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Twilight Tastings brew up Spring Flavors


By Natalie Aronson

Taste of Brews presented its Twilight Tasting event on Saturday evening, hosting hundreds of guests eager to sample this season's up and coming beverages. The event, which took place at the Lyon Air Museum at John Wayne Airport, took guests on a delectable journey sampling craft beers, wines and light bites. The Mardi Gras-themed event showcased the greatly anticipated spring microbrews, which featured tastes of pear and apple hard ciders and beers. Bourbon Street beads were presented to each guest upon their arrival along with a complimentary tasting glass to carry them through the evening.

Guests could enjoy live music and the sights and stories behind the historic aircrafts displayed inside the museum while perusing the walkways lined with savory samplers and sweeter selections. Proceeds from the evening benefitted We ROCK (We Run OC Kids), Make a Wish OC, Working Wardrobes and Next Up Foundation.

Aside from ticket sales, proceeds from the silent auction and raffle played a huge role in raising support for these local organizations. The relaxed ambiance set an enjoyable tone for the evening, which brewed up conversations between friends new and old, who could walk freely throughout the venue or sit back and relax.

Twenty craft breweries, including Lagunitas, Noble and Stone, and 5 restaurants from Stonefire Grill, to Whole Foods were featured, including a selection of wines, ciders, spirits, and bakery items. The evening was full of hearty conversations and even richer palettes. To tantalize your taste buds, be sure to check out the next Taste of Brews event, taking place April 19 in the Inland Empire. 

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Swan Lake, Reinvented


By Kelley Moody

On Friday, March 7th the Segerstrom Center of the Arts hosted the American premiere of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo’s LAC after Swan Lake, directed and choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot. This modern reinterpretation of the classic tale heightens the drama and expresses the fight between good and evil in the fluidity of the dancers’ actions. The story follows the Prince on his journey to find pure love while resisting temptation and deception from Her Majesty of the Night and her wicked daughter, the Black Swan. This particular production revitalizes the plot of the ballet, leaving the audience defenseless to the magic of the story.

The dancers moved in synchronicity with the powerful orchestration utilizing symmetry throughout the complex routines. The interactions between dancers and their physical connections kept the audience’s eyes wandering about the stage, absorbing each relationship between the characters. The turns and leaps impressed to no end, and the smooth lines held by the dancers appeared effortless as they glided about the stage.

The production actually begins with a video that is projected on to the minimalist and linear set of the stage providing the audience with a silent short film giving context to the plot. The performance then moves between the royal palace of the king and queen and the Lake of Tears, where the White Swan is kept as she is bound to an eternal life as both bird and woman.

Maillot’s vision was portrayed melodramatically through his choreography and staging. The visual spectacle left the audience awestruck from start to finish.  The symbolic colors shifted between dark and light, and the crafted theater elements gave performance higher meaning. The ballet was powerful, exquisite and thoughtful from start to finish.

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El Adobe Restaurant to Host Taste of San Juan


By Natalie Aronson

Restaurants all over Orange County are prepping their kitchens for Sunday, Feb. 23rd, the launch of OC Restaurant Week. One city however, will be enticing taste buds just days before the official food frenzy. Tonight, the San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association will be hosting its annual Taste of San Juan fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m. 

At El Adobe De Capistrano Restaurant and will feature fine cuisine samples from local restaurants and caterers. For $20, attendees will enjoy tastings throughout El Adobe’s open atrium and adjoining garden area, and will receive voting ballots to rank their restaurant favorites.

Categories include Best Main Course; Best Original Dish; Best Appetizer and Best Dessert. To pair nicely on the palette,  El Adobe will have happy hour prices the entirety of the evening at a no host bar. Proceeds from the festival will be used for various community events including the 56th Swallows Day Parade held one month after the Taste, on March 22. 

Some of the restaurants sampling their finest culinary masterpieces include: Slater’s 50/50, Sun Dried Tomato Café, The Vitange Steakhouse, Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill, San Juan Hills Golf Club, Donna B’s Bakery, Cedar Creek Inn, Thai Juan On, El Adobe, Ruby’s Diner and Marie Callender’s to name just a portion of the participants.

Tickets will be sold at the door as well as in advance at the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce (31421 La Matanza Street). Cash and check are welcome, and credit cards will be accepted at the door. El Adobe Restaurant is located at 31891 Camino Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano. 

For more information about the Taste of San Juan or other events of the San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association, call 949.493.1976 or visit

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Homegrown Surf Fashions


By Natalie Aronson

As Orange County prepares to transition from marine layer-laced temperatures into historical season highs, we gear up to welcome the hottest trends that keep us cool all summer long. Orange County based Katin, the original California surf brand, continues to take historic styles and revamp them, reminding us locals why we love homegrown fashion.

Katin's Made-in-the-USA  spring/summer collection Desert Reflections, features vintage-inspired men's apparel that will barrel you back into the heart of Surf City, USA circa-1960's. Boat cover makers Nancy and Walter Katin made their mark in the surf community when they reconstructed the way surfers viewed fashion, one pair of hand-sewn caves surf trunks as a time.

"Quality, durability and good looks," has been Katin's way of life and the influence carries through today, not only in the influence of today's surf fashion but in Katin's own line of nostalgic prints, finishes and colors.

The collection will be made available through national retailers and better boutiques throughout the summer and will range from $30-$80. For more information and to view the collection of trunks, t-shirts, polos, wovens and henleys, visit

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