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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
  • 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
  • Best of 2014: New York Pizza

    Seal Beach’s A Slice of New York makes pizza the way it’s supposed to be—with a thin, chewy crust that oozes cheese and can be enjoyed the New Yawker way: folded in half.
    142 Main St., 562-493-4430, asliceofnewyorkpizza.net

    Read More
  • Best of 2014: Bird-Watching

    When the throngs of beachgoers are too much, spend a day with the birds. Here, with the wind whipping off the ocean and herons, egrets, ducks, and more soaring above, you'll get a chance to be the amateur ornithologist you never knew you wanted to be. Free
    3842 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach, 714-846-1114, bolsachica.org

    Read More
  • Best of 2014: Green Cleaners

    Sold from her website and a refitted retro travel trailer, these earth-safe cleaning products are Marilyn Nowak of Coto de Caza's propriety formulas. Products for laundry, surfaces such as glass and wood - even an ecological drain cleaner - all have dispenser bottles and bulk refills $8 to $48
    Resuming in September at Great Park Farmer's Market, Sand Canyon Avenue and Marine Way, Irvine, 949-292-1648, lilgreenwagon.com

    Read More
  • Food Lovers Guide - Vanilla

    Plain vanilla extract is fine for large-batch baking, but vanilla snobs like to play with other varieties, including the skinny, leathery beans. We won’t delve into the classic Mexican-versus-Tahitian debate, except to say we like Tahitian for creamy concoctions and the bolder Mexican in concert with dark chocolate. Find plump, vacuum-sealed beans of both varieties at Surfas Culinary District. Read More

Style Stuff

  • 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
  • Brea Mall is Home to O.C.'s Second Kiehl's Store

    In addition to getting a newly renovated mall, Brea now has bragging rights to a Kiehl's boutique. Elevating the skin and hair-care routines of loyal customers since 1851, Kiehl's chose The Brea Mall as the lucky landmark to expand the chain's presence, making it the second Orange County location (the other is at South Coast Plaza). Paying homage to Kiehl's East Village New York roots, the store brings a modern Big Apple apothecary to north county, blending antique fixtures with modern neon flair. Read More
  • California Cool: Oliver Peoples Launches WEST Sunglass Line

    This being the land of perpetual sun, it's no surprise that sunglass brand Oliver Peoples decided to launch a new line inspired entirely by coastal California. Read More
 
 
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