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Bennett: Drop in at Blinking Owl distillery for eclectic local liquors

If Wes Anderson decided to go into the liquor businesses, the result might resemble Blinking Owl, the quirky new distillery that's home to the first spirits to be made in Orange County since Prohibition. Not only are the spirits that are now being crafted inside a former staircase-manufacturing...

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    • Food truck brings nutritious meals to the needy

      Food truck brings nutritious meals to the needy

      Fountain Valley resident's 'kitchen on wheels,' named Betsy, delivers relief — and culinary savvy — to the homeless and working poor.

    • Tater tot poutine and khao soi? Yes, at the new 4th Street Market in Santa Ana

      Tater tot poutine and khao soi? Yes, at the new 4th Street Market in Santa Ana

      Downtown L.A. has Grand Central Market, San Francisco has the Ferry Building, and now, Santa Ana has 4th Street Market. The 30,000-square-foot complex houses a coffee shop, multiple food vendors, a market, bar and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. And if you're looking for tater tots topped...

    • Dozens ill after eating Three Kings bread from cockroach-infested O.C. bakery

      Dozens ill after eating Three Kings bread from cockroach-infested O.C. bakery

      More than 30 people are sick after eating Rosca de Reyes bread, also known as Three Kings bread, distributed by Cholula's Bakery in Santa Ana, the Orange County Health Agency said in a statement.  The agency closed the bakery after an investigation revealed traces of cockroach infestation.  The...

    • New year, new spices for your kitchen -- plus other pantry tips

      New year, new spices for your kitchen -- plus other pantry tips

      Now that you’ve cooked your way through the holidays and used up every bit of chocolate, almonds, honey and spices in your cupboard, you’ll probably want to replenish them. Chocolate prices are going up, so buy what you’ll use over the next few months. Almond prices, too, are bound to rise as California’s...

    • Shoppers, scientists flock to Little Saigon seller of duck eggs

      Shoppers, scientists flock to Little Saigon seller of duck eggs

      The two spots in front of Hot Vit Lon Long An are taken, so Sonny Ha squeezes his SUV into a tight opening at the curb in the middle of the bustling Little Saigon shopping district. The handyman from Cerritos steps into the dimly lighted shop and places his order — two dozen duck embryos that will...

    • Bestwinesonline goes bricks and mortar; a 60-minute wine class at Dominick's

      Bestwinesonline goes bricks and mortar; a 60-minute wine class at Dominick's

      One of the leading discount wine websites is moving into the bricks-and-mortar world. And you're invited. On Saturday, Bestwinesonline is celebrating the opening of its retail shop in Santa Ana from noon to 5 p.m. Co-owners Tristen Beamon and Kyle Meyer have a lot planned. At the "tasting alley,"...

    • Sandwiches can be little slices of heaven at these three spots
      Sandwiches can be little slices of heaven at these three spots

      A sandwich is a portable feast — to take to the beach, to the park or just back to your desk. It can be as simple as tuna with mayo or jambon beurre — a ficelle or baguette spread with good butter and a slice of ham. It can be dainty, as in cucumber finger sandwiches, or heroic, as in the magnificently...

    • Knott's Berry Farm restaurant reopens after treatment for cockroaches
      Knott's Berry Farm restaurant reopens after treatment for cockroaches

      Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant reopened Thursday night after its permit was restored following treatment for a cockroach infestation, theme park officials said.

      Jason Soyster, a spokesman for Knott's Berry Farm, referred to the infestation as an "isolated structural incident" and said the...

    • Beyond the mall, food courts turn into gourmet destinations
      Beyond the mall, food courts turn into gourmet destinations

      The great American food court that rose with the shopping malls of the 1970s is fast disappearing. And in its place is the modern equivalent: a curated roster of restaurants and food purveyors that are more likely to serve a grass-fed beef burger on a brioche bun than a hot dog on a stick. In fact,...

    • Anaheim Packing House is packed to rafters with eclectic restaurants
      Anaheim Packing House is packed to rafters with eclectic restaurants

      The new Anaheim Packing House is a well-chosen collection of more than 20 small restaurants housed on two floors, with seating areas up and down and outside too. The eating spots are wonderfully eclectic with an emphasis on local, sustainable and/or organic ingredients: a grilled cheese bar, crepe...

