Although originally a Mexican restaurant, these days, Senor Big Ed is more like a trip to Puerto Rico, from the cuisine to the flags on display. And, as Miles Clements writes for the Los Angeles Times, “past those patriotic goods are wispy white curtains and sun-bleached walls…light and bright enough to recall a breezy beach scene despite its landlocked location on Lincoln Avenue.” If the decor alone doesn’t transport diners, the food will: helpings of mofongo (plantains, pork rinds, and garlic), plus roasted leg of pork and stewed beef impart signature Puerto Rican flavor, not unlike a bite of the fortress walls surrounding Old San Juan.
Frostbites Crepes & Frozen Delights' freshly made delectable desserts have garnered this ice creamery several accolades: MyFOXla voted Frostbites the best ice-cream parlor, while The Tonight Show granted it a custom-made jingle. Loosen up with the 16 flavors of sorbet chill (starting at $2.59), made with authentic italian ice, or dive taste buds into creamy chocolate frozen custard (starting at $2.79), made from natural ingredients such as egg yolk. Commitment-phobic customers can combine the two with the sorbet cream (starting at $2.89), where fruity flavors such as watermelon, coconut, and orange merge with rich vanilla custard. Those in the mood for pancake-esque desserts can fill up with a sweet crêpe ($3.29) hot off the griddle and topped with a choice of sauces (each $.69) and accoutrements (each $.89). Buck traditional notions of French cuisine with a sandwich crêpe (starting at $3.99), stuffed with a choice of meat, cheese, condiments, and fresh vegetables.
Fresh fruit, nonfat yogurt, flavorful sherbets, nutrient-rich boosts, and other wholesome ingredients are mixed to create a menu of health-conscious smoothies at Juice It Up! Lime sherbet adds a tangy edge to the pineapple juice and peaches that anchor the Congo Lime, one of 18 Classic smoothies. Dollops of no-sugar-added yogurt add velvety texture to Juice It Up!'s Delightful blends, which boast fewer calories and carbohydrates.
Customers can enhance their beverages with seven boosts, which include ginkgo biloba for those in need of extra energy and soy protein for those trying to help their muscles recover after wrestling a family of infuriated blenders. Juice it Up! provides the nutritional info for every menu item, so guests know exactly what they are getting with their order.
It's been posited that it takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice for a person to become really good at something. Pho So 9's chef has crafted the same delicious pho for more than 40 years, making him arguably a soup and noodle genius. His dark, rich broth simmers with rice noodles and chunks of rare steak, a complement to his lighter, seafood-rich stir-fries, all made with authentic ingredients. In the dining room, wait staff pour creamy Thai iced teas and coffees, surrounded by contemporary, Asian-inspired decor that gives the space a casual elegance.
Award-winning chefs can be found at Prep Kitchen Essentials, sharing knowledge such as how to pair cheeses with merlot to small groups of students. The cooking-supply retailer and culinary school enlists world-class kitchen artists to teach its introductory cooking courses. This level of access to acclaimed chefs is a rarity in the cooking-school world, and the newcomers who populate these beginner-level classes are immediately inspired as they learn the basics of preparation and the art of elegant presentation. Prep Kitchen's curriculum attracts a diversity of students, including professional chefs-in-training. In addition to adult courses, instructors kindle the talents of budding chefs with children's cooking classes and a summer camp where campers engage in string cheese tug-of-war and tell ghost stories about over-cooked risotto.