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NO. 10, VOL. XXXI

SENSORS & SOFTWARE CUTTING COSTS AT PETCO PARK

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GIVE DAD THE GIFT OF DONOVAN’S WORLD CLASS SERVICE OPEN 3PM - 9 PM, SUNDAY, JUNE 16, 2013.


2016 | ISSUE 10 Volume XXXI

Our mission is to always provide quality journalism for our readers by being fair, accurate and ethical and a credible resource for our advertisers.

Chairman | CEO Robert Page BobPage@sandiegometro.com Publisher Rebeca Page RebecaPage@sandiegometro.com Managing Editor Manny Cruz Manny@sandiegometro.com Graphic Designer Christopher Baker cbaker@sandiegometro.com Photography/Illustration Eric Peters David Rottenberg

COV E R STO RY The Smart Petco Park

Petco Park expects to cut operating expenses by 25 percent over the next five years, thanks to real-time monitoring of its energy and water use. The park is not installing new pumps or meters, instead adding sensors and gateways to its current infrastructure to create a smart stadium. See Page 10.

Landmark Hotel Getting a Renovation

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The U.S. Grant Hotel is finalizing a $13 million renovation that will be completed by early 2017. With concept curation by Rodrigo Vargas Design, the refresh highlights the hotel’s multifaceted heritage through functional, modern design, fusing the link between San Diego, the tribal history of the hotel’s ownership — the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, and residential namesake.

Great Cuisine — Personal Hospitality

Across the street from Ingrid Croce’s former restaurant location on Fifth Avenue, de’ Medici Cucina serves Italian cuisine featuring recipes from both Northern and Southern Italy. It is now in its 21st year.

Escape to Shelter Island

At the tip of Shelter Island, the Kona Kai Resort and Spa is a legend reborn, thanks to its new owners, Noble House Resorts.

Contributing Writers Andrew Dyer Stephen Moore Jennifer Coburn April Harter Enriquez Advertising SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Rebeca Page

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WORKFORCE

The Case for a Five-Hour Workday Employees are more productive and happier The American workforce has become lazy. I estimate, conservatively, that knowledge workers are four times as efficient as they were 20 years ago. That’s why I moved my company to a five-hour workday about a year-and-a-half ago. We work 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with no lunch; then, we leave. For a beach lifestyle brand like ours, this move made sense. Revenue and profits are way up, and we’re attracting great talent — but that’s not the interesting part of this story. What surprised me was how visceral a reaction — both positive and negative — people had to this simple experiment we were doing. People are either huge fans or hate the idea. While the five-hour workday garnered rave reviews overseas, Americans have approached it skeptically. Why? Because the idea of working less doesn’t jive with the hard-working, big-earning ideal the American workforce so proudly identifies with.

cialist nonsense. Internationally, it was a different story. A week after my article on the five-hour workday published in on a major business magazine’s website, the Hamburger Morgenpost in Germany dubbed me “the world’s best boss.” A German TV crew even called me on a Friday and flew out to film my company the following Monday. Germany’s NPR station interviewed me that same week, and dozens of articles flooded Germany, Austria, Switzerland, India, the UK, and Canada within a week. The irony is that this story is about a fast-growing company in Southern California developing a technique to radically shift the American workday, yet major worldwide media have pounced on the story. When the German NPR crew interviewed me, I found out that the five-hour workday was an overnight sensation in Germany because Germans pride themselves on being highly productive people. The idea of working harder for shorter periods of time makes perfect sense to them. This is when it clicked for me. In my mind, moving to a fivehour workday killed two birds with one stone. More free time means a better quality of life, and increased bandwidth due to heightened pressure yields more production. Right now, America is losing on both fronts — except I chose to do something about it. Our country is so caught up in our image as an efficient, highgrossing entity that we’re blind to the notion of improving our workforce — no matter how valid the idea.

