Ono Hawaiian BBQ brings the island to the mainland with tender meats soaked in made-from-scratch marinades. Chefs hand roll chicken katsu in panko bread crumbs to give it a fresh, crispy texture, and assemble generous portions of crispy shrimp, island whitefish, and barbecue chicken in the seafood mix.
Cool cats and hip chicks are kept well fed in this 1950s-inspired car-hop restaurant that boasts weekly live entertainment and an extensive menu of traditional diner cuisine dutifully delivered by servers on roller skates. Sustenance-seekers can cozy up in the brightly colored booths made from classic cruisers and nibble on far-out fare such as the Frisco bacon avocado burger on sourdough, soulfully stacked with jack cheese, thousand island dressing, and a side of french fries ($9.95). Frisco's also features a variety of Greek, Mexican, and salad-centric dishes. Slurp up a classic root-beer float (up to $3.95) and watch squares, hexagons, and squiggly lines shake a tail feather to the sounds of Tony and the Carhops during weekly performances of timeless 1950s tunes.
The leaf-savvy baristas at Tenju Tea House craft a variety of tea and tea-fusion beverages steeped to order with loose tea leaves hailing from around the world. Black, green, herbal, and other specialty blends release their aromatic flavors beneath steaming pours of water, infusing libations such as milk teas, iced teas, and traditional hot concoctions with natural ingredients that bolster health like a romantic jacuzzi session with a beloved multivitamin. Toasty bagel sandwiches, hot dogs, and savory Japanese snacks fill out the café's menu, each made to order for noshing on the go or while surfing the free WiFi from an array of Asian-inspired seating.
Bonafede-family matriarch Anita started JoJo's Pizza Kitchen more than four decades ago, and her discerning taste for ingredients is still identifiable in the menu. Though her son Joe, who napped on flour sacks in the back of the restaurant as a child, now runs the eatery, fresh basil and plum tomatoes grown in Stanislaus County still release aromas that hint at sun-soaked furrows. Through a dining room window, guests catch glimpses of chefs tossing freshly risen dough for pizzas or smaller chefs for their adorable giggles. They grate fresh parmesan cheese as wine cooks slowly down with mushrooms on the stovetop and chicken marinates in lemon and garlic. Servers bustle past, filling glasses with house wines or draft beers.
Like the Hamburglar, Jerry is a real person who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of grilled food. After discovering the burst of flavor that resulted from roasting hot dogs over a wood fire, he developed his own wood-fired recipes with the help of a master sausage maker. Now, Jerry's Wood-Fired Dogs serves all-beef hot dogs, internationally inspired sausages, and hefty half-pound burgers loaded with more than 30 toppings and sauces. For enjoyment outside the dining room, the restaurant goes a step beyond carryout—guests can not only purchase packs of hot dogs and sausages for at-home grilling, but even rent a portable grill to achieve the same wood-fired flavor as they would dining in.