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Hot Shop: The Extreme Collection at Fashion Island

Photograph by Emily J. Davis

When Adriana Barrera first saw a blazer from The Extreme Collection, she was on vacation in Spain. After realizing the brand wasn’t available in the U.S., she convinced the owners to let her open a boutique at Fashion Island. Now the CEO of The Extreme Collection United States, Mexico, and Latin America, Barrera is proud to have shared the stunning, handmade pieces with Orange County. “I came here from Mexico in 1985 when I was 15 years old … and started falling in love with the beautiful country that was embracing me,” she says. “I was always dreaming of being where I am right now.”

The Extreme Collection’s blazers ($434 to $849) are the brand’s iconic, standout pieces—some are embroidered, some have a fur trim, and some boast intricate embellishments. The boutique also carries an assortment of blouses, coats, trousers, and more, all handmade by Spanish artisans. “We’re not into fast fashion, we’re into slow fashion,” Barrera says. “These pieces are all put together by hand—all the details and everything.” Queen Letizia of Spain recognized The Extreme Collection with a National Fashion Industry award in February.

Inquire at the boutique about upcoming capsule collection sales, where customers can shop previous seasons’ blazers at discounted prices. Keep an eye out this month for the release of The Extreme Collection’s spring line.


1041 Newport Center Drive

Food News (Jan. 11 to 17)

The Rooftop Lounge
Laguna Beach
On top of the restaurant’s signature comfort food, you can also order from Surf Panda, the rooftop eatery’s menu of homestyle Chinese cuisine, and SuperRich, a Japanese popup from L.A. specializing in onigiri. rooftoplagunabeach.com/take-out-menu

Pitfire Pizza
Costa Mesa
Take home DIY pizza kits for kids ($35, serves 4) and adults ($45, serves 4). Both kits come with ready-to-bake chocolate chip cookies to enjoy after pizza.

Knife Pleat
Costa Mesa
The weekly three-course prix fixe menu is now available to-go. Dishes such as coq au vin with red wine-braised chicken and vegetable cassoulet can also be ordered a la carte. Add tea sandwiches and pastries for an at-home afternoon tea experience. exploretock.com/knifepleat/

Newport Beach
Pick up family-style French-inspired meals such as whole roasted chicken with a choice of two sides ($45) and ratatouille quiche ($32). You can also shop produce and pantry items and get 50 percent off select wine bottles to-go. lezinque.com/order-online

Blinking Owl Distillery
Santa Ana
Pre-order the distillery’s limited edition Bourbon Bottled-in-Bond whiskey, which comes in a collectible box. Barrelled in 2016, it is effectively O.C.’s oldest bottled whiskey and will be released next month. $250 blinkingowldistillery.com

4 Ways to Celebrate Veganuary in O.C.

Veganuary originated as an annual challenge to promote veganism by encouraging people to follow a vegan lifestyle for the month of January. Here are four spots in O.C. offering special vegan menu items to try this month!

Salt and Straw
Downtown Disney, Anaheim
The scoop shop’s annual Vegandulgence series features oat milk- and avocado-based ice creams in decadent flavors such as peanut butter strawberry crumble, bourbon and caramelized honeycomb, and chocolate hazelnut cookies and cream featuring vegan and gluten-free “Oreos.” Available for pick-up and shipping. https://saltandstraw.com/collections/shop-all/products/pints-of-the-month

Cafe Gratitude
Newport Beach
Try the I am Loving, a month-long special featuring forbidden rice, maple Brussels sprouts, roasted garnet yams, and smashed avocado. The restaurant is also offering a plant-based meal plan for the new year that includes a variety of bowls, salads, pressed juice, and herbal tonics. Order in advance at shop.cafegratitude.com

Taylor Made Cuisine
The meal delivery service recently added a vegan taco bowl to its repertoire with house-made quinoa taco meat, beans, zucchini, grilled peppers, toasted pepitas, and housemade salsa. You can order it from the a la carte menu along with other vegan options such as vegan chili, jambalaya, and banana walnut bread. taylormadecuisine.com/theshop

Dough & Arrow
Costa Mesa
One of the small-batch cookie cafe’s monthly flavors include the vegan Oreo snickerdoodle cookie. The base is made of Earth Balance vegan butter, coconut oil, and apple sauce. Available on weekends only. doughandarrow.co

Newport Beach-Based Elia Parfum Donates Portion of Proceeds to Charity

The Find Elia Parfum’s scents ($20 to $120) and candles ($25 to $55)
Good to Know A portion of the profits goes toward A21, an organization that provides assistance to survivors of sex trafficking.
Where eliaparfum.com

Disneyland Ends Current Annual Passport Program

Photograph by Emily J. Davis

In a letter addressed to annual passport holders today, Disneyland president Ken Potrock shared that the current membership program will be discontinued to give way to a new offering. 

