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CACTUS, HOUSE OF There are more than 1,500 species of spiny succulent plants from around the world in this Stanton bungalow. Some flower in red, yellow, pink and purple. Some stand at threatening attention. Others are aswirl in seductively long or fuzzy hair. It's an amazing sight, and it has been since 1959, when the House of Cactus was founded. "Yep," says proprietor Richard Higgs, who has owned the place since 1978 and looks a little prickly himself, "that's a lot of cactus." 10580 Beach Blvd., Stanton, (714) 828-4298.

See also: House of Pancakes; Duplex of Lathes; Condo of Low-Grade Goop CAFÉ PLAKA It's always a party at Café Plaka, where beguiling belly dancer Bathsheba—who performs Friday and Saturday nights—live music and dancing Greek waiters keep things lively Thursday through Sunday. The exotic menu features California, Mediterranean and traditional Greek specialties. Try a lamb dish like arni psito (slices of roast loin of lamb served in natural juices), filet mignon, or chicken and pork souvlakia from the grill. Don't miss the baklava for dessert, or select from an outrageous assortment of appetizers such as vegetarian grape leaves or calamarakia (fried baby squid). Have fun! 18633 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley, (714) 963-4999.
Clubs: Sugars
Photo by Jack Gould
CAL STATE FULLERTON ART DEPARTMENTOne-of-a-kind grad program offers an M.A. in exhibition design, giving the county an embarrassment of young, talented curators. Also, exhibit openings at the college feature really good Italian appetizers, and the campus itself hosts a toppled replica of Michelangelo's David, which had to be turned face-down since waggish students were doing obscene things to its wang. CAPT. BLOOD'S VILLAGE THEATER The manager may be the scrappiest sailor this side of Bluebeard (this writer's timbers are still shivering from one of the good captain's phone calls a few years back), but we gotta give this venue props for giving weird little indies their one shot at screening for a live audience. And its sporadic Shock Theater shows, featuring movies like Creature From the Black Lagoon, hosted by the guy who wore the gill-man suit in the original film? Well, that's like the best thing ever. 1140 N. Tustin Ave., Tustin, (714) 538-3545.
Clubs: Can Club
Photo by Jack Gould
CARBON CANYON REGIONAL PARKThis slice of wildlife nestled in the beckoning cleavage of Chino Hills is a place people stumble on and then go to great lengths to keep secret. Sorry. Highlights include a Redwood grove, miles of hiking trails, plus the usual barbecue grills, picnic tables, mountain bike/equestrian paths and acres of gorgeous green grass. 4442 Carbon Canyon Rd., (714) 996-5252. CARVEBOARDING Can't wait for the mountains to open but live too far from the beach to surf regularly? Then jump on SoCal's asphalt slopes with this bendy blend of snowboarding, skating and surfing. The inflatable tires and flexing deck allow for the type of leaning turns and speed runs that feel more controlled than traditional downhill. Just be sure to find an empty street—and good health insurance. CASTELLANOS, JAVIER It gets tiring to always write about Anaheim Latin alternative nightclub JC Fandango. But leave it to the genius of owner Javier Castellanos for making it necessary. The humbler-than-St. Francis Castellanos has made the club (now celebrating its 15th anniversary) into the best Latin alternative nightclub in the United States by constantly bringing in bands both big-name (Manu Chao) and not-but-awesome (El Otro Yo). The rest of the time, Castellanos runs a superb tropical nightclub serving great music and drinks that get you plastered. And if you don't get plastered, Castellanos will give you enough free drinks to make sure you do. 1086 N. State College Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 758-1057.
