Greg Daniels' introduction to the culinary world wasn't a romantic one: he started working at a fast food restaurant at age 15, followed by a stint as a bartender. Nevertheless, these jobs ignited a passion for cooking that would guide his entire life. The Le Cordon Bleu graduate now works as the executive chef at Haven Gastropub, where he has designed a menu of gourmet American and European comfort foods inspired by his travels to England, New York, and San Francisco.
The eatery is an across-the-pond extension of the gastropub movement, which began in London in the 90s. Gastropubs differ from traditional pubs in that they specialize in high-quality eats and permit only the most beautiful drinking songs. Haven, for example, serves lamb burgers on rosemary brioche buns, fries sprinkled with house-made truffle salt, and whole roasted suckling pigs.
Of course, the "pub" part of Gastropub still implies a lively bar. Bartenders pour more than a dozen draughts as well as a selection of bottled beers, red and white wines, and craft cocktails blended with house-made mixes.
The sounds of conversation and laughter compete with the clinking of glasses in The Wine Artist?s lofty venue. The space sprawls over 2,500 square feet, with plenty of room to host private parties, bridal events, corporate events, and private cooking classes. Events at The Wine Artist feature unique wines, gourmet catering, and experiences such as wine bottling and team building activities.
Since 1978, the staff of Liquorama has helped visitors navigate the impressive inventory of rare wines, beers, and spirits that line the store's many aisles. Drop in for wine tastings three times a week?Friday evenings include sips from an Enomatic wine dispenser, while Saturday afternoons host enlightening custom tastings designed for groups of 10 or more. The store also stocks a variety of accessories for crafting drinks, hosting parties, and pouring beer into its appropriate glassware.
Located in a repurposed Santa Fe railroad station, Pacific Wine Merchants pours a rotating selection of 24 wines and purveys a stock of delicious cigars. Grape enthusiasts looking for a wine tasting ($16–$22) can sample the bar's current lineup by the ounce. Servings are dispensed via an automated Enomatic system, which is designed to prevent waste, preserve freshness, and fill corkscrews with feelings of inadequacy. Recent offerings from the tasting rotation have included a Rombauer merlot, a cabernet sauvignon from Jam Cellars, and a Rusack syrah. While sipping reds and whites, patrons can nibble cheeses, cold cuts, and garlic bread, which are included with the tasting price. Microbrews ($4.50) from local beer factories are also on tap, standing by to ensure that thirst is extinguished faster than a fire at Sea World.
Ribbons and medals line the walls at Dale Bros Brewery, whose three year-round beers and six seasonal libations have garnered the awards at county fairs and beer festivals. Its flagship concoction, Pomona Queen, has been brewed more than 400 times and represents a balanced take on a California common. In addition to tours and tastings, the brewery hosts food trucks, fundraisers, live music, and a variety of other community events.
Toro Sushi Bar invites you to join the bite-sized culinary festivities in a chic modern setting. Its menu features a wide variety of hand-made flavorful treats, from sushi to sashimi to full entrees to tapas. Enjoy the geometric perfection of a Creole Roll with crab, veggies, and seared Cajun tuna ($15) or the insistent adoration of the Loveulongtime Roll, which unites shrimp tempura, crab, avocado, masago and tobiko with a duo of eel and dynamite sauces ($15). If you've chosen to don your "Me and My Sushi and Sashimi – No Two Ways About It" custom tee-shirt, head straight into a carefully orchestrated array of blue fin tuna Maguro, octopus Tako, Hawaiian white tuna Ono, Japanese Red Snapper Carpaccio ($15), and the Kobe Beef Tataki with green onions, garlic chips and crispy red onions ($25). For even smaller eats, peruse the tapas menu for calamari, monkey balls (tempura style mushrooms stuffed with cream cheese, spicy tuna, and avocado), and edamame. You can complement your meal with specialty drinks, sake, wine, and beer.