Best of OC 2004: Part 2


Corey Parks is as big as they come for girl punk guitarists. Sorry, Courtney, but at six-foot-three, Ms. Parks could back your ass out of the key. The former Nashville Pussy is the sister of NBA player Cherokee Parks and, along with Duane Peters, makes up half of the cutest punk couple this side of Dexter and Noodles. Here are a few of her favorite things:

Best Record Store: Vinyl Solution, 18822 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 963-1819.

Best Coffee Shop: Cafe Ruba, 1749 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-4026. (Banana bombs kick ass!)

Best Band: DIE HUNNS

Best NBA Punk Rocker: Cherokee Parks

Best Tattoo Artist: Bucky Crispin, Good Time Charlie's Tattooland, 2641 Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 827-2071.

Best Skateboarder/Front Man/All-Around Legend (in his own mind): "My Daddy of Disaster, Mr. Duane Peters. I love you, babe!"

SIX EXTREMELY RARE MENU ITEMSThe following dishes are found only in the accompanying restaurants, and if he's wrong, food writer Gustavo Arellano will take you out to dinner. E-mail him with proof of his ignorance at Bun kebab. The bun kebab combo at the Great Zucchini, a restaurant in an industrial park in Fullerton, is the melting pot gone carhop. First comes a mayo-and-onion-laced burger with a patty that's actually a chapli kebab, a fragrant ground beef oval studded with pomegranate seeds, lentils, cloves and H-bomb-hot jalapeo shavings. Accompanying the bun kebab are standard fries, but ketchup and ranch dressing give way to a minty, emerald-green chutney and a zesty cucumber-and-pepper raita (yogurt). You can buy the bun kebab combo with a frothy mango lassi shake, but it's better to order a cola—in this case, the cola of choice is Pakola, Pakistan's creamy national soda. The Great Zucchini, 765 S. State College Blvd., Ste. C, Fullerton, (714) 879-8522. 2. Caguama. Killing sea turtles for food is a crime punishable in Mexico by a nine-year prison sentence. But this is los Estados Unidos, so feel free to eat caguama in the land of the free at Santa Ana's Mariscos la Sirena. Eat your caguama in the form of a rich, blood-red soup that lives up to the sea turtle's supposed aphrodisiacal powers with a flavor as rich as liver but without the terrible aftertaste. (PETA: the owners claim they get their caguamas from farms.) Mariscos la Sirena, 515. S. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 541-0350. 3. Cemita and taco rabe. Cemitas Poblanas is a lunch truck that shudders to a halt outside a Santa Ana Northgate Supermarket every morning. The namesake cemita is an epic sandwich consisting of a toasted, challah-like sesame-speckled roll layered with avocado slices, a slab of wet panela cheese, creamy quesillo shavings, caramelized onions, the metallic-tasting herb pcalo and enough meat chunks of your choice to pay for a Texan cattle baron's Cadillac. But even stranger is the taco rabe, a pork-filled, mestizo take on the pita sandwich that's a delicious sociological lesson, the legacy of thousands of Middle Easterners who moved to Puebla during the early 20th Century. Cemitas Poblanas, the corner of Main St. & Cubbon, Santa Ana. 4. Chapulines. Okay, maybe El Fortn isn't the only place where you can eat grasshoppers, but smart grubbers aching for some spiced antennae between their teeth need look no further than the county's premier Oaxacan restaurant. El Fortn prep chapulines for consumption by soaking them overnight in chile powder and lime juice, then sun-drying them until the critters are snappier than a cracker. Whether served as an appetizer (a good 30 pinky-nail-size crickets per order) or studded by the dozens in a creamy quesadilla, chapulines impress—a bit sour and spicy, the thorax particularly juicy. El Fortn, 700 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 773-4290. 