U.S. grew 80 percent between 1973 and 2011, while hourly wages only rose 11 percent. My time running a startup has made one thing clear: Don’t stretch a task out longer than necessary. You either become efficient and productive, or you cease to be self-employed. So when the boss in me sees that 80 percent growth number, I get angry and wonder why American bosses in similar positions don’t feel the same. On the flipside, employees are getting the short end of the stick by stagnant wages to the tune of 11 percent in 40 years. Maybe that’s why they’re not finding ways to work faster. Is this the new normal in the world’s largest, most dynamic economy? If we don’t change something fast, that strangle hold on first place will be disrupted. And as an entrepreneur who

By Stephan Aarstol

feeds off of disruption, I saw it coming a mile away, so I decided to share my findings. Our revenue is still up, and all the metrics are going in the right direction. Employees are more productive and happier. Work has become something we do in the morning instead of the central point of our lives. My staff has started working more like my entrepreneurial friends: get in, get stuff done, and go live your life. I’m here to tell you — if you’re willing to listen — that a five-hour workday is not only possible, but it’s also a better mousetrap. Maybe Americans aren’t lazy; maybe our thinking just is.

Stephan Aarstol is the author of The Five-Hour Workday: Live Differently, Unlock Productivity, and Find Happiness. He is CEO and founder of Tower, a holistic beachlifestyle company..

A Breakout Abroad Tucker Carlson once said to me, “Let me ask you a philosophical question: Aren’t we sort of put here to achieve something? Maybe sitting on the beach or paddle boarding isn’t the purpose of life.” I responded, “The point of life is not work. We’re not economic slaves.” Tucker’s comment was in line with most American media and people I’ve spoken with. Our “Fox & Friends” segment drew more than 1,000 strongly worded comments, clearly showing that questioning the utility of Americans as a people of strong work Could Less Truly Be More? ethic touches a nerve. And many A 2012 study by the Ecomedia outlets refused to cover it, nomic Policy Institute found chalking it up to gimmicky, so- that worker productivity in the

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SAN DIEGO SCENE U.S. Grant

U.S. Grant Announces $13 Million Renovation The U.S. Grant Hotel is finalizing a $13 million refresh that will be completed by early 2017. With concept curation by Rodrigo Vargas Design, the refresh highlights the hotel’s multifaceted heritage through functional, modern design, fusing the link between San Diego, the tribal history of the hotel’s ownership — the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, and residential namesake. The comprehensive restyling includes the grand lobby, meeting and wedding venues, expanded fitness center and all 270 guestrooms and suites. “The continued preservation of our historical landmark remains a priority. With the

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completion of this refresh,” said Doug Korn, general manager, “we are excited for guests and locals alike to experience the design enhancements throughout the hotel, and hope that we have succeeded in sharing our storied history through a more modern lens.” Built by the son of 18th U.S. President, Ulysses S. Grant, in his father’s honor, the hotel borders the lively Gaslamp Quarter in the cultural and historic hub of Downtown San Diego.   The hotel refresh is significant not only for the continued preservation of the treasured landmark, which underwent a $56 million renovation completed in 2006, but also in modernizing the hotel’s classic so-

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phistication and regal character. Design updates feature a “Presidential” color scheme — navy blues and golds mixed with earthy neutrals — expressed with bold patterns, custom furnishings, and thoughtfully curated design details honoring both past and present American and Native American cultures. ''We were honored to have worked on such a valuable, historic property, and have had the opportunity to enhance its history as well as the cultural heritage of its ownership,” stated Rodrigo Vargas, founder of Rodrigo Vargas Design.

