Huntington for Fun!

We’d like to introduce you to  Lori Thompson. Lori is an established realtor with Coldwell Banker Beachside Realtors, in Huntington Beach California.  Lori resides in this beautiful beach resort selling luxury properties and the lifestyle of Huntington Beach to those seeking the California dream!

We’re thrilled and excited to be presenting Lori’s column for Home and Realty Magazine – “Huntington for Fun.”  In her column this top producing realtor  shares with you some of her favorite insider fun filled suggestions to popular restaurants, shopping, events, entertainment, and beautiful destinations while exploring Surf City USA!

Jul 122016
Huntington For Fun by Lori Thompson

Huntington For Fun
by Lori Thompson

Hello Home & Realty Magazine readers and welcome back to Huntington for Fun!

It is so exciting to be introducing all of the new and fun things to do in Huntington Beach’s new Pacific City!

Today we are going to learn about Old Crow Smokehouse! It’s located in Pacific City on Pacific Coast Highway and First Street. Old Crow is upstairs on the second level with plenty of ambiance to go along with it! This restaurant is a one of a kind here in HB. Nowhere else can you dine, drink and dance to live country music, while enjoying an ocean view!

Old Crow Smokehouse

Old Crow SmokeHouse

Old Crow Smokehouse was started by Michael Gonzales in Chicago 2012. He named the restaurant after Old Crow Bourbon. When Michael was 19 years old, he worked at his cousins restaurant in Chicago… he washed dishes, bused and waited tables, and all the while learning the restaurant business. Eventually he opened his own restaurant and not only was he successful at it but, he enjoyed it as well! Michael continued to open restaurants in the Chicago area, some even had a Mexican twist, such as his restaurant called Mo’s Cantina … all were successful. The first actual Old Crow Smokehouse started near Wrigley Field in a town called River North 4 years ago. Michael had a great idea to combine great Southern BBQ with good old fashion live country entertainment. The Old Crow Smokehouse in Chicago is iconic and has been going strong ever since they opened.

Through word of mouth, Michael was offered an opportunity to open a new restaurant here in Huntington Beach at the new Pacific City!!! Wow, from Chicago to Huntington Beach California? This was a chance he could not pass up! Michael took a chance, packed up his bags (and his chef) and left his 6 successful restaurants to come here and delight us with his Smokehouse concept!

Old Crow Smokehouse in Huntington Beach has something for everyone! From its rustic full length bar to the live country music … and food everywhere in between! The sliders were fantastic!! You can choose from pulled pork, BBQ chicken or brisket sliders… they are all delicious! There is a full bar stocked with anything you can think up! Lots and lots of appetizers to choose from! Delicious corn dogs with sausage instead of franks, fried okra, smoked Buffalo wings, pulled pork eggrolls and much more! The dry rub baby back ribs are the BEST I’ve ever had! The dry rub is made by Master Chef Tony Scruggs, in fact, he creates all the recipes. They are the meatiest ribs I’ve ever had in my life! Very good quality! I’ve actually met Tony in person and he is very proud of his dry rub recipe … he loves Huntington Beach! On Thursday nights Old Crow has live karaoke! This is no ordinary karaoke … these people have talent! Check it out, you will be impressed! On Friday and Saturday night you can enjoy live country music and dancing until 1:00 in the morning! Yay!!! Any other day of the week, you can enjoy the good food and beach atmosphere … a very positive place!

IMG_6520So, the next time you are looking to enjoy good barbeque and you like live entertainment, hop on over the Old Crow Smokehouse in Pacific City … You will love it!


Mar 252016


Ola Mexican Kitchen - Home & Realty Magazine

Proprietor Toby Reese, welcomes Coldwell Banker agents Elena Zimina, Lori Thompson, Stacey Kuhne-Mercer for an epicurean delight at his brand new Ola Mexican Kitchen!

Ola Mexican Kitchen

Hello, Lori Thompson, Elena Zimina and Stacey Mercer, are so excited to feature this month’s Huntington for Fun article in Home and Realty Magazine! Huntington Beach has a new addition to its city… its Pacific City! Pacific City is a new center on Pacific Coast Highway filled with shops, a work out gym and several outstanding restaurants. We have been looking forward to sharing some of these restaurants with our H&R readers. The first restaurant we have chosen to feature is Ola! Ola, which is Spanish for “wave” and Hawaiian for “life”, is the inspiration behind Ola Mexican Kitchen, an exciting and tasty new first-to-market culinary concept from the Huntington Beach-based team behind the popular Mahe restaurants in Seal Beach and Dana Point. Ola has a Mexican concept unlike any other Mexican restaurant I’ve ever experienced. Owned by Toby Reese and Tony Andrews, Ola is an upscale, ocean view, positive energy kind of restaurant. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Toby and learning how Ola was born.

