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On the islands where we work, women give birth without professional help, sometimes alone in the forest holding onto a tree, or in other unhygenic 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 2 * issue 1 * february 2014

Publisher/Editor Chris Lapham

First off, let me say Happy New Year from Four EL to our entire readership. I hope that everyone reading this magazine had a safe, happy holiday season.

Director of sales/Senior Editor Steve Kang Senior Managing Editor Cory Waterhouse

It’s been a strange winter. Very little rain, very little snow in the local mountains, and unusually warm temperatures. It’s been like one big, extended Santa Ana. I think the entire month of December felt like summer. As we wrapped the year, I was able to do one of my favorite things in life, an extended fishing trip with my dad, my son, and friends. We ventured up to San Clemente Island for a weekend of rock cod and calico bass fishing. Normally, that type of trip would require snowboard jackets, beanies and thermal drawers. Not this trip. Instead we were treated to beach weather; trunks and tee-shirts before 8:00am. In all of my years on the water, it was definitely one of the most unique trips I’ve been on in late December. (And I forgot to

mention, not a breath of wind)

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, Mary Brooks, 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, Mike Newton, John Schnack, Andi Pianalto

This was one of those trips you don’t ever forget. The fishing was fantastic, the porpoise and whales were out in force, and I was able to see my dad and son spend the weekend laughing together. Yea, there was even a little trash talking about who caught the biggest fish. SAN DIEGO

We spent the night in Pyramid Cove with a great BBQ and even better sunset. We got to see the Navy jets doing maneuvers. It’s a pretty incredible sight when those birds do a fly by up against the island. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to wrap up 2013.





with both Exclusive interviews Beltran candidates by Mike


As we move forward, there is a lot of cool stuff happening. Four EL’s very own Mike Beltran was able to sit down with both mayoral candidates for an exclusive interview. Political beliefs aside, both candidates seem like fine gentlemen and we appreciate the candidates setting aside time to speak with Mike. It should be an interesting election.

the future of sandy eggo








unshaven | Fully cultured, yet FOURELMAGAZINE.COM

Keep an eye out for upcoming Four EL events. In addition to Four ELevents, make sure to check the Desert Smash. Will Ferrell has a huge event planned in the desert to benefit his favorite charity, Cancer For College. Information can be found on the CFC website. It should be a blast. I couldn’t end this article without talking a little sports. I am so proud of our SD Chargers; the future is looking incredibly bright. Peyton took a beating in the Super Bowl, and let me tell you, I don’t feel sorry for him. I think the Chargers are going to give Denver a run for their money next season.

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

I’ve also really been enjoying the great run the SDSU Aztecs are on. I am a huge fan of March Madness and can’t wait to see what the Aztecs do in the tournament this year. This may finally be their breakthrough year. And last, we can’t forget that Spring Training is coming up in just about a month. If you’re a sports fan, the next couples of months should be blast. Until the next tide… Ed’s note: Although it was really tempting, we had to refrain from any Filner jokes. You’re welcome.

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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.



p. 20

p. 24



p. 28




the casbah

20 24 28 San Diego Mayoral Candidate

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San Diego Mayoral Candidate

A Rock Retrospective



february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 7





66 perspective: Fish 101

10 defense: Americana


12 Fast break: Got Good Coaching? 14 w/max wettstein:

68 review: Marine Memorial Golf Course 70 golf Tips: 8-Part Series

training for a


fashion 72 style watch: Stylin’ in the Gym

Bring on the wine and chocolate!

relationships 74 dating: Being “Present” 76 Musings: Life After 40


native population

18 w/max wettstein: Valentine’s Day Indulgence

78 beauty & brains: Lauren Fraser 80 Pin-up classics: Sarra Costello

food/drink 38 chef’s table: Saltbox Chef Jeremiah Bryant


40 BEATS & EATS: BFD (Big Front Door Deli)

82 weekender: The Alisal 86 Locale: Sundance Film Fest at Park City

46 Restaurant Reviews: Pacific Beach Fish Shop Brian’s 24 (Monster Pancake Challenge)


50 uncorked: Trinitas Cellars Wine Bar

94 hot wire: Concert and show dates

54 CRAFTY: The Tractor Room

around town

56 IMBIBING: Encore Champagne Bar 58 Happiest Hour: Davanti Enoteca

96 February events: Local happenings and things to do

59 Beer me: Iron Fist Brewery 60 Tender: Meredith Lynn 62 dish: Filet Mignon with Shrimp and Andouille Sauce

90 All Hands on Tech: Lust-worthy gadgets that will truly make your life more enjoyable 8 Four El | february 2014

Survival Cabinet You know you want one

Friday and Saturday Rules of the 4X4 Challenge: Four 1/2 lb. patties, four slices of cheese, four pieces of bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onions and pickles, topped with a fried egg, on a pretzel roll, surrounded by 1 lb. of fries. NO MODIFICATIONS! NO SUBSTITUTIONS! NO UTENSILS! NO NAPKINS!

Clean your plate in 30 minutes or less to be crowned 4X4 CHAMPION!

967 S. Coast Hwy. 101 • Encinitas • 760.479.1657 •



Photos of students Michael Scott and Mason Scott were taken at: Clark gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy 1851 San Diego Ave. • San Diego, CA 92110 • (619) 220-4810


Americana by bj penn

When an Americana is applied, you have effectively tied up the tendon that’s going through your opponent’s elbow. When you slide it back down toward the opponent’s rib cage, then lift the elbow off the mat, if he doesn’t tap, not only will the tendon in the elbow tear but the shoulder will also. This maneuver looks simple and harmless but in reality it creates so much pressure and pain that very often your opponent taps out well before any damage has been done. The most common spot that this move is executed is from side control. This basically means that you’re on one side of your opponent while controlling him on his back. At this time, you should be keeping your legs wide and putting your weight on your opponent. 10 Four El | february 2014

Train for this maneuver in FOUR basic steps: 01 You are looking to flip his opposing arm upwards with his palm out. You grab his wrist with your arm that’s closest to his head—because he will be trying to escape so he won’t be standing still. To gain control from his struggling and to flatten the back of his hand to the mat, use the same forearm to put pressure onto his neck. 02 N  ow lock your arm and put half your weight on the hand and use your stomach to put pressure onto his so that he stays on his back. Keep enough balance to keep in control of his arm and his body. 03 N  ow use your off hand and slide it under his elbow and grab the top of your own wrist. So now you should be grabbing his wrist with your hand closest to his head then from underneath grabbing your own wrist with your hand closest to his feet. 04 N  ow pull everything into you and close to his body so that you can take away all of his muscle strength. Leverage your arm that’s closest to his feet upwards until the pressure makes him tap out. Warning: The Americana is dangerous. It can seriously injure you or even cause permanent damage. This is informational for entertainment purposes only. If you are not a trained expert, do not attempt.

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 11



got good

coachING? Who is your child listening to? by jason stewart

Just the other day I ran into the mother of a child I coached when he was in the sixth grade. We were excited to see each other because it had been quite awhile since we’d caught up. Last I remember her son was a promising basketball player at a major high school in North County San Diego. So I asked, “How is your son doing?” She answered, “He’s fine but he stopped playing basketball” to which I replied, “What?! He loves basketball!” She went on to explain that she and her husband were divorcing and it hit their son “very hard.” He just didn’t want to play anymore when that happened. We continued to talk. She mentioned another basketball kid at the same high school whose parents also divorced. I didn’t know about him, but I knew about two other players on that same team whose parents had divorced in the past couple years. We discovered at least four kids at the same school on the same team who were all going through these emotions at the same time. My heart broke knowing that these teen-agers typically aren’t mature enough to fully understand and process the emotions they experience during the divorce of their parents. I know this because I experienced divorce as a teen-ager. When your parents separate, you don’t know who to believe. If one parent did something bad, you tend to resent that parent and take the side of the other. Many kids shut down from sharing things with both parents, and their peers can become their source of navigation through their tough daily decision making in high school. Some kids learn to manipulate the separated parents for material things or benefits that the other parent won’t get or can’t afford. With all these things happening, how in the world can you compete at your potential?

Enter the Coach Thank God for my coach and personal trainer, Miller Chambers Jr. Mr. Chambers was a single dad raising a daughter who was a cheerleader at my high school. He took interest in me because of my basketball talent and decided to become my friend. He was the only man who I trusted for many years until I became a young adult. Mr. Chambers spent time teaching me basketball, but perhaps some of the best lessons that I learned from Mr. Chambers were faithfulness and diligence. He never let me miss a workout and I respected him enough that I never wanted to let him down. We had an agreement that we’d meet at the park in my neighborhood every morning at 8 a.m. in the summer. Sometimes, I would call him and say I couldn’t make it because I was too tired. He would insist that I be there. That showed me that he was faithful and he cared about me in particular. He invested in me two to three hours every day. He never cursed at me when I didn’t perform well. That was important to me because I never felt “less than” or fearful. There was a previous coach I had during my elementary and junior high years who cursed. It made me scared at first. Then I just thought, “Oh, that’s how men talk.” So all through junior high school, I had curse words coming out of my mouth like they were adjectives and conjunctions. It was bad. It took me a long time to clean that up. Mr. Chambers was different. He was patient in helping me to realize my potential. He was kind but firm when I thought I knew it all. I don’t know if he thought Hall

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

of Fame Coach Lute Olson would ever take a 5-foot9, 154-pound kid at the University of Arizona, but he never told me that I couldn’t do it. All his actions, conversations and time spent communicated to me that he wasn’t going to leave me. So maybe you’re thinking, “Where was your mother, Jason?” She was around, but my escape from divorce and being without a dad was basketball. That’s what I ran to and that’s where Mr. Chambers was. He met me on the court. Sports (basketball) meant so much to me, but I knew that I could not carry on without someone to show me how. I’m positive that I could not have walked on to Arizona’s basketball team without the investment of my coach and friend Miller Chambers. He fed my dream by keeping my hope alive. As a result, I am a Division One National Champion and in three Hall of Fames as a member of my Arizona team. I have been to the White House and met the President of the United States. I have played overseas and met many famous people. I have even been in a basketball video game (of course, I start myself over Jason Terry every time I play), which is pretty cool. Perhaps the biggest effect that my coach had on me was leaving me with a huge sense of responsibility to help others. He is the reason I coach now. The late Miller Chambers Jr. changed my course in life and his legacy lives on. He made the world a better place by being there for a teen-ager who was going through a difficult time.

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

12 Four El | february 2014

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

train for a

Triathlon! When I was first tasked with this month’s writing assignment, Four EL wanted me to come up with a training plan for how to complete an Ironman, the legendary endurance triathlon event that begins with a 2.4-mile swim, is followed by an 112-mile bike ride and concludes with a full marathon run. My initial response to the staff was that entire books have been written to prepare folks to complete endurance races of such magnitude. Besides, I’ve never completed an Ironman, so I was not comfortable tackling such a monster of a training plan in under 1,000 words.

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So, we settled on a sprintdistance triathlon, which is more appropriate for firsttimers anyway, and I actually have completed about six sprintdistance triathlons, mostly trail events, so I know a thing or two about preparing for them. A sprint-distance is an introduction to triathlons, yet also a full experience. It is shortest in distance, less than both Olympic distance and the Ironman.


with Max Wettstein New Year Resolutions Love Races What better way to kick off your New Year’s fitness plan than by signing up for a race? Signing up for a race accomplishes something that most other weight-loss programs don’t: It provides a looming deadline and the accountability that comes along with it, especially if you post that you registered on social media; now you have to do it or you will look like a scared flake! Completing a race also provides a huge feeling of accomplishment and pride, because you will pass a mental and physical challenge the moment you step across that finish line. You just can’t get that feeling from your Weight Watchers’ or Biggest Loser groups. What’s important is not necessarily what type of race or event you choose, but sticking to the specific training plan and completing it. It can become addicting–in a good way! Almost all diet plans focus on calorie reduction and food elimination, which just plain sucks. When you are preparing for a race, you are focusing on the training, and food becomes fuel instead of your enemy.

Endurance Athlete vs. Fitness & Aesthetics You may want to take a moment to consider whether getting fitter and leaner is your primary goal, versus simply just checking off “triathlon” from your bucket list. Longer endurance workouts are no longer necessary to improve fitness or lean-body mass; High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and cross-fit generation workout principles have proven that there is just as much if not more fitness value in exercising at a higher intensity in a shorter amount of time than there is in going slower for longer. Keep this in mind before you choose a particular race or a fitness program, especially if you have limited time to train. You can become uber fit and fitness-model lean in just 30 minutes a day, but you absolutely cannot prepare for a triathlon or marathon in 30 minutes a day. With an endurance-type race, at some point, you have to put in the hours and the miles because slower, longer races use the aerobic energy system and slow-twitch/type-1 muscle fibers, and therefore they require longer workouts to become aerobically fit, with shorter anaerobic workouts mixed in, to raise your lactate threshold.

Bottom line: To become aerobically fit for an endurance race, you need to dedicate one day a week for your “long workout,” where you go at a slower pace for up to 2 hours. The once weekly, long-training day is pretty much unavoidable to reach your aerobic potential. But if you are lucky, you will discover the legendary “zone” that all endurance athletes come to know and love. Something else to consider is the type of physique you desire. Look at the builds of endurance athletes and triathletes. They are long, lean and slender. Excess vanitymuscle mass to an endurance athlete is almost as worthless as carrying around extra fat weight: Every unnecessary pound is a hindrance. If you are okay with being a skinny-but-lean guy (who is very aerobically fit), then by all means you may want to eventually consider training for a full Ironman. But if you prefer more of a muscular, buff beach body look, sprint-distance triathlons and half-marathons may be more appropriate for you, so you can still develop and retain muscle mass. And it is more than just aesthetics: The more muscle mass you carry, the higher your resting metabolism will be.

The .5-Mile


When it comes to a triathlon, the swim tends to be the most difficult yet least important phase. It is the most difficult because many folks are just not as comfortable in water as they are on land. They are usually open-water swims, so the water may be deep with low-visibility, cold, and there could be waves and current. Also, most people are used to training in heated pools with nice black lines along the bottom to follow, ensuring you swim in a straight line. In your openwater swim you get a buoy to sight off of. So this means every few strokes you need to crane your neck way up out of the water, breaking your rhythm just to sight the buoy. Or you can draft off a peer swimmer and sight off of them, if you trust them. Then there is the initial chaos of the “washing-machine” start of the swim, where you are likely to get kicked in the face multiple times, have your goggles knocked off and, if you are too slow, the pack will simply swim over the top of you. Not kidding! So yes, you would be wise to do some training in a lake or ocean and get used to being immersed in Mother Nature. The more waves the better. Training in a pool, of course, with a Masters group or class is ideal as well, to get some kind of coaching on your technique and develop your stroke and breathing rhythm. Some of your laps should be done by holding a buoy between your feet so you can really work on your stroke. Streamline your body by fully twisting your torso with each stroke. Get some coaching for your swim technique. Trust me on this one! The other two phases you can wing it, but swimming technique does not always come naturally. Lastly, don’t give up if you get out of the water last as your race is only one third over and you will be surprised how much ground you can make up during the bike and run portions. Note: The race director will let you know in advance if the water/ air temperature combination is cold enough to allow for wearing wetsuits, otherwise you are not allowed to wear them as they tend to increase buoyancy and reduce drag, allowing for an advantage.

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 15


with Max Wettstein Transitions and


Wearing a Heart-Rate Monitor This is a good time to mention that you should be wearing a heart-rate monitor so you know where you stand, effort-wise. This is not just for heart-safety reasons, but also to know which energy system you are primarily operating in.

The transition from swim to bike is maybe the most logistically challenging. For one thing you are all wet, and your feet may be muddy or sandy. Plan from the start to get one outfit! Usually a high-tech, triathlonspecific racing singlet, made of lycra or other fancy wicking/synthetic materials works best. It needs to be form-fitting and go to at least mid-thigh to prevent chaffing, so sorry fellas: You have to leave the board shorts at home and reveal your skinny legs. There is no changing clothing–you simply ditch your goggles, step into your clip-in cycling shoes, and ride away on your bike. You will have a chance to stage your transition area before the race start and lay everything out accordingly and nobody will mess with it–that is a triathlete’s code! So have your water bottle already loaded into your

Your goal is to remain mostly aerobic (or below 80 percent of your maximum heart rate) throughout the race, or you may exceed your lactate threshold and “bonk” (low blood-sugar crash), or you may go so far into oxygen-debt that you cannot recover properly.

bike if you think you need one. Most sprint-triathlons are completed in under an hour and, to be honest, as long as you are properly hydrated before the race, you can save drinking and eating until after the race is complete if it is

under an hour. Veteran triathletes actually train for the transition phase too, believe it or not, believing that two smooth transitions can shave minutes off their race time.

The 12.5-Mile Bike Ride What I’m not going to do here is attempt to get into which bike or brand you need. First-timers should use their own bike they currently own (after a tune-up and maybe new tires, of course), or borrow a friend’s bike. What you should not do is go out and drop $5,000 on a new state-of-the-art “Tri-Bike” that you only use once and can’t even ride because it is so uncomfortable. You could opt for an off-road, trail triathlon where you would use a mountain bike because the terrain factor slightly evens out the bike-playing field. A fast guy on a slow bike will always be faster than a slow guy on fast bike, end of story. Does that make sense? For your first few races, just know that YOU are the weak link and not your bike. When you start losing to your age-group consistently by only a few minutes, then maybe you can start blaming your old, heavy bike. And even before you buy a new bike, consider things like shifting more to keep your RPMs steady, between 16 Four El | february 2014

This is more important, of course, the longer the race becomes, as most of us have enough stored muscle glycogen to get us through an hour of exercise no matter how intense it is. If you don’t want to race wearing a heart-rate monitor, then at least train with one. They provide real-time effort and exertion feedback and make you more aware and able to train smarter. Many of them can even calculate your VO2 Maximum (maximum oxygen consumption heart rate) and your LactateThreshold heart rate (the heart rate at which

you are recycling lactic acid as fast as you are producing it), as well as track calories burned (energy management).

85 to 100, which equates to more efficient pedaling. Also learn about drafting, though this is illegal in many triathlons. At least you can master body position and aerodynamics. Reducing drag can save you a lot of energy for the run phase, and being properly fitted and sized for your bike will ideally allow you to incorporate your glutes and hamstrings more, sparing your quads for the final run phase. They say that the bike phase is the where you can make up the most ground and make the most gains–something to keep in mind.


with Max Wettstein

The 12-Week Plan

Just about every first-timer race-completion training plan requires 12 weeks minimum. This means that beginning at a basic fitness level, if you start 12 weeks out, you will be able to finish the race with a respectable age-group time, injury free! So, yes, endurance racing is not for spontaneous types. Of course, it depends on your current baseline fitness level; some may need only 10 weeks and others may need 14.

