With 15 years of experience, Prior's Chevron Auto Care's experts offer comprehensive auto-repair and car-care services in a clean and friendly facility. Using high-tech diagnostic equipment and an expertise of domestic and import vehicles, the practiced car tuners ensure gas-guzzlers are serviced properly. Treatments span the spectrum of jalopy-bettering services, ranging from engine and electrical-system work to providing towing services should cars break down or refuse to run until their owners upgrade their eight-track players.
Jim and Patty Gattari spent years compiling recipes from aunts, uncles, parents, and grandparents, until, in 1974, they reached their limit. With a massive list of family traditions, the couple decided to share those dishes with the world by opening their own deli and local grocery. The combination of their hearty lasagnas, housemade meatballs, and friendly demeanor kept people coming back, and Orange Tree soon evolved into a popular sandwich shop, stuffing chicken salad, deli meats, and burgers between slices of bread baked fresh daily. Over the years, Jim and Patty's daughters worked the register during high school and when home from college as the family added burritos, tacos, and sizzling fajitas to their eclectic menu.
With hot daily specials such as baby back ribs and fresh roasted turkey, Orange Tree has today become the haunt of local firemen and business folk in the mood for fresh lunches. Patrons can follow the eatery's growth through the years by the frames on the walls that display photos of family members, local sights, and awkward prom dates with the restaurant down the block.
With a name like "The Rib Trader," you can expect to find meat on the menu. And the restaurant more than delivers on that promise, grilling up their signature ribs in baby back, beef back, or St. Louis styles, all served with house barbecue sauce. Other hearty options include pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, as well as tri-tip steaks and hickory-roasted aged prime rib. On weekends and holidays, diners can dig in and practice on their rib-marimbas while watching the entertaining illusions of Merlin's Magic & Comedy Dinner Theatre.
Although he specializes in American comfort fare, Executive Chef Diego Velasco wields a packed cabinet of culinary styles and spices, elevating meetings and cocktail parties to a higher gastronomic plane with custom menus crafted from many fresh, locally sourced ingredients.. Midday meals get a savory infusion from the corporate-catering lunch menu, which includes a signature sandwich tray ($54 for 16 half-sandwiches)—a selection of up to four of the various bread-bookended taste-fests, which include a brisket po boy. The hot lunch buffet ($14.95/person for 15–50 guests, $13.50/person for 50+ guests) offers a flavorful cornucopia of meatloaf, ribs, and cornmeal-fried catfish. Appetizers by the dozen grace the à la carte menu and include the grilled scallop lollipops with saffron aioli ($26), and the mashed-potato pancakes with American caviar ($22), a laid-back affront to the snobbishly monocled Caspian variety. Chef Velasco's epicurean enthusiasm runs rampant throughout the entree offerings, which include buttermilk fried chicken, and grilled leg of lamb accented by pineapple-mint vinaigrette.
Twenty-four wine bottles line the circumference of two stainless-steel cylinders, both of which add a futuristic flourish to the middle of the room. With the touch of a button, the machine dispenses a 1-ounce sample of any of the wines—red at room temperature, whites at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Praised on Foodbeast, this self-serve tasting bar, called the Enomatic wine system, lets guests sample an array of wines before committing to a long-term relationship with a single—or several—bottles. This method is just one of several ways OC Wine Mart & Tasting Bar owner Julie Lim takes the intimidation out of wine buying.
At her boutique wine store, Julie fills the shelves with vintages from both well-known and under-the-radar vineyards, with some of her favorites including Silver Oak Cellars, Caymus Vineyards, and Cakebread Cellars. She and her team thrive on helping guests find the best bottle—whether they're hunting for wine, craft beer, or a fine liquor. Once guests feel confident in their selections, the staff can help them compile gift baskets for holiday parties or year-end performance reviews. Committed to green practices, the staff eschews foam packaging in favor of molded-pulp shippers, derived from 100% recycled materials. Such practices earned Julie a place on OC Metro's list of 20 Women to Watch, plus her boutique a place on Gayot's Top 10 Wine Bars in the United States.
Bartenders often use soda to offset the intense flavor of alcohol, but Hanayo Martin prefers another tasty counterweight: cupcakes. Topped with her signature cream cheese frosting, the decadent treats include strawberry cake infused with champagne and banana cake infused with dark rum. But Hanayo—along with childhood pal, Hapa cofounder, and frosting miner Akemi Lee—happily crafts non-alcoholic versions of her spiked treats as well, available in an additional half-dozen classic flavors. Classic, however, doesn't mean traditional; cupcakes can be crowned with rice cereal treats, seaweed, and green tea icing.