5. Mariscoco. One of the reasons why Mariscos Licenciado #2 is the county's best hole-in-the-wall is because of the mariscoco: a chilled soup of abalone, squid, octopus, shrimp and coconut chunks that's native to the Mexican coastal state of Sinaloa and a glorious rarity everywhere else. They used to serve the mariscoco at numero dos inside a hollowed-out coconut but stopped after customers apparently found it too difficult to manage because the coconut was so tightly packed. You still receive the extracted coconut water in a plastic cup as a chaser, though. Mariscos Licenciado #2, 1052 N. State College Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 776-3415. 6. Horchata with teriyaki. A teriyaki stand seems an unlikely place to find fine horchata. But Mos 2 sells its cheap bowls in a heavily Latino neighborhood, and the owners know best to please nosostros with a horchata ($1.25) that rumbas deliciously with Mos 2's teriyaki treats. Mos 2, 1008 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 772-8543. BEST QUEER PORN 1. Fantasia Video & More. A friendly neighborhood North County sex shop, Fantasia stocks more gay porn than you can shake a . . . well, you know. Not your average man-on-man action, either. Here, you've got sweet, hardcore stuff—yer jocks-'n'-cocks, yer police peckers, yer men-eatin' Marines. Good quality and supercheap, too—bucketfuls of tapes, many not more than a 10-spot. 1282 S. Magnolia Ave., Anaheim, (714) 952-1053. THIRTEEN ULTIMATE TACOS (AND WHERE TO EAT THEM) 1. Carne asada. The most popular order by Mexicans and gabachos alike. At Taquera El Granjenal (the finest taquera in OC, by the way), carne asada is the best bet, blackened-but-juicy mountains of flank steak doused with liquid-fire salsa. 899 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 645-4964. 2. Carnitas. Pork boiled in its own fat at Carnitas Uruapn. Not recommended for those who have something to live for. 1150 N. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 535-7223. 3. Tripitas. Most non-Mexicans shudder at the mere mention of menudo, the stomach 'n' intestine soup slobbered over throughout Mexico. At Tacos Arandas, however, guts come via a taco container, the pale, fatty innards as chewy as Wrigley's Spearmint but with double the pleasure. 305 S. Brookhurst, Anaheim, (714) 520-7935. 4. Cabeza. Not brains, but the flesh of a cow's cheeks. Squishy like veal, richer than steak. At El Toro Meat Market, they snatch it straight from a steer's skull. 1340 W. First St., Santa Ana, (714) 836-1393. 5. Lengua. Taquera de Anda steams its beef tongue exquisitely. 308 W. Valencia Dr., Fullerton, (714) 738-1129. 6. Sesos. Otherwise known as the "People eat brains?" order. Like egg, but with a wicked after-kick. The pride and joy of Taco Boy in Anaheim. Become a zombie today! 725 N. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 491-7156. 7. Buche. Not stomach, but the meat immediately surrounding the stomach. More popular than it should be, Taquera Mexico's buche is as close to lunching on rubber as sanitarily possible. 108 W. Katella Ave., Orange, (714) 538-5772. 8. Adovada. Roasted, watery pork. Better than it sounds at Q Tortas. 220 S. Bradford Ave., Placentia, (714) 993-3270. 9. Chorizo. At Tacos Jalisco, they chop the chorizo so fine you could snort the granulated pork through your nose. 480 N. Tustin Ave., Orange, (714) 771-5819. 10. Al Pastor. Al pastor (spiced pork spun on a spit) is the name of the juego at Tacos Neza, a particularly divey taquera down the street from The Orange County Register's offices. Marinated in the manner of Texcoco—ain't diversity great? 1320 N. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 834-1292. 11. Al Vapor. Tito's la Especial is the master of the tacos al vapor format, the gloriously fatty style that steams tortillas and shredded beef together until it's almost like an ice-cream sandwich. 503 W. 17th, Santa Ana, (714) 543-2900; 701 N. Harbor Blvd., Ste. D, Santa Ana, (714) 554-9871. 12. Barbacoa. Taquera del Amigo only roasts its barbacoa (barbecued lamb) on weekends, and even then they're out of it by midday. But each teeny-tiny barbacoa taco is worth the seven-day wait—stringy, juicy throughout and embellished Hidalgo-style, meaning the taco men follow the renowned barbacoa tradition of the central Mexican state by roasting their ewe with maguey leaves (the plant from which tequila is distilled), which contribute an intoxicating glow to the lamb's mellow charm. 