The 3.1-Mile Run Alas, you made it to the final phase and you’re feeling surprisingly strong! Well be wary and stay on your planned pace, if you have one. Do NOT go chasing down the five guys who just passed you during the transition. If you are unsure about pacing, find somebody near you who seems to be running at a pace that suits you and hang with him until you assess how much gas you have left in your tank. There will be plenty of time to execute your final take down of opponents during the last mile. There is no rule against drafting during the run. Concentrate on your breathing and get control of it. If you are huffing and puffing in oxygen-debt, slow down. Save your kick for the last mile. The running phase is deceiving for many, as this is where you may hit the proverbial “wall” (… of muscle cramping), though this is not typically a problem for shorter sprint distances. If you ate and drank well the night before, there should be no wall standing between you and the finish line, which you will bound across in full stride, looking studly for your post-race photo with your finisher’s medal proudly hanging around your neck. And if you picked a good race, the beer garden will not be too far away!

On a less daunting note, since swimming, biking and running are all forms of cardio training, they all count toward your overall cardio fitness improvement. So you don’t need to do each of them every workout. Each discipline needs to be trained at least once per week, with a long, slow, purely aerobic workout accomplished once per week as well. Most weekend warriors do their long workout on Sundays. I recommend one day of week for pure strength-training as well (weight training is most practical) to preserve your muscle mass and fast-twitch muscle fibers, which will carry you during any hills or sprint sections. And, lastly, you should have one rest day, or active-rest day, playing a fun sport or at least cross-training other muscles. So that is six days of training weekly, with one of those days being one to two hours long–yeah … you are going to get into shape! All this being said, I’m going to direct you to triathlon, which has some amazing, free training plans and a race directory to sign up for a race near you. They have one of the best sprint-distance triathlon, 12-week training plans I found during all of my research, with a weekly breakdown of the specific workouts. It’s all free, so check it out. And good luck!

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 17


V-Day Nutrition

Hello 2014! No Looking Back

Valentine’s day: an excuse for healthy antioxidant indulgence!

This month’s nutrition topic is a fun one, because I get to tell you in good conscience that you can drink wine and eat chocolate as part of your healthy diet—though I suspect many of you already knew this. Here at Four EL we tend to be beer drinkers but hey, Valentine’s Day is this month and your gal might appreciate sharing a good bottle of wine. So go ahead and indulge, once I arm you with some nutrition facts, as I have

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done my best to cut through all the anecdotal, bro-science out there! Make no mistake, I’m in no way a wine connoisseur, so brand selection is on you. And if you currently don’t drink alcohol, the medical experts still say the health benefits associated with moderate wine consumption are not enough reason to start drinking. Now that I got those two disclaimers out of the way, let’s get on with it!

NUTRITION with Max Wettstein



Wine consumed in moderation (one glass a day for a woman and two glasses a day for a man) is widely accepted as good for us and linked to longevity in many cultures. Alcohol in general has LDL-cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol), lowering properties and is a vasodilator–it dilates your blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure–and is relaxing. This means that alcohol in moderation is heart-healthy for a person currently in good health with no liver problems!

What’s not to love about chocolate right? Well pretty much I have nothing bad to say about chocolate—as long as it is real cocoa you are eating! That means dark chocolate is key, not milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is the only form (other than bitter chocolate and raw cacao, of course) that has high enough pure cocoa content to make it beneficial to your health. Milk chocolate is simply candy, while dark chocolate is a true superfood! But don’t worry, dark chocolate still tastes amazing.

Wine adds another tier of health because its so rich in plant-polyphenols from grapes, the most noteworthy being resveratrol. The high polyphenol content comes from the grape-skins, and since the grapes are fermented longest for red wine, not only does red wine contain more resveratrol content, but it is also lower in sugar. (Remember, alcohol is NOT sugar.) All polyphenols are also antioxidants as well, which mean they bind to free-radicals and repair oxidation damage. Oxidation is a normal metabolic process of all oxygen breathing mammals, and its free-radical byproducts are also normal. In fact, our bodies are very much equipped to handle all oxidative damage and repair, if we just get out of our own way, and consuming too many antioxidant supplements will actually prohibit proper post-workout repair and adaptation.

Go for at least 60 percent cocoa content or higher for maximum hearthealthy benefits. There are several ingredients in cocoa that make it a superfood. It has high arginine content, which is a non-essential amino acid that is good for blood vessel health because it increases nitric oxide, or NO, which then causes the vessels to dilate or expand and makes the vessel’s endothelial lining more slippery, thereby lowering blood pressure and shielding from plaque accumulation. Dark chocolate also has lots of alkaloids such as theobromine, phenethylamine and caffeine, which assist in thermogenesis and fat-burning and increasing serotonin levels, improving mood. The cocoa-butter content helps increase HDL-cholesterol, the good kind of cholesterol, because it is a plant-based fat.

Also, the jury is still out on the efficacy of consuming resveratrol in supplement form, so for now you’re better off obtaining it through whole-foods, grapes and wine. You can also drink grape juice, but your valentine might not be as stoked if you show up with a bottle of grape juice instead of a nice merlot. Plus, grape juice has way more sugar content than wine does, per serving–just sayin!

And finally, cocoa is rich in antioxidants, which as we already mentioned bind to free-radicals, counteract oxidation and help prevent oxidation of the bad, LDL-cholesterol, so it won’t stick to the vessel walls. Remember again, that dark chocolate is lower in sugar content than milk chocolate, so that is one more reason to stick with dark. Also consider trying raw cacao nibs, which are even healthier because the cacao has not been roasted yet and no sugar has been added. Raw nibs give amazing crunchy texture when sprinkled into your granola, oatmeal, smoothie or ice cream, and you can’t even taste their bitterness.


I have limited editorial space as well as your valuable time at stake here, and honestly I found so much anecdotal, snake-oil hype out there on the benefits of resveratrol and how it’s linked to everything from anti-aging to treating type-2 diabetes. Some of it may be true, but most probably is not. The bottom line is, you can’t really drink enough red wine to reap the claimed benefits of resveratrol without damaging your liver from the alcohol, and you can’t drink enough grape juice without skyrocketing your insulin levels from too much fructose, and the jury is still out on taking resveratrol supplements. So instead of focusing on resveratrol, please just enjoy your two glasses of wine for all the other myriad of health, social and romance reasons, just like healthy cultures have been doing together for centuries. And there are many of us out there, including myself, who are allergic to red wine and therefore have to stick to white wine or beer. White wine has nearly all the same health benefits and only slightly lower resveratrol content and we saw a few issues back that beer is also full of antioxidants, so you’re covered!

Natural Blood-Thinners

Besides their high antioxidant content from plant-phenols, we can see that the main heart health benefit from red wine and chocolate is that when consumed in moderation, they are blood thinners and vasodilators. This is actually something to keep in mind if you are the type who also eats raw nuts and nut butters, cold-water fish, olive oil and takes an essential fatty acid supplement, EFA. These all combine into a cumulative, blood-thinning effect, which is in most cases better for your health, but it also means you need to be careful when taking aspirin or other pharmaceutical, blood-thinning drugs. You could increase your risk of hemorrhage. But for most of us, go ahead and indulge on occasion, and the rest of the time include moderate wine consumption and dark chocolate as part of your every-day diet.

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 19


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david alvarez By Mike BELTRAN

In our last mayoral relationship, we basically got cheated on, again. San Diego was put in a disgraced national spotlight as yet another local politician couldn’t keep both hands on the steering wheel. Is David Alvarez the answer to the question of who can guide us to political redemption? I took a path to personalization rather than just politicalization when interviewing him so you the reader can go beyond just the politics when choosing your new leader. Mikey Beats: You grew up in Barrio Logan and from what I read, you grew up in a very poor family. What were the core values you were raised on, growing up in a poor family. David Alvarez: Hard work. My dad was a janitor and my mom was a fast-food worker. You work hard obviously to provide for your family. That was a very transferable skill: Work hard in school, work hard in life. Family values for me means taking care of each other. It wasn’t just your immediate family but also your community. So, taking care of each other. I remember growing up, migrants that were coming from across the border and somehow they would stop by our alley and my parents would give them food. This value of providing for others, that’s what it means to me. That’s what I learned from my parents.

I’m very familiar with the struggle in Barrio Logan with the shipyards. Your story about how you contracted asthma due to the fumes from those yards is breathtaking. I too have asthma and it’s absolutely terrible. I really do appreciate you being steadfast in that struggle. You grew up in Logan with four brothers, one sister, that’s a full house. What number are you? I’m the last one, the youngest. You’ve known your wife for 20 years? Yeah, we met a little over 20 years ago, in middle school at Memorial Junior High. In middle school, that’s amazing. We share a lot in common. I ended up marrying my high school sweetheart, Jenny Beats. We’ve been together for 16 years. I see you went on to San Diego High, where you were the first to graduate in your family and go to college. Yup, SDSU. What did you study at San Diego State? Psychology. I thought I wanted to teach, so when I studied psychology, I thought I wanted to do school psychology or school counseling or research in child development issues. I did some social work after college and then got involved in the community on affordable housing issues, the church, organizing town halls and registering voters and somehow naturally I was attracted to that and did my fellowship in 2003. I haven’t left politics since. It’s been 10 years.

How long did it take you to get through State? Four years. I took a couple courses at City College in the summer to catch up and stay on track for four years. You have a daughter, how old is she? She’s four. And your wife is pregnant? Yeah, due in March, a boy. Congratulations! Did you know I bike to work? I didn’t. It’s a 2.5-mile ride; it’s really fun. It’s a great way to start the day and clear your mind at the end of the day. So you’re aware that the bike paths in San Diego are terrible? They don’t connect. Oh, yeah. That’s why we just approved the Bicycle Master Plan so that it connects all connectivity that needs to occur. That also comes with money and infrastructure costs, so over the course of several years, we’ll have to build that up. Part of my plan as mayor is to increase the funding that goes into bicycle infrastructure. There’s still a long way to go but at least we finally have a road map now, a plan.

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There’s a lot of surfers who read this magazine, so I have to ask: Have you ever surfed? I don’t know how to surf, I honestly don’t. Growing up, I didn’t know how to swim for a long time, which is amazing to say here in San Diego. But a lot of people don’t have swim lessons, can’t afford them. I was definitely one of those. And I didn’t go to the beach. We went to the bay but not the beach. We went to Mission Bay a lot growing up, but not to the beach. I never got too comfortable with the ocean, which is strange to say in San Diego, being right next to it. I’ve never had a bad experience, but I’m not at that comfort level that’s needed to do something like surfing.

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It’s more common than most people think living in a coastal city. We love Mission Bay. That’s where we spent most our time.

possible, at least three times a year. It’s fun and rickety and you get scared you’ll fly off the track. I see Donna Fry supports you. Yeah.

By the Hilton? Yeah. Are you going to ask me my favorite beach?

Her husband Skip Fry had a shop on Felspar Street in PB back in the day where Tower 23 now is. I’m very familiar with the Frys, great to hear that she’s a big supporter of yours. What is your position on the business district?

Yes, your favorite beach if you have one? When people come into town and we take them to Mission Beach. Tourists have to go there to see the roller coaster. I do business in Mission Beach, and I try to get on the roller coaster as much as

I helped start the main assessment district. I think this local control idea is good because you get more people to buy in. It’s not just the gov-

ernment taking tax money and spending it wherever; it has to be spent locally. I am quite a supporter of these local assessments. BIDs and MADs in general are a good thing. I also wanted to ask, as a mayoral candidate, what do you have to offer to the small business owners of San Diego? That’s one thing the city really has not done a good job with. We talk about supporting business, but you look at who controls the big chambers of commerce and who controls the big business voice at City Hall and it’s not your local mom and pop shop or local small businesses, it’s your big corporations, they are the ones with the seats at the table. That’s really where my focus is going to be, because this city has focused for far too long on big business and not enough, or not at all, on small businesses, which are the ones that need the help. They can’t afford the lobbyists or consultants that can deal with the bureaucracy of City Hall. I want to build a small business office that is a lot more cooperative and friendly for someone who wants to start a business or grow their business, we need to focus on that. Thank you. I, myself, am a small business owner, so I can definitely relate. I want to touch on managed competition and your feelings on it and its usage in San Diego. I think the voters were pretty clear, giving the mayor the authority to use it when it’s needed. From what we’ve seen, it basically has shown us what we already knew. That departments had vacancies that were un-

filled, that if you eliminate them, you achieve savings. It’s a tool that can be utilized as a last resort, but I don’t think its absolutely necessary. If you have good management, you can achieve efficiencies and savings in your structure to be able to produce and provide services at a better and less expensive rate than what we’re paying today. We haven’t had that focus on management. We’ve been focusing on how we use government as a vehicle for hotel interests or big corporate interests. If we provide good quality services, we can then focus on achieving the savings. That’s what the voters wanted when they passed Manage Comp, Prop C. Do whatever it takes to save money. Manage Comp was sort of the scapegoat, or the workers have been the scapegoat, as they have been for the last several years, but it’s a tool that could potentially be useful. First and foremost, we have to focus on the structure. How do you find the efficiencies that don’t exist there today? How do you provide good quality services without having to spend more money? I think that all that is there, we just have to focus. If all you do is manage competition, you’re going to continue to provide the same service, just for cheaper cost, when you could have accomplished that cheaper cost by just eliminating vacancies. You don’t have to pretend like manage competition is the silver bullet to achieving efficiencies and savings in this city. I am feeling that for sure. Now, I have to let you know, I’m a total foodie. I love to eat. I judge my Mexican food on their beans. With that said

I have to ask you, in your opinion, who has the best beans in San Diego? Oh, there’s none like homemade. I like to cook them with a little bit of oil and fry a tortilla in it so that the oil sort of gets a different flavor. Just break up the tortilla and fry it in there and then add the beans. The tortilla gets fried, like chips. They get soaked in the beans and they taste really, really good afterwards. You can eat them enfrijoladas, they’re really, really good. You can also fry the red peppers, the long chiles, the dried ones, fry a couple of them in there and it will create a really good aroma. Or you can do beans, toss in the canned chipotle and it’s really good. Ooo. You just gave me a family secret. Am I allowed to print that? Yeah, absolutely. I usually use salt, garlic cloves and some onions and just get it going. Hardly ever do I re-fry them, unless I cook bacon, then I’ll use the bacon grease. Or chorizo, I’ll use the chorizo grease. If you had to recommend a taco shop, which one would it be? I like Tacos el Paisa on 25th and Imperial. I also like going to Tijuana for Tacos el Franc or this place that doesn’t even have a name, this little birria place. They are only open from 10 until 1, because they sell out all the time. Excellent. Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.

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kevin faulconer By Mike BELTRAN

Our previous mayor has brought shame once again to San Diego politics. The entire nation is watching this election to see if San Diego can redeem itself and make the right decision for who can best lead us. Could Kevin Faulconer be the shining light to get us through another dark period in San Diego politics? I decided to not focus on the politics too much, but more on who Kevin Faulconer is as a person so you the reader can base your decision on more than just the political issues. Mikey Beats: I understand you were born and raised in Oxnard, California. Kevin Faulconer: I was indeed. What did your parents do? My dad worked for the City of Oxnard. My mom started off as a secretary, put herself through night school and then ultimately became a professor at a community college and then administrator. Growing up as a kid, she was always telling me and my sister the importance of education. She spent a lot of our time as we were growing up going to night school and getting it done. Siblings? Yes, a sister, Melissa here in town. She’s a kindergarten teacher. She’s a phenomenally patient, great person.

Is she younger or older? Younger sister. We both went to San Diego State. We had relatives here growing up as kids, so we spent a lot of time here during the summers and holidays. I left and went to San Francisco for a little bit for a fellowship program up there. I always knew coming here to San Diego State that this is where I wanted to be. I never looked back. I love this place, one of the best cities in the country and can’t wait to be mayor.

Loma. And, you know, they keep us going a million miles an hour.

What was your major at San Diego State? Political science interestingly enough. I was real involved at SDSU with student government. I’m still a huge Aztec fan. Big alumnus.

[Laughter] A lot more than their dad!

While you were going to San Diego State, where did you work? I did a little bit of everything. I went back home. Worked odd jobs at home. Gosh, cleaned carpets. All kinds of interesting things. How long have you and your wife Catherine been married? 15 years. 15 years, congratulations. How did you meet? We met at an event at a convention of visitors bureaus’ mixer years ago, actually. She knew some mutual friends of mine who introduced us and, yeah, it’s been fantastic. How old are your kids? 12 and 10. Jack is in junior high and Lauren is in 5th grade. Both in public schools here in Point

I bet. Jack is really into flip force and parkour. Lauren is really into gymnastics. So that’s the latest and greatest in our world. Oh, both are really limber.

Ha-ha, I’m not very limber myself. That leads me into outdoor hobbies. I really got into cycling a few years ago. I love it. You know, I’ve done a few sprint triathlons and that really got me more interested in cycling. In fact, I was training for the Million Dollar Challenge, which is the ride for the Challenged Athlete Foundation from San Francisco to San Diego. I spent most of last year getting ready for that. And, of course, with the Filner resignation, I decided to run for mayor and that put an end to the training for the ride. I was getting up to 80 miles a day and getting ready for the ride. Wow. As much as I’m excited about the mayor’s race and the opportunity to do everything, I missed the ride, but I will do it again some day.

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Good to know that you are into bicycling. I was going to ask you about your thoughts and goals for the bicycle master plan. Yes, huge importance to the city. It’s one of those things that is not a ton of money but makes a huge difference for our quality of life. We’ve seen what other cities have done, and we’re just starting to scratch the surface here in San Diego. As a cyclist myself, one of my priorities is to make sure we have much more bike-friendly communities. Whether that’s class one bike lanes, whether that’s a bike share program that I took the lead on. We have such a fantastic outdoororiented community, and we need to catch up to what other cities are doing. The great news is,

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people are already out there doing it. From the city’s standpoint, really providing that infrastructure to make it easier and safer is what I’ll be pushing for.

so I have to ask: Have you ever surfed? Oh yeah, absolutely. Growing up in Oxnard, you have to. It’s been awhile here, but yeah.

Absolutely awesome. I once took a ride from PB to Logan Heights where my brother lives. Crossing over OB from Ingraham is deadly. Deadly game of frogger over there. You just have to have a focus on it. As we’re updating our community plans, that’s what the master plan is all about, incorporating cycling and alternate modes of transportation. It’s not all about the cars.

So you’ve gotten wet and you’ve had the experience. What’s your favorite beach in San Diego? All of the beaches I represent.

We have a lot of surfers who read the magazine,

Ha-ha, politician! Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. And now La Jolla Shores and all the other ones that I look to represent as mayor. Why I got involved and ran for council to be-

gin with, I was chairman on the park and rec board and got involved in the Mission Bay Park committee. I saw what the city wasn’t doing for funding for Mission Bay Park with the water quality and environmental improvements. The hotels that are there were designed to pay for operations of the park and provide the revenue. The city was in essence stealing those dollars and I said that’s not right. I ran for office and eventually won and I authored the Mission Bay Park initiative which ensures that the dollars now that are generated there stay for Mission Bay Park improvements, water quality improvements, pedestrian pathways. We just did the Rose Creek Bridge and bicycle/ pedestrian bridge. The outdoor environment is so critical to our quality of life here in San Diego. And as somebody who has been very proud to represent our beaches and bays for eight years, I’m going to bring my experience and ability to cut through red tape to protect our assets for generations to come.

services at an enhanced level of service that the city just doesn’t provide. The fact that business are coming together to have a say on how the neighborhood works and is shaped, how it looks and how it functions. I’ve been a strong believer of that and have been as a council member. When I’m mayor, I’m going to make sure I empower, keep and expand our business improvement districts. Sara Berns pushed me into getting on the PB Planning Group. It makes a huge difference. It’s about storefronts, it’s about vitality, it’s about outdoor seating, clean sidewalks, it’s about marketing our local neighborhoods as destinations whether it be Pacific Beach, North Park or City Heights. It’s all about how we take what’s unique about our neighborhood retail and promote that not only to the neighborhood, but to other people across the city.

