GADFLYHe's Orange County's best political stalker—and we mean that in a good way. Back when Duane Roberts was a member of Los Amigos of Orange County who liked to investigate local politicians, he was the gadfly conservatives loved to hate. Then Roberts fell out of favor with Los Amigos and started investigating one of its members, Anaheim school board trustee Don Garcia. Over the course of a few months, Roberts showed up at Garcia's house in Corona del Mar more than a dozen times, saw Garcia there on several occasions, and concluded that the Anaheim school trustee didn't live in the city whose district he represented. The district attorney investigated Roberts' claim, found that his discovery was correct—and declined to press charges against Garcia. By that time, however, Roberts had become the gadfly liberals love to hate even more.
See also: Shirley Grindle; Bill Mitchell; Joey Racano; Sid Soffer (in exile) GARDEN GROVE It hasn't always been easy living in Garden Grove. Heavy flooding gutted the city in 1916, and an earthquake did severe damage to buildings in 1933. But after World War II, hordes of veterans and their families moved here, making it the fastest-growing U.S. city in the 1950s. Since then, the home of the Strawberry Festival has undergone quite a transformation: from dull suburban landscape to, well, dull suburban landscape with a new nostalgic downtown area. Downtown Garden Grove re-creates a time when huge metal cars ran on leaded fuel; American flags flapped from every corner store; and the influx of Korean, Mexican and Vietnamese immigrants had yet to arrive. GARDEN GROVE YOUTH DROP-IN CENTER When Koo's went down, it was a kick in the too-tight pants of the local indie rock scene—Chain Reaction will book the shit that sells, and AAA Electra will cover the stuff you couldn't pay people to see, but there's a whole nation of music somewhere in between that would completely skip over OC if it weren't for the stopgap shows at the Drop-In Center. The ratty couches and sweat-slick walls that made Koo's the home-y venue we loved to gripe about are gone, but the bands play on: see-'em-before-they're-famous acts like the Kills, the Pattern and Mecca Normal (well, they'll never be famous, but whatever) have all sold their merch off the pool table here. Always all-ages, almost always $5 to get in, and something you'd better support—or we'll see you forking out the big bucks for the same show up in LA, won't we? 12800 Garden Grove Blvd., Ste. F, Garden Grove, (714) 590-3140. GAROFALO, DAVECongressman Dana Rohrabacher's lackey and former Huntington Beach mayor who angrily denied wrongdoing and then pleaded guilty this year to massive political corruption involving secret payoffs. Once accidently but appropriately observed about himself, "There's no difference between what I said and didn't say." GEORGE, WALLY If Orange County were heaven, when you died, you'd meet Wally George at the pearly gates with a big book of all your good and bad deeds—and if you weren't gay, progressive or a woman, you might even get in. A lovable curmudgeon with an unfortunate hairpiece and a serious love of God, country and John Wayne, George was a fading demigod of Orange County conservatism when he died in 1995. His still-stunning late-night talk show, Hot Seat, has been in syndication since the mid-'90s and . . . What? He's still alive? GHOST TOWN If you want to see a genuine ghost town in Orange County, you don't have to go any farther than the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. Separated from Irvine by just a chainlink fence are several city blocks full of modest ranch homes—formerly houses for Marine Corps officers and their spouses. Along with several military barracks, those houses have been empty since the base closed in 1999. Back then, when the base was supposed to become an airport, Irvine Mayor Larry Agran wanted the houses to be given to the homeless and called the county's plan to bulldoze them "an absolute scandal." Now that the county's airport plan has been replaced by Agran's Great Park initiative, you'd think the housing at El Toro would go to the homeless. You'd be wrong; it will likely be bulldozed, shortly after it is sold to the highest bidder by the U.S. Navy. Locations of other ghost towns: Knott's Berry Farm; Huntington Beach Mall; Times Orange County. GIGANTE SUPERMARKETPoor little Gigante. The multibillion, multinational Mexican supermarket colossus wasn't able to obtain a liquor license for its proposed Anaheim location because the area it would serve was already over its legal limit. So it screamed racism and assembled a high-profile team of Latino activists, lawyers, and shameless self-promoters who threatened Anaheim with a NAFTA lawsuit if the city didn't break state regulations. After the issue received national attention, the City Council reversed its own Planning Commission's recommendation and approved Gigante's liquor license. Now consumers can buy ultra-cheap Mexican produce and contribute to corporate malfeasance. GILLETTE/HASSOLD Gorgeous tall über-Aryan art couple; lives in Costa Mesa, teaches at local colleges, makes art about Calcutta-esque Disneyland slums (Jeff Gillette) and taxidermied dead things (Laurie Hassold). Plus, Laurie always wears miniskirts and has a thousand miles of legs. GILMORE'S COFFEE SHOP Denny's wishes it had décor as cloyingly wholesome as this. Gilmore's is the place to go for carbohydrate-saturated American-style, Sunday-morning, post-church noshdowns. The food might be a little uneven, but the matronly family atmosphere can't be beat. 1909 E. