Greer's OC: Foodie extravaganza in Laguna

Four days of food heaven are descending on Laguna Beach, when the annual "Laguna Beach a la Carte – A Food & Wine Experience" returns Thursday and continues through Sunday. The four-day culinary event celebrates world-class cuisine, with local restaurants and wineries offering prix-fixe menus, food and wine pairings, chef demonstrations, events and specials.

Here's a highlight of planned food and wine events:

From 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, experience a Taste of K'ya Bistro at The Rooftop Lounge & Hotel La Casa Del Camino. Award-winning chef Craig Connole will be creating stations to showcase Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Cost is $30 per person for signature tastes; no host bar. For reservations, call (949) 497-2446.

The signature event, "Laguna Beach Uncorked! – An International Wine & Food Fest," happens from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Festival of Arts. Guests can sample tastings from 22 Laguna Beach restaurants and 30 international wineries, enjoy live entertainment and chef demonstrations.

A portion of the ticket sales benefits Children's Hospital of Orange County. Tickets can be purchased at The general admission cost is $75, or $95 at the door. VIP admission cost is $125.

Boutique hotel Pacific Edge will be offering a "Snack, Sip & Surf" event from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday. It's an afternoon full of food, fun and friendly competition, including the best local mixologist, taco, and paddleboard team. Proceeds will go to Mauli Ola, benefiting children with cystic fibrosis.

At the hotel's surf-themed ocean view cabanas, a mixologist will create a signature cocktail. Attendees can vote on their favorite, and the winning drink will become the cocktail of the summer.

The taco competitors include Olamendi's, Basement Table and La Sirena Grill serving up specialty tacos for guests to taste and vote on their favorite. And a paddleboard relay race will take place with four-member teams. Guests can enjoy tray-passed appetizers throughout the day.

For details on more Laguna Beach a la Carte events, restaurant offers and hotel packages, visit


Burgers for a good cause

At 6 p.m. Saturday, come out and support the Boys & Girls Club of the Harbor Area in Costa Mesa for a fun night of food and philanthropy at the "Slide into Spring" burger bash tasting event. As a guest you can sample unlimited tastes and enjoy drinks from a hosted bar from 6 to 7 p.m.

I'll be judging the Burger Bash competition, along with Gustavo Arellano, editor of OC Weekly and Chef Jamie Gwen.

Participating restaurants include:

Beach Pit BBQ serving BBQ pork sliders; Playground in Santa Ana, serving mini burgers with house-aged beef, maple bourbon onions, double yolk mayo, classic lettuce and gruyere/fontina cheese; the Golden Truffle serving ground chuck cheeseburger with traditional toppings and homemade ketchup; Avanti Café serving the only vegetarian burger with whole grain, adzuki bean and brown rice served on toasted organic ciabatta bread with coriander mustard, lemon-lime smoky ketchup, dill pickle and roasted yam with garlic shallot or havarti cheese; The Newport Rib Co. serving a Brisketalicious Coleslaw Slider; Memphis Café serving American Bison slider with gorgonzola cheese and cranberry mayo; Wingnuts serving BBQ Kobe beef sliders and pulled pork sliders. The Queen's Bakery and Blackmarket Bakery will serve incredible sweets to round out the evening.

In addition to the food tasting and competition, there will be a live and silent auction, as well as live music by the Fabulous Nomads. Cost is $75 per person, and you'll be helping to serve more than 2,500 local youths. The Boys & Girls Club-Lou Yantorn Branch is at 2131 Tustin Ave., Costa Mesa.

To order tickets, call (949)642-2245, or visit


Travel back into time

Elsewhere in Costa Mesa on Saturday night, from 6 to 10 p.m., come to the Center Club to celebrate "Time of Your Life" to benefit Alzheimer's research at the UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (MIND).

The Center Club's rooms will be transformed into time warps reflecting a 1960s surf theme, TV Land, Supper Club, British Invasion, Futurama and Motown eras. The evening of activities include supper club entertainment, dancing, a wine wall, '60s eyelashes, themed food, cocktails and auction items.

From 9 to 9:30 p.m. Dr. LaFerla, the director at UCI MIND, will speak about finding answers and solutions through cutting-edge research about Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders affecting memory and the brain.

Tickets cost $200 for non-club members; $175 for Center Club members; and a 10 p.m. entry costs $65. The Center Club is at 650 Town Center Drive (Garden Level). For more information, visit


Marni for H&M is here

The much-anticipated Marni for H&M collection has hit select H&M stores. The big Marni for H&M reveal is receiving rave reviews from die-hard Marni fans who say the collection looks like its bigger and more expensive sister.

If you're one of the lucky ones to shop before the collection is sold out, you can pick up a full range of affordable shoes, bags and charming accessories to make a total Marni look on a budget. Prices range from $70 for a cardigan, to $99 for a dress.

The entire line uses Marni's signature prints and colors playfully mixed and matched with African prints to Bauhaus modern and sporty silhouettes with feminine shapes. For men, Marni offers staples in subtle prints and softened colors.

H&M has two stores at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa and at the Irvine Spectrum in Irvine. For more information, call (949)754-0681, 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 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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