Editor’s Note on Our Annual July Best Of Issue

Try one of Bar Director Drew Coyle’s handcrafted drinks at Fable & Spirit, our Restaurant of the Year. Photographed by Emily J. Davis

As we headed to press for this issue, Orange County was just starting to reopen amid the challenges of COVID-19, economic hardship, and social uprising. I’ve had conversations all over the county about our responsibilities as citizens and as a community during times of uncertainty and darkness. Profound change is underway, so what is the new reality and how do we navigate it thoughtfully?

Watching people under age 35 step up to this moment gives me great hope for the future. Frustration in the status quo has overflowed, and it’s powerful to rethink what we can do going forward. To me, it’s imperative that we be considerate and patient—or as one of my wise and lovely colleagues says, “Be kind, be kind, be kind!” We also can be sure to support local businesses and nonprofits.

I’m taking some solace in doing what we do best at Orange Coast—highlighting the great stuff in Orange County. That’s what this annual issue is about. We’ve collected your favorites and ours for this year’s Best Of package. Since face masks are going to be part of public life for a while, I’m taking the opportunity to shop local for them and other goods to boost companies that have pivoted in this time. Might as well embrace the silver linings. If making lemonade from lemons is also your thing, be sure to check out our picks for the best bets during stay-at-home orders.

We’re happy to celebrate the winners of O.C.’s Best every year, and this summer they need your support more than ever.

Ms. Alan Gibbons

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