Just like the real Paradise, filled with edible angels and knowledge of good and evil trees, Paradis's flavors change with the seasons and the mood of its cows. No day is ever the same, but it will always have inventive flavors for even the most discerning: 2009 saw the introduction of silky ice cream concoctions such as strawberry buttermilk and peanut crunch chocolate chip as well as effusive sorbets such as mint lime and orange chili. One scoop goes for $3.50, milkshakes with two flavors go for $5, and ice cream by the pint ($10) and quart ($20) for parties and Arctic picnics.
The majority of the activity at Code Blue Cafe takes place outside. Under a canopy and warmed by heating lamps, guests lounge on couches and nibble on American and Middle Eastern dishes while puffing flavored smoke from elegant hookahs. Dishes include burgers loaded with onion rings or guacamole, beef kebab sandwiches, and gigantic ice-cream cookies. Fifteen flavors of Al Fakher hookah and 44 of Exotic Starbuzz hookah range from the straightforward such as spearmint, mango, and royal grape, to the more mysterious such as Pirates Cave, Passion Kiss, and Pink.
Featured on Good Day LA and ABC, as well as the occasional celebrity snapshot in Star, chocolatiers at ChocolateBox Cafe cloak tongues with artisan chocolates, gelato, and hot cocoa crafted with Belgian expertise. Visitors can also fuel up with a savory mélange of crepes and wraps stuffed with French words. Whether nabbing a gift box of pralines, sniffing out a truffle as an afternoon snack, or arranging a catered wedding or event, chocolate fiends can get their fix in the form of finely, ornately decorated candies and gourmet hot chocolate.
The dessert designers at Penguin's Frozen Yogurt ameliorate sweet deficiencies with twice-weekly rotating yogurt and ice-cream flavors. Decorate a large soft serve cup of fro' yo' ($3.95) with fruit toppings ($.95), sundae toppings ($.90), or dry toppings ($.80). Insufficiently frigid palates can achieve cold-stasis with a double-scoop of ice cream ($3.95) or a custom shake ($4.95), and humans can pull all-dayers with a pastry and Peet's Coffee & Tea cappuccino or latte (available only at the South Pasadena location).
"To be honest, when I opened DISH I was just looking for a place where I could get a good grilled cheese sandwich for my kids, and a decent cup of coffee for me," says Kevin Finch, the founder of DISH. The idea grew exponentially over time; Kevin had spent the late 1980s working the culinary boom of Sonoma County, so he naturally was inclined to include great wines and slightly more sophisticated menu items. But not too sophisticated: the hallmark of DISH that it's comfortable, a place where you can eat food that might remind you of what your grandmother used to make. In that spirit, the restaurant itself has an antique vibe LA Weekly described as "an old-fashioned, slightly rustic feel, like a farmhouse kitchen in an orange orchard, 1925."
The magazine went on to say that, "At breakfast, the room is as bright and sunny as a conservatory." The dishes are bright, too, such as yellow omelets studded with avocado and red potatoes and made from cage-free eggs from the smartest chickens. The five-page breakfast menu is also popular for the jonnycakes––cornmeal cakes that conceal whole kernels of sweet corn. Later in the day, guests can order an old-school cobb salad adored by LA Times food critic Merrill Shindler, Black Angus sirloin burgers, and pork belly paired with macaroni and cheese. The dishes are made using ingredients from local farmer's markets and food purveyors, a touch that no doubt helped the restaurant land its Three-Diamond Award from AAA.