Photographs by Amanda DeFrancis
The corner of Harbor Boulevard and 19th Street in Costa Mesa has always been busy, but these days it’s hotter than ever. In the shadow of the renovated Triangle and two bustling restaurants, Social and Il Dolce, these four spots reflect the neighborhood’s up-and-coming spirit.
At this vegan-friendly restaurant, substitute soy ground beef, soy chorizo, or soy chicken and vegan cheese in any of the tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and tostadas, and wash it all down with a tall glass of dairy-free horchata ($2 to $8). 1902 Harbor Blvd., 949-642-3720
It’s not your boring beige packing and shipping shop: Boxes printed with cheery graphic designs and colorful packing tape are the norm here, along with fun office supplies such as hula-girl dusters and robot egg timers ($3 to $17). 1904 Harbor Blvd., 949-642-4269, boxfli.com
This O.C. mini-chain is known for its custom birthday and wedding cakes. It also has colorful petit fours ($3) and enticing cupcakes in flavors such as chocolate-peanut butter ($3.50). 1906 Harbor Blvd., 949-515-2555, cinderellacakes.com
Zach Cole: The Collection
The O.C.-based interior designer recently opened this showroom filled with stylish furniture and home decor. Pick out a few things yourself, or get help from a consultant at the design bar. 1925 Harbor Blvd., 949-430-0430, zachcoledesign.com