Orange County January 2014

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COO/CO-FOUNDER Born and raised in New Jersey, Ashley Hickson has enjoyed living in sunny Southern California since she was 17. After graduating from Chapman University in Old Town Orange, Ashley pursued her dreams and began the journey of helping found LOCALE Magazine. Often referred to as Erik’s right and left arm, Ashley is THE go-to girl for everything LOCALE. She enjoys being an intricate piece to LOCALE’s puzzle and is proud of the down-to-earth, innovative magazine. For advertising, marketing, accounting, and to find out where Erik is, call LOCALE Magazine and Ashley will answer all of your questions.

EDITOR IN CHIEF A writer transformed by the beatnik’s before her, Kristal Docter headed West after earning a degree in Creative Writing from Southwest Minnesota State University. Her career has been driven by diversification as a newspaper editor-in-chief, copy editor, corporate advertising professional, stylist, non-profit marketing maven and brand contributor. Throughout her cultured journey, Kristal continued asserting an appetite for all things linguistic, and has become an influential voice at LOCALE as their original foodie and now Editor in Chief. She is also the creator of independent writing company VergeINK. A vocab vixen, Kristal prefers a pen and paper, is an eternal book whore, live music lover, casual culinary artist, conch diver and will always be a farm-girl at heart.

"How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them." Benjamin Franklin What are the things you would like to change most in your life? Have you promised to eat better, travel more, drink better or get married? If you have, then our 20th issue of LOCALE will be your guide to the beginning of an amazing start to 2014. We gathered our team in Lake Arrowhead this summer for team building, strategizing and planning the future of LOCALE. We decided to be better partners, work faster, work smarter, work harder and make a product we felt was indicative of an evolving, maturing publication. We decided as a team the things that we wanted to change most about LOCALE. We made resolutions to take better photos, dig deeper to find the culture that makes Southern California great and to make a cleaner and more sophisticated publication. We didn't want to be a different publication, just a better version. This is our first effort in keeping our resolutions. Quitting something you are accustomed to takes a force of will. Our team has been resolute in the practice of improving our product. We hope you enjoy these 200 pages we’ve assembled for you. We do.


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MIKE TODD SMITH MARKETING MANAGER After living in San Diego for a year now, I realize why so many people call this amazing place home. Not only are we blessed with a downtown, but San Diego also has absolutely everything. From the suburbs to the beaches to the mountains, San Diego is a wonderful place to call home. I never expected the warmth and generosity we've received, but I will never forget it, and that’s why San Diego will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you to all of our friends and fans for the overwhelming hospitality; we can only get better as we grow.

REILLY KAVANAUGH DESIGNER With a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design under her belt, this Redlands native has produced creative for major fashion labels, institutions and ad firms. Reilly Kavanaugh is a tiny artist, at 4 feet 11 inches, who is much tougher than she looks. As the newest member of LOCALE, she exhibits a youthful energy and fierce, current designs. She’s a girly tomboy who simultaneously dresses like a fashionista and struts her stuff at the firing range with the accuracy of a sharp shooter. Reilly is also a CrossFit fanatic and is allergic to almost everything.

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HOLLY CLINARD Known around OC as Holly in Heels, Holly Clinard is smitten with shoes and addicted to style! Holly has earned the enviable reputation as a leading shoe blogger with her own blog, When she’s not sorting through her floor-to-ceiling heel closet, she’s sipping coffee, traveling the world, and listening to 90s music (sometimes all at once). Follow @hollyinheels on Twitter!

LEE YATES Lee Yates is a recent graduate of the University of California, Irvine, where he studied Psychology and Social Behavior. He is currently a member at the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs, acting as both a communications coordinator and a research associate. He has also dabbled in various sectors of profession, such as a college radio DJ, a behavioral clinic intern and a habitat restoration volunteer. Lee spends the rest of his time pursuing assorted hobbies, including playing music and writing short stories.

KORRIE LUKEI, KAELI REED, KELSEY MOREAU OF TRIPLET LIVING Kelsey, Korrie and Kaeli make up the energetic, identical triplet beauty team of When the style enthusiasts are not making-over the women of Orange County, you can find them sharing their expertise on beauty, fashion and of course being triplets on! Follow the triplets on Instagram @tripletliving 12 |

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ED HALEY Ed Haley currently writes for Screenpicks. com, doing entertainment and film reviews and has been on the Hollywood film critic circuit for several years. A native of California residing in Orange County for most of his adult life, Ed finds satisfaction in moonlighting as an unsuccessful writer while also co-owning a small real estate investment firm.

JESSIE SETKUS Jessie Setkus is a resident of Southern Orange County and a graduate of California State University Fullerton. She is a freelance writer with an advertising background with experience in social media, public relations, column writing, copywriting and blogging. She also has a passion for non-profit organizations, is a world traveler, a food fanatic and a hedgehog enthusiast.

JENNIFER LE When she’s not being a college student five days a week, Jennifer can be found in one of three places: at home, the beach or a Starbucks! She considers herself to be a humanitarian, Pinterest addict and a writer by hobby. Traveling is one of Jennifer’s favorite things to do; her travel journal is her most prized possession.

KARLY SHIMAMOTO Karly is a lover of all the beauty and diversity that Orange County has to offer. She graduated from UC Irvine with a BA in English and despite the struggles that burden any liberal arts major she has a passion for words that convinces her writing will always be a worthwhile pursuit.

KATIE WATFORD Katie Watford is a personal stylist based in Los Angeles whose mission is to educate women on how to properly dress their bodies while exposing them to the psychology behind their wardrobes. Katie Watford has worked with celebrities for red carpet events and editorials, and can now add fashion writer to her resume, thanks to LOCALE.

MEGAN BISHOP This Jersey girl found her passion for fashion while living in sun-soaked South Florida. After falling in love with the editorial spreads of Ocean Drive, Megan knew she had found her calling. In 2007, she tried her own hand at the magazine biz by launching a fashion, art, music and lifestyle publication based in Miami.


MATILDA BRESS Matilda Bress was born, and is still being raised, on Balboa Island. At only 16 years old, she is just beginning her journalistic pilgrimage and hopes to continue her passion in college. A junior at Corona del Mar High School, she enjoys studying till the break of dawn, politics, waterpolo and her Instagram.

MINERVA THAI Her card will tell you to “Eat My Words,” and her articles will demand it. Minerva Thai loves to write and her site www. is a potluck of her own original recipes, perspective on restaurants and adventures at culinary events. Curiosity about food stirs her creativity which she enjoys sharing. Connect with her on Facebook at Much Ado About Fooding.

RICK RAMIREZ When racks run out, Rick runs in.

VISIT our website for daily tips on fashion, food and what’s happening near you. CREATE free or featured business and calender event listings on Promote your business or event to our tens of thousands of monthly, local online visitors.


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NANCY VILLERE Nancy Villere has been a professional photographer for 18 years. Her passion for photography lies in the discovery of another human being. She is currently uncovering her purpose as a photographer through her studio work at Crush Photo Studios. Fashion, commercial and boudoir photography are Nancy’s emphasis. It is her greatest joy to witness the freedom and self-confidence women experience after their sessions.

DHRUMIL DESAI Dhrumil Desai is a fashion and beauty photographer who focuses on creating sophisticated photos. His images develop a relationship between the viewer and the photo by having a strong character present. He created a series of photographs taken from the window seat of an airplane, which won him an award in the Fine Arts category in the 2nd National Photo Awards held by the Government of India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

back in 2006, after he graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography. He specializes in action sports and all things nature. He also enjoys shooting a wide array of still life, from food and drink to clothes and accessories. He also dapples in weddings and portraits.

ADAM GENTRY Adam is a Southern-California native, a photographer and an entrepreneur. He is passionate about profiling interesting people whether they are a break-through artist, a fledgling stylist or simply someone with a compelling story to tell.

AMANDA PROUDFIT Amanda Proudfit’s passion for photography began in a beginning film class in high school. From there a love for both analog and digital photography grew. She finds joy in many types of photography, whether it is landscapes or portraits, lifestyle or wedding shoots, any chance she can take to get behind the camera always makes her happy.

MATT DOHENY Matt Doheny strives for visual excellence and creativity through the lens in which he sees the world. His journey has taken him to many places. With a lifelong passion for music (he has been playing guitar for as long has he has been shooting photos), Matt Doheny says, “Music and photography are like my two hands, always with me and on my mind.” FRANK ISHMAN Born in Connecticut and raised in Southern California, Photographer Frank Ishman received his education and training at Morehouse College and the Art Institute of Atlanta. Frank has lived and worked around the world in locations like London, India, New Zealand and throughout the United States, and has recently moved from Brooklyn New York back home to the Los Angeles area. 16 |

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CHRIS CASTILLO Chris Castillo started castillophotography

JEFF FARSAI Jeff Farsai specializes in editorial, celebrity, fashion, sports and wedding photography. After earning his B.F.A. in photography and visual communication, he dove into the commercial world of photography. Jeff has photographed celebs, musicians and gold medal athletes all over the world. He writes and directs music videos; and is also working on a feature film, projected to be out in 2014.

ANH NGUYEN Anh Nguyen is a photographic and cinematographer artist who specializes in creative lifestyle portraits, weddings and action photography. His clients range from the NBA to modeling agencies. Anh grew up in Dallas and has taken a new turn by currently residing in Southern California, where he plans to continue his imaginative efforts with his art.

ARIANE MOSHAYEDI Ariane Moshayedi is a natural light photographer specializing in wedding, lifestyle and landscape photography. She resides in Newport Beach but enjoys photographing people and places worldwide. She holds two masters degrees and works with adolescents using her unique skillset for phototherapy. In her free time, you’ll find her shooting medium format film as a way to keep it old school.

JUSTIN SWINDLE Justin Swindle is an Orange County native and a graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. While his focus is in commercial portraiture, celebrity editorial, fashion and advertising photography, he believes his ability to capture true emotion and beauty in any subject is portrayed in his work.


BRITTANY HART Brittany Hart is a wardrobe stylist and fashion blogger who strives to keep fashion fun. She specializes in editorial, advertising, and look book styling. When she isn’t busy styling shoots she runs her blog, which profiles the latest fashion trends, designer collections and eye candy obsessions.

STYLE BY F.E.A Francisco, Eddie and Alex Barragan are three freelance fashion stylists from Orange County who collectively form Style by f.e.a. Working as a team, the Barragan brothers give clients the unique experience of having three creative minds working as one. Apart from being fascinated by all things fashion, the brothers have a genuine interest in helping others look and feel their best.




quite delicious.

« 7 1 4 . 3 7 4 . 7 2 7 3 « On the sand at the HB Pier « s a n d y s h b . c o m












NATIVE KNOWLEDGE Monday through Sunday, By Locals




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EAT EXPERT DTSA’s the Little Sparrow brings Parisian Bistro to Orange County


DRINK FEATURE Adventure through Orange County’s Most Happening Happy Hours

EAT FEATURE Treating your body like a temple with these healthy menu options


DRINK EXPERT Casa Costa Mesa Makes Exclusivity & Complicated Cocktails Cool

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PANORAMA Presenting Our Piers at Sunrise




FASHION SPREAD: MADRIMONY Making That Special Day Dramatic

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LOCALE LOOKS Our Favorite Places to Propose


VS. WORKOUTS The Fitness Sessions






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DO EXPERT Cuipo Helps Preserve the Rainforest, One Purchase at a Time ESCAPE TO LA A Rogue on the Run

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SETTING THE TABLE Formulating a Fantasy Rehearsal Dinner

HOME EXPERT Christa Lee Canaday is Driving the Local Real Estate Market

All rights reserved © 2014, the entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in retrieval system or transmitted in any forms or by any means without express written prior permission of the copyright owner. LOCALE MAGAZINE ph: 949.436.8910 | fax: 949.682.4807 COVER: Photography By: Dhrumil Desai Model: Natalie Paladin of Refresh Talent Agency Makeup By: Meredith Andrée Artistry, Hair By: Henry Rasu, Styled By: Style by f.e.a. Location: Rancho Las Lomas, Gown Provided by: Jenny Lee Bridal, Jewelry Provided By: Winston’s Jewelers, MADrimony: Photography By: Dhrumil Desai Model: Natalie Paladin of Refresh Talent Agency Makeup By: Meredith Andrée Artistry, Hair By: Henry Rasu, Styled By: Style by f.e.a. Location: Rancho Las Lomas, Gowns Provided by: Jenny Lee Bridal, and Jaclyn’s Bridal, www. Jewelry Provided By: Black, Starr & Frost,, Mark Patterson Jewelry,, Winston’s Jewelers, www., Jewels By Joseph,, Traditional Jewelers, LOCALE LOOKS: Photography By: Frank Ishman Styled By: Brittany Hart Models: Fiona Leahy of ReFresh Talent Agency & Ryan Turpin Locations: Iva Lee’s, The Cellar, Silver Trumpet, Juliette Kitchen and Bar Clothing Provided by: Taim Boutique, Love & Whiskey, Eva’s Trunk, Island Sole, Klein Epstein & Parker Accessories Provided By: Sadie Slick, Lili Claspe, Island Sole Engagement Rings Provided By: Jewels by Joseph


Natalie PALADIN Whether it’s jumping out of airplanes, climbing the highest mountain, canyoneering the deepest valleys, snowboarding the most treacherous slopes or simply just cleaning up after exotic tigers, this blonde beauty sees the world from a slightly different perspective. Born and raised in Newport Beach (with South African in her blood), Natalie Paladin can be seen gracing the covers of magazines and popping up in national commercials as she aggressively pursues her dreams of acting and producing her own television show, chronicling her adventures. Point blank: anything she puts her mind to, she accomplishes. Paladin is fearlessly taking no prisoners as she strives to make her mark on the world.


a l s // c o L r o f B y Lo c a l s




Marketing and Event Coordinator, Tavik Swimwear

Chief Experience Creator & CoFounder, Athlete.Yogi.Traveler

MONDAY: : Taking my computer on the go, I soak up caffeine and culture at Vitaly, while working on the upcoming AYT Experience to Italy! We roll Italian style here. Doppio espresso con Filicori café, per favore!

TUESDAY: Get outside and sweat. This is one of the phrases I live by (every day!). Take a cruise along PCH and head to the 1000 Steps in Laguna Beach. How many times can I run up and down these steps? Let’s find out… Tip: The mellow beach at the base of the steps is perfect for a cool down stretch sesh.

MONDAY: Monday is all about Monday night football in a great setting. Head over to Muldoon’s Irish Pub and grab yourself an ale and some Shepherd’s pie. Go Eagles! TUESDAY: : Tuesday is all about tacos of all shapes SOL COCINA

WEDNESDAY: A weekly walk to Sushi Town is necessary business. My favorite sushi spot is a legit hole in the wall with fresh and full portions, fun chefs and a laid back vibe. For my Favorite roll NOT found on the menu: Alaskan Roll with salmon, avocado, sushi goodness and thin slices of lemon.

See Colin at the bar and have him mix you a “Bulldog” margarita at Sol Cocina.

THURSDAY: Run. Sweat. Yoga. After a day of master

-M iles K irchner

planning for AYT’s Mat Movement, it’s time to run the Newport Back Bay with Mosman the Beast (our dog). Top it off with a GRIT Yoga session. Ahh, happy body.


FRIDAY: Leading a healthy life is all about balance. Hence why you’ll find my husband, Matt and I, at Back Bay Tavern for Happy Hour. We’re suckers for spots with clever craft beer, outdoor seating and Wi-Fi. Cheers to that! (and to one of their many IPA’s)

SATURDAY: After a wander through Fashion Island and a visit to our pals at Lululemon, we check out Lark Creek for their SPE Certified goodness. They’re taking fine-dining and healthy foods to a whole new level. And the Chickpea fries are a must! | SUNDAY: Our week isn’t complete until we take a walk to Greenleaf in Costa Mesa. This is one of our goto spots for meetings, happy hour, outdoor succulents and ambience, or for feeding Mosman some fresh kale (no joke). Since we’re about to head out for an AYT Experience…have to check out Tulum’s swimwear! Bon voyage!

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WEDNESDAY: Cruise to one of the true gems of Orange County, The Quiet Woman. Order the “build your own salad” while enjoying live music and sipping on a glass of pinot. If two stops are on the agenda, hit La Cave for some music in a unique setting. THURSDAY: Take your talents to A’s restaurant on PCH. Enjoy their signature hamburger and ask for Steve to get you dialed in with your wine needs. Follow this up with a refreshing Moscow Mule. FRIDAY: The workweek is over; it’s time to get glorious. Head to The Cannery for some happy hour sushi and sake. Finish off the night at Sutra for some loud beats and gallons of Vodka. |

Taking my computer on the go, I soak up caffeine and culture at Vitaly.

-Jai me Komer

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and sizes. Clock out of work and head directly to Sol Cocina, located right along PCH. See Colin at the bar and have him mix you a “Bulldog” margarita, you will know what to do from there.

SATURDAY: Saturday is the day built for the beach. Afterwards, head over to Bearflag for a Poke Burrito, followed by a daytime world famous Mai Tai at Billy’s. SUNDAY: Make sure to wake up before 10am to assemble your fantasy team, then head over to “The Porch” for bottomless mimosas. Once you feel twinkly, migrate to Rudy’s to see Tyler behind the bar where you might want to purchase some sliders and go to the dark side with some Fireball.



Co-Founder / Brand Director Collaborative Media LLC / Pacific Festival LLC

Digital Marketing Manager, Shift Digital

MONDAY: CrossFit Second Chance, then to my office, a creative space I share in Westside Costa Mesa. Lunch generally serves as two meals, as I frequent Tabu Shabu, and if you’ve been you know how big those dishes are! |

TUESDAY: In Hollywood at Dim Mak Records, working on the Eastside of the strip. If you were ever in those parts, I’d recommend Barbrix, and their pork belly anything.


WEDNESDAY: Back to CSC, then to Pie-Not for a tasty Daisy & Babe Sag Roll. After that, back to my office on the Westside. El Toro Bravo is the spot on those afternoons. I can’t stray from the carnitas tacos, chips (all the local restaurants use these guys’ stock) and frijoles, which hold me over before stopping by LA Cave to enjoy an evening with Modern Disco Ambassadors. |

THURSDAY: Join me Thursday evenings stage side at Casa in Costa Mesa for an evening of craft cocktails and eclectic programming, showcasing live pianist Jacques Vanders, resident DJ, Patrick Dylan and special unannounced guests. Ladies, order an Easy Street at this spot, gents be sure to rsvp nightly–the door is run tight. FRIDAY: CSC gets me started once again, early lunch at Lotus Café in Newport for the best Pho; then, back to the grindstone at my shop on the Westside, working on Pacific Festival and other productions. If I stick around, I’m back to Casa in Costa Mesa, enjoying drinks and conversations with old and new friends; it’s an unassumingly refreshing good time.

MONDAY: Nothing like starting the week with a clean, easy and fresh meal from North Shore Poke. The poke is on par with every bowl I have ever tasted in Hawaii, and they carry all flavors of Hawaiian Sun drinks. Those who have tasted them, know what I’m talking about.

TUESDAY: On Tuesday escape to Mexico. Taco Tuesday is one of my favorite days of the week, and you can’t ever go wrong spending it at SOL. The vibe is good, the food is great, and they make a mean Jalapeno margarita. Enjoy the worry-free lifestyle like a local at this great spot. WEDNESDAY: Looking for a taste of Australia but unable to leave the country for the night? Pie-Not has excellent meat pies and veggie meals for those with a taste for adventure. The service is friendly and the environment relaxed and lowkey. I highly recommend the Bundaberg ginger beer. THURSDAY: Venture over to the District at Tustin Legacy. Grab sake and a roll at RA’s happy hour. Their prices are great, and the sushi is always fresh. After dinner, head upstairs for some bowling. That’s right folks! Bowlmor is a classy joint for a guaranteed good time.

FRIDAY: Since I work near Laguna, I like to catch the sunset on the way home from work. What better place to vacation than in your own backyard? The Rooftop in Laguna has some of the best real estate in Orange County and is a great spot to cap off the workweek. Try the Mojito. They even add a real stick of sugar cane.

SATURDAY: A day to play! Peddle to the metal on our Sole Bicycles over to Eat Chow on the Eastside of Costa Mesa, my girlfriend’s favorite spot. Apparently it has some of the best Muesli she’s ever tasted and equally great outdoor seating we both enjoy so much. (there’s not enough of that in our city). |

SATURDAY: I like to keep Saturdays basic and worry free. Haute Cakes is a great way to start the day. From there, I get some surfing in. After a long day in the sun, I might cause a little trouble somewhere.

SUNDAY: Long walks with my golden retriever, daydreams of a soft-top revolution

SUNDAY: It’s a bit of a drive, but after one look at the Bloody Mary complete with a

and lots of leisure… oh!? Unless there’s a day-rager going on called, Brunch, a seasonal underground event series hosted at Mesa, which is one not to be missed.

huge prawn and green beans, you will understand the love that is put into the food here. I am from the South and eternally crave soul food. Ramos house has nailed it. Sit back on the front porch and take it all in, it was a good week.

DTSA's the Little Sparrow brings Parisian Bistro to Orange County

LITTLE SPARROW CAFÉ 300 N. Main Street Santa Ana, CA 714.265.7640

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THE EXPERT ERIC SAMANIEGO Executive Chef, Little Sparrow Café

Previously cooked at: David Meyer’s Comme, Ca & Chicago’s Charlie Trotter


here are very few restaurants here in sunny Southern California where we can find that old, French bistro feel. If you have visited France, you can imagine the clutter of patrons spilling out into the sidewalks at many of the classic bistros and cafes that dominate every street corner. Put your GPS back in your pocket and just follow the fresh scent of pastry and cappuccino into the wee hours of the morning. For a few Euros, pick up the morning newspaper, sip your espresso, grab a freshly warmed croissant and wave hello to Chef Auguste as he slices viande for the upcoming lunch and dinner. Although we’re not anywhere near France, finding a bistro like this in Orange County just became a little easier. Cross the corner of Main Street and 3rd in Santa Ana to discover a neat little tucked-away bistro called the Little Sparrow. It may not quite match the mystique of your Parisian memories, but the Little Sparrow Café does embrace all the comforts of the classic French bistro with a modern American twist. Just around the corner from Santa Ana’s bourgeoning Art District, the Little Sparrow will draw you in with the smell of great food, accompanied by a large dining area neatly organized with tables and chairs and patrons who are cheerily chatting during their lunch hour. Cooks can be seen busily prepping in the open kitchen as they grin and wave to the customers. If you make your way through the dining room to the long hallway past the kitchen, you will find a surprisingly swank, speak easy-style full bar combed with French lounge chairs and settees as well as a very happy bar chef, waiting to greet you and ask of your poison.

“I love

bistro cooking with the small dining, diverse and often changing menu, while keeping the surrounding neighborhood in mind.” - Eric Samaniego, Executive Chef, Little Sparrow Café

Q: Wow. A bar like this is exactly what I was NOT expecting to find back here. It feels like a Paris lounge. Eric Samaniego: Yes. It’s one of our favorite things about this place. Q: Tell me about how the lounge works into the overall character of the space. ES: We have a full craft cocktail bar and all the recipes are prepared fresh every day.

We don’t necessarily carry the standard brand name liquors and spirits; we look for the obscure, out of the ordinary liquors and go for quality over everything else. We do really great with the classics. If you ask for an Old Fashioned, you are going to get a fantastic one. The bar is open every night, and a lot of our patrons will come in an hour early before their dinner reservation just to have a few drinks. We like to encourage our guests to stop in the lounge after their meals, too. Q: From where did the name “Little Sparrow” come? ES: The Little Sparrow is named after the French singer, Edith Piaf from the 1940s

and ‘50s. She was known as “The Little Sparrow.” | JANUARY 2014 | 37

Q: The place really does give off that French feeling. ES: It really does, and I am always pulling

hard for that direction with the food even though we are offering an American contemporary menu. I was lucky to find owners that feel the same way. Q: So, you are responsible for writing the fantastic menu everyone is talking about? ES: Yes, and I have probably changed it

a few times since we opened. Most of the changes have been little tweaks here and there or changes in portion sizes with nothing too severe. Q: How did you obtain your position at the Little Sparrow Café? ES: I had parted ways with my previous

employer and was looking for a good fit for me in something I really wanted to do, and I got to meet with the owners Bruce, Nasim and Jenny, and it was a perfect fit. Q: Was the outcome always the initial idea for this place? ES: The owners had the idea for a

Contemporary American Bistro, and in the big scheme of things, I was on the same page. The bistro aspect really caught my attention. I love bistro cooking with the small dining, diverse and often changing menu, while keeping the surrounding neighborhood in mind and improvising off of that.

Q: So besides this incredible looking bar…what makes The Little Sparrow so special? ES: Great casual dining at affordable prices

is what a lot of people are looking for, and with us, we prepare our whole menu from scratch, so we’re able to give customers what they want. Q: What are some of the items off your menu that patrons absolutely need to try? ES: Our pastrami sandwich is made with

tri-tip rather than the typical brisket. It’s a great contender among many of our other menu items. The lamb meatballs off of our bar menu are a best seller, too. For brunch, our Bloody Mary’s, Mimosas and coffees are great, and everyone should try the corn beef hash. Our cheese plate, “Charcuterie” is definitely a must-try, too. I don’t consider us having a fusion menu, but I am definitely not against mixing different cultures to make it all jive as long as it’s fun and makes sense. Q: It seems you guys have managed to keep a fairly eclectic style to match the surrounding area and yet make it look so simple and sophisticated. ES: You have to be flexible and willing to

bend quickly with all the different tastes people have these days. It’s something of which we all really pride ourselves.

Q: What is your background as a chef? ES: I went to a culinary school in Denver,

and then immediately went to work in Chicago as a chef/baker.

“The Little Sparrow is named after the French singer, Edith Piaf from the 1940s and ‘50s. She was known as “’The Little Sparrow.’” - Eric Samaniego, Executive Chef, Little Sparrow Café


CRAVE RESTAURANT & CAFE 410 W 4th Street Santa Ana, CA 92701 714.907.0063

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a caretaker of your own mind, body and soul, there’s no question that you should take the appropriate actions to take care of your most prized possession: yourself! Eating right has never been easier. We scouted out the best locations in Orange County, from Anaheim to Laguna Beach to Downtown Santa Ana, that not only have your best interests in mind when it comes to your wellbeing, but also offer menus that replenish your body with the right nutrients! We spoke with various CEOs and chefs, as they filled us in on what’s hip and trendy on their menus now. Once you start treating your body with the same adoration and respect that you would towards a temple, really great changes are bound to happen!

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lines extending beyond the door, and filling the streets with anxious customers excited to try their savory dishes.


Crave Restaurant & Cafe 410 W 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701 714.907.0063 | Within a short timespan, these guys went from serving sheriffs to serving a crowd of locals. Judy and Brian Fleenor are the dynamic duo behind the woodworks of Crave, a “casual, funky, old-school meets modern shabby-chic” hangout in downtown Santa Ana. By popular demand, Crave made its grand opening in 2012 and had

Did you know they get their cheese from a goat rescue? The money that’s raised from the cheeses they use goes towards keeping the goats alive. CRAVE really is where fresh meets quality. They smoke their meats on site at the restaurant.