“In the next several days, we will begin the process of issuing appropriate refunds for eligible Disneyland Resort Annual Passports and sunsetting the current Annual Passport program due to the continued uncertainty of the pandemic and limitations and expected restrictions around the reopening of our theme parks,” wrote Potrock in a statement.

If you held an active passport as of March 14, 2020, you can still take advantage of discounts at select Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street locations, including 30 percent off purchases Monday through Thursday from Jan. 18 to Feb. 25. 

Information about Disneyland’s new membership offering is expected to be announced on the annual passholders Facebook page

UC Irvine Alums Host “This Filipino American Life” Podcast

Photograph by Emily J. Davis

The couple founded the podcast in 2017 with friends Joseph Bernardo, a second-generation Filipino American, and Ryan Carpio, a Manila native who immigrated to the U.S. at age 7. Its hour-long episodes mix witty banter and in-depth interviews, with recent shows tackling such diverse subjects as a popular Filipina burlesque artist, urban gardening, and journalist Maria Ressa, an outspoken critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Nailat: What surprises us most—there are people who listen from other parts of the country, the South or the Midwest, also the Philippines and Australia and Europe. You start to think about the diaspora of Filipinos and where do they end up. We get people calling in from Iowa.

Dolalas: And Arkansas or Wyoming. You think, oh, there are Filipinos there? A lot of feedback we get is from listeners who say we are their cousins. It’s like a family party, and we are the cool cousins hanging out. I love that because whatever we’re saying, we come very much from a Southern California perspective, and folks are listening and hearing our stories.

Dolalas: For so long, Filipino American history was ignored. It’s a footnote in a U.S. history book. You only know about the Philippines from a line about the Spanish American War. You would never know about the Filipinos landing at Morro Bay or the settlements in Louisiana. We want to be able to create a space to document our history and our presence. I watch “Hamilton,” and I know the song “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” and it’s so true. Millions of years from now, when robots take over, maybe they’ll find these files and they’ll know our history.

Nailat: I think the biggest challenge was trying to find the right tone and approach. When we first started, it was like, oh, let’s record our conversations. But to do it in a way that’s compelling enough for people to want to listen to it and feel like we’re being genuine and authentic, and also a balance of intelligent and funny—it took us a while to find that right voice and sensibility. At first, we were very stiff. I would say it took us a good year to settle into just chatting the way we always do but also bringing people into the conversation.

Nailat: Both Elaine and I have Asian American studies degrees from UCI. Growing up, I understood my community to the extent that just naturally comes with being Filipino American, but I didn’t have a critical framework by which to more deeply understand it until college. When I got my degree in Asian American studies, my mom was like, “Why do you need a degree in this? You are Asian American.” I think it helped put this lens on my life and allowed me to think about what do these stories mean, and how do we put them together to advance our community and our culture?

Disneyland Will Be First COVID-19 Super POD for Orange County

The county of Orange announced earlier this week that the Disneyland Resort will be the first regional POD (point of dispensing) site for COVID-19 vaccination distribution. Disneyland Resort is providing a guest parking lot (located at 300 W. Katella Avenue) as a public vaccination site with the County managing operations and distribution slated to begin later this week.

As a “Super POD” site, Disneyland will be among several sites in O.C. that will be able to vaccinate thousands of local residents daily. The other sites will be Knott’s Berry Farm, OC Fairgrounds, Great Park, and Soka University. Law enforcement and first responders in high-risk communities as well as those ages 75 and older currently have priority during Phase 1a of distribution.

“It’s important to vaccinate as many willing people as possible for COVID-19, and we need the space to do it,” said Supervisor Donald P. Wagner, Third District. “I thank Disneyland Resort and the City of Anaheim for stepping up in the shared effort to give OC residents protection against the virus.”

