Experiencing a culinary delicacy doesn't get much better than Crab Tuesdays at AnQi Gourmet Bistro & Noodle Bar at South Coast Plaza. It's a rare weekly foodie event hosted by celebrity Chef Helene An, the matriarch and executive chef of all An Family restaurants.
She travels from Beverly Hills to cook her famous garlic roasted crab that she perfected at Crustacean in Beverly Hills and San Francisco decades ago, served with her legendary garlic noodles. (Even AnQi's Chef Ryan Carson doesn't know her garlic roasted crab and garlic noodle recipe.)
An prepares the meal in her secret kitchen that only family members and chefs who have worked with the family for more than a decade can enter. The crab Tuesdays experience is limited, so it's best to reserve your Dungeness crab order a minimum of 24 hours in advance.
The roasted crab dish is available in the shell ($48) or shelled ($53), which is easier to eat; in the shell is preferred by the An family. Along with the crab, you can order appetizers and other courses, such as the char-grilled jumbo prawns with saffron fries, fra mani chorizo, manilla clams, piquillo pepper fumer and quinzoi liaison a la carte.
Fall by the beach
As soon as Labor Day comes and goes, the summer crowds in Laguna Beach will be gone, yet the beautiful weather will be breathtaking. So a stay at the oceanfront Inn at Laguna Beach can make a perfect getaway. Everything you need is within walking distance: the beach, shopping, art galleries, restaurants and the Laguna Art Museum.
The Inn at Laguna Beach overlooks Main Beach, Laguna Village and Heisler Park, and it's offering a special fall rate that's hard to beat: From $139 per night, you can book a village view room. Just book the room online at http://www.innatlagunabeach.com or call (888) 740-7178 by Sept. 10, for a stay from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31. Mention the promo code: PROOCT. The rate doesn't include resort fee, incidental charges or taxes, and blackout dates can apply.
Inn at Laguna Beach is at 211 N. Coast Hwy. in Laguna Beach.
Opt for organic
Sprouts Farmers Market is celebrating its grand opening at its new East 17th Street store in Costa Mesa. Find incredible savings on great-tasting, fresh foods and a variety of popular items for just $1 and $2 through Sunday.
Sprouts features natural, organic and indulgence foods at a great value, including heaps of fresh produce, all natural meats, fresh seafood delivered almost daily and more than 300 bins of bulk rice, spices, nuts, grains and coffee.
It's open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily at 222 E. 17th St. in Costa Mesa. For more information, visit sprouts.com.
Five Guys, one more location
The DC-area burger chain with a cult-like following, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, has hit Orange County big time with seven locations, most recently at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.
Five Guys is famous for its ultra-simple menu: just grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled veggie and cheese sandwiches, French fries and Cajun fries, Coke and water.
Not sure why you need this many options, but they say there are 250,000 possible ways to order a burger. Five Guys prides itself on fresh ground beef burgers and a menu that's completely trans-fat free.