11915 Euclid, Garden Grove, (714) 537-8740. 13. Suadero. It was an adventure trying to find a taquera that hawked suadero (fried pork breastbone meat) tacos even five years ago. But now with half of Mexico living in these environs, any taquera that wants to survive lists it on its menu. Get yours at Taquera Guadalajara. 1904 W. First St., Santa Ana, (714) 547-7515; 305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana, (714) 953-1191. BEST PLACE TO BREW YOUR OWN BEER 1. Brewbakers. Anyone can buy beer, but can you brew your own? Don't drive too fast down Heil Avenue in Huntington Beach or you'll pass the only place in Orange County where you can literally make and bottle your own beer. The beer masters inside Brewbakers will teach you how to brew a smorgasbord of beers to a level of perfection that would make a German monk proud. And you won't go home broke because on Thursdays, you can brew an entire case for just $29 and enjoy what might be the best OC happy hour by offering $1.50 pints and $2 for a 22-ouncer from 4 to 7 p.m. while you wait. They've also come up with the ideal gift for the guy who has everything . . . a gift certificate that comes in a perfectly smooth 22-ounce beer bottle. 7242 Heil Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 596-5506;> NINE UNOFFICIAL DRAG STRIPS 1. Pacific Coast Highway. If you work in South County but live up north, this is an ideal escape route, especially if you get to work early—say, by 8:30 a.m. 2. Santa Ana Freeway, between 17th Street and Lincoln Avenue. Dunno why, but you can really catch a break at lunch time. 3. The toll roads. They'll cost you a few bucks and you just know you're supporting fascism in the process, but paying does mean you can get around faster during the day. 4. The Costa Mesa (55) Freeway, south of the San Diego (405) Freeway. Like every escape route, it doesn't always work, but this one gets pretty fast mid-mornings, just before lunch. 5. Sky Park Circle industrial park, just south of MacArthur Boulevard at Red Hill Avenue, Irvine. "I've seen skid marks and bashed-up tail lights when I come to work in the morning," said a friend of ours who works nearby. "I wish I knew more." After a closer interrogation, it seems that either some tuner cars were out there having a speed contest or this is just where people go to dump their broken taillights. 6. Bergstrom's, 16862 Red Hill, Irvine. "It looks like someone was doing massive doughnuts over there," says an anonymous source. Doughnuts, of course, are what happen when you do a burnout with your front wheels cranked all the way over: massive fun and huge skid marks, especially when you do 'em in the wee hours outside a store that sells stuff for babies. 7. Jamboree Road between Michelson and El Camino Real, Irvine. If you hit all the lights—not that hard at night or on the weekends—you can fly all the way to the stretch where it basically becomes a freeway past Barranca. Just be sure to watch out for the Irvine Police, who occasionally take breaks from rounding up the homeless and dropping them off in Santa Ana. 8. MacArthur Boulevard between Jamboree and Pacific Coast Highway in Irvine/Newport Beach. Long stretches without lights! Wide, curvy roads! Dips and hills! Racing the BMW drivers who are headed to Fashion Island for a Botox touch-up! Hit that accelerator and try to catch up to that Mercedes that passed you 10 minutes ago! 9. Jeffrey Road/University Drive, between Alton and Harvard in Irvine. Fun, curvy roads that let you fly past housing tracts, apartment buildings and parks alike. Some added bonuses include trying to figure out why the street Golden Glow is also spelled Goldenglow at the same intersection. SIX INK-O-RIFIC TATTOO SHOPS 1. Classic Tattoo. Closed indefinitely due to the death of its owner, traditional tattoo wizard Eric Maaske. Family members say they hope the shop will reopen soon. It's first here 'cause this is still one of the best spots in the county to get a traditional-style tattoo, though without Eric, it'll never be quite the same. 521 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton. 2. Tattooland. Home base to Jack Rudy, who, along with "Good Time" Charlie Cartwright, were to 1970s tattooing what Mister Cartoon is today. No, that's not quite right 'cause Cartoon is following in their footsteps, and their O.G., film-noir, single-needle black-and-white are still an industry standard. 