At Bistro K, traditional Italian recipes merge with eclectic New World flavors for a menu that's reflective of the international history of the family behind it. That story starts back in Italy with the four Bagatta brothers, all chefs who later traveled on to France, South Africa, and Southern California. It was during these wanderings that Tony Bagatta met Massimiliana, the woman who would become his wife. Today, Massimiliana and her daughter Katia run Bistro K as a mother-daughter team, serving up hearty plates from traditional Italian gnocchi to gourmet burgers smothered in gruyère.
Rasta Rita and Rasta Taco bring the party to you?literally. Dubbed the "World's First Mobile Margarita Truck," Rasta Rita and its skilled team of bartenders handcraft each libation before pouring it over rocks and garnishing with fruit, salt, or fresh juices. House-made sweet and sour mingle with the kiss of agave nectar while precise pinches of lemons and limes give each cocktail a refreshing balance of flavor. Each Rasta Rita creation comes in more than half a dozen flavors such as strawberry and basil or rosemary. Unique alcohol-free drinks are also available to accommodate all tastes and allergies to tequila that developed after your last Spring Break.
When Rasta Rita brings the party to guests, Rasta Taco?a fully equipped taco cart?often joins the fun. Here, skilled cooks construct tacos before diners' eyes. For special events, Rasta Taco's staff sets everything up on location before doling out their Caribbean carne asada tacos, Jamaican chicken, and seasoned and grilled tofu tacos.
Twenty-four wine bottles line the circumference of two stainless-steel cylinders, both of which add a futuristic flourish to the middle of the room. With the touch of a button, the machine dispenses a 1-ounce sample of any of the wines—red at room temperature, whites at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Praised on Foodbeast, this self-serve tasting bar, called the Enomatic wine system, lets guests sample an array of wines before committing to a long-term relationship with a single—or several—bottles. This method is just one of several ways OC Wine Mart & Tasting Bar owner Julie Lim takes the intimidation out of wine buying.
At her boutique wine store, Julie fills the shelves with vintages from both well-known and under-the-radar vineyards, with some of her favorites including Silver Oak Cellars, Caymus Vineyards, and Cakebread Cellars. She and her team thrive on helping guests find the best bottle—whether they're hunting for wine, craft beer, or a fine liquor. Once guests feel confident in their selections, the staff can help them compile gift baskets for holiday parties or year-end performance reviews. Committed to green practices, the staff eschews foam packaging in favor of molded-pulp shippers, derived from 100% recycled materials. Such practices earned Julie a place on OC Metro's list of 20 Women to Watch, plus her boutique a place on Gayot's Top 10 Wine Bars in the United States.
Seaside Catering Company’s deli chefs start anew each day as they craft carryout lunch meals, frozen hors d’oeuvres, and platters of prepared, multicultural fare to sate guests' appetites. Hold breakfast in each hand with a duo of muffins laden with bacon, egg, and cheese ($2), or bury taste buds under avalanches of frozen 12-piece packages of italian sausage-stuffed mushrooms ($9.50). A quart of butternut-squash soup ($9) warms mouths or melts down gaudy ice sculptures. Up to 10 people can excavate platters of traditional quiche lorraine or chicken and artichoke quiche ($19.50) before leading spoons on a hike up the sugary peaks of pumpkin spice-bread pudding, baked in batches of 16 or 32 ounces ($4.50; $7.50).
Sol Restaurant's Sunday brunch boasts a sweet and savory variety of breakfast and lunch dishes, served in a relaxing, solarium-style dining room or on a sun-soaked outdoor patio. Serve yourself from the bountiful buffet, populated by platters piled with early-morning favorites, including smoked Scottish salmon, breakfast potatoes, and belgian waffles. A neighboring make-your-own omelet station hosts an on-duty chef who will sauté a custom mix of meat, vegetables, and cheese or perform a dramatic monologue from Julie and Julia. Those preferring the lunch side of brunch can opt for more noon-based options, such as the chicken brochette flanked by saffron couscous, or the beef medallions doused in rustico sauce. Complementing the endless gauntlet of gastronomy is an equally endless supply of champagne, which, unlike a Mobius strip, encourages lively conversation.
Pacific Whey Café prepares each of its menu items from scratch using ingredients that are delivered to the restaurants every day. Throughout its kitchens, meat is roasted, bread is baked, and eggs are juggled based on the specific demands of each and every order, ensuring the freshest possible transmission of food to hungry mouths.