Best Collection of Stores (Small)

What is it about Costa Mesa hosting visionary shopping experiences? First, it was South Coast Plaza's haven for the 1 Percent, followed by the hipster fiefdoms of the LAB and the CAMP. Now comes the Third Way that is the OC Mix, a collection of must-eat restaurants you'll find in this issue (Taco Maria, Portola, ARC) and smaller vendors who hawk everything from vinyl records to spices, baby clothes to bicycles, and anything else hipsters who are ready to grow up must have. No store is bigger than a UC Irvine classroom; all stores benefit from the large windows that allow natural light and breezes to filter through the aisles. And its mini-plaza filled with native plants and a bonfire at night is already attracting moms who lunch and elders who play backgammon from its opening until closing. Even better? The OC Mix is just one part of the bigger South Coast Collection, which we're going to blurb in 5, 4, 3 . . .

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