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Food & Drinks

Southern California Must Eat & Drink: We curate a list of the best food, restaurants, chefs, farmers markets, and where to find them in Southern California. If you are a foodie, this section will keep you in the loop on the best of the best in food news, restaurants reviews, upcoming food events and so much more. The latest news on spirits, bubbles and brews, lounges, cocktails, beers, wines, wineries, juices, smoothies, coffees, teas, and more will also be featured here. We highlight everything from old staples to new additions in the juice, alcohol, and coffee fields. We talk with mixologists about new inventions and twists on old staples.

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3 Recipes for National Barbecue Month

May is National Barbecue Month! There’s no better way to celebrate the beginning of summer than heading outdoors for a cookout with family and friends. Grilling is one of America’s favorite pastimes during the summer months, with a recent survey showing that 75% of U.S. adults own a grill or smoker, and that they prefer cooking out over eating out to save money (71%).   To celebrate National Barbecue Month, here are some cookout-ready recipes courtesy of Sparkling Ice – a lightly carbonated, zero-calorie beverage featuring bold flavors, perfect for incorporating into summer cooking and cocktailing.               Coconut Pineapple Skewers Ingredients: 1 bottle Coconut Pineapple Sparkling Ice ½ cup olive oil + extra to brush pineapple 2 teaspoons harissa paste or other spicy chili sauce (like Siracha) ½ teaspoon salt 1 ¼ – 1 ½ lbs. chicken tenders 1 fresh pineapple – peeled, cut into 1½” chunks 2 cups cooked rice Toasted coconut for garnish, optional Cilantro for garnish, optional Special Equipment: 16 Wooden skewers for grilling Instructions: In large shallow baking dish combine Coconut Pineapple Sparkling Ice, olive oil, harissa, salt and stir to combine. Reserve 1/3 cup marinade for basting Add chicken tenders, turning to coat. Cover and let…

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Find a Fabulous Meal in Malibu

  Although best known for its beaches, laid-back lifestyle and celebrity sightings, Malibu has evolved over the years to include “world-class dining destination” to its list of credits. About two decades ago only a handful of fine restaurants could be found in Malibu, but now, even the most finicky foodie can be wowed by the eatery options along this magical beachside community. Here are a few you may want to visit next time you find yourself in Southern California driving northbound on the Pacific Coast Highway:  

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Go Green with So Cal Irish Pubs

  There is more than one reason to “go green.” One involves the year-round conservation of our planet. Another reason to wear the color happens only once a year on March 17—St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re a Southern California resident or traveler, So Cal Life Mag has you covered so you’re informed of five fabulous Irish pubs to visit and and indulge in the most heady Irish Car Bomb cocktails concocted! Do relish in the luck of the Irish, but please drink responsibly.   Dickie O’Neal’s Irish-American Family Pub & Restaurant 2155 N. Palm Canyon Dr. Palm Springs, CA 92262 (760) 325-2600, dickieoneal.com   If you’re looking for the slight unpredictability of a dive bar combined with the warmth of a neighborhood family environment, then this is the place to be! You can also order a delicious chicken pot pie to go with your drink, like a Black and Tan, or Bloody Mary, which is certified as being the best in Palm Springs!   Dargan’s Irish Pub and Restaurant 18 E. Ortega St. Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (805) 568-0702, darganssb.com   This establishment prides itself on attracting the blue-collar demographic, who can mingle and munch about while watching sports or…

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Five Tasty Cupcake Shops

There’s nothing that quite hits the palate like a delicately crafted cupcake, replete with fluffy frosting and moist cake center. The right one will fill not only the stomach, but the heart, the very moment the tip of the tongue touches the billowy top. There are many a cupcake that satiates that unbridled urge to reach out at the elbow, but for fear of perilously high blood sugar, here are five Southern California-based shops—not named Sprinkles— for your perusal and consumption.

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The Southern California Food Trucks Phenomenon

What do you get when you combine the two internationally acclaimed pastimes of cars and food? The food truck, where gustatory urges can be satisfied at a mini-restaurant that just so happens to be supported by the chassis of a machine on wheels. Granted, food trucks haven’t always been in fashion, and only since late last decade have they become popular with the in-crowd. Truth be told, they were usually thought to be an unsanitary, uncouth way to grab a meal, unless the direst need to grub presented itself. Now, the stereotype has taken a sharp turn, and Southern California food trucks are perceived as a source for open-minded and loyal aficionados of cuisine. The would-be owners of these trucks, too, now come from unexpected places, like advertising, and are the practical kind, who just want to start a business that requires no rent and “far less start-up capital” (Katy McLaughlin, Wall Street Journal). Attuned to the inner-workings of the market, the owners of these popular trucks have effectively mobilized social media support, appealing to the grab-and-go youth culture, while sustaining “underground” consumer loyalty. This is especially true in Los Angeles, which is home to 15 of the “101 Best Food…

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Sidecar Doughnuts: The Hipster’s Answer To An Old-Fashioned Treat

The doughnut. It’s a simply sweet, and utterly delicious treat that seemingly melts in your mouth with each bite. They come in all shapes and sizes – some crème filled, some glazed, and some sprinkled with sugar, with everyone from young to old enjoying this classic. Then there is Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee Shop, a place that prides itself on taking an old-fashioned treat and infusing it with a modern-day hipster twist. Set in an ordinary strip mall at the 17th street corridor in Costa Mesa lays this gem of an eatery. Brooke Desprez, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, watches over her shop with a careful eye as the doughnuts are made fresh everyday with simple recipes and fresh ingredients. Even though Sidecar starts off making their doughnuts the same way you make any doughnut, Chef Desprez talks about the very unique ingredients she uses in each doughnut to make her creations come out a work of art, “Starting with the yeast dough, which takes the bulk of the day to rise, and ending with our fresh fruit jams, compotes, flowers and herbs, which are sourced from farmers markets and friends back yards.” Sidecar’s secret isn’t just that they make great doughnuts,…

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