A colorful sign juts from Manny’s El Loco, proudly proclaiming “World Famous Burritos Since 1971.” Inside, chefs busily pack the eatery’s claim to fame with carnitas, carne asada, and chicken, or up the ante with rib-eye steak or chorizo. Forks and knives find a place at Manny’s as well, thanks to taco salads tossed with meat and avocado and enchilada platters paired with authentic rice and beans. The kitchen crew incorporates hamburgers and french fries into its primarily Mexican menu, and helps customers tackle the morning or their nemesis with eggs prepared any style, which they can take to go or enjoy on the outdoor patio.
Though he couldn't have known it at the time, Adam Caldwell arranged what arguably could be considered one of the most successful first dates in modern history. He not only ended up marrying his date, Danna, but also had such a memorable time with her in the frozen-yogurt shop that the two of them were eventually inspired to start their own. They opened Menchie's Frozen Yogurt in California in 2007, and within just a few years, found themselves with a family of hundreds of thriving stores sprinkled all around the world.
As the Menchie's brand grew, Adam and Danna kept a simple mission in mind: to make their customers smile. An adorable cast of animated characters is featured throughout the stores, including on the colorful spoons, and customers can have fun creating endless frozen-yogurt combinations. There are more than 100 rotating yogurt flavors, and the selection includes eight versions of vanilla. Of course, there are plenty of toppings as well, displayed in help-yourself bins filled with fresh fruit, nuts, cereal, and candy.
The yogurt is made from fresh milk from a Canadian dairy. All the yogurt is kosher, and certain flavors accommodate vegan and gluten-free diets.
The leaf-savvy baristas at Tenju Tea House craft a variety of tea and tea-fusion beverages steeped to order with loose tea leaves hailing from around the world. Black, green, herbal, and other specialty blends release their aromatic flavors beneath steaming pours of water, infusing libations such as milk teas, iced teas, and traditional hot concoctions with natural ingredients that bolster health like a romantic jacuzzi session with a beloved multivitamin. Toasty bagel sandwiches, hot dogs, and savory Japanese snacks fill out the café's menu, each made to order for noshing on the go or while surfing the free WiFi from an array of Asian-inspired seating.
The first Kee Wah Bakery appeared in Hong Kong in 1938, where its moon cakes, bridal cakes, and other pastries gradually generated a loyal clientele. In 1985, when much of that clientele had migrated to the United States, Kee Wah set down new roots in LA to offer its signature floury goods to Californians. Patrons pick from crispy egg tarts, red-bean swirls, and pineapple crust buns using a self-serve bakery system, which is refilled with fresh breads baked three times a day. During the autumn, when the Chinese Lunar Festival is in full swing, the bakery churns out moon cakes filled with lotus seed and red-bean paste. The shop's three locations in the San Gabriel Valley?Monterey Park, San Gabriel, and Rowland Heights?help meet the demand for Chinese wedding cakes and almond cookies throughout the valley.
The original Beard Papa’s began filling the airs of Osaka, Japan, with the warm, wafting smells of its original-recipe cream puffs. A double-layer puff featuring piecrust on the outside and a mixture of vanilla custard cream and whipped cream on the inside, the successful little treats have led the bakery to expand to more than 300 locations throughout Southeast Asia, Russia, the United States, and the moon. The venerable bakery has also graduated to other pint-size desserts and Asian-influenced treats, including mochi ice cream and mango ice showers, a fusion of shaved ice, layered sweet sauce, and mango chunks.