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By Elisabeth Abrahamson | Contributor




Photo credit courtesy of Open Market OC

With two Orange County locations (Main Place Mall in Santa Ana and Laguna Hills Mall in Laguna Hills) and with more than 200 vendors at each site, you’re bound to take home a treasure or two from Open Market OC. This pop-up-turned-permanent shopping experience features local and small business owners who specialize in fashion, art, beauty, vintage, handmade items, and even prepackaged food like sprinkle-covered Rice Krispie Treats and dark chocolate and peanut butter fudge. Shoppers can browse pampas grass and dried flowers from Hadley and Ren or vintage glassware and thrifted art from Good Buy James. Open Market OC is open seven days a week. (949) 485-0322. OPENMARKET.COM


We asked Jason Quinn, chef of downtown Santa Ana’s recently shuttered Playground, to tell us how he came up with his newest culinary adventure, a bagel shop called Dough Exchange. His response? “A 34-year-old self-loathing Jew’s favorite food plus pandemic boredom.” Quinn’s bagels aren’t your typical dough and schmear. Options range from the Missionary, a French toast bagel with egg soufflé, bacon, cultured butter, and maple syrup to K-Pop, a Goma Shio bagel with kimchi schmear, roasted turkey breast, chile-garlic crunch, and pickled cucumbers. Quinn’s go-to order? The Street Corn bagel. “I rip the jalapeno cheddar bagels and dip them into our esquites schmear, which has roasted corn, roasted jalapenos, lime zest, chile powder, and cilantro.” Did someone say new favorite brunch spot? Find more information @DOUGHEXCHANGE on Instagram.

Photo Credits @villavisuals.jpg

Photo credit courtesy of Dough Exchange


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Photo credit courtesy of Heritage Barbecue

Located in Historic San Juan Capistrano, Heritage Barbecue continues to wow meat eaters with its protein-packed plates. Choose from citrus-marinated smoked chicken, pulled pork, smoked turkey breast, brisket, and prime beef ribs (on weekends only!). The sides are just as important and just as tasty. We like the Texas-style queso, chili, classic mac with smoked sausage, brisket beans, deviled egg potato salad, and banana bread pudding. Bring a few sides of the house-made bourbon barbecue sauce home because you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t. Fair warning: You will most likely have to wait in line. Bring a book or game to keep busy, and maybe even a folding chair. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. HERITAGECRAFTBBQ.COM


Did you know that Tustin’s Mess Hall teamed up with Santa Ana’s non-profit theater The Frida Cinema to create monthly drive-in and dine-ins? This uber-popular pop-up started as a Tuesdays-only special, but now screens movies eight-plus days per month. Before heading up to the parking structure rooftop—where you’ll watch the flicks—pick up a bite to eat from any of Mess Hall’s vendors. We love Big Parm, The Little Greek, Saigon Kitchen, The Sandwich Society, and Fowl Play. After you grab your grub, get ready to enjoy a family-friendly cult-classic or horror-themed film from the comfort of your car. Check the website for an updated screening schedule.

(714) 285-9422. THEFRIDACINEMA.ORG.

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Photo credit courtesy of Mess Hall


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Photo credit courtesy of B.Yellowtail

Bethany Yellowtail draws inspiration for her line B.Yellowtail from her upbringing in the Mighty Few District of the Crow Nation. Not only does she design incredibly beautiful pieces of her own (don’t miss the Sun-Centered Tee and the B.Yellowtail x Faherty Paloma Duster), she also sells a curated collection of jewelry, accessories, and handmade items from Native American and indigenous artists on her website, too. Yellowtail, who currently lives and designs in Los Angeles, also is an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation. She believes in the importance of being an unapologetic voice of authenticity in a world where indigenous images are often stolen and misappropriated. BYELLOWTAIL.COM


Founder and CEO Koreen Odiney created We’re Not Really Strangers (also known as WNRS, pronounced “winners”) card game with the intention of empowering meaningful connections with others. The game features three carefully crafted levels of questions and wildcards, which allow players to deepen existing relationships and create new ones. Before Odiney launched her successful card game, she photographed people on the streets of Los Angeles. Odiney always asked her subjects the same three questions: What’s your name, age, and passion? One day after a modeling gig, she photographed a man who told her “you’re going to write a book one day and it’s going to be called We’re Not Really Strangers.” One thing led to another and now the card game has its own Instagram page with more than 3.8 million followers. WERENOTREALLYSTRANGERS.COM

We're Not Really Strangers, Product

Photo credit courtesy of W'e're Not Really Strangers


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Photo credit courtesy of Diaspora Co.

Born and raised in postcolonial Mumbai—and working at the intersection of food and culture—Diaspora Co. founder and CEO Sana Javeri Kadri realized that farmers didn’t make a living and that spices coming out of these farms were flavorless and dull. Wanting to create change, Kadri spent 10 months in India, visiting countless farms to do her own research. Her vision was to create a radically new and equitable version of the spice trade, decolonizing a commodity back into a seasonal crop and a broken system into equal exchange. Support Diaspora Co.’s efforts by shopping spices such as Pragati Turmeric (zesty, floral, and unlike any turmeric you’ve ever had); Sivathei Chilies (fruity with fragrant notes of pineapple, maple, and guava—it’s also the seventh hottest chile in the world); and Kashmiri Saffron (notes of honey, jasmine, and almond). (510) 221-4090. DIASPORACO.COM

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