Kopitiam––which means "coffee shop" in Chinese dialect––began cropping up across Singapore in the early 1900s as a way for Chinese immigrants to sell tea and coffee. Still seen across Singapore and Malaysia, these cafés have evolved to serve food items such as spicy noodle laksa and nasi-rice curries. Kopitiam Cafe—a member of the Milpitas Chamber of Commerce—serves up these same dishes for the edification of the American palate.
In the glow of cylindrical hanging lanterns and floor-to-ceiling windows, baristas steep hot teas, tamp espresso drinks, sink miniature gelatin pearls into fruit and cream–based bubble teas, and serve up Hawaiian shaved ice and fresh-fruit smoothies. After nestling into a modern red or white café chair, guests can impress taste buds by feeding them housemade wonton noodles or impress a barista by spinning a smoothie so quickly that it transforms back into actual fruit.
A giant inflatable Superman towers above Bounce-a-Rama's indoor playground, whose air-filled attractions accommodate children eager to slide, climb, and explore. Tunnels and popups wind through a Batman-themed inflatable, and a steep, two-story slide lets kids safely experience free fall. Characters like Dora the Explorer and Scooby-Doo preside over other bouncers in areas specifically designed with younger children in mind. For noninflatable fun, Bounce-a-Rama stocks its game area with arcade staples such as Deal or No Deal and skee-ball. To reenergize youngsters after playtime, the facility's aviation-themed Fly 'n' Dine restaurant serves treats such as chicken nuggets and slices of housemade pizza.
Hot Dog on a Stick Founder Dave Barham opened his first Hot Dog on a Stick in Santa Monica in 1946, and the company has since burgeoned into an employee-owned franchise that's more than 100 eateries strong and spans 11 states. Best known for a 100% turkey hot dog dunked in corn-bread batter made from Dave's mother's recipe and cooked in soy oil, Hot Dog on a Stick also pioneered the dipping and be-sticking of mild american and spicy jalapeño jack cheese. Smiling employees in red-, white-, and blue-striped uniforms with, as Dave put it, "a splash of lemonade," hand over cherry, lime, sugar-free, or original lemonade that they make fresh every two hours by squeezing Ventura County lemons until they cry.
Chef Bill He hails from the ancient Chinese city of Chengdu, where pandas run wild in bamboo groves, peach trees blossom on lush plains, and the aroma of sizzling sichuan meats emanate from bustling eateries. At South Legend Sichuan Restaurant, Bill delves into his culinary heritage to blueprint a Michelin Guide?recommended menu of authentic, alluringly spicy Sichuan dishes. The skilled chef fires up meat, seafood, and vegetable entrees with complex spices and distinct textures, favoring generous amounts of chili peppers and sichuan peppercorns. In addition to favorites such as chicken, pork, and beef, Bill works with a variety of less familiar exotic meats, including rabbit, frog, and jellyfish.
In South Legend Sichuan Restaurant?s dining room, black-and-white photos of Chinese streets festoon the walls, and chopsticks can be seen jousting in bowls for the last noodle. Since many of the restaurant?s regular visitors are of Chinese backgrounds, diners will often hear entire conversations in the Chinese language, adding to the restaurant?s authentic dining experience.
In 1959, Straw Hat created the very first California pizza crust. Different from any other crust at the time, the layered, flaky bread crunched like a cracker and carried Straw Hat's signature sauce to mouths with ease. More than 50 years later, this recipe for hearty, flavorful pizzas has changed very little. But while Straw Hats' pizza twirlers still cover their crispy dough in a secret sauce, their menu has expanded to included hot wings, hot sandwiches, and a slew of beers. Diners can also pick and choose from the salad bar, which previously existed only in pizza-parlor legend. Straw Hat's locations often boast high-definition TVs, video arcades, and play places for children.
The heart of the Kinara Lounge kitchen is its fiery clay tandoori oven, which crackles with baking naan breads and sizzling tandoori meats from noontime until dusk. Chefs bustle about the oven, seasoning pans of chicken, lamb, and seafood specialties with flavorful spices while peeking into pots filled with bubbling biryani rice. Servers transport plates to the dining room, where hanging red lights casts a glimmer on bottles of premium liquors and a flat-screen television. Come lunch time, the servers stack a sweeping buffet with simmering platters of fresh Indian specialties, enabling diners to sample a diverse selection of curries, tandoori dishes, and sauces.