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It’s a Craft Life in Santa Ana With Derek May of Nook Real Estate

Expert: Derek May Things to do in Santa Ana
Credentials: Co-Founder and VP of Marketing, Nook Real Estate 


I’m not sure which is better, the food at Lola Gaspar—or the people behind it. The managing owners, Eddie and Chef Luis are world class. They run seasonal specials on Monday nights. Right now it’s prime rib. Yes, prime rib! Twenty-five beautiful ounces from our local butcher. Loaded baked potato, chef’s salad with house made blue cheese dressing, sautéed greens, dinner rolls… the whole 9. Not exactly Latin Tapas (which is what made them popular), right? This group doesn’t take themselves too seriously, even though their food is five stars. Refreshing, right? Speaking of refreshing, have Eddie make you a craft cocktail – he never disappoints.
 Things to do in Santa Ana


A list about Santa Ana wouldn’t be proper without Taco Tuesday, right? We hit the Green Parrot frequently. It’s only open two days a week to the public, Sunday Brunch and Taco Tuesday – so plan accordingly. All you can eat both days, carne asada, blackened fish, shrimp and el pastor tacos on house made (always fresh and warm) tortillas. Margaritas and Drafts half price. Traditional Spanish setting, outside patio, music and extra attentive staff. Those tortillas though.
Things to do in Santa Ana


About midweek, it’s time to cook at home and chill out a little. We go to 4th Street Market to grab our products. Electric City Butcher is a legit neighborhood butcher located within 4th Street Market. Meat so beautiful you’d feel guilty if you overcooked it. We buy our protein there and then complement our selection with side dishes from Alta Baja. Farm to table produce and hand-crafted accoutrements. Great craft beer and wine selection.


When you are surrounded by great food, you can’t help but want to sharpen your own skills. Hipcooks is a hands-on cooking class done in a group setting, somewhat intimate with usually around 12-16 people. Very couple friendly. You cook and eat family style, which is fun. Most classes have an alcohol pairing, which loosens up the crowd. My wife and I enjoy it so much we actually assist the instructor from time to time in exchange for a great meal and credits towards a free class.
Things to do in Santa Ana


Gotta start the weekend off right, so fresh and so clean. American Barber is a traditional barber shop with some of OC’s most talented barbers. When I say traditional, I mean straight razor – true gentlemen kind of stuff. I see Mike or Joe to keep me lined up proper. All men in Santa Ana are well groomed in general. If you see a nice clean fade or a legit beard on a dude in OC, chances are he lives in/or gets cut in DTSA.
Things to do in Santa Ana


Santa Ana comes alive for Artwalk (first Saturday of every month). It’s a must attend event for anyone who has never checked out DTSA. Live music, galleries, museums, restaurants, bars, street vendors – you name it! The CSUF exhibits never disappoint. So much young talent in this city, all on display in one night. The elevated patio at Native Son Alehouse gives a great vantage point of 4th. Start there will a crafty brew at sunset before you make your way out into the streets.
Things to do in Santa Ana

Sunday Things to do in Santa Ana

Sundays are made for brunching, and Chapter One does it right. Bottomless mimosas from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Come for the champs, stay for the food. Big, bold flavors courtesy of renowned OC Chef “Chicken Wing”. Live music and/or DJ every Sunday. Ask for the owner JJ, he’s always in the mix.

Derek May Explores the Nooks and Crannies of Santa Ana