After a breakneck start following his brothers into investment and then raising a small empire of restaurants, Allen Sanford decided to slow down. At the helm of Saint Rocke, he follows a passion for music, keeping his life low-key and fostering blooms of fast-tempo rock, hip-hop, and Latin tunes. To further spread his love of music, he streams high-definition live concerts across the Internet and regularly throws fistfuls of sheet music out his car window. Yet to fully experience the thrill of dancing crowds and pulse-thrumming guitar riffs, music lovers dive into the venue's intimate stage shows.
Studio Restaurant and Lounge is equal parts food and festivity. Here, filet mignon sandwiches and country-fried chicken are regularly served to the beat of drums, the strum of guitars, or the stylings of resident and guest DJs. Red and green light drenches the crowd on the dance floor as well as diners digging in to burgers and bacon macaroni ‘n’ cheese. Studio Restaurant and Lounge also entertains its guests with football nights and speed-knitting tournaments.
Though Avenue "A" Bar & Grill is an upscale sports bar, it feels more like a stadium. The vaulted ceilings are obscured by exposed steel rafters, and the dining area is perpetually aglow with light from 15 big-screen TVs broadcasting games. The aromas of gourmet pub fare float from the kitchens, where the staff transforms familiar bar staples into 10-ounce skirt steaks, grilled chicken with mushrooms in champagne vinaigrette, and vegetable lasagna. Meanwhile, the bar keeps pace with 12 local craft beers on tap and eclectic cocktails made with ingredients such as house-infused spirits and muddled fruits. One look around the bar and it's evident that the bar's three owners have combined their expertise in food and sports. Beginning March 24, Avenue "A" Bar & Grill will also offer lunch on the weekdays.
The chefs at Chaba Thai Bay Grill rely on healthy, fresh herbs and fruits to flavor their dishes instead of excess oil, salt, and sugar. The menu of classic Thai cuisine includes stir-fried veggies or noodles with a choice of meat, spicy curries, and grilled seafood. Bartenders shake up tropical cocktails with colorful names such as the Emerald, the Topaz, and the Ruby, and pour beers imported from Thailand, Japan, and St. Louis. Hanging tapestries and Thai artwork decorate Chaba's warm-colored dining room, and the outdoor patio encourages post-meal lounging with its cushioned chairs and colorful flowers.
The state-licensed certificate courses at Pacific Bartending School provide students with the skills and the resources needed to work behind a bar, regardless of their previous knowledge or experience. In addition to learning how to pour drinks and accessorize them with garnishes or handbags, attendees will study roughly 150 basic cocktail recipes as well as the defining flavors and characteristics of the liquors and liqueurs used to make them. Instructors use audio-visual technology to supplement their lessons, and they keep class sizes small to guarantee every student their own workstation to practice at. Afterward, graduates may attend any of the school's complimentary refresher courses or seek assistance with job placement and resumè writing.
Inside the Torrance Marriott, chefs toss together farm-fresh ingredients to create flatbreads, sandwiches, and well-balanced entrees that complement a wine list of more than 40 different vintages. A two-story water feature gives meals a soothing backdrop for thoughtful conversations or raucous celebrations in anticipation for a new quarterly budget report. Outside, flickering flames from the fire pit cast a glow on the zen garden's orange-cushioned lounge chairs beneath the clear Southern California sky.