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Publisher’s Note March/April 2011



Greetings, dear readers. As you can see above, Riviera has a new publisher. The interview process was grueling. It involved mutual admiration, story swapping and possibly a cocktail at downtown’s new Lincoln Room. In the end, they said yes. I said yes. I couldn’t be more thrilled. I know San Diego media. I didn’t need to see the pile of first-place awards littering our editors’ desks to know that Riviera is the best this city has to offer. The writing is national level; the photography is first class; the tone fits the city and aspires it to improve it. As the former marketing director of Ivy Hotel and Andaz, I’ve worked with Riviera directly for years. At budget meetings for that massive property, we had to make tough decisions regarding ad dollars. The economy was awful; the choices were endless. I had one mandate: advertising in Riviera must be part of our plan. It simply elevated our product. It aligned us with a readership that fit our brand, and who we wanted to be. And now I’m here, charged with leading Riviera’s evolution. Charged with selling the thing I was already sold on. This year has already shaped up to be something of a record breaker. The signs are everywhere. New restaurants, new spas and stalwart establishments have dusted themselves off and, like much of the population, retooled and refreshed. They’re starting anew, recovering that old familiar feeling called optimism. I’m not ashamed of luxury. Because I earn it. Riviera is not a guide to gaudy, conspicuous

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March/April 2011

consumption. We celebrate local architects, chefs, artists, designers, musicians, business owners... people who inspire us. But, yes, we appreciate the craftsmanship of a watch like Piaget, the style of a shoe named Jimmy Choo and the taste of a four-star dinner at places like Addison and Kitchen 1540. These aren’t faceless corporations bilking Americans with a garish profit margin. These are 100plus years of Swiss craftsmanship; a brilliant designer who worked his way up from the bottom; a talented Del Mar chef who spent years in the best culinary academies. It’s excellence, achieved. What does luxury mean these days? After the bubble burst? After we all had to take a long, hard look at our spending habits and readjust? It is how we define it. It’s different for everyone. We work hard. We toil. We treat sleep like an optional exercise. If your reward to yourself is two hours of shiatsu at the Hotel Del spa, good for you. You earned it. You aspired to it, and you attained it. This is a time of a renewed economy, renewed spirits, and a fresh approach. I am pleased to announce Riviera’s gorgeous new website. In addition to this glossy, it’s a great resource for sourcing local restaurants, shopping, events, spas and hotels—the best of the best. Check it out at We’re here to inspire. As for me, I’m just glad to be here. Work is only work if you don’t believe in what you do. I was a fan of Riviera. Now I’m part of it.




Editor’s Note March/April 2011



Welcome to my favorite issue. As a design lover, March has always been a particularly special one to put together. I get to bond with fellow design wonks, scout some of San Diego’s prize homes and get seriously inspired. One of those said wonks is awardwinning—and funny as hell—architect Kevin deFreitas. He speaks the language. For this issue’s Hot List, we feature some fine examples of communal living, including deFreitas’ Point Loma stunner that he shares with his wife, four kids and a bulldog named Ela. The home is designed as one big family room, including the grown-up dining table that hosts fatherson pingpong matches after mealtime. DeFreitas is in good company with Esteban Interiors, which recently turned a Point Loma kitchen inside out for entertaining clients. Then there’s Rafael Lopez, a renowned artist (Oprah’s got a few of his pieces) who transformed a former East Village auto shop into a modern, lofty masterpiece. Houses like these make me thrilled to live in San Diego. Sure, huge plots of land are jam-packed with stucco boxes. But I’d never snub those projects. They’re necessary— attainable cul-de-sacs of the American dream for those of us who haven’t yet minted our first million. But San Diego has architectural history, too. It’s also got modern strokes of genius and custom gems built by people who made

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March/April 2011

a good life and channeled their resources into building something beautiful. We have Schindler, Delawie, Hester, Forrester, Segal, Rice, Luce and Kellogg. We have stores likes Mixture and Boomerang keeping us on the leading edge of highdesign, and passionate chroniclers like Keith York of We also have a new wave of renegades cropping up, and you better believe we’ve got ‘em covered in this issue. We present two protégés of starchitect Sebastian Mariscal, creating spellbinding design both here and across the border. We also have the Lundby family in Solana Beach, whose home is featured in the six-page story “New Heights.” The house is a study in indoor-outdoor living—a mirror of life in San Diego. (As I write, it’s 76 degrees... in February.) For this issue’s dining review, my esteemed colleague Troy Johnson covers Cafe Chloe, which has mega staying power. It’s not just the food that has made Chloe the main attraction in East Village. It’s the timeless design as well. More restaurateurs need to take heed, and invest in simple, elegant décor that lasts. The economy may be picking up, but the design world is still feeling the pain. This entire edition of Riviera is my contribution to the cause. What’s yours? g flynn@



619 298 9500



PUBLISHER’S NOTE . . . . . . . . . 8 EDITOR’S NOTE . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 CONTRIBUTORS . . . . . . . . . . . 22 CALENDAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26



S.D.’s hot architect; spa buzz; Travis Parker on the move; plus: The Eat Sheet . . . . . . 32

ON THE SCENE All the best parties! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 FASHION



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March/April 2011


Balance fiery frocks from Lanvin and Alexander McQueen with icy accessories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Designers strip the season’s hottest accessories down to the nuts and bolts—literally! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 ................................. Three classic timepieces undergo minimakeovers for spring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52


Put a ring on it! Sparkling circles intertwine to create dazzling pendants, bracelets and more . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54


The local boy taking over the cookbook world . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56


San Diego’s master of modern art finally gets a marquee spot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58







Tijuana’s young-gun architect and his sleek cross-border culinary school . . . . . . . . . . 60


Two musicians team up to create a pitchperfect temple for vintage rock . . . . . . . 62


The spa scoop on Cabo’s hottest hotels . . . 64

S.D. CONFIDENTIAL Arclinea’s design maven talks hot trends,

tired motifs and branching out to the rest of the house . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

SCENE IN S.D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 FOOD DRINK REVIEW

How did Cafe Chloe become the best damn bistro in town? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130


Th is month’s foodie news includes a sleeper hit up north . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134


The buzz report: S.D.’s breweries get into the spirit (and the cheese) . . . . . . . . . . . 136


The scoop on S.D.’s dining scene . . . . . 138

LOOK WHO’S TALKING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156


130 62


Photography: Jack Perno, Styling: Rachel Maltz for Ford Artists Hair and Makeup: Peggy Pliscott at Ford Artists for NARS Model: Michelle Hicks at Ford Models Chicago

Chiffon gown, $7,755, by Emilio Pucci at select Neiman Marcus stores. Queen of the Nile high-heel platform sandals, $1,995, by Donna Karan New York at Neiman Marcus. Cuff, $995, and earrings, $250, both by Iradj Moini at

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March/April 2011

London’s master of tailoring and rock & roll edge. International design sensation. Now in America. Only at Macy’s February 15 and only while supplies last. To learn more, visit Printed charmeuse shift dress with contrast belt. Polyester. Misses. $79.

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Diane Lane may be filmdom’s hottest temptress, but she’s shifting gears into reality TV with HBO’s compelling Cinema Verite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Spring’s smokin’ party dresses are devilishly divine . . . . 76 Salvatore Ferragamo, Michael Kors, MaxMara and more bring the heat with some serious primary color play . . . . . 84

HOME DESIGN Indoor-outdoor interplay has never been this good! It’s a NEW HEIGHTS

mod, mod world in Solana Beach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92



00 16 |


March/April 2011 | Visit Riveria San Diego online at

Communal living redux! Presenting three San Diego houses where sharing is caring. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98


Modern Luxury Regional Sales Offices:



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March/April 2011

Modern Luxury Regional Sales Offices:



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Atlanta, GA 30305 404.443.0004 Contact: Chris Van Duyne

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San Diego, CA 92101 619.849.6681


LEW DICKEY Chief Executive Officer



Contact: Jessica Cline

BETH WEITZMAN Vice President of Editorial

SAN FRANCISCO 243 Vallejo Street San Francisco, CA 94111

JOHN DICKEY Executive Vice President and Co- COO

JON PINCH Executive Vice President and Co- COO

415.398.2800 Contact: Steven Dinkelspiel WASHINGTON, DC

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JP HANNAN Chief Financial Officer


1432 K Street, NW, 7th Fl Washington, DC 20005 202.408.5665 Contact: Peter Abrahams

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March/April 2011



Photo Michel Gibert. Special thanks: Tableau Sophie Kao. Architect: Bruno Erpicum.

until April 30, 2011

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*Sofa as shown, upholstered in Tendresse leather. Offer not to be used in conjunction with any prior offer. Price does not include decoration cushions, other accessories and pieces unless stated otherwise.

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LA JOLLA 7611 Girard Avenue Tel. (858) 459-0297

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Contributors March/April 2011

Photographer David Drebin was in a New York state of mind for this month’s fashion feature “Urbane Nights,” showing off colorful new looks for spring from Gucci, MaxMara and Salvatore Ferragamo. “I rarely have any preconceived ideas when I go into a shoot,” says Drebin. “It’s about being spontaneous and choosing the right talent and location.” Drebin is currently touring the United States and Europe for his latest book, The Morning After (teNeues).


It’s a Wonderful Winter Special La Quinta Resort & Club is offering the special gift of a complimentary third night to guests who stay two nights. Whether you’re looking for world-class golf on the 5 courses at La Quinta and PGA WEST,® championship tennis, culinary adventure, desert romance or a spa getaway, there’s never been a better time to visit.

Learn more at or by calling 888-429-1105

For this month’s fashion spread, “State Of Grace,” photographer Jack Perno captures whimsical movement to portray the season’s jump into spring. “I like to surrender to the unexpected or the unknown,” says the Chicago native. “Risk and chaos figure predominantly into this shoot.” His favorite part of the day? “Oh my God, the Louboutins!” The Modern Luxury-veteran is set to travel to India with Oscar de la Renta to shoot his Volupte fragrance campaign. For this month’s back page, “On A Roll,” writer Meredith Hattam got a treasure trove of insider info from San Diego interior designer Lynette Aquilina, who shops Mid-Century on Park Boulevard and has a penchant for dark, old-school restaurants like the Turf Club. “She has this sort of elevated kitsch appeal, which I love,” says Hattam, a former model. “She told me about Albie’s Beef Inn, which is filled with boudoir paintings. What a concept: steak and nudes!”

There’s a cultural revolution blooming in San Diego’s neighborhoods, and you’re invited to be a part of it. Come discover a vibrant art scene, where upbeat vibes and an irreverent “why not?” attitude inspire eclectic, unbridled expressions of creativity from the underground to center stage. Get inspired and find details on upcoming cultural events at

M a rc h L a t i n o F i l m F e s t i v a l | A p r i l E a r t h F a i r | M a y E n l i g h t e n e d Vo y a g e s | J u n e A u g u s t : O s a g e C o u n t y


Contributors March/April 2011

Writer Ann Jarmush delves into this issue’s six-page feature, “New Heights,” on a Solana Beach home capitalizing on indoor-outdoor appeal. “It’s the most open and honest house,” says Jarmush, who was the architecture critic at the San Diego Union-Tribune for 17 years. “It’s living free on many levels.” Jarmush also contributes to Architectural Record, Architecture, ARTnews and Town & Country.

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filet with the girls.

San Diego | 619.233.1422 Del Mar | 858.755.1454 Visit us at

“It was a mini Sebastian Mariscal-athon this month, catching up with two of his most promising protégés,” says writer AnnaMaria Stephens. For this issue she covered two successors of the starchitect renegade Jorge Gracia in “Getting Schooled” and Dominique Houriet in Radar Now. “He must pick his employees as painstakingly as he selects sites and materials.” Stephens also contributes to Riviera Interiors, Angeleno and San Diego CityBeat. Photographer Ethan Pines apparently bonded with the subjects of this month’s feature “New Heights,” about a Solana Beach home. “After the shoot they spontaneously invited me over for their dinner party. We drank wine and talked photography.” Also for this issue, check out Pines’ portrait of designer Dominique Houriet in Radar Now. Pines’ work has recently been featured in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

CALENDAR | March/April 2011

| By Brittany Candau |


LE FREAK SHOW They toy with gravity. They contort. They may not be human. Part circus, part Euro-Canadian street performance, Cirque’s new show Quidam will tackle social alienation with its usual lighthearted freak factor from March 30-April 3. Valley View Casino Center,



Carolyn Guild is a modern-day Ansel Adams—an awardwinning naturalist photog with an eye for the stark, the menacing, the beautiful. Her latest exhibit, “Affirmations of Spirit,” will display more than 30 black and white stunners from Feb. 1-April 3. Oceanside Museum of Art,



The world-class UCSD just got world-classier. They’re throwing a bash on March 5 to celebrate the opening of the new Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, with private tours, dinner, dancing and a special live performance by Broadway legend Patti LuPone. (Lupone kinda nailed that Evita role in 1979. Oh, and Les Misérables. Not bad.) UCSD Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center,



You downward dog. You dig music. You’ve got a heart. Put all those aspects of you in action on March 5 at Yoga for Hope, a fundraiser for City of Hope—an advocacy org for victims of life-threatening diseases. The event will include renowned yogi instructors, performances from singer-songwriters, a ceremony and yoga-related vendors. Hilton San Diego Bayfront,



S.D.’s Latino Film Festival returns with 150 new feature and short films (including Oscar nominees and Cannes Film Festival selections). Stars abound (10 celebs visit each night), the opening night gala is always a hit and you just might discover the next Pan’s Labyrinth. Check it out from March 10-20. UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas,

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CRUSH IT! The Family Winemakers of California started as an industry-

March/April 2011

Cirque du Soleil’s charming brand of weird.

only event, where the state’s top wine minds would gather to taste the best of the best. Now it’s open to the public—more than 200 wineries, 30 varietals and 500 different wines on March 13. Del Mar Fairgrounds,



Fresh off a SAG Award for his role as the immaculate gay dad in Modern Family, Tyler Ferguson (the redhead) will host the La Jolla Playhouse Honors Gala on March 19. Theme? The La Jolla Playhouse Supper Club, a mix of food, drink and performance. La Jolla Playhouse,



Fashionistas, get ready for the spring version of Thread on April 3. S.D.’s warehouse trunk-show success story will feature 100 indie and local designers, plus a live blogger style-off and a pop-up nail salon. There’ll even be a Man Cave for the gents. Horton Event Space,



In its 66th year, the Del Mar National Horse Show will wow attendees with two weeks of real-deal show-ponying. The must-see event? Renowned horse trainer and performer Tommy Turvey brings his “Amazing Horses.” (Dogs on horses! Horses on dogs! Crazy equestrian talents exploited!). The show runs from April 21-May 8. Del Mar Fairgrounds,



Quite simply one of the most beautiful art parties of the year. The 30th anniversary Art Alive is like Alice in Wonderland meets Salvador Dalí, with 100 local floral designers riffing off SDMA’s famous works from April 29-May 1. Plus, the kickoff party is just a raging good time. San Diego Museum of Art,


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CALENDAR | March/April 2011

AND THIS... CHERRIES JUBILEE! It’s a modern world. “Stopping to smell the roses” now means we got a pretty new screen saver for our iWhatever. Get back in touch with real nature on March 19 at the Japanese Fellowship Garden’s fifth annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which includes Japanese cuisine, arts and crafts, cultural demonstrations and the crowning of a new Little Miss Sakura. Japanese Friendship Garden, The Japanese Fellowship’s stunning gardens.




The inspiring S.D. Space 4 Art will host five top-notch talents curated by Ben Strauss-Malcolm, director for Quint Contemporary Art. The space is a byzantine warehouse full of creative types—close as you’ll get to an arts commune in San Diego. The show runs now through March 26. Space 4 Art,

Really, they were always a bit too weird and avant-garde for mainstream success. But Devo’s one big hit was a doozy, and “Whip It” is still played at every high school reunion in America. Believe it or not, they’re just as good if not better these days—part sci-fi kitsch, part surrealist humor and part social satire. See ‘em live on March 20. Belly Up Tavern,

San Diegan Italo Scanga was a master of turning the world’s discarded bits into cheeky, striking art. His sculptures and paintings stood at the intersection of cubism, folk art and naturalist kitsch. From April 3-Aug. 21, OMA presents a collection from the artist, who lived in Pacific Beach until his death in 2001. Oceanside Museum of Art,



Dust off your fedoras and iron your skinny ties on March 25 for the sixth annual Sounds of Hope for Children. The throwback shindig will feature a Rat Pack tribute. All proceeds will benefit Rady Children’s Hospital’s Autism Discovery Institute. The Prado,

You said yes? To that guy?! Well, may as well make a party to remember. On April 10, S.D.’s Bridal Bazaar will showcase more than 200 local wedding professionals and their creative ideas for your big day. The bazaar also boasts S.D.’s largest bridal fashion show with wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses and tuxes. Del Mar Fairgrounds,

BALD SPOT Bald is the new black at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s 3rd Annual Shave-A-Thon. To show solidarity with those fighting cancer, buzz your dome for a sleek, aerodynamic (and good-hearted) look. Each year, dozens of S.D. icons shave it all for the cause; just watching the hair fly is worth a night out on March 12. Quality Social,

DIAMONDS ARE FOR KILLING Give CSI a rest for a night and go watch a suspense unfold with real people. Groundswell was a hit in NYC last year—the story of three desperate men hunkered in a South African lodge, about to tear each other’s hearts out over the chance to mine for diamonds in the rocks below. It runs March 12-April 17. Old Globe,

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TRADE YOU MY CARROTS... The talented chefs of The Confab host “Confab School Lunch!” on April 3 to help shed light on the lard-loaded pap we feed our studious offspring. The event will also feature a screening of the documentary film Lunch Line, plus a panel discussion on how to make food that isn’t awful. Fibonacci’s Campus Point Bistro,

March/April 2011 | Looking for more? Check out

TO GAVIN RECEIVE One of the most hallowed of the chef events, the 30th annual Celebrity Chefs Cook Gala brings home Gavin Kaysen, the young buck who left El Biz for a life as Daniel Boulud’s star apprentice. Welcome back, Gav. What’s for dinner? Proceeds from the event

on April 16 will benefit UCSD Moores Cancer Center. Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina,

POKE AT YOUR FOOD Ahi is to S.D. menus what potatoes are to the Midwest. But who doesn’t love a little poke? Ahi, crunchy-soft seaweed, soy sauce, sesame seeds—it’s arguably the best foodstuff to come out of Hawaii (Spam is disqualified). Some of S.D.’s best chefs will compete for poke supremacy on April 20 at the second annual I Love Poke Festival. Bali Hai,

SECRET GARDEN We don’t often cover garden tours. Mostly because we’d rather watch Tom Brokaw talk about paint drying. But the April 30 Encinitas Garden Festival & Tour is an exception—a walking tour of more than 20 killer, secluded gardens in the area. Highlights include a Polynesian garden, a healing garden with its own walking labyrinth and the chance to meet local artists. Garden Marketplace,

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THE RADAR | NOW! | Edited by Gillian Flynn


Chairman of Cool From low-slung chairs to reclaimed remodels, S.D.’s onthe-up architect Dominique Houriet has his haute-craft hands full. The owner of oo-d-a studio and former protégé of Sebastian Mariscal talks shop.

LEAN BACK Dominique Houriet’s hot seats are receiving national attention, with recent ink in The New York Times.

How many chairs are in your repertoire? There is no way to tell. There isn’t a napkin or a piece of paper in my vicinity that doesn’t have a chair drawn on it. It can be quite problematic actually. Your aesthetic in a nutshell? Keep it simple. Working for Sebastian Mariscal? It was like an architectural boot camp. Fun and fast-paced. Work hard, play hard. Your scavenger hunt? I am working on a remodel for two artists in La Mesa and we’ve been scavenging materials wherever possible. We’ve got old saloon wood flooring, moss-riddled planks for shelving and a clawfoot tub. Your top hat? I wear it as much as possible without people thinking I’m from the Old West. You put it on and things change for the better. Fave building in S.D.? Henry Hester Apartments, 1950. You hang? Anywhere I can ride my bike. Your home in North Park? It’s very yellow and full of chairs. I have an outdoor area that makes me feel like I’m camping... Your lineage? Oh man, it gets messy. I am French-German, but my father is Peruvian and my mother is Mexican.

