Greer's OC: Treat your eyes right

Consider yourself up on eyewear fashion and design? You will fall in love with Alexander Gray at OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa. It's a treasure trove of the world's best indie frames in one spot.

Proud dad and owner David Gonzales named Alexander Gray after the middle names of his two young sons, and he also owns Fred Segal Eyes and the Spectacle in Santa Monica. Gonzales is a legend in the eyewear industry for seeking out iconic (not mass produced) optical companies, redesigning interesting eyeglasses into sunglasses and finding the right frame for the right face.

He's a stickler when it comes to finding the most flattering frame.

"I will not sell something that I know will not look good," Gonzales says.

At Alexander Gray, Gonzales specializes in design-driven, technologically advanced brands (mostly handmade in Japan). Since Orange County is the epicenter for the world's premium optical companies — Barton Perreira, SALT, Oakley and Initium Eyewear, to name just a few — it was a natural fit for Gonzales to open a hip shop that just carries highest-quality independent brands like Victory Collection, a small company that's reissuing popular styles from the '40s and '50s; KBL Eyewear, a New York-based husband-and-wife team who design artistic, unique and timeless frames; as well as Dita and more brands arriving soon.

Prices range from $135 to $500.

Alexander Gray is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at SouthCoast Collection, 3313 Hyland Ave. Suite C in Costa Mesa. For more information, call (949) 284-0564.


Abstract art

Peter Blake Gallery just opened a pop-up gallery in South Laguna, open from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday through summer. It's really an extension of his main gallery show, which explores trends in current California abstraction. Peter Blake Gallery features important artists including Lita Albuquerque (currently showing at Laguna Art Museum), Peter Alexander, Charles Arnoldi, Tony DeLap, Chris Gwaltney, Scot Heywood, Ed Moses, Andy Moses and Guillermo Bert.

The gallery is at 2894 South Coast Hwy. in Laguna Beach.


Hot spot for cold fish

The wait is almost over! The first Katsuya by Philippe Starck and master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi is opening Friday in the former Hush location in Laguna Beach. Katsuya is sure to be a hot spot, serving award-winning cuisine in an indoor and outdoor stylish setting designed by the world-renowned Starck.

Katsuya will feature Robata-style dining, prepared over an open flame, innovative sushi and traditional Japanese platters. Signature dishes will include crispy rice with spicy tuna, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño and miso-marinated black cod and a delicious kid's menu. And starting July 25, it will serve lunch. Katsuya is at 858 S. Coast Hwy. in Laguna Beach. For more information, visit


A practically perfect show

Plan on experiencing a free mini-concert of "Mary Poppins" at 1 p.m. Wednesday at South Coast Plaza's Carousel Court. Cast members from the smash hit musical will be performing numbers from the show, which opens July 14 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

And before or after the show, take advantage of lunch specials at South Coast Plaza's eateries that include the fast-casual noodle bar at AnQi, DG Burger, Lawry's Carvery or Signature Kitchen at Macy's Home Store; or prix-fixe fine dining choices at Marché Moderne, Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's, Pizzeria Ortica, Morton's the Steakhouse and Royal Khyber Fine Indian Cuisine.

Tickets to see "Mary Poppins" are available online at by calling (714) 556-2787 and at the box office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa.


Go Euro in OC

It's no secret that Lucca Café in Irvine is one of my favorite restaurants in Orange County. Chef and co-owner Cathy Pavlos and husband/sommelier Elliott Pavlos bring us an unexpected Euro bistro and wine bar serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch that's focused on the season's best ingredients (free-range, hormone-free meats and locally grown organic produce).

Whether you are stopping in for an artisan cheese plate, handmade charcuterie, an antipasto feast or a tasty summer salad with yellow beets, heirloom tomatoes, burrata, fresh basil, basil pesto and Champagne vinaigrette, you will be treated to a culinary experience featuring small plates inspired by the south of France, Italy and Greece.

At Lucca, Chef Cathy is following the trend of upscale New York restaurants that bundle "lunches" so that guests can order an efficient and delicious trio of small plates (a smaller version of its European dinner menu).

Weekly business bundles are available 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday though Friday. The options can change, but expect wonderful choices like wild baby arugula, roasted beets, shaved fennel, goat cheese, caramelized onions and vanilla bean vinaigrette, with all natural grilled chicken salad sandwich on croissant with a tarragon, shallot, celery, cherries, almonds, butter lettuce, market tomatoes and avocados; and to finish, maybe a red velvet-white chocolate cake pop! The cost is $17.95.

It's open for lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday; open for dinner 5 to 9 p.m. nightly; and open for brunch 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Lucca Café is at 6507 Quail Hill Parkway in Irvine at the Quail Hill Village Center. For more information, call (949) 725-1773 or visit

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, a free daily e-mail service that provides the latest in Orange County fashion, dining, music, events and trends. Her blog can be viewed and she can be contacted at

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