Best of 2010 1-20

01 Soda SelectionThe ruffled crown cap. The frosty glass bottle. The pop and hiss as you snap one open. A sundry selection of 100-plus vintage sodas—including diet and pure cane sugar varieties—awaits at Zlaket’s, each promising a carbonated dose of nostalgia and a sweet remedy for that summertime thirst. Mix and match your own $8 six-pack. 12921 Main St., Garden Grove, 714-534-2188, zlakets.com.

Best of 2010 21-40

Value Restaurants21 Cafe Rio, Lake Forest22 Cucina Alessá, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach23 Daily Grill, Irvine24 Dosa Place, Tustin25 House of Big Fish,Laguna Beach26 House of Kabob, Lake Forest27 Scottie’s Smokehouse, Orange28 Wadiya, Anaheim29 Yves’ Bistro, Anaheim Hills30 Z’Tejas, Costa Mesa31 Diner Chili for the Health-Conscious

Best of 2010 41-60

41 Finding the Best…Bargain TheaterA Step-by-Step GuideRemember that old movie house where you saw “Die Hard”? Chances are it’s now a bargain theater, and in these times of skyrocketing ticket prices, that’s not a bad thing. Here’s how I found the best bargain theater.—Scott ChristianStep 1  I Googled “bargain theaters.”Step 2  I narrowed the search to theaters with m

Best of 2010 61-80

61 Gourmet S’moreThat childhood summer fave, the S’more, has grown up at BeachFire Bar & Grill. A 4-by-4-inch homemade graham cracker is topped with a wedge of housemade marshmallow torched golden, drizzled with melted bittersweet Belgian chocolate, and crowned with a scoop of vanilla-bean ice cream. $7. 204 Avenida Del Mar #D, San Clemente, 949-366-3232; 25682 Crown Valley Parkway, Building I, Ladera Ranch, 949-542-7700,

Murder, Love & Redemption

Everyone knows how Manson girl Susan Atkins helped take lives. But few know the story of the life she helped save.

Doctors by Specialty: Q–Z

Radiology Stephen A. Feig Breast imaging UCI Medical Center-Radiology, 101 The City Drive S., Orange, 714-456-6905June M. Herman Radiology-mammography and nuclear medicine UCI Medical Center-Radiology, 101 The City Drive S., Orange, 714-456-6595   Rheumatology Michael Fabricant Rheumatoid arthritis St. Jude Her

Chronic Back Pain

It was Christmas Eve, intense back pain had landed me in the hospital, and I’d never felt lower in my life.

The Difficult Choice of Getting an Elective Double Mastectomy

In late September 2001—it was already a bad month—my sister Mary, who had just turned 33, learned she had breast cancer. Her doctor suggested the rest of us get tested for the BRCA2 gene, which increases the risk of breast cancer. One in every 800 women carry that gene, and my doctor told me that if I had it, I’d have about an 85 percent chance of developing cancer, given my family history.

Long-Term Caregiving

I came home from work one day in 2000 and knew something was wrong. My wife, Wendy, a graphic designer, was 49 at the time. She was sitting at the table having a glass of wine. I asked her what happened and she said, “I don’t know. I was on the 55 Freeway. I was stopped in traffic. Everything turned white. Next thing I know, cars were honking at me. I worked my way off the freeway, and took surface streets home.”

Devastating Depression

One morning, I woke up and literally could not get out of bed. It’s the most awkward and crazy thing I’ve ever felt. At the time I was 31. I was physically fit. But it was like a brick wall had been built on top of my body overnight. It was frightening.