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On the islands where we work, women give birth without professional help, sometimes alone in the forest holding on to a tree, or in other unhygienic places. They have nowhere to go and no one to turn to when things go wrong. Children die of malaria, diarrhea, respiratory infections, and a lack of nutritious food. SurfAid is working at the frontline. Together with the local health department, we train the community health volunteers so that the whole community is involved in the care and support of pregnant women, mothers, and caregivers. With your support, we are saving lives in more than 50 villages in the Mentawai, Nias, Banyak and Telo islands. Please take a moment and donate today.

Photos by Dane Peterson

is to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people

FROM THE EDITOR * Fully cultured yet unshaven*

volume 1 * issue 7 * december 2013

Publisher/Editor Chris Lapham Director of sales/Senior Editor Steve Kang

It’s amazing how time flies. I feel like I blinked, and the next thing I know there is another year in the books. I can’t believe we’re almost to the New Year.

Senior Managing Editor Cory Waterhouse

For me, it’s been a year of transition, filled with many ups and downs. We’ve lost friends, family and colleagues, and at the same time welcomed new additions into the families of friends and loved ones. This year also marked the launch of Four EL Magazine, something near and dear to my heart. It’s been an interesting journey, filled with various challenges, learning experiences, and laughs. (And, the occasional argument) Doing business with close friends can be risky, but for all intents and purposes, it’s worked pretty well for the folks at Four EL. At the time of this writing, things are cruising along in typical winter fashion for America’s finest city. My beloved Chargers are still alive, albeit hanging on by a thread. There are countless New Year’s Eve parties planned throughout the county, celebrating everything great about San Diego’s culinary, beer and craft cocktail scene.

Director of Marketing Pete Rocky Creative Consultant/Photo Editor John Schnack Online Editor Jeran Fraser volunteer Assistant to the Assistant senior Editor matt fairbanks CONTRIBUTORS Mike “Mikey Beats” Beltran, Dale Hersey, Erik Martin, Lara Miller, Michelle Lyn,BJ Penn, Brady Phelps, Miles Roberson, Holly Sheets, Jason Stewart, Max Wettstein, Steve Woods, Andrea Zancha photographers Lauren Fraser, John Schnack, Andi Pianalto

This time of year its good to get out and see some live music. I’m still suffering from a Pearl Jam hangover. Those who know me well are aware that PJ is my favorite band on the planet. I was very fortunate to see them play in November, and I can honestly say it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen them play, and I’ve seen them a lot. We were treated to nearly four hours of pure musical heaven. Eddie and Matt both have family in San Diego, and maybe that provided some extra inspiration.


In addition to the major acts like Pearl Jam that play the larger venues, there’s also an incredible line up of winter shows at smaller venues such as the Casbah, Belly Up, Griffin and many, many more.






elliot the elf has been very busy this month.

He’s pooped!

If you get an opportunity to check FM 94/9’s Loud at Lunch series, I highly recommend it. We were fortunate enough to catch MS MR at the West Coast Tavern for intimate set with an audience of only 60 people. Good times.


As we bring this year to a close, I want to thank everyone that’s been a part of getting Four EL off the ground. We’re now seven issues in, and things are getting better each day. From the amazing group of contributors, to our advertising and media partners, it’s been an incredible experience. We couldn’t have done it without all of you. Lastly, I want to thank the Readers.

Four El Magazine 1880 Diamond St, San Marcos CA Phone: (760) 744-0911

I’m still truly humbled by all of the positive feedback, emails and comments we’ve received from you. It’s a strange feeling getting bombarded every time we go out with “when will the next issue be available, we can’t wait.” Without the readers, we wouldn’t be doing this. We have some really exciting things to introduce next year, so stay tuned. For everyone at Four EL, I’d like to extend to all of you, your friends and your families our sincere wishes for a safe, happy New Years . Please remember to be safe. See you in 2014…

4 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

Four El Magazine is published monthly except Dec/Jan is bi-monthly. The known office of publication is 1880 Diamond St., San Marcos, CA 92078. Four El is published by Known Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Articles and stories appearing in Four El may not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Four El Magazine. Reproduction in whole or in part without prior written consent is strictly prohibited.




8 defense: Crucifix from Side Control

10 Fast break: Patience 12 w/max wettstein:

holistic health 101

ON PAR 44 review: JC Golf at Twin Oaks

travel 46 weekender: Rancho Pescadero 50 Locale: Lake Tahoe

relationships 54 dating: Avoid Gift Giving Failure

native population 56 beauty & brains: Grace Nakashima 58 Pin up classics: Jenny Miller

nutrition 14 w/max wettstein: Surviving the Holidays

fashion 62 style watch: Hit the Slopes in Style



68 perspective: Financially Fit

18 chef’s roundtable: Communal Dinners

72 awareness: Environmentalism

22 BEATS & EATS: Vokab Kompany at Rubicon Deli 26 Restaurant Review: The Compass 28 uncorked: Holiday Gift Ideas 32 CRAFTY: Jen Queen of The Salt Box

70 startup: Michel Sprole’s 7 Image Salon

rhythm 74 CONCERT review: Pearl Jam 76 music: FM 94/9’s Loud at Lunch 78 hot wire: Concert and show dates

34 IMBIBING: Holiday-Themed Cocktails at The Grant Grill

around town

36 Happiest Hour: URBN Coal Fired Pizza

80 december events: Local happenings and things to do

37 Beer me: Modern Times Brewery 38 Tender: Rich Van Dyke 40 dish: Hot Jalapeño Spicy Chicken Sausage Dip

64 All Hands on Tech: Lust-worthy gadgets that will truly make your life more enjoyable 6 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

The Crossings at Carlsbad Golf Dining Corporate Weddings

Voted Best Burger in Carlsbad by Four EL Magazine

Enjoy the Views

Experience the Golf

5800 The Crossings Drive, Carlsbad | 760.444.1 800

Book tee times and restaurant reservations online



Crucifix Maneuver:

In addition to having a cool name the “Crucifix” leaves your opponent quite helpless.


The grappler holds his opponent’s arm with his, pulling the arm across his chest. He’s situated perpendicular to and behind the opponent. The grappler then holds the other arm with his legs, stretching the shoulders back in a crucifying position and hyperextending the arm. This is a very popular move in Mixed Martial Arts. The thought of “crucifying” somebody on the mat has an intensely powerful image. This maneuver puts a lot of pressure on the spine as well as the neck. Executing this move can be broken down to a few steps.

Warning: The Crucifix is dangerous. It can seriously injure or even cause permanent damage and if you’re raining down elbows, even death. This is informational and should be read for entertainment purposes only. If you are not Gary Goodridge or a trained expert, do not attempt.

8 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

Train for this maneuver in FIVE basic steps: 01 T  he set-up is just like “The Rack.” If you are in side control from the right side of your opponent, place your left thigh under his right shoulder. Reach over and wrap your left hand under his head and grab his left bicep. 02 P  ush up to lift him onto his left side then step over with your left foot and replace your left arm. Now your shin should be behind his head while stepping on the floor in front of his bicep. His left arm should be trapped on your left hip, now held down by your left arm 03 N  ow, fall to your back making sure your right foot is pointed in the same direction as his head so that you can easily sweep it underneath him. Cross your legs underneath him hooking his left arm with your legs. Since his right arm is still trapped under your left arm, he is now in the Crucifix position 04 N  ow that he is in the Crucifix position, you can do several things to make him submit. The easiest thing is to just grab his head and bend his neck. You can also apply torque to his arms to create tension. 05 L  astly, and probably most famously, utilize the move like Gary Goodridge did in UFC 8 when he knocked out Paul Hererra by raining down consecutive elbows and breaking every bone in Herrera’s face.

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 9



PATIENCE A golden aged lesson for everyone

by jason stewart

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday you will have been all of these.” — George Washington Carver Mr. Carver’s statement makes all of us think about the timeline of life and our pursuit of happiness. Today, let’s look at his statement in terms of basketball and the pursuit of team success. A coach gets a new team every year as a few players have moved on and new players arrive. If even one name changes on the roster, it will not be the same team that it was before. Everyone involved needs to practice patience.

The Veteran This is the player with experience, athletic ability and an I.Q. for the game. This player has been on the team or around the game for a while. This person works hard for an opportunity to win, not just to play. Sometimes, in the midst of pursuing personal goals, the veteran can get frustrated with the coach and others on the team not as talented as they are. Visual displays of displeasure and disdain are evident to the coach, the audience and, most importantly, his or her teammates. The veteran needs to be tolerant and tender with teammates, allowing them to grow. You need to understand that when they learn and develop, you’ll have a stronger chance to win in team sports. Here is a fact: The more you teach something, the better your understanding of what you taught becomes. Here is your opportunity to be a leader. 10 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

The Rookie All basketball players are not created equal. Basketball is a sport that requires a lot of hard work to be successful at highly competitive levels. Sometimes, you don’t know how to get to where you want to go. Every coach and parent does not have the same basketball I.Q. of John Wooden, Lute Olson, Mike Krzyzewski, Tex Winter, Doc Rivers or Phil Jackson. So you need to engage in extraordinary practice and study to catch up to the others who are already experiencing success. You also should develop a certain level of tolerance for yourself and others who may be trying to push you to certain levels of achievement. If your coach didn’t believe in you or care, he or she wouldn’t have taken the time to try and teach you.


The Coach In club, high school, college and the pros, coaches want to win. The higher the level, the more pressure there is to do just that. But what about coaches who don’t necessarily have an opportunity to recruit all the best talent to their team, like professional and most college coaches do? They must understand that everyone on the team is striving. Players come from different backgrounds and operate with different understandings of what their roles are on the team. They need a coach who has the sympathy and patience to help them understand, even when they think they know it all. The balance of tolerance and discipline is a crafted skill. The approach to each player may require specialization. A coach must maintain a high level of confidence as ridicule rains down from parents and outsiders due to a temporarily unsuccessful record. Coaches have to be sympathetic and compassionate toward players and themselves while being tolerant and patient with parents and outsiders. Perseverance is required.


The Parent Parents often become frustrated with coaches and teams when things are not working right away. I’ve seen parents exaggerate details and situations to influence people to get other players off the team or to get the coach replaced. I’ve seen the same parent praise the same coach months or a year later when they see the finished product. Most parents need to recall that success is a process. There was a time when your son or daughter was just starting. Perhaps you should remember to use sympathy with those who are striving. The path to success takes time and devotion.


The Big Picture Michael Jordan once said, “You can’t have success without failure.” I don’t know if he got that from someone else, but it is a true statement. Consider this business parable: An executive made a mistake that cost the company $40 million. Asked why the executive was not fired, the CEO responded, “Why would I let some other company benefit from the $40 million lesson that my employee just learned? I want that knowledge in my company.” We all need people around us who can help us to remember that there is a bigger picture.


I help athletes transition from one stage of a career to another. I invite you to write me with any basketball or career-related questions. I can be reached at

waterproof weatherproof sweatproof sound. secure fit design for athletes. Powered by H2O Audio’s patented waterproof technology, the Surge ear buds come with 5 ear tip sizes, guaranteeing a comfortable and secure fit for running, biking and swimming. Add the Amphibx Fit waterproof armband for your device or the Interval system for swimming to bring your training soundtrack to any climate or terrain. Breaking the Barriers of sound at


with Max Wettstein


health 101 ideology and lifestyle tips

Holistic does not imply religion. It simply means treating your body as a whole physical, spiritual, psychological entity and approaching your health from all these aspects with equal attention and nurturing. It means welcoming all healthy living philosophies and strategies, as to learn from all of them, take what works best, and blend them into your own lifestyle.

Want more of Max? Follow him on Twitter @Max_Wettstein.

12 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

I certainly did not invent the holistic ideology, but my family and I have been making an effort to incorporate holistic concepts into our lifestyle and we have noticed a positive difference, from less illness to how we manage stress. It turns out that a holistic-health lifestyle will also promote longevity and ideal body composition – optimal leanness and therefore an aesthetically appealing physique! Below is a short list of 12 things you can do daily to incorporate a holistic method into your life. Some will seem simple and even common sense. In fact, you may already be doing many of these little acts but all combined they are powerful! This list is by no means all inclusive and this is not an exact science, but rather an ideology. Feel free to add to this list and tailor it to your needs – it’s a process of constant evolution and awareness for all of us.


with Max Wettstein In no particular order:

01 Brush your teeth, gums and tongue and floss daily. Mouth bacteria enter directly into the bloodstream when you have gum disease. Flossing disrupts bacteria colonies. 02 Supplement with probiotic bacteria (healthy bacteria) to support colon health and help fight against yeast-overrun and colon-based pathogens. Natural yogurts and cottage-cheeses and Kombucha tea also contain live cultures of beneficial bacteria. Pathogens and disease can also enter through an unhealthy ‘leaky’ colon if ‘good’ bacteria are not thriving and regular bowel movements aren’t occurring. 03 Alkalanize/Alkalize daily with GREEN and RAW veggies and nuts and chlorophyll-containing drinks throughout the day. The goal here is to consume foods with base-pH or greater than 7.0 pH to offset all the acid-forming, refined foods and animal-based foods we eat. As a general rule of thumb, if it is GREEN or plant-based then it is alkaline and raw, which is usually best. There are many fantastic supplement greens’ powders out there for those on the go! I also drink a morning alkalizing drink first thing on an empty stomach! 04 Eat multiple Superfoods daily. By ‘super’ I mean foods that possess powerful healing, energizing or cancer-fighting power. Foods such as olive oil, garlic, honey, lemon, Green Tea, coconut, eggs, apples, raw nuts, wild cold-water fish and many more. Feel free to supplement with extracts from these super-foods or other vitamins and supplements as needed! 05 Cleanse and detox daily. This is very simple: Eat clean, whole-foods, organic when possible, plenty of raw fruits and green veggies and drink pure water! Our bodies do a thorough job of detoxing on their own via our liver, lymphatic system, sweat glands, lungs, mucus, kidneys and colon, etc. All we have to do is provide toxin-free foods and water, perhaps along with some teas and herbs. 06 Exercise or be ACTIVE every day! At least 20 minutes of moderate-to-high intensity exercise daily, focusing mainly on cardio fitness but also to include strength training at least two days per week will prevent natural atrophy, protect bone-density and boost resting-metabolism. The benefits of consistent ex-

ercise are literally equivalent to the fountain-of-youth and are too many to list. Plus, it is proven that exercise is the only anti-thesis to combat a sedentary lifestyle. Sedentary lifestyle contributes to insulin-resistance, slow-metabolism and early-death. Exercise also triggers dopamine and Growth Hormone! When possible try and exercise OUTDOORS for cleaner air and exposure to sunlight which boosts serotonin (the pleasureneurotransmitter), vitamin-D and helps us sleep better at night by establishing better Circadian Rhythm. 07 Be productive and creative every day. It makes us feel good to be productive, contribute and be creative. It gives us a chance to express ourselves and totally engage mentally in the present moment. Creating gets the reward-neurotransmitter dopamine firing and anytime we can do that naturally, THAT is health and happiness at its most organic! 08 Build and nurture social relationships within your life. Facebook and Twitter don’t really count. Skype might! Spending quality time with family and friends does. Whether it’s a club or a team or just hanging out, it’s human nature to nurture relationships with others – the forum doesn’t matter. Try to work in some hugs too – hugs heal! Love is all-powerful and healing. Nurturing your libido is good too. Also, do not underestimate the healing effects of bonding with a pet. Having an animal companion can add years to your life! Karma cannot be ignored either: Part of the holistic ideology is cause and effect. 09 ‘Holistic’ does not evoke religion but it does require acknowledging that the universe is much greater than us and that we are accountable for ourselves. There is an infinite amount available to learn and incredible energy that surrounds us. When one brings children into this world, there’s incredible love experienced and a spiritual awakening occurs. Again karma exists in holistic ideology. 10 Quality sleep is absolutely essential. Sleep is the basis for holistic health. I don’t believe there is an exact quantity that is requisite for everyone, but what sleep you do get needs to be uninterrupted and quality. Deep-Sleep Phase is when we humans get our greatest Growth Hormone secretion, which heals, restores and makes us LEAN. Obviously in the real world, our sleep window is compressed and interrupted, but that’s why we all can benefit from learning the art of

the power-nap and being able to sneak one in whenever possible! Seriously, if you’re chronically sleepdeprived EVERYTHING else in your life and health is suffering too. 11 Manage STRESS effectively. In the real world there will always be stress. Some stress actually improves our performance and is beneficial but chronic stress will lead to premature death. There are many ‘tools’ out there to help us deal and vent, so find what works for you: Exercise, relaxation breathing, massage, a friend who is a good listener, a glass of wine and a hot-shower, making priority lists, delegating, whatever works for you. Or how about simply ‘unplugging’? It’s okay to ask for help! 12 We’re responsible for our own happiness. Lower your expectations of others and raise them for yourself. You’ll be less disappointed. We all have our problems and we can blame all we want, but at the end of the day, nobody is responsible for making you happy but you. If you don’t want to be victimized than choose not to be a victim. I realize it’s not always this simple or easy, but examine the relationships you’re in and be prepared to make significant changes if somebody is holding you back, has nothing positive to offer or is unwilling to compromise.

*Note: Some folks are naive enough to believe that if they eat ‘perfectly’ (as if that is even possible) and live ideally, then disease will never enter or thrive in their body... so they think they never need to visit a doctor for an actual check-up. We all carry genetic traits and a long family-history that may or may not cause us to be at high-risk for developing some diseases.