    • Former dishwasher now Zov's culinary director
      Former dishwasher now Zov's culinary director

      "Hold on," said Louie Jocson. "I'm in the process of caramelizing onions."

      The newly appointed culinary director of Zov's, the restaurant chain known for its Eastern Mediterranean-influenced cuisine, is a fixture on the Southern California culinary scene.

      Jocson will work alongside chef Zov Karamardian...

    • The Gossiping Gourmet: Eclectic bites at Fusion
      The Gossiping Gourmet: Eclectic bites at Fusion

      The new Ayres Hotel in Fountain Valley, just off the 405 Freeway at Brookhurst Street, is home to a delightful restaurant called Fusion Bites. And the name is an accurate description of the eclectic menu, which is filled with tapas-sized dishes full of imaginative and tasty fusion food.

      The restaurant...

    • Retail Therapy: Surf's up at Hang Ten

      Surf's up: The Hang Ten warehouse sale is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at 153 W. Orangethorpe Ave., Placentia. All clothes will be marked from $5 to $25, including tees and tanks, bottoms, jackets and board shorts. Information: hangten.com.

      It's back: Costa Mesa...

    • Drink some great ales, help fight ALS
      Drink some great ales, help fight ALS

      Breweries across the country are joining the Ales for ALS project with special brews that help fund research to fight Lou Gehrig’s disease, and several local breweries are participating.

      The project was begun by the hop farmers at Loftus Ranch who’ve partnered with hop supplier Hopunion to provide...

    • Orange County home to third-largest Asian American population in U.S.
      Orange County home to third-largest Asian American population in U.S.

      When the Chinese School in Irvine opened in the 1970s as a home for teaching the native language and culture, only 30 students filled a handful of rented classrooms.

      Now, it has its own campus — bursting with more than 1,200 students. It's a reflection of the explosive growth of Orange County's...

    • The Crowd: A bureau for the boys and girls
      The Crowd: A bureau for the boys and girls

      It is one of the longest-standing children's charities in Southern California. The Children's Bureau, which was founded in Los Angeles a century ago, celebrated with its Orange County contingent June 14 on the upper Newport Bay with an annual summer clambake spectacular. More than 200 donors arrived...

    • Butchers' guide: Where to get meat for your 4th of July barbecue
      Butchers' guide: Where to get meat for your 4th of July barbecue

      The big holiday is fast approaching. Time to start planning the menu for the 4th of July picnic or barbecue. To help with that task, we've polled some of L.A.'s best butchers to find out what they're laying in for the holiday. Dry-aged steaks, house-made sausages, slabs of ribs, marinated meats,...

    • Retail Therapy: Glamour rules at Glamour Kills

      Juniors' jam: The Glamour Kills sample sale is slated for noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 2525 Pullman Ave., Santa Ana. Score large discounts on trendy apparel for guys and girls, and if you are among the first 10 people to show up each day, win a voucher for one free item. A bonus: live...

    • New food hall Anaheim Packing House celebrates grand opening on Saturday
      New food hall Anaheim Packing House celebrates grand opening on Saturday

      The Anaheim Packing House, a new marketplace and food hall, is set to celebrate its grand opening on Saturday. It's located in the 100-year-old, 42,000-square-foot former Sunkist packing plant, a historic Spanish revival building owned by the city of Anaheim. 

      After several years and several million...

    • Rule change has local breweries in a bubbly mood
      Rule change has local breweries in a bubbly mood

      Beer-making facilities in Orange County are now under oversight of state's department of public health, which streamlines regulation and could allow them to operate facilities at a lower cost.

    • Full of flavor, low in alcohol, it's Gosebusters to the rescue
      Full of flavor, low in alcohol, it's Gosebusters to the rescue

      Anaheim’s Noble Ale Works is turning out consistently excellent beer and they’re doing it with levity and flair. We’ve told you about their Naughty Sauce -- it felt like the most talked-about beer of 2013 -- and their IPA Fest-winning Tongue Tickles, and they’ve kept the beer geeks talking with...

    • Orange County considers color-coded restaurant health ratings

      Rather than the letter grades used in neighboring counties, O.C. could use green, yellow and red placards.