Don’t think of “greens” as just salads. Next time you’re at THE STAND, order one of their green smoothies; it’s filled with fruit, fresh juice and blended with a handful of greens such as kale, spinach and chard. “The smoothie is combined with the sweetness from the juice along with the greens. It’s a very palatable way to eat fresh greens by liquefying it. Also makes it easier to digest,” Edward tells us.

Got a sweet tooth? Pay a visit to Crave, and delight yourself with one of their fresh baked goods, especially the cookies. Their snicker doodle and chocolate-chip cookies are mouthwatering. You can’t have just one! Yes, I can confirm this. I devoured two of them within minutes… Inspired by a walk-through-Paris look, Crave is meticulously built to embody a French Country

The Stand Natural Food Restaurant 238 Thalia St, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 949.494.8101 The Stand is what I’d consider one of Laguna Beach’s hidden gems. Don’t let its size fool you. Though it’s tucked away from the herds of people, what The Stand possesses is great passion and devotion towards providing customers with tasty, nourishing, simple and animal-free food items. The Stand has been up and running since the ‘70s, and has been working with the same intention since day one. I got a chance to sit down with Edward Brancard, the owner and man that manages all of the operations behind this eatery that’s known to locals as a throwback! I was in awe as I looked at the menu. These guys are up and running at seven in the morning, serving breakfast to locals. They’ve got a full-service juice bar filled with smoothies, shakes, vegetable juices and green drinks, and we’re not finished! They’ve got a full lunch menu that offers sandwiches, pitas, bowls, burritos and thirteen different kinds of salads. You name it! “That’s what we try to do here: put it all together in a way that makes people very comfortable, regardless of what their orientation is. We have excellent service at the window to explain and guide people that are not familiar with vegan cuisine,” Edward tells us. Forget the glitz and the glam! If you want to eat at a place that is comfortable, open and natural, The Stand is a perfect fit. It’s chill and not pretentious. You can choose to sit in the sun, or the shade. It is definitely one of those places

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Crave customers are always fascinated by the wide variety of menu options. Next time you’re out eating with a group of friends, don’t stress! There’s something here for everyone, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free. Crave also substitutes alternatives to best fit your dietary plan. Crave makes your food on the spot to ensure quality and freshness: “The best food is simply done and fresh. There’s no processing here. We cut everything fresh everyday. We keep it simple,” Brian adds.






They’re all about the food. “We offer healthy, clean and good food. Everything is from local farms. Our portions are generous. Our prices are great. The reason we named it Crave is because a lot of our customers eat here two to three times a day. They’re addicted to our food,” Judy tells us.

bistro with old brick, old floors and exposed themes. However, it’s casual to the point that it’s approachable. Crave radiates that down-to-earth vibe that all customers love; the staff makes an effort to learn everyone’s names, and everyone that visits is considered family. When asked to describe Crave in three words, Judy and Brian answered “fresh, local and passionate. We pour our hearts and souls into the food.”

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where you can sit down to enjoy your meal and feel right at home. Most importantly, what The Stand possesses is a lot of heart. I quickly caught onto this when I met Edward and his staff. Their love and integrity is reflected in how they handle their customers. Prior to leaving, I asked Edward what

his favorite part about The Stand was, and he answered: “I enjoy creating the food, and mostly seeing people’s eyes light up when they see the menu and the many different things we offer. Once they start trying some things, I love the part where they’re very satisfied.” (laughs)






Talk about a full-on healthy ensemble! Pair your healthy vegetarian meal with one of their organic teas and fresh lemonades. And did you know VEGGIE GRILL’S food contains no cholesterol, antibiotics, or hormones? Phew!

Boo! AU NATURAW actually has a ghost. Employees have seen and heard it. No worries. The ghost lives upstairs, where he or she will (hopefully) remain undisturbed…

Veggie Grill Locations throughout Orange County Going vegetarian has never been easier. Veggie Grill was a start-up restaurant at University of California, Irvine, in 2006. Since then, this chain has expanded into twenty-two locations along the West Coast. Greg Dollarhyde, the restaurant’s chief energizing officer, filled us in on Veggie Grill’s menu options. Veggie Grill’s menu options are definitely close to home. This local eatery serves mainstream food that we’re all acquainted with: tacos, sandwiches, cheeseburgers, kale Caesar salads, bacon, Buffalo wings, etc. – nothing too foreign or exotic to the point that we can’t pronounce (thankfully!). “Our goal is to bring clean food that’s good for you, but also keep it familiar. All of our veggie proteins are made from organic, non-GMO soy, wheat and pea proteins. We are trying to make a protein that emulates chicken or steak,” Greg shares. And they’re not kidding. After trying their Buffalo wings myself, I never would have been able to tell that it was vegetarian. This is as close to real as it gets, folks! Veggie Grill is on its way to revolutionizing the way the world perceives vegetarian foods. These guys prove that vegetarian food can be savory to the point that it can serve as a replacement for comfort food. One of Veggie Grill’s best-selling dishes is the Santa Fe Crispy Chicken sandwich, which consists of Fried Chickin’, lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado and spicy vegan mayo. Add some of their famous sweetheart fries, and indulge! Veggie Grill is a fast-casual restaurant with a contemporary, clean and minimalist look. Perfect hangout to grab lunch with some friends at and stay healthy! While you’re here, their friendly and caring staff will engage you as a real person, and not just a number. On top of excellent vegetarian options, A+ for hospitality and service!

Au Naturaw 206 N Broadway, Suite A, Santa Ana, CA 92701 714.955.4774 | Yes, it’s true. Eating healthy can heal. This compelling story of recovery is sure to inspire! Marchell Williams, owner and executive chef of Au Naturaw was suffering from illness when she was introduced to raw foods and its healing capabilities. After eating all raw, eight months later, she was clean and has been ever since. While she was working in public education, a halt in her career caused her to rethink her

passions. “It came to raw foods. I was healed by it; I believed in it. I realized that it could be a great message –consciously, ecologically and fundamentally,” Marchell tells us. Au Naturaw is a vegan restaurant, whose “goal is to bring non-GMO, organic, local and healthy plant-strong cuisine to customers.” After working in the restaurant industry for more than twenty years, Marchell utilizes the techniques, recipes (and secrets!) she’s accumulated, and implements these skills towards the food at Au Naturaw. Those who eat here can definitely feel the love and passion she puts into her food. “You go into the kitchen with love and abandonment. I never really follow a recipe, and I don’t have strict rules. You have to love what you do, because it goes into the food, and customers can taste that love. They tell me that all the time: ‘We know you love it because we feel it, and we taste it,’” shares Marchell. This quaint eatery is the “oasis located in the concrete jungle,” as Marchell likes to call it. Prepare to be captured by the restaurant’s tranquil and serene atmosphere that will make you never want to leave. A green tropic smoothie is a must-try at Au Naturaw with orange juice, spinach, banana and mango. Sounds like the perfect blend to quench your thirst!

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sunday brunch. craft cocktails. organic produce. sustainable seafood. prime aged steaks. costa mesa, ca

w w w. s c o t t s r e s t a u r a n t a n d b a r. c o m







They’re babes! SEABIRDS’ staff is not only known to be experts when it comes to their food, but for being eye candy, as well!

Talk about delicious overload…guess how many pounds of gyro meat DAPHNE’S uses every week? About 13,000 pounds per week and 53,000 pounds every month!

Seabirds Kitchen The LAB 2930 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 714.549.2584 | Twitter @seabirdskitchen Instagram @seabirdies Seabirds Kitchen started off as a food truck in 2010, but has since evolved into a crowd-drawing favorite at The LAB. Stephanie Morgan, the mastermind behind Seabirds Kitchen, was working in finance in New York when she became curious about the food she was eating. After sampling several restaurants, Morgan realized there was something lacking in the dishes, which led to her own experimentation in the kitchen. After inquiring more about healthy food options, Morgan became a vegan overnight, drew up a business plan, and voilà! Seabirds is the ultimate modern, laid-back and chic hangout where you can expect great customer service and quality meals that will provide long-lasting energy for you to conquer the day. Expect nothing short of excellence when it comes to your greens. Their menus are based off organic and sustainable produce from local farms. “The best part for me, is talking to the farmers to see what they’re getting excited about. If they’re excited about it, then that inspires me to do something with that piece of produce,” explains Morgan. This restaurant’s lively and energetic atmosphere has been attracting locals since opening day. The restaurant’s interior certainly matches their “Go Green/Reuse/Recycle” initiative, as Seabirds “has a vision of reusing materials that already served a purpose at one place, and can now serve a purpose here.” While promoting a healthy and organic lifestyle, Seabirds also makes a conscientious effort to preserve the environment, giving customers the option to eat local and organic in a natural atmosphere. On to the eats! Their Holy Smokes bowl is a must-try: brown rice, grilled jackfruit, sautéed greens, zucchini, pickled red onion, coconut bacon, seabirds sauce and Kentucky barbeque sauce. This has been a bestseller since day one. Cha Cha Kombucha is another crowd favorite and bestselling beverage. This fun drink is not

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only tasty and exuberant in flavor, but there’s a catch! It contains healing properties: helping with digestion, prevention of gray hair, and maintaining clear skin. Daphne’s California Greek Locations throughout California, Arizona and Colorado Taste the best of both worlds at its finest! Daphne’s California Greek is a cool and hip restaurant that serves customers a mix of traditional Mediterranean food with a dash of California-inspired cuisine. Bill Trefethen, CEO of Daphne’s, had a vision of transforming Daphne’s and broadening its appeal to a wider demographic. Today, there are over 50 locations spread throughout California. Trefethen’s primary focus was to create a restaurant that exuded a fresh vibe, and that’s also committed to serving the community. At

Daphne’s, you can get “flavorful food that’s healthy in comparison to other fast and casual places.” Well, it sure is apparent because I instantly felt rejuvenated after trying their mini pita trio. Side note: their hummus is also to die for! Daphne’s is definitely the local hangout for those who want to engage in the California lifestyle, but not forgetting the Greek roots of it. With the décor and music to reflect the upbeat lifestyle, Daphne’s definitely got that “feel-good” vibe going on for them. It’s current and fresh, yet not contrived. This is the spot that’s not to miss! Daphne’s sure knows how to take care of its regular customers, too. Join the club, and start earning points for the purchases you make at Daphne’s by joining the Pita Points Rewards Club. As a Daphne’s customer, you can also enjoy free music downloads from Daphne’s Radio mobile app. Get the app today, and enjoy soundtracks that embody Daphne’s hip and trendy lifestyle! Great food. Great service. Great music. Win!




True Food Kitchen is super healthy, but does not sacrifice quality either. These guys prove that you can have a meal that is fulfilling and that is good for you. After shopping at Fashion Island, this restaurant’s upbeat, busy and bustling vibe is sure to end your day on a good note!



Be ready to delight yourself in savory deliciousness when you order one of Chef Tobin’s favorite dishes: the edamame dumplings. His philosophy when it comes to cooking? Let the ingredients speak for themselves. No wonder those dumplings were calling my name…

Who are the geniuses behind the concept of TRUE FOOD KITCHEN? Dr. Andrew Weil and Sam Fox collaborated and created the idea of a restaurant that would offer local, sustainable and globally inspired food options, many of which are based off of the anti-inflammatory diet! And don’t fret! You can unravel the secrets behind True Food's delicious recipes by reading their cookbook, True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure by Andrew Weil, Sam Fox, Michael Stebner.

I kid you not. GREENLEAF GOURMET CHOPSHOP has a happy hour everyday from 3-5 pm. They’ve also got their own secret cocktail menu in the works. Cheers! And don’t forget to take a look around Greenleaf, and notice the paintings. Jonathan’s mother painted them all! Note: the pictures on the wall are also of Jonathan and his siblings. Aww!

True Food Kitchen 451 Newport Center Drive Newport Beach, CA 92626 949.644.2400 | Prepare to indulge in dishes at the utmost healthy standard when visiting True Food Kitchen. We spoke with Chef Matthew Tobin and were reminded of why we all love replenishing our bodies with healthy nutrients. True Food Kitchen

strives to bring to customers “sustainable and globally inspired, yet healthy cuisine options.”

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop Two Costa Mesa locations Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop is where fast meets affordable and healthy. Enjoy your meals in an environment that offers fresh, healthy, local food in an eco-friendly atmosphere. Meet Jonathan Rollo, the visionary and corporate chef behind Greenleaf. They call him the “Commander-in-Leaf.” He and Executive Chef, Kristi Ritchey, are the duo that’s passionate and committed to whipping up dishes that are not only savory and flavorful, but healthy, as well.

choices based on healthy plans. We don’t preach a certain diet or fad. We believe that people should be able to make their own choices,” Rollo shares. So when it comes to Greenleaf, it

It won’t take long for you to catch onto the Greenleaf personality once you walk in. These guys are warm friendly, and devoted to the health, lifestyle and wellbeing of their customers. Order one of Greenleaf ’s bestselling salads, like the lemon grass chicken salad. Take a seat, and immerse yourself in the “wine-country, rustic, open SoCal lifestyle” that Greenleaf radiates. Each Greenleaf location in Orange County has its own garden. Chef Ritchey is devoted to crafting her menu to support a healthy diet and lifestyle for Greenleaf ’s customers. It’s no question that your health is their number one priority here. Greenleaf welcomes all kinds of eaters. “We’ve created menus so that people can make smart

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True Food Kitchen does not adhere to any one genre and provides a wide range of fun menu options to meet the needs of any kind of eater. “You can get anything from a Moroccan salad to curry to a burger or a casserole. We don’t stick to just one genre of food.”

does not matter what type of food philosophy you’re basing your diet on. Their overriding philosophy is to enable customers to make their own choices! Sweet!

Healthy Junk 201 W Center Street Promenade Anaheim, CA 92805 714.772.5865 | Our prayers have been answered. Thanks to Chef Lynda, junk food has been made healthy. Lynda is the owner of The Healthy Junk, where you can indulge in healthy vegan dishes that are made up of only the finest ingredients. This is as close as its gets to the real deal. “I always buy top-quality. We don’t use preservatives. We use non-GMO products. All of our bread is made fresh daily. We get our produce in fresh daily,” Lynda shares with us. Healthy Junk’s burgers are a must-try for any customer. The catch? “It’s a meaty burger, but you wouldn’t think it. There are ten different vegetables in there, but you can’t see it, so when you’re eating it, you can just enjoy it!” What a way to fill your body with the right nutrients!






Healthy Junk has not only been an attraction to vegetarians and vegans, but meat-eaters, as well. When you visit, you can trust that your health and wellbeing is in good hands. It’s no question that Lynda is an expert herself with it comes to eating healthy. Her tip for us? “Eat the colors of the rainbow! It’s really important that you eat healthy. You have to treasure your body. Everything works better when you eat healthy,” Lynda explains.

The ACTIVE CULTURE building is actually one of the first buildings constructed in Laguna Beach!

Chef Lynda has been dubbed as the “kale queen!” “Kale has more nutrients than any other plant on earth, and more calcium than milk,” Lynda shares. Add the kale and garlic pizza to your “to-try” list when visiting THE HEALTHY JUNK.

Active Culture 1006 S. Coast Hwy Laguna Beach, CA 92651 949.715.5188 Enjoy the best of Southern California living, and take part in the Active Culture of Orange County at this small and chic family business that offers “food with fuel.” Faye Clapp, owner of Active Culture, opened up this café with a mission to bring locals “healthy, organic and whole foods.” This includes fresh ingredients and fresh fruits. These guys make sure that “everything is minimally processed, so it can fuel our busy lifestyles.” Contrary to popular belief, sweet does not have to mean unhealthy! Just when you think it couldn’t get any healthier, Active Culture offers organic frozen yogurt, showing that you can satisfy your sweet tooth cravings guilt-free. Sigh of relief ! With a dozen options to choose from, Active Culture also offers acai bowls, rice bowls, organic salads, wraps, bagels and soups for breakfast and lunch. Active Culture proves that healthy food can and will taste good! Revitalize yourself with one of Active Culture’s vegan shakes! The Naked Coconut is a crowd favorite. You can’t help but notice the diversification when glancing at their menus. Faye explains, “My favorite part about Active Culture is I get to continuously expand and change the menu, so I get to be creative. I get to express myself through the food. For me, it’s a huge

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reward when people talk about how good the food is.” This café is conveniently located a street away from the beach. Next time you’re enjoying a day of sunbathing or surfing the waves, drop on by for a treat! Happy eating.

Chef Lynda prepared for us some curly yam fries, drizzled with ranch and barbeque sauce, and can I say that they were absolutely amazing! Being as famished as we were, we devoured them in seconds. Thanks, Lynda!


SCRATCH Sushi Edition - Fin to Finish


“Irasshaimase!” With the same aplomb and snap-to attention

displayed by cadets during a salute, sushi restaurant chefs greet new customers with this traditionally loud welcome. They must have somehow synchronized their peripheral visions, because their enthusiastic cry is always made right in line with customers’ entrances, all sounding off together. Part one of your sushi experience is complete —the attentive salutation. Part two begins once you are seated and met with the vast array of sea-dwelling creatures that can be eaten in numerous ways; which will make it a memorable night for you?

Some diners may enter these restaurants with trepidation, wondering what would make anyone think it okay to tackle raw fish, while others dive right in, eager to give up their choosing ability to taste the freshest catch. Let me lure you into these waters with the style ubiquitous to southern California—the sushi roll. Here are six Orange County restaurants and their signature sushi rolls; wade a little deeper with me into what makes them so special.

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OKURA ROBATA GRILL & SUSHI 858 S Coast Hwy Laguna Beach, CA 92651 949.793.4320





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levated and overlooking the busy Pacific Coast Highway, the OKURA ROBATA GRILL & SUSHI restaurant stands tall and wide. The moment after you pass through ceiling-to-wall glass doors, full bottles at the bar and an expansive interior await. For a restaurant in Laguna Beach, this is a giant with an appropriately hefty menu to boot. Their street-side room features an impressive wrap-around window allowing for sunny rays to turn a meal into a dining experience. For owner Jay Lee, this is not the first time for fresh and quality-centric sushi; she owns another beloved Okura in La Quinta where it has stood eight years and won numerous awards. Executive Chef Jin Heo, recently recognized by Best Chefs America, directs the menu at both locations and is so quiet and humble that I nearly felt reverent. They describe their concept as an Italian-Japanese restaurant featuring Japanese cuisine prepared with Italian techniques. The roll we explored is their HAMACHI MANGO ROLL, an artful piece containing slices of yellow mango and thick-cut hamachi on top and filled with tempura asparagus spears and avocado. Tobiko is also gently but generously piled on top of each slice, which is then presented on an elegant rectangular glass plate dotted with sauce. Okura found its inspiration in this roll from its desire to experiment with the zip of citrus combined with the freshness of fish.

“For chef, when I asked him how he wanted people to think of him, he said, ‘For me, sincerity is number one.’” - JAY LEE, OWNER, OKURA SEAWEED


Tell me about yourself as a chef. JH: I was

Does your menu change often? JL: For

Why sushi? JH: I like seafood. With any kind of job, when you start work, you start from the bottom. Little by little you develop the skills. JL: (My chef does a lot to show through his food but when it comes to talking, I’m usually the one doing it. laughs) He likes that sushi is very fresh and has nothing added to it. The fish itself is very clean, and we bring it in every day. He started as a sushi chef but wanting to learn something else, he gradually expanded to Italian techniques. The value in both styles and in cooking overall is that whatever he makes, he says he wants to put sincerity first. When he is cutting with his knife, sincerity is what he always keeps in his mind.

Five words to describe your restaurant? JL:

studying to become an aerospace engineer at Texas Tech but stopped when I started thinking I wanted to open a restaurant one day. JL: He started going to sushi school when he was 20. His background has grown, so it’s not just sushi but Italian-Japanese. It’s all sushi as you can see on the menu, but there’s a lot of Italian technique behind the dishes. You’ll see that we have a lot of carpaccio, for example.

What are the most popular items? JH:

Serrano Hamachi Roll is very popular - if you like spicy. JL: James Dean Roll. Marilyn Monroe Roll. Gene Autry Roll. We put celebrity names on our rolls at our other restaurant and brought that here. We have a big menu with starters, carpaccio, robata, tempura and even entrees like Black Cod and Chilean Sea Bass. My favorite is the Saikyo Miso Sea Bass and chef likes the Salmon Robata Skewers, which have a sauce of capers and shallots.

the menu, we do a major change once a year but minor changes seasonally. We test all the time, developing the concept one year and then testing every day. He’ll make something and run it with our local regular customers to get their feedback. When/if they like it, we put it as a special for a while. Then, we learn from it. It takes a whole year actually and out of those, we see which were the most liked to select for the new menu. Cutting edge, energy, quality, humble and sincerity. What makes you stand apart? JL: The

freshness of the ingredients comes first, whatever concept you choose to do. Also, we always have to learn for the next year. People who are famous chefs, how did they get to that level? They never rested and were always looking toward the future to become better. That’s our philosophy too–to become better. If you own your own restaurant, you know that it’s all about costs, but for me, I want my chef to become the best chef in the area, never settling. They get to use the best ingredients, always trying this and that. With these ingredients, I just say, go ahead but make something that people will remember to come back for! You’ll taste it. Your palate is very sensitive. Owner – Jay Lee (Interviewed – JL) Executive Chef – Jin Heo (Interviewed – JH)



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he Triangle in Costa Mesa at the end of the 55 Freeway has been sprouting with new restaurants, and H2O SUSHI & IZAKAYA is one of them. Having opened in the early summer of 2013, this hip and flashy joint is part of the Octopus Restaurants conglomerate, which also encompasses familiar OC restaurants such as Gen BBQ and Sumo. I spoke with General Manager Grant Lee and Head Chef Mike Park about this particular location and how its chic environment lines up with their quality fish. They were more than happy to speak about the intensity with which they work to provide the best sushi experience, and we took a look at their SASHIMI ROLL, the most popular roll by volume.

A gorgeous piece of art with a flair befitting of the restaurant’s decor, this roll took a step towards a less beaten path, utilizing traditional standards but incorporating a touch of modern pizzazz. It was aptly called the sashimi roll for its lack of rice; instead, the inside consisted of fresh tuna, salmon and albacore surrounded by imitation crab and dotted internally by slivers of avocado and asparagus. The entire grouping was then wrapped in soy paper, topped with sprouts, drizzled in three kinds of sauce and speckled with tobiko (flying fish roe). Inspired by the community’s health-conscious mindset and search for low calories, this roll is based on being flavorful yet healthy.

“My omakase - once they know about it, they’ll get it more and more.” - MIN SUK “MIKE” PARK, HEAD CHEF, H2O SUSHI & IZAKAYA

Tell me about yourself as a chef. MP:

I didn’t go to sushi school but learned in restaurants for 14 years, starting in Korea. In school, they teach basic stuff, but I think it’s wasting time. I worked and learned all different styles from the chefs themselves. I don’t like only making Japanese food; I can make Korean, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Westernized and more, so that’s why I can make a fusion style. I like learning. What are the most popular items? GL: Our focus is on rolls but we also have

cooked dishes like Miso Black Cod, Beef Hibachi and Chicken Hibachi. The kitchen isn’t always busy, but the sushi chefs are. A good roll is the Angry Tail Roll. Do you offer preparations of sushi other than rolls? GL: Everyone knows that

H2O is more fusion sushi than traditional from the moment they walk in. We still have those roots though, and if a customer wants that, Mike gives it to them. MP: My favorite to do is omakase. It’s not popular yet, because people don’t know about it. They like looking at pictures first so they see rolls, but my omakase has very good portions, big variety and good quality at a reasonable price of $80 for sashimi, sushi, salad, miso black cod, yakitori and more. How would you guide novice sushi eaters? MP: First - look at the color. It’s

hard to teach people actually if they don’t have experience with raw fish, but I would show them the color. Then, I recommend that they start with a California roll or crunchy roll. If they want fish, I would start with white fish, little by little, because it is less fishy. How often are you bringing in fish? MP: Every day. For example, Spanish

mackerel - I’ll get one piece or two pieces, and if it’s sold out, it’s sold out. We don’t have much left over. We have daily fish delivery to make it fresh for customers. I also check the quality before I take it. Five words to describe your restaurant? GL: Energetic, clean, smooth,

fun and classy.

What makes you stand apart? GL: I

stand behind our food. In addition to that, our decor is very upscale, and we have a full bar with a lot of drink offerings. The LED lighting around makes it nice and perfect for our private rooms and events. Head Chef - Min Suk “Mike” Park (interviewed - MP) Manager - Grant Lee (interviewed - GL)

H20 SUSHI & IZAKAYA 1870 Harbor Blvd, Ste 100 Costa Mesa, CA 92627 949.515.7400








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TEN ASIAN BISTRO 4647 MacArthur Blvd Newport Beach, CA 92660 949.660.1010






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EN ASIAN BISTRO has a long-standing history of its own and is notorious for its attached nightclub. Located in the borderlands of Newport Beach, Santa Ana and Irvine, the restaurant has been revered for having some of the best (Westernized) Asian food in Orange County. When Executive Sushi Chef David Fernandez returned to his old stomping grounds in October 2013 (he held that position for several years in the early 2000s but left to open his own restaurant) to revitalize the sushi menu, I knew it was time to see which of his magic rolls were coming with him. Lucky for us, the one he shared was one of my favorites: the SPICY DOMO ROLL. What puts the oomph in his roll is the attention to texture. On the inside, we get his shrimp tempura, avocado and cucumber giving a crisp and crunch. These are wrapped with seaweed and then rice before being topped with beautiful seared tuna and fried onion crunchies. Accompanying drizzles are of a sweet soy sauce and Sushi Dave’s Jalapeno Sauce®, his signature product purchasable at the restaurant and even online at The roll was endearingly named after his best friend who reminds him never to give up and that he’ll always come back on top again.

“Our goal is to bring amazing service with incredible food, serving the freshest seafood possible.” - DAVID FERNANDEZ, EXECUTIVE SUSHI CHEF, TEN ASIAN BISTRO

SWEET SOY SAUCE Tell me about yourself as a chef. As a Korean-Mexican

and raised in both cultures, I like to combine culinary influences from Asian and Mexican cuisines. I am a 20-year veteran of sushi having worked at Aysia 101 in Newport Beach, View Shi at The Newport Beach Marriott, White Lotus Hollywood, O Sushi Cafe in Brea, The Drink Rock N Sushi in Lake Forest, Daimon’s in Huntington Beach, Sushi At The Venetian Gentleman’s Club in Anaheim and Mr. J’s in Santa Ana. What are the most popular items?

Spicy Domo Roll, Cajun Seared Albacore with crispy onion, Seared Yellowtail Jalapeno Roll and Japanese Nachos. Do you offer preparations of sushi other than rolls? Yes. I can make whatever

How would you guide novice sushi eaters? If someone were to sit in front of

me and had never had sushi before, I would ask them a couple of questions, such as, “Do you eat fish? Do you like spicy or sweet?” —and so on. I would help make them feel comfortable; and then, tell them to let me take over. Five words to describe your restaurant?