”Our designers have to think like thieves. We can breach high-security level safes in anywhere from five to ten minutes.” –Lynel Berryhill, of S.D.-based Brown Safe, which is launching a luxury, watch-specific safe, The Chrono, this spring.

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Mex It Up No need for a field trip south of the border to find that perfect statement piece. Following the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, the state of Baja California compiled nine Mexican custom design artisans under one roof in Miramar. Home by Baja stocks

a mix of classic and contemporary Mexican-style ( There are ornate designs by Fausto Polanco for the Hacienda Collection, intricate Zavala Iron Doors, colorful stained glass by Vidrios Mundiales and handmade El Porton wood doors.

“But what surprises many are the clean, modern, minimalist SOMO Furniture designs that are such a dramatic departure from the expected,” says Home by Baja’s Miguel Ochoa. Baja Mod, anyone? –Stacy Rauen

SHOW PONY The new Home by Baja stocks artisan and mod Mexican designs.

The trend of communal office space continues from downtown to Solana Beach. Take Hive770 from local starchitect and real estate developer Graham Downes ( He turned one of his old office buildings on 11th Avenue into communal space, where hipsters can opt for private office space or a spot at a communal table dubbed the Swarm. And he kept the building’s warehouse feel with exposed piping, brick walls, and frosted sliding screens. “It’s centrally located, it feels good, and it’s better than Starbucks,” he says, adding that he recently launched Hive241 on 14th Street and has hopes for more. The idea is such a hit that architect Sean MacLeod is opening phase two of CedrosWorks in Solana Beach ( He brings the outdoors inside the industrial work space, placing trees under skylights. “People are coming out of their home offices. They want an address along with a collective and collaborative atmosphere,” he says. –SR

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Work It


1  92037 858.454.5390




Primped Out Toodles, La Jolla. After 22 years in town, top stylist Travis Parker has shuttered his eponymous Girard Avenue locale for sunny Solana Beach ( But there will be no beach vibe here. In true Parker fashion, he is going for sleek, apartment-chic and intimate style, with only two salon chairs. “I want my clients to feel like I am welcoming them into my home,” says Parker. –GF

MAKE ME OVER Clockwise from top left: The original Harney in Old Town shed its very red décor for a lighter vibe; the goods at We Olive in La Jolla; The Cravory elevates the cookie with varieties like chocolate truffle; Harney is doling out modern fare to match.


Foodie Alert The new lube shop, gastro sushi and the sweet rebellion. Olive oil geeks, rejoice. We Olive ( on Prospect Street in La Jolla has arrived, marking the boutique chain’s 10th store. It is a tasting bar of California’s top extra virgins, from Pasolivo’s Meyer Lemon blend to Sciabica’s habanero elixer to the estate-bottled liquid gold, McEvoy EVOO. The best part? Most of the Cal oils are available to taste as well as tapenades, mustards, pestos, etc.—gratis—and sold by the ounce, so no more taking a gamble on a $30 bottle of imported oil only to find out it has top notes of burnt bark. The store plans to set up a wine bar

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and café—with seasonal, olive oil-inspired cuisine—sometime in May. We feel a drizzle comin’ on. > > > Move over, Mrs. Fields. Ocean Beach-based company The Cravory ( is looking to mash up the cookie world like those hefty hippies Ben & Jerry did with ice cream. They’ve got a mere 950 flavors so far (slackers), many flaunting savory herbs more fit for roasting a bird—like the rosemary balsamic or lemon cherry basil. They’ve also got classics like Lindt Swiss chocolate truffles and red velvet. Find them at La Jolla and Hillcrest farmers’ markets, plus Craft

& Commerce, Neighborhood and online. > > > The original Harney Sushi in Old Town was revamped with a remodel, and a forward-thinking tasting menu to match ( The really red space has thankfully been toned down with slate walls and sleek white furnishings. While the original rock ‘n’ roll sushi menu remains the same, the chef is in his Ferran Adria phase and wanted more sci-fi. Sadly, the gastro fare travels too far afoot for a sushi joint (deconstructed salmon with molecular cream cheese). > > > The new Arterra chef Tony Miller at the Marriott Del Mar has rolled out his new menu and a renovation is under way ( Fingers crossed, he’ll bring Arterra back to its culinary hot spot status. –Troy Johnson

ALL TRESSED UP! Parker has the exclusive on the über-designer Oribe line, designed by Karl Lagerfeld with a custom scent by Tom Ford.

Nighty Night! Now that you’re getting married, how ’bout a roll in the ... microfiber? Nuptial guru Harmony Walton is making her foray into the boudoir with Bridal Bar Home ( Thoughtfully packaged, the eco-friendly, wrinkle-resistant sheets come in chocolate, ivory and of course, bridal white. –Nora Zelevansky

YOU DESERVE A REAL WATCH. R E V E R SO S Q U A D R A L AD Y D U E T TO. For women who seek authenticity, the Reverso Squadra Lady Duetto from JaegerLeCoultre offers the confidence of wearing a real watch: two back-to-back dials driven by a single mechanical movement, the legendary swivel case set with 36 diamonds, as well as a quick and clever wristband-change system. The perfect combination of style and watchmaking genius.




The menswear shows are in full swing, and Alexis Dizon and Amy Noel are doing Paris—bouncing from Balmain (survivalist chic) to Margiela (dreamboat turtlenecks) to Givenchy (goth-sport). Item numéro uno on their to-do list: to forever change the way S.D. dresses with their Suite 102 concept store in the Q building ( “The department stores all carry the same crap and it all goes on sale and everyone looks the same,” says Dizon. “It’s boring and lazy, and I think S.D. has been in a rut.” Not only is Dizon a partner at Del Mar womenswear staple Gerhard (which stocks Lanvin and Margiela), she recently launched her own biz bringing wardrobe styling services—offered for years to Gerhard clientele—to the masses. Dizon helps clients edit their closets, pack for trips and locate their sartorial mojo. For Suite 102, Dizon’s procured collabos with the likes of Salt Optics, which is doing a frame exclusively for the space. “We’re breaking away from retail in the traditional sense.” –Chantal Gordon

Flower Power The Park Hyatt’s loss is Solana Beach’s gain. Isari Studio recently fled the resort location for an airy new spot on North Cedros ( The flower and home store is now set up in a warehouse on the cool-kid corner of S.D.’s iconic design district. Isari has specialized in weddings since 1997, and their arrangements have been fixtures at San Diego’s top properties like The Four Seasons, La Costa Resort and The Grand Del Mar. “We take pride in our due diligence in sustainable consciousness,” says owner Tam Ashworth, wife of golfapparel kingpin John. The company’s green factor will keep it in good company with neighbor Kirei, the alt-wood company from Mr. Green Drinks himself, John Stein. The who’s who in the bridal biz came out for a flower-filled and Champagnefueled opening party. We’ll clink to that! –GF

Say Om

Tranquility delivered in Del Mar at Place 360.

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San Diego has always been known as the original spa-la land. Today, retreats are cropping up all over town. Relax, we’ve got the skinny. > > > Never mind that Carlsbad’s Quattra Via spa is in The Forum. It offers an instaretreat with everything from chakra balancing and sound technology massage chairs, to hot shell massages replete with a pre-rub foot soak. > > >

In Del Mar, Place 360 is doling out a Zeninfused mix of services: acupuncture, weight loss, massage and facials. > > > In Hillcrest, Karma Relaxation Spa has set up a 4,000-squarefoot sanctuary behind Bronx Pizza. (So not spa cuisine!) Karma’s eight rooms go for a jet-set theme, catapulting clients to Paris, London and Africa (our fave), complete with safari decor. –GF


Suite and Lowdown

CJ Charles Jewelers EXCEEDING THE EX TRAORDINARY An Interview with President and Owner Vahid Moradi

An inside glimpse into the world of the most extraordinary jewelry and highly sought after timepieces

Q What is it about your business that has given you so much passion?

Q What is hot right now?

A Seeking the most extraordinary is simply what drives my passion. When one knows the scarcity of the pieces and gems that we work with, that in it self is truly the romance that drives me.

A Panerai, the PAM00327 Titanium Blue Dial Daylight on a Bracelet. Also in Panerai, is the PAM00289 1950’s 8-day in-house movement showcased in Rose Gold. The Master Compressor Navy Seal Alarm Diving watch by Jaeger-LeCoultre is a great piece. Also Jaeger-LeCoultre has an Amvox II, with a touch crystal chronograph. A. Lange & Söhne has their Grand Lange 1, which looks great in gold. Or A. Lange & Söhne is beginning to release their new Lange Zeitwerk. Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Offshore for ladies in Rose Gold on a white rubber strap and a Diamond Bezel is a hot watch. We also just received the Audemars Piguet Millenary chronograph, which is very commanding and a unique piece.

Q How do your clients benefit from your extensive knowledge when purchasing a piece? A My clients know that each and every piece that we represent must contain a perfect story based on exceptional quality. I have been known to call clients of mine from time to time to see if they are interested in selling a piece at a profit that they had purchased from CJ Charles in the last few years. That confidence is purely predicated on the extraordinary nature of each piece, whether a large diamond, ruby, sapphire, or a one-of-a-kind creation like the Riviera Collection by CJ Charles. Q What is the oldest piece of estate jewelry you have? A Currently a piece from the 1870’s. It is a French necklace containing Kashmir sapphires and old mine cut diamonds. This piece has transcended many generations and yet it is still in pristine condition. Q What is the rarest piece of jewelry that you have? A Our “Kashmir Sapphire” ring, which was just delivered to its new owner, is among some of the rarest that we have been fortunate to be a part of. Q Which piece of jewelry was the most complicated piece to make? A We recently designed and completed a ring that was very much of a symphony to me. I retained the aid of an outside respected designer to assist myself in co-designing it. I needed to explore, beyond every preconception, to achieve a new level of extraordinary. The finished ring’s center contains a rectangular modified brilliant diamond weighing 16.71 ct. So far, the reaction has been, “Oh my GOD!” from everyone that has seen this piece.

Q What is the benefit of a watch company who manufactures their own in-house movement? A I can use a great analogy that best describes the importance of being able to create in-house and that it is very much the same as an organ transplant in a human. The adaptability is crucial, since the surgeon’s goal is to have the organ not be rejected by the patient. A true A-Z movement manufacturer has the technical advantage to create every component of the mechanism from the same exact DNA. Q What are some of the watches that every man should have? A He should start by owning a Panerai and then buy a second Panerai with the new in-house 3-Day movement. Then work his way to Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre and A. Lange & Söhne. Then he and I can talk about watches every time he comes by CJ Charles, which I love to do. Q Do you service watches? A Absolutely, that is the pillar of our craft. Watch service has given us the gift of knowledge regarding the workings in after-sales service. It is a great feeling when you restore an Old timepiece for a client that has inherited it from a loved one, and you get to see the reaction when they first lay eyes on the newly restored timepiece. Q Can you tell me the difference between buying for investment rather than beauty?

A I must say it was a 50 ct. Emerald cut diamond ring. That is right, it was a ring!

A: Well, every good investment is beautiful! Currently I have investors that buy the most rare stones to protect themselves from the declining dollar. High caliber investors are looking for diamonds and precious stones that are the best of color, perfect cut and rare in size.

Q Can you build a jewelry piece from the imagination of a client?

Q Tell me about some of your annual events and parties that your clients get to be a part of.

A I have always believed that, “If you can dream it, I can create it.” Of course, one needs to pay for it also!

A Our loyal select clients are among the invitees, and each one of our events is the representation of fun and opulence at its max.

Q What was the most memorable piece of jewelry that you have sold?

To preview our exquisite one-of-a-kind, hand-fabricated Riviera Collection, our stunning Estate Jewelry selection or our Fine Watch Selection, visit our store at 1135 Prospect St., La Jolla, CA 92037. For questions, please feel free to contact our friendly staff at 858.454.5390 or visit our website at



SCENE Batter Up

The Texas Hold ’Em Celebrity Poker Tournament at Rancho Valencia THE PARTY Guests dressed to

John Matty of Martin Katz decking out a model

the nines cashed in at The Texas Hold ’Em Celebrity Poker Tournament fundraiser. With at least one notable athlete at each of the 10 tables, everyone enjoyed some friendly competition to benefit the Rancho Santa Fe Little League. THE PRIZE Martin Katz provided the first prize, a $500 gift card to the RSF fine jewelry store. THE PLAYERS Celebrity athletes were everywhere, from ex-Padres Mark Kotsay and Mark Loretta to current Friar Bud “The Lefty” Black reigning Manager of the Year. And that Calvin Klein model-looking gent? Tennis champ Mark Philippoussis. Aces all around.

–James Reed

Celebrity athletes were everywhere, from ex-Padres Mark Kotsay and Mark Loretta to current Friar Bud, “The Lefty” Black, reigning manager of the year.

Mark Loretta, Suzie Mikolajewski and Ernie Hahn

Mary Ann and Dennis Telfer with Gina Poage

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Mark Grudzielanek

Mark and Jamie Kotsay


Bret Boone, Mike Sweeney and Mark Kotsay

Bud Black


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SCENE Rhodes Scholar! The Zandra Rhodes soiree at The Mingei THE PARTY The Mingei

hosted a gala to kick off the exhibit on iconic Brit designer Zandra Rhodes, who splits her time between London and Solana Beach. The pinkhaired maven was the star of the evening, pulling off a high-drama fashion show that also featured some va-va-voom bridal gowns. THE EXHIBIT The retrospective, A Lifelong Love Aff air With Textiles, showcases creations from the 1960s through the 1980s, revealing her approach to shape and of course, color. Run, don’t walk: The exhibit—which has been shown in London, Italy, Australia, and Mexico City—ends April 3. –Gillian Flynn

Come fly with me! Hey, little birdy!

Linda and Don Swortwood

Rhodes celebrates on the runway.

Hermeen Scharaga with Harry and Valerie Cooper

Kristi Brooks, Rhonda Brown and Taylur Ngo

Bertrand and Denise Hug

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Stephanie Parisi and Ryan Hopkins

Run, don’t walk: The exhibit—which has been shown in London, Italy, Australia and Mexico City—ends April 3.


John Rebelo and Sarah Marsh Rebelo



SCENE Flavor Savor!

The grand opening of Flavor Del Mar THE PARTY Media types

Farley Lucas and Jerome Astolfi

Lisa and Tom Sullivan Plaza Par-tay!

The bar scene!

Kristin Kucha, Heather Hunter and Kara Manqueros

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Julie Novotny and Kelley Lillien

Jim Graves, Ken Manqueros, Jeff Hunter and Ernie Hahn

mingled with North County VIPs for an evening of nibbles, custom cocktails (jalapeño margaritas) and—dare we say it?—cougars. This is Del Mar Plaza, people! THE SCENE Charming Canadian owner Jeff Hunter, worked the crowd, as did the gaggle of JPR girls on hand. The veranda was transformed into a lounge with music by local jazz duo Mattson 2. Partygoers lingered into the wee hours, which was appropriate since Flavor’s blue-lit cocktail lounge has become the new nightlife spot for Del Martians. –GF

Partygoers lingered into the wee hours, which was appropriate since Flavor’s blue-lit cocktail lounge has become the new nightlife spot for Del Martians.


Exec chef Jason Maitland



SCENE Charmed!

DeLatori Launch THE PARTY The evening

Catherine Brooks and Matthew Meunier

Ori Zemer

Nancy and Matt Browar

Lisa Stettner, Leslie Zemer and Blair Golden

sparkled at the DeLatori launch party held at the newly remodeled University Club. The Hollywood Regency makeover proved the ideal backdrop for the timeless line, launched by Charriol brothers Ori and Tal Zemer, who have long dreamed of creating their own jewelry brand. THE CHARITY The Zemer family, which owns Charriol, have always been extremely active in S.D.’s philanthropic community. On this night, part of the proceeds benefited the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.


From La Jolla’s Charriol brothers comes DeLatori, a sparkling new line of jewelry, steeped in Roman and Greek history.

Tal and Danielle Zemer

Jack and Sandy Zemer

Trevor Sacco and Jennifer Friedman

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Debbie and Brian Rott



Spring Fever | By Kristin Young |


This season is a lesson in the ultimate balancing act. While some designers sent forth fiery frocks in flowing red, orange and yellow, accessories took an entirely different form, glistening and gleaming as if they were encased in ice. Contrary to what you’d think, these opposing forces have the most impact when worn together. Balance Lanvin’s red-hot one-shouldered gown with Gucci’s frosty stilettos or Tiffany & Co.’s dazzling diamond sunglasses. Cool off Alexander McQueen’s caftan inferno with Assad Mounser’s rocker-chic collar necklace or the blinding sparkle of Judith Leiber’s rhinestone clutch. Despite the chill, these looks still sizzle. R






1. Soraya high-heel sandals with strass embroidery, $1,100, at Gucci, Fashion Valley 2. Washed feather satin dress, $4,900, at Lanvin, Beverly Hills 3. Sevilla clutch in Rhine, $2,995, by Judith Leiber at select Neiman Marcus stores 4. Hall collar, $428, by Assad Mounser at 5. Keys sunglasses, $1,650, at Tiffany & Co., Fashion Valley 6. Printed dress, price upon request, at Alexander McQueen, Los Angeles

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envy of those who have everything.