Beautiful, thank you. I grew up in Bay Park and live in PB. I’m on the PB Planning Group now. The work you’ve done has been amazing. I really appreciate it. I have to make a comment on Ian Clampett. I respect that guy highly because he goes in there and he’s on the firing range. They light him up but he’s 100 percent professional. Yeah, he’s a good guy.

What do you have to offer small business owners here in San Diego? Somebody who’s a champion for continuing regulatory reform. Makes it easier for people to start and grow their businesses and I’ve demonstrated that, I have a track record of that on the council. Somebody who has pushed reforms to allow our small businesses to operate and that is the key to a healthy city. The backbone of our economy in San Diego is small businesses. Large businesses are important, rightfully so. But as I said, the backbone is small businesses.

Your position on business improvement districts? Strong supporter. Extremely important work for every neighborhood in San Diego. I’ve been a champion for them since the very beginning. They are providing

When small businesses are doing well, providing good quality jobs for our families, the city is doing well. That’s how we get our revenue to pave streets, to keep our parks and libraries and rec centers open, to hire more

police officers, the two go hand in hand. So as the mayor, I understand how important it is to create good quality jobs and particularly that focus on the small business community. When City Hall can help, we help, and when we need to get out of the way, we’ll get out of the way. I’m drinking the Kool-Aid man, I’m feeling it. What is your stance on managed competition? Strong supporter of competition and the ability to come in and provide good quality city services for the lowest possible price. As I know, the money that we’re dealing with at City Hall is the taxpayers’ dollars. They work hard to pay their taxes and want to ensure that City Hall isn’t squandering it. So to have that competition, the program that has already proven to work, I’m going to continue that and be a champion for it. It’s about providing good quality services at the best cost and I’ll continue to be a supporter. And last question, favorite Mexican food in San Diego? Oh man, there’s too many to choose from. You can say taco shop. Best beans, best salsa, best Cali burrito. You know what, I’ll tell you, I was just at an old favorite, Nati’s down in OB. The carne asada was great.

[Laughter] Excellent. Thank you so much for your time.

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By Mary Brooks 28 Four El | february 2014

photo BY Mike Newton

The Casbah has been a regional institution enriching arts and culture throughout San Diego by creating a space that both attracts exciting and emerging acts from all around the world but also cultivates local talent. I know that the Casbah makes San Diego a much cooler city, which is what we’re all striving for. − Todd Gloria, interim mayor of San Diego, upon declaring January 14 “Casbah Day” in the City of San Diego

Kettner and Laurel is an unassuming corner in Middletown, directly under the San Diego International Airport flight path. A mish-mash of businesses, the block is flanked by parking structures and car rental lots. Any number of visitors to our fair city pass by it every day, glancing sideways at a building with a blood-red exterior, chrome flames and an iconic crescent sign as they wait for lights to change from red to green. Little do they know they’re actually looking at what is arguably the epicenter of the San Diego music scene, sheltered within the four walls of the Casbah. When you walk inside, you’re essentially engaging in a living history of the San Diego music scene. It’s small, it’s gritty and it’s exactly the kind of place you want to pop into for good music, cheap drinks and great conversation. The

Casbah is about artists and music lovers, community and connections. It’s about passion. But it’s first and foremost about mind-blowing musical experiences. This year, the iconic institution turns 25, causing music fans and bands from around the city to become nostalgic. Nostalgic and celebratory… and it’s turned into quite a party. But we’ll get to that later. First, let’s delve into the archives … through the milestones and the memories, the interviews and snapshots of greatness and music and connection that, when pieced together, create the tapestry of awesome that defines the Casbah’s first 25 years. Hang on, it’s going to be a hell of a ride.

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photo BY Mike Newton

In the Beginning Rumor Has It So the story goes something like this… Eddie Vedder paid a visit to the Casbah in the early ‘90s to see Jonathan Richman perform and then joined Casbah owner Tim Mays for a couple of drinks and a few rounds of pool after the show. Tim and Eddie were kicking off a game when Tim proposed a friendly wager: The Casbah against Eddie’s record royalties. Sounds fair. (At least to us!)

You had the Spirit Club, which is now Brick by Brick. Then there were smaller places that we were playing, like Kelly’s Pub. SOMA was around, too. There were other ones, but The Casbah definitely filled a niche in town.

An agreement was made. A game was played and lo and behold, Eddie won. Fast forward a few months and Tim started hearing whisperings on the street that Eddie Vedder now owns the Casbah. Apparently, Eddie had shared the story during a radio interview and you can guess what happened next.

There was a huge shift in music happening in 1989. The industry was turning its eyes from L.A.’s rock scene to the grungier sounds of Seattle. Indie and alternative rock bands were making names for themselves, and San Diego was showing up on the radar as the next darling of the music scene. There was only one small problem: The

Just to clear things up: Eddie never settled the bet … at least not yet.

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− Steve Poltz, solo musician and co-founder of the Rugburns, in a 2008 City Beat magazine interview

bands didn’t have anywhere local to play. Something needed to be done. Enter three friends—Tim Mays, Bob Bennett and Peter English—who were tired of driving to L.A. to catch good bands. The solution: They dove in headfirst to open a little place called the Casbah.

(Now before we go any further, let’s just go ahead and dispel one myth: The name is NOT a nod to the Clash classic “Rock the Casbah.” It’s simply named after Bennett’s favorite club in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.) How did it all come about?

In 1989, the old Casbah location (a few blocks up Kettner)

came up for sale and we decided to buy it so we could host live entertainment. But our original idea was to feature R&B, roots, swing, acoustic, etc. After about six months we started getting calls from both booking agents and bands looking for a place to play, and the rest is history. − Tim Mays in the San Diego Urbanist Guide, 2014

That location could host a cozy 75 people who would be served beer, wine and, for a short time, espresso. The crowds were quick to catch on, and the Casbah was on the fast track to become a full-blown rock club, featuring bands seven nights a week. The first show to be played in the original space featured C.L.A. and Romy Kaye and The Swingin’ Gates. It was St. Patrick’s Day, 1989.



I was there within the first week or so of it opening. It was a tiny little joint. You walk in and the bar was to your left and the stage was to your right, and I mean there wasn’t a whole hell of a lot else. I loved it. I lost some of my best hearing in that place. − Pete Markall, KCR College Radio DJ, 2008 City Beat interview

The Casbah hit its stride quickly, and the bands that played that small, original space marked a special time for the venue, setting a precedent for the caliber of music that would be hosted throughout the Casbah’s history. Early memories speak of performances by (then) up-andcoming bands like Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana. Local legends, including Rocket from the Crypt, Three Mile Pilot and the Dragons, cut their teeth within that intimate and unassuming space.

The Casbah had bands that no one would have—Nirvana, Melvins, Jesus Lizard and John Spencer all played the tiny old Casbah. The shows were just small, intimate affairs a lot of the time, but there was really a sense of excitement for it—an anticipation that one of the touring bands was going to skewer your face, and a lot of the time, they did just that. The ultimate carne con face asada, for sure. − Mario Rubalcaba, drummer for many San Diego bands including the internationally acclaimed Rocket from the Crypt, 2008 City Beat interview

When a bar a quarter mile down the street became available, the partners jumped at the opportunity to almost triple the venue’s capacity. That, along with the liquor license that came with the sale, made the move a no-brainer.

The current Casbah used to be called Bulc. You know, “Club” backwards, and it was in its day a notorious gay leather bar. I think there are still hooks and harnesses somewhere in the club that are leftover from those days, but I’m sure they gave it a nice scrub down. [Laughs.] − Tim Pyles, San Diego rock radio legend, 2008 City Beat interview

The lease was signed, the move was made, and the owners did their best to create a space that preserved the very things that patrons loved about the original space. It didn’t take long for people to embrace the new location and the two bars and patio that came along with it. The Casbah became a gathering place for musicians who had long-awaited just the right place to play, connect and to call their own. They built a network … a tight-knit community that not only played shows together but supported each other as they navigated the sometimes challenging moments that every musician encountered. They became a family.

Everybody would go see each others’ bands play. You’d go there any night and the audience would be three other bands who weren’t playing that night. Yeah, it was a big group. It was [a place] where you’d walk in and you knew 80 percent of the people on any given night. -Tim Mays, 2013 Union Tribune newspaper interview

Nothing has really changed, although the Casbah’s reputation has transformed the location from a local venue to a destination for bands from across the country and beyond looking to connect with San Diego’s organic fan base.

We made it a point to treat them fairly and with respect, and take care of them and make sure they were, you know, dealt with honestly. And it just kept building. The booking agents who I was working with back then are still around, a lot of them, and they started off a little small, working out of their dorm room in the college. And now some of these are the biggest booking agents in the country. We’ve both grown in the same thing, you know. − Tim Mays, 2013 Union Tribune interview

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photo BY Mike Newton

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The list of artists who have darkened the doorway of the club reads like a who’s who of musical royalty. From the Cult and Mudhoney to Vampire Weekend and Fitz and the Tantrums, it seems that even the most prolific of musicians can’t pass up the opportunity to play a song or two on the Casbah’s stage. And they just keep coming. The tradition of kick-ass music and strong drinks isn’t the only thing you can depend on from the Casbah. Let’s take a moment to tip our hats to the people who make the magic happen … the family that makes up the Casbah’s 35-member staff. Almost half of them have been working at the venue for more than 10 years, and a number have been there for 20 years or more. This in itself is a testament to the kind of business that takes place on that oh-so-nondescript corner of downtown, and we think it says it all. Growing Up Casbah

We’ve always wanted to cultivate local bands. Our goal is to have a local band start playing there and get them to where they could headline the club and maybe even do two nights. − Tim Mays, KPBS interview, 2014

Talk with any music-loving San Diegan, and you will likely discover that they have their own special connection to the Casbah. Many grew up there. It was the go-to place when you had a music itch that needed to be scratched, and it gave people the opportunity to connect with others they could relate to because of their collective love of music. Many would agree that the Casbah has been as important to those people and their own personal histories as it has been to the bands that have graced its stage. For local musicians, playing the Casbah is a rite of passage. Selling out the Casbah is a sure sign that you’re getting somewhere.

Playing at the Casbah was like ... it just felt a little more like what I was doing was legitimized. It’s like:‘This is it. We’re a real band, we’re the real thing now.’ − John Reis, leader of San Diego’s Rocket from the Crypt and Hot Snakes, in a 2013 Union Tribune interview

Throughout the club’s history, and on any given night, local talent has had a place to grow their roots. There’s something about the Casbah that makes those roots thrive … just ask the likes of Rocket from the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, Three Mile Pilot, Creedle, the Rugburns, Jewel, the Dragons, Blackheart Procession and Pinback; all local acts that have given the city of San Diego, as well as the Casbah, something to be very, very proud of. At the Center of It All In the eye of this musical storm, you will always find one constant: co-founder and owner Tim Mays. After all this time, you will still find him booking most of the talent, reviewing riders and ensuring that the experience every artist and guest has at the venue lives up to the Casbah’s reputation. Mays has become a fairy godfather, of sorts, for local bands. His knack for identifying up-andcoming talent is uncanny, and his ear for the next big thing, indisputable.


They Came. They Played. They Conquered. 1. MGMT 2. Franz Ferdinand 3. X 4. Vampire Weekend 5. The White Stripes 6. Death Cab for Cutie 7. The Arcade Fire 8. The Shins 9. The Jesus Lizard 10. Weezer 11. Silversun Pickups 12. Ben Harper 13. Liz Phair 14. Social Distortion 15. Flogging Molly 16. The Cult 17. Young the Giant 18. R.L. Burnside 19. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion 20. Modest Mouse 21. Postal Service 22. Lemonheads 23. The Strokes 24. Supersuckers 25. Camper Van Beethoven 26. OK Go 27. Coheed and Cambria 28. The Hold Steady 29. Pretty Girls Make Graves 30. Tristeza 31. Meat Puppets 32. The 88 33. Stiff Little Fingers 34. Melvins 35. Helmet 36. Dinosaur Jr 37. Joan Jett 38. Juliette Lewis 39. Mudhoney 40. Ozomatli

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Tim is a huge fan of music and has incredible taste, and he dedicated himself years ago to presenting it to San Diego. Obviously, there were other kingpins and factors that contributed, but the early to mid-’90s scene that I was a part of simply wouldn’t have happened without his presence.

The celebration brought local favorites front and center once again and inspired iconic bands like the Dragons and the Penetrators to reunite in honor of this amazing milestone. (In fact, the

At the end of it all, one thing was for certain: Everyone caught a little Casbah fever, including the City of San Diego. This year, Jan. 14 was named “Casbah Day” in the city, an honor that represents the magnitude of the influence that the club has had and will continue to have over San Diego’s music community.

Penetrator’s lead singer Gary Heffern flew in from Finland for the gig!) Other performances included

− Andrew McKeag of Uncle Joe’s Big Ol’ Driver and Presidents of the United States of America, 2008 City Beat interview

Three Mile Pilot, Black Heart Procession, Switchfoot, Creedle, Fluf, and Sprung Monkey, just to name a few.

When asked in a recent interview how long he planned to continue this level of involvement in the Casbah’s operations, Mays remained vague, taking a “we’ll see where things go” stance. Regardless, the legacy he has created will no doubt create a foundation of excellence that will carry the Casbah through the next 25 years and beyond.

A highlight of the month was the intimate “An Evening with Tim Mays and Friends” at the North Park Birch Theatre on Jan. 23. Produced and hosted by Leslee Schaffer, the evening included a mix of music and history, with Mays sharing his experiences, insights and memories as 25 years come to a close. Local artists and specia l guests paid tribute to Mays and the Casbah through storytelling and song. In a word, the night kicked ass.

So here we are … 25 years in. The month of January was a whirlwind of sold-out shows, hand-picked to blow the roof off the place. It’s also given the bands that cut their teeth on the San Diego music scene the opportunity to perform in homage to the very institution that took off their training wheels. The entire hoopla can be likened to a musical homecoming party.

As the month-long celebration came to a close, the final night’s festivities featured performances by San Diego favorites Rocket from the Crypt, Styletones and the Downs Family… a show that sold out in one minute and, subsequently, blew the minds of everyone in attendance.


All that’s left is to say “Thank you.” Thank you for giving local musicians a place to learn and grow and flourish. Thank you for giving music lovers a place to go and belong. Thank you for making San Diego a place where artists are taken seriously. And, most of all, thank you for our extended family, our community and, of course, for the music.

Seriously, even more important than showcasing so much great national and international talent over the years, the Casbah has been an invaluable incubator for at least two generations of gifted San Diego musicians. - George Varga, veteran pop music critic with UT San Diego, in a 2008 City Beat interview

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 35




Excellent Excellent Very Good

Very Good Good Good Average


Hamburger Judging Contest Hamburger Judging Contest

Technologent is searching for the best hamburger in San Diego. They choose a different venue for each event. One rule: The burgers must be awesome and the joint must serve craft beer! Let’s see if anybody can get a perfect score of 32. May the greatest burger rise to the top, like the delicious foam on a great pint. This was Technologent’s second outing for their Hamburgerpalooza. This time they decided to check out Slater’s 50/50 in Point Loma’s Liberty Station.

There are five burger categories: 01 Bun 02 Meat 03 Cheese 04 Veggies 05 Condiments and Sauce

We got there a bit early to make sure everything was set up and ran into Cesar Enciso, who was already preparing. This is a large establishment, but they were kind enough to let us use their private room in the back.

Scoring System

The ceiling is lined with tap handles so you immediately know that this place serves them up. Then we found out that they actually have a 107 beers on tap or cask. This was perfect for the beerthirsty crew at Technologent, their friends and their customers. There were approximately 25 people in total last time, but the word must have gotten out because we now had 35 people. We’re sure the next one will bring out even more since it’s such a great event.

(I’m coming back for sure)

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There are three restaurant categories: 01 Service 02 Atmosphere and Décor 03 Overall Experience

1 point for average (so-so, boring) 2 points for good (mouth watering)

The 50/50 – Designed to perfection, their signature patty is topped with an egg sunny-side up, avocado mash, pepper jack cheese and chipotle adobo mayo on white brioche. Peanut Butter & Jellousy – Slater’s favorite and award winning! All-natural, ground beef topped with thick cut bacon, creamy peanut butter and strawberry jelly on a honey wheat bun. Scores are averaged between the two burgers Slater’s 50/50 total average score: 23 (Very Good)

4 points for excellent

It was another successful event thrown by Cesar Enciso and the peeps at Technologent. Everybody left with a satisfied belly of burgers and beer.

Burger Joint No. 2: Slater’s 50/50 Point Loma Two burgers were recommended by the staff:

The staff at Slater’s 50/50 was so pleasant and helpful that it enhanced the entire experience. This event was such a good time, I’m counting down the days until the next one!

3 points for very good

(I will dream about it tonight)


Technologent is a leading global provider of technology infrastructure solutions for Fortune 1,000 companies, aiding in bridging the gap between technology infrastructure and business strategy. They serve the complete technology lifecycle, including assessment, design, integration, and support services. They offer their customers unparalleled expertise, exceptional service and technology from best-of-breed partners. Their strong network of provider partners includes EMC, Cisco VMware, Oracle/ Sun Microsystems, Hitachi Data Systems, Nimble Storage, Compuware, Palo Alto Networks, F5, IBM, Symantec and others.











2 FOR 1 BURGERS (Some restrictions apply)

1044 South Coast Highway 101 | Encinitas 760.943.7180 | february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 37



saltbox chef Jeremiah Bryant

The Gaslamp’s Hotel Palomar is home to swanky gastro-lounge Saltbox. Named after the pre-framed lumber “salt box” houses that once occupied the Fifth Avenue space where the restaurant is now, Saltbox is welcoming and surprising all at once with Chef de Cuisine Jeremiah Bryant leading the kitchen. by Michelle Lyn

SALTbox Flatbread

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Four EL: For those who haven’t been to Saltbox, what can they expect? Jeremiah Bryant: They can expect an international influence added to familiar dishes and fairly priced. Guests can expect thoughtfully constructed, seasonal updates to gastro-lounge dishes.

Jeremiah Bryant

Your menu is quite eclectic (from Margherita flatbread to burrata fondue to carnitas poutine); where do you find your inspiration?

My inspiration is San Diego. Such a diverse place offers itself as a muse for any chef. The heaviest influences for me are Latin and Asian cuisine. I am inspired just by walking down the street, by the sights and smells of all restaurants, particularly the small family owned places. You like to take familiar dishes and put your unique stamp on them. Tell us about a couple of them. Chicken and waffles had been something I have been kicking around for some time. I really just wanted to take classic comfort food from one culture and span it to another. The pot roast is straight forward, and whose mom didn’t make pot roast when we were kids? Being a hotel I thought we should have some dishes that might remind you of home while you are on a long business trip. Dining at Saltbox, what are the top three dishes we have to try? Pretzels, chicken and waffles and the risotto, and the NY, and the sliders, etc. ... I couldn’t limit it to three items … also the deep fried cheesecake! How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day? We will have a big pool party for singles with elegant food stations and wonderfully crafted cocktails, something out of the box. Dinner service starts at 4 p.m.

