So much of our dining scene has been lost and gained, invented and deferred. It’s a lot to digest, so we’re breaking down the changes in servings of five. After all the lessons we’ve learned over the past year, we’ll never lose sight of this truth: Restaurants are essential.
“Already I feel a loosening in 2021 that might allow us to refine our act beyond comfort cuisine. I look forward to exploring finer flavors and intricate plating.”
—Justin Werner, chef at Porch & Swing, our Restaurant of the Year
Whale City U.S.A.
Once bitter rivals, Donna Kalez of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching and Gisele Anderson of Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari worked together to have Dana Point recognized as the first Whale Heritage Site in the Americas.
People & Places
Opener | Yoga among the cherry blossoms at Huntington Beach Central Park
’Hoods | Restaurants and a gym worth a visit near Honda Center in Orange
Culturephile | Irvine hip-hop artist St. Panther is a rising star.
O.C. Events | In-person events including concerts and live theater start to ramp up this month.
Style & Home
Opener | A Mackenzie-Childs checkerboard tea kettle
Sourced | Patterned dining accessories to elevate your takeout experience
At Home With…| Lemdeena Home in Mission Viejo features handmade goods from North Africa.
On The Market | A magnificent, sprawling backyard in Brea
Hot Shop | Costa Mesa boutique Style Society moves into bigger digs.
Food & Drink
Drink of the Year | The Smoky Paloma Rosa from Chaak is our Cocktail of the Year.
Dish of the Year | Nova Kitchen & Bar’s toro tartare features grade 1 bluefin tuna flown in from Spain.
5 Questions With… | Co-founder of Barrio at SteelCraft Garden Grove
Food Trends | We can’t get enough of these frozen-dumpling delivery companies.
My O.C. | A search for perfection ends with more questions than answers.
Check out all of our 212 restaurant reviews this month.
Person of Interest | Costa Mesa resident Vanessa Yeager is the founder of Women Who Surf and Latinx Surf Club.