Happy Veggie screams freshness, from the smiling tomato on its sign to the paintings of green foliage that surround the restaurant's casual dining room. The chefs here specialize in Asian cuisine, just without certain ingredients. No meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or MSG finds its way into the Happy Veggie kitchen. Instead, the chefs use tofu and soy meats to put vegetarian spins on classic dishes, including what LA Weekly dubs a "pretty damn good animal-less pho."
Local vegetables are indispensable to this menu. Chefs use market-fresh produce to make salads, stir-fries, and curry-vegetable masala. They finish meals with coconut cheesecake or veggie flan, which they make with soy whipped cream and maple syrup that's as pure as the day it was wrung from a tree like a sponge.
Tip for first-time diners: don't come on Tuesdays, when the restaurant is closed.
Though the sandwiches at Leonardo’s Deli are all constructed on a French roll and layered with provolone, tomatoes, pepperoncini, and condiments, their flavors couldn’t be more unique. That’s because the deli’s extensive selection of meats infuses each hot or cold sandwich with a different savory finish, from the smokiness of bacon to the subtle spiciness of roast beef. Staffers create these sandwiches a la carte, or pair them with a bag of chips and a soda for a ready-made meal. They also assemble fresh salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes for large catered events, customizing each order according to the number of guests, their dietary requirements, and their average score on the cold cuts section of the SATs.
Literally every single thing on BYOPizza's menu can be customized. Guests can build their own personal 10-inch pies from unique ingredients including chipotle-pesto sauce, lobster, and vegan sausage. If you'd rather not experiment, you can order a pre-designed specialty pizza such as the Jalape?o Popper pie with cheddar and cream cheese. And whatever time you lose by dreaming up your pizza is made up for by the cooks who bake your creation in 90 seconds flat in a 900-degree brick oven. Salads are also made to the customer's specifications, and even a Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain means people can infuse their sodas with more than 100 flavor combinations, including "ice."
In 1993, the basement of a Minneapolis apartment building was transformed into an Italian restaurant, becoming the first Buca di Beppo. The owners soon found themselves riding a wave of popularity and marinara sauce as they opened new restaurants across the nation. Today, the eatery occupies 97 locations nationwide, from San Francisco to Times Square.
At each location, chefs maintain the northern and southern Italian flavors that made the original so popular, with a few American twists. Then they serve it up in massive, family-style portions, making Buca di Beppo a favorite place for hungry families and groups of friends.
For starters, the chefs bake up batches of Cheesy Bread Florentine, a colorful combo of spinach, roma tomatoes, and garlic sprinkled over Italian bread and sealed in place with fresh, melted cheeses. Entr?es are prepared with an eye toward quality and quantity, both of size and selection, complete with Veal Parmigiana, Baked Ziti, and classic Italian-American staples like Ravioli and Lasagna. And in keeping with the convivial atmosphere, they also serve truly decadent desserts. The Mt. Vesuvius Dark Chocolate Cake erupts with melted chocolate, and the Colossal Brownie Sundae towers above other sweets with six scoops of ice cream and tiers of sundae trimmings.
From the name alone, Tapas y Vino's priorities should be obvious. An expansive menu of small plates, sandwiches, entrees, and wines greets guests as they sit down at the elegant onyx bar, or next to the fire pit on the indoor-outdoor patio that allows for al fresco dining year-round. Cool tapas?such as roasted beets with champagne-herb vinaigrette and the chef's charcuterie?offer a scintillating counterpoint to hot tapas like the pancetta-wrapped shrimps or the lamb lollipops, a delicacy once available only to good little wolves who don't cry at the doctor's office. Sunday brunches, served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., offer such savory specialties as the truffled mushroom omelet, or tapas benedict?poached eggs served with crispy arepas, chorizo, manchego cheese, topped with piment?n hollandaise.
Located in the heart of Redondo Beach's Riviera Village, Tapas y Vino recently garnered a Blue Zone Restaurant certification for its commitment to healthier eats. The eatery also hosts special events, such as wine tastings.
Eating healthy can be a challenge, but when a truck playing catchy tunes pulls up with fresh fruit smoothies, neon-pink snapdragon smoothies, acai and pitaya bowls, and fruit-heaped parfaits, it's easy to make the right choice. The mixologists aboard the Rockberry Acai Bowls & Smoothies truck ?known for their creative foods, designs, and street appeal? whip up smoothies with a top-secret "shaka" recipe when they're not packing berry bowls with energy-revving fruits. They also serve up a few extras, like chicken salad sliders served on Hawaiian sweet rolls. Goods are gluten free, and they happen to be as pretty and delicious as they are good for the body. As if this combo of positivity wasn't enough, Rockberry is also socially conscious, dedicated to employing community members and partnering with local charities. A dish from the truck, therefore, is good for the heart in more ways than one?plus it's easy on the eyes and tongue.