After Trademark trademarked the name Trademark for its Trademark restaurant, the restaurant traded in its trademarker, Marcus, for Executive Chef and oyster master Jerry Mendoza. Mendoza's work with The Elite Cafe, The Meetinghouse, and Moose's Restaurant has made him a reputable American-style culinary artist with a dinner menu fit for salivating mouths. Trademark specializes in Pacific oysters like the Kumamoto oyster, originally native to Japan and perfect for a pleasing amuse bouche ($3.50).
Most of The Republic’s food doesn't come from beyond 150 miles away. As hinted at by the name and grizzly bear logo, the restaurant uses local ingredients to support its mission of promoting the food, drink, and spirit of California. The menu was created by consulting chef Erik Hopfinger, a Top Chef contestant who has tweaked classic dishes by introducing new flavors—queso fresco and piquillo peppers crown carnitas sliders, and charred tomato salsa colors pan-seared Scottish salmon. At brunch, chantilly cream sweetens thick honey-wheat french toast, and avocado adds 25% more alphabet to a BLTA made with applewood-smoked bacon.
The spirits selection is equally conscientious. Sixty-one craft beers, 20 of which are on tap, hail from down the street (Speakeasy’s Prohibition Ale) and across the country (Portland, Maine’s Allagash White). Boutique wines handpicked from around the United States add depth, and a list of specialty cocktails includes the Republic margarita with silver tequila, pineapple juice, fresh lime, agave nectar, and a salted cayenne rim. At game time, 13 high-definition TVs appear from concealed locations, a trick that charmed the Huffington Post into naming The Republic one of the city’s best bars for watching football.
Behind the stained-glass windows of Liverpool Lil's lies a celebration of hearty food and frothy beer. Like the lantern sconces in its walls, most of the restaurant's dishes crossed the pond from England: Manchester Wellington, braised lamb shepherd's pie, and beer-battered fish 'n' chips. The chefs love to push the definition of "pub grub," however, with gourmet additions to the menu—think escargot for starters, beef Bourguingnonne for a main, and Grand Marnier chocolate mousse for dessert. These dishes—along with purely American mainstays such as half-pound Angus burgers—might seem to imply a less-than-British experience. But when you pair them with a pint of Guinness and a World Cup game on the flat-screen TVs, Liverpool Lil's still evokes the sound of Big Ben, a large man who likes to shout the hour.
In West Africa, a "chop bar" is a roadside gathering place serving food and drink, over which community members exchange news and ideas and compare findings on the validity of the axiom set theory of mathematics. Oakland's Chop Bar fosters the same sort of fellowship, right down to its neighborly use of items from local vendors in its dishes. Breakfasteers can opt for a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich ($6) or oatmeal ($3), among other offerings. The taste buds of brunch-goers are invited to trot the globe with the Italian omelette known as the frittata ($7) or an order of chilaquiles ($9), a Mexican dish tossing crispy tortilla strips in salsa, cheese, and scrambled eggs.
Meridian's seasonal menu draws inspiration from global bar bites made from all-natural and locally grown ingredients. Start with an order of bacon mac ‘n’ cheese with buttered panko ($8) or the almond-breaded cod fingers served with jalapeño tartar sauce ($12). For a refreshing post-triathlon meal, opt for the togarashi ahi-tuna niçoise salad with capers, tomatoes, Humboldt fog, and sesame-orange vinaigrette ($14) or quell carnivorous cravings with an all-natural beef burger served with cheddar or blue cheese ($9). The grilled bangers and mash ($13) will evoke sweet childhood memories of playing hopscotch outside the smoky pubs of Bangladesh and also will serve as a delicious stomach stretcher for a third course of sticky toffee pudding ($6) or a house-made ice-cream sandwich with mocha sauce ($6).