    • Anaheim craft brewer Bottle Logic is pouring well-made, tasty beers
      Anaheim craft brewer Bottle Logic is pouring well-made, tasty beers

      Anaheim’s new craft brewery, Bottle Logic, has been open for a couple of months now, and I finally had the opportunity to investigate the facility and try the beers. I walked away from the bustling tasting room questioning my own opinion of what I’d seen and tasted.

      Making beer isn’t exactly hard,...

    • Biz News: South Coast Metro Alliance names new president

      David Rowley, who works in commercial real estate, has been named president of the South Coast Metro Alliance.

      The business group serves building owners and property managers in the commercial sector along and around the Costa Mesa-Santa Ana border near South Coast Plaza.

      Rowley is a real estate...

    • Jonathan Gold | Restaurant review: Brodard Chateau elevates Vietnamese street food
      Jonathan Gold | Restaurant review: Brodard Chateau elevates Vietnamese street food

      Counter Intelligence: The fanciest eatery in Orange County's Little Saigon has the best nem nuong this side of grandma.

    • Jonathan Gold picks 7 places for rainy-day pho
      Jonathan Gold picks 7 places for rainy-day pho

      Is there anything more annoying than the friend who corrects your pronunciation of pho, insisting that you call the Vietnamese beef noodle soup "fuh" instead of "foe" – that girl who rolls her eyes at the idea of a restaurant called "9021Pho?" Perhaps not. But when the weather is damp, the radio...

    • Bottle Logic joins the fast-growing Orange County craft brew scene
      Bottle Logic joins the fast-growing Orange County craft brew scene

      Add another name to the lengthening list of Orange County’s breweries; opening this weekend, Bottle Logic Brewing becomes the newest craft destination in Anaheim.

      Founders Wes Parker, Steve Napolitano and Brandon Buckner have been refining recipes and previewing their brews at events around Orange...

    • Nightclub beating 911 tape: 'She's breathing now,' caller says
      Nightclub beating 911 tape: 'She's breathing now,' caller says

      A frantic caller described seeing attackers beat a 23-year-old woman who later died after a brawl outside a Santa Ana nightclub, according to a copy of a 911 tape released by police.

      The 12:22 a.m. call came in shortly after the fight ended outside the Crosby in downtown Santa Ana, where Kim Pham...

    • Nightclub beating: Experts say secret taping may not fly in trial
      Nightclub beating: Experts say secret taping may not fly in trial

      Several legal experts say a secretly recorded conversation by a Santa Ana Police detective of a suspect in the deadly nightclub beating of a 23-year-old woman would be difficult to introduce as evidence during trial.

      Santa Ana Police Det. Patricia Navarro testified Tuesday that she spent an hour...

    • Nightclub beating suspects ordered to stand trial for murder
      Nightclub beating suspects ordered to stand trial for murder

      Two Santa Ana women were ordered Tuesday to stand trial on murder charges in the beating death of a 23-year-old aspiring journalist outside a popular nightclub.

      Vanesa Tapia Zavala and Candace Marie Brito are accused of killing Kim Pham during a furious altercation that left the young woman comotose,...

    • Nightclub video: Beating victim is seen pulling, hitting woman
      Nightclub video: Beating victim is seen pulling, hitting woman

      A video of a violent fight outside a Santa Ana nightclub shows Kim Pham throwing a punch and then piling on top of another woman, pulling and hitting her while the woman is on her back.

      The cellphone video was shown in court Tuesday during a preliminary hearing for two women accused of killing...

    • Nightclub beating suspects appear in court but hearing is delayed
      Nightclub beating suspects appear in court but hearing is delayed

      Two women charged with killing a woman outside a Santa Ana nightclub were in court Tuesday, but the hearing to determine whether there’s enough evidence to prosecute them was postponed to Monday.

      Candace Marie Brito, 27, and Vanesa Tapia Zavala, 25, have been charged with murder in the death of...

    • Fear and shock may play role in silence after woman's beating death
      Fear and shock may play role in silence after woman's beating death

      The fatal attack on Kim Pham outside a Santa Ana nightclub raises questions about how we react when we witness violent encounters.

    • Friends, strangers tried to save nightclub victim, D.A. says
      Friends, strangers tried to save nightclub victim, D.A. says

      Contrary to reports that bystanders did nothing as a 23-year-old woman was fatally beaten outside a Santa Ana nightclub, an Orange County prosecutor said that as many as 15 people tried to come to the victim's rescue.

