From its first location in West Hollywood to its free-range food truck, Rounds Premium Burgers doles out mighty American burgers made with beef, turkey, chicken, or veggie patties along with a large selection of fries. Specialty rounds include The Slopper, a messy pile of chili, cheese, and onions. Custom burgers start with a foundation of daily-baked bread and a patty, which are then slathered with exotic sauces (from chipotle aioli to buttermilk ranch and tabasco ketchup) and layered with toppings such as crispy onion strings, breaded jalapeños, and grilled pineapple. From the burgers to the sweet-potato fries, the griddlemasters make all of their hearty, old-fashioned fare by hand.
There are no mystery ingredients in the smoothies and juices at The Smoothie Stop. Instead, customers can watch as the staff pops only the fruits, vegetables, and yogurts they desire into blenders to create a range of healthy drinks. For those looking for a nutrient-rich treat, the staff can squeeze the juices from complementary fruits and veggies, such as apples, celery, and carrots. But for those who desire a bit more indulgence in their drinks without having to use three straws, the staff can whir together creamier options. These include drinks such as pi?a-colada smoothies and honey-milk tea or green tea served with a layer of chewy tapioca pearls. The staff also creates bowls of snow fluff ice, which can be customized with a range of fresh fruit and candy morsels at the toppings bar.
The majority of the activity at Code Blue Cafe takes place outside. Under a canopy and warmed by heating lamps, guests lounge on couches and nibble on American and Middle Eastern dishes while puffing flavored smoke from elegant hookahs. Dishes include burgers loaded with onion rings or guacamole, beef kebab sandwiches, and gigantic ice-cream cookies. Fifteen flavors of Al Fakher hookah and 44 of Exotic Starbuzz hookah range from the straightforward such as spearmint, mango, and royal grape, to the more mysterious such as Pirates Cave, Passion Kiss, and Pink.
What we know today as the thick, round, and buttery Belgian waffle is an impostor. More accurately, its real name is the Brussels waffle. Even though these days, practically everyone in the States recognizes it as generically Belgian, it's not the only waffle the country is known for; in the city of Liege, another recipe is the top waffle all together.
The traditional Liege waffle is much sweeter than its Brussels counterpart, thanks to the signature Belgian pearl sugar dotting its dough. These large sugar crystals caramelize when the dough hits the waffle iron, producing a treat that's practically a dessert in and of itself. But that doesn't stop the chefs at Waffles de Liege from topping it with simple powdered sugar, fresh fruit, or Nutella.
Between its roaming food truck and brick and mortar locations, Waffles de Leige brings this sweeter, heartier waffle Westward. Since the dough?not a batter?plays such an important part in creating the Liege flavor, the cooks only produce it fresh, even in their food trucks and waffle-obsessed dreams. Beyond simple toppings, the chefs also offer options that include ice cream and Speculoos, a Belgian cookie spread that tastes like ginger snaps. Among their selection of drinks are many caffeinated beverages made with Heart Coffee, a roaster who's focus is to change the way people see black coffee, offering hand-selected beans that are robust in flavor and never bitter.
Devan and Reena Shah, and Tek Mehreteab are passionate about tea. By sourcing leaves from eight regions in India, China, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Japan, they are able to proffer more than 300 standard and specialty varieties online and inside Chado Tea Room. The name Chado, taken from the Chinese cha, meaning "tea," and the Japanese do, meaning "path," speaks to the owners? strict standards for their product. Many of their green, black, white, and oolong teas are USDA-certified organic; the Shahs also stock unique varieties such as Chinese pu-er teas and hand-tied blooming tea balls. In addition, they brew special house blends for morning, afternoon, and evening, helping customers find the right blend to start the day or serve to bats that have invaded their home.
Staffers pair teas with an array of cream-topped scones, cookies, cakes, and roasted savory sandwiches during teatime at Chado's three tearooms. Though each location is decorated differently, the same three-tiered sandwich platters and steaming pots of tea travel between panda paintings hanging in the Los Angeles location, underneath strings of holiday lights at the Pasadena location, and between ceiling-high wooden shelves stocked with mugs, filters, teapots, and bags of loose-leaf tea at the Hollywood location.
The recipe for the typical crepe is simple—a bit of flour, milk, water, a few eggs, some butter, and a dash of salt. Yet, transforming that batter into the golden, paper-thin canvases found in classic Parisian cafes—and more importantly, deciding what to put inside the crepe—requires real talent. Luckily, The Crepe Kitchen‘s master chef Yafit Barades eliminates the guesswork with her menu of made-to-order dinner and dessert crepes. With a flick of her wrist, Chef Barades creates edible envelopes for her complex and globally inspired flavors—such as the Italiano, which embellishes melted mozzarella and cheddar with pesto, turkey, and fresh basil. To satisfy their sweet hankerings, guests can enjoy butter-and-sugar, cinnamon-sugar, and Nutella crepes. For a supremely indulgent treat, patrons can tuck into the Oui Oui—a crunchy and sweet collaboration of caramelized walnuts, fresh fruit, and honey that’s more satisfying than watching your ex accidentally marry a mannequin.