San Diego September 2012

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TEAM ERIK HALE PADRE Three years ago I stood in my backyard, smiling, gazing upward, thankful for the possibility to take a new path in life. Even though LOCALE was still only a concept, my business cards were printed at home with those awful perforations and our “mock” magazine looked like a 7th grade art project, I could not have been happier or more excited about the future. Our success in Orange County can only be attributed to our team’s hustle and sacrifice. I am a California boy. However, the town in California I come from still has a population of 1100 and a blinking yellow light manages traffic. Launching a magazine, even an established one, in a town of 1.7 million definitely tested my confidence. I guess when the tallest building in your home town is a water tower, a city skyline like San Diego will naturally be intimidating. I have always loved San Diego. Given a directional option when leaving Orange County, I have always preferred South. As our team met with business owners in every part of the county my trepidation quieted. The people we met were warm, welcoming and congratulatory. There must be something about the climate and location that makes locals happier. Thank you for welcoming us to your city. We have our fingers crossed that you will love LOCALE, and we will do our best to produce an amazing guide that helps you “Live like a Local”. I am looking upwards and smiling again.









Mike is a California local to the fullest. Growing up his time was split between being raised in Laguna Beach with his Mother and spending weekends with his Father in Del Mar. By living in both the OC and SD, Mike acquired an early love for beach living. Attending the University of Arizona, Mike made a living by starting an event production company while getting his degree. He took this knowledge with him after he graduated and moved back to Laguna to pursue multiple careers. After working in real estate, Mike ended up partnering with two good friends to open ECCO Restaurant in Costa Mesa. From there, he moved to Palm Desert and started another company with his family, LUXE Electric Cars. After three years in the desert, LOCALE called and Mike answered. When not on the streets spreading the LOCALE love, you can find him surfing in Cardiff or out on the town with friends.

Amy is a tiny blonde who loves a good laugh, great tattoos, and only the best rock n’ roll. When she is not racking in unsuspecting prey at the pool hall or spewing stats at bar patrons unlucky enough to have cast bad light on the name of Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, she is dreaming about classic cars, watching mind-rotting sci-fi television on Netflix, instagramming the pants off the world, speaking at superhuman speeds, defending her Smashball Championship title on the beaches of Balboa Peninsula, or working at Hoodzpah Art + Graphics, a design firm she founded and runs with her twin sister, Jennifer. You can find her at, or

Jennifer Hood is a mildly tortured creative based out of Newport Beach, CA. She is the co-founder of creative firm Hoodzpah Art + Graphics with her twin sister Amy Hood. When not scribbling words, doodling lines, or manipulating anchor points, she’s tinkering on a piano, going comatose via Hulu overdose, reading smelling an issue of Esquire on the beach, attempting to hustle pool to no avail, or singing a pitchy rendition of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” at the local karaoke bar. According to The Velvet Underground, Jenny’s life was saved by rock ‘n’ roll. That’s disputable. Jennifer and Amy are happy to be designing LOCALE Magazine, and managing the online web content.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Ashley Hickson had made yearly visits to her family in sunny Southern California, quickly realizing that there wasn’t anywhere else she would rather live. After graduating from Chapman University in Old Town Orange, Ashley pursued her dreams and began the journey of helping create 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 downto-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.

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CONTRI BUTORS passionate business owners!



HOLLY CLINARD FASHION EDITOR KRISTAL DOCTER FOOD EDITOR A writer transformed by the beatniks before her, Kristal Docter headed west after earning a BA in Literature and Creative Writing with a journalism concentration from Southwest Minnesota State University. Her career has been driven by diversification as a newspaper editor-in-chief, copy editor, corporate advertising professional, non-profit marketing maven, and brand contributor to a venture capital firm. Throughout her journey, Kristal continued asserting an appetite for all things linguistic, and now contributes a fresh voice as LOCALE’s foodie. She is the creator of independent writing company VergeINK and a blogger who embraces bizarre personalities A vocab vixen and grammar guru, she prefers a pen and paper to a computer, is an eternal book whore, live music lover, casual culinary artist, conch diver, and will always be a farm-girl at heart.

Otherwise known around OC as Holly in Heels, Holly is smitten with shoes and addicted to style! Born and raised a true California girl, Holly lives and breathes the fashion trends that make the west coast a world-leader in style. Holly has earned the enviable reputation as a leading women’s shoe blogger; she has her own blog, www.hollyinheels. com, that has a loyal following and an international audience. Holly also writes regular fashion columns for several lifestyle print and online publications. When not sorting through her floor-to-ceiling heel closet at home, Holly loves to sip good coffee, travel the world, and listen to 90’s music (sometimes all at once). What more could a girl want? Follow Holly on Twitter @hollyinheels.

Erin Rose Blacque Belair is a writer living happily in Newport Beach. She received a Bachelors of Arts in English with a creative writing emphasis from the University of California Irvine in the spring of 2010. She has since then spent her time traveling the world, reading endlessly, and writing constantly. You can catch all of her adventures and works in progress on her blog She loves iced tea and her black cat Belladonna.

Andrew Abajian is a West Coast based editorial, fine art wedding, and lifestyle photographer/director. With a passion for editorial and romance it seems that Andrew translates simplistic beauty into his work. Using natural light and daily surroundings to capture moments, you’ll find that when working with him that any opportunity can become a piece of art. You can view more of his work at and contact him for booking at






Nancy Villere has been a professional photographer for 18 years. She loves to push her limits for creativity. Her passion for photography lies in the discovery of another human being. Her client’s energy and excitement gives her energy! Their images are a co-creation! She is currently uncovering her purpose as a photographer through her studio, 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 boudoir sessions and she feels honored to contribute to their process. Nancy loves LOCALE and their commitment to expand awareness of our local

Editorial and commercial advertising photographer Ralph Palumbo was born and raised in New Jersey. He studied and interned in New York City before relocating to Southern California in 1996. Ralph is currently working on his first book along with several other personal projects. New website coming soon. For more info visit

A curly headed lady that finds herself in a constant state of creation. A creative lifestyle and wedding photographer that possesses the ability to see the beauty in everything. Check her work out at


Most things unachieved have yet to be attempted in the mind of Antonio Pullano, Director of Photography for LovinLife Multimedia. From Niagra Falls, Canada, this trilingual, MBA graduate, provides worldwide creative services as a Producer/Director/ Cameraman. He has been published by CASIO America, G-Shock, The Associated Press, Nylon Fashion, CBS, Fuel TV, Transworld, Crow Bar, and OCCF CrossFit. A resident of Newport Beach, live music, the outdoors, international cuisine, and flying RC Helicopters tops his list of free-time activities. For your upcoming fashion, sports action, new product, wedding, or corporate marketing campaign, choose



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Jeff Farsai specializes in editorial, celebrity, fashion, sports and wedding photography. After earning his B.F.A. in photography and visual communication, he quickly dove into the commercial world of photography. Since then, Jeff has photographed countless celebrities, musicians and gold medal athletes all over the world. He recently started writing and directing music videos. Additionally, he is working on a feature film which is projected to finish by the end of 2011. For more info check out his site:

NIKKI THORNTON Eyes like a shutter. Mind like a lens. Whether it’s on a rooftop in Manhattan, a runway in Tokyo, a charity Gala in Beverly Hills, a luxury hotel on the Newport Coast or a living room in Laguna Beach, Nikki Thornton

lives by the credo that every photo should convey mood, energy, emotion. As principle of Nikki Monroe Photography in Newport Beach with eleven years of experience, Nikki lives to capture the essence of life on camera. She believes photography is a universal way for us all to connect.


MEL FOX STYLIST & COORDINATOR Mel Fox is a stylist, social coordinator, spontaneous traveler and hostess extraordinaire, wrapping up her last year at Cal State Fullerton with a degree in communications and emphasis in entertainment studies. Five years ago the former small town girl was no longer stuck in Lodi, Ca and has fallen in love with Newport and everything around it. She believes life should be lived to its fullest, and she definitely stands by that. If she’s not packing for a last minute trip or heading to a music festival -she’s spinning at the gym or cruising on her scooter, perfectly accessorized, of course.

LAUREN PAWELL WEB MANAGEMENT & IT Lauren Pawell is the founder of Bixa Media, a digital marketing agency focused on developing an effective and profitable online presence for local companies. She thrives on helping clients grow their businesses by developing customer-specific digital media strategies and then implementing revenue-generating online platforms. Lauren has a diverse background: an OC native who has spent extensive time living and working abroad in Spain, England, France, and Belgium. When not creating groundbreaking marketing plans and awesome websites, she can be found traveling, dancing, exploring Orange County or attempting to learn a new language.

www. V e r a n t G r o u p . c o m



Dear Santa, I have been a very good boy this year. So, I would like to have a private dinner at Whisknladle, Griddled French Toast from Hash House a Go-Go, a hand-crafted Winter Diamondback by Steven Tuttle of El Dorado Bar, another trip to Belize, High Tea at Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe, Michael Lee McGriff as my personal shopper, Helen Zeldes to decorate my house, and lunch with Sam the Cooking Guy and Hanis Cavin at Carnitas Snack Shack. However, I would give all of those wishes up if you could persuade more people to help Verna help victims of violence, guide John in his effort to get Purple Heart recipients back on their feet, and assist Don in transforming yyoung oung liv lives.

y r r e M

! s a m t s i r h C

Erik Publisher | Holiday 2012 Issue | 15

“Beautiful horses, a talented cast, and a luxurious setting.” –San Diego Union Tribune Join us on an epic adventure to the kingdom of Valitar, located somewhere between myth and magic. Come explore a legendary realm where we can still hear the voice of the horse. Your spirits will soar as the primal elements of earth, wind, fire and water and the ancient energies of love and power celebrate the fabled partnership of man and horse.

NOW PLAYING AT THE DEL MAR FAIRGROUNDS 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, California 92014

Limited seating available Tickets on sale now at



CONTENTS 52 127 28

94 122





STOP: WATCH Demi O’Donnell: Best open your eyes, this girl is one to watch.

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72 76


50 152

62 138

156 EAT 28



Chef Katherine Humphus Dives into Her Culinary Career

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Trend-setter Michael Lee McGriff Revives His Direction on Life and San Diego Fashion

VS. BREAKFAST Culinary Throwdown


THE PERFECT DISH San Diego Chefs Share their Favorite Party Dishes at Fixtures Living






Taking the Train South by Southwest for Another Adventure in Retail

Playing Catch with the Wide Receiver of the San Diego Chargers



The Holiday Edition





TRADITIONS AND TEAS Visiting San Diego’s Finest Tea Houses and Reading the Tea Leaves






Restoring the Craft Cocktail … One Shot at a Time

Escaping to Central America’s Hidden Gem: Belize


HOME 152



THE GIVING GAME How a Little Giving Can Make a Big Impact


DO 116

CHANGE YOUR WORLD San Diego’s Fitness Gurus Show Us the Ropes

LIVE & LET DIE These SoCal Stuntmen Have Holiday Fashion that Could Kill

The Sailor Jerry Ambassador Talks Ink and Drink Aboard the U.S.S. Midway

HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE Our 2nd Edition Guide Covers Entertaining Guests, DIY Holiday Fun, Where to Find Good Cheer and More



HOME EXPERT: BLISS 101 Helen Zeldes and Her Interior Emporium

For more on culture, entertainment, style and design in San Diego, visit us online at | Holiday 2012 Issue | 19

stretch I strengthen I renew

Hot Yoga Warm Yoga Vinyasa Flow Y6 Barre Y6 Sculpt Deep Stretch Restorative Yoga Yoga Fundamentals | Point Loma | Solana Beach | Carlsbad | 4S Ranch (Opens early 2013) | WWW.YOGASIX.COM

Enjoy 6 Classes on Us


*First time students only. Must be a local resident. Classes may be used at any studio. Card expires two weeks after activation.


All rights reserved © 2012, the entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any forms or by any means without the express written prior permission of the copyright owner. LOCALE MAGAZINE ph: 949-436-8910 | fax: 949-682-4807 COVER: Photographer: Nancy Villere of Crush Photo Studios Model: Demi O’Donnell Hair: Beth Whitfield for Paul Mitchell Make Up: Brie Leach for MAKE UP FOR EVER | 949-887-2708 Stylist: Mel Fox, follow her @stylesbymelfox Clothing Provided by: Tease Boutique STOP: WATCH (FASHION SPREAD): Photographer: Nancy Villere of Crush Photo Studios Model: Demi O’Donnell Hair: Beth Whitfield for Paul Mitchell Make Up: Brie Leach for MAKE UP FOR EVER, | 949-887-2708 Clothing Provided by: Robina Boutique, Rica Boutique, Tease Boutique Stylist: Mel Fox, follow her @stylesbymelfox Locations: Pannikin, Museum of Contemporary Art, Fashion Valley, West Coast Tavern, Block 16, Sidebar LOCALE LOOKS: Photographer: Antonio Pullano of LovinLife Multimedia Hair & Make Up: Bellus Academy Stylist: Mel Fox, follow her @stylesbymelfox Locations: Puesto, Burlap, Vin de Syrah, Prep Kitchen Clothing Provided By: Rica Boutique, Azzaria Boutique and Denim Lounge, Blended Industries, Vocabulary Boutique Models listed in order from left to right.


20% OFF






Feliz Navidad: Lara Thiele Sasha Shuman Shelby Leigh Powell Agency: ZARZAR MODELS Website: Breaking the Ice: Sierra Garrett Agency: ZARZAR MODELS Website: Grayson Thatcher

A Very Important Date: Alexa Skonieczny Agency: ZARZAR MODELS Website: Christian Singer Home Alone: Anthony Barabas Agency: Refresh Talent Agency Website: Alana Campos Agency: ZARZAR MODELS Website:

Thank you to ZARZAR Modeling Agency and Refresh Talent Agency for providing the models in Locale Looks.

Cover Model: Demi O’Donnell





I’M NOT PERFECT. You could say I’m a little rough around the edges Take one bite of me of my grass-fed bison meat. & things are liable




AS F -


I DON’T THINK YOU’LL MIND. to get messy.

Whatever doesn’t end up on your shirt will make your insides very happy.

All those omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins are all secretly disguised in one tasty package.

how, about if we’re just open with each other? We can start with that sesame seed you’ve got stuck between your teeth.

Developed in partnership with Dr. Andrew Weil

Fashion Valley

| 7007 Friars Road, San Diego | 619.810.2929 |

You’re Invited

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IN a of HER OWN C he f K athe r ine Humph u s dives into he r c u linar y caree r


atherine Humphus isn’t intimidated by being one of the youngest executive chefs in San Diego. She isn’t afraid of being one of the few female chefs in a mostly male industry either. In fact, she was recently nominated for Chef of the Year, 2012 by U-T San Diego, and is one of only two female chefs to receive a nomination. Her credentials, after earning her Le Grand Diplome in Cuisine & Pastry from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris at age 19, are astonishing. She cooked at Michelin starred restaurant wd-50 in Manhattan, interned with French Laundry, opened her own catering company called Pardon My French, taught classes at the Balboa Park Food & Wine School and opened her first of three restaurants for the Cohn Restaurant Group – all within her 20s. Even among these staggering accomplishments, it is her culinary artistry that has established her leading echelon. This San Diego native came back home equipped with confidence and a more polished approach to mom’s divine home-style cooking. Possibly most admirable of all, is that Humphus remains truly humble amidst her swift success.

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In her restaurant, Bo-beau, a neighborhood euro-bistro where there’s always a wait, Humphus’ comforting cooking and personality envelops the inviting eatery (even though she says she wasn’t involved in the restaurant’s design). Her menu quotes James Beard who said, “I don’t like gourmet cooking or ‘this’ cooking or ‘that’ cooking. I like good cooking,” which seems to suit her style, too. Cubbies of old barn artifacts, dried lavender and old locks hung upon an iron rack adorn the entry way of this establishment, and this curated theme is maintained throughout the bar, two dining areas and outdoor patio with rusted hooks, ropes, leather and burlap sacks. But a nod to femininity lies within in the sculptural chandeliers, a French love poem scrawled atop a mirror and a provocative painting above the bar. The unusual balance creates a warm glow both inside and out of Bo-beau and seems to capture a sense of vigor and ingenuity in one lovely little package … just like Katherine Humphus.

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Q: How do you feel about being one of the youngest, most successful female chefs in San Diego? KATHERINE HUMPHUS: It feels pretty darn good. (laughs) Everyone always tells me I look pretty young to be an executive chef, and the answer is, I work hard. I’ve never really taken a break. Plus, I like playing with the big boys. You’ve got to have tough skin, that’s for sure. Q: Tell me about how you found your love for cooking. KH: I always loved cooking and did it a lot as a child. My grandmother and my mom are both exceptional cooks. Family was synonymous with food in my house. We’d plan holidays and birthdays months in advance, so I had a natural love of food growing up. My grandma would make this pudding in cereal bowls instead of custard cups, and I’d eat like 10 of them. When I think of growing up, I think of eating my grandma’s food. Q: You attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris at the age of 19. How did your approach to cooking change after you graduated with a Le Grand Diplome in Cuisine & Pastry? KH: My technique became more refined. I learned a lot in culinary school about pastry, the science behind it, the chemistry in it, candy and chocolate making. As far as the savory side goes, we learned traditional styles, and I learned to add my own creativity to it. Q: Since your graduation from Le Cordon Bleu, you’ve worked at a Michelin starred restaurant in Manhattan, interned at French Laundry, opened your own catering company, and now run two restaurants for the Cohn Restaurant Group as the executive chef: Bo-beau Kitchen + Bar and the brand new 100 Wines in Hillcrest. What is it about your food that has created such a buzz in such a short period of time? KH: Bo-beau has been open for two years. I think it’s approachable enough for the people that aren’t foodies, and I think it’s exciting enough for those that are foodies. I think that above all, it’s the magic of the space. My food is a small percentage of it, because the experience that you get when you come to Bo-beau is unlike anywhere else in San Diego. And 100 Wines in Hillcrest, which opened on August 17, 2012, is slightly larger than Bo-beau with 100 wines on the wine list. It’s all about sharing, euro-sized portions with a little more Italian and Mediterranean influences. We hope that it develops its own personality and style like Bo-beau has. Q: Tell me more about Bo-beau and its concept. Where does the name come from? KH: “Bo” is short for bohemian and “beau” is short for beautiful. It’s a casual French bistro. A lot of people walk in and think we’re really fancy, but then they see the guy in dreads. Above all, we’re about having fun. We draw on the floor with chalk every night, we measure kids on the columns, and we try to make it an interactive dining experience, too. We just like happy people.

A lot of people walk in and think we’re really fancy, but then they see the guy in dreads. Above all, we’re about having fun. We draw on the floor with chalk every night, we measure kids on the columns, and we try to make it an interactive dining experience, too. We just like happy people.

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Q: And how about Bo-beau’s menu? How do you keep your food interesting to eaters who are expecting more all the time? KH: It’s always a challenge, but I like to take the idea of a classic dish, and reconstruct it in a different form. We have some old Frenchy classics like escargot, but I’ve also added beer and bratwursts to one of our five mussel dishes. Our menu is meant for family-style sharing, but it’s eclectic. I always say there’s something for everyone. For fresh inspiration, I have a standard list of cookbooks I use like The Food Bible, Alain Ducasse’s Nature and Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home, but a lot of my ideas come from places I eat at in other cities. Q: Who eats at Bo-beau? KH: Everyone! Oldie locals and everyone in between eat here. Kids are welcome, too, but Luna (our animated general manager) might steal them away to measure them. That’s the highlight of her week. Q: What is your proudest moment as a chef, and why? KH: I have a few proud moments. I was really proud when I won this chocolate event – Creations in Chocolate. I won “most decadent.” I put a lot of time into that sculpture. I’ve also been able to mentor three people who helped me open Bo-beau as sous chefs and have now gone on to fulfill their dreams as chefs. It’s really cool to be that figure for people – to give them the right kind of nudge and see what happens … its’ really an honor. I would also say that the simple moments when I realize what’s actually happening in my life, like after a busy Saturday night service, getting my butt kicked in the kitchen, and then I walk out into the dining room, and everyone is having a great time, and I realize, “wow! I’ve really got something great going on here.” Q: What’s your favorite French dish to prepare and eat? KH: Croissants – making them in culinary school was just the coolest thing in the entire world. It’s one of those things that no one makes from scratch, but everything at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris was done by hand – not a machine. And I like to eat something really rich and creamy and probably with duck. Q: If someone came to check out Bobeau for the fi rst time, what would you recommend they order? KH: Always the Brussels sprouts – they’re our number one seller. I make them with pancetta, parmesan and a balsamic reduction. I would also suggest our beet flatbread with curry onion jam and red peppers, because it’s unique. You can’t leave without tasting our red curry mussels, and for an entrée, the boeuf bourguignon or the chicken fricassee. Q: What’s your favorite culinary tool, and why? KH: A good rubber two-sided spatula, because I am a stickler for scraping things really well. It drives me crazy when people dump out the excess sauce when you can use it. You can also stir stuff with it on the stove or use it as a whisk if you work it

properly. You also need a good bowl to go with it – one that doesn’t tip. Q: Tell us something your fans might not know about you. KH: I love to sky dive. I have a friend who is a pro sky diver. It’s what he does for a living. He took me on a sky dive, and I thought it was really cool. I called him up and wanted to do another one, so I did it again. We went to lunch afterwards and I said, “I could never do that on my own.” And he said, “Well, you could.” So the next day, I signed up for lessons and just went with it. Now I’m a licensed sky diver. Q: If you hadn’t made a career out of pleasing palates, what would you be doing? KH: I actually went to school for Anthropology, because I wanted to study culture. I always wanted to be an artist growing up, though. I really like interior design as a hobby. I guess design comes into my plating a little. I’ve also thought about food writing. Q: What kinds of culinary adventures can we fi nd Katherine Humphus involved with in the future? KH: The future is all kind of looming. I am in my first cookbook, which came out November 2nd. It’s called Brew Food. It’s about cooking with local craft beer, and San Diego has such a great beer scene. I have two recipes in there – one is a scallop dish with a beer gastrique and the other is a chocolate beer pot de crème. I had a lot of fun with Chefs Press (the publishers) during the photo shoot for the cookbook. I’ve done some other events with them, and we’re planning to do more together in the future. Q: And when you’re not cooking or eating at Bo-beau, what local restaurant(s) do you like to frequent? KH: I love Urban Solace and am a huge fan of Matt Gordon. I like the flavors. It’s a comfort food sort of place, but it’s interesting. They have great chicken and dumplings! If money was no object, I would eat at the Marine Room as much as possible. But most of the time, I go to my mom’s house. All I really want after a long week of cooking is my mom’s food.

VISIT KATHERINE Bo-beau Kitchen + Bar (Ocean Beach) 4996 W. Point Loma Blvd San Diego, CA 619-224-2884 *dinner nightly at 4:30 pm 100 Wines (Hillcrest) 1027 University Avenue San Diego, CA 619-491-0100 *dinner nightly at 5 pm katherine-humphus/

Escape | Engage | Experience

The Andaz San Diego is the place for it all. Lose yourself above the city on our breathtaking Rooftop. Seduce your senses in our decadent Sweet Suite. And discover new tastes and old favorites in our chic Wine Bar. It’s all waiting for you at the Andaz San Diego.

600 F Street, San Diego, CA 92101 | | | 619.849.1234 |

Ivy Winebar at Andaz |




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ood morning, San Diego! It’s time to wake up and smell the bacon and bennies with a trip to this city’s best breakfast spots. Whether you wish to awaken with hash and eggs or a mile-high pile of pancakes, San Diego is booming with fantastic breakfast eateries. We discovered that this morning meal may also be the most fun of all. Plates are larger, menus are more radical and the world seems just a little brighter at the start of the day. Our breakfast expedition stretched from Encinitas to Downtown San Diego and uncovered lively communities of people gathering together in the A.M. for fantastic sunrise food. For our premier San Diego edition of LOCALE, we’re focusing our friendly food competition (aka VS.) on breakfast, because we think this area’s got the best breakfast haunts in all of Southern California.

Claire’s on Cedros Bakery & Café

Coffee Cup Café






Claire’s on Cedros feels like home. This café resembles a country house, so maybe that’s the reason it felt so inviting and neighborly. The interior is decorated with over-sized, silver spatula art, dairy cow paintings and iron bird nest light fixtures above each table. But it also smells like home — Claire’s has a bakery inside the restaurant, which sells everything from Claire’s own pancake mix to granola and jams and cookies. That aroma will draw you through her doors. But once you get the chance to meet Claire Allison herself, then you’ll surely know you’re at home. She moved from the Midwest, procuring savoir-faire in pastry making along the way. With the skills she honed, she created the recipe for America’s favorite Milton’s Multigrain Bread while running their bakery for more than a decade. Now, she runs her own bakery and café at Claire’s on Cedros. Claire said, “I like driving my own boat.” And, we can’t imagine her anywhere else. She’s the only cook that needs to be in that kitchen. Claire cooks comfort food in a place that she intended to “feel like coming home,” and that’s just how we felt. Her spirit and her sentiment for food are infectious. Her customers come for breakfast, and they remain through lunch, and finally dessert, because this restaurant is so comfortable. Her approachable menu contains dishes that are made with simple, yet extraordinarily fresh ingredients. Everything is made from scratch, because that’s how Claire was taught. We eagerly devoured her recommendation of the classic Enchiladas and Eggs, which you may have ordered at other eateries, but Claire’s Enchiladas and Eggs are packed with so much care and freshness, that this traditional Mexican comfort food felt light and wholesome. Frankly, we think that anything Claire serves is good for you and your soul. Breakfast is served all day and can be enjoyed inside the adorable converted cottage or on the large garden patio where “dogs are welcome.”