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| By Isaiah Freeman-Schub | Denizens of the digital age, take note: Spring’s hottest accessories have neither touchscreens nor downloadable apps. Instead, designers are looking back to the industrial era for some hot-off-the-assembly-line inspiration (think screws, bolts, washers and gears). Chanel’s chunky bib, for example, is sure to cause a “chain reaction” among fashion arbiters, while Camilla Skovgaard’s Hammer stilettos and Lanvin’s metal cuff tell a riveting tale. Looking to kick your LBD into high gear? Bulgari’s sparkling diamond earrings should get things moving in the right direction. Whichever chic topper you choose to work with, expect your style output to increase exponentially. R 1. Hammer stilettos in taupe, $560, by Camilla Skovgaard at select Saks Fifth Avenue stores 2. High Jewelry earrings in 18K white gold and diamonds, price upon request, at Bulgari, Beverly Hills 3. Black Jade clutch with stingray and matte black hardware, $795, by Alexander Wang at Alexander Wang is also available at Barneys CO-OP, Fashion Valley 4. Stone and metal cuff in gold, $1,250, at Lanvin, Beverly Hills 5. Metal and fabric necklace, $2,450, at select Chanel boutiques. Chanel is also available at Neiman Marcus 6. Limited-edition black steel timepiece with white calfskin band, $1,445, at Balenciaga, West Hollywood

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We’ v e a d d e d s e v e r a l fresh new looks

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Imperiale watch in stainless steel, $20,530, at Chopard, South Coast Plaza

39mm guilloché Sporting Chronograph in steel, $7,300, available in May at select Ralph Lauren stores and

La D De Dior 25mm watch with stainless steel bracelet, $3,950, by Dior at Tourneau, Fashion Valley

Modern Classics | By Erin Magner | There’s no time like spring to try out a fresh new look, but that doesn’t have to mean going in for a top-to-toe overhaul. For inspiration, look no further than this cast of classic timepieces, all of which have undergone subtle yet impactful alterations for the new season. Dior has recently introduced a 25mm version of its La D De Dior watch, the collection’s second-smallest style to date. The latest chronograph to be added to Ralph Lauren’s two-year-old Sporting Collection is a triumph of texture, thanks to a hand-guided guilloché bezel and opaline dial. And Chopard has completely reimagined its noted Imperiale line, bestowing a regal air upon everything from jewel-adorned lug covers to daggerlike hands. Looks like Madonna had it all wrong— small tweaks, rather than grand transformations, are all that’s necessary to stay in vogue. R

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In the Loop! | By Erin Magner |

Metropolis multi-circle diamond bracelet, $25,000, by Canturi at

Sophia Loren Masterpiece ring, $16,990, by Damiani at Nordstrom, Fashion Valley

Atea large pendant, $16,000, and small pendant, $5,500, both at De Beers, South Coast Plaza

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This spring, it’s not just your hands that will be decked in diamond rings. Circles— often considered the ultimate symbols of perfection—are proving an equally perfect motif for some of the most divine jewelry collections to be found this season. De Beers’ new Atea line was inspired by planetary rhythms, an idea that unfolds through a series of “eclipsing” micropavé diamond discs. Damiani’s Sophia Loren Masterpiece ring, designed in partnership with the actress, is a constellation of spiraling spheres, while Kwiat’s latest Vintage Collection bracelet features joyfully tumbling loops. And for a contemporary take on the trend, Stefano Canturi’s Metropolis bracelet is as effervescent as the bubbles in a glass of Champagne. R

Vintage Collection diamond bracelet, $30,100, by Kwiat at


Breaking Bread This S.D. photog is the cookbook world’s hot upstart. | By Shelby Stanger | Photography by Eric Wolfinger | Try telling someone you plan to travel the world, bake bread, take some photos—as a career. Laughter and derision are appropriate. But that’s exactly what San Diego’s Eric Wolfinger ( has done. Now the 29-year-old photographer and cook has collaborated with famed baker Chad Robertson to release Tartine Bread, a cookbook featuring creations from Robertson’s San Francisco bakery of the same


March/April 2011

name. The result is a stunner. In their roundup of 2010’s best cookbooks, The New York Times called it “the most beautiful bread book yet published.” And now he’s been tapped for more. When did you know photos were for you? At 14,

I had to fill out my career interests on a college entrance exam. Of the hundred options I only filled in two bubbles: “culinary arts” and “photography.” Everything else seemed like work. Why Tartine? I graduated from Pomona College then moved to San Francisco to cook. I worked in good kitchens, but always admired the bread at Tartine. It’s still the best bread I’ve tasted. That’s a famous joint—how’d you get on the inside? I did an unpaid internship at the bakery and eventually got hired. Chad was still making the bread alone. He had a perfect surfing schedule (mornings off until noon) but didn’t surf, so I suggested the trade: surf lessons for bread baking lessons. He became obsessed with surfing, and I with bread. But you left? A year into my apprenticeship, I got the travel bug and took off to South America for a year. I did what I always do when I’m on the road—cooked with the locals and took photos—only this time I had a blog. I returned to San Francisco and continued baking with Chad. He liked my blog and asked if I’d do a book with him. We practically wrote the whole book on long drives to find surf from Bolinas to Drakes in Northern California. Bread and surfing—simpatico? Bread takes years of daily practice to develop the skill and intuition to anticipate and adapt the process to changes. A new shipment of flour or a change in the weather can affect everything. A truly extraordinary bread day is rare and there’s a sense of wonder when it happens. Of course, this is all true for surfing—and what makes both pursuits so alluring day after day. Up next? I have five DOUGH BOY Photographer and cook Eric Wolfinger cookbook projects, all of which gets into his work. “require” international travel. I’m shooting a Vietnamese cookbook with Charles Phan and a memoir with the French chef Hubert Keller. There’s a baking book with Williams-Sonoma, in which I’ll be doing all the cooking and photography, and then a collaboration with an Argentine publisher on a cookbook featuring a tiny but extraordinary restaurant in Uruguay called La Huella. Somewhere in all this I’ll be traveling to Italy to bake and shoot for the re-release of The Italian Baker. Sounds like an awful life. The dream has always been to somehow find a way to keep cooking and keep traveling. That the answer would be photography is the happiest surprise. I might not “work” a single day this year. R


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THE RADAR | ART MARK, THE SPOT Clockwise from top left: Mark Quint and Ben Strauss-Malcolm move into their new gallery; John McLaughlin, #23; Roy McMakin’s response to McLaughlin’s piece.

Newly Quinted Quint Contemporary Art goes main street in La Jolla. | By AnnaMaria Stephens | Photography by John Dole | No more backstreet art dealing for Mark Quint. For seven years, San Diego’s boldface gallerist and party thrower kept his HQ hidden in a La Jolla alley. This March, Quint Contemporary Art ( debuts grand new digs a few blocks over on busy Girard Avenue. “We could not ask for better exposure,” says gallery director Ben Strauss-Malcolm. “Everyone has to drive down this road.” A two-year search for a main-drag storefront led to the space next to iconic coffee shop Harry’s. Formerly Jane’s Fabrique, in business for 46 years until the owner passed away last April, the address is near La Jolla’s posh design district. It also nearly doubles Quint’s square footage, from 1,600 to just under 3,000, which will include an exhibition area, a private showroom and offices with 15-foot ceilings. Did we mention off-street parking? Quint, who recently celebrated 30 years and was honored by California Center for the Arts’ 2009 exhibit QUINT, first set up shop in La Jolla in ’81. He relocated regularly, including stints Downtown and Miramar, where he hosted epic soirées for collectors and culturati. But Quint doesn’t deal in nostalgia—“except for rent and how cheap it used to be!” he laughs. “There are more collectors and 58 |


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artists now, and that’s difficult and interesting. Difficult because it’s harder if you’re an artist and there’s so much competition, and interesting because you have more colleagues.” The S.D. art scene may seem “pretty provincial still in a lot of people’s eyes,” a stigma Quint continues to dismantle with shows like last year’s stellar, all-local Homing In. Next he’s planning an event to coincide with Getty’s groundbreaking Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, a series of concurrent exhibitions at SoCal art institutions, including MCASD. March’s kickoff show is Behind What It Is in Front Of. Seattle-based architect/furniture designer (and UCSD alum) Roy McMakin will present sculptures and videos that respond to paintings by midcentury California artist John McLaughlin. “Mark has the best gallery in town, bar none,” says famed local artist Robert Irwin, who moved his studio to the old Quint space and helped his longtime friend envision the new one. “He participates in a most difficult arena—a forum for what’s going on now in contemporary art. You’re dealing with a lot of people who aren’t proven yet, and people whose art isn’t yet understood. And he manages to survive, which is pretty amazing in this town.” R

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Getting Schooled A brave, young architect goes for bold at Tijuana’s new culinary school. | By AnnaMaria Stephens | Drug cartels may be waging war across the border, but in Tijuana, a burgeoning design scene is determined to have its day. On the front lines, dashing young architect Jorge Gracia continues to land marquee clients with his budget-conscious modernism. “In Mexico, we have to build affordably,” Gracia explains. “We have to do cool stuff with the same amount of money that other people do ugly stuff.” Take Tijuana’s new Culinary Art School. To house the classrooms, wine cellar and professional-grade kitchens, Gracia Studio ( devised a simple but striking pair of ultra-functional structures. The primary visual pop comes from the contrast of exposed concrete and oiled-wood siding. “We used materials that feel like the yin and yang,” explains Gracia. “Cold and warm.” This theme continues throughout the interiors with pale-gray poured floors and ceilings paneled

in durable garapa, a rich golden hardwood from Venezuela. The hues are picked up again in the school’s bespoke wood furnishings—long lecturehall benches and linger-worthy chairs and tables with steel hairpin bases. Gracia’s orderly design is not without dashes of humor. In the women’s lounge, storage lockers are labeled with spices like cilantro and lavanda. “The men’s room has chiles,” says the architect with a knowing laugh. A “very easy, very lineal” layout leads to the school’s most coveted study spot, an outdoor plaza situated between the two architectural volumes. The centerpiece? A stunning steppedterrace water feature made from basalt. “It’s black rock, so the water reflects like a mirror in the night,” Garcia says. The plaza redeems the property’s lonely location, a few hundred feet from a freeway in Tijuana’s Zona Urbana Rio. The area is in the last phase of a 30-year, three-stage development,

and though there are a few cool projects in the works, vacant lots surround the school. “I was striving to make an urban feeling,” says Gracia. “I wanted to give the students the feeling of being out on the street, so we made our own street.” Gracia—who’s currently wrapping up a 20room eco-hotel and winery in Valle Guadalupe, the Mexican wine country tucked in the hills east of Ensenada—was traditionally trained in Tijuana, but turned to design-build after working with San Diego starchitect Sebastian Mariscal for three years. In 2004, Gracia launched his own firm after landing the cover of Dwell with Tijuana’s Casa GA, his very first residence. It was a major score. With most of his work now in Mexico, Gracia recently moved his San Diego HQ south of the border, where the design potential entices him. “I see Tijuana as a white canvas,” he says. “I want to paint.” R

MEX APPEAL Clockwise from top left: The auditorium at the Gracia Studio-designed Culinary Art School with wood ceiling, exposed concrete walls and custom furnishings; the auditorium with professional-grade, exhibition cooking station; lockers in the women’s lounge are labeled with names of herbs and spices; garapa wood paneling; the outdoor plaza oozes an urban vibe; a reflecting pool made with dark volcanic rock; the school’s library

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Get a Room! Two music scene vets team up to build S.D.’s rock ‘n’ roll fantasyland. | By Seth Combs | Photography by Robert Benson | The walk to Studio 350 is anything but rock ‘n’ roll. Located in the back of an industrial strip mall in Mission Valley, 350 owner Timothy “TJ” Tognazzini admits that there’s nothing particularly hip about the area. Step inside, however, and even non-musicians can’t help but be bowled over. Beyond the 17 rehearsal rooms— where any number of bands can be heard playing at all hours—lies a vintage rock dreamspace. “We’ve been collecting equipment and gear for years,” says Tognazzini as we step into 350’s new state-of-the-art, masterfully designed recording studio. “A lot of recordings are missing that warmth and ambiance of a well-tuned acoustic environment. It adds all those intangibles. Rooms like this, you’d need a trust fund to rent it in another city.” Judging by the antique amplifiers, mic stands and vintage soundboard that Tognazzini rescued from a San Marcos storage space (“They don’t make them like that anymore,” he’s quick to point out), it’s easy to see a band busting out the checkbook. The room was crafted by studio designer Rod Gervais, who’s been hired by everyone from the BBC to NBC for his expertise in sound. He micromanaged the smallest details; sound simply will not ricochet in a place like this. Every inch of the room is recording-ready. “The inside is tuned so that all the frequencies are even and balanced,” says Tognazzini. “Rod’s kinda secretive about what he does, but even the air in here is different.” 62 |


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With his band Buckfast Superbee, Tognazzini has experienced studios of all sorts—high-tech, low-tech, modern, antique, in big-time Hollywood rooms and small-town boxes. He’s taken notes on what musicians want and what they really need. When it came time to convert an old ambulance warehouse into Studio 350, he hit up friend and fellow musician Jim Austin. They also tapped S.D.’s expert builder Craig Ronholm, who built Austin’s Lloyd Russell-designed home/concert space in Pioneertown. Everything is vintage. As any audiophile will tell you, analog equipment makes music sound fuller. Just ask bands like The Black Keys and Arcade Fire. “I’ve been in San Diego a long time and I don’t know of a studio that leans itself toward that ideology,” says Tognazzini. “There’s a niche for it now, but down the road everybody will be wanting to record like this.” Big names have already noticed. Local icon Pall Jenkins (Three Mile Pilot, Black Heart Procession) and producer Joe Marlett (Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters) have booked time at 350. Austin says they want to take the space even further. “There’s a gigantic upstairs loft area that we want to turn into a performance and art space,” he says, adding that he and Tognazzini want the upstairs to be an extension of Studio 350’s philosophy: “A place owned and run by musicians.” R

ON THE RECORD Timothy “TJ” Tognazzini (left) and Jim Austin at Studio 350. The wooden slats are exactly spaced for sound by designer Rod Gervais. And those vintage amps? Well, they’re just old and sound great.


Tequila isn’t Mexico’s only mind eraser. Surrender your stress and tension to the tender hands of healers at these luxe Los Cabos resort spas. | By Kathryn Romeyn |

The Spa at Las Ventanas al Paraiso THE SPA Behind villas replete with ocean-view Jacuzzis and telescopes for stargazing, the desert garden spa takes inspiration from Baja’s ancient healers, masters of harnessing power from the four elements: earth, water, air and fire. And sumptuous offerings aren’t all topical: Shamans lead prayer sessions with crystal meditation to purify the spirit. THE TREATMENT The blissful Nopal Detox Desert Wrap ($215) begins with a piña and nopal shot and foot bath, and decreases cellulite and fluid retention with brisk dry brushing and a mask of bonechilling, locally farmed nopal cactus flesh. After an open-air rinse and soothing mini facial, a vigorous, wavelike palper-rouler massage infuses skin with detoxifying nopal gel. 888.767.3966, 64 |


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Auriga at Capella Pedregal THE SPA Through a blasted-out mountain and heavy doors, Auriga is a vast mecca for all-organic healing. Before ducking behind waterfalls for a treatment, all of which start with herbal tea and a foot scrub of ingredients (like rosemary and eucalyptus) freshly picked by the spa’s healer, relax in the aqua-tiled Jacuzzi or ice room. THE TREATMENT From sound therapy sessions to local Baja folk rites, everything is targeted to opulent inner and outer renewal. The four signature Moon Phase rituals ($250-$300) are the ultimate path to head-to-toe healing and deep relaxation, with a salt scrub, herbal wrap, rainforest shower, full body massage and facial using herbal potions aimed at awakening the body and refocusing energy.

The Spa at Westin Los Cabos THE SPA Built into the side of a rocky point, the rust-hued resort and its traditional spa offer a setting that’s one with its desert surroundings. THE TREATMENT A flowing Swedish massage ($128) in one of seven treatment rooms is a restorative best bet, but take it to a tented beach bed for an authentic Cabo experience. 800.325.3535,

Armonia Spa at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica THE SPA Known for its dedication to holistic healing, Armonia (at the newly all-inclusive resort) offers ritualistic indigenous therapies and advanced skincare technology. THE TREATMENT The Purifying Vitamin C Facial ($165) stimulates collagen and includes a snack! Between rose hip oil and pure Vitamin C application, high-frequency pulses and a hydrating mask, you’ll nibble anis-infused citrus, orange gelee and Grand Marnier chocolate.

Cactus Spa at Sheraton Hacienda del Mar THE SPA Just steps from the sand and the buzz of the swim-up bar, Cactus offers a quiet retreat with a luxe menu from south of the border. THE TREATMENT Using the only German Bed in Cabo, the Mango Paradise Body Wrap ($165) will transport you out to sea after an invigorating scrub. Enveloped in firming body butter, you’ll float weightlessly in the cocoon-like water bed, letting any stress drift away. 800.325.3535,

One&Only Spa at One&Only Palmilla THE SPA The sumptuous secret-garden feel of the spa grounds at celeb fave One&Only is in keeping with the property’s signature lushness. Dip in shaded, free-form pools of varying temperatures before indulging in divine, state-of-the-art à la carte treatments or a tailor-made program of synergistic therapies, fitness regimens and wellness cuisine. THE TREATMENT If it’s available, take the winding stone-walled path back to the plush, private villa for a signature experience, a favorite being the purifying new Restore ($300). A detoxifying salt scrub leaves skin baby-soft, and the deep, stimulating massage with warm oil and hot herbal Thai poultices (turmeric, lemongrass, patchouli, kaffir lime) could make even the most run-down body feel brandnew. 866.829.2977,

800.990.8250, R




Haven on Earth

S.D. CONFIDENTIAL Lisa Wilson-Wirth in her sleek showroom.

All Italia | By AnnaMaria Stephens | | Photography by John Dole |

Italophilia? Lisa Wilson-Wirth doesn’t deny it. “My Swiss-German husband jokes he’s glad he captured my affections before my love affair with Italy took root,” laughs the owner/designer of Arclinea San Diego. “For me, ‘Made in Italy’ represents the pursuit of perfection. It’s a passionate fanaticism I can relate to.” That doesn’t mean she’s on a track between S.D. and Rome; last year, she traveled to five countries hunting breakthrough design. Her Bankers Hill HQ is known for top-of-the-line Italian kitchens, but now she’s translating her high-end aesthetic to the rest of the house. We check in with the foodie on the art scene, her first book and designing for life.

Favorite part of your kitchen? My wooden dinner table that seats 10 and my cookbook collection: 101-plus dog-eared copies and signed first editions that span continents, languages and travels. Trending now? A resurgence in natural materials like marble and woods, as we seek to temper modernism with traditional materials that speak to our past. Layering old and new. Design and... quinoa??? A large focus of my practice is creating sustainable behaviors through design. Beyond using green products, it’s melding design with nutrition, medicine, psychology and ecology. It’s a topic close to my heart—and my first book, The Intelligent Kitchen. Book? And a blog and lectures. There are architectural solutions that make a healthier lifestyle achievable for a modern family. Design trends past their due date? The Ikea-ization of everything, fake “antiques” and knockoffs. Guilty pleasure? Beyond the kitchen? At Arclinea we’ve offered a unique expertise:

space planning and interpreting European modern for SoCal. Clients asked for more. So I’ve cultivated a collection of European brands for kitchens, bathrooms and closets worthy of Carrie Bradshaw. We’ll stock outdoor furniture from Belgium and sliding door systems by über-architect Antonio Citterio (for getting even the most unruly spaces into shape). Working with MCASD? My husband and I were asked to join Avant-Garde, their initiative to attract young collectors and inspire the next generation. There are private studio tours, dinner with visiting artists, and road trips to new installations. Favorite right-now art? The Shepard Fairey mural in Hillcrest. It ties into my commitments: urbanism, arts, consumerism. Ideal San Diego weekend? Coffee at Influx Café in Little Italy then a pasta lunch with friends at Bice or Bencotto; scouring for vintage art and architecture books in Hillcrest; and canyon trail hikes with my husband Corey in Balboa Park. R


Shopping: Little Italy farmers market Ethnic Groceries: Nijiya and Zion Artisan Cocktails: Craft & Commerce Sushi: Izakaya Wa and Okan (“a jewel box”) Art Event: MCASD’s TNT Fave Hangs: The Botanical Building and SDMA’s outdoor sculpture garden Urban Escape: Lulu’s Nails in South Park 66 |


March/April 2011


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Lane Change!