Sexy, modern, unique, heaven, amazing. What makes you stand apart? We get

our fish in daily AND make all of our sauces in-house. Ten is a high-volume restaurant, so our fish is constantly moving in and out to our guests, always fresh. Executive Sushi Chef - David Fernandez (interviewed)

the customers like. Also, the restaurant is completely fusion, so there are Chinese, Japanese and Thai foods available.


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hances are, if you are looking into how some best-selling rolls are deconstructed, you are no stranger to sushi. J.P. Dizon, General Manager of RA SUSHI in Tustin at The District, calls their #1 selling roll—the VIVA LAS VEGAS ROLL—a primer between the two realms of novice and expert sushi eaters. This ostentatious masterpiece combines raw and cooked fish in an over-the-top display that has customers craning to see all its pieces before clamoring to order one for their own tables.


Where do we begin? Roll together kanikama (imitation crab) and cream cheese in rice and seaweed before dipping into a tempura batter. Fry and slice. Top each piece with Viva mix made of spicy tuna and kanikama mix. Drizzle with sweet eel sauce. Sprinkle on green tempura bits colored by spinach. Season lotus roots with togarashi and fry into chips - use as a garnish atop the slices. Voila! You have yourself a head-turner that fills the rooms with cries of, “I want that thing with the poker chips.”

“The point is that if sushi is one of your top three favorite foods, why not have it in a fun environment where everyone here is making sure you have the best time possible AND you get your favorite food? Wash it down with a couple sake bombs (we have a full bar!) and you have a party.” - J.P. DIZON, GENERAL MANAGER OF RA SUSHI, TUSTIN

Tell me about your chefs. RA’s executive

chef is Tai who conceptualizes the whole menu for all the restaurants. At the Tustin location is Sean Hwang who has been with the company over 10 years; he’s their go-to guy when you need more information about everything sushi AND is Tai’s protégé. What are the most popular items? Tootsy

Maki, Crispy Spicy Tuna and Gojira Roll.

Do you offer preparations of sushi other than rolls? Absolutely. All of our

fish is about as fresh as you can get. We get it fresh every day and prepare it daily, so we have sashimi ranging from halibut, striped bass, tuna and salmon—all the basics. Our menu changes once a year based on what people enjoy. How would you guide novice sushi eaters? At the end of the day, your taste

decides what is good and bad. Just go with what you like.

What are your suggestions for dishes people should start with here at RA?

If you’re a beginner, start with anything fully cooked like our Shrimp Tempura Roll, California Roll, Tootsy Maki (our take on a

California Roll) or Crazy Monkey Roll. Then, you get to Spicy Tuna Roll or Gojira Roll. Eventually, when you get more adventurous, we have a RA-llipop (riceless roll wrapped in lobok radish and soy paper with salmon, tuna, spicy tuna and yellowtail in the middle) and RA tapas, which are small plates of sashimi garnished with sauce and/ or veggies.


Five words to describe your restaurant?

Fun, energetic, unique, party, sushi. What makes you stand apart? The


ambiance and energy we’re providing - having a party where you eat, which you aren’t going to get everywhere. You’re going to come here and bring your friends. That’s what we’re all about; not only are we fusion with our food, but we’re fusion with our ambiance and environment, too. Executive Chef - Tai Obata at Scottsdale Headquarters General Manager of Tustin location J.P. Dizon (interviewed) Chef of Tustin location - Dongyoung “Eddie” Choe



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RA SUSHI - TUSTIN 2401 Park Ave Tustin, CA 92782 714.566.1700 | JANUARY 2014 | 65

BLUEFIN 7952 E Pacific Coast Hwy Newport Coast, CA 92657 949.715.7373






verlooking the Pacific Ocean, BLUEFIN sits in Crystal Cove Promenade without any exterior pomp. It doesn’t need it, though. A serious restaurant that managed to ride through all hard economic times based on its steady clientele, it is held up by its firm traditional standards of quality that keep bringing customers back. The summertime contributes plenty of tourists but year-round, regular diners from the neighborhoods and others seeking sushi along the stretch of Pacific Coast Highway come to fill the 40 seats. Head Chef and Owner Takashi Abe put together Bluefin as not only a sushi bar but a place where Japanese food is created worthy of Japanese people. With daily fish shipments, the restaurant boasts fresh fish and a highly skilled staff of six rotating sushi chefs. We took a look at the BLUEFIN ROLL. Inspired by customers’ wants and by combining all desires into an ultimate roll, Bluefin has a signature namesake roll that looks extremely simple but is complex in creation. King crab leg tempura is joined by avocado and asparagus inside of rice, all of which are covered by seared albacore tuna and topped with a spicy sauce, ponzu sauce, garlic oil, roasted onion puree and Sriracha. The sauces are housemade (save for the Sriracha) and therefore part of the roll’s secret as a popular dish.

“Don’t break my sushi! American food can be eaten with a knife and a fork. Some will try to use the chopsticks like a knife and a fork, but they should try the Japanese culture instead.” - TAKASHI ABE, HEAD CHEF AND OWNER, BLUEFIN

Tell me about yourself as a chef. I started

training in Japan right after high school and have been a chef for 35 years. I trained in Japan and came to United States when I was 24 years old. Bluefin has been open around 8 years, but I owned a restaurant in Balboa before that. I’ve been in California with restaurants for 13 years now. What are the most popular items? Our wild king salmon dishes. We also have a full kitchen, so we do everything: boil, broil, steam, fry, etc. Do you offer preparations of sushi other than rolls? Yes, but first, I want to teach you

how to eat sushi. For sushi chefs from Japan like me who try to learn sushi, training is so hard. We could not touch the rice or the fish at first. After seven years, you could. It’s a long process, and everyone has a different style. Here, American sushi is sometimes broken with chopsticks, trying to be cut like with a knife and fork, and I don’t want that here. It took me seven to eight years to learn to make that sushi, but when they break my sushi and my rice, I get so sad! Why did I dedicate seven years to the art? Sushi is supposed to be one bite—it’s a perfect size with perfect flavor. I want every customer to try it in one go to get a better taste. How would you guide novice sushi eaters? It’s very hard to find people here who

have never had it, but if they really are new, they are scared the first time, so try the cooked

stuff first. Most people are not going to come in alone but rather with friends to help them. You seem very proud of your sushi, which I admire. Tell me more about your style. We make the sushi rice very

delicate so you just put the soy sauce in your mouth and don’t chew much; just let it finish in your mouth. It’s very delicate. A lot of people fill a whole dish with soy sauce and wasabi and then soak the rice. Then it’s impossible for the whole thing to come out like sushi! That’s why a lot of places make the sushi rice very hard, but it shouldn’t be. If you need soy sauce, put it down fish side but just a little bit. I just want them to enjoy the sushi better, because it’s good sushi. It’s the same thing if you chop-chop-chop pasta or chop-chop-chop steak—the taste is different. It doesn’t taste like how it was supposed to be. My sushi is just more delicate. Five words to describe your restaurant?

Fine dining, quality, Californian, delicate and skilled. What makes you stand apart? Quality! We

are a Japanese restaurant, and a lot of places tend to be traditional, but we try to be a bit more unique with influences from all cuisines. We use a lot of ingredients you might see in other foods like Italian but in our own style. Head Chef and Owner Takashi Abe (interviewed)



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tep inside SOTA and you’ll be impressed by the mixed media emphasis on textures via recycled teak wood and stone furniture, recycled glass and metal lighting fixtures and natural grass cloth paper walls. The interior is just one of the ways Chef and Owner Sota Akiyama steers his restaurant away from being bland; another is the focus on bringing in unique fish and creative artistry. Only open since July 2012, SOTA has already amassed a regular clientele who fill up about 90 percent of the seats at any given time, and yes, they are always busy. He stresses to me that “Everyone should experience SOTA once. I’m very confident that they’ll want to come back a second time,” while noting that they bring in local and seasonal ingredients as much as possible.

The roll of choice to showcase was their signature “SOTA POP,” a play on words and homage to the chef’s name (as is his restaurant). This one was inspired by salads and created to be a fresh appetite starter. The flesh of the roll is snow crab legs, tuna, salmon, jicama, mango and cilantro, all wrapped in a thinly sliced cucumber skin made paper-thin. The slices are stuck with miniature wooden skewers before being drizzled with wasabi yuzu, ponzu and a dash of chile.

“I believe in not just the food and the experience but the relationship you build with clients. They should feel so comfortable that they tell other friends about it like, ‘Oh this is my other home.’”

- SOTA AKIYAMA, HEAD CHEF AND OWNER, SOTA Tell me about yourself as a chef. I was

born and raised in Japan but always had interest in cooking. I lived in the country yet literally right in front of us was a traditional sushi restaurant. I didn’t think I was going to be a sushi chef then. I came here when I was 12 but went back to Japan to learn about sushi. After returning to the US, I have been in a restaurant since. Before this, I was at Nobu for a year and a half and before that, I was head chef for six years at 930 Sushi. There were many more restaurants before 930 Sushi as well.

What are the most popular items? Hama

Jala, crispy rice and omakase.

Do you offer preparations of sushi other than rolls? We get more sashimi and sushi orders

because people are really health conscious around here. We also try to get things that other places don’t have or you can’t find. Often we get a surprise box of interesting fish not in our order which we just open and figure out how to prepare. Sometimes I don’t even know the name of the fish! We don’t use any imitation stuff. Our crab is real snow crab for example. I want everyone to be able to taste the flavors of the fish and crab instead of fillers.

How would you guide novice sushi eaters?

If people have never had it, I start with mild fish. It’s really hard for customers to know about sushi freshness so we have to show them. You really have to see the fish so I take pictures or keep the head of the fish to show them what came in that day. They can see if the eyes are clouded or not. It’s also fun because people don’t know what it looks like. I try

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to keep whatever I can—the carcass, the bones, the head— and we can always use it for soup later so it never goes to waste. We love that here; we get novice people and advanced. We welcome everyone. The point is to enjoy yourself. What do you love making here? I’m thinking

of putting the albacore tataki permanently on the menu since everyone loves it so much. It’s made with seared albacore thinly sliced and fanned out with apple ginger and a touch of ponzu, drizzled with white truffle oil and topped with crispy leeks. I love working with goldeneye, amberjack, and black cod too. Those three are fun to play with. Most customers that come are experienced so it gives us the opportunity to bring in special stuff like live sea urchin, live scallop, and live octopus as well.

Five words to describe your restaurant?

Fun, creative, energy, detailed, home. What makes you stand apart? Variety of fish,

our creativity, and the whole experience. Within our means, we try to create and cater to customers’ needs and desires. If they want to try something very different and very unique, that’s not a problem for us. I’ll make something on the spot. We have our own bar of standards though so we don’t have people asking for chicken with their sushi or something.

Head Chef and Owner - Sota Akiyama (interviewed)



SOTA 3344 E Coast Hwy Corona Del Mar, CA 92625 949.675.0771





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STARFISH 30832 Coast Hwy Laguna Beach, CA 92651

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repare for the ride of your life. Although it may not seem like it, these pages you’re reading have been bestowed with a special power, allowing the reader to be whisked on a time-defying excursion to the greatest moments in the County of Orange’s culinary history. And what are these greatest moments you ask? Actually, they are all at the same time. The same, identical hour. The happy hour. Although the same designated hour, each new period of discounted drinks, affordably comfortable appetizers, and an elevated atmosphere transports you to a new, palatable and distinct dimension. But as you may know, with this great new power comes dire responsibility. These imbued pages laid out chronologically before you will only show you a glimpse of these possible futures. It is up to you to see it through that these futures become a reality. Not taking advantage of these presented possibilities could have drastic consequences on your wallet size, drinking tolerance and social skills. After digesting the final words on these sheets of paper, the rest will be up to you and the other souls you invite along the way. Good luck.


30832 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 ( Happy Hour: Everyday 3-6pm The first destination of your yearning journey through time begins at Starfish. After quickly recollecting your land legs, you spot a road by the name of Wesley and follow it twist and turn inland. At the end of the quaint Aliso Creek Plaza lies Starfish, a space where the far eastern coasts meet the west. The front entrance gives you a choice of how to enter the symmetrical bar-stand and its surrounding table satellites. However, the real choice to weigh in on is the vast variety of eastern eats and drinks devised by partners Gretchen Andrews, Archie McConnell and Marco Romero. The team describes themselves as a perfect marriage of expertise when McConnell and Romero joined Andrews a little over a year ago. And what can be shown from an anniversary of fresh, new faces? Fresh, new flavor. Chef Romero’s 20 years of experience in Asian cuisine can be easily recognized in dishes like his $5 Crab Wontons, filled with seafaring stone crab, cream cheese, red and green bell pepper, green onion, and drizzled with a sweet chili plum sauce, or his $6 Korean Galbi Tacos, which features a tantalizing mix of sesame soy BBQ beef, gochujang aioli and hand-tossed Asian slaw. And while Chef has made a lot of little adjustments and major developments to the existing menu, McDonnell and Andrews have worked together to get the restaurant’s bearings and head off forward in focused new directions. With sales that have never been higher, the trio has definitely noticed the growing winds of support from local patrons, who have come to know and trust the consistency of quality they offer. And along the path of one of these new directions is the anticipation of a second location on the horizon. Andrews, who has been managing Starfish from day one, is well aware of the astronomical, gastronomical trend that has washed over our shores. But what Starfish does is different, and they are darn good at it. Their bar offers a refreshing cast of exotic, yet familiarly approachable combinations, in the form of their godly libations. And don’t worry, these offerings are just for you, from the Yokohama’s tropical Skyy Coconut Vodka, hand-pressed lime, lemongrass syrup, and thirst-quenching coconut water, to the Buddha’s Kiss with its unique Veev Acai Spirit, sake, mango puree, a carefully chill-salted rim and fresh, floating lime. These deified drinks and more are all available for only $6, and well martinis for $8! NATIVE KNOWLEDGE: Don’t feel like sticking around? Call in on any lazy Sunday and get 20 percent off all take-out orders!

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2607 Main Street, Irvine, CA 92614 (


KNOWLEDGE: ANDREI’S CONSCIOUS CUISINE & COCKTAILS If you really want to know how devoted the Andrei’s staff is to their cause, keep in mind that the restaurant is 100 percent non-profit. All financial gains are given to the Andrei Foundation, a 501.C3 non-profit organization focused on a number of community and global support causes. Ask GM Shannon or other staff for details, especially if you’d like to give more back yourself! DAVE & BUSTER’S Various connected rooms are also available for reservation, with max occupancies up to 2000 of your closest and most distant friends! Better yet, mention LOCALE Magazine the next time you’re booking an event at the Spectrum location and get a free room rental on us! OPAH SEAFOOD GRILL Opah reaches out to their local community in the manner they’ve seen most effective: through email blasts and mobile app notifications. This method also compliments their daily menu changes due to their constant search for unpredictably available seasonal ingredients. Join and stay connected for immediate updates on what you could be eating right now!

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Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 3-7pm, Saturday 5-7pm Your next hour begins at Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails, bordering one of OC’s biggest stretches: the 405 freeway. Although each space you’ve been welcomed to so far has its own salient, standout quality, it’s right away that you become aware of the atmosphere that Andrei’s has cultivated for its guests. And this atmosphere is one that has been watered and fed sunlight, both precious resources that Andrei’s family holds very dear. But the most important part of this final frontier for this classically trained yet worldly enlightened chef is that you begin to care, too. Since 2009, the restaurant has prided itself in its devotion to the growing sustainable movement that has fueled organic, locally sourced farmers’ markets and environmental research labs alike. Andrei’s has a wide array of not only fresh and seasonal components, but these ingredients also enter the kitchen cruelty-free and through other sustainable means. This is where the consciousness comes in. General Manager Shannon Jones explains to all the patrons she greets that Andrei’s wants you to know exactly what you’re putting in your body. And for the cuisine and cocktail provider, this only helps sell their great selection of fairly traded foods. This includes natural happy hour favorites like their kebabs, which come in sumac and mint marinated chicken or garlic and sumac spiced beef, both showcased at $8 from 3-7pm on weekdays and 5-7pm on Saturdays. With the winter months trailing off, Jones also recommends to taste their bushels of pears and apples while they are freshest. And what better method of tasting these unmodified, natural sugars than mixed with Fair Quinoa Vodka, Saint Germain liqueur and lemon juice in the form of their Green Lady drink; or, perhaps with some herbal helpings of clove and cardamom syrup and champagne known only as the Griswold. Many loyal locals who have joined the green side at Andrei’s happy hour also harvest these and more fruits and herbal infusions. If you haven’t yet pondered about how your meals end up on your plate, or the ever-increasing influx of listed, yet unpronounceable ingredients on your food packages, maybe you should visit and learn a little more, too. DAVE & BUSTER’S

71 Fortune Drive, Suite 960, Irvine, CA 92618 ( Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 4:30-7pm

Time-traveling from happy hour to happy hour is hard work, so you decide to take an occasional stroll through the winding, snaking northern tail of the Spectrum down to the next open plaza, where a cycling carousel greets you with childhood nostalgia. You’ve already noticed the behemoth of a building to your left, as it stretched far back towards the movie theater. When you pass through its doors, the venue transports you all on its own. The space acts as a cornerstone of conjoined worlds. In a matter of seconds you can cross from a swanky Vegas nightclub to a ‘50s-esque diner, a modern midway or a not-so-full-sized football field. If you haven’t already, you’ll quickly gather that people visit Dave and Buster’s to do one thing: play. Whether it is watching the latest duel of sneakered athletes, immersing yourself in a electronic, miniature city of childhood wonder, or simply enjoying the night the good, old-fashioned, adult way, Dave and Buster have designed an extremely eclectic, food-driven playhouse

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that Willy Wonka himself would kill to have. And with original cocktail creations like their purple people eater martini, combined with Stolichnaya Ohranj vodka, Hpnotiq, DeKuyper Island Punch Pucker and tart cranberry juice, who would blame him? Also be sure to try other eye-grabbing goblets, such as the milliondollar margarita with its signature glass made of pure ice, along with Hornitos Reposado 100 percent Blue Agave tequila with Tuaca liqueur and Grand Marnier. Busy bartenders like Sterling Bell can even make you a snow cone, just in case the childhood nostalgia in the bustling room next door wasn’t enough for you, drizzled with DeKuyper Watermelon Pucker, Malibu Coconut rum, Three Olives Cherry vodka, Blue Curaçao and a splash of Sprite to keep the adult inside you hanging on for dear life. All of these cocktails and more are available half off from 4:30 to 7pm Monday to Friday during happy hour, with domestic pints at a measly $2.50! After making a few new friends at the bar, you all pitch in to order some of the location’s latest munchables. Under the watchful command of executive chef, Byron Generalao, legions of edible plates make their way to your table, including their go-to, grab-friendly spinach dip, simply served with tortilla chips, fresh salsa and newly added Queso Quesadilla cheese, or their grilled balsamic chicken, accompanied with a medley of ovenroasted vegetables, new roasted potato wedges, a side of tomato and basil Bruschetta and a rich balsamic reduction lightly coated on top. And while not all the food is available for that happy hour price, don’t fret. If there’s one thing D&B’s accomplishes above all else, it is accommodation. And this goes for both it’s sheer quantity of reservable space and promotions, like their Eat, Play, Win deal. Any occasion calls for some D&B (drinks and button-mashing)! OPAH SEAFOOD GRILL

26851 Aliso Creek Road, Suite C, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656


Happy Hour: Everyday 3:30-6:30pm Deep in the heartland of the lush, tucked away world of Aliso Viejo, sits Opah. The first thing you’ll do when you see it firsthand will be noticing how in sync the surrounding community and restaurant itself are with its owner and executive chef, Mark Cohen. And with Director of Operations and all around partner-in-dine, Joe Guillena, by his side, the pair “divide and conquer” their southwestern kingdom of quality, community cuisine each day, providing the freshest surf and turf ingredients they can get their hands on. The second thing you’ll do is take a seat at the bar, conveniently set in front of you when you enter, almost acting as a friendly call to take a seat. When you do, Guillena, who is also in charge of the bar’s multi-beverage program, will take a seat next to you and make sure you feel the familiar, open environment they have put together. He also suggests a few combos you might like, like their South Coast sidecar’s Cointreau, brandy, orange, lemon and sugared rim, or even their Cherry Rye Manhattan’s George Dickel rye, sweet vermouth and Luxardo cherry syrup. Both drinks are ready to warm you up on those cold early months of the New Year. Although the two admit they can disagree once and awhile, they also believe it is this exchange of varying opinions that keeps their small chain of locations extremely and immediately adaptable. Cohen exercises a calculated and controlled restraint when managing the day-to-day activities at Opah. He will not compromise the quality of his ingredients, nor the quantity of served proportions, nor the quantity you have to pay for them. This can be duly noted in staple starters like his clean cut ahi tostadas topped with an in-house ginger slaw

and habanero cream. And if your stomach is more of a land lover, you will be compelled to order their ginger chicken meatballs, fitted with additional flavors of sweet & sour cucumbers, personally pickled ginger, and an irresistible peanut sauce.


KNOWLEDGE: CHAPTER ONE: THE MODERN LOCAL Let’s say you’re a hunter for secret menu items. If you’re smartphone equipped, check out the Chapter One menu and scan the casually placed barcode to access all sorts of hidden treats, including some publicly retired dishes you might have missed. CUCINA ENOTECA Enoteca also hosts monthly wine tastings, so you can learn more about the corked juice you love so much. Ask in advance if you’re curious to know what will be featured in the next tasting.

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In fact, it is this cool, calm and slow-growth mentality of Chef that saved the business only a few years prior during the last economic downturn. Since then, the business has reopened and extended its menu further than it has ever gone, even encompassing entirely new and evolved promotions like their happy hour, which occurs every day of the week from 3:30-6:30pm and features a $3 discount on all signature martinis, a $2 discount on all starters and a $1 discount on all beer, glasses of wine and cocktails. Talk about having a little somethin’ for everybody by taking a little somethin’ off for everybody! But this is the spirit that Opah seeks to evoke in the community it is actively connected to. Just as the Opah or moonfish was shared among sailors years ago, Cohen and Guillena only wish for their neighbors to come on by and break bread with one another. After just a single visit, you’ll leave wanting to be a part of the busiest, homiest pub hub in all of Orange County! CHAPTER ONE: THE MODERN LOCAL

227 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701 ( Happy Hour: Monday-Friday, 3-7pm When you first arrive on the corner of Broadway and 3rd St., the space may seem like a restaurant/bar with another novel theme, but what you need to do is read between the lines. Chapter One is a world of classically blended inspiration and dedicated heritage. When you walk in and admire the contextually starcrossed elements that craft the location’s cool and courteous atmosphere, co-owner Jeff Hall greets you and explains that the space is a breeding ground for all

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sorts of paradoxical phenomena in what he can only describe as “controlled chaos.” Formerly of the Haven Gastropub in Orange’s Old Towne District, Hall and cofounders Jeffrey (JJ) Jensen and Tim O’Connor have carried over the historical spirit of Old Towne Orange to the Artists Village of Santa Ana, including the grand old tradition of happy hour, which is entitled “After Office” at Chapter One. Leading the discounted charge is Chef Jason Montelibano, more affectionately known as Chef Chicken Wing by friends and locals. The title is fitting of the restaurant’s new executive chef, who has revitalized the menu with creations such as the salmon croquette, which is actually a spiritual successor to their retired salmon nachos. The croquette exhibits Montelibano’s French training from Pasadena’s Le Cordon Bleu with caper and tarragon vinaigrette, potato croquette, grassy parsley crème and classy tobiko caviar. However, the other side of his style is dictated by his Filipino culture, especially dishes like his Sigsig Fries, layered with levels of colors and textures of pulled pork, pig ears, pig tail, pig jowl, salsa criolla and a grilled and gooey fried egg dropped in. For After Office, these influences come together in the wild variety of tapas plates that are half price for their special “hour.” Take a step down to the bar and manager Drew Tripp will introduce their impressive lineup of culinary cocktail concoctions featuring their just-as-varied list of gastronomical ingredients, from in-house bacon bourbon to spicy ginger beer: the fuel for their famous Moscow mule, along with Svedka Swedish vodka, Chase elderflower liqueur and a decent chime of lime and ginger. This drunken donkey of a drink, as well as many other fruit infusions and wines, are available for $5 a glass and draft beers are $3 off. And while After Office may only be from 3-7pm, come back on one of the many other special nights

for different deals, such as industry nights on Mondays, 3pm-2am, and live jazz nights on Wednesdays, 6:309:30pm, with half off wines and no corkage fees. To summarize Chapter One’s introduction to Santa Ana, the restaurant and gastropub combination is not only compiling the usual “classic with a twist” strategy, but is truly bridging the vision and passion of a great restaurant with a misconstrued but earnest, local community. Not only will you feel at home at Chapter One like at a traditional public house of Ireland, you will feel at home in Santa Ana, too. CUCINA ENOTECA

31 Fortune Drive, Suite 306, Irvine, CA 92618 ( Happy Hour: Everyday 3-6pm “What to buy, what to buy” are the thoughts that force their way across your mind as you transition back

to the socializing shoppers of the Irvine Spectrum. As you pass the neon Edwards Theatre sign that coats the commotion of consumers in a saturated pink glow, you admire the recent renovations to the adjacent food court plaza. NATIVE

KNOWLEDGE: THE CANNERY Keep your eyes peeled for the Cannery’s signature ice spheres that keep more than just a couple of drinks as cold as the Pacific. The tough but translucent balls are made by a hand-operated, copper compressor those only pumps out two an hour! The technique is just another way Junowich is adapting the Cannery to OC’s current gastronomy-driven trend. PIE SOCIETY Pie Society has another entrance behind the entire building. If you don’t like dodging servers in the pizza place out front, before you peer around the parking lot, just keep a look out on the right for someone smoking in front of some neighborly fence-work for a subtle, scenic alternative.

