Roy Strassman has dedicated more than 30 years of his life to helping people live fulfilling, pain-free lives. Although Roy can use a lighter massage technique to ease his clients' suffering, his chosen treatment modality is Hellerwork—a bodywork system that uses deep-tissue pressure to promote proper alignment among the muscles and joints. This pressure can do more than just relieve the tension caused by stress-laden muscles. It can also help increase flexibility, improve posture, and reenergize clients while contributing to a balanced sense of holistic well-being for the mind as well as the body.
Owner Harpreet “Happy” Singh—also known as “The Beer Baron”—oversees the thirsty work at Bottles as well as the Livermore Saloon and Perry’s Liquor and Craft Beer, in a quest to educate patrons about high-quality craft brews and amass a wealth of honorary titles and nicknames. Happy’s extensive knowledge, coupled with beer manager Diego Toscano’s diverse palate, ensures Bottles’ shelves are stocked with a plethora of rare and artisanal beverages, and any request for favored drinks are diligently ordered. Session ales from Shmaltz mingle peacefully with bourbon-barrel-aged stouts from North Coast Brewing Co. or tasty concoctions from Dogfish Head and The Bruery. Wines from Layer Cake and Paradise Ridge complement meals and soirees with fruity, complex flavor, and a stash of potent tequilas, such as Don Julio Real, or smoky scotches from Balvenie and Johnnie Walker enliven parties.
At Tokyo Shabu Sushi Restaurant, sushi masters slice up delicate sashimi and handrolled maki while chefs put flame to chicken katsu, teriyaki steak, and umami udon noodle soups. But the crew also takes their flavors a step beyond the offerings of many other Japanese restaurants. The menu has a knack of blending Japanese and western influences, as seen in teriyaki-style New York strip steak and a creamy cheesecake dessert made with earthy green tea. Potent sake cocktails and frosty Japanese beers go with just about any dish and help visitors work up the courage to perform their spoken-word versions of "Purple Rain" during weekend karaoke.
Pyramid Brewery and Alehouse tantalizes tongues with a malty medley of seasonal and year-round beers, which splash about beside no-nonsense, pub-raised plates. The bright, renovated warehouse space enhances the simplicity of any dish, from the robust bowl of spicy beef chorizo dip, blended with warm cream cheese, provolone, peppers, and bacon ($9), to the Haywire Hefeweisen-infused honey-cilantro chicken, which pairs well with the light body, full flavor, and unchecked telepathy of the Crystal Wheat Ale ($12). Likewise, the zesty aioli suffusing the spicy amber halibut answers the call of the wild by teaming up with the hulking hops and malty tones housed inside the MacTarnahan's Amber Ale ($15).
One of the oldest saloons in Berkeley, Albatross Pub has provided a friendly setting for quaffing, socializing, and gaming for almost half a century. Sidle up to the bar to peruse the spirit selection, or browse beer listings, which boast more than 50 bottled brews and 13 tap selections, from the local Anchor Steam on draught to Belgian Delirium Tremens bottled up for the shaking. Challenge friends, family members, or mirror reflections of yourself to a game of Connect Four or Scattergories, or throw down on darts and billiards to integrate sharp objects, big sticks, and menacing plastic triangles into the fun.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Centers reverberate year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters, which allowed the teens who had previously been hand-setting the pins to focus on perfecting their jazz hands for upcoming street rumbles.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. They attempt to knock them down during leagues, club play, and events such as birthday parties and fundraisers.
Between frames, AMF keeps players energized at onsite food zones stocked with wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
The cooks at Lanesplitter bake up a menu of New York–style pizzas and pocket-like calzones, and bartenders at the three pub locations pour a large selection of microbrews. An army of nearly 30 meaty, veggie, and vegan toppings stands ready to occupy thin neapolitan or thick sicilian crusts in combinations such as the herbivore's spinach, mushrooms, onions, and olives ($23.50 for a 19-inch) or the garbage pie's heaping mélange of spiced meats and crisper-drawer items ($27.50 for a 19-inch). The bar's taps have recently flowed with Racer 5 by Bear Republic, E.J. Phair's doppelbock, and hand-pumped Bombay by Boat IPA from Moonlight Brewing Company. Some locations host art openings, where diners and drinkers may admire photography, paintings, or mosaics made entirely of anchovies.