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 39



BEATS&EATS What’s RAD about

Beats & Eats? The food and the music!

by mikey beats

People tell me all the time they opened up a new spot and I have to try it. It’s not just because I have a food/music column but because I am fat and I work in the San Diego restaurant and bar scene. I try to get out as often as possible and try the food, but when I have other friends tell me that I have to try our mutual friend’s 40 Four El | february 2014

spot because it’s amazing, then I know I have to go. So, without further storyline ado … two fat guys walk into a Big Front Door … Scooter and Beats! Badum Ching!

bfd / big front door 4135 Park Blvd. » North Park » (619) 255-4100 »

Mikey Beats: One of your favorite sandwiches here is what you called the terminal sandwich because it kept well and when you would be in the terminal at an airport, you would pull it out of your DJ bag and eat it. Scooter: The Avocado Highway. I don’t know what it is about it, it’s so simple. I feel like avocados are God’s butter. They put big slices of avocado in there with a crispy parmesan and then they add oil and vinegar. It’s insane what they do here.

Is this a good representation of BFD?

You are a resident at a few spots here in SD.

I am crushing it right now, get out of my way! I have done vast research on this menu and you are getting my taste profile, all their deliciousness. It’s one thing I can’t stand is boring food.

Yes, I do Fluxx, Stingaree and Sidebar once a month.

I agree, in fact, I may even pause halfway through this interview, go throw up and come back for more.

For the record, you have nothing in this place, no investment?

[Scooter finishes the order with a hefty tip, we grab a couple seats outside in the 70 degree winter that is San Diego.]

No, I don’t own any part of this. I wish I did because I have spent enough money here to make it worth my own while.

I want to throw in a little controversy here. City Beat, Club DJ of the year, I know you won it for a couple years in a row.

This is all straight from the gut?

I think I won it one year. As I understand, they want to sell ad space and if you show no interest in buying the ad space or bringing a ton of people to their music awards, they really don’t show any more interest in you. I know how magazines work, they always want the hot and new. I have been here forever. Just because I do a good job still, doesn’t mean I am fresh news. It’s just how the news works and I can’t hate on that.

These sandwiches are bold and they don’t dick around here. On that note, I will order.

[Scooter takes control of the situation and orders an Avocado Highway, Loins of Fire, BGP, Cali Cubano and a Baby Back Rib, all sandwiches. I step in to order some sides which are Sesame Slaw and Sesame Noodles.]

As far as the local standings go, Fluxx is still on top here in SD with Stingaree closely following still making noise after so many years. Sting is still making a ton of money and still crushing it. They have good management and a consistent product. How many clubs have you seen open and close around them? They are smart people.

[The food is on the table: five sandwiches, two sides, three different kinds of specialty soda and half a tree of napkins.] Five sandwiches, two dudes. We’re popping bottles of Strawberry Fago, kids. Wow. This is the spot to got to go for all those Insane Clown Posse readers of Four EL magazine and it’s in the glass bottle.

[I take an unhealthy chug of the sugary carbonated red libation.] This makes me want to paint my face and commit felonies. We also have a cream soda and an old school Mountain Dew type. We can eat and drink outside the normal here.

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 41



I have a soda fetish; I love to try new sodas.

We are going to need more napkins.

That’s hot.

[I pass Scooter half a branch of napkins.]

Food and drink. This is better than drugs to me, this is better than anything to me. These are like the five horsemen riding to a food apocalypse in my stomach.

There are two men on this earth that I will share a sandwich as messy as this one; Scooter happens to be one of them and my dad is the other.

This is going to get in my mouth, all over my face, in my hair, on my clothes and I couldn’t be happier. Should I just grab one and go?

This is my favorite kind of BBQ sauce, tangy. That’s one of my food profiles, tangy.

Let’s do this.

[Scooter is unwrapping the paper from a sandwich to give me my first look at this culinary work of art.] What is that?

[Scooter takes a bite of the BBQ Pork Rib sandwich and just laughs as jolly as Santa Claus.] Remember, we are at a sandwich shop, and that’s how good those ribs taste!

[He passes the sandwich over to me and I take a bite.] Mmm. OMG, I have to put it down. Oh, these caramelized onions.

[I pass the sandwich back to him.]

42 Four El | february 2014

[He passes the last few bites of the sandwich to me and I bite into it almost chomping one of my fingers, leaving only the last bite.] Wow. Do you want the butt? No, go ahead. I have been here before and have a lot more work to do. What do you think? I didn’t expect that. That’s the problem, it really ruins you for anything else you would want. Like if I want BBQ, I will come here. Sometimes I will flip the top off of the sandwich and just eat the BBQ. All his meats, he does himself. He smokes them himself. This is not Boar’s Head or some corporate entity selling him meats. He does this himself.

[Our longtime friend Sheep, the owner, walks up to our table.] What’s in here? Sheep: Our freshly cured pork loin, red onions, jalapeño aioli, homemade mustard, jack cheese and avocado that makes it the Cali. Scooter: I feel like I am sharing like a very important thing with you right now, Mikey. Sharing amazing food spots you find with your friends is the most gratifying thing ever. I love that not only is this food amazing, but I also know the guy making it. I am so proud of Sheep. This is not me being nice to a friend at all, I would not come here if I was not obsessed with it. Round III, The BGP: roast beef, house smoked gouda, peperoncini, lettuce, Roma tomato, red onion, o&v, chipotle aioli, all this slapped between sourdough and now in my mouth. Oh my. Scooter: Look at how it’s engineered, meat on the bottom, lettuce on the top, all the moisture in the middle, cheese solidifying the entire deal. He’s thought it out. It’s like plating. His plating is when you cut it in half and look at it.

Round II, what do we have? Let’s do some Beats. The Cali Cubano.

Scooter and Mikey

about to dig in

BFD owner Sheep

proudly presents his version of the macaroon

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 43



Scooter: Here’s something I want to talk about right now: the death of classics in pop music. This is something that has been bothering me lately. I don’t know what to attribute this to, whether it be the fault of the Internet and how fast we get info, or the younger generation’s consumption of media and how it has to be new and fresh. The speed to which people go through new music I feel makes it very difficult for anything to become a classic, like a song that’s going to be around for 20 years. Just to name some songs, “Timber?” How about “Royals?” Ha! Scooter: Are those going to be around in 20 years? Definitely not Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop.” Scooter: When I grew up, pretty much the only way you heard new music was the radio or by people’s records, tapes or CDs at their house. That was our only outlet for music. It was such a small pocket of what you could listen to and it was all controlled by the record labels. Today, everything is controlled by conglomerates and all the music is engineered to make money. That combined with a generation that always wants to have new things coming at them and they get bored really quick. I just think that is a weird recipe for getting anything lasting that would be interesting. In 50 years, what are they going to think about the 20-teens music? Will there be anything that stands out?

44 Four El | february 2014

I feel you. Scooter: You can still play “Hypnotize” or “This is How We Do it” in the club and everyone will cheer, but half these kids weren’t even born when those songs came out. What do you think? I have thought about songs that are going to stand the test of time from this EDM generation of music like Rihanna “We Found Love” or “Only Girl in the World” for song subject, the beats and hooks. Scooter: When the kids who graduate in 2014 come back for their 10-year or 20-year reunions, are they going to want to hear the music from their high school days or the classics? Is it going to change the way people view their generation? Generations are dictated by their music. More than politics or anything, it has an emotional response to how people remember how they grew up, their life or school, whatever. You are talking about generation-defining music. Scooter: Yes. Is that gone?

That’s a really good question. If you look at the kids who are now into trap, who were into dub step and before that electro, it’s changing so fast now it’s surpassing genre boundaries. Scooter: Exactly. There are really gnarly trap clubs where you could play electronic trap and play it right next to the hardest Juicy J track and it rolls just fine. It’ll be an all African American crowd listening to a trap version on “Animals.” Nobody says anything at all. To me, it doesn’t make any sense at all, but what I think doesn’t matter. It’s their generation, they are going to dictate their own personal rules. On one hand, that’s amazing, but on another, it does create a much larger pool of music to pull from and a more complicated pool. Thus, what is your favorite? Which one is the thing now? It isn’t. There are too many things going on, too many choices. The pool is so enormous I think it is impossible to nail down something that is going to resonate with enough different people to make it that classic song. If I am completely wrong and people do choose something out of all that music, that’s crazy—the craziest thing ever. That song is either the most commercialized, homogenized piece of crap in the world or it’s that good. I’ve been contemplating that a lot lately, especially when I play all over the States.

I have this conversation with myself all the time. Getting back to the Rihanna “We Found Love.” It’s the music with those same familiar chord progressions that we are so used to and the lyrics people can relate to or at least fantasize about that will always shine. The most over-produced, under-thought crap out there gets the love. It’s kinda sad. Scooter: The media can push something really hard and it still fails, which is made most evident for Justin Timberlake’s latest albums. They were good, but not great. They pushed it on the radio like it was amazing and people were requesting it every 10 seconds, which they weren’t. I know that because I got out every night to play it. I am the real Nielsen tester. The test of reality is when I play it at a club. If they like it, they will react and if they don’t like it, they’ll react, too, in a bad way. I got lukewarm reactions at best from those tracks.

[Sheep walks up with a tray of coconut macaroons fresh out of the oven. Everyone grabs one and without hesitation I bite into one.]

[Moans of ecstasy.] Oh my God. [More moans on

par with Meg Ryan’s orgasm in When Harry Met Sally.] Oh my, I love me some coconut. I

like it fresh, I like it dry, I like it wet. If I was a baby coconut, I would breast feed forever. Roll me in coconut, I’d eat me. Scooter: I don’t like macaroons. They’re always so dry. These are good though, I like these. These are fresh here, like fresh coconut, crispy on the outside and a chewy moistness on the inside. That’s the thing that makes this place so great, you cannot really like a certain ingredient or flavor and Sheep will deliver it on a platter or in a bun and you are hooked.

[We gorged on some amazing sandwiches that didn’t disappoint and kept talking for a total of two hours. I didn’t write about my favorite sandwich, the Loins of Fire, for two reasons: No. 1) Words cannot describe the immaculate reception by my palate to that sandwich; 2) Some things have to be left to your own personal taste experiences and not someone else’s interpretation of excellent food.]

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 45



pacific beach

fish shop

Nothing is ever frozen and everything is fresh. They spend a lot of time prepping each morning making all of their marinades and sauces. Several types of fish are purchased daily in limited quantities so that they sell out and start fresh again the next morning. We love fresh seafood, marinades and especially sauces, so we were looking forward to this treat today.

46 Four El | february 2014

the fish shop 1775 Garnet Ave. San Diego, CA 92109 Neighborhood: Pacific Beach (858) 483-1008 Hours:

Open daily 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

What We Ate:

01 Crab Cake The crab is the star in this dish that is served with a caramelized onion and horseradish remoulade. A lot of times, a crab cake is inundated with fillers and binding agents. This isn’t the case here. The cake splits apart with a fork and you can see the crab meat. 02 TKO Taco Fish Shop-seasoned Mahi Mahi is stuffed into a corn tortilla and topped with a tropical mango salsa. It was voted the best fish taco in San Diego at the 2011 fish taco TKO competition.

TKO Taco

ahi salad

fish shop shrimp

lobster lumpia

What we drank Although they had a great variety of San Diego beers, we decided to throw back a few Pacificos. This place reminded us of a fresh fish joint sitting right off the beach in Mexico, so we decided to drink as if we were there.

03 Ahi Salad Tuna seared rare is accompanied by greens, cherry tomatoes, pickled red onions and capers with a choice of dressing. You know how fresh the fish is when you eat it rare/raw. This ahi has absolutely no odor and the meat is tender but firm, all signs of high quality fresh fish. 04 fish shop shrimp This giant shrimp plate—jumbo prawns seasoned in Fish Shop seasoning, sautéed and served with a chipotle aioli dipping sauce—is a mouth-watering oxymoron. First you’re amazed by the sheer size, then you can’t help but start drooling at the charred glaze. Pop one in your mouth and you’ll realize it’s every bit as good as it looks. Throw in the custom dipping sauce and it’s our favorite. 05 Lobster Lumpia The Fish Shop throws in a dish with some Asian flare: fried lobster egg rolls served with jasmine rice and sesame sweet chili dipping sauce. With real bits of lobster and classic accompaniments, this fresh dish would be legit in any Chinese restaurant. 06 House Cut Onion Rings This isn’t your pre-made, pre-packaged, frozen ring you get from a giant manufacturing plant. This is house cut, housetempura battered, house fried, onion-ring deliciousness. When you eat this onion ring, you’ll finally know the difference if you already don’t.

Pacific Beach Fish Shop Fresh fish, prepared your way. While dining at the Fish Shop, relax and enjoy one of the 50 San Diego microbrew beers served in a family and dog-friendly atmosphere that reflects the casual Pacific Beach lifestyle. If you choose to pair a dish with a glass of wine, bring your own and enjoy no corkage fee. There’s plenty of parking. Just look for the 17-foot marlin hanging around on the corner of Garnet and Kendall to know you’ve arrived at the Fish Shop for the freshest catch of the day in town.

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 47



brian’s 24 Pancake Monster Challenge by Steve Kang

Pancake Monster Challenge • 3 fried eggs • 5 large plate size hotcakes • 4 strips of bacon • 2 large sausage patties • 8 oz ham steak • 8 oz country fried steak • Full plate of special home fries NO MODIFICATIONS! NO SUBSTITUTIONS! *Finish it under an hour and it’s not only free but you get a “I Conquered the Pancake Monster” t-shirt.

I met Miles for the first time in our 7th grade band class. Since then, we’ve been through thick and thin together. Literally … we both used to be very overweight. I used to tiptoe onto the scale and hold the wall trying to register the lightest weight possible. He used to wear the

48 Four El | february 2014

same Guess overall jeans every day because nothing else would fit. Needless to say, we like to eat. Fortunately, in the last decade, we’ve been able to maintain a reasonable weight by watch-

ing what we eat. Every once in awhile, that wild eating gene kicks in and we want to eat everything in sight. Luckily, I was able to catch Miles in one of those states of mind, as he agreed to do the Pancake Monster Challenge for Four EL magazine!

on your mark, get set, go!

It’s not our fault if you get sick!

Looking a little TOO anxious.

8-Minute Mark: He’s kicking butt, having already finished the three eggs, four strips of bacon, eight ounces of ham steak, and only has a couple of bites left of country fried steak. He tells me that he’s being overwhelmed by all the salt intake from the pure protein he has taken in. He decides to go at the potatoes to balance out the sodium and leaves the rest of the country fried steak for later.

Here comes the challenge!

The agony of defeat!

BRIAN’S 24 828 6th Ave. San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 702-8410 Neighborhood: Gaslamp District Hours:

Open 24 hours a day, 20-minute mark: 7 days a week The potatoes are done, but he still can’t seem to muster up the appetite for the rest of that country fried steak. He decides to move forward with the pancakes. He slathers his first flapjack with butter and sugar-free syrup (not sure why

he requested sugar-free, but then again he ordered a Diet Coke, too. … I guess every calorie counts?).

30-minute mark: He finishes three-fourths of his first pancake then hits the wall. He still has plenty of time left, so he decides to take a little break and see if a burp can clear some space. He unbuckles his pants and lets it all hang out. As the time ticks away, I just hear him making weird noises and moaning. 40-minute mark: Miles does not take another single bite and throws in the towel. He had started off so strong but ends with a whimpy thud. He leaves behind 4 ¼ pancakes and two bites of country fried steak. Oh well, it was still very entertaining to watch but today in the books it reads: Miles vs. The Monster Challenge … and the Monster wins! To put a little salt in his wound, I made him sit there and watch while I ordered and ate a country fried steak. Each bite was delicious, but it was even more glorious seeing him watching me eat in painful horror. Miles’ thoughts: Just when I thought I could take another bite, I became instantaneously nauseous. It felt like a monster was going to rip out of my belly. I was waiting for a huge burp to free up space but it did not come. Everything I smelled made me feel sick.

The Joint Brian’s copper-clad, open kitchen with its beautiful, historic “Joan Crawford” mahogany bar combined with a beveled glass window wall and crystal chandelier create an enjoyable atmosphere. A huge selection and oversized portions of home-style comfort foods includes enormous sandwiches, bountiful salads and burgers, along with Certified Angus Choice steaks, delicious pastas and house-made meatloaf and mashed potatoes. The Pancake Monster lived inside Brian’s head for many years. Finally, his two sisters Robin and Andrea helped this monster come to life in their kitchen. Now it’s up to you to come and slay the beast and earn your t-shirt!

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 49



wine and dine at

wine bar

Trinitas Cellars By Michelle Lyn

If running away to wine country isn’t possible this Valentine’s, let Napa come to you. Napa’s awardwinning Trinitas Cellars has its very own wine bar at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa. At this cozy outpost, you can enjoy Trinitas Cellars by the glass, as well as flights, pairings and fun wine classes. The bar also serves local craft beer (of course), craft cocktails (using house-made simple syrups and Estancia’s own line of bitters) and some great dishes that pair nicely with suggested wines.

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The following wines are available by the glass or bottle. Wines by the glass range from $10-$22 and $32-$88 by the bottle. • 2010 Sauvignon Blanc • 2011 Apprentice Chardonnay • 2011 Chardonnay • 2010 Proprietors Reserve • 2010 Moscato • 2011 Rose’ary • 2010 Pinot Noir • 2009 Mysterium • 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel (El Dorado/Mendocino) • 2008 Meritage • 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon • 2010 Old Vine Petite Sirah

Specialty bottles below are highlights for the Busch family, owners of Trinitas Cellars. • 2009 Estate Meritage ($145) • 2006 Amarone ($190)

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{ flights. parings. education. } (Group or Private options available)

Reservations recommended for private tastings and classes at (858) 964.6516.

Cheese & Wine Pairing Discover how to pair cheese and wine.

Food & Beer Pairing Local experts touch on the beer making process and how to pair food with craft beers.

Chocolate & Wine Pairing Indulge in the best of both worlds by pairing wines with chocolates from Chuao. During the month of February, this class is 50 percent off and pairings include Sweet Passion + Moscato, Rosemary Salted Caramel + Rose and Spiced Cabernet Caramel + Zinfandel.

Whiskey 101 Taste and explore the differences between four whiskeys from the premier whiskey regions: Scotch, Canadian, Irish and Estancia’s Single Barrel Jack Daniel’s American Whiskey. Also learn the art of pairing these premier whiskeys with food.

Wine Flights Learn about the wine club by tasting through four or five wines. Food & Wine Pairing Pair four Trinitas wines with five tasting sensations.

Blind Tasting Test your nose and palate with this fun, yet educational way of deductive tasting. Three- or Four-Course Menu with Pairings Private menu from Executive Chef Kimberley Kramer, paired to perfection with Trinitas wines. Duo red and white pairings also possible with each course.