Clubs: Can Club
Photo by Jack Gould
CATALINA FISH KITCHEN & SEAFOOD DELI You can have fish five ways at Catalina Fish Kitchen: a fish taco, fish sandwich, fish salad, fish pasta or fish plate. Choices include salmon, halibut, sea bass and ahi, and don't forget the deli, where you can order fresh fish right out of the case. Tuesdays feature fish tacos for $1. The restaurant is casual, with roomy picnic tables and a beachy feel. And there are lots of surf shops nearby so shredders can nosh and shop for gear at the same locale. An excellent place to eat fish the way you like it. 670 W. 17th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 645-8873. CHAIN REACTIONWhen Tim Hill took over the remnants of a shuttered Mexican restaurant in a dingy little Anaheim strip mall in 1997 and turned the room into a rock club, most probably thought his place would go the way of other all-ages OC rooms: here today, gone today. Five years later, Chain Reaction is not only still here, but it's also thriving. They've hosted bands as large as the Get Up Kids, Dashboard Confessional, Save Ferris and Papa Roach (who reportedly owe their careers to two shows they played at the club in 2000). And don't forget the slew of crusty punk bands so underground they have to look up to see hell. 1652 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 635-6067.
Clubs: Club Metro
Photo by Jack Gould
Chance Theater, The Lots of local theaters produce original plays, but the Chance shot to the head of that class over the past two years with 10 new or very-new plays produced on its Anaheim Hills stage, many written by local playwrights. There's nothing quite like a new play in its first incarnation—sometimes it's harrowing, sometimes it's heroic—and the county's playwrights are fortunate that a storefront theater like the Chance has the dedication and people power needed to produce new work. 5576 E. LaPalma Ave., Anaheim Hills, (714) 777-3033. CHAPMAN UNIVERSITYAt one point, Chapman University was a liberal arts college that prided itself on its homey environment and connection to the progressive Christian denomination the Disciples of Christ. That was before George Argyros. The current ambassador to Spain enrolled at the then-college and graduated in 1959. After making millions ripping off homeowners, Argyros returned to his alma
CORONA, LITTLE
Khaki pants and white shirts,
family shots for the holidays.
Little Corona Beach, Corona del Mar behind
the Five Crowns restaurant on PCH.
Photo by Jeanne Rice.
mater as chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1976 until last year. Under his watch, Chapman devolved into a haven for county Republicans' coffers and their spoiled children with the junking of the once-required "Global Citizen" course (which required students to acknowledge that not everyone gets BMWs as an eighth-grade graduation gift) and the opening of mediocre business and law schools. Massive construction continues to antagonize the area's residents, ugly buildings and schools that bear the names of contributors (including at least three separate entities named after Argyros). And its graduates (including two Weekly staffers) dumb down the workforce. Hurray! CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY FILM SERIES Say what you will about the merits of a school whose film department is named after mega-schlock director Cecil B. DeMille, but Chapman University's evening film series continues to draw cinephiles to Argyros Forum's Room 208. Every Wednesday, you can catch the latest entry in the school's History of Film series (first semester goes from the founding of film to
Clubs: Cotton Club West
Photo by Jack Gould
Triumph of the Will, second spans the 1948 Paramount decision to today's wastes of celluloid). On Mondays and Tuesdays, you are treated to whatever seminar the students sleep through. Past entries have included classes on wide-screen cinema, British comedies and the fantasy film. Argyros Forum, Room 208, 1 University Dr., Orange, (714) 997-6765. CHARLIE'S CHILI Charlie's offers late-night chow at its finest—most notably, Wednesday night's all-you-can-eat chili special. But you're pushing it if you dive into more than two bowls of the meaty, spicy concoction. 102 McFadden Place, Newport Beach, (949) 675-7991. CHEAP 1. Breakfast. You can get $1.75 steak and eggs at the Next Door Bar and Grill, 9 a.m. to noon. It's real steak, it's real eggs, it's real food at a helluva cheap price. Football is free. 211 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 680-3663.2. Theater. The Rude Guerrilla Theater Co. has never met a play with a swinging dick or exposed breasts that it didn't like. If you feel the need to artistically express yourself in your purest, most naked nature, check these guys out at www.rudeguerrilla.com. 3. Place to get your career as a big-time actor started. Fullerton College is a community college with a stellar theater department that has launched a slew of actors to the big time. Whether it's Andrew Lowery (School Ties), Matt Lillard (Scooby Doowasn't his fault), Cress Williams (Beverly Hills 90210, Nash Bridges) or the host of Fullerton College people who are currently studying at Juilliard and other major universities, this is a place that can you get connected at a low, low price. 4. Great theater. South Coast Repertory's matinee on Saturday (2 p.m.) is always a pay-what-you-will performance. $5 is the suggested minimum, but we know people who have showed up, paid a buck and watched full-fledged professional actors in full-fledged professional shows. If your excuse for not going to theater is that it's too expensive, this proves you a liar. 655 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa,
Clubs: Detroit
Photo by Jack Gould
(714) 708-5500.
