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”).

A Latte That Will Make Your Day

This morning, I had one of those lattes. You know, the kind that starts your day off just right, and makes you feel as...

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.

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.

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.

Portola On-the-Go

With the impending opening of Union Market at The District at Tustin Legacy this month, we took a moment to get acquainted with a...

Three “New” Anaheim Breweries to Check Out This Holiday Season

Back in 1857, German settlers from San Francisco descended upon our area to make wine. They named the city Anaheim, which translates to "home by the Santa Ana river." By 1884, 1.25 million gallons of wine flowed from the city, setting up a downtown ripe with booze-crawl potential. Although the Santa Ana river isn't flowing wildly these days, local craft beer certainly is. The city has had a "breweries wanted" sign out for years, and it's starting to pay off. A dozen beer makers are now within city limits, with three opening around the stadiums this fall.

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.

O.C. Hip Hoods: Warehouse Alley

Head to these warehouses if you're looking to redecorate your home on a budget, pick up kitchen goodies, or try the latest electronic and remote-control gadgets.