Lendistry strives to help small businesses grow, and we invest in that mission both at work and in our lives. Today the Lendistry staff is sharing their favorite local restaurants in Southern California. Prepare to get hungry.

Linda and her family are long-time customers at Alicia’s Cookery: “I have been enjoying the menu at Alicia’s since 1990 as well as having her cater special family events. All lunch choices are served with fresh fruit and a dessert. Several years ago, Alicia opened a gift shop in her establishment and offers lovely and different things at reasonable prices. As a woman, it is always enjoyable to have an awesome meal with fun shopping to finish the experience.”

Nina is a regular at Aloha Hawaiian BBQ on Bristol Street across South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. “It has a friendly environment, good service, good food and best of all, they are very generous.”

Cory loves Tempo Cantina for their fusion of Mexican and Asian flavors, but he keeps going back for their excellent service and cucumber hibiscus margarita.

Huy is a frequent customer at Norigami, which began as a pop-up food stand and is on its way to a brick-and-mortar location. This eatery is owned by an Asian single mom, and Huy is thrilled to see her business growing.

For dessert, Huy likes Snow Monster‘s macarons, cookies and teas, which they serve in all sustainable packaging.

Kelvin recommends Tacos Jaliscos for their authentic Mexian cuisine. “Favorites range from familiar staples like tacos and enchiladas to more exotic items like braised goat and grilled cactus. The loud, sometimes rambunctious atmosphere reflects the clientele and the restaurants philosophy: 100% focus on food, without pretension.”

Now that you’re in the mood for tacos, Leeann thinks you should try Amor Y Tacos! Their tortillas are homemade, the tacos are “super yum”, and the jalapeno margaritas are not to be missed.

Did you know? 

Restaurant Week was started in NYC in 1992 by Tim Zagat of Zagat Survey, the famous maroon restaurant guide, and the late Joe Baum, owner of The Rainbow Room.

Alison is a big fan of the lunch specials at Shark Sushi, and the whole team gets take-out from Green Tomato Grill regularly.

Supporting local restaurants involves more than eating, paying and leaving. Lendistry’s VP of Business Development, Janet Perez Shensky shared a recent experience at a local restaurant in which both she and the restaurant owner went above and beyond:

“One afternoon, while having lunch at a restaurant I began to think about my experience from the size of the location to the plates. Knowing that new businesses fail within the first two years, I shared my observations with the owner. Yesterday, I went back and found he implemented some changes including one of my recommendations. I was ecstatic! The change made my experience much better and I hope it will for other customers. Support local businesses with your wallet and help them thrive with positive, constructive feedback. You never know what can happen.”

Is it lunch time yet?