• 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 >>

  • 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

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    June 9, 2009

    Stars Of Santa Barbara--And Other Upcoming South Coast Plaza Wine Events

    Charlie Palmer's monthly 50 for 50 sell-off, with bargains aplenty, has come around again. It's this Saturday, June 13, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, in the Next Vintage Wine Shop.Antonello Ristorante has started a "wine mixer" once a month, featuring eight wines for $30 per person, followed by a sale of w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 21, 2009

    Reminder: 50 for 50 Event at Charlie Palmer on Saturday

    If you're celebrating Memorial Day at home but need some top-class booze to liven up your dinner, head down to South Coast Plaza between 3:00pm and 5:30pm this Saturday, May 23, for the second of four scheduled sales at the Next Vintage Wine Shop, inside the Charlie Palmer restaurant in Bloomingdal ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2009

    In The Battle Of The Beans, Starbucks Should Be Worried

    Just as the new ads for Starbucks are lazy, the ones for McDonald's new coffees are horrendously grating, not to mention lowbrow. "McCafé Your Day" is bad enough, but how about "A Better Day is Possiblé"? Huh?. Or  "It's All About The Accent Mark"? Accent mark???.So I naturally assumed that t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2009

    Angels & Demons, Food & Wine

    For those Dan Brown fans who can't wait till Friday to see Angels & Demons, which surely has to be an improvement on The DaVinci Code, fear not: an advance screening is being held on Thursday night in conjunction with Fleming's Steakhouse in Newport Beach.  Oka ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 24, 2009

    Tippling Treats This Weekend (And Beyond)

    Now that Lent is but a distant memory, we can take to the bottle again without fear of recrimination.Tomorrow, Saturday April 25, sees two wine events taking place locally: The first is at WineStyles in Irvine (Portola Parkway) from 4:00pm to 6:00pm, where you can taste up to six wines for just $5. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 3, 2009

    Martin Diedrich on Surviving Starbucks And Thriving With Kéan

    When I visited Kéan Coffee's new Tustin location last Sunday, it had only been open six days and already the lines were out the door. While that may have been due in part to staff still getting up to speed, it was definitely pulling in the punters. For good reason, it seems.The drinks menu is ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 30, 2009

    Booze News: Next Vintage Wine Shop's 50 For 50 Events

    I'm not advocating that we all reach for the bottle during these stressful times (if a recent study is to be believed, even one small glass of wine a day can increase a woman's cancer risk), but for those of us who like an occasional top-quality tipple but who balk at the high prices, there's good n ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 6, 2009

    Midastee Brews A Mighty Fine Cuppa In Brea

    I'm always in favor of the underdog, or at least giving them a shot, and, when it comes to eating out, that basically means anything that's not a chain.That's why it was nice to discover a new tea shop in Brea. The nearby Starbucks had closed anyways (it's about to be replaced by a branch of Yogurtl ... 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 >>

  • Film

    August 7, 2008
  • Calendar

    June 12, 2008

    Shout Wipes!

    Summer Food and Wine Festival

  • Blogs

    May 25, 2008

    Fast Food Reviews: New Mountain Dew Flavors

    As you can see, I'm not fundamentalist in my definition of fast food. All mass-produced snack product is fair game, as perhaps could be noted by the fact that the first one I did involved the Dave & Busters menu. On a late night beer run, I espied a display at the 7-11 with three new kinds of Mount ... More >>

  • Food

    April 24, 2008
  • 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

    April 7, 2005

    Less Whining By More Wining

    Appreciating the ways of the oenophile at Tannins

  • 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 >>