Natural light streams through the windows of Hair Cafe, dancing off the lightly colored mottled walls and illuminating a team of savvy stylists. A charming mural engages the eyes as the stylists, armed with shears, fly through manes, shaping face-framing coiffures that serve as works of art themselves. In addition to creating fetching cuts, the stylists imbue locks with pigment, enhancing eye color or matching the client's hair to his or her favorite wig.
Cakes by Happy Eatery started its life as a traditional Chinese restaurant with a rather un-traditional feature?it's own in-house bakery. Owners' Woei and Fu-Mei Wu hoped their customers would love their homemade sweets, but they never could have imagined the number of custom cake and dessert orders that would come piling in. Eventually, their family business transformed from a restaurant into, not one, but two full-time bakeries.
Today, Mrs. Wu still oversees the team of dedicated bakers and pastry chefs who spend their days whipping up a staggering selection of pastries, cakes, and desserts. Beyond savory Chinese staples like roast pork buns and curry beef turnovers, the baking gurus excel at churning out everything from cannolis to fresh fruit tarts to New York-style cheesecakes. The bakery is best known, however, for its European genoise sponge cake, a light, never-cloying style of cake available in a variety of flavors like raspberry amaretto or mocha truffle. But no matter what sweet you settle on, you can be sure that the culinary team made it the old-fashioned way: using only real butter and sugar, and cracking every egg with a tiny medieval sword.
To ensure farm-fresh ingredients for their East African dishes, the culinary team at Manna Bistro & Bakery goes a step beyond shopping at local farmers’ markets. They cull their meat and produce straight from their affiliate farm, Mena Farm, where lambs and goats graze freely and fresh vegetables sprout from the gardens, rather than from test tubes in the goats’ labs.
In a similar DIY spirit, bakers knead their own bread at an on-site bakery, in styles ranging from round loaves to injera, the slightly sour flatbread served with most Ethiopian stews and sautéed meat dishes. Diners also have the chance to try Manna's take on a menu of Mediterranean dishes: salads tossed with feta cheese, veggie sandwiches slathered with hummus, and paninis with a choice of three different pestos. There's also a full breakfast menu, introducing sweet and savory traditional dishes of spiced bread, buttery crushed wheat, and eggs given a kick from jalapenos, tomatoes, and onion.
Jireh Bakery Cafe specializes in traditional and Korean-style pastries, and the staff bakes more than a hundred of them fresh every day. They press custom paninis between freshly baked multigrain bread and dish them out with potato chips, which are what Mr. Potato Head uses during poker. The café offers a panoply of beverage options to accompany the food, from horchata and Korean tea to coffee drinks and bubble tea. Chilly treats of bingsoo ice balls combine shredded ice with fruits, syrups, and red-bean or green-tea ice cream. Jireh's bakers and cake artists even create custom cakes on request. The cozy dining room promotes a calm experience and sends out waves of free WiFi.
Cafe Sazon's cooks whip up signature dishes from scratch in 5–10 minutes, adding just enough "sazon," or seasoning, to give them mouth-watering flavor. Freshly made jalapeño hot sauce and beef-cube-laden pique macho alike are crafted from high-quality ingredients, which patrons can savor while seated on chairs or sofas. Unlimited internet access allows wireless modems to soak up radio waves until they get an even tan, and bilingual staff are on hand to help explain the menu or translate any novels patrons bring in.
South Mountain Veggies—a family-owned sustenance-delivery service—trucks parcels of local and organic produce to homes throughout Washington, DC and its surrounding areas. The medium Family Share box brims with 11–14 servings of seasonal crop ready to munch on, set aside for future cooking ventures, or wear as a hat. The carton's customizable abilities give household meal planners the option to tailor contents based on familial likes, dislikes, and crippling phobias. South Mountain's fruit and veggie varieties rotate seasonally, ensuring dinner menus stay healthy and fresh.