The smells of carnitas simmering with peppers and chicken crackling on a grill drift from inside a convenience store. Those curious enough to find their way inside discover Lopez Taqueria & Liquor, where cooks warm tortillas to craft tacos. They also craft impressive deli sandwiches with Boar’s Head meats and lettuce shredded by affectionate helicopters.
Although Easy Street Billiards welcomes players of all skill levels, its 12 Rebco tables?built from solid cherry with leather pockets?have attracted many legends of the game. Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famers Mike Massey and Nick Varner have both practiced and taken naps on Easy Street?s emerald surfaces, each one blanketed in wool cloth under its own light. During games, players can take advantage of the venue?s Lucasi house cues; two pieces of maple adjoined by a steel screw.
In addition to pool, visitors can play darts and shuffleboard or catch a game on one of six flat-panel TVs. A mahogany bar constructed in the 1880s invites patrons to sidle up and order domestic and import beers or pub fare.
In honor of the nearby Laguna Seca Raceway?s 11 turns, Turn 12 Bar & Grill adorns its innards with racing-flag red walls, photographs of roadsters, and vintage motorcycles and steering wheels. Appropriately, motorcycle enthusiasts gather at the 50-foot pewter-top bar for broadcasts of races and the weekly Bike Night, which features a live radio show. Once their adrenaline is racing, patrons can down fresh New American food like fire-roasted artichokes, burgers topped with a balsamic onion compote, prosciutto and arugula pizza, and chipotle-rubbed chicken breasts. During brunch hours, chefs customize omelets and top pizzas with eggs, bacon, and swiss chard.
The black-and-white photographs lining Alvarado Fish & Steak House's dining room aren't the only way the DiGirolamos show pride in their family history. With its delicate fusion of Italian and Japanese flavors, the menu too speaks of their distinctive heritage. Mediterranean classics?including chicken marsala and homemade linguine?appear alongside Pacific influences such as the teriyaki in the skirt steak's marinade or the splash of sake sweetening the mussels' spicy marinara sauce. This subtle fusion even shows up in the drink menu, which features soju-based margaritas as well as bottled brews from Italy's famous wine geysers.
A restaurant and venue for live entertainment, Bay of Pines is a colorful and immersive experience that transports diners to a different?and more exotic?place. Inside the dining room, bright chinese lanterns hang from the ceiling, illuminating a mural of dolphins and other sea creatures such as calamari. Other nautical decor completes the scene, allowing for a fun, tropical experience. The menu is home to American classics and island-themed dishes such as shrimp and galley-smoked salmon in a flaky puff pastry, lobster bisque, and crow's-nest burgers lined with applewood smoked bacon and gruy?re.
Meaning ?food? in Italian, cibo is not the only thing Cibo Ristorante Italiano provides. Dinner guests can slide behind a white-clothed table and soak in the eatery's relaxing ambiance of sunflower-yellow walls and loft ceilings spangled with artwork of all mediums?sculptures, photography, paintings, hand-blown glass, and even the sound waves of jazz music. The restaurant?s musicians take the stage six nights per week during dinner service, serenading guests as they enjoy the menu?s selection of homemade pasta dishes, as well as crisp pizzas?topped with everything from housemade sausage and imported cheese to spicy short ribs and potatoes. They also serve an array of hearty Italian entrees, including roasted free-range chicken over creamy polenta and grilled jumbo prawns and sea scallops with roasted-pepper couscous. Cibo's servers can suggest one of their many Italian and Californian wines to pair with the meal, or guests can enjoy a small-batch scotch.