Nicole DAHM SHE’S UP ALL NIGHT TO GET LUCKY AT GASLAMP QUARTER
ASHLEY HICKSON COO/CO-FOUNDER Born and raised in New Jersey, Ashley Hickson has enjoyed living in sunny Southern California since she was 17. After graduating from Chapman University in Old Town Orange, Ashley pursued her dreams and began the journey of helping found LOCALE Magazine. Often referred to as Erik’s right and left arm, Ashley is THE go-to girl for everything LOCALE. She enjoys being an intricate piece to LOCALE’s puzzle and is proud of the 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.
Have you ever been tempted to just prattle on, saying wildly nonsensical things to see if people are paying attention? I have. LOCALE magazine is growing and growing up. While you read this issue we are just finishing a new website, moving into a new, larger office and finishing the production of our first Los Angeles edition. We have hired new employees and purchased a Ford Transit from Ken Grody in Carlsbad to make all of our deliveries. When you open this issue, you will also see how much the design has changed. We are cleaner, easier to read and more sophisticated. So, as I alluded to in the opening, I want to take a minute to do what many would like to do before they are forced to grow up. I am sticking out my tongue, making funny noises, I’m sitting to close to the TV and disrespecting my elders. I didn’t eat my peas, and I’m not ready for bed. You want to tell me what to do? I roll my eyes and say “you can’t make me.” I don’t wanna grow up. But I will.
ERIK HALE PUBLISHER
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EDITOR IN CHIEF A writer transformed by the beatnik’s before her, Kristal Docter headed West after earning a degree in Creative Writing from Southwest Minnesota State University. Her career has been driven by diversification as a newspaper editor-in-chief, copy editor, corporate advertising professional, stylist, non-profit marketing maven and brand contributor. Throughout her cultured journey, Kristal continued asserting an appetite for all things linguistic, and has become an influential voice at LOCALE as their original foodie and now Editor in Chief. She is also the creator of independent writing company VergeINK. A vocab vixen, Kristal prefers a pen and paper, is an eternal book whore, live music lover, casual culinary artist, conch diver and will always be a farm-girl at heart.
MIKE TODD SMITH MARKETING MANAGER After living in San Diego for a year now, I realize why so many people call this amazing place home. Not only are we blessed with a downtown, but San Diego also has absolutely everything. From the suburbs to the beaches to the mountains, San Diego is a wonderful place to call home. I never expected the warmth and generosity we've received, but I will never forget it, and that’s why San Diego will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you to all of our friends and fans for the overwhelming hospitality; we can only get better as we grow.
REILLY KAVANAUGH DESIGNER With a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design under her belt, this Redlands native has produced creative for major fashion labels, institutions and ad firms. Reilly Kavanaugh is a tiny artist, at 4 feet 11 inches, who is much tougher than she looks. As the newest member of LOCALE, she exhibits a youthful energy and fierce, current designs. She’s a girly tomboy who simultaneously dresses like a fashionista and struts her stuff at the firing range with the accuracy of a sharp shooter. Reilly is also a CrossFit fanatic and is allergic to almost everything.
POINT LOMA CORONADO
RANCHO SANTA FE
LA JOLLA BEACH L A G U N A B E A C H
MANHATTAN BEACH TORREY PINES NEWPORT BEACH
COSTA MESA CORONA DEL MAR NEWPORT BEACH
T OR R E Y PI NE S LAGUNA NIGUEL
LAG U N A B E AC H
HUNTINGTON BEACH SOLANA BEACH
HUNTINGTON BEACH LOS ANGELES
POINT LOMA MISSION BEACH
GASLAMP PLAYA DEL REY CORONA DEL MAR
PACIFIC BEACH CARLSBAD ENCINITAS VENICE BEACH
R A N C H O S A N T A F E NORTH PARK
CARLSBAD DEL MAR HILLCREST CORONA DEL MAR CARDIFF MALIBU
L E U CAD I A OCEANSIDE
CORONA DEL MAR MARINA DEL REY
COSTA MESA H I L L C R E S T
DANA POINT CORONADO SOLANA
our YCity LAUNCHING
the CONTRIBUTORS MARCH 2014
NATALIE HOLTZ Natalie Holtz is a writer living in San Diego. She received her BA in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010. A word sleuth and book junkie, she prefers paper over e-books and loves few things more than surfing four to five-foot waves. You can follow her projects in process on her blog: www.thesurferstokeproject.com
launching a fashion, art, music and lifestyle publication based in Miami.
Gretchen Hackmann is the founder of Nubry.com—San Diego’s #1 fashion, beauty, health and lifestyle blog—holding a BS in Business Administration from Babson College with concentrations in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Her expertise lies in digital marketing, branding and online strategy. Gretchen has a PhD in Style, is a Mrs., and is referred to as the Martha Stewart of Plants by those who know her home cooking. She can be spotted wearing boyfriend jeans and five-inch Saint Laurent pumps. @nubry
Nicole is a New Jersey native who studied English and Journalism at Monmouth University, Long Branch. She moved to sunny San Diego to enjoy all that it has to offer, including the beach, the music scene and the opportunity to share her love of Journalism with others. She hopes to continue writing by making a career of her first true love: words.
STYLE BY F.E.A
MEGHAN MEREDITH Meghan Meredith is a Southern California native. She is a freelance writer and photographer who has worked with The Chopra Center for Well-Being shooting for the Oprah Winfrey Network. Her work has been seen in Pilates Today and IDEA Health and Fitness. She also participates in storytelling projects involving creative writing, photography and film. www.meghanmeredith.com
EMILY VILLANUEVA Emily Villanueva is sensitive, superstitious, slightly scatterbrained and far too forthcoming. She is a wandering wordsmith who spends 90 percent of her time (and paychecks) on food. When she’s not busy stuffing her face, she’s stuffing her head with delicious literature, music and art, because brain food is important, too, kids.
CAROLYN SAMUELSON BRITT HACKMANN Britt Hackmann is the founder of Nubry.com—San Diego’s #1 fashion, beauty, health and lifestyle blog— holding an MBA and BS in Business Administration from Babson College with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. Her expertise is in retailing management and marketing analytics. Britt can be spotted on the SD Polo fields or Aspen’s Ajax, and she loves her body-con Roland Mouret dresses the way she loves her Bogner pants. @nubry
Carolyn Samuelson recently accomplished her dream of becoming a California girl after one too many Chicago winters. An aspiring rockstar, socialite and philanthropist, Carolyn has many projects and is always looking for more. She is usually singing, either in a bar, coffee shop, hotel liquidation sale or her own head. www.Carolynsamuelson.me
Francisco, Eddie and Alex Barragan are three freelance fashion stylists from Orange County who collectively form Style by f.e.a. Working as a team, the Barragan brothers give clients the unique experience of having three creative minds working as one. Apart from being fascinated by all things fashion, the brothers have a genuine interest in helping others look and feel their best. www.stylebyfea.com
BRITTANY HART MATILDA BRESS
JESSIE SETKUS Jessie Setkus is a resident of Southern Orange County and a graduate of California State University Fullerton. She is a freelance writer with an advertising background with experience in social media, public relations, copywriting and blogging. She also has a passion for non-profit organizations, is a world traveler, a food fanatic and a hedgehog enthusiast. 12 |
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MEGAN BISHOP This Jersey girl found her passion for fashion while living in sun-soaked South Florida. After falling in love with the editorial spreads of Ocean Drive, Megan knew she had found her calling. In 2007, she tried her own hand at the magazine biz by
Matilda Bress was born, and is still being raised, on Balboa Island. At only 16 years old, she is just beginning her journalistic pilgrimage and hopes to continue her passion in college. A junior at Corona del Mar High School, she enjoys studying till the break of dawn, politics, waterpolo and her Instagram.
Brittany Hart is a wardrobe stylist and fashion blogger based in OC who strives to keep fashion fun and attainable for each of her clients. She specializes in editorial, advertising, and look book styling. When she isn’t busy styling shoots she runs a site called www.thefashiondrug. com, which profiles the latest fashion trends, designer collections and eye candy obsessions. www.thefashiondrug.com www.brittanyhart.com
the CONTRIBUTORS MARCH 2014
photographer and graphic designer based in San Diego. When she’s not making photographs, you can usually find her at the beach enjoying the rays and surf, cutting a rug, experimenting in the kitchen or off on an adventure with friends. Keep up with her work at www.angelicabongioanni.com and follow her on Instagram @abongioanni
and people from all over, she’s able to adapt and work with everyone who is willing to step in front of her camera. www.faithklefeverphotography.com
ADAM GENTRY NANCY VILLERE Nancy Villere has been a professional photographer for 18 years. Her passion for photography lies in the discovery of another human being. She is currently uncovering her purpose as a photographer through her studio work at Crush Photo Studios. Fashion, commercial and boudoir photography are Nancy’s emphasis. It is her greatest joy to witness the freedom and selfconfidence women experience after their sessions. www.crushphotostudios.com
Adam is a Southern-California native, a photographer and an entrepreneur. He is passionate about profiling interesting people whether they are a break-through artist, a fledgling stylist or simply someone with a compelling story to tell. www.gentryimages.com
DHRUMIL DESAI Dhrumil Desai is a fashion and beauty photographer who focuses on creating sophisticated photos. His images develop a relationship between the viewer and the photo by having a strong character present. He created a series of photographs taken from the window seat of an airplane, which won him an award in the Fine Arts category in the 2nd National Photo Awards held by the Government of India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. www.dhrumildesai.me
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Anh Nguyen is a photographic and cinematographer artist who specializes in creative lifestyle portraits, weddings and action photography. His clients range from the NBA to modeling agencies. Anh grew up in Dallas and has taken a new turn by currently residing in Southern California, where he plans to continue his imaginative efforts with his art. www.anhstudio.com
Matt Doheny strives for visual excellence and creativity through the lens in which he sees the world. His journey has taken him to many places. With a lifelong passion for music (he has been playing guitar for as long has he has been shooting photos), Matt Doheny says, “Music and photography are like my two hands, always with me and on my mind.” www.mattdoheny.com
FELICIDAD DE LUCAS
Born in Connecticut and raised in Southern California, Photographer Frank Ishman received his education and training at Morehouse College and the Art Institute of Atlanta. Frank has lived and worked around the world in locations like London, India, New Zealand and throughout the United States, and has recently moved from Brooklyn, New York back home to the Los Angeles area. www.frankishman.com
Sierra Prescott is a lifestyle fashion photographer, born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. People are her passion, so she photographs them for a living. Working or not, you’ll never see her without a smile on her face. www.sierraprescott.com
Collin Chappelle is a photographer and Formula 1 fanatic based in San Diego. A former newspaper photojournalist, Collin seeks to create honest images by visually exploring people as well as the various facets of their lives, whether at work or at play. www.collinchappelle.com
A San Diego based freelance photographer, Chuck Fedalizo’s recent work includes runway coverage, editorial work, featuring designs by Mark Roscoe (Chicago), Kenneth Barlis (San Diego) and Shekhar Rahate (W. Hollywood), food photography and charitable contributions benefiting The Vision of Children Foundation and The Lone Survivor Foundation. www.cfphotog.smugmug.com
Felicidad De Lucas is a 26-year-old Spanish woman who is passionate about art and adventure. She was raised in the busy streets of Madrid, Spain, but spent most of her childhood traveling. She has studied Mass Communications, Advertising and Marketing in Spain and at UCI. You’ll find her photographing, doing art work or traveling whenever possible. She specializes in Fashion but also loves Portrait, Lifestyle and Documentary. www.felicidaddelucas.com
RICK RAMIREZ FAITH LEFEVER
ANGELICA BONGIOANNI Angelica Bongioanni is a freelance
Faith Lefever is a fashion and beauty photographer who works in San Diego and Denver. Her intent for her viewers is to simply see the beauty she already sees. Working with celebrities, models,
When racks run out, Rick runs in.
Hotel & Resort, St. Regis Monarch Beach, Pacific Edge Hotel, Island Hotel, Shorebreak Hotel Models listed in order from left to right.
All rights reserved © 2014, the entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in retrieval system or transmitted in any forms or by any means without express written prior permission of the copyright owner. LOCALE MAGAZINE ph: 858.848.9101 | fax: 949.682.4807 email@example.com COVER Photography By: Nancy Villere of Crush Photo Studios Model: Nicole Dahm Hair & Makeup By: Noel Sweeny of Hey Saylor Cosmetics, www.heysayorcosmetics.com Styled By: Style by f.e.a. Location: Gaslamp Quarter, www.gaslamp.org Trench Coat Provided By: Ralph Lauren at Macy’s Fashion Valley, www.macys.com Accessories Provided By: Ma Cherie Boutique, www.shopmacherleboutique.com PANORAMA Photography By: Dhrumil Desai Styling By: Shahnaz Zarif Wardrobe Provided By: Bloomingdale’s Fashion Valley Locations: The Grand Del Mar, L’Auberge Del Mar, Rancho Valencia, Lakehouse
THE GRAND DEL MAR Taylor, Whitney, Alexander, Shannon SD Model Management Makeup & Hair: Meredith Andrée Artistry (Shannon & Taylor) Makeup & Hair: Hollie Berry Beauty (Alexander & Whitney) L’AUBERGE DEL MAR Paige Froelich, Brenton Loren Refresh Talent Makeup & Hair: Meredith Andrée Artistry (Paige) Hollie Berry Beauty (Brenton) RANCHO VALENCIA Ryan, Diana, Brenton Loren, Whitney, Kevin SD Model Management & Refresh Talent Makeup: Amelia @ Amelia C & Co (Diana, Whitney) Samantha Dellinger (Ryan, Brenton, Kevin) Hairstylist: Rachel @ Amelia C & Co LAKEHOUSE HOTEL & RESORT Whitney, Madison, Brenton Loren, Mitch SD Model Management & Refresh Talent Makeup: Amelia @ Amelia C & Co (Whitney, Mitch) Samantha Dellinger (Madison, Breton) Hairstylist: Rachel @ Amelia C & Co
Nicole DAHM Behind every great man is a great woman, and this “Lucky Bastard” is no exception. Nicole Dahm Kelly is a small town Minnesota girl, turned Playboy Playmate, model and actress and now nightlife entrepreneur. At Lucky Bastard Saloon she’s going back to her roots in tribute to her love of sports, spirits and good company. The concept behind Lucky Bastard Saloon is all about having a good time: classic drinks, like her favorite vodka cocktail, served up strong, stone fired pizzas, juicy burgers and perfectly crisp yet chewy chocolate chip cookies baked in a cast iron skillet—nothing fussy or snobby. Lucky Bastard Saloon is a place where everyone can sink into a seat, pick up a game of pool or beer pong and leave happier than when they arrived. Nicole wanted Lucky Bastard Saloon to be something personal, different and a small piece of who she is. You’ll see her vintage 1942 Harley Davidson in the window and an ode to her hometown in Minnesota represented in the wildlife on the walls. The saddles-turnedbarstools are a nod to her love of riding horses. TVs for watching sports were a must as were the games, especially beer pong. She and her husband, Michael Kelly, are a formidable team on the beer pong circuit. She also has a love for baking, fueled by her sweet tooth, so the chocolate chip cookies and many of the other sweet treats on the menu at Lucky Bastard Saloon are her own recipes. The seeds were planted for Lucky Bastard Saloon at an early point in Nicole’s life. 18 |
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In the small town where she grew up in Minnesota, sporting events were often the highlight of the town’s activities. Along with that, and her large family being a small team of its own with her father cheering them on, Nicole fell in love with sports at an early age. Her dad would take the family to Timberwolves basketball games, US Open golf tournaments, Vikings football games, North Stars Hockey games, University of Minnesota Golden Gopher games and Minnesota Twins baseball games. A self proclaimed “daddy’s girl,” Nicole took on the same love of sports that he had, and grew to love watching and playing a variety of sports. In her twenties, Nicole and her two identical triplet sisters put their pursuits of becoming nurses on hold, left Minnesota and followed a crazy California dream to model and act in Hollywood. The trio earned international fame as Playboy Playmates, appeared on an array of television shows and movies and pursued numerous business adventures together. While modeling, Nicole and her sisters often appeared in ad campaigns for motorcycle companies but didn’t know how to ride. So, their dad taught them how to ride on her now motorcycle brand of choice, Harley Davidson. Nicole quickly fell in love with riding, especially in the beautiful California deserts. She and her husband, Michael Kelly, are proud parents of two young children and enjoy exploring on their Harleys together.
