• Calendar

    October 9, 2014
  • Blogs

    July 17, 2014

    A Defense of Dunkin' Donuts

    If you've never had Dunkin Donuts before, I feel bad for you. Dunkin Donuts makes me happy. It's been there for me since day one. It's seen me after late nights with friends when things have been rough. It's seen me after late nights with friends when things have been great. It's dealt with me with ... More >>

  • Calendar

    July 10, 2014
  • Blogs

    May 30, 2014

    Dry-Hopped Cider at Phantom Ales, Our Drink of the Week!

    While we'll never catch up to San Diego for number of beer breweries per capita, Orange County is going through a second round of brewery openings lately. Anaheim in particular is trying to attract breweries, with local politicians promising smooth sailing for conditional-use permits and landlords i ... More >>

  • Calendar

    May 1, 2014

    Unpretentious Wine Thursday

    Bourbon Street Bar and Grill

  • Blogs

    April 25, 2014

    Talking With OC's Woman Brewers: The Grit and the Glamour

    A one-ton pallet of grain arrives outside the Tustin Brewing Company. All 40 sacks must be carried one at a time up the long flight of stairs for storage. Any glamour associated with beer brewing quickly drowns in the sweat of the brewer's brow. The work is so grueling and so time consuming that the ... More >>

  • 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 >>

  • Food

    January 2, 2014

    Little Saigon's Café Queen

    With hot drinks and even hotter girls, Natalie Nguyen is trying to uncloak the area's most enduring mystery: Vietnamese coffee shops

  • Calendar

    April 11, 2013
  • Blogs

    April 1, 2013

    Lucille Kring, Anaheim Councilwoman, to 'Pop the Cork' in Wino Fundraiser With Resort Elite

    This is no April Fool's gag, but the joke's on Anaheimers: Three-time city councilwoman Lucille Kring successfully campaigned last year as an 'independent' politician. "I special interest support," she told working-class Latinos at an Anna Drive candidate forum last October. "I always say ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 5, 2013

    Laguna Beach A La Carte Starts Thursday

    Despite the departure of restaurants in Laguna Beach this past year (The Royal Hawaiian, The Cottage, French 75 and now Katsuya), the third annual A La Carte event hasn't skipped a beat. The four-day celebration begins this Thursday with kick-off dinners galore. There are events and specials through ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 29, 2013

    Dave Reviews OC Yelp Reviews, Part 11

    First of all, let's provide this paper's coverage of the much-maligned Reviewer Card, which you can hand to restaurant staff in order to inform them that they are under review by or whatever your 7-pageviews-a-day food blog is called:If you get one of these c ... 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 >>

  • Blogs

    December 7, 2012

    The Spicy Lover at South of Nick's, Our Drink of the Week!

    This column usually highlights serious cocktails and manly drinks sipped and reviewed by Gustavo and Dave who can tell you what brand of rot gut went into it simply by sniffing. This isn't one of those articles. When I troll for drinks to feature, I'm looking for funny names or weird ingredients. An ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 11, 2012

    Oktoberfest 2012: Where To Get Your Oom-Pah-Pah On In OC

    There's so much to love about Oktoberfest--old men in cute little hats and suspenders, buxom beer babes, drunken sing-a-longs, sausages galore, the bicep workout you get while chugging out of steins. "Oans, zwoa, drei, Gsuffa!" (One, two, three, drink up!)     We're in the height of t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2012

    Joy And Good Beer: OC Brew Ho Ho Holiday Ale Festival Comes To The Phoenix Club

    Great news. Beer festival season isn't over yet. The organizers of the epic OC Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival are making sure 2012 ends with--yippee!--more amazing ales. The inaugural OC Brew Ho Ho Holiday Ale Festival, happening from noon to 4 p.m. at Dec. 8 at Anaheim's Phoenix Club, will fea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2012

    XXII Fiestas de la Vendimia, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California: 50 Ways to Leave Your Liver at Baja's Annual Wine Harvest Festival

    On Friday night I attended the kickoff party for the 22nd annual Fiestas de la Vendimia at the Riviera Casino in downtown Ensenada which runs from August 3rd through the 19th. Around 3,000 attendees sipped Mexican wines from the Valle de Guadalupe, sampled the finest Baja cuisine from various booths ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 26, 2012

    On the Line: Frederic Castan of Motif Restaurant, Part One

    We've met many multicultural chefs while doing On the Line, but Frederic Castan might be my first Frenchman. Distinguished and worldly, he represents the eclectic European cuisine served at Motif. A fan of West Coast wines and excellent cheese, our interview strings together anecdotes from experienc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 2, 2012

    Trace Element at TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Our Drink of the Week!

    ​TAPS in Brea? Of course. One of the few places populated mostly by the hoi polloi--crammed with them, really--that actually impresses with their offerings, whether it's perfectly barbecued oysters, Cajun-style taquitos dating back to the late 1990s but whose charms remain eternal, award-winning b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 30, 2012

    Chanel Owns a Winery--And Karl Lagerfeld is Designing the Label of a Special-Edition Bottle

    ​Hey, fashion-savvy friends. Your new must-have label for spring is . . . a wine label. According to Glamour, Chanel owns a winery, the centuries-old Chateau Rauzan-Segla in the Bordeaux region of France. Next month, it will release a special 2009 Gran Cru Classé to celebrate the chateau's 3 ... More >>

  • Calendar

    January 26, 2012

    Kevin Nealon

    Irvine Improv

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2011

    Napalm Death at Casanova, Our Drink of the Week!

