A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor of hosting one of the country’s premier food writers, whose name I won’t mention lest out of respect for their anonymity. We only had a couple of hours, so I took him to what I felt was emblematic of OC dining right now: Burritos La Palma, Kareem’s in Anaheim, nuoc mia at Hot Vit Lon Long An, and Taco Maria’s latest tasting menu. Food Writer loved every single stop, and wished they had more than four hours to enjoy us—an awesome testament to our chefs! And for drinks? Arc at SOCO in Costa Mesa. Food Writer ordered a mezcal drink that they deemed “superb”; I went with one I hadn’t tried before, the Magnus.
Rye, Campari, amaro and chocolate is like the Beatles of booze for me: sweet, strong, bitter, perfect (guess with of those descriptions I think fit John, Paul, George and Ringo). But even more delightful was that Arc served it in a chilled, vintage glass that accentuated each liqueur’s strengths. Food Writer took a sip. “Superb,” they declared. And OC’s national food reputation just shot up a bunch, fam.
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Arc, 3321 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, (949) 500-5561; www.arcrestaurant.com.