• Blogs

    April 14, 2014

    On the Line: Mark and Angela Dunton of District Wine, Part One

    Learning to appreciate wine is like learning to appreciate anything else. It takes time and an openness to trying new things. I learned that with wine, it's not about what it pairs well with as much as it's about what you like (although the adage about red wine with red meat is spot on). Drink what ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2013

    Azul Café, Valle de Guadalupe: Southern Mexico's Coffee Without Leaving Baja

    In the center of the wine and olive oil laboratory known as La Escuelita (but officially as la Estación de Oficios de El Porvenir) stands a wooden building with mattress springs for walls. Inside is a brown clutter of detritus: a Christmas tree made of upturned wine bottles stands anachronistically ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 14, 2013

    Dave Castillo, 320 Main Bar Manager, Finalist in Cocktail Competition Among LA Bigwig Bartenders

    Last month, Jason Schiffer of the fabulous 320 Main in Seal Beach invited me to be a judge at a cocktail competition held at the Varnish, the fabulous pseudo-speakeasy at the back of the venerable Cole's in downtown LA. The purpose of the competition was to get LA bartenders ready for the cocktail c ... More >>

  • Calendar

    November 3, 2011
  • Blogs

    April 18, 2011

    Five Rediscovered 'Old Man' Gin Cocktails

    Flickr user shannonhurstlane​You young whippersnappers! You think just because some glorified bartender figures out there's more to a cocktail than syrupy fruit liqueurs and vodkas shaken together with too much ice, you've invented more trendy cocktails. Well, we were drinking these cocktails back ... More >>

  • Calendar

    September 9, 2010

    OC Brew Ha Ha

    Hidden Valley Ranch

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2010

    Champagne With Wild Hibiscus Flowers

    ​BevMo! carries just about every type of alcohol you could possibly need and if they don't have it in stock, they will special-order it. Their most under-appreciated aisle happens to house all of the non-alcoholic items. There is just about every flavor of rim salt and sugar possibl ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 12, 2010

    Pink Elephant at Tantalum

    Jessica Ford​Sure, your parents always told you not to swallow your bubble gum because it would live in your stomach for the next 20-something years, but Tantalum in Long Beach has some bubble gum that breaks all the rules your parents gave you--and you'll like it.

  • Blogs

    March 26, 2010

    Asian Pear Martini at OPAH

    Jessica Ford​OPAH's light-up bar top stretches around a whole side of the Irvine restaurant. The expansive indoor bar seating is exceeded in swanky-ness only by the heated outdoor patio; even during those colder nights, you can stay warm outside while sipping on a specialty Asian Pea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 31, 2009

    Things to Do With Bad or Leftover Champagne

    thewendyhouse @ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0Gee, thanks. Did it make the trip from the 7-Eleven on the corner OK?​What they say: "We brought you a bottle of Champagne*!"What you secretly wish you could say: "How did you know? We're having a New Year's Eve party for 50 people and we didn't think abou ... More >>

  • Calendar

    August 27, 2009

    OC Beer Fest

    Irvine Lake

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2009

    The Benefits Of Social Networks: Free Ice Cream For Your Friends

    Starbucks is giving away a total of 20,000 complimentary pints of its own-brand ice cream from now until July 19 (that's around 800 an hour). The catch? You have to be on Facebook, and you have to nominate a "Friend" to receive the coupon (redeemable at local grocery stores).I've not tried the froze ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 16, 2009

    The C Word

    No, not that one. I'm talking about Champagne. Or, rather, the lack of it. Picture it: Cedar Creek Inn, Brea, Valentine's Day dinner. I was already mentally black-marking the restaurant for informing me just the day before, when confirming the reservation, that there was a "strict two-hour table tim ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 24, 2008

    FDA Wags Finger at Diet Coke's Vitamin Claims

    The FDA has issues with Coca Cola's new Diet Coke Plus.  It sent the company a letter earlier this month about the drink, which Coke purports to have a "refreshing taste...AND several essential nutrients" with "each 8 fl. oz. serving of Diet Coke Plus provid(ing) 15% of your RDI ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 23, 2008
  • Food