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 535-9715. GINA "Friend" referred to in Washington Apple and Newport Trading and Antique entries. See also: Five Crowns Restaurant; Bar Baseball; Delicious Rice Krispy Treats; Comic knee injury scenarios involving bicycles and Washington Apples GOD Visited science-fiction author Philip K. Dick in Fullerton in 1974. Discussion topics: 1. Does God exist? 2. Does God visit people? 3. When God does visit people, why does he always seem to crash on Don Bren's sofa? GRAND CENTRAL ART CENTER Anchor of Santa Ana Artists Village, with Gypsy Den and galleries on bottom floor. Top floor has grad-student housing full of yummy young things. Downside: no one can ever find the orgies. Surely there are orgies? 125 S. Broadway, Santa Ana, (714) 567-7233. GREENE RECORDS Not as righteously exclusive as Vinyl Solution, not as high-school hipster as Bionic, Greene Records is a nice little scoop of basic-food-group punk. 12932 Newport Ave., Tustin, (714) 505-6626. Study question: Does Final Ronflict still work here? GRILLED CAESAR SALADJust about everyone does a caesar salad. Even Wendy's does a caesar salad . . . with bacon. So it's nice when someone takes the dish in a unique, delicious, non-pork-based direction. Chimayo at the Beach lightly grills its romaine hearts, charring but not wilting them—they're still cold on the inside. The warm caesar dressing is infused with pumpkin seeds that give the dish a nutty (coo coo) flavor. It's great. On the downside, Chimayo does not have a drive-through window. 315 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, (714) 374-7273. GRRL POWER They breed the bros thick and heavy down here. You can't swing a Stratocaster without smacking some dude with a Vandals T-shirt and a torso full of bad tats. Sadly, bro sometimes attracts bro when it comes to getting a foot in the door of the local music scene. That's why godhead post-punk bands like Squab—four girls with no interest whatsoever in the Vandals—hardly ever got shows here for years; that's also why a couple of resolutely determined rocker girls started Soapboxx: to get OC women involved in independent music through instructional workshops, pressure-free jam sessions, and the occasional special showcase show. You can still have your revolution grrl style if you want it—just show up with your guitar and go! GUITAR CENTER GUY Long hair, button-up shirt with flames or dice or snakes or some combination thereof, corduroy cargo pants, ponytail. Will give you up to 40 percent off on a set of strings or maybe a tuner if you flirt with him (assuming you are a girl) or (assuming you are a guy) pretend you are a struggling musician who's just trying to make it in this crazy old world, and all your money is tied up in methadone and herpes medication right now, so can you give me a break, man? Also has at least two of the following in his apartment: futon, black-light poster, Sony PlayStation 2, bong, iguana in big terrarium. See also: Comic Book Geek; Independent Record Store Snob; Post-Collegiate Bookstore Slacker; Exhausted Art House Poser GUITAR DOCTOR Hang around and learn something: bullshit about pre-CBS Fenders, Japanese-made Epiphones or Marshalls with point-to-point wiring, or maybe just get your guitar serviced by the knowledgeable, friendly staff. 18171 Euclid St., Fountain Valley, (714) 437-9607. GUSTAV'S JÄGERHAUS AUTHENTIC GERMAN CUISINEThe succulent bratwurst sandwich, the tender-beyond-belief Wiener schnitzel, the equally tender and tantalizingly tangy sauerbraten, the Hungarian beef goulash, the unpronounceable but unforgettable Wiener roastbraten—gahzoontite!—a.k.a. pan-fried New York steak with grilled onions. There are great potato pancakes and thick old-fashioned blue-cheese-drenched green salads and wonderful dark bread. The German breakfasts featuring noodle-based dishes and pork products are nearly overshadowed by the evening's choices of wild boar and elk. And there is beer. Ah, the beer. All kinds of beer. Dark and light. Heavy and not. German and domestic filth. Is it any wonder that Jägerhaus has become the place for shell-shocked families to decompress after their ordeal at nearby Disneyland? (Note to parents: request the booth in the back called "the Pit." It's surrounded by planters, so you can drink and your children can froth without fear of attracting attention—a little bit of beer-soaked heaven.) 2525 E. Ball Rd., Anaheim, (714) 520-9500.
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