When the bakers at Cake Bakeshop decide what creation to craft each day, they usually use one important criterion: are the ingredients for this recipe in season? If the answer is yes, then they add it to their roster of small-batch bakery items for that day. This means that their ovens can be cooking anything from fruit tarts in the summer months to pumpkin-spice blondies in the fall. During the cool winter months, they rely upon the interplay of nonfruit flavors such as their ginger-molasses cookies and brown-butter rice-krispies treats. No matter what the season, however, they create traditional three-tier cakes?including german chocolate and the slightly sweet-and-sour margarita?topped with edible decorations and swirls of buttercream for customer celebrations.
Six months prior to Nothing Bundt Cakes' grand opening in 1997, best friends Dena Tripp and Debra Shwetz toiled away in the kitchen in order to perfect a bundt-cake recipe that would lavish palates with flavors reminiscent of homestyle treats of days past. Within today's bustling bakery, cake crafters mingle high-quality ingredients, such as fresh eggs, real butter, and cream cheese sourced from spelling-bee-champion cows, to whip up such flavors as chocolate chip, pecan praline, and white-chocolate raspberry. Sweet scents waft from the shop’s ovens as customers select their frosting-flecked dessert from sizes ranging from towering tier cakes to individual Bundtlets, a size ideal for the solo snacker.
Oceana Bistro Cafe's floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor patios unveil sweeping vistas of the Pacific Ocean. Located just down the street form the neighborhood eatery, the sea provides more than just idyllic scenery—it yields fresh scallops, shrimp, and crab for gastro-pub-inspired fare. Chefs tailor their cooking style to suit the time of day. At lunchtime, they layer casual, deli-style sandwiches with Boar's Head meats, leaf lettuces, and seasoned mayo. At dinner, they take a more gourmet approach, grilling fine meats (among them, filet mignon and ahi tuna) until they achieve a supple texture and jail stripes. Chefs pair the dishes with locally produced wines and craft brews.
Meticulously prepared dishes brimming with fresh ingredients greet palates at India’s Tandoori Halal Indian Restaurant, a celebrated Hawthorne eatery with a full menu of Indian cuisine. Taking its name from the clay oven often used in Indian cooking, the restaurant serves up signature morsels such as tandoori game hen and channa masala, a Punjabi-style chickpea dish laden with spices. Clay-oven-baked breads known as rotis accompany savory main courses, and desserts in the form of rice pudding add a sweet-ending note to a symphony of flavors, much as most conductors conclude orchestral pieces by distributing brownies to the audience.
After spending 38 years cooking for her husband and seven children in New York, Mama D decided to move to California. She packed her grandmother's recipes, arrived on the West Coast, and opened a traditional Italian eatery. Nowadays, Mama D, Papa D, and their children take turns supervising the eatery's kitchen, where chefs roll signature homemade raviolis and fill them with chicken, sautéed spinach, or lobster and crab. Using dough made with filtered water, they knead Mama D's Neapolitan pizzas and top them with homemade sauce and freshly grated parmesan. Most of the restaurant's dishes are named after their inventors. Names such as Julianna's homemade meatball, Gary's veal parmigiana, Jr.'s chicken limone, and Cheryl's steamed clams contribute to Mama D's family atmosphere and make it easier for Julianna, Gary, and Cheryl to remember their favorite dishes.
The door to Mama D's rests beneath a green awning and opens to a casual eatery with tables veiled in red-and-white checkered tablecloths. Passing through the interior, diners arrive at an outdoor seating area decked out with a fireplace and sun umbrellas.
Uncle Bill’s Pancake House has a menu that’s nearly as long as its history. Located in a cottage-style home built in 1908, this space saw many businesses come and go before Uncle Bill McElroy walked in, installed a few grills, and cemented its legacy as a quaint and bustling breakfast spot. The Van Amburgh family purchased the building in 1973, preserving the name and, more importantly, the scrumptious food that inspires patrons to wake up early enough to steal a patio seat. All the classics abound here, from eggs to waffles and French toast. Try the Expo ’73 omelet, a veritable buffet of cheese, onions, mushrooms, ham, bacon, and sausage cooked into a fluffy pillow of eggs and slathered with meat sauce. The sourdough French toast is another wise choice, as are the strawberry pancakes. Both go down easier with a plate of bacon-sprinkled hash browns. Uncle Bill’s keeps the grills fired up long after the morning rush, kicking out sandwiches, burgers, and salads to hungry lunchers and famished lunchboxes alike.