The Man Guide

What do men want? Here’s a primer on the best guy stuff in Orange County.

Guys aren’t complicated. If it involves beer, babes, or adrenaline, we’re probably good to go. So, here’s a guide to the county’s choicest places to drive fast, hook up, get fit, shoot stuff, and everything else. No excuses. It’s man time.

For a beer tour of Orange County click here.

Get in Gear

This is big-boy racing for big-boy wallets—these pros specialize in making Porsches go fast. Drive your own, or TruSpeed sells full race-modified cars, and with “arrive and drive,” they take care of the hassle of getting you to the track. 365 Clinton St. #A, Costa Mesa, 714-424-0251,

Eaglerider Motorcycle Rental
Want to fire up a hog without dropping twenty grand on a Harley? For $140 a day you can rent one at EagleRider. They offer suggested routes, or you can ride across the country. And while you’re at it, give yourself an “Easy Rider” makeover: They rent leather. 217 Avocado St., Costa Mesa, 949-646-7433,

Crevier Classic Cars
Like the classics? Stop in. Crevier sells them, stores them, and is more than happy to just show them. For members, there’s a lounge with a pool table and wine. But the best part is the cars—Ferraris, GTOs, Cadillacs. It’s gearhead heaven. Membership is $500 a month. 365 Clinton St. #B, Costa Mesa, 714-426-0238,

Ducati Newport Beach
Like fast, pretty, Italian things? Nothing quite compares to a Ducati, the Ferrari of bikes. The dealership schedules track days for the budding racer and lends demo bikes for a free spin. 1601 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, 949-706-1616,

Eat and Drink Like a Man

Stubrik’s Steakhouse & Bar
A good steakhouse is like an old friend—in fact, this one was started by two buddies. No ties here, this is more of a baseball cap establishment. The Black & Blue top sirloin crowned with blue cheese will give you the strength to hustle your friends at the pool table upstairs. 118 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, 714-871-1290,

The Alley
Can’t decide between a night at a classic bar or a nice dinner? The Alley is the best of both worlds. You and your date can enjoy dinner—the lamb rack is popular—or have cocktails in the bar during a Lakers game. The signature “root beer float” is laced with vodka. 4501 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach, 949-646-9127,

Heroes Bar & Grill
What says “come as you are” better than peanut shells on the floor? Heroes is a laid-back place for a low-key guys’ night out. More than 100 beers on tap, 14 TVs with sports, and lovely ladies in tight T-shirts tending bar. The perfect place to unwind. 125 W. Santa Fe Ave., Fullerton, 714-738-4356,

Johnny Rebs’
Nothing makes you feel like a man more than Southern comfort … food. Decorated like a redneck roadhouse, Johnny Rebs’ offers typical good ol’ boy grub: ribs, pulled pork, and fried chicken, plus biscuits and collard greens. Breakfast is bountiful as well, with chicken-fried steak and eggs. 2940 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, 714-633-3369,

Cook’s Corner
Maybe it isn’t the outlaw joint it used to be—the bikers tend to be dentists showing off their rides rather than Sonny Barger types, and Arnold Schwarzenegger stopped by during his time in office. Still, Cook’s is the best spot to grab a burger after a hard Harley ride. On weekends, the parking lot is jammed with raked-out cruisers of all kinds. Wear leather. 19152 Santiago Canyon Road, Trabuco Canyon, 949-858-0266,

Orange Hill Restaurant
This place is date night fail-safe. Orange Hill offers a chateaubriand for two, carved tableside, that’s perfect for an amorous evening. Tucked into the hills of Orange, it has some of the county’s most romantic views. Nuzzle in a quiet window seat, or beneath softly lit trees on the patio. An impressive wine list makes the view even better. 6410 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, 714-997-2910,

Pedro’s Tacos
You’ve just caught the evening glass off Lower Trestles, and a man needs refueling. Pedro’s is high-octane Mexican soul food. OK, women can eat there too, but nothing settles you down after a workout like a giant burrito with carne asada, and rice and beans on the side. 2313 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente, 949-498-5904; and 550 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente, 949-498-5908,

Swallow’s Inn
This place fills the bill for South County guys who feel comfortable amid crazy garage-sale décor: beer signs, photos, and year-round Christmas lights. Plenty of TV sports, bartenders who know their drinks, and a lively crowd. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949-493-3188,

The Continental Room
Cure your Vegas jones and air out your sharkskin suit at this throwback lounge with its red booths, dim lighting, and live music. Fullerton’s oldest drinking establishment—it opened in 1925—offers Sinatra and Elvis nights on alternate Wednesdays, with live shows by impersonators. 115 Santa Fe Ave., Fullerton, 714-469-1879.