The design and arrangement of the Cucina Enoteca space is managed entirely by visionary restaurateur, Tracy Borkum, who has been spearheading a wave of innovation in San Diego amidst the stormy culinary climate. Thus, Borkum has a very busy kitchen, or cucina, these days. So much so that she’s had to expand her territory to multiple new locations, including one in Del Mar, an upcoming installment within Newport Beach’s Fashion Island, and several others destined to be stationed across the country very soon. But it’s not as though she’s being carefree with her choice of locations. Borkum is quite hands-on with how she plans to naturally integrate her concepts to their possible surroundings. In fact, to match the bustling beat that paces the commercial metropolis that is the Irvine Spectrum, Cucina chefs like to mix it up a bit and keep things moving. They offer a different deal each day to coincide with their happy hour happenings, including half off meatballs on Meatball Mondays, half off all pizza and 10 percent off retail wine on Thrifty Thursdays, and no corkage fees on all wines over $20 on Sinful Sundays. For whatever “appétit” you’re craving, this cucina is willing to throw you a “bon” for any occasion! The bar and beverages are also an element of Borkum’s integration with the spirit of Irvine’s retail culture. This goes especially for the establishment’s retail wine program, which gives the restaurant its distinct name. The Enoteca aims to extend the same generosity that has been given by local and international wine vendors to their customers as well, in addition to the wild variety of available ailments behind the bar. When you take a seat there, one of the many mixing maestros, this one by the name of Tucky, makes eye contact with you and immediately starts throwing a balanced brew your way. He calls it the Levriere, made with homemade orange-gogi bitters and finished with a lightly lit lemon wheel to give it an earnest presentation Borkum would be proud of. THE CANNERY

3010 Lafayette Rd Newport Beach, CA 92663 ( Happy Hour: Everyday 4-6:30pm While you may have been standing in front of a fully operational fish-canning facility about a century ago, you now stand in front of the Cannery, the

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contemporary reincarnation and re-adaption of the first cannery built along the Rhine Channel between 30th Street and Lido Park Drive in 1921. This particular establishment also has a rich and colorful history like many other OC chef-stuffed eateries; one filled with some tumultuous struggles to stay open and thriving. Now a bonafide landmark of Newport Beach, the Cannery prefers to look unabashedly forward toward the future, instead of simply appreciating the past.

$2 cheaper during happy hour, along with martinis and house wines, with draft beers 50 percent cheaper.

Bartender Warren makes it especially clear that he and his fellow bar mates take all the needed steps to ensure the drink they mix meets your standards. For example, if you like your potions really spicy, ask to add a Thai or serrano chili straight from the kitchen to give your drink a kick that will leave you sore and salivating!


This outlook is greatly aligned with the harbored eatery’s up-and-coming bartender, Warren Junowich, who has spearheaded its bar’s progressive beer and cocktail programs. After having his bootstraps pulled up from the dock to the lounge in the course of 11 years, he has put loads of local craft beers and seasonal cocktail ingredients in their rightful places. In search for a better view of the water, you pull open the building’s heavy wooden doors and elevate yourself to the distinguished Jellyfish Lounge, noted by the colorful invertebrates that hang from above. Junowich demonstrates this by throwing together his patented whiskey hot n’ sour, made with hand juiced lemon, Templeton rye whiskey, egg white, bittersweetly-balanced peach bitters and buoyed, brandy soaked maraschino cherries. But what kicks his specialty to the next level is his carefully-crafted habanero syrup, which manages to drastically cool down the pepper’s typically stinging burn to a steady backend heat, allowing you to truly taste one of the most underrated pepper flavors in Warren’s seasoned opinion. Looking out from the intimate Prager Room that’s connected, you see the ebb and flow of Newport waves and it makes your mind drift in thought. You sip on another personal, bar blend known as the caprese cocktail. Just like its sister salad, it showcases a potpourri of muddled heirloom cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, citron and basil vodka, balsamic reduction, garnished with a mozzarella skewer and an elegant olive oil mist that may very well symbolize the morning harbor fog. All these elements serve as evidence of Junowich’s belief in delicately balanced drinks. This is shown strongest through his menu’s wide array of spiced, iced beverages, including his Whiskey Hot n’ Sour, which are all available

Don’t overlook that the Jellyfish Lounge has its very own sushi bar, too, for deep sea aficionados, where ocean delicacies like their 911 roll that further showcases their house-made, habanero emulsion, or their albacore roll that levels out its spicy tuna with sweet, drizzled papaya relish. During happy hour, the lounge’s entire menu of sushi delectables is half off, too!

353 E 17th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 ( Happy Hour: nightly from 8pm You find yourself strutting through East 17th Street and begin to wonder if you’re at the right place, because your phone’s GPS says it’s right under your nose. You saunter over to the nearest establishment, a pizza joint with a flaming P logo stamped out front. You ask to use their restroom, and as you make your way into the backside of the kitchen at a defeated pace, you notice some communal tables that could fit a small party and find it odd that they are hidden here in the back. It is then when you peer around and hear the faintest sound of a laid back beat and lively laughter. Continuing straight down your path, you un-assuredly push through the back exit door with the words “disrupt,” “commune” and “enrich” etched beside it only to uncover one of SoCal’s only existing speakeasies, which has been christened Pie Society. You quickly see that the bar’s lead tender, Steve Garcia, takes his work quite seriously. As he mixes various combinations of house-made ingredients and vintageinspired flavors, adventurously arriving patrons can’t help but force out small talk in a hidden attempt to comment on his meticulously multiplying arms. Garcia even takes his successes and failures to heart so much so, in fact, that one of his newest impairment experiments is respectfully called “I Got Beet,” complete with Ford’s Gin, an in-house beet simple syrup, lime, and Peychaud’s bitters, which is a reference to his recent try at an improvisational, drink-crafting competition where he was stumped by the dye-heavy root. Now while this secret society does not actually have a happy hour, its existence is an exclusive opportunity all on its own. Those who have their ears finely tuned to pulse of Costa Mesa’s rich repertoire of ravish restaurants will be rewarded by the blind pig’s latest, embargoed shipments of forbiddingly themed infusions. Whether you’d rather sip 007’s personal preference,

Hemmingway’s daily inspiration, or “a little bit of Italy in your glass” in the form of the North Beach cocktail, every taste of the roaring twenties is at your fingertips; this includes sweets and garnishes from all over the newly connected world and sours from the heartland of Boston and New York. Food is fully integrated into the easy speaker as well, with a full selection of original signature selections, including simple but addictive tater tots complimented with chorizo fondue ($7), as well as items from the neighboring pizza parlor, with some choices as low as $6. Rather than cashing in on flashy prices, this timeless territory is more about evoking an overall experience from our once prohibited world and hopefully making you appreciate it just a little bit more with each deeply flavored taste. Bar bites offered, beginning at 8pm. Psst, listen. The only night this secret society takes off is Mondays. THE WINERY

2647 Park Avenue, Tustin, CA 92782 ( Happy Hour: Monday-Thursday 3:30-6:30pm and 9-10:30pm, Friday-Saturday 3:30-6:30pm and 9-11:30pm, Sunday 4:30-10pm The final stretch of our trip through the temporal anomaly that is happy hour leaves us at the Winery, an establishment planted in the middle of the District in Tustin. Peering around the side of its rustic exterior, you catch a glance at the walls upon walls of wine-stuffed shelves. Looking aimlessly at the library of whites, reds and rosés, William Lewis, managing partner and sommelier, declares to you that they stock around 750 different bottles of wine on location. Similar to the finely aged selections that surround you, tenured experience is the factor that all three partners cite as the glue that has held down the restaurant and its vision in place. A little less than 19 years ago, managing partner JC Clow hired Lewis, who was then a server at Morton’s steakhouse, the two’s old stomping grounds. Now the only thing that’s being stomped are the grapes that make up the pair’s fine wine selection, which is always in time for the fine establishment’s wine-heavy “Crush Hour,” lasting from 3:306:30pm on Monday to Friday. Aside from classic, high-class cocktails for $7.25, and ready-bottled and chilled beer for $4, the true face of the promotion starts at 9pm from Monday to Saturday, when their late night Crush Hour revitalizes the same set of delicious deals. It is truly hard-pressed to find a weakness in the Winery’s arsenal of different food-based firearms. Although the business’s name highlights a certain spirit or two (or five), balanced pairings are the real show of the restaurant/bar. And who else to hold up the other side of this teeter-totter of taste but world renowned Chef Yvon Goetz, executive chef and the Winery’s third business partner! Goetz is French born and French trained, and has also taken-in experiences from his worldly training in London, Boston, Aspen and Orange County. But when it really comes down to it, it is the most personally resonate experiences that end up being the influences that shine brightest in his cooking career. An example is his signature YG Alsatian pizza, prepared with California-wine-country-fresh crème fraîche, Gruyère, applewood smoked bacon, and onions, which was at point “Momma YG’s Pizza.” Be sure to get all of Chef Goetz’s carefully crafted appetizers, all priced at $7.95 during Crush Hour.

NATIVE KNOWLEDGE: Can’t beat that 5pm crush rush? For those who want a fuller-bodied Winery experience, the managing trio convinces you that Sunday’s Ultimate Sunday Crush, featuring Crush Hour discounts from 4:30-10pm, is the winning end to any wining weekend!

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“Wine is bottled poetry.” -Robert Louis Stevenson

Join Us for Silver Oak Saturdays Enjoy a Bottle of Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet for only $49 (Regularly $125) Saturdays 5-10pm

2607 Main Street • Irvine, CA 92614 • 949.387.8887 •

The Nature Conservancy’s 2013 Favorite Green Restaurant Winner for LA & OC






Roland’s Casa Cocktail of Choice: Casa Old Fashioned

Marty’s Casa Cocktail of Choice: Archangel


ven though it is the middle of the afternoon and eight hours away from opening for business, the dark and intimate vibe of one of Costa Mesa’s newest bars, Casa, pulls you in immediately. From the moody, hand-painted wallpaper, featuring peacocks and dragons, to the early 20th century French-style bar, there is absolutely no way you cannot feel a bit more sophisticated once you step through these doors. Having opened just this past September and already experiencing amazing nightly turnouts, co-founders and Drink Experts Roland Barrera and Marty Kish have a reason to give themselves a good pat on the back, but there is nothing complacent or smug about these two. Both men have played an integral part in the creation of Casa from the design and construction, to promoting and marketing, and of course to hiring a spot on staff. This is where general manager and head mixologist, Joey Oehrlein, formerly of The Cannery comes in. Oehrlein is turning out an impressive arsenal of craft cocktails that are timeless but also exciting. Oehrlein specializes in putting his own twist on a very solid foundation of fresh ingredients (no pre-made mixers here) and classic, top quality liquors. Casa is at once exclusive, you can only get in if you RSVP via their website ( and present the password at the door, but once inside, you’ll find the company, décor and the drinks well worth all the hush-hush. Kish and Barrera give us a behind the scenes look at the inspiration behind Casa and what it took to make their dreams come alive. Q: What were you guys doing before deciding to open your own speakeasy? MARTY KISH: Roland pulled me in. I came from the surf, skate

and snow industry (working in sales and marketing). I’ve known Roland for over ten years, and I know what he was going to do from a design perspective. When I had my place in LA, he made all my furniture custom for my place, and it was amazing. So, I knew from an aesthetic point of view, that Casa was going to look insane. The other partners that are involved each have their own network. We’re all friends but we all have our own group of people, so I knew we were going to be able to drive traffic here, no problem, in the immediate area. Once I found out Barrera was getting the 48 license, which is not just beer and wine, I was in. This bar used to be Avalon and was insane for so long, but it just had beer and wine, so I thought having the full bar could be a success. Then, adding in the design and remodel, I was pretty confident it was going to be a homerun. I mean, time will tell, I don’t want to get overconfident, but it’s been great so far, and we’ve only been open a few months.

Q: Why did you choose Costa Mesa as the location for Casa? RB: One, the location is great. This building is one of the

oldest buildings in Costa Mesa, built in 1952, and the bar has been here since 1953. There is culture and a lot of professionals who live around here versus 17th Street which is very built on. Not to mention the full bar Type 48 license, you can’t really get it anywhere else other than this space because of the radius between churches, schools. Basically, the stars aligned. Q: What about craft cocktails do you think really intrigues people? MK: I can definitely tell you the taste is superior to anything

else you’ve ever drank, because all the ingredients are fresh. It might take a little longer to make, but it’s worth the wait. There are so few places in Orange County that do that. Joey Oehrlein, whom Roland hired from the Cannery, is as good as it gets. He creates the drink menu with Roland.

“This building is one of the oldest buildings in Costa Mesa, built in 1952, and the bar has been here since 1953. There is culture and a lot of professionals who live around here.”

Q: Where did you come up with the design concept for Casa? ROLAND BARRERA: I had a few wealthy

Q: What made you decide on the speakeasy concept? RB: Just because it’s so small, and we have a tight group of

friends; it’s really easy for a space to get very blown out. We just want to keep it very tight knit. We definitely want people to experience it from all angles. | JANUARY 2014

said that he was looking for a change, and once he came in here, he grasped the Spanish and French concept. It’s a 1940s French and Spanish bar. He was very intrigued and very excited to actually get creative and step in the spotlight a little bit. Whereas before he was kind of getting drowned out with fifty employees; you can’t really do that there. He’s definitely a creative person, he wants to learn more; he wants to introduce new cocktails nightly. Even though we have our own cocktail menu, he’s making a good dozen separate drinks outside of that for people.

-Roland Barrera, CoOwner, Casa

bosses through that time (while working as a contractor), and every time I would go to one of their houses, I was just blown away by the stone floors, the décor. Also, through the years traveling to Europe, getting to take that all in and getting inspiration from those trips was pretty much where it all came from. French and Spanish-themed architecture is the main inspiration for the design of Casa.

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Q: How did you get introduced to Joey? RB: Through a friend of a friend. He

Q: So it’d be safe to say the quality of the ingredients in each drink is a priority for you guys? MK: Yeah, the alcohol is all premium, and made with all the freshest

ingredients. When they come in and do the prep work, it’s a process.





Q: Have you seen a change in people willing to wait for a cocktail? RB: We’ve been deciding whether to let less people in to make sure everyone else has

a better experience. We don’t want them to wait, but unfortunately, it does take a good amount of time to create the cocktails. We’re trying to hold people on the exterior, and when they get here, they’re like, “Oh there’s not that many people here.” But, it’s not really to capacity; it’s the capacity to what we can turn out at the bar. Q: What separates Casa from other bars? RB: It’s the design. For me, it’s the aesthetic. MK: It’s a cozy spot. RB: It’s warm. MK: You can hear each other talk. It has a loungy vibe. RB: I told Marty early on, I want it to

feel like you took over your grandfather’s château for the weekend. As if he gave you the keys to his smoking lounge and you got to invite your friends. We wanted to make it very cozy and very vintage feeling. There’s not a spot in Costa Mesa or Newport Beach, for that matter, which really focuses on design first, and then introduces the bar. I think it’s the other way around. It’s, how can we produce as many cocktails as we can a night and throw in some booths and some wallpaper or whatever. Q: Do you have a favorite drink? MK: Archangel. It’s a house cocktail of Hendrick’s Gin, Aperol, and cucumbers. RB: Our

Old Fashioned. We do a mix of rye whiskey and bourbon whiskey. Any other place you go, they’ll have rye or bourbon, typically bourbon. MK: It’s definitely unique. RB: We stay true to all the classic cocktails. Everything came out of the 1920s, 30s, 40s, we just a put a twist on it to make it our own. Q: How do you guys hope to grow Casa? RB: Communicating and building relationships with the existing clientele is key, priority

number one for us. It’s just really honing in on the existing clientele and making sure everyone gets a great user experience. This is how I’m sure we both plan on handling the success. Q: What has been your proudest moment so far on the road to opening Casa? MK: The grand opening, because all our friends and family were here to finally see it.

Barrera did a great job in here. You have to have that vision, I and the other partners know that that’s where he shines. All those small things make a big difference and make you want to stay somewhere. I love to drink, so I’ll go out to multiple spots in the evening, obviously I’m biased here, but, I know my friends stay at other bars for two hours. You have people here staying for three to four hours and that’s pretty cool.

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Fashion Designer Edition

SHOP E Fashion Designer: Michael Smith Designer Label: Pink + Dolphin






Fashion designers are more in demand than ever before. Since the inception of fashion-related reality TV shows like “America’s Next Top Model” and “Project Runway,” the public has become obsessed with what it takes to be a fashion designer, and we are, too! Right here in Southern California, we found our Top Four Trending Now, locally grown, up-and-coming talents who live, breath and eat fashion and are quickly making their mark in the industry. These busy designers took time out of their schedules to give us the 411 on what they are working on and who they’re designing for. Check out these interviews for insight on these artists’ trendiest fashion tips. 94 |

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“Justin Bieber, 2 Chainz, Mike Will Made It and Rick Ross are just a few who have worn Pink + Dolphin.” -Michael Smith, Fashion Designer, Pink + Dolphin



Tell us about the name Pink+ Dolphin. MICHAEL SMITH: It’s based around a real animal

in the Amazon River. Its what the owners of Pink + Dolphin, Cena Barhaghi and Neima Khaila, base the brand around, being rare, exclusive, a unique creature that not many people know about. When it does surface, it’s a very special experience. So that’s why they wanted to call it Pink + Dolphin.

Q: Pink + Dolphin’s slogan is Legends At Our Craft. What does that mean? MS: It’s about striving to be the best at what you do—whatever your craft may

be. Embody this lively hood, being your best every day, staying positive, just being great at what you do. Our craft is fashion, of course, and we are legends at what we do. Q: The founders’ vision was to create a clothing line where every piece is limited. Why is it so important for this clothing line to embody exclusivity? MS: At Pink + Dolphin, it’s really a big thing for us to not saturate the market.

Too much of something unique on the streets would defeat the whole purpose of being limited. If you got this acid demin wash jacket and your best friend shows up in the same acid wash jacket, it just doesn’t make you unique anymore. We only do small quantities that will never be reprinted. We keep our current lines so exclusive that we don’t let our staff see them until it goes to production. Q: How did Pink + Dolphin begin its journey into the celebrity market? MS: Neima is not only the owner of the company, but is the business entity

of the Pink + Dolphin along with marketing. He brought the brand to a Chris Brown music video shoot, and got Chris Brown to wear it. After that, Pink + Dolphin started branching out to celebrities who wanted to wear an exclusive, young, street wear brand. Justin Bieber, 2 Chainz, Mike Will Made It and Rick Ross are just a few who have worn Pink + Dolphin. Q: Whom do you look up to as a designer or fashion icon? MS: There are a few designers I really like—Marc Jacobs for his work ethic.

That guy works non stop when he is working for his own brand and Louis Vuitton, never sleeping, eating power bars, never sleeping, going from city to city, his work ethic is most inspiring. Also, Tom Ford’s drive for perfection—I really strive for perfection. I will always put the time in to try to make the perfect product. Style wise, I have to say Kanye West. He’s doing a lot of things that a lot of people are scared to do; he’s always done that, and I really appreciate that. Q: The fashion industry is a very demanding industry with not much down time. How do you keep yourself relaxed in order to produce your best work? MS: I maintain a lot of checklists to keep myself creative. Getting a lot rest and

eating breakfast, that’s huge. Everyday, at 6am we all go to CrossFit right next door. I come back to the office, and I’m relaxed and feel like I can tackle the day. Q: As a designer, what is your ultimate dream for your career? MS: Ultimately, showcasing a high fashion street wear collection, being like

Pink + Dolphin, at a show in Milan, Paris or New York to showcase our designs at that higher-end level, as well as have a flawless product with the best quality at a world wide level.

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When did you first discover that you wanted to be a fashion designer? RENEE ROGERS: When I was 13, I designed a Princess

gown as my Halloween costume. I sketched out what I wanted it to look like, and my mom took me to the fabric store where I mixed and matched fabrics. Then, I worked with a seamstress on the fit—I think that the process of seeing that initial idea and sketch come to life is what really got me hooked.

Q: What was your career like as an apparel designer prior to launching 16th Colony, and whom did you work for? RR: Coming out of FIDM, I got my first job designing at Anchor Blue, which was a cool experience—to be a part of a close-knit design team. After moving on

from there, I freelanced at a few different places, including Quiksilver and some companies that did private labels for brands like Free People and Bebe. But by 2012, I still had a lot of my own ideas and pent up creativity, so I was really ready to do my own thing. Q: What was the transition like to launching your own brand? RR: I had always planned on designing my own line. A couple years ago, I started

my style blog and that was a really great way for me to speak with other up-and-coming designers as I built my readership and networked a bit. It was really all of those things coming together that led me to launch the brand at that time. Q: Tell us about why you named your label 16th Colony. RR: I chose the name 16th Colony, because I was noticing that there seemed to be an

emerging group of people who were truly appreciating designers and small brands that were doing their own thing. Personally, I just envisioned that group as a colony of people—and my birth date is the 16th, so that’s sort of how it came together. Q: 16th Colony designs outwear for the So Cal gal. How did you come to the decision of designing an entire line of ponchos? RR: When I was freelancing and working on my blog, I had a very flexible schedule

and would wear whatever I wanted. I ended up constantly throwing on an old poncho that I had along with various pairs of cut-off shorts and boots. After doing this for a whole summer, I realized that I felt a certain way when wearing a poncho - artsy and somewhat mysterious. I knew 100 percent that’s what I wanted to design and also to have other people experience a similar feeling. Q: Describe what the production is like after you have decided on a design. RR: Once the design is all sketched out, I then draft all my patterns and start

sewing samples to test out the fit. After that, I source and select fabrics and trim. Then, either me or one my sewers in LA hand sews each piece. The last step is to tack on the brand label. I personally attach each and every 16th Colony label myself. Q: 16th Colony represents a shift in the fashion industry. Explain how your unique vision is separating yourself from the crowd? RR: The vision is about having a certain level of attention to detail and crafting

an authentic brand that has a real story behind it. It’s about me conveying a real feeling or emotion to people when they wear one of my ponchos. However, I don’t think I’m alone in the movement of designers who are willing to pour their heart and souls into their brands. I’ve definitely recognized this change in the industry and think it’s an exciting time to let loose, be real and go against tradition a bit. Q: Where do you find your inspiration when designing? RR: Visually, I like looking at weird artsy fashion photography - a lot of that comes

from the Internet on Tumblr’s or in art bookstores. After that, once I’m in the studio designing, it’s a very indescribable free flow of creativity. Q: When did 16th Colony originally launch? RR: The brand was born a little over a year ago in November. We recently just

shipped to our first retail accounts here in Southern California, Hawaii and even one in the UK, so that’s pretty exciting. Q: 16th Colony plays by its own rules. What is one rule that you will always live by? RR: To never let anyone tell me “no.” By doing my own thing, I’ve learned that

I’ve gotten to this point because I always seem to find a way - no matter what anyone else has said. I live by this every single day. Q: When you’re not working, what do you do to relax and have fun? RR: I never stop working, but if I’m not focusing on 16th Colony and building the

brand, then I’m paying attention to my style blog Hanger Shortage. And the video work I’ve done on my blog has led me to filming and consulting for other fashion brands, so my schedule is a bit insane at times. With that said, sometimes you can find me at the beach or the gym (or In-N-Out). 96 |

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“I realized that I felt a certain way when wearing a poncho—artsy and somewhat mysterious. I knew 100 percent that’s what I wanted to design and also to have other people experience a similar feeling.” -Renee Rogers, Fashion Designer, 16th Colony

Fashion Designer: Renee Rogers Designer Label: 16th Colony

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When did you decide you wanted to be a fashion designer? PIPER GORE: Ever since I was little, I

loved clothes. I was always interested in working in fashion, but wasn’t sure what avenue I wanted to take. I got lucky and started working in the corporate side of denim companies, and the first company I worked for was Lucky Brand. Working there really open my eyes to every aspect of the company, but clothes have been a love of mine since I was little. Q: It’s a dream for designers to have their own line. When did you launch the Piper Gore Label? PG: Two years ago. Within that time, the brand has gotten into

Shop Bop and Neiman Marcus. Q: How does Piper Gore Label stand out in comparison to other casual brands? PG: Its casual with a little bit of an edge in comparison to other

casual brands. It’s still very simple and very elegant, but I really like playing with things like leather that bring a little edge to the overall design. Q: Describe your own personal style. PG: I love wearing neutrals, cream, camel and beige. But some days,

I want to be a ballerina on an acid trip and wear black leather pants. So, it’s all about the mood of the day. Q: What is something you feel like every woman should have in her wardrobe? PG: I love a vest! And in my line, you’ll find a lot of vests. You

can wear them in any weather, and I just feel like they are a fun little add-on to almost any outfit. Obviously, a vest isn’t a wardrobe essential, but if we are talking about style, fashion and fun, I have tons of vests. They so easily transform an outfit. It’s a much more versatile piece than people realize. It’s defiantly a staple of mine. Q: You’re not bound by limitation in your choices of inspiration. How does that come through in your designs? PG: I just go for it. Once I get going, it’s good to have paramours

around me. Q: What is your goal as a designer? PG: I aim high. I want to become a huge, known brand. I’m

known for a mellow adaptation of trends. So, if I want to wear this outfit ten years from now, I could do it. I don’t design pieces that are so trend driven. I want to be known for making clothes look and feel comfortable.

Fashion Designer: Piper Gore Designer Label: Piper Gore Label

Q: Your aesthetic is driven towards casual luxury. Can you describe the woman you have in mind when designing for each collection? PG: I would say she’s very confident; she’s intelligent, she’s driven,

a no non-sense gal, but doesn’t take herself too seriously. But at the same time, she has things to do and doesn’t take two hours to get ready, but she still feels beautiful and put together. It is achievable. Q: What is the number one resource that you draw from for design inspiration? PG: Without fail, my life and my friends. It’s how we live our lives

and what makes us happy and what our needs are. I’m always keeping that in mind, even if doesn’t come across in the aesthetics, it will come across in the wear-ability or the design or the styling. It will come through one way or another. Q: What is the most exciting project that you have worked on? PG: The Why Foundation. It’s based on designing clothes for

women who have had breast cancer. T-shirts aren’t good ideas for women who just had surgery, because they can’t lift their arms, so we created a top called the Fighter T. Things like vests are great for women who have lost their hair and keep their neck warm. Jumpsuits are great, because they are easy on easy off for your doctor’s visits. I shot a look book with the different stages of having cancer. It’s incredibly rewarding. The sky is the limit with this project. 98 |

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“I love a vest! And in my line, you’ll find a lot of vests. You can wear them in any weather, and I just feel like they are a fun little add-on to almost any outfit.” -Piper Gore, Fashion Designer, Piper Gore Label

“I can pull ideas from anywhere, but the most inspiring place for me is going to music shows and seeing what people are wearing. I love people watching and seeing what they feel confident in.” - Rachel Anne Rainwater, Designer

Fashion Designer: Rachel Anne Rainwater Designer Label: TBD


Q: How long have you been a designer, and how did you get your career started? RACHEL ANNE RAINWATER:

What led me to my career was the experience I had right after my pregnancy with my daughter Shekaih. After I had her, I discovered my spine wasn’t fused together, and so I was going paralyzed and didn’t even know it. I had to have this major surgery and wasn’t even guaranteed I would walk afterwards. So, all of that was a big wake up call. I felt like I got a second chance in life, and I made a decision to do what I’ve always wanted to do. I called FIDM, enrolled and booked my first paying job within a year of being in design school. I’ve been designing fashion for the past four years now. Q: When designing a collection, what or whom do you turn to for inspiration? RR: I feel like sometimes I’m a sponge. I go and sponge

everything I’m around. I’m extremely inspired by architecture and photography in general. I can pull ideas from anywhere, but the most inspiring place for me is going to music shows and seeing what people are wearing. I love people watching and seeing what they feel confident in. Q: What separates you from the other designers? RR: I’m a very outside the box thinker. I love to watch

trends, but I don’t chase them. I would rather make a trend or design something unique that has risks involved. Q: Taylor Swift just wore one of your designs while shopping in Los Angeles. As a newer designer, how does it feel to have a celebrity wear one of your designs? RR: I was excited, especially because she’s a musician. The

dress she wore had that feminine edge. (It was available from Black Swan Clothing on-line at Nordstrom.) The coolest part for me is that she is a musician and a singer-songwriter, because I am a musician, too. It was also a very surreal moment. Q: Who are some of your favorite fashion designers? RR: My all time favorite is Alexander McQueen. There was no

box with that man. No rules with his tailoring. The whole idea of him was amazing. He made art and that’s how I think about fashion—as art. I love John Galliano and Christian Dior too. Q: What is the message that you want to send through your clothes to the women who wear them? RR: To be unpredictably distinct, and I want women to feel

beautiful. There is so much pressure on women to be skinny, to be all these things. So the message I want to give them is to give them something that makes them feel special. I want to give them lots of options and lots of pieces that are unique that make them feel special the second they put them on. Q: As a designer, what do you think every woman should have in their wardrobe? RR: Definitely a leather jacket or a faux leather of any color.

