Orange County’s Very Best!| July 2016


COVER Best! We’ve scoured the county high and low. We’ve tasted, shopped, and indulged for a year to recommend the absolute best Orange County has to offer, including the delightful macarons from Honey & Butter on this month’s cover. Find out the best places to eat and drink, shop and indulge, play and explore and we’re giving you a look at some O.C. celebs and their faves too. We’re celebrating all the best with our annual Best Of Party held at Rancho Las Lomas Wildlife Foundation. Don’t forget to get your tickets to this fun event at

Role of a Lifetime Public defender Scott Sanders prefers to stay our of the public spotlight, but that’s hard to do when you’re publicly accusing the district attorney of misconduct and trying to keep the country’s most notorious mass killer off death row. by Matthew Heller

Chicks With Knives Meet a new generation of Orange County chefs and learn the secrets for making their kitchens hum. by Gretchen Kurz and Chris Christensen


Insights, and What We Got Right in 1991 What did we say about the future of surfing in Orange County back in 1991?

Person of Interest A 14-year-old musician and contestant on Telemundo’s “La Voz Kids” motivates others.

Neighborhoods Exploring the modest strip mall at the southwest corner of Bristol and Paularino Avenue in Costa Mesa.

The Perfect Getaway Head south for a laid-back lunch and plenty of wine in Mexico’s Guadalupe Valley.

Culturephile Seal Beach writer Edward Humes has a new book about the transportation of goods.

Arts Photographer-philosopher Jacques Garnier talks about his work and show at the Orange County Great Park Gallery.

Don’t Miss Our events page featuring six great July happenings


O.C. Style Opener Skate away with O.C. made Hamboards!

Finds We take a look at designer minibags.

Hot Shop Make your way to Westcliff Court to visit Alixandra Collections which showcases jewelry and clothing curated for the Newport Beach vibe.

Tastemaker The Hamborgs of Huntington Beach tell how they created long skateboards to teach their kids to surf and wound up becoming trendsetters.


Opener/Main Course Dining critic Gretchen Kurz heads down to San Juan Capristrano for delicious food and drink at Public 74.

Nibbles & Bits Three’s a Trend takes a look at arancini around Orange County.

Behing the Counter We talk to Nathaniel Nguyen to learn the inspiration behind his Jinny’s Pizzeria at 4th Street Market in Santa Ana.

Dining Guide Breakfast anytime and a no-tipping policy are the signature features of Restaurant Marin, an intimate space next to Arc at SoCo in Costa Mesa. Taverna specializes in pizza and pasta in a restored building in Laguna Beach, where you’ll find chef Nick Parker’s signature risotto. Zama Tea in Tustin pours 10 flavors of kombucha from the taps. And many of our 200-plus restaurant reviews are in this month’s Dining Guide.


My O.C. Are all of our memories improved by the context in which they’re made? Was that tomato the best ever because it was a lovely, mild summer day and we ate it while relaxing on the patio with a light sea breeze cooling our faces? I wonder how many magical moments in life can’t be repeated because we can never again cobble together the same series of events. by Pam Tallman

Rituals The full-moon hike in Limestone Canyon had been on my bucket list for a while. How do we get the 3 million people who live in the dense communities edging our open spaces to connect with the last swatches of wilderness in O.C.? by Laura Saari

Answer Man Was there a mushroom farm in Huntington Beach? What happened to Little Saigon’s Cultural Court? and what’s with that bronze bison statue in Newport Beach? by Chris Jepsen


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