How well do you know your family history? Don’t be ignorant: Go get a general physical examination to include a blood-panel once per year, and visit a dermatologist once per year if you’re over age 35. If you’re over age 50, get a colonoscopy once per year. YES, these checkups with actual M.D.s are an important part of holistic-health!

**This article is informational in nature, and is not to be acknowledged as medical advice**

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 13

NUTRITION surviving the

holiday season The decadent holiday season of over-indulgence is in full swing and reduced daylight hours make us less active. Office holiday parties, weekend benders, neighbors delivering baked goods to your door, traditional comfort foods, must-see TV, and seasonal microbrews – all mean a more sedentary lifestyle with excess calories and carbs lurking everywhere you turn! How will you, and more specifically your waistline, survive until Jan 2nd?

What you shouldn’t do is fall victim to the mentality that many succumb to: that putting on a little body fat is normal for this time of year and that a little winter “insulation” will not only help you keep warmer dur-

14 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

ing San Diego’s brutal winter, but that it will be hidden under your winter wardrobe and the fat pounds will easily be shed off next Spring. Your beard and clever winter fashion may camouflage your doublechin and your bulging belly, but those fat pounds are way easier to add than they are to lose, and once you accept that gaining a few holiday pounds is okay, it is a slippery slope into full-on, fat-body transformation.

Fat might insulate and deliver energy during times of prolonged activity, but news flash: modern-man has developed amazing high-performance apparel and energy-bars to provide warmth and fuel, so that you can remain lean and mean all year round no matter

what your sport! Bottom-line is, leave “bulking season” to the bodybuilders and to the bears preparing for hibernation. Staying consistently lean all year round is the only way. That being said, holiday season is not the time to start any kind of diet or weight-loss program! What should your lean-game plan be? Keep it simple: Keep doing what you’ve been doing and stay true to your normal routine. But you don’t want to be a Grinch, miss out on the holiday festivities, or be labeled as a diet freak or food Nazi either, so that means you need to be a participant and have a preplanned strategy going into each party.

NUTRITION with Max Wettstein

When executed correctly your fellow party indulgers will be wondering how you seem to eat, drink and be merry so often, yet still stay so fit. I know this from personal experience. Here are some of my strategic tips:


Plan Ahead: Break out your calendar right now and schedule in all the holiday parties you are aware of to build calorie situational awareness. Dude, this is serious! Assume that every weekend between now and the New Year will be filled with at least two party or socialdining nights. Don’t forget to consider NFL Sunday, and the play-offs. Oh, and don’t forget to consult with the wife or girlfriend!

» Don’t be LAME:

The guy who skips the office party, happy-hour with the boys, passes on mom’s traditional fruit cake, or orders the Michelob Ultra-lite instead of the seasonal, craft microbrew is seen as weak and domesticated by his manpeers. Guys don’t count calories – we eagerly consume them because ladies like to cook for good eaters, not guys on diets. Be a participant this year and get into the holiday mix. Know ahead of time this is what you will be up against so that you are prepared mentally and physically – it will be a challenge!

» Pay your (caloric) dues going in:

You know you have the big office party on Friday, followed by a big dinner event on Saturday, and then Sundaybrunch and NFL football at the Sport’s

bar. Time to go to work. Eat clean all week long, staying consistent with your normal workout routine, but stepping up your cardio workouts. This is where you are going to make up for the extra calories you will be ingesting on the weekends. If on Friday prior to the office party, you know there is going to be good food and a fun crowd, you should change your eating plan to go very light throughout the day and very low-carb. You could even opt to replace one of your normal meals with a protein-shake mixed only with water. Dare I say try fasting for the first half of the day? How far are you willing to go?! Also, go extra intense during your cardio workout on Friday. By the time you show up to the office party you should be in an extreme calorie-deficit with your metabolism elevated and therefore properly armed to indulge and imbibe freely. This same type of strategy carries over through the weekend. If all goes as well, when you weigh yourself on Monday morning you should be no more than 2 lbs. heavier, due to mostly stored carbohydrates within the muscles, (glycogen), AKA, ‘carbo-loading’. On Monday return to your normal routine.

» Don’t panic or get

bogged down in guilt: If you miss a workout one day or seriously binge one or two days, don’t panic. In

the big scheme of calorie-balance and net fat gain, this is not a crisis. Most likely the acute weight gain from a single day of binge-eating and drinking is from stored muscleglycogen and water-retention, and your body composition will soon return to your normal homeostasis. You’ll notice after a day of binge-eating, your muscles will often look and feel fuller, and you will be stronger during your workouts. It’s one of the side-benefits of carb-loading. When you wake up the morning following a crazy night of partying, immediately cut your losses, laugh it off, and move on. Get right back into your normal routine. Like it never happened – holiday season is not the time to judge!


Choose wisely in the buffet line: Though I’m encouraging you to be a connoisseur and enjoy yourself, do use some discretion. If the party has a buffet line or appetizers all around the place, do a walk-thru while you mingle and take note of the foods that you know you will truly enjoy. Why not save your calories for your favorites? Just be careful not to offend the hostess by not sampling her cheese log. I’m not saying to only choose healthy foods – I’m saying choose only the foods you will enjoy most.

» Step up your cardio game:

When it comes to burning a ton of calories in a short period of time, nothing tops cardio exercise, whether it is running, biking, swimming or sports. High-Intensity

Interval Training, (HIIT), has the best cardio value of all. Trade some of your other workouts for additional cardio workouts, or increase the intensity and/or duration, and you can almost always account for the overindulgence during holiday season without changing anything else. This is the approach I take, but then, I love working out.


‘Tis the Season: ‘Tis the season for gathering with friends and family and being merry. It’s not the season to let your fitness go. That being said, the holidays can be stressful enough without spooling up about your fitness and physique. Again your goal throughout holiday season should be to maintain your current body composition and is not an ideal time begin a diet or weight-loss plan. Save that for next month!


Stay Accountable: A lot of diet experts and trainers don’t recommend weighing yourself daily. I do. While I feel you shouldn’t obsess over your weight, and I feel the mirror is just as an important feedback tool, visiting the scale every day at the same time is a great tool for tracking trends. While it doesn’t provide body composition analysis, (though some home-scales now do), it is a quick reference for where you stand each day with your weight, and indirectly, your net calorie consumption from the day prior. I find it useful in helping develop a sense of intuition about one’s net calorie balance each day.

Okay good luck! See you on the other side in 2014! You better not be any fatter, or January is going to be rough!

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 15

San Diego

Brew Dogs By Christy Shikiya

We all know that Napa is known for its delicious wines. One of my favorite wineries in Napa is Shafer Vineyards. What makes every trip so memorable is not only the beautiful grounds but also being greeted by their Vineyard dog. I look forward to seeing his happy face every time we visit since I’m usually missing my Golden Retriever Kobe. There’s just a feeling of warmth and comfort when you’re drinking wine, beer or a cocktail with a dog by your side. This brings us to our first brewery dog named Cody from Mother Earth Brew Co. in Vista. We first met Cody on the trails in Carlsbad by our house with a pack of other Retrievers and owners. While talking, we found out that Cody’s owner also owns Mother Earth Brew Co. ( and mentioned that Cody works at the Brewery at their original location, assisting his human dad, Dan, at work.

16 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

Furlocity will allow you, the pet owners, to rid yourselves of the cumbersome and outdated process in finding and booking your next stay for your pet. Instead of calling and searching multiple sites in order to find the best place for your pet’s stay, they make your lives easier and reward you every time you book with them. Dan mentioned we should bring along our Golden Retriever Kobe for some beer tasting and a doggy play date with Cody. As we arrived at the Thibodo location with our Kobe, there were two more Golden Retrievers and Cody so it became a Golden Retriever Beer Tasting party at Mother Earth. Mother Earth Brew Co. has two locations now and a retail shop for home brewers as well. One thing to remember about bringing dogs to breweries is that Hops are dangerous to dogs. Dogs are attracted to the sweet wort covering the hops but when a dog eats hops, an onset of Malignant Hyperthermia may occur. This is when the body overheats. Should this happen to your dog take them to a Veterinarian as soon as possible. PetBox is more than just a monthly delivery service that introduces its members to fun and healthy new pet products every month. Instead, they have decided to go the extra mile and personalize each member’s monthly subscription

Any alcohol in small dogs or cats can also cause life-threatening toxicity. If your dog enjoys a beer once in a while, maybe try out a Bowser Beer ( instead. It’s a non- carbonated and nonalcoholic beverage bottled to look like beer. It’s made of USDA Chicken or Beef, Malt Barley (full of vitamin B) just like in a beer, and Glucosamine for joint health. This is a great alternative for your pet and a nice treat as well. Many of our local breweries allow dogs with their human companions. Some local breweries even host pet adoption events and fundraisers within the community. Some local favorites are Iron Fist Brewing Co. in Vista ( who partner with local pet adoptions like Be Their Voice Dog Rescue. You can enjoy your beer, have some grub

by providing a better user experience. The unique platform allows our members to pack their own PetBox each month with products and supplies that actually make the most sense for their furry friends. Based in San Diego, PetBox is dedicated to delivering joy and happiness with every box that’s delivered and for every box that ships out, they feed a hungry rescue animal.

from a food truck and adopt a pet all in the same day. Another great spot is Mission Brewery ( who also partner with adoption groups. This past summer they partnered with The Guide Dogs for the Blind in an event called Pint for Pups. They also hold other local adoption events, so please check out their website for future events. Why not have a pint and help out pets in need at the same time? The next time you decide to visit one of our local breweries, take your furry friends with you and enjoy. Although most of the breweries in town allow dogs, please call ahead... you wouldn’t want to leave Fido in the car alone while you’re having a good time.

01 Search Pet parents can find the best pet care facility based on their needs and the needs of their pets. Search based on price, services and even location. 02 Compare Choose from any of our pre-screened pet care facilities and have the peace of mind knowing your pets are well taken care of! 03 Book You no longer need to call or reserve a stay. Your pet’s booking is instant and guaranteed the moment you click book! Now that’s service!

Their pet experts scour the planet looking for only the best products to offer our members. You won’t find thousands of products to choose from, rather only products that make your furry friend’s life more healthy and enjoyable.

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 17



communal Celebrate Local Ingredients BY MICHELLE LYN

Communal tables have been popping up in bars and restaurants for awhile now, but some chefs are taking it a step farther with large community dinners that celebrate our local produce and purveyors like Crow’s Pass, Suzie’s Farms and Chino Farms. Held weekly, monthly and quarterly, you have plenty of options to pull up a chair next to a stranger and pass the bread.

photo by Jeremy Fenske 18 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

The Artisan Table The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Perhaps the one who started it all, Chef Jeff Jackson of A.R. Valentien is no stranger to farmto-table dining. Blending fresh artisan foods and wines from the best local producers in Southern California with the warm ambience of The Lodge at Torrey Pines, the weekly Artisan Table dinners have a regular following. Every Thursday on the relaxed terrace at A.R. Valentien, 10-24 people enjoy a four-course dinner including appetizers, a main course, cheese and a dessert, along with wines chosen to complement each meal. The menu changes weekly as seasonal items become available. Occasionally winemakers attend the dinners and discuss the wine pairings for the evening. Tickets start at $85.

Land to Linen

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa The first Thursday of each month, Chef Gregory Frey, Jr. showcases BlueFire Grill’s partnerships with local, Southern California farmers and purveyors. At their new signature culinary event Land to Linen, guests experience Chef Frey’s innovative menus with a four-course, family-style meal. The intimate gatherings are held outdoors, weather permitting, on the patio in front of the restaurant. Ingredients for the seasonally inspired menus come from local partners/purveyors and industry experts who also attend the dinners, and wine pairings are provided by Joe Baumgardner, BlueFire Grill sommelier and general manager. Reservations are $69 per person.

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 19



The Green Feast The Ecology Center

Located in San Juan Capistrano, The Ecology Center is part eco-educational center, part farm, part DIY activity center. Produce at a recent Land to Linen dinner was foraged from their farm and they hold an annual Green Feast that brings the community together to celebrate local and sustainable food.

Del Mar Feast Atop Del Mar Plaza

Over the summer, Pacifica Del Mar launched its quarterly Del Mar Feast, a communal dinner served atop the Del Mar Plaza. The first event of its kind at the Plaza treated 50 guests to a cocktail reception with tray-passed canapĂŠs followed by a six-course dinner and dessert. Chef Chris Idso leads each dinner and partners with one other Del Mar chef at each event. With a perfect location, guests at the Del Mar Feast are able to enjoy dinner with a stunning sunset view of the ocean. Tickets are $85 and include tax, gratuity and parking. The next dinner is scheduled for March, so mark your calendars!

photos by Scott Sporleder 20 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

Outstanding in the Field Coming to Temecula

A roving culinary adventure since 1999, Outstanding in the Field re-connects diners to the land by hosting dinners at farms or gardens, on mountain tops or in sea caves, on islands or at ranches. Wherever it is, ingredients are all local, sometimes sourced within inches of your seat at the table. Check their calendar for 2014 dates and you might be able to score a seat at a dinner in Temecula.

photos by Jeremy Fenske DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 21



BEATS&EATS What’s RAD about

Beats and Eats? The food and the music!

by mikey beats

In this edition of Beats and Eats, I got an opportunity to sit down with two of my favorite MCs in San Diego, Robbie and Burkey of Vokab Kompany, at a mutually enjoyable sandwich shop – The Rubicon Deli - in Mission Beach, CA. 22 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

rubicon deli: 3819 Mission Blvd. » Mission Beach » (858) 488-3354 »

Beats: I first met you I believe in 2000-2001.

(Looking at Burkey)

Burkey: You were bouncing at Sinbad’s. Is it cool that I still have the same crew? Beats: Yes, actually you do still have the same crew. But to touch on your crew, that was the unique thing about you, your crew. You stuck together and wherever you guys went, you brought this vibe and that rolled over into Vokab Kompany. Robbie: Kind of like a snowball that keeps getting bigger. Burkey: That’s funny that you say that. It does get bigger. Originally, it was Reno/Tahoe kids and I was this little connector, bringing the Nor Cal snowboarder love / gangster rapper / weird hip-hop vibe thing to So Cal when we all moved here.

Burkey: Yeah, so the guy that moved into my room when I moved back out to Reno was a producer named Buck. Robbie: Our mutual friend, Shane Dolan introduced me to Buck the Rabbit Killer, and said we should go record over there. Burkey: Shane got me writing raps back in Chico because he loved hip hop music and Shane also got Robbie into the San Diego scene too. So while Shane and Robbie were working with Buck, he produced a beat for my band called “Native Root.” Robbie: It was a cool beat, but then his band made it into an actual song, which was pretty dope and that was the first time I had heard of that concept of making a beat and then a whole band playing it live.

Beats: How did you two meet?

Burkey: I was coming down here with my band and Shane asked if they could open for us and they packed the place. Robbie was a good ass rapper.

Robbie: Burkey and I had been connected since high school.

Beats: So he then became Good Ass Rapping Robbie? (Laughs all around)

Burkey: Yeah, Robbie rapped forever and we always knew him as Little Rapping Ass Robbie, he was like 12 rapping on the street corner and we were all influenced by Bay Area Rap. Beats: How was Vokab formed?

Burkey: Robbie asked me to collaborate on a track with he and Buck called “Soul Sister.” We really liked working together and right away there was chemistry between us. I have this high voice and I’m full of energy and Robbie is like chill and kinda cool with the swagged out low voice.

Robbie: In 2004, I started it just with a connection.

Robbie: It’s because instantly we have that chemistry.

(Pointing to Burkey)

Beats: You’re the ying to his yang. Burkey: It’s true, even in our voices and our styles. And you’ll notice that Robbie and I finish each other’s sentences all the time. It’s like that on the mic. That’s why it works so well for us. I came back to San Diego, met my wife, started working with Robbie and we had a sick single and this whole Vokab thing came together in November of 2007. I love having a band. My experience was there. His experience was in the studio recording. We combined those elements and the natural progression developed. Beats: Your fans, do you have any particular name for these people? Because I swear I can spot Vokab Kompany fans from a mile away. They have a dapper look. Is the crew called anything? Robbie: Well even though people do dress kind of similar, anytime you hang out with people… Burkey: …you share interests. Robbie: Exactly. What we have come up with recently is this thing called Good Kompany. And we hashtag on Instagram, Facebook, etc. I guess if anything, that’s it. Beats: Where did the Vokab Kompany name came from? Robbie: I thought we have such a big company and big crew we roll with…

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 23



Burkey: …the point of calling it the Kompany was to encompass everyone. Think of it as the company you keep. Like, they are Vokab Kompany…

Beats: I also got The Whale’s Veg with the jalapeño cheese bread but I add bacon to my veggies. That’s how I roll. This is fan-freaking-tastic.

Robbie: …so the name came from just our crew, our company. Vokab, because I thought we were trying to talk about different stuff, a little more substance in our lyrics then normal rap.

Robbie: It’s pretty nice you have your own Sriracha bottle here Beats.

Burkey: I used to be an English teacher. My Vokab is long.

(The Beats gets interrupted by the Eats as our food is placed before us)

Beats: Ha, that never gets old. (Pointing to the Sriracha bottle with my name and logo on it) The interview lags as lots of slurping noises come from Robbie and his soup mixed with pallet smacking from Burkey and veggies being ripped apart by me. Moe, one of the shop owners, sits down and a conversation starts among us.

