Shesha Marvin was nervous as he gazed out on the dance floor, certain that his pounding heart could even be heard over the booming music. He had always been uneasy on his feet, choosing to lurk by the punch bowl at parties rather than asking girls for a dance?but now, at last, was a chance to overcome his fear. He took a deep breath and stepped out onto the floor, where he was immediately swept away in a rush of lively beats and glimmering lights.
After than fateful night, Shesha was hooked. He began dancing six nights a week at local clubs and, eventually, in Disneyland shows, favoring the lindy-hop and swing styles. He traveled the world to compete in international championships, even performing live on Dancing with the Stars. Today, Shesha brings his years of passion and expertise to his own dance studio, Atomic Ballroom.
Atop the hardwood floors of his spacious studio, Shesha and his instructors lead students of all experience levels through the steps, twirls, and transitions of the East Coast swing, the American fox trot, and the Argentine tango. The instructors can even help couples choreograph a dance for their wedding while providing expert advice on how to sashay gracefully in heels or how to twirl the bride without destroying the reception hall with F5-level winds. Every night of the week, they host a group dance party?from Sunday night tango to Saturday night Ballroom, and belly dance throughout the week.
A glimmering crystal chandelier and sunset-hued, damask-patterned wall help create a vibrant, yet stately ambiance within Sanaya Indian Cuisine?which is fitting considering the bold flavors inherent in its traditional South Asian dishes. Throughout the room, the intermingling aromas of cumin, ginger, garlic, saffron, fenugreek, fennel seeds, and chilies give diners a brief preview of the menu's rustically refined approach to Indian cooking. These herbs and spices appear in everything from curries to tandoori entrees: chicken, lamb, or jumbo shrimp that marinate in spiced yogurt before being grilled within the cold fusion-powered confines of a clay tandoor oven. The chefs demonstrate equal attention when creating vegetarian-friendly dishes, which include hearty servings of smoked eggplant, lentil stew, or house-made goat cheese simmered in spices.
Taverna Blu brings the Mediterranean coastline to California with its pub-style menu of Greek-inspired cuisine. The chefs fully commit to Mediterranean flavors by importing feta cheese from the Old World. In addition to the favorite Athenian cheeseburger, they assemble hefty sampler platters—laden with everything from falafel and spanakopita to tiger shrimp and calamari—and also create sharable, tapas-style plates of warm stuffed grape leaves and Greek-style tacos loaded with gyro meat that can be paired with international wines and craft beer on tap. For a satisfyingly sweet end to a meal, "be sure not to skip the baklava vanilla ice cream sundae," says Gayot in its review of the Del Mar location, a recommendation echoed by the Carmel Valley News.
Pan of Asia introduces the vibrant colors and intense flavors of beloved dishes from across China and Southeast Asia. Like the cafeteria at the United Nations, Pan of Asia’s menu spans a continent’s worth of delicacies, from spicy-sweet Thai basil with tender morsels of tofu and chicken, to exotic Malaysian curries, to several crowd-pleasing Chinese dishes. Guests can sink their teeth into salt and pepper shrimp, citrus fried chicken, or spicy garlic eggplant. And for dessert, Pan of Asia finishes meals with green-tea or mango ice, or sweet dim sum.
Yellowfin Fish Grill's cooks unite their menu fresh-caught seafood with a single defining flavor (other than "fish"). They grill every dish over a hot fire fueled by mesquite charcoal, which gives their ahi tuna burritos, racks of lamb, and shrimp salads their signature taste. They offer more than wraps and salads, though. They grill swordfish steaks and red snapper fillets, served with two sides and any one of nine sauces. Among familiar choices such as creamy garlic butter, they prepare some more unusual sauces such as ginger miso or mango sauce.
Although Gulliver’s Restaurant’s name comes from the writing of Jonathan Swift, its menu draws inspiration from inns and pubs throughout the England countryside. Gayot praised the eatery’s commitment to hearty comfort food, claiming that “the steaks are thick and juicy, and the Yorkshire pudding adds just the right authentic Olde English touch.” This British influence appears throughout the menu, from the fish ‘n’ chips to the sweet english trifle. Prime rib slow roasts inside a specially designed oven, and cuts of prime steak age in-house, leaving ample time for the chefs to forge a variety of new American cuisine, which demonstrates a similar commitment to satisfying, homestyle flavors. In addition to baby-back ribs and crab cakes with honey mustard, the menu also includes decadent options such as Maine lobster tails in molten gold.
Even the Zagat-rated eatery’s ambiance manages to evoke the feel of a roadside cottage. Lit by a row of electric chandeliers, the main dining room’s wood-paneled walls feature an astonishingly vast collection of framed pictures, mounted tankards, decorative plates, long-stemmed pipes, and prints by illustrators of Gulliver’s Travels. The lobby area’s fireplace contributes to this cozy ambiance, although patio seating is also available for alfresco dining.