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SAN DIEGO SCENE

Airborne San Diego’s New Skydiving Facility a ‘Celebration of Flight’ Airborne San Diego’s new indoor skydiving facility in East Village — scheduled to open later this month — was designed as a “celebration of flight,” says Ray Varela, design principal at Carrier Johnson + CULTURE, the architect for the building. “We drew inspiration for many of its striking architectural features from the way skydivers  maneuver  their bodies as they soar, drift and plummet through the air,” says Varella. Just as important, says Varela, the new facility, located at 1401 Imperial Ave., also draws inspiration from its bayfront location and proximity to Petco Park, creating a dynamic relationship with  its touristfriendly neighborhood.  The design team worked closely with owner-client Airborne America to create a sunny, bright interior with ample views from the street to the cathedral-like space inside, drawing the attention of neighbors

Airborne San Diego’s new skydiving facility. (Photos courtesy of Carrier Johnson + CULTURE)

and passersby. The facility also features stadium seating, lounge areas, a café and bar, military-style briefing rooms, and practice areas and training rooms.  “We want to provide visitors with a unique, unforgettable experience, says Anna Calisse, general manager of Airborne San

Diego. “Everything from the interaction with our staff and instructors to the design and layout of our facility, to the process in which first-time flyers are guided through training, all has been developed with great attention to detail.” The design team from Carrier Johnson + CULTURE also brought  the technical expertise needed to create Airborne San Diego’s unique facade of aerospace-inspired curved metal mesh. The firm also created the architectural setting for its complex infrastructure, including Airborne America’s signature wind tunnels: towering 30 feet high and spanning 14 feet in diameter, the dual flight tunnels are massive, with nearly three stories of floor-to-ceiling glass.  Spectators have a completely unobstructed view of the tunnels from almost any angle, making the facility ideal for indoor skydiving team competitions, corporate events, and private parties.

Airport Authority President/CEO Thella F. Bowens to Retire in March After almost 21 years at the helm of San Diego International Airport, with the last 15 years as president/CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, Thella F. Bowens will retire on March 31, 2017. Bowens was the first and only person to hold the top executive position at the Airport Authority, owner and operator of the airport.  Upon retirement, she will return “home” to Texas, where she once worked and where many members of her family reside. “I have passionately enjoyed my time here, and I am so very proud of our exemplary organization and high-performing team,” said Bowens.  “As I move on to the next stage of my life, I do so knowing that the (Airport Authority) board and staff

will continue to operate a world-class airport for the 21st century.” “We are extraordinarily fortunate to have had someone of Thella’s impeccable character and steady hand guide the airport – and the Authority – through so very much,” said Airport Authority Board Chairman April Boling. “From the launch of the Authority in 2003, to a successful pivot after the defeat of the 2006 ballot measure, to the expansion of Terminal 2 and construction of the Rental Car Center, to adding significant new domestic and international nonstop routes, to exemplary financial growth and stewardship, to making the airport a model of sustainability, her accomplishments comprise a stunning

Thella Bowens

legacy.” Under Bowens’ leadership, Authority assets have grown from $473 million to $2.217 billion, and annual operating revenue has increased from $97 million to $234 million. SAN adopted one of the first sustainability policies for a major U.S. airport and was the first to publish a sustainability report based

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on Global Reporting Initiative standards. From 1996 to 2003, when the Port of San Diego operated the airport, Bowens was the senior director of aviation. From September 2001 through December 2002, simultaneous with her position at the Port, she served as interim executive director/president of the new Airport Authority and performed the monumental task of planning and implementing the transfer of the airport to its role as an independent entity.              Prior to coming to San Diego, Bowens served as the deputy executive director of Kansas City’s Aviation Department. She previously served as budget administrator for the Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport.