Contents MARCH 2014
THIS EDITION: Eat/Drink
Monday through Sunday, By Locals
THE RED DOOR RESTURANT & WINE BAR
From Garden to Table, with Love EAT EXPERT
Nothing Bundt Cakes’ Mara Fortin Shares Her Franchise Secrets
THE REVIVAL OF RAW BARS AND TARTARES
Exploring San Diego’s Freshest Seafood Selections from Sushi to Ceviche
DRINK EXPERT BRUNCH GUIDE
A BUNCH OF BRUNCH MUSTS
Hoist Your Mimosas to Our San Diego Brunch Guide 20 |
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DRINK FEATURE VS BREWERIES
I’D TAP THAT
Pouring into the Beer Scene with a Brew Tour by Scavenger’s Beer Adventures
WATER OF LIFE
Scotland-born Mitch Bechard Spreads the Word on Whisky as Glenfiddich’s Western Ambassador
Contents MARCH 2014
Southern California Shows Us Its Most Luxurious Suites in the Region’s Ritziest Resorts & Hotels
Home 112 DO EXPERT 82 SPRING FASHION
FOOD VS. FASHION The Battle for your Senses
LET’S KICK IT
Steve Stoloff Talks Finding Your Inner Athlete, Staying Social and Giving Back with VAVi Sports
144 HOME EXPERT
Willis Allen Stands By To Take Your Call
117 DO FEATURE
WE’VE GOT THE POWER
San Diego’s Most Powerful Women Tell All
94 LOCALE LOOKS
148 SETTING THE TABLE
BRUNCH IS SERVED
Get Inspired for Summer (and the gym) with These Easy-to-replicate Ensembles That Will Keep You Looking Stylish from Beach to Bar
The Westgate Room Offers an Elegant Setting for an Extravagant Easter Brunch
104 THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID
A RENDEZVOUS WITH DESTINY Discover Your Surroundings This Spring with a Fresh Wardrobe and Impromptu Road Trip 22 |
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130 FIRST TIMER’S GUIDE
152 SU CASA
First Timer’s Guide to Skydiving
A Contemporary Masterpiece on Coronado
NATIVE KNOWLEDGE By Locals for Locals // Where to be Monday-Sunday Perry Bacon
Partner-Financial Advisor, Marine Street Financial MONDAY: I start the week off with meetings at Brian’s 24, my favorite downtown breakfast spot. I head up to La Jolla in the afternoons to coach the La Jolla Pop Warner Eighth grade team. Go Torreys! www.brians24.com | www.thecommonssd.com
TUESDAY: Tuesday morning I hit the gym with trainer Danny Davis at Broadway Athletic and Swim Club, the best trainer and gym in town. The great thing about Broadway Athletic is that it’s new, clean and never crowded. Lunch on Tuesdays is almost always a meeting with clients somewhere like Spike Africas, a great new place for seafood. www.braodwayathletic.com | www.spikeafricas.com
WEDNESDAY: Wednesday mornings I grab a quick breakfast at St Tropez downtown. For lunch, one of my favorites is The Local. The staff at The Local is great, and they’ve got a daily fresh fish special that’s my go-to order. After the workday is over, I usually hit OB Dog Beach with my Golden Retriever Chief and check out the farmers market on Newport. www.thelocalsd.com THURSDAY: I start my day off with a quick walk with Chief to The Brickyard, another dog friendly place for coffee and a bagel. Mid-day, I take a break from work and head to the Commons for the best wings in town. www.thecommonssd.com
FRIDAY: After a long workweek I meet friends for happy hour somewhere near the beach, like Lahaina’s or Sandbar, followed by takeout from Phil’s BBQ or Mandarin House at my place. www.philsbbq.net | www.mandarinhousesandiego.com
SATURDAY: I head to the beach and watch college football at my favorite watering hole from my college days at USD, The Pennant. When the games are over, I’ll head back downtown for dinner somewhere like Searsucker for great food and sometimes even better people watching. www.pennantbar.com | www.searsucker.com SUNDAY: During football season, Sundays are dedicated to my hometown Kansas City Chiefs. I watch the games with my fellow Chiefs faithful at The Boardwalk in Mission Beach, where they have great food and cheap beer. Postgame festivities, win or lose, almost always involve a shot of some sort next door at Guava Beach. www.boardwalkmissionbeach.com www.guava-beach.com
Senior Publicist, H2 Public Relations MONDAY: #MotivationMonday. I try to start the week off right with a postwork class at FIT Athletic Club in East Village right next to the ballpark. Connie’s “Butts & Guts” kills me every time. Always guaranteed to have a tough time getting out of bed the next day. www.fitathletic.com
the tacos, too crowded. Opt for dinner at BObeau kitchen + bar in OB.
My beau and I (see what I did there?) head over for Tuesday’s “Cheap Date Night for Two” which includes of a bottle of wine paired with Chef Katherine Humphus’ entrée picks for just $39. Rolling solo? Grab one of their delicious woodstone oven flatbreads (the shrimp with avocado, garlic lime aioli, almonds and ancho chile is a personal fave). www.bobeaukitchen.com
WEDNESDAY: Normal Heights is quickly becoming one of SD’s most eclectic hoods. With my office located on 30th and Adams, lunch right next door at Soda & Swine is usually a weekly norm for the H2-ers. They have all sorts of tasty meatballs and sides like pizza knots, an apple salad and a scotch egg. For after work happy hour, take a stroll to spirit havens Polite Provisions or Sycamore Den, both on Adams Ave., for cocktails $6 and under. www.sodaandswine.com | www.politeprovisions.com www.sycamoreden.com
THURSDAY: South Park strolling: shopping at Progress, which always has the best unique finds, kitchen gadgets and more, followed by dinner at South Park’s Neopalitano pizza joint, Buona Forchetta. Look for specials like the Isabella, with crème fraîche, goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes or the Sofia (named after the owner’s daughter) with mozzarella, artichokes, mushroom, and prosciutto cotto, EVOO. www.progresssouthpark.com www.buonaforchettasd.com
FRIDAY: If I didn’t love living at the beach so much, I’d definitely post up in Little Italy. Such a fun neighborhood with so much to do! After a taxing week, it’s time to unwind with friends over bites & burgers at Queenstown Public House, followed by cocktails at Craft & Commerce and brews at Ballast Point’s newest tasting room on India Street. www.queenstownpublichouse.com www.craft-commerce.com | www.ballastpoint.com
SATURDAY: Suns out, buns out! Saturdays are reserved for bronzing. I’ll grab my SUP for paddle boarding on the bay or bike up to Windansea to meet up with friends. Pit stops along La Jolla Blvd. include tacos and a beer at Don Bravo and a quick peek into Mimi & Red Boutique. www.donbravo.com | www.mimiandred.com
SUNDAY: Fig Tree Cafe in Liberty Station offers a killer brunch menu at a great price! I’m a big fan of their omelets, but the gluten-free, cinnamon-raisin French toast is a surefire win as well. Make your way up to the La Jolla Open Aire Market before 1pm on the corner of Girard Avenue and Genter Street to stock up on the freshest produce around for the following week. www.figtreeeatery.com | www.lajollamarket.com
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NATIVE KNOWLEDGE By Locals for Locals // Where to be Monday-Sunday Toni Robin
Krissy Heinz & Lisa Ovadia
Owner, TR/PR Public Relations MONDAY: I work from home, and some of the best advice I received was to get up and out on Monday mornings to feel in-step with the rest of the world. That means, early class at Club Pilates (what a deal!), coffee at 976 Café, and then, back to tackle the world of arts marketing. www.clubpilatesstudio.com | www.cafe976.com
TUESDAY: Living and working at the beach means an early bike ride on the boardwalk and coffee at Woody’s Breakfast and Burgers right on the ocean for great people watching. Evening is sunset at Law Street, and then hit the Fish Shop later for freshest fish tacos in town. Weekdays are also for beach locals at Patio on Lamont. www.facebook.com/WoodysBreakfastBurgers www.thepatioonlamont.com
WEDNESDAY: Mid-week is great for early theatre as many of my favorite spots have a 7pm or 7:30pm curtain. A show at Cygnet Theatre, Moxie or The Old Globe makes hump day bearable. www.cygnettheatre.com | www.moxietheatre.com www.theoldglobe.org
THURSDAY: Meetings downtown at The New Children’s Museum mean I can sneak in some time at the New Central Library. Still haven’t discovered all the amazing public art and secret places to read and relax. www.thinkplaycreate.com www.sandiego.gov/public-library
FRIDAY: If it’s the first Friday of the month, my gang of arts warriors and I head to NTC in Point Loma for Friday Night Liberty. After our fill of the free gallery walk and perhaps a free performance by San Diego Dance Theater or Malashock Dance, we head to Solare Ristorante. Don’t forget to ask them about their private label tequila. www.solarelounge.com | www.malashockdance.org www.ntclibertystation.com
SATURDAY: Saturday includes a hike out to Cabrilo National Monument. The coast trail has the best view of downtown and Coronado that you will ever see. Lunch at Mitch’s Seafood (hidden in the shadows of Point Loma Seafood); then, back to NTC for some serious design shopping for my new condo at SCOUT at Quarters D. www.nps.gov/cabr | www.mitchsseafood.com www.scout-home.com
SUNDAY: I grab my New York Times, hop on the bike and head north to the La Jolla Farmers Market followed by quality beach time in North PB.
A perfect week ends with a sunset cocktail at Tower 23.
www.lajollamarket.com | www.t23hotel.com
MONDAY: We start off our week with one of Bird Rock Coffee Roasters’ organic fair trade certified coffees or tea. Not only do they roast their own beans, but also the owner sources direct from the farmer at origin. Since our store is across the street, we often see a lot of our local regular customers gathered here, so it’s also a great opportunity to let them know all the amazing shipments we’re expecting for the week. www.birdrockcoffeeroasters.com
TUESDAY: One of us is usually at the store all day, while the other is taking care of social media or errands. We meet up at Windansea to watch the sunset and drink Bon Affair spritzers. Then, it’s off to The Fishery on Cass St. in Pacific Beach for their Tuesday Tasting. In addition to their daily menu favorites, Chef Paul Arias puts together tastings based on the fresh catch of the day. The vibe is casual and laidback sophisticated. www.thefishery.com
WEDNESDAY: We can always count on The Bar Method, Solana Beach to serve up our mid-week workout. After we get our sweat on, we head over to Leucadia for homemade udon noodles at Yu Me Ya (The Sake
House). This is by far one of North County’s best known culinary secrets. Their udon noodle recipe has been in the family for years, and originates in the region of Japan most famous for udon. We always do the sake tasting, too.
THURSDAY: Thursday nights are all about Manhattan of La Jolla. It’s located inside the Empress Hotel in La Jolla village and will transport you directly to New York with its dark and moody ambiance. Beige has been bartending as long as we can remember, and she serves up a mean martini. Thursday-Saturday nights offer live jazz in the lounge, so after polishing off our Penne Alla Bolognese, sink in with a glass of red wine and enjoy the music at this little gem. www.manhattanoflajolla.com
FRIDAY: After all that Bolognese, we are craving a freshly-pressed, organic juice from Farm 2 Fork. We are partial to the Radiance and the Brilliance, but they all deliver. Bring back your clean glass bottle for a dollar off your next juice. Later, we’ll take a trip downtown to Cafe Chloe. Order the pommes frites with the trio dip, and the prosciutto, roasted grape, and pecorino flatbread. The Parisienne charm never gets old. www.farm-2-fork-produce.com | www.cafechloe.com
SATURDAY: We love to go down to Beaumont’s after we close up the store to hang with some of our local customers and let loose a little. On the weekends, Beaumont’s turns their dining room into a dance floor, where they feature different local bands, like Jones Revival—they cover songs from The Rolling Stones and Janis Joplin. www.beaumontseatery.com SUNDAY: We look forward to the La Jolla Open Aire Market every Sunday. One of the biggest famer’s markets around, it’s located in the upper playground at La Jolla Elementary and stocks local certified farmfresh produce, offers live music and has an impressive array of creative artisans. Hit up the food court before leaving, it’s one of the best we’ve ever seen! www.lajollamarket.com
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Photography by: Angelica Bongioanni
EAT EXPERT From Courtroom to Cake Maker, Nothing Bundt Cakes Franchise Owner Mara Fortin Shares Her Success Story
GUIDE Our “Best Of” Brunch Compilation for Every Occasion; Plus, a Crowd-pleasing Bloody Mary Recipe
EAT FEATURE Celebrating the Bounty of San Diego’s Freshest Seafood Selections from Sushi to Ceviches
MEALS DECONSTRUCTED The Red Door Restaurant & Wine Bar Invites Us into Their Hillside Garden
DRINK EXPERT A Spirited Scot and Glenfiddich’s Western Ambassador Shows Us that Whisky is Reaching New Heights
EAT FEATURE The Revival of Raw Bars & Tartares
VS. BREWERIES Taking the Beer Bus Leads to Sampling Some of San Diego’s Most Stellar Local Brews
MARCH 2014 31
EAT EXPERT WRITTEN BY: MEGHAN MEREDITH PHOTOGRAPHY BY: NANCY VILLERE
THE EXPERT MARA FORTIN Franchise Owner, Nothing Bundt Cakes
Previous Occupation: Lawyer
you ever think about starting over? Did your big dreams in life slowly fade into the business of accomplishing daily tasks? Are there more days where you are just getting by instead of getting ahead? How often have you found yourself dreaming of another life, of imagining the person you could have become had you taken a chance on a dream, or a thought or an idea? What would have happened had you leapt into the unknown with only your work ethic, faith and perseverance as your source of stability? Every once in a while, you meet a true risk taker, a modern day pioneer; someone who is inspired by the idea of opportunity and is willing to throw the dice and gamble on the strength of her own traits and talents. Someone who knows her value and who knows that discipline leads to growth. Someone who takes the necessary risks in business, trusts her gut and pushes forward knowing that success is born from directed, committed effort. Meet Mara Fortin, a former lawyer who has successfully argued her way into a different way of life. The jury is out. She is a success who shows no sign of slowing down. She’s taken her life, picked it up and turned it around. She took a chance. She dared and she’s winning. Walking into her Nothing Bundt Cakes franchise(s) is nothing short of delightful. You can tell immediately just how much work and care goes into her organization. The cakes are gorgeous and delicious. They are made with only the finest of ingredients, including fresh eggs and real butter. The staff is professional and pleasant while the atmosphere is cozy. No sale is rushed. You can think and plan and create the perfect cake for your event. You can walk-in, call-in or even have your cake delivered if you live locally. There are cakes for every occasion. From Birthdays, Congratulations, Thinking of You and Happy Holidays, the customer is bound to find exactly the right amount of sweetness wrapped beautifully and ready to go. Nothing Bundt Cakes is truly an entrepreneurial success lead by a strong spirit who took a chance on a dream.
Meet Mara Fortin, a former lawyer who has successfully argued her way into a different way of life. She took a chance. She dared, and she’s winning. Q: What was your inspiration for opening a franchise of Nothing Bundt Cakes? Mara Fortin: It’s interesting. I feel like a fraud (laughs). I don’t have a background in baking. I have an undergraduate degree in business, and I have a law degree. I had been a practicing attorney for eight years in Las Vegas. I had just had my second daughter, and I was pulling all-nighters preparing for court. I was making a lot of money for somebody else on my work ethic. Something didn’t add up. So, my family decided that we were going to take a gigantic leap and move us all down to San Diego and start something new. Q: Where did the passion for your business originate? MF: We just loved the product. We had a passion for this cake. The company originated in Las Vegas. The two founders of the company opened the first bakery in Las Vegas in 1997. We opened the very first franchise location in Poway, CA in 2007. Now, there are about 100 bakery locations nationwide. We just happened to get in early at the beginning, and we were able to successfully negotiate over time for the San Diego market. We find ourselves very proud to own an entire city of fantastic bakeries. Q: What do you find is the biggest reward in owning a franchise? MF: Part of the reward is the incredible opportunity. For us, we initially committed to building three bakeries. The first was in Poway. Two and a half years later, we built Del Mar, and two years after that (2011); we built our Mission Valley location. Mission Valley is currently our highest grossing bakery, but our recently opened Carlsbad and Chula Vista bakeries are off to terrific starts. 32 |
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k a C e
< MARA FORTIN
THE SWEET RISK AND REWARD OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
“It’s interesting. Sometimes I wonder how we got
here. I don’t have a background in baking. I have an undergraduate degree in business, and I have a law degree. We just loved the product. We had a passion for this cake.” -Mara Fortin, Franchise Owner, Nothing Bundt Cakes
NOTHING BUNDT CAKES Locations in Poway, Del Mar, Mission Valley, Carlsbad and Chula Vista www.nothingbundtcakes.com | MARCH 2014 | 33
Q: What is your latest venture? MF: In January of 2013, we negotiated for three more bakeries; one in Carlsbad (now open), one in Chula Vista (now open), and a third slated for San Marcos. It’s amazing. I forget that I am a single Mom of 10-year-old and eight-year-old daughters. For the last several years, I have lived alone raising these girls and running this business. There have been very stressful times as well as incredible successes and learning experiences for me. Sometimes it’s overwhelming, because I can stand back and see before my eyes how much we’ve grown. And then, I have to remind myself that there was a day when I questioned what I was doing and why. Q: Why did you start over? MF: I knew that I was a hard worker and that I could do pretty well for myself, but a lot of it was timing. I had just had a baby and I was living in Las Vegas, questioning whether we wanted to raise a family in Las Vegas. My ex-husband and I wanted our children to be in good school districts with good medical care. I was raised in San Diego and my family still lives here. I needed the family support and wanted to be somewhere where I wanted to live. Q: Tell me about your interesting family dynamic now? Tell me how your relationship has also become a success. MF: My ex-husband and I met in law school. He stayed with his practice and was primarily a silent partner in our business for the past few years, maintaining his Las Vegas residence. But after 15 years as an attorney, he walked away and is now full time with us here in San Diego. We may not be married now, but we have two children and a business. We have put our differences aside. We have a growing business, staff to take care of, and are committed to going the distance to make good choices for the health of our company..
“We never plateau. We never say it’s good enough. We are constantly pushing ourselves to reach excellence in everything we do.” -MARA FORTIN, FRANCHISE OWNER, NOTHING BUNDT CAKES Q: How do you choose your employees? MF: We look for people who have leadership qualities and who have positive attitudes. We want people who are willing to step in and really work as a team and do what they are called upon to do. We are not as interested in previous training as we are in a dynamic, energetic, great attitude. We find we can train technique faster than we can train a great work ethic. We have a great group of people now that are dedicated to the company. Every member of our senior management is incredibly hard working. There are no excuses for maintaining great, ongoing operations. Q: Describe your typical customer. MF: Our typical customer is in the 25-55 age bracket. There are soccer moms and business people alike. Our customers most always order ahead and a large segment purchase other retail items such as candles in the store. They stay and will chat with us. They also want different things at different bakeries. Our Del Mar location is stocked with a variety of higher-priced retail items, as there is more of a demand for these types of products. An interesting side note: Del Mar sells more lemon cake and more gluten free bundtlets. In Poway, more moms are apt to bring in coupons, and in Mission Valley, we see people from every walk of life and demographic. We love the diversity. We are excited to see how Carlsbad and Chula Vista set themselves apart. Q: Who is your business mentor? MF: I have to say, from a franchise perspective, I am really happy with how our parent company has developed over the past few years. Within our brand, there are two who have been very helpful to us here in San Diego—Kyle Smith, our COO, and Melissa Schmitt, our Director of Operations. Q: What do you see in the future for your business? MF: We are definitely looking to expand, possibly north along the 15 into Riverside County and the surrounding areas. We are committed to opening more bakeries for sure. However, we do want to make sure that no matter how big we grow, we do it well. We will always have a top-quality cake and will always maintain that great guest experience. We never ever compromise on quality of ingredient—only using premium products. We also never plateau. We never say, “Oh well; it’s good enough.” We are constantly pushing ourselves to reach excellence in everything we do. That work ethic will never stop. Bring it on—let’s do it!