Is filmdom’s hottest temptress making a move to reality television? Diane Lane explores TV’s original sin in HBO’s buzzed-about Cinema Verite. | By Sam Wasson | Photography by Tony Duran | Styling by Emma Trask, | Diane Lane’s eyes are bouncing around the room, searching for an analogy. “This place is like…” She’s always doing this. And she’s always getting it right. “This place is like a dollhouse.” It’s true. This Beverly Hills café is so cozy it’s hard to believe it isn’t snowing outside. Wearing a comfy sweater and sipping peppermint tea with a drop of honey, Lane looks ready for a bedtime story. But really, she’s just getting started. “Seventies America had no real image of itself coming through the television. Nobody was talking about what was going on behind…”—her eyes are bouncing again—“…behind the curtain of Oz. We actually believed what was coming off the conveyor belt.” She’s talking about her new project, HBO’s much-heralded original film Cinema Verite, co-starring Tim Robbins and James Gandolfini. Debuting in April, Cinema Verite reveals the behindthe-scenes story of An American Family, the dream-breaking 1973 PBS documentary and first-ever reality TV show. As Pat Loud, the family’s linchpin, Lane sees her home—and all the illusions it represents—crumble under the pressures of living with a camera crew 24/7 as her dirty laundry is aired before the entire nation. “Pat Loud leapt into the volcano and all of America was thrown in after her,” Lane says. “There is one thing about the way it really happened that the movie doesn’t go into: The truth was Pat knew that her husband was a full-blown philanderer. And yet she invited the cameras in, hoping he would straighten up and fly right. It was a manipulative ploy. She says so in her book [Pat Loud: A Woman’s Story, which she wrote in 1974]. He would talk to her about his philandering and she would sit there and listen. That’s what was going on under the hood before the cameras even got there.” An American Family was reality television before “reality” devolved into dance-offs and mating games. “It was the first domino,” Lane says. “It’s how we got into this, what we call ‘culture’ of reality TV. But this was real reality. It was brave and crazy the first time they did it, which gave it an implied level of integrity. But now everyone jumps on the bandwagon.” She rolls her eyes and groans. “The trajectory we’re on in Hollywood is more of the same because people are still buying it. That’s the problem.” When the subject is Hollywood, Lane, 45, speaks without guessing. Tenuous observers ask with their eyes before making an absolute statement, but Lane doesn’t have to test the waters. She knows. Born in New York City to a show business family (her father was an acting coach; her mother was a model), Lane came of age in an urban fairy tale, A Star Is Born meets Taxi Driver. “As

a kid, I remember going to the Colony Record Store in Times Square,” she says. “I used to walk down there around midnight, past Deep Throat and all those pornos, on my way to buy blank tapes. I’d go once a week to buy a box of them so I could record music off the radio.” Her father, Burt Lane, shared his workshop in the late ’50s with filmmaker John Cassavetes. “People went there if they didn’t get into The [Actor’s] Studio,” she says. “At the time, my dad was dating Gena Rowlands, who was an usherette at Carnegie Hall. She was about 19, walking people to their seats in her little white gloves. Then John stole Gena from my dad.” Lane raises an eyebrow, still impressed after all these years. “When I worked with Gena in my Hallmark Hall of Shame… I mean Fame”—she quips about 1998’s Grace & Glorie—“I said to her, ‘All my life I’ve secretly had this alternate life where...’ and Gena finished my thought: ‘Where you could have been my daughter? Yes, I thought it too.’” Growing up in a world of actors, performing was second nature for Lane. At 7, she was touring with La MaMa, one of New York’s leading avant-garde companies; at 13, she landed her first film role starring opposite Laurence Olivier in A Little Romance. At that point, the great actor was 72, working for the money, and in bad health. “During the shoot, he was in a lot of physical pain,” Lane remembers. “People who are in physical pain should be given a hall pass. They’re not themselves. They’re in an occupied country.” Meanwhile, Olivier’s son, probably not the first to try to charm Lane, bought her clothing and a bottle of Chloé perfume. “That I’ll never forget,” she says. “A boy had never bought me perfume before.” A few years later, Francis Ford Coppola cast Lane in backto-back adaptations of The Outsiders and Rumble Fish, and then again in The Cotton Club, his opulent box-office calamity of 1984. After that, the right parts were hard to come by. Lane had grown out of girlhood, but she wasn’t yet a leading lady. “The cruel truth of being in this business as a child is that the statistical likelihood that you’re going to grow up to be what they want to photograph— when you’re past your cute phase—is bad. It’s tough. But hey, it’s called show business. Not show ‘cuddles.’” In 1989, Lane drifted, quite seamlessly, out of her cute phase: The epic TV miniseries Lonesome Dove (co-starring Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones) showcased her serene, open beauty and easygoing presence, earning her an Emmy nomination and her pick of deeper, more elaborate roles. Roles like Pearl Kantrowitz in 1999’s A Walk on the Moon. “It was one of those scripts that was a full meal,” she says of the film in which she was cast as a

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Hemp silk jersey cowl dress, $2,795, at Michael Kors, Fashion Valley. Peruvian pyrite necklace, price upon request, by Michelle Laine at Curve, Los Angeles. Bracelets from top: Silver bangle with pavĂŠ diamonds, $7,000, and 18K white gold bangle with pavĂŠ diamonds, $22,500, both by Bavna at

Beige suede jumpsuit, $542, by Goosecraft at Cosmic shoes in bronze glitter, $695, at Jimmy Choo, Fashion Valley. Vintage 18K yellow gold large horse bit link bracelet and vintage signed Boucheron 18K yellow gold rope necklace and bracelets, all priced upon request, at Gray Gallery, Los Angeles.


Hair by Mark Townsend at Make-up by Rachel Goodwin at The Wall Group

1969 housewife engaged in a steamy love affair with Viggo Mortensen. “Just to be cast in it was great, but making movies is really about the people. It actually winds up becoming about that. They keep it fun and give you the will to do your best. Sometimes there can be mutiny on film sets when people don’t have respect for their collaborators. But [director/producer] Tony Goldwyn made it all so exciting. He left no stone unturned.” Apparently, the feeling is mutual. “You just get a feeling as a director,” Goldwyn says. “I looked at Diane’s work and saw someone I felt was so underappreciated and had so much extraordinary potential. She’s always been one of our greatest actresses, but to see her blossom was a real privilege.” After Moon, the doors to blockbuster filmmaking flew open and Lane found herself in 2000’s The Perfect Storm, her biggest movie to date. But it wasn’t exactly the acting challenge she had in mind. “I spent that whole movie on a barstool, crying.” It was Unfaithful, Adrian Lyne’s darkly playful ronde of grownup passions, that brought Lane the opportunity to do her greatest, most surprising work. A scene on the train, which sees her sitting alone,

Cinema Verite, she’s both. “I hope Pat likes the movie,” she says, adding, “and I hope she never sees it. For her peace of mind. Our movie is like the silt that’s settled at the bottom of the river and here we’ve come to stir it up again.” Putting the pieces together, reaching an understanding—Lane loves to do this. It’s how her brain works. Switching from thought to thought, the way she did on the train in Unfaithful, Lane draws equations between seemingly disparate notions: The Internet? “It’s an X-ray. Everyone’s psychic innards are on view, squirming around like worms.” New York? “I think I’m jealous of it since I left. It’s the feeling like someone just told me my ex had a lot of fun. She didn’t wait around for me.” Hollywood? “It’s like, when you buy a car, you’re not buying a car, you’re buying the way you feel when you drive it. They’ve commoditized your feelings. They know what it’s like in there.”

“I hope Pat [Loud] likes the movie. And I hope she never sees it. For her peace of mind. Our movie is like the silt that’s settled at the bottom of the river and here we’ve come to stir it up again.” grappling with a recent bout of very hot, very unfaithful sex, is a classic. In quick strokes, Lane mixes colors most would keep on opposite ends of the palette. Funny/scared, guilty/hungry. The full catalogue is here. She was nominated for an Oscar for the role in 2003. After some 50 films, a piece of every character Lane has ever played, from Lauren King in A Little Romance to Pat Loud in Cinema Verite, has stayed with her. “I just have an empathy for them that never leaves me,” she says, “an understanding of their life experience that I carry around in my heart. I don’t know if it’s healthy or smart, but I don’t really care! It feels really good in my chest.” Shari Springer Berman, who co-directed Cinema Verite with her partner Robert Pulcini, had been a fan of Lane’s ever since seeing her as a young girl in A Little Romance and instantly drew similarities between Loud and Lane. “She and Pat have a remarkable physical resemblance. Pat is gorgeous. So is Diane. But there is also an incredible strength they share,” Berman says. “Pat had this ability to be strong and likable, sympathetic but not weak—which was very unusual for a woman in the ’70s when characters were finally allowed to be these strong women.” Lane didn’t meet with Loud as she did with Penny Chenery, the subject of Secretariat, but she didn’t feel she had to. Loud’s book (“the bible,” as Lane calls it) gave her heaps of information and having lived through the ’70s, she came to the part more than prepared. “What were we thinking then?” she asks, squeezing a wedge of lemon into her water. “We were so cool… because of what, exactly? The ’60s?” If she weren’t an actress, Lane could have made an astute sociologist. In

Unprompted, a waitress appears with a small tart and sets it down on the table. It’s on the house. Thanking her, Lane grabs a fork and pulls the plate toward her. “We’re not fighting over this.” For now, Lane is taking it easy. With her daughter about to start college, she and her actor husband Josh Brolin (W., Milk, True Grit) have bought the Central California ranch where they married in 2004. She’ll relax. She’s thinking about getting another horse up at the ranch, of wanting to watch when it’s born. “We’re staring down the barrel of the empty nest,” she laughs. “It’s not a tunnel for me, it’s a barrel.” In the meantime, maybe she’ll paint and, whenever she’s moved to, she’ll pick up a script. But there’s no upcoming project. Not right now. “I know that sounds terrifying,” she admits. “But I like room for spontaneity in my life, for mystery. I’m addicted to the gamble of not knowing what I’m doing next.” The conversation turns back to A Little Romance and Thelonious Bernard, the very gifted young actor who played opposite her. “Bobby Duvall wanted to know who that boy in A Little Romance was. He was the one that got away. I told him, ‘I don’t know!’” Laughing, she leans back in her chair. “After the kissing scene we had under the Bridge of Sighs, that boy, who started off the film not liking me, became my best friend. I was shocked. All of a sudden he wanted to hang out. I became the bee’s knees to him. It’s still shocking to me that a kiss works, chemically, you know? That’s it! That’s why we’re here.” She puts down her napkin. “If I leaned over and kissed you right now, it would f**k you up.” Worse than that. R

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State of Grace

This season, high fashion is heaven-sent. | Photography by Jack Perno, | | Styling by Rachel Maltz for Ford Artists |

Strapless silk chiffon gown with draped bodice and satin belt, $925, by Notte by Marchesa at Neiman Marcus. Felini shoes, $677, by Brian Atwood at Brian Atwood is also available at select Intermix stores. Metal necklace (worn as belt), $1,050, by Hervé Van der Straeten and ruby necklace, $990, by Iradj Moini, both at Opposite page: Gold lamé gown with black grosgrain trim, $9,755, by Wes Gordon and available by calling 212.566.5283. Vamp sandals, $750, at Jimmy Choo, Fashion Valley. Tribal cuff, $250, by House of Harlow 1960 at Sofia, Chicago. House of Harlow 1960 is also available at select Bloomingdale’s stores.

Washed parachute silk asymmetric harness dress, $4,370, at Matthew Williamson, New York. Matthew Williamson is also available at select Intermix stores. Carmella Spike necklace, $658, by Dannijo at Robin Richman, Chicago. Dannijo is also available at select Intermix stores and Oval sterling silver ring, $350, by Edith Robertson, Etched bracelets, $545, by Satya and thin hammered bangles, $315 to $2,400, by Reuven Kassai, all at elementschicago. com. Opposite page: Chiffon gown, $7,755, by Emilio Pucci at select Neiman Marcus stores. Queen of the Nile highheel platform sandals, $1,995, by Donna Karan New York at Neiman Marcus. Cuff, $995, and earrings, $250, both by Iradj Moini at

Washed feather satin dark gray dress, $4,135, waxed calfskin harness, $1,290, and plexiglass gray brooch, $1,570, all by Lanvin at Barneys New York, Beverly Hills. Rose gold cocktail ring, $620, by Rebecca at

Hand-embroidered tulle evening gown, $12,000, by Donna Karan New York at Shoes, price upon request, by Azzaro at select Neiman Marcus stores. Hammered silver cuff, $995, by Reuven Kassai at Opposite page: Dress, $1,220, at CH Carolina Herrera. Opera sandals, $1,295, at Jimmy Choo, Fashion Valley. Ring, $350, by Edith Robertson at elementschicago. com. Clear drop necklace, $640, by Peachoo + Krejberg at Robin Richman, Chicago. Hair and makeup by Peggy Pliscott at Ford Artists for NARS


Urbane Nights Spring’s bold hues turn up the chic! | Photography by David Drebin , | | Styling by Mindy Saad at | | Location courtesy of Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC |

Orange spice double silk jacket, $2,150, matte satin strapless top, $895, Indian jade crepe pants, $875, tabac laminated python belt with torchon lace closure, tassels and dark bamboo details, $990, and clutch in tabac antiqued python with tassel, $1,900, all at Gucci, Fashion Valley. Hand-carved and handpainted Lucite Azteca bangle, price upon request, by Alexis Bittar at select Neiman Marcus stores.

Daffodil silk jersey draped boatneck dress, $3,495, at Michael Kors, Fashion Valley. Fantasia sandals, $740, by Fendi at Neiman Marcus. Sterling silver Double Phantom cuff (on left), $595, and concave Mobius cuff (on right), $795, both by Robert Lee Morris at Robert Lee Morris Gallery, New York and select Neiman Marcus stores. Opposite page: Wool gabardine jacket, $3,000, pants, $1,500, and belt in taurillon clemence leather, $670, all at Hermès, Fashion Valley. Daffodil ostrich Kass clutch, $795, at Michael Kors, Fashion Valley. Graduated lace disc necklace, $750, by Robert Lee Morris at Robert Lee Morris Gallery, New York and select Neiman Marcus stores.

Dress, $2,455, by Blumarine at and select Nordstrom stores. Sandals in suede and patent leather, $1,575, at Louis Vuitton, Fashion Valley. Sterling silver Colossal hoop earrings, $375, by Robert Lee Morris at Robert Lee Morris Gallery, New York and select Neiman Marcus stores. Opposite page: Teal transparent silk evening gown, $4,650, and knit swimsuit, $650, both by Salvatore Ferragamo at Bloomingdale’s, Fashion Valley. Lime green patent leather T-strap platform sandals, $595, by Giuseppe Zanotti Design at Neiman Marcus. Hand-carved and hand-painted Lucite Safari cuff in turquoise and gold (on left), $525, and Lucite bangle in sage (on right), $145, by Alexis Bittar at select Neiman Marcus stores.


Avram dress, $545, and Volos shoes, $335, both by Diane von Furstenberg at Neiman Marcus. Large hammered bangle, $325, sterling silver short Whiplash cuff, $795, and large triple petal ring, $295, all by Robert Lee Morris at Robert Lee Morris Gallery, New York and select Neiman Marcus stores. Hair by Gerald DeCock using Oribe Hair Care Make-up by Regina Harris using Lancôme

Home | Design HANG TIME! Left: Stein Lundby practices for an upcoming climb up the 3,000-foot El Capitan. Right: Statuesque Simba, one of the Lundbys’ two rescued dogs, is on constant guard duty.

NEW HEIGHTS A Solana Beach couple transform a 1950s cottage into an indoor-outdoor masterpiece. | By Ann Jarmusch | | Photography by Ethan Pines | Stein Lundby isn’t afraid of heights or endurance tests. The Swiss-born Qualcomm engineer is training to climb El Capitan at Yosemite, which explains the homemade climbing wall in his garage and the 24-footlong mountaineering rope secured to a steel beam at his Solana Beach home. His wife Katharine, a former semipro bike racer and graphic designer, grew up helping repair her family’s 100-year-old farmhouse in Maine. She has single-handedly ripped out a wall and hoisted furniture from the first floor up to the roof deck, where she’s growing vegetables. “We don’t shy away from a challenge. We’re very hands-on,” says Katharine, who has cultivated varied outdoor “rooms” with help from local, in-demand landscape architect Marcie Harris. March/April 2011


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Home | Design

“We want to entertain large groups of people, so that explains the grand spaces,” says Katharine. Grand, yes, but casual and inviting.

Opposite page: The great room is built of sandblasted concrete masonry block, towering mahogany-trimmed windows and a butterfly roof with wide Douglas fir eaves that block the sun; The long wall of the master bedroom wing helps define outdoor “rooms,” including a corner deck with a fireplace. From Top Left: The landscaping, by Marcie Harris, is all drought-tolerant; at work on the mezzanine, which leads to a deck on the garage roof. In this Mediterranean climate, windows stay open spring through fall.

They remodeled and expanded their ordinary, 1950s bungalow and yards, turning it all into an extraordinary habitat that allows them to revel in indoor-outdoor living, take in views of the ocean and San Elijo Lagoon and retreat into a private corner with an outdoor fireplace. Architect Ralph Roesling of Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects calls Katharine “an inspired client” and Stein a lover of high design. “Their vision for the house was very down-toearth,” recalls Roesling. They wanted to put more money into design than fancy materials. Both insisted on an expressive, honest use of building materials, including concrete block walls and glulam beams that most architects prefer to hide. Katharine’s touchstone: Maine’s heroic old barns. Stein’s: authentic Swiss buildings where faux brick or beam for visual effect is taboo.

Inside, outside and in the transitional spaces in between, the Lundbys savor their active lifestyle surrounded by nature, which is palpable here. Sunlight and moonlight track through the two-story, glass-enclosed great room that is the heart of the house. Constant breezes from the ocean and lagoon freshen the house through banks of tall, slidingglass doors and clerestory windows. Fragrant thyme crushes underfoot along gravel paths and spring rains splash down a rain chain. Their two rescued dogs patrol constantly, unless standing as still as statues atop the roof. A disarmingly public front deck outfitted with casual furniture faces the street, providing a cozy perch from which the couple can watch the neighborhood wake up or wind down. The original, one-story rooms at the front of the house don’t prepare one for the explosion of space

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Home | Design Left: Midcentury modern and contemporary furniture mix in the original dining room, which retained its low ceiling but is now awash in natural light. The floor is made of salvaged walnut planks and a disarmingly casual chandelier by Ingo Maurer flutters in the breeze. Right: Katharine selected trees that would shimmer and sway gracefully in the wind, in contrast to the sharp geometry of the house.

in back that is the truly “great” great room, which seems to brush the sky and merge enticingly with the rear yard. Its V-shaped, butterfly roof soars to an average height of 21 feet; its four corners lift to admit more light. At one end of the great room, airy mahogany and steel stairs lead to a mezzanine office, which opens onto the roof deck with its panoramic view of the ocean and lagoon. Tucked under the mezzanine, a wall-hugging, stainless steel and cherry wood kitchen stakes its territory with a 16-foot-long island that works as an intimate breakfast bar for two (soon to be three, as Katharine is expecting) or a banquet buffet. “We want to entertain large groups of people, so that explains the grand spaces,” says Katharine. Grand, yes, but casual and inviting. Katharine attributes the home’s tranquility to a combination of precise symmetry and calculated asymmetry, managed by the architect and builder RGB Group, Inc. She worked with interior designer Carey Hultgren,

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but on her own trolled consignment and thrift shops for modernist treasures, such as a pair of vintage plywood Eames chairs and abstract paintings. An industrial-chic ceiling fan hangs high over a glass-and-steel coffee table designed by Le Corbusier that Katharine found for $100. The fan works so well in combination with the clerestory windows that they have no need for air conditioning. Only the bedrooms are privately tucked away, including a new master bedroom wing that reaches into the backyard and frames the garden. Placed for drama, drought-tolerant plants, grasses and trees stud the yard. Katharine wanted no flowering plants because they’re “too froufrou.” She tolerates rosemary’s tiny blooms, but prefers “the architectural statement of agaves.” “We wanted the house to be the art,” Katharine says, standing in the great room, which changes mood with every passing cloud. “It’s like a game with a hidden code.” R

Home | Hot List

SPACE EXPLORERS! From an architect’s Point Loma playhouse to a lofty live-work wonder, we present three San Diego spaces fit for sharing.

| By AnnaMaria Stephens and Gillian Flynn | | Photography by Robert Benson |

THE LIVING ROOM An artist turns an East Village loft inside out.


LOFT & FOUND Rafael Lopez in his TV-less living room where his family reads and plays instruments. A book illustrator, he is currently working on a children’s tome about musician Tito Puente.

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Award-winning artist Rafael Lopez—who recently illustrated a set of five U.S. postal stamps featuring Latino music legends in caliente colors—converted a 1929 East Village car garage into a “simple and muscular” loft filled with midcentury furnishings. Lopez says he and his family—wife Candice and 9-year-old son Santiago—mostly hang out in their open-plan living room. “We got rid of the TV and have become serious readers. We play musical instruments and goof off.”


ABOUT FACE! Pop art is delivered with this bold statement rug courtesy of Henzel Studio. The Swedish rug house specializes in art for the floor. It’s high time we walk all over her.

FLOORED! Forget art for the walls with the Deluxe Rug Collection by Henzel.

ROCK THE CASBAH Ligne Roset’s new Ottoman collection was inspired by Morocco.

OTTO EMPIRE! One can always count on Ligne Roset for thoughtful modern design. Our fave collection from the Girard Avenue staple: The Ottoman by designer Noé

FLOCK TO IT The branding company De La Espada continues to churn out the globe’s design stars. The latest get is Autoban, the Istanbul architecture firm that designed the “Nest” chair with a single goal in mind: “The Nest keeps you close to your earliest memories, whether it’s placed in the middle of an immense desert or in a crowded lobby.”

Duchaufour-Lawrance, who found inspiration in Marrakech vis-à-vis the traditional Moroccan footstool. He describes the pieces as being filled with “zenitude”: comfort and well-being. Relax. Just do it.

ART THROB Obama and Oprah are fans of artist Rafael Lopez. In fact, three of his donated paintings hang in Oprah’s school in Africa.

