RVOC — January 2011
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O.C. Hot List
Alia Batniji

1.Who imagined the dignified ex-Cano’s resto could go haute couture?

Beach’s oldest designer boutique, A’maree’s, that’s who. Filled with light and underwater portholes, the pristine modernist building was last Windows on the Bay. After more than a decade empty, it’s now been filled with stylish life (cool accessories by Lanvin, perfectly tailored staples by Te Row, luscious Alaïa stilettos) by sisters Denise Schaefer, Apryl Schaefer and Dawn Klohs, with the help of O.C. concrete designer Kyle Hart. A landmark once again, the white-on-white gallery of high fashion will never go out of style.


3. Foxy Frocking

On Our Riviera, Handmade Always Trumps Mass-Produced. And No Designer Is As Skilled At Creating Charmingly Chic One-Of-A-Kinds Than Laguna Beach's Stone Cold Fox. The Product Of Two Quirkycool Gals, The Tiny Label Has Come To Be Known For Its Exquisite Scoopback Lace Tops, Jane Birkin-Esque Gypsy Shawls And Old West Rosette Bloomers. They'll Even Bring The Line To Your Home For A Custom Fltting Party. Foxy Ladies, Indeed!

5. Dior, Mi AMOR!

With A Divine Revamp Modeled After The Original 1946 Parisian House Of Dior, This Gray And White South Coast Plaza Jewel Box Just Screams Chic With Fiuttery Frocks And Glittering Gems.

5. Blog Style

We've Long Admired The Incomparable Styles Of O.C.'S Best Bloggers: Valerie Killeen And Kristin Reiter (Bleachblack.Com) And Beth Jones (Bjonesstyle.Com). With The Launch Of Boutiques.Com, It's Even Easier To Cop Their Style Via Curated Mini Shops. Grab The Mcqueen Skull Clutch Coveted By Reiter, Killeen's Fave Floor-Sweeper Or A Leopard Loub À La Jones.

6.Anyone who doesn’t yet own a fi amboyant and buttery soft recycled leather Novella Royale handbag from O.C.’s Mary Myers is seriously in the wrong.

This month launches a splashy three-piece boho-chic apparel line showcasing repurposed vintage prints. With bell-bottoms—fl rst worn by supermodel erin Wasson at Paris Fashion Week—a ruffl ed kimono and a caftan, every unique piece is easy-breezy. Of the wideranging textiles she hand-selected, Myers says, “Once you put the fabric into the style, it really brings life to the print.” Maybe the caftan makes the girl.

7. Body By Mikoh

It Takes A True Beach Bunny To Turn Out Swimwear Suited For The Coolest Girls On The Sand. Mikoh, Designed By Two Gorge San Clemente Sisters, Has Taken Off With Stringy Neon Two-Pieces, Fiirty Cut-Outs And New Covetable Cover-Ups.

8. ON A Lim

He's In Nyc Now, But O.C. Native Phillip Lim Is Still An Expert At Our Sig Layering. Look For Spring's Innovative Sheer And Leather Separates, And A New Line Of Bags And Coastalcool Wedges.

9. Collect Right

Style Is About Collaboration, Which Four Designers- Handbags, Swimwear, Knitwear And Tees-In San Clemente Prove At Their Cool Boutique, The Collective.

10. Sale Savior

O. C. Sample Sales Were Few And Far Between Before Treasury Dept. Opened At The Lab, Shilling Luxe, Local Labels Like Breanna Lee At Steep, Everyday Discounts.

11. Tee-Rific

We Never Skimp On The Perfect Calicool Wardrobe Basics, Starting At The Top: The All-Important Tee. Bold And Airy, Splendid Epitomizes One-Stop Staple Shopping.

Belles Of The Bolshoi

1.Orange County has one of the country’s most respected classical dance scenes.

The best companies from around the world come to the Orange County Performing Arts Center to dance, and local ballet fans can see all the top dancers of our time over just a few seasons—but never all at once. Until now! Co-produced and commissioned by OCPAC, the world premiere of Refiections will draw beautiful ballerinas (shown above during rehearsals last year) from the Bolshoi, San Francisco Ballet and other iconic troupes, not to mention dance fans from around the country to witness a piece of history.

2.The Play’s The Thing Shakespeare Returns To South Coast Repertory

The modern, new plays that form an important part of SCR’s repertoire can be brilliant, Pulitzer-worthy productions. But sometimes theatergoers yearn for the classics, so we can’t wait for the production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Mark Rucker, which opens later this month.