NATIVE KNOWLEDGE: Claire tells us that 90 percent of the restaurant’s landscaping is edible! So, you know you’re getting fresh flavors in their breakfasts and baked goods.


WAKE UP WITH: THE OMAR SPECIAL EGG WHITES SCRAMBLED WITH CHEESE, GREEN ONIONS & TOMATOES, TOPPED WITH GRILLED CHICKEN & MUSHROOMS WITH BROWN RICE, PESTO AND AVOCADO SAUCE A tiny diner on a bustling street, Coffee Cup Café stands out among the crowds. Red umbrellas cover the cozy patio that you enter through, and colorful art and booths occupy the one-room restaurant. The Coffee Cup is a place where the coffee has a kick and the food is always fun. Recipes can be read from the upholstery on the booths, and a giant vibrant mural shrouds the space with hearts and coffee cups, sunny-side-up eggs, chickens and salt and pepper shakers. It all makes you feel like sunshine and rainbows in the morning. You can see even more mural art in the bathroom, too! Latin splashes touch each corner of this little joint, and this influence really brings the tiny eatery to life. The food is as colorful as its surroundings. The menu is printed on bright pink paper and offers items like Double Happiness and the Zen Breakfast. It also boasts more than 30 sides to add to any meal. The Breakfast Tacos with home-made corn tortillas were delicious, but the plate that won our prize was Chef de Cuisine Omar Guzman’s very own creation: The Omar Special. A picturesque plate of eggs, chicken and rice, topped with farmer’s market veggies and a divine pesto and avocado sauce, Omar’s Special didn’t last long. Our team of taste-testers couldn’t get enough of the fusion of flavors in the seemingly simple breakfast dish. A blend of Latin, Italian and Asian essences made this morning meal a standout on our eight-stop breakfast bonanza.

NATIVE KNOWLEDGE: You may have noticed a similar stamp in other ChinoLatino-style restaurants throughout the area, and that’s probably because the Coffee Cup’s owner is Isabel Cruz who owns five other eateries around town. She was also the original owner of The Mission Restaurant. We love that her Latin flavors have become a legend in San Diego. | Holiday 2012 Issue | 35

Urban Solace

Hash House A Go Go



WAKE UP WITH: PASO PRIME GRASS FED BEEF CHEEK HASH POACHED EGGS, SMOKED ANCHO CHILI HOLLANDAISE Urban Solace is everything you would expect an ultra-hip North Park neighborhood eatery to be: charming, meticulously decorated and unique. It also possesses a charm and quietness of spirit that makes the name not only appropriate but self fulfilling. As you approach the restaurant by car you might pass it twice (as we did) if you are not extremely alert. Urban Solace is not a restaurant that is meant to be driven to. It is meant to be approached slowly on foot. The doors to this pale yellow, seemingly misplaced, New Orleans mansion open slowly on their massive hinges. Rich colors and wood dominate the interior just as sunlight and wrought iron do on the patio. We took a seat at the latter and awaited our order of beef cheek hash. The presentation, upon its arrival, was jaw dropping. The melt-in-your-mouth beef cheek hash was placed atop a clean white plate and then garnished with colorful carrots, potatoes and red peppers. Topping the toppings were two precariously positioned, perfectly poached (four p’s in a row, yes!) eggs. The restaurant is known for an amazing mac ‘n cheese, hand-made cocktails and a “classy” poster of Ron Burgundy. We believe that their brunch should be just as notorious, as it provided us comfort and solace, and we feel it will do the same for you.

NATIVE KNOWLEDGE: Branch out from the scrumptious savory breakfast selections, and try their amazing hot, freshly baked buttermilk cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing and butter pecan sauce, which are served on Saturdays from 10:30 am - 4:00pm, but only while they last.





R-Gang Eatery


WAKE UP WITH: THE COWBOY 2 PORK SAUSAGE PATTIES, SCRAMBLED EGGS AND ROASTED PEPPER SAUSAGE GRAVY LAYERED ON TOP OF A HOUSE-MADE BISCUIT The plate is massive. The waiter dares us to heft it. It is heavier than it appears. House-made biscuits crowd the base of the plate to the corners in a full inch of flaky, buttery colored thickness. Fluffy, yellow, scrambled eggs attempt to retain their airiness while two massive sausage patties hold them down. The entire plate of food is then covered ever so gently with rich, savory and spicy roasted pepper sausage gravy. Chef Rich Sweeney knows exactly what he is doing. The season five participant (and fan favorite) on Bravo’s hit food show, Top Chef, has brought his energetic culinary genius to this multilevel converted house in Hillcrest. Notorious for their hand rolled, flavor-infused (and sometimes cheese-stuffed!) tater tots and a passion to make something “More O-damn-a” than Ore-Ida,” as Chef Sweeney explains, this purveyor of a killer dinner menu and solid brunch sells his expertise short in our opinion. R-Gang Eatery is making a killer breakfast and their “Goodness by the pound” motto should be taken literally.

NATIVE KNOWLEDGE: Ask for the “So good it should be illegal” sauce made with foie gras and offered complimentary so as not to actually sell the banned product. 36 |

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WAKE UP WITH: GRIDDLED FRENCH TOAST DIPPED IN BANANA CINNAMON CREAM WITH PECAN MAPLE SYRUP Hash House A Go Go is the “Famous House of Twisted Farm Food.” That’s what their corn cob-flanked sign says, anyway. This perpetually packed house could be considered farm-chic. Its walls are covered with photos of John Deere tractors, and their tables are topped with wheat. We were lead through the already-crowded interior rooms (this place is packed even on weekdays, but the wait on the weekends can be up to two hours!) to the outdoor patio. Once seated, we found out why there is always a wait. Our mouths dropped to the floor when we witnessed the first plate, excuse me, platter, come out of the kitchen. This is one place where the phrase “eat with your eyes” definitely holds true. Keeping with the farm theme, Hash House serves their brilliant breakfasts on plates the size of troughs, simply because some of the menu items are bigger than your kid sister. Executive Chef, Creator and Founder Andy Beardslee grew up in Indiana, and wanted to transport a bit of his upbringing to the streets of sunny San Diego with Hash House A Go Go. Beardslee wanted his food to be fun and reminiscent of his experience on the farm. It is truly a genuine family restaurant that has been astonishing eaters for 12 years, earning awards nearly each of those years for Best Breakfast. Hash House has also been featured in several local and national publications as well as TV shows like Man vs. Food and Rachel Ray for its fantastic food. We were anxious to taste our way through one of the dishes that made them so famous. We were served the monstrous griddled French toast, which was profound in both appearance and taste. Hash House uses Amish milk bread (the thicker the better) for their French toast. They grill whole bananas – with the peel still on – and serve those atop the toast. Trust us, it’s worth the wait. For lunch and dinner, Hash House uses this sacred bread for savory sandwiches. No matter what meal you make it through those doors for, you can’t miss this French toast.

NATIVE KNOWLEDGE: Add their jam of the day to the fluffy French toast instead of syrup. We had the chunky mango/strawberry jam, and it elevated the griddled toast to an entirely new level for this classic.







WAKE UP WITH: CHILAQUILES BENEDICT BARBACOA BEEF, RANCHERO SAUCED TORTILLAS, CHEESE, POACHED NIMAN RANCH EGGS, SMOKED CHEDDAR HOLLANDAISE, PICO DE GALLO AND COTIJA CHEESE Snooze is one of those cheerful eateries that inspire a smile simply by setting foot in the place. It reminded me of scenes from Scooby Doo with its green and orange color scheme (seen on pendant lights, walls and booths). Everywhere you look is embellished by prints of toy jacks! Its a nod to the ‘50s, and the brightly colored, retro-industrial design put us in our happy morning place. Established in 2006 in Colorado, this contemporary take on a coffee shop quickly spread west and now boasts six locations. Robert Butterfield, the Big Kahuna (his actual title on his business card), explained that Snooze has always been a pioneer in its presence and in its ability to help re-establish once-cool neighborhoods by making them hip again. They accomplished this in their first Colorado location and are cultivating that same vibe in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood. We think they’re also succeeding at being visionaries in the food department. Snooze offers their inventive morning menu, starting at 6:30 a.m. on the weekdays and 7 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. From eggs any-style and breakfast burritos to a full selection of benedicts and some crazy (but oh so yummy) ideas for pancakes, Snooze has put its twist on any breakfast item you could crave. Executive Chef Ryan Devereaux (aka Chefereaux) said there’s nothing he won’t create for his customers. If you want rice crispy treats in your pancakes, he’ll do it (and he has), even though it’s not on the menu. We were blown away by his version of a Benedict with Mexican flavors. Who would have thought of making a Benedict out of chilaquiles? So tasty! The rancherosauced tortillas (in place of the traditional Benedict bottom-layer, the English muffin) are a genius concept. All of the Benedicts are also served with a perfectly crisp hash brown cake. And don’t miss their Barista! espresso menu. Their mocha is presented like a work of art.

Maintaining long lines of passionate fans is difficult for even the most popular of rock bands. Maybe they should be serving pancakes. The original Mission location (situated in both the city and on the street’s namesake) has been churning out beautifully decorated plates of thick wonderfulness since 1997. Known locally for their piles of French toast and stacks of super thick pancakes, it was difficult for us to pick our sampling. We decided as a group on their strawberry and granola cakes. All of the Mission pancakes start out identical. Thickly poured batter steaming on a griddle with the patron’s chosen ingredients meticulously hand placed. Our pancakes are served piping hot on a plate garnished with swirls of blackberry sauce. The decoration is applied with a cake maker’s precision. The strawberries are visible on each layer of the cake and the granola is protruding generously and visibly through the batter. The pancakes are sweet and only made tastier when generous amounts of a true maple syrup are applied in swaths. Get up early or wait in a line. You will not be disappointed.

NATIVE KNOWLEDGE: Get there early on any Monday through Friday and order a 2+2+2 (2 eggs, 2 bacon and 2 cakes) for only $6.

Union Kitchen & Tap 1108 S. COAST HW Y 101 | ENCINITAS, CA 92024 NEIGHBORHOOD: ENCINITAS 760 -230 -2337 | W W W.LOCALUNION101.COM

WAKE UP WITH: BREAKFAST FLATBREAD HOUSE-MADE BACON, SAUSAGE, EGG AND CHEESE ON A FLATBREAD Devoted to the craft. The motto of this utilitarian decorated North County eatery is a reminder to both employee and patron that things built by hand and with care are naturally better. With the attention to well made comfort food, locally sourced brews and an inviting interior, it would be easy to categorize Union as one of the many freshly minted “gastro pubs” sprouting up in our towns. Union, however, has seemed to capture an atmosphere that is magnetically attractive to all segments of community and is fast becoming “the” spot to gather for food and drink, trumping any stereotypical tags. This was our last stop on our Tour de Breakfast through San Diego. We had devoured mountains of Benedicts, towers of pancakes and gallons of syrup. We wanted something different, and their recommendation did not disappoint. We were served a breakfast flatbread. What genius had decided to combine my two favorite food groups? Cold pizza had often served as my breakfast. Why didn’t I heat it up? Why didn’t I add an egg? Genius! We all agreed that this toasty warm, egg, cheese and baconcovered flatbread could be enjoyed at any time of day but was exceptional for breakfast.

NATIVE KNOWLEDGE: Do your weekend morning a favor and finish your breakfast with breakfast shots: One shot Jameson and butterscotch schnapps combined, one shot OJ and one piece of crispy bacon (used as a chaser). Consumed properly, this flavor revelation tastes exactly like pancakes, syrup, and, of course, bacon.

NATIVE KNOWLEDGE: Snooze is progressive in its dishes, but it’s also progressive in its ambition to be environmentally friendly. With one of the area’s largest recycling and compostable programs, Snooze composts nearly 85 tons of garbage a year, keeping it out of our already full-to-the-brim landfills. They’re also working to inspire the rest of the Hillcrest neighborhood to join them. | Holiday 2012 Issue | 37





ver wonder what an acclaimed chef might bring to a potluck at your place? We do! So, we decided to make your dinner party fantasies come true by giving you the gift of a few cherished recipes from five of San Diego’s best chefs. This season, impress your guests (or football buddies or book clubbers) with recipes revealed by these culinary powerhouses: funny-guy TV host of Just Cook This! Sam the Cooking Guy, Top Chef Season 7 contestant Amanda Baumgarten, Latin

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food legend Isabel Cruz, rock star chef (literally) Kevin Templeton, and finally, pork virtuoso and teddy bear at heart, Chef Hanis Cavin of Carnitas Snack Shack. Each of these chefs showcased their potluck pick in San Diego’s stunning Fixtures Living, a dynamic retail showroom of designer home furnishings and posh appliances. Inside these gourmet kitchens (and, in some cases, designer bathrooms), these five chefs demonstrated why their culinary prowess has earned them a place in the celeb chef spotlight.

CHEF Sam Zien

(aka Sam the Cooking Guy), CULINARY CREDENTIALS I’ve been cooking for 10 years. I didn’t cook before that, my wife did. I started the cooking show Just Cook This! with Sam the Cooking Guy (me), because the travel show I originally planned to do was sadly derailed by the events of 9/11.


The ďŹ rst time someone came up to me and said they now cook because of me! (That was waaay cool!) My ďŹ rst time on TV, because it was proof I could do it. Publishing my ďŹ rst cookbook, and now I have three.

COOKING STYLE | INFLUENCES I call my style “big in taste, small in effort.� I want to eat well. I just don’t want it to take forever. I make great tasting, simple to prepare food that anyone can make.

SECRET FACTOID I’m a geeky, huge fan of the reality prison shows Lockup and Lockup Abroad.

FAVORITE COOKING TOOL A good sharp knife – no question. Not only will it cut, but if it’s all you have, you could spread butter or whatever with it.

WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN THE KITCHEN, YOU’RE ‌ Hanging out with my wife Kelly. Twenty-seven years and we’re still not sick of each other yet. Well, at least I’m not ‌

Winter Party Dish Pick

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs Perfect for anything from Tailgating to a Cocktail Soiree for these reasons: • Who doesn’t like deviled eggs? Plus, these have lox in them and caviar on them, making them even better and perfect for a festive event. • They’re cold, so if you need to take them somewhere, you don’t have to freak out about heating anything. • If you’re going to be rushed, you can easily make them the day before. • If you’re super lazy, don’t have time, or maybe just don’t want to, you can buy eggs already hard-boiled at the market. • And for those who hate eggs, well ‌ just get new friends.


12 Hard-boiled eggs 6 Ounce package smoked SALMON CHOPPED l NE 1/3 Cup mayo, roughly #UP RED ONION DICED SMALL 1 or 2 Tbsp. hot sauce

1 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard Big pinch Kosher salt Pepper to taste 1/4 Cup green onions CHOPPED l NE Caviar


Slice eggs down the middle lengthwise. Put whites on your serving plate and the yolks in a bowl. To the yolks, add the salmon, mayo, red and green onion, hot sauce, salt, pepper and mustard. 4. Mix all well, and then ďŹ ll each of the egg halves. 5. Add a tiny amount of caviar to the top of each egg and sprinkle with chives. NOTE: You can get these all set a few hours in advance, but don’t add the caviar until the last minute.


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Winter Party Dish Pick

Chile Rellenos with Baked Carnitas Perfect for a Festive Brunch


1 1/2 Lbs. boneless pork butt FAT TRIMMED CUT INTO PIECES

2 Tsp. ground cumin 4SP OREGANO DRIED


2. 3.


Combine cumin and oregano in a small bowl and rub the seasoning on the pork. (This can be done the night before and put in the fridge until ready to bake.) Preheat oven to 350° F. Place pork in baking dish. Wrap dish with foil. Bake pork about 1 hour until pork is fork tender. When pork is cooled, chop into bite-size pieces. While pork is baking make sauce and prep chile rellenos.


of Barrio Star, Isabel’s Cantina, Coffee Cup, Isabel Pearl, Dragony and Stargazer Farm,


1/2 Cup lime juice 3 Chipotle chilies in adobo sauce

CHEF Isabel Cruz

3 Tbsp. brown sugar 1 Cup olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS Combine lime juice, chilies and brown sugar in a blender or food processor. With the food processor running, add the olive oil in a slow stream. Blend until incorporated. Set aside until ready to plate.

CULINARY CREDENTIALS I’ve been cooking for most of my life. I started cooking when I was around 12 years old. Family gatherings centered around food, and that was a big part of my life. Plus, my mom worked, so I always started dinner for the family. Cooking just came naturally to me, and I love to do it. So, I took a leap of faith and gave it a try as a career to support my kids.


4-6 Medium poblano chilies #UPS SHREDDED JACK CHEESE ABOUT OZ

Opening my ďŹ rst restaurant. Releasing my ďŹ rst cookbook Isabel’s Cantina. Raising money over eight years for Chef Showdown to beneďŹ t the Center for Community Solutions.




Simple. I really strive at creating home-cooking-style recipes, food you’d get in a typical Latin household. I also grew up in a very diverse neighborhood with Thai and Korean neighbors and found a lot of crossover ingredients and avors between Asian and Latin food. You’ll taste a bit of each on most plates I put out.

2. 3. 4.

Turn burner to medium-high heat. Place chile/chilies directly on burner and rotate with tongs until blackened and blistered on all sides. Place chilies in a heat-proof bowl, cover with Saran wrap to steam skins off. Let them steam about 10 minutes. Skin should come off easily. Cut a slit down each chile and remove seeds. Stuff each chile with cheese. Place chilies in baking dish in 375° F oven until cheese is melted and bubbly.


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1. 2. 3.

SECRET FACTOID I’ve never had any formal cooking training. Since I started doing this professionally, I’ve learned a lot from some amazing people, but it all just started in my own kitchen where I love to play with food!



1. 2. 3. 4.

My cast iron pan – no question.

On a large platter, arrange rellenos in a circle. Top each with carnitas. Drizzle with chipotle sauce and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve over Mexican rice.

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WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN THE KITCHEN, YOU’RE ‌ Dining in someone else’s kitchen.


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Winter Party Dish Pick

Coffee & Stout Braised Short Ribs

I have been cooking professionally for 14 years. I started cooking at home at a young age, and by high school, I was the guy throwing all the dinner parties and BBQs for my friends. I knew then, that I’d be doing this for the rest of my life.

SHORT RIBS (Serves up to 10 people) 24 Oz. stout beer (such AS 'UINNESS 10 Garlic cloves 1 Cup home-made chili rub


2. 3. 4.

Rub short ribs with chili rub and mark on grill (just to get a nice char). Put in deep baking/braising pan. Mix remaining ingredients together (add remaining chili rub, too), and pour over short ribs. Cover pan with foil and braise in a 350° F oven for three hours, until tender. Add Kosher salt to taste and serve.


INSTRUCTIONS Mix ingredients well and store.


4 Garlic cloves 4 Poblano chilies (seeded AND DICED 1 Tbsp. garlic oil or olive oil 1 Qt. half and half 1 Tbsp. natural veggie base

/Z BEER YOUR FAVORITE ,B AGED CHEDDAR SHREDDED 1 Lb. American cheese (rough CHOPPED 2 Oz. roux


2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

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Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a small sauce pan, and add 4 tbsp of  our. Stir occasionally until golden colored and set aside (this is the roux). In a large sauce pan, sautĂŠ garlic and poblanos with garlic oil. Deglaze with beer and bring to a simmer. Add veggie base and half and half. Bring to a boil and add half of the roux. Stir in. Continue to add roux until you reach desired thickness. Simmer liquid for ďŹ ve minutes and take off the heat. Add cheddar and American cheese. Whisk until cheeses are completely incorporated. (You may have to add more half and half.)

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1. 2. 3.

My promotion to Chef de Cuisine at The Steakhouse at Azul La Jolla Opening the beautiful Zocalo 4S Ranch as the Executive Chef Being part of the Barleymash team. The Verant Group gave me the freedom to create the menu, help design the kitchen and pick my dream team. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

My cooking style is all over the place. I have worked at all types of restaurants and developed different cooking ideas from each. Latin style cooking really in uences me. Being a native San Diegan, I fell in love with the styles of cooking and produce of Central and South America. Barleymash is a perfect example of my cooking style – classic, upscale styles of cooking turned into fun, non-pretentious dishes.

SECRET FACTOID I’m a vocalist in a death metal band. Music has always been a great release for me.

FAVORITE COOKING TOOL My knife. Any chef will tell you that their knife is an extension of their body.

WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN THE KITCHEN, YOU’RE ‌ Playing local shows with my band, riding my motorcycle in the mountains, or taking my dog to the beach.


1 Tsp. Ancho chili powder 1/2 Tsp. Smoked paprika 1 Tsp. Granulated garlic 1 Tsp. Sugar 3 Tsp. Kosher salt






Perfect for Super Bowl Sunday It’s a nice, hearty dish that can be used in so many ways. You can use them for a great entrĂŠe with winter veggies and mashed potatoes or as a ďŹ lling for empanadas, tacos or a stellar sandwich. I like to use the short ribs as a ďŹ lling between pretzel bread and top it with crispy onions and my roasted poblano and beer-cheddar soup/sauce.

8 Lbs. boneless short ribs #UPS COFFEE YOUR CHOICE 1 Tbsp. chicken base 3 Cups water

CHEF Kevin Templeton


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CHEF Hanis Cavin

of Carnitas Snack Shack, CULINARY CREDENTIALS I’ve been cooking for 22 years. My home economics teacher said, “you have special talent in the kitchen and an ability to understand avors on how they relate to taste.â€? So, I got a job at the La Quinta resort in the desert, and the journey began.


Getting the job as an executive chef of a Hilton Hotel. Winning Chef of the Year in 2009 by the California Restaurant Association, San Diego. Opening my own restaurant, the Carnitas Snack Shack.


Winter Party Dish Pick

Dried Fruit-Stuffed Pork Rack | Parsnip Puree | SautĂŠed Kale | Cider Glaze Perfect for a Holiday Feast The prep and cooking time is not much more than an hour, the avors make me think of winter time, and the presentation has a big “wowâ€? factor. Oh yeah ‌ it tastes great!


My style is technique driven and avor balanced with American regional avors.


SECRET FACTOID I do a lot of charity and volunteer work in local schools on child nutrition and teaching children how to cook with products from local gardens.





The chinois. It strains out impurities and makes everything smooth and silky.



Supporting other local restaurants with my wife. I also love cooking for family and friends at my house.



1/2 Lb. dried cranberries 4BSP SHALLOTS MINCED 1 Cup honey

Take all the ingredients and mix together, making sure the honey coats all the fruit. Take the pork rack, using a sharpening steel or a small wooden dowel, push through the middle making wide circles to serve as pockets to put the dried fruit mixture in. Stuff the pork with as much of the mixture as possible. Be sure to press ďŹ rmly on the ends, so the mixture is tight. Sear rack off on both sides until it is a caramel brown in color. Do this in a large sautĂŠ or roasting pan. Once browned, place meat side down in same searing pan, and place into a 375° oven for 25 minutes or until meat temperature reaches 155° F. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing rack at bones.


2 Lbs. parsnips (peeled and CUT IN HALF 1 Large potato (peeled and CUT IN HALF

1 Cup heavy cream 1/4 Lb. butter Salt & pepper

INSTRUCTIONS 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Boil the parsnips and potato in salted water until soft. Place strained parsnip and potato into mixing bowl. Add cream and butter. Mix on medium speed until nice and smooth. Place mixture into strainer and push the mixture through the strainer, which will make it smooth and silky. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



2 Tbsp. butter Salt & pepper


In a sautĂŠ pan on medium heat, add butter and shallots, cooking until the shallots begin to brown. Add the kale and cook for ďŹ ve minutes, constantly turning to cook evenly. Add salt and pepper to taste.


1/2 Gallon apple cider

2 Tbsp. corn starch slurry


Reduce apple cider by half. Add corn starch slurry to thicken, and let cook ďŹ ve minutes more on medium heat. Serve.

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Winter Party Dish Pick

Whole Roasted Fish + Roasted Fennel + Wild Rice + Tomato Caper Sauce Perfect for a New Year’s Eve Night In It’s perfect, because it’s easy to share.


1 2-Lb. snapper (gutted AND SCALED Kosher salt and freshly ground Black pepper

4 Lemon slices #LOVE GARLIC SMASHED 2 Sprigs fresh oregano 1 Tbsp. olive oil

WILD RICE Pepper to taste 2 Sprigs fresh thyme 6 Cups water

ROASTED FENNEL Pepper to taste 3 Sprigs fresh thyme Tomato Sauce


1/4 Cup cherry tomatoes HALVED 1/4 Cup capers ,EMONS JUICED 4BSP FRESH PARSLEY CHOPPED



3. 4.

