Food is the poor man’s passport, a way to explore the world and its cultures without having to endure proctologic body scans, airline seats built for pixies, or the other joys of intercontinental flight. And thanks to Orange County’s dynamic restaurant scene, it’s possible to experience firsthand—and at relatively low cost—the difference between pizzas made with Italy’s coveted Caputo 00 pizza flour and San Marzano tomatoes, and ones that aren’t.
This isn’t a privilege afforded to people in most parts of the world. For them, that sort of culinary transportation involves actual transportation. Seriously, in how many other places can you sample eight bánh mì sandwich joints in a single day? As you’ll see in our Guide feature on Page 76, that kind of gustatory adventure involves nothing more than a little road time for those of us lucky enough to live in Orange County. Also this month, we present the results of our exhaustive search for the county’s best pizza. For that, simply click here.
We’re working hard to make Orange Coast the most authoritative voice on local food and dining. In these tough times, it’s our privilege to help you explore and enjoy the extraordinary bounty in our own backyard. We do so in both the print magazine and at the redesigned orangecoast.com, which since its December relaunch quickly has become the county’s go-to food-and-dining resource. If you haven’t yet bookmarked Priscilla Mayfield’s “Taste of Orange County” food blog and “The Grapevine” wine blog by Anne Valdespino, you’re missing some lively and delicious conversations.
Also with this issue, Orange Coast takes another small step into the digital age. You’ll find what look like small bar codes on several of this month’s editorial and advertising pages. One, for example, is integrated into the design of our Snapshot profile of Social Distortion’s Mike Ness on Page 98. With the right app, the digerati can scan that code into their smartphones and, within seconds, link to a recent YouTube video of the legendary band.
Monthly regional magazines have always been small wonders. Now they’re getting downright magical.
Martin J. Smith
Illustration by John Ueland