Peppino's menu of family-style portions provides more savory pairings than grandma could shake a slotted spoon at. Ease a land lover into the seafood sampler, composed of halibut, shrimp, scallops, and salmon atop a bed of angel-hair pasta infused with a garlic-basil tomato sauce and a splash of white wine ($21.95), or teach the young ones the true meaning of antipasto with a piled-high salad of salami, capicola, ham, mortadella, provolone, red onions, black olives, tomatoes, pepperoncini, kitchen sinks, roasted peppers, and mixed greens ($9.95).
For more than three decades, Bravo Avo’s chef Avo Kilicarslan has been welcoming diners with his warm personality and homestyle Greek Mediterranean cooking. Fresh, natural ingredients lift his entrees and family meals to heights that both wow palates and comfort kin and couples. The gyros, kebabs, and moussaka pair with private-label red or blond ales and imported Greek wines to bring out a full bouquet of flavors and explore the depth of Greek Mediterranean preparation. The sunny yellow surroundings foster an inviting atmosphere, with walls that boast the restaurant's numerous awards, vibrantly colored works of art, and a wooden panel depicting a seafaring Dionysus.
After meals, guests linger over their tables to dig into housemade baklava with roasted walnuts before taking home bottles of Avo's signature mustard sauce. The flavorful recipe—which has been a favorite since 1979—dresses up steak, seafood, or vegetables as a marinade or dipping sauce.
Chef and owner Hisashi Araki fuses authentic Japanese cuisine with European influences, combining flavors of Japan, France, Italy, and Germany in his reinterpretation of sushi. The chef's Araki sashimi platter stages a performance of six specialty cold dishes that change to match the freshest daily market selections. Slices of yellowtail carpaccio entertain diners with notes of cilantro, serrano chili, and lively games of pin the tail with the chopsticks, and the scallops sashimi coats tender bivalves with a spicy yuzu sauce. Cuts of the tai japanese sea bream luxuriate under layers of dry miso and chives, drizzled with a hint of truffle oil. Guests can pair elegant slivers with a flight of five homemade sakes infused with fruit to tickle palates better than bites from a knuckle sandwich.
Ana Maria Montoya Kishihara first landed on American soil in the early 1980s, bringing along her two young children, the traditional Peruvian recipes of her mother and grandmother, and a dream to start her own restaurant. She opened up Inka Grill in 1996, stocking its kitchen with fresh ingredients and setting up a wood-fired rotisserie to roast juicy Peruvian chicken dishes. Today, Ana’s daughter has taken over the family business, whipping up the authentic the Criolla recipes passed down from the three generations of women before her.
Amid the smoky rotisserie and bubbling pots of stew in the Inka Grill kitchen, chefs whip up fresh fish ceviches, savory steak stir-fry saltados, and flavorful seafood paellas. They pair heaping scoops of rice and beans with their rotisserie chicken, a poultry that reporters from Orange County Weekly lauded as “so juicy from tail to sternum you can barely tell the dark from the white.” Servers tote sizzling platters to the dining room, where vivid paintings of Peruvian children adorn the walls and a soft flute plays traditional Peruvian songs, i.e., Wham! covers. The staff pours glasses of the traditional chicha morada corn drink and presents cans of imported Inca Kola to quench the spice of their ultra-spicy green aji sauce, which the chefs have lightheartedly dubbed “Gringo Killer”.