5. Place to get the hell away from it all.Homework piling up? Financial aid a distant memory? Drug supply dwindling? Get thee to nature. Hop in your ride and head east on Imperial Highway. When you get to Fairmont, go left. Drive up a hill and take another left on Rimcrest. Stay on it until it ends. You're at one of the entry points to North Orange County's mostly undiscovered natural gem: Chino Hills State Park. The place is fairly crowded with bicyclists during the day and early evening, but there are hiker-only trails where your only competition for air are the sycamore trees and red-tailed hawks. At night, when you're not supposed to be there, it's even better. Check it out on a full moon sometime, and your soul will be much better for it. 6. Hand job.For $8 at Lucy Nails, you get a full-service manicure, which includes a pretty intense hand massage. It's $10 to get your little piggies done. 515 W. Commonwealth, Fullerton, (714) 870-4669.7. Clothes.You can find some okay threads at Goodwill Thrift Stores—purely on the luck of the draw, though. I did score some ultrafine black roller skates with orange wheels a couple of years ago. And in the early '90s, I got some nice blazers . . . but we won't mention that again. Santa Ana, Fullerton, Long Beach; CHOC Thrift Store. KUCI marketing director Rob Roy, says, "They even have new clothes here and a good selection of jackets and all kinds of shirts. Stay away from the shoes"; Marshall's/Ross/TJ Maxx. I hate clothes "hunting," but I broke down recently and ventured into Marshall's. While I didn't find a goldmine of fashion, I did garner a cool torn-neck, no-sleeve shirt and some Calvins. It took me two hours to find them, but my ass looks hot. 1275 E. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 774-0611; St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store. A slaving teacher once said, "Mondays, everything is like 50 percent off, and lots of things are 25 cents—which is good, considering what they pay teachers." 180 S. Cypress St., Orange, (714) 633-9194; Target. You don't want everyone knowing you're wearing the big T, but they do have a fine selection of baby-doll glitter shirts. Just make sure if you get the Target-brand shirt, you cut the tags out of the neck and the subliminally hidden targets on the design of the shirt work with the pattern or verbiage. Otherwise, you might be at a play one night and a charming actor might look at your shirt and place his big, fat finger on your chest on a spot that you thought was a cute spirally thing and say, "Look, you got that shirt at Target." Break a leg, you bastard. In fact, break both of them. Anywhere and everywhere; Assistance League Thrift Shop. It pays to find a good thrift shop. You know, the kind that have decent stuff, don't make you feel filthy, and to top it off give money to good causes. The Assistance League Thrift Shop is just such a place. Tidily organized, but meaty enough that it seems worth digging, the shop's proceeds go to an orthodontic clinic for underprivileged kids, among other worthy projects. Don't you secretly wish you'd had braces? Didn't you hate them when you had them? All that aside, you can get the latest issues of InStyle here for spare change or decorate your house for less than IKEA prices. Gap-schmap. 2100 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 434-7121.