Moe: There are three Rubicon’s total. There’s a Rubicon in Reno, which was originally in Tahoe owned by Evan’s mom. She’s the creator and started as a Ma and Pa, had a great product. We’ve taken it down to San Diego and branded it and made a name for it. There are two Rubicon’s in San Diego. Beats: As soon as this place opened up, I was here eating. When you opened up, you had the who’s who of the SD bar and club industry standing in line out the door. That speaks volumes on the product alone. You also had a unique style that you brought down to the beach area, you guys cook your own breads. Moe: Yes, that’s all in house.

Beats: Ok Robbie, what did you get? Beats: Rubicon originated in Tahoe? Robbie: I got myself a Whale’s Veg on bleu cheese bread and it’s a nice cool day today so a little tomato bisque soup. Half and half. The combination is delicious. Beats: That looks yummers. And what did you get?

(Pointing at Burkey’s meal)

Burkey: French dip. Moe knows exactly what I like to eat, he knows my palate like nobody. I trust him. I’ll have him order for me when we go places. Especially when we’d go to fancy restaurants. When his parents would take us out, Moe did all my ordering.

24 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

Moe: Yup, the west shore of Lake Tahoe. Beats: So you’re a part owner? Moe: Yup, of only the San Diego locations. Beats: How many partners is it?

Beats: Gotcha. Fresh ingredients. Back to The Whale’s Veg. Can you just go through the vegetable medley? And what’s the spread? Moe: Yes, hearty blend of spinach, kale, baby carrot, chopped up red bell pepper, red and white cabbage. The spread, we usually use Dijon hummus, called tarragon Dijon and house made hummus. But you like to switch it up to the habanero. There are also cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, lots of avocado.

Moe: Three partners: Evan, Oliver and myself. Beats: How many Rubicon’s are there?

Beats: And I saw a gluten-free sign over there. What is gluten-free here?

Good looking food delivered by a good looking staff!

be like “Killer, go kill.” He’ll kill it and come back and go, “Yeah, you’re set up.” We’ve been throwing a lot of independent shows and cool art style things with the Quit Sleep events company. We have this gig coming up on December 21 at the House of Blues which will be presented by Quit Sleep. Burkey: We are playing with Minnesota and Diego’s Umbrella. Do you know who they are? Diego’s is like gypsy funk. Like Gogol Bordello. Beats: Oh yeah, Start Wearing Purple. Burkey: We like to work with Minnesota and Diego’s Umbrella. We put a show together like this with Quit Sleep and use our resources, get a good deal and do a collaboration that benefits everybody. Beats: How many releases do you have to date as far as EPs or LPs? Burkey: We have The New Kong, Quit Sleep and the VKCE album. Those are the three studio albums since we’ve combined forces. Our last album was a collaboration with Crush Effect, VKCE. That album, we were super fortunate, one of the tracks, “Back to the Past,” was in a Blake Griffin KIA commercial. So that was pretty major for us.

Moe: We have a bread that is gluten-free. We don’t make it in house, we import it. Yeah for the gluten-free revolution going on, we have to stay ahead of the game. They told me it’s the best bread around, so it definitely costs a pretty penny but people come back for it. And we do usually have gluten free cookies that we serve with gluten free sandwiches. Beats: Every sandwich you serve comes with a cookie? Moe: Yeah. Beats: A little treat there for you after a delicious Eat. Back to Vokab. So, 2007… Robbie: We were rolling down the Grand Avenue bumping our track called “Mood Walkin’”, off our album The New Kong. We were just thinking ‘we’re the shit’ because we have this cool new track, and that’s when you get these glimpses, these small little glimpses thinking ‘man, we could really make it.’ You get those moments where you’re like ‘this could be something.’ It keeps you pushing that much harder. Burkey: It’s not even about it actually being like ‘we’ve made it,’ but believing in it and making yourself work harder because of that belief. Beats: Big question. What is Quit Sleep? And how is that affiliated with Vokab Kompany? Burkey: We were up all night making music and we were like, “Quit Sleep,” that’s pretty catchy. So we went and made a song called Quit Sleep.

Right around that time, my wife had our kid and we were both working two jobs and making music, so we were literally sleeping 3-4 hours a night. Conceptually, it means work hard and if you’re going to sacrifice something, you’re going to sacrifice sleeping on it, sleeping on life. People like it because obviously some people like to party, and that’s a party term. But it’s also for people who work hard that quit sleep.

Robbie: Our other track, Burn it Down was in a Southern Comfort commercial. Burkey: Back to the Past was also in Franklin & Bash, that TV show with Zach Morris. It got picked up by a new movie called Sins of our Youth that’s coming out. So that song has done really well for us. It was produced by Crush Effect, our saxophone player for Vokab Kompany, Jessie Molloy and Dave Vieth’s electronic project.

Our friend Ian Xavier, he was throwing shows and wanted to use Quit Sleep to throw the shows, he and GianCarlo. We helped with some of our resources, we had connections and knew tons of traveling musicians that needed places to play because we had been touring around.

Robbie: We have our fourth album coming out this month which we call V-sides, which is our version of Bsides. We’ve done a bunch of collaborations in the last year, so we chose the best 13 out of 25 collaborations and we’ll be releasing it probably at the show on December 21.

Robbie: We got together with them and sat down, had a couple meetings and then started an events company called Quit Sleep.

We’re also releasing a single this month called “Where’s My Delorean.” That won’t be on V-sides but it will be in our album in May.

Burkey: GianCarlo is such a sick graphic designer. He branded us as Vokab.

Beats: So that’s why your e-mail signature says ‘Sent from the Delorean,’ I was wondering, I like that.

Moe: Guess who made the Rubicon logo?

Burkey: As far as future, we’ve toured a ton in the last five years. Like crazy amounts. Now we’re doing real festivals. We were at Michigan at Electric Forest with Pretty Lights. At New Years, we’re doing Snow Globe with Snoop Dog and Tiesto. We owe so much to our management who manages Hieroglyphics, Collie Buddz, Zion I... Amazing people. Our other half of management does Iration. So we’re on such a solid team. We’re just in the perfect set up, doing all these amazing shows and tours. We couldn’t be happier

Burkey: Exactly. GianCarlo. He does all San Diego creative media. All Vokab. All Quit Sleep. All Rubicon. Everyone in our crew is done up by GianCarlo. Robbie: Ian, we have dubbed him ‘The Killer’ because everywhere he goes, he pretty much kills it. We tell him to get backstage and talk to so and so, give them one of our albums and a T-shirt. We’ll

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 25



the compass

Hours: Open every day 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Brunch Hours: Sundays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Brunch Drinks: Glass of Champagne $2.00 Various Champagne Cocktails $2.25 - $5.00 Breakfast Shot $5.00 Bloody Mary Bar $6.50

The compass 300 Carlsbad Village Drive, #202 Carlsbad, CA 92008 Neighborhood: North County (760) 434-1900

26 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

What We Ate:

What We drank:

breakfast shot

Jameson with butterscotch followed with an OJ back, then a slice of bacon. After I took this shot, I could not come up the right words to describe what I was tasting. It was absolutely delicious but my brain was telling me that I had tried this before. Then the bartender told me that for him it tasted like a McGriddle. Bingo! That was it, exactly like a McGriddle except for you also get a buzz and you don’t have to eat at McDonalds.

Breakfast Mac and Cheese Sausage. Over easy egg. I grew up eating Mac and Cheese. It was always Kraft with the powder cheese then I’d chop cheap hotdogs into it. In the recent years, it seems like restaurants have been trying to have this offering for adults. I think they might be playing on our nostalgia because Kraft Mac and Cheese now has turned into CRAFT Mac and Cheese.

Bloody Mary

Self service bar with full service flare.

The Compass uses a combination of mild and sharp cheddar cheese then throw it in the oven so it forms a nice cheesy crusty dome. But what makes this amazing is the over easy egg set on top and the chunks of cheese brat that’s scattered throughout the pasta. It’s the same Mac and Cheese you remember as a kid but it satisfies your adult pallet with premium accompaniments. It is mouthwatering and memorable. French Toast

French bread dipped in batter. Maple syrup. Three citrus curd. Fresh Fruit By using a French Baguette sliced in half instead of simple slices of bread, they change the texture and literally put the French back into French Toast. I have never heard or tried curd alongside my syrup before so when I found out it was uniquely made, I wasn’t sure what that meant until I actually tasted it. The tart of the curd works incredibly well with the sweet of the syrup. Since I’m a major sauce guy, I guess I’m going to be asking people to pass the curd the next time I’m having this tasty treat.

Owner Sarra Costello has risen to bartender fame with her unmatched Bloody Mary mix made from scratch. I had my doubts but when she fixed one up for me she eliminated them immediately. It was dark and spicy, just how I like ‘em. Furthermore, it was a mini meal. She stuck multiple items on a toothpick and placed it on top. The real kicker was she stuck a giant piece of bacon right smack dab in the middle. She told me that you can’t trust anybody that doesn’t eat bacon. If that’s true, I must be the most trustworthy person on this earth. This Bloody rocks!

Mushroom Gravy & Biscuits

Bacon. Sausage.

When you hear the words “Housemade,” you know you’re in for a treat. Their gravy is made with sautéed Cremini mushrooms, beef stock, cream, salt, pepper, and love. Throw on some biscuits that are light and fluffy but also hearty and you wonder, how did they do that? Wait, it doesn’t stop there, it’s surrounded by bacon wrapped cheddar sausages. Watch out Daisy Duke, you’re going to lose a button.

If you’re tired of the same old sports bars where all people are screaming at the televisions, go to The Compass for Sunday brunch instead. You can have a hearty meal, a hearty drink, and most of all, hearty conversation. There’s nothing better than appreciating good food, good drink, and good company.

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 27



Wine & Spirits Lovers gift guide Whether you’re buying gifts for your significant other, your folks, your buddy or your boss, you can never go wrong in the wine and spirits department. Here are our top picks for anyone who appreciates an adult beverage and the clever tools that make them easier to enjoy. By Michelle Lyn

{ accessories }


Hand-crafted soapstone Whiskey Rocks and stainless steel Wine Pearls by SPARQ (01) keep your booze chilled without the risk of dilution ( Drinking a bottle of white wine slowly? Keep it chilled with a Corkcicle (02). Made of BPA-free plastic, containing a non-toxic thermal gel, it keeps reds and whites at their ideal temperatures ( Maybe one of our best discoveries, the Baggy Winecoat (03) is a great solution for drinking on the go—perfect for the beach and picnics. Eliminates the need for any bottles or wine openers (www. Savora’s line of kitchen gadgets and gear just expanded to include wine accessories like a self-pulling corkscrew and a bottle stopper/pourer (04). With a former Ford Thunderbird designer at the helm, their design follows a modern, industrial feel with an auto inspiration (




28 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

(01) (03)

{ collectibles } Serious Scotch drinkers know Balblair has been making Scotch whisky in northern Scotland since 1790. Their 2001 Highland Single Malt Scotch (01) is a great deal at $62 and comes in a handsome box ( Flor de Caña’s seven-year-old Grand Reserve (02) is a slow-aged, handcrafted Nicaragua rum that is perfect for sipping … not shooting ( Justin Isoceles Vertical Millennium Collection (03) (2000, 2001 and 2002) features Justin’s iconic Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and a touch of Merlot ( Completely handcrafted with artisan techniques, Napa’s Revival Vineyards produces a single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (04) that is rich and beautifully balanced. If there is one bottle you gift this year, this should be it ( The World Atlas of Wine (05) is a beautifully illustrated coffee-table book that any oenophile would love. With up-to-date maps representing new wine regions such as China and Coastal Croatia, you’ll be planning your next wine tasting trip abroad before you know it ( (02)



Flora Springs’ Classic Napa Valley Gift Basket (01) features the winery’s Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and artisanal Napa Valley goodies like butter toffee pretzels and old-fashioned peanut brittle ( The Plonk Wine Club offers a curated selection of artisanal, small batch and sustainably grown boutique wines from around the globe (02). Memberships come in three-month increments and let you choose red, white or mixed shipments ( Launched by San Diego natives, Uncorked Ventures sources gourmet gift baskets (02) with rare wines from top West Coast producers (



(01) (03)


DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 29



{ from the earth } Based in Portugal, Pelcor produces fashionable, practical and sustainable pieces for the office, travel and everyday life out of cork oak (01). Waterproof, flexible and environmentally friendly, it looks good on your iPad too ( Cool and modern, Brooklyn Slate Co.’s Beverage Coasters (02) are sourced from their family quarry and come in a set of four ( Made with reclaimed oak from the wine-making process, not barrels, Cliff Spencer’s six-bottle wine rack is up-cycled and finished with beeswax (03). All coloration comes from the grapes the wood once flavored to remind you of its delicious history (


{ Just add wine } (02) Think outside the box and add a bottle of wine to any of Omaha Steaks’ packages of premium, grain-fed beef from the heartland (01)—perfect for an easy dinner ( You can’t go wrong with an edible gift box from Olive & Cocoa (02), each wrapped in a handcrafted wood crate with ribbon ( Keep it local and visit Dallmann Fine Chocolates at Flower Hill or The Headquarters for a wine and chocolate pairing box (03) (

(01) (03)

30 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

Something for Everyone!

Sauced and Tossed in your choice of 10 Wing Flavors!

Boneless Wings

Phone Ahead!

Regular Wings


Boneless Strips

760-434-WING (9464)

2508 El Camino Real, C1 Carlsbad, CA In the Vons/CVS Shopping Plaza, across from the mall DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 31



the queen of the Cocktail by Miles Roberson

I recently had the pleasure of being on the receiving end of some of the best, most unique, and creative cocktails made by the one and only Rock Star behind the bar Jen Queen of The Salt Box in Downtown San Diego. “Saltbox” was named after the pre-framed lumber ‘salt box’ houses that once occupied the Fifth Avenue space where the restaurant is now. Now, I’ve been sipping cocktails and writing about them for some time but never have I had such a good time learning about the craft than I had this night. I was amazed at the knowledge, passion and dedication Jen has for what she does. Here’s what she made me:




Located at 1047 Fifth Avenue (at Broadway) | Downtown | (619) 515-3003 | 32 Four El | DECEMBER 2013


eyes wide

1.5oz. Corralejo Anejo .75oz. Espresso 1/2oz. Punt Y Mes .5oz. Orange Curacao .25oz. Turbo This is a refreshing dairy free play on an espresso martini. At first glance I noticed vanilla beans suspended in the ice cubes. This is a very cool method called “suspension.” Delicious and well balanced. I’ve had Mexican coffees before but this takes it to a whole new level! FYI: Punt Y Mes is an Italian vermouth. It is dark brown in color and has a bitter

flavor. Punt e Mes literally means “point and a half” in Piedmontese. It has been said that it owes its name to a sudden raise of the stock market (naturally, of a point and a half) which greatly benefitted the Carpano distilleries, which then created the vermouth brand to commemorate the occasion. Alternatively it may refer to the flavor being characterized as one “point” of sweetness and half a point of bitterness.


easy Pilgrim

2 oz. Templeton Rye Whiskey 1 oz. pumpkin reduction 2 dashes of angostura bitters A perfect seasonal cocktail. The woody, oaky notes from the rye whiskey blend well with the sweet flavor of pumpkin with just a hint of bitters. FYI: Templeton Rye refers to rye whiskey originally made in Templeton, Iowa

during the prohibition era as a way for farmers in the Carroll County area to supplement their income. Amber in color, it was considered to be of particularly high quality and was popular in Chicago, Omaha, and Kansas City speakeasies. It was said to be the mobster Al Capone’s favorite drink. More recently “Templeton Rye” has been introduced as a brand of whiskey that its producer claims is based on a prohibition-era recipe.




cinners and sage

1.5oz Gordon’s Gin 2 sage leaves 1 oz. fresh pineapple juice .75oz. house made cinnamon syrup .5oz. lime juice My favorite drink of the night. This tiki style concoction was light, sweet and refreshing. Gordon’s gin has distinct notes of coriander, citrus, and juniper which pairs well with the sweet frothiness of the pineapple juice, cinnamon and earthiness of the sage. Jen is a big fan of the tiki drink and it came through in this one. Delicious!


6AM-3PM Daily


The Salt Box is a great downtown spot for those seeking a sociable hot spot with inspired cocktails. If you’re a local cocktail aficionado, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a Jen Queen crafted drink.

Mixology Minute: Digestif - A digestif is a drink that is often served after a meal

to aid in digestion. It is used to refer to not only a cocktail, but to a style of liqueur such as amaros. These are often bitter herbal liqueurs and include the likes of Averna, Strega, Zwack and the always popular with bar staff, Fernet Branca. Digestif cocktails would include any of these spirits as well as many brandy drinks.

Pacific Beach Carmel Mountain

Eastlake Temecula

La Costa


Mission Valley

San Marcos



La Quinta (soon)

Point Loma El Centro (soon)

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 33




by Meghan Balser




Tis’ the season for imbibing! When I was asked to write about seasonal drinks for this issue, the first place that came to mind was The Grant Grill, tucked away inside the iconic US Grant hotel located in San Diego’s Gaslamp district. The luxury hotel is over 100 years old, and has a timeless, elegant charm. During the holidays both the lobby and the grill are lavishly decorated with baubles

and ornaments, lights and wreaths. This is one of the swankiest hotel bars that you’ll set foot in... with a cocktail program to match. Jeff Josenhans, the US Grant’s “Director of Drinks” has created some holiday tipples not to be missed on the seasonal menu. He takes classic cocktail formulas and turns them on their head, adding his own culinary twist.

