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.
Comedians Bob Perkell and Jeff Capri met through an act of deceit. When Perkell was gearing up for one of his first productions on the other side of the curtain, Capri called him to get a booking for one of the comedians he said he managed: Jeff Capri. But the charade didn't last long: the show was a success, Capri revealed his real identity, and, eventually, the two channeled their teamwork into a comedy club of their own. During Surf City’s shows, guests can order from a list of sweet, wine-centric cocktails and two dozen beers, including taps of Fat Tire and Shock Top.
At Bleu/XO Restaurant & Sports Lounge, diversity reigns. It's visible not only in the entertainment—which ranges from Sunday-night dance lessons to televised sports games—but also in the cuisine itself. The house special fried rice mixes the classic Chinese dish with egg, shrimp, and Chinese sausage, though that's not the only twist the menu harbors. Savory crepes brim with shrimp, pork and sprouts in the Vietnamese tradition, rather than the traditional French style of filling a crepe with a baguette. The menu even touches on Thai flavors with a tabeletop hot pot in which diners cook their own mussels and shrimp with in a spicy broth.
After 9 p.m., diners are invited to enjoy live music in the restaurant.
George Moore is the third-generation owner of a family business that opened more than 60 years ago. True to its original purpose, the shop still sells sewing machines, cabinets, vacuum cleaners, and ceiling fans, but now aims to acquire equipment that is eco-friendly and ultra-efficient.
Alongside its retail branch, Moore’s nurses the machines it sells back to health and leads crafting classes. Expert stitchers lead hands-on sessions in everything from quilting to correctly taking the measurements of a restless scarecrow.
195 Downtown Grill, a sports bar split into a separate lounge and restaurant, showcases a playful vibe enhanced by authentic Spanish artwork and menus of comfort fare and spirited cocktails. Dining duos can whet their appetites on the outdoor patio as alcohol alchemists dress mojitos with fresh mint leaves or climb step-stools to concoct top-shelf margaritas from Corzo Reposado tequila and house-made sweet and sour mix. Guests can set palates sailing for undiscovered food territories with appetizers such as a trio of sliders or homemade shrimp ceviche before diving mouth-first into an entree of mexican meatloaf with chipotle ketchup or a smoked tri tip sandwich smothered in barbecue sauce. 195 Downtown Grill jam-packs their entertainment schedule with seven nights of events including salsa dancing, live bands, DJs, and contests to see who can maintain the most surliness after visiting nearby Disneyland attractions.
Although he specializes in American comfort fare, Executive Chef Diego Velasco wields a packed cabinet of culinary styles and spices, elevating meetings and cocktail parties to a higher gastronomic plane with custom menus crafted from many fresh, locally sourced ingredients.. Midday meals get a savory infusion from the corporate-catering lunch menu, which includes a signature sandwich tray ($54 for 16 half-sandwiches)—a selection of up to four of the various bread-bookended taste-fests, which include a brisket po boy. The hot lunch buffet ($14.95/person for 15–50 guests, $13.50/person for 50+ guests) offers a flavorful cornucopia of meatloaf, ribs, and cornmeal-fried catfish. Appetizers by the dozen grace the à la carte menu and include the grilled scallop lollipops with saffron aioli ($26), and the mashed-potato pancakes with American caviar ($22), a laid-back affront to the snobbishly monocled Caspian variety. Chef Velasco's epicurean enthusiasm runs rampant throughout the entree offerings, which include buttermilk fried chicken, and grilled leg of lamb accented by pineapple-mint vinaigrette.
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.