5. 6.




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Make the rice: heat the butter in a medium stockpot on medium heat. When the butter is melted, cook the shallots with a pinch of salt until they’re nice and translucent. Add the rice and cook for a few minutes to coat well with butter and shallot mixture. Season again with salt and pepper. Add the thyme sprigs and water, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is cooked (about 40 minutes). Preheat the oven to 350° F. Make the fennel: heat the olive oil in a large sautĂŠ pan on high heat. Season the fennel with salt and pepper and sear the cut sides in the pan until they’re golden brown. Transfer the fennel to a roasting dish, spread the thyme over the top, cover with foil, and roast in the oven until tender (about 30 minutes). Increase oven to 375° F. Prepare the ďŹ sh: this recipe calls for a 2-pound snapper, but any ďŹ sh of a similar size will work. Season the ďŹ sh inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon slices, garlic and oregano. Grease a large piece of parchment paper with the olive oil. Lay the ďŹ sh down on the paper and roll the paper up around the ďŹ sh. Tie both ends with some butcher’s twine and pot it into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. (You can test the doneness by sticking a cake tester into the parcel. If it is hot to the touch, your ďŹ sh is done!) Make the tomato sauce: heat a medium saucepot on medium heat with 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Cook the shallots and garlic until they are nice and soft. Add the capers and cherry tomatoes and heat through only lightly, for about 1 minute. (You don’t really want to cook the tomatoes – only release their avor into the pan.) Remove the pot from the heat and add the lemon juice and the remainder of your olive oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Finish with chopped parsley. To serve: transfer the cooked ďŹ sh to a large serving platter. Unwrap the parchment paper and garnish the platter with the roasted fennel. Serve the rice and the tomato caper sauce on the side.

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I’ve been cooking for 13 years. My initial entrance into the cooking world began with an internship at l’Orangerie in Los Angeles.

1. 2. 3.

Opening Herringbone. Getting hired as Executive Chef of Water Grill in Los Angeles. The ďŹ rst time I made it through a service at Melisse without getting yelled at.

I’m not a scientist. I just cook. I cook what makes sense and what I think will taste delicious.

SECRET FACTOID Eighty-ďŹ ve percent of the time I’m shy about talking to guests! Brenden (Herringbone’s General Manager) and I have a running joke about it.





3 Tbsp. olive oil 3 Heads fennel (washed AND QUARTERED 1 Pinch Kosher salt




4BSP BUTTER DIVIDED 3HALLOT MINCED 2 Cups wild rice 1 Tsp. Kosher salt

CHEF Amanda Baumgarten

FAVORITE COOKING TOOL A cake tester. It’s like having x-ray vision. You can tell the temperature of your steak or if your chicken’s ready without disturbing the meat.

WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN THE KITCHEN, YOU’RE ‌ Probably hanging out with my dog.

look for Papa Luna s ON

The Travel channel


latin aMerican




FLAVOR 1404 Garnet Ave.

San Diego, Ca 92109




Q: What is the coolest thing that you have been able to do as the National Ambassador for Sailor Jerry? RACHEL FURMAN: Last January was the 100th anniversary of Sailor Jerry. I flew out on a plane with the Black Lips to Honolulu where they performed a show at a back-alley bar called The Mercury. It was in the same alley where Sailor Jerry used to tattoo people. It was super seedy and super fun.

Q: What’s your favorite way to drink rum? RF: I really like the backyard tea. The drink is made with Sailor Jerry, lemonade and iced tea. I also like rum old fashioneds. Really, any cocktail that is typically made with whiskey or bourbon can be substituted with rum.

Q: Do you ever wish you lived during the era when Sailor Jerry was born? RF: Yes! It’s silly that I wasn’t. Men were men and women were ladies and everything was a little bit more bad-ass.

Q: Where is home for Sailor Jerry’s national ambassador? RF: I have been based in LA for the past three years, but I am originally from Philadelphia. I cover the entire United States for Sailor Jerry but

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find myself in San Diego quite often. It is a great market for us.

Q: When you are in San Diego, what are some of your favorite places? RF: I really love the Ruby Room’s happy hour. The young bands at the Kensington Club are fun and the atmosphere reminds me of home. The Tractor Room in Hillcrest has great food in HUGE portions and strong drinks. I love to stay at the Hotel Palomar and the Hard Rock Hotel. I am a huge fan of Noble Experiment, too. The cocktails are phenomenal. And Cowboy Star serves one of the best steaks I have ever had.

Q: Do you happen to have one of Sailor Jerry’s famous tattoos?

RF: Yes. I got one in the Sailor Jerry airstream. I travelled across the country for three months with the airstream with a truck and motorcycle in tow. As the brand expanded, they bought six for the US market and six for Europe. It was cool, because it was something we actually used, not just a marketing ploy. When I was at SXSW (South by South West), Oliver Peck was doing tattoos and gave me one right in the trailer. Very cool.

U.S.S. Midway 910 N. Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101

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Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe 3719 India St | San Diego, CA 92103 619-683-2748 | 52 |

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grew up in a home where tea was a vital part of our existence. The kettle whistled constantly from the kitchen as my mother ďŹ xed her cup of tea, moving from one avor to the next as her day progressed. In the evenings we all had a cup of sleepy time tea, a blend of chamomile and spearmint, before being sent off to bed. Tea is a drink of tradition. It has both a royal and humble place in history. Today, there is a thriving tea culture, which allows tea lovers to enjoy leaves and blends from around the world. I spent a rainy afternoon in San Diego visiting a vast array of teahouses. What I found, is that there is always more to learn about this timeless beverage.

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Mad Monk Tea 4966 Santa Monica Ave. Ste. C | San Diego, CA 92107 360-472-1262 | The Mad Monk is modeled after the traditional teahouses of China and Taiwan. It is here that tea is treated in a much more serious manner. There is an art, almost a religion to the tea. We were invited into the Mad Monk to have a tea tasting (much like a wine tasting). We came into the small bamboo room and sat down. It was a relaxing space for our tea ceremony. I was unsure of what to expect, but the overwhelming positive energy in the room told me I was in the right place. Taylor was barefoot. Taylor owns the Mad Monk. He has traveled the world meeting and searching for tea farmers who are on the forefront of sustainability and organics. He spent two months in Hawaii

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living on one of the farms he receives tea from. Right now there are twenty-four teas on the shelves. He says they are always changing. He carries 15-year aged pu-er cakes (see my Teaology chart for a definition). Taylor knows his teas. He told me stories of his travels and teas while preparing our tasting. His hands moved quickly and delicately as the task of preparation revealed itself to us as an art. I learned that everything matters, from the kettle to the cup there is a reason for everything. Taylor tells me this is all “Gongfu Tea,” the art and practice of pouring tea. It was 10 a.m., and I was learning Gongfu Tea. As I drank the tea, I slurped it and rolled it around in my mouth and over my tongue, playing with the flavors. It was all a very new experience to me, but one I enjoyed very much. The Mad Monk is serious about tea. All his teas are loose leaf and sourced directly from the farm. Once you go here and it speaks to you, I doubt you will buy tea anywhere else.

Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe 3719 India St. | San Diego, CA 92103 619-683-2748 | Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe stole my heart. This adorable little tea cottage completely transported me back to England. It’s a traditional English teahouse with an afternoon tea service that pulls out all the stops when it comes to detail. Tea is served on the garden patio at adorable little tables set with perfect fine china. Owner Selina Stickley guided us through all the tradition of my first afternoon tea. Afternoon tea is a very social and relaxing way to spend an afternoon, and Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe makes it easy to really get into the spirit of it. First, we selected our tea from a list of over 30 English teas. Selina showed us how to pour our tea, using a small strainer over the teacup to catch all the leaves. Then she brought us a tower, literally a tower, of snacks and treats. We had Waldorf salad, cucumber sandwiches, sausage rolls, raisin scones with Devon cream and strawberry jam, sticky toffee pudding and pumpkin cakes. The best part was that all these tasty bites were authentic to an English afternoon tea. They even have a British butcher for their sausages, and they import all the jams and the Devon cream from England. Their raisin scones are made to perfection. An afternoon tea is $21.95 per person, and they will do vegan and vegetarian snack substitutions if you tell them when you make your reservation. This is something I cannot recommend enough. You must go treat yourself to a delicious and relaxing afternoon tea at the Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe. | Holiday 2012 Issue | 55

ROOIBOS: a root from South Africa that grows

YUNNAN PROVINCE: the location where the

decaffeinated, dried tea and is brewed like a traditional tealeaf. The essence is very smooth.

ďŹ rst tea plant ever sprouted on the Westside of China at the foot of the Himalayas.


PU-ER CAKES: a medicinal teacake made of fermented tea leaves from Yunnan Province, which has much stronger, medicinal properties. (They can fetch upwards of thousands of dollars in the tea market.)

the art of reading tea



TEA: a social engagement based on an old English tradition in which you enjoy tea along with a variety of traditional English snacks like ďŹ nger sandwiches and pastries. and drinking tea, coming from Chinese tea cultures.

SCONE: a “traditionalâ€? English scone is served with afternoon tea. It is a  aky crusted pastry that is both salty and a touch sweet. It is served warm with jam and Devon cream. It does not have any frosting.



GONGFU TEA: the art and practice of pouring

a blend of tea that is not bagged, prepared with boiling water and some sort of strainer, either on the cup or in the pot


also called “clotted creamâ€? with a nutty, cooked milk avor. It is an essential part of traditional English tea.

Tea Pavilion at t he ( ; Garden 2215 Pan American Way | San Diego, CA 92101 619-231-0048 | No one offers a better place to drink tea than the Tea Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden. The teahouse is owned by the garden and gives a percentage of all proďŹ ts to help support their nonproďŹ t garden. San Diego is a sister city to Yokahama, Japan, and this garden is based on a similar garden in Yokahama. It is the most relaxing and peaceful place I had been all day. They carry more than 45 loose-leaf teas that you can order to enjoy at a table, or in my case, take with you on a stroll though the garden. This place was designed to enjoy tea. I took a seat on a rock, crossed my legs, and waited patiently for my tea to cool down a bit before drinking. I had a blood orange tisane that was incredibly rich in avor. The Tea Pavilion also hosts an incredible menu of Japanese soups, noodles, rice bowls and sandwiches that smell so good I was practically drooling on myself. I made a note that next time I come back, it’ll be with an empty belly.

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BEHOLD, America!





November 10, 2012 through February 10, 2013 Experience three centuries of American art, from colonial to contemporary, in one groundbreaking exhibition.

< 0 " & 2767 San Diego Ave. | San Diego, CA 92110 619-683-2416 | Located in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, The San Diego House looks like an old speakeasy from the Wild West. Dirt roads ramble through the park, connecting shops and restaurants for the bustling crowds. The San Diego House has been open for over twenty years. I went inside and was met with the most beautiful aroma of dried fruits and ower petals. The walls are lined with glass jars, holding their selections of over 500 different loose-leaf teas. Here the friendly staff will brew up any one of these avors into an iced or hot beverage for you, perfect for any time of year. I enjoyed a vanilla green tea while listening to tales of the location’s rich history in San Diego. They also carry close to 50 different bagged teas, local honey, cooking spices and herbs and 75 different coffees. The San Diego House has the largest selection of loose-leaf teas in Sand Diego. Overall, The San Diego House is a win across the board. They serve tea in-store and in any quantity you could want. You can also order their teas online and have them shipped around the world. As I made my way out of the San Diego House and back to my car, it started to rain a bit, but I didn’t mind, not with the hot cup of tea in my hand.

Visit for tickets and related events. See the exhibition in its entirety at these three museums:




Lead Patron

FROM LEFT: John Currin, The Hobo (detail), 1999, oil on canvas. Museum purchase, Contemporary Collectors Fund, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Robert Henri, Bernadita (detail), 1922, oil on canvas. Gift of the San Diego Wednesday Club, The San Diego Museum of Art. John Singleton Copley, Mrs. Thomas Gage (detail), 1771, oil on canvas. Timken Museum of Art, Putnam Foundation Collection, San Diego.

Tea Gallerie 7297 Ronson Rd., Ste. B | San Diego, CA 92111 800-409-3109 | The Tea Gallerie means business when it comes to teas. They sell wholesale, at markets, spas, hotels, stores and take personal orders. You can order their teas by the ounce or up to 500 pounds if you’d like. They make all of their own teas: 250 different styles and blends, all with their own unique  avor. There is truly something for everyone. You can order online or if you would like to visit their San Diego location, you can taste the teas before making your purchase. Tea Gallerie is not a cafÊ, but you can certainly take some tea home and turn your kitchen into one. Invite you friends over and share the deliciousness. Tea-time fun isn’t just for adults. Tea Gallerie now has their own line of tea for kids. This is something I haven’t seen anywhere else. The kid’s teas are made only from dried fruits and ower petals, there are no sugars, no coloring and no preservatives. This growing and successful business has just expanded to Portland, Seattle and Chicago. I spent a small amount of time browsing their selection at the end of my adventures and tea trailing through San Diego, and I found the variety of their teas to be both unique and refreshing.

+ ! 1 242 3rd Ave Chula Vista, CA 91910 619-691-1347

I grew up reading tarot cards. I have had the same deck since I was thirteen, so I know a bit about interpreting life through objects and patterns. Tasseography, the art of reading tea leaves, is an art of intuition. They say no one is more equipped to read your tea leaves than you. Much like tarot cards, tasseography will not tell you or teach you anything you do not already know. The answers are already there, but we often may not see them or want to. To perform a tea-leaf reading of your own: allow some of the leaves from a brewed cup of loose-leaf tea to remain in the cup. Hold your nearly empty teacup in your hand and give it three good swirls. The tea leaves will disperse around the interior of the cup. Gently dump out the remaining liquid by turning your teacup over into a saucer. Start at twelve o’clock and read the images clockwise. You must be relaxed and open, listen to the ďŹ rst things that come into your mind. It is a lot like a Rorschach test: performed through a subconscious image association and self-analysis. There are no stupid answers; there are no wrong answers. Starting out can be the hardest part, and if you would like an aid to image interpretation, the best symbol list I have found is at: Best of luck to you in your own tea discoveries!

My Cup Of Tea is the most adorable “tea boutique,â€? as I like to call it. They have an extensive selection of tea gifts like gorgeous porcelain teapots and cups and some perfect tea-time hats as well. They serve a traditional English afternoon tea by reservation only. If you are just strolling by, pop in for a cup of tea and scones that are readily available. With a selection of over 100 different loose-leaf teas, the owner Janice told me, “I won’t put a tea up that I haven’t tasted. I know my teas.â€? And that she does. She recommends a cup of vanilla chai tea that has me absolutely tickled. All teas are poured from the most beautiful teapots through a strainer to catch the loose leaves. Most of the selections at My Cup of Tea are Sochi teas from Cafe Calabria on 30th and University. They do all their own drying and mixing in-house and a ďŹ ne job they do. All teas at My Cup Of Tea are sold by the ounce and packaged in adorable little bags. I couldn’t leave without taking at least three different avors with me. It honestly made me wish this cozy sweater weather would remain, so I could pass all my days sipping tea by the window. This spot is perfect for a traditional afternoon tea and your next gift for the tea lover on your list.

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.� - Bernard-Paul Heroux 58 |

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+ ! 1 242 3rd Ave. | Chula Vista, CA 91910 619-691-1347 My Cup Of Tea is the most adorable “tea boutique,â€? as I like to call it. They have an extensive selection of tea gifts like gorgeous porcelain teapots and cups and some perfect tea-time hats as well. They serve a traditional English afternoon tea by reservation only. If you are just strolling by, pop in for a cup of tea and scones that are readily available. With a selection of over 100 different loose-leaf teas, the owner Janice told me, “I won’t put a tea up that I haven’t tasted. I know my teas.â€? And that she does. She recommends a cup of vanilla chai tea that has me absolutely tickled. All teas are poured from the most beautiful teapots through a strainer to catch the loose leaves. Most of the selections at My Cup of Tea are Sochi teas from Cafe Calabria on 30th and University. They do all their own drying and mixing in-house and a ďŹ ne job they do. All teas at My Cup Of Tea are sold by the ounce and packaged in adorable little bags. I couldn’t leave without taking at least three different avors with me. It honestly made me wish this cozy sweater weather would remain, so I could pass all my days sipping tea by the window. This spot is perfect for a traditional afternoon tea and a great place to buy gifts for the tea lover in your life.

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ith the explosion of crafty cocktail creations, you can be sure that you’ll find one that’s “just your type” during our thirst-quenching tour. We’re just glad the craft is back, and cocktail connoisseurs say it may finally be here to stay. The industry’s resurgence is restoring the art of fashioning quality libations, those palate pleasing American classics which were originally introduced, ironically, during prohibition. With improved techniques and ingenuity, the modern bartender (or mixologist, whichever you


prefer), is delivering beverages infused with hand-crafted everything from bitters, syrups and sodas to ice and garnishments. Join me while I sip and swig my way through these eight local hot spots to discover the flavors of the aperitif anew. From vintage liquors made new to modernized favorites tweaked to suit today’s taste buds, San Diego is delivering a delightful assortment of unexpected drinks, occasionally in unforeseen locales. Give me shaken, stirred, muddled or pressed – give me San Diego’s best creative and classic cocktails. | Holiday 2012 Issue | 63

EL DORADO BAR 1030 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101 619-237-0550 | This four-year-old establishment is obviously ahead of the game, because it remains ontrend four years after its opening. El Dorado Bar doesn’t have a fancy foyer or a particularly inviting exterior, but it doesn’t need either. They’ve created an intimate atmosphere where patrons can enjoy a hand-crafted drink and be entertained any night of the week. El Dorado’s carefully prepared cocktail menu, paired with nightly live music, makes this bar a destination for locals looking to discover quirky culture and underground entertainment. With swanky ornamentation, featuring Otis the buffalo (who has his own Facebook fan page), Indian warrior tapestries and vintage beer signs, El Dorado Bar feels more like a moody lodge in the country. It’s dark and warming like cozying up to a fireplace, and the bartenders will make you feel comfortable enough to do just that. El Dorado’s General Manager Steven Tuttle, who trained under bartender greats like Sam Ross of Milk & Honey and Philip Ward of Death + Co., explains that the personality behind the cocktail is just as important as its key ingredients. It’s that kind of welcoming spirit and community vibe that keeps the crowds coming through their doors. Not to mention, El Dorado’s rotating cocktail menu, their amazing happy hour, which lasts until 9 pm, and the bartenders’ willingness to share their cocktail recipes with customers. Go ahead – ask them how to make your favorite drink, and they’ll copy it down on a cocktail napkin for you. Our favorite winter concoction from El Dorado was their Winter Diamondback, a warming and unique whiskey cocktail spiced up with nutmeg and absinthe. And, graciously, Tuttle shared this distinctive recipe with us!



Instead of bestowing our usual fun fact or insider tip for this Native Knowledge, we thought you might enjoy a special holiday treat: El Dorado Bar’s recipe for

THE WINTER DIAMONDBACK! 2 oz Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey 3/4 oz Lemon Juice 3/8 oz Cinnamon Bark Syrup 3/8 oz House-made Orgeat 2-3 Dashes Black Walnut Bitters Egg Whites Absinthe Rinse Zest of Nutmeg to garnish Add all ingredients (minus the absinthe) into a shaker and shake without ice to emulsify egg; then, add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a sour glass, rinsed with absinthe, grate in the nutmeg zest, and enjoy! 64 |

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Steven Tuttle of El Dorado Bar

Erick Castro of Polite Provisions

POLITE PROVISIONS Coming Soon in December 2012! | 4693 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92116 Industry-famous Erick Castro is bringing classic soda fountain, pharmaceutically-formulated vintage American tinctures back with his neoteric concept, Polite Provisions. And, if you get the chance to meet him, you may wonder if he time-traveled to bring back his wardrobe, too, because he exemplifies turn-of-the-century Americana through and through. As the former beverage director at San Francisco’s Rickhouse, which was awarded the title of one of the World’s Top Bars by Food & Wine while Castro was leading their cocktail program, Castro discovered what some may call an obsession with classic cocktails. After mixing cocktails for eight hours, he’d head home to read classic bartending books like The Gentleman’s Companion, Jack’s Manual and Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide where he procured an admiration for the trade as the viable career it once was. He was also active in the US Bartender’s Guild in San Francisco, which Castro says “really kicked everything into high gear.” He’s now on his way to opening his own personal depiction of the soda fountain era by taking simple cocktails and combining them with esoteric ingredients at Polite Provisions. The drugstore-like establishment, located in the Normal Heights neighborhood and part of the Consortium Holdings repertoire, will serve wine, soda and spirits from 46 individual taps and function as an everyday spot, a community watering hole. Castro states it will be a “good representation of where the American cocktail is headed – combining the old with the new.” Polite Provisions will exhibit old-school pharmacy décor with white tile and dark wood floors and a small bar in the back reserved for community education. That’s right. Polite Provisions will not only be serving craft cocktails (and inebriating milkshakescan’t wait!), they’ll also be providing cocktail tutorials for guests who want to learn more about the history of each spirit. Polite Provisions is sure to become your new favorite for nostalgic cocktails, because as Castro predicts, “Once you have a proper cocktail, there’s no going back.”



Make sure to ask for a cocktail made with their one-of-a-kind-created bitters. Nationally distributed Scrappy’s Bitters is bottling a line of bitters exclusively for Polite Provisions, so you won’t be able to taste a cocktail quite like theirs anywhere else in the world!

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Brett Winfield of Seven Grand

SEVEN GRAND 3054 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92104 619-269-8820 | Seven Grand LA’s little sister and North Park newbie Seven Grand San Diego possesses that same hunting lodge, cabin club feel as its predecessor. Plaid wallpaper, deer heads, antler lamps and leather booths adorn this hard-to-find bar (look for their logo posted a few doors down on the top of the corner building), creating a fitting setting for their monthly Whiskey Society meetings ($120/year). A classic whiskey bar with a twist, Seven Grand boasts approximately 330 different varieties of whiskey. “We want it to be obscene the number of whiskeys we carry, which is about 250-300 more than most bars,” whiskey connoisseur and Seven Grand bartender Brett Winfield said. “We want to serve whiskey for the people from 21-year-old girls in college to 50-year-olds who want to enjoy a cigar with their whiskey.” Because whiskey can be an intimidating spirit, from the depth to the age of it, Seven Grand shakes up classic whiskey cocktails like an old fashioned, manhattans, whiskey sours, mint juleps and sazeracs, to allow it’s taste to be accentuated. Their preprohibition whiskey cocktails are the best in town, possibly because they have relationships with whiskey distilleries around the world who allow Seven Grand to pick out their own barrels of whiskey. This bar prides itself on having spirits that you can’t get anywhere else, like their personalized selections of Buffalo Trace, Knob Creek and Four Roses. Winfield admits he cut his teeth on beer, but was always interested in cocktails. He’s a certified sommelier who loves to learn about spirits by studying classic cocktail books, and he’s perfect for his position at Seven Grand. Winfield prefers to pour cocktails that require minimal ingredients so they can be recreated and enjoyed at home, too. His classic old fashioned is a supreme libation, which will most certainly warm you from the inside out. It’s comprised of uncomplicated ingredients like brown sugar cubes, water, bitters and a quality whiskey of your choice.



Owner of the Seven Grand locations and 213 Nightlife proprietor, Cedd Moses, is the only man to have his face printed on a bottle of Maker’s Mark bourbon. Why? Because Seven Grand sells more Maker’s Mark than any other bar in the entire United States!

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CRAFT & COMMERCE 675 W. Beech Street, San Diego, CA 92101 619-269-2202 | Another Consortium Holdings comrade, located downtown, is Craft & Commerce, a funky bar and eatery festooned with taxidermy, loads of reclaimed wood, a mirror etched with a visual of the KoolAid character from yesteryears and chalkboard beams inscribed with recipes and quotes. This street-side hot spot has become another neighborhood favorite, and bartender David Kinsey says it’s because – plain and simple – the cocktails are great. All of their cocktails are measured across the board, so you can consistently consume your favorite, spirit-forward cocktail the way you remembered it. The bar has an established vibe, even though it’s only been open for two years, and Kinsey attributes that feeling to the hospitable personalities behind the bar. And he, more than anyone, realizes the power of striking up friendships with the bartender. Prior to inventing cocktails at Craft & Commerce, he was one of Noble Experiment’s (keep reading to find out more about this astounding location) curious and conscious consumers who queried the bartenders there about how the drinks were made, why they used certain ingredients and where they came up with their ideas. Soon, his inquisitive nature landed him a spot on the Craft & Commerce team. Inspired by tiki cocktail recipes, Kinsey created the Freebooter for us for winter, made with his favorite spirit – Jamaican rum, as well as cognac, lime, cinnamon, absinthe, orgeat and egg whites with a float of spiced liquor and topped with grated nutmeg. It’s like Christmas in Paradise and a must-try on your next trip to Craft & Commerce this season.



