Chtaura Mediterranean Restaurant treats its visitors to a feasts of hot and cold mezzes, beef and lamb kabobs, and sizzling plates of steak. Guests savor charbroiled lamb chops, spicy Lebanese beef kibbe, and creamy hummus dip, paired with earthy wisps of flavored smoke from a hookah pipe. On weekends, singers croon Arabic tunes and live DJs spin pounding tracks. That music animates belly dancers, who hypnotize diners with graceful movements. They can even light the entire bar on fire, forcing guest to choose to watch the dancers, the fire, or the sudden flock of moths.
Masters of the sugared circle, Flour Power Custom Cakery's expert chefs whip up fork fodder decorated to fit all manners of cake-mandatory occasions. Their 8-inch cake can keep up to 13 mouths occupied with something other than shoe factory gossip, and can be gracefully adorned with streamers and confetti or buttercream roses. Customers also choose the colors and messages, providing a tasty way to say, "Sorry I told you I did your taxes but didn't." Flour Power Custom Cakery's stacked menu features all manner of flavors and frostings, from the chocojestic Classic Combo, which overloads light chocolate cake with mousse and fudge, to the Pudding Chiffon, an unassuming moist yellow cake hiding a valuable bavarian cream secret. Spoiled cake eaters get to select from both rich and airy frosting options, including the homemade english toffee buttercream and the popular whipped cream with shaved white chocolate.
Justin Fassio earned his personal-training certification during his time in the military, when his passion for exercise landed him the chance to lead a physical training program for an Air Force–operations group. Once his time in the force was up, he didn't leave his love of fitness back at base—he brought it home with him. Today, he leads outdoor fitness programs for all citizens.
Nutritionist Rachel Bowman has a background in Clinical and Holistic Nutrition, offering a wide acumen of current nutritional research. Her career now emphasizes weight management in all walks of life, ranging from digestive health to healthy eating while traveling. Her sports enthusiasm has also forged professional relationships with athletes and key athletic trainers.
The partnership of the two is ideal at San Diego Core Fitness, where staffers emphasize that fitness and nutrition always work hand-in-hand. The varied boot-camp workouts fuse fun and motivation with functional training techniques designed to help build up neglected core muscles and regain muscular balance. Personal-training sessions are supplemented with nutritional advice and lifestyle counseling, and keeps semiprivate training sessions small so that each participant can receive individual attention. During outdoor boot camps, groups make use of whatever the locations offer as equipment—depending on the scenery, they wade through deep beach sand, run up open-air stairs, and bench-press park benches.
Mama's Bakery abides by the adage "if it's not broken, don't fix it—even if it's been around for a few millennia." Its chefs prepare their Lebanese dishes with a saj, an ancient oven that still persists in Mediterranean kitchens today. Inside, housemade flatbread bakes, forming spinach and meat pies, savory wraps, and replacement frisbees.
The staff pairs these toasty entrees with traditional add-ons such as falafel and baba ghanouj, as well as the seasoned meats of kafta and shawarma entrees. Arabic coffee or refreshing yogurt drinks wash down the sweet crumbs of Lebanese-style pastries or baklava.