The patty masters at Burger City send savory signals to taste receptors with a classic menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and steaks. The chipotle burger sears a third of a pound of beef to specification and uses a soft bun as a springboard for fried onion strings, smoked cheddar, bacon, and spicy chipotle sauce ($8.99), while the rib-eye steak sandwich tucks a slab of sizzling steak onto a garlic french roll, and comes with fries or potato salad ($13.99).
The Original Pepperbelly's attracts nationally known comedians from film and television, slaying mature audiences with expertly sharpened wits. Home to the ghosts of famous comics such as Dana Carvey and Louie Anderson, Pepperbelly's maintains its reputation as a comedy hub by stuffing its schedule with standup veterans who extort more chuckles than gangsters armed with semiautomatic whoopee cushions. Upcoming showcases include 3 Blonde Moms, comprised of television comediennes Joanie Fagan, Kat Simmons, and former Miss California and Desperate Housewives guest star Donna Cherry, who riff on the foibles of modern matriarchy from August 26–28. From September 16–18, "World's Funniest Cop" Michael Mancini unleashes the law-upholding laughs that sent gallons of milk spewing down Jay Leno's chin, and from September 30 to October 2, Damon Williams struts the comic chops that commandeered Showtime at the Apollo and earned honorary knighthood from The Kings of Comedy.
Each night, a familiar cast of characters descends on Dee Dee's Bar and Grill, eager to take part in what the hangout does best: delivering plates of spicy chicken wings alongside tall beers and cool mixed drinks. The family-owned establishment exudes familiarity and a neighborhood-spot vibe by doling out free shots for birthdays and driving local patrons home on Fridays and Saturdays with a complimentary shuttle service. In addition to drinks and eats, Dee Dee's also hosts weekly karaoke nights, DJs, and live bands that play whatever audience members have stuck in their heads.
Chef Greg Johnson transfigures time-tested favorites into creative dishes at the award-winning Zinsvalley Restaurant. Diners can steal away for an exotic midday lunch of coconut yellow curry, which bathes baby bok choy, yams, shitake mushrooms, snow peas, and jasmine rice together in a bath of yellow coconut milk curry ($14), or field imaginary fly balls while noshing on the Wagyu beef hot dog with a piquant kick of jalapeño jam and pico de gallo ($11). At dinner, gourmands can sip local small-production vintages while elegantly slurping shrimp linguini ($16) or the chef's signature steak frittes, which pairs grilled Kobe Bavette with chili-rubbed fries and watercress ($24).
The oenophiles at Napa Valley Toffee Company satiate cravings for local flavors with tastings of Napa-produced wines and luscious homemade chocolates. Synchronized sippers can indulge in a hodgepodge of five red and white nectars, each harvested from Napa-grown grapes, bottled by local wineries, and approved by the California Raisins. Though wine flights vary by tasting, guests can expect to nourish their palates with gulps from small case lots and nibbles from local vendors, such as Napa Farmhouse 1885, and Verve Coffee of Santa Cruz. Before heading home to wash off purple handlebar mustaches, sippers can treat themselves to $20 worth of goodies from the shop, where bottles of 2009 sauvignon blanc ($20) and Rescue Red ($15) hobnob with eight-ounce boxes of house-made chocolates ($11) and Drink the Leaf loose-leaf tea.