A Bunch OF
Brunch MUSTS HOIST YOUR MIMOSAS TO OUR SAN DIEGO BRUNCH GUIDE WRITTEN BY: NATALIE HOLTZ | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ANH NGUYEN
CODY’S LA JOLLA 8030 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037 858.459.0040 | www.codyslj.com | MARCH 2014 | 37
WHERE DID THIS MEAL COME FROM ANYWAY? The word “brunch,” that playful blend of “breakfast” and “lunch,” first appeared in print in an 1895 Hunter’s Weekly article. The tradition really caught on in the United States in the 1930s, supposedly because Hollywood movie stars were making transcontinental train trips, frequently stopping off in Chicago for a late morning meal. Hotels championed brunch, because most restaurants were closed on Sundays. **www.Smithsonian.com
Sweet Brunch Spot to Pop the Question
BRUNCH HOURS: Every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm Last year, this iconic rooftop in Banker’s Hill started offering their own take on brunch, something they’ve never done in 48 years of operation. Created by longtime Chef de Cuisine, Stéphane Voitzwinkler, the fine dining menu offers innovative dishes, like pork belly and sweet potato hash, alongside classics, like buttermilk fried chicken and waffles. Complementing its modern 38 |
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BRUNCH HOURS: Every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3pm Order a margarita and the breakfast torta at this colorfulCatholic-creative space in Banker’s Hill. “Mexican soul food” reigns, and from the blackberry-banana pancakes to the Mexican hot chocolate, you’ll find a fresh spin on classic Mexican fare. With everything from Mexican mules mixed with tequila and Serrano chiles, to micheladas blending Worcestershire and Tecate, the imbibes at this place are as intriguing as the Dias de los Muertos skulls dotting its interior. Which cocktail should you order? Go for the Roasted Jalapeno Blackberry Margarita—it’s an awardwinning balance of tequila, lime and triple sec.
Best Brunch for Sharing Plates/Best Brunch for Pre-(Baseball) Gaming
BRUNCH HOURS:Every Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 2pm
American menu, Mister A’s also offers an endless list of brunch imbibes. Wet your palette with everything from a Shandy made with Blue Moon and housemade lemonade, to a Kentucky Coffee made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Frangelico, espresso and fresh cream. If it’s a warm day, soak up sunshine on the wraparound balcony on the 12th floor of this San Diego high rise. Watch planes fly by as you take the ring out of your pocket—she can’t say “no” amidst views like these. If she does, don’t worry, bub, there are plenty of fish in the sea.
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BARRIO STARR 2706 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103 619.501.7827 www.isabelscantina.com/ barrio-star.php
SOUTHPAW SOCIAL CLUB 815 J St, San Diego, CA 92101 www.southpawsocialclub.com
BERTRAND AT MISTER A’S 2550 5th Ave #12, San Diego, CA 92103 619.239.1377 | www.bertranatmisteras.com
xican Br Me u t
an occasion for eggs benedict, Bloody Mary’s and meandering conversation; a rally of the oversleeping, hungover and otherwise indisposed. Brunch is our sweet escape—it’s a syrup-soaked excuse to whittle away weekend hours under a spell of rest and relaxation. What’s not to like about this civic obsession? While we sip on decadent champagne, we sweep away the stresses of the work week. As we savor sugary mixed with salty flavors, we settle into our lazy Sundays. Brunch is a memory-maker and a soul-soother. It’s an American tradition and an excuse to gather in the clouds of a hollandaise-covered heaven. But take heed dear breakfast-lunch seekers; each of us likes our brunch to look a certain way. Is it a passing of the plates? Beignets so good they make you weak in the knees or the best Bellini in America’s Finest City? Whether you’re looking for a bottomless mimosa or a place to avoid the post-party crowd, there are things to consider before you roll out of bed (and perhaps, swallow another Advil). We love brunch, and we love you. We don’t want you to have to think any harder than you need to—especially if on Sunday morning you find yourself Donner Party-starving and dehydrated. With breakfasty glory in mind, we compiled an abridged guide featuring some of the best of Bloody Mary’s, pancakes, French toast…you name it—a beacon to everything brunch-worthy within our fair city.
Oh, the brewmanity—beer, baseball and brunch! Cue a Julie Andrews Maria von Trapp: these are a few of my favorite things. This Southern barrelhouse-influenced eatery next to Petco Park pays tribute to baseball days of old, the good ol’ art of conversation and beer that falls a cut above. Located in the historic Schiefer & Sons Aeroplane Co. building, this enchanting space features red exposed brick, distressed barn timber and industrial steel. It’s airy, inviting and approachable. With nine televisions, this is the place to be on game day, and we love that many of the meals are meant for splitting. Order the Southpaw Short Stack—lemon ricotta pancakes topped with honey butter and drizzled with maple syrup. And take me out to…this place for the drink specials! On Sundays, you’ll find $5 Bloody Mary’s, $10 bottles of champagne, $4 carafes of orange juice and $3 Old Guardian.
QUEENSTOWN PUBLIC HOUSE 1557 Columbia St, San Diego, CA 92101 619.546.0444 www.queenstownpublichouse.com
BRUNCH HOURS: Every Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 2pm In case “Flight of the Concords” repeats aren’t satisfying your kiwi-cravings, check out this New Zealand-themed gastropub in Little Italy. Tucked inside a renovated 1906 Victorian house, Queenstown Public House offers everything from lamb skewers to soft pretzels with mustard. Order “Oink”— jalapeno corn bread with hoisin pulled pork, poached egg, jalapeno cayenne hollandaise sauce and garlic kale. The lineup of beer cocktails and sangrias really set Queenstown apart. With five signature sangrias, including the Peach Basil Sangria made with pinot grigio, fresh peaches, basil and champagne, and beer cocktails like the Shandy (lager topped off with Bunderberg ginger beer); the drinks at this foodie destination are a cut above. There are also sheep tramping across AstroTurf on the ceiling. Just saying…
Best Seafood Brunch & Best Graduation Day Brunch TOM HAM’S LIGHTHOUSE 2150 Harbor Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92101 619.291.9110 | www.tomhamslighthouse.com
BRUNCH HOURS: Champagne Brunch on the Bay, Every Sunday from 9:30am to 2pm If your kid just earned his degree in Professional Partying, start discussing health insurance and the real world here— the delicious seafood, views and craft beer lineup will soften the blow. This 42-year-old Harbor Island landmark shines brightly in San Diego’s brunch scene. Boasting views of the downtown skyline, the San Diego Bay and Coronado Island, Tom Ham’s is the only restaurant in the country with a fully functioning U.S. Coast Guard lighthouse. This is one of the best seafood restaurants in San Diego, so take advantage of the raw bar with its under-the-sea treasures like lobster claws, crab legs and smoked salmon. The brunch is buffet style, featuring made-to-order pasta and omelet stations. The free-flowing champagne deal is a bit pricey ($38), but drinking it in with the best seafood and views in town? Totally, worth it. NATIVE KNOWLEDGE: This San Diego brunch giant recently underwent a $3.5 million renovation by late architect Graham Downes.
Best DIY Bloody Mary Bar
A BLOODY MARY RECIPE
DAVANTI ENOTECA 1655 India St, San Diego, CA 92101 619.237.9606 | www.davantienoteca.com
BRUNCH HOURS: Every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm This Little Italy eatery is your hangover’s new best friend. From the greasy, hearty Focaccia di Recco, to the $16 “Cure for Your Hangover,” a three cheese omelet topped with fried fingerling potatoes and crispy prosciutto, the menu seems to cater to those suffering the repercussions of one too many vodka shots. You would be hard-pressed to find a better DIY Bloody Mary bar within America’s Finest City. There are even Bloody Mary experts standing nearby to guide you down the line of hot sauces and spices. This is no mere Bloody Mary bar. Not only can you do a traditional Bloody Mary with vodka, the experts might suggest whiskey or gin instead. There are jars upon jars of different kinds of horseradish; olives; pickles—everything you could possibly want for your hair of the dog. Davanti even provides a plate of fresh bacon to add as the final touch after all is said and done. Every brunch starts off with Bob Marley tunes—music to our sickly ears.
-VODKA (2 oz) -TOMATO JUICE (4 oz) -LEMON JUICE (25 oz) -WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE (3 dashes) -TABASCO SAUCE (2 dashes) -PREPARED HORSERADISH (.25 tsp) -CELERY BITTERS (2 dashes) or celery salt (2-3 dashes) -SALT AND PEPPER -GARNISH: lemon wedge, celery rib, pickled green bean as desired -GLASS: pint
Best Bloody Mary Lineup GREAT MAPLE 1451 Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103 619.255.2282 | www.thegreatmaple.com
BRUNCH HOURS: Every Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 2:30pm Picture a fancied-up French dinette that screams Palm Springs in the 60s, and serves mouthwatering, powder sugar-dusted beignets. Between the funky typewriters and gold embossed signage, Great Maple’s retro-glam vibe makes you feel like the newest member of the Rat Pack. We love, love, LOVE the setting—but we died and went to heaven when we tried the eats. “Libations, Seasonal Plates, Pie”—that’s this Hillcrest eatery’s tagline, and they are not messing around. The Maple Bacon Doughnuts melt in your mouth, and at $7 for seven, this is the perfect dish for splitting. The Brioche French Toast Logs are sweet, thick rolls of brioche bread topped with bacon and drizzled with smoked bacon maple syrup. And, you have not lived until you’ve sipped on one of Great Maple’s seven Bloody Mary’s. Try the Johnny’s OneArmed Mary, made of a house-made Bloody Mary mix, horseradish, Worcestershire, Tabasco and adorned with a grilled octopus tentacle and a salt and pepper rim. Reservations are recommended, so call ahead and prepare to have your mind blown.
HASH HOUSE A GO GO BARBECUE BLOODY MARY Fried food in a bloody Mary? Yes, please. Served in a pint glass with a salted rim, a skewer of chicharones (i.e. pork rinds) looms out of Hash House A Go Go’s famous, barbecue sauce-infused bloody. It’s a perfect combination of house Bloody Mary mix, sweet and spicy barbecue sauce and splashes of Tabasco and A-1.
JOHNNY’S FAMOUS BLT MARY An adult twist on a childhood classic, this famous Mary is literally a BLT in a cocktail. Served in a chilled 20 oz. glass with a bacon salted rim, it’s made with Genero vodka, a house Mary mix, a baked tomato wheel, a piece of crisp romaine lettuce and a strip of smoked bacon. The drink is served with a slice of buttered toast and a pack of mayo.
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BERTRAND AT MISTER A’S MISTER A’S CLASSIC Skewered pickled vegetables made in-house and horseradish, cream cheesestuffed olives poke out of a traditional-style Grey Goose bloody served in a pint-sized glass with a salted rim. The secret house Mary mix uses non-alcoholic beer and extra horseradish, which makes for a spicier than normal hair of the dog.
GREAT MAPLE ONE-ARMED MARY Served in a 12 oz. collins glass adorned with a salt and pepper rim, this flagship bloody looks like something out of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This crème de la crème bloody is of medium thickness, and it’s spicier than your typical Bloody Mary due to a generous use of horseradish. It’s 42 Below Vodka, a house Mary mix, spice blend; lemon and a grilled octopus tentacle.
PICKLE MARY A bit thicker than your classic version, this fancy bloody is the perfect blend of tomato and pickle juice, and it’s making quite a stir around town. Served in a 16 oz. beer glass with a salted rim and the restaurant’s gold-leafed logo splattered across the front, it’s made with house bloody Mary mix, a secret blend of spices, pickle juice and a massive dill pickle.
Best Brunch to Take Out-of-Towners CODY’S LA JOLLA 8030 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037 858.459.0040 | www.codyslj.com
BRUNCH HOURS: Daily from 8am to 3pm, both breakfast and lunch menus are offered Sit at Table 44 and toast the day with a breakfast cocktail and ocean waves rolling into shore. Offering unbeatable ocean views, scratch-made dishes and sangrias to boot, Cody’s La Jolla serves up one of the best brunch experiences in town. Known locally as “the best way to start your day,” Cody’s combines the freshest local ingredients,
Best Mother’s Day Brunch CROWN ROOM, HOTEL DEL CORONADO 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118 619.522.8490 www.hoteldel.com/crown-room.aspx
BRUNCH HOURS: Every Sunday from 9:30am to 1:30pm When I was a little girl, this is where we took my Mom for Mother’s Day. Now, I was born with great taste—just ask my parents—so, while I do admit some bias, my great taste tells me that this brunch is truly magical. High-vaulted, sugar pine ceilings and magnificent crown chandeliers preside over the Crown Room. Its Victorian-style is hauntingly beautiful. You feel like Marilyn might come down any minute to grab a coffee before shooting a scene for “Some Like it Hot.” You’ve taken a trip back in time and you are a high roller—at least for today. As you sip on a freshly-squeezed screwdriver and watch the ocean out the window, nudge Mom to open her Mother’s Day gifts— yours first. Go back as many times as you like to stack your plate high with prime rib, crab legs and even sushi if the mood strikes. There are chocolate éclairs and cream puffs, chocolate-covered strawberries and crepes, cheese and charcuterie and a made-to-order omelet station. With seven gourmet food stations in total, anything you (or Mom) could ever want, the Crown Room will have it. As an eight-year-old, this wasn’t on my radar, but bottomless mimosas and champagne are included in the brunch price, too. The Hotel Del is other-worldly in itself, but this brunch is like floating off the ground. It’s as if you’ve escaped into next July’s vacation. It’s luxurious, romantic, classic and magical. It’s also got a special place in my heart—even 42 |
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a fine dining experience, and a casual vibe. Bennie fan? The eggs benedict here are second to none. Otherwise, the French toast is a must-try. Thick slices of challah bread from local bakery Bread and Cie are griddled and served with candied walnuts, fresh strawberries and mascarpone honey butter. In regards to the breakfast cocktails, think refreshing bubbles and the best brews. The sparkling white wine sangria is delectable, as is the lemon thyme spritzer. The restaurant itself looks like your grandmother’s house— it’s cute, cozy, and perfect for Mother’s Day. If there’s a line, no biggie—meander down to La Jolla Cove and watch the sea lions for a spell. This is the perfect place to start your indulgent and relaxing Saturday or Sunday.
though one time my sister ate too many oysters and threw up all over the table. I’m sure my Mom was super stoked about that.
t Be s
Best Chicken & Waffles
iked Milks ke ha
HASH HOUSE A GO GO 3628 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103 619.298.4646 | www.hashhouseagogo.com
BRUNCH HOURS: Every Saturday and Sunday from 7:30am to 2:30pm This San Diego notable opened in 2000, and we’re pretty sure it’s been packed ever since. Hash House A Go Go is an ode to old Midwest diners, and from its menu to its interior, it’s farm chic. It’s a brunch behemoth—a midday meal all-star. This Hillcrest eatery is well-known locally and nationally, and its plates are as big as its reputation. Glutton, greed, lust—we commit a number of sins within the walls of this brunch sin-festation. Think American classics, like flapjacks and fried chicken, served up with modern flare. You will loosen your belt after dining on these heavenly plates of food; in fact, maybe wear yoga pants or your packed-away maternity jeans.
CHAPLOS RESTAURANT AND BAR 925 B St, San Diego, CA 92101 619.798.3888 www.chaplos.com BRUNCH HOURS: Every Sunday from 10am to 2pm
Our favorite here, hands down, is the Southern fried chicken breast strips and a vanilla waffle served with vanillajalapeno infused maple syrup. Wash it all down with a Famous Fully Loaded 20 oz. HH Mary trimmed with green beans, olives and a mini dill pickle.
Most Diverse Brunch Menu UPTOWN TAVERN 1236 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103 619.241.2710 | www.uptowntavernsd.com
BRUNCH HOURS: Every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 3pm This is the only place in San Diego where you can order a Hawaiian Loco Moco or a Samoa Pancake from the same menu. Try the Tavern Chicken ‘n’ Waffle, and dive into an extensive list of brunch cocktails at this Hillcrest watering hole and eatery. Which cocktail should you choose? The St. Germaine Champagne Sangria Carafe is a fan-favorite, and one of the best sangrias we’ve tasted. If you’re looking to get your adult’s daily serving of vegetables, check out the Skyy Bloody Bar. Grab your pint glass with its celery salted rim, and “Mary” yourself with all the fixings you desire. From the white truffle fries sprinkled with Parmesan and blue cheese, to a modern twist on gravlax, the food at Uptown is to die for. It’s also a place you’ll feel comfortable. This aviation-themed bar and restaurant is a great place to watch the game, or hang out (hungover or otherwise) with friends. NATIVE KNOWLEDGE: Walk to the back of the restaurant and check on the walls designed by Michael Soriano (also known for Vin de Syrah and Queenstown Public House). You’ll find dated copies of the New York Times lining the walls floor to ceiling. One such copy talks about the release of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, and Amelia Earhart’s recent flight across the Atlantic.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for…spiked milkshakes. If a 1920s supper club and a swanky lounge met and had a baby—voila—you’d get Chaplos. Vintage style drinks and dining reign at this downtown restaurant and bar where Frank Sinatra frequently hangs in the air. This brunch features a do-it-yourself ceviche bar, and its menu is Tijuana-meetsSan Diego, boasting everything from pancakes to chilaquiles. Mimosas be damned! Try the Al Green-Fernet Milkshake to put a song in your heart and a spring in your step. Your inner child won’t know if they should thank you or tell on you. This midday milkshake cocktail is made with Tia Maria tequila, Fernet, Velvet Falernum and two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Another option is the Kelis Milkshake (throwback alert! “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard”). This frozen cocktail blends Cointreau, CatDaddy Moonshine, and of course, two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Go ahead—we won’t call your parents.
THE BLIND BURRO 639 J St, San Diego, CA 92101 619.795.7880 | www.theblindburro.com
BRUNCH HOURS: Every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 2pm
Best Spin on Waffles
The tables feature cubbies that can be filled with booze. They serve a horchata version of a White Russian. Do we need to give you more reasons to love this downtown foodie mecca? Think hip and think some of the best drinks in town at this bar and restaurant that boasts “south of the border street food.” And oh my goodness—the churro waffles, made with cinnamon sugar, crème anglaise and Jamaica syrup for a reasonable $9. Drink specials? You betcha—two options of mimosa carafes are available to order. Choose between classic orange juice and sparkling wine for $10 or fruity prickly pear or pink guava and sparkling wine for $12. This place is a must-visit. Hee-haw!
Reggae Brunch at Searsucker Del Mar with I Love Musubi and Katalyst PR 12995 El Camino Real #21, Del Mar, CA 858.369.5700 | www. searsucker.com/del-mar BRUNCH HOURS: Every second Sunday, 11am to 3pm Enjoy a super laid back vibe with live acoustic reggae on an outdoor patio. Reservations are recommended, and when you call, ask to be placed near the music.
Q: What can you tell us about the history of the Michelada? LC: Like most things in Mexican popular culture, there’s different lore behind the Michelada. There are a couple of different stories behind the name itself that we’ve researched. “Chela” is slang for a cold beer in Mexico. So “mi,” “chela,” “helado” translates to—my cold beer. “Helado” means frozen or iced. So, the conjunction of those three words is one back story for the cocktail. The other one is more regional—that it came from a specific beach club. But really, in Mexico there are a lot of different versions of this drink. A “Chelada” is commonly known as just an iced beer with fresh lime juice and a salt rim. Micheladas kind of vary from region to region. Some people add Maggi, which is like a Mexican soy sauce. Some parts of the region add salsa. Depending on the popular salsa of the region and local preference, Micheladas differ around the country. Q: When was the first time you drank a Michelada? LC: I grew up in Houston, Texas, and it is one of the quintessential drinks for a Sunday morning there; so, probably far before I was legal to have done so.
