Here are four restaurants where the flavors are big and the style is informal. You'll visit more than once.
LEFT COAST KITCHEN & COCKTAILS, 1810 Merrick Rd., Merrick, 516-868-5338
There's a lot playfully going on at Left Coast, with full-flavored, creative food and an upbeat mood. Try the root-beer-glazed pork chop, mahi mahi tacos, Buffalo turkey wings, duck chicharones, chile-dusted tuna, pear salad with goat cheese and much more.
RELISH, 2 Pulaski Rd., Kings Park, 631-292-2740
It's very easy to become an instant regular at friendly and truly tasty Relish. The recommendations include maple-glazed chicken, meatloaf with brown gravy, the blue-cheese-capped burger and the roasted pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and provolone.
STORYVILLE AMERICAN TABLE, 43 Green St., Huntington, 631-351-3440
The spirit of New Orleans drifts through Storyville, in the style and on the plate. Some of the winners are shrimp-and-andouille sausage skewers, chicken-fried shrimp, charbroiled oysters, either the oyster or the pulled-pork po'boy and crisp fried catfish.
TRUE AMERICAN KITCHEN, 348 E. Jericho Tpke., Mineola, 516-747-5100
Chicago hot dog, Lower East Side sandwich, Southern fried chicken, Louisiana shrimp and grits, New England lobster roll, New York strip steak, pan-roasted Long Island duck breast -- you get a quick geography lesson at this lively new restaurant with real personality and enough homey choices to feed the most contrarian group.