Hot Dog on a Stick Founder Dave Barham opened his first Hot Dog on a Stick in Santa Monica in 1946, and the company has since burgeoned into an employee-owned franchise that's more than 100 eateries strong and spans 11 states. Best known for a 100% turkey hot dog dunked in corn-bread batter made from Dave's mother's recipe and cooked in soy oil, Hot Dog on a Stick also pioneered the dipping and be-sticking of mild american and spicy jalapeño jack cheese. Smiling employees in red-, white-, and blue-striped uniforms with, as Dave put it, "a splash of lemonade," hand over cherry, lime, sugar-free, or original lemonade that they make fresh every two hours by squeezing Ventura County lemons until they cry.
Choosing a dessert gets more difficult when there are nearly endless combinations to choose from. This is definitely the case at Ozzie's Frozen Yogurt & Gelato, which tempts visitors with 18 different flavors of self-serve frozen yogurt as well as 20 flavors of hand-made, all-natural gelato. Groups of friends, family members, or homesick Antarcticans can make their own frozen-yogurt creations by adding any number of toppings to their carefully swirled treat. Gelato ranges from the familiar?think raspberry chip, apple pie, and chocolate almond crunch?to the more adventurous choices, such as cucumber-melon sorbet and honey lavender. After getting their orders, patrons can relax at one of the nearby tables and enjoy their snack surrounded by the shop's pale green and yellow walls with bright pink trim.
The oak trees surrounding Roblar Winery never lose their leaves, standing as a pastoral testament to the mild climate of the Santa Ynez Valley. It's this same climate that attracted winemakers Kerry Damskey and Brian Davison. At this bucolic vineyard just 30 minutes from Santa Barbara, they turn varietals including Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Sangiovese, and Grenache into wines praised for both their complexity and drinkability. These wines draw enthusiasts from all over to the lodge-style winery, where a 5,000 square foot tasting room hosts regular showcases of Damesky and Davison's creations. Though it's a commanding space, the tasting room is just one welcoming environ of Roblar's estate; guests can also take a glass on a patio shaded by trellised vines, or decamp to the rentable Barrel Room for banquets, conventions, or private parties.
A wine-savvy staff pours samples of locally crafted vintages along the stainless steel bar inside tercero wines' intimate tasting room. Focused on trying to "humanize the wine industry as much as possible,", founder Larry Schaffer uses his master's degrees in viticulture and enology to craft an evolving selection of wines that is both complex and highly approachable. He doesn't even provide tasting notes for his wines, instead encouraging tasters to develop their own impression based on how it tastes and how firm of a handshake it has.
Instead of bellying up to a bar, visitors to Avant Tapas & Wine can savor ambrosial tastes?such as Inception chardonnay, Hitching Post pinot noir, and Falcone syrah?at the Wine Wall. Here, a dispensing system measures out exact pours of 52 wines hailing from California?s other wine country?the prolific central coast. Visitors immerse their taste buds in sips of diverse varietals from 20 regional wineries, such as Ground Effect Wine Co. in San Luis Obispo and Hoyt Family Vineyards in Malibu, all produced next door at Terravant Wine Company and enjoyed in Avant?s industrial warehouse confines.
Guests can also pair wines with locally flavored cuisine, from hormone-free rib eye to produce picked from nearby organic gardens. While swirling vibrant reds or sweet whites in their glasses, diners take in live music three nights a week or peruse the establishment during tours.
When Flavors Indian Restaurant cofounder Shiv Dave was working as a financial advisor for a big-time accounting firm in Indonesia, he was struck by the lack of authentic Indian cuisine outside of his native country. Together with his wife, professional dietitian Shilpa Dave, Shiv set off the spark for a family-run restaurant dedicated to producing healthy traditional feasts from the Indian subcontinent. As an American extension of the Dave family's original venture in Indonesia, Flavors Indian Restaurant introduces meals of fluffy naan bread, creamy paneer, and zesty curries to the American diet of apple pies and candy-based cereal products. Chefs from India draw from years of professional experience and firsthand knowledge of their culture's cuisine, whipping up meals of tender lamb vindaloo or seafood masala with a well-honed expertise.