The very best of L.A. & Orange County

Photos: Lee Walters Photography

A new destination has opened for foodies of SoCal, and for others who just want a good meal or an after-dinner treat.

LOT 579, named after Lifeguard Towers 5, 7 and 9, located directly across the street from Pacific City, where the newly opened location makes its home, has something for everyone. Here there is everything from ocean-to-table seafood, Australian meat pies to champagne, homemade ice cream and even handcrafted gelato pops. In addition to what’s already available, burgers, pizza by the slice, and much more is still to come. LOT 579 is sure to make for destination dining; here’s what’s opened so far:

Bear Flag Fish Company

Started in 2007 with its third location now opened in LOT 579, Bear Flag Fish Company sources their fish locally with an eye toward sustainability. Not only is this a full-service restaurant, it also has a fresh fish market where you can purchase a variety of fresh seafood to take home and prepare and there’s a sushi bar where you can sidle up and have your sushi prepared right in front of you. When you go, try the Bear Flag Fish Tacos, one of the most popular items on the menu. Panko crusted white fish with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo and in-house dressing called ‘Tommy sauce’ makes this a winning combination. Go on Taco Tuesday for $2 each. Is Poke what you’re looking for instead? Who isn’t these days? Guess what, you’ve come to the right place. This location prepares an average of 40 pounds a day and serves it with rice or chips. Perfectly seasoned, those of us who love Poke can’t go wrong and it’s available by the pound if you want to grab-and-go. Located on the south end of Pacific City directly across the street from the Pacific Ocean, the food, and the view, can’t be beat for seafood lovers.

11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday and Monday
11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesday through Saturday


Billed as an “Aussie Style Bakery,” before visiting, I had visions of cinnamon rolls and homemade cookies, but this is a sweets bakery and more. With its second location now open, (its first is in Costa Mesa) Aussie-style gourmet pies and savory pastries have come to Huntington Beach. One of its most popular items is the “Classic Dog’s Eye,” a catchy name for a dish made of hormone-free and pasture raised ground beef, minced onions and garlic, parsley and savory gravy. Another favorite is the “Drunken Cow,” a gourmet pie prepared with pasture raised beef, red wine, a little roasted garlic and pearl onions. It’s perfectly seasoned with thyme and marjoram, too. Fresh-made salads and sweet pastries, such as lemon bars and moist banana bread, round out the menu. This little slice of Australia is affordable with gourmet pies running $7.40 each, fresh salads at $4.50/small, $8.50/large and sweet and savory pastries, $1.50 to $4.50.


Photo courtesy of Pie Not
10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday
10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

Burnt Crumbs

Opened by the visionary crew that started Burnt Truck, Dogzilla, and Burntzilla, Burnt Crumbs is the first gourmet, artisanal sit-down sandwich shop the brand has opened. Don’t be fooled by the simple menu that normally has just five sandwiches, a couple of items called Toasts, and three daily sides. These sandwiches are packed with flavor and the combinations of different ingredients they’ve come up with will have you asking yourself why you didn’t think of putting them together. A crowd favorite is the Spaghetti Grilled Cheese sandwich. Made of spaghetti, meat sauce and mozzarella, and served on sourdough bread, it’ll have you re-envisioning just what a grilled cheese can be. Or my favorite, the Southern Fried Chicken sandwich. It’s a homemade biscuit filled with a buttermilk fried chicken breast, garlic potato spread, country gravy like Momma use to make and Sriracha honey, not like Momma use to make, but which ties it all together. Lighter appetites will appreciate the Avocado or Chicken Liver Toasts, and you can’t go wrong with the fresh cut fries and side of garlic aioli.


Photo courtesy of Burnt Crumbs
11 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily

Petals and Pop

A glass of champagne and fresh-cut flowers; they seemed to be made for each other. A Seal Beach favorite, Petals and Pop, brings its creativity and exquisite champagne bar to LOT 579. Although no food items are offered, who doesn’t like a nice glass, or two, of champagne every once in awhile? With offerings from France, Italy, Sonoma County, and Ceres, Calif., available on the day I visited, including Villa Sandi Prosecco, a Nicolas Feuillate Brut Rose′ and a Blanc de Bleu Cuvee, you really can’t go wrong with any of the nine options offered on the menu. Available from $9 to $24/glass, and $27 to $110/bottle, there’s something for every price point. Stop by and have a glass and when done take a single stem, or elegant bouquet home to that special someone. A grand opening is planned for Aug. 26.

11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday through Wednesday
11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday

Hans Homemade Ice Cream

A local Orange County favorite since 1972, Hans’ opens its first location in Huntington Beach. Using only the richest cream from local dairies, it churns out small batches on-site. In addition to enjoying any of the numbers of flavors, ask for a sample of as many as you’d like to try, it also serves up killer shakes, sundaes, chocolate-dipped bananas and more. From the classic banana split, with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream, topped with chocolate fudge, pineapple and strawberry toppings, bananas, nuts, whipped cream, with a wafer and finished off with a cherry to the Gold Digger Sundae. A beautiful concoction of coffee and chocolate ice cream, chocolate fudge and butterscotch toppings, nuts, whipped cream with a wafer and also topped with a cherry. Bring your sweet tooth!

12 p.m. to 10 p.m., daily


The rapidly growing Popbar, with locations throughout the U.S. and in five countries, has brought its highly addictive treat to LOT 579. Who knew the tried-and-true Popsicle, (the first was invented in 1905), could be reworked into a treat that has my mouth watering as I type. Handmade fresh daily, Popbar offers Popgelato, Popsorbetto and Yogurt Pops with each totally customizable. With more than 40 flavors in rotation, the customer picks out the type of bar they want and then chooses a “Popping,” such as pistachios, coconut or crushed waffle cone, followed by a “Chocolate Dipping” of white, mint or caramel dark, or other available chocolate. You’re only limited by your imagination, as the combinations are endless and this is a place you’ll find yourself visiting time and again.


11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday through Thursday
11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday

Portola Coffee Lab

The writers at called it “one of the most ambitious, professional, and exciting coffee experiences we’ve ever had.” Roast Magazine named Portola the prestigious 2015 Micro Roaster of the Year. First opened in 2011 in Costa Mesa, the owners bring their unique vision of what the coffee experience should be to LOT 579. Traveling to the far stretches of Africa, South and Central Americas every year in search of the perfect raw ingredients, it’s an unyielding quest that leads them to the most dedicated farmers and growers on earth. Roasting 85,000 pounds of coffee a year (and growing!), you can enjoy a coffee experience here unlike any you’ve had before. It really must be seen to be believed!

(c) Portola Coffee

Photo courtesy of Portola Coffee
7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday & Sun
7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday

In the works for LOT 579 are several other establishments that will compliment what’s already opened. The American Dream, a burger and craft beer spot, Frosted Cupcakery, a fan favorite cupcake bakery, Il Barone Italian Street Food, serving whole pies and pizza by the slice and Mahogany Smoked Meats, a nationally famous smoked meats company who’s bringing its new premium jerky concept to LOT 579, are all scheduled to open early to late fall.

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