One perfect day in Costa Mesa, CA

Spend a day in this O.C. town where indie shopping and the food scene have come into their own

  • Organic Designs by Aggelige has all kinds of cool and kitschy garden finds

    Organic Designs by Aggelige

    Andrea Gómez Romero

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Tacos go wild: Refuel at Taco Asylum, the newest and most-buzzed-about restaurant in the Camp. The menu lists nine tacos, and that’s about it—but they’re all delish. We like the chickpea purée with wild mushrooms and the short ribs with pickled red onions. Wash it down with a canned microbrew or Maine Root soda. $; 2937 Bristol St.; 714/922-6010.

A garden in a pot: Before you leave the Camp, stop by the shiny Airstream trailer near the parking lot, otherwise known as Organic Designs by Aggelige, and peruse the potted succulents and tillandsia air plants that perch on brightly painted wooden shelves or hang from a trellis. Choose from among the small, colorful recycled pots, each filled with three or more tiny succulents. 2937 Bristol St.; 714/662-7996.

But it’s not just shopping … 3 reasons why Costa Mesa calls itself City of the Arts

Segerstrom Center for the Arts. To mark its 25th season, this four-theater complex (with halls that seat 250 to 3,000 people) this year put together a calendar filled with the kind of Broadway shows, dance, and jazz performers you’d expect to see only in L.A. On the schedule for spring and summer: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the touring production of American Idiot. From $20; 600 Town Center Dr.; scfta.org

South Coast Repertory. For years, celebrated playwrights like Donald Margulies and Richard Greenberg have tested their new plays in this intimate three-stage playhouse (the largest theater seats just 507) before heading to Broadway. This spring, the company will put on Sight Unseen, Margulies’s acclaimed SCR debut from 1991, and The Prince of Atlantis, a new play by Steven Drukman. From $20; 655 Town Center Dr.; scr.org

Detroit Bar. A top destination for O.C. music lovers, this nightclub has earned a reputation for hosting some of the region’s hottest up-and-coming bands (like Cold War Kids and Local Natives) before they get big. It also books more established indie rock, punk, and hip-hop bands passing through Orange County on national and international tours. From $5; 843 W. 19th St.; detroitbar.com

 

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