At Aces Comedy Club, a rotating lineup of local and touring standup comedians flocks to the stage to unpack its bag of funnies. The calendar of upcoming performers includes Patrick Deguire (May 10–13), a vision-impaired jokester who often pokes fun at needing his four kids to help him cross a dangerous intersection in his neighborhood. The freakishly talented Taylor Williamson (May 17–20) is the youngest comic ever to perform on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. He's been featured on NBC's Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, and MTV's TRL––all of which were cancelled soon thereafter, which he wears as a badge of pride. Seasoned funnyman Vince Morris (May 24–27), who has made appearances on HBO's Sex and the City and BET's ComicView, simultaneously splits sides and challenges perceptions with a chuckle-inducing routine packed with social commentary.
Russo's dining room evokes a Tuscan vineyard with large murals of plump purple grape bunches, exposed rafters, and deep-green twisting vines. Since 1987, John and Jane Russo have paired this rustic ambiance with age-old family recipes ranging from grilled fish filets and grinders, to hearty pastas and Sicilian-style pizza. Diners can also opt for gently sautéed shrimp and veal dishes bathed in made-from-scratch sauce.
Loosely translated as Manor House, Masia de Yabar Vineyard and Winery mimics the style of a Spanish villa—a gently gabled, terracotta roof caps low stucco walls with arched outlooks. The villa hints at the Yabar family's Spanish ancestry, as well as their passion for winemaking. Today, the Yabar family oversees the production of a handful of wines and leads tastings in an earth-toned room. During tours of the vineyard and winery, they demystify the process of making wines by showing visitors their purple toes. In the shade of palms, they host art classes and live concerts, welcoming guests to relax on the patio with a spicy-sweet malbec or a full-bodied cabernet franc.
Ryan Bros. Coffee's attentive owners match discerning tastes with artfully crafted blends of fair-trade coffees and mouthwatering café fare. Classic coffees include featured roasts ($1.75 for 12 oz., $2 for 20 oz.) such as bold Cowboy coffee or the full-bodied Broadway Blues, which are filtered for fuller tastes. Espresso drinks inject caffeine-packed shots into tongue-tickling flavors such as a warm, creamy mocha ($3.55–$3.95) or a chilly, blended Java Lava frappe ($4.25). Chompable menu items grant solid starts to the day, including the chipotle-bacon breakfast sandwich ($5.95), whereas real-fruit smoothies, including the refreshing mango patch ($4.25), rev bodies with vitamin-rich fuel. Salads ($6.50–$7.25) and freshly grilled paninis ($5.95–$6.95) are also available for consumption. Packaged portions of coffee, tea, and comestibles adorn shelves in front of burnt-orange walls and sun-sprayed indoor or outdoor seating areas offer the ideal space in which to enjoy free WiFi.
Specializing in Italian varietals, Cougar Vineyards and Winery sprawls across 17 acres of land on the De Portola Wine Trail, cultivating an ever-growing selection of specialties such as vermentino, aglianico, pinot grigio, and brachetto. Patrons can sample a consistently rotating arsenal of flavors inside a tasting room that’s open every day of the week, or take their wine education a step further by taking a tour of the production facility or helming a tell-all interview with one of the grapevines. Cougar Vineyards also plays host to a variety of events every month, including live musical acts on Saturdays.