From The Plug Nickel's modest beginnings as a local coffee shop, the Vollmer family–owned establishment has flowered into an elegant restaurant and full-service catering company. Using local ingredients, the chefs fashion hearty hot sandwiches, gourmet cold sandwiches, and contemporary takes on classic American breakfast dishes. Guests cheer to upscale soups and salads with a selection of imported and domestic beer and wines. Accommodating large-scale dining, the restaurant's full-service catering company rolls out an international menu for weddings and special events, such as celebrating a pet snake's first steps. Pleasing the rest of the senses, hardcovers line the shelves of the library dining room as a fireplace floods a sunny tea room with comfort and warmth not experienced since the womb. Outside, on the lush garden patio, diners are sheltered by a dignified white gazebo amid overhanging trees and blooms.
Wine expert Richard Belloff collects striking wines from across the planet to adorn the racks at Bellavino Wine Bar & Restaurant, winner of Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence for the last seven years in a row as well as the Ventura County Star's 2013 Readers' Choice award for best wine bar. Bellavino also hosts a variety of classes and events each month, inviting others to learn about their cellar's impressive selection.
Beneath the high, glittering lights of the dining room, a full menu of bar bites, entrees, cheeses, and charcuterie complement wines by the glass and bottle. At the wine bar, Chilean Apaltagua pinot noir and Sierra Madre chardonnay dance modestly inside glasses to the soundtrack of live musical acts playing on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
In 1967, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue began as a small drive-thru diner in Honolulu. Over the next several decades, the eatery expanded to more than 175 franchise locations across its home state and the continental United States. Though they have maintained their original base of operations and continue to draw on its local inspirations, L&L's owners take pride in introducing new communities to their take on traditional island comfort fare. Dishes such as fried chicken katsu, shredded kalua pork, and blends of mixed Hawaiian-style barbecue draw from Asian and American culinary influences, and ice-cold drinks pay homage to the frozen strait that first brought explores from Hawaii to the mainland.
An apothecary and tea bar, The Healing Tree lines it shelves with natural and organic health remedies of all kinds. The shop vends an assortment of herbs and roots in bulk for seemingly every need, including organic blessed thistle for digestion, ashwagandha for hypertension, and boneset for the common cold. In the tearoom, customers will find black, green, oolong, rooibos leaves and plenty of tea accessories. Beyond their stock of ingestible products, The Healing Tree also purveys bamboo-charcoal arm and ankle bands, designed to alleviate joint discomfort, boost blood circulation, and promote flexibility.
Eric’s creates a diverse selection of dishes, all inspired by seasonal market goodies and herbs plucked from the restaurant’s own garden. Creative dinner entrees from the staff of kitchen Da Vincis include the guacamole and cheese burger ($9.95), the baked Alaskan cod ($15.95), the baby-back ribs ($16.95), the shrimp-diablo fettuccine ($14.95), and a helicopter prototype made from bananas. Light noshers get delicious decisions between pub-fare appetizers, salads, and pizzas as well. Every Saturday night at Eric’s is a prime-rib dinner bonanza ($19.95), celebrating the tasty cut’s historic victory over Beef Wellington in the Roast Olympics. The restaurant also boasts an extensive list of whistle whetters from its full bar, draft and bottled beers, and wine list.
Qdoba's burrito baristas handcraft a catering menu of Mexican-inspired cuisine, customizable with a panoply of fresh ingredients for a taco, nacho, or burrito bar. Qdoba's culinary crafters craft succulent fillings for burritos, tacos, nachos, and quesadillas, including protein-packing choices, such as slow-roasted pulled pork, adobo-marinated grilled steak or chicken, and spiced shredded or ground beef, with vegetarian options also available. Taste the gooey flavor accents of the signature queso sauce, a three-cheese blend with roasted poblanos, tomatoes, and jalapeños, the pinto or black beans simmered in cumin and onion, or the creamy, hand-smashed guacamole that's ideal for filling up Queen Elizabeth's diamond-studded guacamole chalice. Tortilla chips with salsa bar and desserts complete each catered event, and customers can opt for burrito-boxed lunches and any add-ons.