Moist double chocolate chip cookies speckled with rich chocolate chunks. Coconut cheesecake brownies drizzled in chocolate syrup. Chocolate mousse-filled buttercream cake frosted with tufts of dark chocolate. It’s clear that Loving Nutrition’s desserts embody indulgent excess. It may come as a surprise then that they also embody vegan ideals, containing no gluten, dairy, egg, soy, or nuts. A pastry mecca for those with vegan beliefs or food allergies, Loving Nutrition stems from the brain of Suraya Iller, a pastry chef and mother of two. After noticing that many children with food allergies were excluded from eating birthday cakes and holiday treats, she swooped to the rescue, baking desserts that everyone could enjoy. In addition to whipping up red velvet cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, and buttercream cakes, the shop also serves a variety of gluten-free breads, including tomato focaccia and pumpkin cranberry.
Bhan Baitong's menu boasts a few Chinese dishes, such as chow mein and fried wonton. But the restaurant mostly sticks with Thai classics: tom yum soup, spicy fried rice, red curry with chicken. Some come with fun names, including the crying tiger, a medley of greens with charbroiled beef and chili lime sauce. Ditto on the disco shrimp salad, whose succulent grilled shrimp are tossed with lemongrass and carrot rather than leftover glitter from KC and the Sunshine Band's last tour.
Seafood stands out among the culinary team's specialties, whether in the form of deep-fried trout coated with green-apple relish or fried rice tossed with scallop, crab claw, squid, and shrimp. Each artfully plated dish adds bursts of color to a cozy dining room of textured white walls, black furnishings, and green napkins.
Aqua Restaurant & Lounge, located within Holiday Inn Irvine Spectrum, serves up classic American cuisine as well as gourmet specialties. In the morning, breakfast platters and cups of RainForest Alliance coffee give diners enough energy to race a taxi on foot on the way to work. Later on, chefs prepare heirloom salads and signature dishes such as the Philly West, a gourmet riff on the philly cheesesteak that pairs shaved filet mignon with housemade Jack Daniels au jus and melted provolone. A full bar, 50-inch plasma TV, and sleek decor round out the hotel-lounge experience.
For more than 20 years, Noonerz' sandwichez have been handcrafted monumentz to the power of fresh ingredientz and thinly zliced cutz of meat. The lunch menu boasts a variety of sammies, including a veggie sandwich with grilled veggies, feta cheese, onion relish, and tomato. But floating ethereally above even its chicken-, roast-beef–, and tuna-salad–topped sandwiches is Noonerz' Our Favorite Turkey Sandwich, a melding of oven-roasted turkey, crisp bacon, avocado, onion relish, and mayo in rosemary ciabatta whose sheer deliciosity could change the world if used for good and not evil. Noonerz also offers hand-tossed salads and hand-wrapped wraps, along with a slew of side dishes and desserts. A complete lunch costs $7.99 and includes a sandwich, salad, or wrap along with a side and dessert. This Groupon is also valid toward Noonerz' globe-trotting catering menu.
Top notch Arabica beans arrive green at Javatinis, each pack mule still wet from its long journey over sea. With 11 blends of African, Latin American, and Asian beans, you can have a different cup of liquid alchemy for almost every day of week (12 oz. bags start at $11). Javatinis allows you to choose your roast level, picking from nine stages of increasingly deadly heat, with the final roast level applied by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Pita Pita Cafe offers a healthy alternative to fast-food eateries with a multicolored menu of fresh Mediterranean salads, dips, and sandwiches, accessorized with organic pita bread from a wood-stone pita oven. Snuggle taste buds with delectable delights such as stuffed grape leaves, savory sleeping bags filled with rice, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and parsley ($1.99). Meat seekers may delve into protein-packed pockets with a kabob pita, adorned with grilled, lean ground beef, parsley, and tomato-cucumber relish ($5.49). Pita Pita Cafe does not use freezers, microwaves, or fryers, opting to tailor their tasty treats with a fire oven and grill. Customers can watch plate preparation while trading eye-blinking Morse-code compliments with skilled servers.