By the late 1940s, the world of customized cars was truly in its golden age, so it's not surprising that those enterprising mechanics wanted someplace to show off their hard work. Enter the Sacramento Autorama, which began bringing together the community of custom-car builders in 1951. Now one of the longest-running indoor car shows in the world, the Autorama continues to bolster Sacramento's status as one of the world's custom car capitals. Over the years, the show has showcased hot rods, muscle cars, and chrome creations from master designers ranging from George and Sam Barris to Boyd Coddington. This year's edition will be no different; hundreds of show vehicles will compete for show honors including the coveted Custom d’Elegance and King of Kustoms prizes and the "Big B" awards, which reward engineering ingenuity while honoring the memory of Sacramento customizers from years past.
Indian cuisine is famously complex, but diners at Koyla Indian Restaurant get at least a peek at how it's prepared. The restaurant's signature cooking method is right in the name—koyla means "coal"—and chefs use its heat in full view within an open kitchen. Cinnamon and cloves, garlic and saffron fill the air as marinated chicken, shrimp, and goat simmer and sizzle. Although grounded in the cuisine of Northern India, founder Deep Singh and his chefs demonstrate a strong taste for experimentation. That's evident in the large menu's Indo-Chinese section, which holds hybrids such as chili paneer—the traditional Indian cheese spiked with house-made chili sauce. Pesto chicken and calamari masala reflect Singh's time as the proprietor of a small Italian cafe.
A mural of an especially cuddly-looking Taj Mahal brightens one wall of Koyla's softly-lit dining room. The motif continues as painted chili peppers wind around the room behind an ample buffet, served alongside champagne on the weekends.
The Mission Galleria Cafe & Hideaway serves savory sandwiches, soups, and salads from its post at Mission Galleria Antique Mall, nestled in downtown Riverside. Classic appetizers such as hot wings and jalapeño poppers give way to café food including a barbecue-chicken salad and a BLT or french dip sandwich. Sweet desserts such as lemon bars, brownies, and slices of blackout cake punctuate meals, reminding guests of a home-cooked meal without having to dance for their food like in their real homes. Evening-time guests can also enjoy a drink of beer or wine, served at the café counter.
Color Me Mine puts paintbrushes and pottery in the mitts of customers old and young. Budding Toyozo Arakawa will follow six easy steps to craft eye-pleasing objects, first choosing a ceramic piece ($10–$75) from Color Me Mine's selection of hundreds of seasonal options, such as plates, mugs, molded animals, and mystically materialized emotions. After charting out the desired design from individual imagination or one of the design center's more than 22,000 images, painters will select an underglaze from dozens of colors, then gently beautify their objets d'art with the focus and ingenuity of a peregrine falcon possessed by Norman Rockwell. Color Me Mine handles all firing work in the kiln, allowing clients to pick up their final products four to seven days after painting. The studio fee of $10 for adults and $6 for children covers all paints, supplies, glazing, and firing. Regardless of age or ability, customers will find Color Me Mine's ceramic painting experience a rewarding dive into the creative process of an art form that dates back to the ziggurat-dwelling days of Mesopotamia.
No men, no makeup, no mirrors. It’s a pretty stringent philosophy, but it’s one that’s helped members of the Curves community since 1992. Part fitness center, part support group, Curves is a women-only club that takes a streamlined approach to health, fitness, and weight loss. Full-body, 30-minute workouts combine strength training, cardiovascular exercises, and stretching into calorie-torching sessions, which are enhanced by the Curves Complete program. The program, available at an extra fee, supplements efforts at the gym with personalized meal plans and weekly one-on-one meetings with a certified Curves coach. Outside the facility, members and nonmembers alike can purchase a variety of Curves products, from workout apparel and accessories to the protein powders and vitamins used to build strength or distract people from all of the caterpillars in medicine cabinets.
The 483-horsepower V8 engine roars in front of you as you shift gears, and the speedometer climbs over 150 miles per hour. Gliding down the straightaway, you grip the wheel of a Ferrari F430. You don't need to buy your own exotic car to experience this adrenaline rush: American Racing Experience connects visitors with a similar emprise on four major raceways across the United States. At scheduled times at the Motorspeedway in Atlanta, Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania, Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia, and Adams Mortorsports Park in Los Angeles, they brief drivers on the handling and controls of sleek Ferraris and V10 engine-powered, six-speed Lamborghini Gallardos. After preparing visitors for the upcoming track with a lap in a pace car, instructors slip into the passenger seat—letting their guests take the wheel for a driving experience more extreme than some TV show set on an island.