      Kim Pham died after being pummeled, knocked to the ground and then stomped during...

    • L.A. Now Live: Discuss attack at Santa Ana club that killed Kim Pham
      L.A. Now Live: Discuss attack at Santa Ana club that killed Kim Pham

      Join Times staff writers Anh Do and Adolfo Flores for a discussion at 9 a.m. about the attack outside a nightclub in Santa Ana that killed 23-year-old Kim Pham and the events that have followed.

      On Tuesday, hundreds attended the memorial service for Pham, who was kicked and beaten as she waited...

    • Beating victim mourned as second woman pleads not guilty
      Beating victim mourned as second woman pleads not guilty

      Hundreds of people attend the Mass for Kim Pham as Candace Marie Brito pleads not guilty in the Jan. 18 attack. Investigators are seeking a third woman in the incident.

    • Hundreds crowd memorial for nightclub victim Kim Pham
      Hundreds crowd memorial for nightclub victim Kim Pham

      Hundreds of people poured into a memorial service Tuesday for the 23-year-old woman who was fatally kicked and beaten as she waited to get into a Santa Ana nightclub with friends.

      Just miles away, authorities charged a second woman with murder in the beating death. But at Blessed Sacrament Church...

    • Puzzling silence after woman's fatal beating
      Puzzling silence after woman's fatal beating

      Witnesses who watched Kim Pham being kicked to death outside a Santa Ana club are clamming up rather than cooperating with police.

    • Father grieves for daughter beaten outside Santa Ana nightclub
      Father grieves for daughter beaten outside Santa Ana nightclub

      Dung Pham's eyes welled with tears Sunday as he described the last time he saw his 23-year-old daughter, Kim, who died last week after she was severely beaten outside a Santa Ana nightclub.

      "I called her home last Wednesday," two days before the attack, Pham said, "so I could help change the oil...

    • Banh mi goes gourmet; here's 11 of Los Angeles' best
      Banh mi goes gourmet; here's 11 of Los Angeles' best

      The latest wave of sandwich shops (Hero Shop, Superba Food + Bread, Trencher) and modern Vietnamese cafes (East Borough, Phorage) in Los Angeles have generated tantalizing new spins on banh mi, the beloved Vietnamese sandwich that is the culinary result of French colonialism in Southeast Asia.

      ...

    • Five Chinese restaurants where MSG isn't on the menu
      Five Chinese restaurants where MSG isn't on the menu

      Monosodium glutamate: Love it or hate it? Some people are convinced it’s toxic, though there isn't much science behind that claim. Others compare it with table salt.

      Regardless of which camp you fall into, it’s no secret that MSG is used heavily in restaurants – especially in traditional Chinese...

    • The A to Z of Los Angeles pizza
      The A to Z of Los Angeles pizza

      In celebration of National Pizza Day, here's a run-down of Los Angeles pizza, including go-to delivery spots, Chicago-style, New York-style, Neapolitan-style and New York-Naples hybrids. Here's where to get your gooey, cheesy, melty, crispy- and/or chewy-crusted pizza fix.

      800 Degrees Neapolitan...

    • Jonathan Gold's 101 best restaurants in L.A.
      Jonathan Gold's 101 best restaurants in L.A.

    • 9 great breakfast sandwiches plus one killer burrito to try now
      9 great breakfast sandwiches plus one killer burrito to try now

      A perfectly balanced breakfast sandwich the size of your head goes a long way toward improving the prospects of almost any day. (And there’s nothing like it for curing a hangover.) It has to have melted cheese, protein (preferably crisp bacon), eggs (of course) and bread (from tortilla to loaf,...

    • 28 great L.A. bakeries
      28 great L.A. bakeries

      Maybe it was the rise of kouign amann -- the uber-buttery, caramelized "it" pastry from Brittany -- and better access to fresh-baked baguettes that lately has helped reinvigorate an Angeleno culture of neighborhood bakeries, all butter and sugar and love.

      There's a bakery out there to suit any...

    • The great L.A. coffee scene: Your dream caffeine fix may be just around the corner
      The great L.A. coffee scene: Your dream caffeine fix may be just around the corner

      You're a coffee fiend keeping track of every new specialty coffee shop that opens in L.A.? With one new cafe opening after another, it's not so easy anymore. But it is a lot easier to come across a great brewed coffee or perfect pull of espresso, whether in south Santa Monica or North Hollywood,...

