One thing you can say about Orange Coast, OC's thick, glossy-covered regional monthly magazine—they know how to throw some good parties. And the mag's grand re-launching party last night was pretty great—tasty hors d'oerves, free martinis and assorted other booze, lots of Beautiful Newport Beach People, and great views of the county from the penthouse suite of . . . well, I forget the building, but it's right near the Taco Bell skyscraper in Irvine.
(It wasn't even a real penthouse, actually—way too much exposed aluminum foil insulation and concrete flooring, but I'm sure it'll look bitchen for some corporate mucky-muck once construction is completed someday.)
Also: free valet service, provided by Class Act Valet, which, as it said on the invite, is “Orange Coast's Official Valet Service.” (Memo to Ted: When will the Weekly get our own official valet service, dammit?!?) And the Reggie's Frank Mickadeit was there, too, but he doesn't have enough name/face recognition with me yet, which is fine . . .
Then there was the goodie bag, packed with trinkets: An extra-large T-shirt which would turn the wearer into a walking billboard for a Jaguar/Land Rover dealership; high-end hair care product samples; sandal-shaped soaps; a mini-facial kit; a mint tin from Flemings Steakhouse, with wine-bottle-shaped mints; and, of course, a copy of the new Orange Coast.
Which, under returning editor Martin J. Smith, looks to be an improvement over the glitzy glam-rag/B-list celebrity asskiss/Chapman University Prez Jim Doti PR vehicle it was under previous owner Ruth Ko.
(Full disclosure: I wrote several Smith-edited pieces for Orange Coast during his previous tenure back in the late-'90s. Even more full disclosure: I unfortunately contributed to some of that Jim Doti PR in a puff piece I penned about Chapman's law school, but I was much younger then, and I really, really needed the money because I was a big 'ol freelance-writing whore.)
Ko sold Orange Coast last year to Emmis Communications, which also owns such regional mags as Los Angeles (also much-improved under Emmis ownership), and what may be the country's best such pub, Texas Monthly.
So I've got high expectations for it, especially since they slapped a photo of a Balboa Bar on their cover instead of, say, Mike Carona, like they did when that whole “America's Sheriff” dogshit was happening…
Coming tomorrow in this space: Digging deep into the new Orange Coast…