After manning grills for 15 years as the executive chef at Plaza III steak house, Salvi Salama took the reigns at Mogador Restaurant. Since then, he has helped to design and prepare a menu that fuses contemporary American and traditional Mediterranean influences. Each dish features local produce, naturally raised meats, and sustainable seafood whenever possible, lending vibrant and fresh flavors to entrees such as lamb tagine or pesto-crusted halibut with tomato harissa sauce.
Split into a dining room and a lounge area, the restaurant keeps diners entertained by hosting live music and belly dancing throughout the week. The performances fill the earth-toned space, which incorporates rich, gleaming woods, intricate wrought-iron dividers, and cushioned banquettes.
Since 1958, George's Bakery has stocked everything necessary for a Mediterranean dinner party or an authentic Wednesday night. Crowding the shelves are specialty spices, fresh pita breads, olives, and all kinds of imported canned goods. Along with baklava and other pastries, the store sells hookahs and the flavored tobacco they need to survive.
Sunshine Fine Thai Cuisine's pan-flipping masters churn out menus of authentic Southeast Asian fare with market-fresh produce, high-quality meat and seafood, and 100% vegetable oil. Fiery native chilies ripple beneath a seemingly peaceful pool of sweet coconut-milk curry, waiting to pounce on tongues and bites of mango fried rice with cashew nuts. The menu ranks many dishes' spiciness levels on a scale of one to three chili peppers, but chefs will happily customize any entree for patrons with low heat tolerances or those who regularly slurp bowls of lava. Smoking-hot plates of crispy chicken basil excite tongues with a special chili brown sauce, whereas the rama garden's mixed vegetables coddle taste buds with a gentle peanut sauce. Sunshine Fine Thai Cuisine plays host to midday dalliances and nights on the town, and its armada of drivers delivers piping-hot panang to those comfortable at home or up to their ankles in fresh concrete.
Knives click as the chefs at New Tokyo Japanese Steak House slice through rolls at the sushi station or cut filets into bite-sized morsels at the hibachi grill. These sounds signal dinner is almost ready, and that dinner will showcase Japanese culinary traditions—there are more than 30 specialty rolls available. The chefs handling these knives wrap fresh fish in rice and seaweed and sear steak and seafood atop a hot grill. They also serve teriyaki and noodle dishes that bring flavors of the old country to tongues more respectfully than licking a monk's head for good luck.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.