This June, we attended the American Library Association Annual Conference in Anaheim, CA. Though I was looking forward to being back in Southern California, neither of us were especially looking forward to spending time around the Anaheim Convention Center. We are not Disney fans, and there is little else in the immediate area other than Disneyland and assorted chain restaurants. However, I knew that if we could just get a few miles away from the convention center, there was plenty of good eating and drinking to be had. We knew it would be a challenge, since we didn’t have a car, but we were determined to get away if we could.
For our first adventure, we took a cab to Anepalco’s Cafe in Orange, CA for breakfast. My friends had been raving about it for years, and it did not disappoint. Everything on the menu looked amazing, but I decided to go with their famous Huevos Divorciados. Tom chose the Tortilla Andora La Vella, with goat cheese, Spanish chorizo, and spring onion. Delicious!
While Anepalco’s was definitely worth the trip, we realized we weren’t going to be able to afford to keep cabbing it everywhere. That afternoon, we were trying to decide between hanging out in Orange or Downtown Santa Ana. Fortunately Tom figured out that the OCTA 83 bus went directly from Anaheim to Downtown Santa Ana for only $1.50. Public transportation FTW! That made our decision for us.
We loved DTSA from the moment we stepped off the bus, with its charming architecture and down-to-earth feel. We walked around to get our bearings, before settling on Lola Gaspar for lunch – yet another place my friends have been raving about.
Lola Gaspar is located in the “Artists Village” and is part of the beautiful Santora Building. We got a table outside and took in the view on this lovely Southern California afternoon. Out food was wonderful: I got an order of skirt steak tacos, Tom got a veggie burrito, and we shared an order of bacon-wrapped dates for dessert.
Afterwards we went inside the Santora Building and took in some of the art galleries.
We also stopped for a few cocktails at Chapter One, another place recommended by my friends. I got the “Belly of the Beast” (Housemade bacon bourbon, Luxardo cherry liquor, Dolin vermouth, Kampot tincture), and Tom got the “Vampyre” (Cockburn tawny port, Angel’s Envy bourbon, blood orange juice, lemon juice, Angostura bitters).
During the bulk of the conference, we didn’t have time to get away from Anaheim as much. But we made due with the local P.F. Changs for food & drinks and Alerto’s for breakfast burritos. Finally on our last day, we had another free afternoon and took the bus back down to Downtown Santa Ana.
This time we made Chapter One our first stop and ate some food there. Highlights included the bourbon scallop and Korean beef tacos.
Afterwards we went back to Lola Gaspar, intending only to have drinks, but ended up getting snacky again and ordering some wild boar bacon macaroni & cheese. Aw yeah.
Thus ended the “Anaheim” portion of our trip, though we spent as little time in Anaheim as possible. After that it was off to my hometown of Long Beach, CA for a few days of vacation. For more on our trip, see Tom’s Flickr set and Holly’s Flickr set.