It's National Grilled Cheese Month, and you celebrate everyday by trying some of the best in grilled cheese creations at some of my fave spots.

At Zinc Café & Market in Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar, I can't get enough of the gruyere cheese grilled in sourdough with pickles, marinated onions and tomato and served with whole grain mustard for $8.95.

Zinc is at 3222 E. Coast Hwy in Corona del Mar and 350 Ocean Ave. in Laguna Beach. For more information, call Corona del Mar at (949) 719-9462 or Laguna Beach at (949) 494-6302 or visit

Eat Chow in Costa Mesa makes a simple grilled cheese sandwich with your choice of wheat or sourdough, cheddar and muenster, but I say go for the combo. It comes with avocado, tomato (ask for bacon, too) and your choice of soup or salad for $7.50 to $9.50. If it happens to be tomato soup, order that — yum!

Eat Chow is at 1802 Newport Blvd. in Costa Mesa. For more information, call (949) 650-2469 or visit

At Avanti Café in Costa Mesa, I'm obsessed with the Avanti grilled cheese goodness, with havarti and white cheddar, blood orange honey Dijon, garlic shallot arugula and spinach melted on Avanti cranberry walnut bread. It's served with a side of dressed organic mixed greens for $9.

Avanti Café is at 259 E. 17th St. in Costa Mesa. For more information, call (949) 548-2224 or visit

The Lazy Dog Café in Huntington Beach, Westminster, Orange and Irvine serves an indulgent grilled cheese sandwich with cheddar, gouda and jack cheeses melted between parmesan sourdough toast for $8.25. We say order this with a side of Cajun fries with chipotle ranch for an extra 95 cents. Pure heaven. For locations, visit

Forget the soup of the day at the Crow Bar and Kitchen in Corona del Mar. James Beard-nominated chef John Cuevas serves up daily classic grilled cheese sandwiches. A few of Cuevas' unique grilled cheese sandwiches of the day include smoked mozzarella and provolone with cured meats and spicy mustard on wheat bread.

The Crow Bar is at 2325 E. Coast Hwy. in Corona Del Mar. For more information, call (949) 675-0070 or visit


Plants and veggies for sale

The students at Orange Coast College's Horticulture Department have been busy growing vegetable seedlings and flowering pots so you can plant a beautiful spring garden. To support school programs, visit OCC's annual spring plant sale the next three Fridays, April 22 through May 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Horticulture Garden Nursery near the Adams Avenue parking lot.

More than 2,500 plants will be on sale, including heirloom tomatoes, bell and chili peppers, squash, cucumbers, basil and 14-inch parsley bowls, as well as beautiful scaevolas, mixed-color baskets, geraniums and hydrangeas. Orange Coast College is located at 2701 Fairview Road in Costa Mesa. For more information, call the plant sale hotline at (714) 432-0202, ext. 26533, or visit


Tour de Force, again

For one night only, Tour de Force II brings a phenomenal cast of international dance stars on stage at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Anyone who was fortunate enough to see the original Tour de Force in 2009, can vouch that the performance at 7:30 p.m. April 28 will be an incredible night of dance artistry. Tickets to Tour de Force II start at $40 and are available at at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787.