326 Broadway, San Diego (in the Gaslamp District) | San Diego | (619) 744-2077 | 34 Four El | DECEMBER 2013


Campfire Christmas


The Smashing Pumpkin

This is a take on a traditional Old Fashioned using High West “Campfire”-a blend of sweet bourbon, rye, and a smoky blended scotch. A splash of seltzer, “Christmas” bitters, and Muscovado sugar complete the drink. Muscovado sugar is also known as “Barbados sugar.” It is dark, unrefined, and has a pronounced molasses flavor. The sweetener adds richness to this version of a classic. It’s then topped off with a bar-side charred marshmallow to add an aromatic element and a bit of nostalgia.

This drink has gotten so much press, it should have its own Twitter account. Mt. Gay Eclipse is infused with fresh chunks of pumpkin and star anise for the base of the cocktail, which also includes Cointreau Noir, St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram, ginger liqueur, cardamom bitters, house-made saffron syrup, and fresh Meyer lemon juice. This drink is light (no heavy cream or pumpkin puree), spicy, aromatic, and has a touch of citrus. It will change what you think a pumpkin cocktail should taste like/be made of.


Douglas Collins This cocktail is like drinking a refreshing Tom Collins in a field of Fir trees. Tanqueray Gin is infused with Douglas fir tree sprigs to liven the botanicals and give it a serious seasonal zing. Fresh lemon and sugar balance the flavors of the fir. For an effervescent touch it is topped off with seltzer. To make the Douglas fir infused gin:

Gin of choice Fill the bottle with Douglas fir tree sprigs Cover and let sit for 5-6 days For all the home bartenders out there, it’s an easy and creative way to liven up most gin based cocktails. Try it in a simple gin and tonic with a squeeze of lime. Cheers!



if you lob it up, we'll take a shot at it.. DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 35




coal fired pizza

3085 University Avenue » Neighborhood: North Park (619) 225-7300 »

happy hour

Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. URBN chooses a few draft beers that rotate on a weekly basis for this special in particular. If you buy a pitcher of one of these, you get a free small pie with your choice of two toppings. This might actually be the best happy hour deal EVER!

URBN Coal Fired Pizza is the casual-eatery spinoff from Jon Mangini, the industry veteran behind the award-winning BASIC Urban Kitchen + Bar. Mangini opened BASIC in 2006 in downtown San Diego, followed by a second location in Sacramento in 2008. With the overwhelming success of BASIC in the San Diego market, Mangini opened the doors to URBN Coal Fired Pizza in Vista in 2008 and most recently, a second location in the North Park neighborhood. URBN boasts the same industrial feel and authentic New Haven style thin-crust pizza of BASIC with additional menu items and an extensive craft drink selection.

Through these doors is a slice of heaven.

What we ate:

What we drank:

PIE-NO-MITE: It’s a build your own two-topping small pizza. They should actually call this size Biggy Smalls because it’s actually huge, makes me wonder what the large looks like. This “small” comes out on a baking sheet that’s 12 inches x 16 inches……not sure how that’s a small but who’s complaining? All the pizzas are made from house made dough and are coal-fired to perfection.

Pitcher: Mad River Jamaica Red This American Red Amber has 6.5% ABV and 45 IBU

Pie #1 Toppings: Bacon and Mash Potato Sauce: White Base Garlic and Olive Oil This was a very unique offering. I’ve never heard of putting mash potatoes on a pizza. When I took my first bite, the only thing I could think of is how delicious the bacon was. Then after a few bites, it dawned on me that the mash potato chunks and the white sauce add great balance to the decadent bacon. It’s like a comfort pizza but the bacon joined the party to punch you in your taste buds.

Happy Hour at

Pie #2 Toppings: Pepperoni and Basil Sauce: Traditional Red The thin crust works so well with their traditional red sauce. Every bite is light and full of flavor. I’ve had these toppings on a pizza before but the difference here is they use huge Basil leaves. It should actually be called Basil and Pepperoni instead or maybe…. Toni Basil and Pepperoni. Because….oh pizza you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind, hey pizza, hey pizza!

36 Four El | DECEMBER 2013


The smooth and subtle flavors of this beer paired well with both pizzas. But then again, I don’t think you can go wrong with any craft beer matched up with any craft pizza. Everything is just that good.



tasting notes

Modern Times by Dale Hersey

The name “Modern Times” came from an 1850 utopian New York community built on Long Island by a crew of fanciful folks. They thought they could show the world “...what a more perfect society might look like. They bartered, lived without a state, sometimes ignored the conventions of marriage (although probably not in the super hot way you’re imagining), and generally experimented with creating a less exploitative, more pleasurable world.” If that isn’t a fantastic backstory already, just wait... we haven’t even got to the beer yet!

of Post-It Notes arranged as a representation of a Jeff Koons sculpture of Michael Jackson and his chimpanzee Bubbles.

is a lot you can do with just the basic ingredients, and that not all craft beer needs to detonate your blood alcohol level.

McKean’s goal is fairly simple, though not an easy task: to brew extremely aromatic beers in a precise fashion, without compromising on style. He feels they may never win any medals or awards for their beers but they take their favorite parts from all their favorite beers and put them together into one delicious style-defying brew.

To uphold the utopian community idea, Modern Times loves the holidays and they have the events to prove it. From their Vegan Thanksgiving, to the upcoming Christmas tree arts and crafts, where you can help them decorate the tree at the brewery, the company wants San Diego involved in their fun.

Jacob McKean (Owner/Brewer at Modern Times, a self-professed beer geek, longtime home brewer and former Stone Brewing employee) has embarked on his own utopian endeavor to create a positive, social, and artistic pocket of beer drinking culture in the Point Loma area of San Diego.

One of the ways his goal is accomplished is through the use of a canning line. That’s right I said cans. Canning is known to preserve aroma, which is of chief importance to Modern Times. Also beneficial is the ability to send them out in 16 ounces. You can get a pint in a bar, so why not at home?

Once inside the Modern Times building, you’re flanked by a giant wall comprised of hundreds of comic book covers and pages. Those are accompanied by a giant mosaic

McKean has modeled his brewery on an idealistic approach to brewing. He describes his non-categorical beers as “Island of Dr. Moreau-style mashups.” It’s a “because we can” approach. He feels there

modern times BEER Located at:

3725 Greenwood Street (between Hancock & Kurtz) Neighborhood: Midway (619) 546-9694 •

They’ve even hooked into the newer holiday traditions like Black Friday. They celebrate the recently famous commercial holiday in their own way with a black house stout, brewed and tweaked nine different ways: Coconut and chocolate (the brewer favorite), red jalapeño, Islay scotch, Schwartz Hoyz (pumpernickel black house), sour cherry vanilla, double coffee cask, pumpkin pie, chocolate maple, and Thanksgiving. They even roast their own coffee beans in bourbon barrels then add it to the beer, as opposed to the traditional way of putting the beer in the barrel and then the beans.

Lomaland saison (5.5% ABV) “Lomaland is an earthy, rustic Belgian-style farmhouse ale that’s both complex and quaffable. It smells like hay, pepper, and friendly sunshine. Its dry, cracker-like body and lightly-hoppy finish makes it a beautiful complement to food. They named Lomaland after the brilliantly crazy utopian community that was the first settlement built in Point Loma, the San Diego neighborhood where their fermentorium is located.”

Blazing World Amber (6.8% ABV) “This beer is the stickiest of the icky. It’s a luxuriously hoppy amber loaded up with intemperate quantities of Nelson, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops, which are some of the fruitiest hops money can buy. Despite its amber hue, Blazing World is pleasingly dry, sporting a slightly bready malt backbone that serves as platform for the huge and complex hop profile.” Fortunate Islands Wheat (4.8% ABV) “Fortunate Islands shares the characteristics of an uber-hoppy IPA and an easy drinking wheat beer. A massive dose of Citra and Amarillo hops gives it a blastwave of tropical hop aromatics: mango, tangerine, and passionfruit all leap out of the glass. Brewed with 60% wheat malt, Fortunate Islands also has the mild, nutty malt backbone, reasonable ABV, and restrained bitterness to make it an outstanding session beer.” Southern lands Brett IPA (6.8% ABV) “Southern Lands is their third in the series of 100% Brett Trois fermented beers. A superjuicy take on a traditional IPA with an intense pineapple character. They gave it a big dose of Centennial & Calypso hops, so it sports a big tropical/grapefruity hop nose and flavor.” Blackhouse Stout (5.8% ABV) “Black House is an oatmeal coffee stout bursting with coffee aroma and flavor. Modern Times is one of the only breweries in the world to roast their own coffee, which allows them to be exceptionally picky about which coffees they use and how they roast them. The result is an abundantly flavorful beer that’s incredibly complex and aromatic, with loads of roast character and a chocolate-covered espresso bean finish.”

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 37




rich van dyke ORIGIN: Born in San Clemente but grew up in Oceanside CREDENTIALS: Worked at Coyote in college, after graduation started working at Mas Fina Cantina for the next 10 years SHIFTS: Monday, Wednesday ,Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. SIGNATURE DRINK: Jameson and Ginger, any Whiskey drink WORDS OF WISDOM: Know your limits and enjoy history: I grew up in Oceanside... surfing, camping and enjoying the outdoors. I like the simple things in life. I’ve done a lot of traveling. I went to SDSU and graduated with a math degree. I love the bar business and my goal is to own my own bar and grill. One drink for you and three for us!

The Joint


This place truly is a great neighborhood bar. They have a full service restaurant and bar with some of the best food in Carlsbad. Their kitchen is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

01 How many times have you heard the Dick Van Dyke joke? Countless, but I do have some stranger than life similarities. He is actually my grandfather’s second cousin and we share the same birthday! I don’t get it much anymore because the younger generation doesn’t really know who he is but when I first started, I got it all the time.

They have world class cooks and bartenders, a smoking patio, an exceptional digital jukebox, and a great local following. Happy hour is seven days a week from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. They also have an early morning happy hour from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Don’t forget about their crazy meal deals, something different for each night of the week. From their Industry night to their open mic night, there is always something fun going on at this bar. Don’t forget to get yourself a sweet T-shirt because it comes with a beer!

mas fina cantina

Located at 2780 State Street, Carlsbad Neighborhood: North County (760) 434.3497 •

38 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

02 Why does everybody want you to serve them I take time to remember them. I know what they want...and when they sit down, I just hand it to them. The locals love it when they bring friends or family in because I make them feel special by actually knowing them. Just by remembering a face, a name, and their drink, it can go a long way. 03 How old was the oldest lady that ever hit on you? She was 50 and was on vacation staying in a nearby hotel. She wanted me to meet up with her after work for a “private” after party. I told her maybe and that I might text her later because I didn’t want her to feel bad. 04 You have a very full beard, how long have you had it? Would you liken yourself closer to a wolf or a bear? Six years. Definitely a bear, I’m a big mellow dude and you would never catch me running around chasing my tail and howling. 05 What do you love about the Mas Fina Cantina? It’s a REAL neighborhood bar where we get a lot of locals. It’s not pretentious, it’s just a good quality straight up bar.



this Dip will change your life ...most likely by lara miller

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Right, everyone?! Anyone? Well, that’s what the song says anyway. Actually, sometimes it seems like the most STRESSFUL time of the year, no? For those of us with kids, we have winter break rapidly approaching. Three weeks of winter break, which at times seems more like 30 years of time off. I have three boys so three weeks off with no break from them may end up to be my demise. So if you don’t hear back from me in the next issue, tip your cup for me because they may have taken me down. I’m kidding … I think. Anyway, I digress. There’s also Hanukkah and Christmas and Kwanzaa, or whatever holiday you celebrate. There is awesome spirituality involved in all of those holidays which is what we all need to fill up our mind, body and soul. But those holidays also involve buying presents of some sort. Always such a delightful and stress free task, wouldn’t you agree? {Insert sarcasm here.} Trying to figure out something relatively affordable, while still trying to make it personal, and something they will love … for about 25 of your closest friends and family.

40 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

Piece. Of. Cake. Right? Yeah, right! Well, even though the holidays may come with a certain level of stress, I do still agree with the song. It is the most wonderful time of the year! There’s hanging lights, trimming trees, chestnuts roasting on an open fire (OK, not so much), Christmas movies (one word, Elf), Christmas music, family all around and, of course, Santa! Traditions are what make this time of year so special. And for me and my family, traditions revolve heavily around family and of course, food. Homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. The hot cocoa topped with marshmallows flows like fine wine around these parts, especially while decorating our tree. Baking cookies for Santa, and leaving carrots for the reindeer. My mom’s huge Christmas day feast that feeds 35-40 of us all. Yes, the holidays are stressful, but they are also brilliant. Then finally, the icing on the cake, the cherry on top, the star on top of the tree, if you will, there is a light at the end of this stressful but wonderful holiday time tunnel … The partayyy that is New Year’s Eve!

That’s right. This is when we get to exercise our freedom from the stress of it all and start fresh with new beginnings. A new year to right our wrongs, to make new goals, to go carte blanche. To make all kinds of unattainable new year’s resolutions that inevitably make us feel worse rather than better. Yahoooo! Get excited people! It’s a new year and 2014 is going to be the best yet! And to start things off with a bang, I’ve created this Hot Jalapeño Spicy Sausage Dip for you to take to your New Year’s Eve destination. Or to any party you might be attending. Either way, this one will not disappoint! You literally mix all the ingredients in one bowl, put it in a baking dish and throw it in the oven. Grab some crackers or some pita chips or cut up a baguette of bread and you’ve got an appetizer that will definitely get your new year poppin’! In the words of a great and very wise man, “we’re gonna to party like it’s 1999!” Happy holidays and Happy New Year!

Hot Jalapeño


these recipes

will feed 6-8 who will be seriously indebted to you for making this

spicy chicken sausage dip

1/2 lb. ground sweet chicken sausage, removed from casing, if any 1/2 lb. ground hot chicken sausage, removed from casing, if any (I buy mine in bulk from Sprouts, behind the meat section)

1/2-3/4 cup light mayo

(you can use full fat mayo and sour cream to make this dip a little richer and creamier, but I’m trying to keep it a little lighter)

1/3-1/2 cup light sour cream

(for a creamier consistency, use the larger cup measurement of mayo and sour cream)

3 cups shredded jalapeño jack cheese 1 cup grated pecorino romano; 2/3 in the dip, 1/3 reserved for the topping 1-4 oz. can roasted diced green chilies 1-14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped 1 large portobello mushroom, cut into chunks 3 garlic cloves, minced 4 scallions, sliced thin 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce A few dashes (or a lot of dashes) of your favorite hot sauce Pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper

My name is Lara Miller and I am a wife to a pretty cool San Diego dude and mama to three handsome little boys. Yes, I am a lone ranger in a pad full of testosterone. Here is my thing... I love to cook. I’m not a chef, but cooking is what makes the world turn for me. It’s like my therapy, and believe me… dealing with three boys on the daily requires some serious therapy!

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 41




Preheat your oven to 400º.


Grab an 8x8 oven proof baking dish or any one about that size that you want to use.


In a sauté pan, cook both sausages on medium high heat until cooked through and browned, about 10 minutes.


Keep moving the sausage around with a wooden spoon to break it up. You want the sausage to have nice texture, but not too big of chunks.


Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.


In the same pan with all the juicy sausage bits still in it, add in the chunked portobello mushroom and add a pinch of salt and some fresh cracked pepper.


Sauté the portobello until the liquid starts to come out while scraping all the brown bits from the pan left from the sausage, about 5-6 minutes.

No joke, this dip is outrageous. It’s so many things … creamy, cheesy, meaty, spicy. It’s where it’s at. Trust that you will be the Grand Marshal of the next party you bring this to. People will revere you and be awed by your culinary talents. Get ready for your close up, this one’s a game changer. TIP: If you don’t want it so spicy, you can omit the chilies, the hot sauce and play with the cheese selection instead of the jalapeño jack. Most good melty cheeses would work great here. TIP: If you want to add more cheese or less cheese (please,

in what world is less cheese ever OK?), feel free.

TIP: You can make this with all sweet sausage or all spicy sausage if you prefer. TIP: Of course you can use pork sausage if you’re not down with chicken sausage.

TIP: If you want, you can add about 1/4 cup of white wine or 1/4 cup of

beer to deglaze the pan from the brown bits while cooking the mushroom.


Add the sautéed mushroom into the dish with the cooling cooked sausage.

Let the mixture cool slightly.


Mix the rest of the ingredients in with the sausage and mushroom, and only 2/3 cup of the grated pecorino romano.


With the remaining 1/3 cup pecorino romano, sprinkle all over the top of the dip to get a nice crust.


Bake at 400º uncovered for 20-30 minutes, until it’s bubbling and the cheesy top is browned.

Serve warm with crackers, veggies or sliced baguette.

42 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

on par


jc golf at

twin oaks

1425 N. Twin Oaks Valley Road San Marcos, CA 92069 Tee Times / Pro Shop: (760) 591-4700

Green fees Rates with cart

Weekday Friday Weekend / Holiday





JC Players




So Cal Resident








Super Twilight




Jr Public




JC Junior




Golf Course Features:

-D  riving range with 20 grass or mat tees -C  omplete Golf Shop with the latest golf equipment and golf apparel -G  olf tournament services with dedicated outing coordinator on site - I nstruction and clinics offered by PGA professionals -B  anquet space for groups up to 225 guests - 2 Oaks Pub offering casual dining indoors or on the patio

44 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

The 18-hole championship course at Twin Oaks is a demanding, but fair test for golfers of all levels. The unique course includes three signature water features and plays adjacent to a protected wildlife habitat, adding to an experience that is both challenging and picturesque.