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SAN DIEGO SCENE

Athena San Diego and UCSD Rady School Partner to Support Female-Focused Tech Accelerator Athena San Diego, a professional development association serving women in science and technology, and the Rady School of Management at the University of California San Diego, announced today the establishment of a partnership to support mystartupXX, Rady’s female-focused technology and biotech accelerator. mystartupXX is the only local accelerator exclusively for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics ). It promotes the next generation of women founders and technology companies through education, funding and mentorship. The four-year-old program has garnered recognition from the White House three years running and has seen the successful exit of Cypher Genomics, which was acquired by genomics frontrunner Human Longevity Inc. mystartupXX is open to all UCSD undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students, as well as recent alumni, with a business idea. At least one founder must be a woman. Up to 10 teams are accepted into

Ashley Van Zeeland, co-founder and CEO of Cypher Genomics.

the program at one time. Each startup works with a mentor and meets regularly with advisers. “Mentors are the key to success in developing exceptional female founders,” said Karen Fisher, chairman of Athena. “The program really serves what I see as a great unmet need in animation economy,” said Ashley Van Zeeland, co-founder and CEO of Cypher Genomics and a mystartupXX graduate. “It was really a great sounding board for me

as a first-time entrepreneur.” Accelerator teams will be mentored by select individuals from Athena’s member base of connected and influential women to help guide its young entrepreneurs. Athena members come from all sectors of STEM industries, including life sciences, healthcare, defense, engineering and related industries, as well as select service providers who support them.

Chamber Adds Leadership Development Manager Hannah Castillo has joined the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce as leadership development manager — a new position. Castillo will oversee and grow the chamber’s three leadership programs: San Diego Young Leaders, Public Leadership Institute, and a new program for women’s professional development to be launched in early 2017. “We are continually looking for ways to support our region’s next generation of leaders,” said Jerry Sanders, chamber resident and CEO. “By dedicating a full-time staff member to this role we will grow these programs and develop with them the business-minded leaders needed to keep San Diego moving forward.” Castillo has an extensive background in civic service, and most recently worked as manager of the Ray Ellis 2016 City Council campaign. Before that, Castillo served as deputy director of Hispanic initiatives at the Republican National Committee. Hannah Castillo

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SAN DIEGO SCENE

Tom Weiskopf Unveils $12.6 Million Renovation of Torrey Pines Golf Course maintained by the city, are Course architect and golfing both public courses, and the great Tom Weiskopf visited North averages approximately Torrey Pines this week to offi82,000 rounds of play per year. cially unveil the renovated “We are excited to re-open North Course, a project that the North Course to the global holds a special place in his golf golf community,” said Herman career and design portfolio. Parker, Director of Park and His first career win came at Recreation for the Torrey Pines at the city of San Diego. 1968 Andy “Torrey Pines is a Williams-San wor ld-renowned Diego Open, predgolf facility, and we ecessor to the curare pleased to be rent Farmers able to offer two Insurance Open outstanding courses, played every Janueach with their own ary at Torrey Pines. unique characterisOriginally detics. Now no San signed by William Tom Weiskopf Diego golf excurF. Bell and opened sion is complete within 1957, the renovated out playing both the North North Course now stands to and South at Torrey.” rival the popularity of the “It’s really special,” Wesikopf world famous South Course, said. “And to work on a piece host of the U.S. Open in 2008 of property that amazing doesand in 2021. The North and n’t happen very often. The South courses, owned and

1st hole of the North Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course. (Photo by David Mulvaney, PacificPhotoDesign.com)

sheer beauty of the place always captivates me. Now people can look forward to playing 36 incredible holes at Torrey Pines by playing the North and the South.” Weiskopf ’s renovations have successfully struck a balance between providing ample challenge for professional and

scratch golfers and keeping the course playable for amateurs and casual golfers of all abilities. The North Course now features five sets of tees, allowing it to play as long as 7,258 yards or as short as 5,197. In total, the North has been lengthened nearly 200 yards from the tips.

Carrier Johnson Firm Commissioned To Design Point Loma Nazarene Chapel Design firm Carrier Johnson + CULTURE has been commissioned to design an intimate prayer chapel for Point Loma Nazarene University in Point Loma. Conceived by design principal Gordon R. Carrier, the compact, expressive Lyle and Grace Prescott Memorial Prayer Chapel will replace Point Loma Nazarene’s 50-year-old facility. The building is scheduled to open in late 2017. The new prayer chapel offers an intimate setting for spiritual reflection and solitary prayer in a prominent campus location, while serving as symbol for the university’.s commitment to Christian values. “The design evolves from two inspirations: a need to express the chapel’s role as spiritual anchor for this Christian campus, and a desire to evoke an emotional response from its user,” Carrier said.