{ menu highlights } Seared Pork Belly White Cheddar Polenta, Piquillo Pepper Jus Baked Artichoke

Artichoke Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Herbs, Charred Tomato, Poblano Peppers, Portabello Mushroom Tower Filet Sliders

Caramelized Onions, Bernaise, Garlic Fries Mac N’Cheese N’ Fried Chicken Three Cheese Macaroni, Greens Beef Short Rib

Stilton Fondue, Truffle Chips


9700 N Torrey Pines Road San Diego, CA 92037 Neighborhood: La Jolla Shores

Hours: Tuesday-Thursday: 5-10 p.m. | Friday-Saturday: 5-11 p.m. Happy Hour: Monday-Friday: 4-6 p.m. ($3 off wines by the glass or $4 off wines by the glass with menu pairing) 52 Four El | february 2014

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




tractor room by Miles Roberson

I’m a cocktail enthusiast who enjoys learning about the craft. I write from the perspective of a novice but can appreciate the craftsmanship, creativity and passion behind a true quality bar program. Since I began writing about cocktails The Tractor Room has been on the top of my list to try.

more like an old fashioned hunting lodge combined with a New York nightclub with a Midwest twist and an old timey speakeasy. You’ll find antler chandeliers, deer heads on the wall, and rustic, industrial and modern design all at the same time. I’m no Martha Stewart, so let’s get to the cocktails!

Located in the Hillcrest neighborhood, you might expect a country kitchen type atmosphere with a name like The Tractor Room but actually the ambiance is

the crown of thorns


The staff was upbeat, friendly and, most of all, accommodating. I probably should have picked

the basque blanco


the making of The Super Flask Sazerac


a better time than 7 p.m. to meet and chat about cocktails, but the staff managed to pull it off in the middle of the dinner rush and not miss a beat with their customers. Faith, who’s been with The Tractor Room since day one, was my bartender. She was extremely friendly, knowledgeable, passionate, and just an overall happy person who also made me some of the most interesting and visually appealing cocktails I’ve ever had.

The Sage Germaine


Located at 3687 5th Ave., San Diego, CA 92103 | Neighborhood: Hillcrest | (619) 543-1007 | 54 Four El | february 2014


The Super Flask Sazerac

Most who’ve been around a bar have heard the word Sazerac but few know what it is. The Sazerac is a New Orleans variation of an Old Fashioned. Sometimes referred to as the oldest known American cocktail with its origins in pre-Civil War New Orleans, Sazerac has a base that is normally cognac or rye whiskey. The Tractor Room version goes like this: Thomas Handy Sazerac straight uncut rye whiskey, the aniseflavored liqueur Herbsaint, original absinthe, several healthy dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters, one ground down French sugar cube, all funneled into a flask trimmed with a lemon twist. If you’re a fan of the Sazerac, try this over-the-top presentation of The Tractor Room’s take on a classic cocktail. Yes, it is served in a flask!


The Crown of Thorns

It’s made with fresh muddled ginger and cherries, Canton liqueur and Maker’s Mark Kentucky bourbon, then a hollowed out half orange floats atop filled with George T. Stagg bourbon whiskey that’s lit on fire. Served in an ice cold, stainless steel martini shaped goblet, the presentation is remarkable. If that’s not enough wow factor, this bourbon concoction is garnished with a cinnamon stick to allow you to tip over the flaming Stagg into your cocktail without burning your finger. The bourbons work well together, balanced out by the Canton (a ginger-flavored liqueur) and the fresh muddled cherries. This is a dramatic cocktail like I’ve never tasted. It’s strong, complex and bold. Give it a try!


The Basque Blanco

This Grey Goose vodka drink kind of reminds me of a super sized Lemon Drop except that it’s fresh and not as sugary sweet but better balanced due to the bitters. Goose based, this sipper adds fresh grapefruit juice from seasonal oroblanco grapefruit, which is different than a traditional grapefruit due to it being much sweeter and lacking bitterness. St. Germain, a French liqueur flavored with elderflower, is added and it’s finished off with a few dashes of Urban Moonshine bitters, a Vermontbased brand of certified organic bitters. All served “up” in a martini glass garnished with a slice of oroblanco grapefruit. A perfect warm weather drink.


The Sage Germaine

My favorite of the night. An award-winning cocktail and a creation of our friendly bartender Faith. A pretty simple, straight forward gin-based drink with an interesting twist. The brand of gin is G ’Vine, an ultra-premium gin unique to that world due to its infusion of green grape flowers plus several botanicals: ginger root, licorice, cardamom, cassia bark, coriander, cubeb berries, nutmeg, lime and juniper. The flavor is sweet and fruity. Add to that a little vanilla extract, Meyer lemon juice, fresh muddled sage, egg whites for frothiness, a giant ice cube garnished with a slice of lemon and you have yourself a delicious cocktail. Vodka and wine lovers would enjoy this drink.

I’ve heard so much about the Bloody Mary selection so I wasn’t going to leave without trying one. Faith made me the No. 1 selling bloody on the menu called the T.R. Buffalo Mary. I won’t go into too much detail on this one but let’s just say the Bloody Mary mix is house made (of course) and garnished with enough fixins’ to qualify as a meal (including a huge piece of buffalo jerky). Give the Bloody Mary menu a gander, it’s overwhelming in a good way. The thing about The Tractor Room is although they are one of the leading practitioners of mixology in San Diego, they don’t take themselves too seriously, as some of the modern cocktail business does. It’s not about the handlebar mustaches here but more about the product, the ambiance and atmosphere. Simply an amazing “honest” cocktail experience. Bravo, Tractor Room, Bravo! Mixology Minute: When to stir instead of shake: Stir cocktails that use distilled spirits

or very light mixers only. Stirring is a more gentle technique for mixing cocktails and is used to delicately combine the drinks with a perfect amount of dilution. Many gin and whiskey cocktails are stirred because shaking is said to “bruise” the spirit.


s t r o p S


Outrageous Burgers • Drinks

Better than being there... Come Enjoy Our Unbeatable Food and Drink Specials! 1020 W San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos • (760) 744-1960 february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 55





Popping Bubbles on F street

Champagne Bar and Dining Room


by Meghan Balser

The anticipated opening of this new concept to San Diego made its debut downtown at the corner of 6th and F streets. Encore Champagne Bar and Dining Room’s Champagne-driven bar program is spearheaded by General Manager Maija Talikka. Chef Ryan Studebaker presents a Mediterranean- and French-influenced menu with shared plates and, of course, an array of oysters and caviar to pair with your glasses of bubbly. Both the spaces of Encore are suitably named Act 1 and Act 2. Act 1: The luxe champagne lounge. Walk in and choose to either sit at either the wrap-around bar complete with a library ladder (to reach one of the 100 bottles from their extensive list) or unwind with your glass of sparkling wine at a table in the sexy, soft lit, exposed brick sitting area.


Act 2: The Dining Room. Complete with an open kitchen and a chef’s dining bar, this space is set just beyond the lounge and has a slightly more upscale feel. The dining room is open for both lunch and dinner, and each item on the menu has been selected to compliment the sparkling wines. Talikka, the curator of the cocktail list, has a pedigree of Champagne-centric venues. She had previously managed NYC’s Flute and opened their Paris location before moving to San Diego. Beyond the selection of bottles and bubbly by the glass, they offer local drafts, a cocktail list with classics like a vieux carre and, of course, a list of signature cocktails topped off with some bubbles.

531 F St., San Diego, CA 92101 | Neighborhood: Gaslamp District | (619) 255-5152 | 56 Four El | february 2014

What we tried: 01

La Femme de Violette

This is a delicately balanced twist on a Blue Moon cocktail. Served up with Bombay Sapphire Gin, Giffard Violette, fresh lemon, egg white, a shimmer of Piper-Heidsieck Brut, and topped off with some edible fleurs. A real show stopper.


Hibiscus Margarita

This is a slightly herbaceous, lush, sparkling margarita. Ixa organic tequila, Fruitlab Organic Hibiscus Liqueur, fresh citrus and Bar Keep Swedish Herb Bitters spice up the drink. Served on the rocks, with a float of Piper, and garnished with fresh micro greens. This margarita shakes up the original recipe.



If there was ever a manly Champagne cocktail, this is it. Bulleit Bourbon, Boiron Fig Purée, maple syrup, fresh lemon and a splash of Piper. The deep flavors of the bourbon and the fig are the stars. It comes served up in a coupe, but no one will notice the stem of your glass when they see the generous slice of house-cured bacon sitting on the rim.



if you lob it up, we'll take a shot at it.. Encore offers a Champagne Brunch every Saturday and Sunday starting at 10:30 a.m. Bottomless mimosas are $18 and are made with Prosecco Organic, so you’re hangover won’t start by mid-afternoon. february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 57



Davanti Enoteca

1655 India St., San Diego, CA 92101 » Neighborhood: Little Italy (619) 237-9606 »

happy hour Daily from 4 to 6 p.m. Happy hour drinks include draft beers as well as house red and white wines at $6 and martinis made with gin or vodka at $7.

Davanti Enoteca’s daily happy hour is available throughout the restaurant, including various dining rooms, and on the front and back patios. Guests also notice that Davanti Enoteca’s happy hour menu is divided into three sections: “Spuntino” (the Italian term for snacks), larger food items and drinks.

What we ate:

What we drank:

Peperone al Forno

(Fire roasted padron peppers and cherry tomatoes flavored with Meyer lemon, Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sea salt and served in a small iron skillet)

We’ve had similar peppers before and they were always mild. As you pick through these, every once in awhile, one has a kick. As we kept eating, our usual curtain of sweat started raining down from our foreheads to the rest of our faces.

Chicken Liver Pate

(Arrives to the table in a small glass jar atop a wooden board. Pate is sprinkled on top with cherries and comes with half a dozen pieces of thick, warm toasted Italian bread) WE LOVE the liver pate! This version is extremely rich and smooth with subtle hints of liver. Use their buttered toasted bread to compliment this spread and you have opposing textures and flavors that satisfy your entire mouth.

Davanti Burger

(A special blend beef burger topped with bacon jam, roasted tomato, cheese curd, arugula and roasted garlic and served aside shoestring fries) When we saw this dish, we decided to throw

caution to the wind and verily gave our diets the heave ho. After all, we could always start our diets tomorrow. We can’t even begin to describe the bacon jam; it’s something that you will just have to experience. We’ve also never had cheese curd on a burger and, let us tell you, it’s fantastic!

58 Four El | february 2014

House red and house white …

what else?! There’s nothing better than great wine with fine Italian food.

The joint:

They also have another location in Del Mar with a very similar menu. We’ve been to both and each has a distinct personality. The Del Mar location is fantastic, but we found the Little Italy location to be a bit more intimate and cozy. At times, we almost felt as if we were actually in Italy. The warm décor, soft lighting and pleasant atmosphere definitely put romance back into food.



tasting notes Death of a Blonde: Kolsch style blonde ale 5.2% Crisp and refreshing like a lager, but smooth like an ale. In this special brew, vanilla bean gives it a marshmallow scent while the ghost peppers give it a subtle garden heat in the finish.

iron fist

with Brandon Sieminski by Dale Hersey

Iron Fist Brewing Co., 100 percent family owned in Vista, boasts three generations in control and quality above all else. No shareholders and no investors, just a love for creating liquid happiness. The company started in 2010, about the same time that head brewer Brandon Sieminski turned 21. But make no mistake, he’s got the brews of a seasoned pro. It’s his philosophy that brewing is a balance of art and science. The creativity is what makes you choose to drink it and the science behind it is what makes you keep drinking it. He also prefers beer education as opposed to forcing styles on beer fans. Taste several different styles and what works best for you. Don’t just drink an IPA because everyone else is. Drink it because it’s what you like or find a new style that might not be as popular but hits your taste buds better. Once you visit this brewery, and it is a must, you’ll go back every chance you get to try their “one offs.” Not only will you fall in love with many of their drafts like “Renegade Blonde,” but you’ve

got to come back once they’ve tapped “Death of a Blonde.” The latter has the same blonde ale as a base but introduces vanilla bean and ghost peppers to the brew. So crazy it just might work ... and it does! One thing that’s so great about brewing in the San Diego beer mecca is that there are no traditions. Unlike the breweries in Europe that have brewed the same style using the same process for a hundred plus years, stateside they can do whatever they want. Iron Fist doesn’t filter any of its beer. This is done by leaving beer in the tank about a week longer, giving it more time to settle. The result is an excellent and more flavorful beer. By not filtering the beer there is a portion of the yeast that is still left in the beer. This adds a little more flavor than a lot of other beers that you’ll find on the shelf. Beers here are also bottle conditioned, which makes them taste fresher because the yeast is creating its own carbonation. The type of yeast that they’ve chosen for this creates a fine carbon-

ation, more of a champagne style of bubbles that leaves you feeling less gassy and bloated. Something must be going right: You can find these tasty bottled treats all the way over on the East Coast, and they don’t stop there. Be sure to check for them on your next trip to Sweden, because Iron Fist is a available there!

Four EL magazine was blessed enough to taste some Iron Fist beers that were three or so years old and absolutely delicious. Their “Renegade Blonde” had taken on a slightly cider-like taste and ended with a slightly caramel-like, bready finish. Up next was the “Hired Hand Saison,” which had become an ale with a slight caramel apple sort of flavor that was very nice. Lastly, the three-year-old “Dubbel Fisted” was the unanimous favorite. While it didn’t take on any oak taste or fiery bite, it was definitely scotch like and “bourbon-esque” to describe the sensation.

Velvet Glove (nitrogen): Imperial Oatmeal Stout 9.0% If you’ve had it before, try it again on nitro. Very smooth and definitely velvet like. The finish is dark cocoa and espresso. Roots of Wrath: Belgian style dark strong ale 10+ % A strong Belgian style ale that hides its content like mossy oak hides a deer hunter! This is accomplished by the addition of root-beer spices. Sarsaparilla? Yes, please. Hired Hand: Belgian style saison 6.5% A mild malty spiced type of flavor with a hint of acidity and a very clean finish. Gauntlet: Double IPA 9.5% Here’s one for all you hop heads out there. The hop bitterness refreshes the citrusy grapefruit body of this beer. For this style it is big and smooth. Dubbel Fisted: Belgian style dubbel 8.1% A smooth brown Belgian style ale with a slight taste of chocolate, coffee and dark fruit. “While peering into a glass of the deep amber colored brew you’re holding in your drinking hand, you’ll realize that you probably want one in your open hand, too!”

iron fist brewing 1305 Hot Springs Way Vista, CA 92081 (760) 216-6500

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 59




to see you

Meredith Lynn ORIGIN: Lansing, Michigan. Euro-mutt with a little Native American. CREDENTIALS: I started bartending my senior year of college at Michigan State. My vagabond ways kept me in the industry until I landed upon this great establishment (Nunu’s). Now that I’m here, I’m hanging up my gypsy shoes for awhile. SHIFTS: Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1-7 p.m. And on the other side of the bar throughout the week sporadically. SIGNATURE DRINK: All beers are in bottles here and since I’m obsessed with bottle caps, I like to add to my hoarder-ish collection. One day I’ll get around to turning them into something cool. I drink Jameson neat and microbrews (part of the reason I moved to SD … IPA), but I appreciate a variety of libations. WORDS OF WISDOM: You have to ruthlessly pursue your happiness. If something isn’t going well in your life, you have to get active and make a change. I believe we are all survivors of the fittest. Make life what you want it to be. history: I was raised in Michigan wine country in a little village called Baroda, where the main street dead-ends. It was so safe that I didn’t have a house key until I got my keys to my dorm. We had real seasons there and I’m glad I grew up with them. I’d go swim out in Lake Michigan until people looked like ants on the shore in the summer. In the winter we’d go sledding on the snow covered sand dunes. I’ve always been a beach baby, even when that beach was covered in snow.

The Joint

When you walk in, you immediately notice that it’s a cool dive. Nothing pretentious, no crazy cocktail menu, no gastro food, it’s friendly and normal. What makes it even better is when Meredith throws a big smile at you and asks you what you’re having. When you say a Jameson and a beer, she smiles even bigger and throws them up on the bar for you.

Nunu’s Cocktail Lounge and Grill

Located at 3537 5th Ave. // San Diego, CA 92103 Neighborhood: Hillcrest (619) 295.2878 //

60 Four El | february 2014


01 What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you while bartending? I always say that my life is an open book. It bit me in the ass one day when I said too much to some noobs who then gave me such shit about my love life debacle that I turned beet red and ran away. Sure, I’ve dropped full drinks on myself, kicked an ice cube accidentally between two patrons … but nothing had ever made me leave the bar with embarrassment like my new regulars’ humor. 02 What do you think is your best feature and why? My smile, because it’s a reflection of my happiness. I believe in the power of gratitude and what better way to thank people than by showing them you’re happy to see them? 03 Would you rather have a picnic while hiking or go out to fine dining and why? I’d prefer a picnic in Balboa with champagne after a long urban hike across San Diego’s amazing bridges. I love that we can enjoy an adult beverage in one of the best parks in America’s finest city. Bubbly paired with some stinky cheese on the botanical garden’s lawn, mmm. 04 What famous person do you find the most attractive and why? Old school - Paul Newman: amazing blue eyes and salad dressing. New school - Ryan Gosling: He reminds me of my favorite person on the planet. 05 What do you love about working at Nunu’s? My first apartment in San Diego was right around the corner, but Nunu’s was the first spot I felt at home. It has all the qualities of any great neighborhood bar around the country: amazing bartenders, we-have-been-here-forever ambiance, warm-hearted regulars and first timers with endless conversation. Plus they have creative cooks that make a killer char-grilled burger with bacon and pepper jack … my favorite. As a bartender, I could not ask for a better opportunity than to work here. I love this bar more and more every time I walk through those red curtains.



Filet Mignon with Shrimp and Andouille Sauce by lara miller

In honor of the upcoming Valentine’s Day hysteria, I thought I’d create a romantic meal for two. I was trying to think of some romantic and sexy foods and I thought, “What’s sexier than a nice, tender, juicy piece of … filet mignon!” What did you think I was gonna say? Get your heads straight, guys! So, then I was thinking, “Well, why give Valentine’s Day all the love? Mardi Gras is here as well! Never mind the minute detail that we don’t live in New Orleans. Any excuse to drink heavily, wear plastic colored beads and flash random people is fine by me! Sign me up.” I decided to combine these two (for lack of a better word) “holidays” and put together a couple of their staple ingredients. It’s like Mardi Gras

and Valentine’s Day had a baby in the form of this gorgeous seared filet mignon topped with a shrimp and andouille sauce. The sauce is my homage to a shrimp and andouille gumbo, which happens to marry amazingly well with the filet. This baby is just full of flavor, flavor, flavor! So, instead of buying your girl some flowers or a box of chocolates. Hold up. Real quick, whoever is still buying their girl flowers and chocolate on Valentine’s Day needs to have a “come to Jesus” moment with me. Unless she (and by “she” I mean your 97-year-old grandma) is specifically asking for flowers and chocolates, don’t do it. It’s a predictable and uninspired way of showing your love that really doesn’t take much thought or effort on your part.