That is my favorite piece, but jackets in general are pieces I love. Q: What advice can you give aspiring fashion designers who want to build their own brand? RR: Just to be themselves. I had a professor tell me after I

left school to forget everything they told me and to go back to where I was before I ever learned anything, to let myself live outside the box where the energy was coming from and before I learned any rules, put it all out the window, go back to what you are and use it to create from your soul. Q: What’s next for Rachel Anne Rainwater? RR: I’m in the process of developing my own brand.

HAIR BY: Niki Kolb MAKEUP BY: Colby Tanguay

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Everything is aligning together. It’s a huge project, but that’s what I’ve wanted for a long time. My brand is going to have a women’s line that is very distinct; still feminine but with that refined yet edgy punk style. I haven’t chosen the name of my new line yet, but you can check my website for updates.

MADrimony Making


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JEWELRY PROVIDED BY: BLACK, STARR & FROST 341 Bayside Dr Newport Beach, CA 92660 949.673.1771 GOWN PROVIDED BY: JENNY LEE BRIDAL 7942 E Pacific Coast Hwy Newport Beach, CA 92657 949.376.8100

ALL FLOWERS PROVIDED BY: ENCHANTED FINE FLORALS 157 Avenida Granada San Clemente, CA 92672 949.429.5550 | JANUARY 2014 | 103

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JEWELRY PROVIDED BY: JEWELS BY JOSEPH 948 Avocado Ave Newport Beach, CA 92660 949.640.6788 GOWN PROVIDED BY: JACLYN’S BRIDAL 3930 S Bristol St #204 Santa Ana, CA 92704 714.549.1493

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GOWN PROVIDED BY: JACLYN’S BRIDAL 3930 S Bristol St #204 Santa Ana, CA 92704 714.549.1493

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JEWELRY PROVIDED BY: MARK PATTERSON JEWELRY 3425 East Coast Hwy Corona del Mar, CA 92625 866.221.6593 GOWN PROVIDED BY: JACLYN’S BRIDAL 3930 S Bristol St #204 Santa Ana, CA 92704 714.549.1493 | JANUARY 2014 | 109

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JEWELRY PROVIDED BY: TRADITIONAL JEWELERS 203 Newport Center Dr Newport Beach, CA 92660 949.721.9010

GOWN PROVIDED BY: JENNY LEE BRIDAL 7942 E Pacific Coast Hwy Newport Beach, CA 92657 949.376.8100

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JEWELRY PROVIDED BY: WINSTON’S JEWELERS 1775 Newport Blvd Costa Mesa, CA 92627 949.645.9000 GOWN PROVIDED BY: JENNY LEE BRIDAL 7942 E Pacific Coast Hwy Newport Beach, CA 92657 949.376.8100

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Locale Looks


Welcome in 2014 by celebrating your engagement in

functional style that mixes classic pieces with a striking color palette and touchable textures WRITTEN BY: MEGAN BISHOP | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: FRANK ISHMAN STYLED BY: BRITTANY HART MODELS: Fiona Leahy of ReFresh Talent Agency & Ryan Turpin

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The Good Life

WHERE? The Cellar 156 Avenida del Mar San Clemente, CA 92672


rom birthdays to bridal showers, it’s always a time to celebrate with friends and family. The Cellar is the perfect venue for a dinner for two or a wedding reception of 100. The menu reads like a foodie’s bible, from the substantial molé burger ($13) to the organic Tuscan kale salad ($9), there’s something for every temptation. Guests will be acoustically entertained with hand-selected acts that perform daily. The Cellar is also offering wine enthusiasts access to join Club Orange, a “we pick it you drink it” loyalty program. This no sign-up fee/no contract program offers members discounts on wine and cheese purchases plus four exclusive “pick up parties” per year.

WEAR (Get these looks!) A wine colored vest layered over a silver dress shirt and charcoal grey tie is the perfect way to show off your fashion awareness. Work in slim fit jeans, black suede oxfords and a vintage leather belt to really make a statement. Ladies, turn heads in a chic cabernet-colored wool sweater mixed with a rock n’ roll inspired leather skirt and studded wristlet. Pair with patent leather ballet flats or step out in style with a chunky heeled leather boot. | JANUARY 2014 | 119

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Renewed Elegance...

WHERE? Silver Trumpet 3350 Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa, CA 92626 714.442.8593


hether it’s a refreshing brunch lakeside or an upbeat cocktail hour with friends, Silver Trumpet caters to today’s progressive and informed eaters. With a large selection of truly organic ingredients, free-range dishes and a wine philosophy that is described as “playful” and “rare,” this innovative venue meets the demands of each guest with a simplistic yet informed approach. If a hearty plate is your desire, choose the localfavorite Pepper Crusted Filet ($32). For lighter fare, try the Harvest Corn Cakes ($15) and Crab Cakes with Citrus Ailoi ($12).

WEAR (Get these looks!) Turn date night into a fashion outing to remember by mixing patterns and layers. Ladies, take a boldpatterned sweater and mix it with eye-catching accessories like an earthy-brown quilted clutch, chic mid-calf black leather boots and funky artisan jewelry. Guys, compliment her style with simple layers that look effortlessly dapper when combined. Make her melt with a striped sweater under a perfectly-fitted jacket, buttery soft leather belt and chukka boots that are anything but ordinary.

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WHERE? Juliette Kitchen and Bar 1000 Bristol St N #11 Newport Beach, CA 92660


he buzz around Juliette Kitchen and Bar has spread throughout Orange County (and beyond), and eager guests fill this rustic gastropub to the brim daily. With an interesting and savory mix of European and Asian-inspired dishes like kurobuta pork shank with potato confit ($26) or fish stew with scallops, mussels, white fish and ocean trout ($29). The ever-changing menu also offers small plates, lush salads, and rich and creamy cheese plates – all originating from local resources. Wash it all down with a handcrafted cocktail, such as the “Zapata’s Last Word,” a potent mix of Montelobos mezcal, chartreuse, maraschino, lime.

WEAR (Get these looks!) It’s all about the textures, baby. Pair a fun tweed dress with a striking leopard jacket to make a fashion statement. Ditch the heels and glide on a pair of chic ballet flats to compliment an embossed envelope clutch. For the gents, easily transition from work to play by adding a preppy cardigan to your button-down and a silk bowtie for a touch of panache.

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Southern Charm

WHERE? Iva Lee’s 555 N El Camino Real San Clemente, CA 92672


ave a hankering for some gumbo that would have a lifetime New Orleans resident coming back for seconds? Skip the plane trip and head over to Iva Lee’s for some serious southern cooking using recipes that have been passed through owner Lisa Wagoner’s family since they came to America in 1640. Whet your appetite with fried green tomatoes or succulent crab cakes while enjoying live music that is reminiscent of Bourbon Street. Make sure you save room for one of the critically acclaimed main course dishes such as the Cajun seared red snapper ($19.50) or the chicken Clemenceau ($16.50). Top off the night with a heavenly slice of flourless chocolate cake or praline bread pudding (sharing optional). And, in addition to being one of the most romantic proposal spots in Orange County, co-owners Lisa and Eric Wagoner expanded their popular brand into a successful catering service dedicated to weddings and special events. Iva Lee’s truly is a one-stop-shop!

WEAR (Get these looks!) Skip the couture and opt for a more relaxed yet polished look. A rich green blouse with a chestnut brown Peter Pan collar is a great choice to pair with dark-wash jeans and fun leopard-print flats. Add in a bit of boho charm with a beaded crescentshaped clutch and long chain necklace. The same goes for the fellas; choose a crisp button-up shirt in a warm burgundy or Venetian red paired with a moonlight grey gabardine tie. | JANUARY 2014 | 125



JOHN OSWALD Co-founder, Cuipo

Also founded: Paul Frank


his is the question that rolls around in the mind and off the tongue of John Oswald, co-founder of Cuipo, a lifestyle brand dedicated to preserving prime rainforest around the globe. John and his life-long buddies, Gus Hurst and Tom Murray are the brains behind the giveback operation that is taking this do-gooder nation by storm. The team of three are growing a business and a culture of giving back, as well as educating the public on preserving the rainforest using everyday products that consumers purchase all of the time, to get the job done. Their story started when Gus Hurst and Tom Murray did some work over in Panama, and saw with their own eyes the devastating problem. From the overhead view of a helicopter, the pair witnessed what is known as the impact of deforestation in Panama. At first mistaking their view to be of golf courses right in the midst of a lush rainforest landscape, they soon found out that this empty land was instead the heartbreaking aftermath of deforestation. This new point of view literally gave the pair a strong, unique motivation to make a change to what was happening right before their very eyes. Hurst and Murray both had extensive real estate experience, and as a result, they had the idea to purchase the land themselves and set it aside for permanent preservation. If they didn’t do just that, it was clear that the millionaires who had bought the land would continue to do their work of deforestation, and the cycle would continue. But it didn’t just end at purchasing the land—the idea was to buy the land and then allow people like you and me to save that same land in very small increments. This would happen by having consumers purchase products that they would buy in everyday life—the bare basics like clothes, water, etc.—but with a cause behind their dollars spent. Essentially, with every Cuipo product sold, whether an original designer tee or a native-made bracelet or a Cuipo reusable water bottle—each item prevents deforestation. That’s right, just with a look and an idea, two Southern California natives were able to save the rainforest—kind of a big deal—and Cuipo was created. The name “Cuipo” comes from the Cuipo tree, which is an endangered tree found in the lush tropical rainforests of Central and South America. The tree can grow to reach an enormous height of about 60 meters (200 feet). You can even find the national bird of Panama, the Harpy Eagle, making its natural nest at the top of many a Cuipo tree—a safe spot where this near-threatened bird can make a home. After deforestation, the Cuipo tree is also one of the few trees left that is uncut because of its large size. All around, this is a special tree in a sacred place, and one that can endure a lot of change happening around it, which pretty much sums up Cuipo as a company, and the endurance and integrity they possess. Cuipo as a company saves and protects land not only in Panama, but also in Brazil —just northwest of Rio De Janeiro, off the Del Negro River, in a very at-risk area where many logging companies scout land. The company now owns 17 different parcels of land, roughly 13.5 million square meters—the size of Newport Beach! Cuipo maintains and protects this land by hiring locals in each of the locations where their purchased rainforest resides. The locals watch and protect the land on

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Cuipo’s behalf, and of course are paid for their first-hand help. Tom Murray, one of Cuipo’s original founders, is strongly connected to the tribes in each of these spots and travels with the elder of the tribe in each location (where white people are not allowed). It’s a completely different world, in a remote region that you would not even believe with your Southern California eyes—where the local people live in huts on sand, in the simplest means of living you can imagine. The land is in its pristine state—all a part of the sustainable system that has been set up - selling product, goes back to buy the land, preservation of the land occurs, education of the public is maintained and awareness is created. It’s an extremely competitive business to keep up with the companies who are paying the big bucks to essentially tear all of this rainforest down, but Cuipo manages to pay the same amount as the buyers who want to destroy the rainforest - and instead Cuipo does some good with it—they’re preserving it! The group is now looking to make a purchase in additional at-risk spots like Belize and Vietnam, going out and ahead to buy more land as their company grows. Cuipo also recently opened an office in Europe, as the good work they’re doing is expanding —a true global movement. One of the big tipping points in Cuipo’s growth over the past few years has been the contributions from the company’s newest co-founder, John Oswald. Oswald is not only a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and a lover of sustainable design, but he was also one of the original founders of Paul Frank, back when it started in an old garage in Huntington Beach, in 1998. John’s great knowledge of wholesale distribution, both locally and around the world, is what sparked the conversation with Gus and Tom—they knew what a huge impact John could make on an idea like this, which tied in the environment with lifestyle apparel. So in 2010, after a break from Paul Frank to start his own family, Oswald jumped on board with the Cuipo cause. He was a big driver of the Cuipo product line and continues to grow the items created and sold, which make the whole business what it is to the consumer. John openly talks about being inspired by the TOMS “one for one” idea, developing a brand that gives back from things you’d buy anyway—shirts, backpacks, water, the list goes on.

SO HOW DO YOU FIND CUIPO PRODUCTS? LISTEN UP. Well, they’re in a growing amount of stores now, and in a matter of months, expect to see this name brand more and more, because the word is spreading! Get your stylish and cause-worthy Cuipo threads from local OC and LA spots like SEED People’s Market, Fred Segal, Nikau Kai, Spyder, and of course, You can purchase Cuipo water locally, right in Costa Mesa, at Jan’s Health Bar, Shirley’s Bagels, and Bear Flag, among other small retailers in Southern California. Tons of stores up and down the California coast, back East, in Seattle and even Europe

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are selling Cuipo, too. You’ll want to note that the Cuipo bottled water is made of recyclable materials—and surprisingly one of the few bottled waters out there with no carbon footprint, and one of the only waters out there that actually has a cause behind the label (not to mention it’s sold at a very competitive price!). Not only does this great company save rainforest “one meter at a time” by selling product, they are also a company that educates the public, to boot. Cuipo’s staff educators go into the local schools now, educating our kids on rainforest animals through interactive games that show kids the impact of the rainforest and what we would do without it. These powerful stories and lessons are making a huge difference now to these tiny ears and eyes of school kids, and an even bigger difference in the lives of future generations. Because at the end of the day, isn’t that why we protect and preserve things? Through Cuipo’s curriculum of art projects, music and other creative means, kids in our schools are now seeing the importance of why it’s good to preserve the trees and animals. Oswald says, “If companies don’t have something to give back to, people will not support them, knowing that company isn’t giving back.” The company culture at Cuipo only adds to the goodness, too. Co-founder John Oswald left Paul Frank with not only a global connection to the apparel world, but he made some great friendships, who have slowly migrated over to working with him for this amazing cause at Cuipo. With five former Paul Frank employees now contributing their full-time hours alongside Oswald at Cuipo, this is a true culture of experience, creativity and innovation. If you walk into the company’s US headquarters on Newport Beach’s 16th Street, you’ll feast your eyes on a cool building, where you can quickly tell a lot of creativity is sparked. Walk through the doors and you can instantly feel the fun environment where both young and expert love to work. “People love what they’re doing”, says Oswald, and they love what the brand represents in street fashion and outdoor influence. After all, they’re all working for a greater cause! So the next time you are looking for a new skate or surfboard, a new tee to wear to the beach, a cool pair of socks or even need a water for the road—make sure to spend your cash on a brand that has a cause behind it. A brand that gives back and makes a difference to take care of this big, wide world we’re living in. With a few simple steps you can be a preserver of a rainforest, an educator of a generation, a changer of the future. Do some good with your money.




A They had an atomic device. The world was in danger. Save us, Snake. BLAh, blah, blah.



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ood morning, Snake. I can’t keep my eyes closed. My back is talking to me. The nagging, throbbing heat emanating from my spine is just too much. Maybe it’s this cheap mattress. More likely, it’s that nasty piece of gnarled shrapnel lodged in my shoulder blade from that second (unwanted and unwarranted) tour in Iraq. Whatever the reason, it’s time to rollover; those four hours of sleep will have to do.

I peel the paper-thin wool blanket back and swing my feet (left my boots on again) off the bed, knocking over the bottle of Sailor Jerry. No spillage to clean up, because these days, I rarely leave any leftover liquid before passing out. I take a look around the apartment and shake my head at the threadbare crimson colored carpets, popcorn ceilings and avocado colored kitchenette. Hard to imagine you could find something this run down in La Jolla. Hard to believe my week is up. Where would I go from here? I’m a 42-year-old Special Forces veteran in bad need of a haircut and shave, hungover and finishing up a one-week stay at the smelliest hotel in the 1012. I lace up my black boots for about the millionth time since they were given to me in basic training two decades ago, pull on my leather coat and splash water on my face. I pat my pockets and grin. Thank, God. For the first time in quite some time, I have made it home with my keys, wallet and phone. I set the bottle upright, flip off the lamp and run my hands through the unruly mop of hair on my head before making my way into the parking lot, squinting through the morning light. Good morning, La Jolla.

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Trying to loosen up my back, I stretch my arms over my head, eliciting a groan from deep within my stomach. The groan is matched with a growl. When was the last time I ate? That thought quickly exits my head as I stand searching, turning my head slowly left to right, arms still over my head, fingers interlocked–where the hell is my car? The keys are right here. I tap my pockets again to make sure. Did I cab it home? Unlikely. Did someone give me a ride? Doubt it. Perplexed, I reach into my right jacket pocket and pull out my keys, but they’re not mine. My mouth hangs open like I’m doing a math problem in my head. A full set of keys, the largest one, black and silver, has some sort of trident logo. Without thinking about it, I push the button on the large key and, “meep, meep.” I follow the sound across the street. The machine responding to my button pushing is the most amazing car I have ever seen. I walk slowly towards the sexy black car, trying to put last night together. I take a full lap around the coupe. No plates, just a dealer plate for Ferrari Maserati of La Jolla. Black on black on black sitting on black matte

customized rims and badged in carbon fibre in all the right places. It looks like it’s going 100mph standing still. I peek inside. More black, more carbon fibre. The dash reads Gran Turismo. I open the door and slide into the cockpit. I might as well take a spin. I turn the engine over and the hairs on my neck stand on end. This thing is a beast. I slam it into manual mode, step on the gas and pull away from the curb, lighting up the tires. This is going to be a good day. I pull onto Prospect and the navigation engages. I haven’t touched anything. It’s directing me towards Manhattan Beach. Wait. Nobody goes to Los Angeles anymore. It’s too dangerous. Ever since “the earthquake” in 2000, that city practically became an island. I wouldn’t be following these directions. I turned the wheel to the right. Check that, I tried to turn it. The wheel turned left and the car followed. I wasn’t driving anymore. I checked my door, locked, tried to unlock it, no chance. I wasn’t a passenger; I was a captive.


(91X my The radio came on. It was tuned to favorite station), but instead of Halloran or Christy


Taylor I was listening to the cold, callous and gravelly voice of my old company commander. I tried to turn the power off. No dice. “Good morning, Snake.” I heard for the second time today. I liked it better when my screaming back said it. The conversation was one sided and sounded the same as any other briefing. “We need you” turned into “you have to.” Promises became threats. I hate this. I just want to ditch this car, grab a bottle and head back to bed. I had a mission and no chance but to accept it. They had fitted me with a ring that would inject me with a deadly chemical if I deviated from my assignment. They gave me names and needed me to find them and stop them. The car was taking me to their last known location. They had an atomic device. The world was in danger. Save us, Snake. Blah, blah, blah. The song remains the same. At least I could take a nap. This badass ride was doing 110 mad purring like a kitten. I needed rest and I wasn’t driving anyway. The car stopped. I woke up and rubbed my eyes. So this is Manhattan Beach? Why didn’t people come here more often? The car had parked itself in front of a restaurant called Fishing With Dynamite. I didn’t think this mission would be quite as easy as the restaurant suggested, but I was starving, and this place looked great. I pulled out my wallet and inspected it to make sure I had enough one’s wadded up to buy a cup of soup. I had enough, because I now had a Black Card. Perfect. I asked the waitress to bring me everything on the menu, a pad of paper and a pencil. It took her longer to get back with the pad and pen than the platter of iced seafood. I guess people don’t really use pencils anymore.

She brought me a platter called The Queen Mary, a plate filled with Mattaki oysters, littleneck clams, jumbo shrimp, lobster and crab. The spread was amazing. I decided the fate of the free world could wait ‘til I had some chow in my belly. The platter was supposed to be enough to feed a family of four, and it probably would. I devoured every last sea creature. I could sit here all day. The waitress didn’t seem to agree. She brought me my check. Three words were circled: queen, dynamite and guaranteed. This guy wanted me to find him. I knew every Queen song by heart. How did he know that? I knew exactly what he was referring to. He was going to kill the Queen. But why LA? I asked the waitress where the nearest place was to have a beer and listen to some good music. I needed to collect my thoughts. She told me to check out The House of Brews in El Segundo. I left her a fat tip (the food was amazing, and I had a Black Card) and walked out onto the sidewalk rubbing my belly. This was much better than Iraq. “SHE’S A KILLER QUEEN GUNPOWDER, GUILLOTINE DYNAMITE WITH A LASER BEAM GUARANTEED TO BLOW YOUR MIND”

The tap handle was easy to spot. It was shaped like an old phone receiver with the numbers printed in large yellow print. I liked this place. Couldn’t I just pretend to be chasing the bad guy? The Cars’ “Just What I Needed” was playing, and the weather was beautiful. You could easily come here with a party of one or a hundred and be accommodated. Maybe I would just run up a tab on the old AMEX while I was here “investigating”. This was just what I needed. Just then, a phone rang. Not the sound you are used to hearing now days. It was the sound of the wall phone that hung in my kitchen during my youth. It rang again. It was the beer tap. The bartender, perplexed as I, answered the beer tap; said, “Yes, yes, ok,” and handed me the phone. How drunk was I?


The voice on the other end of the line only said, “let’s go” (another Cars song) and hung up. I pulled the received away from my ear. The bartender and I stared at each other. My head snapped back as the sound of screeching tires and a revving engine flew past the bar. “Let’s go” someone shouted from the moving vehicle. I couldn’t discern the model at those speeds. I could only tell it was red.

House of Brews was less than a 15-minute drive, which gave me some time to clear my head. I was definitely more of an action guy. I wasn’t a detective. I parked the Maserati, grabbed my pad and pencil and double-checked to make sure I had the receipt with the clues. I left the car unlocked. This was the perfect place to gather myself. I spread out my belongings on the bar and ordered a beer from the waiter (he told me they had 55 local and craft beers on tap). I told him to bring me a cold one, his choice. He brought me a Goose Island 312. It was cold.

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glass (that he had taken “neat”), and the napkin under it with “meet you in the worst kitchen” written on it. I sat down, grabbed a bottle of The and


poured myself two fingers neat while contemplating this latest clue. The whiskey helped. It helped me relax. It made me forget about my back, and it gave me inspiration. “Worst” could be “wurst.” From what little I remember from my time stationed in Germany, “Kitchen” was “Küchen.” Did he want me to follow him to WurstKüche? Why the game? What was the point of chasing him to all these spots around LA? I was getting hungry again. Hopefully, I was right about the clue. I could use some more food.

I jumped off my bar stool, knocked over my beer (what a waste), grabbed my pad and sprinted for the parking lot. I was going to catch this guy, right now.

I followed him into a Best Buy parking lot in Culver City. I parked next to his car and went looking for him. Why would he be here? I checked the inside of the box store and a few other businesses, but he was nowhere to be found. Wait…a barbershop…in a strip mall.

guys mine? A quick look around showed that none were breathing heavy or short of breath. Had he come in here? The barbers all stopped. Why were they staring at me? I was breathing heavily, what felt mostly like exhaling, followed by giant gasps. I was out of shape. I noticed a door cracked open at the back of the shop. He must have left out the back. I ignored the barbers’ shouts and pushed through the door. It wasn’t what I expected. The door led to a speakeasy called The Blind Barber; a rustic, dark and sophisticated hideout. This was a place that would be packed tonight with many others using the door I had just pushed through. They would enter a room full of people, energy, life and craft cocktails. I entered a dimly lit empty room. I entered slowly.

I walked into the nondescript barbershop. Three guys cutting the hair of three guys. Was one of these

I was right behind this guy, but he kept giving me the slip. All that was left of him was an empty whiskey

I chased him along the coast on Vista Del Mar and thought I lost him as we screeched onto Culver. There were two cars between us on this two-lane road. I just needed to get around these two egg-timers. I pulled out to pass, and even with 454 horsepower under the hood, I couldn’t find a place, so I stayed close.

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By the time I made it to the WurstKüche in Venice, I was hungry. I really didn’t care about saving the free world. I wanted to eat. I still played the part, because I knew “they” were watching. I parked the Maserati on the street and sprinted for the door. Once inside, where I was sure they couldn’t see me, I stopped chasing and just became a hungry customer. They have an amazing variety of sausage on display in the glass case near the entry. They offer duck, pheasant, rattlesnake and rabbit. I decided on the rattlesnake and rabbit combination with a side of fries. After I ordered, I made my way down the hallway to a very cool back bar. It was designed with wood and iron, offered a cool and shaded patio and open seating. I chose the bar. They had an impressive collection of German and Belgian beers. I ordered a “cold one” and waited for my food. The sausage and fries were delivered and looked amazing. As I picked

up my sausage, I noticed my name written on the wax paper beneath the bun.

carbonara, poached egg, pancetta, black pepper and Parmesan; then, ordered and demolished fried chicken thighs, red wine vinegar glaze, pickled chilies and more Parm. The food was amazing and so were the drinks. We ordered a few rounds of their cocktail, called the The Elder (elderflower syrup, cochi Americano, fresh orange squeeze and a splash of Prosecco), which we loved. What a perfect day.

“Snake, just missed me,” it read.

I took a bite, a drink and another bite. This food was too good. I wasn’t interested in chasing anyone until I finished this meal. The rabbit and rattlesnake worked perfectly together and the truffle oil fries were perfectly curing my hangover. My belly was full, and now, I was tired. My superior officer would have to send someone else if they wanted to catch anyone tonight. Maybe they should have hired someone in their twenties. I was clocking out. I was driving down Pacific Ave. in Venice when I noticed the Hotel Erwin. I parked my supercar in front of a graffiti-covered wall in front of the hotel and entered the lobby. I asked for a room, and since I didn’t have any bags to drop off, I made my way to their rooftop deck, slithered into a couch, ordered a mojito and really relaxed for the first time all day. From the rooftop of the Hotel Erwin, you can see for miles, the skyline of LA, the hills of Palos Verdes and the cliffs near Malibu. You can also see all the awesomeness that the Venice boardwalk offers just by looking down. It has one of the best views along the West Coast. That’s where my attention was drawn. I sipped my mojito through a straw and started to nod off. Why was I so sleepy? The skyline was topsy-turvy. I couldn’t concentrate on anything. What was in my drink? I am an experienced drinker. That sip of rum should not have that effect on me. Someone had spiked my drink. I woke up very slowly. I was having a hard time figuring out where I was. The room was gorgeous inside; the bed was comfortable. This was definitely not my weekly La Jolla rental. I raised my head off the pillow. My room card was in my hand. There was a black suit laid out on the bed. There was another note.

