Vibrant paintings of a tropical sunset and bold orange- and teal-hued walls surround hot-pink booths and linen-topped tables inside Chaparosa Grill. An extended stay in the Caribbean inspired chef Tony's menu of homemade caribbean crab cakes, west indies shrimp curry, charbroiled-ahi sandwiches—1 of 10 stacked delights—and blackened steak pizzas. The eatery's catering services present a variety of menu options for groups of more than 20 people or more than 40 human-child-size robots. Tony cultivated a classical education at the Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology in England before cooking cuisine in Her Majesty's Land, Italy, and France, and along the way he picked up worldliness and a perfervid interest in delighting palates.
At Romeo Cucina, the chef prepares fresh pastas daily, from gnocchi to stuffed ravioli and tortellini, alongside a menu of pizzas and other Italian specialties such as veal scaloppini and linguine with fresh clams and mussels. Both eateries also share a similar inviting d?cor, with white linen-covered tables along with Italian-inspired art on warm yellow or exposed brick walls.
The skilled chefs at Spike’s Fish House grill a rotating cast of 8–10 daily fish specials to fill salads, rice bowls, and other entree options. A freshly cooked fillet can play hide-and-seek with forks in a salad’s nest of field greens, cucumbers, and roma tomatoes or bounce on the bowl’s bed of white or brown rice to the consternation of babysitters who insist it’s time to sleep. Chefs drizzle each dish in homemade sauces such as lemon-pesto aioli or chimichurri to infuse a final spark of flavor.
With 40 years of sandwich-making expertise, Togo's gives party planners an extensive catering menu from which to choose their spread. Sandwich trays ($45 regular size, feeds 10), the Endless Combinations platter ($65, feeds up to eight with 16 half sandwiches of four different varieties, plus a regular salad), and a 3- to 8-foot Party Footer (feeds up to 32 people; prices vary depending on sandwich type and size) will supply sustenance for Valentine's Day group gatherers, enthusiastic Presidents' Day celebrators, and supporters of early-February professional American football championships.
Grill-slingers at the fast-casual Deemer's opt for fresh, seasonal ingredients from local California crop cultivators for their unique salads and bounteous burgers. The menu's mélange of fresh, hand-formed burgers are grilled into juicy meat rounds and catapulted at warp speed toward unsuspecting grub grazers in a comfy family environment. Chomp into the Californian burger, a beef-bedecked bun with monterey cheese, avocado relish, beefsteak tomato, leafy greens, and herb aioli, or savor the sumptuous spice of a buffalo burger ($7.50), slathered in blue cheese and red-hot sauce with a side of two-cabbage peanut coleslaw ($7.50). For the burger-dodger, Deemer's Mex salad mixes a jumble of greenery with roasted corn and chilies, black beans, cilantro, pepitas, jicama, tortillas, and pomegranate-lime dressing for a south-of-the-border veggie bash ($7.75; add chicken for $1.75). Complement a meal with an all-American classic—Deemer's made-to-order chocolate malt ($4.50/20 oz.), served with or without whipped cream and a Norman Rockwell flashback.
With more than 20 distinct species of buttercream-frosted cupcakes (each $3) made daily, Divine Desserts is one of the most cake-rich spots in Southern California. Brave souls seek out the monolithic peanut-butter chocolate chip, while those less adventurous contemplate the besprinkled white-chocolate raspberry, a dense s'mores cupcake with marshmallow frosting, or a chocolate-chip mint dolloped with vanilla frosting.