From humble beginnings as a single donut shop in Lakewood, California, in 1953, Denny's has grown into a nationwide destination for classic American diner food served around the clock. After starting off as Danny's Donuts, the shop quickly expanded to a second location and began offering sandwiches. In just six more years, Danny's Donuts had morphed into Denny's and split into 20 franchises. Today, more than 1,700 locations thrive across the nation, serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner at any time that diners walk into or gleefully roll through their eatery.
The chefs at Shahi Palace craft an expansive menu of traditional Indian dishes made with fresh ingredients. Commence culinary escapades with vegetable samosas ($4) or paneer pakora—homemade cheese fried in chickpea batter ($5). Skewers eagerly nab pieces of tender chicken for the chicken ginger kebab, which is marinated in ginger, spices, and yogurt, then rushed to a traditional wood-burning tandoor oven for grilling until succulent or able to provide a believable alibi ($12). Pair a glass of red wine ($4+) or beer ($3–$7) with garlic naan ($2.50), ready for dipping in tilapia fish curry ($13) or dal makhni—a pool of spiced lentils sautéed with butter, onions, and tomatoes ($9). After the meal, gulab jamun, deep-fried cheese balls soaked in syrup ($4), eradicate dessert cravings and sweetly cap off zestier entrees, which can be prepared with varying degrees of spice or accompanied by toothpick-sized fire extinguishers.
Taco John's swiftly serves an assortment of tangy Mexican fare and bold-flavored innovative snacks. The edible oeuvre includes the eatery's signature super potato olés: black olives, beef, beans, tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, and melted cheese smothering a helping of golden-brown tater nuggets ($4.99). Those who create Venn diagrams to decide between soft or crunchy tortillas can choose the middle ground and get both with the taco bravo ($2.29). Taste another victory for American and Mexican relations with the taco burger, featuring tacos' usual contents nestled between two fresh buns ($1.99). The fajita chicken quesadilla melt ($6.29) awakens groggy taste buds with fire roasted bell peppers and onions.
Tea Steak House founders and meatallurgists Lloyd and Rickie Ihnen developed an innovative two-week meat-aging process that transforms even the toughest cuts of beef into obedient slabs of savory meat. Enjoy the fruits of the Inhens' meat labors by sprinting toward Tea Steak House's dinner menu, best known for its steaks, such as a 16–18 oz. rib-eye ($15.99) served with a choice of potato, salad, and dinner rolls. Diners who think such an option is too petite for their palate tend to spring upon the 26–32 oz. ham steak ($14) or the pizzaburger ($2.55), while carniv-ornery cuisiniers will be sure to leave room for the heavy-as-lead 10–12 oz. steak sandwich ($11). A 30 oz.-plus Porterhouse T-bone ($25) for dessert completes the circle of meat. Vegetarians, meanwhile, can graze on the weeds growing out back, or opt for a chef salad ($5.99).
Inca Express is the newest addition to the Inca family, which has been serving up fresh, authentic Mexican fare for more than a decade. An homage to generations-old family recipes, the dishes are chockfull of quality ingredients, zesty spices, and enough love to turn a wooden puppet into a real boy and a sock puppet into a foot, all served up with a side of quick and friendly service. Commence feeding with a round of cervezas ($2.75–3.25) and a side of velvety guac ($2.25) with chips and salsa ($3.95). Meat fans will have trouble choosing between carne asada and pollo asado tacos ($1.95 each) and a chicken Jalisco burrito smothered with green tomatillo sauce ($7.95). The Inca fajita platter's irresistible blend of chicken or steak sautéed with onions and peppers and plated with pico de gallo, cheese, rice, beans, sour cream, and guacamole will undoubtedly earn you an esteemed position in the Clean Plate Club ($9.95). If you're not as stuffed as a cartoon cat attached to a bike pump, indulge in a dessert of fried ice cream covered in cornflake crumbs, honey, and whipped cream ($3.95).
Originally opened during the troubled days of the Great Depression, Magnolia Bar & Steak House continues a long tradition of friendly service and expertly cooked cuts. Satiation-seekers can start with an order of fresh homemade onion rings, hand cut and individually battered ($4.99–$7.99), or a cocktail of synchronized shrimp simultaneously raising their tails in a pool of Magnolia’s homemade sauce ($8.49). Next, sink teeth into one of the house's famous steaks, all hand cut on-site by professional meat cutter and beef whisperer Vern Vis. Sample a boneless top sirloin (8 oz. for $13.99, 12 oz. for $15.99), a tenderly marbled rib eye (12 oz. for $17.99), or a bacon-bundled filet mignon ($19.99), providing a palate-pleasing package for unwrapping by excitable tongues. For the less carnivorously inclined, a selection of fresh seafood and favorites, including chicken and pasta, are also available.