Put this suit on. Meet me at Superba at 9. This is your last chance. The red car was parked in front. I had to park down the street and walk. The sign over the restaurant spelled out Superba in giant Scrabble letters. Was it missing a “d” or in possession of an extra “a.” That would be answered soon enough. I hated wearing suits. At least it was black, and it worked with my boots. I checked in with the hostess about a reservation at nine. The place was intimate; there was no place to hide. She walked me to a table where someone was already sitting. It was a she, and from behind, she was both blonde and beautiful.

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I sat down, looked up and realized something all at the same time. I had been had. The world wasn’t ending, the writing on all the notes had been the same, and I hadn’t had a text from my girlfriend all day. I had been following my girlfriend.

“Surprise,” she said. I certainly was. This entire day had been a ruse. She had set up a test drive at the Ferrari Maserati dealer in La Jolla for me; she had treated me to lunch and drinks all day and was now treating me to dinner. I looked at her across the table and smiled. She made me feel the way only a real woman could: warm, romantic...and confused. She spent the dinner detailing all the ways she had eluded me and about the time she had spent discovering the absolute coolest places to send me. She asked if I enjoyed my day. She was very proud of herself. I was proud of her, too. Superba Snack Bar was superb. We sat close and shared small plates. We devoured the smoked bucatini

I jumped in my car and followed my girlfriend back to Manhattan Beach. She parked in front of the Shade Hotel and was upstairs before I could put my car in park. The Shade was a modern building that was a perfect combination of concrete and glass on the exterior and wood and glass on the interior. I checked at the desk and quickly made my way to our Napa suite. The suite was gorgeous. Mahogany wood, a hurricane fireplace, and the chromeotherapeutic lights were changing colors through the spectrum and emanating from the walls, ceiling, bathtub and steam shower. The tub was filled, the jets were on, and the water was glowing red. There were flowers on the table in the living room and champagne next to the bed. What a perfect day. Now I just had to find her. Where could she be hiding?






CROSSFIT NEWPORT MESA 375 Bristol Street Costa Mesa CA 92626

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The gym is a California staple. How else do you think we Californians stay so lean? The only problem is that there are so many gyms and workouts to choose from, it can be overwhelming to pick the one that’s right for you. In this edition of VS, we set out to find the best workouts offered in this area of the West Coast. From the best personal trainers to the hardest CrossFit sessions, we’ve gathered a group of challenging fitness activities suited for every level.


weights, ropes, kettle bells and rings fill this warehouse-like workout room. Are you ready for this? CrossFit Newport Mesa takes no prisoners, because this work out is definitely not for everyone. People are doing various workout regimens in unison… talk about intimidating. It is heart pumping, intense, yet very rewarding if you complete the workouts offered here.

This is why CrossFit newport mesa has clenched the coveted


title. Not only do they have a workout that will keep you on your toes, they will also personalize the workout to fit your abilities—this workout is MADE for you. What is a typical CrossFit workout? Well they are ever changing day-to-day. “We always have different workouts called WOD or the Workout of the Day posted online, and there are five different versions. Members can create on their own,” Owner Carter Grant explains. “They can decrease or increase weight or repetitions depending on their skill level, and at the end of the workout, they can track their progress on the online leader board to see where they are ranking against fellow members.” They also compete in various CrossFit competitions; an example would be the Legendary Competitor Competition where CrossFit Newport Mesa took first, second and third for males and first in females among many other awards. The gym also is a huge supporter of Cystic Fibrosis and competes in Hike the Halo every year. This year, they clenched first place. CrossFit Newport Mesa also has a five-to-one coach-to-member ratio as safety is something that is extremely important to them. “Safety, scalability and community are the three most important things on my list as these are the foundation of this gym,” Carter firmly explains. “No one works out in this gym without a coach; that is something I am firm about. The last thing I want is one of the members to get hurt.” Another very important component to CrossFit Newport Mesa is community. “It’s the members’ gym; the members are the true owners here,” Carter proudly says about the members working out around him. It is clear that he is proud of not only the gym he has, but also the people he has around him. As he says this, the gym mascot, his black lab Ryatt, jumps by his side, which he gracefully lifts into his arms and gives a huge bear hug. It is obvious that there is a ton of love in this building along with the hard work and sweat that comes from this all-star workout. | JANUARY 2014 | 143



in and relax as you enter the calm serenity at Ra Yoga in Costa Mesa. The staff is calm and incredibly kind—not to mention extremely relaxed. Unlike most of the rest of Orange County, I have never entered a yoga studio. I get a chuckle out of owners Bobby Kittleman and Jenny Vende Hei as I sheepishly slip my very loud cheetah print shoes off. After walking the halls, I realize that much of the décor is lovingly homemade at Ra Yoga, even the wood floors were placed with love in mind.

The balance throughout the studio is very noticeable, and this is one of the reasons they were selected as our winner for


most balanced WORKOUT

RA YOGA 3077 Bristol Street Costa Mesa CA 92626

“Yoga is a clear connection to your spirit. It allows you to have a beautiful body, but it also allows you to unlock your potential, work longer, and inspires you to live your dreams.” -Vande Hei

everything feels thoughtfully connected and very serene. “Yoga is a clear connection to your spirit. It allows you to have a beautiful body, but it also allows you to unlock your potential, work longer, and inspires you to live your dreams” explains Vande Hei. “Ra opened its doors in 2011, but prior to that, I was in a car accident and was told to go to yoga to deal with both my accident as well as my stressful job—I fell in love and didn’t look back,” glows Kittleman as he explains why he chased his passion. “After that, I left my job and opened Ra with Jenny.” At Ra, they bring community to a new level. “Our people love their jobs, our front desk receptionist loves it here so much that she actually had her wedding here back in October; she also did my makeup for this photo shoot. She lives and breathes Ra Yoga, we just love that,” beams Vende Hei. Ra also has a nutrition program that includes raw food diets and juices. They have community outreach and workshops; they even have yoga for the hearing challenged, which is conducted in American Sign Language. The most original aspect, though, is their teacher training. It is essentially a personal trainer for yoga. You get your own yoga trainer that develops a specific program just for you. When it comes to yoga, Ra really mixes both yin and yang styles to make a balanced workout for everyone, and you’ll find your inner peace in the meantime. | JANUARY 2014 | 145

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GRIT CYCLE 1731 Santa Ana Ave. Costa Mesa CA, 92627

band together at this hot hangout. At Grit Cycle in Costa Mesa, there isn’t room for any whiners, that’s for sure. They get their roots from the classic western movie True Grit, featuring John Wayne. Even their logo is shaped like an eye patch from the movie. Owners Candice Collings-Loomis, Matt Bourne and Marisa Wayne are incredibly tied to their background. Marisa Wayne is actually the daughter of The Duke himself. Not only do they have a living member of the Wayne family on board, but they also support the John Wayne Cancer Foundation for which they were nominated for as a top charity in Orange County after only having their doors open for eight weeks! Grit is an extremely giving establishment; they have also raised money towards the Roundup River Ranch to send children with Cancer to camp. “We want to raise money and keep it within the community,” Collings-Loomis declares. “This gym is for the people and the community. I love empowering people, whether it is getting someone to open a Grit or simply to come workout. It is more rewarding than money to me.”



hangout ENERJI BARRE 13011 Newport Ave Tustin CA, 92780

I made the silly mistake of asking how they keep things fresh and fun at Grit Cycle, little did I know that this gym is basically the neighborhood hotspot to not only workout at, but to also hang out at, making it a simple choice for

HOTTEST HANGOUT. “We are the local Cheers,” Collings-Loomis chuckles. “We only open gyms on corners or as freestanding buildings, and they must have a patio. After you are done working out, we want this to be your alternative to a happy hour. For the price of two martinis, you can have a super fun class; then, come hang out and have some fun with us.” Each class is only forty-five quick minutes of blood pumping, make-your-own pace, dance party on a bike. There is only one level class offered, so everyone from beginners to advanced cyclers can all be in one room in perfect harmony. The room is kept dark so no one is staring at you and you can dictate your own workout without feeling uncomfortable. Perhaps, Grit Yoga is the place for you. After its grand opening on October 13th, this studio is just as promising and fun as its big brother. What’s in store for the future? The sky is the limit. Collings-Loomis says they are looking for likeminded instructors willing to work with them and/or open other Grit Cycles to help spread their true grit.


leads to great and powerful things, spiritually. At Enerji Barre in Tustin, they believe that full heartedly, as their mission statement is, “Life can and should be filled with joy.” This filters over into all of their classes as well. “We take the classes very seriously but we don’t take ourselves seriously,” Jackie Mae, Senior Barre Instructor, explains. “Enerji Barre is strictly a drama free zone, and it is also a lifestyle choice not just a ‘fitness thing.’ Everyone should pursue joy in every part of life and enjoy everything. That’s what we try to do here; we try to keep people having fun.” That’s enough to make anyone want to jump on the bandwagon in my eyes. The year 2011 was the genesis of this amazing facility and people don’t just go there, they want to be there, even during early morning classes. “Once, I was asked if I ever feel like skipping the morning classes just to go back to bed, and my answer was simply ‘no, I love to be here.’ I never want to miss a class. My clients always want to be here, too,” says Mae triumphantly. For anyone that thinks barre is just a leisurely way to spend your hour working out, think again.

It has been said that you see results almost instantly. You are not just changing your fat percentage with these workouts, but you are literally changing your body’s shape. They do offer barre extras as well. Limited yoga and knockout classes are also available for those who want to try out something a little different. As for the future, the plan is to, “keep connecting with people in any way possible, to continue to pursue joy and to stick to the idea the gym was built upon,” says owner Adam Gentry. If you want to get happy and pursue joy, then Enerji Barre is the place for you! | JANUARY 2014 | 147


truly can be part of your future fitness routine. Like pairing peanut butter and jelly or sunshine and California, Renaissance Club Sport has combined a fitness center and a hotel. Renaissance Club Sport in Aliso Viejo is no ordinary fitness center. Walk in through the glass doors and you’ll find a cascade of colors and friendly staff members from every walk of life waiting to help you with a smile. Through the lobby, you’ll find not only a gym check-in, but also a hotel check-in as well as a full restaurant, waiting for you to sit and dine on healthy selections after you put in your grueling fitness regiment. A coffee shop is also available for protein shakes, snacks or just a small pick me up. If you walk past the restaurant, you’ll discover a beautiful view of the pool and the outdoor patio. People chat in the hallways pleasantly while walking to and from their workouts. There is a real sense of community here. “The reason I love working here is because it is not only a trainer’s playground, but because of the members. We have a tight community here,” gloats Alley Miesch-Nie, an Elite trainer at the facility. Even though fifty percent of the people present are members and the other fifty percent are vacationers, people on retreats, people on business, etc., it really seems to be a tight knit family here. “We do it all here,” exclaims Miesche-Nie with pride. “We have something for everyone; the pool, classes, cardio, spa, hotel, restaurant, we even have a registered dietician on site. You name it, we have it.”

We do assessments of body compositions where you have an avatar of your own body and our dietician can give you a meal plan. Sounds like a real dream get away for those who are willing to get fit while getting some quality R&R.

RENAISSANCE CLUB SPORT 50 Enterprise Aliso Viejo CA, 92656 800.627.7468 | JANUARY 2014 | 149


classes are what this gym is dedicated to. What is the benefit of working out with a barre? It will not only whip you into shape sooner than you can say the words “Pure Barre,” but it will keep you in shape, too. Does it sound too intense? No way, Owner Monica Gurbin says. Everyone from the very in shape, the not so in shape, to barely pregnant, ready to pop pregnant, people with rods in their back, slipped disks, and all walks of life can readily enjoy these workouts and keep up with the classes, because it is all done at your own pace. “We offer packages to brides and their entire wedding parties, we have a teacher that is teaching up to the day before her (pregnancy) due date if you can believe it, we have all kinds of people enjoying our workouts here,” Gurbin smiles.

They also have the backing of medical mogul Kaiser, winning “Best Place to Get Fit.”

PURE BARRE 234 E 17th St #116 Costa Mesa CA 92627

It is hard to ignore the allure when you see results in eight to 10 weeks with classes that focus so intensely on trouble spots. Classes such as Slenderize Your Outer Thighs, Lifted Seat and Bye Bye Inner Thighs are classes that sound fun but are also very intensive, targeted classes to blast away fat and actually change your body. Not only does this instantaneous change draw you in, but also the attitude Gurbin brings to the gym is that simple touch of care that you really have to look hard to find anywhere else. “If we didn’t have to make a living, we’d all do this job for free, no questions asked. I love seeing people have a better sense of self after leaving the classes; I love our clients,” Gurbin states. This whole gym is founded on passion; Carrie Rezabek-Dorr opened the first Pure Barre in 2001 in the basement of an office building in Birminghham, Michigan. Eight years later, Gurbin found that same passion from taking Rezabek-Dorr’s class in San Diego and opened her own gyms in both Costa Mesa and Mission Viejo. One thing I must say about the members, the staff, and Pure Barre in general is that the dedication here is endless; anyone who is lucky enough to experience this gym will likely catch this infectious passion because it is contagious.


dude! We all know that surfing is a killer workout, but what about surfing sans water? At Extreme Athletics that’s exactly what their specialty is. But how do you teach one to surf without involving water? “We teach people to workout on uneven surfaces, rotational, we teach them to be agile, we also focus on lower body and paddling,” says Owner John Brown, coolly in his very surfer style. “We start with a fifteen minute flexibility drill, foam rolling with dynamic stretches, then forty-five minutes of muscle control to power, box jumps, squats, TRX, core and stability. We then end the workout with five to ten minutes of stretching. It truly is a full body workout. We pull all the best parts of all different types of gyms,” John’s Partner and fellow owner, Paul Norris, chimes in. They have partnered with fellow surfer, Christain Saenz, who takes clients to the beach and puts their workouts to work in the water. “As much as we love surfing, we are not here to teach people how to surf, but to give people the tools to be healthy with surf techniques,” Norris explains. “People love it. We have everyone in here from ten year olds, to weekend warriors, females, males, you name it, and they are here. The best part is, no one is doing what we are doing. There isn’t another gym out there doing surf training.” Back in 2012, both Brown and Norris ironically were sitting on their boards waiting on some waves when they thought of this amazing idea. “We wanted to be our own bosses, but we also wanted to follow our passion,” Brown smiles. “This gym is my passion. I can’t miss a workout, it’s part of me now. I am literally livin’ the dream.” Doesn’t hurt to mention that Extreme Athletics has been featured on, Surf Wire, and was also the Official Athletic Training Partner of the US Open—I would say that “Livin’ the dream is an understatement. When asked to show off some of their surf moves for their photo shoot, let’s just say these surfer dudes are pretty ripped and completely modest about it as well! I guess we’ve discovered the reason why the ladies sign up for this gym. EXTREME ATHLETICS 850 W 18th St Costa Mesa CA 92627

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If you want to go on a surfin’ safari and get totally “shredded,” then this is the workout for you.

JESSICA BARKLEY ATELIER 760 S Coast HWY Laguna Beach, CA 92651 949.338.1408

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! THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID An Irreverent Retail Column


I Do

That’s What Three Said Special Edition: Orange County Wedding Guide



January, which means spring is just around the corner, and wedding season is nearly upon us! We are lucky enough to live in Orange County where we have some of the best venues for thousands of weddings to take place year round! Our enthusiasm for weddings goes way back to the womb… well maybe not quite that far back, but the three of us have worked as a beauty glam trio for years. Kelsey is a Professional Makeup Artist, Korrie is a Hair Designer and Kaeli acts as our buffer doing a little bit of both. We have so much fun styling weddings, and seeing all of the details that go into such a big day! In this special edition of “That’s What Three Said,” we are going to show you some of the Bridal Bests that Orange County has to offer from rings, planning, venues and much more! We are giving you the tools to plan your dream Orange County wedding or make you want to have another one by renewing your vows. Cheers!

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Black, Starr & Frost America's First Jeweler Since 1810 341 Bayside Drive Newport Beach, CA 92660

The 5 C’s Of Diamonds Civilized man has held diamonds in high esteem for thousands of years. Valued first in their rough state for their unsurpassed hardness as tools, they have been treasured for their rarity and brilliance ever since man learned how to unlock their beauty. The key to understanding how this beauty is evaluated lies in what has traditionally been known as the “4 C’s” of diamond grading–Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight. Read on to discover some things you might not have known about each, as well as what you need in order to achieve the essential fifth “C”—Confidence.

CUT. The cut of a diamond, in this context, refers not to the SHAPE of the diamond, but rather refers to how well it is PROPORTIONED. Why is cut important? Some say that cut might be the most important “C,” because a diamond has both brilliance (white light) and fire (the spectral colors) ONLY because light that enters the stone is reflected and refracted back to the eye. This effect is maximized, and a diamond is most brilliant, when the facets are well polished, precisely symmetrical and cut to exact angles and proportions. Diamonds of this quality will be referred to as having “Excellent” or “Ideal” cut, usually paired with similar grades for “Polish” and “Symmetry.”

COLOR. The color of a diamond usually refers to its LACK of color. The rarity of a pure, completely colorless diamond is as breathtaking as its beauty. White diamonds are graded on an alphabetical scale from D to Z, with increasingly visible tints of yellow, brown or gray. D through F color diamonds are typically referred to as “colorless” and the difference between them and “near colorless” diamonds (G through J color) is

CLEARLY visible to the naked eye. Although the appreciation of color in a diamond is personal, the value of a diamond is driven by rarity. Some diamonds possess a color that is so intense that they are considered “Fancy” colored diamonds (graded on a separate scale of hue, tone and saturation) and are of even greater rarity.

CLARITY. Clarity refers to a diamond’s relative transparency, freedom from inclusions (internal fractures, crystals of other minerals and other “birthmarks” or imperfections) and blemishes (external fractures, chips, bruises and the like) under 10X magnification. Obviously, a diamond with fewer inclusions and blemishes is more rare, and a grade is assigned based on the relative number, size, color and location of these imperfections. The grading scale begins with a Flawless diamond (Fl), followed by one that is Internally Flawless (IF), two grades of Very, Very Slightly included diamonds (VVS1 and VVS2), two grades of Very Slightly included diamonds (VS1 and VS2), two grades of Slightly Included diamonds (SI1 and SI2), and finally three grades of Imperfect diamonds that have inclusions that are actually visible to the naked eye (I1, I2 and I3). Is there a difference between a Flawless diamond and a VS1 diamond to the naked eye? Not typically. The difference is primarily in the diamond’s rarity, and as such, clarity has less of an effect on the beauty of the diamond, as long as the inclusions are neither visible to the naked eye nor affect the transparency of the diamond.


Derived from the Arabic word “quirat,” meaning the fruit of the carob tree, whose seeds were used in ancient times to weigh small quantities because of their natural uniformity of weight, carat refers not to a diamond’s size, but its weight. A carat is one fifth of a gram. The rarity of a diamond goes up exponentially with size. In fact, only seven percent of diamonds in the world – of any quality – are of two carats in size or larger. Of a recent sample of 12 Million diamonds, only 146 were Flawless 1 carat diamonds of D color,

A Guy’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Rock For Her… Darren Bagwell 1. WHAT SHE WANTS. If your girl says she doesn’t care, then congratulations! You found a great girl. Chances are she does care and she has hinted what she wants a million times by now. Get her something she will love and that will withstand time and trends. Create a ring that will match her style and even personality. 2. CASH MONEY! How much do you want to spend? Diamonds are forever for a

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while a mere five of them in that quality weighed over five carats.


Does buying a diamond said to be of a certain cut, weight, color and clarity mean that you know exactly what you are getting? Absolutely not! Who graded the diamond, and how do you know that grade is accurate? There are many independent laboratories grading diamonds these days, and there is absolutely no licensing required to establish oneself as a gem laboratory (or to do an appraisal). There are only two laboratories that are universally considered to be accurate and consistent in their reports – the Gemological Institute of America’s Gem Trade Laboratory (GIA), the non-profit education and research organization that initially developed the grading system we all use today, and the AGS Lab (American Gem Society), born out of the trade association dedicated to protecting the consumer and policing the ethics of its members. Beyond the reports of those two laboratories, comparing two diamonds of the same grade could be like comparing apples to oranges, and the pricing of diamonds graded by the other labs typically reflects that uncertainty. Additionally, it is important to realize that grades represent a RANGE, rather than an absolute, and that there are many other factors that influence the beauty of a diamond, so having expert advice is a must. Who can provide that expert advice? Unfortunately, jewelers often are not gemologically trained, having learned the business on the job, and are sometimes more keen on making a sale than on looking after the best interest of their client. Insisting on a jeweler who is a Certified Gemologist Appraiser, having met the exacting educational and ethical standards prescribed by the American Gem Society, and buying from him or her ONLY a diamond that has been graded by either GIA or AGS, is the key to buying a diamond with the 5th “C”— CONFIDENCE.

reason! They are not cheap. Have a realistic range you would like to stick to before shopping. 3. GO TO SCHOOL. This won’t take long, but it will pay off huge. Give yourself 30 minutes to study what all this fuss is about. Or you can just ask me ( 4.TRUST. Trust your Guy (The expert helping you out with your diamond purchase). This is a big purchase for you. Most likely, the biggest one time purchase besides your car or maybe your house. It will be a better experience for you if you can trust whomever you are working with.

THE RING EXPERT Michelle Verdult Winston’s Jewelers

Q: Are you seeing any new buying trends for those purchasing engagement and wedding rings?

Michelle Verdult: In the past, customers purchased for that surprise “wow” factor, but now, more often than not, we help couples find the ideal ring.


ne of the most important parts of getting married, if not the most improtant part in the process, is selecting the perfect engagement ring. We were honored when we were able to get a tour of the renowned Mark Patterson Jewlers by Mark Patterson and his wife Josette. Mark Patterson and his wife have been making jewlery magic for over 28 years. With offices around the country Mark Patterson is a true gem in the jewlery field for thier remarkable work. In 2002, Mark Patterson launched Promise, his beautiful bridal collection. We were in awe as Mark took us through the neccessary steps to getting that precious one of a kind ring perfect.

Steps to making a one of a kind ring, from vision to reality.

Mark and Josette Patterson MARK PATTERSON 3425 East Coast Hwy Corona Del Mar, CA 92625 866.221.6593

1-Inspiration 2-Sketch 3-Rendering

4-Wax 5-Casting 6-Cleaning

7-Assembly 8-Prepolish 9-Setting

10-Final Polish 11-Quality Control

We had so much fun during our visit, getting to take part in seeing how the rings are made. But, a trip to Mark Patterson would not be complete without trying on a few rings ourselves. Ladies, these rings were breathtaking! We’re sure there is a special occasion in our near future for which a sparkler from Mark Patterson would be perfect!

Q: When purchasing an engagement ring, how do you choose the right stone for the right ring, and does the shape of the stone matter?

MV: When choosing the shape of the diamond, we find it is purely a matter of taste, with round brilliant being by far the number one choice. Notably, we just sold a 31 carat round brilliant that sparkled with such great brilliance and fire. Other desirable and popular shapes are the cushion, which resembles a faceted pillow, along with radiant, pear, princess and emerald shapes. With the center stone in mind, the many shapes of diamonds, along with size, do matter! Q: How important is it to choose the right jeweler?

MV: A jeweler should be someone you can trust and is also able to educate you, as the buyer, on your future purchase. We highly recommend that one should be comfortable with the jeweler due to the long-term relationship that is built.

5. LOOK LOOSE. See what your stone looks like loose (aka, all by itself) before purchasing. VVS2 or SI2 doesn’t really mean anything to you right now, but seeing it loose will help make sense of all this diamond talk. Once you look at it through a loop (a 10x magnifying lens) you will quickly notice all the good and not so good that goes into this shiny rock.

happy to find, it will usually save you more than 10 to 15 percent.

or renter’s insurance, or you can have it insured by an independent jewelry company. Do it. Thank me later.

7. SET IT. Once the stone is decided and your budget is set, it’s time to choose your setting. Creating a custom ring is always a great option as it lets you add personal little touches for your love, to give it that one of a kind feel.

6. BUY LIGHT. You can save some money by buying light. There are 100 points in a full 1.0ct diamond. Ask to compare .90ct next to a full 1.0ct, or a 1.85ct next to a 2.0ct. You’ll notice they look very similar in size, and you’ll be

8. INSURE IT. My wife lost her ring. Yes, she lost her ring. Yes, we’re still married. That’s a whole different story, but getting your ring insured is as easy as a phone call. There are a couple options: you can add it to your homeowner’s

9. ASK IT. If you got this far, you know what to do next. You’re almost there. Almost into the pre-wedding phase where your main jobs will be sampling desserts and picking out a suit for the big day. Make sure to make the engagement all about her, just like you did with creating the ring. Good luck!

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WEDDING DAY Beauty Tips We asked Professional Makeup Artist and Founder of Hey Saylor Cosmetics, Noel Sweeny, what some of her favorite beauty tips are for brides: Q: How can brides make their makeup last all day? Noel Sweeny: They can make it last by using a good primer and

a water-based makeup that is breathable. So, if they sweat through it, it will wipe right off. Also, sometimes doing a very light spray with hairspray helps, but I wouldn’t recommend that if you have super sensitive skin. Q: How can a bride help a makeup artist create the perfect look for their day? NS: I always think its best when a bride does lots of research for

looks she likes with models that have similar hair or features. That way, it’s an easier fit when duplicating the look. The same applies to your bridesmaids. Q: Have you see any new trends in bridal makeup? NS: I’ve noticed lots of brides wanting more half up dos and all

onto one side. It’s such a pretty look on everyone and still looks intricate. For makeup, lots of contouring is good since they will be taking lots of pictures! After the contouring, many of my clients

have requested a classic look with a medium smoky eye, cat liner and either a pale pink lip or a blue-red. Q: What are Hey Saylor’s Top 3 most popular lipsticks for brides? NS: 1) Smitten Kitten

2) Rendezvous for Two, 3) Cuddle Buddy Q: What basic beauty tips can you share with our brides to be? NS: • Contour before applying foundation to get a natural look.

• Concentrate your lip gloss in the middle of the lip for a poutier look. • Line the upper water line for definition, not the bottom water line. • Pin curl the night before to get a curl that lasts longer. • Style hair two days dirty. Q: How important is it for other members of the bridal party to have their makeup done too? NS: I think it’s very important! That way, all of the bridesmaids

have a similar, consistent look. The whole look is smoother with fewer complications.


How Can A Bride Prepare Her Skin For Her Wedding Day?


Toss the foaming cleanser! Switch to a gentle cream, liquid or oil cleanser and an alcohol free toner. Make sure the cleanser does not have sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate as these are very harsh detergents that not oily dehydrate the skin, causing premature again, but also leave an invisible soap scum film on the skin and can cause blackheads. Try Make Up For Ever or Bobbi Browns oil cleansers for a unique experience and the cleanest feeling, softest skin you have seen in years.


