Each Auld Dubliner location must meet the stringent level of authenticity required by co-owner and Gaelic strongdrinker David Copley. A native of Limerick, Ireland, Copley might share a dirty poem if you ask nicely, but he's more likely to tell you that every part of his pub's polished wood, brass décor, and menu of toothsome Erin edibles was designed and crafted in Ireland and transported piece by piece to its new American home. Tuck right into pub classics such as shepherd's pie with ground beef and lamb ($12.95) or the for-more-than-St.-Patty's-Day corned beef and cabbage ($12.95). Other fare that comes with a shamrock stamp of approval includes the traditional boxty (a potato pancake), stuffed with delights such as Irish bacon and melted cheddar ($13.95) or Atlantic salmon with shallots and tarragon ($15.95). For a finish as sweet as a "yes" from Molly Bloom, the Irish-whiskey crème brûlée adds a twist to the traditional dessert.
At Café Tu Tu Tango, edibles and art merge with far more dynamism than your average still life. Paintings and brick pillars surround the tables, where pizzas decked in pears and brie flank the miniature campfires of tabletop s'mores. Murals and mosaics fill the space beneath counters, and plush sofas on the patio replace the chairs and moss-covered motorcycles of traditional outdoor seating. Even the napkins "are a rainbow of jewel toned colors," reports The Food Channel's "Raves & Faves" feature, which labels the restaurant's design "pure local artist eclectic." The review documents the café's other artistic quirks, including the dessert menu's catalogue of painted depictions, the commissioned artists who compose their opuses live in the space, and the range of performers who parade through the restaurant, from belly dancers to balloon artists.
The kitchen makes its own chicken and beef empanadas alongside six types of skewers, which spear meats such as salmon, shrimp, and steak. A classic sangria recipe complements bites of roasted pears or mango-duck quesadillas, and seven specialty pizzas bake in a brick oven. To top off an original lunch date, groups can visit nearby attractions such as Disneyland and the Anaheim Convention Center.
Modeled after an Old World wine cellar, WineStyles's shelves are lined with rare bottles accrued by its staff of in-house experts hailing from quality vineyards across the globe. The shop's bounty includes handcrafted gift boxes and baskets and merchandise, such as guidebooks for translating secret codes etched in cork. Along with retailing wine and imbibing gear, WineStyles's crew grants guests the opportunity to sample new pours at frequent events and two-hour tastings three nights a week. For dedicated aficionados, the chief wine taster chooses two bottles to send to wine-club members along with tasting notes that detail their origins, a winery description, and suggested food pairings.
Make lunch or dinner into a fun foodmersible with submarine-shaped appetizer rolls such as the seared ahi tuna variation with mango, mint, avocado, and wasabi-ginger soy sauce ($7), or yam-tempura-coated fish sticks ($7). Meat goes best with meat, which explains why bold dishes like the rau ram salad with chicken, cabbage, green mango, and apple ($11) and the braised anise shortrib ($22) stand out so well. Quietly confident plates such as the tofu with eggplant, mushrooms, and Thai basil ($12) or the lemongrass jalapeno wok (tofu, $13) are equally delicious, but are more susceptible to noogies.