Greer's OC: Taco Rosa's extended Valentine

Taco Rosa continues to celebrate Valentine's Day, serving a special menu de amor three-course chef's dinner through Monday.

Whether you take your sweetheart to the original Newport Beach location, or the Irvine Taco Rosa, you can both enjoy a dinner for two for $29.

The family-run restaurant specializes in Mexico City-inspired cuisine influenced by Spanish, European and Southwestern flavors. And what's not to love about a chocolate fountain, and some of the freshest churros we've ever tasted?

The menu starts with guacamole, chips and salsa, and then you can choose an entrée from four choices, including pollo Maya, a seared chicken breast filled with Oaxaca cheese, epazote, poblano pepper wrapped in bacon, served with Mexican rice and Mayan escabeche; or a carnitas pibil with tender pork shoulder with pibil sauce, pinto beans, guacamole escabeche, Mexican rice and sweet corn tamalito.

Other entrée choices include Mexico City enchiladas, hand-pulled chicken enchiladas topped with tomatillo sauce, melted cheese, cream, queso fresco and marinated onions, served with Mexican rice and pinto beans.

Or try the wild salmon pan roasted and glazed with homemade chutney, served on a trio of handmade corn masa boats layered with black beans, queso fresco, Napa cabbage, jicama and carrots, served with caldillo and black bean sauce. Lastly, save room for churros y fresas con chocolate served with warm chocolate and fresh chocolate covered strawberries.

Taco Rosa is at the Newport Hills Shopping Center, 2632 San Miguel Drive. For more information, call (949)720-0980. Taco Rosa is also at the Irvine Market Place, 13792 Jamboree Road. For more information, call (714) 505-6080, or visit


Whip yourself into shape

Looking for a new fitness center to inspire you to get in shape? Consider joining The Fit Club, which just opened at the Quail Hill Shopping Center in Irvine.

You'll have access to innovative equipment, personal training services, educational workshops and classes for all ages. In celebration of the opening, it's offering new members a free class through Feb. 29. The Fit Club offers small group classes that include core, cardio and resistance training, as well as yoga meets Pilates, H.I.T. (High Intensity Training) Circuit, kids zone, and TRX Suspension Trainer vs. Russian Kettlebells.

A former Navy SEAL developed the TRX to help his teammates simultaneously build strength, balance, flexibility and core stability. It's now available for all ages and fitness levels, including stay-at-home moms to pro athletes.

Russian Kettlebells have been used since 1704 to build strength using the entire body. They're also great tools to increase intensity during cardio workouts. The Fit Club will also be educating the community by offering free educational workshops including "Secrets to a Flatter Stomach," "Eat More to Weigh LESS," "Burn Fat Faster," and "Detox for Life."

The Fit Club, at 6871 Quail hill Pkwy., is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 7 a.m. to noon on Sundays.

For more information, call (949) 701-4449 or visit


Sapphire sparkles for fifth anniversary

Chef/owner Azmin Ghahreman of Sapphire Restaurant and Pantry in Laguna Beach is celebrating five years, by offering specials through February to say "thank you" for five incredible years.

Join Sapphire for sunset hour offered daily from 5 to 6 p.m. You can stop by for complimentary little bites, and select drinks cost just $5 each, including Prosecco, Verdejo, Malbec, Hinano Lager and Ketel One cocktails on the rocks.

Also, join Sapphire Pantry from 7 to 11 a.m. daily for breakfast tacos with a cup of freshly brewed organic coffee for just $5.

Sapphire Laguna specializes in comfort food inspired by international cuisines made with fresh local ingredients.

The restaurant also offers an extensive beer selection and wines from around the world, and Chef Azmin's culinary specialty cocktails. Sapphire Pantry features fine wines, artisanal cheeses, locally produced goods, fresh take-out foods and organic free trade coffee and tea.

The address is 1200 S. Coast Hwy. For more information, call (949) 715-9889 or visit http://www.sapphirelaguna.com



Seek out Element Eden LLG Collection

When it comes to supporting a brand of apparel that's wearable for everyday living, being outside, focusing on wellness, and fostering inner beauty, you must seek out the Element Eden LLG Collection inspired by Amy Purdy.

The Irvine-based collection of casual active wear is based on Purdy's incredible story. She's a snowboarder, skateboarder, actress and a double amputee.

Rather than allowing the tragedy of losing both legs to meningitis at age 19 end her love of snowboarding, she persevered, got back on a board, and continued to enter competitions. As a result she founded Adaptive Action Sports, a nonprofit helping disabled children get on a board and ride.

Purdy is a longtime fan of the Element brand, and now, as an advocate for its "Live, Learn, Grow" collection, she can continue to inspire young women to live life to the fullest and grow from their experiences.

Choose from athletic shorts, slim fit pants with an elastic waistband, our favorite premium long-sleeve knit with cowl neck made of bamboo from rayon fibers and organic cotton, as well as tanks, tees and more.

Element Eden LLG Collection can be found at PacSun at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, the Irvine Spectrum Center and Metro Pointe in Costa Mesa.

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 email 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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