As visitors devour spoonfuls of sweet, creamy frozen treats at Menchie’s, they may notice a string of ’90s-era sitcom stars arriving to sample the wares and chat with the man in charge. That’s because owner/operator David Lipper first made a name for himself on Full House playing D.J. Tanner’s boyfriend Viper. Today, Lipper proudly sits atop a local frozen-yogurt empire, edging out his fellow cast mates’ enterprises, including Dave Coulier’s network of Swiss banks and John Stamos’s ’50s-themed doggy daycare. Inside the shop, diners select from a colorful array of flavors, such as low-carb pistachio or fruity watermelon tart, and crown their creation with toppings including sprinkles, mocha, hot fudge, and locally grown fruits.
Crepes and Grapes Café celebrates and honors French culture with its sidewalk cafe atmosphere, Bastille Day celebration, and a variety of sweet and savory crepes. At breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the shop churns out thin, stuffed pancakes filled with ingredients that range from maple and cream to garlic-rich shrimp scampi. Guests can sample the edible wares within the sunny storefront or sit just outside underneath table umbrellas surrounded by salivating flower beds.
The California Grill features a menu as big as a windmill factory. The selection is as vast as a diner's, but with an upscale twist. While waiting in line for one of the Grill's popular breakfasts, you'll have time to practice your close-up magic and perhaps meet famed Western character actor Burton Gilliam. Once seated, try the extra omelet ($9.25), an egg slab blended with avocado, bacon, mushrooms, sausage, and sliced onions, and your choice of jack or cheddar cheese folded in the middle. For a sweeter choice, there's the French toast ambrosia ($7.45), French toast capped with a beret of seasonal fruit and whipped cream. Coffee is available, as are fancy blended drinks like cappuccinos ($3.75) or an ice-blended mocha ($4.95). Breakfast is served Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Phlight's servers pilot plates of traditional Spanish mini meals, bottles of boutique wines, and glasses of international beers between high-rise tables under a roof anchored by rustic wooden rafters. Splash in the savory waters of seafood selections, including tiger shrimp ($14), stuffed squid ($6), and roasted John Dory ($12), whose eye spot observes diners to see if they know the difference between a salad fork and a tuning fork. Poultry dishes abound, wrapping succulent duck meat into soft tacos ($7) and igniting chicken wings with adobo spice ($8), and short ribs mind their beefy business under a sweet sprinkling of brown sugar and ginger ($18). Herbivorous hankerings plant themselves on crispy lentils ($6) or sautéed bok choy ($4), and asparagus ($8), cuddling under the calescent cover of serrano peppers to subvert chilly glares from the ice water.
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).
To accommodate brief lunch breaks, the service is swift at Pho Whittier. That said, it's hard not to pause and inhale deeply when presented with an aromatic bowl of pho. Each warm helping of signature noodle soup comes with your choice of beef, from rare steak and brisket to tendon and tripe. There's 12 types of beef pho on the menu, as well as chicken and seafood variants for those looking to branch out.
The staff also preps a long list of Vietnamese entrees, wrapping up shrimp and bean curd to adorn strands of vermicelli, and placing baked egg loaves on top of broken rice, whose grains were finely chopped beneath a microscope. Chow mein and chow fun dishes feature beef, shrimp, chicken, or a combination of all three, whereas affordable banh mi sandwiches layer baguettes with pork.
A list of fruity and creamy beverages complement the spices and herbs found in most meals: there's red bean and coconut milk drinks, Vietnamese iced coffees, and smoothies in flavors such as mango and lychee.