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Home | Hot List

THE DINING ROOM An architect creates the ultimate family room.

GAME ON! “I haven’t even scored a point on the boy,” says Kevin deFreitas, who plays post-dinner ping pong with his 5-yearold son Sebastian. “He is my ping pong foil and supreme arch nemesis.”

KEVIN DEFREITAS At architect Kevin deFreitas’ Casa Familia, the dining room sees serious action. Every evening, his four kids— ages 5 to 15—pile around the black walnut table. Wife Kara cooks, and after noshing the gang hangs out with tubby bulldog Ella in the adjacent living room or in the AstroTurf courtyard beyond. Dishes cleared, youngest son Sebastian challenges his dad to a nightly ping pong match. “Our house is intentionally casual,” says deFreitas. “It’s chaotic, but we like it.”

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GREEN WITH ENVY We’ve long been fans of Tend Living’s adorable orbs. Next up? “I’ve been doing a living tablescape for green weddings and special events,” says founder Britton Neubacher. Can you say “dinner party”?


IN BLOOM “It’s the perfect combination of fashion and furniture. You just feel fabulous sitting in it,” says Misti Broussard, co-owner of Mixture Home in Little Italy ( The Valentina C chair is designed by Maurizio Galante for the mega Italian design house Cerruti Baleri. Knit flowers are hand-sewn to the sturdy chair frame, adding a serious dose of whimsy without sacrificing sophistication. The company is known for pieces that are functional and playful.

SHOW STEALER David Adey’s Anatomi Particulars, made of resin

DAVID ADEY Talk about in-demand. Last year alone, this local had three museum shows, including the big-deal California Biennial, shout-outs from major national press, and an S.D. Emerging Artist Award. “2010 was sort of a blur,” marvels Adey, whose

work ranges from craft-punch photo reconstructions to the fabulous Flock, a collection of 40 ceramic lambs with pink neon halos. “My good buddy just happens to create some of the most thoughtful, provocative, and carefully crafted art in the city,” says deFreitas, who has Adey’s pieces in his dining room.

MIKI IWASAKI When architect/designer Miki Iwasaki isn’t crafting furniture for Mixture—like his Stripe Table, a stunner of mixed domestic hardwoods with bamboo and ecoresin inlays—he’s busy producing limited-edition “small-scale design objects,” and a 60foot installation for MIX MASTERED The S.D. airport, set to Stripe Table features an array of woods. be unveiled this fall.

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Home | Hot List

THE KITCHEN A design duo delivers a sleek ode to entertaining.


BRIGHT IDEA “We think lighting is the most important investment anyone can make,” say the guys from Esteban Interiors. What’s hot now? White and chrome fixtures. “This midcentury redesign is a great example of mixing iconic design with a modern color story for the perfect eclectic blend.”

EASY, BREEZY Esteban Lopez and James Niebling in a client’s airy, ocean view kitchen.

ESTEBAN INTERIORS When their sociable clients opted for a teardown remodel of their midcentury ranch in Point Loma, Esteban Interiors established the open-plan kitchen as the focal point of the house. During parties, guests can spill out a set of

doors that lead to the front courtyard or take in the action while lounging in the living room, where exposed wood beams and dark cabinetry contrast with white floors and sea-blue tile nods to the ocean views. “This is a kitchen that looks beautiful but really gets used every day,” says Esteban Lopez.

TILE FILE The hottest trend in tiles? Taking the look way beyond the backsplash. Think floor-to-ceiling finishes, and not just in the bath or kitchen. Ultra-luxe Italian tile line Bisazza, a favorite of Esteban, brings subtle bling to any surface, indoor or out. Its best-selling Opus Romano Collection of mosaics comes in an array of elegant hues, and this spring offers two additional sizes of classic square and a new rectangular shape. For a serious MAD PATTERNS style statement, mix in tiles made of Pop factor is high 24-karat gold. with Bisazza.

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CHROME SWEET CHROME Esteban Interiors are fans of Jonathan Adler’s Havana collection.

JOSH HERMAN “The conical shape is the purest form of movement from a narrow base to a wider edge,” says local sculptor Josh Herman of this large piece in navy volcanic glaze.

EAT CLAY LOVE Herman has earned a Hollywood following thanks to fan Kelly Wearstler.

NEWLY MINTED The Esteban remodel for the Grant Grill

GLAM A GO-GO “We were looking for a designer who could capture the charm and history of the hotel while adding a modern edge,” says Tom Scaramellino of The U.S. Grant. Esteban’s redesign of the Grant Grill is understated glam done right with an emphasis on modern urban luxury and accessible elegance. “A level of

sparkle, shine and brightness were needed to allow the space to come alive,” says Esteban. Want the look at home? Just add a Moooi chandelier, Esteban custom bar tables with CaesarStone tops, Emeco bar stools, Bisazza tile wall panels and Josephine wall sconces from Ligne Roset. Voilà!

LIGHT FANTASTIC These glowing sculptures add insta-mood to any room.

WILLIAM LESLIE To create his organically shaped lanterns—or “lightsculptures” as he calls them—William Leslie looks to nature: swirls of wood grain, folds in seashells, ripples on sand. Leslie, a philosophy professor at Palomar, plied his craft from an architect in the late ’70s. He makes the lightsculptures, seen at Downtown’s Stingaree, with a bentwood frame and paper coated in polyvinyl resin. “It’s kind of a papier-mâché process,” he says.

THE AWARD GOES TO... “We want people to get inspired,” says Jaimi Julian Thompson of S.D.’s Artisan Design Group, which just took the showroom award from the National Home Association of Home Builders. It is

a homeowner’s dream come true, showcasing three kitchens (live chef demonstrations), multiple bathrooms, home office options (Murphy beds are in!), custom lighting and eco-friendly products.

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Hacienda Beach Club & Residences Location Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Tel 800.670.0310 (Real Estate) and 1.866.300.0084 (Reservations)


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$ Direct access to an entire quarter-mile of Cabo’s most

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infinity-edge swimming pools surrounded by bright

Reservations: 1-866-300-0084. Visit or call

cabanas and market umbrellas.

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SCENE IN DEL MAR | Candlelight Ball

A CLASSIC FÊTE THE PARTY The 81st Annual Candlelight Ball, one of

San Diego’s longest-running philanthropic events, raised $2 million to support Scripps Memorial Hospital at The Grand Del Mar. THE PLAYERS Academy Award-winning actor and La Jolla native Cliff Robertson, attended as the guest of honor. THE SCENE Congressman John Shadegg recognized the grande dame of the evening, Betty Knight Scripps, with a proclamation entered into the Congressional Record for her generous charitable contributions. –Brittany Candau

Cliff Robertson, Betty Knight Scripps and Congressman John Shadegg

Shawn and Andrea Evans

Douglas and Colette Bolitho

Lena Zeitouni with George and Abeer Hage

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Kim and Jorge Molina

Julie and Bruce Breslau




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SCENE IN S.D. | Jewish Federation Gala

Todd Kirschen and Jeff Greco with Adam Jacobs

Hanna Gleiberman and Todd Frank with Tamara Strauss


Masha Tal

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Brooke Demner, Kevin Oskow and Nikki Weiner

Morgan Maltzman and Carla Sette

Anthony and Natalie Josephson

Lisa Foster with Mel and Linda Katz


THE PARTY More than 700 guests from all over the world gathered at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront to celebrate a milestone: the 75th anniversary of the Jewish Federation of San Diego County. THE SCENE The festive ambiance was set with elegant centerpieces full of personal touches, such as framed photos, magazine clippings and programs from prior events. The federationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next big project: A high- tech, rocket-resistant school. â&#x20AC;&#x201C;BC

SCENE IN S.D. | San Diego Opera Gala

Vicky Carlson and Steve Cologne

Rana Sampson

Jennifer Greenfield and Sarah Marsh Rebelo with Lynda Kerr

Emma and Leo Zuckerman

Ian and Ann Campbell

OPEN SEASON Jesse and Joye Blount Knight

46th season with a gala, complete with the debut performance of Puccini’s darkly intriguing Turnadot. THE PLAYERS Mayor Jerry Sanders, San Diego Opera director Ian Campbell, and couture designer Jordan were among prominent attendees. THE SCENE Esther Burnham shined as the guest of honor for her longtime support, while guests were transported to ancient China through an Asia-theme ballroom at U.S. Grant where there was a post-show dinner and dancing. –BC Samantha Schipper and Ben Campbell

116 |


March/April 2011

Guests enjoy cocktails before the performance.


THE PARTY The San Diego Opera kicked off its


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SCENE IN SOLANA BEACH | Seacrest Village

Frank and Lee Goldberg

Bob Haimsohn and Pam Ferris


Carolyn Russo, Betsy Royce and Julie Daun

THE PARTY Seacrest Village’s annual 211 Club Patron Recognition Party celebrated a special group of supporters dedicated to the mission of providing low-cost housing and health care options for the elderly community in San Diego. THE SCENE Last year’s exclusive fête took place at the Solana Beach home of Pamplemousse chef Jeffrey Strauss, and this year, Jane Ottenstein opened her lovely home in The Del Mar Country Club. –BC

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Luxury Spas & Salons of San Diego

KIN Spa Designed as a haven from the stresses of modern life, KIN Spa offers one of the

Location Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

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3rd Floor Harbor Tower, One Market Place

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San Diego, CA 92101

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Reservations 619.358.6699 Web

KIN Spa specializes in head-to-toe pampering, pairing luxurious body treatments like the signature Gold Coast Body Wrap or Pineapple Papaya Body Scrub with a recommended facial. The full-service salon offers manicures and pedicures,

Highlights DĂŠcor Charming boutique spa with private bay view pool deck, heated lap pool and large treatment rooms. Signature Service For head-to-toe pampering, spa estheticians pair matching body treatments and facials. Product Lines All natural, organic Euphora hair products and Epicuren Skin Care.

luxurious scalp treatments, professional color, cuts and styling for men, women and children.

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Location 5480 Grand Pacific Drive Carlsbad, CA 92008 Reservations 760.827.2700 Web

areas complete with aromatic steam rooms, showers and relaxation lounges. Enjoy the state-of-the-art fitness center or take a dip in the resort pool or jacuzzi located just steps from the spa.

Highlights DĂŠcor Vintage modern glam meets coastal comfort.

Unique signature treatments include our Coastal Waters Body Masque, which uses wild-harvested ocean mud and Alaria seaweed during an invigorating exfoliation, body masque and firming hydration treatment. Melt stress and tension with a Thai Herbal Therapy Massage infused with heated compresses of lemongrass, turmeric and ginger. Turn back time with our Age Defense Facial including custom peel therapy. Achieve the perfect brow shape with specialist Albina Kisanova, who creates an ideal brow arch for each client based on their individual facial features.

Signature Service Brow Arch Design, Thai Herbal Therapy Massage and Coastal Waters Body Masque. Product Lines ilike, gloTherapeutics, gloMinerals, NeuLash, NouveauBrow, SeaFlora, 100% Pure, Kimberly Parry.

The Spa at Aviara Welcome to The Spa at Aviara at the new Park Hyatt Aviara Resort—where “wellness

Location 7100 Aviara Resort Drive Carlsbad, CA 92011 Reservations 760.603.6902 Web

Highlights Décor California coastal. Signature Service Your body—Your journey. Incorporate a variety of treatments and ingredients into the same service. Product Lines Darphin Paris, Aromatherapy Associates London, Dayna Decker, Marianne Guedin Paris.

is personal.” Spa Director, Kyra Johnson unveils an innovative approach to spa by truly personalizing wellness rituals, allowing guests to create their very own spa experience. After a brief consultation, therapists recommend a unique treatment tailored to each guest’s specific needs. Whether it is an 80-minute therapeutic massage, rehydrating body wrap and an anti-aging eye treatment, or a 50-minute invigorating sports bath followed by a foot cleansing treatment—no two treatments are ever alike.

Immersed in the peace and natural beauty of coastal Carlsbad, Aviara Spa features a sun-drenched relaxation lounge, luxurious amenities and experienced therapists and estheticians second to none. An exclusive indoor/outdoor suite epitomizes the ideal setting for a romantic escape, girlfriend getaway, anniversary or bridal shower. After your treatment, retire to the adults-only Tranquility Pool for reflection, light fare and majestic views overlooking the Pacific.

Spa at The Del The legendary Hotel del Coronado’s spectacular Spa was inspired by the resort’s early roots. When it opened in 1888, The Del was considered a premier vacation and

Location Hotel del Coronado

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1500 Orange Avenue

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Coronado, CA 92118

one of nature’s most inherently beautiful landscapes: sand, sun and sea.

Reservations 619.522.8100 Web

A century later, the timeless Pacific tides and breezes still have the power to restore the mind, body and spirit. The oceanfront spa offers a variety of health-promoting treatments including massages, wraps, facials and unique water therapies. A private terrace and vanishing edge pool overlooking the magnificent Pacific offer the ultimate therapeutic retreat. Since its opening in 2007, the spa has garnered top honors in several publications and was most recently named one of the top 20 hotel spas in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine.

Highlights Décor Bathed in natural light, the spa features calming tones with Victorian accents. The spectacular ocean-view terrace and vanishing edge pool are not to be missed. Signature Service The Shell Coronado Massage offers a classic experience with a unique seaside twist. Product Lines Epicuren, Babor, Pytomer, San Diego Soap Company and Clarisonic.

The Spa at La Costa

Nature enhances every transcendent moment at the Spa at La Costa, Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Location 2100 Costa del Mar Road

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Carlsbad, CA 92009

experience. When you visit us, the Spa is yours to enjoy for the entire day, not just

Reservations 800.854.5000

for the length of your treatment. Indulge in the picturesque garden courtyard with


its sparkling pool, Jacuzzi, invigorating waterfall showers, fragrant herb garden,

original spa resort. Just voted #1 in Southern California by Spa magazine and #4 in

Spa Cafe and comfortable chaise lounges for relaxing in the sunshine. Enjoy indoor


amenities like relaxation lounges, steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi. Feel inspired by

DĂŠcor Spanish Colonial with

the all new Reflexology Path, a popular wellness experience in Asia, brought to

picturesque garden courtyard.

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Signature Service Spanish Herbal Body Rub. Product Lines ZO Skin Health,

This spring, The Spa at La Costa emerges fresh from an interior redesign and

Pevonia, Epicuren.

announces a new line up of soothing treatments. Follow us on Facebook, or sign up on our website for the SpaVite program, which gives you the inside track on monthly specials, spa group celebrations and popular events like Spa Under the Stars.

Spa L’Auberge Spa L’Auberge is the perfect place to get lost at sea. As guests arrive, they are welcomed into a modern day beach house that blends fresh and chic touches with creature

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Del Mar, CA 92014

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and beachy color palette and walls adorned with surfboards. Spa L’Auberge is a place to take a moment and enjoy, to breathe in the sea air and to linger.

Highlights Décor A modern day beach house,

When you’re looking for your next moments of repose, look no further than Spa L’Auberge’s Pacific Pause package. It’s the perfect way to spend a few hours away from it all. Enjoy a 50-minute L’Auberge Luxe Massage and a 50-minute Sensitive Facial before heading to the resort’s award-winning signature restaurant, KITCHEN 1540, for a delicious lunch. Additional spa offerings include body treatments, couple’s suite selections, manicures and pedicures, salon services and our signature Seaside Sojourns.

Spa L’Auberge is contemporary, comfortable and cheerful. Signature Service The Pacific Pause is the perfect escape for any schedule, offering a massage, facial and lunch at KITCHEN 1540. Product Lines Favorites include Olavie, MoroccanOil, Skinceuticals and Thalisens.

The Spa at Rancho Bernardo Inn

Rated the Best Resort Spa in North America by Condé Nast Traveler, The Spa at Rancho Bernardo Inn offers a tranquil, expansive setting for a bachelorette party, wedding shower, baby shower, birthday...or a “just because” event.

Location 17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive San Diego, CA 92128

You can customize your event with additional spa treatments, live music, décor,

Reservations 866.578.1883

lunch or dinner menus, cocktails and more. Host a semi-private party during spa


hours or consider a complete buy-out of the spa for exclusive, private access day or night. After all, there’s nothing more lovely than to spa under the stars. Better

Highlights Décor Old World Romance with California

yet, treat your BFFs to a party in our Spa Garden, featuring outdoor lounges, a hydro-therapy tub, and treatment casitas surrounding a soothing water feature.

Mission-style red-tile roofs and dark wood. Signature Service Seasonal “Made Fresh

Services range from classic to customized, with made-to-order treatments created

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pair seasonal ingredients with a treat from the resort’s renowned culinary team. To

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end your day of relaxation, we invite you to enjoy a spa lunch underneath one of the

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cabanas alongside our private saline Spa Pool.

The Spa at Rancho Valencia is a haven for vibrant, radiant living. A place to refresh, restore and renew. Fresh ingredients, pure essential oils and healing benefits from the

The Spa at Rancho Valencia

sea are integrated into our facial and body therapies. Leading-edge, non-invasive skin care treatments and the ultimate in sensual couplesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; treatments, await your pleasure.

Location 5921 Valencia Circle Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

Upon entering this gentle oasis, guests are invited to partake in a paradise for the

Reservations 858.759.6490

senses and free themselves from the stresses of the everyday world. Amenities include


hot and cold plunge pools, sauna and steam rooms and private sun gardens. Our results-oriented, ingredient-driven therapies draw inspiration from the region.

Highlights DĂŠcor Designed in classic California

Our delightful Spring Quench* is a wonderful way to leave winter behind and prepare

Hacienda style incorporating Spanish

your skin for spring! Enjoy a relaxing and purifying back exfoliation followed by a deeply

mosaics and European tiles.

moisturizing shea butter massage. Then float away in a variety of therapeutic pools. We

Signature Service The Essence Massage,

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Tangerine Tango, Rosemary Drench,

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Sensations from the Sea. Product Lines Mary Cohr, Somme,

*Spring Quench: 60 minutes/$100; seasonal quench specials vary year round.

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Cafe Chloe RATING

721 9th Ave., 619.232.3242, What the stars mean: = fair, some noteworthy qualities; = good, above average; = very good, well above norm; = excellent, among the area’s best; = world-class, extraordinary in every detail. Reviews are based on multiple visits. Ratings reflect the reviewer’s overall reaction to food, ambience and service.

SAY CHEESE Chef Grebow is a turophile—a clinical term for a cheese addict. In six years, she’s served more than 500 artisanal creations, rotating them every week. MEAT YOUR MAKER Sous chef Jacob

Rodriguez makes all of the charcuterie in-house (a miracle of small-space ingenuity). Try the chicken paté. AIN’T THAT SPECIAL In typical bistro

style, they make regular specials Monday through Thursday, including Steak Tartare Sundays and Cassoulet Thursdays. (The steak hache burger is served at lunch on Mondays.)

In Charm’s Way Six years in, the non-Frenchies at Cafe Chloe have mastered the art of the French bistro. | By Troy Johnson | Photography by Ethan Pines |

HOURS Mon.-Fri., 7:30AM10:30PM; Sat., 8:30AM-10:30PM; Sun., 8:30AM-9:30PM. Brunch Sat.-Sun., 8:30AM-3:30PM. Afternoon tea daily, 3-5PM. PRICES Dinner appetizers $6-

Cool is hard to come by. Costco doesn’t sell it (Apple does). It’s the difference between Ben Stiller and Kevin Spacey. I’d love to joke with Stiller, but I’d want to be Spacey. Spacey has that cerebral, just-nippedmoonshine self-assuredness they don’t teach at Lee Strasberg. Males are required to both envy and loathe him for making the rest of us look so damn goofy. Similarly, French chefs must loathe Cafe Chloe. The East Village bistro oozes casual sophistication. It’s not snobby. Owners Tami Ratliffe, Alison McGrath and John Clute are hospitable, elegant. Meals here feel like dinner parties thrown by your closest, most sophisticated friends—the ones who don’t believe Jägermeister is a suitable aperitif. The biggest crime? None of them is French. Shucksters! Snake oilers! Geniuses! Chloe doesn’t fit San Diego. It belongs in a nontouristy arrondissement or San Francisco’s Mission District, filled with installation artists and documentary filmmakers who openly weep for well-cooked crepes. I know. I’m yet another native who thinks his city 130 |


March/April 2011

isn’t cool enough. An apologist for Tommy Bahamas and tribal tattoos. Guilty. It’s getting better. We’re no longer a chain depository. North Park was built on the demand for DIY gourmet. But, especially downtown, too many restaurants fall prey to a kitschy beach-vacation aesthetic. The city has an acute souvenir reflex. So what makes Chloe so enviable? It’s not the gallery of Man Ray photos—fairly certain Ikea sells those by now. It’s not just the wooden floors, gracefully aged like Helen Mirren. It’s not the bistro chairs or the subdued brown-black-white color scheme. It may be the French guys drinking the pink stuff, or the hip lesbians discreetly wooing each other at the bar. It’s all of it. In unison. A hole-in-the-wall portal to Monmartre, minus the over-inflated sense of cultural pride. It’s the sort of place that makes Economistreading CFOs want to write bad poetry and rekindle their communist collegiate ideals over a bowl of continued... moulles frites.