Don’t use a facial cleaner without a toner! Most women own a toner, but they are collecting dust under the sink, because we can not visually see what toner does for us, which is remove the excess cleansing product. This is important to keep skin clean and prevent oiliness or residue on the skin. Contrary to popular belief, toner should never have alcohol even for oily skin types.



Get a professional peel from a skin specialist or nurse practitioner, or use a gentle exfoliant with round polyurethane beads as opposed to crushed apricots, nuts, etc. as the harsher scrubs can scratch the skin and produce large pores.

Costa Mesa, CA 92626 714.438.2436


Invest in a great A.H.A. Night cream, like Vivite night renewal facial cream to give the skin a fresh healthy glow before the wedding. Your skin will look healthy and vibrant and makeup will go on so much better, you will never want to go without it.


Stay out of the sun one week before the big day so dehydration doesn’t affect makeup and sunburn, peeling or bad tan lines will not be an issue.


Apply lemon yogurt to the face as a mask for 10 minutes and rinse. The citric acid from the lemon is an amazing natural exfoliant, used to soften the skin, and the acidophilus in the yogurt dissolves any bacteria to heal blemishes faster and keep them from forming.


No one wants chapped lips on their wedding day! Find a lip balm with mainly natural ingredients to actually heal, soften and moisturize chapped lips. Absolutely avoid lip balms with mineral oil, wax or petroleum or petrolatum, as they only feel good temporarily and cannot heal chapped lips.

Triplet Tip It’s always good to have a few emergency essentials on hand. You never know what you are going to need on the Big Day! We love putting all these things in a basket so that they are easily accessible for the bridal party while everyone is getting ready.




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FACE CHART: Beautiful Bridesmaid Makeup As a beauty glam trio, we work lots of weddings. We’ve noticed that although brides opt to hire someone to do their makeup, many bridesmaids end up doing their makeup themselves. Using Hey Saylor Cosmetics, I have put together and easy and universally flattering look for all bridesmaids! -Kelsey

FACE: Apply Baby’s Butt Primer all over the face Foundation: Using a brush, apply a little bit of Mineral Touch Foundation all over the face and down the neck.

LIPS: Apply Don’t Call Him Lip Liner (all over the lip). This will give the lipstick something to hold on to. Lipstick: Finish with Rendezvous for Two.

EYES: Lid: Pretty, sweet eye shadow (a soft shimmery beige) Above The Crease: Almond eye shadow (a soft taupe) Crease: Midnight in Magnolia (Copper Brown) Mascara: Apply two coats of Big and Black Mascara CHEEKS: Pick Up Artist Contour Powder Duo: This is a perfect go to. Apply the beautiful bright pink to the apples of the cheeks and the bronzer to contour and add warmth to the face.


The Hairdressing Experts On the Wedding day, the bride and the groom are the main attraction. So it is important that they look their very best. Our friends over at Blanc Noir Hairdressing were happy to share some tips and trends for this wedding season.

JONATHAN TERECH AND ABEL CARREON, OWNERS Blanc Noir Hairdressing 750 1/2 St. Clair Street Costa Mesa, CA 92626 714.617.4768

Bridal Hair Trends A popular trend right now is retro/vintage/old Hollywood glamour hair (think Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly and Veronica Lake). Brides want to feel and look timeless. Gone are the days of doing stiff, tight looks; we are seeing more soft curls, deep side parts, loose finger-waved hair and deconstructed up-dos. Bridesmaids want to look similarly effortless and chic. Hair color trends for brides are showcasing the use of Balayage, which is a French technique that involves hand painting. If brides know how they are styling their hair for the actual day, the colorist can place those Balayage pieces where he/she knows they are going to pop the most. Make sure you go to someone who is an expert in this technique, and ask to see the colorists’ work before booking. TIPS FOR CHOOSING A STYLIST FOR THE BIG DAY

You have to find someone that enjoys doing bridal hair. Not every stylist has experience in styling for weddings. Do research; ask to see a portfolio of their work. Always schedule a trial “do” as sometimes the picture that you like will not always be the most flattering with your dress and face shape. Find pictures of brides, celebrities or models that have your similar hair texture, hair color and density. If you find something that you really like, then that’s when you can talk to your stylist about extensions.

Hair Trends for Men Men are becoming more in tune with what’s in fashion. They are bringing in pictures of tight classic looks, shorter on top and shorter on the sides. Think Mad Men and Great Gatsby. Side parts and volume are huge this season. Men are getting more comfortable with blow-dryers, round brushes and products, too. TIPS FOR GROOMS

Men usually like to leave everything to the last minute…especially when it comes to hair. It’s important for men to get their haircuts done a few weeks before the wedding. You have to know how long it takes for your hair to grow in and whether or not you like your hair freshly cut or a little grown. Set a game plan with your stylist. Men usually like to style their own hair on their wedding day, so talking to your stylist about products and how to replicate the style is my recommendation. Keep it simple and don’t stress.

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THE Dress

Dress Tips from Casablanca Bridal WHAT SHOULD A BRIDE CONSIDER WHEN SHOPPING FOR A WEDDING DRESS? Considering what style of wedding dress is best. I always think that the best place to start is with you. As adult women, we know what looks good on us, and we all have a favorite dress that we wear over and over again that can help give us an idea of the shape that is best for our body type. If you have no idea, my suggestion would be to go to a bridal shop with lots of different shapes of bridal gowns and start trying on dresses. Once we can narrow the decision to one or two; then, we are in a good place to begin. Once the shape is selected, then we must look at what type of wedding it is going to be. Do you have a theme or a style? Is it going to be romantic? Is it going to be identified with a period in time like the ‘20s or ‘30s or maybe a theme from an Opera? We then start narrowing our search to colors, fabrics and details that will go best with the theme of the wedding. Of course budget is always important to keep in mind, but I believe one can get what one wants no matter what the budget! All it takes is knowing what you want and being focused about getting in touch with the right sources. Also keeping an open mind helps. There might be a certain detail or unexpected twist to a gown that can make all the difference in the world.

Jessica Barkley Atelier Jessica Barkley Atelier,

WEDDING DRESS DESIGNER 760 S Coast HWY Laguna Beach, CA 92651


949.338.1408 | |

former brides, we know that the wedding dress is a huge part of being a bride. So, we cruised down PCH to Jessica Barkley Atelier, located in the heart of Laguna, to try on her beautiful gowns. We were thrilled to meet with Jessica herself, who is as lovely as the wedding gowns she designs! Jessica explained that she wants people to notice the bride and wants the brides she dresses to feel beautiful, but not overshadowed by their gowns. We were privileged to see first hand what she meant. We each tried on stunning gowns from her collection. Special details and unique features are just one of the many ways her dresses made us feel like princesses. Kaeli was breathtaking in a full skirted, red gown. Korrie tried on a sophisticated dress made with rare rattail lace she got in France and another gown that came with a skirt that could also be warn as a cape...incredible! Kelsey felt so flirty in a short, bubbled wedding dress! We all wished we could get married again! After being in the fashion industry for years, Jessica tells us she decided to focus her creative talents on Wedding gowns over a year ago. She wanted to create gowns that are sophisticated, elegant and timeless. She also creates beautiful accessories to go with her gowns, such as beaded gloves and magnificent headpieces. We are excited to see what Jessica Barkley comes up with next!

Did You...



We Asked The Brides When it comes to getting married, there are so many rituals that go along with the big day. So, we were curious. We asked 20 brides who recently got married if they took part in any of the traditional wedding customs. 158 |

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35% 35%








60% 40%













25% 60% 40%

Casablanca Bridal Crystal Cove Promenade Shops 7832 E Coast Hwy Newport Coast, CA 92617 949.275.7938




After all, those wedding pictures will stay with you forever...





One word of advice: a wedding Gown is not a trendy item. It is a very personal choice that will reflect one’s own choices and personality. This Gown is like no other and will need to transcend time and trends. Hopefully, it will be worn with joy and pride and preserved and passed on to future generations.



Wedding Dress Trends 2013 and 2014, by Amy Kretschmer of Blush Bridal Couture 2013

Bridal Party Play List Bruno Mars

I would say that one of 2013‘s biggest wedding dress trends was texture. We saw lots of dresses with textured skirts made from fun, funky materials. There were a lot of ruffles, petals and raw cut edges made from tulle and organza. Another big trend from last season was lace dresses with lowcut backs.

Mary You

Dusty Springfield

Wishin’ and Hopin’ Dixie Cups

Chapel of Love Jagged Edge

Let’s Get Married The Temptations

My Girl

10 Local Bridal Salons


JACLYN’S BRIDAL 3930 S Bristol St #204 Santa Ana, CA 92704 714.549.1493 BLUSH BRIDAL COUTURE 13011 Newport Ave Tustin, CA 92780 714.573.8000 MON AMIE BRIDAL SALON 355 Bristol St Costa Mesa, CA 92626 714.546.5700 ERIN COLE COUTURE BRIDAL 298 East 17th St, Flat D Costa Mesa, CA 92627 949.642.5552

Blush Bridal Couture 13011 Newport Ave Tustin, CA 92780 714.573.8000

98 Degrees

I Do (Cherish You) The Crystals

Today I Met The Boy I’m Going to Marry Mariah Carey


Taylor Swift

Love Story

Norah Jones

Come Away With Me Joss Stone

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING SHOES Shoes for brides are always fun. Some brides go the classic route with Manolo Blahniks and Jimmy Choos while several brides go for comfort under their white gowns with Converse or TOMS. It’s all about the bride’s personality and style. It’s her day, after all! So, my advice is wear what you love. Brides usually wear shoes that aren’t seen until the wedding photo album makes it’s way onto the coffee table (if you have a fulllength wedding gown, that is), so remember to make your bridal shoe your own. For the classic bride, sparkle is always a winner—a dainty rosette or crystal ornament at the toe gives any bride’s shoe that extra something. Vintage-inspired looks from designers like Badgley Mischka and Benjamin Adams are a great choice, too. I dig when brides have a knockout, splurged-on pump for the ceremony, and do a small “costume change” in shoe for the reception to something with a lower heel, a wild pop of color, or a fun flat.

THE WEDDING DAY 18449 Brookhurst Street, Suite 1 Fountain Valley, California 92708 714.593.5900

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One Fine Days

hether it’s a mother-of-the-bride or a pretty little bridesmaid, everyone needs a bit of shoe guidance sometimes (lots of other things to think about when you’re in a wedding after all). With wedding season glaring upon us, it’s time to toss out those old satiny b-maid habits and usher in some style for that wedded wardrobe. And hey, it just might score ya a post-ceremony romance…who knows!

JINNY’S BRIDAL CENTER 16089 Goldenwest St Huntington Beach, CA 92647 714.842.6440

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THE WHITE DRESS 2853 East Coast Hwy Corona del Mar, CA 92625 949.723.0121

CASABLANCA BRIDAL Crystal Cove Promenade Shops 7832 E Coast Hwy Newport Coast, CA 92617 949.275.7938

On Bended Knee

Super Duper Love

MARY ME BRIDAL 2922 East Chapman Avenue Orange, CA 92869 714.744.1655

THE DRESSER 112 West Commonwealth, Suite A Fullerton, California 92832 714.870.7101

Boyz II Men

This year, the low-cut backs are still strong. We just got back from New York Bridal Market in October, and it seems like the low backs are going to be even more popular this year. A lot of brides love the soft, romantic feel of the lace paired with the subtle sexiness of the low back. The other big trend we see for this upcoming season is COLOR… and not just variations of off-white. We are seeing champagne tones, taupes, golds, silver, blush and even blue! We definitely are expecting dresses with color to be the biggest trend for next year. We also noticed many of the new styles having a “Gatsby” vibe to them, ‘20s inspired silhouettes paired with art deco influenced bead work. We were absolutely blown away by the new collections for next year and can’t wait to have them in our store!


The Shoe Expert Holly Clinard HOLLY IN HEELS

To achieve bridal party perfection, go straight for the classic look, you bridesmaids! Peep-toe pumps are forever “in” to show off that prewedding pedi and add some length to your look as well. Pumps are a constant strong look when you’re walking down the aisle, and give you stability when you’re standing up for the entire ceremony, too. Satin bridesmaid shoes are ok—they do the job and all—but if you want to go a little outside of the box, think about patent leather or metallic heels. The key to a good bridesmaid shoe is that it compliments the dress and does not take away from what the bride is wearing, so keep that in mind as you sift through the possibilities!



Suit Expert: Friar Tux GREG GOODWIN,


et’s be honest, the day is all about the gown. But, that doesn’t mean that the man shouldn’t look his best, too. A good suit can make all the difference. We received some great advice from our friends at Friar Tux to help the men look their finest!

POPULAR TRENDS IN MEN’S FORMAL WEAR Today’s gentlemen want items to “fit.” This means, suits fitted tightly to the body. Our slim fitting style tuxedos and suits are by far the most popular trend. Friar Tux Shop has a wide selection of both suits and tuxedos in slim fit styles for both rental and purchase. Another trend are suits for weddings. Tuxedos are still very popular but a slightly less formal version; the nicely fitted suit is the choice for many grooms’ today. Bow ties are also a strong trend, swinging back from a time when many weddings used a more traditional long tie. Grooms and their men also want to personalize. This can be done in any number of ways, with pocket squares, fancy socks, tie bars and suspenders.

TIMELINE FOR GROOMS/GROOMSMEN FITTINGS AND TUX/SUIT RENTALS It is never to early for the bride and groom to determine their vision for the men’s attire. The wedding day is incredibly special and deserves attire that reflects this. Friar Tux Shop is always ready to assist brides and grooms in planning that special clothing that fits the style of the day. We do this typically after the ladies’ attire is selected and color schemes for the day are established. Once the men’s attire is selected, then the fittings for the men, fathers and boys can take place. All the fittings should be completed about one month prior to the big day.

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A SUIT For a suit or tux for a wedding, first decide between “borrowing” or “buying.” Friar Tux Shop can assist with either selection. Borrowing (renting) is still the most popular due to convenience and lower costs. Styles across the group of guys are easily coordinated and all the alterations are taken care of. If you are looking to purchase suits or tuxedos for the wedding party, look for styles that are easier to find that will accommodate the variety of sizes the group may need. Purchasing will cost more, but then the items are yours to wear again and again.

Groom Gifts

A special wedding tradition is the wedding day gift exchange between the bride and the groom. Typically a bridesmaid will sneak the groomsmen the groom’s gift and vice versa. Incorporating a special note to each other make the gifts even more romantic. It should be such a sweet and memorable moment. When picking out that gift for your future husband, have fun with it! Here are some of our personal picks for your man.

1. BOUDOIR PHOTOS A beautiful album of Boudoir Photos is a great gift for any Bride to give to her Groom. He will fall in love with your gorgeous images and treasure them forever. It is definitely a gift that keeps on giving! Capture one of the best times of your life by calling Crush Photo Studios and scheduling your Boudoir Session!


Grab your guy his favorite beverage. Some companies will even engrave the bottle or box.

3. TIMEPIECE: What better way to symbolize this special moment than with the gift of Time it self.

Triplet Tips: Nancy Villere CRUSH PHOTO STUDIOS 1630 Superior, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 949.722.0090

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» When Packing for the honeymoon, wrap each piece of lingerie and let your man pick a present each day. » Get him the gift of two—one to enjoy now, and one to open on your 10-year anniversary.


TRENDS FOR 2014 By Rich Lander, CHARD PHOTOGRAPHER While the vintage editing style is still going strong, I keep receiving requests for more candid shots from their big day. Many couples are opting to get to their cocktail hour and have more time with their guests. This can make for some really great photojournalistic shots of them with their family and friends. More than anything, couples don’t want their wedding day to be a big photoshoot and are preferring a more relaxed and fun day.

WEDDING PHOTO SIGNIFICANCE: At the end of the day, it’s really the only thing you get to keep. The dress gets packed away, the food gets eaten and the music has played. It’s my job to capture all of those things for couples for them to be able to share with their kids and grandchildren years later. Also, the bride and groom are so busy greeting the guests that there is a lot of stuff that they don’t often get to see. One major example is when everyone stands up and turns around to look at the bride in all of her beauty. Well, while everyone is turned around looking at her, we are making sure to get shots of the groom’s reaction. It ends up being something that nobody at the wedding sees unless we are snapping shots of it.

CAPTURE YOUR WEDDING ON FILM Ryan Davis, CINEMATOGRAPHER CLOUDLESS / INSPIRED WEDDING CINEMATOGRAPHY Having your wedding filmed captures the emotion and personality of your big day. When people watch their video, they feel like they are transported back to their wedding, which allows them to relive those moments over and over again. Our highlight videos, which are usually around five minutes and set to music, are a great way to watch the entire story of your day. These short videos are a really fun way to share the best parts of your wedding day on Facebook with friends and family or people who maybe couldn’t make it in person.

WHY CHOOSE CLOUDLESS: Unlike other companies, we’re unique because we are all filmmakers from the commercial advertising industry. That means that throughout the year, we film for brands like Ducati Motorcycles, McLaren Automotive and the PGA Tour. We started Cloudless in order to bring professional production quality to the world of wedding vids. We pride ourselves on making wedding films that look like movies and not home videos.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A VIDEOGRAPHER: When looking for a videographer, make sure that both of you click well with them. You will be spending your entire day with the photographer and videographer, so you need to make sure you feel comfortable with them. Your photographer and planner will also have good suggestions. They have had the experience of working with them at a wedding, so they know who will fit well for you. We try and stay extremely discreet; we don’t ask you to act out or repeat anything, and we value your guests’ experiences.

CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER By Chris Chavira, CC IMAGES My approach to a bride’s wedding photography is to create a friendly and professional relationship with her and her guests; to develop a very personal style of telling their story of the day in a relaxed and informal manner. It’s also important to work quietly, efficiently and unobtrusively to allow everyone to enjoy the wedding. I think Wedding Photography should include an excellent consultation, fun and relaxed engagement shoot, calling to the bride’s house on the morning of, attendance at the ceremony, location photographs and the reception. As a wedding photographer, you are given the opportunity to document one of the most important days for a couple–capturing their nerves, tears, smiles and loves. Everyone has a story, and when you get married, your wedding day is part of that story. I want to tell that part and give lifelong memories in the form of timeless, honest, heartfelt photographs. Simple.

HOW TO GET THE BEST PHOTOS ON YOUR BIG DAY By Jeff Farsai DIRECTOR | PHOTOGRAPHER Definitely just be yourselves, don’t over think it. Make sure you meet your photographer in person and are comfortable in front of them...If you pick a good photographer who is fun, they will handle the rest.

HOW TO MAKE SURE YOU GET ALL THE PHOTOS YOU WERE HOPING FOR: I actually present a list of photo moments and family musthaves for the couple. If your photographer doesn’t have one, it’s a good idea to make a list. If you want one of those big family shots, make sure you have at least one designated “wrangler” from the bride’s side and one from the groom’s side (a family member who is not in the wedding party is a great choice). Also, couples often overlook the “day of coordinator,” which is a huge mistake. There is so much planning and so many factors to organize for that one day, that no bride should ever have to orchestrate all that madness herself. I love working with You’ Every time I shoot a wedding that they are involved in, I get the best shots I’ve ever taken, hands down. You can literally see the relaxation in the brides’ eyes, and I think being stressfree on your wedding day is the most important thing in general, as well as the most important factor to getting the best images and video.

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THE Venue We left Rancho Las Lomas thinking two words: “Vow Renewal!” Once you step foot on this property, you cannot help but want to get married again. We had the absolute thrill to visit Rancho Las Lomas, one of Orange County’s premier wedding and event destinations. The sprawling 32-acre property located in Silverado is unparalleled! Rancho Las Lomas is a family owned estate ran by the Lawrence family. The Lawrence family welcomes you into there home to make your Wedding day an experience you and your guests will never forget. Rancho Las Lomas started as a shared dream by husband and wife Rick and Jeannie Lawrence to build a home in a ranch near the ocean. The dream became a reality as they built there home amidst the rolling hills where they raised their two sons. The historical property is magical, filled with rustic elegance and luscious greenery. The venue is extra unique in that there is even a zoo amongst the beautiful gardens! Everywhere you walk, you are taken back by the special touches dreamt up by the family. We had the honor of getting the guided tour of the gorgeous estate by the one and only Brett Lawrence. During the tour, Brett graciously showed us the ins and outs of all Rancho Las Lomas has to offer. Let us tell you, the options are endless. We were able to get candid with Brett and find out what makes his home the premier wedding and event location.

What Should A Bride Know Before Choosing A Venue? Rachel Salas,


The Villa San Juan Capistrano/Iva Lee’s Restaurant | 949.606.5125 |

Interview With Brett Lawrence PRESIDENT AND CEO, RANCHO LAS LOMAS RANCHO LAS LOMAS 19191 Lawrence Canyon Silverado, CA 92676 949.888.3080 | Q: What makes Rancho Las Lomas the premiere spot for weddings and events? Brett Lawrence: The location, the privacy, the history, the service

and the animals to name a few. Rancho Las Lomas is home to around 30 animals, including three tigers, two zebras, four alpacas and a variety of small exotic cats and birds. My favorites are my two golden retriever puppies Skyler and Daisy. Q: What is your favorite thing about the property? BL: The fact that it’s my home, and I can share it with the rest of the

world. I am honored to make an impact on our bride and grooms’ lives. It becomes something they cherish that day and forever. Q: What is the future vision for Rancho Las Lomas? BL: We plan to expand. We are planning to continue with development

1. The most important thing is to know the vision for the wedding. Does the bride envision something rustic, scenic, historical, an open space or an ocean view? Finding the venue that fits the dream is key! 2. Expected guest count is essential, because it can dictate whether or not you can utilize your desired venue. Always check the facility’s website for maximum occupancy before viewing it in person to see if it’s a possibility. 3. Know your budget! When you know what you’re working with, you can eliminate viewing places that are out of your price range. Some venues offer sample proposals to provide a ballpark number. At The Villa San Juan Capistrano, we offer four sample proposals based off of our four food packages, courtesy of our exclusive caterer, Iva Lee’s. It’s extremely helpful for our brides!”

Wedding Vs Non Wedding

PRICE BREAKDOWN Have you ever noticed that just by adding the word wedding in front of something sends the cost skyrocketing? We thought it would be fun to do a little breakdown. NON-WEDDING



of a hotel, spa, brewery, restaurant and tasting room. We also want our zoo to expand and grow to benefit our Rancho Las Lomas Wildlife Foundation. The sky’s the limit and I’m young, so “why not?”



Wedding CAKE

$400- $2,000+



Wedding DRESS


Q: What is a typical wedding like at Rancho Las Lomas? BL: There is nothing typical about Rancho Las Lomas! There are no



Wedding MAKEUP




rules on where you can tie the knot or boogie down. We encourage our multi cultural clients to think outside the box and utilize the multiple event spaces on our 32-acre estate. From cocktails around the pool to dinner in the Teatro to photos by the tiger cages, the sky’s the limit here at Rancho Las Lomas.


Wedding HAIR



Wedding RING



$2,000-$25,000+ $3,000-$30,000+

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Best Orange County Beaches and State Parks for Weddings 1. Crystal Cove State Park; Laguna Beach, CA 2. San Clemente State Beach; San Clemente, CA 3. Heritage Hill Historical Park; Lake Forest, CA 4. Salt Creek Beach/North Shore in Dana Point; Laguna Niguel, CA

TIPS FOR PARK AND BEACH WEDDINGS: 1. Each Venue has different rules. It is important to check with each location to see what is allowed. 2. Make sure to obtain a permit for your event. 3. is a great resource for information regarding permits and venue information.

5. Santiago Oaks Regional Park; Orange, CA

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Loews Coronado Bay for your Destination Wedding by Deanna Jones, DIRECTOR OF CATERING, LOEWS CORONADO BAY 1) Location, location, location. Your guests will be able to participate in the nightlife buzz of San Diego, but you can escape to low-key Coronado with just a short scenic drive. 2) Pet-friendly. The pet loving bride and groom and their two dogs will be walking down the aisle during the ceremony. 3) The staff. Our seasoned staff offers a warm welcome to all of your traveling guests for a seamless arrival into the hotel no matter what time of day. The Loews Coronado Bay expert onsite wedding team is up to date on all of the latest wedding trends to ensure that your vision is executed to perfection. Your arrival is just as important as your departure. The celebration is still ongoing and our staff is here to offer a heartfelt goodbye, and make sure you are at the airport on time for that honeymoon flight. 4) The views: Talk about wedding photos…water everywhere you look, 360 degrees! 5) The many venues: Ballroom, Beachfront, Boat, Bay Front or Bay View, are all ideal for your wedding-related events! LOEWS CORONADO BAY 4000 Loews Coronado Bay Road Coronado, CA 92118

10 Orange County Wedding Venues We Love! RANCHOS LAS LOMAS 19191 Lawrence Canyon Silverado, CA 92676 949.888.3080

GIRACCI VINEYARDS & FARMS 16162 Jackson Ranch Road Silverado, CA 92676 714.602.1109

TIVOLI TERRACE 650 Laguna Canyon Rd Laguna Beach, CA 92651 949.494.9650

STRAWBERRY FARMS 11 Strawberry Farm Rd Irvine, CA 92612 949.551.1811

HYATT REGENCY HUNTINGTON BEACH 21500 Pacific Coast Hwy Huntington Beach, CA 92648 714.698.1234

THE VILLA, SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO 31431 Camino Capistrano San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 949.291.3102

SEVEN DEGREES 891 Laguna Canyon Rd Laguna Beach, CA 92651 949.376.1555

THE LOFT AT PINE 230 Pine Avenue Long Beach, California 90802 562.888.2303

ISLAND HOTEL NEWPORT BEACH 690 Newport Center Drive Newport Beach, CA 92660 949.759.0808

CASA ROMANTICA 415 Avenida Granada San Clemente, CA 92672 949.498.2139

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THE Food

Wedding Food with Flare


Catering is an essential part to any party, especially on your wedding day. Our friends over at 24 Carrot Catering know how to make your wedding dreams come true with food that is tailored especially for you. The sought after catering company makes any event amazing with their expertise, kindness and delicious eats. Laura Fabian of 24 Carrots tells us what is most important in planning a wedding and how the right caterer can add the special touches your wedding needs… What is most important, is that your wedding reflects who you and your significant other are. It is the personal touches that people notice and remember the most. However, if a “theme” is the direction you want to go, great! Themes are always fun, and a great way to reflect the bride and groom’s personalities and passions. I feel a theme is most effective when you carry the theme throughout the entire event. From the moment guests receive their invitation all the way through to the very end of the event, the theme should be present. As a caterer, there are so many creative ways to incorporate a theme into the food. We

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can do this through the actual food, the serving vessels or both. We had a delicious day tasting 24 Carrots’ fabulous food creations at Rancho Las Lomas. The only difficulty you may have is deciding whether to eat the artful creations or just photograph them. They are truly one of a kind creations. We loved the Arugula Winter Salad topped with Pomegranate and Persimmon and Feta Cheese. The Assorted Crostini with Mediterranean Tapenade, White Bean Puree, Marinated Artichoke and Bruschetta was spectacular, too. We could have each eaten an entire plate. We finished with the Beignets over Mexican Hot Chocolate, which looked unbelievably appetizing and tasted amazing. 24 Carrots will not only make delicious treats for your wedding or event, but their friendliness and professionalism will make the day extra enjoyable.


