Google, Safari, and PowerPoint all share something special: a place on the sushi menu at Otto Sushi & Seafood. At least, they inspire some of the tongue-in-cheek rolls that chefs create there. The Google roll hugs avocado and fried shrimp inside fried rice; the Safari roll is composed of crab, avocado, and cream cheese; and the PowerPoint roll includes asparagus, cheese, and fried fish in soy paper with squid salad on top. The rolls represent the Japanese portion of the menu, but chefs also pay homage to Mexico and America through cooked seafood plates—try the spicy à la diabla fish or shrimp for a taste.
Claiming a slew of awards, including Best Chicken Dinner by the Orange County Register, El Pollo Loco fills stomachs on the go with a menu of flavorful poultry inspired by Mexico's kitchens. Enjoy the rich tastes of a four-piece combo ($7.99)—including breasts and wings marinated in herbs, spices, and citrus juices—entouraged by two sides from an expansive selection, including spanish rice, barbecue black beans, corn cobbettes, and mac 'n' cheese. For a more portable lunch during parkour breaks from the office, wrap your chicken in the warm tortilla blanket of a twice-grilled burrito ($5.99). El Pollo Loco's innovative salsa bar can tickle to your tongue until milk comes out its nose with fresh varieties of avocado, chipotle, and pico de gallo.
Kolache Factory sates handheld cravings with its sweet and savory sachets stuffed with more than 25 flavorful fillings. The pastry purveyor's innovative bakers put a tasty twist on the traditional fruit-and-poppy-seed kolaches that originated in Eastern Europe, packing them with delectable stuffings, such as pepperoni and mushroom ($1.65 each, $17.82/dozen), bacon, egg, and cheese ($2.19 each, $23.65/dozen), and sausage, jalapeño, and cheese ($1.45 each, $15.66/dozen). Greet the slowly receding swirling darkness of morning with nibbles of sausage and gravy kolaches ($1.69 each, $18.25/dozen), or take a bite-size break with one of seven fruit options ($1.09 each, $11.77/dozen).
Since John Galardi opened the first Wienerschnitzel location in 1961, the brand has become something of an icon in parts of the country, boasting one of the earliest drive-throughs, partnering in an ad campaign with Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, and sponsoring popular dachshund races in various cities. But even as Wienerschnitzel has grown to more than 300 locations, the menu has remained charmingly simple. Its "world-famous" hot dogs include versions heaped in chili, wrapped in bacon, and topped with sauerkraut. Guests can customize their dogs with Angus beef franks and pretzel buns and order combo meals that pair them with chili cheeseburgers or corn dogs. Since 1999, the brand has been partnered with Tastee Freez, so it also serves that institution's famous ice-cream treats.
Anthony Russo, a first-generation Italian, spent years in the kitchens of his parents and other Italian chefs learning authentic Italian recipes for sauces and pastas. He eventually drew on his experience kneading New York–style pizza to open his own chain of coal-fired pizza franchises. Exposed bricks surround the burning embers at the core of the oven, which bakes thin-crust specialty pizzas, such as escargot with pesto, alongside heart-healthy pies with fresh spinach and artichokes. After sliding out golden-crusted pizzas and singed fairy-tale witches, chefs fill ovens with calzones and flatbreads. A full wine list supplies bold cabernets and crisp pinot grigios.