The O.C. imitating, um, the E.V.? Hold the sushi, waiter, with so many Scottsdale-originated restaurants showing up in Orange County, it looks as though people in California are acknowledging our existence — and we’re not talking about merely asking directions for how to move here.
Lamentable as it is to us that the networks are unlikely to create a drama called, “The E.V.,” that Fox’s “The O.C.” is supposedly based on a more hip and happening place than the East Valley means that TV executives haven’t looked closely enough to find that the O.C. is looking more like the E.V. every day.
We published Orange County Register reporter Tiffany Montgomery’s story Tuesday about how several restaurants with Scottsdale roots are now found in Orange County, Calif., cities as well. Scottsdale eateries we’ve all been familiar with for years — among them P.F. Chang’s, Z’Tejas. Fleming’s, Thaifoon, Pei Wei and now Wildfish Seafood Grille — are serving their cuisine on the breezy verandas of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, Calif.
There’s apparently gold in them there O.C. residents’ wallets, our own restaurateurs told Montgomery, who don’t seem to mind that many of the O.C.’s upscale places to be seen at fine dining — even those serving seafood — have absolutely no California origins at all, but were the culinary creations of — gasp — Arizonans.
Yes, the beach folks do like to lampoon us as “Zonies” and such, and yet they’re not letting such feelings of superiority preventing them from patronizing our restaurants. Scottsdale’s demographics are similar to Orange County’s upscale cities, as Montgomery reported, and the resulting Scottsdale-Newport axis is an easy fit.
So, if our restaurants are showing up in Southern California, does that mean there’s hope for a Valley-based prime-time TV comedy or drama? It’s been a long time since Phoenix-based “Alice” and “The New Dick Van Dyke Show” of the 1970s. (We’re not counting “Medium” — it’s about a real person.)
How about, “CSI: Chandler” or “Scottsdale Legal”? Hmmmm. Heck, we’ve already got the great restaurants over whose tables the characters could exchange knowing glances and plot revenge — or complain, “Waiter, there’s a scorpion in my soup.” It’s just a matter of time, we’re certain.