For more than a millennium, Cafe Sevilla has stood as one of Spain's great historic cities. In 1987, Spanish-born entrepreneurs Rogelio and Janet Huidobro opened the Cafe Sevilla tapas bar as a tribute to the longstanding cultural and culinary traditions of their homeland. Since then, the authentic Spanish eatery has expanded to three locations, each with a nightclub where live musicians take the stage every night in a celebration of Latin, Arabic, and gypsy music.
Cafe Sevilla's executive chef constantly experiments with his cooking, devising adventurous new dishes while highlighting cuisine from the varied regions of Spain. His menus encompass more than 40 tapas plates hailing from regions throughout Spain, such as skewers, ceviche, imported Iberian ham, and paella valenciana, a saffron-infused bomba-rice dish loaded with shellfish, Spanish sausage, and vegetables. Despite the ingenuity that suffuses the menu, one thing has remained constant: the sangria recipe, which is exactly the same as it was 25 years ago. On Saturday nights, there's an extra garnish for the cuisine: a three-course dinner is underscored by performances of flamenco, an Andalusian dance form that expresses love, pain, and passion through elaborate movement. Engaging the audience in a full sensory experience, the dancers?many of whom were trained in Spain and now run their own dance studios?are dressed in colorful, traditional garb and are chased off the stage by stampeding bulls at the end of each set.
It's not just the vegan and vegetarian fare that bring people into Ahimsa Vegan Cafe. It's also the atmosphere. Guests lounge on couches, or play board games between slices of cherry pie. The interior of the dishes are just as cheery as the dining room. Chefs eschew animal products for faux meats and locally produced, organic ingredients. For folks who'd like to quaff their nutrients, the cafe keeps a raw juice bar that turns fresh veggies into delightful fresh juices.
At Sura Korean BBQ & Tofu, meat and tofu put aside their differences in the name of cooperating to create savory Korean feasts. Bulgogi—sliced beef marinated in 12 flavorful ingredients—stars in many dishes, from japche rice-paper wraps to custom-made bibimbap served in a hot stone pot. Instead of sculpting faux turkeys from vatfuls of guacamole, vegans can build feasts from meat-free dishes such as tofu soup and sushi-like kimchi kimbap. The restaurant's popular korean tacos encourage meats and greens to hang out together, housing combinations of bulgogi, pork, chicken, veggies, or tofu. Outdoor seating invites patrons to dine amid verdant plants, whereas comfy indoor booths honor nature with sunny lights and bamboo wall coverings.
At first glance, Berlin looks like a simple (albeit chic) coffee shop. And while coffee is a big part of their identity, the bistro-style cafe boasts an extensive seven-page menu that carries patrons from breakfast all the way through to dinner and drinks. Chef Michelle Murufas’s seasonal selections are made from local ingredients; by day, diners can order a Mykonos omelet with artichoke hearts and feta, and for dinner, linger over shrimp and mango quesadillas or yellow chicken curry. Beyond the fresh-brewed illy coffee, servers also pour wines such as an oak-aged pinot noir and craft beers including Iceland’s Einstock White Ale. In a handsome dining room built from reclaimed brick and wood, musicians strum live music while surrounded by local artwork.
Betty’s favorite foods are shrimp, clams, and squid. She’s a little over a year old. She has brown hair, and her nickname is “Banshee,” because she wails when she doesn’t get her way. Named for Aquarium of the Pacific sponsor and legendary actress Betty White, she’s a recent addition to the aquarium’s BP Sea Otter Habitat. Betty was discovered in early 2012, a mere pup, without a mother. The staff at Aquarium of the Pacific nursed her back to health until October, when she was well enough to join her friends in the otter habitat. The otter habitat is just one of 19 habitats at Aquarium of the Pacific, which also includes 32 focus exhibits celebrating the diverse wildlife of the Pacific Ocean. In the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, more than 12 tuxedo-clad Magellanic penguins waddle around a rocky beach where guests can spy them nesting, eating, and practicing dance routines with Dick van Dyke, and a crawl space below their swimming pool provides a closer look at the birds as they go for a dip. Outside in Shark Lagoon, some 150-plus sand tiger, zebra, and whitetip reef sharks bare their menacing grins. But in the shallow touch pools, gentle bamboo and epaulette sharks discredit stereotypes by allowing visitors to pet them. For those more interested in the science of the sea, the Ocean Science Center helps visitors explore oceanic trends through its Science on a Sphere exhibit. The globe, a creation of the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, measures six feet in diameter and displays films about subjects such as rising sea levels and the connection between ocean health and human health.
Just a block west of Ocean Boulevard, there's a casual Cuban café, where Ropa Vieja sandwiches and fresh coconut smoothies saunter out onto a patio, finding a shady spot beneath a big umbrella. Above the open doors, the sign reads 'Tropicalata Cuban Café,' leading inside, where a menu of Cuban classics is served alongside authentic Cuban-style espresso, pastries, and the occasional under-the-table cigar.