    Photo by Meranda Carter​Scotland ... where the men wear kilts and the sheep are nervous. Home of the world's greatest Scotches, one of them being Drambuie that figures in over 100 drink recipes, including Kiltlifter, Ball Bag, Sexaholic, Felcher (after a sexual practice we are not ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 23, 2011

    Five Things You Didn't Know About Bourbon

    Flickr user spenceke​September is National Bourbon Month. As the weather cools off (OK, everywhere except Southern California), it's a good time to consider one of the finest drinks made in America. Uncork a bottle, pour a little into a snifter, add a little pour of cool spring water, and lean bac ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 29, 2011

    Coors Light Exec: "Budweiser is Going Down, Baby"

    ​As I always point out, I'm not a beer drinker, but that doesn't mean I don't taste it. And I've never understood why anyone would bother with either Budweiser or Coors, or their Light derivatives--it all smells like piss to me, and tastes barely better. But that obviously means nothing to America ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2010

    Strawberry Basil & Kick-Ass Margaritas at Tia Juana's

    Jessica Ford Strawberry Basil Margarita​It's time to encourage double-fisting for our Drink of the Week. Tia Juana's in Irvine makes two specialty margaritas that stand out from the rest: the Strawberry Basil and the Kick-Ass. Of course you can choose to have just one, but if ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2010

    LA Water Cocktail

    Jorge Negreros​When it comes to the battle of OC versus LA, at least we don't have a cocktail named after our murky drinking water. 

  • Blogs

    June 7, 2010

    Drunk After Work: 320 Main

    320 Main​The Place: 320 Main, 320 Main St., Seal Beach; (562) 799-6246.The Hours: 3-6 p.m. daily (including weekends); all day Sunday. Closed Monday.The Deal: $4 draft crafts, $4 house wine, $4 well drinks, $4 appetizers. $5 speciality cocktails Tuesdays.

  • 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

    February 18, 2010


    nostromoo @ CC BY-NC 2.0​The first time I had gin was at my local bar in the town in rural Iowa where I used to live. A friend ordered gin and tonic in a place called the Checkered Flag, a place that sold Budweiser for 70 cents a glass and Grain Belt "Primo", the world's most insipid be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 12, 2010

    Asiana Martini at Kimera Restaurant Lounge

    Jessica Ford The blur must be from those beer goggles...​Kimera Restaurant Lounge, located near the Irvine Business Complex, attracts mostly young professionals looking for a place to unwind after work. The extensive drink menu here covers wines, beers and specialty cocktails, and the ki ... More >>

  • Calendar

    August 27, 2009

    OC Beer Fest

    Irvine Lake

  • Blogs

    August 24, 2009

    Drink(s) of the Week: The Ricardo's $3 Menu

    ​Gustavo probably wouldn't have many kind things to say about the food at Ricardo's Place in San Juan Capistrano. It's one of those brightly-colored, family-friendly joints with big plates of just-ok-if-you-don't-know-any-better Mexican-American standards. For the record, I don't know any better, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 7, 2009

    Tasting Party At Laguna Canyon Winery Tonight

    ​The winery, whose tipples were awarded four medals at this year's OC Fair wine competition, holds the event every month. (In September, also look out for the fab-sounding Annual Barrel Tasting Prime Rib Dinner Event).Tonight you'll get to sample the winners (a Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and two s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 9, 2009

    McDonald's Coffee Update--And "Free Mocha Mondays"

    Every Monday from July 13 through August 3, participating McDonald's will be handing out one complimentary reduced-size cup of hot or iced mocha per person as part of a "nationwide sampling". An estimated 10 million cups will be served over the four weeks.As for whether or not McD's attempt at corne ... More >>

  • 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

    April 6, 2009

    Masters of Mixology Hit Bloomingdale's This Week

    As a preview to the upcoming Happy Hour Week (which kicks off this Sunday, April 12--more on that later in the week), Bloomingdale's at South Coast Plaza is playing host to local mixologists (and a chef), who'll showcase some of the drinks and snacks that will be offered during the event. Non-alcoho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 26, 2009

    Classy Stuff--This Time At Charlie Palmer, Bloomie's

    OK, so Marché Moderne's cooking classes are all booked up - as I noted last week. But if you're quick off the mark you can sign up for one of the "kitchen technique" classes at Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's, South Coast Plaza. According to our sources, they're likely to sell out very quickly.Run ... 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 >>

  • Calendar

    October 30, 2008

    Red Orchid Restaurant Grand Opening

    Red Orchid Restaurant Grand Opening

  • Blogs

    April 23, 2008
  • Food

    December 27, 2007

    This Hole-In-the-Wall Life

    There Goes the Neighborhood

  • Features

    May 19, 2005

    Tapping Margarita

    At Newport's El Ranchito, Margaritas come fast and blurrious.

  • Food

    May 12, 2005
  • Food

    March 10, 2005

    Tea and A

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

  • Music

    September 30, 2004

    Now Youre A Boner!

    Cest Si Bon: for those who love to drink with those who love to drink

  • Food

    February 28, 2002


    An open letter of apology to the Orange County Wine Society

  • Columns

    January 11, 2001
  • Features

    June 1, 2000


    39 of the best things about the next 104 days

  • More >>