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June 07, 2019

Irvine’s Neighbors: Costa Mesa

When you ask most people in the world what they know California for, most will say entertainment. Southern California is the entertainment capital of the world, and Orange County plays a large part in that. While Los Angeles may be the main source of international attention, Costa Mesa is where Californians go for their entertainment. Here is a handy guide to our neighbors to the west, the City of the Arts, Costa Mesa.

City of the Arts

Fans of the theater, music, studio arts, and more will find Costa Mesa to be an ideal place to be. This creative oasis is home to such cultural powerhouses as the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, South Coast Repertory, and the Pacific Amphitheater, among others. The Segerstrom contains 4 performance spaces of varying sizes where you can see everything from ballet to the Pacific Symphony to Broadway musicals. Alongside the Segerstrom Center is South Coast Repertory, a Tony Award-winning theater company that is known worldwide as one of America’s leading producers of new plays. South Coast Rep has been home to numerous plays that have gone on to win Tony’s, Pulitzers, and every other prize imaginable. And finally, the Pacific Amphitheater is the best place in OC to see some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Dwight Yoakam, Seal, Weezer, and Capital Cities. They have also hosted a number of legends over the years, like Madonna, Van Halen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Chicago, and Weird Al.

In addition to performing arts, Costa Mesa is home to a stunning amount of incredible sculptures along the Costa Mesa Art Walk. This meandering path of art includes dozens of art installations around the city. You can find a map of all the pieces here.

The Art of Food

Foodies rejoice! Costa Mesa is a culinary capital with something delicious for everyone. Try the award-winning Spanish cuisine of Chef Amar Santana at Vaca. Chef Santana gained fame from his stint on the hit show Top Chef, and his cooking makes it clear why he was a fan favorite!  For a meal that helps the community, try dining at Toast Kitchen and Bakery. You’ll get an incredibly delicious meal and a warm feeling knowing you helped others in need. Toast donates 10% of all earnings every month to a different local charity, something you rarely see in the culinary world. Or try the works of the hottest chef in town, Chef Carlos Salgado at Taco Maria. Chef Salgado is a four-time James Beard award semifinalist and won Best New Chef by Food & Wine, along with Taco Maria being named Restaurant of the Year by the Los Angeles Times.

The Retail Arts

We talked about South Coast Plaza in an earlier blog post, but it is hard to say enough about this city of shopping.  It is the largest shopping center on the entire west coast and with more than $1.5 billion in annual sales, it is the top grossing mall in the country! With one of the highest concentrations of luxury stores in the world, it is an internationally famous shopping destination for lovers of fashion. Here, you’ll find designers like Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Hermès and Harry Winston to Gucci, Fendi, and Prada. It’s a must-visit for any shopaholic!

Costa Mesa is more than just an Orange County suburb. It is a world class destination for all things art! Do you have a favorite Costa Mesa stop? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram. And follow along with our blog here for more Orange County info!

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