Carrier and his firm recently completed the award-winning Sator Science Center for the university. The project has garnered national design recognition including the coveted Pacific Coast Builders Conference Gold Nugget Grand Award for Western Region education facilities, and most recently, an Orchid Award presented by the San Diego Architectural Foundation. “Both the science center and chapel are reflections of Point Loma Nazarene University’s founding principles — adherence to scripture and a broad curriculum — yet they are challenging and rewarding in completely different ways,” Carrier said. “Having completed the former, we are deeply honored to be given the opportunity to design the latter.”

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Rendering of the Lyle and Grace Prescott Memorial Prayer Chapel. (Courtesy of Carrier Johnson + CULTURE)

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SENSORS & SOFTWARE C U T T I N G C O S T S AT P E TC O PA R K

By Martha DeGrasse | RCR Wireless

Qualcomm provides processor and OSIsoft provides software San Diego’s Petco Park expects to cut operating expenses by 25 percent over the next five years, thanks to real-time monitoring of its energy and water use. The park is not installing new pumps or meters, instead adding sensors and gateways to its current infrastructure to create a smart stadium. “We can see exactly how much water, power and gas each operation uses ballparkwide, and can work with our operators and tenants to manage usage and increase the reliability and overall performance of the venue,” said Randy McWilliams, senior director, facility services for the San Diego Padres. The system is expected to slash expenses by enabling the facility to anticipate and

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prevent power outages, pump failures and turbine failures, and to monitor the resource use of each vendor in the stadium. Gateways powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors collect data from stadium infrastructure systems and stream it over both wired and wireless networks to software developed by Qualcomm partner OSIsoft. The system accepts both analog and digital inputs and supports multiple communication protocols. For Qualcomm, turning its hometown of San Diego into a smart city would be a home run, and the chipmaker has already made it to first base by connecting Petco Park.

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Smart city game plan Qualcomm Intelligent Solutions President Kiva Allgood said the system her company has developed with OSIsoft could be used for almost any multidwelling unit, or for multitenant office buildings. She said Qualcomm has already implemented similar systems across its own campuses. “We’ve been able to actually make bold statements within our own sustainability goals because now we have the data in a finite enough fashion that it is actionable,” she said. “So instead of it just being for metering for a bill at the end of the month, we’re actually able to see, based off of the information coming off the equipment, what types of things we need to do during the

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COV E R STO RY month to be able to either prevent an accident or improve efficiency. So that same type of concept we’re able to apply really to any currently built building.” Adding smart systems to existing buildings is a much more scalable approach to smart city development than building new “smart buildings.” Qualcomm sees the combination of sensors, gateways and software as a way to bring the “internet of things” to municipalities in an affordable way. “Qualcomm Intelligent Solutions’ approach to creating smarter cities starts with repurposing existing infrastructure, including existing water and gas systems installed in facilities such as Petco Park and other large event venues,” said Allgood. Allgood knows that connecting one ballpark is less complex than connecting an entire city, but OSIsoft has a proven track record with customers that collect data from multiple locations. The software company said one of its customers, Excel Energy, has saved $46 million over the past six years. OSIsoft sees smart cities as a logical market for its data collection platform. “The foundation of the smart city is data,” said Martin Otterson, SVP of sales, marketing and industry at OSIsoft. Otterson hopes that a home run at Petco Park will start conversations with other ballparks in other cities. “There are approximately 12,000 stadiums in the world, and many are in regions and cities mapping out plans to use energy and water in smarter ways,” he said. The challenge will be bringing together each city’s disparate stakeholders in pursuit of a common set of solutions. “On average a city has about 40 different planning departments,” said Qualcomm’s Allgood. “But I would say we’re starting to see a transformation in how they think about that infrastructure and its engagement with the citizens in a different way.” Allgood said she is encouraged by a federal grant from the Department of Transportation and the Department of Energy that is focused on “gaining insight and improving the performance of the current infrastructure, … a testament to the fact that people are starting to recognize they’re going to have to use technology in a different way.”