Ola Mexican Kitchen - Home & Realty MagazineIn 9th grade, Toby got his first job washing dishes in Wrightwood, CA. He and his family moved to Huntington Beach where he continued working in restaurants washing dishes, waiting and cleaning tables. He was persistent in working in the restaurant business, gaining experience at the Red Lobster in Seal Beach and worked as the head server at Charlie Browns in Newport Beach. In 1999, Toby and Tony opened Mahe, which used to be the Old Glider Inn. It is delicious seafood, sushi and night time live music on the weekends. There is a second Mahe in Dana Point, 8 years successful. Toby is a family man with 2 boys and a beautiful wife. He originally trained to be a fire fighter, but fate would have a different plan for him. He has been President of Ocean View Little League for the past 5 years and on the board for 10. Toby cares about people and his community.

Toby and Tony had been approached by Pacific City to open another Mahe. After careful consideration, Toby had decided Pacific City did not need another sushi or seafood restaurant, because there are already two amazing restaurants that specialize in this type of cuisine. What Pacific City needed was the Mexican concept they had been dreaming about all these years… the idea was shared and Bam!!! Ola was born!

Ola Mexican Kitchen - Home & Realty Magazine
Ola is a cozy 8,000 square foot restaurant with incredible food. Not to mention the views cannot be beat! The outdoor patio is a great place to watch the sunset as you enjoy Sashimi grade Ahi Poke served in a large martini glass with fresh avocado and plantains for a little crunch. Their chips and salsa are amazing! The chips are 100% corn and 95% gluten free. They have a great assortment of tacos ranging from carnitas, fish, lobster, salmon or more. There is a grilled rib eye enchilada that I must try! If you are in to queso, theirs is crazy good! Called the Queso Fundido… melted Chihuahua cheese, chorizo and pico de gallo, served with fresh chips! If you are into a refreshing cocktail, Ola has some pretty fun drinks… named after a surf break in Mexico, the El Dragon, made with Jalapenos and cucumbers is very fresh and tasty. Everything at Ola is made fresh to order. It does not pass the chefs approval if it is not fresh! Ola is quality and affordable food with a loving caring touch for the people eating it. Toby is also looking into introducing live music… it will be authentic Mexican background music… very classy! If you are ever in the Huntington Beach area, you must stop by Pacific City and enjoy dinner or even just an appetizer at this new beautiful ocean view restaurant Ola… you will love the experience!!

Elena, Stacey, Toby Reese, and Lori

We look forward to meeting all of our friends at Ola to experience the greatest Mexican food, impeccable beachfront views and superior service!

Ola Mexican Kitchen - Home & Realty Magazine


Nov 142015
Seacliff 2015 Fundraiser in Huntington Beach

What’s special about Huntington Beach? The community for starters… Huntington for Fun would like to educate the community on some of the activities we participate in. About 6 years ago our very own Stuart Thomas was approached by Barbara Meyer to donate to Collette’s Children’s Home. She had asked him to donate $1000 as he [Continue reading…]

Aug 212015
Vans US Open of Surfing

It is a pleasure to write this month’s Huntington for Fun column on Huntington Beach’s largest and well known events… The Vans U.S. Open!!! Each year this world wide event is held just in front of our favorite Dukes Restaurant on the south side of the pier, located at Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway. [Continue reading…]

May 192015
Coach's Mediterranean Bar & Grill

Hello Huntington Beach! It is again time for Huntington for Fun! This month you are going to learn about one of the best restaurants, bar & grill and restaurant owners this beautiful city has to offer! The restaurant is Coach’s Mediterranean Grill & Bar and its owner is Coach! The location is perfect, the food [Continue reading…]

Mar 102015
HB Equestrian Center

This month Elena, Stacey and I are featuring Huntington Beach’s very own equestrian center. It is located on Goldenwest Street between Ellis and Slater and is one of Huntington Beach’s hidden gems! It is situated on 25 acres of beautiful, sea-breezed land, just 2-miles from the beach. Home to nearly 400 horses, with multiple trainers [Continue reading…]

Feb 222015
Doppio Zero Pizzeria Huntington Beach

by Stacey Kuhne- Mercer, Elena Zimina, and Lori Thompson Agents of Coldwell Banker Beachside Realtors Doppio Zero Pizzeria Huntington Beach Restaurant Review Welcome back to Huntington Beaches’ “Huntington For Fun”! This month Stacey, Elena and I are featuring a new kid in town…. “Doppio Zero Pizzeria”. Doppio Zero brings a bit of Italy to Huntington [Continue reading…]

Jan 152015
Duke’s Restaurant Review

Welcome back to Huntington Beaches’ “Huntington For Fun”! This month we are featuring our very own Dukes of Huntington Beach. Duke’s brings aloha spirit and a bit of history to Huntington Beach, and its location atop the Huntington Beach Pier gives guests a view of the shoreline’s legendary surf! Today, we are here, Lori Thompson, [Continue reading…]

Dec 162014
Welcome to Huntington for Fun!

Welcome to Home and Realty Magazine! We’d like to introduce our Huntington for Fun experts, Stacey Mercer, Lori Thompson and Elena Zimina. We’re established realtors with Coldwell Banker Beachside in Huntington Beach California, and reside in this beautiful beach community as well. We’re thrilled and excited to be co-publishing our new column for Home and [Continue reading…]