3. OCHSA'S New Home

Santa Ana's Art District Adds A Venue. The $21 Million Pavilion Theater And Restaurant Was A Grand Place, Even If It Mainly Booked Tribute Bands. But The Space Will Be Put To A Much Higher Use As The Orange County High School Of The Arts' New Performing Arts Center, Named The Margaret A. Webb Theater. With Art Programs Being Cut Across The County, The School's Enrollment Is Up, So The New Facility Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time.

4. Killer Phil!

Gustavo Dudamel Is An L.A. Guy, Of Course. But We Like Him Too! So Much So That He'll Be In O.C. Twice This Season, Once For A Japanoc Performance, And Again For A Very Special Philharmonic Society Soirée.


6.When It Comes To Inspiring Youth With The Magic Of Performing Arts, Not Much Trumps Dance.

For 27 Years, The Wooden Floor (Formerly St. Joseph Ballet), A Nonprofit State-Of-The-Art Facility In Santa Ana, Has Done Just That. The New Name Is A Metaphor For The Strong Foundation The Center's Some 400 At-Risk Students- Boys And Girls Ages 9-19-Receive Via Extensive Dance Training, Mentoring And Tutoring. With Hopeful Students Lining Up And Down The Street For Auditions, Support Is Needed More Than Ever-Almost All The Talented Dancers Are On Full Scholarship. The Climax Of The Year For The Empowered Youth? The Annual Irvine Barclay Theatre Concert For 3,000 Equally Passionate Fans.

7. Pacific Time

The History Of Socal's Art Scene Is Being Told In 2011 Via The Ambitious Pacific Standard Time Festival At Venues Across The Region. O.C. Will Be Represented By Shows At OCMA And LAM, Which Will Explore The Infl Uence Uci Had Via Work Like Woman Bound, By Marsha Adams.

8. Ocpac Urge

With All The Excitement Over The Concert Hall And Other Newer Venues Around Socal, It's Easy To Forget Segerstrom Hall, Our Grand, Go-To O.C. Theater.

9. Music Muse

O. C.'S Best Band Promoter, Awards Show Producer And Indie Music Expert Is Ashley Eckenweiler. An Early Riviera "Discovery," Everyone Knows Her Now For The O.C. Music Awards And Her Indie Rock Series At Ocma And Samueli T Eater, Which Could Make A Comeback!

10. Going Mobile

While Orange County Museum Of Art's Cutting-Edge Biennial Is On View Through March 13, Art Afi Cionados Are Already Looking Forward To The Alexander Calder Exhibition In April At O.C.'S Most Modern Of Museums. The Show Includes Work By Young Artists Infl Uenced By Calder's Mobiles.

11. Disney Redesign

Not Known As A Home For Innovative Architecture, The $1 Billion Remodel Of Disney's California Adventure Will Include An Homage To The Pan-Pacific Auditorium, A Classic Socal Building That Burned Down In 1989. What's Next? A Replica Of Newport's 1926 Classic, The Rudolph Schindler-Designed Lovell Beach House?

SOCO In The House

1.Who knew that a Harbor Boulevard design center could be so hip?

Well, we did. And that’s why we were disappointed when the first incarnation of what’s now known as SoCo (South Coast Collection) was so banal. But no more! With a major makeover and cool new design stores opening and en route, including the O.C. Mart Mix (imagine a smaller version of SF’s Ferry Building), SoCo is becoming a true design destination—and a culinary one as well! Or did we forget to mention the farmers market on Saturday, and restaurants, a wine bar and coTee lab in the works?

2.Mundane Magic Jonathan Lo, Creative Director Of O.C.-Based Boutique Design Firm J3

Productions, documents drool-worthy design musings on his blog, Happy Mundane (happymundane.com). With a perspective whose tagline proposes “flere’s beauty in your dish soap,” Lo celebrates the charm of creative genius that’s often overlooked in everyday design. And the blog? It’s hardly mundane.

3.WALL Flower What’s Keeping Our Walls From Fading Into The Background?

Taylor John Kincaid’s one-of-akind, hand-painted Watermark Wallcoverings. Both strikingly captivating yet not overbearing, we love how this Newport Beach-based fflne art graduate uses wallpaper as a larger-than-life canvas. Custom-created or chosen from myriad color combos and designs, Watermark is a fave find of the year.

4. On The Waterfront

It's Oficial: Newport's Midcentury Bayside Apartment Buildings Are The Next Big Thing. The Classically Cool 3388 Via Lido (Above) Has Two Luxury Residences Planned For The Top Floors, While The Balboa Bay Club's Terrace Apartments Are Open To An Influx Of Design-Savvy Renters Interested In The Perfect Penthouse View.