Catering Expert Tip Before planning a wedding, a bride and groom should have a rough idea as to what their budget is. I know, I just said the dreaded, “B” word! But, there are often times a lot of misconceptions as to what a wedding really costs. There are so many pieces to put together, so if you have a good idea as to what you want to spend going into the planning process, you are more likely to stay within that range. If you go in without a number in mind, you can easily find yourself way over what you ever dreamed of spending. In addition, a bride and groom should know that this wedding is about them. It is about the love that the two of them share with each other, and it is the doorway to a new life together as man and wife. It is the first stepping-stone on their journey through life together. Therefore, they need to really think about what is important to them, and what makes them happy. The day is not about anyone else but the two of them.

THE Dessert

THE Music

Let Them Eat Cake…Or Fabulous Desserts!

Hey Mr. DJ

TOP 10 DANCE SONGS 1. “Living on a Prayer” - Bon Jovi 2. “I Got a Feeling” - Black Eyed Peas 3. “Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough” - Michael Jackson 4. “Yeah!” - Usher 5. “Holiday” - Madonna 6. “Kiss” - Prince 7. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” - Def Leppard 8. “Dynamite” - Taio Cruz 9. “You Shook Me All Night Long” – AC/DC 10. “Gangnam Style” - Psy

Melody Brandon

By our DJ Expert KELLY DLUX

3722 Atlantic Ave Long Beach, CA 90807 562.598.8340 | 949.791.9377

1. Make sure your DJ not only knows how to mix music but ALSO can emcee and host the event. Just because he plays all the right songs at your favorite club, does not mean your wedding will be fun. Generally speaking, people who JUST DJ are quite introverted and don’t know what to say when handed a microphone. No one wants dead time at his/her wedding.

We have all seen a traditional wedding cake at weddings, and we know some of them can be spectacular. This year, we are seeing fewer cakes and more desserts. The talented and sweets extraordinary Melody Brandon from Sweet and Saucy tells us why desserts can add so much more to your special day. A dessert bar can add a whole new element of design at a wedding. Instead of just having a cake sitting in a corner, you can have a full table that is decorated with your theme with lots of delicious mini desserts, and it always ends up being a point of conversation at a wedding. Guests love trying multiple items and experiencing new desserts and flavors in mini form since that is not always something they get a chance to do! DESSERTS TRENDING THIS YEAR… I am finding desserts that are really popular right now are those that bring a person back to their childhood or a special memory of a past occasion in which they had a truly delicious nostalgic dessert. For example, our S’mores cupcake and Birthday Cake Cupcake (funfetti like) are two of our most popular. Also, our mini caramel apple lattice pies, Rice Krispies Treats and strawberry shortcake shot glass.

1. “Come Away With Me” - Norah Jones 2. “A Moment Like This” - Kelly Clarkson 3. “The Way I Am” - Ingrid Michaelson 4. “The Way You Look Tonight” - Frank Sinatra 5. “Marry Me” - Train 6. “True Companion” - Marc Cohen


SWEET & SAUCY SHOP 7922 East Coast Hwy Newport Coast, CA 92657 949.715.0920


2. Does your DJ work well with event coordinators? Is he/she flexible and accommodating? It’s so important that your DJ gives you input on the musical flow of the event but does not feel so entitled to his/her preferences that he/she can’t compromise. 3. Will he/she walk through the timeline with you? This guy (or girl) will be hosting your event. You want to make sure that he/she knows what is going on and has the confidence to lead you and your guests until the last dance. 4. Your DJ should arrive TWO hours prior to start time to set-up. 5. You might need your DJ for your ceremony if the venue does not have a sound system available. If this is the case, expect an extra fee for the additional equipment and setup/ teardown time. 6. Let your DJ know if you need music for cocktail hour, and if so, whether it is in the same location as the reception so that your DJ knows to bring an extra speaker for the separate area. 7. If your DJ is a good and seasoned one, he/she will have hundreds of thousands of songs in his archive. However, if you have any MUST-PLAY songs, let him/her know. The same goes for any DO-NOT-PLAY songs. Yes, your DJ should be able to assess what will get the crowd pumped, but at the end of the day, you are the client and you want to know that your DJ will not play the “Chicken Dance” if it’s on your DO-NOT-PLAY list no matter how much a guest begs or tips your DJ to play it. 8. Pick up the phone & call Dlux Entertainment.

Wedding Bands and DJ’s for Orange County


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KELLY DLUX 949.791.9377







Bride Cocktail Mary Me MIMOSA

• Fill half of a champagne flute with orange juice • Add 1/2 shot of cranberry liqueur • Fill will Champagne

Groom Cocktail The PERFECT MAN-hattan

• 1 1/2 shot of rye whiskey • 1/4 shot of dry vermouth • 1/4 shot of sweet vermouth • Dash of bitters • Mix in shaker, strain, enjoy!



THE Details

Jesi Haack

Jesi Haack is one of the best in the business when it comes to original wedding design. Her innovative and one of a kind designs make her one of the most sought after wedding designers not just in Orange County, but nationwide. You can see some of her fabulous wedding creations and get to know the beautiful, fun, free spirited designer on her blog www. Who better to break down some of the shifting wedding trends from 2013 to 2014? Jesi gives us the scoop…



are seeing a lot of vintage touches at weddings, changing the feel and look of any venue or party. Jeni at Found Rentals is the best in the business. Found has a large inventory of vintage treasures that will leave you breathless. Jeni knows just how much a touch of vintage can add to your Wedding Day. Here, she tells us how… A vintage piece can add character and comfort. Your wedding should depict your style and personality, and I think that unique vintage pieces allow you to do just that. There are so many creative, as well as functional, ways to incorporate vintage into weddings. From unique statement pieces for the escort cards or dessert display to functional pieces such as church pews for the ceremony and farm tables for the reception…. we literally have enough inventory to accommodate as little or as much vintage as someone wants for their wedding. I personally feel that farm tables with eclectic seating and cohesive lounge vignettes for people to relax and enjoy the reception is the perfect way to use vintage to make a wedding comfortable, cozy and completely enjoyable….

HOT IN 2013 Sequins and Gold Overhead Décor (garlands, lanterns, tissue balls, etc) Food Trucks Pastels Photo Booths and Backdrops Simple Alter Backdrops

HOT IN 2014 Matte Colors and Silver and Copper Simple Decor (no crazy patterns like chevron) Caterers Dark Patterns Slow motion video and Photo booth More Imaginative Alter Installations

Top 10 Tips For Having a Fabulous Wedding From the Gal that knows Weddings

Trending Right now… Some people think that vintage is just “rustic” or “eclectic” which couldn’t be farther from the truth. I think there will be a lot more gold and uniformity in the use of vintage pieces. We pride ourselves on being able to create a very cohesive look while incorporating vintage and unique pieces. Jeni Maus, Found Rentals

1. Make it about YOU. Don’t try and make everyone else happy. 2. Create the party you want by showing your personality. 3. Have fun. 4. Forget traditions. Keep what matters to YOU and create your OWN traditions. 5. Pay for the booze and wear fun shoes. 6. Get a good photographer. 7. Do something different: have a fire pit, serve ice cream sandwiches, have a circus act during dinner, surprise your guests. 8. Be nice. Don’t expect perfection. 9. Remember what it’s about. 10. Dance ALOT.


Candy Hirte WHERE’S THE PARTY 270 E 17th St # 12A Costa Mesa, CA 92627 949.722.1803

The invitation can simply be 1. The invite 2. Response set SOME BRIDES LOVE TO ALSO INCLUDE: A details card, which could include their wedding website, directions or accommodations.

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The first thing I say to a potential Bride is: “What does your day look like to you?” The invitations should reflect the feel of their wedding as it is the first impression that the guests will receive. It usually helps me to form an opinion on what type of a look our beautiful bride is looking for in an invite: contemporary, traditional, romantic, colorful, rustic...those are just a few of the choices. Then, we can go from there, showing her samples and books of different styles.



After the party has been thrown, you are finally ready for some alone time as husband and wife. It is important to have a fabulous place in which to retreat. When picking your honeymoon hotel, you should shop around and see what each hotel/resort can offer you. Thank you, to the Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel and Pelican Hill, for giving us some great examples on how they take care of their newlyweds.

Out of Town Guests

PELICAN HILL 22701 S Pelican Hill Rd Newport Coast, CA 92657 949.467.6800

THE RITZ-CARLTON, LAGUNA NIGUEL 1 Ritz Carlton Dr, Dana Point 949.240.5020

The Resort at Pelican Hill offers 204 Bungalow guest rooms and suites, most with ocean views. Every Bungalow includes a private terrace and an Italian limestone fireplace, which is perfect for a romantic evening. Our spacious 847-square-foot Bungalow guest rooms are twice the size of the average hotel room. Bungalow suites are more than 1,600 square feet. Each Bungalow is luxuriously appointed with 15-foot vaulted, rustic wood-beam ceilings, travertine flooring, plush, feather-top beds with European-style linens, elegant granite countertops, deep-soaking tubs and separate, marble walk-in showers, lavish bath robes, complimentary high-speed wireless Internet, Bose® stereo systems and granite wet bars with refrigerator. Additionally, guests enjoy complimentary parking and use of pools, fitness centers and spa amenities without any added Resort fees. SPECIAL PACKAGES Pelican Hill has a fabulous Special Occasion Package available throughout the year for Bungalow and Villa stays. This package includes daily breakfast for two guests at the Coliseum Pool & Grill or through In-Room Dining. Newlyweds also receive an evening amenity of sparkling Prosecco wine and chocolate-dipped strawberries, as well as a rose petal turndown, upon request. All stays at Pelican Hill include complimentary parking, Internet access and use of pools, fitness centers and spa amenities. The Special Occasion Package starts from $545 per night, excluding applicable taxes and gratuity.

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, is a perfect resort for a honeymoon. The resort offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, along with a large selection of activities for newly wed couples to enjoy. The resort features two amazing dining experiences–enoSTEAK and Raya, as well as 180blu for appetizers and cocktails. Activities, surfing, whale watching and excursions through the EcoAdventure Center are a highlight. For a more relaxing experience, couples can enjoy a couple’s massage in The Spa or simply relax on the beach and enjoy the Southern California sunshine. SPECIAL PACKAGES The Ritz has several packages that are appropriate for newlyweds, including the Romance package that includes: •Overnight Accommodations •Breakfast for two •Welcome amenity of chocolate covered strawberries and Champagne •Resort Fee

Getting There TRANSPORTATION FOR YOUR BIG DAY We love Orange County and all it has to offer. It was no surprise to find so many fabulous options for Driving in Style on your big day. Whether you want to go conventional with a Limo or kick it old school in a beautiful Rolls Royce, there is a company for you. 1. TROLLEY California Trolley

3. VINTAGE CAR Laguna Beach Rolls Royce

2. LIMO VIP limos and coaches

4. BUS SoCal Limos and Buses

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Kaeli’s Triplet Tip: If you are having out of town guests that have taken the time and money to be at your wedding, it is polite to have a welcome basket waiting for them at their hotel when they arrive. You can make the welcome basket specific to your event. Here are a few things you could put in the basket: 1. BOTTLED WATERS 2. BOTTLE OF WINE OR FAVORITE BEVERAGE 3. MAP OF THE AREA 4. TO GO MENUS FROM LOCAL EATERIES 5. BROCHURES OF LOCAL ATTRACTIONS 6. SNACKS: THINK NUTS, DRIED FRUITS, POPCORN, GRANOLA BARS 7. SOMETHING SWEET 8. WEEKEND AGENDA, IF YOU HAVE ONE 9. A FUN GIFT THAT CORRESPONDS WITH YOUR WEDDING 10. THANK YOU NOTE

Rehearsal Dinner Locations Every wedding needs a great rehearsal dinner. It’s a great time for the families to come together before the main event. Here are some great local spots that have come highly recommended! 1. BJs Pizza 2. Sealegs 3. Beach House 4. Maggianos 5. El Adobe 6. Claim Jumper 7. Opaso Balboa Thai Cafe 8. Buca Di Beppo 9. Lucilles Smokehouse BBQ 10. Rooftop Lounge at La Casa Del Camino





THE EXPERT CHRISTA LEE CANADAY Real Estate Agent, Canaday Group

HGTV Favorite: “Property Brothers”


hrista Lee Canaday, a Chapman University graduate, is taking the Orange County real estate market by storm. As the daughter of Lee Ann Canaday (one of Orange County’s leading agents for 30 years), Christa Lee has always known real estate is where she would thrive. “I was born and bred into real estate; in addition to my Mom being a top agent, my Dad is a homebuilder,” Christa Lee said. This inherent love for homes—building, buying and selling them— has given her “a leg up on the competition and so much experience.” The Canaday name, however, is not her defining quality. It is Christa Lee’s passion and determination that make her stand out in the crowd. Not many teenagers would have given up their weekends and summers like Christa Lee did. “The summer of my 13th birthday, I started working as an assistant in my mom’s office Monday through Friday from 8am to 5:30pm and did so every summer until after graduating from Chapman University.” When recalling her long summers spent in her present office, Christa Lee said, “I’m extremely appreciative of the ability to have done that and the opportunities it has provided.” Working for the Canaday Group, Christa Lee sells properties from Newport Beach to San Juan Capistrano. From her childhood rooted in real estate to her dazzling personality and education at one of the top schools in the state, Christa Lee is definitely a triple threat.

Q: I’ve not yet had the opportunity to hire a realtor. When choosing a realtor, what should new and inexperienced homebuyers look for? Christa Lee Canaday: Knowledge and experience in the Real Estate business is essential. You

have to be diligent in producing results to create long-term clients. That’s why my business is primarily based on referrals. In fact, all of the current escrows I have are from past clients’ referrals. The key is to not be lazy and do everything you can for the benefit of your clients - people recognize that. If you’re selling a home, you have to take marketing into account as well. Our team has sold over $1 Billion worth of real estate and is one of the top teams in California. We have over 50 different web partners, own the back cover of multiple magazines including Dream Homes, and are the only real estate team with our own TV show to showcase our listings, which is aired to 17.5 million viewers every Saturday on KDOC at 9am. Q: As one of the younger faces in the world of real estate, what are some things you are doing to “change the game?” CC: I’m always looking for creative new approaches to the business. Besides my

English bulldog Bernie (laughs), my clients are my most important resource, so it’s vital to always be a step ahead of the game. If you don’t put 110 percent of your efforts into each client, they’ll move onto another realtor. There’s too much competition to be lazy in real estate. For instance, if I have a client looking for a home in a certain area that hasn’t hit the market yet, I always take a more creative approach to finding them their dream home such as door knocking and searching for distressed properties in order to secure the home for them before someone else has the opportunity to do so. Also, social media is an incredible tool to utilize. It gets the property out to such a broad spectrum. FaceBook for example, is the number one website in the world; therefore, I post everything real estate related on there. Q: The Canaday Group sells properties all over Orange County. What is your favorite city to sell? CC: I sell and list homes all over Orange County and know all of the

areas like the back of my hand, having grown up here. I do, however, love the Newport Heights and Eastside Costa Mesa areas. In fact, I recently bought my first home on Broadway in Eastside Costa Mesa. It’s in the 180 |

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have over 50 different web partners, own the back cover of multiple magazines including Dream Homes, and are the only real estate team with our own TV show to showcase our listings, which is aired to 17.5 million viewers every Saturday on KDOC at 9am.”

- Christa Lee Canaday, Real Estate Agent, Canaday Group

CANADAY GROUP 32392 Coast Highway Laguna Beach, CA 92651 949.249.2424


Can-Do Spirit From Teen to Real Estate Team, Christa Lee Canaday is Driving the Local Market


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Newport-Mesa Unified School District and will be an amazing home to raise a family in one day. Eventually, I hope to make it an amazing investment property. Q: People are always looking for good school districts when they shop for homes. What are your thoughts on the schools in our area? CC: That statement couldn’t be more correct. Homes in better school districts sell more

quickly and at a higher sales price than homes in lower ranked school districts. We are lucky in Orange County to have an amazing public school system compared to many other areas. Many of my clients with families, or who are looking to start families, focus on the Newport-Mesa Unified School District or the Irvine School District. The ratings speak for themselves. Q: Where can we find unexpected communities with a great glimpse of the sea? CC: Ocean views are huge. It’s a given that they significantly increase the value of

property. We all know the coastal cities such as Newport Beach and Laguna Beach have killer ocean views. Buyers don’t always realize, however, that other areas such as San Juan Capistrano and Laguna Niguel have equally amazing views. For example, we have an amazing property listed on Peppertree Bend that is an eight bedroom and 11-bathroom estate at 9,500 square feet in San Juan Capistrano with the same degree of ocean views you’d find in many areas of Newport Coast. Another listing of ours in Bear Brand Ranch in Laguna Niguel has panoramic views of the San Juan Mission hills and Doheny Beach. There are so many hidden gems in Orange County with ocean views that buyers aren’t aware of. It’s all about finding the right real estate agent to show you. Q: Tell us about a business challenge you’ve faced that could only be described as a “first world problem?” CC: Occasionally you have sellers with very exclusive tastes that may not appeal to the

broad end of the spectrum. They’ve spent a lot of money making their home fabulous with materials that make a grand statement. That being said, their statement doesn’t always appeal to the vast majority of buyers, and that’s where I come in. I work with the sellers to get their home sold at the highest price and as quickly as possible. It’s all about being able to work with both buyers and sellers.

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Q: We seem to be slowly and surely coming out of our recession. How have you seen the recent improvement in the housing market effect the Orange County area? CC: Taking into account the new projects being built, renovations and housing

appreciation, there’s no doubt that the Orange County real estate market has seen recent improvements. According to the Chapman University Economic Forecast, housing prices are going to continue to steadily increase until 2016 until they finally stabilize. Q: I’ve heard that some realtors bake chocolate chip cookies in the home’s oven before an open house to entice prospective buyers. Do you have any little tricks of the trade that work for you? CC: Baking cookies gives the prospective buyers a pleasant surprise when they walk

into the home and really enhances that “homey” feel. When selling a home, I always strive to appeal to all senses. That’s why I have my open houses catered with an assortment of yummy sandwiches from Café Panini - who doesn’t love them! I give potential buyers goodies like our Canaday Group, RE/MAX Fine Homes Chaptsick so they have something to walk away with in addition to our brochures and DVDs of the virtual tour of the home. Anything you can do to leave more of a lasting impression on the buyer is key! Q: Is it currently a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? CC: Neither really. Until recently, we were in a sellers market where demand exceeded

supply. Inventories were low and listings were getting multiple bids as soon as they hit the market, especially in the in-demand areas. Buyers had to face competition due to low inventory and also tried to take advantage of the very low long-term interest rates. Investors were buying and fixing to flip or renovate and hold. Now the market has slowed down due to the higher interest rates, fewer potential buyers who could qualify for loans at the higher prices, investors being less interested in buying at a higher price, more inventory and the seasonal slowdown. In my experience, summer has always been the hottest time in the Real Estate market. We now seem to be in a transition from a seller’s market to a more normal market. At some point in time, we will transition again

to a buyers market when listings (sellers) exceed demand (buyers). Real estate is in constant fluctuation. Q: Realtor’s have a reputation for working around the clock, 365 days a year. How do you keep yourself balanced and enjoy Orange County outside of the real estate biz? CC: It’s true. You are always on call, which I have no complaints about. My clients call

me between 6am and up to the wee hours of the night. You’re always on call and have to be available when they have Real Estate questions. It’s all a part of the business, which I’m sure a lot of other professionals can relate to regardless of what they do. I’ve found a great way of keeping myself balanced is working out as often as possible. I’m a member of Equinox and have found it to be a great stress reliever. Q: Guilty Pleasure: which if any, are your favorite home improvement shows on TV? CC: I love the show “Property Brothers!” I also watch “Million Dollar Listing LA,”

amongst others. Some of these shows, though, are so blatantly scripted that you can’t help but laugh watching them if you are in the real estate business. Q: If one of our readers was to sell their house, why should they hire you as their agent? CC: I’m an expert in my field and work extremely hard for my clients. I strive to

always go a step above the rest. If someone wants to sell his or her home, no one does more advertising or puts more effort into it than us. Reputation is key, so I always strive my best to do everything possible to ensure my clients’ best interests. In all of my years in the business I’ve never had a dissatisfied client. I’m an honest hard worker, always available when clients call and know my market. Again, real estate is a referral-based business, so if you don’t keep your clients happy and always work hard for them, you shouldn’t be in it.

IN EVERY PERFORMANCE. AT VANGUARD UNIVERSITY, THEATRE ARTS STUDENTS BENEFIT FROM AN INTIMATE PROGRAM WITH BIG PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES. Our nationally accredited, award-winning theatre arts program stages multiple productions each year of the highest caliber, providing numerous opportunities for students to gain valuable hands-on experience in acting, directing, writing, and technical stagecraft. At Vanguard, your story matters in every area of your education. Our small class sizes, distinguished by professor-mentor relationships, will equip you with the skills, knowledge, and experience you need to prepare for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service. Vanguard promises to give you essential tools to go beyond the expected and live the story God has for you. At Vanguard, your story matters. Where will it take you next?

TROY IWATA ’14 MUSICAL THEATRE MAJOR; PLAYED CORNY COLLINS IN HAIRSPRAY; Jungle Cruise Skipper at Disneyland Resort; Theatre Department Student Representative






inda Sadeghi, co-owner of LAB Holding (SoBECA) along with her husband, Shaheen Sadeghi, have created a community in Costa Mesa that has become the scene for being seen with Orange County’s bourgeoning artists, musicians and all around stylishly strange people. Over the past decade, the LAB and the nearby CAMP, have become home to various inspired artisans and vendors, including modish retail shops, original eateries and quirky social gathering areas for which they have become renowned. It is the artistry within these common areas, which define the spirit and attitude of SoBECA. So, it’s no surprise that we chose SoBECA as the spot to stage an organically infused, outdoor tabletop befitting of the rehearsal dinner of your dreams. It is the birthplace of Costa Mesa cool, after all. Q&A with Linda Sadeghi, Co-owner of LAB Holding (SoBECA) Q: Where do you draw inspiration to ornament all of the alcoves throughout SoBECA? Linda Sadeghi: My husband Shaheen and I are restless artists always

looking for visual stimulation and change. Q: Do you have a signature style—a way to tell that you have designed a space? LS: Our spaces are comfortable, grounded and simple, and you can’t

break anything. Q: How do you make a room or tablescape look so effortlessly put together, yet full and eclectic at the same time? LS: Grab whatever is around you—a souvenir, a favorite plate, the

branches from your garden; then, it will reflect you. Q: Can you share an inexpensive tabletop styling tip? LS: For Fall, I love the mini pumpkins from Trader Joe’s, mixed with

simple votive candleholders. Grab a branch or two from a flaming foliage tree, and throw them in a vase. Q: What is one of your personal favorite finds, and why? LS: A lumpy, hand blown clear glass vase from the flea market, because

everything looks great in it! Q: What’s in store for the future of the SoBECA brand? LS: SoBECA (i.e. South on Bristol, Entertainment, Culture, Arts—

anchored by the LAB, the CAMP) is a neighborhood, so it’s very much alive, evolving and growing, and it has an incredible future! “SoBECA is a neighborhood, so it’s very much alive, evolving and growing, and it has an incredible future!”

- Linda Sadeghi, Co-owner, the LAB Holding (SoBECA) 186 |

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SOBECA DISTRICT 2930 Bristol Street Costa Mesa, CA 92626 714.381.9025

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SoBECA’s TABLETOP ARRANGEMENT PROCURED FROM THESE LOCAL PURVEYORS DISHWARE AND CANDLES. SEED People’s Market, at the CAMP. THE DETAILS: Homestead ceramic plates and bowls by Vance Kitara; star candle holder by Garden Age Supply; Terracotta pot candles by Himalayan Post; Freeweave table scarf. FOLIAGE. Organic Designs by Aggelige, in a vintage trailer at the CAMP. THE DETAILS: One of a kind, hollowed out driftwood planter filled with native succulents. FLOWERS. Studio La Fleur, at Baker Street’s “SOLO” project. THE DETAILS: Winter arrangement in tall stem vases with succulent hearts.

MENU STARTER Oh My Gourd Salad From Seabirds Kitchen Roasted butternut squash + cranberries apples smoked almonds Romaine hearts + baby heirloom kale cinnamon vinaigrette MAIN COURSE Adobe Stew From Gypsy Den Mushrooms + red potatoes + green and yellow zucchini squash Kidney beans garbanzo beans + black beans + yellow corn BREAD & DESSERT Seeded Sourdough Bread Slabs From Blackmarket Bakery Pumpkin Bread Pudding Brioche + croissants cake & cookies with custard and house-made caramel Midas Tart Chocolate tart shell dark chocolate ganache layer + toasted almonds dates + Orange zest rosewater caramel

Rider: Kyus King

Photo: Joe Foster

Live life in the bowl

thank YOU


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2 Create Designs

Haven Gastropub

Pure Barre

21 Oceanfront

Heather Pullis Designs

Ra Sushi

24 Carrots

Hotel Lafayette

Ra Yoga

7 Degrees

Hyatt Regency

Rancho Las Lomas

Alt Divorce Solutions

Il Dolce



InGrace Photography

Renaissance Sports Club

Andrei's Conscious Cuisine

Irvine Company



Island Sole

Rocco's Auto Tech

Avenue of the Arts

Iva Lee’s

Sadie Slick

Avila’s El Ranchito

Jan’s Health Bar


B Scene

Jetpack America

Scott’s Restaurant

Banzai Bowls

Jewels by Joseph

Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Beverly Hills Motor Sport

K1 Speed Racing

South Coast Collection

Black Starr & Frost

Karl Strauss


Blue Eyed Girl

Laurenly Boutique


Brabus, Startech & Techart

Law Office of Scott Thomas

The Cannery

Bridal Lounge

Loews Coronado Bay

The Deck

Brookfield Homes

London Coin Gallery

The District

Cafe Sevilla

Lyon Communities

The Hidden Jewel

Colette’s Catering

Mark Patterson Jewelry

The Quiet Woman

Crow Burger

Massage Envy

The Winery

Crush Photo Studios

McLaren Newport Beach

Traditional Jewelers

Doryman's Inn

Mi Casa


Dr. Grover

Miller Coors

Wahoo's Fish Taco

Evans Hotel


Warren Christopher

Evans Hotel/Catamaran Weddings

Newport Beach Restaurant Week

Where’s the Party?


Newport Dunes

William Grant & Sons

Ferrari Maserati of NB

Novecento Boutique

Winston’s Jewelers

Fiske Films

Pedego Electric Bikes

Your Car Our Driver

Fletcher Jones Motorcars

Pitfire Pizza

| JANUARY 2014

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