    • 5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)
      5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)

      It's easy to succumb to a faux-Cronut addiction. Intrigued by a meta-pastry trend, I've eaten every version of the croissant-doughnut hybrid in Los Angeles that I could find, from Spudnuts in Canoga Park to DK's Donuts in Santa Monica.

      I've had the original Cronut, the "half-croissant, half doughnut"...

    • Falafel! 6 great places to get your fried-garbanzo fix
      Falafel! 6 great places to get your fried-garbanzo fix

      There's an art to making falafel so that the ground garbanzo beans are perfectly light and fluffy, the exterior crisp but not greasy, the mix of textures and spices habit-forming.

      Falafel's exact origins are unknown, but it's believed to have started in Egypt, then made its way through the Middle...

    • MSG-free bowl
      No MSG, no worries

    • Cold-pressed juice, hot in L.A.
      Cold-pressed juice, hot in L.A.

      Shortly after Chipper Pastron opened the first Juice Farm in Pasadena in January, a developer asked if he'd be interested in setting up another in the same neighborhood. No way, Pastron said, thinking there wouldn't be enough demand.

      Six months in and he and his partners are negotiating a space...

    • L.A. restaurants: Top 13 spots on hotter-than-ever Sawtelle Boulevard
      L.A. restaurants: Top 13 spots on hotter-than-ever Sawtelle Boulevard

      The stretch of Sawtelle Boulevard often referred to as Little Osaka recently has expanded so quickly that it's bursting beyond its traditional boundaries. With so many new restaurant openings, they're popping up north of Santa Monica Boulevard and south of Olympic. 

      Shin Sen Gumi officially opened...

    • Chicken karaage list: 6 great places to get your fried fix
      Chicken karaage list: 6 great places to get your fried fix

      Chicken karaage, the Japanese version of fried chicken, is addictive. Unlike its American cousin, karaage are boneless, cut small and mostly dark meat. It's easy to pop five into your mouth in quick succession. The coating, made of potato starch, is light, almost paper thin and delicate. And the...

    • Best banh mi sandwiches
      Best banh mi sandwiches

    • Where to find the best bibimbap
      Where to find the best bibimbap

      Several locations specialize in the many varieties of the favorite Korean mixed-rice dish.

    • Easy dinner ideas from the Los Angeles Times California Cookbook
      Easy dinner ideas from the Los Angeles Times California Cookbook

      99 EASY DINNER RECIPES to help you when you need something fast.

    • The $10,000 martini
      The $10,000 martini

      The $10,000 martini from Vaucluse is literally on the rock - a one-carat, rough cut diamond added to the drink.

    • The hunt's on: Three restaurants deep into game this season
      The hunt's on: Three restaurants deep into game this season

      Critic's Choice: Josie Restaurant, Patina at Disney Hall and Saddle Peak Lodge are there to indulge your hankering for wild boar, elk, quail and other manner of game.

    • 25 Cinco de Mayo recipes: Guacamole, tostadas, chiles rellenos and more
      25 Cinco de Mayo recipes: Guacamole, tostadas, chiles rellenos and more

      Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with recipes for margaritas and tacos and other great fare. Avocado tips: Best way to get unbruised avocado

    • Three L.A. restaurants that are good brunch bets
      Three L.A. restaurants that are good brunch bets

      Critic's Choice: Bucato, Girasol and Farmshop are three L.A. restaurants that know how to do brunch right, which can be a lifesaver when you have houseguests.

    • Places to eat for $5 or less in Southern California
      Places to eat for $5 or less in Southern California

      Dining out for $5 or less may seem like a fantasy, but Southern California has much to offer for those on a tight budget. For affordable Vietnamese fare, venture to Garden Grove. Or look to food trucks for inexpensive eats. Even some pricier restaurants offer cheap eats during happy hours.

    • Pancakes, on a grand or silver-dollar scale, in L.A.
      Pancakes, on a grand or silver-dollar scale, in L.A.

      Critic's Choice: Pancakes are an American comfort food favorite. Three L.A. eateries offer terrific examples: Cooks County, Valerie and Axe.

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