2641 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 827-2071. 3. Outer Limits. Owner Kari Barba is The Donald of the tattoo world. She even bought Bert Grimm's in Long Beach—the world's oldest continuously operated tattoo joint—last year. Barba rates high for bringing tattooing to the masses en masse, while at the same time using things like sterile rooms, which are so 21st Century. At several Outer Limits, you can also get your #$%@! pierced. 3024 W. Ball Rd., Ste. 1, Anaheim, (714) 761-8288; 2981 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 241-8287; 9141 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, (714) 534-8846; 125 N. Tustin Ave., Ste. G, Orange, (714) 744-8288. 4. American Beauty Tattoo Parlor. The vato locos of the tattoo scene, this shop offers up Long Beach Nu-Pike amusement-park-trained artists (at one time a traditional tattoo bastion) along with other more modern single-needle stylists. In their number is Long Beach Dub All-Stars member Opie Ortiz. Second acts, anyone? 16860 Pacific Coast Hwy., Sunset Beach, (562) 592-9317. 5. Laguna Tattoo. Your one-stop shop for getting a pair of dolphins on your ankle or one of those sun-moon thingies around your belly button, this place isn't as hippy-dippy-trippy as it used to be. But then, neither is Laguna. 656 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 497-3702; 6. Ipso Facto Piercing-Tattoos. The name says a lot; this Goth-y den of in-ink-quity serves a cornucopia of what tattooing has to offer—everything from single-needle to biomechanics. And while you're there, you can get some holes punched in some stuff. 517 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 525-7865. FIVE PLACES TO GET YOUR ROD REVAMPED 1. Maul's Garage. His kids just bought an old Camaro to fix up, but owner Jim Maul eats, sleeps and breathes vintage MGs, so if you're thinking about getting one—or if you're already infected with the MG bug—go see him. 15541 Producer Lane, Ste. N, Huntington Beach, (714) 898-3990. 2. Orange County Rod & Custom. It's right around the corner from the Doll Hut in Anaheim, but a phone number's all you get 'cause we don't want to get owner Anthony Castaneda in no kinda trouble with his landlord. If you're putting together a rod or custom in OC, though, you should talk to this guy—he knows how to actually put a mean-looking car on the road. (714) 514-4640. 3. Bag Man Suspension Specialists. As seen in the current issue of Lowrider magazine, this is the place that'll put your car on the ground with trick airbag kits, so you can cruise at a normal height and a decent ride, then drop it all the way to the asphalt once you park. Do-it-yourself kits range from $400 to $1,400. 1838 S. Lewis, Anaheim, (714) 634-0500; 4. Betz Speed & Color. This is where you go to get your one-off supertrick custom car-paint colors mixed by Stan Betz, FOVD (Friend of Von Dutch). Betz is the real deal, and so's his paint. 1470 W. Katella Ave., Orange, (714) 836-9191. 5. Super Auto Box. Chock-full of auto sound equipment, racing mufflers, air fresheners and high-tech air filters, this place is like the WOW store for tuner cars. Everything you can bolt on, they have. 12645 Beach Blvd., Stanton, (714) 903-9900. COOLEST HIGH SCHOOL CAMPUSES 1. Fullerton Union High School. With the same arched walkways and red-tile roofs of the California missions, the expansive and beautifully landscaped Fullerton Union campus is like San Juan Capistrano without the tourists. Its proximity to downtown Fullerton and both the Cal State Fullerton and Fullerton College campuses allow the high schoolers to get coffee, shop at thrift stores and pretend to be college students on their lunch break. 