No matter what type of seafood the chefs at Cajun Islands are cooking up, they end up giving it a distinct Cajun flavor in their cooking pot. That's because the chefs prepare their snow crab, crawfish, clams, and oysters in a flavorful Cajun broth, which complements seasonings that they wet-rub and butter onto each cut. That doesn't mean that all the dishes have the same flavor, however. Chefs alter the spice content to include more herbs and garlic or more of the mouth-tingling spices to create dishes that vary from mild to flaming hot. They can tame the fire of these dishes with their tropical blended drinks, in which they toss fresh fruit such as pineapple, coconut, papaya, and mangos. When paired with a basket of beer-battered fries and clam chowder, the dishes take on a degree of comfort only replicated by lounge chairs equipped with an anti-peer pressure forcefield.
The skilled drink-makers at Pop! Culture & Drinks jet patrons back to the 1980s by blending a menu of inventive tea concoctions in a dated café boasting a DeLorean mural and a stacked barrier of cassette tapes. Five different FloaTeas meld ice cream with tea, resulting in elixirs such as the Save Ferris, which sinks a charge of lychee ice cream into strawberry green tea. The Oscar the Grouch spoofs the curmudgeonly puppet’s color palette with green-tea ice cream and chocolate drizzle, and the Run DMC hides slick beats beneath caramel-drizzled vanilla ice cream and coffee jelly. Alternatively, patrons can imbibe a roster of alcohol-free mocktails, from the minty Material Girl mojito laced with lime to the Princess Peach, laden with peach bits and protected by No Bowsers Allowed signs. Smooth Criminals libations stuff glasses with fresh fruit, with the Mario & Luigi variety recalling the duo’s costumes with strawberries and kiwis.
Cuisine Type: Peruvian Food
Number of Tables: 5–10
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Lomo Saltado
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Pro Tip: Please do not hesitate to ask us questions.
Has your business won any awards?
Grub Hub has just awarded us the Customer Favorite award. Of course, it is for the lomo saltado.
Do you use any family recipes at your restaurant? Whose family do they belong to (the chef, the owner, or someone else)?
Absolutely, all the food is made from passed down recipes. Chef and co-owner Erika has a very close relationship with her grandparents. Her grandparents helped raise her, [and they] love to cook. Her Abuela (Grandma) Lula occasionally comes to the restaurant to sample the authenticity of her recipes. If the taste is not up to her standards, she is not shy to correct her Erika. Luckily, so far, all the food has been a thumps up from Abuela. Abuela makes the best Peruvian flan.
Erika's Papito (Grandpa), traveled about 20 miles to our restaurant to show us his ceviche recipe. He made us promise that we would not share the recipe with anyone. Shhh!
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
Our menu is very traditional. We have popular Peruvian dishes and drinks.
Our most popular dish is the lomo saltado, which is fresh strips of meat or seafood flambéed in our wok with onions, tomatoes, and french fries served with rice. If you ask anyone if they have tried Peruvian food, they would answer that they love the lomo saltado.
If you are up to the challenge, the anticucho de corazon—cow heart skewers—is delicious. The anticucho de corazon is grilled meat on a stick that comes with a potato that has the anticucho sauce brushed on for a wonderful flavor. In addition to the meat skewer and potato, the green-onion dipping sauce is good enough to dip everything with.
For the pasta lovers, my favorite is the tallarin verde con pollo, which is spaghetti noodles covered with traditional pesto sauce, topped with seasoned, breaded, and golden-fried chicken.
Erika, makes the best chaufa (fried rice). Every culture has their own version of fried rice, but Peruvian fried rice contains bite-size bacon. Anything that has bacon is delicious.
We didn't forget about the vegetarians. We can make the saltado dishes with tofu or mixed vegetables. The chaufa can be requested without bacon. Nonetheless, the tallarin verde pasta can be ordered plain, minus the meat.
For those with a sweet tooth, we have Lucuma ice cream, churros, and alfajores cookies. The cookies are the best sellers. We enjoy looking at the customers' reactions when they take their first bite of the cookie. Obviously, the first bite [brings a] look of satisfaction. The cookie is made with dulce de leche sandwiched between two short-bread cookies and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
For kids, we have the favorites: Chicken fingers with fries, pasta, and salchipapas. Salchipapas are fried hot dogs served with fries. Kids just love eating salchipapas.
Overall, our menu has something for everyone.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Feel free to come in to meet the chef and co-owner, Erika.
At Bleu/XO Restaurant & Sports Lounge, diversity reigns. It's visible not only in the entertainment—which ranges from Sunday-night dance lessons to televised sports games—but also in the cuisine itself. The house special fried rice mixes the classic Chinese dish with egg, shrimp, and Chinese sausage, though that's not the only twist the menu harbors. Savory crepes brim with shrimp, pork and sprouts in the Vietnamese tradition, rather than the traditional French style of filling a crepe with a baguette. The menu even touches on Thai flavors with a tabeletop hot pot in which diners cook their own mussels and shrimp with in a spicy broth.
After 9 p.m., diners are invited to enjoy live music in the restaurant.
Entering the dining room of Zen Vegetarian, one might assume it was no different than all the other Asian restaurants in Little Saigon. But upon further examination, the menu reveals a full lineup of completely meat-free dishes. Described as a "temple to soy protein" by the OC Weekly, the lauded eatery slings vegetarian dishes disguised as whole roasted chickens, vegan pho, and flat strips of wok-seared soy beef. Other "dead-on impersonators" include "crunchy-coated" fried "shrimp," and fried chicken wings wearing Groucho glasses.
With 40 years of sandwich-making expertise, Togo's gives party planners an extensive catering menu from which to choose their spread. Sandwich trays ($45 regular size, feeds 10), the Endless Combinations platter ($65, feeds up to eight with 16 half sandwiches of four different varieties, plus a regular salad), and a 3- to 8-foot Party Footer (feeds up to 32 people; prices vary depending on sandwich type and size) will supply sustenance for Valentine's Day group gatherers, enthusiastic Presidents' Day celebrators, and supporters of early-February professional American football championships.