At the helm of his urban winery in the heart of the Cedros Design District, winemaker Adam Carruth handcrafts award-winning wines, including the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Best in Class Alexander Valley Cabernet, from grapes he fastidiously collects from all over California. His team handles the production of each varietal from crush to finish, aging juices in barrels that line the walls of the industrial-chic tasting room. The final products—which range from a crisp sauvignon blanc to a bordeaux-style Surfing Madonna—slosh into customized stemware for patrons’ enjoyment seven days a week. Also in the tasting room, guests can peruse the exhibited work of local artists, break into crunchy baguettes from Bread & Cie or nibble on cheese.
Jerry Swain created Jer’s Chocolates, an all-natural-candy company that mixes premium peanut butter and cocoa into its toffee, chocolate squares, and chocolate-covered peanut-butter balls. He and his fellow candy makers put valencia peanuts, many of which come from U.S. farms, into candies, which are devoid of preservatives and hydrogenated oils. All their white, milk, and dark chocolates are certified by the World Cocoa Foundation, which encourages responsible cocoa farming and fudge-sauce wrestling matches. Snackers can enjoy their peanut brittle bites, gourmet peanut-butter bars with pretzels, caramel, or toffee, signature chocolate balls, and other sumptuous sweets.
On a sunny day, salty sea breezes tumble over the sands of Solana beach and through the open windows of Woody's Solana Beach eatery. Chefs complement the ocean-enriched air with fresh catches of the day prepared to diners' specifications and their classic seafood paella with chorizo sausage and saffron rice. The restaurant hosts brunch every Sunday, which, in addition to hot breakfast eats, features such drink specials as bottomless champagne, for which diners can enjoy while watching Sunday NFL games on Woody's eight high-definition TVs. Corrugated metal emulates the texture of water, covering the walls between exposed metal beams and wood paneling. The hammered-tin silhouette of a whale frolics amid the faux waves, creating a playful metallic seascape.
Though dessert has a reputation for ruining diets, Seaside Yogurt’s kind of frozen treats boasts a slew of health benefits. Each frosty swirl packs a calcium- and protein-loaded punch that works to fortify the immune system, lower cholesterol, and improve digestion. At the self-serve stations, customers can pump their own yogurt and crown it with toppings from a buffet-style topping bar. Flavors rotate regularly, though classics such as cookies 'n' cream, Euro tart, peanut butter, and The Grapes of Wrath are always available. Once yogurt is pumped and topped to a guest’s specifications, a Seaside Yogurt staff member rings up the masterpiece by weight.
No matter where you sit at Parioli Italian Bistro, you?ll be treated to excellent Italian food and romantic lighting. From the cozy outdoor patio lit with hanging strings of lights, guests order rack of lamb or housemade lobster ravioli. Inside the dining room, a fire crackles and candles flicker on tables dressed in white cloths. When not savoring a plate of steamed mussels or gnocchi, guests can learn the secrets behind the tantalizing dishes during cooking classes, which treat students to a multi-course meal with wine, just like Home Ec class in school.
Because their art has a small and edible canvas, sushi chefs must specialize in precision. They pick tiny yet often intense ingredients, packaging them neatly together for the best visual and flavorful presentation. At Tabu Sushi Bar & Grill, the challenge of their task is doubled—they wield spicy add-ons whose heat must balance the crispness of the seafood. The spicy lobster roll, for example, tops its mix of lobster, cucumber, and avocado with a drizzle of Sriracha sauce. There's also the sushi burrito, one of several fusion appetizers that wraps shrimp tempura and crab in soy paper, primed for dipping in house salsa.
Stuffed jalapeños, sushi tostadas, and rolls with habanero sauce bespeak the restaurant's fascination with the southwest. Still, there are classic Japanese dishes to be had. Entrees of chicken katsu and miso-glazed Chilean sea bass make for filling dinners, whereas bento box and teriyaki bowl lunch specials satisfy afternoon cravings. Hand rolls package eel and salmon skin inside seaweed shaped like a cone hat, which the staff imports directly from mermaid parties.