201 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton. 2. Newport Harbor High School. Perhaps grooming its student body for the universities they'll invariably attend one day, this high school looks more like a college campus. It's got a clock tower, a performing-arts theater, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, a varsity football field and a track with a long-jump area. It's good to live in Newport Beach. 600 Irvine Ave., Newport Beach. 3. Laguna Beach High School. Though it's currently being remodeled, this campus is a nod to the '60s and has the best view in OC. Atop a blind crest, it overlooks PCH and the Pacific Ocean. 625 Park Ave., Laguna Beach. 4. Orange County High School of the Arts. Fame brought to life, this campus has a modern, urban campus that feels right out of NYC. 1010 N. Main St., Santa Ana. 5. Huntington Beach High School. Also like a mission. And near enough to the water for kids to catch a wave at lunch. SoCal cool to the fullest. 1905 Main St., Huntington Beach. 6. University High School. The campus is really nothing special; it looks like just about everything else in Irvine—bland architecture, pristine, well-planned, heavily landscaped. What makes this campus so cool, though, is that actor/comedian Will Ferrell and musician/activist/writer Zack de la Rocha attended school there. 4771 Campus Dr., Irvine. EIGHT PLACES TO HANG OUT WITH MOM 1. Santa Ana Art Walk/Laguna Beach Art Walk. Santa Ana's art walk is held on the first Saturday of every month in the Artists Village on Second Street. Take mom to see progressive local art, and depending on her preference, either go for coffee and live music at the Gypsy Den or the strong martinis and DJs at Memphis. The Laguna Beach Art Walk is the first Thursday of the month from 6 to 9 p.m. A shuttle takes you from the Laguna Art Museum to the assorted galleries, in case you decide to have a few margaritas at Las Brisas first. 2. The Farmer's Market. Held on various days of the week in nearly every OC city (Santa Ana's version is hopefully coming soon—see to help make it a reality), stroll through the market with mom to buy flowers and plants, sample organic fruits and vegetables, and check out the work of local craftsmen. 3. Old Town Orange. Plenty of quaint restaurants (PJ's Abbey, Watson Drugs and Soda Fountain), coffee shops (The Filling Station), tea rooms (A Place in Time) and tons of antique shops will keep you and Mom busy (albeit dusty) for hours. Glassell St. & Chapman Ave., Orange; 4. Sunday brunch at the Beach House. Spend Sunday afternoon with mom on the sunny patio of the Beach House in Laguna Beach. With the waves below you, a mimosa in hand, and a decadent seafood omelet, you'll both quickly forget any disagreements you've ever had. And you can stay all day! 619 Sleepy Hollow Lane, Laguna Beach, (949) 494-9707. 5. Orange County Museum of Art. With its varied collections, the recently renovated OCMA has a little bit of everything for all tastes. And the manageable size of the museum—hey, it's no Louvre—is a plus if art is more your thing than mom's. Admire some masterpieces, then have a sandwich in the lovely caf. 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 759-1122. $7; students/seniors, $5. 6. The Summit House. This elegant Fullerton restaurant has the feel of an English hunting lodge. Sit in the huge embroidered chairs, drink wine and eat roasted meats with mom while watching rabbits chew the grass outside. The Summit House also has a tavern with a wonderful bar menu, a piano player and a great happy-hour special. 200 E. Bastanchury Rd., Fullerton, (714) 671-4111. 7. The McCharles House Restaurant and Gardens. Tucked away in Tustin, this small but cozy restaurant founded, operated and landscaped by painter Audrey Emsel Heredia and her daughter Vivian (the chef) is surrounded on all sides by a lush garden of roses, lavender and edible flowers. Enjoy tea and the seasonal menu on the patio with mom and watch the autumn leaves fall. 335 S. C St., Tustin, (714) 731-4063. 