INTERVIEW WITH A MICHELADA EXPERT Lucien Conner, Expert Mixologist, Partner at Queen-Conner-Ward Collective, and Co-Director of the Beverage Program at Puesto Mexican Street Food
Q: What is a Michelada, and how do you make Puesto’s perfect Michelada? Lucien Conner: There are two Micheladas at Puesto. One is based on a traditional tomato-based Michelada—it’s a combination of fresh tomatoes, tomato juice, charred jalapenos, and onions. It’s a very savory-based Michelada—similar to an American bloody beer. The quintessential Mexican brunch drink. The other one we are doing is a little bit lighter, a little bit more refreshing. That one is tomatillo, it’s green tomato with a little bit higher acid, cucumber, and it also has some chiles in it. That one makes a really refreshing beer cocktail. Both of them have a little bit of lime as well to add a little bit of acid and backbone. The first one we call our Traditional Michelada, the second is El Ray de Patio.
Q: Can you share with us a bit about your background as our Michelada expert? LC: I have two undergraduate degrees from UCLA—one in art, one in Spanish. But, in relation to making Micheladas, it’s my strong background in travel in Mexico and Central America. My family has property on the coast of the state of Oaxaca that I helped them find probably ten, twelve years ago. It’s in the middle of nowhere, and I’ve been helping to build roads to it, and build a house on it. I’ve been traveling through the country hitchhiking from the time I was twelve. Mexico and I have a strong history together. Q: If you were making a Michelada at home, how would you make it? LC: At home, when I make a Michelada, its usually the very, very basic traditional way that you have it in Mexico or at a little taqueria in Texas, which includes Clamato, Tabasco, a salt rim, fresh squeezed lime juice, with a Mexican beer of your choice. I usually like mine with Modelo Especial, a light Mexican lager. Q: If you had to choose a different place to brunch in San Diego other than Puesto, what are your favorites around town? LC: Farm House Cafe for their pancakes—that’s at the top of the list. Whisknladle has always had a great brunch. I like to sit at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern because it’s outdoors and on the water—you can never go wrong there.
Best Bacchanal Brunch THE WOOD 4190 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109 858.750.2512 www.thewoodsd.com BRUNCH HOURS: Starting around Easter, 9am to 2pm, ends the first week of football season A pm party in the am? Check. House music? Check. Ocean views on a rooftop patio? Emphatic check! Grab a mimosa and sit upstairs. Soak in the ocean views and enjoy the brunch deals. It’s only $16 for the “All You Can Eat” brunch, and $25 for the “Brunch and Bottomless Mimosas.” The Wood in Pacific Beach is not the place to bring your grandmother, but it’s a must-visit for anyone looking to have a dancingon-the-tables good time.
Best Beer LOVER’S Brunch WAYPOINT PUBLIC 3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104 619.255.8778 | www.waypointpublic.com
BRUNCH HOURS: Every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm This North Park new kid on the block is a celebration of California through its cuisine and exceptional beer. It’s everything an approachable neighborhood eatery should be. Chef Amanda Baumgartner’s menu is eclectic and true to its Golden State roots. Latin, Asian and European influences pop their heads out in the brunch menu, which includes everything from po’ boy tacos with fried oysters to short rib hash. Try the baked French toast topped with brown butter walnuts, roasted apples and whipped lemon butter. Yum…and wash that down with a refreshing MICHELADA—you will assume you’ve died and gone to heaven. Let’s talk about the beer. With co-owner of Bottlecraft beer shops, Brian Jensen, at the helm of the beverage program, Waypoint Public draws heavily from West Coast brews, but showcases highly curated selections from the world over. Trust us, all you discerning worshippers of frothy fermentables—you will nod your head in approval. With 20 beers on tap and over 300 bottled selections, there is a ton to choose from at this new addition to an already booming neighborhood.
Best Place to Go if You’re Hungover, i.e. Dehydrated and Irritable Where the Champagne Glass is Always Half Full 94TH AERO SQUADRON 8885 Balboa Ave, San Diego, CA 92123 858.560.6771 www.94thaerosquadron. signonsandiego.com BRUNCH HOURS: Champagne Brunch, Every Sunday from 9am to 3pm A place where the champagne flows like wine and the waiters instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano…I am talking about a little place called 94th Aero Squadron. Think free-flowing champagne, great service and buffetstyle stations at this Kearny Mesa brunching institution. Located inside a replica of a World War I-era French farmhouse, the interior space boasts old airplane wings hanging over the dining area, huge stone fireplaces and military memorabilia. Sunday Champagne Brunch features a chocolate fountain, bottomless champagne and waiters who are constantly running around making sure your champagne glass is full—all for $25.95 for adults and $10.95 for kids. We recommend you make a reservation and find a designated driver. NATIVE KNOWLEDGE: Get seated before 10am and get the $20.95 deal— but no early-bird special price on holidays.
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WEST COAST TAVERN 2895 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104 619.295.1688 | www.westcoasttavern.com
BRUNCH HOURS: Every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 3pm If what you seek is the hair of the dog and a comfy setting to cure your morning after, West Coast Tavern is your headache-soothing, stomach-settling Shangri-La. With a huge selection of breakfast cocktails, excellent food and cozy booths that beckon, this North Park
staple is the perfect place to recover. Order up a fan favorite, like the Chicken ‘n’ Waffles, and make a Bloody Mary at the DIY Bloody Mary Bar. Not sure how to make the perfect Bloody Mary? West Coast Tavern’s Bloody Mary Bible is full of recipes for your skimming pleasure. With a plethora of brunch cocktails—including twelve brunch specialty cocktails, and a great craft beer selection, the selection of libations at West Coast Tavern is bar none.
Best Coffee Deal & Best Farm to Table Brunch PREPKITCHEN 1660 India St, San Diego, CA 92101 619.398.8383 www.prepkitchen.com BRUNCH HOURS: Every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 3pm Simply put—Little Italy’s place to go for amazing coffee, farm to table food and excellent service. These seasonal menus feature a little something for everybody. Try Prepkitchen’s donut holes or their smoked salmon benedict— both are finger-licking good. For $1, you can gain access to the unlimited coffee bar and its great coffee. Chandeliers and mason jars add to a romantic, trendy ambience, and the prices won’t hurt your wallet (too bad). Reservations are recommended.
Kirk Franklin Presents Gospel Brunch HOUSE OF BLUES 1055 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 619.299.2583 www.houseofblues.com BRUNCH HOURS: Select Sundays at 11am Listen to both traditional and contemporary Gospel songs while enjoying an all-you-can-eat buffet at the House of Blues. The brunch features a made-to-order omelet station; Southern eats, like creole chicken jambalaya; and, a DIY Bloody Mary Bar.
Best Brunch for Girl Talk and Fabulous French Toast BAILIWICK 756 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 619.795.3036 | www.bailiwicksd.com
BRUNCH HOURS: Every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 3pm THE DEAL: Bottomless Mimosas $15 Sip on a bottomless mimosa in what feels like the inside of an Anthropologie catalogue. From it’s chandeliers to it’s moody lighting, this svelte cocktail bar and restaurant is Edwardian opulence meets shabby chic—a hipster’s home away from home. Feast on atypical brunch fare, like smoked oysters, poussin stuffed with chorizo or caramelized red ruby grapefruit. Best of all though— the Best Thing Since “We” Sliced Bread—thick slices of brioche bread are pan fried until golden and served with Grand Marnier cream, blackberries and bourbon syrup. The nibbles are scant, but they’re also reasonable— everything falls, give or take, within the $10 range. Other brunch draws include a bathtub full of bubbly, and Lewis bags and wooden mallets for patrons to crack ice for their bespoke or signature cocktails. NATIVE KNOWLEDGE: Don’t walk right by this place, because it’s easy to— there’s no sign that says “Bailiwick” on the white, threestory facade. Keep out an eye for the bird cage on the sidewalk patio.
Best Pancakes BRIAN’S 24 828 6th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 619.702.8410 | www.brians24.com
BRUNCH HOURS: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Okay, please don’t start hyperventilating or huffing and puffing. It’s tough to select one pancake that trumps all pancakes, and there is not a clear blue-ribbon winner here. That said, Brian’s 24 serves up some of the best pancakes in San Diego. Generous portions of delicious comfort food are the name of the game at this Gaslamp restaurant and bar. The menu is huge (seven pages), and breakfast is served 24 hours a day at this comfy San Diego classic. The pancakes are fluffy and platter-sized, but not obscene “Man v. Food” eating contest-sized. Served in threes, favorites include PB&J pancakes loaded with creamy peanut butter and jelly and buttermilk hotcakes served with butter and maple syrup. Located in the historic St. James Hotel downtown, this is the perfect place to collapse into after a night out with friends. NATIVE KNOWLEDGE: Actress Joan Crawford once owned the solid mahogany bar in this restaurant.
THE REVIVAL OF
RAW BARS & TARTARES “To eat an oyster is to kiss the sea on the lips…” –Leonard Beck
WRITTEN BY: EMILY VILLANUEVA | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ANGELICA BONGIOANNI ADMIT IT: San Diegans are a pretty lucky bunch. Not only are we perpetually spoiled by beautiful weather and beaches galore, but we also have the freshest food around, much of which is literally grown in our backyards. In a city that boasts year-round farmer’s markets and a countywide appreciation for the seasonal and sustainable, there’s really no excuse to not eat fresh…and what’s more fresh than raw food? Untainted, uncooked and as natural
and wholesome as the land/sea intended, the raw treatment highlights delicate flavors with minimal ingredients and artful preparation. So in that regard, we scoured Downtown to Del Mar, tasting countless ceviches, sashimis, tatakis, tartares and dozens and dozens of oysters just to get you the scoop on the freshest fare this spring. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.
ISLAND PRIME/C LEVEL 880 Harbor Island Drive San Diego, CA, 92101 619.298.6802 www.islandprime.com | MARCH 2014 | 49
ISLAND PRIME/C LEVEL 880 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego, CA, 92101 619.298.6802 | www.islandprime.com
We think it’s safe to say that Island Prime/C Level Lounge has the best views in town, bar none. Perched on Harbor Island Drive, this Deborah Scott-run restaurant is right on the waterfront and has an encircling glass wall revealing the entire panorama of San Diego bay. With downtown to the left and Point Loma to the right, the ocean view is breathtaking, and the food, almost as much. Sous Chefs Alex Valdez and Andy Churchill describe it as “Rustic Americana.” Not quite fusion, but not quite classic, the fare here melds the traditional with the modern with a large emphasis on seafood. Guests have the option of dressing up (Island Prime) or dressing down (C Level Lounge). Either way, there’s no bad seat in the house (although we do hear there is a best seat: Table #26, so plan accordingly). Valdez, who has worked in kitchens all over San Diego, and Churchill, whose previous stints include cooking on a Norwegian cruise line, prepared three, beautifully presented dishes for us: a ceviche, tuna stack and oysters (of course). The ceviche of marinated tilapia circled around a tortilla-encrusted avocado, while the oysters—Californian Grassy Bar oysters and the archetypal Fanny Bay oyster—were huge. But it was the tuna stack, a triple layered tower of guacamole, ahi tuna tartare and crab salad topped with a mango papaya salad and micro arugula that was the true winner in this trio. The complex and colorful dish looked like a party on a plate with its house made taro and plantain chips and smatterings of tobiko (flying fish roe), sweet chili sauce and chive oil garnish. * SEE PAGE 49 FOR IMAGE
This Deborah Scott-run restaurant is right on the waterfront and has an encircling glass wall revealing the entire panorama of San Diego bay.
FISH PUBLIC 4055 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA, 92116 619.281.4014 | www.fishpublic.com
THE OCEANAIRE SEAFOOD ROOM 400 J Street, San Diego, CA, 92101 619.858.2277 | www.theoceanaire.com
Still bemoaning the closing of the beloved Kensington Grill? Well, have no fear, for Fish Public is here! Fish Public, the new venture from the Urban Kitchen Group that spawned Cucina Urbana, is a fish joint headed by Executive Chef Jordan Davis. This new kid on the block is like your laidback, Sperry Top-Sider-wearing younger brother; servers wear chambray shirts while maneuvering around an airy space that looks like a Nantucket beach cottage. Seaside colors, fishing net fixtures, whitewashed walls, and cute vintage touches like fishing lures and shells all serve to accentuate the New England theme.
Even if you’re not a fish fan (although we sincerely hope you are, because you don’t know what you’re missing), you’ve probably heard of The Oceanaire. Considered not only one of San Diego’s best seafood restaurants, but one of the country’s best seafood restaurants, the Seafood Room is a true establishment with a reputation for VIP-worthy fare. It continues to deliver seafood and service set to the highest standards. At the Oceanaire, it’s not just about the food; it’s about the experience as a whole. Our city boasts the only West Coast location in The Oceanaire family…but we like to think we have the best location of them all.
The food is just as easygoing as the atmosphere. Sous Chef Cesar Sarmiento prepared a yellowtail poke marinated in soy and honey, and was served with house made kimchi, dry nori powder and soy-toasted Rice Krispies! The salmon tartare was topped with an Asian pear and charred radicchio salad and served with a side of crostini crisps. Next, the Beau-Soleil oysters were served on a bed of rock salt and nothing else, kept naked to taste the delicate brininess of this particular variety of Canadian oysters. But it was the little, unexpected surprises like the Rice Krispies, or the lime and chili popcorn that was served with the Ceviche del Dia (made of rockfish, Serrano chilies and red onion over an avocado mousse) that made the fare almost seem like elevated street food: unpretentious and totally fun. 50 |
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Considered not only one of San Diego’s best seafood restaurants, but one of the country’s best seafood restaurants, the Oceanaire Seafood Room is a true establishment with a reputation for VIP-worthy fare. Chef Brian Bonney served us the Skuna Bay Salmon and Avocado Tartare, with fresh chives, thyme, shallots and fried capers. His second dish, the Big Eye Tuna Poke, was a little less conventional but equally refined, with a wasabi emulsion, seaweed salad, wonton chips and green onions. The ahi poke itself was tender and fresh, and mixed with a combination of togarashi (Japanese Seven Spice powder), soy sauce, sesame oil and Sriracha. If sleek and sophisticated is your game, this is the place to go.
The poke had fatty, sumptuous pieces of ahi tuna with macadamia nuts and pomegranate seeds, swimming in Sriracha ponzu vinaigrette. Topped with shaved radish and a side of taro chips, this dish was an amazing mix of spicy, sweet, nutty and umami.
SEARSUCKER 12995 El Camino Real #21, Del Mar, CA, 92130 858.369.5700 | www.searsucker.com
Brian Malarkey may be taking over the culinary universe (an LA Herringbone is now open), but there is no doubt that the reigning eatery in his textile-themed empire is Searsucker. With a second location replacing where the old Burlap used to be, Searsucker’s delightful classics-with-a-twist has finally reached North County. Quirky and playful is the overall approach, both in food and décor; animal art like an Americana bull sculpture and taxidermy surround reclaimed wood and rope fixtures while vintage letters spell “EAT” over the bar. This location is also a bit more family-friendly than the original Gaslamp location with its distinctly separate dining areas—the bar is separated from the main dining room, and there is an additional outdoor patio and private dining room. But the food still has the same tongue-in-cheek sense of humor that made 52 |
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Searsucker and the like so beloved. Example? The tuna poke, which is plated in the curving and fluid shape of a fish. Sous Chef Nick Penkin is running the kitchen while they await the arrival of new Executive Chef Andrew Nienke in December. Penkin, along with Sous Chef David McCray, made us an array of raw dishes that were both familiar yet inventive and mischievous. First we had the beef tartare with quail yolk, pickled salted radishes and rustic potato chips. Then, we had the aforementioned poke, which had fatty, sumptuous pieces of ahi tuna with macadamia nuts and pomegranate seeds, swimming in Sriracha ponzu vinaigrette. Topped with shaved radish and a side of taro chips, this dish was an amazing mix of spicy, sweet, nutty and umami. Another beef dish, the Kobe beef Carpaccio with truffle oil and shaved Parmesan, was prepared by rolling up the beef, seasoning with Sichuan peppercorns, freezing, lightly searing on the outside, and then slicing paper-thin. And the final fare was a bit lighter: a shrimp ceviche and a colorful Hamachi salad with watermelon radish, cucumber and tamari sesame oil.
HARNEY SUSHI 3964 Harney Street, San Diego, CA, 92110 619.295.3272 | www.harneysushi.com
pieces of printed rice paper adorn dishes like a dollop of eco-conscious caviar. Each little scan links guests to the NOAA website, where they can learn more about fish fraud.
With cheeky rolls like the “Bomb James Bomb” and the “Miso Harney,” Harney Sushi in Old Town is as cool and hip as sushi places get. They have everything: classic nigiri for the traditionalists; deep-fried, sauce-smothered rolls for the adventurous; and entrees (categorized as either Ice, Fire or Graze) for the sushi-phobic. “Sometimes purists complain about Americanized rolls…but if we’re going to Americanize, we’re going to make it sustainable and delicious,” said Co-Owner Kirk Harrison, who runs the front of the house. His buddy, Co-Owner Dustin Somerville runs the back, with Executive Chef Robert Ruiz at the helm, and together, they created one of the only sustainable sushi restaurants in the country (and San Diego’s very first) with strong community ties and a history of philanthropic partnerships—just ask for the stories behind the Nami, Pirate and Hope rolls, all of which were created to promote and benefit community causes. In fact, Harney hosts a roll contest every year for their chefs to compete for their place on the menu and a $500 prize. Getting people involved is important to the Harney crew, whose menu includes a number of items either inspired by or named after staff members or regular customers. Harrison himself is a veritable seafood encyclopedia who remembers where every piece of their fish is sourced. Makes sense, considering Harney’s most intriguing program: edible QR codes. In collaboration with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration),
After taking Harrison’s crash course on sustainability, we decided to taste the results of properly fished seafood. We ate the “Happy Kampachi,” made from premium sashimi-grade yellowtail raised in the pristine Kona Kampachi farm of Hawaii, and the “Unwritten Lawbacore” (named after local band Unwritten Law), consisting of big slices of albacore tuna with a hot roasted garlic and green onion sauce. The Sustainable Sushi Sampler introduced me to two types of fish that I had never even heard of before: black cod, Harney’s environmentally-friendly substitution for unagi since eel is one of the least sustainable species; and cobia, also known as the “pork chop of the sea.” The “Rolls Royce” is stuffed with shrimp tempera and asparagus, topped with tuna sashimi and drizzled in a garlic ponzu “money sauce.” The “Orange Crush” is like a hyped up Philadelphia roll, filled with cream cheese, shrimp tempura, and spicy tuna and topped with salmon, lemon and their infamous faux-nagi sauce.