Craft & Commerce houses bookshelves throughout the rusticchic space, but make sure you look closely, because you may see something you didn’t notice the last time you patronized the place. That’s probably because the entire Craft & Commerce staff continually adds personal trinkets to those shelves upon closing. Kinsey explains it’s their way of putting their own personal touch on the space in addition to their tasty drinks.

David Kinsey of Craft and Commerce

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P & R COCKTAILS (AKA PICK & ROCKS COCKTAILS) 619-704-7035 | Spawned from existing cocktail companies and notable neighborhood restaurants, these three master mixologists have collaborated to form one of the area’s most prominent craft cocktail design and consulting firms. Jen Queen (an acclaimed San Diego cocktail consultant who is also active in the US Bartender’s Guild), Lucien Conner and Ian Ward (former colleagues at La Jolla’s Whisknladle) recently came together, because “it made sense.” Working together to procure cocktail programs for Top Chef contestant Brian Malarkey’s slew of stand-out dining destinations, Queen, Conner and Ward are going back to the basics, providing bar programs that use fundamental tools, the elements that revolutionized the cocktail, as well as vital information for helping build brands. “We have the ability to help companies grow in so many ways – embracing both worlds (public relations and beverage programs). Right now, we’re helping to open 15 locations nationwide with the Malarkey Group,” P & R co-founder Queen announced. Queen also reported that food often inspires their visionary concoctions. She specialized in tequila for 10 years, training under Tequila Ambassador Julio Bermejo, and learned to take Mexico’s street food and turn it into a cocktail. Conner says his culinary background plays heavily into his style and interpretation of cocktails, too. He grew up working in a family-owned, fine dining restaurant in Houston, gaining a hands-on appreciation for utilizing simple, fresh ingredients; while Ward grew up in his grandfather’s 68 |

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deli in Queens, NY. Their combined backgrounds have set these three superstar spirit artisans up for success. The P & R founders educate aspiring bartenders on how to make their own grenadines, infusions, vermouths and syrups – everything is taught to be crafted by hand. They’re widespread recognition may also be due to the fact that they take risks. They’ve created avant-garde cocktail menus for restaurants and events that will blow your mind, including a fragrance-based menu which used hand-distilled perfumes and edible fragrances; a zodiac menu which paired compatible signs with compatible spirits; and, an intensely impressive menu which was devised from a series of classic rock and pop albums from the 90s, pairing each song with a cocktail mixed with ingredients inspired from song lyrics. “Nothing was served in a glass. Every course was outside of the box,” Ward commented of his artistry in the album-inspired menu. “For Nirvana’s Nevermind, we served what I called “Polly Wants a Cracker,” which was composed of a dehydrated lime cracker and grapefruit vodka spheres. When you ate it, it was an explosion of textures in your mouth. For “Lithium,” we used liquid nitrogen, filling the room with smoke.” A little less extravagant, the P & R Cocktail crew recommends trying a Coyote for a winter warmup this season. This simpler cocktail infuses cinnamon into bourbon, mixed with pressed lime, bitters and ginger beer.

Shawn Barker of Bertrand at Mister A's

BERTRAND AT MISTER A’S 2550 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103 619-239-1377 |

Left to right, Ian Ward, Jen Queen and Lucien Conner of P & R Cocktails



These three were collaborating before they even intended to. Ward, Queen and Conner were running separate cocktail companies at the time, but came together for one night to run an underground bar in a skate shop, shaking and serving cocktails out of a punk-rock skate shop. Now that’s cool.

You may know Mister A’s to be a jacket and tie kind of place, but did you know that they have a stellar happy hour (during which they don’t require a jacket or a tie) to go with those stellar views, from 2:30 pm-6 pm, Monday through Friday? Pass by the tables blanketed in white cloths, sparkling set-ups and velour-backed chairs, and head to Mister A’s bar or panoramic patio for $5-10 cocktails and $7 snacks. Bringing fresh character to Mister A’s 45+ years of lineage is Vegas-schooled mixologist Shawn Barker who honed his craft while working at several locations within the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group and received training under master mixologist Tony Abu-Ganim at the Bellagio. Barker began his career by being urged to test his style and to use bar ingredients as his chemistry set. He has gained a love over the years for farm-to-table ingredients and often uses freshly-picked herbs to accentuate his cocktails. Barker says he’s not trying to change the cocktail craft, but he aims to make your favorite cocktail the best you’ve ever had. “I’m here to uphold the standards that have been set forth by Mister A’s and Bertrand and the history within these walls. I use the highest quality ingredients and spirits, and then I throw in my little tricks of the trade,” Barker proudly stated. His contemporary hand is evident in the classic holiday cocktail he prepared for us: the Grasshopper. I remember sneaking spoon-fulls of this lime-green ice cream cocktail when my parents weren’t looking, but Barker’s version is so much more refined. There are no mounds of ice cream here from which to spoon. His version of the classic dessert drink, the Grasshopper, is much lighter and cleaner. Barker uses house-made vanilla bean ice cream, a blend of Godiva and white chocolate liquors and green crème de menthe, topped with a freshly “spanked” sprig of mint, and he serves it in a coupe glass (aka a Marie Antoinette glass), which is a shallow bowl on a stem. He explained that this glass shape originated so that consumers could sip his/her cocktail while still having the ability to see across the table. This idea comes in handy at Mister A’s, because in addition to seeing your friends, you can take in the spectacular view. (Note: happy hour is unfortunately not offered during the month of December.)



You may not know that Barker started Smoke & Mirrors Cocktail Company with Chris Simmons. Together they design bar programs for local restaurants like Mille Fleurs, Burlap, Cucina Urbana and Urban Solace, so you just may have enjoyed one of his recipes already at one of these locations. | Holiday 2012 Issue | 69



The breathtaking gold skull sculptures that fabricate the walls were made by Rob Zombie’s set designer, and no one does skulls more glam than Rob Zombie. You have to see it! Anthony Schmidt of Noble Experiment

NOBLE EXPERIMENT 777 G. Street, San Diego, CA 92101 | 619-888-4713 | You think you’re in the right place, but then you’re not. I walked the block for 20 minutes, asking clueless passersby for advice before finally heading into Neighborhood (another fantastic bar from the Consortium Holdings crew) to again ask for directions. I was told I was in the right place. Head back to the bathrooms and push on the artificial wall of kegs. It’s actually the front door to Noble Experiment. I felt like I was sneaking into a place I shouldn’t be until I turned the corner and the compact yet paramount Noble Experiment came to life. Thousands of gold skull sculptures lined the dominant wall, 16th century-style paintings spread across the ceiling, large frames flanking the space came alive with rotating digital images and crystal chandeliers sparkled against the mirrored and sculpted bar back. This tiny space is truly magical and so are their cocktails. Mixologist Anthony Schmidt opened Noble Experiment two and a half years ago after retiring his position as the general manager 70 |

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at El Dorado (although, he remained all in the Consortium Holdings family). He and the minds behind this speakeasy-esque bar traveled to New York, San Francisco, Chicago and New Orleans for research and discovered that cocktail enthusiasts were trending on small spaces that serve delicious drinks. Applying simplistic innovation like a touch of salt added to a cocktail (and we’re not referring to an over-sized, salt-rimmed margarita) can really bring out groundbreaking flavors. “Our mission is delusions of grandeur,” Schmidt said. “Innovation is ingredients and process. It’s the minute details.” For the holidays, Schmidt proposes “any cocktail with winter spices or Angostura bitters.” The aromatics, cinnamon and cloves can turn a classic whiskey sour into a wintertime dream. Noble Experiment requires reservations, so if you plan to host your next party there (because we think it would be a stunning place for a soiree), book it now!

Colin MacLaggan and Yohei Kitazawa of Ave 5

AVE 5 2760 5th Avenue #100, San Diego, CA 92103 619-542-0394 | The avant-garde art is really what makes Ave 5 come alive. Hammered metal walls, spherical, caged chandeliers and a graffitied interior are just a few of the artistic elements adding to the energy at six-year-old Ave 5. Co-proprietors Colin MacLaggan and Yohei (aka Yo) Kitazawa have merged their very different roots: MacLaggan was classically trained in cooking and Kitazawa was classically trained in art in Kyoto, Japan. Kitazawa believes that food and art go hand and hand, and you can see that union coming to life throughout the space. MacLaggan advocates using your imagination, creating something cool and different – just like the artists he showcases in his eatery. Ave 5 utilizes modern techniques to refine the way people eat, drink and progress in the culinary community. Their innovative cocktails are made with personality and fresh ingredients – sometimes from the bartenders’ back yards. After sampling four radically delicious cocktails, including a pear and lemongrass-infused Prosecco cocktail, a whiskey cocktail with house-infused rose petal syrup and a to-die-for dirty martini with emulsified olive juice and blue cheese crumbles, our wintertime pick was the Cotton Candy Cuban. Imaginative Ave 5 even spins their own cotton candy, in-house, and uses it as a sweetener for this festive dark rum drink. The cotton candy dissolves as soon as the liquid is poured, but the fun factor is worth the novelty.



From avant-garde to … well, avant-garde, Ave 5 inhabits the space of former tranny hangout, Lips. Although there are no more shows or singing atop tables, MacLaggan has kept the spirit alive with art. He says that “decked-out trannies still come here for dinner to see what it’s been transformed into.” Who knows? You might get a show with your cocktail after all …



his piece is derived from my journal – a tattered pink notebook that used to say Thursday across the cover before all the letters faded off. I carry it with me and fill the pages with sights and smells, feelings and phrases, to save and stock-pile for future stories or letters yet to be sent. In late October, I committed myself to a juice cleanse, or a life cleanse as I now refer to it. I started prescribing advice and warnings of potential downfalls inside my notebook. It made the whole process feel greater, bigger. For five days, I had nothing but water and six juices a day from sun up to sundown. I wrote it all down: the good parts and the bad. I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. The information here is given to you via Suja juice and my own personal experience.

SUJA JUICE AND YOU: Suja Juices are made in San Diego from all organic fruits and vegetables. Their carefully crafted recipes are designed to keep you happy, healthy and hydrated during your cleansing journey. Created by founder Eric Ethans and co-founder Annie Lawless, who have both dedicated their life and passion to helping others live a healthy life, Suja Juices are the freshest juices on the market. They are 100 percent certifi ed organic and packed full of nutrients. The genius of Suja Juice is in the science. When they say, “fresh pressed,” they really mean it. Their juices are cold-pressed through a hydraulic press. This ensures that all of your nutrients and enzymes stay in tact and are delivered to you through their beautifully bottled juices. Then, to extend the freshness and shelf life of the juices, they undergo an HPP (High Hydrostatic Pressure Processing) method, which means that immediately after the juices are pressed, they take an ice bath and pressure is applied to remove all oxygen and pathogens so the juices stay tasty! Suja juice is using the perfect combination of nature and science to get you the best product available today. Stores like Whole Foods carry Suja juices. You can also place orders online, and they will ship to your doorstep, anywhere in the country!

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PRE-CLEANSE: Listen to your body during this experience. You may need to tailor these instructions to better suit your particular lifestyle. I recommend, two days before you cleanse, to narrow your diet down to fresh fruits and vegetables. Cut out all alcohol, excess salts, refined sugars, white breads and processed foods. If this alone seems like a shock to your system, then give yourself a week to start adjusting to this new way of eating, and start by cutting back one thing at a time. Ease your body into this adventure. The idea of a cleanse extends far beyond the three or five days you have committed. Cleansing is an opportunity to give your body and digestive track a rest. Think of it as spring-cleaning for your insides. There are so many beneficial side effects like weight loss, brighter skin, better digestion and more energy. Suja Juice wants to help you realign your relationship to food and nutrition through a healthy lifestyle.

MEET MY SUJA CLEANSE JUICES: Suja makes eleven juice flavors, and these are the six flavors included in my five-day cleanse. Each bottle is 16 ounces of pure deliciousness and nutrition and the entire week-long cleanse package is $270.

#1 GLOW is a hearty green color made of green apple, cucumber, celery, collard, spinach, kale and mint. It’s tasty and refreshing. #2 FUEL is made of carrot, apple, pineapple, orange, lemon and turmeric.

#3 PURIFY is made of carrot, apple, celery, cucumber, lemon and beets. #4 SPARK is made of water, strawberry, lemon, raspberry, honey, tart cherry, cayenne and stevia. This one seemed the strangest to me at first, but by the end of the week, it was my jam. I looked forward to it all day. #5 GREEN SUPREME is made of apple, kale and lemon.

#6 VANILLA CLOUD contains almond milk, coconut milk, vanilla bean, honey and filtered water.





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DAY ONE: I stayed in bed far longer today than I normally would have without the prospect of my ritual cup of coffee and poached eggs over toast. I have to admit I feel intimidated about starting the cleanse, but also really excited. I have a few extra pounds that I would like to say goodbye to. I am still fighting a bit of a head cold and nothing is working to kick it, so this is either a really good or really bad idea to start cleansing today. To alkalize my body on the fi rst day, as suggested by Suja, I prepared myself a glass of warm water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and lemon, which must be an acquired taste. I washed the dishes to try and buy some time. Ten minutes went by. I was hungry. I was really hungry. I went ahead and drank my fi rst juice. The juices are all labeled one through six, and as the day passes, you move from one number to the next. My first juice is a gorgeous green color that might scare some people off, but do not let it. It is refreshing and delicious. I spent this first day oscillating between real hunger and enthusiasm over this adventure. They say hunger is normal the first day or so but that my body will adjust. I’m waiting for that adjustment. I feel more tired than usual and a bit foggy like I can’t really think straight. I am made very aware that this will be a test of my will power more than anything else. I want this. Today, I weigh in at 132 pounds.

DAY TWO: The head cold I had is a distant memory. I can’t believe that just one day of juices took care of it. I feel so much better! On another note, I didn’t stay busy enough yesterday. I left too much time in the day to obsess over eating. My first recommendation would be to stay busy, not necessarily active, but busy. Watch a movie, read a book, go for a walk, take up knitting. Today, I went down to the beach, because October decided it wanted to belong to summer as well. I packed #2 and #3 juices in a cooler bag with ice packs and went swimming in the ocean. I needed to be shocked awake, because I felt like I had been stuck in a fog since I started the cleanse. As far as the taste of the juices, I think #2 is my favorite. I love carrot juice. I was running all over the beach and swimming in the waves. This high was short lived though, and I downed #3 less than two hours later. Delicious. In the evening, I hung out with my girlfriends while they sipped wine and made cookies. This was the hardest time so far. Just say no. It seems like the hardest part is breaking the habit of eating. I don’t think I am actually hungry.

DAY THREE: Day three was a high point. If I had to title the day I would call it acceptance. I had so much energy. I woke up and was thrilled to drink my juice. I think my taste buds are more sensitive and maybe stronger if that’s even possible? Everything is more delicious. I think my body is adjusting, and I decided I would try some exercise. I went to yoga; a

non-heated class for 45 minutes rather than my usual heated hour-long class. I felt great. I did get light headed from time to time, but I just paced myself and listened to my body. I recommend that if you are going to exercise during the cleanse, you must remember you are only consuming 1200 calories a day. Do a subdued version of your usual workout and only if you feel up to the task. Do not push your body. This is all about listening to how you feel. I can also tell today that I am loosing weight. I don’t have a lot of weight to lose, maybe 5 or so vanity pounds, but those are falling off as the days pass by. I also decided to clean out my house today. I figured that if I am cleaning out my body I should do the same to my surroundings. Today I was really feeling the whole spirit of the cleanse. Today, I weighed in at 129 pounds.


DAY FOUR: I miss coffee. I really truly miss coffee, and I think that just proves that my body had grown accustomed, or addicted, to my caffeine intake. I am going to try and extend my coffee hiatus until after the cleanse. I don’t know how long but I feel pretty inspired by this whole thing to clean out my whole life. Today was rough. I was super moody all day. I found myself more than once wanting to throw a fit and literally wondering what life was all about. I really wasn’t anticipating an emotional response to the cleanse, but here I am. I should be locked away until this whole thing is over. Do not let my frank honesty about the hard times deter you. It takes will power and a strong desire for a certain quality of life to see this through, but I believe it is worth it. I can tell my energy levels are affected. It is a new and a very clean energy that feels much different from my usual caffeine fueled state. Also, my skin looks amazing. I have had several people tell me today that I am glowing. Most of the time I don’t feel hungry, but I still have the desire for certain foods. I think it’s more of a social thing. Eating is a very social aspect of our culture and breaking out of that has proved to be the hardest part. I have made a new board on Pinterest and pinned about a million and five recipes for when I am done with this. I will never take food for granted again.

is what’s going on, but I feel totally normal today. I feel like I am functioning at the right level again. My body and brain have met back up in the middle and are ready to see this through. It also helps that I kept super busy today. I didn’t throw any fits. I didn’t obsess over food. I didn’t even feel hungry. I honestly feel like I could keep on going. I am, of course, looking forward to eating again. I have lost seven pounds. I feel great. I am sleeping a bit lighter, but when I wake up I feel well rested and pop out of bed far earlier than I would have before. I refuse to go back to eating anything other than just what my body needs. I see no reason to go above and beyond with heavy meals and “bad” foods. I am seriously dedicated to staying on this path. I think other than my waistline, the most affected part of me is my will power. I am so proud of myself for seeing this through. It’s been hard but I look and feel better than I have in so long. Today, I weighed in at 125.

POST-CLEANSE: The day after I completed the cleansing program there were no trumpets blowing, no great feasts to be had, no one hugging me at the finish line. It’s just me. I am still me. I am the only one who was ever being held accountable. On the other side of this journey, I feel accomplished. I have no desire to go rushing to the refrigerator. I read that easing back into food is just as important as the cleanse itself. You do not want to shock your body on reentry. I started with a fruit bowl for breakfast, a kale, apple, and celery juice for lunch, and for dinner, I had some brown rice and steamed veggies. The Pinterest recipes? Maybe there will be a time and a place for those, but for now, I am sticking to extremely basic foods. The size of my stomach has shrunk, so I have to be careful not to eat too much. Everything tastes better than I remember. My relationship to food has been forever altered. I think that was the whole point. I feel refreshed and rejuvenated. I feel thankful.

I whole-heartedly endorse this product and this experience. Yes, weight loss is often a side effect of a cleanse, but it is not the whole point. The experience tested my will power, my focus and my relationship with myself. I feel great, but it was hard work.


WHERE YOU CAN GET SUJA JUICES JIMBO’S Locations in Escondido, Carlsbad, Carmel Valley, and 4S Ranch



I don’t know if it’s because the end is near or that my body has fi nally realized that this Locations all over San Diego

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San Diego’s fashion lifeline runs directly through creative powerhouse Michael Lee McGriff. He is the founder and co-owner of A Style Concierge, a lively and highly-rated salon and boutique downtown on 5th street. If you want in on San Diego’s fashion scene, he’s the man to know. McGriff is an eccentric, stylish, tattooed, 43-year-old Robert Downey Jr. look-alike. And yes ladies, he’s single. Donned in black Dickies, chucks, a striped tank, a fedora, jewelry galore and a prominent turquoise “Ohm” necklace, McGriff sat down with LOCALE at the Mexican joint, Funky Garcias, to talk life and fashion. The self-touted style setter exuded a friendly, self-assured sense of confi dence, even when talking about being eight-years sober after “hitting rock bottom,” and how his whole life has been a blind leap of faith.

Q: You wear many, many hats. Can you name a few?

MICHAEL LEE MCGRIFF: I am the coowner and founder of A Style Concierge (ASC), a photographer, producer of fashion events, MC, stylist, business and marketing consultant, and much, much more. Q: How’d you get into the hair business? MLM: I was working for Cox for 20 years, and I took a hard look at my life. I decided to go out and create opportunities for myself. A lot of my friends already looked up to me for style. At first, I sucked at doing hair, but it didn’t stop my determination. I knew I’d do whatever it took to become the great hairstylist I wanted to become.

Q: How did ASC start up? MLM: I graduated from California Hair Design Academy in 2007, came out of school and realized all these hairstylists are wannabe rock stars. The business model for the first building my salon was in came from a school project. It started with two chairs, it looked like shit, but I saw past all that. I gave up everything for the business. I learned a lot about myself. I was comfortable being uncomfortable. That’s how I define success.

Q: What is the hardest part about running your own business?

MLM: Personnel. It’s like adopting kids as teenagers. Leadership is the biggest challenge. You’re trying to carry on something that represents a history, it represents something bigger than any individual.

Q: How much time do you spend in the salon? MLM: I enjoy it, being at the salon every day is cool for me. If I’m caught outside my salon, I guarantee there’s ten conversations that happen before I can get back to work, which I don’t mind, because I love people and I love interacting. I absolutely do not look for a vacation. The last time I went on a legitimate vacation, non-business related was in 2008. I went to Milan, Venice , Rome and Paris.

Q: You set up shop in a new building off 5th last year. After the building fell out of escrow, what motivated you to keep pursuing something that everyone thought was impossible? MLM: I never lost hope. You can’t doubt me. I’ve done more in the last four and a half years with nothing than I ever did before, when I thought I had everything. I literally had nothing. I lost my house, but I was comfortable losing it. I was a squatter for two years. That’s a story of endurance, of ‘where there’s a will there’s a way.’ I kinda of feel like I birthed a kid with this salon. Giving up wasn’t an option.

Q: What do you love most about being a stylist? MLM: When I wanted to become a hairstylist,

I knew, I was confident that once someone came and sat in my chair that in an hour or two they were going to feel so much better about themselves because of what I’d created for them.

Q: Why do you think ASC has maintained a 5-star Yelp rating? MLM: It started guerilla style where we were on the streets five or six nights a week just to push our brand. We created trends. We started doing hairstyling and makeup in nightclubs and hotels as entertainment. We were busy. Our brand is hair, fashion and lifestyle. We know San Diego’s lifestyle and we will introduce you to that, get you styled and immerse you. I make it a part of my business to get to know the community, and I support San Diego. I’ve been here all my life.

Q: What are some of the more memorable things you’ve done over the course of your fashion career? MLM: No one would ever really care, but at 40 years old, I created the first 5-day swimwear fashion event. In 2010, I went for the world record for the bikini parade … we had 200 something girls walk 5th avenue in bikinis, from grandma’s to grandkids. In 2011, I created the world’s first fashion tour, at least to my knowledge. I’m confident that I can make shit happen, and I don’t beat myself up when it doesn’t work.

Q: What achievements are you most proud of from this year? MLM: Just this year alone has been crazy, because I’ve met with new start-ups for shoe design, clothing design, boutique owners, photographers, models, talent management companies … I’ve gained some credibility and experience to support concepts. A lot of people have reached out to me. I think people see that I have this creative stuff that’s going on besides the business, and I run my mouth all the time. I can do interior design, too; I designed ASC’s space. Q: Shortly after opening ASC in 2008,

things that I’ve done over the past few years that allow me to really compose a photo in my own way, in a style that I like.

Q: How would you describe fashion? MLM: For me? Eclectic and - what I think a lot of people are nowadays - thrift. Maybe a little bit more confident than your common person. I remember shopping at a thrift store and finding a Christian Dior suit, a $1600 suit. The guy that let that thing go was a size 56 waist. I fit in one leg, but I bought that $14.95 suit and spent $90 to get it tailored. It fit me perfectly. First time I wore it I got all kinds of compliments. But I’m not really a suit guy, I love chucks and Dickies. I like to mix and match. The thing that catches my eye is the way people combo things.

Q: Where’s your favorite place to shop in SD? MLM: The swap meet. Make a day out of it. The most compliments on the fashion that I have, comes from people’s old stuff. My favorite shirt for men is a snap-button western.

Q: What’s the biggest fashion faux pas you see around town?

MLM: Tight dresses on the wrong bodies. Q: With the holidays coming up, what’s the one piece of style advice you have for locals? MLM: A really cool, eclectic, chic jacket. Q: Favorite lesser known eatery in SD? MLM: I like the Neighborhood for its uniqueness. Q: I heard you are also affi liated with Blind Eye Productions? MLM: The name “Blind Eye” came from my blind eye. It’s a random connection of three dudes that met at events that I was producing at Hotel Palomar. There’s a photographer, the other one’s a videographer and I was like, ‘we should do shit together.’ We started Modeling Monday’s this year … we offer ourselves as a full production company. I can do fashion production, they can do photo and video. We never set up a business model, so all of us still kinda’ work independently.

there was one month in which you quit your job at Cox, went blind in your left eye, fi led for bankruptcy and almost lost your salon. How’d you make it through? MLM: I never doubted my faith. I felt like I could do anything after being sober for a year. I had clarity because of my faith and sobriety.

Q: What do you do for fun when you’re not at the salon? MLM: I think we should all do things that are strictly for fun. For me, one is golf and another is playing poker. I suck at both.

Q: What led you to start venturing into the realm of photography? MLM: I dropped a video camera in the pool at one of my events. This was like the third or fourth video camera I’ve had in the last three years … I’m bad with electronics. My business partner had an extra camera, so I tried to learn from other photographers. I just kept pressing the button. I think it’s the association with the hair, the makeup, the styling, and all those

think because I don’t think about money, I’ve been given the most unique opportunities to go do things that money can’t buy.