8. Glen Ivy Day Spa/Hot Springs. Get naked and pampered with mom at the totally decadent Glen Ivy spas. Their sundry treatments include massages, facials, hot-stone therapy, waxing, body masks and pedicures. Visit the Brea Mall location for a few hours, or spend all day or the entire weekend at the hot springs in Corona, not far outside the county line. You'll never look at each other quite the same way again. Glen Ivy Day Spa, 1001 Brea Mall, Brea, (714) 990-2090; Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa, 25000 Glen Ivy Rd., Corona, (888) 258-2683; THREE NON-CORPORATE HIP-HOP RECORD SHOPS 1. Beat Vinyl & Life. They strictly stock their shelves with only underground hip-hop and reggae. Looking for Nelly's latest? Try burning it off some dorm rat down the hall. 517 S. Brookhurst St., Anaheim, (714) 774-7780. 2. Stacks the Vinyl Authority. Barely across the county line in Cerritos. Not just a clever name, but—surprise!—also the way they organize their inventory of new, old, common and hard-to-find funk, soul, hip-hop, reggae, R&B, turntable, and old-school classics. 15969 Piuma Ave., Cerritos, (562) 809-8560. 3. Music Revolution. Tired of driving around to look for records? Call up the kids at Music Revolution, tell them what you want, and they'll check for you without even sighing too loud. They've got a good-sized collection of both mainstream hits and underground classics, and they're worth the drive, if you can be coaxed off that couch. 52 E. Orangethorpe Ave., Anaheim, (714) 447-9288. FIVE PARADISES . . . TILL THEY PUT UP A PARKING LOTWildlife in OC? You bet. Okay, so maybe it's not the Serengeti, but SoCal has been identified as a hot spot of biodiversity, home to one of the richest ecosystems on the planet. But with OC's remaining open spaces being gobbled up by toll roads, planned communities and strip malls, it won't last. So check out these areas before they're gone. You can tell your grandkids there really were wild animals in OC. Really. 1. Dana Point Headlands. Overlooking the Dana Point and Niguel Marine Life Refuges, the 121-acre Headlands remain one of the last undeveloped coastal mesas in Southern California. But don't let its diminutive size fool you. Despite being surrounded by development, its cliffs, bluffs and coastal scrub are home to a stunning variety of flora and fauna, including 13 rare plant species, the California Gnatcatcher and the endangered Pacific pocket mouse. Even so, plans have been approved to build 125 homes, a 65- to 90-room hotel, and a commercial area, ensuring the Headlands will soon blend in with the urban sprawl that surrounds it. 2. San Onofre State Beach. It's hard to believe a beach this pristine still exists in OC. Fed by San Mateo Creek, one the cleanest waterways in California, this area supports a dizzying array of wildlife, including ocean-going steelhead trout, which swim upstream to spawn when winter rains swell the creek. According to the Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA), this makes it a perfect place to build a toll road. And the agency claims the multistory, fuel-and oil-spewing road wouldn't affect the water quality or the surf at world-famous Trestles Beach. But if the water quality of other OC creeks is any indication, you might want to schedule a visit before the TCA rams its proposal through the approval process. 3. Hobo and Aliso Ridge. Rising above Laguna Beach, the ridge connecting Hobo and Aliso canyons is still undeveloped. Threatened species of plants like Big Leaf Crownbeard and Western Dichondra adorn its steep slopes, coyote and mule deer navigate its coastal scrub, and hawks soar in its thermals. It's a reminder of OC's past, when development had not yet consumed most of the coastal ridges. Hobo and Aliso Ridge may soon resemble its home-encrusted neighbors. Plans to build luxury homes on the site were approved. Recently, the property's ownership changed, but the new owner, Montage Resort, still retains the option to build. 