First stop on our SoCal Orange County road trip was, what else but a bakery.  Sweet Lili’s Bakery is right off  freeway 5 in Laguna Hills and if you watch Fox 5 with Shally, Lili is her mom.  Lili has been turning out Persian desserts and flatbreads for many years. I spotted a cream filled napoleon and the puff pastry was flaky with rich and creamy filling.  She is a proud mother, grandmother and bakery owner. That’s a lot of hard work.

The fish tacos in this neighborhood bar and restaurant were so good. We met friends in Huntington Beach and with their suggestions of upscale and casual places for lunch, Pelican Isle was comfy and lively. The place reminded me of years back on Shelter Island in San Diego and the waterfront marinas. This time of year is such a good time to drive through the SoCal beach towns with light traffic and few beach goers. Ah, SoCal has much to offer once you get off freeway 5 and explore.

The people we meet are special, like Ambassador Tommy at Five Crowns restaurant in Corona Del Mar. When he arrived in the US from Liverpool, England, he saw the restaurant’s British phone booth, applied for a job and has been there 50 plus years. The restaurant is part of Lawry’s group known for creamed spinach, corn, prime rib and Yorkshire pudding. Tommy is one of the most cheerful people you will meet who loves his job.

Sweet Lili’s Bakery 23016 Lake Forest Dr, Laguna Hills, Ca  949.716.5474.

Pelican Isle Restaurant and Bar  16400 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, Ca. 562.592.3221

Five Crowns Restaurant   3801 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar, Ca 949.760.0331