The Disneyland Resort recently launched a public service campaign across Orange County encouraging residents to follow the current health and safety guidelines. The campaign features characters from “The Incredibles” with tips and reminders about physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and hand washing.

“Disneyland Resort is proud to help support Orange County and the City of Anaheim with the use of our parking lot, and we are grateful for all of their efforts to combat COVID-19,” said Dr. Pamela Hymel, Chief Medical Officer, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. “After a year in which so many in our community have faced unprecedented hardship and uncertainty, there is now reason for optimism with the administration of a vaccine.”

Outdoors and Nightlife Merge in Salt Lake City


Salt Lake City captured the international spotlight when it hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. Since then, travelers have flocked to this northern Utah metropolis to explore its walkable streets, partake in its thriving food scene, enjoy its burgeoning nightlife, and discover the great outdoors. The city is peppered with pockets of eclectic neighborhoods that have a vibe all their own. It’s also just a short drive from Park City, making it easy to take a day to ski.

Sleeping at the Bank
The Kimpton Hotel Monaco is in a 1924 bank building with a lobby that still brandishes original marble floors, heavy vault doors, and teller windows. The hotel’s exterior features original architectural elements—including carved stone faces, cartouches, and cornices—that have been meticulously restored. Rooms and suites ($142 and up) offer such appointments as separate sitting areas, wet bars, and dramatic draped archways. Situated a half block from the city’s ski shuttle, the hotel is also within walking distance of City Creek shopping center, Temple Square, and a plethora of downtown bars and restaurants.

Square at the Center
Encompassing several city blocks with the spired and Angel Moroni-crowned Mormon Temple as its centerpiece, Temple Square is both the cartographic hub of Salt Lake City as well as the pulse of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While it is Utah’s premier attraction, it is not a tourist trap. Three of the square’s buildings—the six-spired granite temple, the domed Tabernacle, and the stained-glass Assembly Hall—were built by pioneers. Two visitors’ centers include art galleries, interactive exhibits, and an 11-foot replica of Bertel Thorvaldsen’s Christus.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco is in a former bank building. Photograph courtesy of Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City

SLC is Hoppin’
For decades, Utah has had a reputation (rightly so) as having some of the strictest laws regarding alcohol. With the fall of the Zion Curtain—opaque partitions designed to shield the public from glimpsing bartenders mixing alcoholic drinks—regulations have loosened a bit. In 1986, the state’s first microbrew, now called Wasatch Brewery, was founded, leading the way for others. Today, the city is home to more than a dozen. The best way to experience the town’s budding beer scene is with a Salt Lake Brewery Pass, which allows you to visit up to 14 breweries, enjoying a $5 discount on food or beverages at each one.

Go for the Themes
To add a little whimsy to your stay, check into the Anniversary Inn. The 13 themed suites—such as the Phantom of the Opera or the Wild West, where a covered wagon doubles as the bed—make it feel as if you’ve time traveled. The most sought-after chamber is the Rio Grande Suite, which captures the essence and romance of rail travel with its train car theme. Each stay ($169 and up) includes a daily breakfast and sparkling cider.

Photograph courtesy of Wasatch Brewery

Research Your DNA
Those addicted to ancestral searches can visit the largest repository of genealogical records at the admission-free Family History Library at Temple Square. Use of the Family History Library, which features some 500 computers, is available to everyone, and the digital collection focuses on those who lived before 1930. One-on-one assistance from family history experts is available along with hands-on activities for kids and teens.

The Books of Mormons
Gustav and Margaret Weller, German immigrants and Mormon converts, opened Salt Lake Bedding, Furniture & Radio in 1925. After purchasing a large collection of used Mormon books, they renamed their shop Zion’s Bookstore in 1929. After a few more changes, Weller Book Works is now located at Trolly Square. It is still owned by the original family and managed by the third generation of Wellers. The store carries some Mormon-centric tomes along with a large inventory of new and used titles, bestsellers, and rare books.

Foods to Brag About
Utah loves to showcase some of its iconic culinary offerings. There’s Crown Burger, a local chain known for its charbroiled patty topped with cured pastrami finished with Thousand Island. The Fried Mormon Funeral Potatoes are to die for at Garage on Beck, featuring Idaho potatoes, cheddar cheese, jalapeno, bacon, and scallions.

