What?s now known as The Comedy Store was once called Ciro's, a nightlife hotspot in the 1940s and '50s. Playing host to glitzy stars and shadowy mobsters, the club's history is shrouded in rumors of mafia assassinations and untimely deaths. However, the joint buried its seedy past by converting to a comedy club and helping launch the careers of such legends as Richard Pryor, Jim Carrey, George Carlin, David Letterman, and Dave Chappelle. The younger La Jolla location lets laugh-starved patrons bask in the same high-powered comedic atmosphere as its progenitor.
Commercial pilots certified by the Federal Aviation Administration welcome guests to tours of Southern California aboard hot air balloons. As guests enter into sheared baskets, the pilots offer them complimentary champagne and non-alcoholic beverages before taking off. Sightseeing trips include flights over Temecula Wine Country at sunrise as well as romantic rides along the Pacific coast at sunset.
While trekking across New Zealand, Matt Baker and PJ Lamont stumbled upon a burger shack in Queenstown and immediately became addicted to the eatery?s organic, grass-fed beef patties. According to a profile in Beach & Bay Press, the duo often dined there more than once a day and eventually convinced the chef to both part with his recipes and train them how to make them. Upon returning home, the pair recruited PJ?s brother Martin for their budding endeavor: a gourmet burger place that would rely entirely on organic, grass-fed beef from New Zealand.
The menu quickly garnered its fair share of media buzz and awards by combining beef patties, ground fresh daily, with unique ingredients such as pesto aioli, grilled pineapple, and beetroot. Organic, local vegetables make up the condiments and the house tomato chutney, New Zealand?s hardier version of ketchup. But Bare Back Grill does more than burgers, satisfying appetites with natural chicken and lamb, tempura tofu, and seared ahi tuna coupled with a wide selection of beers and wines. Guests can gulp down Kiwi Steinlagers or sip Australian and New Zealand wines while lounging at either Bare Back location.
Every day at Toast Enoteca & Cucina, Mario Gonzalez performs a brilliant balancing act between tradition and innovation. Having trained in Italy under renowned chefs, he's mastered the fundamentals of Italian cooking, and his expertise shines in homemade pastas, sauces, and breads. However, his knack for experimentation has also led to modern showstoppers, such as pizza topped with octopus ragu. These meals have made his name synonymous with San Diego's Italian food scene?and secured him a job as a caterer for the San Diego Padres whenever the team has trouble firing up the dugout smoker.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Gonzalez's balancing act, however, is the wine. Toast has up to 400 wines on its award-winning list, with varietals from New Zealand, Argentina, Germany, and Spain in addition to Italy. But this classic accompaniment to dinner is often delivered in what looks like a science-fiction device: an Enomatic machine, designed to pour wine by the glass while keeping it fresh within the bottle.
Dublin Square Irish Pub & Grill doesn't just look like a piece of Ireland?it actually is a piece of Ireland. Before getting shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to its home in the Gaslamp Quarter, the pub was manufactured on the island by O'Sullivan Interiors. What's more, it's based on an authentic pub whose roots stretch back to the early 1700s. Guests can experience this homage by sidling up to the Irish oak bar, or toasting themselves next to the cast-iron fireplace in the Victorian Lounge.
Of course, the food and drink are likewise Irish-inspired: beer-battered fish and chips, Guinness-braised beef, and an Irish lamb stew loaded with potatoes, onions, carrots, and fresh Colorado lamb. On certain nights, the pub buzzes with trivia competitions, karaoke performances, and sets from live bands.