Q: Does money make the world go round? MLM: I don’t even think about money. And I

A STYLE CONCIERGE inside Dolcetti Boutique 635 5th Avenue San Diego, CA 92101

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! THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID An irreverent retail column loosely based on real life experiences


his all starts with a party thrown by someone’s cousin’s ex on 29th Street in Newport. My sister and I drove up to partake in the vices, beer pong and drunk Gangnam dancing that promised to be there. Night gave way to morning and we found ourselves waking up in a pile of hungover bodies on a living room couch. Pride, class and keys were all no where to be found. How would we get home to San Diego now? We catch a ride with another party goer whose heading to the train station in Irvine to make his morning commute. We hop on the train bound South by Southwest to San Diego. Thirty minutes into our ride, all that PBR we drank last night is starting to protest. We stumble off at Solana Beach and find a friendly pair of conveniently half-dressed surfers in a Tacoma (not surprising) to give us a lift down to Encinitas with them. We tell them to drop us off at Swirl, a boutique whose sister store in San Clemente was one of the main reasons we couldn’t make rent last month. We get dropped off, free from the truck that had turned into a hotbox for surf wax stench and Pacific Ocean brine.

STOP 1 SWIRL 119-D N. El Camino Real | Encinitas, CA 92024 760-753-0870 Entering the doors of Swirl instantly revives us. Jeffrey Cambell shoes, scattered Chaser tees donning rock gods in vintage washes, and a new shipment of Mink Pink pieces stare back at us like misty-eyed, three-legged puppies in a Sarah McLachlan pet adoption commercial. They need a home, someone to love them. The store is a great size, comfortably stocked with everything from the essential basics needed for any outfit (an in house line by Swirl made completely of organic cotton), to a killer denim section featuring Level 99 and Tag Denim, to wearable trends for day, and fabulous dresses for the impending barrage of holiday parties. Swirl’s jewelry section is comprised of stylish numbers made by local San Diego and Orange County artists and jewelers. The store’s prices, styles, and sizes really do have something for everyone.

With three new bags of clothing and no surfers on hand to chauffeur us to our next credit score degradation, we make our way down PCH on foot back towards the Solana train stop. One stolen Razor scooter and a crying child later, we’re making faster ground. Amy Googles more boutiques nearby and finds us the perfect second retail stop. STOP 2


143 South Cedros Avenue | Solana Beach, CA 92075 858-792-0882 | Pink Lagoon is not just some mangy, run of the mill boutique - one where arrogant, flat chested, amateur teen models run the store like evil flying monkeys for an unseen Wizard of OZ manager. This place is the ultimate boutique. Everyone who works here has a background in fashion styling. Why? The store is unique in its personal styling and wardrobe consultation services. Owner Jenny Levitz has even trademarked a term for exactly what Pink Lagoon is: a “Wardrobe and Styling Boutique.” Levitz is a brilliant mind. She gets it. Her philosophy, which she tries to Yoda into her store clientele, is that clothing should be classic and breathtaking, not necessarily trendy. She preaches a wardrobe that is centered on basics and essentials, with the perfect mix-in of fun, unique pieces. This is also what her boutique’s selection is based on. And if you need help doing the same with your own closet, you can arrange a free consultation with one of the stylists at your home, and then pick any number of price point packages with them to help you edit, organize, and style your wardrobe.

We make an appointment with one of the Pink Lagoon stylists for a wardrobe editing session later that week and return to the Amtrak pickup to catch the next train to San Diego. | Holiday 2012 Issue | 79

The Amtrak lets us out at the Santa Fe Depot downtown. After an Instagram session against the quaint tile walls (Amy is determined to make the popular page before she dies young from living too fast), we take to Broadway street. A couple blocks down we hang a right on 8th Avenue. It’s noon, which means we’ve gone almost six hours without booze or any semblance of food (unless cigarettes count as carbs?). Day drinking calls yet again, so we head to Neighborhood, a great corner gastropub where we can throw back a beer and eat a burger while we confess our sins from last night’s soiree to the Lord (confessions to Neighborhood’s Jesus cutout counts, right?). STOP 3


NEIGHBORHOOD 777 G Street | San Diego, CA 92101 619-446-0002 | Neighborhood is fabulous. It feels like Brooklyn and Sunday Mass all at once. They carry cocktails on tap. An ostrich head passes as wall decor next to a giant painting of what looks like “the most interesting man in the world” eating a burger. The menu offers classic Americana grub, and boasts a selection of 27 craft microbrews on tap. Did I mention the house-made cocktails on tap? They were concocted specially by Anthony Schmidt of Noble Experiment for Neighborhood. After refueling on carbs (our personal trainer is going to go Bobby Brown Chris Brown on us for that binge-fest) we’re back to the streets.


635 5th Ave, San Diego CA 92101 619-237-4413 | Next stop was Dolcetti. Brick walls are contrasted by modern fixtures and decor. Over all the place has an edgy, sexy, trendy feel. If you’re looking for the latest

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trend, it can probably be found here. Studs, sequins, amazing floral and tribal patterns, sheer everything, and brilliant colors - it’s all here. Plus handbags and accessories galore. Prices are versatile, with everything from a $5 ring to a $300 dress. If your roots are giving Britney Spears’ a run for their money, check out A Style Concierge, the salon conveniently located upstairs.



631 5th Avenue | San Diego, CA 92101 619-450-6303 | Last stop: Goorin Bros. This hat shop is stocked with only American handmade headwear from the Goorin brand line. It’s also stocked with American made men donning well groomed facial hair and well fitting trousers. Jen flirts with the flannel-clad, bearded manager. He smells like whiskey, wood chips, and a 20% employee discount. On top of scoring a great wide brimmed hat we also leave with two accessories for our New Year’s Eve night out named John and Willy.


We pay a homeless man two dollars and a pack of Altoids to convey our bags of goods back to the train station. Ten minutes later we arrive at the station with a complete understanding of the conspiracy behind Area 51 and bags that smell like a urinal. But we make the train and we’re heading back to Newport to scour 29th street for our lost keys. Wish us luck.

A One-Stop Shop for on-trend pieces at affordable prices. New pieces weekly!

7456 Girard Ave. La Jolla, CA 92037 858.459.0208



PrepKitchen 1660 India Street San Diego, CA 92101








elloooo, San Diego! It’s good to be here! By now, you’ve thumbed through our ďŹ rst issue of LOCALE San Diego and probably discovered something big: we believe supporting local business is cool. Shopping and eating local means you

no longer have to battle the big prices and parking lots, all while getting to know a lot of business owners who are just livin’ the American dream. The San Diego area has miles of small-townish boutiques, diners and lounges. If you haven’t scoured the streets of SD carefully enough, you may have missed a few sweet spots that will have you quickly becoming a regular. There is a venue for any occasion, any mood and any celebration; all positioned just a short drive off the major highways and byways. So right now, get yourself ready for a local fashion show of sorts where we uncover the best spots to see and be seen, and what to wear along the way. This is Locale Looks. WRITTEN BY: HOLLY CLINARD PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ANTONIO PULLANO OF LOVINLIFE MULTIMEDIA HAIR & MAKEUP BY: BELLUS ACADEMY STYLIST: MEL FOX, FOLLOW HER @STYLESBYMELFOX Thank you to ZARZAR Models & Refresh Talent Agency for models provided



F E LI Z 1 $9,'$' Even though the bright San Diego sunshine may make you think otherwise, the holidays are here! It’s time for shopping, celebrating and for letting your great Aunt Jo squeeze you a little bit longer than you’re comfy with. But more than that, it’s time to get out of the house and catch up with old friends and really have some fun. If you have friends or family in town and are lookin’ for a spot to show off, you’ll no doubt want to parade them around the musthave Mexican street food at Puesto. Bold colors, floor to ceiling paintings, and aromas of the best homemade tortillas in all of La Jolla greet diners at the door. This self-proclaimed “Mexico City Taco Stand” has something for every south-of-the-border food lover. An upscale, yet fast, casual eatery, Puesto serves up some good grub. From their fresh salsas, to their all-natural chicken al pastor, carne asada, pork, and sustainable seafood of shrimp and salmon, Puesto has a menu full of options. Even the veggie-lover in the group can get a full plate of yum here—with delish potato soy chorizo tacos and zucchini and cactus, too. If you’re starting out your New Year’s resolution diet early, Puesto has some healthier options in salads and bowls that’ll make your mouth water. All are scrumptious creations from Mexico City native and Executive Chef Luis Gonzalez. Chef Gonzalez’s cooking roots and recipes run deep. The son of a fisherman and the grandson of a true Mexican cook, Luis prepared his very first dinner for a Quincinera party in Mexico City back in the day. From catering as a young chef, to beginning a career in San Diego, Chef Gonzalez now runs the tasty show at Puesto, serving hundreds of locals since its brick and mortar start. Puesto is also special because it’s a family-owned and operated biz, under the care of native San Diegans, Eric and Alan Adler and Isi Lombrozo. The team has customers hooked on a taco fix, always coming back for more. Since a splash of color is all the rage this holiday season—in both the food you eat and the threads you sport—make sure La Jolla’s RICA Boutique is dressing you up! Skinny jeans, colored denim, bright blazers and shoes, shoes, shoes are just a few of the style gems found here in this corner store. Maybe another one of the reasons why RICA is so darned loveable is because a giant pink heart logo is the first thing you see when you spot this shop. Owner and fashion expert Erica Alexander is no stranger to La Jolla. She grew up here in the beautiful city. After living in Los Angeles for 10 years working with top costume designers and stylists in Hollywood, Alexander took a risk and moved back home to open RICA. Girard Avenue is a coveted shopping ‘hood’ in La Jolla, so when the storefront was up for lease this year, she snagged the opportunity in a heartbeat! Now RICA is grow, grow, growing with its "top trends at affordable prices" philosophy. Erica buys smart for the store—she takes inspiration from fashion blogs, mags, street style and top trends on the New York runways. Step into this light and breezy boutique, and you’ll find racks of adorable on-trend dresses, sweaters, studdedcollar blouses and jackets that are perfect for the cooler months ahead of us. The accessory list is long at RICA, with gorgeous metal statement necklaces, dazzling bracelets, and comfy, colorful scarves. All of these accessories are easy on the budget and perfect for the holiday shopping list! Need a kick of sassy on your feet for all of those holiday parties on the calendar? RICA is your spot for that too, with their selection of shiny pumps, heels and more. Get ‘em while they’re hot and Feliz Navidad!


W E A R (Get these looks)

Puesto 1026 Wall Street, La Jolla, CA 92037

RICA Boutique 7456 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037

B R E AKI N G 7 +( ,&( So many great spots, so little time. The city is literally filled to the brim with new and exciting places to eat and sip and catch the eye of a cute local. And for that first conversation, that breaking-theice hangout, you want to be surrounded by liveliness, fun, and culinary goodness! That’s why we’re heading straight to Burlap in coastal Del Mar. Sister restaurant to the popular Searsucker hangout on 5th in San Diego; Burlap restaurant offers what they have nicknamed ‘Asian Cowboy cuisine.’ Say what?! I know. I had the very same reaction. But listen up for a bit, and I think you’ll be sold, as I was. The menu is basically a hybrid of local meat and seafood with a bold Asian flavor influence. Crazy, but it works. It might have something to do with the award-winning Bravo Top Chef finalist, Brian Malarkey, who is the celeb chef behind the scenes. Alongside hospitality entrepreneur James Brennan, Burlap is now a North County favorite. What’s awesome about Burlap is that the fresh seafood they serve up is caught in local Southern California waters, and their local craft beer selection ain’t too bad either! The menu here is creatively divided up into simple categories, featuring their famous meats: Land, Ocean, Rotisserie, Raw, Bowl, Stick, and Ours – all are delicious choices for any foodie. And speaking of creative, the decor in this restaurant space is like nothing you’ve ever seen! Chinese lion dancer headpieces gaze over the indoor bar guests, bamboo chairs mark the dining room, and the koi pond cabana awaits guests on the outdoor jungle-like patio. So. Much. Fun. Sunday brunch, nightly dinner, lunch and a killer happy hour near the fire pits make this one great spot to dine. So get out of your routine, head out to break the ice with some new neighbors, and enjoy the playful side of Del Mar where the “West Eats Meat.”

WHERE? Burlap 12995 El Camino Real #21 Del Mar, CA 92130

W E A R (Get these looks) Azzaria Boutique and Denim Lounge 2021 San Elijo Avenue Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007

Just off San Elijo Avenue in a little picturesque surfing town called Cardiff-by-the-Sea, lives a must-shop boutique called Azzaria Boutique and Denim Lounge. Originally launched and loved-on in April 2009, owner and LA native, Tammy Neihart, is an expert with what she sells here. The 1200-square-foot Azzaria boutique is jam packed with trendy styles, and a crazycool denim lounge, too. Yes, a denim lounge. Need we say more? Well, we will! After Azzaria’s grand opening, Neihart was offered the next-door location for expanding, and she worked hard to make it quality. The vacancy soon transformed into the number one destination for the hottest denim for all sexes, sizes and shapes. With some help from true denim guru, Laura Fairchild of Fairchild Consulting, Azzaria Denim Lounge cracked opened its blue-jean doors in June 2009. Over 15 premium denim lines are folded up and stacked neatly on the shelves here, and Azzaria’s stylists (aka denim bartenders) are ready to measure and match you with the perfect pair. This hip spot for fashion flaunts favorite denim designers: 7 For all Mankind, Bill Adler, Citizens Of Humanity, Genetic, Paige and Joe’s for men and women. Guys, don’t be shy when it comes to shopping at Azzaria, flat screen TVs in the dressing rooms and refreshments will have you feeling relaxed during your shopping experience! Yep, Azzaria treats their customers with complimentary drinks and celebrity styling tips, on the house. It’s this VIP treatment, excelling customer service and brands like House of Harlow, Ella Moss, Bread and Butter, Diane Von Furstenberg and more that will keep you coming back to Azzaria for more.

WHERE? Vin de Syrah Spirit and Wine Parlor 901 5th Avenue San Diego, CA 92101

W E A R (Get these looks) Blended Industries 1025 Prospect Street, Suite 220, La Jolla, CA 92037

A VERY ,03257$17 '$7( You love wine. You love each other. Then, clearly, you love La Jolla. It is the perfect place for this very important date! And if you’re in the mood for adding a few items to your new date wardrobe, while sipping a chilled glass of wine, Blended Industries is just what the doctor ordered. This is a shopping experience like you’ve never had before. We promise. La Jolla’s Summer Elizabeth Boutique and Kovacs Brothers Wine Bar have come together as La Jolla’s perfect pair to create California’s only men’s and women’s clothing boutique and wine bar! Blended Industries stays open late (the only openlate boutique around), so you can sip and shop at all hours of the day and night. Pretty fantastic, right? The grand re-opening of these once-solo shops was in August 2012, and boy was it a hit! Fans of the shop celebrated winemaker Jesse Kovacs (you may recognize his cute mug from The Bachelorette), and his girlfriend, personal stylist Summer Albertsen of Summer Elizabeth boutique. The two have started what is the next “big thing,” to sip and shop and shop some more. The couple can be spotted in the Blended storefront often, taking good care of their guests and local shoppers. Now, we’ve all heard our guys say that they would enjoy shopping together more, if they only had something to do, right? Like a TV to watch, an adult beverage to enjoy—something to keep their spinning minds occupied while they wait for the “how do I look?” Blended has arrived. Head in on a Wednesday for their famous “Wine Wednesdays” and get half off bottles and glasses and 10 percent off boutique purchases! So amazing. Guys, pick up a glass of Kovacs Brothers wine, or any of the other top-notch selections from Monterey County, and while you enjoy the aromas your lady love can shop. This may be the cure-all to all couple quarrels; but, we’re still testing that one out. Gals, shop ‘til your heart’s content amongst designer threads from BCBG, True Religion, Parker, J. Brand, Henry & Belle, and the list goes on. If your man’s not the shopper type (or he’s just having way too much fun with the wine tasting), pick out the latest trends for him from The Original Penguin, Hudson and House of Howe. So much to shop, so much to sip—now this is our idea of a date!

One outfit (or four!), and a few tastings later, head to the corner of 5th and E in San Diego’s famous Gaslamp District. Make your way to the lower level of the Gaslamp Plaza Suites Hotel, and there you’ll find yourself in a new world: the world of wine parlor. Now, this is no ordinary wine parlor—Vin De Syrah Spirit and Wine Parlor is right out of the eclectic lounges of NYC, combined with the atmosphere of turn-of-the-century Paris. The style in here is simply unbelievable, and you have to see it to believe it. Once you find the secret spot, that is. Follow the white rabbit and head down the windy stairs, then follow the signs and Syrah becomes an underground haven of greenery and vino. Plants, moss, grass - everywhere you look you’re surrounded by tropical flowers, green teapots, suspended wine glasses and umbrellas overhead. A real-life Alice in Wonderland awaits you, along with a really decadent wine and cheese list. Vin De Syrah has to have the most beautiful furniture I’ve ever seen in a wine room—all thanks to venue designer extraordinaire, Michael Soriano. Maybe that’s what makes it a “parlor” instead of your run-of-themill wine bar, eh, Mr. Soriano? The velvet armchairs, cushy couches, up lighting, all whisper, “stay!” Owners Matt Spencer and Tyler Charman (also part owners of San Diego’s Analog and Firehouse restaurants) and David Cohn of successful Cohn Restaurant Group had just that vision in mind when they launched. What these guys also had in mind was to give Gaslamp District visitors a boutique wine and spirit spot that was anything but wine-snob conducive. Wait staff here are more than happy to school you on wine or just bring you their favorite selection of the week. Whether it’s kicking back during Syrah’s happy hour or putting on your dancing shoes for the busy nightclub vibe that begins at 11pm sharp on Fridays and Saturdays, there’s something for everyone! A stellar selection of imported and domestic wines and champagne top the charts at Vin de Syrah, as well as the mad-hatter list of specialty cocktails. Try the “A Clockwork Orange,” “Vice Roy” or even the “Prince Edward” and you’ll be back at the bar, asking that cute bartender for another round! Inside the crazy-long wine and cocktail list, choose from amazing martinis, draft beer and a tempting list of cheeses and desserts to complete the meal. Order up a Blend Board of meats, cheeses and veggies, or share a tasty artisanal grilled cheese. The paninis here pair well with the wine list, using cheeses like Humboldt Fog goat’s milk cheese, Cajun cheddar and fresh mozzarella. Yum in your wino tum! The sweet Ports or other bite-sized desserts are bound to finish your date night off right—no time to say hello, goodbye, a very important date.

H OM E $ /21 ( After a week of driving the kiddos to football practice, dance class, surf lessons, you name it—it’s time for a little break for you moms and dads out there. Since you have earned yourselves some good old R n’ R, we here at LOCALE are ordering you (yes, YOU!) to leave the kids at home and get out and enjoy your surroundings. After all, you are living in of one of the most envied cities in all of the US. Why not take advantage of it and give those kids some home alone time. They can handle it, right? And if they can’t, they’ll call you. Put your fancies on, and head on down to Little Italy’s PrepKitchen. Voted “Best New Restaurant” in more than one San Diego publication, PrepKitchen is a must when you’re in the neighborhood. Dawning from what first started in 2008 as a simple partnership between Chefs Ryan Johnston and Arturo Kassel, year after year grew to what’s now known as Whisknladle Hospitality. Good food, good wine and great people is the makeup of this group, and it doesn’t stop with this one location, oh no, no! PrepKitchen Del Mar and PrepKitchen La Jolla along with Wall Street’s Whisknladle are all in the family of this unbeatable food community. Since PrepKitchen (aka “PK”) opened its doors, it’s been known to locals as the prototypical spot for serving great seasonal, sustainable comfort food— made from scratch, farm-to-table. The super relaxed vibe in PrepKitchen— branches of twinkle lights, aluminum chairs, simple, warm and rustic wall décor—will have you kicking back and enjoying the hustle and bustle that surrounds you. Butternut squash ravioli, porter braised beef, and the burger are at the top of the list of must-haves on the menu. And the happy hour here is what you won’t want to miss: spend your after-work hours and even late-night happy hour munching on PK’s mouth-watering tapas, while ordering yourself a glass of their world-famous sangria. Cheers to you!

Finding out just how to articulate your style can be a challenge. You can shop, shop, shop, but sometimes finding the right threads can be a frustrating if you don’t know what you’re after. Well, when you are in need of some real retail therapy, hit up Little Italy’s Vocabulary Boutique. Apparel for women, men and baby, as well as home decor and art, you’ll find an item for each and every occasion (and finish off your Christmas list shopping while you’re at it). Owner Cecelia Church is an expert when it comes to fashion and style. Get ready for a helping of outstanding customer care when you step foot into Vocabulary. Cecelia has been styling SD for a whopping 10+ years. She got her start in costume and prop styling in live theater, and moved to styling homes, commercial businesses and big-time events. When Ms. Church decided to chase her childhood dreams of actually styling people, she took off to open Vocabulary Boutique, and has never looked back. Along with Cecelia, the trained stylists here will dress you up and down and help you articulate your own personal style vocabulary. Whether it’s classic or playful, eclectic or chic, this place is in full bloom of style for all. And don’t expect Vocabulary to mess with your budget either. Most of their accessories are $40 and under, and the lovely and oh-so feminine selection of blouses, skirts, skinnies and dresses won’t break the bank either. Think Anthro style (without the price) and you have Vocabulary. Vocabulary also keeps the guys in mind with every trendsetter button-up and tee on his wishlist. After you’ve stocked up on new clothes for your big night out, make sure to keep an eye on the sweet stationery or collection of candles and other home decor here. I love this shopping spot, because it isn’t at all overwhelming or packed with items when you walk in—only the cream of the crop are selected to make a home on this store’s shelves, and there’s plenty of room to meander and browse. In most cases, it makes it easier to spot that something special you know will really fit into your home or wardrobe. So skip down the street before you escape on your date, and snag the best in boutique fashion of Little Italy.

WHERE? PrepKitchen 1660 India Street San Diego, CA 92101

W E A R (Get these looks) Vocabulary Boutique 414 West Cedar Street San Diego, CA 92101


Step into Robina's for a unique and exciting fashion experience, contemporary fashion mixed with timeless classics spun around a west coast vibe. 1261 PROSPECT ST, SUITE 1 LA JOLLA, CA 92037 (858) 454-2964 ROBINAAPPAREL@AOL.COM


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Je eff Barn nett Ag ge: e: 3 1 Q: First movie/show you worked on? JEFF BARNETT: “Brat Patrol” by Walt Disney at age five. Q: First stunt you performed? JB: It was for “Simon and Simon.” At age five I was hanging off the Santa Monica Pier.

Q: What movies and shows have we seen your stunts on? JB: TV shows: 90210, Gossip Girl, True Blood, Hawaii Five-0, CSI Miami/ New York, Las Vegas, Criminal Minds, Southland, NCSI Las Vegas, 24, Lost, ER. Movies- “Lone Ranger” (coming soon), “Chasing Mavericks” (coming soon), “The Campaign,” “American Reunion,” “Project X,” “Underworld: Awakening,” “Thor,” “Soul Surfer,” “Transformers,” “Step-Brothers,” “Tropic Thunder,” “Oceans 13,” “Blue Crush,” “Green Hornet” ... just to name a few. Q: What was the most dangerous stunt? JB: A Full Body Fire Burn jumping off the top of a Steam Boat into the Mississippi (I don’t know about the scariest but definitely the cheapest thrill).

Q: What famous actors have you been the fill-in for? JB: Gerard Butler, Scott Speedman come to mind. I’m sure there are plenty more out double the same guy so many times you just never keep track or follow up to get their info but you keep doubling them on tv/features. Cool how it works. Q: What is the most painful injury you’ve gotten, and how did you do it? JB: Never broken a bone, I settled for third degree burns from head to toe instead. Got rushed to the UCLA burn ward and was sidelined from the ocean and work for 3-6 months until the grafts healed. Pure hell. I feel for girls when they get flat iron burns now. How did I do it? That’s what happens when stunts go wrong. Ha. Q: Who would you love to work with? JB: I’ve worked with all my heroes so far.... Stiller, Brad Pitt, Clooney, Will Ferrel, Owen Wilson, Will Arnett, Julia Roberts, Johnny Depp, Vince Vaughn, Kate Beckinsale ... I think Robert Redford would be my pick for biggest legend as an actor/director I’d like to work with one day. Seems like a good ‘ol country boy with a “Cool Hand Luke” attitude. Genuine bad ass.


Michael H. Barnett Q: First movie/show you worked on? MICHAEL H. BARNETT: Baywatch Q: First stunt you performed? MHB: Flying through a glass window with a 10 foot highfall. Q: What movies and shows have we seen your stunts on? MHB: Baywatch, Bones, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” “Green Hornet,” “Click,” “Benchwarmers,” “Soul Surfer,” “Underworld Awakening,” Heroes, 90210, House MD, The Offi ce, Southland, CSI:NY, Numb3rs, etc.