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In collaboration with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), edible QR codes (pieces of printed rice paper) adorn dishes like a dollop of eco-conscious caviar. Each little scan links guests to the NOAA website, where they can learn more about fish fraud.
ROPPONGI 875 Prospect Street #102, La Jolla, CA, 92037 858.551.5252 | www.roppongiusa.com
The Asian lounge on Prospect St. is known for its unbeatable happy hour (half-priced tapas!) and trendy ambiance.
Named after Japan’s Roppongi district, it imitates the stylish, funky vibes of the colorful Tokyo neighborhood known for its nightlife. And just like the décor, the food is equally exotic, a fusion of Old World European and Pacific Rim that will satisfy any palette. Shareable plates with large portions make it easy for the indecisive, and a concentrated focus on the seasonal by Executive Chef Michael McDonald ensure that the menu stays up-to-date. And of course, there’s sushi and an extensive wine and sake list to beat.
Chef Alfred prepared a few of their tapas, and these dishes packed strong, assertive flavors. The ahi tuna poke was a traditional, slightly spicy poke in a classic Asian marinade of sesame oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce and green onions. It went perfectly with the crispy wantons and pea shoots. The seared ahi tuna was crusted with Zahar, a traditional Middle Eastern spice blend made from thyme, sesame seeds and sumac, and was served on a bed of wakame seaweed, Persian cucumbers and a miso vinaigrette, the coolness and freshness of which counteracted the spicy and salty tuna. Finally, the Hamachi Tacos, a crowd favorite, embodied the fusion concept to its core. A crispy corn taco shell cradled the Hamachi, which was mixed with Sriracha and sesame oil sauce, along with an avocado puree, diced mangos and micro cilantro. Enjoy these by the outdoor fire pit with a nice sake, and your evening’s on a roll.
BLUE POINT 565 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA, 92101 619.233.6623 | www.cohnrestaurants.com
At first visit, Blue Point Coastal Cuisine might evoke the buttoned-up vibe of ‘50s supper clubs, and that wouldn’t be far off. It is the type of sophisticated, white tablecloth establishment where couples get engaged and people celebrate big milestones. And yet, it is equally as modern with a menu that changes quarterly to reflect what’s freshest and most sustainable. The only constants on the menu are the oysters, of course, and the high levels of quality and service. “We try to be fine dining and refined without being pretentious,” General Manager Brian Olson said—classy yet approachable.
Blue Point doesn’t follow trends, because it is the trendsetter, having been Gaslamp’s first seafood restaurant and raw oyster bar. They once tried to go the route of high-end with a celebrity chef but it “didn’t fit our mission,” a mission that is instead achieved with the highest quality ingredients and a total transparency about where these ingredients come from. This transparency came about because of rampant “fish fraud” within the industry, where mislabeled fish cheats consumers into thinking they’re eating (and paying for) one thing, when it’s usually another. Blue Point, in an effort to curb this, recently put QR codes at the bottom of each menu that, once scanned with a mobile device, will direct diners to information on their seafood sources. It’s a step in the right direction for true sustainability, and one that every restaurant should follow suit in. In regards to the food…well, of course we had to try the oysters! Olson is an oyster-eating fiend who won last year’s annual Shuck ‘N’ Swallow Oyster Eating Competition by devouring 153 of the plump mollusks with the help of his Blue Point oyster shuckers, so he showed us the proper way to eat an oyster (Thumb, facing mouth, unlodges oyster out of shell. Slurp and consume.) Three different mignonettes accompanied the oysters: red wine vinegar, ginger sake and chipotle. Chef Joseph Jackson also prepared a few other decadent dishes that really illustrated the elegant comfort of their menu. Albacore sashimi was served with a wakame seaweed salad, while the albacore tatami shined with hints of Meyer lemon and sumo citrus tangerine to bring out the fish’s flavors. The scallop tartare, however, was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted; topped with ikura, or salmon roe, and drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil, which was all it needed to illicit “oohs” and “ahhs.” And the rich, buttery salmon tartare used salmon from the Faroe Islands, where extremely cold waters yield some of the highest-fat-content salmon in the world. Topped with fried parsley, lemon aioli and a side of parsnip chips, their food is always on point. 56 |
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IRONSIDE FISH & OYSTER 1654 India St, San Diego, CA 92101 www.facebook.com/IronsideOyster
It just got even harder to choose where to dine in Little Italy (as if it wasn’t hard enough already) with the recent launch of Ironside Fish & Oyster in February. Located in a 1920s-era warehouse previously inhabited by wrought-iron gate-makers Ironside (hence the name), this new raw bar, bakery and restaurant is run by a dynamite team of culinary rock stars: famed Chef Jason McLeod, who received two Michelin stars as the executive chef at Chicago’s RIA; and Consortium Holdings, the avant-garde hospitality group behind mixology mainstays Noble Experiment, Polite Provisions and Craft & Commerce. Ironside will be the first food-focused restaurant in CH’s cocktail-themed collection. And, Chef McLeod, who grew up in British Columbia only 90 minutes away from the mollusk-mecca of Fanny Bay, is excited to reintroduce the briny delicacy—and shellfish in general—to our seaport city. “I remember being promoted to fish cook, and for the first time I worked with live scallops in the shell and live langoustines from nearby Scotland,” said McLeod. “Cooking and handling seafood requires much greater finesse, and your timing must be impeccable.” Inside, Ironside showcases the same spirited innovation and intellectual aesthetic that has made CH establishments renowned.
Three open-air hubs each focus on a different aspect— the raw bar (complete with crudos, crab claws and mignonettes, oh my!), in-house bakery, and an open kitchen—but all unite for a collaborative space with a seriously exciting menu (think big eye tuna belly with quail egg, fennel and tomato, and decadent roasted spiny lobster with Parisienne gnocchi, uni emulsion and chanterelles). For this feature, Chef McLeod prepared the Baja Bay Scallops Ceviche with confit heirloom tomatoes, pickled shallots, marcona almonds and rosemary. He used orange and lime juice to marinate the scallops for two hours and grated the almonds right before serving for a salty, roasted element. The sweetness of the scallops worked harmoniously with the citrus and pickled shallots, but the rosemary is what really brought it to a deeper level, adding an unexpected earthiness that is usually not found in seafood dishes. Get ready for the frenzy, foodies…
On the upper level of the Del Mar Plaza is Pacifica Del Mar, a seafood restaurant with a long history and gorgeous ocean views. Pacifica doesn’t mess with success: its classical approach is tried and true. “We try to remain true to our kind of food and not fall victim to trends or being en vogue,” Executive Chef Stephanie O’MaryBerwald said, who has been the executive chef for a little over a year after working at a number of high-profile restaurants. “Food trends come and go and so do restaurants, but Pacifica’s been around for 25 years.” Seasonal, sustainable, and fresh as can be, along with outstanding service, is surely the reason behind its longevity.
thoughtful touch: a Hamachi Carpaccio was mostly left on its own but brightened up with small slivers of avocado and grapefruit and dressed with a little fresh wasabi and house made ponzu. The tuna tartare had a variety of textures, but again, highlighted the tuna in the most beautiful way, with just a few pine nuts for crunch and avocado wasabi mousse for smoothness. And the oysters on the half shell boasted three types, from large to small. The smallest, the Kusshi oyster, was the sweetest and least briny; the biggest oyster, the Blue Point from New York, was the most briny and oceanic-tasting; and the mediumsized Malpeque was, of course, right in the middle. All three were served with the definitive oyster accompaniments—mirin mignonette, wasabi cocktail sauce, Tabasco and lemon. Clean, simple and delicious.
An open-air, ocean-facing patio is the perfect frame for Pacifica’s menu of “globally inspired food with a focus on local seafood.” The three dishes Chef prepared for us were an exercise in simplicity and a light but
“Food trends come and go and so do restaurants, but Pacifica’s been around for 25 years.”
PACIFICA DEL MAR 1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA, 92014 858.792.0476 | www.pacificadelmar.com
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CAFÉ SECRET 1140 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA, 92014 858.792.0821 | www.cafesecret.com
In a quaint, cute cottage with a little blue sign is some of the best Peruvian food in San Diego, maybe even Southern California. Owner/Chef Bratzo Basagoitia is serving up Peruvian mainstays like aji de gallina, lomo saltado, empanadas, and alfajores, bringing us border-dwellers even farther south to the often overlooked and underrepresented food of South America, whose influences are an interesting mix of Spanish, Italian, Cantonese and even Japanese. Bratzo and his wife Daniella bought the café in 2009 and slowly, subtly introduced Peruvian dishes to the menu and to Del Mar…four years later and they’re a full-service restaurant with a loyal following, a number of accolades (voted “Best Ceviche”), and a sister market called Secret Pantry down the street. The big secret behind this place is the warm, intimate atmosphere and the 100 percent authentic cuisine. All the salsas, aiolis and ceviches are made from scratch and nothing comes from a can. Fresh fish is
brought in daily, and most everything is made in the traditional way, albeit any minor adjustments made for those who are gluten-free or spicy-averse; the kitchen is completely accommodating. “I just wanted to share the flavors of my childhood memories,” said Bratzo, with passion and heart. Chef prepared a number of their famous ceviches for us, from the Tiradito— a delicate dish of sea bass in a light passion fruit sauce with scallions and sesame seeds—to the Pulpito, which consisted of octopus dressed with truffle oil, olive tapenade and walnuts. However, Bratzo’s (and my own) personal favorite was the Mixto ceviche, a colorful cornucopia of everything under the sea: sea bass, halibut, shrimp, scallops, mussels and octopus, served with plenty of cilantro, onions, aji (chili peppers), and choclos (Peruvian corn). We also had the shrimp causa, a spicy Peruvian potato stack layered with shrimp and avocado and topped with langoustine, and washed it all down a refreshing chicha morada, or sweet, sangria-like purple corn drink. Delicioso!
The big secret behind this place is the warm, intimate atmosphere and the 100 percent authentic cuisine.
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DECON STRUCTED DECONSTRUCTED 2
THE RED DOOR RESTAURANT & WINE BAR
FROM GARDEN TO TABLE, WITH LOVE WRITTEN BY: NICOLE FERA PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CHUCK FEDALIZO
the fast paced chaos of everyday life, I find that it is extremely rare to be staring down to a plate of bright, enticing food and know exactly from where it came. Sure, restaurants can tell you on the menu about their organic, free range, farm-to-table products, but very few take the time to ensure that these promises are kept and standards are upheld. However, at The Red Door Restaurant & Wine Bar, I was able to look down at the amazing Butternut Squash Lasagna served and know exactly how this masterpiece came to be.
The Red Door Restaurant & Wine Bar is located in a bustling section of Mission Hills in San Diego. It is owned by husband and wife Trish and Tom Watlington, managed by their son Justin and was perfectly decorated by their daughter Sarah—making it a true family affair. To find out exactly how things operate at this lovely restaurant, Trish was kind enough to invite us into her beautiful garden, where all of their produce is grown. Trish and her husband’s amazing garden, where they cultivate all of the crops used in their restaurant, has no shortage of brightly colored vegetables, including kale, mustard greens, peppers, mint, sage and a beautiful purple plant that Trish explained was called moon beans. As she talked to us about all of the different plants and how they’re grown and harvested, her face was lit up with clear happiness for what she does everyday. “It’s quite a vibrant little
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Ingredients 1 TUSCAN KALE
2 DELICATA SQUASH
3 RAINBOW CHARD
4 HIMROD GRAPE VINES
5 FONTINA CHEESE
FRESH RICOTTA CHEESE
10 HANDCRAFTED KALE PASTA (NOT SHOWN)
THE RED DOOR RESTAURANT & WINE BAR 741 W Washington St San Diego, CA 92103 619.295.6000 www.thereddoorsd.com
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ecosystem we have here,” was the perfect way for her to describe it. Her passion for her job is truly inspiring, and I couldn’t wait to get to the restaurant to see the crops put to use in what I was sure would be a delicious meal. Although it was difficult to choose due to all of the amazing items on the menu, the Red Door team decided to showcase the Butternut Squash Lasagna because of all the wonderful components that make up the dish. Trish was able to show us the kale, squash, leeks and grape vines all used in the dish, and then, it was off to the restaurant to meet with Executive Chef Karrie Hills, of whom Trish couldn’t speak more highly. Even before I arrived at the restaurant, I had such a sense of family and pride in the food and lengths that this restaurant takes to make sure that everything is homegrown, purchased locally and then recycled or composted back into the garden and earth. Chef Karrie and our lovely server, Brad, greeted us with open arms. I immediately felt right at home thanks to the décor and warmth that the restaurant possesses. After providing us with one of the most delicious meals I’ve had in San Diego thus far, Chef Karrie and other members of The Red Door family were kind enough to spend time talking about their work, their products and the impressive menu that Chef Karrie put together in a short time. Her passion and love for not only tasty food, but health conscious, green-minded food truly amazed me, and I could see why Trish and the rest of the staff meshed so well together. After getting down to “business,” we learned that broken down, Chef Karrie’s Butternut Squash Lasagna consists of: Tuscan Kale, Delicata Squash, Rainbow Chard, Himrod Grape Vines, Fontina Cheese, handcrafted kale Pasta, fresh Ricotta cheese, Pecans, Leeks and other subtle herbs and finishing touches. The vegetables in front of us were all taken from the very garden we had been standing in earlier, while the other products were bought locally. For example, Chef Karrie and the people at Assenti’s pasta make the handcrafted kale pasta, which is an amazing local pasta spot just up the street. The cheese is smoked with the Himrod grapevines from the garden, and the leeks are taken right from the earth, fried and sit on top of the meal, along with a few vibrant micro-greens, to complete the delicious dish. The system that the Red Door has procured ensures that they know what all of their guests are eating and allows them to do their part to remain a sustainable, earth-friendly, contributor to their community. I witnessed Butternut Squash Lasagna deconstructed from start to finish, and it amazed me to see how their hard work, love of food and people turned into a delicious meal, good conversation and a pleasant day, which is what the Red Door experience is all about.
Executive Chef KARRIE HILLS
Executive Chef Karrie Hills is a native of Nor Cal, hailing from a family farm in Paso Robles where she learned to grow food and raise animals at an early age. That love translates directly to her passion for the Red Door’s garden grown produce. Having helmed a number of restaurants from small central coast bistros to the Hearst Castle dining facilities, she brings a depth of experience and teaching skills that Trish says raises the menu to a whole new level. 62 |
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WRITTEN BY: KRISTAL DOCTER | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: NANCY VILLERE
THE EXPERT MITCH BECHARD Glenfiddich, Western Ambassador
Favorite Whisky: Glenfiddich 15-year
hether you’re a connoisseur of whisky or not, there’s no denying the quality and craft that goes into the world’s most awarded single malt whisky—Glenfiddich. Our region’s Glenfiddich Whisky Ambassador, Mitch Bechard, not only hails from the country of this whisky’s birth, but he has also cultivated an intoxicating (both physically and mentally) affinity for this spirit. Bechard declared to us that one of the reasons he has become so fond of this particular liquor is that “there is a lot of romanticism behind Scotch whisky.” The experience of discovering how to drink Glenfiddich in new and different ways has this whisky taking on a more modern personality. “Whisky used to be seen as an old man’s drink, but the average age of my tasting participants are now ages 30-35 and about 40 percent female,” Bechard explained. So grab a trendier version of that old, plaid smoking jacket while we sniff, then sip, our way through these contemporary whisky cocktails. After all, we wouldn’t want to miss out on enjoying one of the five new whiskeys Glenfiddich releases worldwide each year.
Q: What exactly does the profession of whisky ambassador entail? Mitch Bechard: Throughout the western US, including California, the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada, I entertain and educate people on the most awarded single malt scotch whisky in the world, Glenfiddich. Most of my time is spent doing presentations and tastings on the brand to both new and mature Scotch whisky drinkers. I also work closely with hotels, bars and restaurants to ensure that the staff is comfortable with talking about the scotch category to their customers. Q: You’re from Scotland. What is it about Glenfiddich whisky that made you move to an entirely new country to represent it? MB: At the time, I was working for the largest drinks company in the world. Glenfiddich was always a whisky for which I had great admiration. Being a Scot, to see a distillery that is completely independent and family owned is a rarity in this day and age and something that I now have great pride in telling people. So, when the opportunity came to represent the brand in the USA and to be based in California, I jumped at the chance and have never looked back. Working for Glenfiddich gives me a lot of freedom to be creative with the brand and open people’s minds to the ever growing category that is Scotch whisky. Q: You mentioned that Glenfiddich derives from a family-owned distillery, William Grant & Sons, which I read has been around for more than 125 years. Can you tell us how that history is reflected in the Scotch whisky product you promote today? MB: William Grant had a dream to create the best dram in the valley. To do this, he used the family savings and started work on building the Glenfiddich distillery with the help of his seven sons, two daughters and one stonemason. Christmas day of 1887 saw the first drop of Glenfiddich run through the stills. To this day, the distillery is still completely owned by the Grant family, making it one of a handful of family run distilleries still left in Scotland. Glenfiddich is made in a handcrafted manner with all the production, aging, bottling and cask-making done at the distillery, something that the family insists on to this day. Q: So, whisky is kind of in your blood then, being from Scotland and all. Has your own personal heritage contributed to your success in the scotch industry? MB: My father was a captain in the merchant Navy, so I found myself aboard ships at a very early age, and by the time I was five years old, I had circumnavigated the globe by sea. So looking back, I do not have any deep set roots in the Scotch whisky industry. My passion for it has been something that has been cultivated within. I think being from Scotland and in the industry for the past eight years does give authenticity to someone in a role such as mine, and I consider myself very fortunate to be surrounded by a group of fantastic people in the scotch industry that have taught me and continue to teach me a great deal. 64 |
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< MITCH BECHARD
water of life SCOTLAND-BORN MITCH BECHARD SPREADS THE WORD ON WHISKY AS GLENFIDDICH’S WESTERN AMBASSADOR
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FACT The Glenfiddich distillery continues to release 600 bottles per year of its 40-year aged whisky, of which each bottle contains liquid remnants of the first batch, created back on July 3, 1925.
