From inside The Vintage Steakhouse, it would be easy to pretend that a passenger on the trains passing just outside the window is engrossed in a pristine early edition of The Sun Also Rises, smoke swirling off the Chesterfield perched absentmindedly between his fingers. Without much effort, you might conjure a woman in the bar car, gratefully sipping a Southside and sending up a wordless celebration of the reversal of Prohibition.
That?s because the restaurant resides inside the historic Capistrano Depot, which, despite its 1894 build date, bears an unmistakably art-deco vibe evocative of the 1920s or ?30s. A trio of arched windows is the focal point of the main dining room; when trains aren?t sliding past their decoratively gridded glass, diners can peek through bougainvillea and willow trees to the 200-year-old adobes planted behind them. Inside, knotted wood planks run across the 18-foot ceilings, a near match to the hardwood floors glistening beneath.
A smaller dining room sits in the adjoining Dining Car, a fully restored 1927 Pullman train car upholstered in warm reds and golds. Candlelit tables for two line each side of the car, under which couples? intertwined feet rest softly upon the regally patterned carpet. The ambience is a bit more social in the Chef?s Alley room, an 1887 freight house with its own cocktail bar and more contemporary d?cor.
No matter where parties choose to dine, they?re presented with a thoughtful menu of hand-cut steaks and seafood accented with local, organic produce. The chef prepares all dishes over an open-flame mesquite grill, giving everything a juicy, so-that?s-what-fire-tastes-like flavor. A chef?s selection of veggies and the patron?s choice of potato accompany the entrees, which range from filet mignon in a cabernet demi-glace to prawns saut?ed in a sauvignon-blanc sauce.
These rich sauces pair perfectly with the more than 150 varietals that populate the restaurant?s wine list. Though heavy on French and Californian selections, the temperature-controlled wine cellar also has a few Spanish, Australian, and Italian bottles tucked away. Plus, the cellar stores a few cases of bubbly for the prix-fixe Sunday brunch?s bottomless champagne special, ensuring a festive follow-up to the smooth live jazz that plays every Friday and Saturday night.
A rustic Spanish-style farm in the heart of San Juan Capistrano that's been standing since 1890 promises more creatures than just the area's famous swallows. The picturesque estate is part of Zoomars?an all-ages petting zoo that's USDA-approved for cleanliness and the place where more than 200 animals call home. The residents range from the familiar to the exotic: goats, sheep, and kunekune pigs mingle alongside exotic emus, zebus, and zebras that greet visitors for pets and feeding. One of the zoo's most popular areas is the guinea-pig patch, where some of the farm's fuzziest and friendliest creatures reside. Zoomars also features family-friendly attractions ranging from a miniature train and pony rides to the newly installed playground with four slides to the rustic Miner's Gulch, where panning the water reveals rare treasures such as gemstones.
Owner Carolyn Franks started down the path to animal care in college when she created her own line of dog toys. She soon moved from New Jersey to California where her passion snowballed: developing a full line of pet products, hosting an animal show for kids, running a chain of exotic bird stores, and even traveling to Brazil to learn about animal conservation. In 2005, she used her knowledge to take over the Jones Farm petting zoo, expanding its pens and transforming its brand into Zoomars.
Franks is joined by a well-trained staff of zookeepers and wranglers who share her vision in entertaining kids?and teaching them how to interact with the animals?as they are in caring for and shepherding mammals and birds.
Culinary school wasn’t enough of a learning experience for Hany Fadda. During the summers between his classical training at the California Culinary Academy, Hany traveled extensively throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East. These experiences heavily influence the cuisine that he creates as the head chef of Tannins Restaurant and Wine Bar, although he also celebrates Orange County by featuring an extensive wine list that includes more than 40 different local wines by the glass.
These wines complement the contemporary bistro-style cuisine. Italian cuisine appears most prominently on the menus, and the chefs strive for authenticity by importing prosciutto and hand-making their own meatballs in-house. In addition to the assorted pasta dishes, the menus also feature a number of pizzas with toppings that include everything from sausage and roasted red peppers to roma tomatoes and sweet basil. Desserts such as traditional Sicilian cannoli or tiramisu provide a fitting coda to the casually refined meals.
The eatery’s dining room embraces a more classical elegance, with silver candelabras on several of the linen-draped tables. High ceilings and archways between rooms contribute to this vaguely regal setting, as do the thrones that surround each table.
Started as a single Newport Beach clinic in 1971, Lindora was the brainchild of Dr. Marshall Stamper, who was motivated by the unfortunate loss of his mother due to weight-related complications. Now, more than 40 years later, Lindora's weight-loss programs continue to bestow humanoids with a plethora of personalized nutrition plans and private one-on-one health consultations. At more than 40 Southern California locations, medically trained teams of health-care professionals guide patients through lab work, health assessments, and exams to discern the most efficient trajectory into better health. Patients receive encouragement to adjust their lifestyle and behavior, and bellies stay buoyed by nutrition support and menu plans that spotlight fresh, balanced meals.
Long-term weight maintenance is the goal of the clinic's medically-based programs, which means patients needn't worry about extra pounds boomeranging back into their lives like a persistent pet chinchilla. Check the FAQs page here for more information about Lindora's approach to weight loss.
Monkey bars glint in the sun, surrounded by a grassy expanse and a line of giddy guests waiting their turn in line. But these jungle-gym enthusiasts aren?t children?they?re the muscular boot campers in Training Camp?s expansive backyard. In the verdant field, certified trainers lead small, motivated groups through a Cross Training workout of the day, challenging them with sprints around the 1/8?mile track, ropes that hang from lofty trees, or lifting weights in the outdoor weight room. They switch up the routines daily to keep muscles interested, and they scale exercises to suit the fitness levels of all guests.
Training Camp?s instructors also move inside the 4,000-square-foot facility to lead hot-yoga classes. They modify moves within an exposed-brick and soft-floor studio, helping students deepen their stretch as hot air loosens muscles. When not in classes, students can unwind in the smoothie bar and lounge, sinking into the cozy leather couches and awaiting a turn in the private massage room. As an added convenience, the gym offers complimentary childcare Monday?Friday for infants, toddlers and children of all ages.
In 1976, two UC Davis graduate students bought 20 acres of land in the highly arable Capay Valley. One of the students, Kathleen Barsotti, was working toward her master's degree in ecology and was determined to grow vegetables and fruits in an eco-friendly way: organically. The organic-food movement hadn't yet entered the public consciousness, and Kathleen worked overtime to convince restaurants, stores, and consumers of the taste-able merits of her process. Over time, given the possible health and environmental benefits of certified organic food, she succeeded. The farm sprouted to 300 acres to accommodate the increased demand. Today, a second generation runs the farm as well as a shop inside San Francisco's Ferry Building. Dubbed Farm Fresh To You, the store furnishes customers' bags or portable cornucopia horns with all sorts of soil-sprouted goods, including heirloom tomatoes, sweet peas, and fresh asparagus. The farm also teams up with fellow Yolo County and Pacific Northwest farms to deliver boxes of seasonal produce to area homes.