Age: 25

LM: What was the most dangerous stunt? MHB: 50-foot backward high fall for Chuck Norris’ “Mountain Dew” commercial LM: What famous actor have you been the fill in for? MHB: Peter Gallagher LM: How many bones have you broken? What was the most painful and how did you do it? MHB: Nothing broken but banged up in the huge explosion on “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” LM: Who would you love to work with/for? MHB: Ben Stiller and Will Farrell

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Chr ris McL aughlin Ag ge: 3 5 Q: First movie/show you worked on? CHRIS MCLAUGHLIN: 90210 Q: First stunt you performed? CM: My first “legit” stunt was being tied to a wire and crane, then air blasted three stories up! Funny thing is that it hurt more being lowered than pulled. Go figure! Q: What movies and shows have we seen your stunts on? CM: 90210, 1000 Ways To Die, Jonas, “Graceland” to name a few. Q: What was the most dangerous stunt? CM: Ha! This is always a fun question. I’d say the time I had my head in a rolled up car window and having to run along side while the driver was pushing the peddle. Q: What famous actor have you been the fill in for? CM: Nick Jonas of the Jonas bros. Q: How many bones have you broken? CM: Knock on wood but I’m not saying. Don’t want to jinx anything. Q: What is the most painful injury you’ve had and how did you do it? CM: Recovering in general! Most of the time you are in shock and don’t really feel a thing. The next day are sore and aching in places you never knew existed! Q: Who would you love to work with/for? CM: I have had the opportunity to work with and for some pretty amazing people. Legends! I’m dying to work for one of the guys who say “they do their own stunts”. Just saying.











Publicist at Q&A Marketing Current City: Ocean Beach



MONDAY: I try (key word) to start everyday off at Sunset Cliffs Pilates. Not your typical Pilates studio as it also offers spin classes. The best class is a 1/2 hour spin followed by 1/2 hour reformer class. At night I head for Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas. The zebra popcorn (carmel popcorn drizzled with two types of chocolate) is my favorite treat. Pour milk duds into the pop corn - it's amazing! Sunset Cliffs Pilates, 619-224-3309, Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas, 858-794-4045,

CEO, McFarlane Promotions, Inc. Current City: Chula Vista MONDAY: After a crazy day of work I like to wander DOWNSTAIRS FROM MY OFl CE INTO Greystone the Steakhouse and enjoy appetizers and wine with my favorite bartender, Rob. Greystone the Steakhouse, 619-232-0225, TUESDAY: It’s Taco Tuesday! I grab up some of my senoritas for a girl’s night and head to Cafe Coyote in Old Town, where we'll enjoy tacos, margaritas and gossip. The best thing about Cafe Coyote is that they are constantly changing their taco of the week. One of my favorite tacos was the El Inferno Shrimp Taco with spicy diablo red sauce, topped with cabbage and sour cream – I like it spicy. Cafe Coyote Restaurant, 619-291-4695,


WEDNESDAY: The tennis courts located at Point Loma Nazarene University ARE A LOCAL GEM 4HEY OVERLOOK THE 0ACIl C

and are free to play on (although its hard to concentrate for the view). After working up an appetite, the Tom Yum Soup and Drunken Noodles at Rama are the way to go! Point Loma Nazarene, 619-849-2200 Rama, 619-501-8424

!FTER WE l LL UP ON DELICIOUS -EXICAN FOOD WE LIKE TO END THE night at O’Hungry’s for yard long beers. O’Hungry’s, 619-298-0133, WEDNESDAY: After work I meet up with my hubby and my four kids for a night of bowling and pub grub food at EastLake Tavern + Bowl [Fig. A]. It’s always fun teaching my kids how to bowl and its Kids Eat Free night so I can get two of our four kids meals for free. This is a great deal for parents and its fun for the whole family. One of these days I hope to bowl a turkey! EastLake Tavern + Bowl, 619-565-2695,

THURSDAY After working late, The 3rd Corner in Ocean Beach has the best late night menu, offered Tuesday to Sunday from 10PM-1AM. For $10 the P.E.I. Mussels (steamed in white wine, garlic, fresh herbs, topped with 3rd Corner fries, saffron aioli) are the best deal in town. Other restaurants have tried to replicate the fries with mussels dish, but The 3rd Corner can't be beat. The 3rd Corner, 619-223-2700,


THURSDAY: Today is all about the kiddos! We like to build rock dams at Otay Lakes and feed the ducks. Otay Lakes County Park, 858-565-3600,

FRIDAY Indie Yoga in Ocean Beach offers $6 classes everyday at Noon. The teachers are amazing and the studio is super clean. A great way to spend a lunch break. Friday Night wine tasting at Vin De Syrah [Fig. E] is a great way to get the weekend started. Each week from 8PM-9PM the sommelier hosts a wine tasting at the 12 foot, candle lit tasting table. Each wine is paired with a bite from the charcuterie station. Hands down one of the best deals in town. Indie Yoga, 619-758-9642 Vin De Syrah, 619.234.4166,

After we get tired out, we drive along the bumpy road (H Street turns into Procter Valley) to get pizza at Filippi’s Pizza Grotto in Jamul. Our go to dishes are noodles with butter, good ol’ fashion double-sliced cheese pizza, salad with ranch, meatballs and garlic bread. Filippi’s Pizza Grotto, 619-669-1080,


FRIDAY: My husband and I head to our favorite date night spot – Old Venice Caffe Restaurant and Bar [Fig. C] in Point Loma. We have been going here for over 15 years and it’s by far our favorite dinner location. We always start off with the Magic Mushrooms. I know it sounds funny, but trust me you won’t regret trying them! Old Venice Caffe Restaurant and Bar, SATURDAY: If you are a bird lover like me then you must check out the Exotic Bird Sanctuary [Fig. D] in Del Mar. It is an intimate space with a very friendly staff who will answer any questions you have about the birds. You also have the opportunity to hold most of the birds and feed them, which is what my kids love doing the most! After, I take the kids for lunch at The Poseidon Restaurant in Del Mar where we CAN SIP ON 3HIRLEY 4EMPLES AND MUNCH ON OUR l SH TACOS WHILE we overlook the beach. %XOTIC "IRD 3ANCTUARY FREEm IGHTBIRDS ORG The Poseidon Restaurant, 858-755-9345, SUNDAY: After we have shopped ‘til we drop at Hillcrest Farmers Market, we like to go up to the Torrey Pines Trails and sit on the beach while we eat our fruits from the market. Before we head home to cook dinner, we all walk along the beach looking for the best shells. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, 858-755-2063, Hillcrest Farmers Market,

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| Holiday 2012 Issue

TUESDAY: On my way to work, a tea from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is a necessity. My favorite is the Chai Tea Latte, but to avoid the unnecessary calories I get a Chai tea bag with a half scoop of the No Sugar Added Vanilla Powder. For dinner it's Take-out Tuesday at Cucina Urbana [Fig. B]. From 5-6PM on Tuesdays they offer OFF A PIZZA INSALATE AND BOTTLE OF VINO 4HE l G GORGONZOLA caramelized onion, candied pecan, arugula pizza drizzled with aged balsamic goes great with a bottle of Pinot Noir. Cucina Urbana, 619-239-2222,

SATURDAY Forget Torrey Pines, Sunset Cliffs is one of the most spectacular views in San Diego and never too crowded. Additionally, there is a spot where you can jump from the cliffs into the water during high tide! On the way, stop by Azucar to grab a Cinco Leches pastry and a mocha. Sunset Cliffs, Azucar, 619-523-2020,

We are so lucky in San Diego to have incredible Asian food. China Max is one of my favorites. The stir fried minced Shrimp with lettuce taco and fried bacon shrimp roll are must-haves. China Max, 858-650-3333,


SUNDAY San Diego has amazing Horseback riding. Sweetwater Farms in Bonita offers group and private trail rides. Enjoy the

perfect weather and take a mini break from watching football. Then the football watching resumes at The Patio on Lamont Street. Their Sunday brunch is a must. The patio area is dog-friendly so we can spend the whole day there! The Green Eggs and Ham ( Braised pork belly with deep fried poached egg) are the perfect compliment to a mimosa. Sunday night dinner is a favorite family tradition. Stock up on goods from the Hillcrest Farmers market. I love all the seasonal vegetables, the Brandt Beef, and The Cravory cookies are the perfect dessert. While at the market, a massage with Mariah is a must. I promise she's a miracle worker. The Patio, Sweetwater Farms, 619-475-3134, Hillcrest Farmers Market,

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A little guy, that does a lot of things Current City: Solana Beach


WEDNESDAY: To make sure I get all the good vitamins and stuff I need, I usually stop in to Whole Foods and get a fresh juice or smoothie. I recommend “The Nick� in Encinitas or “Green & Glowing� in La Jolla. Gives me strength to get over the “hump� day. Whole Foods, 858-642-6700, THURSDAY: Crispy Noodles & Crunchy Vegetables or the Double (APPINESS WITH EXTRA 0EANUT 3AUCE IS A MUST FOR LUNCH AT Coffee Cup in La Jolla. Flavorful, beautiful food and the crew is the best. Coffee Cup, 858-551-8514,


SUNDAY: After a solid surf sesh, something tasty for breakfast is needed. An Acai Bowl at Sambazon is perfect. I get Acai blended with almond milk, mango, strawberries, bananas, granola, coconut shreds, honey and cacao nibs. They should call it “The Neens�. Onolicious! Sambazon, 760-230-2380,

FRIDAY: Kick off the weekend with happy hour hopping. Katsuya by s+arck at the Andaz San Diego is a great place to start or end the night, with their Daily Double Social Hour (4-7PM, and 9PM to close). Osetra’s Persian Pomegranate COCKTAIL A l ERY POMEGRANATE CONCOCTION IS WORTH TASTING ANY day of the week – happy hour discounts make it even better. For a low-key night of drunken Jenga, head to Bare Back Grill in Downtown. Get a craft brew, an order of Jus-Chilin’ (spicy turkey chili) and a few rounds of drinko (think plinko with shots). Katsuya by s+arck, 619-814-2000, /SETRA OSETRAl SHHOUSE COM Bare Back Grill, 619-237-9990,


VINCENT DI NINO Director of Marketing & VIP Services for RMD Group Current City: Talmadge


TUESDAY : The Commons Bar. Because you can't do tacos EVERY Tuesday. After work head over to TCB for the craft beer, a burger and the best wings this side of the Mississippi. All you can eat wings for $14.99 on Tuesdays. The Commons Bar, 619-696-8888, WEDNESDAY: Industry Night at Side Bar. With a 1-year-old at home, I don't get there as often as I used to, but even after 3 and a half years, Side Bar still has the best party on Wednesday nights. Side Bar, 619-696-0946, THURSDAY: North Park Farmers Market %VERY 4HURSDAY EXPECT great food trucks and local produce. North Park Farmers Market, 619-233-3769,

SATURDAY: Spreckles Park. Best place for good old fashioned family time. This park is classic Americana. SUNDAY: BRObertos. The best kept secret for late night eats in Downtown SD. Order the Bro Dog (Burrito + Hot Dog = Unhealthy Deliciousness). BRObertos, 619-487-9276,

TUESDAY: Play hooky from work and spend the day at Balboa Park (hope my boss doesn’t see this). San Diego residents and active military get in for free at different museums every Tuesday. The San Diego Automotive Museum is my personal favorite and really is a gearhead’s paradise. And what would Tuesday be without tacos? La Puerta is my church and cochinita street tacos are my religion ‌ at least on (Taco) Tuesdays. La Puerta hosts $2.00 specials all night (TJ dawgs, street tacos, Tecate), the best margaritas around, and local DJs provide the beats. Ask for the cochinita (achiote pork) street tacos and thank me later. Balboa Park, | La Puerta, 619-696-3466,

THURSDAY: Pre-funk on Friday Eve. Untz-untz-untz till your heart’s content at FLUXX's [Fig. H] weekly EDM night. They’ve featured big-names like Paul Oakenfold, Fedde le Grand, and ATB. Theme and dÊcor changes every three months, hence the name. Just a few blocks away, Voyeur books diverse electronic artists ranging from Deniz Koyu to Dada Life to Calvin Harris. Don't miss special guest performances with huge artists like Afrojack AND 3KRILLEX WHICH THEY ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVELY VIA SOCIAL MEDIA &,588 m UXXSD COM \ 6OYEUR VOYEURSD COM

SATURDAY: There’s always a fun Hawaiian concert or show put on by Polynesian Underground. So after the show (1AM) I cruise over to Gaijin Noodle & Sake House [Fig. J] because they serve noodles till 3AM! Nella and Fern always make you feel at home. Polynesian Undeground, Gaijin Noodle & Sake House, 619-238-0567,

FRIDAY: Cinepolis [Fig. K]. Once you go Cinepolis, you never go back. The only bad part about this place is that it's so great you can never see a movie in a "regular" theater again. Cinepolis, 858-794-4045,

Communications Director, Gaslamp Quarter Association Current City: Hillcrest, San Diego

WEDNESDAY: 4HE WORK WEEK IS DIFl CULT ENOUGH TO GET THROUGH – get a boost over the hump with chuckles at The American Comedy Co. in the Gaslamp Quarter. Their regular roster of comedic heavy-hitters like Doug Benson and Bobby Lee rotates with locals’ showcase and open mic nights that let you discover some of San Diego’s funniest gems. Follow them on Twitter for opportunities to win free passes (@americancomco). The American Comedy Co., 619-795-3858,

FRIDAY: I’m either taking a class and learning some new recipes, or I’m hosting the Hawaiian Cooking Class at Cups Culinary in La Jolla. Many don’t know that behind the Cups Organic cupcake bakery there’s a state of the art culinary classroom that offers an amazing variety of baking and cooking classes. This makes a great date night! Cups Culinary, 858-459-2877,

MONDAY: Rubicon Deli [Fig. I] for lunch. Hands down the best sandwiches in San Diego ... maybe the world. Go for the Achin' For Bacon on Dutch Crunch bread or the Dapper Dipper. Rubicon Deli, 858-488-DELI,


MONDAY: That support group people go to because they hate Mondays? It’s a bar, and in my case, it’s called Knotty Barrel [Fig. F] in the East Village. Owners Kenny and Steph Lovi have curated a behemoth of a brew list. Craft, micro, nano, whatever. You want it, they’ve got it. They hide games behind the bar so you can enjoy your Sculpin with a side of Uno. Knotty Barrel, 619-269-7156,

MONDAY: You gotta start the week off right, so a good breakfast is in order. I push my Penny Skateboard on over to Zinc Cafe for two poached eggs on sourdough and a hot Green Tea or a Zinc Sunrise. Zinc Cafe, 858-793-5436, TUESDAY: I have to make the 25-minute drive north to San Clemente to hit up Hapa J's [Fig. G] for Taco Tuesday. Poke tacos, Kalua Pig tacos, 0ORTAGEE 3AUSAGE %GG TACOS 7HERE ELSE YOU GONNA l ND THAT 4HE DRIVE IS easy and worth it. SD Peeps, don't be afraid to drive north! Hapa J's, 949-276-6657,



SATURDAY: Saturdays are meant for grazing around Convoy 3T $ROOL OVER PLATES OF XIAO LONG BAO JUICY PORK DUMPLINGS OR homemade noodles at Dumpling Inn. Or you could nurse a hangover with a bowl of soondubu (spicy tofu stew) at Tofu House. The best chicken wings that will ever grace your taste buds are at Phuong Trang. Cap off the night with soju cocktails, ahi poke and a What the Hell?! roll at Sushi Yaro. Sit at the sushi bar, chat with Chef Sammy and you just may get a special treat that isn’t on the menu. Kanpai! Dumpling Inn, 858-268-9638, Tofu House, 858-576-6433 Sushi Yaro, 858-560-1782, Phuong Trang, 858-565-6750, SUNDAY: Island Style Cafe is my home away from Hawaii. I love the kaloko moco (their version of a loco moco), but their Korean chicken and shave ice will have you coming back again and again. I like to spend the rest of the day walking off my food coma at a car show, whether it’s Mopars, Mustangs or Maseratis. San Diego’s automotive community is massive, with different shows featuring everything from lowriders to CCCA cars on any given day from Oceanside to Chula Vista, especially during car show season (around April to October). Check out the Car Club Council of San Diego’s website for events. Island Style Cafe, 858-541-7002, Car Club Council of San Diego,

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’m currently folded between a crisp white fitted sheet and a fluffy, gossamer duvet sans cover. The view of the jungle (the same jungle whose every occupant is pushing to gain entry to the structure in which I now reside) is obstructed by mosquito netting and four pillars holding up the bamboo and thatch roof. I do my best to distract myself from the eerie creeks, cracks, thumps and buzzing by focusing on the beauty that lay feet from my comfy bed. I lay on my left side gazing at the full moon, slightly masked by the dark rainy season storm clouds, as it begins its heavenly early evening ascent, perched just above the jungle floor. My distracted mind wanders, contemplating then dissecting the wonderful trip I planned only seven weeks earlier from my iMac.


“How are you going to decide where to go?” a friend of mine asked over beers as I plopped into my purposely not so comfy home office chair. “Not sure,” I replied. “I guess I could just throw a dart at a map?” My friend almost fell off his chair laughing. He suggested I bring my search forward a few decades by “dropping a pin” instead. “Same difference,” I thought aloud, and then proceeded to fire up Google Maps. My first consideration was Thailand. I had always wanted to go. A quick check of the flight prices eliminated that idea as well as Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. I could not allow this to happen. I needed a vacation. I took another swig of my beer, closed my eyes tight and moved the cursor around my screen. When I felt that there was enough dizziness to affect the random nature of my quest I simply let go of the mouse. I looked

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up and satisfactorily said out loud, “Belize.” The culture and country of Belize are both old and new. Belize possesses a thousand year old Mayan culture but only a decades old Independent Belizean culture. Belizeans seem to struggle to balance who they were (a once booming Mayan civilization of over two million whose records were destroyed by Spanish invaders) and who they are (a British colony returned to the people of Brazil only decades ago, now numbering around 300,000). I can assure you that neither of these struggles seems to affect their happiness. They are simply happy to be. An explosion of “ex-pats” are its greatest asset. Even though Belize produces sugar, chocolate, hard woods and Marie Sharp’s amazing brand of hot sauces, the people of Belize are a mixture of Creole, Hispanic, Garifuna, Mystaic. I can only characterize the people I met at every point of my 10-day expedition as hospitable, kind, warm and extremely generous. I stepped off the rear staircase of my United flight and onto the tarmac of the Belize City Airport where I was greeted by warm temperatures, warm smiles and t-shirt soaking humidity. I picked up my rental “SUV,” which in fact was vehicle a little larger than my suitcase, from a Budget Rent-a-Car office with a rather well done hand-painted company sign. I was handed a map without scale or directions and given very basic directions to make my way three hours South to Placencia. The directions included, “take a left at the radio tower” and “a right at a highway that does not have a sign.” My hope to arrive at my destination before dark quickly vanished (along with the sun) as I navigated blind turns, “SUV”-sized potholes and aggressive truck drivers in near darkness.

I was left alone with my headlight, spider sense and stick figure map to navigate this mountainous, back country thoroughfare called The Hummingbird Highway that unites Northern and Southern Belize. As I pulled into the village of Seine Bight, the last village before my destination, I was quickly reminded that I was far from home. As I slowed to go over the speed bumps, I was able to look left and right for the first time, taking in a much larger picture. The level of poverty had escaped my attention until now. There were houses, if you could call them that. They sat perched on stilts near the road. They were missing stairs, front doors, windows and even floors. Large groups of people gathered in front of the gas station, food cart, restaurant and grocery store. This is the part about Central America that is so easy to forget once you return home to shopping malls and movie theatres.

The rest of the world is not like Southern California. Placencia is a coastal village that sits on an 18-mile-long peninsula that shadows the coast of Belize only a short distance away. It is only hundreds of yards wide at its thickest and 50 feet wide at its narrowest. If water by fate or by chance were someday to overtake that 50 foot gap between sea and lagoon, I highly doubt that the change would go much noticed in this tiny village. Placencia already feels like an island. As I travel the last 18 miles, it is hard to believe that less than a decade ago this entire stretch was a bumpy, limestone and dirt road. The main street of Placencia was world-renowned as the thinnest on record. The main drag of

I was handed a map without ithout scale or direction and given n very basic directions to make my way... to Placencia. The directions included, ncluded, “take a left at the radio tower” wer” and “a right at a highway that does not have a sign.”

Placencia, until recently, was a three–foot-wide sidewalk. Even with the paved road there are still dozens of businesses that rely on this walkway. I finally arrive at my destination. It had been nearly two months since my search for “Belize vacation rentals,” returning millions of results and leaving the Google Maps page in my search history. During that search ch session I stumbled across a vacation property for lease on m. The condo was positioned at the furthermost tip of the peninsula. The ock complex was aptly named Sunset Point (the views from the private dock were unobstructed and jaw dropping). The pictures showed a residence ence with granite countertops, beautiful patio views of ocean and lagoon, on, a private pool and a crow’s nest with infinite views. The condo owner’s wner’s description of the property was accurate but could hardly capture re the beauty of the location. The most notable and welcomed of the amenities enities was air conditioning. We make excuses for traffic in Southern California. ifornia. In Belize they make every excuse for not having, obtaining or utilizing mechanically-generated cooler temperatures other than ceiling ing and floor fans. With the humidity percentage outpacing the temperature perature reading on a daily basis, I was not so inclined to make or accept cept their excuses. This was going to make a great home base. My first order of business was to stop thinking about business. s. No better way in my experience to engage forgetfulness than to dip p the brain thoroughly in alcohol. I left the comfy confines of my luxurious rious condo only moments after dropping my bags. I decided to brave the he 10-minute, moon-lit walk to find a watering hole. There were so many y restaurants to choose from. I found my way to the boardwalk and then n followed the sounds of rhythmic drumming to the Tipsy Tuna. The restaurant estaurant was dimly lit while a sweet on-shore breeze caressed and cooled ooled my skin. I found a stool at the bar, turned it to face the Garifuna na dancing and drumming, and asked for a menu. After quickly checking ng the pricing of everything imported I settled on rum. Rum is made locally ally in Belize due to the abundance of sugar and desire to have fun, I suppose. uppose. I had my first of several dozen rum punches that week. It did nott fail to cool, calm or aid in my mission to escape. I returned home that evening and slept ant to rain only at soundly for more than one reason. It seemed to want night, leaving me soothing sounds to sleep to and a freshly washed city to explore every morning. hat I would dedicate I had decided long before arriving to Placencia that a great deal of my time to doing nothing. I spent several days fulfilling this pledge. I took figurative ownership of a table at Cozy Corner and an Adirondack chair close to the beach. I then killed hours ours at Yoli’s (a bar built

;I [IVI KSMRK XS ¾ SEX XLVSYKL caves [on our inner tubes]. Once inside the pitch black cave, we turned on our lights, scared fruit bats into diving at our heads and tried to keep our jaws shut as Julio pointed out million-year-old stalactite and stalagmites, Mayan ritual sitess and millennium-old pottery still in n place.”

on a pier hanging over the Caribbean which looked like something out of Lonely Planet), trying to “swing rings” (a game consisting of swinging a brass ring, suspended from the ceiling by fishing line across a 20-foot gap and onto a nail attached to a post). You might be surprised how many rum punches you can down trying to lasso a nail. I might install this game on my patio at home. It’s addictive. I was becoming an absolute pro at the art of doing nothing. I found accomplices. A mixture of bored locals and ex-pats that had moved here to start a new life or escape the one they had. I met Lynn and Eugene on my third day in the country, a former school teacher and truck driver respectively. They had moved to Belize after vacationing with the intent to purchase a bar. They were somewhat busy as they juggled hanging with me and refurbishing their recent purchase, The Pickled Parrot. We spent time together drinking beers, swinging rings and even took a cruise up the Monkey River. The Monkey River was a unique expedition and a great distraction from the “Ring Swing.” We chartered a small boat and guide who escorted us 30 miles south to the tiny village of Monkey River. This village was home to our guide Brent who informed us that it had only obtained electricity in 2009. He took us four miles upstream pointing out iguanas, alligators, Jesus Christ lizards as well as all sorts of flora and fauna. We docked our boat on a sandy beach and began our trek in search of Howler monkeys. The aptly named Howler monkeys make a noise that startled me every single time, and I thought about running back to the boat. We found a group of five within minutes and were able to photograph them from yards away. It was intense. We returned to our boat and were served a wonderful local meal of stewed chicken, beans, rice, split pea soup and coleslaw at Brent’s aunt’s house which doubled as a restaurant called the Black Iris. The meal was wonderful and one that I went back for repeatedly during my visit.