4. Saddleback Canyons. OC's rural canyons—Trabuco, Modjeska and Silverado—sit at the base of the Santa Ana Mountains and are home to a lush, biologically diverse landscape. A hike on any of their trails reveals an abundance of wildlife—birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, predators and prey. The canyons are also vital corridors between the Cleveland National Forest and OC's remaining open spaces. Recently, regulations designed to protect these areas were compromised. Amendments to the Foothill/Trabuco Specific Plan have made possible development inconsistent with the plan's original intent. Suburban tract-style homes are cleared to displace 500 to 1,000 mature oak and sycamore trees, destroying an area crucial to the ecosystem's overall health and affecting not only these canyons, but also the open spaces they support. 5. Coyote Hills. Despite the urban sprawl chewing at its edges, this 510-acre coastal-sage ecosytem is refuge to a variety of wildlife—including many rare native plants and animals. Now the property owner plans to build 760 units, permanently eliminating this last pocket of open space in densely populated North County. Not only will the wildlife suffer, but so will area residents who must resort to hiking through rows of tract homes. FIVE DJS WHO PLAY WHATEVER THEY WANT TO, AND DAMN IT, YOU WILL LIKE IT 1-2. Angelina and TSC-1. A reputable counterpart to Long Beach's Good Foot soul soirees, Souled Out is a weekly foray into dusty 45s, long-forgotten singles and tunes so downright groove-worthy you'll feel like crying into your martini for every sub-par soul song you've ever gotten up off your thang for. Come for a few Stellas, stay for when Angelina cues George McCrae's "I Get Lifted," and shake it when TSC-1 throws on the smooth '70s-ghetto funk of Brother to Brother's "In the Bottle." Souled Out at Memphis, 2920 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 432-SOUL. Every Thurs., 10 p.m. Free. 21+. 3-4. Eyad and Rob. True, we may date one of the DJs, and equally true, we may know absolutely nothing about what can be considered "good" music, but we've heard enough music in our time to know an unfamiliar song, and on Tuesdays at the Kitsch Bar, that happens, well, all night long. Think you know it all? Think again as Rob busts out Chrisma's "C-Rock." Then bop your head in blissed-out disbelief as Eyad whips out Hot Butter's "Popcorn." Kitsch Bar, 891 Baker St., Costa Mesa, (714) 546-8580. Every Tues., 10 p.m. Free. 21+. 5. John Basil. The trouble with Costa Mesa is that it's a veritable quagmire of DJs spilling over from KUCI as well as, um, whatever foreign land Johnny Basil hails from. Ask Avalon owner Mike Conley about this man of mystery, and you'll get a 10-minute earful of superlatives sounding something like "Johnny's the Most Bestest DJ Known to Man in the History of the Planet Ever!!!" Sure, it sounds like crazy talk, but once Mike buys you a shot of Soju and Johnny spins something like "Chariots of Pumpkins" from the Halloween 3 soundtrack, it will all start to make sweet, strange, perfect sense. Avalon, 820 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 515-4650. Every Thurs., 10 p.m. Free. 21+. SIX OC BUSINESSES BEARING THE NAMES OF MEXICAN TOWNS 1. Las Brisas de Apatzingn. So-so Mexican restaurant owned by residents of Apatzingn, Michoacn, who battle with those from Sahuayo (see No. 3) for Santa Ana supremacy. 1524 S. Flower, Santa Ana, (714) 545-5584. 2. Taquera El Granjenal. OC's best taquera calls itself El Granjenal, a tiny Michoacn town that was the focus of a two-day 1997 Los Angeles Times series examining Mexican mass-migration to los Estados Unidos. 899 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 645-4964. 3. Carnitas Sahuayo. OC's most famous mini-rancho is Sahuayo, thanks to The Orange County Register's monumental 1999 six-part series on this Michoacn city of about 80,000. Many businesses in Santa Ana use Sahuayo in their title, hoping to attract the dollars of the town's expatriates; Carnitas Sahuayo happens to be the tastiest. 402 W. 17th St., Santa Ana, (714) 834-0229. 