Blue Tees Course rating:


Slope rating: 130 Distance:



Ted Robinson

Dress code:

Collared Shirt

Elevation changes combine with quick, undulating greens to create an exciting course of both open and target-oriented holes. Both the Garden Room, a private, 2,600-square-foot banquet venue overlooking the course, and 2 Oaks Pub offer a variety of food and beverage options for pre-event and post-event functions.

Hole #7 (Par 3) This is a beautiful hole. It’s technically not an island green but it plays just like one because the green protrudes out into the lake. When you’re at the tee box, you start daydreaming that you’re on #17 at TPC at Sawgrass. Nobody is sure what club to use so I go first with a seven iron and fly the green to the left and almost kill some maintenance guys, good thing they were aware and, more importantly, that it wasn’t actually an island green because my ball was safe on the other side. Pete sees this and decides to go eight iron instead but it’s still too much club. He lands on the top tier which leaves him a super tough putt downhill towards the water. Chris goes in the water on his first shot but lands on the top tier with Pete after his penalty. I now have to chip over trees and actually end up in the front bunker. It takes me two more shots to get out but end up one putting for a double bogey. Chris ends up two putting and also gets a double bogey. Pete three puts and gets a bogey. This hole kicked our butts. Funny how something so beautiful can be so brutal. Hole #15 (Par 4) This was a tricky hole. It was a dogleg left but there is a lake on the left side as well, so there’s no way to draw it over without water coming into play. I naturally slice so I aim left and take a rip.

Four EL Magazine playing the course:

For some reason, I get no fade at all and it goes straight out of bounds. Pete takes his driver and puts in straight into the water. Chris hit his best drive all day long and puts it on the right edge of the fairway.

It was going to be a fun day because one of my close friends, Pete Rocky, was going to join us for the round. He is a former professional surfer that was on the ASP World Tour back when Kelly Slater, Rob Machado and many others were first getting their start. I’m not sure why but a lot of pro surfers are also good golfers, case in point, so is Pete. He shoots in the 80s on an average day.

After a re-tee, I launch a perfect drive down the middle which lands me on a ridge with a perfect view of the pin down below. I hit a nine iron within six feet of the pin and end up one putting. I walk off with a bogey, which should have been a birdie because of my initial tee shot ... unbelievable.

The three of us are supposed to go out as the first group right before the scheduled tournament at 7:04 a.m. I arrive a bit early to find out that there is an hour delay because of frost. (Apparently, if you play on frozen turf, you severely damage the grass, who knew?) It was actually a relief because Pete had to drive down from Orange County and he was super late. He blamed it on a four car pile-up by Camp Pendleton but my traffic app said differently, I think he just overslept.

Pete also walks away with a bogey because of his hazard penalty. Chris had been hacking all day but played this hole magically. He put his second shot on the green then two putted for a par.

As I wait, I find out that the participants of the tournament are primarily made up of middle aged and senior Filipino gentlemen. I was kept entertained because they were really lively and everybody had a joke to tell. One of the staff members told me that they have the tournament about every six months and when they do, it’s a blast for everyone.

Nobody scored very well on this day but we all had our moments on several holes. We started playing skins but since we are all such good friends, we rooted each other on instead of trying so hard to win for ourselves. Golf is kind of like life. If you’re trying too hard and getting upset, you’ll never have fun along the way.

Hole #2 (Par 5) We actually started on #2 and finished on #1 because there was a shot gun start for the tournament. Since they only had enough people for 13 holes, it was wide open ahead of us. Even at 8:15 a.m., it is absolutely freezing. I have to keep my un-gloved right hand in my pocket so I can keep the circulation going. I rip a drive right up the middle but it feels like my cold hand just shattered into a million pieces. Pete shanks his drive but claims “Breakfast Ball,” which means a mulligan, then puts the next one up the middle. My other buddy Chris proceeds to take two “Breakfast Balls” then just decides to drop by us. Pete pars the hole, I bogey, and Chris gets a triple bogey. In reality, since I don’t believe in “Breakfast Balls,” I make a mental note that Pete actually got a Double Bogey and Chris actually shot a 12. Thank goodness we weren’t playing for money!

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 45



Rancho Pescadero

baja california, Mexico

BY michelle lyn



TODOS SANTOS Just outside of Cabo San Lucas


Living in San Diego, we’re lucky our neighbor to the south has so much to offer in terms of good food and good weather in such close proximity. An easy 2-hour flight away, Cabo San Lucas is a popular destination for many of us. If you’re looking to get your Cabo Wabo on, you’ll stay put. If not you’ll head out of town where the days are fuller.

46 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

You’re probably familiar with Todos Santos, but not Pescadero. And that’s ok. It’s sleepy and most people go there to simply relax. In 2009, Rancho Pescadero opened its doors in this small fishing village with a thriving organic agricultural scene. The boutique hotel sits on 15-acres of beachfront property and has 27 suites, most of which look out over the Pacific Ocean. The buildings themselves blend old and new, creating a sense of unpretentious luxury. Untouched sand dunes and palm trees set the

property slightly back from the ocean. What seals the deal is that Rancho Pescadero makes you feel at home. The minute you arrive, Carla the manager takes your bags and sends you down to the bar for a margarita. There’s no tipping or checks to worry about during your stay. Each member of the staff remembers who you are and what room you’re in and makes sure all your needs are met effortlessly. The staff is like a tight knit family and by the end of your stay, you’ll feel like a part of it.


02 01 Free Daily Yoga 02 Walk to the Beach 03 Beach Cruisers provided by the hotel 04 Ocean View from the Beach Front Cabana 05 Poolside at Rancho Pescadero


06 Danny’s Margaritas

MORNINGS Waking up in Cabo usually means waking up with a headache. At Rancho Pescadero, however, you wake up to the sound of crashing waves and a morning delivery of coffee and pastries. After enjoying them on the patio of your suite, you can head up to the ocean view deck for some chilaquiles or have Ismael make you a latte and go for a walk on the hotel’s two-mile stretch of secluded white-sand beach. Mid-morning yoga is offered daily in the 2,000 square foot yoga and Pilates pavilion (or on the beach) and guests are welcome to select from the property’s complimentary supply of surfboards and fishing equipment for further enjoyment. If you’re up for a little excursion, you can take advantage of the hotel’s beach cruisers and ride through the fragrant basil, mint and strawberry crops to the Baja Beans cafe for a slice of ex-pat heaven just off a dusty dirt road. Sunday is market day where you can mingle with local artisans peddling their handicrafts.


05 03

AFTERNOONs By mid-day you have some important decisions to make: do you order one of Danny’s Tamarindo- or Cilantromargaritas? Poolside or on the beach? Chips and guac now or later? Steps from the bar, you can easily spend your day lounging at the pool listening to Thievery Corporation or you can retreat to the hot tub with a cocktail after a day of adventure. The helpful staff at Rancho Pescadero is happy to organize whatever interests you, whether it be horseback riding on the beach, hiking the Sierra Laguna Mountains, kayaking around the gorgeous beaches of La Paz or scuba diving in the Sea of Cortez. ATVs and Baja Buggies are available and road warriors can even take a 3-hour tour in a real $130,000 Baja 1000 race car. If you want to try your hand at fishing for dinner, you can simply walk out front or they can coordinate a fishing trip with a local Panguero, a spear fishing trip, a deep sea fishing trip in Los Barriles, or a fishing trip in La Paz.


Wildlife fans can visit a turtle hatchery located in front of the hotel, where they can learn about sea turtle conservation in Mexico and participate in the release of the hatchlings into the ocean. At some point, most guests opt for a jaunt to the nearby artist colony of Todos Santos to gallery hop, visit great restaurants, and shop. DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 47




planning ahead 01


evenings With such a great restaurant on the property, you don’t need to leave at night. Local ingredients take top billing and nearly all of the produce and fish is grown or caught within a 20-mile radius of the property, including fish plucked from right out in front of the hotel and produce grown in the hotel’s organic garden. The result: Chef Rodrigo Bueno’s menu has a freshness that defines farm- and ocean-to-table cuisine, accented with indigenous flavors like tamarindo and chilies. The restaurant also features an almost entirely Mexican artisan wine list, and hosts weekly wine tastings to introduce visitors to these largely unheralded wines. Dinners are long and casual because the resort starts shutting down around 9:30 p.m. (Baja midnight). There is no Cabo party scene—which is exactly the point.


01 Salmon Entrée 02 Oceanfront Suite

Best of Baja Culinary Weekend

In November, Rancho Pescadero and chef Rodrigo Bueno hosted a “Best of Baja” 04 Restaurant View Culinary Weekend with Northern Baja’s top chefs, Javier Plascencia (Mision 19 05 At the Beach and Finca Altozano), Diego HernándezBaquedano (Corazón de Tierra), and celebrated winemaker Phil Gregory (Vena Cava).

Getting There Alaska and Spirit Airlines offer direct flights from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas. Once you get through customs, a Rancho Pescadero driver will be waiting for you outside. The air conditioned van will whisk you out of town and an easy hour and twenty minutes later you should have a margarita in hand. Rumor has it that a new highway will cut that drive in half, so stay tuned. When to Go Look out for upcoming Culinary Weekends. They are the perfect time to combine a weekend of food, wine and activities. Not a foodie? Go for music during the Todos Santos Music Festival in mid-January. Whale season goes until March, when you can see spouts, flippers and tail flukes from the beach.

03 Shot Glasses

Weather It’s Baja. With an average year-round temperature of 78 degrees F, anytime is a good time to go. It might get cool at night though so bring a sweater or drink more tequila.

The long weekend included a welcome cocktail reception with the chefs, intimate cooking classes and demonstrations, cocktail, tequila and Baja wine tastings, multi-course gourmet dinners with nightly wine pairings, live entertainment each night and a big farewell brunch.

Book It Rooms start at $185 night. Reservations can be made online at 05

It was a truly once in a lifetime opportunity to spend a weekend with Baja’s top chefs in a casual setting where you could cook with them, ask questions and taste as you go. Inspired by the on-site gardens and fresh catch of the day, each meal came from within a few miles of the hotel. Tijuana’s gastronomic star Plascencia just announced a shuttle service to his restaurant just over the border. Get a group of friends together and get picked up anywhere in San Diego and driven to (and from) Mision 19 for around $20 a person. It doesn’t get any easier than that-and his modern food is definitely worth the passport stamp! 03 48 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 49



talk about tahoe

lake tahoe

BY Erik h. martin

“I remember Merkin charging that huuuuge two foot gap and buckling on the landing. Goggles flying in the air, head snapping back on the snow, and him just squirming in pain from the ribs he broke. Haha! Classic!”

“I have so many good memories of snowboarding in Lake Tahoe. Most of them involve waking up at 5 am, getting some coffee and driving to go hit the backcountry around Lake Tahoe, watching the sun come up over the Lake, and the anticipation of the powder turns to come throughout the day. Hiking through the backcountry with Mike Hatchett, Kevin Jones, Noah Salasnek looking for some cool terrain to ride and film for one of the TB movies. The snow is stable and the weather is a perfect 27F and the winds are light. This is the best place to be, and I feel so fortunate to have lived so many days like this. Lake Tahoe Rules.” – Dave Downing

Call it age. Call it indifference. Whatever the reason, I question my memory’s true capability sometimes. I would be completely screwed if I was allowed my one phone call and didn’t have my iPhone on me to look up my brother’s number. But, I sure as hell can remember T-ables ruling the dance floor, the sound of the wood bed snapping under Tank’s feet, and, unfortunately, the month I was out of the water due to broken ribs. I remember how, 20 years ago, my buddy brought his girlfriend to Mammoth with us

50 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

“Haha! I think we have that on video still. I love the vid we have of T-ables doing ‘The Cobra’ on the dance floor with that one chick he met on the mountain that day. He’s throwing the Cobra around his neck, through his legs, up in the air, and around her back, …and she’s just going with it!” “I think that was the same trip that Tank was jumping on the bed in the condo and completely “Yeah, I think so. buckled it in half.” That trip was insane. Perfect snow and good friends.”

and was suckered into teaching her how to board the entire trip; the rest of us heckling him every time we sped past them at the bottom. I can also remember my other buddy doing doughnuts in the icy parking lot and slamming his Bronco into a solid wall of snow. And so the unforgettable snowboarding memories spill out with every pint of beer I share with my friends, as I’m sure they do with everyone who has put a snowboard under their feet. We share them in the

jacuzzi immediately following a fun day of boarding. We share them in a summer lineup as talks begin for next season’s trip. We share them anytime smiles are desired. And as I found while writing this piece, the Tahoe locals were willing to share with a complete stranger holding a Four EL Magazine, an iPad, and a pint of beer. It was then that it dawned on me that only their words could do Tahoe justice… or at least deliver another smile.

I’d say the best thing about snowboarding in Squaw is it’s sunny. We’re all here to have fun. – Kirsten, 24, Florida

I can remember vividly the first time hitting the powder in Tahoe. I was around 16. We were on vacation here. It’s a magical thing. You’re in the middle of nowhere and you look out and you can see the lake. And you get out there and… (laughs) it’s just amazing! – Bree, 23, North Carolina Best place after a ski for locals is Les Chamois. They only serve beer and wine. It’s been a ski museum for a long time. That’s where all the pro guys go and it’s just where all the locals go to congregate. It started with the ski school and it’s just the hang out. It’s unpretentious. When you go there, dogs are running around, kids are running around. At 2:30 on weekends, the place clears out because all the people who have been around forever, go to get their kids. …Best place for cougars…Plumpjack. It’s upscale, fine dining, restaurant, bar, hotel…. If you’re looking for…. This place right here (Cornice Cantina) is great for a lot of locals. Cheapest place to drink. You come in and get a “shifter” which is a PBR or wellcocktail for a dollar. First drink, one drink. Everyday. Whenever. You just come here and say “shifter.” – Kurt, 43, Squaw Valley

The “shoulder seasons” sometimes extend into really dry, horrible ski seasons where we have beautiful, beautiful weather into January. Two years ago, sitting on the beach on the east shore, skinny dipping in the lake. On New Year’s Day! On a beautiful day! I think it was 60 – well some people think that’s freezing – but 60…65 degrees, on a beautiful day with crystal clear water. Haha! Nobody’s around and…you know…loving life. And you should be skiing but it’s not a bad option to be skinny dipping in the lake! – Bart, 45, Tahoe A couple good things to do…well one is Base Camp. It’s half way up Squaw Valley and you take a gondola up. There’s ice skating, there’s pools you can actually swim in during the winter. Their chili is absolutely amazing. For breakfast there’s a place called Log Cabin. The chocolate chip waffles are humongous! For something gourmet, there’s something in Incline Village called Lone Eagle Grille. Their French Onion soup is what they’re famous for. For New Year’s, for partying, I’d say Squaw Valley if you want the local community feel. South Lake, South Lake’s fun just because there’s a huge casino scene and there’s night clubs. There’s a place called Montbleu; it’s a night club and that’s the most popular one there. – Will, 23, Tahoe

So my friends and I woke up early and were on the mountain by 8:30 that morning. We had to be back to the car by 1:00. Well… we all lagged. We all finally get to the car and we’re hauling ass because we have to be at work at 5:00. So we’re hauling down the mountain and this fuckin’ Prius is on our ass! And like we know this mountain; we know how to drive it. And so this guy is on our ass and I don’t like that. It makes me feel uncomfortable. And so I have to go pee. I’m not driving. My friend’s driving and I really have to go pee. I’m like, “hey, can you pull over?” And she’s like, “No, we have to go.” I’m like, “what do I do?!” Well this fuckin’ asshole is behind us, so I go, “I’m going to go pee outside the car.” So I shimmy my ass out of the car and this Prius is still on our ass. And I’m pretty sure they were wondering, “what the fuck are these people doing?!” So I’m peeing and doing my thing. And it’s all girls in the car, so I don’t give a shit. And the best part about it was that they turned their windshield wipers on and backed the fuck off of us! And they learned their lesson ‘cause honestly break checking obviously didn’t work so leave it to me, I’m going to pee all over your car. –Madison, 21, Tahoe

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locale When I go to Squaw, this is definitely the place, at Mamasaki, after a few runs in the afternoon. A little beer and Mama’s Balls (deep fried seafood salad) or a handroll for $5. Everyday from 3-5 o’clock. You can’t beat it. – April, 24, New Hampshire You can’t get past Fireside at the base of the mountain. They’re real good. Down in town (Tahoe City), River Grill has real nice steak. That’s my “go to” if I want a bit of steak. – Paul, 25, Australia Oh man, the terrain here is just one of the best and more challenging that you will see. Maybe the snow is not the best but that is what makes it part of the challenge. The environment, the people. They’re super easy going. – Javier, 28, Argentina

The views, it’s just incredible. You know, like there’s nothing to me that compares. I’ve been out in Denver and it’s similar but… the lake and, you know, just the overall atmosphere… I just think it’s the place to go. – Pasquel, 47, Miami All active duty military members get to ski here (Squaw Valley) for free. Anytime we have a free day, it’s just completely free for us to just come up here and snowboard. All it is is just gas and food and beer. – Andy, 27, Corpus Christi I’ve lived here for eight years. The terrain here is just great. The bars. The vibe. The village life. We can drink beer and smoke weed everywhere. It’s a friendly resort (Squaw Valley); Grateful Dead was playing here way back in the day, you know. Everyone’s happy to be here. That’s the one thing everyone has in common, they love this place. So everyone automatically is almost a friend already. – Shawn, 28, Tahoe

A big difference between Tahoe and a lot of other ski resorts is that there’s more of a social life going on here. There’s casinos. There’s a lot of people. You go to other ski towns and there’s a lot of guys and not so many girls. Where as here that’s not necessarily the case. There’s a lot of both. – Aaron, 31, New Hampshire

The mountain (Squaw) has really transformed into… it’s great for everyone now. They’ve opened up new lifts for beginners. Then you go over to Alpine and that’s a really family mountain and Squaw’s starting to do the same. – Clayton, 19, Tahoe At the end of last year I was out to dinner with a group of Ski Patrollers. There were seven of us at Mamasaki; a sushi place. We were having dinner, enjoying ourselves. Seven people. The bill comes. All of a sudden one of the Patrollers is nudging me and goes, “Karey, the guy at the next table and his son just picked up our bill.” I’m all, “Well why did he do that?” They were like, “We don’t know.” And I said, “Well let me go find out.” And I sat next to the son and the dad and I said, “Is it true? Did you just pick up our bill?” And the dad said, “It wasn’t me, it was my son.” And I said, “Well why did you do that?” And the son said, “Well my dad has been teaching me how important it is to pay it forward and take care of other people. And so we decided we wanted to pick up your tab.” – Karey Todd, “young at heart”, Tahoe The scenery. The view. We had a great instructor; she was really nice. It’s just been a good overall experience. – Lance, 24, Australia

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It’s good because it (Squaw Valley) has a local vibe… but there’s still like a lot of tourists which is good. There’s always stuff going on. You know, like even for us living here, there’s always stuff going on every weekend which is great. You know ‘cause we’re in small towns and we like to get out. We don’t have to go to the city or anything. It’s just a really good vibe. Everyone’s laid back. It’s like living in a fantasyland for sure. It’s the best place ever so… come visit us! – Kate, 32, Michigan

And as I wrap up this article and look out the window up at Squaw, I see a snowboarder catch his toe edge, take a good tumble, finally sit up a bit dazed, and then get sprayed by three of his buddies laughing as they board past. I am certain those laughs will continue later today as the four of them finally put up their feet, enjoy a cold beer, and replay the day’s fun and falls in their colorful commentary. And so this will be yet another fond memory amongst thousands of others that Tahoe offers to all who visit and partake in its vibe.




