Main Course: Eats Kitchen & Bar

OK, so the central dining space of Irvine’s yearling Eats Kitchen & Bar is rather odd. At first glance, it feels like the awkward spawn of Denny’s and a generic gastropub. A high circular bar crowned with glinting flat screens is up front, and beyond that is a ferociously lighted sea of glossy, sparsely populated tables. Continue to the back patio and you enter a different world.Sunset gives way to twilight, and candles glow on chunky marble dining tables. A fire pit flickers near folks kicking back on cushy, all-weather lounge seating, and the vibe here is chill, even under the heaters. This space crushes the casino-bright indoor setting. It’s still happy hour, and the waiter graciously points out a menu of special drinks and snacks. Craft cocktails for $4? Small bites for $2? In a slickly retooled Hotel Irvine? Get out.
Photograph by Kyle Monk

Snapshot: Nancy Segal, Director of Twin Studies at CSUF

The author of four books on separated-at-birth and other twins, Segal is in demand as a TV, radio, and courtroom expert. Her studies explore...

Photographer Nick Rothweiler

The elegiac photos seen here, from a series called “The Mourning Reflection,” are all Rembrandt chiaroscuro, by way of Jean Cocteau. A grim fairy...

Tastemakers: Sloane Street Jewelry

Frances and Charlotte Gadbois are the mom-daughter team behind Sloane Street Jewelry, which the Corona del Mar duo launched a year ago. Frances, 52, co-founder of Jude Frances luxury jewelry (she since has sold her share), and Charlotte, 22, design two collections: Spectrum, with semi‑precious stones ($1,500 to $10,000), and Caviar, one‑of‑a‑kind pieces for up to $150,000. Most sales are from the central U.S. But their SoCal status might be changing: They’ve now set their sights on Hollywood and the red carpet.

Rituals: Pliny the Younger

As a beer drinker and Green Bay Packers backer (my dad an “everyfan” who owns a single share of stock in the team), I sometimes enjoy popping by Hollingshead’s in Orange. There’s some fun Packers memorabilia lining the storefront deli-beer bar, and there are so many colorful bottles on the wall, it feels like a library of beer.One February a few years ago, I was passing by early in the morning and saw a line of Apple-release proportions in the lot, at an hour when Hollingshead’s is usually long closed. Some in the line had lounge chairs and tents. I found out they were waiting all night in the cold for a single prize: one glass of beer.

What’s So Special About Santa Ana’s PayanX Community Workouts?

What started in 2011 as a personal exercise quest blossomed into a community fitness movement dubbed PayanX. Beginning before dawn three days a week,...

Editor’s Letter: Why I drink cantaloupe martinis

In a social setting surrounded by peers, I’m a manly, bourbon-sipping kind of guy. But in secret, when I’m anonymous in a dark bar, I’m not opposed to ordering something far less hairy-chested.The Cantaloupe Martini is my drink of choice at Starfish in Laguna Beach. When the server places it in front of me, my wife invariably looks around to see who might be snickering, as if I’ve just ordered a stem glass full of estrogen. But I can’t help myself.

Best Fragrant Shopping Excursion

Cho Hoa Flower FestivalWander overflowing stalls of peach and pear blossoms (cut or potted), citrus trees, mai flowers, and ripe fruit at Little Saigon’s...

Legends Brewing Opens in Anaheim

When Legends Brewing founder Jay Talley slides a chilled pint of his award-winning lager across the bar, his excitement is part of the experience. A gleam in his eye and a frothy head clinging to the glass, my first sip of a Legends beer was a like a warm hug from an old friend. Aurora, Legends' red lager, feels like something new, something old, something borrowed, something brewed. Hints of cherry blush through the beer, giving way to a crisp, subtle smokey caramel finish. At 6.2% ABV, this beer is downright sexy.

Drink Up | February 2016

Our February issue features cocktails, tattoos, and more! COVER STORY | Drink Up! A Guide to Craft Cocktails Our list of the 39 tastiest in Orange County. Find web-exclusive drink recipes here. Beyond the Ink photo gallery gives six artistically inclined locals the chance to show (!) and tell us the story behind their favorite tattoos.