizzling bratwurst, and traditional German toasts. This is Old World Village, a mecca of bakeries, bars, delis, and eateries that have been celebrating German heritage for more than 30 years. Sauerbraten, wiener schnitzel, and spaetzle fill the air with savory aromas in Old World Restaurant as visitors to the bar raise their glasses to sip on such imported suds as Dunkel, Hofbräu, and Warsteiner. Meanwhile, the European market lines its colorful shelves with not only German staples but also goodies from Italy, Poland, and other countries. Though the village is the perfect escape for individuals in need of European merriment, mass festivities are its specialty: weddings, family reunions, and other celebrations benefit from its banquet services, and festivals such as Oktoberfest open German traditions to the public better than a congressional lederhosen mandate.
Noted as a "fantastic addition" to the Long Beach dining scene by Gazettes Town-News, Himalayan Grill melds the culinary traditions of India, Nepal, and Tibet. Chefs observe authentic preparation standards when preparing Indian dishes, slow-roasting chicken, lamb, and shrimp in a tandoor oven. Among a quintet of "out-of-this-world, make time stop" dishes sampled by restaurant critics of the Orange County Register, lamb masala garnered particular praise as incredibly supple and "moist enough to cut with a spoon." Ginger, garlic, and curry infuse spice and heat into most entrees, whereas saffron and cardamom lend uncommon warmth and market value to desserts. Inside the dining room, low music and dim lighting create a relaxed atmosphere. Table minders elevate the comfort factor with "fast and very warm" service.
The first clue that Master and Margarita’s ambiance leans toward the relaxed and lighthearted is found in the restaurant’s name, taken from Mikhail Bulgakov’s 1960s satirical novel lampooning Soviet bureaucracy. The second sign of the restaurant’s playful attitude spills forth from the bustling kitchen where chefs remain faithful to traditional Russian recipes while also whipping up fusion fare that, like John Wayne wearing a Catherine the Great costume, combines American favorites with Eastern European classics. Amid the wood-floored dining room, low lighting and well-spaced tables afford romantic meals while flat-screen TVs remain ablaze during sporting events. Master and Margarita also welcomes area artists for live musical performances on select evenings to fill the restaurant with jazz and acoustic tunes.
When the chefs at Italian Cravings Irvine created their menu of Italian favorites, they decided not to be too fastidious with their recipes. So in addition to their traditional Italian recipes, they also created fusion dishes using the flavors and ingredients of other cuisines. Plates of tender veal in a marsala wine sauce sit next to the chicken tequila—a bed of fettuccine topped with chicken, bell peppers, and cilantro, all drizzled in a tequila lime sauce. Alongside the Italian entrees, chef also toss pizzas with traditional and unusual ingredients, from pepperoni to barbecue chicken. They pair all of this with tall glasses of beer or wine, which help ensure that meals are long, jovial affairs—like marathons emceed by a standup comic.
The kitchen staff at Suds Sports Grill takes a different approach to its classic pub menu by serving traditional items such as bacon cheeseburgers alongside a complete lineup of Mexican food. The south-of-the-border menu is dotted with spicy selections including the carne asada quesadilla and the Baja fish tacos. The staff pairs entrees with an impressive selection of specialty and craft beers by Bear Republic Brewing Company, Stella Artois, Shock Top, and other local and national breweries. Multiple TVs lure patrons in to watch multiple sports and ignore all dialogue coming from their dinner companions.
Chefs at Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken carefully prepare the restaurant's namesake meal to perfection—dishing out plates of roasted poultry with crispy, seasoned skin and tender morsels of light and dark meat. A smorgasbord of South American cuisine awaits visitors, form hearty plates of steak, plantains, and fried egg to saltado dishes of seasoned beef or fish sauteed with thick-cut fries. Like a statue chiseled from hard candy, each dish is a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds—colorful slices of yam, fried plantain, and purple onion slivers garnish meals of citrusy ceviche or fried calamari.