Monday, August 12, 2013


I'm typically the warmest person in the room, so searching for heat isn't really a priority for me. However, when I can get a little entertainment with my meal, then fire is most welcome. Here are some places where I love to watch them light it up.

For the Blue Light Special: El Corazon

How about some flaming tequila with your coffee? This one-man show offers the most options in addition to your after dinner drink. Frangelico, Kahlua, and Kahlua & Baileys can all be incorporated with your heated tequila in a flourish, as you can see from our model. One of their signature items, El Corazon is less about dining and more about socializing with margarita in hand. Unless you order Mexican coffee-- then look forward to the scoop of vanilla this balancing act will be poured over.

This reminds me of Independence Day sparklers. One of two table side treats, the other being an old school Caesar, Kierney (our server) presents a dazzling performance known as their hot chocolate. The Catch dessert starts off innocently enough, then blazes into a fireworks spectacular worthy of neighboring Angel Stadium, thanks to creme de cocoa and Bacardi 151. Coated in salty/sweet flavors, walnuts, caramel and chocolate protect vanilla bean ice cream. A nifty shaker of cinnamon allows for a good 15 seconds of Instagram video fame.

In this throwback to Old World cuisine, classic Italian specialties appear in their dark, cozy dining room. My preferred antipasti is hot stuff, as shown above. I was initially nervous at the proximity and height of our towering seafood inferno. However, he deftly prepared our shellfish, finishing with citrus and herbs. What I liked most was watching the dish come together from start to finish.

Sushi Dave sums it up best when he updates his status with, "Hot women and cold fish." From our awkward visit to The Venetian to his chef interview, it is apparent that David Fernandez knows sushi. Those that dine upstairs agree one of his best is the salmon lime roll: a creation of crab and avocado, topped with salmon and slivered lime. The final step is a brief torch of canned heat, intensifying the flavors. Of course, no discussion of Dave is complete without pitching his infamous jalapeno sauce. His all-purpose condiment is on the verge of something big-- it's just a matter of time.

Alcohol and flames give me flashbacks of St. Elmo's Fire (Don't ask if you don't know). Watching the ARC gang wield its powers for good is magical. Patrons are treated to seasonal vegetables, dips that unintentionally commingle and memorable cocktails. Libations such as Fighting Chance or Cigarettes & Coffee are embraced by counter culture, as gentlemen infuse smokiness and other nuanced flavors into liquid nourishment. At ARC, it's all fire, all the time.  

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