While that may be part of the beauty of it for some of you, I say we take your Don Juan skills to another level and surprise your lovely lady. I’m thinking if you cook her a delicious meal, you will see far greater results (if you pick up what I’m laying down) than you would with some tired old flowers and chocolate. She won’t even see this amazing and thoughtful meal coming! Well, unless you cook for her all the time. In which case, forget the aforementioned plan and go out and buy her some flowers and chocolate. I know you’ll love this romantic meal for you and your luvahhhh. This piece of meat will definitely get you some tail. Now that’s what I call AMORE!


these recipes

will feed 2

It’s getting romantic up in here!

62 Four El | february 2014

for the filet Preheat oven to 375 degrees 2 - 8oz filet mignon steaks 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons unsalted butter Kosher salt Fresh cracked pepper


Coat your filets on both sides with the olive oil and liberally season them with salt and pepper.


Heat a heavy, oven-proof skillet (preferably cast iron) on the stove over high heat and get it


*TIP: Since the filet is essentially the star of the show here, you want to buy really great quality meat. I

buy mine from Tip Top meats. You do end up paying a pretty penny, but the taste is undeniable. Believe that your mouth will thank you for it. And don’t forget, it is still going to be considerably less than you would be paying for that same nice piece of filet at a high end restaurant. Great quality ingredients are what can transform you from being a good cook into a great one!

Put the filets in the hot pan and DON’T MOVE THEM! Let them sear for about 3-5 minutes, until you see they’ve developed a nice, almost crispy crust.

Roast them in the oven for about 11-13 minutes for medium rare, 14-16 minutes for medium, or done to your liking.

Here’s the best part: Don’t flip them to sear the other side. This will give you a great textural aspect to your filet. You get a really soft and pillowy mouthfeel on one side of the filet, and an almost crunchy and crispy side on the other. It’s like a Mardi Gras party in your mouth.

When done, remove them from the pan and place on a plate and cover with foil.

You’re going to place 1 tablespoon butter atop each filet and put the skillet in your preheated oven.

This will give you time to prepare your shrimp and andouille sauce.





Let them rest at room temp for about 10 minutes, to ensure that the filet stays moist.

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 63



FOR THE SHRIMP AND ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE SAUCE 4 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, but leave the tail on for presentation 1 link of andouille sausage

(Aidelles brand is a good one, no nitrates, all natural) sliced lengthwise, turn 1/4 of the way, slice lengthwise again, then cut into little chunks

1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced small 1/2 small onion, diced small 1 stalk celery, leaves and all, diced small 1 small Roma tomato, diced small 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) 2 tablespoons flour

Add the diced andouille sausage and sear until it develops a little color, about 3 minutes.

05 06

Add in your diced tomato, cayenne pepper, garlic and Holy Trinity.

Chef-fy tip of the day: The Holy Trinity is not

where you need to bow down in the middle of cooking this meal and pray that it turns out OK. It’s actually the term used for the combination of onions, celery and bell pepper. You know your life just got a little richer thanks to that savory little tidbit. Don’t mention it.


Add about 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.


Let that saute for another 6-8 minutes, until the veggies soften just a touch.


Sprinkle in your 2 tablespoons of flour and stir in to the veggie and sausage mix.

Keep stirring the veggies and sausage with the flour and cook for about 30 seconds to a minute. We are making a roux (pronounced rue) which is going to give our sauce some body. And, of course, we all want a nice body for our sauce, don’t we?



Add your stock a half cup at a time and whisk it into the flour and veggies.

After you’ve added about 1 cup of stock, keep adding until you reach the consistency you like. Less for a thicker sauce and more stock for a thinner sauce.


At this point, you need to let the mixture come to a boil in order for it to come to it’s full thickening capacity to create a luscious sauce. Check your sauce for seasoning and make sure your taste buds don’t require some more S & P.


Let it simmer for about 3-4 minutes.

Remove from the heat and cover with a lid to keep warm while you make your simple side.

1- 2 cups, chicken or veggie stock 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon butter Kosher salt Fresh cracked pepper


Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.


Season your shrimp with salt and pepper.

Sear the shrimp for 2 minutes on the first side and 1 minute on second side. You will know when they’re done when they are slightly opaque in color.


Remove from the skillet, cover with foil and set aside.


Next, melt the butter and remaining olive oil in the same skillet.

64 Four El | february 2014

for the simple side:

CREAMY SAUTEED GARLIC SPINACH 1 bag baby spinach, washed and dried (most come pre washed already)

1 garlic clove, minced

(optional if you’re planning on getting steamy with your date later on, but I’m pretty sure the rule is that two garlic breaths cancel out the garlic anyway, so I say go for it!)

1/4 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon olive oil Kosher salt Cracked pepper

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat and add your garlic. You want to watch it carefully because you don’t want to burn the garlic, just barely toast it.


ASSEMBLY TIME: 01 Get a pretty plate. 02 Place half of the creamy spinach in the middle of the plate.


Let it sizzle in the oil for about 30 seconds and quickly add your entire bag of spinach.

03 Place your filet (crunchy side up) right in the center of your spinach.


Season lightly with salt and pepper.

04 Spoon some of your sexy sauce right on top of your filet.

It may seem like a lot of spinach, but spinach is about 90 percent water so that entire bag of spinach will cook down to barely enough for two peeps.

04 05

Toss that all together so the garlic is not sitting on the bottom of the pan left to burn.

After about 1 minute, the spinach will be all wilted and begging for something to make it happy. That’s when you add your heavy cream and let that simmer together and reduce with the spinach for about 3-4 minutes, until the heavy cream thickens.


Take off the heat and get ready to assemble.

05 Top with 2 jumbo shrimp. 06 Repeat. Get ready to have your date flash you and please be prepared for that with some plastic beads to throw at her. Well, maybe don’t throw them at her, but you catch my drift. That’s how good this romantic Mardi Gras/Valentine’s Day baby is. Your date won’t be able to stop mmmmm’ing and aaahhhhh’ing over the deliciousness of it all. Now I’d say that’s better than chocolates and flowers any day!

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!

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 65



fish 101 keepin’ it fresh by jeran fraser

66 Four El | february 2014

Taking a gift, perfecting it and then turning into a masterpiece is something only few can do. As a culinary expert, you’re not necessarily going to open a restaurant and become successful; it takes an understanding of business, management and comes with plenty of risk.

This month we’re going to talk about someone who fits the mold of taking a talent and turning it into a masterpiece of decadence. If you haven’t been to Fish 101, it’s probably because you didn’t know restaurants existed north of Encinitas Boulevard. Fish 101 is located just south of La Costa Boulevard along the 101, in the funky town of Leucadia. This quaint little restaurant isn’t anywhere near Leucadia’s restaurant row and that’s a good thing, as it stands apart from the rest of the crowd. This West Coast style fish house and oyster bar has a unique and relaxed environment. Make your next dining experience one to remember at Fish 101.

We sat down with John Park to get a few more details about his restaurant:

Four EL: Tell me a bit more about yourself and what brought you to San Diego? John Park: Met my wife, Jessica, in SF, at my sushi bar. She is a pastry chef and CCA alumna. She makes all our desserts, operates her own business, Sweet 101, teaches and practices yoga and shuttles the boys to all their activities. We wanted to raise our two boys here so they could enjoy this lifestyle and become surfers. Eli is 7 and surfs competitively. Oliver is 5 and is starting to skate. When did you open Fish 101 and why? Opened Fish 101 with Jessica and partner Ray Lowe in May 2011. We loved the neighborhood and community here. Passionate about working with seafood, but sushi was headed in the wrong direction with sustainability issues. Love working with local farmers and fishermen like Farmer Leo and Dan Bensen. I happen to follow Josh Kerr on Instagram and notice he loves Fish 101. Tell me a bit about how you’re involved in the local community. We sponsor the San Dieguito Academy surf team, two local surfers, and ASP pros Josh Kerr, Taylor Knox and Jordy Smith. We support local schools and throw benefit parties twice a year, most recently to raise money for Barney Miller’s documentary, No Means Go. What type of challenges have you encountered along the way? Our biggest challenge is lack of time. Juggling family time and personal time with running a chef-driven restaurant that I like to be hands on with. Managing, letting go of and delegating responsibility is tough. Add future endeavors and perfecting this operation and it becomes never ending. It’s very gratifying to see and hear people stoked on the restaurant as a whole. People are complimenting the food, vibe and staff. What do you do in your off time? Passions include surfing, freedive spearfishing, traveling, eating ethnic food, drinking wine and tequila. Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us and share your story. We’re big fans of your restaurant and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

WFSS4Lmag.indd 1

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 67

7/26/13 11:40:49 AM

on par


Marine Memorial Golf Course Green fees Rates





E5 and Below (Active) E6 to O3 (Active)



O4 to O10 (Active)



All Retired Ranks









Junior (9-17)



Par 3



Golf Course Features:

-P  rivate lessons - Junior golf - S ummer golf schools - S kills challenges -F  ree clinics -C  ouples lessons on course playing -A  ll classes are given by PGA professionals and apprentices

68 Four El | february 2014

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC 7 DAYS A WEEK To get on base, please have the following on you and ready to show: Drivers license Registration Proof of insurance

Tournaments Customized packages are available with an array of catering options to meet any budget. A tournament representative assists in coordinating every aspect of the event.

Camp Pendleton Building 18415 Tee Times / Pro Shop: (760) 725-GOLF (4653) By Steve Kang

Blue Tees Course rating: 72.5 Slope rating: 130 Distance:


Dress code: Collared shirt / Athletic Shoes

Trade-In, Trade-Up Program Marine Memorial Golf Course has partnered with the PGA of America to offer the opportunity to get trade-in credit to be used toward the purchase of any new club or set of clubs. Visit the pro shop to get current equipment appraised or visit to look up the suggested value. This provides a hassle-free way to get value from used equipment while being outfitted with new and exciting products from golf’s most recognized manufacturers. Clubs must be in good condition Trade-in value must be used toward the purchase of new equipment Offer is based on the estimated trade-in value as determined by the PGA.

it perfectly but all of a sudden I thought I was going to fly the green. Oddly enough I actually landed on the front and rolled back just off the green. The distance was very hard to judge but it was a very fun hole. I hit a great chip, one putted, and walked off with a par. Hole No. 10 I absolutely killed my drive right down the middle on this par five. Then I hit my three wood perfectly and landed the ball about 30 yards from the pin. I was thinking of going pin seeking and set myself up for a birdie. I chunked it and actually flew it into the bunker. Luckily, it’s well groomed and I pitched it out to within 10 feet. I two putted and walked away with a sad bogey instead of a happy birdie. This is a very nice course lined with an eclectic group of trees, soft well groomed bunkers and immaculate greens. As a matter of fact, they have several greens with multiple tiers and undulations. At some greens, I almost felt that it was unfair. The greens were slightly damp but they were playing as if they were glass with a layer of ice rubbed with Vaseline. I barely tapped one of my putts and it literally rolled 20 feet off of the green. Despite the difficulty putting, it surely made it fun! Don’t forget to grab some snacks at The Tern when you hit the turn and have a meal at Mulligan’s Golf Course Grill when your round is over. The portions are big and the beers are cold, so it’s perfect after a great day of golf.

Four EL Magazine playing the course: When I found out that civilians can play the course without being a guest, I was excited to be invited to review the course. I’ve lived in San Diego for almost 10 years now and I’ve never been on any of the military bases. As I was waiting at the gate, I was a bit nervous to get in and check things out. First, all I could see were regular tract homes. Everything pretty much looked the same as off base except there seemed to be a lot of hills. Then I finally saw what seemed to be some type of training ground. It had a bunch of small buildings and something that looked like a castle. There were also some helicopter shells as well as some jeeps and cars. I was intrigued until I realized I was actually looking at a paintball course. Then I just felt stupid. Hole No. 1: It was an exceptionally cold morning, so I was a bit stiff at the tee box. It didn’t help that I had several layers of clothes on as well. I tried to take a short stroke, but I couldn’t seem to feel my arms so I hit a short slice. Luckily, I landed in an open area. My buddy hit his ball in the same spot but we were OK since it was a par five. We both proceeded to completely fall apart on this hole. I ended up with a triple bogey and he got a quadruple bogey. As we drove to the next hole, we were wondering why we did so poorly. We both decided that we felt a bit nervous because it was our first time on base. After a couple of holes, we became very relaxed. Being on base is like being anywhere else but with way better security. Hole No. 4: We were playing from the white markers; this par 3 measured at 148 yards. We were on an elevated tee box and the pin was in the middle, so I decided to hit a nine iron. I hit

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on par


The Crossings at Carlsbad Presents

TIPS FROM TEE TO GREEN An eight-part series to improve your game By Steve Vaughan, Director of Instruction



Part 1: Fixing your slice at the tee box This is one of the most typical problems for most beginner golfers and one of the most frustrating for intermediate golfers. A lot of golfers find that their slice actually gets worse as their round progresses. Most people blame it on fatigue and lack of concentration but in reality something very interesting is happening to you subconsciously. In order to compensate for the slice, your shoulders will naturally start to open up and point to the left. Your brain is telling your body to shift into that direction because it thinks that you need to aim left so that the ball goes straight. In reality, you are actually making your slice worse by doing so. The more your shoulders sag to the left, the more the ball will slice and go to your right. Understanding the slice: The reason a ball goes to the right in a “banana-like” fashion is because the ball is actually spinning from right to left. This effect happens when the face of your club is not square and is actually coming across the ball to create this spin. Think of spinning a ping pong ball with a paddle. If you want to spin a ball to go to the right, you come across the ball from right to left to create the spin. This is what is happening when you are slicing the ball with your driver.

3 The set up: 01 You should place the ball inside your left heel. 02 Your shoulders should be square to your feet and perpendicular to the ball. 03 Your left arm should be equal distance or farther from your body as your right arm. You will feel awkward at first and actually feel like you are pointing your entire body to the right when you are actually square to the ball. Take away: 01 Your club face should be at a 45-degree angle at the top of your swing. 02 If your club face is parallel to the sky, you will hook. 03 If your club face is perpendicular to the sky, you will slice. There are other considerations to what is causing your slice. You can change your grip (strong vs. weak). You can look at your left wrist position at the top of your swing; it should be neutral. Wrists pointing upward promote slices and wrists pointed downward promote hooks. Since everybody’s swing is unique and everybody’s anatomy is different, your grip and wrist position may not matter as much. You just need to make sure that you are square to the ball with your shoulders and your arms at address. Secondly, your club head is at 45 degrees at the top of your swing. These main factors will help your club head become square at impact thereby reducing or eliminating your slice.

Email: Steve Vaughan at Schedule a lesson at

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The Crossings at Carlsbad Golf Dining Corporate Weddings

Enjoy the Views

Experience the Golf 5800 The Crossings Drive, Carlsbad | 760.444.1800 Book tee times and restaurant reservations online






gym class


2XU Compression Arm Sleeve

By Andrea Zancha

It’s now the time of year that has separated the men from the mice and the strong from the weak. You may have noticed that the New Year’s Resolutionists have dwindled down either in the gym or on your daily run. For all of you real men out there, keep these key pieces in mind while maintaining and striving to create the body image of whatever you deem “perfection” to be.

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VYPR Ballistic Sunglasses

Whether you’re running or lifting weights in the gym, keep yourself cool and dry with a Nike Technical Shirt or Pearl Izumi Infinity In-RCool T-Shirt. Both styles have mesh panels that allow for extra breathability. For you showboaters out there who want an easy way to stand out, to catch the eye of women or extra visibility when running at night, the bright colors of the Nike DRI-Fit Tailwind Shirt or the DRI-Fit Knit Shirt do the trick. These shirts also maximize breathability, have a reflective media loop on the upper back that keeps your MP3 player cords out of the way, and are constructed to reduce chafing. If you’re looking to get the maximum wear out of your gear before doing a load of laundry, go with the Under Armour Tech II T-shirt or Brooks Pro Train Shirt as they both feature a fabrication that keeps odor and moisture at bay.

Nike Technical Shirt

Under Armour Tech II T-Shirt

Pearl Izumi Infinity In-R-Cool Shirt

Flyweight Shorts by Under Armour

Inov8 TrailRoc Ultra Running Shoe

Depending on your type of workout, several different shorts are available to suit your needs. For all of you cross-fitters out there, Reebok offers the Crossfit Speedwick Graphic Shorts. They’re lightweight, possess antimicrobial properties that minimize odors so you stay fresh after your WOD, and offer an athletic cut and stretch waistband to enhance your movement so you can squat deeper. If snatches and thrusters are not your forte, and you’re looking for a basic workout short, try the Flyweight Shorts by Under Armour. The fabric is moisture-wicking, accelerates evaporation and offers unrestricted mobility. For the runners, Nike offers the Explore 2 in 1 Running Shorts, which are lightweight, offer the DRI-Fit technology and include built-in compression briefs for support.

If you’re looking to maximize your workout, 2XU offers a wide variety of compression-gear shorts, socks and arm sleeves. In addition to many other advantages, these items help you improve your performance while exercising by reducing muscle fatigue in order to improve muscle endurance, strength and power. You’ll also see the benefits post workout through faster recovery from fatigue, reduced swelling and muscle soreness, and improved circulation. Whether you’re running or biking while enjoying the sunshine that a typical day in San Diego has to offer, be sure to pick up a pair of Veteran owned VYPR Ballistic sunglasses. This line has undergone rigorous testing to withstand even the most severe elements. They are proven to repel fog, dust, liquid and oil, all the while offering unparalleled clarity. My personal style favorite is Crusher, which offers maximum front and peripheral protection with a surf-infused design.

Choosing the right shoe is a personal preference and all depends on the type of workout you’re participating in and your own individual needs. For example, you wouldn’t choose a weightlifting shoe to run in and vice versa. Or you may find that you pronate (inward roll of the foot while walking or running). My best advice here would be to pop into your local running or athletic store and seek their expertise. Some stores, such as Road Runner, have you run on a treadmill in store to monitor and determine which fit and style is best for you. All in all, whether you’re new to fitness, just getting back into the swing of working out, or maintain working out as a lifestyle, you can’t fail with these key pieces. Each item will keep you looking and feeling fresh as you take on the fresh start to the New Year.

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summer says

new year / new you

Along with a new year comes resolutions to be a better person. We commit to things like making better financial decisions, traveling more, living a healthier lifestyle by eating better and working out, etc. I have one challenge or resolution for you to add to your list: BE PRESENT.