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w After the Monkey River tour I needed a few e days to recover. I went back to my routine er enjoying Belize’s beach bars like Cozy Corner g and D’Tatch during the day and enjoying wonderful meals at Rumfish Y Vino, The Purple Space Monkey, The Galley and The Secret Garden every evening. The food at these restaurants was fresh, the people were wonderful and the ambiance was amazing. I ate ceviche at nearly every stop, doused most of my food in Belize’s own Marie Sharp’s hot sauces and washed it all down with a month’s supply of the locally brewed Belikin beer. My plan to unwind was working. I had not looked at my phone or computer in days. The first eight days went by in a blur (in part, thanks to the rum). I made a decision to widen my Belize experience and asked locals for suggestions. Everyone advised me to head to the jungle. There were a variety of activities offered near the capitol of Belmopan that could not be offered near the sea. I went online for the first time in nearly a week to investigate new adventures. I stumbled across Ian Anderson’s lodge about 12 miles south of the capitol. They boasted jungle lodging along a river, optional tree house accommodations and a list of activities and tours. I made reservations, jumped in my mini SUV and braved the potholed Hummingbird Highway again. In a little under two hours I arrived safely at Ian Anderson’s resort. The resort was gorgeous. It was tucked a half mile off the highway along the Caves Branch River. I was standing in the middle of the jungle in a botanical oasis. Ninety variations of Orchids, indigenous plants marked with signs and quaint windowless huts. It was manicured in such a way that I was instantly reminded of Fantasy Island. Where was Tattoo? I left my bags at the front desk and was escorted to the tour I had signed up for the day before. My guide’s name was Julio and he doubled as the bus driver on our windowless 70s-era school bus. We took a twenty-minute ride

down the freeway which included driving through an orange orchard and forging a knee ee deep river. We parked near an unmarked path and unloaded aded along alo with our inner tubes. We were going to float through hrough caves. When we arrived at the stream, we were ere given headlamps and little other instruction. We back paddled nearly 500 yards upstream to the mouth of an enormous cave. Once inside the pitch black cave, we turned on our lights, scared fruit bats into diving at our heads and tried to keep our jaws shut as Julio pointed out million-year-old stalactite and stalagmites, Mayan ritual sites, and millennium-old pottery still in place. The tour was one of the most memorable of my life. When I returned to the resort, I dropped my bags, showered outdoors and made the quick half-mile hike to the second most famous Blue Hole in Belize. The Blue Hole was made famous by Jacques Cousteau and assuredly is more beautiful and more notorious than its lesser known little brother off the Hummingbird Highway but could not possibly be more serene. At the conclusion of the hike I was exhausted by the heat. I made my way down the hundred or so moss-covered steps with all the ease my tired legs would allow. I was rewarded at the bottom by a beautiful turquoise swimming hole filled naturally by a geyser, brimming with fish and a perfectly cool temperature. I stripped down and dove in, ignoring the “DO NOT JUMP” sign. I floated in the water for hours, chasing the tiny fish and exploring the attached cave. This

was the Belize I had come searching for; a paradise that released my stress and an experience I will never forget. I recommend that you jump, too.

Special Thanks to Sunset Pointe 904-471-3599




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his time every year, the hope seems a little greater. The possibilities seem a little better, and our chances at doing good in the world seem to really make a difference and shine through. Whether it’s with a simple gift or a strong hug or even a sweet holiday greeting, something special remains in the crisp winter air. Maybe that’s why a few of the local charities we found seemed so extra special: their super-sized impact has all started with humble beginnings and the thoughtfulness of just a few people. After all, when giving is the name of the game, a little can go a long way.


Executive Director, Freedom Is Not Free

San Diego entrepreneur David Dominguez and Vietnam veteran Carl Frank established Freedom Is Not Free (FINF) as a way to honor the brave men and women serving in the military, as well as their families who are shouldering the price, and all too often, the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. The organization provides grants to Purple Heart recipients and their families to meet their immediate financial needs, including but not limited to, the expenses associated with medical care, travel, home modification and paying bills. Since the organization was founded in 2005, it has given more than a million dollars in grants to more than 300 individuals, families and organizations. FINF Executive Director John Winslow, who spent his early years growing up on an Army base, heard about the organization from a friend. He was drawn to the fact that the organization operates without any assistance from the federal government, and that donations to FINF are given directly to those who are most in need. His father was also a U.S. Army veteran and a long-time supporter of the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs. “We receive applications from all over the country, and it’s impossible to fulfill all of them,” he admits. “We truly rely on the generosity and good will of the public. Some of the stories we hear are so heartbreaking. I love the fact that we can really make an impact on people’s lives and try to find the best way to help them. We’ve had some amazing turnarounds.”

Since the VA is often delayed in processing benefit claims, it can sometimes take months for veterans returning home to receive those benefits, which often only cover basic medical costs and expenses. “Some of our injured veterans require multiple doctor visits per week, and maybe their spouse has been forced to quit a job in order to care for their loved one,” Winslow explained. “This is why nonprofits like ours have had to step in, especially since there has been a marked decrease in corporate giving across the board in the last few years. In addition, our veterans are transitioning out of their military careers, and they are quickly realizing that the U.S. job market is terrible. Couple that with the stigma that often exists against Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and our vets are really up against a lot.” Challenges in tow, Winslow says that those who receive assistance from FINF are incredibly grateful, and are often overwhelmed by the circumstances that brought them to the organization in the first place. “It’s amazing, the number of men and women returning from war, and the sacrifices they have made, and yet they are overwhelmed by even a very modest amount of assistance. Our soldiers are trained to be self reliant and they have an inordinate amount of pride and dignity, so to ask for help to assist their families is immensely difficulty. Our goal is to make it as easy for them as possible.”

There are many ways to show your support for wounded veterans. Internship and volunteer opportunities are available, and donations are sorely needed. For more information on how to help, send an email to info@freedomisnotfree. com or call (858) 847-9999.

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In the aftermath of the Columbine High School shootings in 1999, Don Wells knew he wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people. Through his work with a San Diego TV station, he decided to create a public service campaign to recruit youth mentors, and later became one himself. Now in his capacity as Executive Director of Just in Time For Foster Youth (JIT), he is able to help effect positive changes on a daily basis. “The most rewarding part of my job is watching young people’s lives transform right before my eyes,” said Wells. “It’s not that they change and become different people. It’s seeing them finally discover they are valued by a caring community that offers them consistent support and authentic connections so they can focus on reaching their potential rather than just surviving day to day.” Studies have shown that without consistent family support, young adults are at greater risk of being homeless, unemployed and undereducated, often plunging into a destructive path of lifelong dependence, even prison. Part of JIT’s mission is to provide resources and forge lasting relationships at this critical juncture. “When these young people have their hours cut back at work, they don’t have a family to move back in with until things get better. They have to find a way to make things work, and, with a small investment from our extended family, they do,” said Wells. “If we don’t fill that gap as a community, we pay higher costs in continued dependence or prison. Not just for these young people, but for the next generation that will likely repeat the cycle of foster care.” JIT mobilizes a caring community as an extended family for transitioning foster youth. This is done through consistent relationships and emergency resources provided by individuals, agencies, businesses and foundations. Programs like My First Home provide essentials for a first home/apartment setup: a bed, furniture, kitchen utensils, linens, cleaning materials, small appliances, lighting and accessories. Keeping up with this basic need for authentic connections is one of the organization’s greatest challenges. “In one year, we went from serving just over 400 young people to nearly 600,” he explained. “We focus our efforts on filling the gap in consistent relationships with caring adults, which means we’re constantly recruiting more volunteers who are willing to make the connections that are so essential to that feeling of being part of something healthy and lasting. It’s a lot simpler to just supply resources and stop there. Building and sustaining a caring community takes constant effort, but we believe it’s the only real way to change the outcomes for young people in transition.” Two-thirds of JIT staff members are former foster youth who once received some assistance from the organization and are now leaders in giving back to their peers. Others are building careers that will allow them to serve the community in other ways. Wells cites one such example. “Just a few years ago, we had a young man who couldn’t get a good night’s sleep because he was homeless. Now he is up at all hours for a different reason: he’s in medical school. This is the kind of story that inspires me, and creates such tremendous satisfaction for all of us who have become part of this wonderful extended family.”

Volunteer opportunities and mentorships are available, and donations are very much needed. To learn more about how you can help improve the lives of foster youth in the San Diego area, call 760-505-6647 or go to

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Executive Director, Just in Time for Foster Youth


Executive Director, Center for Community Solutions

“People do care, and life can be different.” It is those words that continue to inspire and motivate Verna Griffin-Tabor and the team at Center for Community Solutions (CCS). Founded in 1969, CCS helps more than 20,000 adults and children each year to heal and prevent relationship and sexual violence. CCS operates the only rape crisis center in the city of San Diego along with a countywide, 24-hour bilingual crisis helpline. The nonprofit agency also partners with area law enforcement agencies and provides emergency domestic violence shelters, transitional housing, hospital and court accompaniment, as well as legal and counseling services for those affected by rape, domestic violence or elder abuse. “This is very intense work,” admits Griffin-Tabor, Executive Director of Center for Community Solutions. “We are fortunate to have some of the most compassionate and professional people doing this work. Rape, domestic violence, and elder abuse are tough. We work hard to explore the problems associated with oppression and the social justice issues that cause this sort of thing.” CCS employs 88 people in nine locations throughout San Diego County, with a Board of 20 and 150 volunteers. A staff of nine attorneys and three paralegals provide a variety of legal services. Additionally, emergency response and advocacy are provided in over 12 languages, and the organization works with local community groups and schools to provide innovative prevention programs to promote healthy relationships and peaceful communities. “A large portion of what we do is centered on ageappropriate prevention,” Griffin-Tabor said. “We teach self-defense techniques and curriculums that are based on building healthy relationships. ‘My Body Belongs to Me’ is our Children’s Empowerment and Personal Safety education program designed to prevent child sexual and physical abuse. We always meet at least three times with the same audience, because research shows that this is the best way to change patterns of behavior.” CCS was the first organization in California to provide formal counseling for battered women and children, but in this economic downturn, meeting the increased demand for services has become more challenging. CCS currently has a wait list for counseling, and funding is needed for programs like HOPE (Help and Outreach to Protect the Elderly) Team, a comprehensive elder abuse service. “As federal and state funding diminishes, we are relying more on support from individuals, corporations and major donors, and we’re launching a major gift campaign to raise additional revenue. Our goal is to raise $100,000 by Christmas,” Griffin-Tabor said. “Keep in mind, we provide services in a county that is roughly the size of Connecticut, so we’re always hoping to encourage more people to get involved.” “I don’t doubt that what we’re doing is working, because more people are coming forward to seek

help these days,” Griffin-Tabor continued. “Many of those people were not seeking assistance in the past because they felt the system would re-traumatize them. I see some of the most courageous people who have been brutalized and humiliated, often times by people who profess to love them. They go on and want to help create change and help other people heal, and we never dictate what that healing should look like. We are committed to also working on the front end to prevent future acts of violence.”

To sponsor or attend a special event, make a contribution, volunteer or to get involved in other ways, call 858-272-5777 or email If you or someone you know needs immediate help, please call the CCS crisis hotline, 888.DVLINKS.

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Spa | Salon | Outdoor Therapy Pool & Fitness Center Overlooking Beautiful Mission Bay | 858.539.8820 3999 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, California 92109


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• Paper (You can even cut up grocery bags.)

plate or a piece of wax paper too. Any flat surface will work.)

• Celery stock (You will cut the base • Paint (We used of this off. Try to an introductory keep very smooth acrylic paint, but b/c this will be you can use any your stamp face.) kind you want.) • Paint palette (You • Paintbrush can use a paper (optional)

STEP 1) Take your celery stalk and cut it at about 3 to 4 inches up from the base. Cut cleanly because this will be your stamp.

STEP 2) On a clean workspace, open up your paper choice and lay it



flat. If you’re using tissue paper you’ll want to work with a drop cloth or on a washable surface as the paint will most likely leak through lightly. Squeeze some paint onto your paint palette. You may want to spread it around evenly with your paint brush so it’s easier to apply to the stamp. Place the cut edge of the celery stalk into the paint and apply evenly. Then take your stamp and carefully but firmly place it on your paper. Be sure not to smudge it around or it will blur the shape. Repeat as many times as you like to cover the paper. Set paper aside to dry completely. If you’re impatient you can use a hair dryer. Get wrapping!

SEA SALT CANDY CO. $8.95 for 4 oz. of toffee, $11.95 for 4 oz. of caramels

Sea Salt Candy Co. in Vista, Calif. has mastered the art of combining the wonders of sweet and salty into toffee and caramel treats. All of their products are gluten-free and are handcrafted from natural ingredients

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URBAN KITCHEN SHOP NOTHING BUNDT CAKES $39.50 for 10” decorated cake

Add a ‘twist’ for the season. The Nothing Bundt Cakes Merry Go ‘Round’ holiday cake. Santa will whirl with joy. Visit the San Diego store for more baked delights!

$385 |

A statement piece instrumental in winning superior design acclaim at both CUCINA enoteca and CUCINA urbana: the modern yet comfy White Faux Leather + Burlap Dining Chair designed by owner Tracy Borkum herself. The chairs have a surprise backing made from burlap coffee sacks repurposed from Tracy’s local coffee brewer.


200 W Island Ave | San Diego, CA 92101 December 26-28 and January 2-4 | 9AM - 4PM

Near the County Administration Building on Harbor Dr. December 27 | 10AM - 11:30AM

We know you love your kids. But when the folks are in town, in-laws are testing your limits, and your therapist is on holiday, listening to hours of One Direction and watching a marathon of Adventure Time is the last thing you need. Save your sanity and keep your kids entertained with creative camps at NCM. NCM’s camps offer hands-on art-making activities, creative games and playtime in the park. They’re perfect for kids ages four to eight.

Over 100,000 spectators are expected to attend this year’s nationally televised, holiday parade at the Port of San Diego. Besides the brilliant people watching, you’ll see a parade of helium-filled characters, flamboyant floats and legions of drill teams and marching bands. A Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Production, the parade has more enormous balloons than any other parade!




Battle in a Box is the tournament-style, social wine game where you drink amazing wines to become a more knowledgeable wine enthusiast. Wine Battles is perfect for people who are interested in learning about wine while spending time with friends and family. Wine Battles offers experiences that two people or a group of people can do at home alone or as a party. It is a unique opportunity to explore, experience and engage in something new and exciting every time. Each week of the tournament, you and your partner will receive two bottles of wine and help decide the winner. Enjoy amazing wines, expand your wine knowledge directly from the wine makers and engage in a social competition where picking the winning wine moves your ranking up.

Treat the in-laws and family to a day in Little Italy on Saturday, December 15th. Here’s the play by play: 1. MERCATO: LITTLE ITALY’S FARMERS’ MARKET. SATURDAYS, from 9AM to 1:30PM, Date Street becomes a bazaar of fresh and organic produce, various meats, flowers, home accessories, gifts and more. 2. SHOPPING AT THE FIR STREET COTTAGES: These colorful cottages house some amazing boutiques. For the ladies in your daytrip party, stop by Be Beauty (, which has both a boutique and spa. The quaint boutique is stocked with beautiful feminine dresses, and classic and trendy pieces. After a long day at the street market, settle in at the beauty salon for a pedicure. Then enjoy tea in the cottage’s jardin (garden) behind the shop. 3. THE KETTNER ART & DESIGN DISTRICT: North on Little Italy’s Kettner Street resides this great herd of shops and galleries. Still in need of some last minute holiday gifts? Check out Mixture (, a unique, contemporary lifestyle store with modern furniture, eclectic home decor, and a collection of handbags, jewelry and artwork by local artists. 4. THE GROWLERS AT THE CASBAH: Enough time and money has been spent on the in-laws for one day. Drop them off at one of the fabulous Italian restaurants for the evening and head to The Casbah ( on Kettner Street for a night of righteous acid surf rock provided by The Growlers. Zone out and take in a set list that’s the furthest thing away from “fa-lalas” and Bing Crosby. The Growlers

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BONFIRE NIGHTS Old Town San Diego State Historic Park December 15, and December 26-30 4002 Wallace St. San Diego, CA www.oldtownsan

Gather friends and family and head to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park for a starry night around the crackling campfire. Carolers and other performers will entertain from dusk till 9PM and s’mores are on the house!


Diego ga whale at SeaWorld San Santa Claus poses with a Belu ) ges Ima ty Get via o Dieg San rld (Photo by Mike Aguilera/SeaWo

2012 HOLIDAY OF LIGHTS AT THE DEL MAR FAIRGROUNDS Through January 1st 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd Del Mar, CA

Hop in the car and head for the largest animated drivethrough light show on the U.S. West Coast. Lasting about 20 minutes, you’ll see more than 400 brilliant holiday light displays. Themes include Candy Cane Lane, San Diego County Fair, and Del Mar Racetrack.





Through January 5, 2013 500 SeaWorld Dr. San Diego, CA

See San Diego’s holiday decorations and lights all at once, perched high above the city at Mt. Soledad. Also the site of a memorial to veterans, this is possibly the best view of the city, coastline, and inland mountains. A perfect spot for lovers.



More than 80 boats will be extravagantly decorated for the holidays. This year’s theme: “Our 41st Anniversary, USS Santa Claus”.

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration returns with outlandish holiday fun like Shamu’s Christmas presentation (including live choirs and musical soloists), a holiday-themed sea lion and otter comedy show, festive park decorations, and a nightly lighting of SeaWorld’s 320-ft. Skytower Christmas Tree of Lights. Also on the bill: SnowWorld, a winter wonderland of snowmen, snowballs and a snowball target area!

KANDALS SHOES $46 and $48

K1 SPEED RACE PACKAGES Packages starting at $49 per person

Great for the adventurous kids in your life, even the grown up ones! Race 14 laps in a peppy electric kart that can reach 45 mph. Location in Carlsbad.

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KANDALS are uniquely scented, eco-friendly shoes made in Spain with premium, natural material. The company was founded in San Diego. For every pair of KANDALS sold, a tree is planted by Trees for the Future.

2GOOD2B COFFEE $14 Coffee, $11 Tea |

The magicians at 2Good2B make gluten, corn, corn syrup and soy free foods that taste too delicious to be this healthy. Give the gift of exotic flavors to the coffee lover or tea drinker on your list. Pick up an organic San Diego local blend from Encinitas’ bakery.

THE NEARBY HOLIDAY GETAWAY: Just a winding bridge away from San Diego lies the ultimate nearby holiday getaway. Whether you want to ditch out on the family gathering, or transplant the holiday celebrations a short drive away, Coronado Island is the perfect destination. Think of it as something in between Mayberry and BeverlyHills. World

class dining, gorgeous panorama views of the city, rich history, lavish resorts, ample patriotism and even more abundant down home hospitality makeup the tiny island. Here’s where to stay, what to eat, and what fun you can have on Coronado during this holiday season.


One of 18 unique luxury hotels in the Loews Hotels family, this location has just been completely remodeled using contemporary chic decor and design. The update is just in time for the holidays, when Loews takes cheer to a new level. Among the festivities, 12 unique performances by local bands and entertainment acts, each correlating somehow to the classic “The Twelve Days of Christmas” song. Loews resort was built with an all-inclusive stay in mind. It will be hard to find an excuse to leave, between the gondola rides captained by Santa and the elves, the boat rentals, the tennis courts, the Kids Club and Teen Lounge, and the award winning French restaurant, Mistral, spearheaded by a Master Chef of France. Situated right on the Bay, you’ll have the perfect view of the Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. Did we mention Loews is pet friendly? They even have gourmet room service menus for cats and dogs.


Perhaps the most iconic hotel on Coronado Island, is the Hotel del Coronado. Built in 1888, you’ll know it by its grand, Victorian red turrets. It has a storied past. It was the backdrop for Marilyn Monroe movie Some Like It Hot, and has been visited by celebrities, presidents, princes - they even have a resident ghost. You can feel the regal past in the rich wood interior of the resort. Brunch in the lavish Crown Room is not to be missed! Accommodations offered include recently remodeled rooms, or a more private stay at one of the Del’s Beach cottages or villas. Home of the first electrically lighted outdoor

Loews Coronado Bay

Christmas tree in 1904, the Del continues to raise the standard for holiday celebrations on the island, with cookie decoration, holiday crafts for kids, scav hunts, family s’more roasts, and even ice skating by the sea.


This beautiful and quaint boutique hotel is based out of the former mansion/home of San Diego legend John Dietrich Spreckels, a major figure behind the Hotel Del and Coronado Island’s early development. The hotel offers rooms inside the estate, or on an adjoining contemporary wing of the property. Located just steps from the Del and downtown, it’s the ideal location to take


San Diego based Eufora has the perfect gift for the man on the go. This kit and grooming bag features all the travel musts (all to TSA standards!).

in all of Coronado from.


Situated right next door to the Coronado Ferry Landing, a charming collection of shops, art galleries, fine restaurants and casual eateries, this contemporary sophisticated property offers all the amenities with a spa, great restaurants in house, and a fabulous waterfront location. Coronado Island Marriott Resort is also home to a large flamingo pond, the region’s only flamingos outside of the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park!


Gift yourself or someone special with a little pampering. Bellus Academy promises resort spa quality and professionalism at a fraction of the cost. Massages run from $30-$45, facials from $35-$60, and spa treatments from $25-$80. You can’t beat this value.

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Loews Caroling Gondola Rides on the Bay




Take in the scenic Bay overlooking San Diego and Coronado from a gondola captained by Santa or one of his elves!

Old fashioned entertainment is still alive at the charming Bay Books downtown. Walk into this haven of books and you’ll see handwritten reviews on almost half the books! Grab a good read to enjoy while lounging at your hotel or at a scenic bayside park.

During December, catch “Festival of Christmas” on stage, or their other production, “An American Christmas” dinner show, at the Hotel Del.


Countdown to Christmas with live entertainment and bands across twelve nights at Loews Coronado Bay. Each act represents a verse in the classic Yule-time song.

Ice Skating at the Hotel Del Coronado


What could be more picturesque than ice skating by the Hotel Del, overlooking the ocean?



Learn about Coronado Island’s intriguing past, the Hotel Del’s development, the once popular Tent City, the place of the military in the local culture, and more.

As quaint and bite-sized as Coronado island itself, you can catch all the Christmas release blockbusters at this mini movie hall.



The Coronado Tourism Improvement District has kindly put together a free app to make your visit the best possible. The Visit Coronado app features real-time GPS navigation, nearly 1,000 photos, an events calendar, turn-by-turn directions and the ability to share the experience on Facebook, Twitter, text and email.

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The largest mall in San Diego and one of the largest in California, Fashion Valley has something for everyone. Find the perfect gift at Guest Services: an American Express® Simon Giftcard®, no fees after purchase and funds never expire!


For the person on your list whose life revolves around “fresh powder”. These goggles offer superior peripheral vision. Think of these as widescreen HDTV for the mountains. 100% UV protection and helmet compatible.


Leroy’s Kitchen & Lounge

Eurocar | 2920 Red Hill Ave. | Costa Mesa, CA





This restaurant is the king of “fresh, local, sustainable.” With an urban, reclaimed atmosphere and broad windows that open completely onto the street, the only thing that trumps its atmosphere is its delicious, farm-to-table style menu.

McP’S (LUNCH, DINNER, NIGHTLIFE, LIVE ENTERTAINMENT ) Voted “Best Bar Scene” by locals, McP’s is a family-friendly dining spot by day and a laid-back bar scene by night. Pool tables, live music, and Irish fare are all there. Founded by ex-Navy Seals, you’ll see a lot of locals and military personnel hanging out here (even Prince Harry has been spotted at McP’s!).


Tavern is Coronado’s dining hub for comfort food, classic cocktails and craft beer. The interior, a below ground room with rich wood accents, eclectic light bulb fixtures, and mason jar candles, is a relaxing, hip hangout for good food and late nights.


While you’re walking along downtown’s Orange Ave., look for the giant plastic cow and the Elvis plaster statue. That’s where you’ll find the most creamy, rich, and decadent homemade ice cream around, served up in a fun nostalgic diner setting.

Clayton’s looks like a real-life version of the Double R Diner from “Twin Peaks.” You can expect to find Agent Cooper worthy fine cups of coffee here too. Known for their down home fare and great service, you’ll feel right at home.



When most of the island is still asleep, head downtown to the local bookstore cafe. Cafe Madrid opens at 5:45AM. You can grab a morning paper and ease into the day with a nice cappuccino.

Start the new year off right with a Eurocar. Specializing in pre-owned vehicle sales from distinctive brands like Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Hummer, Lamborghini, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Ranger Rover and Rolls-Royce. Financing and leasing solutions are available, while tradeins are accepted. With more than 25 years of experience in the automotive industry, Eurocar’s team of experts is focused on ensuring total satisfaction with each purchase. Shop in comfort at Eurocar’s indoor dealership.



Along the main stretch of Orange Avenue lies a ton of dining and shopping action. Here are some highlights: PARIS & ME BOUTIQUE: Offers beautiful feminine fashions and styles by well known boutique brands. STUDIO 1220: Trendy, unique brands that champion quality. BULLSHIRTS: The place for souvenirs.


Browse through 20+ shops selling clothes, stationary, gifts, shoes, art and more. When you’ve shopped, you can drop on a seat and watch the ferry come in across the bay.


Coronado’s historically preserved erve v d downtown commercial area has 100+ specialty shops and businesses that will taunt your pocketbook!