Qualcomm Intelligent Solutions President Kiva Allgood said the system her company has developed with OSIsoft could be used for almost any multidwelling unit, or for multitenant office buildings.

‘We can see exactly how much water, power and gas each operation uses ballpark-wide, and can work with our operators and tenants to manage usage and increase the reliability and overall performance of the venue, said Randy McWilliams, senior director, facility services for the San Diego Padres.

The above article is from RCR Wireless. Reprinted with permision. Martha DeGrasse has been creating content for RCR Wireless News since 2011. Her current focus areas are wireless infrastructure and heterogeneous networks. Email: mdegrasse@ardenopco.com

Photo courtesy of the San Diego Padres.

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DINING

de’ Medici Cucina San Diego – Turning 21

Great cuisine mixed with personal hospitality Life is full of change. Especially in the restaurant business. Sometimes, restaurants close their doors and go out of business before I even have an opportunity to visit. Even in the Gaslamp. For example, Ingrid Croce, wife of the famous singer Jim Croce, who helped start the development of the Gaslamp by building a highly successful restaurant that venerated the memory of her late husband, eventually had to close and move to Hillcrest. Then, despite a history of offering wonderful food and entertainment for years, she eventually went out of business. But, right across the street from Croce’s former location on Fifth Avenue, de’ Medici Cucina continues to serve Italian cuisine featuring recipes from both Northern and Southern Italy. Its owner, Sal Vitale came by my table to say, “Be sure to tell people that we celebrated our 21st anniversary here.” For that many years, Vi-

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tale’s restaurant has offered more than a generation of locals and visitors great cuisine mixed with personal hospitality. Always beautifully dressed in well tailored suits, Vitale loves to flit between tables to greet and chat with new and familiar faces. De’ Medici’s location allows it to draw business from local hotels and the convention center. To attract the business, Vitale built a glass-enclosed meeting room that is equipped with audiovisual and other presentation capability, as well as with drapes to provide privacy. That was part of a large renovation that really transformed the interior of the restaurant. For years, the interior was decorated with Michelangelo-like figures that gave it a Sistine Chapel-like feel. After the renovation, the walls are mirrored and the booths are new. Framed pictures of Vitale and others are set on booths’ arm rests. The wall to the meeting room is clear glass. The

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By David Rottenberg

mirrors and clear glass make the dining room look much larger, until the drapes drop. At least the open kitchen and the voice of Sinatra in the background remain unchanged. There is also a large patio in front of the restaurant, for outdoor dining that feels more casual and lets diners enjoy the street parade. Vitale has the ability to retain staff for years. Our server, for example, had worked there for over seven years, the general manager even longer. Even the chef had been there for ages. Before ordering, the server brought garlic bread tightly wrapped in a napkin — two partially split rolls somewhat toasted and lightly covered with garlic flavor. The presentation and small portion surprised me but I munched on a roll while reviewing the menu.