Technology today has changed the way we live in such a positive way. However, there has been a huge negative impact technology has made on our relationships: connections with one another have been compromised by constant connection to our phones. It was on vacation a year ago that I was shocked at how technology has changed the family dynamic. My boyfriend and I were in Puerto Rico eating at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. We were shocked by what was happening at the table next to us. There was a family of five where dad was doing something on his phone, oldest daughter (teenager) was on her phone, both younger kids were each playing on tablets and mom just sat there. There was no communication going on. We were so saddened. When dinner came, there was still no conversation. Has the smartphone actually “dumbed” us? After that trip I started noticing it everywhere. Couples on dates were spending more times posting pictures of their dishes, checking for “likes” or comments, perusing Facebook or Instagram

looking at what was going on in their friends’ lives rather than enjoying one another and living in the moment. Just last week we were at dinner and I noticed at the table next to me a mother, father and probably 7- or 8-year-old son. Mom was consumed with Words With Friends, son was watching a movie on his iPad and dad was watching football. Again, food came and there was no conversation. What are we teaching kids today? We’ve forgotten how to hold conversations. Lack of conversation and communication leads to an inability to connect with one another. The phrase “being connected” has a whole new meaning. There are many implications on relationships that come with an inability to connect. Without emotional connections, relationships struggle to grow or strengthen. Believe it or not those struggles will go as far as into the bedroom! Think about it like this: You are on a date and having great conversation. The conversation is stimulating and you are reminded of how intelligent, funny and beautiful your wife, girlfriend or date is. You are

turned on by this! If this is someone you are new to dating, you don’t want dinner to end. You feel like you want the night to last for hours. If this is your wife, you can’t wait to get home and connect on a different level! Now think about it inversely: you are at dinner, no emotional connection is happening. You are tired and can’t wait to get home, turn on the TV and just unwind. I don’t know about you, but I certainly choose the emotional connections vs. the social connections! It’s not too late to add a resolution to your list! You can decide now to focus on emotional connections with your partners, friends and family. Make a conscious effort to either leave your phone in the car or at least in your pocket when on a date or spending time with family. Don’t jump at every vibration of a notification! Be present, focus on strengthening communication skills and don’t let technology get in the way of you having healthy relationships. Cheers to a new year and a NEW YOU!

Give it to me. Feel free to contact me for questions (embarrassing or not!), advice or topics around relationships you would like for me to address at

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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



Musings on Life From the Other Side of 40 By Stacy Cafagna Pollard

I never thought I would say this, but I love being forty-ish. And it’s not that I’m any wiser–hardly. Many days I feel like I’m still trying to figure it all out. There are times when I scold myself over some mistake or oversight, reminding myself that I’m a 45-year-old grown up for crying out loud who ought to know better than to (insert your own

example here).

When Four EL presented this opportunity, I was equally thrilled and terrified. What a fantastic chance for the writer in me who has yearned to burst out for 25 years. Yet what could I, a full-time mommy for nearly two decades, possibly have to contribute that might be relevant? Or, at the very least, interesting? And then there’s the whole shy, private thing … (for an owner’s manual, please reference the introduction of Quiet by Susan Cain). But when I look over the course of my life, as many of us often do with the passing of a new year, and where I’m at in my journey, I realize that I am right where I want to be, even though the path here has not been exactly as expected. Perhaps some of you can relate. I call myself the wife of 21 years to my college sweetheart, a fantastic, supportive and all around happy guy. He also happens to be a two-time can-

cer survivor. I’m a mom to three kids whom I adore. And we are surrounded by friends who lift me up during every season of life, whether the days bring sunshine or clouds. We are also the proud founders of a charity and have the honor of meeting some truly amazing and inspirational people who have become a sort of extended family to us all. Life has been filled with laughter and good fortune, but not without unexpected bumps in the road, as many of us face. The challenges include losing a beloved father and struggling through that grief. And watching my husband battle a life-threatening illness at 37, then adjusting to a new normal as a family with three small children when he survived his ordeal but became a double amputee as a result (he lost both feet about six inches above

his ankles).

Still, in taking this inventory of years, I can say that I love being forty-ish despite the unanticipated life experience. I’m more comfortable in my skin than ever before, and perspective has taught me to really enjoy the little moments in life that may seem like fillers, but often provide the most enrichment and joy. I’m way more settled now than I was in my 20s. Life felt full of possibility, but I was still trying to

find my way. I even changed careers not long after graduating college with a journalism degree. Now, as a parent of a high school junior, I see how that may have been a bit agonizing for my parents, who worked so hard (so I wouldn’t have to) to send me to school. But I was determined to get my teaching credential, and bless their hearts, they didn’t talk me out of it. My 30s were exciting and exhausting. I didn’t get too much sleep in those years, filled with babies morphing into toddlers and preschoolers and beyond. And while I still often don’t sleep enough, I feel like now I’ve come through on the other side. I have the delight of kids in the house, but they are essentially self-sufficient. I don’t have to police the boys lest they scale the kitchen counter and get into the knife block or find a box of matches hidden on the top shelf of a high cabinet and light one (true stories). Or keep such careful eye on a daughter who is still little but uses her bedroom walls as a blank canvas for her artistic creations far less often. I’m not entirely sure what musings on life from the other side of 40 will present in the coming months. But I’m grateful for the chance to share my thoughts, and the opportunity to strike a chord with readers, or even spark conversation. Stay tuned!

Stacy Cafagna Pollard, a San Diego native, is a graduate of the University of Southern California and holds a teaching credential from UC San Diego. In addition to assisting with Cancer for College and being Chief Coordinating Officer for her family, she writes two blogs: Celebrating Survivors ( and her personal site Prayers and Piazzas (

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native population

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beauty and brains

San Diego

Natives Lauren Fraser

San Diego Connection: I was born in a far away land (Florida) and whisked away to this beautiful place by a knight in shining armor. I’ve been here for almost 10 years now. Zodiac Sign: I’ve never ridden in a Zodiac before, but I heard they are pretty fun, especially around the San Diego harbor. Profession: I make silly faces and funny noises for a living. It’s a byproduct of photography. So I guess you can say I am a professional photographer, but my emphasis is getting newborns to sleep and children to laugh. 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: Watching American Idol, The Bachelor and Grey’s Anatomy. Favorite Food: Kale, yeah, that’s right, I love kale! Oh, and I love me some pineapple salsa from Trader Joe’s. Favorite Libation: I don’t drink very often but when I do, I drink pinot noir.

Growing up: I was born in Dallas, Texas, but I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, with one sister and two brothers. I spent a lot of time in lifted trucks listening to country music and still have some deep Southern roots. As they say, “There’s no place like home.” But I am more than blessed to live in San Diego and this is my home now. Career: I have a degree from Florida State in sociology, whatever that means. Just having a degree doesn’t pay the bills, so I started modeling and then decided I’d rather be behind the camera. I do something I love for work and I want to keep it that way. There were times I would put pressure on myself to achieve at a higher level and then I realized that having a career in something that I am passionate about is rare. So I am happy to keep doing things at my pace and more than blessed to have a career doing something I love!

Passion: I would have to say being behind the camera is my passion, as well as traveling. I travel as much as possible and I love exploring new places. Lake Tahoe is at the top of the list in terms of favorite places, but I prefer the summer months. I try to get there at least once or twice each year. Family: God is first in my life and then my family. My mom and I are very close, and I’m blessed she is still in my life after dealing with breast cancer. I also keep in touch with my sister and brothers, who are still in high school. They are and will always be a big part of my life.

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native population

pin-up classics

Pop’s Hot Rod Garage 305 Wisconsin Ave. Oceanside, CA 92054 (760) 231.9274 80 Four El | february 2014


clAssics Sarra Costello

Vehicle: 1962 GMC Short Bed Fleetside Pickup Car’s name: The Beast Favorite car movie: F’n Grease Favorite Car Magazine: LMC Where are you from? I was born in Malibu, CA, then moved to Encinitas when I was 18 for school and I never left. How did The Beast enter your life? I’ve had him for eight years. The reason why I bought The Beast was because the brand new Dodge Dakota started falling apart. I wanted a truck that was low maintenance, fun to drive, and something where I could just throw my dog and surfboard in the back. What do you consider your best assets? My sparkling personality … ha-ha. But, seriously, I think it’s my sense of humor. Tell us about your business? I used to work at the Mas Fina Cantina for almost 11 years. I started saving every single $10 bill that ever touched my hands. It could have been a tip or even just change. Eventually, I had a big stack of tens. Mr. Peabody’s in Carlsbad Village decided to sell, so my boss

Andy at the time asked me if I had any money to invest. I said, well, yes, a shitload of tens. That’s when the road to the Compass began. Now two years later, here I am, a working business partner that loves her job. There’s no other feeling like that in the world. What do you love about your car most? I love its smell and the sound when I’m driving it. I love that it doesn’t have power steering or power brakes, you actually have to drive it. What’s kind of funny is that for the last eight years, I actually had to guess how fast I was going and how much gas I had. Not to mention, sometimes the lights would go out on the way home from work but no more because I got it re-wired. Men are like cars because ... Dislikes: Sometimes, he is a little bitch. Likes: I would never get rid of him because he is my best companion.

If you want good food, good drinks and good conversation, make sure you come visit Sarra at The Compass in Carlsbad Village, 300 Carlsbad Village Drive, Suite 202, CA 92008 (760) 434-1900

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The Alisal

Santa Ynez Valley, CALIFORNIA

BY michelle lyn

santa ynez valley’s

THE ALISAL Nestled in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley, time stands still at The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort


elcoming guests since 1946, the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort is a secluded hideaway situated on 10,000 private acres in the Santa Ynez Valley. The Alisal (meaning “grove of

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sycamores” in Chumash) is considered a luxury dude ranch that appeals to honeymooners, families and executives. It’s the perfect place to unplug as guests are able to reconnect with one another and find solace in nature at the ranch.

A majority of guests visit annually—often the same week every year—making visits a true family tradition. Some groups have been coming for 30 years, and it’s noted in the way staff are greeted with hugs as if they were family members.




MORNINGS Visitors rarely leave the Alisal during their stay and for good reason. With more than 50 miles of equestrian trails, private horseback rides, twice daily group rides, flyfishing and golf, there are plenty of activities to fill your morning. Wake up early for an invigorating horseback ride at dawn through the sycamore groves. Watch the fog dissipate over Lake Alisal as you ascend the hills to the historic Adobe Camp for a campfire breakfast. If you have little ones in tow, bundle up and hop on the haywagon for a ride up to camp where you can enjoy a full ranch buffet, including buttermilk flapjacks, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and ham, complete with a performance by a singing cowboy on guitar. Work off that breakfast with a selfguided hike through Deer Canyon where deer, possums, bobcats, mountain lions, wild boar and black bears roam. If the kids want to sit that one out, drop them at the corn maze or craft room where they can create works of art. If there’s a fisherman among you, the 100-acre spring fed lake is filled with bass, trout and bluegill, offering “catch-and-release” fishing. This sportsman’s paradise attracts bird watchers and guests with canoes, rowboats, peddle boats, kayaks or sail boats.

01 Alisal Barn Yard 02 BBQ Grill 03 River Course Golf 04 River Grill 05 Catch-and-Release Fishing 04


03 03

AFTERNOONs At Alisal, the days are long and the nights are short. It’s no wonder, considering the wide range of activities available for guests. Two 18-hole championship golf courses provide impeccably manicured fairways and greens with spectacular views of the Santa Ynez River and nearby Santa Ynez Mountains. A full range of facilities and services are offered at both courses including a clubhouse, driving range, putting green and pro shop. Private and group lessons by PGA and LPGA professionals are also available. If you finish up a round of golf in time for lunch, head over to the River Grill, where you can enjoy a view of the course and plan your next activity. For those guests who enjoy dining outdoors, a picnic lunch can be prepared (by Alisal Executive Chef Pascal Godé) and packed up for you to enjoy anywhere on the property—or on the trails if you choose to go wine tasting. The up-and-coming Lompoc Wine Ghetto is less than 30 minutes away and offers world class boutique wines in a funky warehouse complex.

Animal lovers can participate in the caring of the ponies, bottle-feeding the goats, calves, exotic miniature horses and sheep at the Alisal Barn Yard. Gather the kids for midday egg gathering, grooming and exercising of the animals in the corral. Cart rides with miniature horses are also a favorite of younger guests. Every wondered what it’s like to shoot an arrow? Try your hand at the Archery & Air Rifle Range. Take aim at a target against the backdrop of the shimmering lakeshore and giant white oaks. The course includes paper targets, silhouette targets and gravity fall targets at 10, 15 and 20 meters. Learn the way to handle, sight and shoot with confidence. february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 83




planning ahead 01

evenings Just a horseshoe throw away from the Alisal is Solvang, a town dipped in Danish charm, right down to the cobblestone streets, gas-lit street lamps, traditional windmills and waist-enhancing bakeries.


When to Go The weather is perfect right now and the Vintner’s Festival is coming up in April. Summer is their busy season, so plan accordingly. If you want to experience the resort in full swing, reserve your spot a few months from now. Regardless of when you go, you’ll still come away with an idyllic Alisal experience.

If you want to go into town for dinner, the Kiddie Korral is perfect for parents who desire a night out or in. Kiddie Korral is offered Sunday-Friday, 6-9 p.m. and dinner is included for tykes ages 3-5. After dinner at the Ranch Room, cozy up by the wood burning fireplace in your room and get some rest so you can do it all over again the next day.

01 Morning Ride


Year of the Horse Package In honor of the “Year of the Horse,” it only 03 Ranch Buffet makes sense for Alisal to celebrate. Until Feb. 14, they offer a one-night stay in a 04 Lovely Solvang deluxe studio, breakfast, dinner, horseback 05 Straight Shooters riding, golf green fees, tennis and fishing at the discounted rate of $395 for two people. They even send you home with an Alisal signature plush horse. 02 Guest Suite

Guided Cycling Package With diverse country roads and scenic vistas, the Santa Ynez Valley is one of the most sought after cycling destinations in the world. Routes throughout the valley include: Figueroa Mountain Route, Jalama Beach Route, Foxen Canyon Road, the Amgen Time Trial Route, Santa Rosa Loop and an ambitious Highway One Loop. Alisal’s Guided Cycling Package was thoughtfully crafted by a long-time Alisal employee. 04

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Getting There Alisal Ranch is located in the Santa Ynez Valley, 35 minutes northwest of the Santa Barbara Airport, just outside Solvang. Located midway between San Francisco and San Diego, it is easily reached from scenic Highway 101.

Highlights from the two-night package for two include three daily meals, two guided rides per day, horseback riding, golf green fees, tennis, fishing and therapeutic massages at the Alisal Spa to end the day.

Weather Days are warm and evenings are cool in the valley. It might be February, but with the weather we’ve been having, it may as well be summer right now. Regardless, bring layers for those early morning rides and a swimsuit for lounging poolside. Book It Rooms start at $515 a night and include full breakfast and dinner for two per night (kids under two are complimentary). For reservations, call (805) 688-6411 or email Visit the ranch online at

BY THE NUMBERS - 73 telephone-and-television-free guest cottages and suites - 6 tennis courts - 50+ miles of horseback riding trails - Two 18-hole championship golf courses - 6,500-square foot spa and fitness center - 100-acre spring-fed lake for fly fishing, canoeing and kayaking

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Moguls & Movies


BY Erik h. martin

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01 Robert Redford 02 The Blair Witch Project, 1999 Sundace screening 03 Zach Braff

It begins with a parade of colorful, out-of-state license plates creeping their way down the freeways of San Diego. The beaches become blanketed by white, pink and red skin. The Gaslamp District eventually transforms into an open-air Mos Eisley Cantina with all walks of life and imagination. Superheroes, anime characters, and aliens overtake the hotels, restaurants and bars. As residents of San Diego, we are all familiar with the circus that is Comic Con. Therefore, whether or not you know it, we have a pretty clear picture of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where snowy slopes take the place of sandy beaches. Some may argue that several of the Sundance attendees are superheroes, while other festivalgoers could easily be mistaken for anime characters with their plastic this and plastic that. Bottom line: The Hollywood crowd that descends upon Park City every third week of January is alien to the locals of this quiet ski town.

As for those little, white Christmas lights and artisan trinkets in the boutiques, they are replaced by a bouncing rainbow of lights and glow sticks, respectively; these boutiques will be damned if they don’t cash in on the action as well and, therefore, gut their shops and allow them to be turned into nightclubs for the festival run.


Visit Park City any other time of year, and Main Street is a quaint throwback to the gold mining days. Restaurants with their modern menus are disguised by antiquated saloon doors and etched glass. The antique furniture of hotel lobbies offer a musty, yet cozy, smell from the 19th century. Boutique windows, lined with tiny, white Christmas lights, display hand-crafted ornaments and other artisan trinkets.

The entire town plays the Jekyll & Hyde role. The homely librarian becomes an attractive hostess as the Old Town Library converts into a showing theater for some of Hollywood’s most anticipated films such as Wish I Was Here by Zach Braff. At the door of the high school theater you might find the principal standing tall in his rented tux and collecting tickets for movies 03

However, for the 10 days of Sundance, the restaurants, the hotels and the boutique shops take on a new life. The restaurants bust at the seams as visitors wait hours to be seated only to pay triple the regular menu prices. Hotels will even tidy up the ski closet and throw a roll-away bed in there just to accommodate one more person and charge them at least double the seasonal rate; not that I’m familiar with the seasonal rate for ski closets.

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Interesting Facts About

Sundance Film Festival

01 • Sundance began in 1978 in Salt Lake City and was originally called the Utah/U.S. Film Festival. • In 1988, Steven Soderbergh volunteered as a driver at the festival and drove visitors around the city. The following year he won the Audience Award for his Sex, Lies and Videotape. •T  he Blair Witch Project had a midnight screening at Sundance in 1999 and went on to become the most successful independent release of all time. • Quentin Tarantino’s directorial debut, Reservoir Dogs, premiered at Sundance in 1992; a film he had been helped with by the Sundance Institute. • Robert Redford is NOT the founder of the Sundance Film Festival but rather the festival board’s first chairman.

such as Searching For Sugar Man, 02 Reservoir Dogs, Super Size Me, The Sundance 1992 Cove and Memento. Premiere Even the Park City Jewish Center opens its doors to Hollywood and could possibly show the next Hustle & Flow, Dogtown and Z-Boys and/or Clerks. 01 Park City Main St.

The one constant that both locals and visitors can rely on, however, is the skiing. Held up to the best in the world, Park City’s ski resorts are another motivating factor for Hollywood to attend. As predicted by Sydney Pollack (a member of the festival’s board) in 1981, “Hollywood would beat down the door to attend


88 Four El | february 2014

(if the festival was moved from September to January).” One might be surprised to find,

however, that Hollywood’s all-black winter

gear and furry coats tend to stay at the base of the mountains, where they are draped over those watching films or simply looking good for the media cameras. As a result, Utah’s famous, weightless snow is all yours to push around under beautiful, sunny skies. There is an excitement, however, that goes along with producers, directors and actors pushing their films, just as there is pushing fresh powder around on your skis or board. Hollywood intrigues us because they do tend to live within what the majority of us only imagine. They are alien and our fascination drives us to want to see them up close and personal. So whether or not these “superheroes,” anime characters or aliens visit San Diego or Park City, we kindly ask they don’t abduct our homes any longer than the duration of the circus.




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 can not recommend her highly enough.

Mike and Marie 4/25/13

C: 619.884.1884 CALBRE: 01380900 february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 89




Pebble Steel

all hands on

Price: $250

“Owners of the original Pebble smart watch know what a useful gadget it can be—and they also know the inconvenience of having to leave it at home on those occasions when its plastic body is likely to ruin their look. Not any more. Say hello to the Pebble Steel. Smaller and thinner than the original, this new model is made from forged and CNC-machined stainless steel in a brushed or matte black finish, but retains the ePaper display and app compatibility of its plastic sibling. Each one ships with a metal and leather strap, giving you the choice to dress it up or dress it down—but also meaning the days of it being a fashion distraction are over.” I think I can say with honesty that close to 99

percent of smart watches are horribly fugly. They’re one step above those calculator watches that got me beaten mercilessly as a grade schooler. But the Pebble Steel is the first smart watch I’d wear, even if it didn’t tell me the weather or notify me that I’ve received another spam email.

