With names like Godzilla, Spider, and Dragon, Sakura Ichi’s sushi rolls sound like something straight out of a horror flick, but nothing could be further from the truth. The decidedly enjoyable rolls include combinations of tuna and salmon, shrimp and crabmeat, or barbecue eel and avocado blended with mango, yellowtail, cucumber, or cream cheese. The menu's hot entrees pull inspiration from pan-Asian culinary traditions and include crispy orange chicken, steak teriyaki, and fried shrimp, which pair well with house sake, martinis, and beer.
At Joey's Bar-B-Q, charcoal, mesquite, and hickory woods join forces with USDA Choice meats, and 25 years of family recipes to create a menu dripping with smoky, saucy, Texas flavors. Torture taste buds on a rack of smoked baby back pork ribs, served with a choice of baked potato, yam, or charbroiled vegetable kabob ($21.95 for dinner). Or, sate the most demanding of carnivorous claws by opting for The Works––a heaping helping of ham, beef, chicken, beef ribs, pork ribs, and country-style sausage links, lacking only in its absence of bacon ($27). Those who prefer their sauce in a glass rather than on their hands can augment a 12-ounce USDA Choice filet mignon ($28.50) with one of the restaurant's many beers, many of which are procured from local breweries, or plucked straight from L.A.'s natural beer fields.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed. In addition to delivering pizzas, Papa John’s reaches out to the community with charity involvement, including partnering with the Boy Scouts of America and Junior Achievement to teach US students about entrepreneurship and the best method of capturing a wild roma tomato.
For many, a love of barbecue begins and ends at eating it. But Johnny Walker took his love a step farther by creating his own signature brand of sauces. They add an extra kick to pulled pork, rib tips, and turkey, all of which Johnny slow-smokes at J & J's BBQ & Fish alongside fellow pitmaster Joe Draper. They let diners pair their southern-style barbecue with sides such as slaw, potato salad, and hush puppies, so named for the quiet passion with which dogs eat them. The Louisiana natives also draw from the flavors of their home state to create seafood specialties that include po’ boys made with shrimp, oysters, or tilapia, as well as platters centered on fresh catches of red snapper and catfish.
Executive Chef David C. Teig, who has served as a task force executive chef for Starwood hotels, crafts seasonal, contemporary American fare with organic vegetables and herbs harvested from his restaurant’s onsite urban farm. The aromas of high-quality steaks and chops, Pacific seafood, and sauces infused with Mediterranean, French, and Asian flavors waft past the dining room’s golden-brown walls, escaping onto an expansive outdoor patio warmed by a contemporary brick fireplace. McKinley's skilled staff will also serve up their table-to-farm feasts during special events such as wine-pairings and international trowel conventions.
Early and late risers alike can saunter over to Kickback Jack's, where a hearty menu of flapjacks and sandwiches greets customers with a slight southern twang. The restaurant's morning meals, which include french toast, eggs, and fruit juices, help jump-start morning motors or provide fuel for sustenance-starved automobiles. Sample a plate of original flapjacks ($5.99) or remix a classic fix with a pile of cookies 'n' cream flapjacks, creamily caulked with cookies-'n'-cream filling and topped with a dusting of powdered sugar and Oreo pieces ($6.99). Hearty, geometrically undefined skillets boast a bounty of fresh ingredients with combos such as the Bahama Mama, fully loaded with smoked chicken-apple sausage fried to perfection with onions, fire-grilled corn, red peppers, mushrooms, avocados, and cheese served atop baja chipotle sauce ($12.49).