Clubs: Doll Hut
Photo by Jack Gould
CHESTER DRAWERS Cheap drinks and DJ-spun tunes for a crowd some say is hip, happening and knows how to party, while others see them as a bunch of frat boys and girls giving one another roofies. Get there for the daily happy hour (3-8 p.m.) and partake of $2 cocktails or any pitcher of beer, including imports, for $5.50. To kill a burning hunger or layer your stomach with something to absorb all the beer you're going to drink later, order the renowned buffalo wings or a tasty three-pound burger, served with curlicue fries. Now a cold brew is in order, but stay light enough to cut a rug on the body-rockin' dance floor. Dive in. 179 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 631-4277. CHICANO 1. The MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán) has a proud history of hell-raising, and no other Orange County chapter has as crazy a reputation as Cal State Fullerton's. Founded at the height of the Chicano rights movement in the early 1970s, the group was one of the key organizers behind a massive anti-Proposition 187 rally back in 1994 that drew thousands of students and ended with them being pepper-sprayed by Fullerton police. But they take their Chicano nationalism too far. They have accused Cal State Fullerton Latinos who do not wish to join as vendidos, ridicule Chicanos who dye their hair as wanting to be "white," and even got all the Southern California MEChA chapters to pass a resolution forbidding alliances with Anaheim activist Seferino García because of personal conflicts. They're the Chicano movement personified, both the great and the stupid.
Clubs: Doll Hut
Photo by Jack Gould
2.Don't call members of the Orange County Revolutionary Collective(OCRC) Hispanic or Latino; call them the most passionate activists in Orange County. Largely made up of Chicanos or "indigenous" individuals, the OCRC grew out of the Taco Bell boycott efforts held earlier in the year and has grown to protest virtually every cause (both worthwhile and not) to hit Orange County this year. These people are young, angry and articulate. Police brutality? They've protested in four different cities. INS harassment of young Latinos in Anaheim? They held a protest in front of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez's office. Use of Native Americans as mascots? They drew headlines with a protest in Fullerton. Corporate spoiling of the environment? Ask Naui Huitzlapotchli about how the Revolutionary Collective protested in front of Nike Town—resulting in his false arrest by Costa Mesa police officers. CHICKEN KOOBIDEHSure, a footlong stick of ground chicken isn't everyone's idea of an exotic meal, but that's Persian food, especially at Orchid Restaurant. We have no idea what spices are mixed into the chicken, but it's yellowish-orange and fresh off the grill. Garnished with a stewed tomato and embedded in a bowl of rice, the koobideh comes with Middle Eastern flatbread, which you can decorate with sliced onions and butter—it sounds weird but tastes great. And if you get the lunch special, the whole package only costs you about $6. 3033 Bristol Blvd., Ste. D, Costa Mesa, (714) 557-8070.
Clubs: Galaxy on Halloween
Photo by Jack Gould
CHINA BEACH 1.One of the best beaches in Asia, located just outside Danang, Vietnam. 2.U.S. military base for a hospital and a place where troops could get a respite from the Vietnam War. 3. 1988-91 ABC television drama set during the Vietnam War. 4. San Clemente bar that is arguably the best place to get your ass kicked by an angry, drunken Marine. Make an innocuous, haircut-related remark to the big, buff boy sitting on the next stool over and watch an angry fist move at mach speed toward your eye. If you survive the attack, expect a second blow to land on your nose a few seconds later. Regain consciousness, wipe the blood and stagger home. CHUCK'S COFFEE SHOPSo you want to go where everybody knows your name, but it's Sunday, and it's breakfast. What to do? Go to Chuck's, locally world famous and home of the Weasel (two scrambled eggs with chili on top). Chuck will be there. He'll say hi and offer you a cup of coffee while you wait. Inside, you'll see photos of people holding up Chuck's stickers in places like Istanbul and Tokyo, much like that gnome in the movie Amelie. Good stuff. Chuck's is loved and loved around here. 4120 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, (562) 433-9317. CHUPACABRASSkyy vodka, Seagram's gin, Bacardi 151, Malibu rum, Pepsi and lemon-lime soda. For the low, low price of $39.95, you can get this demon puppy at Cuban Pete's in a 128-ounce deadly clam size, served in an ornate shell. 1050 W. Ball Rd., Anaheim, (714) 490-2020.