By Cory Waterhouse


Factor Makerbot Replicator Mini Price: $1,400

“Accept no compromises. Get all the features of a professional 3D printer in an affordable, compact package. Experience the best way to get started in 3D printing.”

I feel like a geriatric when people talk about at-home 3D printers. I’m not really sure what it is but I have a feeling I should have a clue. So much for being tech savvy and wearing black Clark Kent glasses. Geek cred squashed.

Wolfram Survival Cabinet Price: $14,500

“The fully stocked, personal-safety cabinet starts with a double steel-walled, dual lock emergency cabinet made here in the USA. From the cabinet itself to the over 170 items it contains, every component has been carefully chosen for its functionality, durability and quality.” As a guy who quietly hopes for the zombie

apocalypse and has been shredding through three seasons of The Walking Dead on Netflix, I feel that this product is not only appropriate but necessary at this point. Note: This cabinet comes stocked with plenty of blades but no firearms. So you’ll have to scavenge across the hills of Atlanta or clear out a prison for your own AR-15 or creatively invent a Mag-Lite suppressor for your 9mm service weapon. Oh. Sorry. Spoiler Alert!

90 Four El | february 2014

Benny T’s Vesta Dry Hot Sauce

Price: starts at $10

“The fine purveyors at Benny T’s Vesta Dry Hot Sauce have revolutionized what a hot sauce should be. Made from fresh chiles grown on location in their pepper farm, this hot sauce isn’t a sauce at all but a rub. It’s serious heat for people who like their food seriously hot, available in three variations: hot, made from thai chiles and ahi amarillo; very hot, made from chocolate habaneros and scotch bonnets; and ghost, made from ghost chiles and a chocolate ghost hybrid.” In my ongoing quest to melt my lips and tongue

from my face, I’m going to try these three different varieties and hope for the best. By best I mean, pain and involuntary sobbing.

Withings Smart Body Analyzer Price: $150

“With the Withings Smart Body Analyzer you get a lot more data than you could ever get from your normal household scale, all housed within a familiar-looking device. Sure, it measures your weight, but it also calculates body fat, resting heart rate and indoor air quality. Additionally, all that data gets synced automatically with your mobile device using the Withings app for iOS. Using this data, you can track your progress, and get smarter about the way you manage your body.” Listen, we get it. There are a lot of parties around the holidays, and sometimes we put on a little “winter weight.” But your beard and layered outfit doesn’t hide those extra 20 pounds. Your fat jeans are about to cause blood flow damage. It’s time to pay attention to your weight.

Smittybilt Gear Seat Covers Price: $100 and up

“Make the best use possible of the limited space in your Jeep or truck with Smittybilt Gear Seat Covers. … They give your seats all the protection of a normal seat cover, with plenty of pockets, sleeves and containers for all the gear you need on the road. Their modular design lets you add and remove pouches to create your ideal storage layout, customizing them to accommodate whatever gear you choose to bring with you. Made from 600 denier polyester with a PVC liner, they are highly durable and available in coyote tan, OD green and black.” “Yee haw” exclamations, can of Copenhagen, edgy tribal tattoo and Calvin peeing on a Ford symbol sticker not included.

If you’d like to have your product reviewed by Four EL Magazine, e-mail february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 91


TECH all hands on


Oculus Rift Development Kit Price: $300

“The Oculus Rift [headset] creates a stereoscopic 3D view with excellent depth, scale and parallax. ...It is also designed to be as comfortable and lightweight as possible for long play sessions. The current Oculus Rift development kit is 369g, similar to a heavy pair of ski goggles.” Bring up

the Oculus Rift and watch your geeky friends gush at the possibilities for the device to change not only gaming but the definition of a workplace, training and instruction, education and medicine to name a few. This headset, in addition to a treadmill system still in development, could be our first step to a completely immersive virtual environment. Blue or red pill folks, your choice ...

Bacon Maple Waffles and Caffeinated Maple Syrup Price: $30 (waffles); $22.74 (syrup)

“BACON! BACON! BACON! We teamed up with our friends over at BaconSalt to bring you this Bacony mapley morsel; this is what breakfast is supposed to taste like! ... Our delicious all-natural syrup is the perfect topping to turbo charge pancakes, waffles or French toast! Be careful not to just chug this bottle down! Each serving has more caffeine than the average energy drink!” Even though I’m a firm believer in my coffee … as a loyal friend, comrade, buddy, chum and occasional stomach irritant, I have to say eating bacon maple waffles and getting my caffeine injection that way sounds very inviting. Then again, I do see the downside of having juiced waffles. I’d have to keep them under lock and key so that my 6-year-old isn’t hovering into her kindergarten class on 200mg of the good stuff.

Entertainment Flask Price: $15

“This is probably the coolest flask ever created—especially if you were born in the early ‘80s. Each Entertainment Flask is made from food grade plastic molds that look just like your favorite Nintendo game cartridges and have parody labels that resemble the original game titles such as DrunkHunt, Bar Hop Bros and The Legend Of Drink.” But my question is if you blow into it,

will more whiskey magically appear? And will your younger brother still be annoying and want his turn too?

If you’d like to have your product reviewed by Four EL Magazine, e-mail 92 Four El | february 2014




Chris Friend

Kalani David

Dane Zaun

Perth Standlick

Nathaniel Curran

Timmy Curran

Dustin Barca

Kekoa Bacalso

Kilian Garland

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 93



concert dates



citizen cope Balboa Theatre

2/07: Rock in The Park Featuring Paul Cannon, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center 2/08: Citizen Cope, Balboa Theatre


brandon boyd House of Blues

2/08: Vinyl Junkies Record Swap, The Casbah 2/09: Young The Giant presented by The Casbah, Soma 2/10: St. Lucia, The Casbah 2/11: Brandon Boyd and Sons of the Sea, House of Blues 2/12: Gentlemen Hall, Soda Bar 2/13: Augustines, Soda Bar 2/13: Los Lobos, Belly Up 2/14: The Devil Makes Three with The Brothers Comatose, House of Blues 2/15: Crosses, The Griffin 2/15: FM 94/9 Show – Imagine Dragons and The Naked & Famous, Valley View Casino Center

2/21 Sunset Sessions:

the parlotones The Belly Up

94 Four El | february 2014

2/16: Steve Poltz, Belly Up 2/17: Tribute to the Legends, Valley View Casino Center




ziggy marley

Dale earnhardt jr jr

Harland williams

Belly Up

The Casbah

The American Comedy Co.

2/17: New Politics with Magic Man and Sleeper Agent, House of Blues 2/19: Ziggy Marley, Belly Up 2/19: Jake Shimabukuro, Balboa Theatre 2/21: Sunset Sessions: Augustana, The Parlotones, & more, Belly Up 2/22: KPRi Presents Amos Lee, Balboa Theatre 2/23: John Butler Trio with Little Hurricane, House of Blues 2/25: Pentatonix, Soma 2/26: Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Belly Up 2/27: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., The Casbah 2/27: Harland Williams, The American Comedy Co. 2/27: Lord Huron, Belly Up 3/02: THE WAILERS, Belly Up 3/03: The Colourist, House of Blues – Side Stage 3/04: Walk Off The Earth – Gang of Rhythm Tour, House of Blues 3/05: Gary Numan, Belly Up

february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 95

around town



March 1:

San Diego Brazil Carnival Mardi Gras Price: $25-$99 Locale: Fuse Nightclub, Downtown Since watching MMA has made me a bit fearful that every Brazilian is going to break me in half, I think I’ll just take a pass on this one. But someone did ask me how many people are going to be at the parade, I quickly said, “About a Brazilian or so.” And we all had a good laugh. Which actually didn’t happen. It was from a really dumb George W. Bush joke. And I stole the middle of a joke. Not even the punchline. The annual San Diego Brazilian Mardi Gras Ball features Carnival Bands, Capoeira, Parades, and Mardi Gras Beads. March 4:

Gaslamp Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday Price: $29 in advance, $40 day of Locale: Gaslamp Quarter Feb. 7:

Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony Viewing Party Price: Free Locale: USS Midway USA! USA! USA! CIA! NSA! DOD! Stop watching me through my laptop. Please? And check out the Flying Ginger sail through the air. Or something like that. “Watch the Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony from Sochi, Live Aboard the USS Midway! A family-fun night to brave the cold and show support for Team USA! on the Flight Deck and Hangar Deck of the USS Midway.”

Through Feb. 9:

Contemporary Landscape Photography Exhibition Price: Included with museum admission Locale: Oceanside Museum of Art This mainly goes out to all you turds who think the pictures you’re posting on Instagram and Facebook are actually worth displaying publicly. Please. Stop. One more picture of your dog looking wistfully at the beach is going to make me jump into oncoming traffic. Unless that’s what you wanted the entire time ... you brilliant, conniving bastard. “OMA is partnering with Steven Churchill, producer of The Art of Photography Show, to curate an exhibition that offers visitors a global/international perspective on the landscape. This exhibit presents a selection of engaging naturescape scenes.”

March 1:

Ocean Beach Kite Festival Price: Free Locale: Ocean Beach I don’t wanna say there are a lot of hippies in OB but they’re having a kite festival. I guess I’m out of the loop but is that a thing now? Or are they just trying to recruit younger folks into their Patchouli parties? Anywho, there will be live music, a street fair, carnival rides, kite demonstrations and, of course, kite making, kite decorating, and kite flying. And kites. 96 Four El | february 2014

No cover access to the Top Mardi Gras Club Celebrations in the Gaslamp Quarter. Enjoy priority admission, welcome drinks and more at the most unique nightclubs and bars on Fifth Avenue. All the same drunk folks and vomiting, just downtown with women who shouldn’t be topless. And making their dads so, so sad. March 4:

Hillcrest Mardi Gras 2014 Price: $20-$75 Locale: Hillcrest Hillcrest Mardi Gras is a fun-filled evening featuring many games, vendors, food, live entertainment and costumes. All the same drunk folks and vomiting but done with a snarky half smile, a faded Chemical People t-shirt purchased off eBay and a steampunk top hat that once belonged to no one famous ever.

Joseph Aaron Goulding Photographer and Waterman //

Aaron Goulding has been capturing images in and out of the water, on and off throughout the past 20 plus years. His favorite shoots take place in the water because he loves the challenge and the action. His images have been published and featured in The Surfer’s Journal, Slide Magazine, Glide Magazine (Japan), Australian Surfing Life, Surfline, Surge Bodyboard Magazine, Planeta Surf (Mexico), and SUP Journal. His travels include; France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Japan, China, Mexico, Austria, Switzer-

land, Canada, England, Australia, Germany, Spain, Greece, Costa Rica, Bali and Fiji mostly due to his band Pridebowl. He was the singer but don’t hold that against him. Aaron specializes in surf photography but is comfortable shooting photos in any environment. He’s also worked with several high profile celebrities and their families for his underwater portraits. See Aaron’s work on display at The La Jolla Information Center 1162 Prospect St., La Jolla, CA 92037


Mermaid Half Marathon San Diego Price: $15-$80 Locale: South Shores Park, Mission Bay I’m sure this is a wonderful event but boy was this a letdown. I really expected to see a herd of queued up Darryl Hannah wannabes flipping and flopping all over South Shores Park. So misleading. “Come out and experience the joy of crossing the finish line. Mermaids receive a stylish race shirt, finisher necklace and post race food. Don’t forget to bring out your mini mermaid for our girls 1.5 mini.” Feb. 8:

Padres FanFest Price: Free Locale: Petco Park Get ready for the 2014 season with Padres FanFest presented by State Farm. Meet the players, play on the field, get some tips on your pitching and hitting, buy unique Padres gear, see what goes into opening day, and more. Maybe I’ll see about getting a tryout. Then again, the last time I threw a baseball for more than 10 minutes, it was difficult to get out of bed, I cried a little and then I thought I was dying. Feb. 9 at High Noon :

K1 Speed Grand Opening Price: Entry is free; racing varies Locale: Downtown (1709 Main St., San Diego, CA 92101) Oh yeah. I love this place. But just a word of warning. If you’ve seen Days of Thunder, and you think “rubbing is racing,” that is indeed a false statement. You’ll be ejected from the track and probably banned from the facility. Rubbing tires with someone will most likely get you beat up. The nation’s largest indoor go-karting company is about to celebrate 10 successful years in business. They just opened their 19th facility and want to celebrate this accomplishment in a big way. The special event they’re hosting on Feb. 9 will take place at their brand new facility located in the heart of downtown San Diego.

DRINK UP Feb. 22:

San Diego Winter Brew Fest

Price: $40-$50 (general admission); $50-$60 (VIP); $10 (designated driver) Locale: San Diego Hall of Champions, Downtown The San Diego Winter Brew Fest will celebrate craft beverages from around California and features live local music, food and other vendors. Having the term San Diego and winter in the same sentence is kinda funny. Funny like how it’s -22 right now in Duluth and I’m in shorts and flip flops. I guess that’s not funny, eh hoser? Feb. 25:

Winemaker Dinner with Premier Washington Winery Price: $175 Locale: La Jolla Shores Hotel (8110 Camino Del Oro, La Jolla) Come experience an evening of spectacular wine tasting and fine dining to benefit Cancer for College. Fielding Hills Winery will be showcasing five of their premier wine selections at the beautiful La Jolla Shores Hotel. Meet winemaker Mike Wade and enjoy his estate red wines alongside a five course plated dinner. Mike Wade was recognized by Wine Spectator as a

“rising star” in 2002 and has since received national acclaim. The night will also include a silent auction in which exceptional experiences and items will be up for bidding, as well as a live performance from the Pacific Ridge A Capella group. Entire proceeds made from the evening will directly benefit the Cancer for College Scholarship Fund.

Wednesday nights through July 2:

Divas That Drink Night Price: A la carte pricing, 1/2 off select bottles Locale: La Jolla Shores Join The Shores in celebrating female winemakers with their special Divas that Drink Night. Which is odd because I’m not sure I’ve ever used the term “Diva” as a compliment. Though I’ve been called a diva too, so who am I to complain? Enjoy neighborhood American cuisine, always stunning views of La Jolla Shores and select bottles of wine from female winemakers every Wednesday night.

The event will feature everything from cars, to food, to charity raffles and prizes. Guests will have the opportunity to race against NASCAR driver Boris Said, as well as pro skaters Bucky Lasek, Jamie Thomas and Joey Brezinksi. March 30-April 2:

San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Price: Check website for seat pricing Locale: Petco Park Baseball is just a good thing. For everyone involved. If you think it’s boring, I’m sorry. That means no one ever took you to the ballpark and taught you about the game behind the game. Give it a chance. She’s a fickle beast but baseball is what ensures our faith in pro sports. Just ask Alex Rodriguez. Catch the San Diego Padres in the 2014 season home opener series take on the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Through Dec. 31:

BEERology: Craft, Culture and Civilization Price: $5-$12.50 Locale: Downtown

Modern civilization is beer civilization. Said no one, ever. Cultures around the world have always tried new and interesting ways to perfect their means of inebriation. Sud-loving cannibals from the Amazon chewed poisonous cassava root so it could become a drinkable beer. Sounds dumb and potentially dangerous. Like the beginning of most great drinking stories. february 2014 | Fully cultured, yet unshaven | Four El 97

around town



Through Nov. 21 :

Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure Price: $49 per team of two to five people; purchase online Locale: Starts at Old Town State Historic Park, Downtown When I was a kid, I watched a movie with Michael J. Fox called Midnight Madness. Since then I’ve always wanted to participate in an all night treasure hunt. With clues, and challenges and daffy hairraising adventures. Kinda like Goonies but minus the death and weepy depression surrounding a group of pre-teens from Astoria, Oregon. I may have a Goonie infatuation. “Solve clues, and complete challenges as you discover the hidden gems of San Diego on this smartphone guided scavenger hunt walking adventure.”

Through Sept. 1:

Who Dunnit? Gaslamp Murder Mystery Adventure Price: $25 Locale: Dick’s Last Resort, Gaslamp Quarter

I’m not really sure how many times I’ve put Murder Mystery dinner theater into Around Town but I’ll keep doing it until someone invites me to participate. Who Dunnit? Who cares? I just wanna watch it unfold and keep (incorrectly) guessing who the REAL murderer is. “Gaslamp is a Murder Mystery Adventure Tour that lasts approximately two hours. You will visit several of the Gaslamp Quarter’s most popular destinations while solving a murder mystery.”

Through Jan. 2, 2015:

Gaslamp Ghosts Walking Tour Price: $15 Locale: Downtown I’ve gone back and forth between believing in spooks, spirits, ghosts and then remembering that I don’t because I’m not a silly rube. But if the first appearance of a real ghost actually happens to me, I’m going to die on the spot of a melodramatic heart attack and then fall down my stairs. “Take a stroll through the Gaslamp’s haunted history. Visit hotels, saloons, brothels and a long-ago funeral parlor, and end your tour inside the Gaslamp’s most haunted edifice: the William Heath Davis House.”

coming soon... June 7-July 6:

2014 San Diego County Fair

Price: $8-$15 (free for ages 5 and under) Discount admission available at Albertsons/Sav-On Locale: Del Mar Fairgrounds Sorry folks, it’s still the Del Mar Fair to me and I’ll keep saying it until they send a C&D or buy an ad. Either way. I’m just saying. I think the main reason I go back each year is just to see what they’re deep fat frying next. I think this year it’s Bob Filner’s handsy political career. “San Diego’s annual county fair is the largest fair in California, offering a variety of food, entertainment, exhibits, rides & games throughout the beautiful and historical Del Mar Fairgrounds in the oceanfront village of Del Mar.”

98 Four El | february 2014

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Join Comedy Icon Will Ferrell

Cancer for College.

Celebrities and athletes scheduled to join Will include Kevin Spacey, Kaley Cuoco, Jeremy Piven, Justin Chambers and RedFoo along with tennis stars Novak Djokovic, The Bryan Brothers, Ana Ivanovic, Daniela Hantuchova and more. 21ST ANNUAL WILL POWERED GOLF CLASSIC MONDAY, MARCH 3 - BIGHORN GOLF CLUB Play one of the Best Courses in the Universe and Finish the Day with a VIP Party by the Pool after the Round 10th ANNUAL DESERT SHOWDOWN TUESDAY, MARCH 4 - LA QUINTA RESORT THE DESERT SHOWDOWN CONCERT TUESDAY, MARCH 4 - 8 PM - AGUA CALIENTE CASINO RESORT FEATURING A VERY SPECIAL PERFORMANCE BY NELLY

TICKETS • PACKAGES • SPONSORSHIPS or call 760-599-5096

* celebrities and athletes are scheduled to appear, but can change without notice Cancer for College was founded in 1993 by Will’s friend, two-time cancer survivor and double amputee, Craig Pollard. The mission of the charity provides hope to cancer survivors by granting college scholarships. Since inception, nearly $2 million has been raised for more than 1,000 survivors around the country. To Learn More About the Charity please visit

4L Magazine February 2014  

Our February 2014 issue features San Diego Mayoral candidates Kevin Faulconer and David Alvarez on our cover. Great reads include a tribute...

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