Though freedom to choose your own pairings is good for believers in true love and eclectic décor, professionally paired flavor combos showcase the best qualities of each ingredient. A retail shop outfitted with a handsome tasting bar, California Wine and Cheese stocks wines produced exclusively in California, regularly consisting of over 200 selections. Wine flights consist of four to five samplings and change every Friday, giving customers a chance to gain a broad appreciation for all kinds of wine. If you've already sampled one or more wines from the flight, just wait a week and new choices of red or white wine will magically appear. To complement the characteristics of each wine, a sampling of imported and domestic cheeses accompanies each flight. Because California Wine and Cheese sells the goods to take home, you can purchase the wines and cheeses you like best to re-create the pairings at home for dinner guests and culinarily curious cats.
Much like the highway that inspired its name, Route 66 Roadhouse & Tavern is steeped in old-school tradition. The cozy neighborhood bar stays open until 2 a.m. seven nights a week, inviting patrons to set aside the stresses of work and everyday life by enjoying a cold beer in an unpretentious setting. To accompany its brews and cocktails, the tavern features a menu of classic American comfort foods that includes roast beef sandwiches, house-made potato chips, and a signature half-pound Roadhouse burger laden with cheese, bacon, and mushrooms.
Pool tables, dartboards, and glowing televisions keep guests occupied while they enjoy their food and drinks, although Route 66 Roadhouse & Tavern’s live music draws the crowds as well. The bar hosts everything from classic rock groups to punk bands throughout the week, and DJs also energize the atmosphere with their spirited sets. Additionally, open blues jam sessions are held every Thursday and karaoke nights allow patrons to take the mic and perform their favorite chart-topping hit or presidential concession speech.
Cafe 322's homey atmosphere and fare will remind you of your Italian grandmother’s dinner table. Try a different lasagna each day ($10.95) with the lasagna de la casa, or opt for the sophisticated mélange of flavors in the fettuccini di spinaci e salsiccia with fresh spinach, Italian sausage, and fresh garlic sautéed in olive oil ($11.95). Cafe 322 also serves up some tasty meatier dishes, such as braised lamb shanks, slow braised so they fall off the bone and directly into that place in your heart reserved for mom, America, and lamb ($14.95). Smaller plates include salads, sandwiches, grilled panini, and burgers. Stars of the gourmet pizza menu include the quatro formaggio (layered with fontina, mozzarella, gorgonzola, and parmesan cheeses, $11.95) and the flavorful grilled chicken pesto ($13.95).
Since wrapping up the contents of their first grande burrito in 1974, The Original Peppers’ crew of chefs have continued to sate customers’ cravings for spicy, south-of-the-border fare thanks to their vast menu of Mexican food. Within the bustling kitchen, chefs can be found wrangling ingredients into traditional Mexican dishes ranging from burritos and enchiladas to fajitas and tostadas, crafting homemade tortillas on Wednesday and Thursday. While many dishes feature meats such as certified Angus beef and deep-fried pork, the culinary team also architects a host of seafood specialties starring jumbo scallops, seasoned halibut, and crab to appeal to the seafaring palates of humans and bears dressed like humans.
Named after its spot in the shadow of the Santa Anita Racetrack, One Hundred to One evens the odds with a no-frills selection of beers and spirits. Float toward camaraderie-laden coves borne on the sudsy currents of Budweiser, Amber Bock, or Shock Top draught pitchers (starting at $7.50). Or listen for the sound of ocean waves and subliminal messages from Sting by putting your mouth and ear to international bottles ($4.25), including Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, and Dos Equis. Parched partiers can also place their fermented fate in the hands of one of One Hundred to One's merrymaking mixologists, sating thirsts with cocktails constructed of blithe spirits including Belvedere ($6.75), Crown Royal ($5.75), and Bombay Sapphire ($5.75).
Providing an urbane setting for late-night tête-à-tetes and fine martini concoctions, Esquire Bar & Lounge sets imbibers within a warmly hued lounge, offset by elegant chandeliers and ensconced lighting. Make a toast with draft selections such as Stella Artois and Newcastle ($6 each). Fine spirits for neat-leaning tipplers include Patrón Añejo ($11) and MacCallan 18 ($18), with mixed drinks such as long island iced teas also available to sip or use to transport fish in ($11). DJs spin on the weekends, soundtracking warm conversations and dance moves.