Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn’t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were “quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,” according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face—that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews—and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front—though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.
With a name that translates to “a little of everything,” it's no surprise that the seasonally changing menu of Cafe Mundial includes dishes such as steamed mussels with shallot cream sauce, duck confit, fresh pastas, and filet mignon with bordelaise sauce. In the kitchen, chefs add zesty wasabi vinaigrette to seared ahi-tuna appetizers and top personal pizzas with goat cheese, fresh basil, and monogrammed sun-dried tomatoes. The extensive wine list includes crisp California chardonnays, bold cabernets, and sparkling pours to pair with dinner entrees or new ties. Diners may opt to slide into a booth or jump onto stools at the full bar to watch sports or cheer on bartenders during martini preparation.
Gone are the days of lazy bar burgers built on beer-soaked buns and soups infested with over-salted peanuts. The cooks at 6740 hand-build custom creations for the people who nest in the place's cozily swiveling bar stools or seek shelter in the pub's sturdy red and gold wall seats below a soothing incandescent glow of booming jukebox tunery. Because any swimming pool needs pool toys, you can fill your stomach pool with fresh fare like garlic, thyme, and rosemary-marinated grilled herb potatoes ($5.95); signature Buffalo wings in spicy, regular, teriyaki, or barbeque sauce ($6.95 for a dozen); and 8 oz. Flatiron steak sandwiches ($10.95).
Cafe 322's homey atmosphere and fare will remind you of your Italian grandmother’s Polish dinner table. Try a different lasagna each day ($12.95) with the lasagna de la casa, or opt for the sophisticated mélange of flavors in the fettuccini di spinaci e salsiccia with fresh spinach, Italian sausage, and fresh garlic sautéed in olive oil ($12.95). Cafe 322 also serves up some tasty meatier dishes, such as rack of lamb, herb-crusted and served with butter mashed potatoes that fall directly into that place in your heart reserved for mom, America, and butter ($22.95). Smaller plates include salads, sandwiches, grilled panini, and burgers. Stars of the gourmet pizza menu include the quatro formaggio (layered with fontina, mozzarella, gorgonzola, and parmesan cheeses, $12.95) and the flavorful grilled chicken pesto ($14.95).
Bowlers on a quest for either recreation or league glory can soak up the retro vibe at La Habra 300 Bowl until at least midnight every night. On Friday and Saturday, cosmic effects add a festive glow to nocturnal bowling (extra fee), evoking the excitement of outer space without the danger posed by reckless spaceship drivers. The center also offers party packages that furnish groups with lane space and shoes but require partygoers to bring their own cakes.
Even in the morning, Clearman's Steak 'n Stein Inn takes its name seriously. The brunch menu lists five cuts that form the centerpiece for steak-and-egg platters, and the steak lover's omelet comes filled with three: filet mignon, new york strip steak, and rib eye. As for the "steins," drafts of Hefeweizen and Stella Artois begin pouring as soon as the restaurant opens.
Evening heralds the arrival of the restaurant's romantic side. A circular fireplace warms a ring of plush crimson benches, and soft, amber lighting illuminates the dark wood and brick interior and its stained-glass windows. An open charcoal fire roasts steaks, fish, and chicken for ample entrees, from the 16-oz. boneless rib eye to the Australian lobster tail dinner. Combination dinners allow guests to sample both steak and seafood without taking their backyard grill on a fishing trip. Supper ends with carefully hand-fired desserts, such as crème brûlée cheesecake.