The family-owned 1-800-Flowers Shoppe, a local subsidiary of 1-800-Flowers, crafts distinctive arrangements with fresh-cut buds placed within delicate keepsake vases. Arrangements run the aromatic and aesthetic gamut, including contemporary, traditional, and high-style arrangements ideal for anniversaries, holidays, or chain-gang reunion parties. The store also carries an extensive gift line, including gourmet and fruit baskets as well as silk arrangements and greeting cards.
Chef and owner David Slay embraces the farm-to-table movement, cultivating veggies in his restaurant’s backyard garden. He incorporates freshly picked lettuce, tomatoes, and artichokes into a menu of grilled steaks and contemporary American staples, which Zagat praised as “extraordinary to perfection.” David’s skill in combining these ingredients stems from a career that began at age 11 when he began cooking in the kitchen of his father’s restaurant. From there, he spent years honing his talents while studying under classically trained European chefs in Las Vegas and Paris where he developing a passion for dishes made with natural, preservative-free ingredients. The restaurant’s wine list adheres to a similar dedication to regional flavors with a 10-page selection of varietals that hail primarily from California. The bottles range from bright and crisp sauvignon blancs to dense and structured zinfandels, which can stand up to the hearty flavors of a grilled rib eye like an electro-magnet can stand up to an advancing army of robots. Wood tones lend a distinctive earthiness to the dining room as well, which features an eclectic assortment of gleaming wooden tables and cozy booths. Framed photographs of iconic celebrities line the tan and beige walls, presenting diners with profiles of Audrey Hepburn and King Kong’s stunt double.
Upon first glance, Tiki Monster H2O looks like your average snack shop—there's shelves packed with colorful candies and bags of chips, coolers filled with frosty soda bottles, and a counter lined with flavored syrups for snow-cones. Examine the inventory more closely, however, and you'll encounter retro, novelty, and unusual treats interspersed with familiar selections of Coca-Cola cans and packets of Cheetos. There are more than 100 different types of gourmet sodas, many in inventive flavors such as chocolate-covered maple-smoked bacon, green-apple jalapeno, and key lime pie. Shelves are also lined with vintage candies and international sweets, ranging from kitschy candy cigarettes to Asian red-bean ice-cream bars.
As guests marvel at the colorful labels of cartoon-character energy drinks and peruse racks of sunglasses, staffers keep busy behind the counter. They blend up simmering specialty Marley coffee beverages and shaved-ice drinks in flavors such as orange cream, chai tea, and salted-caramel cream. They frequently screen old westerns on the shop's TV, transporting viewers back to a time when cowboys still rode horses and regularly dined on tree bark.
The certified instructors at Tom Vo's Taekwondo Academy believe that developing good character and leadership skills are just as important as learning to punch and kick. At their all-ages martial-arts school, they teach both children and adults discipline, respect, and how to defend themselves using the moves of traditional martial arts as well as verbal defenses. Classes also offer an opportunity for students to let off stress and recharge their minds.
The family behind Sam's Garage Doors makes it their business the lighten their customers' load. Through mechanical installations and repair, they help clients lift the heaviest door in their house, day after day. They provide free consultations and estimates for every job, and already carry all the necessary parts to repair doors or even brand-name openers.
The instructors and professional staff at PADI five-star instructor center Beach Cities Scuba introduce students to the big blue with PADI-certified diving courses for divers of all levels. They certify newbies with basic open-water courses and teach advanced divers in specialty courses such as Deep Diver, Rescue Diver, and Shark Therapist. They operate out of five convenient locations and sling necessary gear in onsite stores, from wetsuits and facemasks to spear guns. Beach Cities Scuba also connects divers through its dive club and hosts exotic dive trips to locations such as Indonesia, Fiji, and Cozumel.