December 12, 2010 marked the final day of the official grand opening weekend of Endless Food & Fun in Huntington Beach, CA. It was, in a word...fun.
Unforeseen issues forced the grand opening to be delayed a week, but many who had already purchased tickets for the original December 5th weekend opening did not hear of the delay. When a flood of customers showed up on that weekend, owner Andrew Pereira wouldn't turn them away. He threw open the doors, unresolved issues and all, and let everyone in for free, allowing them to keep their tickets for another day. It is that customer-first spirit that is the backbone of Mr. Pereira's business philosophy for Endless Food & Fun.
What is Endless Food & Fun?
This unique dining and entertainment facility is about 50,000
square feet of family-oriented amusements, including an expansive
buffet facility that stretches the depth of the massive building, an
8,000 square foot laser tag arena, an arcade games area, private
party and meeting rooms, themed rooms, and Delicioso!, a
soon-to-be-opened fine dining restaurant.
When asked to share customer reactions to his Endless
Food & Fun brainchild, Mr. Pereira responded, "No matter how
much you read about it, no matter how many pictures you take,
it's impossible to describe. When people walk through our doors,
their mouths drop."
For adults, Endless Food & Fun serves beer and wine
and an inventive menu of wine-based cocktails.
Theme rooms provide a place to dine and hang out. The
Surf's Up room is decorated with vintage surfboards and a
famous surfers wall of photos and mementos. The Scoreboard
room has plush seating and plenty of TVs for live sports feeds.
The Idols room is Karaoke equipped to allow anyone to tap into
his or her own inner "Idol", and it's a place where live entertainers
may pop in for performances from time to time. Finally, there is
the Playground room where families with small children can dine
amidst playful colors, fairytale art, and whimsical ceiling kites.
Mr. Pereira's attention to detail is evident in the room's rubber-based
flooring that helps protect little ones who may take a tumble or drop
to their knees for a crawl. Motion-detecting lighting saves energy
when the room is not occupied.
The laser tag arena is equipped with cameras, and live
feeds play on screens near the arena entrance allowing anyone
to watch the laser battles. There are both standard arcade games,
(including a thrilling roller coaster simulator), and arcade redemption
games, like Skee Ball, that produce tickets redeemable for prizes.
Private party rooms are free to groups of 15 or more people.
From birthdays to sports teams to corporate meetings, those
scheduling a private party get a consultation with Endless
Food & Fun representatives who discuss everything from custom
decorations to equipment needs. Every private room is equipped
with a flat screen TV to facilitate presentations.
According to Mr. Pereira, the word "No" is not a part of Endless
Food & Fun. He states, If you want to bring your laptop and use our
WiFi connection to work online while the kids play, be our guest. If you
want to bring a deck of cards and strike up a friendly game, please do.
If you are enjoying yourself, we are doing our job. It's as simple as that.
Sunday Brunch, Buffet Dining and Delicioso!
The buffet is a work in progress. I was there during Sunday brunch. Initially there were only typical breakfast foods that I found tasty but without surprise except for the fried hominy, which was definitely not ordinary. But a little later, thanks to the talented culinary team led by executive chef, Bill Markland, the buffet began to fill up with delicious, creative fare, including a surprisingly exquisite Brussels sprouts dish and a fresh, well-stocked salad bar. The carnitas were artfully spiced, the stuffed cabbage rolls were tender and well seasoned, and the dessert cakes were moist and flavorful.
Choices included buttered parmesan noodles, pizza, carved roast beef, etc., plus each
day's menu has a theme. Monday is All-American, Tuesday is
Latin, Wednesday is Asian, Thursday is Italian, and Friday is
Seafood. Sunday brunch will boast Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine,
and Quiche Lorraine in addition to its standard breakfast fare
and omelet bar, plus it will feature lunch and dinner specialties. Not all of
this food was available when I was there on the first official Sunday
Brunch day, but I'm informed that it will all be up and running soon.
When I asked Mr. Pereira why the buffet was not fully functional, he
described the importance of freshness and the need to mitigate
the potential for unnecessary waste. Endless Food & Fun
has been open only a few days and is still finding its legs, but as
people learn of the buffet, its abundant offering will be self-fulfilling.
In the meantime, guests can ask for something they may not see, and
if it's within their power, kitchen chefs will produce it. That may seem to
be an overly generous premise, but if there's one thing I learned
during my 3 hours at Endless Food & Fun, it's that customer
happiness is of paramount importance to the owner and his staff.
The Delicioso! menu will feature everything from a Kobe New York steak to Beef Wellington, duck breast, Chicken Cordon Bleu, horseradish and bacon encrusted scallops, lobster, and a host of other specialties. The restaurant is cozy and warm, and when opened it will provide a quiet dining refuge within the Endless Food & Fun facility.
Pricing for Arcade Games, Buffet, Laser Tag and Family Fun
The only mandatory cost at Endless Food & Fun is the buffet. Because
there is no policing of the buffet area, and because people can come and go to
the buffet as they see fit, everyone who enters must purchase a buffet ticket.
The ticket also provides access to the theme rooms and any entertainments
each may offer, such as sports viewing or Karaoke. And while the buffet is
self-service, there is a wait staff to refill drinks, clear dishes, and help with
whatever requests a diner may have. My server, Shay, was attentive and
genuinely concerned with making the meal pleasant. Other staff worked
throughout the facility to keep it spotless while some gave tours to
Access to laser tag and arcade games can be added to the buffet
pass in multiple-hour or unlimited all-day increments. Fun cards for arcade
redemption games are purchased separately.
One popular pricing package includes the buffet and a 4-hour block of laser tag and arcade games. That dining/gaming package costs about $40. There are a number of pricing combinations available.
Dining can also stand alone.
On weekdays, a 2-hour pass for just the buffet is $9.99 for adults and $5.99 for children under twelve. An all-day pass is $17.99 for adults and $9.99 for children.
Weekend prices increase to $11.99 for adults and $6.99 for children for the 2-hour pass, and $26.99 for adults and $14.99 for children for the all-day pass. Access to the fountain drink bar is $2.29 per person. Beer and wine is sold individually.
Endless Food & Fun Future
Endless Food & Fun is new, but according to Mr. Pereira, it's only just begun to grow. More games are already en route, including additional arcade games and games for younger children. Expansion within a year is already contemplated for the initial facility while new Endless Food & Fun establishments are planned for other areas.
For families, Endless Food & Fun is a place for eating, playing and bonding. The colors, inside and out, are vibrant and bright, and there is beautiful art on the walls, much of it for sale by local artists. The games are fun for all ages, and it's a safe and secure facility where children can engage with parents in a variety of fun activities or go off on their own while parents simply pursue a bit of relaxation. There are even safety marshals inside the darkened laser tag arena. According to Mr. Pereira, safety, fun and good food are a magic combination.
Endless Food & Fun Info
address: 7227 Edinger Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Monday thru Thursday hours: 11:00 am 10:00 pm
Friday hours: 11:00 am to midnight
Saturday and Sunday hours: 9:00 am to midnight
After hours events are available.
Event planners are onsite to help coordinate private parties,
celebrations, and corporate meetings.