East 17th Street in Costa Mesa is raising the bar as a farm fresh food destination. The 2005 opening of Avanti Café has inspired other like-minded organic eateries and stores to move in.
Now we have Sprouts Farmers Market, Greenleaf, and the new Anais+Raya Culinary Collective that just opened at Picnics Kitchen on East 17th Street. Organic, raw and vegan celeb chef Raya Belna teamed up with Anais Tangie, a local farmer's market advocate who runs the SoCo Farmer's Market and founded Special Eats OC, to create a haven for the farm-to-table community.
Anais+Raya Culinary Collective will offer cooking classes from local chefs, serve as a Market Grocery service and host pop-up restaurants and events.
From 5 to 7 p.m. on Sundays, Belna and Tangie will serve Farmers' Market Feasts with seasonal, local ingredients from the SoCo Farmer's Market in Costa Mesa. The family-style dinner changes weekly but will always include vegan, raw, organic, and free-range, grass-fed ingredients.
You can also stop in from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays for Belna's superfood smoothies, raw desserts, what's-for-dinner baskets and take-out foods at her WildCraft Elixir Bar at Picnics Kitchen.
Anais+Raya Culinary Collective at Picnics Kitchen is at 435 E. 17th St., Suite 7. For more information, call (949) 478-4857, or visit anaisandraya.com.
They've got the look
At 6 p.m. July 26, join us at a gorgeous residence in Ritz Cove for OC Look.
The annual soiree hosted by Orange Coast Magazine raises funds needed to prevent, treat, and find a cure for Type 1 diabetes, through the Dream Guild of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The event celebrates 16 people recognized as the OC Look 2012 nominees for their style and accomplishments in Orange County. The advisory board is comprised of a team of fashionable trendsetters in Orange County.
During the party, everyone will be treated to MAC makeovers, handwriting analysis, informal modeling from Saks Fifth Avenue, a photo lounge, cocktails by Karlsson's Vodka and Bel Air Bellini, and more. There will also be an opportunity drawing for prizes packages, including exclusive retail items and packages.
All money raised will go directly to support JDRF's research in finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes.
For more information on OC Look and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.orangecoast.com/oclook2012.aspx or call the O.C. chapter of JDRF at (949) 553-0363.
New salon and spa in Newport
Soho Salon & Day Spa in Newport Beach recently opened with local stylist Daniella Kelley offering techniques inspired by Sassoon, Toni and Guy, and Leonard Castro.
In celebration, she's offering new clients 20% off on their first visit. Kelley specializes in precision cuts and styling, hair extensions, blowouts, highlights and color enhancements.
She's also an experienced make-up artist offering professional hair and make-up for bridal parties and other special occasions. Soho Salon & Day Spa also offers nail and skin-care treatments.
Soho Salon & Day Spa is in Westcliff Court, adjacent to Haute Cakes, at 1815 Westcliff Drive. For more information, call (949) 646-2021, or visit http://www.sohoOC.com.
The year of the burger
It's been a great year for burger joints in Orange County. We've eaten more burgers in the past 12 months than Popeye's pal Wimpy.
Husky Boy, Umami, A Restaurant, Slater's and Crow Burger are just a few of our favorites. Now, Crow Burger Kitchen in Newport Beach will be celebrating its one-year anniversary on Friday by giving away a $10 gift card from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. to every customer who orders a burger.
We say go for the Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger with black pepper cheese, cream cheese, goat cheese, fried onion, garlic mayo and wheat English muffin. Feel like playing it safe? Then order the Crow Boy burger, with American cheese, house-made ketchup, pickle relish, shredded lettuce on a buttermilk bun.
Each day, the sister restaurant to Crow Bar and Kitchen in Corona del Mar grinds a top-secret proprietary blend of house-ground meats (prime, chuck, short rib, brisket and hanger steak) for its artisan burgers, and uses freshly-made buttermilk buns at a local bakery, organic vegetables, house-made ketchup and smoked bacon.
You're welcome to build your own burger by adding Crow chili, gourmet cheeses, caramelized onion, jalapeno peppers or make it hangover style with a fried organic hen's egg, smoked bacon and sharp cheddar.
Add a side of duck fat fries with house-made ketchup, or grilled green bean fries with olive tapenade, and the sweet potato fries are tasty.
Crow Burger Kitchen is at 3107 Newport Blvd. For more information, call (949) 673-2747, or visit http://www.crowburgerkitchen.com.
Get set for Nordstrom sale
Nordstrom's annual Anniversary Sale starts Friday. Before the season officially begins, you can snap up hot fall merchandise reduced through Aug. 5.
Find clothing, shoes and accessories from top brands, including Marc Jacobs, Rag & Bone, Michael Kors, Free People, Cole Haan, Theory, Vince, John Varvatos, Boss Black, Diesel, Frye and many more. Also, find limited-edition beauty products and special deals from Clarisonic, MAC, Smashbox, NARS, Bobbi Brown, La Mer, Philosophy, Kiehl's, La Mer, Voluspa.
In Orange County you can shop at Nordstrom South Coast Plaza, Nordstrom Brea Mall, Nordstrom Santa Ana, Nordstrom Mission Viejo, Nordstrom Irvine Spectrum or Nordstrom Fashion Island. For more information, visit nordstrom.com.