The concept of the South in evidence at Luc's Bistro is expansive, including not just down-home American comfort foods but historical influences from French, Creole, and Cajun cuisines. In an airy room that's a little fancier than the location tucked away off busy Poway Road might suggest, servers deliver plates accented with spicy touches such as paprika mayo or peppered bacon. Breakfast bites include Cafe du Monde beignets and eggs benedict with ham and homemade hollandaise. For a lighter lunchtime offering, diners might try the crab-cake sandwich or simply suck the helium out of a balloon. Dinner entrees range from Atlantic salmon to old Southern standbys such as country-fried steak and shrimp and grits.
Cin Cin! uses local, fresh ingredients, organic produce, and classic Italian cooking techniques to create a seasonal menu of simple, yet elegant salads, pizzas, pastas, and more. Signal the start of dinner with your best howler-monkey impression before an appetizer of habanero mussels in a Valencia orange and basil broth ($8.95). Continue the trek toward the main course by way of salad, such as the grilled antipasto (fresh mozzarella, artichoke hearts, romaine, and Italian deli meats, $6.95). Cin Cin!'s selection of pasta dishes sees Italy through California glasses with dishes such as the roasted pepper and shrimp gnocchi ($15.95). Create your own leaning tower by ordering all four preconceived pizza varieties, including the Greek ($12.95) and gorgonzola and figs ($12.95), and topping the stack with a build-your-own original ($10, plus $2 per topping). The lunch menu features a pared-down dinner selection, plus paninis ($8.50).
Poway Sushi Lounge celebrates the grand economy of flavor that can be packed into a singular, satisfying chomp. Starting appetites simmer under the spell of chipotle-baked mussels ($6) and agedashi tofu that's flash-fried before a soothing bonito bath ($5), bracing the palate for the dynamic rolls ahead. Handmade sushi rolls cater themselves to all hankerings with refreshing bites of spicy crab in the Red Dragon rolls ($12) and Tsunami rolls that unite shrimp, crab, avocado, and asparagus layered in Cajun-seared albacore and roasted garlic ($14). A diverse nigiri and sashimi menu focuses on individual ingredients, while the kitchen's selection of entrees ushers in classic plates of sesame chicken ($12) and charred salmon with asparagus and baby spinach ($14).
Hidden Deli and Catering's staff layers Boar's Head meats and cheeses on a menu of sandwiches named after popular movies and TV shows. Each carnivore-titillating sandwich is filled with 5–6 ounces of meat, such as the genoa and dry salami, pepperoni, and mortadella on the 8-inch New York/New York italian sub, an amalgamation as protein-rich as a millionaire who made his money in hot-dog mining. In the Jaws sandwich, albacore tuna floats atop swiss cheese and horseradish sauce, and the Veggie Tales bathes spinach, cucumber, and cheddar in pesto sauce. The Police Academy brandishes smoked applewood bacon, lettuce, and tomato as it patrols ovens for optional toasted flavor and jaywalking potholders.
Home-style Italian dishes draw visitors to Vittorio’s Trattoria, formerly known as Villa Capri 2, where chefs make the restaurant’s cheese ravioli and gnocchi by hand each day. Diners can pair these selections with one of more than 20 wines, which are available by the glass, the bottle, or the cupped hand of your dining companion. The smell of Italian delicacies permeates through a dining room that resembles a Tuscan villa, with faux wrought-iron balconies, terra-cotta-colored walls, and stone archways, and additional color pops up on "Chianti & Color" painting nights.
After graduating from high school, Reza Karkouti dreamed of opening his own teriyaki restaurant. He garnered support from family and friends, and he and his father, Ahad, opened a tiny eatery called Tokyo's Teriyaki in Encinitas in 1992. Through hard work and an attention to detail, the restaurant's reputation grew, and the demand for juicy, teriyaki-glazed chicken and beef quickly spread to other cities. This led Reza’s younger brother, Amir, to help open a second location. Now a seven-location, family-owned chain, Surf Brothers Teriyaki still sees its two siblings focusing on customer service and quality products.
The duo chooses natural meats that are minimally processed, hand trimmed, and grilled, avoiding shortcuts such as microwaves, frozen foods, and laser-based slicing. Their Hawaiian-themed restaurants and catering business have been featured in numerous television spots, radio shows, and newspaper articles. Michelle Murphy Zive of SanDiegoFamily.com says the restaurant offers "a taste of Hawaii" and "healthy food served fast." The brothers give back to the community that helped them grow by donating to charitable organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Homes project.