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In the late 80's, Tomas Morato in Quezon City used to be a quiet, tree-lined street with popular restaurants such as Mario's and Alfredo's. The first branch of Max's Fried Chicken was just a few blocks away, standing amidst modest bungalows on Scout Tuazon, the street parallel to Tomas Morato. Today, the Timog-Tomas Morato neighborhood is bustling with Quezon City dwellers who eat, play and shop at the many spots that dot the area.
Tomas Morato, in itself, offers a smorgasbord of dining choices for the discriminating foodie. Uno, a small, nondescript restaurant located near the corner of Fuentebella and Tomas Morato, is one of the best in the area. Hailed as a favorite of numerous foodies in this part of Manila, the menu is ever-changing, with outstanding pasta, appetizers, entrees and home-made iced tea. Freshly-baked bread is also sold daily, but should you need a lot of orders of their famous Pagnotta bread, it's best to call in the order before dropping by. Bring cash when you decide to go, Uno does not honor plastic.
Katre serves up Mediterranean fusion while Cesar Montano's Bellisimo is a cozy Italian resto which carries a selection of wines to complete the meal. Bellisimo is set to transfer to the more spacious Il Terrazzo compound, where parking space is not a problem. Budget-friendly Amici is also just a few blocks away, serving fast-food style pizza and pasta dishes with a few outstanding gelato flavors on display. A smaller branch of Italianni's is also in the area, for those who love their Italian from the franchise.
Those who are serious about their vegetarian diet will find Greens a worthy place to frequent. The menu has tofu-based meals with dishes mixed in with organic veggies.
Icings opens its doors as early as 7 a.m. to morning persons who need more than just a cup of joe to jumpstart their day. Dessert is sweet and the options are endless at Morato. One spot is not enough to curb those sugar cravings: delectable cakes and pies at Banapple, crepes at Café Breton, Japanese-inspired creations at Kozui, churros at Dulcinea, customized cakes for parties and celebrations at Sucree, Baileys and Choco-peanut cream puffs at Wheatberry and caramel cakes from Estrel's.
A newer place on the block is Nomnomnom, which opened last March. Serving what they call "happy food", they have a mélange of vegetarian items with other menu staples, such as pasta, burgers, wraps and desserts. What's cool about hanging out at Nom is their themed film nights: take your pick from Black Saturday (Tenacious D and Nacho Libre), Bon Jour, Mon Amour (Amelie and Paris J'etaime) to Chick Flick Nights (300 and Fight Club). Screenings are free, given that you order food and drinks.
Nice, intimate date places like A Taste of L.A. offer the ambience and the tastiest menu stand-outs without the attitude.
Dolce is Quezon City's answer to Makati's clubs, with Manila's curious and fickle partying set dropping in on most days.
Dolce is located at Tomas Morato Extension. The club is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays with a door charge of P300.
Quezon City residents can try out Korean hairstyles with experts from Tony and Jackey Salon who handle tresses like pros. Pampering, pedis and perfectly-manicured tips can be had at Posh Nails and Tips n' Toes while dermatology services and cosmetic enhancements are available at Belo Medical Clinic.
Tony and Jackey Salon and Posh Nails is located at C.T.T.M. Square, 68 Timog cor. Tomas Morato, Quezon City.
Tips n' Toes is located across Il Terrazzo, Tomas Morato, Quezon City.
Belo Medical Clinic is located at Tomas Morato corner Scout Madrinan, Quezon City.
Rustan's Fresh at Il Terrazzo offers the best of local and imported products with a free hourly shuttle service that takes shoppers from GMA Network's office to Il Terrazzo. Santi's Delicatessen's branch at Timog Avenue gives the neighborhood its daily supply of top deli and wine picks for gourmet meals made easy.
Rustan's Fresh is located at the Lower Ground Floor of Il Terrazzo, Tomas Morato corner Scout Madrinan, Quezon City.
Santi's Delicatessen is located at the G/F Trans-Orient Maritime Agency Bldg. 66 Timog Ave.
MAKING ITS OWN MARK
Ricky Sta. Ana's Tattoo Shop also opened shop in Quezon City, giving tattoo enthusiasts from the north a chance to get themselves inked without having to go to his first shop in Pasay.
Skinworkz Tattoo and Body Modification is located at 288 FC Building, Tomas Morato, Quezon City with telephone numbers 352-4865, (0915)295-6001.