Donna Wettstein. Homes & Estates

North County Specialist.


My commitment to all of you is to work SMART and DILIGENTLY, paying special attention to YOUR individual desires and needs, and to make it a fun journey... YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS!

I have told Donna many times that I will NEVER use another realtor as long as I live-because I mean it. She is the best. My wife and I are totally comfortable with her process, her manner, and her expertise in real estate. We cannot recommend her highly enough.

Mike and Marie 4/25/13

C: 619.884.1884 DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 53



summer says

avoid gift giving

failure This time of year can be a lot of pressure when you are in a relationship. Coming up with the perfect gift can be quite a challenge, especially if it is a new relationship. How big do you go? What does she like?

I have to share a personal story that has traumatized me when it comes to the holidays and receiving a gift. I love giving gifts, so I’ve never struggled coming up with a good or perfect gift, but because of this traumatizing story, I am so awkward when it comes to receiving holiday gifts. My story dates all the way back to Junior High. I was in 8th grade and had gotten my boyfriend a gift certificate to the Wherehouse for Christmas. His mom pulled up to drop him off at school the last day before winter break. He had his hands behind his back when he walked up and with excitement said, “I have a gift for you!” He pulled his hands forward and in his hands he had a big candy cane. I was humiliated, because everyone standing there knew what I got him. This single event at age 13 has made me so uncomfortable about gift giving holidays. It’s not necessarily about the cost that goes into a gift, it’s the thought. I want to make sure you are set up for success for this year’s gift giving season so as to prevent another experience like mine. I strongly encourage you to NOT go for the gift card. I certainly understand the logic behind it but it is a bad move. You think she can get whatever she wants. But let me share our perspective: we women want you to put some thought and effort into a gift. If you are paying attention to the things she is interested in you can come up with a gift your girl will appreciate, and she’ll find value in your efforts. There are so many tools to help you find the perfect gift with minimal effort. Here are some quick tips to keep you from aimlessly wandering through the mall trying to figure out what to buy: 01 Sleuthing with her Friends. The easiest way is to contact one of her friends. This can give you some great insight on what she would love. Girlfriends can typically provide you with EXACTLY what she wants. Even though this does not take much thought on your part, it guarantees you are getting her something she would love. Her friend is not going to guide you in the wrong direction.

02 Use technology to your advantage. If you don’t have a Pinterest account, create one. You don’t need to do anything with it, other than follow her Pinterest boards. Most girls I know are on Pinterest and will “pin” things they love to their page. This is a creative way to gain insight on things she loves or wants.

03 Go for the classic. If all else fails there are certain go-to gifts that never fail. Most girls love anything that comes in a little Tiffany blue box!

02 Ask a sales person. Walk into any brand boutique at Fashion Valley and the person working will tell you exactly what to buy. They are knowledgeable experts on what is in fashion. It’s helpful if you know what brands she likes!

05 It’s the little things that count. Perhaps you want to plan a getaway trip, but she still needs to have something to unwrap, so provide a few little things that would relate to the trip that you’ve planned. For example, you plan an extended weekend away in Cabo, get her a pair of sunglasses! You are taking her to Mammoth for a snowboarding trip? Get her a scarf and gloves. A scarf and gloves on their own aren’t a great gift but coupled with a trip to Mammoth or Tahoe they become creative!

Most importantly put some thought and effort into what you buy. Even if the effort is soliciting help at least you will end up with the right gift for her. My goal here is to guide you away from committing a gift giving crime. Good luck and have a happy and safe holiday season!

Man-Up! Feel free to contact me for questions (embarrassing or not!), advice or topics around relationships you would like for me to address at

54 Four El | DECEMBER 2013


THE FOUR EL’S OF SUCCESSFUL ADVERTISING LATITUDE Where our readers live, work and play LONGEVITY Your ads make lasting impressions LOYALTY Our readers come back for more LIMITLESS Your return on investment FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: 760.744.0911 OR STEVE@FOURELMAGAZINE.COM DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 55

native population

56 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

beauty and brains

San Diego

Natives Grace Nakashima

San Diego Connection: I grew up in East County San Diego in Lakeside. At one point our claim to fame was “Home of the Largest Windchime” and “Worlds Biggest Hawks Nest.” Zodiac Sign: Leo Profession: Bartendress at the Lumberyard Tavern and all around beach bum Outdoor activities: Surfing, snowboarding, running, walking my dog to the beach. I’m trying to get better at skateboarding but falling down hurts. Anything outside and in the sun. Hobbies: Yoga, eating, beering, competitive gaming. If we’re playing something, I will win. Or talk enough trash to make you feel like you’ve lost. I’m a great sport. Favorite Food: I love eggs and burritos. I’m also peanut butter crazy, pass the super chunky! Favorite Libation: I have a hard time drinking beers that are under 7%. I like the punch in the mouth of an Imperial IPA and my sweet Jameson.

Growing up: My two sisters and I were lucky to grow up in a house on some land in Lakeside. We had a big garden, raised chickens, a few sheep, rabbits, ducks, a bunch of birds. My older sisters and I had a ton of chores and had to tend to the animals. We were stuck with a lot of yard work but I was such a tomboy growing up, I didn’t mind it much. I loved getting dirty, playing hard and running around outside like a maniac. I think working hard as a kid but also having so much freedom growing up kept my sisters and I out of trouble. We were pretty isolated and kind of only had each other out there, which is why we’re all so close. Lakeside will always have a place in my heart but I’m so grateful to live in North County and I think Encinitas is one of the best places on earth. Surfing: Every morning I wake up planning on going surfing. I’m constantly checking swell info and tides locally and globally to see what the waves are doing just in case I need to go on an impulsive surf trip. More or less, I plan my day around surfing. The best day ever would be waking up to some pumping waves, go surf my face off with friends, eat a burrito, take a nap, then go shred again ‘til my arms fall off. Finish the night off with some beers and I’m the happiest girl on the planet.

About the boys: I like guys who don’t take themselves too seriously. I like to get out there and have a good time. I’m always up for an adventure and am wildly impulsive, so it’s fun when someone can join me. I think it’s also really important that a guy be comfortable in being confident. Open the door, not just for ladies but for anyone, always. Be considerate to strangers, other drivers and especially your server or bartender. I’m not really into complicated men, inconsiderate drivers, and basically guys that are lazy. Best date: I’m pretty bad at dating. I just get so nervous sitting down in front of someone at a table, which is weird because I’m a bartender. I’m a simple girl. I’d prefer to go out and do something fun to break the ice, like hiking, bowling, mini golf, or the arcade. Something fun and cheesy but there has to be beer. Worst date: I haven’t had a ton of bad dates but there was one guy I went out with who just talked about himself the ENTIRE night. I couldn’t get a word in, and anyone who knows me would find that hard to believe. Over dinner he was showing me pictures of himself on Facebook being awesome.

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native population

58 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

pin up classics

pin up

clAssics Jenny Miller

Vehicle: 1953 Chevy Bel Air Car’s name: Lacey Lou Favorite car movie: American Graffiti Favorite Car Magazine: Deluxe, Street Rodder

Where are you from? I was born in Oceanside, CA and that’s why we decided to take the pictures right in the heart of downtown Oceanside. I am very proud of where I am from and I’m very lucky to live in this beautiful town.

found her on eBay. It was located in Burbank, CA so I took a drive up there with my best friend and test drove her. Immediately I handed the guy a check and drove back down the coast with her. That’s all she wrote. I’ve been in love ever since.

Tell me about your tattoos: I have several tattoos that were all done by my good buddy Milford Barnes. I have both of my calves tattooed, one says “saints heart” and the other one says “sinners skin.” It’s basically a good and evil type theme. I also chose Saints Heart because that’s the name of my graphic design company. I have both of my thighs tattooed one is of my ‘53 Bel Air, it say’s “living the lowlife” because that is pinstriped on the back of my sled. My other thigh has an eagle with an American flag and a confederate flag and it says “America, love it or leave it.” I also have roses tattooed on the back of both of my knees and some more roses on my very upper thigh above my Bel Air.

What do you consider your best assets? Easy on the loaded question ... haha! Honestly, it’s my ability to communicate and my loyalty to friends and family.

How did Lacey Lou enter your life? Seven years ago I was interested in getting a ‘53 Bel Air. I searched high and low through car trader magazines, Craigslist, but I finally

What do you love most about your car? My favorite thing about my car is the fact that when I drive it, there is no other feeling like it in the world. I have freedom at my fingertips with a touch of style. I also just genuinely love cars and I am proud to own this one. Men are like cars because: Dislikes: When they leak all over the place and don’t clean up after themselves. Likes: When they’re dependable and sporting a V8 under the hood.

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 59

native population

past natives

past natives




(Including our gal from December)

2 May issue 2013


60 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

july issue 2013


august issue 2013


4 september issue 2013



october issue 2013


6 november issue 2013



DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 61






When hitting the slopes this winter season, it’s important to have the right accessories to stay safe and warm even under the coldest of conditions. Some of my favorites are as follows:

01 Goggles: When it comes to purchasing goggles, there are a variety of options depending on your needs. All goggles are helmet-compatible and offer UV protection. Some brands offer compatibility with eyeglasses or interchangeable lenses. They can cost as little as $28 or as much as $650, like these Smith Recon I/O Snow Goggles. These top-of-the-line bad boys feature GPSbased data viewable from inside the goggle and Bluetooth smartphone interface capability so you can track your speed, jump analytics, vertical, altitude, distance, location and temperature data. If this is out of your price range (or you aren’t taking part in a Special Ops mission), these Oakley Airbrake Snow Goggles get you the most bang for your buck. They cost a cool $220 and are equipped with an innovative interchangeable lens system, with high quality optics that deliver a wide field of vision, and a dual vented lens design that prevents your goggles from fogging up.


Smith Recon I/O Snow Goggles

Oakley Airbrake Snow Goggles

62 Four El | DECEMBER 2013


fitness 05

SmartWool PhD Snowboard Light Socks

03 Socks: Wearing the right socks makes you feel more comfortable on the slopes. Socks like these SmartWool PhD Snowboard Light Socks or Darn Tough Padded Cushion Ski/Ride Socks ensure your feet feel fresh thanks to the cushioning, temperature control and moisture management. Wear higher-cut socks to reduce friction against the boot. Giro Edit Snow Helmet


04 Gloves:

Because we’re mostly civilized primates, I recommend the Dakine Titan 3-in-1 Gloves. These $65 gloves are not only wind-resistant and waterproof, the liner is a soft, moisture-wicking fleece with finger grips that allow you to use your touch screen on your smartphone. In addition, they offer exterior pockets to hold small items or hand warmers.


05 Beanies: Finally, let’s not forget about keeping your noggin warm in these cold winter conditions. This North Face Wicked Beanie ($25) is quick-drying, offers moisture control and easily fits under your helmet. If you want more coverage for colder conditions, this Seirus Thermax Headliner Balaclava ($24) does the trick as it can be worn as a hood or covering for your face.

Giro Nine. 10 Snow Helmet


02 Helmets: Whether you’re riding goofy or taking part in a jam session, safety comes first. I’ve heard countless stories from both experienced and beginning snowboarders that wearing a helmet either prevented them from a serious injury or saved their life. Now that the lecture is out of the way, things to consider are: ventilation, lining, audio capability and camera mounting. All helmets offer ventilation, some more than others. Some helmets have removable plugs while more desirable ones have a lever that allows you to adjust the ventilation without removing your helmet. Removable liners are beneficial because they allow you to determine the amount of warmth you need and the ability to wash them every once in a while. Many helmets come equipped with built-in speakers so you can listen to your iPod or smartphone. Looking to capture the adventure? Some helmets, like this $180 Giro Edit Snow Helmet, allow you to add a GoPro camera to record every moment. If you’re not looking to be the Steven Spielberg of your next shred down the mountain, other options like the Giro Nine.10 Snow Helmet ($100) or the Smith Transport Snow Helmet ($130) are great alternatives as they have excellent ventilation systems and audio capability.

North Face Wicked Beanie

05 Dakine Titan 3-in-1 Gloves

North Face Wicked Beanie

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TECH all hands on

Personalized Whiskey Barrel

Price: $200 More than just a handsome homage to a whiskey-loving chap, this miniature oak barrel actually ages spirits to peak flavor, just like its full-sized siblings found in professional distilleries. Its petite proportions accelerate the aging process, meaning that the recipient’s choice of liquor will hit its prime up to 10 times faster. Turn the barrel and taste the contents weekly, and when they reach their ideal oakiness, enjoy a glass straight from the tap. Purchasers must be 21+. It seems that the more I like the items in All Hands On Tech, the more I keep telling myself that they seem like a bad idea. Maybe that’s the attraction.



Tech specs: - 4-link rear suspension with coil covers

Batman Tumbler Golf Cart

Price: $17,500 Wayne Enterprises would be jealous! (Gravelly voice and bad plot devices not included.) This beast started as an EZ-Go Golf-Cart, then it was stripped down to the frame and four cup holders. You will find no cheap or plastic parts here; the entire vehicle is handcrafted from the frame and sheet metal, including a sculpted, molded cowl, with attention paid to every detail. Well over $30,000 was spent to make it run great, and the cosmetic condition is excellent.

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- 110-volt converter - On-board charger

- Brand new 6 Trojan Gell Cell eight-volt batteries have been replaced for this sale. Rear disc brakes were installed to allow stopping quickly.

- Secret kill switch as an anti-theft device

- 500 amp controller

- Lights, side mirrors

- ( Replaced with a Go-Cart Motor) 48 volts; 6HP; 4,600 RPMs (clocked at 38 mph)

- Horn with a noise that fits this particular vehicle

- Custom-made dual 28-inch Super Swamper tires (smaller

- Adjustable leather seats

version of the original Tumbler Tires from the movie)

- 4 cup holders (keeping it classy) - iPad stand

- Rear warning backup buzzers - Batman logo on a sports-steering column.

Gentlemen’s Bogota Lock Picks

Price: $35 These are really cool but don’t be dumb. If you’re in handcuffs, applied by law enforcement and not a naughty elf, then just stay there. No need to rack up extra criminal charges because you think you’re Houdini. ‘Cause you’re not. Wear your lock picks pinned to anything that goes everywhere with you, and your lock picks will always be right where you want them, when you want them. Two superior quality Bogota picks slip snugly into their pin for perfect, secure carrying so you never forget your picks, and you’re always ready for whatever fate—or double agents—might try to put in your way.

YOLO Sea Turtle

Price: $1,485 O ne of the best all-around recreation board for six years running, with great graphics, the Sea Turtle is now enhanced with YOLO Board’s new breakthrough Hammer Strength Technology making it lighter and stronger. Suitable for the beginner to professional, offering superior stability and ease of use for all water conditions. Upgrades include builtin bungee system for your PFD, fishing setups, or water bottle, traction pad, back leash grommets, and 10” fin, convenient GoPro camera mount and a Gortex self-breathing valve that takes care of ventilation. This board is sound more and more like the type of set up that Les Stroud would use on Survivorman. It’s a real survival show that proves Bear Gryll’s is a huge pee-drinking pansy. Anyway, yes. This board is a must own.

Husqvarna Automower 230 ACX Goldee Smart Lighting

Price: $250 - $1700 Since I’m dumb and most everything we own now is smart, I thought it might be a good idea to beef up your home’s IQ with the Goldee Smart Lighting Controller. It wirelessly connects your home’s lighting to your home and is completely customizable thanks to smart on/off, a sleep timer, a night mode and various security settings. Unfortunately, it won’t illuminate you as to where your daughter is and why her date winked at you when they left.