5. SURF Success

The Casa Surf Project, Where Top Socal Designers Teamed With O.C. Surf And Skate Companies To Redesign 10 Suites At Laguna's Historic La Casa Del Camino Hotel, Was A Resounding Success. A Year Later, The Rooms Are The Most Popular At The Hotel And The Interiors Easily Withstand Daily Use.

6. Treasure Trove

The Most Aesthetically Pleasing Furniture/Design Store In O.C.? It's Hard To Argue With Laguna's Trove, Which Moved To Its New Museum-Quality Location In 2010.To Enter Its Doors Is To Be Inspired!

7. Handy Men

There's A New Generation Of O.C. Furniture We Love: Sean Woolsey's Wooden Chandeliers, Chris Earl's Hand-Carved Desks And Joshua Baldwin's Rustic Tables. And Jesse Norris Is A Multitasker: A Love Poem He Wrote Is Lacquered Into A Wooden Bench.

8. Adler Addicts

Arguably The Design World's Quirkiest Star, Jonathan Adler Opening His Biggest Shop To Date In O.C. Is A Coup. Now Adler's Unrestrained And Brilliantly Colorful Designs Are Within Easy Reach.

10. Seed Style

Proving Green Can Be Über Luxe, Cisco Brothers Brings Its 20-Plus Years Of Eco-Friendly Furniture To O.C. At SEED People's Market. The Collection Features Organic And Natural Fabrics, Sustainable Woods And A New Outdoor Line.

11. Wine Wonder

Laguna Beachbased Vyne Bar Builds Sleek And Sexy Vertical Wine Racks Crafted To Hold Bottles On Your Wall À La A Modernday Art Piece. Taking Note From Oscar Wilde, "It Is The Spectator, Not Life, That Art Really Mirrors," The All-Metal Contemporary Design Is Our Latest Find That Perfectly Fuses Functionality With Décor.

Sushi With Sex Appeal

1.For lovers of fine design and sumptuous sushi, the O.C. Katsuya will be worth the wait.

When chef Katsuya Uechi teamed with designer Philippe Starck and L.A.’s ubiquitous Sbe Restaurant group to open the first stunningly beautiful Katsuya in Brentwood and then a second in Hollywood (above), all we could do was drool and hope for O.C.’s turn. Well, after months (or was it years?) Of rumors that the team was searching for a prime PCH location—with a decided preference for Newport Beach/CdM—the sudden closing of Riviera favorite Hush in Laguna provided the perfect spot. With the building’s beautiful bones, Starck isn’t starting from scratch, so we can’t wait to see what O.C.’s hottest new restaurant of 2011 will look like.


The Best Urbane Bites In O.C. Are Above Disneyland Drive We pity the tourists walking through Downtown Disney who never know the culinary treasures at Catal. Chef Nicholas Weber was a Patina group favorite when he left to start his own place. Since returning to the fold, he’s turned up the heat at Catal with delicacies like pork belly, venison and a to-die-for ravioli app.

3. Tommy Time

We Had Low Expectations For The New Tommy Bahama In Laguna. So We're Impressed By The Casually Chic Bar/ Restaurant/Retail Shop With Its Stunning Peek-A-Boo Ocean View And Vintage Swimsuits On The Wall-With Tasty Bites And Great Martinis, Natch.

4. Guide Guru

We Diss Zagat Unmercifully When They're Way Ot Ranking Top Local Restaurants, So We Must Praise Them When They Get It Right. Of Course South Coast Plaza's Marché Moderne Is The Best Restaurant In O.C. We've Only Been Saying So Since The Place Opened!

5. Burger BAR WAR!

It's The Newest Culinary Craze! Charlie Palmer Opened DG ("Damn Good') Burger Late Last Year At SCP And Crow Bar Is Opening A Peninsula Outpost This Summer.

6.It doesn’t take rising national obesity levels for O.C. to want healthier cuisine.

We all want to keep feeling good and looking better, after all. Luckily, two major new players took the scene to help keep SoCal svelte. True Food Kitchen debuted at Fashion island, oTering tasty treats that pass the muster of diet guru Dr.Andrew Weil. And Seasons 52 opened soon after at South Coast Plaza, with fresh cuisine (including dessert!) And no single dish over 450 calories. So do we have to suTer for our supper? No way—it all tastes great.

7. Best By The Beach

Laguna Beach Is O.C.'S Hot Restaurant Market Of The Moment. In Addition To Katsuya Taking The Place Of Hush Later This Year And Tommy Bahama Debuting, Italian Fave Cucina Alessa Expanded From H.B. And Newport, The Argentine Steakhouse Villa Roma Just Opened, Rock'n Fish Is On The Way, And Casey's Cupcakes Is Set To Open At PCH And Broadway, In The Heart Of Downtown.