Clubs: Hard Rock Cafe
Photo by Jack Gould
CIRCLE, THECircular roadway smack-dab in the middle of Orange's old town that's surrounded by a quaint town square—that's right: circle gets the square—that appears to have been frozen in time since at least the 1940s (see Plaza, The). A fun pastime is to grab an outdoor chair and some excellent Cuban grub at Felix's and watch first-timers try desperately to navigate their cars out of the Circle. Demonstrators against war, abortion and other bloody causes often hoist picket signs or candles in the Circle's grassy median. Glassell Street and Chapman Avenue, Orange. CLUB RAW Is Club Raw a nightclub? Anarchic street theater is more like it. Quick, choppy, hip-hop beats give breakdancers sonic permission to twist their bodies like superhuman pretzels. Inside, hot-pants-clad go-go dancers tease boys and girls to the stadium-shaking beats of superstar DJs such as Donald Glaude and DJ Irene. All around, bad boys and girls dry-hump, joke and look cool on an eternal hot summer night. There's a reason Club Raw is the biggest nightclub in Orange County. Club Raw is a monthly event at the Grove of Anaheim, 2200 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 517-7737; www.clubraw.net. COFFEE FACTORY Could easily be mistaken for a Starbucks—if not for the French menu and scenic pictures of Vietnam adorning the walls. Order the ca phé sua nong ($2.25), and enjoy the inviting atmosphere (smooth jazz piped through invisible speakers) and enticing pastries. 15582 Brookhurst St., Westminster, (714) 418-0757.COFFEE, TEA & MYSTERY If you're one of those whodunit types who reads mystery after mystery and can even figure them out sometimes, then your detecting skills have probably already revealed Coffee, Tea & Mystery to you. But in the event you haven't solved this case, stop by this little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop in Garden Grove. Mystery is king here, so it's a safe bet you'll find the one novel you don't have in a series by your favorite author. Located in a strip mall, this independent bookstore founded by Joan Wunsch shares its space with a quaint tea shop and an unlikely gathering of antiques, but that doesn't mean it isn't devoted to the suspense novel. Wunsch works hard to serve her conundrum-loving customers, so much so that some of the "biggies" of the mystery genre make a point to read and sign at the store. The staff will get to know you by name, and you might find others who share your crime-busting skills sipping a cup of tea in the indoor gazebo. Very Miss Marple. 11931 Valley View St., Garden Grove, (714) 898-CLUE; www.ctmbooks.com.
Clubs: Red Pearl
Photo by Jack Gould
CORONA DEL MAR A sleepy beach town with a bustling nightlife. With the opening of fancy-schmancy strip mall Corona del Mar Plaza (featuring a store selling gourmet dog biscuits) as well as swanky restaurant/bars and Tommy Bahamas, Corona del Mar came into its own as a nighttime hot spot for surgically enhanced beautiful people. But Corona del Mar is not without natural beauty! To the west of PCH lie its two beaches, affectionately called Big and Little Corona. Many movies and TV shows, such as Gilligan's Island and Satisfaction (starring Justine Bateman and Julia Roberts!) have allegedly been filmed there. What's more, my brother swears he found human poo in a cave at Big Corona. But don't worry, that was a long time ago. It might have been pirate poo. COSTA MESA 1. Chunks of the town have been known in the past as Fairview, Harper and Rancho Santa Ana del Yorba y Don Diego para Salma Hayek . . . mmm, Salma Hayek . . . de Mission Viejo los Blah-Blah-Blah. It used to be prime farm country, with sweet potatoes, corn, tomatoes, strawberries, apples and the Segerstrom family's beans all growing in abundance. Now the Segerstroms grow office towers and shopping malls. 2. Mucketymucks through the years have given the town such chest-thumping nicknames as "Goat Hill," the origins of which actually date back before the white man, when young Indian frat boys needed a name to put over the tavern in which they gathered to play darts and hoist microbrews; "City of the Arts," which glorifies highfalutin theater and performing-arts venues in a town that has refused to acknowledge "Day Without Art," which memorializes artists lost to AIDS; and "City With a Heart," which glorifies the many charitable ways the city helps the needy, including trying to drive soup kitchens, homeless shelters and "fucking Mexicans" out of town.
