Menchie’s streamlines the complicated art of frozen yogurt consumption into three simple steps: mix, weigh, and pay. Choose from a rotating menu of more than 100 flavors such as chocolate cake and pomegranate tart, and then accessorize your cup with the more than 60 toppings, including fresh fruit, sugary cereals, candies, decadent sauces, and cake and cookie crumbles. Crammed cups are weighed ($0.39 per ounce), scores are settled, and satisfied sweet teeth skip off to enjoy frosty spoonfuls. Health-conscious consumers can try nonfat, low-carb, nondairy, and no-sugar-added options. Dairy flavors are packed with live and active yogurt cultures, making each cup a Trojan horse of protein and calcium that can potentially lower cholesterol, boost wilting immune systems, and topple legendary walled empires.
Una Mas Mexican Grill entices customers with high-quality, traditional Mexican cooking delivered with a modern flair and appetizing attitude. Incline your eyes to the menu and try a small bowl of tortilla soup with marinated chicken, avocado, cheese, and broth-soaked tortilla shreddings ($2.79 for a small). Margarita salad tantalizes teeth with fresh Romaine lettuce, jicama, cabbage in reds and greens, carrots, radishes, pinto beans, and mexican cheese, all flicked by the flavory fingers of salsa fresca and lime vinaigrette ($6.29). Volunteer your mouth for the task of dismantling a foghead burrito, which wraps chicken in a chili-tomato tortilla and accessorizes with cheese, guacamole, rice, black beans, sour cream, roasted pasilla, corn salsa, and barbecue sauce ($6.59).
The rich flavors of Arabica beans burst from Panama Red Coffee Co.'s menu of handpicked coffee, ground and steeped using a craftsman-style batch-roasting technique. Guzzle a steaming mug of Panama Red joe, spiked with a shot of espresso, to fuel all-night study sessions or marathon congressional hearings ($2.25–$2.65). A blizzard of coffee, milk, and chocolate sweeteners swirl in the frosty Mocha Breeze ($3.35–$4.45) and regular or sugar-free hints of vanilla, almond, Jamaican rum, and other aromatic accents permeate flavored lattes ($3.15–$4.15). Cono pouring is available at the coffee bar for tastings and regular cups of coffee.
At Simply Fondue, diners begin meals by submerging bread, vegetables, and fruit into bubbling pots of cheese. Following the appetizer course, servers present platters of meat, spring vegetables, or seafood. These entrees are cooked to order in one of four styles: traditional (coated in sesame batter and fried in soybean oil), Mediterranean Sangria (seasoned with wine, garlic, and orange), vegetable bouillon (cooked in a spiced broth), or fondue grill (grilled tableside). For dessert, servers flambé chocolate fondue and accompany each vat with nuggets of pound cake, jumbo marshmallows, chocolate-chip-cookie dough, and other delicacies. Among 18 dessert fondues, the bananas foster fondue brims with banana liqueur, dark rum, and a hint of cinnamon, whereas the rocky road contains a chunky blend of marshmallow cream, pecans, and construction cones. Bartenders complement meals with a choice of more than 100 martini flavors, from classic cosmopolitans to pumpkin-pie martinis. Arched, Spanish-style doorways open toward dining areas with low red and gold lighting. Wire sculptures and abstract paintings deck the space above booths, and an entire wall, inlaid with cubbies, stores dozens of wines.
Since opening the doors to its first location in the art colony atmosphere of Laguna Beach, Z Pizza’s cooks have carefully crafted gourmet pizzas. The chefs artfully shape each pie, first using organic wheat flour for the dough, hand-throwing it, and fire-baking it to a thin, crisp crust. Wisconsin skim-milk mozzarella from grass-fed cows crowns pizzas, along with certified organic tomato sauce and fresh produce. In addition to classic toppings such as pepperoni and sausage, they also enhance pizzas with inventive ingredients such as cremini, shiitake mushrooms, and truffle oil patented by Thomas Edison. Small gluten-free crusts are available to support all topping combinations. Vegan choices include the Berkeley vegan pie with vegan cheese and veggie-burger crumbles.
Z Pizza also attempts to better the environment with eco-friendly delivery bikes, recyclable containers and bags, and nitrate-free meats. The company also helps the community with charity fundraisers and school partnerships to promote literacy by sponsoring reading programs and hiding sonnets under each layer of cheese.
Though Let 'em Eat Cake formed under the direction of Anne Pickens, the torch has now been passed to her daughter, Sara. Following the teachings of her mother, but adding her own adventurous flair, Sara crafts baked treats that range from gourmet cookies and lemon bars to cupcakes and customized, full-sized cakes. Like an artist paints with a brush or a newborn burps, Sara wields buttercream and fondant with panache, using cake to sculpt 3-D renditions of anything imaginable, including newspapers, bottles of Patron, and Santa hats. Cakes are available in flavors such as carrot, strawberry, and vanilla.
For cupcakes, Sara has assembled an arsenal of more than 30 flavors, including pineapple upside-down cake, maple bacon, and pumpkin spice. Sara also consults for weddings, and crafts cakes for any occasion including graduations, birthdays, baby showers, and prison escapes.