$13.50; dinner entrées $14.75$22; desserts $7-$8.50; lunch entrées $10.50-$17.50; breakfast $7.50-$12; brunch entrées, $9.50-$17.50

MILKING IT! Clockwise from top left: The cozy dining room at Cafe Chloe; the famed mac ‘n’ cheese; house-made ice cream; the artisanal cheese plate

!"#$"%$&'$("))'*+$,"-). LA JOLLA, CA 92037 Impressive, is the best word to describe this approximately 10,000 sq ft home with views beyond expectations. Enter the oversized front doors to the glamorous marble entry that would be envied in Hollywood, and immediately see the north shore whitewater view. The family and living room have floor to ceiling windows which emphasize the rooms’ spacious proportions. Climb the ornately detailed curved staircase to the over 3500 sq ft master bedroom suite and enjoy views of the beaches to the south as well as endless ocean views to the north. This suite has his and hers baths, closets and separate office areas. Take the elevator down to the lower level with full width recreation room and circular granite bar, all overlooking the inviting swimming pool. This home has many large comfortable living spaces complimented by 9 fireplaces, luxurious amenities and did we mention the views? OFFERED AT $7,999,000

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Chloe is the sort of place that makes Economistreading CFOs want to write bad poetry and rekindle their communist collegiate ideals over a bowl of moulles frites.

FRANCLY, DARLING From top: Carlsbad Aquafarms mussels with a sauce of tomatoes, onions, garlic, wine and pimentón; romance, poster-style

132 |


March/April 2011

...continued Chloe’s ownership is a threesome. Husband-wife duo Clute (an S.D. native) and McGrath met years ago while working as servers at Cafe Japengo. They bonded over a mutual infatuation with Euro café culture. Clute has the high-food pedigree (Jardinière in S.F., Mister A’s at home). Ratliffe is a restaurant lifer, a whip-smart operations guru (and decent cook). They opened Chloe in 2004, when East Village was still a good place for “psst... over here” commerce. And they’ve seemingly been on hand tending to guests and fresh flowers and glasses of Gavi di Gavi every minute of every day. The squatters may actually live here. Chef Katie Grebow may as well be a fourth owner. She’s a talent, snatched from The W Hotel to open the kitchen. Actually, calling it a kitchen is grandiose. A telephone booth knocked over on its side, maybe. A place claustrophobics go to die. For seven years she’s honed her local, seasonal, organic, cheese-obsessed fare. She’s got an art degree from some college, and it shows in her approach to your mouth and its happiness. Grebow’s mac ‘n’ cheese—er, excuse me, macaroni,

pancetta and Bleu d’Auvergne gratin—is dreamy. The top is crusty, caramelized fromage that gives way upon touch, like the bouffant of someone gone got a little too crazy with the hair product. A classic bistro salad makes endive sexier than it has any right to be—that fibrous, waif model lettuce, overplayed because of its precious name. But with a poached egg and inch-big croutons, it’s saved from its own mediocrity. At lunch, two immaculately dressed French businessmen share a bottle of rosé (“Separate check for that one, please”) as I dive into the burger. It crumbles under the pressure. What it lacks in structural integrity it makes up for in taste. That crumpled butter-crown of brioche bun, that ground hangar steak patty—I pretend each broken part is a slider and enjoy the hell out of it. A Dungeness crab Louie boasts a pantryAmerica dressing of ketchup and mayo bolstered with horseradish, lemon juice, tarragon and green bells. That tarte flambé? The one covered in such an obscene pile of bacon parts that one has to wonder if it’s a personal beef between Grebow and swine? It’s delicious, with flatbread lathered in creme fraîche and topped with caramelized onions. As for the extra bacon? Eat it, fool. Her pomme frites are shoestring, naturally. The dainty indulgences are crisped with rice oil, which makes them downright healthy in today’s duck fatcrazy fry world. Forget ketchup. It’s her watercress sauce (scallions, lime juice, serrano chile) that’s truly good, a creamy bit of grass with an attitude. Most remarkable, though, is the Duroc pork chop, brined for four days and rubbed with caraway, mustard and coriander seeds, then served with a sauerkraut (sautéed with onions, pork fat, wine and juniper) and a pomegranate-Dijon sauce. It’s rich pork-fat splendor spiked with sour juice and seeds that pop. Plated, it looks like a still life of a gorgeous murder scene. The food isn’t always spellbinding. Our rabbit rillette tastes mostly of the nuts that top it; plus, we find a chunk of Thumper cartilage in the mix. I know cooking bone-in enhances flavor, but in a rillette it’s simply a mistake. A grouper over dirty rice tastes a bit too aquatic, although the sweet Suzie’s Farms peppers are roasted into a sweet, near-gelatinous state where they could be food—or they could be the things Dorothy ate that made her have that killer dream with the dancing lion and the flying monkeys. Sublime. Their ice creams are made in-house and often a bit icy for my liking. But served in an adorable pewter cup, it could be freeze-dried Rite Aid brand with Magic Shell coating and I’d be happy for the experience. And pastry chef Derek Feldman’s apple tart—sweet pastry dough, ice cream, creme fraiche and rough, crunchy sugar—is fantastic. That’s the thing. Even when Chloe falls a little short... it’s still Chloe. San Diego needs more Chloes for the same reason the socially inept need avatars. The place makes you feel cooler than you really are. It has soul. Not the sort of crystal-consulting, hairbraiding boardwalk soul. Real soul, attained by four sophisticated people who listen to their bleeding little romantic hearts and work really frickin’ hard. R

La Amatista Road, Del Mar

| $2,195,000 |

Sun Valley Lane, Del Mar | $1,695,000

Camino De La Costa, La Jolla $7,500/week

Camino De La Costa, Del Mar | $5,595,000

Ocean Front, Del Mar $7,500/week

24th St, Del Mar $5,000/week



858.583.4714 DIRECT 858.481.7939 OFFICE


The Grille Next Door

Chew on This

Torreyana Grille at the La Jolla Hilton steps up its game.

Get the scoop on Hillcrest’s Italian arrival and the new Dragon downtown.

Hillcrest gets new mod Italian with Tre Porcellini.

Hillcrest had a tough decade. Killer restaurants drove up the rent, which killed the killer restaurants. But new blood is coming in. Like Tre Porcellini (, an Italian concept from former Il Fornaio exec chef Roberto Gerbino that replaces Bite on University. Specialty? Risotto, including a Champagne strawberry shrimp version and a mac ‘n’ cheese take. > > > Real Asian food in downtown? Looks like it with Dragon’s Den (thedragonsdensd. com)—a noodles, sushi and cocktails joint. The Chinese and Japanese menu will be crafted by Chinese-born chef Mr. Zhu, while the lounge

aspect is the brainchild of Michael Lou (ex-JBar). > > > S.D. beer cupcake innovators Pubcakes ( has teamed with Treehouse Coffee Co. ( for a javaand-cakes store in East County. > > > Knight Salumi, the artisanal cured-meat company that made a delicious finochionna, has called it a day. A few of our taste buds just committed hari kari. > > > Foodie event of the month: Rhythm & Vine (—wine, chefs, music, the works at Westfield North County Mall on April 9 to benefit the Boys & Girls Club. –Troy Johnson

Thai One On! Watch out, Cohns. S.D.’s got a new empire of eats. After 13 years as a Hillcrest hot spot, Amarin Thai ( has finally spun off two new spots. Family matriarch Suree saw this as a chance to showcase three different dining philosophies. Amarin’s loose, uptown vibe acts as an evening launching point. Siam Nara’s (8993 Mira Mesa Blvd.) gorgeous traditional design is like a secret paradise in a nondescript strip mall. And P.B.’s Narraya (4475 Mission Blvd.) will attract the date crowd with a wine lounge. (Be prepared, 134 |


March/April 2011

Gorgeous traditional Thai décor meets strip mall at Siam Nara.

you’re sitting on the floor.) Suree assures diners all three restaurants will keep the Old World flair—right down to the chic silk uniforms donned by staff. –Gene Brown

“Do you know A.R. Valentien?” I asked my good friend, a captain at one of San Diego’s top restaurants. “Yes! Lemme ask for the night off!” he replied. “I’m going to the place next door,” I continued. “Sorry, gotta work,” he replied. His loss. For years, the Hilton’s Torreyana Grille has stood in the shadows of Valentien, the world-class dining room at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Sure, the Hilton’s a little more austere. But it’s got that Woods-ian view of the golf course, and a recent redesign warmed over the restaurant with polished wood frames and black tiled supports. Chef Cipriano Mancilla and F&B director Naomi Gross have also stepped into a size 4 carbon footprint with a local seasonal menu (which, in farm-rich SoCal, should be mandated by law). The obligatory ahi tower is revived with a crunchy seaweed salad and tropically exotic tamarind sauce.

Torreyana’s wild grilled king salmon

An abuela-inspired stuffed eggplant consists of roasted squash, quinoa, tomato-basil sauce and Oaxacan cheese. It’s homey Mexican comfort food you might find at indie faves like Super Cocina. Except it’s lighter, cleaner, more refined—a vegetarian delight. A Colorado lamb rack gets a healthy conscience with Swiss chard (plus some sweet raisins and fat-happy pine nuts). Risottos, polentas and applewood bacon mac ‘n’ cheese also dot the menu for those fans of gourmet domestica. No post-procedure discounts for Scripps Clinic patients, but 15 percent off all food and drinks for locals. –GB

!"#$%&"'()!") *+,(---(---).)/-(---)%01"#2)3224).)/56)"!#2%).)712%4)891%2).):);<=142%)49)>"$9;"#)"<#>9#4)




Wheying In

That’s the Spirit Ballast Point ( was named Best Small Brewing Company in the World at the 2010 World Beer Cup. Their next award? May not even be for brew. Headman Yuseff Cherney is making a name for BP as San Diego’s lone craft distillery. Last year, his fresh-from-the-still Devil’s Share Whiskey won a gold medal from the American Distillers Institute. Getting anointed in Kentucky for a spirit with zero barrel time is a big deal, but Cherney isn’t fasttracking the Devil to market. “Our main production is beer, so we don’t need to rush,” he explains. “The spirits are kinda like a hobby. Releasing them early doesn’t make sense.” When Devil’s Share finally hits stores this summer, expect plenty of smoky char and vanilla from heavily stained, virgin oak barrels. Also expect Ballast Point Fugu Vodka, named after potentially deadly Japanese blowfish. Says Cherney, “Just like you trust master sushi chefs to prepare fugu with expert precision, you trust our artisan distillers to expertly craft a fine vodka.” Those will join Three Sheets Rum and Old Grove Gin on the BP spirit roster. Adam Stemmler, creative director for S.D.’s Refine Cocktail Mixers, is already a big fan. “Old Grove is an unabashed expression of London Dry style, loaded with coriander, gooseberry, nutmeg and grapefruit zest,” he says. Tastes of Louisville and London, by way of Scripps Ranch. –Brandon Hernández

136 |


March/April 2011

Peter Zien, owner and head brewer at S.D.’s acclaimed AleSmith Brewing Co. (, is serious about his cheese. The disciple of the Cal Poly Dairy Institute and American Cheese Society is now perfecting a line of AleSmith cheeses—some made with his beer and others designed to accompany it—that will be for sale at their Mira Mesa tasting room. Zien’s fi rst foray into fromage came when he supplied goat farmers with some of AleSmith’s spent grain. They gave him some milk in return, which Zien crafted into a chevre. Since then, he’s developed a thing for cows, using moo juice to manufacture English-style Leicester, aged true blue Stilton and snackably fresh curds like the kind he enjoyed growing up in the dairy-centric American Midwest. There is, however, one rare milk he’d love to experiment with: polar bear. “It’s 32 percent dairy fat,” says Zien, adding with a smile, “You hold the polar bear and I’ll milk it.” –BH

In the Can Craft beer is a bottle biz. But SDSU alum Wesley Keegan is going oldschool for his TailGate Beer (tailgatebeer. com), becoming the first brewer south of Mammoth to serve beer in a can. Bottles may be sexier, but cans are far superior for keeping beer fresh by blocking out oxygen and natural light. “When I started this company, it was about becoming a confluence of two major

industries: beer and tailgating,” says Keegan. “Glass bottles and kegs aren’t even allowed at Qualcomm or Petco. We need aluminum cans. It’s everything our company is about.” –BH


STILL OF THE NIGHT Ballast Point’s copper distillation setup, cranking out S.D.’s only craft spirits

Where to eat now. This is not all-inclusive. These are only the restaurants we’ d reccomend to friends we like.

$$$$ $$$ $$ $

Very Expensive ( $ 60 and up) Expensive ( $ 40- $ 60) Moderate ( $ 30- $ 40) Inexpensive (under $ 30)

Updated New Hot Spot 2010 Restaurant Awards

Nine-Ten Locals rejoice! The beloved Nine-Ten is no longer dark Sundays and Mondays. Chef Jason Knibb has turned this restaurant into one of the top go-to spots for S.D. epicures. His Jamaican jerk pork belly is a star dish. Pastry chef Jack Fisher makes the best molten chocolate cake in town. Don’t handcuff Knibb—go for a “mercy of the chef ” and let the guy run wild. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 910 Prospect St., 858.964.5400, $$$

Prepkitchen The on-the-go offshoot of nearby Whisknladle, here you can get quick bites like a Niman Ranch roast beef sandwich and roasted Jidori chicken— based around the sort of “family meals” chef Ryan Johnston makes for his staff over at Whisk. One of the best casual options in San Diego. Tip: Find eight parking spots in the rear. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. 7556 Fay Ave., 858.875.7737, $

Roppongi BELLY UP! Owner Jeff Hunter, chef Jason Maitland and GM Jerome Astolfi have big expectations to meet at Flavor Del Mar’s marquee location, but so far they’re packing ’em in for meaty gems like this pork belly with oxtail ravioli.

La Jolla Barbarella Restaurant & Bar The atmosphere is hip and space is limited, so be prepared to spend some time sipping wine or a special Martini in the bustling bar. The dishes change to reflect what’s fresh and bountiful at the markets. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 2171 Avenida De La Playa, 858.454.7373, $$

George’s California Modern One of the city’s best oceanfront views, and one of the city’s best chefs. Trey Foshee’s “fish tacos” were recently featured on the Food Network and

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pesce fans are flocking for the inside-out gems. On the dinner menu, Muscovy duck breast is fantastic, as is the grilled octopus. Foshee has also introduced a suckling pig dinner, an ancient delicacy available for private parties of 10 adventurous friends. Dinner daily. 1250 Prospect St., 858.454.4244, $$$

The Marine Room Yeah, the spot where the waves hit the window. But the big news is that chef Bernard Guillas will be inducted into the Maitre de Cuisiniers de Frances (Master French Chef designation—a huge deal) on March 14. The man makes his own organic tofu and hand-churned butter. Try their green curry-braised Berkshire

Sushi chef Warren Almeda is the newest addition to this Asian-fusion fine dining spot from Sami Ladeki (Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza). Almeda is serving up dishes like his version of the BLT (bacon, avocado, tomatoes and crab meat in a sushi roll). A few small plates here can make a great meal, especially during happy hour when they’re half-price on the patio or in the café. They also offer a gluten-free menu (Polynesian crab stack, ahi poke, lamb chops, etc.). Lunch and dinner daily. 875 Prospect St., 858.551.5252, $$

Tapenade With head chef Jean-Michel Diot, there is hardly a misstep at this Southern French bistro. Our favorite part is the olive tapenade delivered to your table as soon as you sit down: a mix of olives, garlic, capers and fresh herbs. On March 31, they’ll host a six-course Bordeaux Chateaux wine dinner, including poached oysters, monkfish, braised

lamb shoulder and heart of ribeye ($72). Oh, lord. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner daily. 7612 Fay Ave., 858.551.7500, $$

Whisknladle Whisk is now three years in and doesn’t show sign of slippage. Centered around chef Ryan Johnston’s housemade specialties (a killer meat plate, pasta and ice cream) and the bar’s high-minded cocktails (“London’s Burning” has roasted jalapeño water, lime and gin), this is one of S.D.’s top local-seasonal spots. They just launched a monthly supper club on the last Tuesday of every month; strangers become pals in the private dining room, which seats 14 (rotating prix fixe menu). Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.–Sun. 1044 Wall St., 858.551.7575, $$

Torrey Pines/UTC Adobe El Restaurante The rustic style of Estancia naturally leads to a restaurant with a SoCal accent, fusing fresh, locally grown ingredients with bold flavors. The menu features a delicious ahi tuna burger at lunch and mesquite wood fire-grilled creations at dinner. Add a gigantic Margarita or a California wine to complete the meal. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Tue.–Sat. 9700 N. Torrey Pines Road, 858.964.6500, $$$

A.R. Valentien at The Lodge at Torrey Pines Executive chef Jeff Jackson, a winner of the Bocuse d’Or Culinary Gold Cup, led the S.D. charge in using the whole animal. So, needless to say, his housecured meat plate is fantastic. So is their drugstore burger—a simple, classic moo-stack that other chefs continually try to mimic (tip: heat-seekers should order the off-menu “atomic burger”). Join the other gourmands Thursday nights at the artisan’s table dinners. Their vintner dinners kick off on April 28 with Mary Calhoun, owner of Landmark Vineyards. Lunch and dinner daily, breakfast Sat.-Sun. 11480 N. Torrey Pines Road, 858.777.6635, $$$$

Truluck’s Seafood, Steak, Crab House After a restricted catch, the season for King crab is reopened and Truluck’s



pork cheeks with pickled mango and smoked almond or the housemade duck charcuterie. These days, the wine program is tops with F&B manager Lisa Redwine, who’s taking her Master Sommelier exams. Easter brunch will be served from 10am to 4pm. Dinner daily. 2000 Spindrift Drive, 858.459.7222, $$$$

FOOD DRINK Guide is serving it up. They specialize in sustainably fished stone crabs (caught by their own fishing fleet in Florida and delivered to S.D. within 24 hours). Also try the miso-glazed sea bass with crab fried rice and cucumber slaw, plus filet of beef Oscar with fresh blue crab meat. Cocktails are half-off from 4:30-7pm. Dinner nightly. 8990 University Center Lane, 858.453.2583, $$$

Rancho Santa Fe Mille Fleurs Riviera awarded the RSF institution as one of three “Best French” restaurants in 2010. Whether you go with surf (scallops with blood orange-ginger sauce) or turf (veal sweetbreads with hedgehog mushrooms), the menu is worthy of any celebration. Their tomato consommé is a guest favorite, prepared slowly over two days. With a three-course prix fixe menu for $40 (!) Sunday through Thursday, this next-level cuisine has never been so approachable. Lunch Tue.–Fri., dinner daily. 6009 Paseo Delicias, 858.756.3085, $$$

Del Mar Addison With an exclusive wine list, unparalleled service and a menu executed by Chef William Bradley, this Grand Del Mar restaurant is second to none. Bradley was just added to the Relaix & Chateau’s Grand Chefs list of the world’s best—one of only 16 American chefs (Boulud, Danko, Keller... you get the picture). Menu changes seasonally, and hte chef just added a sweet pea ravioli with bottarga di muggine. Wine Director Jesse Rodriguez is one of three advanced-level sommeliers on the staff (nowhere else comes close to that much vino expertise). Dinner Tue.-Sat. 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, 858.314.1900, $$$$

