A program of Community Action Partnership of Orange County, the Orange County Food Bank distributes 19 million pounds of food annually, serving 900,000 people directly. It also provides food and personal-care items to more than 400 other helping organizations including churches, shelters, and senior centers. At the food bank's warehouse, volunteers receive and package 23,000 boxes of food each month, which its clients can pick up at 50 sites across the county.
Under the tutelage of melodious maestro Andreas Mitisek, the Long Beach Opera's toughened tunesmiths bang out praiseworthy performances of works by an international array of composers. The opera's stage-bound songbirds tackle questions of morality, power, and faith during their performance of Philip Glass's Akhnaten, the third in the composer's Portrait Trilogy. Making its West Coast debut, Akhnaten follows the rise and fall of the titular pharaoh, a leader known for bringing monotheism to Egypt and owning an expansive collection of ceramic kittens. True to Glass's reputation as an avant-garde artist, Akhnaten features vocal performances in historically accurate languages—including Egyptian, Akkadian, Hebrew, and Klingon—translated into eye-catching English supertitles projected for instant understanding. The cast is led by a covey of Long Beach Opera rookies, including international songsters such as Jochen Kowalski, Oxana Senina, and Ralph Cato.
Main Street Wine Cellar—a community wine bar that garnered a mention in the Los Angeles Times—satisfies inquisitive oenophiles with its far-ranging wine tours. Sippers choose six of more than 21 wines to taste, customizing their flights with the authority and confidence of stunt pilots. Patrons swirl their samples in the wine bar's dusky, romantic setting, flanked by canvases from local artists and often buoyed by live music, DJ beats, or polyrhythmic glass clinking. Though not included in this Groupon, Nan's traditional hummus ($9), chocolate lover's Butta Cake ($9), and dishes such as the house-made fennel sausage ($12) fill thoughtful silences.
Although the instructors at Underground Yoga got there by way of different backgrounds—vinyasa flow, ashtanga, and hatha, to name a few—they all share an affinity for strengthening students' bodies and minds. Their classes take place in a dimly lit studio with a panoramic skyline mural on one wall and paintings from local artists on the others. Add music and you have a recipe for a hip yoga setting that doesn't mind if the class is your first or 100th. To complement the flowing yoga movements, Underground also schedules two-hour hula hoop workshops where attendees can sling a hula hoop around their hips just like Newton did when he discovered centrifugal force.
When Sagi Rochman was drawing up the plans for his new restaurant, he knew he wanted it to be cool. So he named it Sababa, which is Hebrew for "cool"—a designation the chic lounge has easily lived up to. The space brims with plush curtains, modern art, and sleek couches, where groups sit as they sip on craft beers or one of Sababa's award-winning specialty martinis. The spa martini is particularly refreshing, a blend of cucumbers and freshly muddled strawberries that cools patrons as they sit on the outdoor patio under the rays of the Earth's only remaining sun. "The" Margarita is also popular with guests, an unorthodox mixture of tequila, Grand Marnier, freshly pureed passion fruit, and pineapple juice, which one regular swears is the best margarita outside of Mexico.
The cocktail list gets some stiff competition from the food menu. To build up the gustatory roster, Rochman enlisted the talents of celebrity chef Eric Greenspan, a contestant on Food Network programs such as The Next Iron Chef. Inspired by Rochman's heritage, Greenspan constructed a fusion of Mediterranean and Israeli flavors, resulting in dishes such as goat-cheese pizzas and seared ahi tuna with harissa mashed potatoes. There are plenty of small plates as well, including grilled eggplant with tahini and chicken kabobs with an olive-date sauce. As if the inspired tapas and lauded cocktails weren't enough, the lounge regales diners with a slew of events held throughout the week, including wine flights on Tuesdays and dance parties with live DJs on Fridays and Saturdays.
At Executive Fitness & Med Spa, licensed professionals burnish epidermises with state-of-the-art treatments designed to yield clearer and silkier skinscapes. Eschewing the processes of waxing, plucking, or ripping off limb-sized band-aids, the 30-minute laser hair-removal treatments transmit a cavalcade of hair-slaying wavelengths into follicles' melanin to diminish their ability to regenerate unwanted fuzz. Specialists recommend a streak of three to six treatments spaced six to eight weeks apart to achieve skin as smooth as a newborn kitten's jazz solo. Or opt for the microdermabrasion treatments, during which one of the staffers will sluice your face with a stream of exfoliating crystals to slough away dead and sullied cells from the outer epidermal layer. A comfortable hydrating mask concludes each treatment, working to heal husks at the end of the restorative 30-minute session.