Hawaiian art and vintage surf paraphernalia deck the walls of Hula's Island Grill And Tiki Room, adding to the restaurant's island ambience. In the kitchen, cooks draw on the flavors of the Pacific Rim to craft raw ahi poke, luau pork sandwiches, and spring rolls alongside burgers, steaks, and tacos. More than 30 types of rum wait behind the bar to be poured into a mai tai or dark and stormy.
At Tillie Gort?s Cafe, the ingredients matter. This special emphasis is not a culinary ploy but a decision to serve people who want fresh, healthy fare that accommodates vegetarian, vegan, and wheat-free diets. The strategy has drawn flocks of hungry patrons and even inspired the Monterey County Weekly's Best of Monterey County to award Tillie Gort's with 17 consecutive nods as the area's Best Vegetarian Restaurant.
The house specials spotlight the cuisine?s discretion. On the middle-east combination plate, scoops of homemade hummus brush against spanish-saffron rice, a tabouleh salad, and the diner?s choice of grilled chicken or soy strips. With vegan cake alongside smooth, rich flan, this conscientious consideration extends to the dessert menu, from which vegetarians sate their sweet tooths and vegan clowns order materials for pie-in-the-face gags.
After a breakfast frittata, diners with french-roast coffee venture beyond the fa?ade?s floor-to-ceiling windows to the outdoor patio. Red-clay roofing tiles cast cool shade over tabletops that await elbows, books, and post-brunch kisses.
There are times when people go out to dinner with the hopes of trying something new, or unexpected. That can be fun, but there's also something to be said for the comforting and familiar. Archie's American Diner gets this. The diner packs its menu with all the staples one would expect, unless of course this is your first visit to a diner, or the planet Earth. Hamburgers and patty melts, chili and clam chowder, BLTs and grilled cheeses?this is comfort food at its most classic. To switch things up, daily fish specials are offered along with fish 'n' chips, calamari sandwiches, and fish-taco wraps.
In 1996, in Washington State, taste tied the knot with health as the first Emerald City Smoothie location oversaw a marriage that, today, has grown to 50-plus locations across the United States. There was no exchange of vows, and objections—if any existed—were quickly muted by a chorus of "Mmms," as fresh-fruit smoothies treated sippers to healthy, on-the-go meals. To help patrons navigate its vast selection without a map made of crazy straws, Emerald City Smoothie divides its menu into categories, such as Boost My Immune System, Help Me Lose Weight, and Just for Kids. Past smoothies, nutrition weaves a common thread through each store's additional offerings, including meal alternatives, snacks, and supplements from major brands.
Koko's Cafe tantalizes taste buds with classic Mediterranean dishes from countries ranging from Greece to Turkey, served in a European-café-style atmosphere with Greek and Roman artwork and French, Italian, and Middle-Eastern music. Patrons can kick-start a partnered feast by dipping slivers of pita into hummus made from freshly smashed garbanzo beans and blended with tahini sauce. After a tasty warm-up, culinary caverns can embrace the slices of chicken, beef, or lamb mixed with hewed veggies and homemade tzatziki sauce found snug inside a warm gyro. As they hydrate their throats with sips of bubbly soda or calming water, diners can nibble on turkish delight, a confection so named for its ability to hypnotize turkeys.
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.