O.C.’s Best 2020! | Silver Linings of Quarantine

When life hands you lemons…
Bella Bar photograph by Emily J. Davis

Have a Virtual Facial Party
Each Wednesday at 7 p.m., BellaBar hosts seven attendees in a facial party on Zoom. The virtual soiree is free to join—you can either use products you have on hand or purchase Bella Bar’s facial kit in advance for $15. The party runs for 30 minutes with an additional 10 minutes afterward to ask questions. Anaheim Hills, 714-874-5872

Try a Blind Wine Tasting
Local wine club Argaux offers blind wine-tasting kits to enjoy at home. Choose from two to four bottles of red, white, or both, and you’ll receive them wrapped in tissue paper with tasting grids to record your thoughts. When you’re done, simply unwrap the bottles to reveal each one. Costa Mesa, 949-284-4917

Dine on Fancy Freezables
Gourmet preppers, this hoard’s for you. Stop by Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine to stock up on fresh freezables—trays of chicken enchiladas, mac ’n’ cheese, and chicken potpie by chef Porfirio Gomez. Feeds one to four. Irvine, 949-387-8887

Start a Local Safari
Trying to find an activity to lift spirits of local residents, Suparna Salil devised an animal sightseeing adventure—Laguna Safari. She and her husband, Alan Boyles, put together a map of nearly 80 spots around town where eager residents put out stuffed animals for wildlife seekers to track from their cars. Laguna Beach

Tune in to Your Skin
Finding your skin is a little lackluster? The Treatment Skin Boutique offers virtual consultations with an esthetician or a physician assistant to discuss any skin issues. They’ll then recommend products or give ideas about how to update your regimen. Newport Beach, 949-468-2905

Get Some Outdoor Exercise
Even when beaches and parks were closed, Back Bay never shut down to bikes and pedestrians. It’s a great place to walk, bike, run, or skate all year, but during a pandemic it proves especially rewarding as people were able to socially distance and still see mustard in bloom and feel some sense of normalcy as they passed each other. Newport Beach

Pick Up Quality Cuts To-Go
Bypass supply chain woes with a concierge butcher. The Butchery Meats hooks you up with dry-aged Porterhouse steaks, Salmon Creek pork chops, and marinated tri-tips you pick up curbside. Your grill never had it so good. Brea, Costa Mesa, Crystal Cove, butcherymeats.com

Recruit Design Help
Refresh your interiors without having to leave the safety of your home. Send your floor plan or the measurements of the room you’re looking to update to Calligaris along with the furniture pieces you’re interested in. You can meet with a designer virtually and have fabric samples sent to your home. Costa Mesa, 714-884-3346

Refresh Your Closet
Use this downtime to update your closet. Meet with a California Closets designer virtually to discuss your goals, style, and budget. After you’re finished, the designer will create a three-dimensional design so you can see your vision brought to life. Corona del Mar, 949-478-7366; Huntington Beach, 714-899-4905

Enjoy a Drag Show
You can still get your Sunday drag brunch fix with Strut’s live Digital Drag Show on Instagram and Facebook. Simply order in brunch from your favorite restaurant and tune in to watch stellar performances from local queens. Costa Mesa, instagram.com/strutorangecounty

Encounter Haunted sites
Explore some local lore with the digital series of exclusive live and online video tours from Haunted Orange County’s historic sites such as the Kellogg House in Santa Ana. Follow on Instagram for ghost stories, virtual panels, watch parties, and interviews. Orange, instagram.com/hauntedorangecounty

Order a Half-Baked Pizza
Although half-baked typically denotes crazy, at Pitfire Pizza it suggests the crazy genius called The Pizza Box. Mix and match four half-baked pies and get Caesar salad and four chocolate cookies to feed four to six for $45. Costa Mesa, 949-313-6333

Head to orangecoast.com/readersrave to vote for your favorites from this year’s Reader Picks!

Visit orangecoast.com/best2020 for the rest of our Best Of picks.

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