Lido Bottle Works Does Farm to Table Right

Top hatted, jovial and thoughtfully earnest, Joel Harrington, executive Chef at Lido Bottle Works, is himself a study in the art of culinary prominence, a formative figure who is at once a force of epicurean reckoning—with a degree from the Culinary Institute of America and credits working under Marcus Samuelson, Dean Fearing and Stephan Pyles—yet without even a sous vide-trace of self-importance to his name. He’s humble. He’s charismatic. He’s a raconteur of colorful stories about bygone farm life in Vermont and bike riding around his Balboa Peninsula neighborhood. The guy just happens to know how to make food taste really, really good.

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Taco Tuesday at El Mercado Modern Cuisine is a Game Changer

It’s almost improper to slug the whole affair at El Mercado Modern Cuisine as a Taco Tuesday; such a banal, overused term seems misaligned with the actual idiosyncratic, anything-goes vibe of the place. In truth, it was a meal as indulgent as a Thursday, as expectant as a Friday, as whimsical as a Saturday night in the Oaxacan rain, (if Oaxacan rain is at all whimsical, which I am sure it is). But a Tuesday? Hardly.

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Brunch Boys’ Founder Jeremy Jacobowitz Heats Up the Foodie World

Brunch is a meal most unpredictable and Brunchers who indulge in its capriciousness must be prepared for absolutely anything. Will it last an hour? All day? The better half of Memorial Day weekend? Unclear. The only thing that’s certain is that nobody gets brunch better than its reigning king, Brunch Boys’ founder Jeremy Jacobowitz.

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California Wine Festival: Legend of the Local Grape

I was in Dana Point, the epicenter of South-of-L.A. chic, wearing a $23 dress purchased three days before via Amazon Prime that upon receipt looked surprisingly like bathroom wallpaper. But such is life at the California Wine Festival 2017, the eight annual event of its kind, where a host of wineries and food vendors gather to gift their goods to suspecting attendees.

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We Believe Wines Bottle Faith, Family and Freedom

I had been introduced to Merrell’s product one week before at the Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival. Strolling from station to station, I stopped by his booth for only a taste of Chardonnay and left with an incredible story I knew had to be told. Not more than two weeks earlier, Merrell launched the brand as a grape-filled ode to America and the values that those who serve our country fight every day to uphold.

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OC Weekly’s Fresh Toast: As Fresh and Toasty As You’d Expect

The single-greatest goal when attending a food festival is to eat. (Obviously.) If I were to write My Ultimate Guidebook for Crushing Food Fests: A Retrospective from Someone Who Possibly Knows, I’d include that on Page 1. Maybe even just the word “eat” in a kind of swirly lettering that’s stylish and cool. The second goal, however, is more avant-garde in nature, harder to pull off yet no less satisfying upon completion.

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Pacific City’s First-Ever Tap Takeover (Or Why I Drank Beer on a Tuesday)

Sushi is best enjoyed with a slice of jalapeño on top and beer is at its finest when of the craft variety, chilled to the glass. 

This was the philosophy occupying my mind as I sat in quiet contemplation, laptop unfolded, at a small table on the balcony of The Backhouse Yakitori, a haute-cuisine Japanese spot in Huntington Beach’s newest enclave of all things coastal and cool, Pacific City.

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Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival: A First Timer’s Tale

A first-timer’s account of eating and drinking my way through what can only be described as a paradisiacal world of gourmet delights, also known as the Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival.

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Round Pond Estate: Family (And Wine) First

Round Pond Estate—a winery, vineyard and olive mill located on Rutherford land in Napa Valley—has been owned by the MacDonnell family since 1983. In 2003, brother/sister duo Miles and Ryan MacDonnell took over the vineyard, which today spans 362 acres and produces everything from Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc to high-quality olive oils, syrups and vinegars. Family comes first in all that goes on at Round Pond and who better to explain why (and exactly how) than Ryan herself …

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Napa Valley Wineries: 10 to Follow

Not everyone can just hop in a car and take a last-minute trip up the California coastline à la Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church in Sideways, so for those unable to visit wine country anytime soon, I feel ya and offer this temporary fix of 10 Napa Valley wineries to follow on Instagram that will bring a satisfying taste of the grape life to your feed. Though fair warning, you might want to pour yourself a chilled glass of Chardonnay before finishing the post … Cheers!

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10 Chefs to Follow … to the Ends of the Earth

The foodie world is so large and yet, thanks to Instagram, so very small. Scottish langoustines can be seen from Prague to Oklahoma; a Tuscan heirloom tomato’s swirling reddish colors can be viewed by epicurean minds in France. Or Switzerland. Or Thailand. Or from Great Aunt Edna’s basement where you’re currently sleeping on a half-tattered couch because rent is cheap and you’re in that “between jobs” phase.

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How to Do Newport Beach Like a Local

I’m not from Southern California but after more than two years here, I consider myself something of an accidental local. Now, I’m happily imparting whatever wisdom I’ve acquired so that if you ever decide to visit this idyllic, coastal surf town called Newport Beach—land of the golden sunsets and crisp waves—you’ll be able to skip past the crowded, boring tourist line and head straight for the good stuff. Here are five ways to do it …

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Escape to Big Bear

The road to Big Bear, CA, for those who have never been, is a tale of paved unexpectation. What begins as a characterless, fifty-three lane freeway—rough estimate—soon turns to a thin, serpentine course that twines ’round swelling, green-pine landscape licked by slow-moving fog and then, sunshine.

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