    December 27, 2007

    This Hole-In-the-Wall Life

    There Goes the Neighborhood

  • Blogs

    August 31, 2007

    Wine & Ice Cream Tasting

    When I first heard about the unusual pairing of wine and ice cream, honestly it sounded like a stomach ache waiting to happen. Then again, I'm one of those people who likes to try weird and possibly gross food, so I decided to check it out. The four-course tasting was held at the Wine Gallery in ... More >>

  • Food

    December 7, 2006

    Skunk As a Drunk

    How to stay hammered until 2007

  • Food

    November 16, 2006

    This Hole-in-the-Wall Life

    That's a-yummy: Barolo Cafe

  • Features

    October 19, 2006

    Coffee. Talk.

    No. 9: Kean Coffee keeps it real in this mixed-up, crazy corporate world

  • News

    October 12, 2006

    'Back to Square One'

    Martin Diedrich celebrates the death of his familys coffee chain

  • Food

    September 28, 2006

    Silly Ladies

    Enjoying the pairings at the HB Hyatt Regency

  • Features

    June 22, 2006

    There Stands the Glass

    Its always beer oclock at the Abbey

  • Blogs

    May 1, 2006

    Newport Hipsters Paralyzed

    Yes, it's true. Even Balboa Peninsula's ultimate ennui establishment has been forced to close its doors. Alta Coffee, home of stunning baristas, live music, freshly brewed coffee and - as written about in Best of OC 2005 - a damn fine vanilla soy chai latte, is closed this hazy Monday. What could ... More >>

  • Features

    March 9, 2006

    'Definitely Not Vintage'

    Blind tasting five choice selections

  • Food

    February 16, 2006

    This Week in Great Scot Whisky

    Whisky Tasting on the Queen Mary

  • News

    February 2, 2006


    Xtine Hanson takes on corporate coffee with

  • Food

    January 19, 2006

    In Vino Veritastic

    Don Katz serves the goods at Symposium Wine Bar

  • Columns

    January 12, 2006

    Hey, You!

    Late Latte

  • Food

    January 5, 2006

    Steaming Art

    Tea, Korea-style, at 419 Cafe Veronese

  • Columns

    December 15, 2005

    Hey, You!

    Baffled barista

  • Food

    October 6, 2005
  • Food

    July 7, 2005

    Evenings of Wine and Coke

    Sipping gourmet vintages with a classy dame at La Maison Gourmet

  • Food

    June 9, 2005

    Better Than Health Insurance

    Staying alive with Blue Nile Cafe

  • Food

    May 12, 2005
  • Food

    April 7, 2005

    Less Whining By More Wining

    Appreciating the ways of the oenophile at Tannins

  • Food

    March 10, 2005

    Tea and A

    Enjoying the beautiful ambience, ass conversations at the Tea House on Los Rios

  • Food

    February 24, 2005

    Espresso Your Love

    Remembering paninis and the Italian boy who got away at Kaffa

  • Music

    September 25, 2003
  • Food

    September 12, 2002

    Taps Doesnt Blow

    Actually, its quite good

  • Features

    July 25, 2002
  • Features

    July 25, 2002
  • Features

    July 25, 2002
  • Food

    May 23, 2002

    Iron Barista

    Competitors test their beans

  • Features

    January 3, 2002

    A Reality Shrine for a Wired World

    The year in coffeehouse founder Carl Diedrich

  • Columns

    July 12, 2001
  • Food

    August 31, 2000

    Cha, Cha, Cha

    Tea bar brews superlative stuff

  • Features

    June 1, 2000

    The Future of Beer

    We call it 'urination fermentation'

  • Food

    March 23, 2000
  • News

    June 17, 1999

    The Starbucks Solution

    Mike Sheldrake figured he was dead when Starbucks opened two stores near his indie coffeehouse. Now his business is up 40 percent.

  • More >>