Q: So you transitioned from seafarer to whisky ambassador; what was it about whisky that “reeled” you in? MB: I was in the hospitality industry for 15 years prior to finding my passion for Scotch whisky; so messing about with bottles behind the bar was a small hobby of mine. I remember when I started working in the industry I always enjoyed the interaction with people along with giving them a great experience in my establishment. I have worked in hotels, nightclubs, bars and restaurants with the emphasis on the managerial side of things towards the end of my career. The other great thing about the hospitality industry is the ease of which to take your skills to other countries, which is something I took advantage of by working throughout Europe and Australia. Q: Tell us about one of your more adventurous moments as a whisky ambassador. MB: The great thing about my job is that something different happens every day. There have been many great events that I have done in the past, but there is a particular week that stands out for me. This started with a trip to drive a NASCAR (no Glenfiddich was involved here, I might add); I then jumped on a plane for Aspen where I took to the slopes for some snowboarding, during which I stopped in on a few accounts to do staff training, followed by a great event in the evening. I then hopped on a plane to New York where we had exclusive use of Liberty Island, on which we hosted an event to celebrate 125 years of Glenfiddich being family owned under the shadow of lady liberty. We auctioned a bottle of 55-year-old Glenfiddich, Janet Sheed Roberts, for Adrian Grenier’s charity, Shift. The bottle raised $94,000, which was a great end to the most action packed week I have had in any job!
A “DRAM” IS HOW MUCH WHISKY YOU WOULD BE GIVEN UPON ENTERING SOMEONE’S HOUSE IN SCOTLAND. THE AMOUNT GIVEN DETERMINES HOW WELCOME YOU WERE IN THE HOUSE. THERE IS NO SET AMOUNT FOR THE AMOUNT OF LIQUID, BUT IT GIVES GOOD REASON TO BE EXTRA NICE TO ALL US SCOTS OUT THERE.
-Mitch Bechard, Glenfiddich Ambassador
Q: In what other ways do you get to represent the brand? MB: I often get invited to radio shows/podcasts, mostly to do live Glenfiddich tastings and talk about my job. My most recent interview was on a trip to Alaska where the interviewer brought in some Elk and Moose meat for me to try, which was interesting. Q: What’s your favorite way to drink/mix Glenfiddich? MB: For me, it is all about the mood I am in and the conditions. If I am sitting outside on a beautiful summer day in Southern California, then Glenfiddich 12-year with a few ice cubes dropped in is perfect. If I am back in Scotland in the middle of winter, then the Glenfiddich 21year is a great warmer. We experiment with a lot of whisky cocktails, something that some people don’t take to in a positive way, but I always say to drink scotch whatever way you enjoy it. Q: What food do you find pairs best with Glenfiddich? MB: Scotch whisky is very versatile when it comes to food pairing, and whisky dinners are something I do a lot of. My favorite pairing is with chocolate. Glenfiddich pairings with a good quality chocolate is a great marriage. In the past, I have worked with chocolatiers such as Julie Pech in Denver (aka the chocolate therapist), who has made bespoke pairings to each expression of Glenfiddich. Q: What’s the best part about your job? MB: The interaction I get with so many people on a week-to-week basis and also giving someone that Eureka moment on Scotch whisky. I often have people come up to me after my tastings saying they thought they did not like Scotch whisky and that the tasting has really opened their eyes to a new drink. I love the fact that I can go out and educate and share my experiences on the category and consider myself very lucky that I get to work in an industry that I am very passionate about.
Q: How many bottles of Glenfiddich are bottled per day? MB: Bottling is hard to quantify per day as it will vary. Glenfiddich is one of the largest single malt distilleries in Scotland with the annual output able to reach 12 million liters (3.17 million gallons). Q: What is your favorite age of Glenfiddich and why? MB: Glenfiddich 15, because it is incredibly smooth and rich with notes of raisin and dried fruit, a very drinkable and approachable dram. Q: If someone is just getting into whisky, which Glenfiddich would you recommend, and why? MB: Glenfiddich 12-year is a great starting point as it is light and delicate, plus, it’s the world’s most awarded single malt. Q: What countries is Glenfiddich distributed in? MB: Being the first single malt to be readily available in
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the world, Glenfiddich is now available in 120 countries. Q: You said that the US is the top-consuming country of Glenfiddich–by how much? MB: Scotch whisky sales in the US are by far the highest. Year to date figures for June 2013 show US sales at $391 Million (+29 percent), with the next country being France at $198.8 million. Q: How many bottles of Glenfiddich do you have in your own private stock? MB: I have a few nice ones, including a 1974 vintage that I was personally involved in selecting along with my fellow ambassadors from around the world. This is also my year of birth, which makes it extra special. Q: Who made your kilt, and how often do you wear it as the Western Scotch Ambassador? MB: I have an old school friend, Howie Nicholsby, who started up a great company in Edinburgh called 21st
Century Kilts. On my last trip back, Howie measured me up for this one, which is made from denim. He is now renowned worldwide for his contemporary style to kilt design, experimenting with the likes of tweed, denim and even leather. www.21stcenturykilts.com Q: What are some of your favorite whisky bars in Southern California that carry Glenfiddich? MB: The great thing about Scotch whisky is that it is now getting a real hold on back bars around the country, and Southern California is no exception to that. There are too many to mention here, but Seven Grand down in San Diego is doing an amazing job in not only having a huge selection but also educating their members with great tasting sessions on a weekly basis. In Orange County, the guys down at Mastro’s Ocean Club in Newport Beach also do a great job and have an extensive Glenfiddich selection that includes our very rare and exclusive Glenfiddich 50-year at $1,300 a dram.
vs the BATTLE OF THE BREWS
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WRITTEN BY: NATALIE HOLTZ | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: SIERRA PRESCOTT raft beer has soaked into the fabric of this county’s culture like pilsner into a long-stemmed pokal. Twenty years after Karl Strauss tapped this city’s keg, here we are: still foaming at the mouth with craft beer fever. Beer is big, and it’s clear it’s here to stay. With 70 plus licensed suds makers, the scene is a bit crowded, but no one’s complaining–yeast of all us. Still, with so many beers to choose from, it’s important to point beerseekers in the right direction. That is why, with the help of Scavengers Beer Adventures and beer expert, Laurie Delk, we toured an eight-pack of San Diego breweries to help guide you to the best brew…brew. Now, what a great superpower this would be: drinking all day and not getting drunk. Alas, we do not possess that superpower, and besides, San Diego’s beer scene
is deserving of a brewery tour done right. For this reason, we put on our beer geek goggles and boarded a 1973 Pinzgauer with Scavengers Beer Adventures operator, Adam Hall. This tour is the bee’s knees. Pop a can of your favorite Ballast Point brew, grab eleven of your closest friends and prepare yourself for a day of Beervana. The tour lasts six hours and includes visits to three craft breweries with up to six tastings at each brewery. Add scenic ocean views, a Phil’s BBQ lunch and hefty helpings of beer knowledge to the equation, and this tour is perfection. If there are enough people in your party, Scavengers will pick you up at your home. The ultimate, right? Public tours operate on Fridays and Saturdays, and private tours run seven days a week.
WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, HERE’S OUR TOAST TO EIGHT BREWERIES IN SAN DIEGO - A BEER (IM)BIBLE OF SORTS. Cheers!
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VS BREWERIES SOCIETE BREWING CO. 8262 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92111 858.598.5409 | www.societebrewing.com
Hear ye, hear ye! Just when we thought San Diego’s craft beer scene couldn’t get any better, along came Societe. Those were Laurie’s words, not mine, but I could not agree more. Think Victorian, think Gangs of New York, and expect to feel very much at home at this relatively new Kearny Mesa brewery. Societe is sophistication at it’s finest. From its collection of antiques to the bluegrass music hanging in the air, the atmosphere of Societe is unearthly and every bit as intoxicating as it’s expertly made brews. When you order a beer, it’s unlikely you will have to wait—Societe overstaffs its tap room in the hopes you never have to. Grab a bite from the food trucks parked outside on
the weekends (Doug’s favorite is Massive Sausage), or order from your favorite delivery and stay awhile. This 14-tap tasting room is enough of a draw, but Societe’s beers really seal the deal. From their spicy and fruity bestselling Belgian extra, The Harlot, to their crisp and citrusy IPA, The Pupil, Societe beers are a perfect blend of complexity and drinkablity. As Laurie put it, Societe beers are “Seamless. You can’t find a flaw,” and you will want another one. Doug and Travis stick to making beers they like to drink: IPAs, Belgian Pales and Belgian Dark Strongs. About Societe’s philosophy, Doug Constantiner said, “Societe wants beer to act as a unifying force, a social lubricant that gives people of all kinds an excuse to come together.” Oh, Societe…how do we love you? Let us count the ways…
Q: If you could only drink one more beer, ever, a deathbed beer, what would it be? Laurie Delk: A beer from the Cantion Brewery in Belgium. I just love their beers, and I love sours. So, it would probably be a Cantion, a rare Cantion. Q: Do you have a favorite San Diego tap room? LD: I gotta tell ya, I love Societe. I love that place. I love the feel of it. I think they’re definitely one of the top breweries in San Diego. Q: Do you have a favorite beer pairing you do at home? Maybe, something for spring? LD: I like ceviche with really crisp, clean lagers or session beers. Ceviche, to me, is just all about the freshness of the fish and citrus. So, I would say a really crisp pilsner, or lager or even a wit…something light and fresh. Q: What are your favorite styles of beer? LD: Belgians in general - sours and saisons from Belgium. I like other styles, but those are probably my two favorite. In the American world, I really love stouts. I love stouts and porters. I love what American craft breweries are doing with Belgian styles, so I really enjoy those as well. Q: How do you review a beer? LD: The first thing I am looking for is whether it’s clean. Does it have clean aroma, does it have a clean appearance, and does it have a clean palate? If a beer is supposed to be clear, it should be clear and not cloudy. If it’s a wheat beer, then of course it’s going to be cloudy. I look for off-flavors, off-aromas. Another thing that is big for me is whether I can get more than one or two notes out of the beer. Can I get more than just, okay, this is a hoppy beer with citrus notes or pine notes. Can it go one step further? If it does, that’s where I go, this is a great beer. And then I look for restraint, complexity, and depending on the style, a certain sense of elegance.
Follow the beer bus SCAVENGERS BEER & ADVENTURE TOURS 1241 Carlsbad Village Dr #1 Carlsbad, CA 92008 760.208.3739 www.brewerytoursandiego.com
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Q: How many beers have you reviewed so far on The Promiscuous Palate and 100 Beers in 30 Days? LD: It’s somewhere between 750 and 800. I may be over the 800 mark by now, but I think it’s somewhere between 750 and 800. And the funny thing about that is, is that’s what I’ve reviewed. That’s what I’ve actually had the time to sit down and review. Tasted? Thousands. Easily. I’ve tasted thousands. Q: What do you love about beer? LD: One of the primary things I love about beer is that there are so many styles. There is a style to fit any mood that you could ever be in, which I think is wonderful. When it’s wintertime and it’s cold, I am all about stouts and porters. I want to curl up under a blanket and drink a big, malty dark beer. It’s comforting to me. It’s comforting to me to drink dark beer in the wintertime. The other thing that I love is that beer is an incredible match for food. Beer, many times, far exceeds wine’s capabilities to pair with food. A lot of that has to do with the carbonation. The carbonation is going to really cleanse your palate. So, if you have a really heavy, stinky cheese, like a non-pasteurized French cheese, let’s say, that has a really high butterfat content, well, beer pairs beautifully with that, just like champagne does, because that carbonation is going to kind of scrub that fat off and really refresh your palate for another really intense bite. Beer does that across the board. A dense, flour-less chocolate cake, or a lava cake, and an imperial stout are just glorious. And I think that’s what makes it stand out against all other alcoholic beverages. It rises above. I also like that beer covers a lot of moods. It covers a lot of different things because of those styles. I also love that there’s a really wide variance in alcohol contents so that if you want something to sip on, there are barrel-aged beers, those there’s the higher alcohol contents like a cognac. Or if you really want to be refreshed, there are low alcohol session beers like German lagers that you can just enjoy while watching a football game. So not only is it just for different moods, but different cultural or social situations. There is such a range of what you can do with it. For more from this beer connoisseuress, visit www.promiscuouspalate.com
FIRST STOP Societe Brewing Co. • Where they have the BEST SERVICE
BALLAST POINT HAS DROPPED ANCHOR ALL OVER SAN DIEGO, BUT MORE THAN ITS REACH, WE LOVE ITS IMAGINATION. FROM THE VICTORY AT SEA’S MOLE SPICES, TO THE MARJORAM IN THE LITTLE INDIA PALE ALE, BALLAST POINT THINKS OUTSIDE THE BOX.
most ALESMITH BREWING COMPANY 9368 Cabot Dr, San Diego, CA 92126 858.549.9888 | www.alesmith.com
A lot of people have said AleSmith is the best brewery in San Diego. We are not playing favorites, but to be sure, AleSmith knows their stuff. Quality is the name of game for this seventeen-time Great American Beer Festival award-winner whose minimalist philosophy is just as refreshing as its brews. This Miramar brewery and tap room brews ten year-round beers, six seasonals and a handful of specialty beers. From the Belgian Strong Horny Devil to their flagship ale, the Anvil ESB, AleSmith’s brews combine decadence and complexity. They are parties in your mouth, and we love all of them, but the Speedway Stout is what they are most famous for. This huge 12% ABV Imperial Stout is like a kick in the gut–in a good way. Aged in bourbon barrels with strong notes of coffee and chocolate, this roasty, caramely brew is dark beer perfection. It’s the kind of beer you hold onto because you are saving it for a special occasion. In the tasting room, grab one of the sixteen beers on tap, order delivery, and bring Fido or Fluffy, because this tap room is dog-friendly. The beer is really the focus at AleSmith, where everything else comes second. AleSmith is quality and consistency. From their business plan, to their tap room, to their beers– simple elegance reigns. This is what makes their handforged ales some of the best not just in San Diego but also in the world.
BALLAST POINT BREWING & SPIRITS 10051 Old Grove Rd, San Diego, CA 92131 858.695.2739 | www.ballastpoint.com
Ballast Point is classic San Diego, and it’s always been upper echelon in San Diego’s suds scene. For the better part of its existence, Ballast Point stayed out of the race to expand. We are happy to say times have changed. Ballast Point recently added a combo tap room, eatery and R&D facility in Little Italy; a large pavilion at Petco Park; and a 150-barrel brew house is scheduled to open in Miramar in 2015. Ballast Point’s new, 9,000-squarefoot Little Italy brewery/restaurant boasts a 50tap tasting bar; an all-day fine dining meets beer pub menu and a five barrel brew house. Ballast Point has dropped anchor all over San Diego, but more than its reach, we love its imagination. From The Victory at Sea’s mole spices, to the marjoram in the Little India Pale Ale, Ballast Point thinks outside the box. With over 50 styles of beers and a line of artisanal spirits, theirs is one of the most complete lineups in the craft beer world. In their willingness to experiment, we see their homebrew roots showing through. Also, consider this thought: a world without Sculpin IPA. Wait, what happened? I think I blacked out there for a second… Truth be told, Ballast Point is more than hop-royalty–they are more than IPA history-changers. If San Diego were a beer, it would be Ballast Point beer. From their brewpubs to their home brew mart, Ballast Point has everything. Cans, bottles, drafts, spirits, stouts, porters—Ballast Point is also Adam’s favorite, but shh, you didn’t hear that from me.
SECOND STOP Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits • Where they have the MOST DIVERSE BREWERY
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THIRD STOP Alesmith Brewing Company • Where they have the BEST STOUT CONTINUE
SAINT ARCHER BREWERY 9550 Distribution Ave, San Diego, CA 92121 858.225.2337 | www.saintarcherbrewery.com
What happens when a band of all-star athletes and brewers come together to start a brewery? Saint Archer, apparently, and the concept is genius. Saint Archer is rider-owned by famous names in the action sports industry including surfing beauty, Laura Enever and skateboarding legend, Paul Rodriguez. A surf-centric, skate-centric brainchild of critically acclaimed action sports documentarian, Josh Landan, Saint Archer was born of a shared passion for craft beer, and their story truly sets them apart. With the exposure these owners all have individually, and with a famed brewmaster like Yiga Miyashiro behind the helm, we are bound to see big things from this new production brewery and tap room in Miramar. Even Yiga is big into surfing, and has an agreement with his wife that they can never move east of the 5 unless it’s to a tropical island. Food trucks? Absolutely, and sushi, no less. Be sure to visit Saint Archer when The Sushi Bus is behind the bar and grab a pint of their Blonde Ale to wash it all down. At 4.8% ABV, their bestselling Blonde Ale is a session beer that was modeled on the German Kolsch, and it’s phenomenal. Our favorite, though, was the American Stout—a style Yiga is well known for. Upon leaving, Yiga handed me twenty-four bottles of brew in a box, which Adam chivalrously lugged back to the Pinzgauer. St. Archer is the kind of brand its customers will stay loyal to, and we are excited to see where it goes in the future.
Q: What was your vision when you started Ninkasi? Nikos Ridge: Ninkasi is the Sumerian goddess of fermentation, so the Sumerians worshipped beer. Ultimately, beer was part of the reason why they settled into an agrarian society from hunter-gatherers, and they kind of built their culture up around the ability to make beer and grow grain and preserve that nutrition through the brewing process. After they settled, they kind of formed this more connected society, and started to develop culture, too. With this idea in mind, our vision has always been to look at beer as an opportunity to create positive actions in the communities where we operate—a way to bring people together. We do a lot of non-profit and community organization support. We have built houses and done projects with Habitat for Humanity. We are trying to make great beer, and go out and be a positive part of the communities where we operate, to kind of bring it all together to create something that’s greater than the sum of it’s parts. Q: How much beer do you brew in a year? NR: We will be close to 90,000 barrels this year. Q: What is an example of a beer pairing you do at home? NR: Beer and everything. I do love a Vanilla Otis ice cream float from time to time.
