Just as Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant's name honors the owners' oceanfront hometown in Jalisco, Mexico, the menu honors Mexico's iconic cuisine. These pages brim with favorites such as enchiladas, hefty burritos, and sputtering fajitas with marinated portions of beef, chicken, pork, or shrimp. The choices seem familiar, but there's no denying that their roots cross the International Date Line that separates California from Mexico. Mexican Coca-Cola fills glasses alongside a handful of imported beers, and the tangy crema sauces and vaguely sweet moles are all based on family recipes.
Planet Sub sidesteps the flavorless land mines of days-old bread, opting for filling-packed subs and sandwiched meaty delights. The menu may differ slightly between the two locations, but omnipresent signature subs cross state lines to sate hungering masses, such as the bacon-bolstered mega roast beef ($4.69/$7.29 ) and the Planet BBQ, a saucy concoction stacked with ham, turkey, and roast beef ($3.99/$6.99 ). Vegetarian options abound, so meat abstainers can try the spicy cheese sub ($4.49/$6.99 ) or the pesto bello ($4.99/$7.19), which is loaded with portobello mushrooms, red peppers, and a tomato-garlic pesto as smooth and suave as an Italian R&B crooner.
J. Murphy's Irish Pub commands the attention of whistle-wetters and famished fare-seekers alike with a broad bar selection and a menu with an array of burgers, steaks, and other entrees that caters to both Old World and Stateside tastes. Silence boisterous bellies with the Gaelic fish and chips, served with Irish curls and rough-and-tumble tartar sauce ($9.99), or opt for the Guinness stew, a rib-sticking mélange of beef and veggies partnered with Ireland’s number one beer and sports drink ($7.99+). Bar-side big-screen TVs allow patrons to surveil the activities of professional athletes and commercial spokespeople, and individual televisions in each booth prevent sitters from having to share their televised views with strange eyeballs. The selection of sippables includes 20 Irish whiskies, 20 wines by the glass, and 20 beers on tap to help wash down the savories and drown trouble-making gullet gremlins.
Waxy O'Shea's Irish Pub fortifies merrymakers with a menu filled with hearty, Irish–inspired provisions and flowing libations. Baskets of Waxy's beer-battered Atlantic cod and chips ($9.99) prime thirstpumps for pints of Boulevard ($3.65+), and the irish RLT, stacked with rashers of thick-cut bacon, towers over appetites ($8.99). Sip spoonfuls of bubbly beer-cheese soup ($2.99), and sample authentic edibles with a plate of corned-beef-and-cabbage boxtys, a traditional stuffed pancake drizzled with mustard-tarragon cream sauce ($11.99).
When it comes to Japanese cuisine, the cooks at Happy Banzai fall into two camps: sushi and hibachi. Along with maki mainstays, such as the classic Philadelphia roll, Happy Banzai's sushi chefs conjure up their own specialties, from the Mexican roll's jalapeno-topped spicy tuna to the troublemaker roll—an avocado-topped, white tuna stuffed version of the California roll. Hibachi-wise, chefs build epic feasts adorned with appetite-stoking soup, salad, and rice dishes and anchored by mains such as beef teriyaki and grilled white fish with garlic butter, the ultimate defense against lactose-intolerant vampires. To create lush flavor profiles, Happy Banzai's bartenders serve white and red wine, an extensive selection of spirits, and nine types of sake—each of which finds its way into some of the steakhouse's 10-plus cocktails, including a margarita made with sake and triple sec.