July’s Hip Hood: Baker St. and Fairview in Costa Mesa

The intersection of Baker Street and Fairview Avenue in Costa Mesa is a busy one; few drivers stop to look around. But those who take the time to pull into one of the nearby strip malls will discover a photo-worthy newcomer tucked alongside some established favorites.

The Straw: Modern Milkshakes
This dessert spot, open since March, is not your typical soda fountain: Witness the Cinful (made with horchata, $7.50) and the Cha Cha (mango and sriracha, $8). 1215 Baker St., 714-852-3772, thestrawoc.com

Vietnam’s Pearl
Local office workers come here on their lunch hour for steaming bowls of pho, banh mi sandwiches with curry fries, and spring rolls with pork and shrimp, all served in a cheerful space painted in shades of orange and green. $5 to $9. 1215 Baker St., 714-540-2212, vietnamspearloc.com

Lil’ Pickle
This old-school sub shop, a hole in the wall with a handful of booths, has been serving sandwiches since 1962. The soft steamed rolls come packed with meat, cheese, tomatoes, and shredded lettuce—and a pickle on the side. 2985 Fairview Road, 714-979-552, lilpickle.com

OC Salsa
Every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, amateur dancers get together in this spacious studio to practice salsa or the bachata, a social dance from the Dominican Republic, at hour-long classes ($15). 2980 McClintock Way, 949-813-0412, estebanconde.com


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