A Chef to call your own
What's behind the boom in private chefs
Five years ago, shortly after he moved to Newport Beach from Kansas City, Mitchell Allen was standing behind the risotto bar at a party he had catered, when he was approached by a tall, handsome man in a lavender Ted Baker suit, striped shirt and tie... Full story
Dining Dynasties
The families of AnQi, Five Crowns and El Ranchito
Corona del Mar is home base for some of Orange County’s most successful family restaurant dynasties. El Ranchito royalty Mama and Papa Avila reside in Spyglass Hill. AnQi CEO Elizabeth An has a house on Morning Canyon, plus another home next ... Full story
Ocean's 7
Things you need to know now to save the ocean
We have chosen to live on the coast for a reason. It’s big. It’s blue. It’s beautiful. But in many ways, it’s in trouble. Overfishing, pollution and a lack of regulation have put one of the best sources of protein – and ... Full story
Omakase Triumphs
An authentic slice of Japan at Sushi Hana re
The hostess sees me peeking through the window, so she opens the front door. “May I help you?” “Two for dinner?” I ask. I can see that almost every seat in the restaurant is already taken. “Just a moment,” she sa... Full story
Foodies Conquer Orange County
How we've gone from fast-food haven to cuisine heaven
To understand how Orange County’s dining scene has evolved over the past 20 years, we must first peek at our chain-littered past. And, there’s no better place to start than the Irvine Spectrum Center. The Moroccan-themed mall, the vision ... Full story
Scent Abound
Jeweled bracelets wink seductively from glass cabinets. Beaded flapper dresses whisper, “Slip me on. You’ll look like Zelda.” But I’m headed deeper into the fantasy warrens of this Old Towne Orange antique shop, already tingli... Full story
The dangerous allure of spearfishing
 If there’s a more difficult way to catch open-ocean, fast-moving fish than with a speargun, nobody knows what it is. Known as blue-water hunting, it takes place miles offshore, where the ocean is deep blue and the fish are few and far bet... Full story
The Pretty/Dirty Mind of Marilyn Minter
You know Marilyn Minter’s art when you see it: candy-colored images of filthy feet in fancy heels, close-ups of women’s lips spilling glitter or dirty gems; pornographic paintings showing cropped views of women’s mouths; her early h... Full story
Dining at Disneyland
Our critic discovers a day at Disneyland can actually include a good meal.
If I’m being perfectly honest, I must admit that my favorite thing to eat at Disneyland Resort is the corndog at Corn Dog Castle in Disney California Adventure. So that’s where I usually start. It never takes long, however, before I&rsquo... Full story
Let it Show!
A new, live 'Frozen' opens at California Adventure
An ice storm has hit the West Coast – Anaheim, to be exact. Elsa, Anna, Olaf and other characters from Disney’s instant-classic animated film appear in the new onstage production of “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion,” at Disney California Adve... Full story

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