Harbor views are typically hard to come by in December, when restaurants pack up their patios and move their business indoors. Thankfully, Dominic’s at the Harbor has perfected an alternative. From the Italian eatery’s heated patio, diners can watch sunlight glint off the water regardless of the season. The smell of salt that lingers on the outdoor breeze complements seafood entrees such as shrimp and mahi mahi sautéed with garlic and wine. If that sounds like too much ocean for you, try a thin-crust margarita pizza topped with fresh basil and sliced tomatoes or a white pizza with three cheeses and a drizzle of olive oil. Diners can round out any meal with a bottle of vintage cabernet sauvignon or a tall boot of chardonnay from the D’Vino wine bar, located within the restaurant.
Guests ride into Surf Bowl under a glowing pink and green sign, and once inside, cast their eyes down freshly polished lanes. As an homage to their name and the local culture, a mural running parallel to the lanes depicts bowling pins engaging in beach activities such as lounging in the sand and testing their own buoyancy in the ocean. Players can stop in for classic games throughout the day, or enjoy Xtreme Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling once night falls. Between games, bowlers can break for a pizza, sandwich, or freshly fried snacks at Blue Wave Café, a casual, diner-style eatery with chrome-accented bar stools. The alley also boasts an arcade, bar, and billiards table.
The athletic mixologists at Rookies Sports Bar serve up a full roster of burgers, sandwiches, and wings alongside frosty glasses of beer and spirits. From their perches on the burgers and dawgs menu, the Chicago-style dog offers cylindrical satiation ($6.95) while the Pounder, a stack of two half-pound patties hoisted upon the back of a titanic bun, runs hunger interference ($10.95). Wings come adorned in a choice of 16 saucy ensembles, such as Jack Daniel's barbecue, hawaiian, feather boa, and lemon pepper ($8.95 for 10, house flavors $1 extra per order). The array of flat-screen TVs competes desperately for eye-time with an enormous assembly of draft and bottled beers, featuring favorites such as Fat Tire, Killian's Irish Red, and Newcastle Brown Ale. A minty mojito ($7.50) off the lineup of specialty drinks freshens the chilled air brought in by the Hypnotic Breeze ($8.50), a concoction of Hpnotiq liqueur, coconut and vanilla rum, blue curacao, and fruit juices that brings back repressed memories of parties attended in past lives.
The clatter of toppling pins resounds through the walls of the 89 locations of Bowling Centers of Southern California, which are scattered across Southern California, Nevada, and Hawaii. Each alley abounds with modern lanes and equipment, and many boast concession stands, lounges, and game rooms. The family-friendly centers host regular public bowling sessions and league tournaments. Many of the centers also host private birthday parties, which science has proven to be more fun than birthday parties covered by the paparazzi.