Foxfire Restaurant
As the cougar bar of Orange County, Foxfire is legendary. If you’re young and looking for a lady to buy you drinks, this is the place. Definitely a “Real Housewives” vibe among the women here, with live music, dancing, and a surprisingly good wine selection. Karaoke on Monday and Tuesday nights. 5717 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road, Anaheim Hills, 714-974-5400,

Calling all mature men with money: This waterfront club offers plenty of chances to impress that young kitten with your Rolex or an invitation to board your yacht. A hopping, upscale place with plenty of single women. Buy her a mojito or the 3Thirty3 Orchid with Skyy Melon and peach purée. Just forgive her if she doesn’t get your “Seinfeld” references. 333 Bayside Drive, Newport Beach, 949-673-8464,

Work Up a Sweat

Edison Park
For years, one of the best places for an outdoor pickup basketball game has been here in Huntington Beach. Four full, and four half courts offer plenty of room. Bring your “A” game. 21377 Magnolia Ave., Huntington Beach,

Rock City Climbing Center
Test the strength of your well-muscled arms. Tons of climbing walls for bouldering, traditional climbing, and rappelling. If you’re new to mountaineering, expert instructors will show you the ropes. $14 for a day pass, $6 for shoe and rope rental, and $390 for an annual membership. 5100 E. La Palma Ave. #108, Anaheim Hills, 714-777-4884,

Get an Adrenaline Rush

Orange County Flight Center
If you’ve always wanted to fly, take off. The center offers full-blown pilot school which will set you back about $14,000. Introductory flights are $75. They even have a fleet of single-engine Cessnas. Bring your leather jacket. 19531 Campus Drive #4, Santa Ana, 949-756-1300,

Orange County Indoor Shooting Range
Feelin’ lucky, punk? Even if you aren’t, this range is a great place to blow off steam. Gun rentals are $8, and personal training sessions, $95. The guys are friendly and eager to help firearms newbies. 684 N. Berry #C, Brea, 714-529-0300,

Corky Carroll’s Surf School
Whether you’re paddling out for the first time, or you’re an experienced surfer intent on improving your technique, Carroll offers surfing lessons that are just your speed, including learn-to-surf vacations in Costa Rica. Private and group lessons are available, as is a summer surf camp. Private lessons include five sessions for $240. Group lessons are $55 per person and include an hour of instruction and an hour to practice. Bolsa Chica State Beach, Pacific Coast Highway between Seapoint and Warner avenues, 714-969-3959,

K1 Speed Indoor go Kart Racing
Budding F1 racers get behind the wheel of high-performance electric karts that reach 45 mph. Prices start at $20 for a 14-lap race. It’s not Le Mans, but you’ll feel like Steve McQueen for a day. 17221 Von Karman Ave., Irvine, 949-250-0242. Second location in Anaheim,

Savor a Smoke

Tobacco Barn
This store stocks a collection of Meerschaum—Sherlock Holmes—pipes. But you don’t have to be a sleuth to relax in a recliner, puff on a pipe or fine cigar, and watch games on a massive TV. A membership of $27 a month also gets you into exclusive events and access to an impressive espresso bar. 23532 El Toro Road #13, Lake Forest, 949-830-7110,

8EightyEight Cigar Merchants
Choose from a well-stocked humidor, then head into the lounge for drinks at the bar or a game of pool. With a couple of arcade games and a big-screen TV, it feels like your basic man cave complete with smoke cloud. Annual memberships are $350. 118 W. Wilshire Ave., Fullerton, 714-871-0888,

Maxamar Cigars
This hidden treasure is nestled in a strip mall, a come-as-you-are lounge with a massive humidor filled with favorites such as Graycliff and Davidoff cigars. They wheel out the grill on Sunday—just BYO steak and seafood—and watch sports on the big screen. No membership fee. 3744 E. Chapman Ave. E., Orange, 714-633-3000,

Siglo Cigar Lounge
Winner for the most accommodating smoking room. Hours? They open when you arrive, close when you leave. Record closing time is 5:45 … a.m.! There’s no membership fee, but you better know your way around a cigar. There’s a whiff of sophistication, with Old World Italian décor by artist Ron Pastucha. 1000 N. Bristol St. #7, Newport Beach, 949-553-1891.

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 Illustrations by Red Nose Studio

This article originally appeared in the March 2011 issue of Orange Coast magazine.

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