Del Mar Rendezvous On the street level of the Del Mar Plaza, Rendezvous offers an adventurous selection of Asian tapas and Chinese entrées. It’s the only restaurant to offer full gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan menus, including dishes with their healthful Konnyaku noodles. The walnut shrimp cloaked in a creamy garlic sauce is an intense study in savory and sweet. Wednesdays

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and Sundays are jam-packed thanks to half-off wine bottles. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. 1555 Camino del Mar, 858.755.2669, $$

Flavor One of our favorite carnivorous chefs, Jason Maitland (ex-Arterra) is finally set up at a marquee restaurant worthy of his skills. The restaurant is divided into two distinct personalities—the cocktail-clubbish bar area and the the formal dining patio. His standard prime filet is butter-soft, with four sauces (try the béarnaise or the bordelaise) and his Laughing Bird prawns with avo and pomegranate vinaigrette are inspired sea stuff. But it’s his foie gras terrine made with a marinade of Tokay, salt, pepper and tangerine zest that truly blew our minds. They’re launching a Bloody Mary cocktail menu with four different recipes from different regions. Lunch and dinner daily. 1555 Camino del Mar, 858.755.3663, $$$

Jake’s Del Mar It’s been around forever because it’s simply one of the most memorable oceanfront dining experiences in Southern California. The waitstaff is friendly, energetic and knowledgeable about both the menu and the city of Del Mar. The loaf of warm sourdough bread that arrives at your table is the perfect break for a low-carb dieter. Lunch and dinner daily. 1660 Coast Blvd., 858.755.2002, $$

Kitchen 1540 Paul McCabe is one of the top chefs in S.D., and Kitchen 1540’s elite (but not stuffy) clientele attests to his skills. McCabe sources local meats (Palomar Mountain burgers) and his pan-roasted sweetbreads with smoked almond milk is drop-jaw good. But it’s his roasted beet salad—with caramelized yogurt and pistachio brittle—that everyone raves about. McCabe is introducing some freakishly cool items (geoducks, cockscombs), installing a proper wine bar (with an iPad list) and christening a White Flag Menu—where you pick a general direction and he improvises until you waive for surrender. On March 8 they’ll host a wine dinner with Joseph Phelps. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 1540 Camino del Mar, 858.793.6460, $$$

Market S.D. chef darling Carl Schroeder took over this renamed Del Mar staple, injecting signature flair and farm-fresh sensibilities. Most legendary? Those Cabernet-braised short ribs. But, really, anything from Schroeder is fantastic. He’s one of the city’s best chefs, and his deft skills with fresh produce (almost exclusively from famed Chino Farms) is second-to-none. It’s a tough weekend table to get, but worth every obsessive call to the hostess. Dinner daily. 3702 Via De La Valle, 858.523.0007, $$

Pacifica Del Mar Del Mar locals know to head here for the killer ocean view and for the endless, fresh seafood overseen by new chef Evan Cruz (ex-Roy’s La Jolla). The happy hour offers excellent deals, their signature Margarita is fantastic, and Wine Spectator has awarded the wine list multiple times. They recently added Luna oysters with melon spheres and basil seeds—an instant favorite. Their sous vide lobster with parsnip-apple soup rounds out the seasonal menu. Their upcoming monthly wine dinners will showcase FerrariCarano (March 16) and Freemark Abbey (April 20). Lunch and dinner daily. 1555 Camino Del Mar, 858.792.0476, $$$

Sbicca For over a decade Dan and Susan Sbicca have been a main attraction in Del Mar. Susan Sbicca has left the kitchen to pursue cookbooks, with chef de cuisine Bryan Graham taking over as head toque. Regular favorites include the housemade ravioli with asparagus and mascarpone in a lemon-basil buerre blanc, or the sea scallops with lemongrass vinaigrette. An upstairs terrace, charming patio and dimmed dining room offer ambiance options. 215 15th St., 858.481.1001. $$

Tommy V’s Steak and Chop House The corridor to Rancho Santa Fe finally has a good dinner option outside of Market. Tomaso Maggiore cooks steaks Italian-style (like the bistecca Siciliana). But he still includes fantastic housemade pastas, including a daily ravioli special. Also try the mozzarella sampling, the bone-in ribeye for two, or the lobster pizza (available at the bar). For “Tommy’s Choice Tuesdays,” Tommy

cooks whatever’s inspiring him—three courses for $20. Thursdays they screen escape movies on the wall (Shawshank Redemption, The Prisoner) and give away hotel escape packages. Dinner daily. 3790 Via De La Valle, 858.259.3663, $$$

Solana Beach/Cardiff Blanca When Blanca lost top chef Jason Neroni, we thought they might fall into the abyss. But new chef Gavin Schmidt (exKoi) is a real talent, obsessively focused on the freshest local ingredients he can find (including foraging the Solana beach break for local kelp). Schmidt does things old school by baking over a half-dozen breads in-house and milling his own brown rice. Try “A Day on the Farm with Willis Ranch,” a unique combination of vegetables, six variations of pork (trotters!) and Blanca’s original “soil,” consisting of burnt leak, pistachio and cocoa powder. Dinner Mon.Sat. 437 S. Hwy. 101, 858.792.0072, $$$

Masuo’s Restaurant Interesting names and combos make the sushi rolls at Masuo’s a surefire adventure in contemporary Japanese cuisine. Masuo takes control of the lively front dining room and sushi bar, while the back patio is a fun place for sake and sashimi. Lunch Mon.Fri., dinner daily. 145 S. Hwy. 101, 858.481.6363. $$

Samurai Restaurant The waitresses don kimonos and the sushi chefs greet you with smiles. The raw dishes are prepared as lovingly as the cooked ones, and large groups are welcome to down a few rounds of sake. Lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner daily. 979 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, 858.481.0032. $$

Zenbu Sushi The second dark, clubby sushi den from Matt Rimel, an S.D. native who owns the fishing company, Ocean Giant. Locals love the crispy fried whole rockfish and the salmon spider roll. The largest attraction aside from the food is the 2,000-gallon fish tank, where diners often see their meal pulled moments before eating. Well, that and the feral cougars with martinis in hand. t’s the hottest hangout in Solana. Stop in to check the scene on “Wet

FOOD DRINK Guide Wednesdays”—one of the city’s busiest hump day hangouts. Dinner nightly. 2003 San Elijo Ave., 760.633.2223, $$$$

Convoy Izakaya Sakura Convoy Street is where you go for authentic Asian food in San Diego, and Sakura is one of the best. The massive menu ranges from perfectly fashioned nigiri, bento box lunches, homemade ramen noodles and whole fried mackerel. Can get pricey if you don’t watch it. Note: There is no sign on the facade; only the tenacious find it. Lunch and dinner daily. 3904 Convoy St., 858.569.6151, $$

Phuong Trang Probably the most authentic Vietnamese restaurant in San Diego, with a fantastic pho and marinated lobster. The menu is massive, so first-timers might do well to point to other tables and say, “One of those, please.” We recently did exactly that, unknowingly pointing to the owner and his friends. They promptly brought us over part of their dinner—with a smile. It’s that kind of place. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 4170 Convoy St., 858.565.6750, $$

Robota-ya Oton This little box in the wall is one of Convoy’s top Japanese restaurants, with great hot pots (to be dipped in raw egg), plus daring delicacies like beef tongue and monkfish liver. Six private rooms are available (shoes off, please), plus minimal bar seating. This is where Tom Chino eats when he’s in the neighborhood, which explains the Chino Farms salad. Dinner nightly. 5447 Kearny Villa Road, 858.277.3989. $$ $

Hillcrest/Banker’s Hill/Mission Hills/Five Points/Old Town Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant The casual offshoot of Market by chef Carl Schroeder and co-owner Terryl Gavre is an instant neighborhood hit. Try the deviled eggs, served warm and fresh with capers and bacon. The burger? Oh, lord, what a gem—made of chuck, brisket and short rib on a brioche bun. For dessert, it’s all about the butterscotch

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pudding with crème fraîche, caramel and toffee bits. Dinner daily. 2202 Fourth Ave., 619.231.0222, $$

Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner nightly. 3964 Harney St., 619.295.3272, $$

Bertrand at Mister A’s

Hash House A Go Go

Atop the 12th floor of the Mister A’s building, Bertrand offers magnificent views of the city skyline—eye-to-eye with 747s landing at Lindbergh. The bar menu is perfect for an after-work bite, with specials like $7 sliders or truffle fries and $6 glasses of wine from 2:306PM on weekdays. Try Chef Stéphane Voitzwinkler’s 48-hour, Cabernetbraised short ribs with shallot sauce. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. 2550 Fifth Ave. (12th Floor), 619.239.1379, $$$$

Portions at this “twisted farm food” spot are obscenely large. Pop-culture staples like Snickers and Strawberry Frosted Flakes spice up the pancakes. Chef Andy Beardslee’s signature hashes have made this one of the best places for breakfast in the city (the massive line proves it). Locals know they can get escape the crowd to their sister restaurant down the street—The Tractor Room, which has similar food (fried chicken benedict is ridiculously good) and $3 Bloody Marys. As for the Highlander (a Bloody made with Scotch instead of vodka)? A-ma-zing. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. 3628 5th Ave., 619.298.4646, $

Cucina Urbana S.D. restaurateur Tracy Borkum turned the space (formerly Laurel) into a rustic gem where nothing on the menu is over $20. Atmosphere? Packed, lively, comeas-you-are. They specialize in artisanal pizzas like pancetta-and-egg, though the standard mushroom pie is fantastic (with truffle oil). For lunch, it’s the porchetta and Brie panini. Their in-house retail store stocks affordable, well-selected wines you can drink on premises or take home. Dinner Tue.-Sun. 505 Laurel St., 619.239.2222, $$

Hane Sushi The sister location of famed San Diego sushi house, Sushi Ota. Chef Roger Nakamura studied under master Ota for 10 years, learning the intricacies of how to turn raw fish into art. Whereas Ota is traditional, Hane adds a little modern flair for creations like the Kitchen Sink Roll—a massive juggernaut of sea creatures (tuna, octopus, salmon, etc.). Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Sat.-Sun. 2760 Fifth Ave., 619.260.1411. $$

Harney Sushi This is S.D.’s original sushi-meetsclub joint, with a new remodel and a 10-year anniversary shindig on April 25 (limited amount of tix available to public). It’s loud and excitable like a college party, but the sushi is legit. Local favorites include the “Bomb, James Bomb” roll, a tempura-fried California roll with cream cheese, spicy scallop, mayo and eel sauce. Sounds very un-sushis, but they do have fresh fish and nigiri on order. Harney also allows you to build-your-own with the “What Cha Really Really Want” roll. DJs play Friday and Saturday nights.

Lefty’s Chicago Pizzeria Opened by Chicago natives, this is as close as you’ll get to Chi-town pies without booking a flight. They offer thin crust, deep dish and stuffedcrust, plus Italian beef sandwiches and pasta. “The Meaty Pie” satisfies the hearty with sausage, pepperoni, beef and meatballs, while “The Farmers Market” is a leaf-eater special topped with eggplant, zucchini and garlic. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. 4030 Goldfinch St., 619.299.4030, $

Saffron San Diego’s first authentic Thai restaurant opened nearly 25 years ago. Now, owner Sui-Mei Yu is a nationally known chef and cookbook author. The menu changes seasonally, but Thaigrilled chicken is a signature dish, as well as pad Thai and healthy noodle dishes. In March, she’s offering two cooking classes (March 19 and 26), which will include a shopping spree to local Asian markets (strange foodstuff explained!). Lunch and dinner daily. 3731-B India St., 619.574.0177, $

Starlite Where do hipsters go when they trade dive bars for dining dens? Starlite, the hippest slow-food lounge in town. Though known mostly for The Mule (organic vodka, ginger beer and lime, served in a copper mug), chef Marguarite Grifka is on the rise. Try her organic mac ‘n’ cheese, the all-natural Brandt Beef burger or

her simple take on grilled octopus. Then stay a little longer and order the ice cream sandwich for dessert. Starting in March, they’re launching Sunday brunch with a breakfast grilled cheese, a “breakfast burger,” glutenfree waffles and, of course, a killer Bloody Mary. Dinner daily, brunch Sunday. 3175 India St., 619.358.9766, $$

Yakitori Yakyudori This is where S.D.’s top chefs go to decompress after a long shift. The authentic Japanese-style yakitori serves chicken hearts, beef tongue—the sort of daring, un-American cuisine that Tokyo expats and true gourmands search for, but rarely find. (They also have regular old chicken, pork and fish for the less parts-oriented in your party.) Dinner daily. 3739 6th Ave., 619.692.4189, $

Wellington Steak and Martini Lounge Wellington is a throwback steakhouse. Chef Brian Johnston (ex-El Biz) prepares prime selections of meat, including the signature beef Wellington (filo dough and mushroom sauce). Also check the martini list, including a banana split ’tini and a café chocolat with chocolate liqueur and espresso. Every Sunday they offer a three-course beef Wellington menu for $35. 741 W. Washington St., 619.295.6001, $$$

North Park/South Park University Heights/Kensington Alchemy This is South Park’s hang for good local-seasonal food at decent prices (even if portions are petite). Chef Ricardo Heredia’s Jidori half-chicken is stellar, as is his burger and pork-stuffed piquillo peppers. For March and April, look out for his whole ruby trout, or the Niman Ranch pork chop with honey bacon. They serve a vegetarian tasting menu on Wednesdays, and locals know to ask for their off-menu “beertails,” like the “Skip and Go Naked” (Ballas Point Old Grove Gin, lemon juice, housemade grenadine, Karl Strauss Golden Lager). Dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. 1503 30th St., 619.255.0616, $$

FOOD DRINK Guide El Take It Easy The offshoot of The Linkery is a collaboration with acclaimed Baja chef Jair Téllez (chef-owner of Laja in Guadalupe Valley). It’s daring gringoMex food, like octopus tostada, rabbit taquitos and tons of micheladas. In March, they’re expanding the menu with a lot more Baja-style seafood. Lunch Sat.-Sun., dinner nightly. 3926 30th St., $$

Farm House Cafe This tiny, bistro is one of the top French restaurants in S.D. Chef Olivier Bioteau’s pâtés are foodie catnip, and his escargot risotto is a local favorite. You must make reservations, or plan to wait on the sidewalk (which they occasionally make desirable with gratis amuse bouches). Dinner Tue.-Sat. 2121 Adams Ave., 619.269.9662, $$

Jayne’s Gastropub One of the first British-style gastropubs in S.D., with black-and-white décor and a charming patio. Try the white bean crostini or the fish and chips. Their burger (Niman Ranch) with Vermont cheddar and pickled onions is moan-

inducing. The big news: they recently got a full liquor license, which means cocktails have finally arrived. Dinner Tue.-Sun. 4677 30th St., 619.563.1011, $$

The Linkery San Diego’s super-progressive, superlocal meatery has undergone some big changes. First, they pulled off a great redesign of their massive, indoor-outdoor space to make the back recesses less like dining Siberia. And they’re no longer changing their menu every single day. Worry not—their housemade sausages are still available (though they’ve ceased making so many versions). And their food (baconwrapped octopus, pastured lamb stew and hand-made pastas) is still solid under direction of chef Max Bonacci. Their famous Reuben returns for St. Patrick’s Day—with For dessert? Handmade lardo ice cream sandwich with bits of candied Berkshire bacon and caramel sauce. Grossly delicious. Lunch Friday, dinner nightly, brunch Sat.-Sun. 3794 30th St., 619.255.8778, $$

The Smoking Goat

Urban Solace

Chef and owner Fred Piehl (a former cook under Jason Knibb at NineTen) opened this tiny joint in the former Commonwealth space. He serves up classic French bistro fare with a twist. The menu is short and changes often, but some constants include duck fat truffle fries and vegetarian lasagna with spinach, mushrooms and tofu. Dinner Tue.Sun. 3408 30th St., 619.955.5295, $$

Now in its fourth year, Urban Solace is a comfort-food staple in North Park. They’ve 86’d high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors and colors from the entire joint. Try the signature Brandt Farms braised beef cheeks with smoked tomato jam or the wild Alaskan sockeye salmon on toasted farro with spiced lemon butter. On weekends it’s “blunch” on Saturdays (try the cinnamon roll with butter pecan sauce) and “Bluegrass Brunch” on Sundays with, you guessed it—hillbilly music! Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch on Sunday. 3823 30th St., 619.295.6464, $$

Super Cocina Yes, it’s in an edgy part of town. But once inside, you’ll find the secret jackpot of Mexican food in San Diego, a favorite of the area’s top chefs, food writers and mole connoisseurs. This is no taco-burrito-flauta by-the-numbers joint. Here, Mexican mamas serve up over 150 recipes, which rotate every day. The owner’s son, Juan Pablo, is an affable translator who will let you sample any of the day’s dishes before making a choice. A San Diego institution. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner daily. 3627 University Ave., 619.584.6244. $

Luxury around every corner. How do you define luxury? Is it plush bedding and down comforters? Richly appointed bathrooms with thick towels and specialty bath products? Original art, authentic antiques, and lavish window treatments? At the Britt Scripps Inn, we offer this and more. Each day begins with a full-service, gourmet breakfast prepared by the Inn’s private chef and the day ends with wine and cheese in the Parlor. We have created a place where Victorian-era charm and elegance blend seamlessly with modern-day luxuries, to provide our guests with a lavish alternative to the typical bed and breakfast.

We hope to see you soon at San Diego’s historic Britt Scripps Inn!

4 0 6 M A P L E S T R E E T, S A N D I E G O • 6 1 9. 2 3 0 . 1 9 9 1 • W W W. B R I T T S C R I P P S . C O M

Fr i e n d u s o n Fa c e b o o k o r Fo l l o w u s o n Tw i t t e r !

