Revisiting the heyday of department stores and five-and-dimes

Greer's OC: Support Amigos at Plaza

5 Points Plaza shopping center in Huntington Beach is supporting the Amigos de Bolsa Chica, and you can find out more about the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve and enter to win a $250 Five Points Plaza gift card at a booth Saturday.

Shop from the Amigos merchandise table and learn about birds and recycling with hands-on activities. 5 Points Plaza merchants and restaurants include Vans, Old Navy, Gap, Loehmann's, Trader Joe's, New York's Upper Crust Pizza and Hashigo Sushi.

The center is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at 18593 Main St. in Huntington Beach. For more information, call (714) 841-0036 or visit


Rave review for Pizzeria Ortica

You know something tastes good, if not great, when the not-easily-wooed Los Angeles Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila lovingly gives it a green light — especially in Orange County.

Well, she was smitten with the dishes at Pizzeria Ortica in Costa Mesa. She even said, "For one thing, the menu includes pasta, some of the best in Southern California, plus a fine antipasti and salad menu, and a handful of well-conceived main courses." Some of the best in SoCal — wow, that's saying a lot.

You can dine and bring the whole family to David Myers' fabulous Pizzeria Ortica for Family Style Mondays; $50 feeds three to four people. The special menu features choice of two salads, tricolore with treviso, arugula, endive, apples, Gorgonzola and candied walnuts, or L'Italo Americana with radicchio, romaine, endive, grilled zucchini, spicy salame, provolone, pickled peperoncini, red onion and cherry tomatoes. There is a choice of two fresh pastas: ravioli di burrata al pomodoro, a burrata-filled ravioli with fresh tomato and basil; or tagliatelle Bolognese, a hand-cut spinach pasta with traditional meat sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano.

There is also a choice of six handmade Napoli-style pizzas: marinara (crushed San Marzano tomatoes, garlic, Sicilian oregano); margherita (with crushed San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella and basil); prosciutto di parma e rucola; margherita with parma ham and wild arugula and salame piccante e funghi; margherita with spicy salame, mixed mushrooms and alla norma, cherry tomatoes, basil, eggplant, smoked mozzarella and ricotta salata, salsiccia with house-made sausage, caramelized fennel, mascarpone, red onion and buffalo grana; and lastly, milanesa with Fontina, asparagus, Parmigiano Reggiano and fried egg. There's also a choice of gelato for dessert, and you can splurge for $20 with select wines available, too. The restaurant is open for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and open for dinner 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday.

Pizzeria Ortica is at 650 Anton Blvd. in Costa Mesa. Complimentary two-hour parking with validation is available in the Plaza Tower parking structure. For more information, call (714) 445-4900 or visit


Moving sale for A'Maree's

A'Maree's historic moving sale is underway through Saturday — save up to 60% on select fashions.

The modern elegant boutique in Newport Beach will be moving to a new location on the Pacific Coast Highway that once housed Windows on the Bay and before that, Cano's in Newport Beach. The actual opening date is not set, but I hear October. A'Maree's carries some of the best in upscale fashions and accessories outside of New York and Europe.

The collections include special pieces and designers that you won't find elsewhere. A'Maree's carries Lanvin, Lucien Pellat-Finet, Balenciaga, Jil Sander, Dries Van Noten and many more. The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday at 1649 Westcliff Drive in Newport Beach. For more information, call (949) 642-4423 or visit


Give & Get

Enjoy a 30% savings at all Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy stores (even factory and outlet stores) and support Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in the Give & Get program through Sunday. Just print out the flier at and have it scanned at checkout.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will get 5% of what you spend (excludes the purchase of gift cards). Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic have stores in Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach.


Villeroy & Boch

Villeroy & Boch dinnerware exchange is underway through Sunday at South Coast Plaza. Simply bring in unwanted dinnerware, and you'll receive $3 off any new piece. Villeroy & Boch will donate pieces to Someone Cares Soup Kitchen in Costa Mesa.

And this Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m., meet Isabelle von Boch, an eighth-generation family member. She will be presenting "The Fashion of Tableware," hot tips on everyday tabletop décor. Guests can enjoy refreshments and free gifts with purchase, and with the purchase of $50 or more, receive a Villeroy & Boch candy dish signed by von Boch.

With the purchase of $350 or more, customers will receive a free coffeepot or teapot. (One per customer, not valid with online purchases.) The store is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Level 2 at South Coast Plaza's Macy's Home Store/Crate & Barrel wing. For more information, call (714) 540-6511.



GREER WYLDER writes Greer's OC for the Huntington Beach Independent each Thursday and the Daily Pilot and Coastline Pilot each Friday. She's the founder and president of, a free daily e-mail service that provides the latest in Orange County fashion, dining, music, events and trends. Her blog can be viewed and she can be contacted at

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