Famous Dave’s dishes out a hearty menu of down-home barbecue drawing on founder Dave Anderson’s 25 years of culinary exploration and experimentation. Diners can kick off the carnivorous carnival with buffalo-style shrimp ($9.99) sporting spicy cornmeal breading and tiny Bills jerseys. To sate hungrier stomachs, pit masters slow-smoke ribs over smoldering sweet hickory fires to create The Big Slab of 12-bone ribs ($22.99). After first passing through a sauce-slathered shrink ray, Dave’s BBQ Buddies ($9.99) offer bite-size versions of the restaurant’s most popular sandwiches, including Georgia pork, Texas brisket, pulled chicken, and hot link sausage. Afterwards, a lineup of sugary treats, such as Dave’s famous bread pudding smothered in pecan-praline sauce and vanilla-bean ice cream ($6.99), pleases even the sweetest of teeth. The laid-back barbecue mecca also keeps eyes and ears entertained with its playful décor and blues- and klezmer-spiced soundtrack. Diehards can join Famous Dave's P.I.G. Club, designed to keep members current on the restaurant's happenings via email.
Helmed by a family of pizza lovers, The Don's Pizzeria combines the best examples of America's pizza cuisine from New York to California, making each pie to order from fresh cheeses and toppings. Guests sink their teeth into light margherita pizzas or gluten-free pies covered in avocado and artichoke, or they can opt for a substantial dinner with the Slammer, which is crowned with ham, sausage, and pepperoni. Diners also sup on subs stuffed with meatballs and sauce, calzones filled with mushrooms and zucchini, or deli sandwiches made with turkey, roast beef, salami, and avocado.
Viva la Pasta's kitchens have been bubbling with pots of authentic Italian pasta for more than 10 years. The eatery's owner, Pippo, curates a menu of more than 400 variations of pasta and gourmet pizza that join a plentiful assortment of traditional Italian dishes and paninis. Every Sunday, an expansive brunch buffet meanders across the dining room; it abounds with platters of smoked fish, shrimp, mussels, and lobster, as well as steaming pans of pasta, eggs, and omelets. The softly lit interior houses white-clothed tables, while the outdoor garden patio features towering white umbrellas that supply ample shade for alfresco dining. While they sup, patrons can soak up the serenading of trickling fountains, chirping wildlife, and the husky French folk songs of lost fur trappers.
Since steaming its first natural-casing hot dog in 1946, Cupid's Hot Dogs has risen to the status of local institution and even cracked the top-10 rankings in CityVoter's Los Angeles Hot List. A signature steam table incubates each dog until it reaches an ideal temperature, at which point chefs pair it with a fluffy steamed bun and a handsome collar of condiments. Onions, mustard, and Cupid’s signature chili pile atop the juicy franks, forcing patrons to carefully balance their feasts in two hands. Melted cheese and chili drip onto laptops hooked up to the restaurant’s free WiFi, which attracts businessmen prone to using unadorned hot dogs as substitutes for smartphone styluses.
Behind the modest, wooden sushi bar of Momoya, chefs prepare more than 30 sushi rolls to send out to waiting tables. You might try the Tiger Lady, a mix of shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, cucumber, and eel sauce. Or the Lion Man—same deal, but with salmon tempura. Kiss, Volcano, To Die For. The list goes on, and it's full of crabmeat, baby lobster, black cod, and a whole lot more. Sprinkled among all these rolls are hot apps such as edamame and baked yellowtail collar. Lunch and dinner combos—served with miso soup, salad, and rice—let you pair up your favorites from a selection of teriyaki, tempura, and katsu dishes.
Though the weather stays balmy through most of the year in Southern California, you can always tell the season by visiting Campus Yogurt. There, staff update their 24 frozen yogurt nozzles with seasonal flavors such as pink lemonade sorbet and key lime bar in spring. Customers can swirl creamy flavors such as dreamy dark chocolate, Tahitian vanilla, and cheesecake into cups, then customize them with more 30 toppings that range from fresh cut fruit to chocolates and gummi worms. Each treat is completely customizable, from its ingredients to its size to what you spell out in M&Ms for the cute cashier. Customers can enjoy their treat on the go, or relax at Campus Yogurt’s outdoor seating.