8. Bravo Budino

Pizzeria Ortica's Take On The Italian Dessert Budino Di Cioccolato, A Chocolate Caramel Pudding Of Wondrous Goodness, Started The Trend. Now Ecco And A Restaurant Are Also Otering Our Fave New Sugar Rush.

9.Chain, Chain, Chain

We’re locals-only types generally, but sometimes a well-placed fast-casual chain restaurant really hits the right spot, like the Chipotle in the BluTs Center and the brand-new Panera by South Coast Plaza.

10. Raya Rules

The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel's New Restaurant, Raya, Was Our Favorite Opening Of 2010. The Nuevo Latino Spot Takes Its Rightful Place Alongside O.C.'S Great Resort Restaurants, Like Studio, Stonehill And Andrea

11. Pack A Punch

We're Thrilled That The Lab/ Camp Owners Are Expanding Their Adaptive Design Skills To Anaheim. The Restored Anaheim Packing House Will Celebrate The Cultural And Culinary Diversity Of O.C. With An Open-Air Market And Ethnic Food Stalls. An Outdoor Farmers Market, Food Truck Area, Amphitheater And The Neighboring Anaheim Brewery Are All Set To Open Later This Year.

The Best Beach

1.The sand at El Moro may be the least crowded in Orange County—for now.

But when the new state park opens this year with its Rv lots and instant access parking, the days when surfers were among the few to take the long walk from Crystal Cove (especially on the rare days when storms create a tubular break) will be over. And that’s a good thing, right? Public access to the ocean is a California right, and with today’s budget realities this may well be our last great, new state park.

2.The Soul Of Surfing

Kelly Slater Won His 10th Title And Andy Irons Died. And Once Again We Are Reminded How Much More Surfing Means To O.C. Than The Dollars And Designs That Tow From The Fashion And Action Sports Industries. Surfing Is Part Of The Soul Of This Place, As Big As The Ocean And All The Outdoors. And The Cycle Continues In Young Surfers Like 18-Yearold Santa Ana Local Courtney Conlogue, Who Just Qualified For The ASP Women's World Tour After A Breakout Year In 2010.

3. Best Drive

PCH Is The Popular Choice For O.C.'S Best Driving Experience, But We'll Take The Laguna Canyon/ Highway 133/241 Toll Road Route, With A Santiago Canyon/El Toro Road Loop Thrown In On The Way Back, Just For Fun.

4. Bird's Eye!

An O.C. Luxury Hotel Is Home To A Wild Pair Of Peregrine Falcons. The Once Endangered Raptors Mate For Life, And Nest High Above The Ground. We Won't Say Which Hotel, But Look And Listen For The Birds On Your Way To The Theater!

5. Dropffin Duel

O. C.'S Stand-Up Paddle Boarding Craze Has Fueled Friction With Surfers, Who Hate Paddlers' Heavyboarded Ways In Waves.

6.Orange County has easy access to more wilderness than almost any other U.S. metropolitan area.

Sure, Anchorage and Bozeman may be adjacent to land that lives in our imagination as truly wild, with bears, moose and such. But O.C.’s open space is second to few others— an intoxicating mix of mountains, canyons, hills, coastal valleys and coves. And that’s not even counting our access to that ultimate frontier, the ocean. Much has been written about irvine’s Great Park, but it’s the intertwined and often confusing system that includes national forests and state, county and local parks that’s truly grand. And the system’s largest benefactor, the Irvine Company, topped offla decade of inspired giving by donating 20,000 more acres to O.C. Parks, increasing the county’s part of the wilderness to 60,000 acres. So go explore the wild side of O.C.

7. Pool Report

We Have The World's Best Beaches, But Sometimes A See-And-Beseen Pool Is In Order. A New Fave Is Surf And Sand's Recent Enhancement, Complete With A Happening Bar, Of Course!

8. Coolest Combo

In A Unique Art Partnership, Stillman Sawyer's Classic Nature Photos Are Displayed At Active Culture, A Hip, New Laguna Yogurt Shop.

9. Garden SPOT

Now That The Irvine Co. Owns The Complex That Includes Noguchi Garden, We Hope O.C.'S Best Public Space Is Forever Preserved.

10. Ecoff Chic

Our Favorite Ocean Ecology Blue Crew Is At The New Cousteau Center In O.C.'S Ritz- Carlton.

11. Making Waves

The Very Best Way To Bring The Outdoors In Is With The Striking, Frozen-In-Time Wave Photographs By Clark Little, Sold At The Fearless Water-Lover's New Eponymous, Ocean-View Gallery In Laguna. The Sparkling Colors Capture The Pure Power Of The Pacific, Wowing All.