Modeled after an Old World wine cellar, WineStyles's shelves are lined with rare bottles accrued by its staff of in-house experts hailing from quality vineyards across the globe. The shop's bounty includes handcrafted gift boxes and baskets and merchandise, such as guidebooks for translating secret codes etched in cork. Along with retailing wine and imbibing gear, WineStyles's crew grants guests the opportunity to sample new pours at frequent events and two-hour tastings three nights a week. For dedicated aficionados, the chief wine taster chooses two bottles to send to wine-club members along with tasting notes that detail their origins, a winery description, and suggested food pairings.
Make lunch or dinner into a fun foodmersible with submarine-shaped appetizer rolls such as the seared ahi tuna variation with mango, mint, avocado, and wasabi-ginger soy sauce ($7), or yam-tempura-coated fish sticks ($7). Meat goes best with meat, which explains why bold dishes like the rau ram salad with chicken, cabbage, green mango, and apple ($11) and the braised anise shortrib ($22) stand out so well. Quietly confident plates such as the tofu with eggplant, mushrooms, and Thai basil ($12) or the lemongrass jalapeno wok (tofu, $13) are equally delicious, but are more susceptible to noogies.
At Irvine Improv, comics lure laughs from deep within bellies while following in the footsteps of standup legends such as Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, and Dave Chappelle, all of whom have graced the Improv club stages. The club's calendar schedules comedians as often as six nights a week, alternating between big-name headliners and up-and-coming performers. Audience members munch on a savory menu of appetizers, entrees, burgers, and deserts while sipping specialty cocktails to avoid eye contact with the giant rubber chicken sitting at the next table.
Each Auld Dubliner location must meet the stringent level of authenticity required by co-owner and Gaelic strongdrinker David Copley. A native of Limerick, Ireland, Copley might share a dirty poem if you ask nicely, but he's more likely to tell you that every part of his pub's polished wood, brass décor, and menu of toothsome Erin edibles was designed and crafted in Ireland and transported piece by piece to its new American home. Tuck right into pub classics such as shepherd's pie with ground beef and lamb ($12.95) or the for-more-than-St.-Patty's-Day corned beef and cabbage ($12.95). Other fare that comes with a shamrock stamp of approval includes the traditional boxty (a potato pancake), stuffed with delights such as Irish bacon and melted cheddar ($13.95) or Atlantic salmon with shallots and tarragon ($15.95). For a finish as sweet as a "yes" from Molly Bloom, the Irish-whiskey crème brûlée adds a twist to the traditional dessert.
On the charming patio of Luna Rossa Ristorante, the flame of a heater flickers in the center of the al fresco space, which is low-lit by lights strung overhead that cast a golden glow on the crisp, white tablecloths. Frequently enlivened by live music, the patio and dining room open to diners during lunch and dinner to serve a menu of elegant Italian cuisine. Sourcing ingredients such as fresh buffalo mozzarella straight from Italy, Chef Mauro Di Rofi, from Rome, Italy, prepares tender spaghetti that mingles with mixed seafood in a spicy red sauce, classic Neapolitan pizzas topped with tomato, mozzarella, and anchovy, homemade pasta with smoked salmon, and rich cr?me br?l?e.