At this Zagat-rated restaurant, 24-year-old chef Jeremy Manley puts an adventurous spin on the California bistro, using an armory of locally sourced organic produce and seasonal ingredients from Julian, Ramona, Borrego Springs, and Valley Center. The ever-changing dinner menu regales diners with bison bratwurst from nearby Star B Ranch topped with speedway stout sauce blended with AleSmith beer and gouda cheese ($18). The california cheddar burger, like an avant-garde portrait of the Hamburglar, provides an exciting new look at the classic sandwich with its smooth coating of avocado butter, mango pico de gallo, crunchy prosciutto, and chipotle aioli ($15).
Ace Hardware's well-stocked aisles abound with home goods, tools, and furnishings for nearly any home-improvement project. Pick up a Steel Grip six-piece screwdriver set ($8.49), a Stanley rip hammer ($9.49), and a whole bunch of screws, anchors, and bolts (prices vary), and you'll be ready to finally mount every buffalo nickel and steel penny in your coin collection. Home improvers can illuminate their newfound décor with a 6-pack of Ace bent tip light bulbs ($17.94), the better to see by while making use of a Purdy four-piece premium paint-tray kit ($19.99). For those who need to match paint to a favorite coverlet or choose a hue that complements a pleather recliner, most stores offer a paint-matching service free of charge. Keys can be copied, and barnacle-encrusted carpet cleaned with the help of a rented carpet-cleaning machine (inquire about pricing at your preferred location).
At Nori Sushi Bar and Grill, chefs fuse traditional methods with new-wave techniques to transform fresh seafood into more than 20 specialty rolls. These include rolls stuffed with shrimp tempura and Red Dagon with spicy tuna, cucumber avacado, topped with cajun tuna and habanero masago that looks just as good on a plate as it would beneath a Christmas tree. But Nori’s selection stretches beyond sushi to full entrees, such as the teriyaki steak topped with a house teriyaki sauce. Diners enjoy the dishes inside the restaurant, which is adorned with bamboo plants and cat statues, or outside on the patio, next to the sand-colored exterior and underneath crimson umbrellas.
Home-style Italian dishes draws visitors to Vittorio’s, formerly Villa Capri 2, where chefs make the restaurant’s cheese ravioli, gnocchi, and black-ink linguine by hand, and even create a unique “ravioli del giorno” each day. Diners can pair selections with 1 of 24 red, white, and sparkling wines, available by the glass or out of your neighbor’s cupped palm. The smell of Italian delicacies permeates through a dining room that resembles a Tuscan villa, with faux wrought-iron balconies, terra-cotta-colored walls, and stone archways.
Hidden Deli and Catering's staff layers Boar's Head meats and cheeses on a menu of sandwiches named after popular movies and TV shows. Each carnivore-titillating sandwich is filled with 5–6 ounces of meat, such as the genoa and dry salami, pepperoni, and mortadella on the 8-inch New York/New York italian sub, an amalgamation as protein-rich as a millionaire who made his money in hot-dog mining. In the Jaws sandwich, albacore tuna floats atop swiss cheese and horseradish sauce, and the Veggie Tales bathes spinach, cucumber, and cheddar in pesto sauce. The Police Academy brandishes smoked applewood bacon, lettuce, and tomato as it patrols ovens for optional toasted flavor and jaywalking potholders.
After graduating from high school, Reza Karkouti dreamed of opening his own teriyaki restaurant. He garnered support from family and friends, and he and his father, Ahad, opened a tiny eatery called Tokyo's Teriyaki in Encinitas in 1992. Through hard work and an attention to detail, the restaurant's reputation grew, and the demand for juicy, teriyaki-glazed chicken and beef quickly spread to other cities. This led Reza’s younger brother, Amir, to help open a second location. Now a seven-location, family-owned chain, Surf Brothers Teriyaki still sees its two siblings focusing on customer service and quality products.
The duo chooses natural meats that are minimally processed, hand trimmed, and grilled, avoiding shortcuts such as microwaves, frozen foods, and laser-based slicing. Their Hawaiian-themed restaurants and catering business have been featured in numerous television spots, radio shows, and newspaper articles. Michelle Murphy Zive of SanDiegoFamily.com says the restaurant offers "a taste of Hawaii" and "healthy food served fast." The brothers give back to the community that helped them grow by donating to charitable organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Homes project.