When it came time for the team at Johnny Carino?s to come up with some new recipes, they began rifling through their personal cooking histories. Executive chef Chris Peitersen took his first kitchen job at a barbecue joint when he was 14, so he was primed to create Italian baby back ribs. By infusing brown sugar barbecue sauce with balsamic vinegar imported from Modena, he?s given the marinade a more acidic bite than typical barbecue sauces. As the ribs slowly roast and char on an oak grill, he bastes on his creation before finishing the dish with a dusting of parmesan.
The ribs are one of Carino?s many menu items that follow the restaurants? approach of classic Italian preparations modified by forward-thinking flavor combinations. Diners will find a crispy pepperoni burger capped with mozzarella and fried pepperoni, or saut?ed tilapia spiced with garlic and jalape?o. Other signature dishes include the 16-layer lasagna, Skilletinis that sizzle with spaghetti and a choice of meat, and tiramisu made from scratch.
Ono Hawaiian BBQ brings the island to the mainland with tender meats soaked in made-from-scratch marinades. Chefs hand roll chicken katsu in panko bread crumbs to give it a fresh, crispy texture, and assemble generous portions of crispy shrimp, island whitefish, and barbecue chicken in the seafood mix.
Not much has changed since Lovie Yancey opened the first Fatburger in 1952. Since then, the chain has expanded, but the food has stayed the same: 100% USDA lean beef burgers grilled to order and hand-scooped ice-cream shakes. Each restaurant stays true to Yancey's vision, even down to retro-influenced digs with jukeboxes blasting old school favorites designed to make listeners flash enthusiastic thumbs-up signs. Inside the kitchen, cooks stack burgers from 2.5-ounce burgers to 24-ounce triple burgers on toasted regular or gluten-free buns as fresh onions crisp inside fryers filled with cholesterol-free oil. Diners can also enjoy FatBurger's signature chili made with a secret blend of herbs and spices or milk shakes topped with dollops of whipped cream that resemble fluffy, white clouds shaped like marshmallows.
John's Incredible Pizza Co. graces guests with acres of incandescent entertainment options and a fully stocked buffet ($9.49 value, $1.50 value for drinks). In addition to a slew of soups, salads, pasta, desserts, and traditional pizza choices, the buffet brandishes a bouquet of specialty pizza creations, including spicy peanut-butter, barbecue chicken ranch, and alfredo pizza.
Locally situated and independently owned, Sips Coffee clears bleary eyes with an assortment of caffeinated concoctions and savory pastries. Shake off nightmares of coffee bean uprisings with a tea latte, which melds milk and sugar with a selection of aromatic teas that include passion fruit, earl grey, jasmine, and more ($3.35–$3.95). Try dousing steamy maws with an iced coffee ($2.35–$2.70) or creamy blended smoothie ($3.90–$4.35) before indulging in flaky pastries ($1.95–$2.15), fruit cups ($4.75), and sandwiches ($5.55). Sips Coffee's amicable gang of bean barons also trade their blends in bulk, which can double as paperweights when penning a voluminous coming-of-age tome about a free-spirited West Coast coffee bean ($5.75–$12). Sips Coffee hosts live, local music on weekends, and spirited patrons can utilize free WiFi to stream live videos of their own interpretive dances during each song.
Cobblestone Bakery & Deli serves up delicious pies and pastries to local lovers of baked goods and sweets. Their ovens churn out fresh trays of cinnamon rolls ($2), sheets of croissants ($1.50–$2.50), and pans of pies ($9.99–$14.99) daily. Pick from a variety of fruit-filled dough-disks, including traditional favorites such as apple, blueberry, pumpkin, and cherry, as well as key lime, lemon meringue, and anti-matter cream. Cobblestone Bakery & Deli's expert culinary craftsmen also make a selection of cakes, including cheesecake, lemon cake, and custom creations (call ahead for cake and pie orders) ($12.99+).