Clubs: Kozmos
Photo by Jack Gould
Additional nicknames: City of the Future (circa 1950); City That Refuses to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day; Niketown; Newport's Closet COSTA MESA MAFIA 1. Insouciant tag given to design posse Dan, Andy and Diego of Memphis and Detroit; Wing Lam of Wahoo's Fish Tacos; and Jack Flynn of Kitsch Bar. The cabal aims to tart up the oft-derided city like black-clad LA, taking over the Costa Mesa "brand" from tattooed, stripper-wearing knuckleheads. 2. A social force field impenetrable to the uninitiated. Infiltrate at your own risk. See also: Costa Mesa 100; Costa Mesa Hot Guy Crowd; Detroit Bar. COX, CHRISTOPHERThe smartest member of congress—just ask him. Though he's anxiously plotted for higher office—federal judgeship, U.S. Senate, Speaker of the House, CIA director and SEC director—nothing has worked for the Newport Beach millionaire who once worked for a convicted swindler. Could it be that people don't like his arrogance? COYOTE HILLS Years ago, this area used to be nothing but rambling open space and squeaky oil pumps. It was a great place to get high, get drunk and hang out with other lowlifes during the summer. It still is, but you might have to pay as much as $85. Today, a golf course designed by Cal Olson and Payne Stewart sits on the property. Although you can't wander through the brush or get your cherry popped without risking a golf ball in your privates, you can whack golf balls to your heart's content at one of the county's most scenic driving ranges. The elevated range is nestled at the base of the hills and offers a very cool view of native chaparral lined by non-native eucalyptus, magnolia and pine trees. At dusk, when the sun sets behind your ass, it's positively lovely. At $6 per small bucket and $10 per large bucket, it's a bit pricey, but someone's got to pay for all the water and electricity used by the course (which actually boasts that it is the most environmentally conscious course in the county). The clubhouse is open until sunset, so you can grab a drink and gaze out through floor-to-ceiling windows on the waterfall-crowned 18th hole—which ranks among the most scenic in the county—and dream about the day you graduate into bourgeois pighood. 1440 E. Bastanchury, Fullerton, (714) 672-6800.
Clubs: The Boogie
Photo by Jack Gould
CRESTVIEW PARKFrom the top here in Aliso Viejo, you get a fine 360-degree view over the sprawling hillsides. The main path leading to the top is so steep that someone has even scrawled "Lombardo Street" at the top in chalk, albeit slightly misspelled. Cedarbrook and Laguna Hills Drive, Aliso Viejo, (949) 362-5890. CRISTIANITOS About midday on July 22, 1769, following signs left by their scout, Sergeant Jose Francisco Ortega, a party of Spanish soldiers, priests and Christianized Native Americans crested a low hill near what is now Camp Pendleton and descended to a dry riverbed curving off to the northwest. Following this riverbed, which climbed gently toward low hills a mile away, they entered a thicket of alders and oaks. Here, at a small spring, they found Ortega—and a village of about 50 Native Americans. Two little girls of the village were ill and were brought forward, probably in the hope that these white men, so strangely dressed, carrying machines that emitted fire and transporting their goods on the backs of animals, might have powers that could cure them. The priests baptized the two children, naming them Maria Magdalena and Margarita. After the baptism, Gaspar de Portolá and his party moved on. You can visit this place of first contact today. Take the Cristianitos exit off I-5 and follow Cristianitos Road northeast toward Camp Pendleton. At the camp gate, a Marine will direct you about a mile farther on. You will come to a small gravel parking lot on a little bluff overlooking the canyon. In the distance to the southwest gleams the Pacific. Steps lead down the side of the canyon, but tread warily, for the trail is in poor repair and overgrown with brush. At the bottom, near a grove of oaks, you will come to a little spring. Beside it is a marker: "Near this spring the first Christian baptism in Alta California was performed by Padre Francisco Gomez." The leaves of the oaks rustle sadly in the breeze. Water drips through moss and grass. The noise of the modern world is distant. There is no record of what happened to the two little girls.
