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Seoul Food!

If you're craving Korean street food, then this post is for you! Last week, I grabbed lunch at Urban Seoul--a relatively new Korean-fusion restaurant at Diamond Jamboree. I went on Taco Tuesday and had some of the most delicious tacos I've tasted in a long time! $5 buys you three tacos of your choice, and I chose to try the crispy pork belly, gogi beef, and spicy pork. Read more...

Go Green (Tea)!

I'm definitely more of a coffee than tea person, but the other day while I was on a photo shoot for our August issue, I had the pleasure of trying a Thai iced green tea from Frozen Cow Creamery, a chocolate and ice cream shop in Costa Mesa. It blew me away! Unlike some green teas that have more of an earthy flavor, chocolatier Christopher Michael's secret blend of green teas--sourced from Thailand--is naturally sweet and floral with a hint of rose essence, which I happen to love! Read more...

Sometimes, You Just Need a Cupcake

I know the fad is long gone, but I don't care. On trend or not, sometimes you just want a cupcake to satisfy that sugar craving! (Pictured: Golden Butter Cupcakes with Madagascar Vanilla Buttercream) My new favorite bakery that does the job is Sugar Blossom Bake Shop in San Clemente. Its cupcakes and other confections are made from scratch daily and with only the best ingredients—Valrhona and Callebaut chocolate, Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, and organic dairy products. Read more...

It's Fate: Falling in Love With an Iced Mocha

Never far from caffeine—you'll rarely find me without a cup—I've taken to scouting out the best coffee around, wherever I am. Though black iced coffee is my ultimate go-to, I love indulging in iced mochas. It's pretty easy to get your hands on a decent cup, but I've found it difficult uncovering places that offer just the right proportions of espresso and good quality chocolate. I'm not a fan of mochas overloaded with sugary syrup. Read more...

Lil Places We Love: The Book Corral

In the age of digital reading, The Book Corral is a great place to find good reads that don’t require batteries. Nestled in a small, rustic Mission Viejo shopping complex, the second-hand store has wooed casual readers and hardcore bibliophiles alike since opening more than 30 years ago. Rich Lucas, the fourth owner since taking over in 2011, enthusiastically runs the homey bookstore with help from his wife and two sons. The 1,800-square-foot store offers more than 40,000 books that are fiction, nonfiction, and sometimes in-between. You’ll find vintage comic books (up to $40) from the 1970s, as well as a small collection of used textbooks ($5 to $100). Regular customers receive discounts, and those who donate books throughout the year get a voucher for a free book come their birthday. You also can rent a few new books for $3 a week, including picks such as “Doctor Sleep” by Stephen King, and “Sycamore Row” by John Grisham. And, you can meet some Orange County authors at in-store promotions; past guests have included Deborah Radwan (“The Compass”) and M.J. Roe (“The Blue Amulet”). Read more...

Lil Places We Love: Laguna Beach Institution Husky Boy Burgers

Once family-owned but now privately operated by Viva Laguna Inc., the drive-in style eatery—still in its original Coast Highway location since it opened in 1951—offers a variety of grilled burgers made in-house. Read more...

Lil Places We Love: Lake Forest’s El Progreso, Carmel’s Revisited

In Lake Forest, if you look past the Denny’s, which sits close to El Toro Road, you’ll see El Progreso, a Mexican restaurant that serves authentic cuisine that’s easy on the wallet. Read more...

Finding Blueberry Heaven

Last week before shooting our October "Global Diner" feature, our photographer Priscilla Iezzi and I decided to take a detour--which ultimately made us late to the shoot--to admire the pastry counter at Tustin's Cream Pan bakery. As a food stylist for Orange Coast and lover of anything involving butter and pastries, I took it upon myself to try their blueberry croissant, and boy am I glad I did! Everyone knows you can’t beat owner Yoshinori Inada’s strawberry croissant, but this must-try, filled with sweet, juicy blueberries, is equally tantalizing. The perfect combination of buttery, flaky pastry, and melt-in-your-mouth custard, it’s simple and comforting, and every bite is blueberry heaven. Read more...

OC Guides

Guides

OC Guides
  • O.C.’s Best: Tiki Drinks

    Though some regard them as overly cloying concoctions, tiki cocktails such as mai tais and zombies are enjoying a resurgence in Orange County. Craft bartenders layer the rum-based drinks with multiple spirits and spices to create beguiling and complex potions. Here are five great places to get your tiki on. Read More
  • Neighborhood: Dana Point

    Perched above Pacific Coast Highway, Monarch Bay Plaza reflects the relaxed sophistication of its Dana Point neighborhood. In the Spanish-style mall with red tile roofs, ocean breezes blow through white stucco archways, and upscale-yet-casual boutiques and restaurants attract locals and tourists. Read More
  • O.C.’s Best: Vegan Breakfasts

    Veg-heads don’t just mow down bowls of granola and slam wheatgrass shots at the break of dawn. Most want to enjoy brunching on Sunday-Funday with everyone else. And because it can be hard to find tofu scrambles and dairy-free waffles, we’ve rounded up five local eateries that provide tasty vegan options to start the morning right. Read More
  • Best of 2014: Nutty Brûlée

    No one can resist breaking into the sugary crust of crème brûlée, and this one packs an extra surprise with its abundance of silky-smooth chocolate-hazelnut custard below—thanks to the addition of Nutella. This sinful dessert is incredibly rich and best shared with a friend. $8
    704 E. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach, 949‑673‑7173, theslidingdoorcafe.com

    Read More
  • Best of 2014: Honey Bee Chicken

    You’ll fall in lust with the chicken pieces at BBQ Chicken at Diamond Jamboree in Irvine. Fried in olive oil for a crunchy exterior, they’re tossed in a sweet honey sauce making them all the more delicious. $11 to $21

    Read More

Style Stuff

  • Hot Shop: Betting the Farm

    “There’s not a guy in America who wants to go to the mall,” says John Anderson, left, co-owner, with his brother Mike, of Tankfarm in Seal Beach. Read More
  • It's a Charmed Life!

    Fashion Island's go-to beauty lounge, Blushington, is teaming up with jeweler Kendra Scott to launch her new Charm Bar Collection featuring a variety of charms, letters, symbols, and stones, on Friday, August 8 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Read More
  • Hot Shop: Popping With Petals

    Petals and Pop would be at home in a Paris street scene. Blooms and foliage spill onto the sidewalk from old aluminum buckets and vintage German pickling jars. Inside, a floor-to-ceiling library ladder slides along the shelves of this flower and home goods store, providing access to vases, table linens, garden and kitchen tools, specialty chocolates, and cookbooks. Read More
  • Ruffle Some Feathers this Fourth of July!

    We're all familiar with the food truck craze, but now there's a new kind of truck to get excited about. Pekok Within Boutique is Orange County's first fashion truck to hit the streets. The peculiar name is intended to encourage customers to embrace the idea of peacocking, or "Pekoking": using fashion as a means to attract attention and distinguish oneself. The new business is taking part in the Fourth of July event at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina July 4th from noon to 10 p.m. and July 5th from 1 to 10 p.m. Read More
  • Here Come the Brides!

    Looking for wedding inspiration — something that will set you apart from the crowd? Then keep from 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3, open. That's when Something Lovely Wedding returns to Orange County, with an impressive collection of more than 30 high-end wedding resources here in SoCal. Read More
 
 
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