The Original Pepperbelly's attracts nationally known comedians from film and television, slaying mature audiences with expertly sharpened wits. Home to the ghosts of famous comics such as Dana Carvey and Louie Anderson, Pepperbelly's maintains its reputation as a comedy hub by stuffing its schedule with standup veterans who extort more chuckles than gangsters armed with semiautomatic whoopee cushions. Upcoming showcases include 3 Blonde Moms, comprised of television comediennes Joanie Fagan, Kat Simmons, and former Miss California and Desperate Housewives guest star Donna Cherry, who riff on the foibles of modern matriarchy from August 26–28. From September 16–18, "World's Funniest Cop" Michael Mancini unleashes the law-upholding laughs that sent gallons of milk spewing down Jay Leno's chin, and from September 30 to October 2, Damon Williams struts the comic chops that commandeered Showtime at the Apollo and earned honorary knighthood from The Kings of Comedy.
The patty masters at Burger City send savory signals to taste receptors with a classic menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and steaks. The chipotle burger sears a third of a pound of beef to specification and uses a soft bun as a springboard for fried onion strings, smoked cheddar, bacon, and spicy chipotle sauce ($8.99), while the rib-eye steak sandwich tucks a slab of sizzling steak onto a garlic french roll, and comes with fries or potato salad ($13.99).
Piano Fuerte Cigar Lounge summons smoky satisfaction from its large selection of imported and domestic cigars, including brands such as Rocky Patel, Arturo Fuente, Joya De Nicaragua, and 601. For Grouchos and Grants seeking custom blends, Piano Fuerte offers up its private label, PF brand cigars, with the smokes hand-rolled by a Miami cigarsmith. PF cigar blends include the Sonata Toro ($5), the Bravo Torpedo ($6), and the Liga Reserve Robusto ($7.50). In addition to cigars, Piano Fuerte also stocks a bevy of smoking accessories. Threaten scarecrows with a Xikar Executive lighter ($24.99), double up flame potential with a Tiger dual-torch lighter ($19.99), or prepare for cooking the world’s largest s’more with the Tiger triple-torch lighter ($24.99). Cuban Crafters humidors ($20–$130) are also available.
All across California, Western Bowling Proprietors Association sends pins scattering at a network of bowling alleys, each with its own personality. In addition to open bowl on automatically scored lanes, many locations host special events that heighten the experience with enhancements such as vibrant lights, lively music, and laser systems that do double duty protecting the alleys' diamond collections. The alleys also house refreshment facilities, pro shops, and diversions that range from arcade games to billiards.
The open wine tasting salon Taste at Oxbow aims to expand palates with an eclectic menu of wines chosen to accompany artisanal cheeses and gourmet food items. Energy-efficient fixtures illuminate the salon's olive and merlot-toned walls, which owe their hues to chemical-free paints.
Chef Greg Johnson transfigures time-tested favorites into creative dishes at the award-winning Zinsvalley Restaurant. Diners can steal away for an exotic midday lunch of coconut yellow curry, which bathes baby bok choy, yams, shitake mushrooms, snow peas, and jasmine rice together in a bath of yellow coconut milk curry ($14), or field imaginary fly balls while noshing on the Wagyu beef hot dog with a piquant kick of jalapeño jam and pico de gallo ($11). At dinner, gourmands can sip local small-production vintages while elegantly slurping shrimp linguini ($16) or the chef's signature steak frittes, which pairs grilled Kobe Bavette with chili-rubbed fries and watercress ($24).