Price: $2,600 Minus the vomit-inducing price tag, the world’s first fully robotic lawn mower has me thinking I can play video games instead of performing my own slave labor on my front yard. Suitable for lawns up to three-quarters of an acre. The benefits are the same as for the 220 AC, but this model is designed to tackle even more uneven and complex lawns. Also, with its twin batteries, the increased cutting capacity reduces the time required to cut a particular area. Automower 230 ACX is also equipped with an upgraded anti-theft alarm and backlit keypad and display. To manage larger lawns or more complex shapes, it is supplied with a large installation package.

If you’d like to have your product reviewed by Four EL Magazine, e-mail DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 65



TECH all hands on

Holiday bonus { For your santa pants }

In addition to All Hands on Tech, we wanted to include a quickie Four EL buying guide for the guy in your life. Or, if you’re single, maybe buy a few of these things so that a guy might choose to be in your life. Not that you need a guy in your life. I’m sure you’re a strong, confident person who’s very comfortable being alone. I’m gonna go ahead and quit typing right meow ... { For the Outdoorsy Lad }

The ENO DoubleNest Hammock

Price: $70 The Cl!ck Carabiner concept began with the skate carabiner tool. SkatLight and easy to install—it fits in a pouch roughly the size of a softball—this hammock can be packed up and brought anywhere. It also comes in a variety of colors—the orange one looks great in contrast to nature’s greens. It’s great for any getaways, whether that involves sitting down in the backyard with a beer or enjoying the great outdoors of accessible nature. It holds up to 400 pounds so there’s space for two to soak up the great outdoors together. He’ll never want to leave without it.

The Panta Claus

Price: $120 These pants feature one red leg and one green leg–the semi-official Christmas colors. I’m including these more as a dare. If you happen to buy the Panta Claus, send me a hi-res picture, and I’ll put your picture in next month’s magazine. Like I said, I dare you.

66 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

{ For your rock star }

The Roadie Tuner

Price: $79 This is the first roadie that doesn’t smell like a barn humping a dumpster. The Roadie Tuner uses a Bluetooth-packing palm-sized device that attaches onto a guitar peg and winds it automatically based on commands received from the app as you pluck on the strings. The app is designed to learn your instrument and adapt to it, allowing it to tune your guitar quicker and more precise the more it’s used. It’s also smart enough to know when you’re plucking the wrong string, so you can expect accurate tuning even if you’re the sloppiest guitar player in the world who, incidentally, also just had a few drinks. When you’re tuning an electric guitar, an adapter is supplied for hooking it up to your phone, but the app itself will delete environmental noises if you need to tune your acoustic six-string instead. Need alternate tunings? Not a problem: Just specify it in the app and the device will work accordingly. Even better, it can work with any string instrument that has a standard guitar peg, so bass, 12-stringers and similar rigs are all fair game. Roadie Tuner is currently a fully-funded Kickstarter project. You can still reserve yourself a unit for the upcoming run, with pledges starting at $79.

{ For your Motorcycling Madman }

{ For your Boozy Gentleman }

The Tequila Buffet

Price: $150 “Tequila Buffet elevates drinking shots to an art form.” Well, anything that helps eliminate that awful face people make when they do shots of tequila—’nuff said. It’s handcrafted from wormy (see what they did there!) salvaged chestnut and comes with a cutting board, salt bowls, a knife (with tequila? … again, bad idea), spoons and four shot glasses. Just add lime and tequila and bad choices. There is also a depression cut to fit a 350ml bottle of tequila perfectly. That is, if you think Patron is perfect.

Skully P-1

Price: $1,000 This helmet does everything short of wedging your fat ass into those leather riding chaps. DOT/ECE certified, Skully provides an advanced situational awareness system, showing via its trademarked Synapse Heads Up Display (HUD) navigation and blind-spot data, allowing you to stay focused on the most important part of your ride—the road. A patented, integrated rear-view camera system provides through HUD an 180-degree viewing angle. Similar to the way maps are displayed in front of the rider, the rear-view camera feeds video to ensure complete situational awareness. The Skully Nav makes the world your track. No need to plan your route or pull over for directions. Just ride. When you are ready, Skully shows you the way back with GPS maps. There is also Bluetooth pairing and voice control for the helmet that unlocks the connectivity potential of your mobile device while riding. The Skully P-1 allows you to control the interface with your voice, allowing you to hear your music, send texts, make calls and change your destination all hands-free.

{ For your geeky guy }

Ubuntu Edge

Price: $775 I have to say I’m very connected to my Galaxy S4 but for the Edge, I’d put it aside for a few months to give this beast a shot. Ubuntu Edge utilizes “convergence” to seamlessly switch from just a smartphone to desktop PC capabilities by connecting it to any monitor via HDMI. And with a built-in dual-LTE chip with 4G capabilities, you can literally work from anywhere in the world. An extremely fast multi-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and a silicone-anode battery provide the performance needed to operate as both a smartphone and PC, while pure sapphire crystal protects the 4.5-inch high resolution screen.

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 67



Financially Fit

in the New Year by Daniel Gamez

Between the holiday parties with open bars, and football season filled with hot wings, beer and pizza – we could all probably stand to shed a few pounds. But it’s not just our bodies we need to get back into shape…it’s also our wallets! After all the holiday spending, let’s look at what it means to be financially fit and how to get there. Being financially fit means you have financial security. How do you reach financial security? You remain knowledgeable of how you’re spending your money, budget your spending, eliminate debt, and increase your assets on a monthly basis. Just as we don’t expect that holiday gut to quickly melt away overnight, we can’t expect to be financially secure overnight. Here are some important tips to get you financially fit in the New Year.

01 Watch how you’re spending your money. How am I spending my money? It’s seems like such a simple question and most of us think we know, but you might be surprised if you track your true spending. The advent of the smartphone app has made this once tedious task so simple—Toshl Finance, Expensify, moBudget, and EasyMoney, to name a few, can help you easily see how and where you’re spending your hard earned cash. You need to fully understand where your money is being spent every month. And with very little effort, you can get an accurate picture of where you can cut back on expenses. It’s impossible to budget for your future if you don’t know where your dollars are going every day. Keep track of your cash flow so you can review it at the end of the month and determine if your spending is truly necessary.

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02 Finance your future – cut back on the credit cards. It’s easy to throw down the credit card and worry about paying it off later. Before you know it, you could find yourself in massive credit card debt. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you won’t have it by the end of the month don’t buy it on credit. This includes meals, bar tabs and any other form of entertainment you might indulge in. You may look cool to your buddies at the bar, but it’s not cool to finance a pitcher of beer at a 19% APR! 03 Work on getting out of existing debt. If you already have a large amount of debt, how do you get out of it? Burying your head in the San Diego sand is not the answer! If you have significant unsecured debts such as credit card debt, medical bills, payday loans, personal loans or private student loans, you

should take action sooner than later. You have options to get out of debt. Two of the better-known ways are debt consolidation and bankruptcy. Consolidating your debt essentially means taking out one large loan to pay off many smaller loans. You are still paying off the same amount of debt, but at a lower interest rate. In a bankruptcy, you either liquidate your debt (Chapter 7) or reorganize your debts and assets (Chapter 13). A lesser-known but viable option is debt settlement, which is a negotiated reduction in what you pay back to your creditors. The savings is oftentimes significant compared to continuing to pay the minimum monthly due each month. This is a good choice if you have more debt than you can pay off in a two or three year period or if you have experienced a significant financial hardship

that has caused you to fall behind on your monthly payments. It’s advisable to speak with an attorney with experience handling consumer debt if you are considering any of these options. Most offer a free consultation to review your situation and help you determine which route makes the most sense for you. 04 Increase your assets every month. This seems like a no brainer. You’re receiving a paycheck, so you must be getting more financially “secure,” right? Wrong! If a significant portion of your paycheck is going towards your debts, then you are not increasing your assets. Once you get control over your debt and budget, you are in a better position to increase your overall financial portfolio. And only then will you be on your way to being financially fit in the New Year.

2014 The Year of the Entrepreneur



Steps you can Take to Achieve your Dream by jeran fraser

You’re probably sick of hearing the word start-up and it’s no surprise as it has become the sort of word most of us relate to winning the lottery. Fortunately there’s ways to a means when it comes to putting together an idea and we’ve decided to put together a very helpful list of “to do’s” to help you not only formulate ideas, but launch them. 01 Research your idea: The number one thing you should do before coming up with your new business idea is to validate it. Talk to those close to you, do some research and market analysis to see if there’s a real need. There are plenty of great ideas that have a limited amount of users, therefore it’s important to know whether or not your idea is scalable. Spend some time studying and researching the concept. It’s likely that your successful idea has already been attempted, but that’s not always the case and even so, there’s a chance you can make it better. The research starts with a simple web search, but make sure you are searching online as a customer. People frequently bring me ideas on apps, software and products and in five minutes I can show them 2-3 people that are currently working on the same idea. First to market is always key when it comes to a niche, but don’t be discouraged by the fact that others are working on the same thing, just keep a mental note and a close eye on a potential competitor.

02 Know your Barriers to Entry: It’s fair to say that the easiest ideas start with someone close to you that can become a client. If you’re working a desk job, creatively look for ways to help improve the company you are working with. This may simply be a courier service that’s doing a terrible job, a printing company that can’t seem to get it right or an idea that helps your current company become more efficient in their day-to-day operations. Every idea has a barrier to entry and it’s important to know them as you are advancing your idea, so that you’re prepared, i.e. production time, cash flow needs, etc. These are things that a lot of creative minds tend to forget when formulating ideas or starting a business.

03 Take a Risk: If you’re like most people you’re risk averse when it comes to a career change. You’d rather be complacent and know your check is coming every two weeks, than to step out and try something new. Risk is a key component to success and you won’t find one successful entrepreneur or business owner that hasn’t taken a risk. Keep in mind that the aging process can become a detriment when it comes to taking risks. The longer you wait to step out as an entrepreneur the more difficult it may become. As we get older we tend to add priorities, which includes a spouse and/or children. And we all know that taking big risks when we have other mouths to feed makes it a little more difficult. Find ways to mitigate risks by trial and error and small steps. If you want to take big risks, be prepared for the outcome, but know that risk is a part of the start-up process.

04 Don’t underestimate the value of Relationships. If you have connections, don’t be afraid to leverage them. Never underestimate the power of solving problems within your network. Financial survival is crucial for everyone, so don’t feel ashamed to ask a friend or colleague if you can help them put a deal together. In the age of social media we have a digital network that allows us to search and connect with people we trust and these relationships can end up being a great way for you to potentially create start up ideas. You may have a gift or talent in a particular field you never knew you had, so reaching out to your network is a great step in the entrepreneurial process. Relationships are extremely important in every aspect, since people do business with people they trust, never exploit your friendships for business, but rather look for opportunities that create mutually beneficial relationships. And if you’re involved in putting a deal together with two people within your network, find a way to make a commission within that deal. Some deals may not allow that, but in same cases you can put a contract together for a finder’s fee.

05 Finance your Ideas So you’ve created an amazing idea and need funding, now what? Well good news for you is that San Diego is a great place for collaboration. San Diego is one of the most interconnected cities in the nation and although it’s a big town, most of us that have been here for more than a few years know that we’re all just a degree away from someone that can help us advance an idea. There are different types of web platforms that will allow you to raise capital for your idea. From Circle Up to Kickstarter, both being quite different in their approach, but with one goal, which is to help the entrepreneur raise the capital needed to advance their ideas. San Diego offers many additional programs from to SDSI (San Diego Sport Innovators) to Comm Nexus. These are all non-profit organizations geared to help you take an idea to the next level through mentorship and collaboration. I am honored to be a mentor with SDSI, which is a consumer based mentoring program for sports/ actions sports brands and ideas.

If you’re an entrepreneur or want to be one, the information is out there, so don’t hesitate to inquire within some of these organizations and remember a little risk can turn into a great reward. DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 69



Track Star catches

the Lightning Bug by Steve Kang

After playing football for Kansas State, Darren Sproles was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the fourth round of the 2005 draft. Six years later, there wasn’t a single Charger fan that was not disappointed when we lost him to the Saints through free agency.

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Calling Darren Sproles electrifying would hardly do him justice. At 190 pounds in a 5 foot 6 inch frame, he struck fear in the opposing team every time they had to kick the ball to him. As a matter of fact, he was named as kick returner for the San Diego Chargers’ “50 Greatest Chargers” team. He

is the first player in NFL history with 2,200+ all-purpose yards in four different seasons (2008-2011). On June 12, 2010, Darren married his longtime girlfriend, Michel (pronounced Michelle) Hunt. I recently was lucky enough to have a phone interview with her from her New Orleans home.

Steve: Hello, may I speak to Mrs. Sproles please? Michel: This is she.

Steve: Are you an athlete as well? Michel: I went to UNLV on a track scholarship.

Steve: Hi this is Steve from Four EL Magazine. Do you have a minute to chat? Michel: I do.

Steve: Do you ever think about racing Darren? (Laughs) Michel: We never have but we always talk about it. (Laughs)

Steve: How do you like your new home in New Orleans? Michel: Well, we actually still live in San Diego, it’s our primary residence. We just stay in New Orleans during the football season. Darren’s family is spread out all over the country but mine is in California, so we decided to stay to be around my family and their support.

Steve: Do you run long distance or sprints? Michel: I do the 400 and 800 so it’s more like mid distance. Steve: I bet you can give him a run for his money in the 800. Michel: I’m sure he can take me in the 400 but it would be a bigger challenge for him to race me in the 800. Steve: Tell me a little bit about your breast cancer...

After spending some time with her over the phone, I realized that she is a beautiful woman inside and out. She gave me a positive outlook for the rest of my day. She is a proud mother of two, a savvy business woman, a survivor, a student, and last but not least, married to “Lightning Bug” Darren Sproles.

Michel: It’s a non-invasive cancer, basically there are cancerous cells in my milk ducts. It’s not considered life-threatening but you never know for sure. I had a lot of these cells so I took a very aggressive approach to my treatment, so as a result I had a bilateral mastectomy. Steve: Wow, that’s intense. Michel: Women should really take care of themselves and get checked. Early detection is the key. Steve: Tell me about your salon. Michel: I’m an image consultant, so I enjoy helping people feel beautiful from the inside out. I named it 7 Salon because it’s my favorite number and it’s very spiritual for me.

Steve: What can you do at the salon for guys? Michel: We style hair and a lot of men come in to get manscaped. Steve: What’s the funniest thing that someone has done? Michel: Well, I never knew that men had to get their nostril hairs clipped. Some guy came in the other day and our esthetician took care of him. Steve: What is up with Sean Payton? Is he seriously that important to the team? The team really suffered the year that he was suspended. Michel: Well everything starts with the head. If your head is not right, your body is not right. That was obvious with the team. When the head coach was missing, the body of the team just was not responding right.

7 Image Salon

Located at: 6050 Mission Gorge, San Diego / Neighborhood: Grantville 619.521.6807 /

Also visit Michele and Darren’s non-profit organization in San Diego. DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 71



santa is an

environmentalist By Livia Borak

San Diegans take pride in our natural environment, not only while enjoying the outdoors but also by taking affirmative steps to protect it. Throughout the year we go on hikes, bike around town or take a stroll along the beach. As mature adults, we do our part by participating in beach cleanups or donating to local environmental groups. We bring our reusable bags to the grocery store and sip from our reusable water

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bottles instead of single-use plastic bottles. Understandably, we feel good about these things and deposit the resulting good karma points (GKPs). But, too often, we use this moral banking system as an excuse to make future decisions that aren’t consistent with our environmental beliefs. Often, these deviations can counteract or outweigh the good we’ve done.

To compound the problem, we also fancy ourselves environmentally aware because we understand climate change or the need to conserve water. But just because we sympathize with a movement doesn’t mean we’re actually contributing to it. In other words, if you consider yourself a good environmental steward, you have to walk the walk … and you have to do it consistently. This is perfect for just that.

Right now is the time of year when we all show our loved ones we care by buying them something. There’s nothing inherently wrong with purchasing gifts for family and friends but there are ways to do so without exacerbating existing environmental problems. American household waste increases 25 percent between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Instead of adding to the local landfills, we can rack up more GKPs by shopping in ways consistent with our environmental ethos. From the newest phone to the dyed-textile sweater, every product made its own environmental footprint, as its creation and delivery relied on resources like water, energy and raw materials. So why not buy experience-based gifts rather than new “stuff.” A gift of a massage or movie tickets doesn’t come with a “Made in China” sticker or a Prop 65 cancer warning. If, for whatever reason, you really prefer giving tangible presents, consider the entire life cycle of the gift. Holidays retail sales in America are projected to total $600 billion this year. That’s a lot buying power, especially when you consider that holiday shopping can represent up to 40 percent of some retailers’ annual sales. Locally sourced and manufactured gifts usually come with a smaller carbon footprint, and they help support local businesses. Renewable materials are always a plus, as are products which have longer useful lives. The new smart watch might seem cool now, but will you really want to wear it after the novelty has worn off? Does your girlfriend/wife really need the latest iPhone? For the sport enthusiast, consider buying more earth-friendly recycled products, like a recycled golf ball. Every year, 300 million golf balls are thrown away in the U.S. alone. It takes between 100 to 1,000 years for a golf ball to decompose naturally. To brighten your mom’s holiday, a beeswax candle burns cleaner than a traditional petroleum-based (paraffin) wax candle, and it isn’t associated with deforestation problems of soy-based candles. You’ll earn extra GKPs by supporting local companies that produce bee-based products which help sustain honey bee populations in decline due to colony collapse disorder. When you’re out shopping for the holiday meal, you’ll likely remember to bring your reusable bag, but don’t forget to bring it when you’re out buying gifts too. Only 3 percent of plastic bags are recycled and most wind up in landfills, littering beaches or out in the ocean threatening marine life. Lastly, shiny new wrapping paper and bows may look nice, but, along with shopping bags they account for 4 million tons of trash annually in the U.S. Wrapping paper is also hard to recycle, so using alternative materials like a cloth bag, this shiny Four EL magazine you’re holding, clay pots or even old maps are preferable. The holidays are a perfect time to reflect upon our lives by making sure we’re really living up to the versions of ourselves we hold in our minds, or put in our online personal and professional profiles. It’s OK to make a mistake or two along the way, but it’s entirely different to justify poor decisions by cashing in good GKPs. You’re not going to get out of a speeding ticket by telling the police officer you stay within the speed limit most of the time, and you won’t get a six pack by cashing in your workout for a double-bacon cheeseburger. Remember, Santa’s watching and he’s making a list … all year long.

