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
Aphrodite's Cyprus, a Mediterranean island at the crossroads of three continents and where the east meets the west, is a perfect summer destination, with inviting beaches, breathtaking mountain trails and championship golf courses surrounded by luxurious, world-class hotels.
Orange County's Cypress? Not so much. But Cypress Plaza Shopping Center does include a BevMo! (6820 Katella Ave., 714-891-1242), so well-stocked with mixers, elixirs and mood-fixers that you can gather all the ingredients for a ripping Brandy Sour, which is the official drink of Cyprus. No, you won't find Cypriot brandy brands such as KEO VSOP or Haggipavlu Anglias, but a reasonable facsimile would be to grab a bottle of DeKuyper Apricot Brandy (only $11.99 with your ClubBev card!), shake a shot and a half with lemon juice and ice, strain, add soda, and begin your morning with the perfect fuel to get you through another goddamn-hot day in Cypress.
Don't go too crazy, as your recreational activity could get you pulled over—on your skateboard. The Skate Plaza at Cypress Park (4554 Avenida Granada) is the perfect place to show off your best, Brandy Sour-inspired moves to the groms hyped up on Skittles who swarm here. Surrounded with pretty green grass (better to make soft landings upon, my dear), the skate park boasts an eight-stair with a rail right down the middle. What waaaay over-the-hill shredders can appreciate is the cement surface is mostly flat, just like the town that hosts it.
A wonderful place to nurse owies and cap another goddamn-hot summer day in Cypress is the funky and intimate Cafe Hiro (10509 Valley View St., 714-527-6090), which, just like TV's original Iron Chef, is all about the foreign influence on traditional Japanese food. Cafe Hiro's iron chef, Hiro Ohiwa, studied in both his native Japan and France, and he now creates modern Japanese fare through French sauces, Italian pastas and Indian curries. As at any restaurant with a flair for the WTF?, the most satisfying dishes are the daily specials, which on one visit included this walk-off home run: sea urchin risotto topped with roasted miso-marinated salmon. Bet you won't find that on Cyprus!