Q: What’s your most popular beer? NR: Our most popular beer in terms of sales volume is Total Domination IPA. It’s probably about 60 percent of the beer that we sell. Q: If you were only going to drink one more beer, your final, glorious, death row beer, and it wasn’t a Ninkasi, what would you drink? NR: The Firestone Walker Parabola. That one might be a good last beer ever, because it’s definitely rich enough, super complex. It’s an Imperial Stout, aged in wood. Q: What do you think are the secrets to successful craft breweries? NR: These days, with all the growth in breweries and the growth of the industry, I think it’s really important
FOURTH STOP Saint Archer Brewery • Where they have the BEST STORY
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that people are intentional about what they are wanting to do; what they are trying to do; and how that fits within the opportunities they have. When we started, even though it was relatively recently, seven and a half years ago, it was nothing like it is today. We just kind of decided, “Hey, let’s start making beer, and we’ll see what happens. We’ll see where it goes.” And I think that would be much harder to do today without an intentional plan to do what you set out to do. It is just so crowded now that you want to kind of know how you are going to differentiate yourself; how you are going to go to market; what you are trying to do; who your target is; and how you are going to serve your customers. We just taught a class at Oregon State to a group of people interested in starting breweries or being involved in the industry and that was our main message. Think about: where are you located? What are the opportunities there? What is your personal interest? What niche are you going to serve? And just be really focused about it, because if you’re not, you can kind of get lost in the chaos that’s going on right now in the industry. Q: What is your favorite part about what you do now? NR: My favorite part is just the variety of things that I get to do. We do everything from going to farms to source our ingredients; to being involved in the production process of actually making beer; to the sales and marketing side of art design and things like that. So it’s a lot of different things from beer week to events throughout our territory. We’ll sponsor music festivals or mountain bike festivals or other things like that beyond just beer festivals to be able to integrate some of the personal interests into work. Q: When you review a beer, what are you looking for? NR: We use the sensory, and beer judging technique of: look, smell, taste, reflect, and then ultimately, look for anything that might be off in terms of flavors. Are there any flaws? And if not, is it a well-crafted beer? Then the question is: how does it suit my personal taste (which in my case is wide and somewhat situational contingent)? www.ninkasibrewing.com
FROM THE TOWER 10 IPA, NAMED AFTER LIFEGUARD TOWER 10 IN MISSION BEACH, TO THEIR WINDANSEA WHEAT HEFEWEIZEN, AN AUTHENTIC SAN DIEGO, “LOCALS ONLY” VIBE CHARACTERIZES KARL STRAUSS. IT’S VERY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, AND IT FEELS VERY MUCH OUR OWN.
TAP ROOM COMBO: KARL STRAUSS 5985 Santa Fe Street, San Diego, CA 92109 858.273.2739 | www.karlstrauss.com/brewery
It goes without saying, Karl Strauss is the pioneer of San Diego’s craft beer scene, and this veteran brewery wears a lot of hats. With eight brewery restaurants, the “Godfather of Beer” understands the food beer connection better than anybody. Visit any of their restaurants and their knowledgeable servers will suggest tasters (oftentimes free of charge) to pair with your meal. From the Tower 10 IPA, named after lifeguard tower 10 in Mission Beach, to their Windansea Wheat Hefeweizen, an authentic San Diego, “locals only” vibe characterizes Karl Strauss. It’s very Southern California, and it feels very much our own. Karl Strauss’
production capabilities are huge (60,000 barrels a year), but they still experiment. Recently, Karl Strauss revamped their production brewery in Pacific Beach to include a tap room and beer garden, and it is heaven. Beer gardens are a rarity among San Diego craft breweries, and this one leaves nothing to be desired. With plenty of picnic benches, red coral trees and a drought-resistant garden, this is a relaxing atmosphere for a date or hanging with friends. Need a place to hold your wedding reception? Good news: Karl Strauss rents this space, and will let you take over the tap room and beer garden for your special event. With twenty beers on tap, brewmaster Paul Segura says every time you come back, they will be pouring something new. We love Karl Strauss for their classics like the Red Trolley Ale, but this brewery is trying new things, and we love that even more. Creativity and comfort reign at this new tap room with a brewery-loft feel, and there is a permanent space outside for food trucks. Karl Strauss, you continue to surprise us in the best way.
MISSION BREWERY 1441 L St, San Diego, CA 92101 619.544.0555 | www.missionbrewery.com
Aye, matey! If you are looking for liquid treasure, set sail for this downtown brewery where “Wonderbread” marks the spot. Located in East Village of downtown San Diego next to Petco Park, Mission Brewery’s beers are reasonable, delicious, and we will be coming back for more. Mission moved into this old Wonderbread factory in 2010, and the space is to die for. The building was built in 1894, and it’s a beautiful mixture of red brick and woodwork that cannot be duplicated today. The entire brew house is on display, which means Monday through Friday during working hours; you can watch the brewers at work. Mission Brewery is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, and at $5.50 a pint; it boasts some of the most reasonably priced craft beer in downtown. This is the perfect place to come before or after a Padre game. Hungry? Food trucks are parked outside on weekends, and the staff keeps menus for nearby delivery behind the counter. There are two flat screens above the bar for watching the game, and there are plenty of places to sit in this welcoming tap room. Mission’s beers are all delicious, but we especially loved their award-winning Mission Hefeweizen. It’s a Bavarian-style Hefeweizen with hints of banana, clove and pear. It’s complex, refreshing and delicious. Arr, if ye are a craft beer lover, Mission Brewery is a must-visit.
FIFTH STOP Tap Room Combo: Karl Strauss • Where they have the BEST BEER GARGEN
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6 SIXTH STOP Mission Brewery • Where they have the BEST HEFEWEIZEN
THORN STREET BREWERY 3176 Thorn St, San Diego, CA 92104 619.501.2739 | www.thornstreetbrew.com
Do you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they are always glad you came? Forget Cheers; go to Thorn Street Brewery—North Park’s eclectic and semi-new neighborhood pub. This two-story local hot spot boasts two tasting rooms, a seven-barrel brew house and an “everyone is welcome” vibe. Children’s books and board games are stacked in corners for the young-at-heart, and on Tuesdays, kids eat for free at the food truck parked outside. They even make a non-alcoholic ginger beer for the not-yet-21. Come in on Wednesdays for Trivia Night, or on Thursdays to watch the game–there is always something going on at this local watering hole. From the overturned barrel tables, to the reclaimed wood, to the open air atrium on the second floor, Thorn Street’s design is vintage elegance done right. Founded and run by homebrewers, Thorn Street Brewery’s beers are anything but traditional, but they are delicious. From the jalapenoinfused El Chilicabra to the Coco Moco, an Imperial Coconute Porter, we suggest trying their flight of tasters to entertain your palate and satisfy your curiosity. Head upstairs and take a seat at one of the tables or better yet, grab some couch. Community, comfort and passion are what this brewery is all about, and we are digging it.
ALPINE BEER COMPANY 2351 Alpine Blvd, Alpine, CA 91901 619.445.2337 | www.alpinebeerco.com
Like white unicorns and four leaf clovers, Alpine beers are so hard to get your hands on, you wonder if they actually exist. Where mountain town meets Mayberry, the setting of Alpine’s ten-barrel brew house and diner-like pub is just as enchanting as its infamous brews. Their pub (originally built in the 1920s) boasts BBQ and American-style beer grub and a lovely outdoor patio strung with lights and littered with locals. You get the feeling everyone knows each other, and though downtown is only a thirty-minute drive, city life couldn’t feel further away. First, we tried their rye IPA, the Nelson, and my, oh my. This 7.1% ABV, highly quaffable brew generously uses New Zealand hops throughout. It’s spicy and tropical, hoppy but not so much so that it punches you in the face. It is perfect. Laurie said it might be one of her five favorite beers of all time, and to be sure, San Diegans will do a lot to get their hands on this award-winning brew. The Duet and Pure Hoppiness were equally as amazing, and it was clear by now why Alpine is world-famous for their hoppy brews. If San Diego is a Mecca of beer, Alpine’s IPAs are the Holy Grail. Alpine is tiny in size, and demand for their beer far exceeds their production capabilities. Fortunately, thanks to teaming agreements with other breweries, production is about to triple. Ale yeah, it is.
7 SEVENTH STOP Thorn Street Brwery • Where they have the BEST SETTING
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EIGHTH STOP Alpine Beer Company • Where they have the BEST IPA’s
Photography by: Dhrumil Desai
SPRING FASHION SPREAD Matching Our Favorite Springtime Styles with the Area’s Most Artful Dishes
LOCALE LOOKS Take a Dip in these Posh Pools or Just Get a Tan in This Season’s Hottest Swimwear
THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID Freshen Up Your Spring Wardrobe Before Checking in at These Stay-cation Destinations
SPRING FASHION SPREAD Food Vs. Fashion
THE LAB 2930 Bristol Street Costa Mesa, CA 92626 714.966-6661 www.thelab.com MARCH 2014 81
BRIT L E D B Y: AI | STY S E D N IL A M TR Y: D H R U Y: A L E X RAPHY B & HAIR B PHOTOG MAKEUP
THE LAB 2930 Bristol Street Costa Mesa, CA 92626 714.966-6661 www.thelab.com
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Dress by Lovers + Friends (Laurenly, www.laurenly.net) $126 Fringe Kimono by Coveted (Love & Whiskey, www.loveandwhiskey.com) $64 Rings by Raptor (Love & Whiskey, www.loveandwhiskey.com) $55-$350 Necklace by Drifter (The Hidden Jewel, www.hiddenjewelCA.com) $120 Bracelets by St. Eve (The Hidden Jewel, www.hiddenjewelCA.com) $54 each
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AR VALENTIEN 11480 N Torrey Pines Rd La Jolla, CA 92037 858.777.6635 www.arvalentien.com | MARCH 2014 | 85
Top by Woodleigh (Sadie Slick, www.shopcandacepaige.com) $101 Jeans by Wildfox (Laurenly, www.laurenly.net) $164 Necklace by Lili Claspe (Love & Whiskey, www.loveandwhiskey.com) $184 Ring by Raptor (Love & Whiskey, www.loveandwhiskey.com) $350 Clutch by Cleobella (Antonia Shoes at the Hidden Jewel, www.facebook.com/antoniashoes) $96 Shoes by Matisse (Antonia Shoes at the Hidden Jewel, www.facebook.com/antoniashoes) $167
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ADDISON Grand Del Mar 5200 Grand Del Mar Way San Diego, CA 92130 858.314.1900 www.addisondelmar.com | MARCH 2014 | 87
Dress by Analili (Sadie Slick, www.shopcandacepaige.com) $225 Clutch by J.J. Winters (Sadie Slick, www.shopcandacepaige.com) $85 Ring by Krysia Renau (Sadie Slick, www.shopcandacepaige.com) $310 Boots by Dolce Vita (Laurenly, www.laurenly.net) $172
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NINE-TEN 910 Prospect St La Jolla, CA 92037 858.964.5400 www.nine-ten.com | MARCH 2014 | 89
Top by Knot Sister (Laurenly, www.laurenly.net) $72 Jeans by M2F Brand Denims (Laurenly, www.laurenly.net) $118 Clutch by Cleobella (Antonia Shoes at the Hidden Jewel, www.facebook.com/antoniashoes) $103 Shoes by Matisse (Antonia Shoes at the Hidden Jewel, www.facebook.com/antoniashoes) $167 Earrings by Agate (The Hidden Jewel, www.hiddenjewelCA.com) $115 Rings by Krystia Renau (Sadie Slick, www.shopcandacepaige.com) $290 & $310
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HERRINGBONE 7837 Herschel Ave La Jolla, CA 92037 858.459.0221 www.herringboneeats.com
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Hat by Lovely Bird (The Hidden Jewel, www.hiddenjewelCA.com) $129 Belt by Cowboy belt (The Hidden Jewel, www.hiddenjewelCA.com) $98 Bracelets by St. Eve (The Hidden Jewel, www.hiddenjewelCA.com) $54 each Sweater by Knot Sisters (Laurenly, www.laurenly.net) $84 Skirt by Free People (Laurenly, www.laurenly.net) $98 Boots by Dolce Vita (Laurenly, www.laurenly.net) $172 Rings by Raptor (Love & Whiskey, www.loveandwhiskey.com) $55-$350
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RESTAURANT AT RANCHO VALENCIA 5921 Valencia Cir Rancho Santa Fe, CA 858.759.6216 www.ranchovalencia.com
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LA COSTA 2100 Costa Del Mar Rd Carlsbad, CA 92009 760.438.9111 www.Lacosta.com
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S K O O L E L A LOC LICATE -T O-R E P Y S A E E O BAR H THES BEACH T YM) WIT G M E O H R T F D H E R (A N STYLIS OOKING OR SUMM L F U D O E Y IR P P L KEE GET INS THAT WIL S E L B M E ENS
WRITTEN BY: MEGAN BISHOP | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: FRANK ISHMAN STYLED BY: STYLE BY F.E.A MODELS: Kayla Reid and David Belowich of ReFresh Talent Agency www.refreshtalent.com
Turn up the heat—and heads—with intense colors, sun-kissed skin and glittering accessories to celebrate the most sensational time of the year with friends old and new. | MARCH 2014 | 95
A SHORE THING WHERE? Wave House Beach Club 3125 Ocean Front Walk San Diego, CA 92109 858.228.9283 www.wavehousesandiego.com The gargantuan Wave House, centrally located on Pacific Beach’s iconic boardwalk, is a massive 30,000 square foot outdoor venue jam-packed with animation that has been a favorite of tourists and locals alike since 2005. Enjoy a margarita in the tiki bar and people watch or relax with friends in a comfortable cabana. Looking for something more exciting? Then test your balance on one of two wave machines, the FlowRider and FlowBarrel. Noobs and intermediaries can learn on the FlowRider, with their choice of a body or flow board as their vehicle. Advanced riders can really challenge themselves on the somewhat-imposing FlowBarrel, the only machine of its kind in the US that has hosted the likes of Olympic Gold Medalists, pro surfers and some seriously talented tourists. The machine pumps over 100,000 gallons of water per minute to create a perfect 10-foot barrel wave. Expect large crowds for the surf contests and wave shows in addition to live music and choice comfort food.
WEAR (Get these looks!) WOMEN’S APPAREL PROVIDED BY: Sauvage 1025 Prospect St. La Jolla, CA 92037 858.729.0015 www.sauvageswimwear.com ACCESSORIES PROVIDED BY: Geoffrey Scott Jewelry 459 S Coast Hwy 101 Encinitas, CA 92024 858.222.0429 www.geoffreyscott.us MEN’S APPAREL PROVIDED BY: Sauvage 1025 Prospect St. La Jolla, CA 92037 858.729.0015 www.sauvageswimwear.com When you aren’t riding the waves, saturate yourself in azure blue board shorts and a kitschy, darker-hued tank top. Flip-flops are a must for perusing the throngs of party people or taking a romantic stroll on the beach afterhours. Ladies, find your inner goddess by mixing in bohemian elements to your ensemble; a beaded tunic in brilliant yellow flows perfectly over a sapphire blue bikini. Get beach-sexy hair with large and loose waves that have been misted with a texturizing product. Perfect your pout with a sheer gloss or stain in a neutral color like glittery nude or sensual pink. 96 |
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Flip-flops are a must for perusing the throngs of party people or taking a romantic stroll on the beach afterhours.
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Make a statement with a textured bikini in frosted white and melt hearts along the way.
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Spring Fling WHERE? W Hotel 421 W B St San Diego, CA 92101 619.398.3100 www.theWsandiegohotel.com Delve into the W, and enjoy the fruits of a $5 million renovation, which included an update to the lively Living Room and Rooftop Bar, impressive Kelvin Restaurant and event/meeting spaces. Tucked away in downtown, the W is in close proximity to the Gaslamp District and Little Italy. Start your day at the Veranda, an indoor/outdoor space on the second floor with everything you need to have fun—the WET pool, foosball tables, relaxed seating, heated lamps, big screen TV and sun loungers. Share a plate of delectable Chicken Popsicles and wash it all down with one of the hotel’s signature spring libations. The W is also pet-friendly and even has a “Paws on the Patio” event; every Wednesday from 5:30-7:30pm bring your four-legged friends to the Kelvin patio space and sample the $5 human and doggie menu offerings.
WEAR (Get these looks!) WOMEN’S APPAREL PROVIDED BY: White textured bikini by: Fortune 421 www.fortune421.com Beaded tunic by: Sauvage 1025 Prospect St. La Jolla, CA 92037 858.729.0015 www.sauvageswimwear.com ACCESSORIES PROVIDED BY: Geoffrey Scott Jewelry 459 S Coast Hwy 101 Encinitas, CA 92024 858.222.0429 www.geoffreyscott.us MEN’S APPAREL PROVIDED BY: Fortune 421 www.fortune421.com Make a statement with a textured bikini in frosted white and melt hearts along the way. Add in bold pieces of jewelry such as a turquoise beaded bib necklace and statement ring to turn up the fashion factor. Be sure to pack an embellished kaftan in a luminous coral or peachy pink when you aren’t working on your tan. For the fellas, bring out your SoCal spirit in a pair of locallydesigned boardshorts in an all-season color like midnight black or royal blue.
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THIS IS LIKE A FLASHBACK… WHERE? Lafayette Hotel 2223 El Cajon Boulevard San Diego, CA, 92104 619.296.2101 www.lafayettehotelsd.com Feeling retro? Then stay and play at the Lafayette, a whimsical boutique hotel nestled right in vibrant North Park. There are 131 rooms available in four categories—the Bungalows, Manor, Poolside and Suze Suite—all spacious enough for a family getaway or a romantic rendezvous. When guests aren’t lounging in the 600,000-gallon Weissmuller pool, they are parleying over mouthwatering plates at the Lafayette’s two restaurants, Imig’s Kitchen & Bar and the Red Fox Steakhouse. Be sure to try one of the eight newly introduced $10 specialty cocktails at Imig’s, like the Royal Flush (Crown Royal, Chambord, peach schnapps, cranberry juice) or the New Fashioned (Crown Royal, Amaretto, simple syrup, bitters, orange slice).
WEAR (Get these looks!) WOMEN’S APPAREL PROVIDED BY: GUESS? www.guess.com ACCESSORIES PROVIDED BY: Geoffrey Scott Jewelry 459 S Coast Hwy 101 Encinitas, CA 92024 858.222.0429 www.geoffreyscott.us MEN’S APPAREL PROVIDED BY: Sauvage 1025 Prospect St. La Jolla, CA 92037 858.729.0015 www.sauvageswimwear.com Channel your inner Marion Davies with a figure-flattering two-piece in black and white. Show off your curves in a striped black and white balconette bra top and solid highwaisted bottom. For flawless, shine-brighter-than-the-sun curls, add some Argon oil to your tendrils before hitting the pool. Complete your look with liquid waterproof black eyeliner in a thick or cat-eye design and matte, ruby red lips. Grab her attention in fire engine red shorts and make the first move by sending over a libation from the bar. Who can say no to slicked-back hair and a smile?
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Feeling retro? Then stay and play at the Lafayette, a whimsical boutique hotel nestled right in vibrant North Park. | MARCH 2014 | 101
T he n e w ly Pool is an
a d u lt s - o n ly
sanctuary complete with
V e g a s - st y l e
pool and full service bar.
