Chuck E. Cheese thrills young sprouts with a panoply of games, rides, prizes, and fresh-baked pizzas. Token-devouring amusements such as high-tech simulator rides, arcade-style games, and high-maintenance wishing wells dazzle the senses and reward players with congratulatory tickets following each round. Attendants exchange tickets for marked prizes ranging from a simple spider ring to a deluxe Slinky made of enlarged fusilli noodles. With joystick-imprinted hands, children and their guardians dig into a large one-topping pizza before washing down the doughy disk with four barrel-sized drinks. Additional brain stimulation comes from Chuck E. Cheese’s animated musical act, which performs its well-practiced set roughly every 10 minutes.
Santa Monica Pizza and Pasta Co.'s chefs squash hunger with handcrafted pizza coated in freshly made sauces and inventive topping combinations. Pizza meals commence with complimentary breadstick bites before guests dig into an appetizer such as the baked ravioli or garlic cheese bread. Patrons sink incisors into the titular Santa Monica pizza—a pesto-coated pie covered in grilled chicken, roasted tomatoes, and bacon mimicking a map of the Pacific Coast—or satisfy a protein craving with the meat freak, a red-sauce base layered with sausage, salami, meatballs, and ham. For customized noshing, patrons can summon the perfect pie, a blank, cheesy canvas waiting to support up to 7 of 30 available toppings, such as artichoke hearts, habanero powder, and pepperoni. Though not included with this Groupon, Santa Monica Pizza and Pasta Co. pours out more than 20 beers that pair excellently with their signature glass of water.
At each of Fat Cats' five locations, strikes and spares light up the screens of automatic scoring systems. Bowling balls roll and skip down lanes in normal conditions, against retractable bumpers, or under the fluorescent glow of Thunder Alley, when the facility transforms into a music-filled fusion of a bowling alley and dance club. Each lane's crashing pins echo the softer clacking of putters at the glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course and the ringing lightshow of the arcade. Elsewhere, the scents of pizza and deep-fried bowling balls waft through the fun haven. Each Fat Cats location partners with different restaurants, including The Pizza Factory at its Salt Lake facility and Champzz Bar at the Westminster location.
Este Pizzeria’s sign bears an unmistakable resemblance to those found at New York subway stations—a fitting image for a pizzeria that slices up East Coast–style pies. The oversize, thin-crust triangles bear toppings as varied as ham, fresh basil, and housemade vegan meatballs. Their selection of 13 specialty pizzas includes entirely vegan disks as well as the Clay, a heaping of meatballs, pepperoni, ham, and sausage. In typical New York fashion, diners can also opt for strombolis and calzones and are permitted to yell, “I’m walkin’ here!” at other patrons when exiting the restaurant.
Caputo’s By Night's palate-perking menu serves up delectable deli fare and tasty casual Italian fare whipped up from Caputo’s Market and Deli’s wide selection of hearty eats. Patrons can dine on specialties such as the Atlantic salmon agrodolce ($14.95), chicken piccata sautéed in lemon and white wine ($13.95), and vongole pasta with olive-oil-based clam sauce ($10.95) in a casual atmosphere while enjoying attentive service, white tablecloth seating, a diverse wine and beer selection, and meatball jugglers. In between rounds of garlic bruschetta ($1.50), olives sautéed in pickled garlic, rosemary, and Marsala wine ($5.95), and branzino affumicato (lightly smoked sea bass with thin-sliced lemon and capers, $5.95), sip on a reasonably priced wine list ($4+ by the glass) while enjoying an atmosphere that's classy yet casual, like attending a gallery opening in a T-shirt tuxedo.
You're probably thinking, "That sounds great, but I've never bought a car or a computer without first reading the Wikipedia definitions for car and computer—I'm not about to buy a Groupon either without a briefing." Well, neither would we, and since this is everyone's first Groupon, allow us to briefly explain how it works.