Tutti Frutti’s self-serve yogurt ($0.37 per ounce) represents a healthy and delectable alternative to heavy ice cream and deep-fried sticks of butter. Get your fruit fix with tart flavors such as pomegranate, acai berry, and the aromatic lychee, or opt for something on the creamy side. Cappuccino diehards will scramble to sample its yogurt counterpart, and pistachio’s distinctive flavor will bring back memories of that magical summer spent toiling on a Turkmenistan pistachio farm. Finally, adorn your edible artwork with a sprinkling of some of Tutti Frutti's delectable toppings. Health nuts can keep it ab-tastic with mango and blueberries, and more experimental eaters can transform their yogurt into a battlefield on which chocolate chips face off against their natural enemy—coconut.
With a name that's a riff on the French phrase for golden bread, Pandor Bakery and Cafe specializes in regional French pastries OC Weekly once said inspire "where-have-you-been-all-my-life epiphanies". Pandor is far from just a pastry shop, though, as it boasts an extensive menu that includes everything from breakfast plates to paninis. By morning, guests can be found digging into Nutella french toast or croque madames?and head in early for its Dornut pastry, which OC Weekly calls "obscenely good." At lunch, the kitchen sizzles with the sound of pressed sandwiches layered with pesto chicken or grilled zucchini. Though Pandor's flagship location can be found in the south of France, the California locations incorporate local goods such as coffee from Costa Mesa's Portola Coffee Lab and forks grown within Orange County.
Though coffee is good for jumpstarting a morning, it pales in comparison to the ritual surrounding afternoon tea. The Tea Room carries on this cherished English tradition, offering four levels of tea service, a selection of fair-trade organic teas, and a slew of finger foods for guests to enjoy. The simplest option is the Queen's Tea, during which you can nibble on treats while sipping selections from the house?s 50 signature blends. For a more decadent experience, the top-tier Royal Tea includes finger sandwiches, plates of salad, rows of glistening pastries, fruit, chocolate, and champagne. Outside the tearoom, guests can browse British paraphernalia at the gift shop or take home their favorite variety of tea without having to reverse-engineer flavors from stains left on lapels.
After walking through the brick archway at the entrance to Akropolis Restaurant & Coffee, guests take their seats beneath hanging, tulip-shaped lights. A candle casts a glow over each tabletop, mirroring the warmth of Greek entrees such as souvlaki chicken and moussaka—baked eggplants, potatoes, and minced beef in a housemade cream sauce. The chefs have even instilled elements of the Mediterranean into seemingly familiar dishes such as burgers and pizzas: bifteki patties come crowned with hummus or tzatziki, and the Akropolis pizza bears the weight of gyro beef, eggplants, sliced tomatoes, and red onions. Plates of burnt figs round out dinners, and glasses of Californian and Italian vintages add excitement to meals through the ever-present danger of red-wine stains.
Domenico Maurici has been around food his whole life. He was a child when he started farming his family's land in the south of Italy. And as a teenager, he started working in hotels and restaurants, working almost every food-oriented job there is: server, bartender, cook, the guy who keeps knives sharp with other knives or with hubcaps. A degree from a culinary institute propelled Domenico into fine hotels and restaurants, and eventually he took to the seas by slicing and searing in a cruise ship kitchen. One day, the ship docked in Orange County, and Domenico enjoyed the area so much that he never left. In 1994, he opened Il Farro Restaurant, which was soon followed by Il Gelato Caffe. At Il Gelato, omelets and panini share a menu with pastries and the titular frozen treat. Domenico even differentiates gelato, with its dense flavor and lower fat content, from standard American ice cream in a website post.