DINING The restaurant features pasta, seafood and steaks, accompanied by a range of antipasti, soups and salads. Calamari Fritti, fried baby calamari with a marinara sauce, is a good way to begin. The crisp clean texture of the calamari is exciting. Melanzane alla Parmagiana, grilled eggplant covered with cheese, also with marinara sauce, is a good alternative. The Lobster Bisque has some seafood taste but was sadly lacking in lobster meat and had an overwhelming tomato taste. On the other hand, the Ceasar Salad is prepared tableside and the show is worthwhile. There is an impressive list of seafood offered. The restaurant’s signature dish is Fresh Filet of Sole stuffed with lobster, crab and shrimp, then oven baked to a golden brown and topped with a parsley butter glaze. It is light and very tasty. Sea Bass Maremonte, fresh sea bass sautéed in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and white wine, with mushrooms and marinara sauce on a bed of rice also is excellent. Scallopini alla Marsala, sliced veal sautéed in marsala wine and mushroom sauce was disappointing. The portion was small, the meat squishy and its flavor was overwhelmed by an unidentifiable spice. Perhaps the chef had an off night. On the other hand, the rib eye steak, prime quality aged for 21 days, was perfectly prepared. Both dishes were served with a few strips of asparagus and baby ca rrots that were overly sweet. Different pasta shapes — spaghetti, linguini, fettucinni, gnocchi — combine with different ingredients to create appealing flavors. Gnocchi Ponte Vecchio, named after that wonderful old bridge in Venice, features fresh potato dumplings in a delightful gorgonzola and pesto sauce. There is a lengthy wine list with international labels. One or more wines in each category is available by the glass. Prices by the glass are moderate. By the bottle, prices are moderate to high. Menu prices are moderate to expensive. Perhaps high prices are needed to pay the high Gaslamp rents. Even parking is expensive. On Saturday night, it cost $15 to leave my car at the curb. Happy 21st Anniversary, de’ Medici. Since 1995, you’ve fed and entertained hordes of happy diners. May your success continue. De’ Medici is located at 815 Fifth Ave., in the Gaslamp. Call (619) 702-7228 for reservations and information. The restaurant is open for dinner nightly.

Veal chop

Linguini

Owner Sal Vitale

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T R AV E L

The chic waterfront restaurant — Vessel — is as fine as you’ll find in San Diego.

ESCAPE TO

SHELTER ISLAND BY BOB PAGE

The seasonal outdoor Tiki Bar.

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A recent conversation turned to where could we spend an upcoming weekend without turning a car trip into an adventure. What was near. We pondered Santa Barbara, great place, fabulous beaches. What about Santa Monica, close, some terrific restaurants. The negative: traffic. Dana Point was an interesting idea, as was the desert. We had a momentary thought about LA’s museum row, but battling traffic turned that thought on its head. We knew we wanted an escape but we also knew we weren’t up to a weekend rodeo on the I-5. So after fiddling with Google for a few hours we found the perfect place to unwind without hassle. So, we jumped in the car and within 30 minutes from home, we were parking in front of the Kona Kai Resort and Spa on

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The private beach.

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T R AV E L

Restaurant terrace.

Shelter Island. The Kona Kai is no mystery to old-time San Diegans. But for somewhat newscomers, it was a hidden treasure about which we knew nothing, other than what we could piece together from Google. At the tip of Shelter Island, the Kona Kai is a legend reborn thanks to its new owners, Noble House Resorts. There are 129 rooms, a private beach, a new Spa Terra, a stateof-the-art fitness and class center, a heated outdoor pool with seasonal poolside cabanas and a seasonal outdoor Tiki Bar. Its chic waterfront restaurant — Vessel — is as fine as you’ll find in San Diego and certainly without equal in the Point Loma neighborhood. Its coastal fare created by chef Roy Hendrickson incorporates local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. A hidden and somewhat unknown asset at Kona Kai is its Kona Kai Club, which has been offering members a home away from home since 1953 with unprecedented privileges. There are a series of exclusive benefits offered to its members. The resort’s SpaTerra is a haven for its guests, club members and San Diegans alike. It offers a variety of luxurious salon and spa services including nail care, bridal services, massage therapy facials, body wraps and scrubs, and globally-inspired treatments. SpaTerra is the only spa in San Diego that boasts a heated quartz bed, known to generate a deeply affecting warmth that not only provides physical and mental relaxation but also stimulates the metabolism and has a purifying effect. Want an escape without the miles. You’d be hard-pressed to beat the Kona Kai. It’s a hidden gem. Go see for yourself.

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