Guilty Pleasures


1857 Being the envy of all of Riverside.

1858 The sugar pies at Café Casse Crôute. This French-Canadian dessert combines maple syrup, brown sugar, flour, evaporated milk and walnuts; pours them into a made-from-scratch crust; and bakes the whole mess into a perfectly set filling with a crackled finish. 656 S. Brookhurst, Anaheim, (714) 774-8013.

1859 Going to Dean Hagan and Mark April at Pro Photo Connectioninstead of a plastic surgeon, beauty salon or dentist. These digital masters rule when it comes to doctoring your favorite shots, whether it's undereye bags, flyaway hair or less-than-white teeth. 17752 Fitch, Irvine, (949) 250-7073.

1860 Shawn "The Prawn" Adams, son of Don "Maxwell Smart" Adams, who disdained the cliché of filling his father's shoes (even the one that's a shoe phone) to become the chef/ owner/inventor of Mistral, the cool reincarnation of Trees tucked behind the Port in Corona del Mar. 440 Heliotrope, Corona del Mar, (949) 723-9685.

1861 The cake-like cinnamon-raisin swirl bread from Great Harvest Bread Co. 27261-G La Paz Rd., Laguna Niguel, (949) 360-9190.

1862 The too-awesome jukebox at Linda's Doll Hutthat's packed with great roots and punk music. They almost don't need to book live bands. 107 S. Adams, Anaheim, (714) 533-1286.

1863 The cool selection of affordable antiques at Summerhill Ltd., where you can get your mom that necklace that matches the one her mother wore in the 1920s and can still take her out to lunch. And since you're right there in the circle, you can keep the nostalgia fest going so she'll probably hand over some dough like she did when you lived at home. 142 S. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 771-7782.

1864 OC blues. Living in America's most poopy-Republican county is enough to bum out any clear-thinking human being. Perhaps that's why affluent OC boasts such a curiously impressive blues scene. Rather than African-Americans suffering a social hangover from slavery and sharecropping or lower-class denizens of a stinky ghetto venting their spleen with guitars, we have out-of-the-loop white people and Latinos subjected to little ticky-tacky gated condo communities and a sea of silicone-slick Beemers whizzing by their beater '85 Fords every day on the 405. OC's blues scene is small but wonderfully vital and has a sound all its own; jumpin' and jivin' while remaining true to the hardcore workingman's roots.

1865 Take it from our organ-meat connoisseur, the smooth-textured onion liverwurst at Mattern Deliis like a flavorful and satiny terrine superior to the highest quality pâté, and much cheaper. 4327 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, (714) 639-3550.

1866 Café Zinc's agendaless vibe and superlative food. 350 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-6302.

1867 Standing out like a purple, orange and chrome beacon, OC's best-looking hot truck is Taquerias Guadalajara's newly inaugurated Chiva Mobil. Parked at Bristol & Chestnut, Santa Ana. Fri.-Sat. nights; Centennial Park, Santa Ana. Sun.

1868 The afterbirth eats at Hoag Hospital maternity ward. A woman can work up an appetite while performing the athletic feat of a lifetime in stirrups (and we're not talking about an equestrian event). Most maternity wards insult them by serving Salisbury steak, Jell-O and wan green beans. But the postpartum chews at Hoag treat mothers and their significant others to an elegant dinner of filet mignon, baked potatoes and sparkling cider rolled to the bedside on white-linen-covered carts. 1 Hoag Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 645-8600.

1869 The supergirly Holly Sharp Signature Boutique is your best alternative to those seed-pearl-infested traditional bridal salons. 3636 Pacific Coast Hwy. E., Corona del Mar, (949) 673-9466.

1870 When a friend gave me a pair of Shanghai Tang silver chopsticks, I knew there was but one dish worthy of their pulchritude: honey walnut shrimp at Ten Ten Seafood Restaurant. 669 N. Euclid St., Anaheim, (714) 991-9272.

1871 Saturday mornings at the Balboa Bay Club with Gil Ferguson's Principle over Politics group.

1872 The gargantuan dragonswith the big red Christmas-tree bulbs screwed into their eye sockets at Ten Ten Seafood Restaurant.

1873 T. Jefferson Parker's 1950s-style crime/thriller/suspense novels set in an Orange County that doesn't appear in the tourist come-ons. Terrific when he improvises on the genre. One false note in his newest, Where Serpents Lie: "The Times and The Register and OC Weekly have all covered us favorably," says a cop. The Weekly, too?! Say it ain't so, T. Jeff!

1874 BOTH real Communists in OC, neither of whom is Ho Chi Minh, who's dead.

1875 Seal Beach Produce. We always buy big sacks of fruits and vegetables, yet when we get to the register, it never adds up to more than $10. We don't understand it, but we ain't complaining. 1190 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Seal Beach, (562) 596-4101.

1876 Enough fish tacos for everybody!

1877 The footbridgebetween South Coast Plaza and the Orange County Performing Arts Center complex, which is really convenient and actually kind of pleasant-if just a tad too metaphorical for our tastes.

1878 Old women with fursand jewelry who ask for senior citizen's discounts at bookstores.

1879 The croissant with ham, egg and Cheddar cheese at the Coffee Pub. 384 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-5334.

1880 Affordable housing! Somewhere!

1881 The selection of vintage hollow-body guitars-especially by Guild-and hard-to-find strings at the Guitar Shoppe, 1027 N. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 497-2110.

1882 Internist Dr. Mae Kinaly, who opened the blinds in her office and told me to enjoy the ocean vista and watched it with me in silence for a while before she even began to examine me. 1441 Avocado Ave., Ste. 702, Newport Beach, (949) 760-1299.

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