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.
C.J. Easter understands the value of physical fitness. As a former defensive back who faced some of college football's most fearsome offenses during a four-year stint with the Stanford Cardinal, he could only be as effective as he was lean. With visions of sleek physiques in mind, Easter earned his personal-training certification from the American Council on Exercise, founded Performance Science Training Institute, and set to work devising a fitness system of his own.
The gym's exclusive Cardio Resistance Core (CRC) System is the result of all that hard work. Designed to torch calories and tone up muscles, the system combines the most effective aspects of three different training styles. Cardio sessions hikes heart rates and boosts stamina, strength training increases balance and posture, and resistance work builds muscles with the help of dumbbells, bands, and clients' own body weight.
The institute's team of instructors also augment CRC exercises with counseling on how to make responsible nutritional decisions and set goals that are both challenging and achievable. This all-over approach doesn't simply help people get fitter; it helps them remake their entire lives in a healthier, happier image.
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.
At first it seemed like the only people who would ever hear about Patrick Caldwell's pies were his friends and family. Using a recipe born in North Carolina and passed down from his mother, he'd craft his specialty white-sweet-potato pie for every family gathering. But it was his mother-in-law who gave him the final push to turn his pie-making hobby into a full-time endeavor. Using the family recipe as a blueprint, Patrick began to tweak the formula to make it perfect, aging his white sweet potatoes in a wine cellar for nine months to enhance their natural sweetness and cure them of their fear of the dark. Before long, Patrick's Famous Pies were in high demand at area farmer's markets, where he still sells them today alongside other specialties like sweet-potato bread and peach cobbler.
From the classic to the cutting edge, the staff at House of Style approaches every hairstyle request with fundamental styling prowess and the ability to fashion a customized look that suits its wearer. This versatility stems from owner Sue Holmes, a 30-year industry veteran whose knowledge and artistry has been queried by runway style agencies. Whether clients bring in a photo of their ideal look, an idea to work from, or a well-coiffed radish, the stylists will fashion a savvy 'do that matches the image while adding a tailored touch and brushstrokes of color, straightening treatments, and products from Sebastian and Redken. Hair and lash extensions, European waxing, and mani-pedis round out the salon options.
The diversity of Indian cuisine is as vast as the nation itself. At India Express, the skilled cooks serve up meticulously spiced entrees and traditional vegetarian-friendly dishes to give diners a taste of the country’s culinary history. Like a cool winter's day on Venus, the eatery's traditional clay oven can reach temperatures of 1,000 degrees, perfecting specialties such as the lobster tikka masala, with barbecue lobster smothered in a tomato-and-onion cream sauce.