Read Our Editor’s Note on the February 2021 Hidden O.C. Issue

Illustration by Martha Napier

You love to learn about secret spots. How do I know? Every time we do a Hidden O.C. issue, it quickly flies off newsstands. Though we reveal new secrets about Orange County every few years, this one might be more relevant than ever because of what we’ve discovered.

Our community has suffered. We’ve had to adapt and shift. We need different things—masks, outdoor space, and generosity from each other to name a few. O.C. businesses have accommodated these needs in ways large and small. From online classes that can teach you anything to deliveries of veggies, books, and booze, here are places that are ready to help. We’ve rounded up goodies hiding in plain sight, such as chefs’ favorite dishes at their restaurants, as well as other treats that started quietly in the past year—elegant tasting dinners at Knife Pleat or the all-takeaway gourmet menu from Jonathan Blackford at Fork and Knife.

There were innovations in outdoor activities to keep the community connected from surprising partners—Segerstrom Center for the Arts hosted yoga on Argyros Plaza, where dance classes are available this month—and street takeovers in many of our cities. The latter was a fantastic result during a bad time: Laguna Beach, Orange, Fullerton, and more closed busy streets to cars so restaurants could expand outdoor seating and concerts might take place. Can we keep these going permanently?

Some of the finds we mention might subside as the year goes on, and some might not be allowed to shine just yet. But we hope you’ll view this as a collection of what’s possible, what to look forward to, and how to rejoice with new experiences or revisit old favorites as soon as you’re ready to get out and explore. Namaste.

Get a first look at our February 2021 issue at

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