By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
849 Edwards Big Newport Theatre. The crown jewel and home office of the Edwards Theatres empire, the name doesn't lie-it's big. In its time, the 1,400-seat main auditorium was the biggest in the West. But judging from the heinous, circa-1970s yellow ochre curtains that circle the interior of the theater, that was a pretty long time ago. Nonetheless, the Big Newport doesn't disappoint, and it is often your best bet for getting a seat on opening nights for shows that sell out quicker elsewhere. 300 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 644-0760.
850 Glacial Gardens' well-manicured ice, forgiving boards and Olympic-sized rink. 1000 E. Cerritos Ave., Anaheim, (714) 502-9023.
851 OC People for Animals founder Ava Park, who-in addition to being a remarkably effective activist-is so fabulously attractive in both a human and animal way that she makes me wish I were a monkey with a probe in my head so that she could rescue me from a cold research lab and hold me close to her chest-ggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrr!
852 And-speaking of ggggggrrrrrrrr-the weather women on OCN.
853 Our shit don't stinkbecause it's been in the water.
854 Angelo's Hamburgers. What is it that has kept the Anaheim burger joint in business all these years? You'll find the answer on roller skates. 511 S. State College, Anaheim, (714) 533-1401.
855That's only partly true. The burgersare the best.
856 My grandma.
857 Club 369 is still one of the best places in North County to catch local bands as they should be seen-on a real stage, under a real lighting rig, through a real PA, and not crowded into the corner of some coffeehouse or cafe. 1641 N. Placentia Ave., Fullerton, (714) 572-1816.
858 Hi-Way 39 Drive-In in Westminster . . . oh, yeah, it's not there anymore.
859 Waiting for Mary.
860 Harley, the Australian shepherd outside the Killer Wave Salon. 105 21st Pl., Newport Beach, (949) 675-6232.
861 Irvine Ranch Market can be expensive, its patrons can be snooty, and parking can be a bitch. Fuck it, we go there anyway. For one thing, it still manages to be less yuppified than the Bristol Farms markets. Secondly, while Irvine Ranch may not have 4 million units of the same item, it has had at least one unit of every item we've ever sought there-including hard-to-find goods that are never stocked at your neighborhood Mega-Lo-Mart. But best of all, Irvine Ranch's staff is the most helpful bunch we've ever encountered. In fact, we don't mind taking out a second mortgage for a can of olives when we know at least part of that is going to the worker bees there. 2651 Irvine Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 631-4404.
862 Near-demise of coyotesmeans Republicans are OC's only indigenous predators.
863 Being able to see Catalinathrough the smog on alternate Tuesdays.
865 Getting to see the Charlie Daniels Band in an intimate setting at the Crazy Horse Steakhouse and Saloon. 1580 Brookhollow Dr., Santa Ana, (714) 549-1512.
866 The phat banana at Geckos in Fullerton. 99 Bananas is a 99-proof banana liqueur. It's the main ingredient in Dan's phat banana, which also includes Midori, Malibu rum, peach schnapps, and orange and pineapple juices. 279 E. Orangethorpe Ave., Fullerton, (714) 446-8900.
867 Journalists countywide secretly wish to be smart-ass OC Weekly staffers.
868 OC Weekly staffers all secretly pine to be Daily Show correspondents.
869 Or writers for The Onion.
870 Entirely too ambitious "Best of OC" project taking psychological toll on addled writers' brains.
871 The Galaxy Theatre. The former Harlequin Dinner Theatre remains one of the best rooms around to catch bands on their meteoric rise-or their melancholy decline. 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-1133.
872Tough smoking laws mean lung poisoning will only come from highly polluted air.
873 Jorge Guttierez, master chef at the Blue Beet Café, who owns the deftest hands in the county-especially when it comes to taco chicken salad and homemade hot sauce. 107 21st Pl., Newport Beach, (949) 675-2338.
874 Sure, the hike to the shoreline will leave you wheezing, but Crystal Cove State Beach is truly worth it. With its intriguing rock formations, interesting ecological displays and best sunsets on the coast, this beach is definitely OC's best.
876The great selection of really cutting-edge ice-hockeyequipment at the Disney Ice pro shop. 300 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 535-7465.
877 For roller, we like the pro shop at Wayne Gretzky's Roller Hockey. 3150 Barranca Pkwy., Irvine, (949) 653-0900.
878 Gail Hutton, city attorney of Huntington Beach, who finally had no choice but to recuse herself from the legal controversy over the Wal-Mart after it was revealed that her son works for the developer, Arnel Retail Group.
879 Ron Davis of the Huntington Beach Independent, whose cut-the-crap "Through My Eyes" column more often than not has 20/20 vision.
880 Squeaky-clean off-road vehicles.
881 The Villa Park Pharmacy, with its old-fashioned candy counter and homemade fudge, will have you scratching your head and wondering why Watson's in Orange gets all the attention. 17821 Santiago Blvd., Villa Park, (714) 998-3030.
882 Few mimes.
883 Proof that Orange County values family values: the century-old ghostroaming the Mission San Juan Capistrano in search of the infant child she killed.
884Taco Bell and Carl's Jr. are among the fast-food giants based here. We wouldn't mind if OC upstart Charo Chickenburied 'em all. Think of it as El Pollo Loco-only good! It's also healthy. Fresh, flame-broiled chicken, the outside seasoned with spices and lemon garlic butter sauce. Side dishes such as Spanish rice, black or pinto beans and coleslaw are all tasty. And they're coming soon to a corner near you. Locations countywide.