Livia Borak is president of the League of Conservation Voters San Diego and an associate attorney with Coast Law Group’s Environmental & Land Use practice group. Her efforts have included numerous high-profile administrative and permitting matters before local and state government agencies, including the California Coastal Commission, San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, SANDAG, the County of San Diego and numerous cities in the region. She also regularly contributes to the local progressive political blog Two Cathedrals.

WFSS4Lmag.indd 1

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four 73 AM 7/26/13El 11:40:49


concert review

pearl jam viejas arena / nov. 21, 2013 by Steven Woods

“How many songs are they going to play off of Ten?” “Ten was by far their greatest album” These are all quotes you hear when talking about the artists formerly known as Mookie Blaylock, you know them as Pearl Jam. I’ll get this out of the way now: Don’t be that guy anymore. Don’t be that “Ten” guy. Yes, it was a great album. Yes, it put them on the map. But don’t be the guy who gave up on one of, if not THE, greatest band of the last 20 years. So many folks gave up on Pearl Jam after radio

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played “Alive,” “Even Flow,” “Black” and “Jeremy” into the ground. I just so happen to work in the music industry now, so I get it, but as far as a band goes, you should go with it. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but every Pearl Jam album they release is my favorite album. There has not been a dud in the group. There is gold on EVERY SINGLE ALBUM. Maybe not “radio” gold or a “hit” but musical gold, indeed.

the Eagles were big players. I had aunts and uncles in high school so I got the Cars, Billy Squier, and Kiss elements too. But I never had anything I could call my own which is why I gravitated to hair metal. It looked like so much fun to me. Sure, I loved and appreciated bands like Rush, Zeppelin, and others, but metal was what grabbed me. I think it was Ratt’s “Round and Round” that I identified with the most and I dove into the genre, headfirst. Until one day in 1992.

Maybe I should start at the beginning. I grew up on a few different genres. My Dad was from Detroit so I had the Motown thing going on at home. My Mom was from Texas so I was also raised on country. I lived during the seventies so Fleetwood Mac and

God Bless my dear Uncle Jack. He married a woman whose father owned a radio station in Traverse City, Mich. My uncle boxed up a shitload of those CD’s that radio stations are known to collect in the “unwanted” pile and he mailed them to my brother and I in Dallas.

(One admission: I was a tad over served before the show started, due to a huge jam session at my house with a bunch of dudes doing shots, drinking loads of beer and playing guitar and singing every Pearl Jam song me and local recording artist Jesse LaMonaca know.) I wanted them to come out swinging, but they were pretty mellow and kind of lost me early. But I realize I’m in the minority on this one. It was my fault. Apparently they played forever but I had left the venue at that point. I’m embarrassed and ashamed of myself but at least I’m being honest. I didn’t have great seats and again, was a bit inebriated. I had buddies on the floor who had a completely different experience. They opened with Pendulum, a really mellow tune from the new record. That was cool with me, as I’ve seen them open with mellow tunes like “Release” and “Long Road” before. But then they went into Nothingman. Great, great song, a perfect song, in fact. But not there. Then into “Sometimes.” That got a big groan from me: I’ve never been a fan of that song, and to see it third in the set, after two mellow songs, made my pickled brain hurt. They started to jam a little with “Why Go”, “Lightning Bolt”, and “Mind Your Manners.” Then they played the obscure “All Night” followed by one of my favorites “Given To Fly.” Then it got really bad for me. I like “Tremor Christ”, I do, but it was just too slow and not scratching the itch I had for say “Rearviewmirror,” “Hail, Hail”,” or “Go.” In short, it was just too mellow for me. I wanted to jump up and down. I didn’t want a “mature” show with “Just Breathe,” “Sleight of Hand,” “Light Years” and “Setting Forth.” We had literally no idea what to do with them. My buddy Kevin said, “Hey man…

let’s take them all to Sam Goody and try to trade them in...” I thought to myself, “Can’t hurt. All they can say is no.” Well, the musical gods were smiling down upon us that day, believe you me.

We encountered a fairly green employee at the record store and he agreed to look up the disks and see if we could do store credit. As we perused the latest Slaughter albums and Ozzy reissues, something was being piped in over the store’s speakers. It was like nothing I’d ever heard before. After agreeing to about $150 in store credit (which I still can’t believe. Serious-

ly…I’d heard of one band in the bunch and it was The Screaming Jets), I asked the kid

behind the counter “Who’s this?” He replied “Dude… a new band from Seattle… Pearl Jam. Pretty awesome isn’t it?” I couldn’t disagree. I asked him where I could find the CD and he said that they had sold out. So I asked him for the store copy and he obliged. He probably got fired later for giving me all of that credit and selling me the store copy of Ten but who knows? But he knew his music since he also recommended “Badmotorfinger” by Soundgarden, so I bought them both. To say my life changed dramatically after that would be an understatement. I finally had something I could hold on to. As I

listened to the disk, over and over, hearing those heartfelt sentiments, there was a truth to it. I hadn’t heard anything that even remotely grabbed me like that. Sure, Slaughter’s “Fly to the Angels” sounded good but the shine was dimmed after that day. This was now MY scene. And they called it grunge. If it came from Seattle, we bought it: Tad, Green River, Mudhoney, Nirvana, Screaming Trees, Mother Love Bone. Literally anything and everything. Some of it terrible but we didn’t care. It was ours.

It’s been so hard for me to put my finger on what was wrong with that show for me. But I think it was the shots, the seats, and the set. Sue me. I was excited and disappointed but it takes NOTHING away from how I feel about this band. I’ll shut up now and go bury my head in the sand. I love you Pearl Jam. If you’re on the fence about some of the great songs you’ve missed out on over the years, since Ten, just email me at and I’ll fill you in.

I’ve always held this band sacred and felt that they too, held me sacred, as a fan. They looked out for me. When I saw them live, they played forever. They respected and paid homage to their heroes. They played songs that weren’t hits. They battled for lower ticket prices. They hooked their fans up with tickets. They gave a shit when so many bands didn’t. But here’s where it gets weird. Pearl Jam made their return to San Diego, playing for a sold out crowd at Viejas Arena on November 21st. It’d been almost a decade since I’d seen them live. I’d just kept missing them. I was beyond stoked for the show. Then the show happened and I left disappointed. Trust me, you guys, I want to write about how amazing they were and how they blew me away and I thought about lying and saying it was the best show I’d ever seen. But I can’t do that. DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 75



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LOUD at lunch

When we were summoned by one of our media partners, FM 94/9 to come check out their Loud @ Lunch FREE Show, we were ecstatic because it was featuring on of our favorite bands MS MR and it was at one of our favorite venues, the West Coast Tavern in North Park. When you walk in to the tavern you are greeted by a cozy front bar area with industrial décor, a great spot to just chill and have a few cocktails. Through the hall you see a modern dining room featuring flat screens that flash complex images of cool eye candy. If you keep heading straight you run smack dab into the horseshoe shaped large secondary bar, somewhere to saddle up with a bunch of your buddies to snack and indulge in your favorite adult beverages. And if you keep to your right you are welcomed into the newly acquired theater. This is a very unique establishment that pretty much has everything to offer any thirsty and/or hungry patron.

that it felt like they were actually singing to you personally. As the music started pouring into your ears it seemed to consume your entire body. In between each song, they talked about their process as well as their emotions during the time the song was written. It made you feel like one of their friends, as if you were chatting with them over a beer. After they finished, they were gracious enough to take a photo with every listener and engage in a bit of small talk. You should definitely check out the West Coast Tavern for the atmosphere, the drinks and the food. You should definitely follow FM 94/9 and all of their events for the music and for your soul.

MS MR was playing in the theater lobby for an intimate acoustic session for 60 listeners on Saturday, December 7th. It was so intimate

West Coast Tavern » 2895 University Ave. » Neighborhood: North Park » 619.295.1688 »

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 77



concert dates



snoop dog The Belly Up

12/27/13: Mrs. Magician – Soda Bar 12/28/13: Donovan Frankenreiter – The Belly Up 12/29/13: Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven – The Belly Up 12/30/13: Donovan Frankenreiter – The Belly Up


12/31/13: Lafayette New Year’s Eve – Presented by the Casbah – Lafayette Hotel & Swim Club

House of Blues

12/31/13: FM 94/9 Presents NYE at Casbah with Terraplane Sun – The Casbah

reel big fish

12/31/13: The Expendables - New Year’s Eve – The Belly Up 12/31/13: Gone Baby Gone – Hilton San Diego Bayfront 1/03/14: Pato Banton – The Belly Up 1/04/14: Reel Big Fish – House of Blues 1/07/14: Three Mile Pilot – The Casbah 1/08/14: Snoop Dog AKA Snoop Lion – The Belly Up 1/10/14: Jonny Lang – The Belly Up 1/10/14: The Rugburns – The Casbah


switchfoot The Casbah

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1/13/14: Pinback, Death Fix, Octa#grape – The Casbah 1/13/14: Janelle Monae – House of Blues 1/14/14: Pinback, Death Fix, Octa#grape – The Casbah




Donovan Frankenreiter

3 Doors down acoustic

Robert delong

The Belly Up

House of Blues

The Griffin

1/15/14: Switchfoot – The Casbah 1/18/14: Buck-o-Nine – The Casbah 1/19/14: The Silent Comedy – The Casbah 1/20/14: The Silent Comedy – The Casbah 1/19/14: FM 94/9 Welcomes Volcano Choir – House of Blues 1/21/14: 3 Doors Down Acoustic – House of Blues 1/23/14: The White Buffalo – The Belly Up 1/24/14: Ozomatli – The Belly Up 1/24/14: Max Bemis – The Irenic 1/25/14: Islands – The Griffin 1/29/14: FM 94/9 Presents Robert DeLong – The Griffin 1/30/14: Mayer Hawthorne – House of Blues 1/31/14: MXPX – The Irenic 1/31/14: Rocket From The Crypt – The Casbah 2/03/14: The Hounds Below – Soda Bar 2/04/14: Pepper – The Belly Up 2/05/14: Pepper – Belly Up DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 79

around town


SEE, HEAR, SIP Dec. 4:

The Sky Tonight: Space Weather Price: Adults $17, children $14 Locale: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, Downtown “The popular monthly live planetarium show reaches a new level of stunning, fullcolor visuals and incredibly realistic simulations of cosmic phenomena with a stateof-the-art digital GSX projection system.” I’m sure there will be mostly zero tolerance for hallucinogenic drugs at this performance. There will be absolutely zero tolerance for patchouli.

Jan. 1-5:

2014 San Diego International Auto Show Price: $8-$12 (children 1-6 free) Locale: San Diego Convention Center, Downtown

“Where the cars are the stars: the San Diego International Auto Show features the widest variety of new vehicles under one roof.” Vroooooom!

Dec. 20-April 6:

Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World Price: included with regular admission Locale: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, Downtown

“This engaging exhibition gives you the chance to interact with the guitar not only from the perspective of its history, evolution and design but through the music created by—and the technology that continues to enhance—the instrument.” That sounds too interesting to even goof on. I’m gonna bring my Ibanez RG-450DX. Because I’m metal like that. (I’m giving you metal horns, you just can’t see it through this magazine.) 80 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

Jan. 16:

Ancient Ales Beer Tasting at the Museum Price: $20 (members)-$30 (non-members) Locale: San Diego Museum of Man, Downtown “Ancient cultures from around the world brewed many types of beer and today modern breweries recreate those classics. Join the museum and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery for this unique event with craft beer samples and food tastings.” Caveman IPA will be the hit of the event. (That’s not a true statement.)


Dec. 24:

Christmas Eve Dinner Price: $45.50-$110 Locale: Hotel Del Coronado “Celebrate Christmas Eve with a lavish Victorian buffet dinner in the magnificent Crown Room. The celebration will include live musical entertainment.” If a young lady named Kate Morgan taps you on the shoulder for a dance, RUN!

Dec. 6:

Friday Night Liberty Price: Free Locale: Point Loma at Liberty Station “Open galleries, artist studios and museums combine with the best holiday shopping experience. Shop for gifts with a creative twist and enjoy the music of the Peace on Earth Carolers.” But please don’t feed the carolers … one bite of fruitcake and they’re back begging for eggnog.

Dec. 30:

2013 Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade Dec. 14:

Mission Bay Parade of Lights Dinner Price: $49 Locale: Baleen, Mission Bay “Experience an intimate and artfully prepared prix fixe menu on the Baleen deck as hundreds of sailboats adorned with cheerful seasonal décor and Christmas lights glide by in the Mission Bay Parade of Lights.” Prix fixe sounds like something that happens after you see your urologist.

Price: Free Locale: Downtown

“Downtown San Diego comes alive as more than 100,000 spectators enjoy this nationally televised, holiday parade with colorful floats, unique drill teams, heart-pounding marching bands and a procession of massive inflatables.” Sounds fun, but heart-pounding is a bit far fetched. Perhaps a pitter or slight patter … definitely a few arrhythmias ... but I just can’t foresee a pounding.

DECEMBER 2013 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 81

around town


NYE2013 Kids’ New Year’s Eve Price: included with regular admission Locale: Legoland, Carlsbad

“Like the famous Times Square party, Kids’ New Year’s Eve features a concert, dazzling fireworks and countdown to the new year followed by a huge Lego brick dropping 22 feet.” Unlike Times Square, no one vomits on your shoes in a New Yawk accent. The Del’s New Year’s Eve Gala Price: $290-$330 Locale: Hotel Del Coronado “Ring in 2014 at The Del’s New Year’s Eve Gala! The evening will begin with a champagne reception in the magnificent Crown Room, followed by a lavish dinner in the oceanfront Ballroom and dancing the night away.” See Kate Morgan warning under Christmas Eve Dinner. New Year’s Eve Gala on the Midway Price: $169 per person (tax and gratuity included) Locale: USS Midway Museum, Downtown “Ring in the New Year aboard the USS Midway.” Your goal is to stay on the ship. No swimming/diving. You’re also not allowed to scream from the bow, “I’m the King of the World!” You will promptly be thrown overboard. Mad Men New Year’s Eve Celebration Price: $179 (tax and gratuity additional) Locale: Westgate Hotel, Downtown

Tavern Locale: Pacific Beach “Swing by Pacific Beach and usher in the New Year with salt in the air, sand between your toes and a drink in your hand. Tavern is hosting its NYE party with a midnight champagne toast and personal party favors for all. Call ahead or email Justin to get on the guest list for a VIP table featuring table-side tap and keg service.” barleymash Locale: Gaslamp “Executive Chef Kevin Templeton is cooking up something extra special at barleymash for the last meal of 2013. With available VIP bottle service, guarantee a spot at the table by making reservations with Lizzie today. Then come back New Year’s Day for brunch and wash away that hangover with a custom bloody mary bar and liquorinfused foods. West Coast Tavern Locale: North Park Enjoy a New Year’s Eve dinner in one of North Park’s most historic buildings. Join Chef Abe Botello at West Coast Tavern, as he prepares a gourmet three-course meal, paired with beer or wine favorites. Dinner seatings begin at 7:30 lasting through 9:30PM. Then hang out with DJ Slowhand as he spins away 2013, guiding the party into the New Year. Reservations fill up fast, so call now.

“Savor artistic vintage cocktails and a mid-century inspired five-course dinner revisited with a modern twist by Executive Chef Fabrice Hardel. Take the dance floor and swing on over Lorraine Castellanos Quartet’s favorite songs of the Mad Men era.” Let’s remember that we’re not really in the ‘60s. So keep that creepy misogynistic shit to yourself. Ma’am.” New Year’s Eve at The Marine Room Price: $85 per person (first seating), $160 per person (second seating) Locale: The Marine Room, La Jolla “Countdown to 2014 at the special second-seating. Includes five-course dinner, live music and dancing.” “LET’S DANCE!!!” is something no one at this event will scream. Flagship New Year’s Eve Dance Party Cruise Price: $62.50 plus taxes, fees, service charges and optional $40 hosted bar (prices subject to change without notice). 21+ Locale: Departs from 990 Harbor Drive, San Diego “There’s live music on two levels of the cruising vessel, gourmet appetizers available for purchase and premium bar selections. Champagne upon boarding champagne and for midnight toast are complimentary.” Natalie Wood jokes are not accepted as currency. (What kind of Wood doesn’t float? Natalie Wood.)

82 Four El | DECEMBER 2013

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4L Magazine Dec/Jan 2013/2014  
4L Magazine Dec/Jan 2013/2014  

The Holiday 2013 edition of Four El Magazine has arrived. Enjoy!