Don’t Miss These Virtual O.C. Events in January

Tracey Sylvester Harris, “Horizons,” 2020, oil on canvas, 36 x 24 inches, courtesy of the artist and Laguna Art Museum


This annual art auction, which will be conducted online, will include more than 100 works curated by the staff at the Laguna Art Museum. Aaron Bastian, director of fine arts at Bonhams San Francisco and an appraiser on “Antiques Roadshow,” will provide special virtual commentary. Laguna Art Museum, 949-494-8971, lagunaartmuseum.org

JAN. 16
This string quartet—made up of two violinists, a viola player, and a cellist—formed in 1994 and has played throughout Europe and North America. This virtual concert features three pieces by Beethoven: “String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat major, Op. 130”; “Grosse Fuge, Op. 133”; and “String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132.” Philharmonic Society of Orange County, 949-553-2422, philharmonicsociety.org

JAN. 31
The Bowers will bring its popular chocolate festival online. The livestreamed program will include a discussion on cacao farming, a cooking demonstration featuring a chocolate-inspired recipe, live music, and an art project. Bowers Museum, 714-567-3600, bowers.org

A California native who earned her master’s in fine art at UC Irvine, Nguyen depicts the natural world and the cosmos in an unconventional way in her work. Her large-scale, colorful, dreamy paintings and installations have been shown at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Laguna Art Museum, and galleries around the world. Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949-498-2139, casaromantica.org


Camino Real Playhouse, caminorealplayhouse.org
The playhouse will continue to offer virtual classes for teens and adults in acting, improv, and magic. All courses are taught by experienced performers.

Chance Theater, chancetheater.com
The theater now has a series of virtual intensive workshops, taught by theater veterans, available for rent. Topics range from scenic design, costume design, and playwriting to preparing for musical theater auditions. In addition, the theater’s website continues to release new episodes of its video series, “Chance Encounters” and “Some Good News O.C.,” and hosts livestreamed events such as “Broadway, Chance Style,” in which Broadway actors with ties to the Chance perform and talk with audience members.

The Frida Cinema, thefridacinema.org
The cinema’s “Pop-Up Drive-In” series offers movie screenings outside various venues across Orange County, including the Zion Lutheran Church and School in Anaheim and the Mess Hall in Tustin. Online, the theater’s Streaming Cinema provides access to classic films for rent.

4 Little-Known Spots in Huntington Beach


Nearly hidden in the back of a complex of warehouses, this vintage shop brims with pristine midcentury modern and boho furniture, from couches and dining room sets to magazine racks and side tables. Lamps, vintage clothing, and shelves filled with 1950s-era plates, mugs, glasses, and bowls fill the rest of the space. The inventory multiplies every second Saturday, when a vintage market with more than 30 vendors pops up in the parking lot. 18411 Gothard St., 949-438-6564

The Green Olive
Generous portions of rice, salad, and hummus accompany skewers of well-seasoned beef, chicken, salmon, and shrimp ($12 to $16) at this new Mediterranean restaurant. Wraps with beef, chicken, falafel, or eggplant, served with spicy potatoes or salad ($9 to $10), round out the menu, along with traditional sides such as grape leaves ($10). Don’t miss the pita, made from scratch and baked to order. 18330 Beach Blvd., 657-329-0439

Heirloom, A Modern Farmhouse
It’s not the kind of place you’d expect to find in a strip mall, but this cozy, upscale restaurant has been a local favorite for more than two years. No wonder: The kitchen serves elevated comfort food such as Mac & Queso with mushrooms and crispy prosciutto ($14) and French onion soup ($11), along with a handful of small plates to share, including lemongrass curry shrimp ($18) and crispy eggplant with burrata and heirloom tomatoes ($15). 18344 Beach Blvd., 714-375-6543

Flashpoint Brewing Co.
Tucked in among auto repair shops, this new brewery offers more than a dozen types of beer on tap, from a traditional German pilsner to a coconut IPA to flavored fermented seltzer. You can grab a pint or a flight of five 6-ounce pours and sample them in the biergarten or take them to go in 16-ounce cans, 32-ounce cans, or 64-ounce growlers. Food trucks and caterers stop by most days. 7302 Autopark Drive, 714-465-2088