Gyros, American Coney Island

The import from Detroit has much more than its signature chili, mustard and onion-slathered dogs and fries. The gyros are carved directly from the rotating vertical spit when you order, then placed on warm pita and topped with sliced onions and a proficient tzatziki, or cucumber yogurt sauce—a good way to transport yourself to the Midwest via sandwich.

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A Fresca Outlook

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Tivoli Village started slowly, but things have picked up of late, and the mall, which still feels like a poor relation of Boca Park, should gather steam in 2013. I like their chances. Part of my optimism is based on a number of new restaurants slated to open. Angelo Sosa is about to launch an Asian fusion restaurant, Poppy Den; and creative L.A. chef Sam Marvin will reveal a steakhouse called Echo & Rig sometime in spring.