4. Tacos Arandas. Taquera that bears the name of the Jalisco city reputed to birth the most beautiful seoritas in the Mexican republic; many of those seoritas now live in Anaheim and get into cat fights with the chicas of Jalostitln (see No. 5). 305 S. Brookhurst, Anaheim, (714) 520-7935. 5. Xalos Bar. The former neo-Nazi refuge known as the Shack is now Xalos, shorthand for Jalostitln, Jalisco, which boasts hundreds of its fair-skinned natives prettying up staid Anaheim tract housing. Residents of the town pack the place every weekend, and so do other Mexicans—Jalostitln women are renowned across Mexico for being the hottest things this side of Mount Etna. 1160 N. Kraemer, Anaheim, (714) 632-0390; 6. Zapatera Jerez. Shoe store for the thousands of Anaheim residents who hail from Jerez, Zacatecas, a beautiful town of about 40,000 that Weekly token Gustavo Arellano proudly calls home, even though he's never stayed there more than two consecutive days in his life. 404 N. State College Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 758-9395.   HOTTEST BUNS 1. These are pretzel buns made by Surf City, a company out of Huntington Beach that doesn't have their own shop yet but oughta. Their crave-worthy, screw-the-low-carb-diet concoctions taste so luxuriant you'd half-expect them to be served solely at hoity-toity Newport Beach dinner parties. When heated, these soft, pillowy buns (now we're making ourselves horny) have the sweet-and-sour taste of an unsalted pretzel. Its dough will add spunk to any burger, hot dog or any kind of meat you want to ram in there (okay, this write-up has definitely crossed over into softcore gay porn). Right now, they're only available in local Albertsons and Vons stores, so get thee to your favorite mega-market. STREETS THAT MIGHT AS WELL BE FREEWAYS 1. Camino Capistrano. More than the mere namesake of Orange County's founding mission or the only way to get to the Coach House, Camino Capistrano functions as a weekend traffic valve for the gnostic. It starts at the northern border of San Clemente right where El Camino Real segues into Pacific Coast Highway, winds its way through scenic Dana Point neighborhoods, then suddenly veers off course through downtown San Juan Capistrano, past the Mission and along the railroad tracks. After that stretch comes South County's new wilderness as the street runs parallel to the 5 freeway: Ladera Ranch's acres of nothing, Mission Viejo's industrial-park corridor, and a final one-lane-dirt-road stretch that ends next to a Laguna Niguel utility plant. Whether your destination is the beach, the Mission or TJ, Camino Capistrano cuts at least 15 minutes off the hell that is the I-5 on any given weekend. 2. Kimberly Lane. Named after the nearby Kimberly-Clark factory, this asphalt gully gets you from Fullerton to Placentia almost instantly, as it passes through sprawling plants of various products and shipments. 3. Newland Street. Brookhurst Avenue, Magnolia Avenue and Beach Boulevard are all effective in leading sunbathers to Huntington Beach, but true beach bums have traversed the in-between Newland Street for generations. Beginning in Garden Grove's Korean enclave, slicing through Little Saigon and nondescript Fountain Valley, then finally spilling into Pacific Coast Highway, Newland Street features few semaphores, virtually no traffic, and can get you to H.B. in about as much time as it takes to cruise Main Street. 4. Flower Street. Although Santa Ana has many lengthy avenues, nearly all are problematic. Main Street? Too much traffic. Broadway? Stops too soon. Bristol Street is about to face evisceration for the Centerline, and the gang-infested lengths of Raitt Street and Grand Avenue is as close to Fallouja as Orange County gets. No, SanTana's true Northern Passage is Flower Street. It starts in the mansion-dotted Floral Park neighborhood, barrels through dozens of socio-economic levels and concludes at prosperity anew in the South Coast Metro area. 5. Irvine Boulevard. Particularly the stretch between Jeffrey in Irvine and Main in Tustin. A great shortcut for avoiding northbound I-5 traffic on the way to Angels games.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >