At Quincy Dynasty, chefs prepare classic Chinese-American dishes using fresh, natural ingredients. Bright-green scallions and crisp cilantro balance fragrant star anise and black pepper in offerings such as sesame chicken and moo goo gai pan. Specialty plates include chicken steak in black pepper sauce, sauteed orange-flavored beef, and shrimp with ginger and scallion. Diners enjoy these creations in a spacious room trimmed in dark wood and adorned with tasteful touches such as bamboo plants and a statue of two dragons fighting over a pair of chopsticks.
Named after the O'Neil Family's adoring grandmother, Sadie's boasts a confectionery construction crew that builds custom cakes and gourmet chocolates from scratch and offers a variety of gift baskets and confection-making supplies. Unlike a bomb-diving ostrich protecting a nest full of donuts, a two-layered, 8-inch german chocolate cake ($16) endorses sharing among 10–12 sweet companions, while miniature handmade pastries ($.75–$1.25 each, $14 per dozen) including chocolate cupcakes, pecan and walnut turtles, and boston cream pies sate candied-cravings with individual nibbles. Customers with one-of-a-kind dessert aspirations are invited to sit down with one of Sadie's cake creators who will design a custom cake that bests fits the occasion and price range (see past works for some delightful examples).
At Shabu Restaurant, diners take dinner preparation into their own hands, creating edible masterpieces of Japanese cuisine with little more than a bubbling soup pot and platters of shiitake mushrooms, vermicelli noodles, morsels of tender steak, fish cakes, and squid. Within the cozy 50-seat dining room, glowing cylindrical chandeliers cast light on sleek ecru furniture and lavender-tinged orchids, while simmering vessels offer up the savory scents of MSG-free broth. In the outdoor Japanese garden, guests sip wine and sake amid the sounds of rustling bamboo leaves, burbling water, and a Japanese deer scare chasing away skittish dumpling thieves.
Though they emerge distinct from the oven, each hand-tossed pie at Balducci's House of Pizza begins the same way—with dough that's made fresh daily. Upon that base, cooks assemble customized combos of more than 30 ingredients, including chopped steak and pesto sauce. Those same fixings crown specialty pizzas such as the bacon- and feta-topped Mad Detective or the pink-slip-topped Even Madder Detective.
Though Balducci's specializes in pizza, subs take up even more space on its menu. The fillings in these sandwiches run the gamut from cold tuna salad to piping-hot meatballs or chicken cordon bleu cutlets. Other Italian staples round out the menu, including housemade lasagna and calzones filled with cold cuts.
Jenn and Donny have long accepted their elitist take on coffee. As college students and self-professed coffee snobs who both worked in the food industry, they bemoaned a lack of sophisticated brews and attentive service, finally deciding that innovation would be the best form of protest. They dreamt up their own café where the beans would be freshly micro-roasted, the cocoa would incorporate three types of chocolate, and every drink would be handmade by the same person who took your order. The resulting venue, Coffee Break Cafe, lined its menu with libations of all temperatures and caffeinated creeds.
The café's house blend hails from locales such as Sumatra, Colombia, Africa, and South America and is shipped from specialty roasters who prep the beans in small batches. Jenn and Donny's commitment to coffee quality is matched by their enthusiasm for the natural world—they stock organic and fair-trade options, as well as dairy products from a hormone-free farm. Though they stand by meticulous barista techniques, they are hardly sugar-shunning purists. They readily infuse hot and frozen drinks with dessert flavors, ranging from red velvet cupcake to cinnamon bun, crafting a far superior breakfast sweet than grapefruit pie. Bagels and pastries, delivered daily by neighborhood bakeries, balance out refreshing sips. The morning hotspot's communal spirit is reflected in hanging pictures by local artists, live music, and complimentary story readings for kids.
The staff at Sonoma Spa & Salon works to bring aesthetic goals to life beneath hanging lights and powder-blue candles. Hair services frame faces with everything from basic cuts to coloring, highlights, and keratin treatments. In the spa, the team deep cleans with facial treatments including Hydradermie facials, non-surgical chemical peels, and diamond microdermabrasion, which smoothens skin and gives nearby pieces of coal a positive role model. Warm, freshly harvested seaweed envelops bodies during the slimming seaweed-wrap treatment, and the staff also smoothes bodies with waxing.