Clubs: The Boogie
Photo by Jack Gould
CROUCH, PAUL AND JAN The husband-and-wife team who run Costa Mesa's Trinity Broadcasting Network are fond of telling their late-night audiences that the whole world is going to end any day now. Their network even bankrolled The Omega Code, a nutty movie starring Michael York as Beelzebub. Does that jog your memory? Speaking of mammaries, Jan has cannonball-sized breast implants. CROWD, THE They might be a little, um, mature (they've got enough kids between them to start a whole new band), but these first-wave OC beach-punks still get down and dirty in the dive bars and slog it out alongside the youngsters, instead of whining about how twenty years of youth culture owes them and nursing big beer bellies. They're still good, too, even creeping up on their silver anniversary! CROWDS AT CHAIN REACTION (WHEN NON-HIPSTER BANDS PLAY) Volcom and Hurley must be so goddamn rich. Ditto acne-medication companies and orthodontists.
Clubs: The Boogie
Photo by Jack Gould
CRYPTO-LATINO 1.Wahoo's Fish Taco founder Wing Lam is not a Latino, but he should be. Technically, he is. He was born in Brazil to Chinese immigrant parents who eventually settled in Costa Mesa, where they ran a Chinese restaurant. Orange County's surf/skate lifestyle soon enveloped young Wing, and before long, he was venturing with buddies to San Felipe and Ensenada on Mexican surfing safaris. That brought his lips in contact with delectable fish tacos—and a stateside restaurant concept was born. With some financial backing from the folks, Wing and his brothers launched the first Wahoo's in a converted single-family home on Placentia Avenue in Costa Mesa. It's a pretty good bet that the majority of Americans who know fish tacos know them because of Wing Lam, whose twentysomething restaurants across California and Colorado sell 4.5 million of the trademark meals every year. It's only a matter of time before some dim gringo vacationing south of the border stumbles into a taco joint, sees the day's catch being folded into a warm tortilla and thinks to himself: "Hey, these Mexicans are copying Wahoo's." 2. After the Weekly ran an article praising Mike Carona's handling of the Samantha Runnion case, we received a rambling voice mail that kept referring to the Orange County sheriff as "Miguel" and insisting that Carona was a "vendido from the barrio." That might be true of Tom Fuentes, but Carona's parents are Italian. See also: Bill "Jose Jimenez" Dana (Hungarian), Gloria Matta Tuchman (self-hating), Speedy Gonzales (Belgian), Loretta Sanchez (Brixey), George P. Bush (tool) THE CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL Overlook for a moment the moneychangers that the Reverend Robert Schuller welcomes to his temple—whether it's to sell meaningless trinkets or to pitch capitalistic snake-oil testimonies (last year, Wyland painted sea animals on a canvas in the pulpit during a service; reprints—they ought to call them The Whaling Wall—are now on sale). All of this—and further, unspeakable horrors—may have blinded you to the physical grace of the weblike cathedral itself, a real masterpiece of inspired Philip Johnson architecture. 12141 Lewis St., Garden Grove, (714) 971-4000. For further study: Matthew 21:13 ("My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.")
Clubs: Geckos
Photo by Jack Gould
CUCKOO'S NEST 1. Defunct punk venue in Costa Mesa where everybody who was anybody—except the Ramones, who played in Garden Grove—had parking-lot scuffles with soused cowboys from the Zubie's across the street. 2. Richard from AAA Electra saw the Germs here once and then took the bus home to make curfew! CYPRESS, a.k.a. Dairy City, a.k.a. Moo Valley, a.k.a. the Florence of Orange County—is one of those cities that most people don't realize is a city. Just less than 50,000 people live here. Some live in gated housing communities indistinguishable from Irvine or Mission Viejo, with rows of identical homes tightly packed behind high walls and beneath Spanish tile roofs. A few live in the Hooverville of tiny homes, laundry lines and unpaved sidewalks that sits between the Cypress Suites Motel and Cypress Cottages townhomes on Lincoln Avenue. But most live in nondescript working-class homes spread throughout the city's seven square miles. Known as Waterville in the 1890s because people only had to dig down 225 feet to hit water, Cypress has pretty much always been dull. The city's official history records that the town was also isolated at first: "It was a half-day drive to Anaheim and an all-day drive to Santa Ana." Thanks to the 5 freeway, some things never change.
 
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