When diners see fire erupting inside Dai Bai Dang, they needn't panic. Those flames are under the control of Chef Anna Wang and her fellow chefs, who whip up a bulk of the eatery's cuisine in open woks. The fire show is the first visual treat for diners, who then receive gorgeously plated Asian-fusion dishes. Said cuisine includes shrimp tossed with caramelized walnuts, duck smoked in tea leaves, and japanese eggplant braised with ginger and chili paste. To complement feasts, bartenders not only serve plenty of wine, cocktails, and liqueurs, but also showcase their barista skills by making cups of the house roast with a french press.
When the owners of Crawdaddy's decided to put a little bit of New Orleans' distinctive flair right in the heart of Visalia, they knew it would take more than great cuisine. What makes New Orleans so unforgettable is that it caters to all the senses and makes the smallest outing a special event. To fill that tall order, they took residence in a spacious facility that could be an exciting venue for music, parties, libations, food, and sporting events, all in one electric, lively place.
The second-floor dining room welcomes guests with a menu of fresh seafood such as blackened catfish and bayou butter prawns. A fully stocked bar wets whistles, and balcony seating offers couples a romantic setting under the stars?all 50 of them. Meanwhile, more than a dozen flat-screen TVs light up the crowd in the first floor's sports bar, where a mixologist whips up creative cocktails and TVs whip up the big game. In the dining area of the first floor, Keith and the Crawdads treat diners to lively tunes during the evening, and on the second level the nightclub sends crowds into fits of dance spasms as late-night DJs spin everything from hip-hop to disco six days a week.
At Zen Asian Diner, chefs are versed in cuisine ranging from traditional Chinese to American-style dishes. They sear and fry fresh ingredients to create egg foo young tossed with vegetables or barbecue pork, chop suey with meats such as chicken and shrimp. Additionally, the menu includes mouth-watering Asian fusion dishes such as curry-drizzled chicken and Mongolian-style spicy beef. Zen Asian Diner also serves aromatic cuisine beyond its doors—they have a catering team that assembles party platters for off-site events.
Head chef Scott Sauer oversees a rotating menu of inventive cuisine catered to discerning Fresnan tongues fluent in gourmet. The dinner menu raises the curtain with an appetizing aria of jalapeno-enhanced sweet-potato fries ($9) or calamari ($10) dotted with roasted sweet peppers. The feta-cheese and poppy-seed dressing of the strawberry and spinach salad ($12) likewise provides a sweet counterpart to savory evening entrees such as the osso bucco–style short ribs ($27), served with braised greens and polenta cake, and the Peruvian potato-crusted salmon ($27). Dining dates, meanwhile, can keep their busy hands doggy-bag-free for a romantic evening of casino implosions and roller-tango with light entrees such as the petite filet mignon ($26) and the crab cakes with house-made tartar sauce ($16). Before capping things off with a dessert of cinnamon-raisin bread pudding ($6) or crispy boysenberry pie ($5), be sure to take a scenic detour among Max's extensive list of wines by the bottle or glass, draft beers, and specialty martinis, including the Pretty Woman ($11), which blends Stolichnaya strawberry, orange juice, and strawberry puree with a champagne float and a lock of Julia Roberts's hair.
A Fresno institution since the flawless presidency of Herbert Hoover, Piemonte's Italian Delicatessen slings sandwiches made with fresh ingredients straight from the Central San Joaquin Valley's copious cornucopia. Deli sandwiches—served on your choice of wheat, sourdough, or French roll—include the Piemonte special ($5.50) with salami, ham, mortadella, and provolone and the Michel Angelo ($7.75) with capicolla, Toscano salami, Genoa salami, nunchucks, and provolone cheese. Adventurous appetites can explore the cooked salami, hot-pepper cheese, oil, and oregano of the Marco Polo ($6), as well as annoy parents who are trying to read poolside. Veggie velociraptors, meanwhile, can sink teeth and talons into the vegetarian's ($5.75) garden of artichoke hearts, mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes, and wax peppers, and pathological liars can draw bologna-and-cheese power from the Full O'Boloney ($5) as they prepare to fake their way through performing open-heart surgery. You can buy multiples of today's Groupon as gifts, so treat your cutest coworkers to a lunchtime field trip to Piemonte's Italian Delicatessen.