Inside Orlando Entertainment, groups of friends gather in 16 private karaoke rooms to wail the lyrics of popular songs. But instead of a stage and giant amplifiers, each of the lounge's rooms surround performers with stylish decor, including plush couches and recessed neon lighting. Groups can even have food and drinks delivered to their private space at the touch of a screen, so they never have to leave their room or communicate with servers telepathically. Outside the karaoke suites, neon lights and bright colors snake throughout the rest of the venue, ultimately leading to the full bar area lit with glittery chandeliers.
Ask Lourdes Limon why her raspados taste so good. She'll say, "Por que los hice con amor"—"Because they're made with love." Now that her sons have taken over the family business, they use the same secret ingredient, but they've added a few new specialties. Supplementing the shaved ice treats that give them their name are freshly squeezed juices, chili-imbued slush-drinks, and healthy fruit salads. But the raspados remain the main event. Flavors include exotic fruit such as guava, tamarind, kiwi, and jamaica, as well as more decadent flavors such as caramel, egg nog, cookies and cream, and plain water.
Inspired by the eternally ripe produce and bountiful sea meats of California, RED Restaurant's executive chef Alberto Morales crafts a menu of locally sourced foods, working with local farmers or purveyors to fill his cupboards each morning. He calls the cooking style modern California cuisine, and incorporates flavors as diverse as 40-day aged prime ribeye steak, wasabi-encrusted tuna, and basil-scented mashed potatoes. Equally as impressive as the ingredients list is his eye-catching plating, featuring modern arrangements that resemble sushi, such as the delectable tower of crabmeat and beet root salad.
Chef Morales serves his creations in a late-night-friendly dining room and lounge, where crowds cheer on live musical acts and DJs. Bouts of dancing are fueled by a roster of signature cocktails that range from the classic old fashioned to the Pink Lotus, which is a concoction of grapefruit vodka, cointreau, hand-pressed juice, and pink cotton candy. Large groups can opt for bottle service, which plies tables with champagne and spirits, keeping friends from arm wrestling over who has to pay for each round.
Bowlers on a quest for either recreation or league glory can soak up the retro vibe at La Habra 300 Bowl until at least 11 p.m. every night. On Friday and Saturday, cosmic effects add a festive glow to nocturnal bowling (extra fee), evoking the excitement of outer space without the danger posed by reckless spaceship drivers. The center also offers party packages that furnish groups with lane space and shoes but require partygoers to bring their own cakes.
Gone are the days of lazy bar burgers built on beer-soaked buns and soups infested with over-salted peanuts. The cooks at 6740 hand-build custom creations for the people who nest in the place's cozily swiveling bar stools or seek shelter in the pub's sturdy red and gold wall seats below a soothing incandescent glow of booming jukebox tunery. Because any swimming pool needs pool toys, you can fill your stomach pool with fresh fare like garlic, thyme, and rosemary-marinated grilled herb potatoes ($5.95); signature Buffalo wings in spicy, regular, teriyaki, or barbeque sauce ($6.95 for a dozen); and 8 oz. Flatiron steak sandwiches ($10.95).
Tony Alcazar spent six years cooking in the kitchen of the Ritz-Carlton Pasadena under Michelin-rated chef Craig Strong. It was there that he learned the “Modern American” style of cooking, a simple yet elegant approach that favors seasonal ingredients and contemporary cooking techniques. He brought this unique style to The Bottle Room, along with his love of craft beer, and fused the two. Chef Alcazar’s menu includes Sriracha-honey chicken lollipops and tacos filled with slow-braised beef cheeks, dishes cooked with a simple elegance and often a splash of craft beer. Those looking to turn that splash into a pint need only browse the extensive beer menu. Though it rotates frequently, expect to see brews from Rogue Brewing Company in Portland, Abbaye De Scourmont in Belgium, and Bear Republic Brewing Company in Healdsburg, California. The Bottle Room also features wines from California, Italy, France, and Spain.