Vagabond Conceived from the travels of owner Jerome Gombert, the menu at this South Park establishment encompasses North African, Caribbean, South American, European and Asian cuisine. The kung-pao calamari is the app of choice. For entrees, it’s the achiote-braised short rib or the aquatic bonanza known as the Brazilian moqueca (seafood stew with shrimp, white fish, clams, coconut milk, bell peppers, ginger and cilantro). Lunch

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FOOD DRINK Guide and dinner daily. 2310 30th St., 619.255.1035. $$

Little Italy Bencotto Italian Kitchen They got their liquor license! Which means this multi-level Northern Italian eatery is now offering grappa, limoncello and fresh aperitivi and cocktails. The menu is made for sharing with cheese and salumi plates, saffron fried rice (with bolognese dipping sauce) and a pasta menu that lets you choose from homemade noodles and sauce, including a pink cream with sliced pancetta. If stopping by for an al fresco lunch, try their porchetta sandwich, a simple wonder of fennel-spiked pork belly on a substantial roll. 750 W. Fir St., 619.450.4786, $$

Buon Appetito A cozy gem in the heart of Little Italy. For lunch, try the salmone alla griglia, a healthy portion of grilled salmon over chive risotto. Lunch and dinner daily. 1609 India St., 619.238.9880. $

Craft & Commerce The team of arty food nerds behind Neighborhood, Noble Experiment and El Dorado strike again. C&C is essentially a combo of all three— elevated pub grub (hot dog trio!), craft cocktails and super-crafty beers. It’s Little Italy’s hottest new hangout, with punch bowl cocktails (yes, served in a bowl, with granny-friendly teacups to share with friends). On March 10, they’ll host the after-party for MCASD’s “Thursday Night Thing (TNT).” Lunch and dinner daily. 675 W. Beech St., 619.269.2202. $

Red Velvet Wine Bar Tucked inside the modernist Q in Little Italy (next to Bencotto), Red Velvet is an oeno-centric study in contrasts. It’s jammed, it’s intimate, there’s concrete, there’s romance. Chef Luke Johnson (a vet of Alinea in Chicago and Melisse in L.A.) a different six-course seasonal menu each week (available as a tasting or a la carte). Soms Kyle Showen and Dan Stambaugh pair the food with everything from grassy whites to big, structured reds and dessert wines (they’ve got a great new selection from


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Slovenia). Neighborhood denizens show up at 10PM like clockwork. On March 16, they host a wine dinner with Scribe Winery from NorCal, pairing Guinea hens with estate Pinots. 1050 West Fir St., 619.733.9181, $$

Point Loma Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern This new Point Loma hot spot from O.C. restaurant czar David Wilhelm boasts one of the best patio dining experiences in S.D. Overlooking the super-yachts in the harbor and housed in an Orchid-winning reclaimed wood haven, JFAT specializes in behemoth burgers, old-school cocktails and southernized Americana food. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner nightly, Sunday brunch. 4990 N. Harbor Drive, 619.226.2103, $$

Sessions Public The no-man’s land between Point Loma and Ocean Beach (we’re calling it O. Loma) has a new hot spot. Longtime local Abel Kaase hired top designer

Michael Soriano for the space, with mason jar lighting, a huge honeybee mural and reclaimed décor. The food? Surprisingly good. Standouts are the beet salad with arugula and short rib sliders. Swine enthusiasts will die for their tempura-fried Nueske bacon, served on a toothpick with a spicy dipping sauce. On March 8, they’ll host Cajun Night in honor of Fat Tuesday with $5 pints of Abita (N’Awlins’ signature beer) and gumbo specials. Dinner daily. 4204 Voltaire St., 619.756.7715, $$

Tender Greens The fresh, organic salad-and-stuff eatery is already the area’s hottest lunch option. Executive chef Pete Balistreri—a Point Loma native with credentials (The Lodge at Torrey Pines)—has been named one of America’s 50 best butchers. Innovative salads include 20-month house-cured prosciutto and grilled flat iron steak over fresh butter lettuce with horseradish vinaigrette. And “executive pastry mom” Sue Brandenburg bakes up a welcome storm of pies, preserves, cookies and pastries (her spiced apple pumpkin

FOOD DRINK Guide butter was a finalist in the Good Food Awards). Lunch and dinner daily. 2400 Historic Decatur Road, 619.226.6254, $$

Downtown/Gaslamp Bice Ristorante Chef Mario Cassineri was born and raised in kitchens across Milan and his roots show in the food. Their cheese bar is the best in the city, doling out a fantastic Plin di Capra, Italian prosciutto, homemade jams and Sicilian olives. It’s such a hit that they just expanded the cheese-bar seating from six to 25. This is Italian food done right. For an appetizer, try the orzotto with Main lobster chunks and a mound of buffala. A main course standout is the cedar wood-smoked Mediterranean sea bass. The massive looking-glass wine vault is full of Italian reds. Dinner nightly. 425 Island St., 619.239.2423, $$$

Café Chloe This adorable East Village bistro offers cozy French cuisine—some of the best in San Diego. Chef Katie Grebow is a local-

seasonal-organic nut, serving a daily special depending on what looks good in the larder. Standards are steak tartare Sundays and cassoulet Thursdays (plus a killer steak hache burger for lunch on Mondays). Start with the cheese plate (Grebow has featured over 500 artisanal selects in her tenure, from Camembert au calvados to fromage des cimes)—and move onto the moulles madriléne. For dessert, try the apple tart with sweet pastry dough, creme fraiche and some sugar crunch. Every Sunday they offer a three-course prix fixe for $30. On March 22, their Seasonal Wine Dinner is one of the best deals in town, with five courses, with wine pairings, for $65. (See review, this issue). Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 721 9th Ave., 619.232.3242, $$

Cowboy Star The steakhouse (Meyer Natural Angus) and butcher shop in East Village does high-end cowboy fare. The porterhouse for two is a meat-lover’s dream, and the bison burgers (with roasted Anaheim peppers and toasted cumin mayo) are the call for lunch. At the bar? Absinthe and specialty bourbon creations. Happy hour runs from 4-7pm, and it includes their

killer burger (not on the HH menu... ask for it). Keep an eye out for their “Supper Sundays,” where chef Victor Jiminez offers his own version of an American classic for $18. Lunch Tue.-Fri., Dinner Tue.-Sun. 640 Tenth Ave., 619.450.5880, $$$

El Vitral The star of Downtown’s Mexican cuisine. Owner Pablo Becker studied under his cousin—famed mod Mex chef, Richard Sandoval—to perfect his nouveau traditional restaurant concept, with Tijuana-native Norma Martinez as head chef. Sit on the white rose-laden patio that looks out on Petco Park and choose from Yucatan specialties (slowly roasted pork in orange achiote sauce) to a refined take on the gansito, a fruitspiked chocolate dessert. Love tequila? This is the best spot, with cocktails using housemade syrups (try the habañero Marg). Just get your divorce settlement and looking to spend conspicuously? Try their $300 margarita. Yes, $300. It’s a limited-edition juggernaut of all the good stuff—Clase Azul Ultra Tequila, Grand Marnier 150, Del Maguey tobola mescal, palo cortado Viejo sherry and

fresh lime juice. Dinner daily. 815 J St., 619.236.9420, $$$

Grant Grill With chef de cuisine Chris Kurth, the revamped Grill has dusted off its powerbrokers-only image with an innovative, market-fresh Californian menu. How about Kobe beef cheeks with chanterelle mushrooms and violet mustard? And the cocktail menu is now one of the city’s best. Mixologist Jeff Josenhans’ is creating next-level cocktails that use a mind-boggling array of artisanal spirits and bitters, plus farmers market produce. Order anything on his list (changes seasonally) and expect to be floored. On April 15 they’ll kick off a seasonal flowers tasting menu and cocktail menu. Also on tax day? Half off specialty cocktails for anyone saying the phrase, “Tea Party.” Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 326 Broadway, 619.744.2077, $$$

JSix Restaurant This restaurant in Hotel Solamar has enjoyed a renewed rep with chef Christian Graves. Everything is seasonal and local, and Graves’ housemade charcuterie plate is phenomenal.

Try not to stare. Your date will get jealous. Fresh sushi, signature Japanese-fusion cuisine and inventive cocktails — all served up with a side of Anything Can Happen. Discover for yourself why it’s more fun in the RA.



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Lot 267, Pablo Picasso, Le Picador ii, (b.1017), lithograph

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Graves’ mussels with white wine and tarragon sauce are fantastic, as is his Meyer lemon agnolotti with lemon butter sauce. Locals with a 92101 zip code on their license get 10 percent off their lunch bill. A $15 prix fixe lunch menu is one of the better deals in town. Every full moon (March 19, April 18) the upstairs Lounge6 offers drink specials all night. Go howl a bit. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 616 J St., 619.531.8744, $$$

The Merk The Merk Italian Bistro in the Keating Hotel Downtown recently revved up both of their bars, adding illuminated carnelian gemstones in the main bar. In addition to house faves like the linguini Romano— tossed tableside in a giant Romano wheel—the eatery boasts dessert pizzas like the Sweet Pete (Nutella, berries, apple and white chocolate) and Chocolate Pig (Nutella, bacon, strawberry, white and dark chocolate). 820 Fifth Ave., 619.814.6375, $

Neighborhood This is the casual hangout in East Village dedicated to well-done pub grub and craft beers. Regulars go for the Neighborhood Burger, topped with caramelized onion, Gruyere and green peppers. Just don’t ask for ketchup—they don’t stock it. The beer list is bar-none (Delirium Tremens, Chimay Cinco Cent Triple). Now they’re offering grilled cheese slides from local fromage shop Venissimo, plus a pork belly melt. Drafts are buy one/ get one from 4-7pm on weekdays, and Wednesday is half-off wine. Lunch and dinner daily. 777 G St., 619.446.0002, $

Nobu International celeb-chef Nobu Matsuhisa chose the Hard Rock Hotel for the 17th location of his famed sushi house. Four words: black cod with miso. Whether it’s that signature dish, a yuzu-slathered specialty or the incredible monkfish liver (for the adventurous), Nobu lives up to its hefty reputation. The lounge area offers all-night happy hour on Wednesdays. Dinner

daily. 207 5th Ave., 619.814.4122, $$$$

Sally’s This bay-view restaurant at the Hyatt Grand Manchester has got new life with chef Sarah Linkenheil. She keeps Sally’s signature crab cakes in good standing while bringing fresh fare like her filo-crusted halibut with Indian rice, asparagus and tamarind aioli. Their chef’s table—a grand copper behemoth located right next to the ovens—is the best seat in San Diego. Lunch and dinner daily. 1 Market Place, Downtown, 619.358.6740, $$$

Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza Sami Ladeki’s casual dining spot (he was the first with a woodfired oven in S.D.) isn’t the same old pizza. They recently added a line of rustic Neapolitan pies (Caprese, Sicilian, Diavola and Tuscan), Kosher-style hot dogs and Kobe beef chili. But their O.G. creations (arugula and pear pizza, Szechuan beef noodles) are still pretty great. Lunch and dinner daily. 770 4th Ave., 619.230.8888, $

Searsucker Downtown’s biggest arrival of 2010 is open for business, and business is booming. Nightlife impresario James Brennan (Stingaree) teamed with celeb chef Brian Malarkey and super-designer Thomas Schoos (Tao) for innovative, semi-casual fare in a truly inspiring, reclaimed atmosphere. Since our first review, the food has gotten significantly better. Malarkey may be firing on all cylinders now. For apps, try his shisito peppers with soy and lemon zest or the bone marrow, served inbone cut lengthwise for an even more primal effect. For dinner, it’s the Lost Abbey short ribs or beef cheeks with goat cheese dumplings. It’s a massive space, but reservations are still tough to get. Lunch daily, dinner Tue.Sat. 611 Fifth Ave., 619.233.7327, $$$

Stingaree Don’t be fooled into thinking that the see-and-be-seen nightclub and VIP haven is all cocktails, no kitchen. Chef Antonio Friscia is very well-respected among the city’s top toques (and a certified sommelier). They recently

ABOUTTOWN AJA FINE JEWELRY’S GRAND OPENING EVENT LA JOLLA SHOWROOM WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2011 One of the finest jewelry stores in La Jolla celebrated their grand opening at their beautiful showroom. With 28 years of serving the La Jolla community, Aja proudly presented the most luxurious and award winning jewelry “Michael John Image” designs to its clients. The diamond studded evening was filled with cocktails, entertainment and much fun. Aja donated a percentage of proceeds from this evening to ACT Today! (a non-profit organization that provides care and treatments for kids with autism).



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Thrill-seekers rappelled 33-stories off the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego to support the San Diego based non-profit Kids Included Together. More than 60 individuals and local media participated, descending from the 497-foot Harbor Tower, to support the inclusion of children with disabilities in out-of-school time programs. In addition to the rappel, participants and spectators enjoyed live music, an opportunity drawing and family and friends activities throughout the day. Over the Edge for KIT raised more than $78,000 for KIT Affiliate programming. For more information, visit

FOOD DRINK Guide re-concepted the menu, straying from his Italian roots into a fusion-y realm with Japanese pork bowls and some Indonesian-style dishes. Dinner Tue.-Sat. 454 6th Ave., 619.544.9500, $$$

Vela Don’t let the conventioneer badges scare you off—chef de cuisine Adam Bussell (ex-Quarter Kitchen) uses local ingredients for standout dishes that change with the season. His new focus is on very sustainable (and mostly local) seafood, both raw and cooked. Mon.-Sat. 101 Park Blvd. 619.321.4284. $$$


The Westgate Room OSCAR FAVORITE



An elegant classic, decorated in ornate white wood and floral patterns galore. Chef Fabrice Hardel is one talented French classicist, but he also tinkers with science for our favorites: the seared ahi (with soy “cubes,” pearls of mango and lime foam) and the filet mignon with Port caviar—a brilliant use of molecular gastronomy that literally makes caviar out of Port wine. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 1055 2nd Ave., 619.238.1818, $$$$

Coronado 1500 Ocean at the Hotel del Coronado One of the best in S.D., with oh-mygod views and first-rate, sustainable cuisine. F&B manager Ted Glennon and chef Brian Sinnott make a young team with big, progressive plans for the classic hotel— including making good use of their ever-expanding garden/mini-farm on the Del lawn. Sinnott makes brilliant house-made pastas, but his crudo, including a salmon tartare with chives and crème fraîche, just blows our mind. March is tequila month, including a dinner March 4 with Forteleza Tequila’s Guillermo Sauza, for which Glennon will create Fortaleza cocktails to pair with dishes. On March 12, Eno will host a tequila class and tasting. Dinner daily. 1500 Orange Ave., 619.522.8490, $$$$

Mistral at Loews Coronado Bay Resort One of the first fine-dining spots in S.D. to embrace the fresh-localseasonal trend, and they continue to lead it. They recently hired new exec chef Gabriel Morales, who headed the Four Seasons Los Angeles and Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills. Chef de cuisine Patrick Ponsaty (exBernard’O, El Biz), is cooking on an entirely different level. His blue prawn with black truffle canneloni is brilliant, as is his halibut steamed with lemon verbena and lemongrass, topped with a garbanzo bean panisse. Keep an eye out for their “Chef ’s Cellar Series,” a threecourse dinner where Morales shares the vision behind his 3,000-bottle personal wine cellar, paired with Ponsaty’s creations. Dinner Tue.Sat. 4000 Loews Coronado Bay Road, 619.424.4000. $$$

Encinitas Kaito Sushi Arguably one of the top three sushi joints in San Diego, rivaling Sushi Ota and Hane. Chef Kazuo Morita is a whiz with eel, serving a fried eel spine delicacy for anyone brave enough to go omakase. We’ve also had delicious lidako (baby octopus) and mouth-melting sardine sashimi. Don’t be afraid: Morita is kind and considerate to newbies, and he’ll craft up a roll for those playing it safe. Check their websites for twice-weekly updates on fresh deliveries. For March and April, chef says he should be getting fresh aji (Spanish mackerel), sayorii (needle fish), kamasu (skip jack) and kamasu (barracuda). 130-A N. El Camino Real, 760.634.2746, $$

T’s Cafe The family-operated restaurant is a local’s breakfast joint. Highlights include killer potato skillets, a solid lox plate and—if you catch ’em on special—some of the best fish tacos in North County. Their Bloody Marys are among the city’s best—so popular that they started selling the mix online. Breakfast and lunch daily. 271 N. Hwy 101, 858.755.7642, $

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FOOD DRINK Guide North County Black&Blue Steakhouse

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Valley View’s signature steakhouse is the best casino dining in the region. They’ve hired new exec chef Ashley Archer, who won a Mobil Four Diamond Award at Westin Salishan. Their surf and turf with Port reduction is tasty and “The Cowboy” is an 18 oz. bone-in rib eye served with shoestring onions and a peppercorn sauce. But it’s the details—from iced-tea ice cubes (no watering down!) to the melted caramel, chocolate spoons and crystallized sugar sticks that are served with the cappuccino—that help B&B reach the next level. Dinner Wed.-Sun. 16300 Nyemii Pass Road, 760.291.2130. $$$


M O D E R N L U X U R Y I S A N E Q U A L O P P O R T U N I T Y E M P LO Y E R .


The grand dame El Bizcocho has gone through a rough few years of hot-tempered chef drama and daring concepts (degustation-only menu) that didn’t do so hot. But there’s just too rich a history to ignore a legend of S.D. high-cuisine, and we knew management would step back up to the plate. They just hired Nicolaus Bour as their executive chef. Bour was last seen at Georgia restaurant The Farmhouse, a national attraction for farm-to-table cuisine. Stay tuned, or check him out for yourself on March 24, when El Biz hosts their “French Flavors Dining Odyssey,” a five-course affair for $75 ($105 with wine pairings). Dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. 17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive, 858.675.8550, $$$$

Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens

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This 55,000 square-foot brewery is an oasis in Escondido. The beer? The cream of S.D.’s craft-beer crop, with endlessly hoppy creations. The bistro menu focuses on all-natural, seasonal foods. Try the mac ‘n’ beer cheese or the tilapia ceviche with chef Alex Carballo’s Mazatlan seasoning. Three upcoming events pique our interest: on March 12 they’ll host the Homebrew Competition; on March 15 it’s “Master Pairings: Beer & Breakfast” (at 7pm—breakfast for dinner!); and “Oakquinox” on April 17, a festival for barrel-aged beer. Be sure to stroll the grounds with a

glass in hand. 1999 Citracado Pkwy., 760.471.4999, $$

Twenty/20 Grill & Wine Bar Located in the Sheraton Carlsbad, Twenty/20 attracts locals and tourists with its killer coastal views. Many come for brunch, but chef Reed Anderson incorporates his slow-food ethos for anytime dishes like hand-punched pizzas, achiote barbecue salmon with udon noodles and chicken waffles. Stop by on a Thursday for tapas night. 5480 Grand Pacific Drive, 760.827.2500, $$$

Beach Areas Baleen It’s easy to forget to be a tourist in your own hometown. Time to visit Baleen, because Paradise Point is proud owner of the best view of Mission Bay. More importantly, chef Megan Reichman is cooking up to par with the gorgeous surroundings. Her seared scallops with kumquat-Chardonnay glaze wow, as does her apple-brined pork chop. With a “Three for Thirty” prix fixe special, you don’t have to wait until friends come to town. 1404 Vacation Road, 858.490.6363, $$$

Rocky’s Crown Pub The menu? Burgers, fries and beer. Cash only. But it’s been arguably the bets burger in S.D. for decades—a lumpy, buttery, fingerprint-leaving grease bomb. Pure carnivore bliss. Lunch and dinner daily. 3786 Ingraham St., 858.273.9140, $

Sushi Ota The city’s best sushi? In a strip mall next to a 7-11? So say fans of Ota’s fresh, delicious rolls and gregarious and entertaining chefs. The last two Zagat surveys rated it the best restaurant in the city. Sit at the bar and let the talented sushi artists on the other side create something unique. Make sure the servers don’t underestimate you and push their milquetoast suggestions for rookies (read: gaijins). Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner daily. 4529 Mission Bay Drive, 858.270.5670. $$

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On a Roll! Local design star Lynette Aquilina breaks out with a little help from her sis. | By Meredith Hattam | Photography by Peden + Munk | Carmel Valley interior designer Lynette Aquilina is no stranger to But Aquilina is a San Diego girl through and through. While her famous fans. After all, little sis Jenny McCarthy is one of her biggest Spanish ranch in Kensington gets a remodel, she’s hiding out in Carmel clients, and Th e West Wing’s Mary McCormack recently swooned for her Valley, where she lives with her 5-year old twins, Olivia and Gianna, and new-again aesthetic (think Malibu tiles, swap husband Joe. “North County’s great because I’m meet gems, and “anything from another era,” two exits away from the Cedros Design District Aquilina’s Hots she says). But that doesn’t mean she’s above a and a block away from the hot air balloon little idol worship. landing pad,” says the designer, who cites the Cole & Sons wall coverings, Kobey’s Swap “I raced to the front of the line to meet David late Homer Delawie and starchitect Jonathan Meet, Blue Bohème, Tocca candles, FiddleSedaris at a book signing and swear he started Segal as local muses. Leaf Fig (“My favorite house plant!”), Earl looking around for security,” says Aquilina, the The Chicago native, who worked in London Grey cookies at Extraordinary Desserts, dirty eldest of four sisters and the only non-blonde. before settling in S.D., nearly missed her calling. martinis at the US Grant Since breaking from Little Italy-based “I left my firm to pursue photography, and architectural firm Delawie Wilkes Rodrigues then Jenny told me to redesign her house,” says Aquilina’s Nots Barker, Aquilina’s been swamped with a steady Aquilina. “Afterward, I realized how much I Theme rooms, microsuede, skinny jeans, short stream of projects, most recently a 1950s Pacific loved residential design. She pulled me back into drapes, chain restaurants, fake plants, fur Palisades redux for a Tinseltown manager. it.” Amen, sister. R

SISTER ACT “I prefer older homes,” says interior designer Lynette Aquilina. “I love peeling back the paint to discover what’s underneath.” 156 |


March/April 2011

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Riviera Hot List March 2011  

Josh Herman Ceramics Conical Bowl, Navy Volcanic