Best City In Which to Live Orange County 2010 - Costa Mesa
First of all, every Weekly reader who lives in Costa Mesa is another vote (right?) against the fake patriots who pass pointless resolutions about "Rule of Law" and push to ban soccer games played by people with skin pigmentation. But kooky politics aside, Costa Mesa is one of the few places in the county where you can pay a not-unreasonable rent and feel like you're living in an area that's actually interesting. The overcooked fauxhemian vibe of the Lab and the Camp has been fading recently as more legitimately intriguing businesses, bars and restaurants have been moving into them. Take those away, though, and Costa Mesa's culinary offerings are still formidable, from the fancified fare around South Coast Plaza to dueling Japanese supermarkets to the array of auténtica taquerías on the West Side to the granola-2.0 ethos of establishments such as Avanti Café and Kéan Coffee to the east. The spectrum of nightlife runs from legit concert venues (Detroit Bar) to cred-getting dives (Avalon) to beer halls (Goat Hill) to a fashionably overpriced, LA-style nightclub (Sutra). And with beaches, freeways and the airport all nearby, escape is never too difficult either.