As if eight nights and 350 films aren't exciting enough, now we have "Lido Goes Pop!" to look forward to. For the first time in its 12-year run, Newport Beach Film festivalgoers can convene nightly at Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach as Riviera Magazine transforms the quaint waterfront village into a shopping, dining and gathering mecca.
Stop by and enjoy goodies, giveaways and sneak peeks at newly revealed products as well as tasty bites from renowned restaurants starting Thursday through May 5. ("Lido Goes Pop!" also coincides with the Newport Boat Show at Lido Marina Village from Thursday to Sunday.)
You can also meet directors, screenwriters and cinematographers who will stop by post-screening Q&As to share an exclusive inside look at the industry.
It's open 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 10 to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Riviera will also be co-hosting the Film Festival's closing night party May 5 following the screening of "A Beginner's Guide to Endings" at 7:30 p.m. at Lido Theatre. Tickets for the film and party cost $75. A percentage of proceeds will benefit American Red Cross relief efforts in Japan.
Lido Marina Village is located at 3421 Via Oporto in Newport Beach. For more information, call (714) 371-2386.
SALSAS FROM RASTA TACO
Just in time for spring/summer grilling and entertaining comes Rasta Salsa, a trio of natural spicy sauces out of Laguna Beach. Chef Isaac Buchanan of San Francisco's famed Le Cordon Bleu collaborated with Rasta Taco, an OC-based gourmet mobile taco cart company, to introduce the new line of dynamic flavored salsas: mild with habanero chili and pineapple, medium with mandarin oranges and jalapeno, and our favorite, hot with New Mexico and habanero chilis.
Rasta Salsas are gluten-, soy- and dairy-free and come in airline travel-approved bottles. The trio costs $9.99. You can order online at http://www.rastataco.com. Or you can have them delivered with Rasta Taco's mobile taco cart that cooks up original Mexican fusion recipes and brings them to your backyard party or any event.
You can choose from Caribbean carne asada, Jamaican chicken, slow-simmered carnitas, al pastor and side dishes, including tortillas, rice, beans and vegetarian entrée selections too. No canned food is its motto — everything is fresh. For more information, call (949) 842-6936 or visit http://www.rastataco.com/index.php.
MAKE YOUR MARK
BeautyMark, a Corona del Mar-based organic airbrush tanning service that offers mobile services, private salon appointments and tanning parties, just launched its first product: Organic Orange Cream Cleanser ($32). It contains only organic ingredients, including jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, cocoa butter and orange essential oil.
Founder Jennifer Lobos worked with an eco-chemist from Canada to develop a handmade line that is both good for your skin and the planet. BeautyMark Organics is made without petro chemicals, parabens, artificial fragrance or colors, sulfates or phenoxyethanol. It's a vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free line.
BeautyMark's airbrush tanning salon services (by appointment only) range from $50 for full-body (save with packages). Mobile services start at $75 for one person (price depends on travel time). BeautyMark is at 3711 E. Coast Hwy. in Corona del Mar. For more information, call (949) 290-6118 or visit beautymarkorganics.com.
FOR MOM, FOR DIABETES
Shopping for Mother's Day takes on a special meaning at Michael Kors — charity and savings. Michael Kors at South Coast Plaza is proud to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation with a shopping event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, when 20% of sales will benefit JDRF. You can save 30% to 70% on new spring MMK merchandise, and his hot handbags are reduced 30% to 50%.
Michael Kors created a special bag for his mom, called the Joan bag ($328), that is perfect for traveling and comes in great colors including red, vanilla and black patent crocodile. At Michael Kors, you can shop from his high-end collection to his more affordable and wearable MMK line. In for spring are neutrals with a pop of color including sun yellow, greens and blues. Spring shoe selections include espadrilles, sandals and go-go ballet flats.
Michael Kors is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday on Level 1 of South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. For more information, call (714) 557-5600 or visit http://www.michaelkors.com/.
CELEBRATE TAI CHI
Want to learn more about why millions of people all over the world practice tai chi (taiji) and qigong for their health and well-being? From 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine, UC Irvine brings World Tai Chi and Qigong Day to the center stage as the campus celebrates the tai chi community.
Special guest lecturer Dr. Shin Lin, co-creator of the annual World Tai Chi and Qigong Day, is a rock star in his field and a professor at UCI. He's on the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which offers recommendations to the National Institutes of Health on where to focus research funds.
From 9 to 9:50 a.m., he will be sharing the latest research on tai chi/qigong for fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, stress reduction and fall prevention. You will also learn easy-to-follow exercises, enjoy exhibits from the martial arts and medical communities and watch demonstrations by masters.
World Tai Chi and Qigong Day will be located at UCI at Aldrich Park. (Free parking is available for the first 500 cars in Lot 16.)
TRUE FOOD EXPANDS MENU
True Food Kitchen at Fashion Island just added delicious new dishes that bring the best in spring vegetables and fish to the table. New items include my favorite spring chopped salad with snap peas, strawberries, walnuts, goat cheese and balsamic; a must-try roasted asparagus pizza with smoked mozzarella, red onion and marjoram; a grass-fed bison burger with umami mushroom and onions, mayo and parmesan on a flax bun; and delicious halibut street tacos with avocado, cotija cheese, tomatillo salsa, sour cream and pickled onion.
Now for dessert lovers, try the new almond olive oil cake served with fresh blackberries and Greek yogurt; or the strawberry rhubarb crisp served with dairy-free pistachio ice cream. But I have to say I'd do just about anything for my favorite flourless chocolate cake that's always on the menu, served with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce — to die for.
True Food Kitchen is at 451 Newport Center Drive in Newport Beach. For more information, call (949) 644-2400 or visit http://www.truefoodkitchen.com/tour/fashion-island-newport-beach-ca.php.
GREER WYLDER writes Greer's OC for the Huntington Beach Independent each Thursday and the Daily Pilot and Coastline Pilot each Friday. She's the founder and president of greersoc.com, a free daily e-mail service that provides the latest in Orange County fashion, dining, music, events and trends. Her blog can be viewed http://www.greersoc.com and she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.