For the person who has Halloween costumes and Christmas sweaters for their poodle, a custom ceramic dog bowl from LUV SURF San Diego. Debbie Carmen makes each one, and a portion of sales benefit SD Humane Society and SPCA.


For the past 50 years Malt Master David Stewart, has personally selected every expression bottled by The Balvenie. In honor of his illustrious career they’ve unveiled a new addition to their range of Single Malt Scotch Whisky: The Balvenie 17 Year Old DoubleWood.


T The Lieutenant Lynn Sweater mixes military style with m p professorial sophistication. Besides B looking good, you’ll feel good about this y purchase. p The proceeds ffrom the Fall and Winter 2012 Jedidiah collections go 2 tto providing 300 specially designed, locally assembled d World Bicycle Relief bikes to W sstudents, healthcare workers and entrepreneurs in rural a Africa. A

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— —

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Core strength training and cardio in upbeat small group classes - BODYROK is a high intensity workout that will have you forgetting about the stress and strain of the holidays, and recovering from the month of feasts and fudge. BODYROK uses inspiring workouts and modern, uplifting studio environments to refresh and invigorate your mind, soul and body. Locations in Solana Beach and North Park.

Nothing like a good sweat, a long stretch, and an hour of regulated breathing to break up a month of family and good cheer (seriously, how did happy holidays become so exhausting and stressful?!). Yoga Six is an upscale studio offering heated and non-heated yoga classes for students of all levels. Reduce stress, manage pain, build strength, enhance your mood - all while burning calories! Locations in Solana Beach, Point Loma and Carlsbad.

SWAROVSKI PENDANT $245 | 858-454-2964

Swarovski graphic crystal pendant from Mikal Winn. Available at Robina Boutique in San Diego.


Charles Koll Jewellers is one of San Diego’s premier custom jewelers. Extraordinary creativity and technical achievement mix to produce stunning personalized custom designs and an exclusive collection of designer diamond and colored gem jewelry. CK’s Rose Cut Black Diamond Studs will make any LBD look OMG on NYE!

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For that lush, little lady in your life. This gift set includes: 1 eye mask, 1 set of earplugs, 1 hydrating lotion towelette, 1 moist towelette, and 1 “relaxing” bath fizzer in a tin container. Bottoms up!

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Q: You wear many, many hats. Can you name a few?

because of what I’ve created for them.

MICHAEL LEE MCGRIFF: I am the co-owner and founder of A Style Concierge (ASC), a photographer, producer of fashion events, MC, stylist, business and marketing consultant, and much, much more.

Q: Why do you think ASC has maintained

Q: How’d you get into the hair business? MLM: I was working for Cox for 20 years, and I took a hard look at my life. I decided to go and create opportunities for myself. A lot of my friends already looked up to me for style. At first, I sucked at doing hair, but it didn’t stop my determination. I knew I’d do whatever it took to become the great hairstylist I wanted to become.

Q: How did ASC start up? MLM: I graduated from California Hair Design Academy in 2007, came out of school and realized all these hairstylists are wannabe rock stars. The business model for the first building my salon was in came from a school project. It started with two chairs, it looked like shit, but I saw past all that. I gave up everything for the business. I learned a lot about myself. I was comfortable being uncomfortable. That’s how I define success.

Q: What is the hardest part about running your own business?

MLM: Personnel. It’s like adopting kids as teenagers. Leadership is the biggest challenge. You’re trying to carry on something that represents a history, it represents something bigger than any individual.

Q: How much time do you spend in the salon?

MLM: If I’m caught outside my salon, I guarantee there’s ten conversations that happen before I can get back to work, which I don’t mind, because I love people and I love interacting. I enjoy it, being at the salon every day is cool for me. I absolutely do not look for a vacation. The last time I went on a legitimate vacation, nonbusiness related was in 2008. I went to Milan, Venice , Rome and Paris.

Q: You set up shop in a new building off 5th last year. After the building fell out of escrow, what motivated you to keep pursuing something that everyone thought was impossible?

a 5-star Yelp rating?

MLM: It started guerilla style where we were on the streets five or six nights a week just to push our brand. We created trends. We started doing hairstyling and makeup in nightclubs and hotels as entertainment. We were busy. Our brand is hair, fashion and lifestyle. We know San Diego’s lifestyle and we will introduce you to that, get you styled and immerse you. I make it a part of my business to get to know the community, and I support San Diego. I’ve been here all my life.

Q: What are some of the more

MLM: The swap meet. Make a day out of it. The most compliments on the fashion that I have, comes from people’s old stuff. My favorite shirt for men is a snap-button western. Q: What’s the biggest fashion faux pas

MLM: No one would ever really care, but at 40

MLM: Tight dresses on the wrong bodies.

years old, I created the first 5-day swimwear fashion event. In 2010, I went for the world record for the bikini parade … we had 200 something girls walk 5th avenue in bikinis, from grandma’s to grandkids. In 2011, I created the world’s first fashion tour, at least to my knowledge. I’m confident that I can make shit happen, and I don’t beat myself up when it doesn’t work.

Q: With the holidays coming up, what’s

Q: What achievements are you most

Q: I heard you are also affi liated with Blind Eye Productions?

proud of from this year?

MLM: Just this year alone has been crazy, because I’ve met with new start-ups for shoe design, clothing design, boutique owners, photographers, models, talent management companies … I’ve gained some credibility and experience to support concepts. A lot of people have reached out to me. I think people see that I have this creative stuff that’s going on besides the business, and I run my mouth all the time. I can interior design, too; I designed ASC’s space. I can have really, really relevant conversation. Q: Shortly after opening ASC in 2008, there was one month in which you quit your job at Cox, went blind in your left eye, fi led for bankruptcy and almost lost your salon. How’d you make it through?

MLM: I never doubted my faith. I felt like I could do anything after being sober for a year. I had clarity because of my faith and sobriety.

Q: What led you to start venturing into the realm of photography?

MLM: I dropped a video camera in the pool at one of my events. This was like the third or fourth video camera I’ve had in the last three years … I’m bad with electronics. My business partner had an extra camera, so I tried to learn from other photographers. I just kept pressing the button. I think it’s the association with the hair, the makeup, the styling, and all those things that I’ve done over the past few years that allow me to really compose a photo in my own way, in a style that I like.

RECEIVER MLM: WhenWIDE I wanted to become a hairstylist, I

Q: How would you describe fashion? MLM: For me? Eclectic, and what I think a lot

knew, I was confident that once someone came UNIFORM #: 86 and sat in my chair that in an hour or two they’re gonna’ feel so much better about themselves

Q: Where’s your favorite place to shop in SD?

memorable things you’ve done over the course of your fashion career?

MLM: I never lost hope, you can’t doubt me. I’ve done more in THE the last four and a half years with EXPERT nothing than I ever did before, when I thought VINCENT BROWN, JR. I had everything. I literally had nothing. I lost my house, but I was comfortable losing it. I AGE: was a squatter for two23 years. That’s a story of endurance, of ‘where there’s a will there’s a way.’ HEIGHT: 5’11” | WEIGHT: 190 I kinda’ feel like I birthed a kid with this salon. Giving up wasn’t an option. HOMETOWN: RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA Q: What do you love most about being a stylist? OCCUPATION:

a Christian Dior suit, a $1600 suit. The guy that let that thing go was a size 56 waist. I fit in one leg, but I bought that $14.95 suit and spent $90 to get it tailored. It fit me perfectly. First time I wore it I got all kinds of compliments. But I’m not really a suit guy, I love chucks and Dickies. I like to mix and match. The thing that catches my eye is the way people combo things.

of people are nowadays, thrift. Maybe a little bit more confident than your common person. I remember shopping at a thrift store and finding

you see around town?

the one piece of style advice you have for locals?

MLM: A really cool, eclectic, chic jacket. Q: Favorite lesser known eatery in SD? MLM: I like the Neighborhood for its uniqueness.

MLM: The name “Blind Eye” came from my blind eye. It’s a random connection of three dudes that met at events that I was producing at Hotel Palomar. There’s a photographer, the other one’s a videographer and I was like, ‘we should do shit together.’ We started Modeling Monday’s this year … we offer ourselves as a full production company. I can do fashion production, they can do photo and video. We never set up a business model, so all of us still kinda’ work independently. Q: What do you do for fun when you’re not at the salon? MLM: I think we should all do things that are strictly for fun. For me, one is golf and another is playing poker. I suck at both. Q: Does money make the world go round? MLM: I don’t even think about money. And I think because I don’t think about money, I’ve been given the most unique opportunities to go do things that money can’t buy.

A STYLE CONCIERGE inside Dolcetti Boutique 635 5th Avenue San Diego, CA 92101


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laying catch. It is one of the first things an athlete learns. Most of us have enjoyed a game of catch in a backyard or park, or for a lucky few, on an actual field. Vincent Brown, Jr. takes playing catch to a whole new level by making it his career. Brown, known as VJ to his friends since childhood (and only recently to his teammates after the trade of Vincent Jackson, which returned his nickname), has great hands. As a star receiver for “THE” San Diego State Aztecs, VJ earned several accolades as a four-year starter, including finishing his career as the MVP of the team, touting the third-most catches and receiving yards in his school’s history, and scoring the fifth-most touchdowns. In his final game as an Aztec, the crowd watched him catch eight balls for 165 yards in the Poinsettia Bowl against Navy. During our interview, he exchanged several hundred soft tosses with us (as if it’s become a habit that he can’t kick) while answering questions, never dropping a ball and catching most of them one-handed. VJ is now a San Diego Charger. Drafted 82nd overall in 2011, he caught 19 passes and converted two of those for touchdowns. When we interviewed him in late October, he was still recovering from a broken ankle, which he suffered while scoring a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in a pre-season game. »

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Q: What is the best part of being in the NFL? VINCENT BROWN, JR.: It takes a lot of work to get in the league, and people say it takes more to stay there. It’s great knowing that you’re playing on the level of all the guys you grew up watching.

Q: Which players did you admire growing up? VJ: Jerry Rice. He was the greatest receiver to ever play the game. As a young receiver, you always want to emulate the best. Both his work ethic and how he handled himself on the field were admirable. He was never the biggest or the fastest, but he always made plays when he had the opportunity. I have never been the biggest or fastest and feel like I have had a similar situation in my development. Everything I do on the field has to be precise.

Q: What would you love to accomplish as a San Diego Charger? VJ: A Super Bowl win. That’s what every Charger has on their mind.

Q: Who do you hang out with on the team? VJ: You can hang out with about anyone. Everyone is cool. I would say Shareece Wright, because we are from the same area.

Q: What was your welcome-to-the-NFL moment?

VJ: It was a game in San Diego against the Raiders. It was the game I scored my first touchdown in. I remember I had a slant route over the middle and Mike Mitchell (#34) was sitting right over the middle. I caught the ball initially, and then he came screaming right down the middle and caught me in the ribs and leveled

me. I dropped the ball and it was all slow motion after that. I thought “I’m in the league now; that’s how they hit up here.”

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not playing football?

VJ: Music. I love music. I have been playing drums since I was six years old. There are a few spots downtown that have open mic night. The last place I played was called Patricks 2 downtown. They have jazz and open mic every week. I like to go down and mess around on the drum set.

Q: Where did you learn to play the drums? VJ: I grew up playing in church. My father was a minister, and my mom played the piano. I played with the church choir.

Q: If you were out grabbing something to eat, where would I most likely fi nd you? VJ: I will have to go with two spots. In college, I would go to a soul food restaurant called Stockdale’s for catfish, gumbo and fried okra. Now, you might catch me at Donovan’s Steakhouse, downtown. Q: Where is your favorite place to unwind in San Diego? VJ: You’ll find me in either Mission Beach or La Jolla at the beach, hanging out with a few of my college buddies.

Q: Is there one moment from your experience in the NFL, so far, that you’ll never forget? VJ: Walking into the locker room and seeing my name on the back of the jersey, hanging in my locker. It was like a dream.






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Rudy Silva Work: Victory MMA & Fitness Title: Director of Sales and Promotions How long: 4 Years workouts: Boxing, Muay-thai Kickboxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, CrossFit, Kettle Bells, Yoga, Free Weights, 130 weekly classes


Adress: 3666 Midway Dr, San Diego, Ca Phone: 619-223-5581 Web:

Q +A

Q: What move do you practice that has changed your world? RS: I’m a Purple Belt In Jiu-Jitsu and the sport has literally changed the direction of my life and career path. I’ve seen the sport change people of all walks of life physically, mentally and spiritually for the better over my decade in this business. Q: How many times do you work out each week?

RS: I try to work out at least once a day in either boxing or jiu-jitsu and mix it up with some Cross fit or just a 3-4 mile run. Q: What is the best benefit your routine gives you? RS: The one biggest benefit I would say is self-confidence. Training in MMA is for all experience levels, is challenging, and unlike common “work outs” inherently teaches you self-defense and self-discipline as well as getting you - or keeping you - in peak physical condition. Q: Where is your favorite local healthy meal from?

RS: I wish I could say from my beautiful girlfriend but, reality is I cook for her haha. I usually frequent Gaijin Noodle House in San Diego. They have great Yakitori. Or The Malt Shop right next to my gym. Contrary to the name they make great mixed meat, veggie plates, and salads - all very healthy. Q: What advice would you give someone that would change their world? RS: I say, "seize the day!" There are tons of excuses why training doesn’t fit your schedule, or budget, etc. This stuff is life changing! Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can get done today! Get after it!

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TTiffany iffany DDavis avis Work: Yoga Six, Solana Beach, CA Title: Assistant Studio Manager & Yoga Instructor How long: Tiffany has been practicing yoga for 8 years Available workouts: Hot Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Yoga Fundamentals, Restorative Yoga, Deep Stretch, Y6 Barre, Y6 Sculpt, Power Hour Locations: Solana Beach: 858-345-1810 Carlsbad: 760-274-6332 Point Loma: 619-955-6668 Web:

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Q +A

Q: What move do you practice that has changed your world? TD: Bakasana (Crow pose). Crow is the first arm balance I learned. It's a strong and empowering posture that made me realize what my mind and body are capable of. I feel triumphant each time I practice crow. It inspires me to try things I never thought were possible both on and off the yoga mat. Q: How many times do you work out each week?

TD: 5 days a week. I enjoy yoga, yoga inspired strength classes like barre and sculpt, and jogging along the coast. Q: What is the best benefit your routine gives you? TD: My routine makes me feel strong, flexible and full of vitality. It's a natural high like no other. Q: Where is your favorite local healthy meal from?

TD: The Naked Cafe, all the way! Q: What advice would you give someone that would change their world?

TD: Lead with love, share your heart, and be authentic. Someone gave me that advice when I first started teaching yoga, it completely changed the way I show up in life.

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Lindsay Birtcil Work: The Rush Indoor Cycling Studio Title: Instructor How long: 1 year Available workouts: Spin classes Adress: 5628 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037 Phone: 858-255-8457 Web:

Q +A

What move do you practice that has changed your world? Tap Backs, Push - Ups, and Tricep Push-Ups; All done while on the bike and pedaling to the beat of the music. It's like dancing on wheels. Heart rate is up, calories are being burned, and you're having fun while doing it. It's the best possible combination! How many times do you work out each week? I teach 7 spin classes each week and try to ďŹ t in running, yoga and pilates in between classes and my travel schedule for work. What is the best beneďŹ t your routine gives you? I consider my classes at The Rush to be a total body workout, good for the mind, body & soul. After all, who doesn't want a great spin butt? Where is your favorite local healthy meal from? Bee Green smoothies and juices are my favorite go-to local healthy meal after teaching spin. What advice would you give someone that would change their world? Stop thinking about what you would do if you knew you couldn't fail and start thinking about what's worth doing even if you fail.

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Mark Divine Work: SEALFIT and Unbeatable Mind Title: Founder, CEO and Head Coach How long: Since 2007 Available workouts: "Operator WODS" and

Special Ops Prep WODs, available free online at daily Adress: 849 Second Street, Encinitas, CA 92024 Phone: 760-634-1833 Web:,,


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Q +A

What move do you practice that has changed your world? Olympic Lifts in Interval Training. How many times do you work out each week? SEALFIT 5 times a week, Yoga 4 times a week and Qi Gong 3 times a week. What is the best benefit your routine gives you? SEALFIT provides an amazingly well rounded athleticism with a high level of strength, stamina, endurance, work capacity and durability. It also trains mental toughness, which is why the folks from around the world who follow the workouts daily love it. Where is your favorite local healthy meal from? In-N-Out Paleo Style burger on my 20% day with my son. What advice would you give someone that would change their world? Take 15 minutes in the morning to express gratitude for your life's blessings, review your life purpose and ensure that your plan for the day is in alignment with that purpose, then to do yoga for 10 minutes and to meditate for five. This morning ritual will literally change your life in 30 days!

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Connie Cook Work: Fit Athletic Title: Fitness Director/ Marketing Event Coordinator How long: 9 years with Fit – 25 years in fitness

industry Available workouts: 88 Group Fitness classes per

week, 28 Fit X Cross Training Classes per week, Personal/Group Training Adress: 350 10th Ave Suite 200, San Diego, Ca 92101 Phone: 619-764-54348 Web:

Q +A

What move do you practice that has changed your world? I teach all kinds of classes comprised of all kinds of physical moves, but the move that has recently changed my world is a mental move. On my daily walk with my four dogs I try to focus on being with them in the moment and letting them find pleasure in all the different scents the world has to offer in the two to three blocks we cover. The simplest things bring them joy; tennis balls, treats and belly rubs. I try to keep that experience with me the rest of the day. How many times do you work out each week? I teach 14 classes per week but only work out about 4 to 5 times. What is the best benefit your routine gives you? Because of the variety of classes I teach I’m always mixing it up and never doing the same thing over and over so my body is constantly challenged in different ways. Which means those who take my classes get the same benefits. Where is your favorite local healthy meal from? My boyfriend is an amazing cook, so most of my favorite meals are at home with him. However, Tender Greens in Point Loma has delicious, killer salads. What advice would you give someone that would change their world? Change can be scary. I think you have to decide what it is you want to change in your world and then determine WHY you want to change it. Any change in life you make for yourself needs to come from your personal desire to make that change, not someone else’s recommendation. If you want to get healthy, do it. If you want to get more organized, do it. If you want to adopt a rescue dog, do it. Don’t be a slave to approval from others. You have to live in your world and you have to take responsibility for how that world turns out.

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Peter’s English Game Traditional English Hors D’Oeuvres Flame Grilled and Pickled Mackerel Horseradish Cream, Apple & Fennel

Breast of Scottish Red Grouse Poached Local Pears, Game Chips & Bread Sauce

Wild Scottish Brown Hare & Venison Pithivier Roasted Loin, Root Vegetables

Sticky Toffee Pudding Chantilly Cream & Candied Orange


FLOWERAL ARRANGEMENTS BY: ADELAIDE’S 7766 Girard Avenue | La Jolla, CA 92037 |



WHISKNLADLE 1044 Wall St. La Jolla, CA 92037 858-551-7575

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Sticky Toffee Pudding

FOR THE PUDDING: 5 Oz. Butter 15 Oz. Dates, pitted and chopped fine 1 3/4 C. Water 3 C. All-Purpose Flour 3/4 Tsp. Baking Soda 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp Baking Powder 3/4 Tsp. Salt 1 2/3 C. Brown Sugar 1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp. Vanilla 3 Eggs 1 Orange, Zested 1/2 Tsp. Nutmeg 1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon FOR THE TOFFEE SAUCE: 8 Oz. Brown Sugar 8 Oz. Heavy Cream 1 Tsp. Vanilla 1 Tsp. Salt 4 Oz. Butter

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1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium saucepan, heat the chopped dates and water together on medium heat until the dates begin to fall apart. Then, set aside to let cool. 2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar together. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. Then, add the salt, vanilla, and orange zest. Next, mix in the eggs one by one, incorporating each well into the mixture before adding another. Lastly, add in the dates (w/ water) and set aside. 3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices together. Then, add to the wet mixture by the spoonful and mixing until well incorporated. Pour

the mixture into your buttered ramekins half-way and bake for 20-25 minutes. To check if the cakes are done, gently poke the center of one of the cakes with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, they are finished. FOR THE TOFFEE SAUCE: 4. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and brown sugar to boil and let boil for 5 minutes. Then, add in the butter and let boil for one minute more. 5. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and salt.

Sticky Toffee pudding is best served warm with hot toffee sauce drizzled overtop, whipped cream and candied orange peel to garnish.


The First Noel 1 1/2 Oz. Buffalo Trace 1/2 Oz. All Spice Liqueur 1/2 Oz. Drambuie 3/4 Oz. Lemon Juice 1 Oz. Simple Syrup 1 Egg White

Add all ingredients to shaker without ice. Shake for 15 seconds. Add ice and shake hard and fast for 5 seconds. Strain into a martini glass, garnish with cinnamon stick and clove. Conversely, for the home bar, add all ingredients to a blender including ice and hit the button!

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Q: Bliss 101 is a beautifully eclectic home furnishings store. Where do you fi nd your pieces, and are they a refl ection of your own personal style? HELEN ZELDES: We curate our unique furnishings from all four corners of the globe. From furniture made of reclaimed fishing boats in Indonesia, to chairs from reclaimed wine barrels here in San Diego, we look for eco-friendly design elements that are fresh, cutting edge and reflect our coastal lifestyle aesthetic. We are proudest of our local offerings. We support dozens and dozens of local artists from furniture makers, to painters and photographers, to clothing and jewelry designers, to local inspirations like Stacy Somers, our “happiness bootcamp” maven who teaches us how to bring more Bliss into our lives. That’s the thing, we are all about helping each other get happy. You know when you walk into a place, take a deep breath, smile, inhale, and think, “Now THIS is how I want my home to look, feel and smell?” That’s what people do when they walk in the doors at Bliss. And when they come in, they want to stay and keep coming back to get another dose of Bliss. So does it reflect my personal style? Yes, that’s my mission: helping people help each other. It’s the circle of life. We support local artists, and the people that come in here support us and everyone benefits.

Q: How would you characterize the style of your store? HZ: It’s a unique, coastal-beach-surf lifestyle. Contemporary Zen.

Q: There are so many local artists featured in your store. How do you fi nd them, and how can new local artists be featured? HZ: Some of the artists I have been stalking for years - always threatening to give them a venue when I opened my future gallery! Some are my favorites from the islands. Many have

found me. I’m always looking for new up-andcoming artists. I encourage artists who create coastal-inspired/themed art, handcrafts, jewelry, metal work, woodwork or clothing to send a submission (we prefer to see a website or images straight away) to

Q: How many of your fi nds end up decorating your own home instead of the showroom fl oor? HZ: I’m super stingy with myself! I feel too guilty keeping the best for myself, so I only take something if it’s been on the floor a while. Unless I bought it on a buying trip because it spoke to me. There are some really special things I find that I get because they remind me of an experience or a place that is unique to me. But truly, I get more joy from sharing my unique finds with others than keeping them sequestered in my home. Q: How important is community to your business? HZ: It’s our heartbeat. It’s what drives me to do what I do. I used to commute downtown every day from North County and felt like I never got to know my community. Now that I live and work up here, I have gotten to know my neighbors, my neighboring businesses and have met a lot of people in the community. We all brainstorm on how we can help promote each other. There are so many great mom and pop businesses up here in Encinitas that give it such character. If you haven’t been up here lately, you will be stoked on all the great new places that have opened.

Q: What was your occupation prior to Bliss? HZ: I’m an attorney. I started both my legal and gallery careers in Hawaii. Living on the North Shore of Oahu (still have a gallery there in Haleiwa) really changed my life. The island lifestyle made a lasting impression on me. The idea of Ohana (everyone is part of your extended family), is part of the fabric

of my life now, and I wanted to bring some of the beauty of the islands and the island spirit to my new(ish) home in San Diego. I’ve been here 12 years now and since it doesn’t look like I’ll be returning to Hawaii full time, I looked for a spot to open up shop and settled on Pacific Station.

Q: What is your dream job? HZ: I would live in Hana Maui and write the next great American novel—wait, that’s when I retire. Until then, I just love bringing people together in community. This is my dream job! Q: If we can’t fi nd you at Bliss, where should we look for you? HZ: Three places: the gym, stand-up paddling on the lagoon or on the North Shore of Oahu, my home away from home. Q: Where is your favorite local lunch spot and what do you order? HZ: It was Lotus Cafe (ranch salad or daily salad special) until Whole Foods opened. Now I get the same thing every day, because I am a creature of habit: salad bar with a piece of grilled salmon! Super ono (aka delicious).

Q: What do you love to do in San Diego that you feel is a locally-kept secret? HZ: San Diego is so rich with parks. You can explore a new one every weekend! I think Quail Gardens (now San Diego Botanical Garden) in Encinitas is one of the best-kept secrets for both adults and kids. Don’t miss their holiday lights nights. It is unreal fun for the whole family in the beautiful gardens. We go every year! You should come with us.

VISIT BLISS 101 687 S. Coast Hwy. 101, Suite 151 Encinitas, CA 92024

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