A b s o lu t e L u x e WHERE? La Costa 2100 Costa Del Mar Rd Carlsbad, CA 92009 760.438.9111 www.Lacosta.com Where else can you enjoy a round of golf with pals, sweeping views in an infinity pool, world-class dining and a splendid spa chock full of award-winning amenities? La Costa, of course. This palatial property sprawls over 400 acres and boasts 607 luxury guestrooms and villas, eight themed pools, California’s only Gold Medal Golf Resort, six restaurants and cafes, the #1 Wellness Spa in the Nation (Spa Magazine) and the #4 Resort Spa in the US and Canada (Travel + Leisure), fitness center…the list goes on and on. LOCALE Looks were shot on site at the newly opened EDGE Pool, an adults-only sanctuary complete with Vegas-style cabanas, infinity pool, full service bar and the impeccable customer service for which La Costa is known. Celebrate the good life with one of La Costa’s signature cocktails; our favorites are the Blackberry Honey Margarita (Don Julio silver tequila, honey that has been produced on site at La Costa, triple sec, lime and lemon juices and fresh blackberries) and the Gold Rush (Bulleit bourbon, fresh lemon juice and La Costa honey).
WEAR (Get these looks!) APPAREL PROVIDED BY: Sauvage 1025 Prospect St. La Jolla, CA 92037 858.729.0015 www.sauvageswimwear.com WOMEN’S ACCESSORIES PROVIDED BY: Geoffrey Scott Jewelry 459 S Coast Hwy 101 Encinitas, CA 92024 858.222.0429 www.geoffreyscott.us Who said lounging poolside can’t be fashionable? Catch some rays in a jet-black triangle bikini accented with glittering gold hardware. Add in a whisper of romance with a floral pattern satin kimono. Keep your skin glistening and protected by mixing some bronzing lotion into your sunscreen, and make him sweat while relaxing on a chaise lounge. Guys, try an updated look this spring by choosing swim shorts with fashionable elements like color blocking and Euro lengths. Show off your hard work at the gym with a happy palette of blues and yellows and top off your look with classic shades and a fresh cut. | MARCH 2014 | 103
! THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID An Irreverent Retail Column
Rendezvous with Destiny
Discover your surroundings this spring with a fresh wardrobe and impromptu road trip WRITTEN AND STYLED BY: GRETCHEN AND BRITT HACKMANN OF NUBRY PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MATT DOHENY
reen smoothie: Check. Cold-Pressed Organic Beet Juice: Check, Check. Spray tan, bikini, thongs, colored sunglasses, high-waisted jean short cut-offs, crop top, tote bag, Advil, Hawaiian Tropics SPF 15: Check, Check, Check! Round-trip Airfare for two: Nope. Spring break has arrived, and we do not have flights to Cabo, can you believe it? Perhaps it’s because we can’t get away for six days and seven nights; or, perhaps our wallets are still suffering massively après ski season; heck, maybe our abs really just aren’t
ready to hit the sandy beaches yet. Give us a break though, hot toddies and duck fat fries from Aspen’s The Little Nell, can you really resist these naughty demons during snow bunny season? Rather than run off to our typical tropical paradise, we’ve decided on a weekend road trip. And, why not? We do, after all, live in Southern California, surrounded by cities of which the rest of the world chooses as their vacation destinations. So, out of your bunny hole, Rabbit, it’s time for a weekend road trip.
An Upscale Desert Getaway DESTINATION: PALM SPRINGS HOTEL: THE PARKER RESTAURANT: MITCH’S ON EL PASEO LOOKS FROM: CARLSBAD PREMIUM OUTLETS, DKNY
omfortable, preppy dresses are a no-brainer for cities like Palm Springs, especially if your final destination is The Parker. As luck would have it, we’re headed this weekend to The Parker Palm Springs for a relaxing few days of croquet, petanque—it’s not just for old Floridian retirees—tennis and poolside fun. A laundry list of shopping necessities brings us to the Cabazon Premium Outlets where we can shop Banana Republic, Barneys New York, Calvin Klein, Cole Haan, DKNY, Juicy Couture, Lacoste, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren, Theory, Tommy Hilfiger, Salvatore Ferragamo and so very much more. Sadly, my Balenciaga weekender will not hold all of my purchases after this spree, but it will at the very least transport my purple Louboutin caged booties and other footwear options for a weekend of fun.
Britt and I require multiple outfit options for a plethora of meals like lunch at Norma’s—did you know you can build your own pie? I’m thinking coconut or banana filling with pecan crisp top and bottom…oh, I’m bad! But also charcuterie plates and oysters on the half shell at the Mini Bar, followed by a seductive (so they say) dinner at Mister Parkers. Shall we feel especially adventurous, we may find ourselves venturing out of our fabulous resort to Mitch’s on El Paseo, which is on the way to Coachella, and serves fine wine, filet, sushi, seafood and sake. Festival-goers, keep Mitch’s in mind when en route to Indio.
Palm Springs: Spring Fashion Trends 1. PREPPY DRESSES – solid, printed, and colorful dresses go day-to-night 2. BRIGHT TOTES – make a statement with a large, structured, colorful bag 3. BRIGHT HEELS – purple, pink, and other candy colors will make a splash 104 |
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(All clothing available at Carlsbad Premium Outlets)
WATCH $155 DRESS $99
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Swanky Sundays On Abbot Kinney DESTINATION: LA HOTEL: THE VICEROY EATS: JOE’S RESTAURANT LOOKS FROM: WESTFIELD MISSION VALLEY, CHARLOTTE RUSSE
ho’s got an itching for a boozy Sunday brunch? Well, we do, and this particular sunny weekend we’re going to make a thing of it. If you remember Chef Joe from Season 16 of Food Network’s “Chopped,” you’ll know that he has a fabulous restaurant in LA on Abbott Kinney, just three blocks away from the beach. Known for his farmer’s market ingredients and California-French cuisine—he chooses his ingredients from a garden across the street—it’s the quality of food, casual experience and unique pairings that set his establishment, Joe’s, apart from all others. As Britt and I make the breezy drive north in our top-down cabriolet, we question each other about our alcoholic desires for our spirit-focused Sunday. She’s thinking along the lines of bottomless mimosas—only $14 at Joe’s—however, while she has her heart set on fine French bubbly, I’m rollin’ south in Mexico…slurring out ideas about ridin’ dirty with El Silencio Mezcal, Oaxaca’s rich agave plant elixir (and tequilas upand-coming worst nightmare). Among company like Chateau Marmont and LA’s Soho House, Joe’s Restaurant serves cocktails intoxicated with Mezcal…ever tried their “Slowpoke Rodriguez?” I’m guessing it decelerates its imbibers from 60 to 0, but we’ll soon see!
Los Angeles: Spring Fashion Tips 1. CROP TOPS – ride on the safe side and buy them a little bigger than you think. Nothing is worse than a crop top that is not covering your top top. 2. GRAPHIC TOPS – fun text slogans atop your sweater or tee add cool vibes to your laid-back ensemble 3. CAGED FOOTWEAR - heels or peep-toe booties that cage your foot or lace-up make a large statement 4. GIRLY COLORS - pair shades of pink, peach, burgundy, and cream together for a not-so-naughty look
We love dressing for LA, because the style there is very casual, relaxed, and hip, yet effortlessly mixes one’s own personality into each separate. Fun, unique and affordable pieces for our LA trip can be found at Mission Valley’s Westfield Mall. You’re probably already familiar with Westfield’s Nordstrom Rack, Target, Loehmanns and Macy’s, but take a few more steps and actually walk inside the lifestyle center, and you’ll find plenty more reasons to swipe your plastic. Charlotte Russe, a fast fashion fave, sports candy-colored skinny jeans in every candy shade, graphic sweaters with a slogan for everyone, trendy caged platforms under $40, charm bracelets and necklaces to obsess over, and pretty much anything else you’re looking to add to your spring wardrobe. After an exceptional Sunday Funday, we call our driver named Uber to chauffer us to our swanky evening quarters at The Viceroy Hotel on Ocean Ave, a mere 1.5 miles down the road. Now this is the “it” place to stay— contemporary, retro, and thoroughly modern interiors, designed by none other than The Kelly Wearstler—with Santa Monica ocean, city or pool views. After a morning slash afternoon of adult beverages at Joe’s, the lobby’s club scene is just getting started and it looks like we won’t be retiring just yet…
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(All clothing available at Westfield Mission Valley) PHOTO LOCATION: Karl Strauss Brewery
CROSSBODY BAG $176
SKIRT $98 DRESS $168
TOTE BAG $348
GRETCHEN (left) Necklace $176 Ipad case $98 Bracelet $118
BRITT (right) Hair comb $78 Scarf $138 Tote bag $298 Necklace $278
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Shoreline Style in The Real OC DESTINATION: ORANGE COUNTY HOTEL: SURF & SAND RESORT EAT: BROADWAY BY AMAR SANTANA
lthough LA is relatively close, it’s not too often that one has the luxury to scenically drive up to Malibu on PCH and spend the weekend with friends in a beach house that overlooks the Pacific. And even if you do cut minutes off your trip by beating the traffic, jumping from the 5N to the 405 to the 10W and finally to the 101 (Note: iPhone app, Sigalert, can be a huge pal through this navigational disaster), it’s still a solid two-and-a-half-hour road trip. What makes a little more sense, though, is the one-hour drive on the I-5N to Orange County, where LA and San Diego pals can meet up for a weekend of debauchery (or relaxation) on a level playing field. Our meet-up this month takes us to the Surf & Sand resort, a Mediterranean-style village that lies on the Laguna Beach shoreline— so beautiful! Orange County is uber stylish and super ritzy—hello, haven’t you ever seen Real Housewives of Orange County?! Gretchen Rossi’s long blonde wavy hair, flawless makeup, figure- hugging dresses, sky-high heels, glitzy accessories and Rolls Royce only slightly hint at the perfect housewife life, and to brush shoulders in her company requires that we bring it in all fashionable senses.
Orange County: Spring Fashion Trends 1. WHITE & GOLD - a ritzy color combination that’s timeless and never wrong 2. ACCESSORIES – arm stacks are still in, so layer on the bracelets! 3. SUNGLASSES – choose cat eye shape, like Jackie-O 4. LESS IS MORE! Fashion Valley, here we come! Of course you already know that Simon’s Fashion Valley has all of the best designer stores—Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Missoni, Emporio Armani, Burberry, Charles Koll Jewelers, Louis Vuitton, plus, plus, plus—but, did you know that it also houses Henri Bendel? If you’ve ever walked into a Bendels before, then you know that you’re in for a real treat, and if you haven’t; well, get your tooshie inside the store—it’s heaven on earth for us females. We’re looking to ooze class and spectacular taste during our Orange County rendezvous, so gold arm stacks it is, leopard printed silk scarf, luxurious leather totes and cat eye sunglasses—yes please, we’ll have them all! Our shift and body-con dresses deserve only the best of transportation, so we’ll take the rolling luggage, too...and the iPad and iPhone cases, oh yes, and that cute notebook, too. We aren’t chintzy, plus, we definitely wouldn’t want to look “too much,” so we’re off to Cache for dresses that are simple, chic, JackieO-ish and white. Amar Santana’s Broadway in Laguna Beach will gladly seat our party of VIPs for dinner and we’re requesting the coveted Chef’s table. Seated front row and center, a theatrical, locally-grown dinner is prepared before our eyes, as the kitchen is center stage at Broadway. Seriously though, who needs New York’s Broadway shows when you can reap the benefits and physically indulge, as in eat, in your theatre? Ridic! Santana sure knows how to grab our attention. Springtime is all about new beginnings; it’s the time of year when flowers begin to bloom again and us humans come out of a dark hibernation with pale skin and glassy eyes. Off the couch people, open your windows and breathe in the fresh air, enjoy the world around you! Take an impromptu road trip to a new destination—there are so many spots to discover in all directions! Pack a bag with your newly purchased spring fashions and open your eyes to the beauty of your surroundings. Happy springtime and happy travels!
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DO EXPERT Move over Match. com—San Diegobased VAVi Sports Offers Adult Leagues for the Active Socialite
DO FEATURE Six Female Powerhouses Encourage Others to Dream Big When Choosing a Career
FIRST TIMER’S GUIDE The Sky is the Limit When it Comes to Our 2014 Bucket List
PANORAMA Southern California Shows Us Its Most Luxurious Suites in the Region’s Ritziest Resorts & Hotels
130 FIRST TIMER’S GUIDE Free Fallin’
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DO EXPERT DO EXPERT
WRITTEN BY: MEGAN BISHOP | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: FELICIDAD DE LUCAS
THE EXPERT STEVE STOLOFF CEO, VAVi Sports
VAVi CLUB of CHOICE: The Run Club, Ran 6 halfmarathons & 1 marathon
oving to a new city can be challenging, especially when you realize that the bar scene has an extremely low success rate of netting quality friends. I was faced with this dilemma after moving to San Diego a few months ago from the Bay Area. Sure, going out clubbing and sharing a night of martinis and music with random people is fun, but how often do you text the person you met just a few hours earlier? Not to mention that with the party scene often comes a haze of smeared mascara, ringing ears and memory loss, and who wants that? So maybe my local gym is a better place to meet potential friends. I love yoga, and spin classes are always fun, but what I don’t love is the grunting, overly aggressive, stare-at-you-so-long-it’s-weird folks who make you feel inadequate unless you compete. And here I am again, back at square one. I want to meet like-minded people while maybe, just maybe, crossing that half marathon off my bucket list. Well I am happy to tell you there is a solution. I’m talking good clean adult fun, where attitudes are left at home and no one cares what brand of shoes you are wearing. Where winning is good and all, but the bigger question is “Did you have a good time?” Let’s talk VAVi—an adult (21+) sports league that has grown by leaps and bounds since bringing the fun to San Diego in 2002. Want to learn to golf? There’s a class for that. Have a strong desire to channel your inner middle-schooler? Join a kickball league. Think you can play better than Chris Paul? First, come back down to Earth and then think about participating in VAVi’s men’s basketball league. If you need some further inspiration, let me introduce Steve Stoloff, new father and CEO of VAVi Sports.
Q: How did you make your way to San Diego and become involved with VAVi? Steve Stoloff: I grew up in upstate New York and found myself working a grueling 100 hours a week in Manhattan. I got tired of the corporate life and wanted to move where lifestyle and quality of life was a priority. After 9/11, Enron and the collapse of the economy, I moved to San Diego in 2002. I came on full-time to VAVi around 2007-2008, after Latane had approached me about buying out the co-founder. I have been a runner since high school, so naturally I joined the run club and have completed five or six half marathons and my first full marathon, the 2013 Rock and Roll Marathon, after training for six months. Q: What was the inspiration behind the founding of VAVi, and is there an interesting story behind the name? SS: VAVi was founded in 2002 by friends Latane (the current President) and Tyler with the idea of creating a sports league for adults post college. We wanted a name that was catchy; so, we retrofitted an acronym on the name…Various Activities for a Variety of Individuals. Q: Discuss the goal of VAVi Sports and talk about the company’s core values and mission. SS: Our core purpose is to bring fun to life! Our roots are in San Diego, and we started an industry association to connect all of the leagues, like VAVi, nationwide. Our first conference took place here in San Diego, and we look forward to many more meetings to improve the world of adult sports. Q: How many sports and activities are offered? SS: VAVi is sports, social events and vacations. We offer 20-30 sports leagues, about 12 events and a few vacations per year. In 2013, we brought six busloads of people to Mammoth Mountain, and nine busloads (700-800 people) to opening day at the Del Mar racetrack. We also organize mass participation events, with over 1,000 people attending. One of these events being the ROC (Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge), which had 13,000 participants; the race did a national tour in cities like New York and Phoenix. 112 |
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VAVi Sports 1940 Garnet Ave. Suite 110 San Diego, CA 92109 858.273.3485 www.govavi.com
i c K k s i ’ t t e L
I N N E R A T H L E T E, S T A Y I N
G SO C
H V A
STEVE STOLOFF TALKS FINDING YOUR INNER ATHLETE, STAYING SOCIAL AND GIVING BACK WITH VAVI SPORTS
< STEVE STOLOFF
“VAVi is sports, social events and vacations. We offer 20-30 sports leagues, about 12 events and a few vacations per year. Our core purpose is to bring fun to life!” -Steve Stoloff, CEO, VAVi Sports | MARCH 2014 | 113
“We have about 90,000 active members in Southern California, with 35,000 playing in a sports league throughout the year; and in terms of our events, we have about 50,000 people. Joining is easy. You can either sign up for free online or at one of our events to receive member benefits such as giveaways.” -Steve Stoloff, CEO, VAVi Sports
Q: How many members belong to the club, and how do you join? What about nonathletes–how can they get involved? SS: We have about 90,000 active members in Southern California, with 35,000 playing in a sports league throughout the year; and in terms of our events, we have about 50,000 people. Joining is easy. You can either sign up for free online or at one of our events to receive member benefits such as giveaways. Membership fees are required when you want to join a sports league as an individual (free agent) or small group. Non-athletes can attend our social events with the common thread being an activity. Take kickball for example, our most popular sport. The whole concept is people didn’t grow up playing kickball other than on the playground; they didn’t play in college, they don’t have skills specifically for kickball. You really don’t have to be an athlete to play kickball, whereas if you entered a basketball league, you realize that this is a competitive league. But VAVi usually skews social, so if you are less athletic or you don’t care about winning so much, then you may choose a VAVi league. Q: Tell us about your sponsors and the advantages of becoming one. SS: We have sponsors for major categories; for all happy hour and social events, for example, Miller Lite and Southern Comfort have signed on. The Sports Medicine Division at UC San Diego Health System sponsors our sports leagues. They include health and wellness tips like flexibility in our newsletter and also discuss injury awareness. Drinks are sampled 114 |
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at our events, and we partnered with Mammoth and gave away free tickets to promote the property. Our sponsors are looking to target the active 21-40 demographic. We will partner with the community, such as a local bank, if they contribute to one of our supported charities such as the Challenged Athletes Foundation. We will allow the local company to promote their business with a sponsored athletics event. Getting involved with VAVi is easy, in addition to approaching us at one of our events, there are sponsor materials and contact information on the website. Q: In what ways does VAVi give back to the San Diego community? SS: Because we are so diverse, we don’t contribute to just one charity. Our concept is that we are out in the community, with sports and non-profits naturally crossing over, we give to various establishments. Not just money, but time as well. I sit on the Board of the Friends of Parks and Recreation, the Pacific Beach Recreation Council, and our employees all sit on different non-profit councils. We pick the charity based on the VAVi event and the correlating theme. The Challenged Athletes Foundation was a perfect fit for the Ridiculous Obstacle Course (ROC Race) and the Mud Run, with the Mud Run being a military-type of race. It is always inspiring to see disabled athletes participating in those events. We also have worked with AJ’s Kids during the holidays and donated to Rady Children’s Hospital.
DO FEATURE - 6 POWERFUL WOMEN
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
SAN DIEGO’S MOST POWERFUL WOMEN TELL ALL WRITTEN BY: KRISTAL DOCTER PHOTOGRAPHY BY: FAITH LEFEVER
a young girl, I never dreamed of becoming the belle of the ball or befalling the fate of a handsome, young prince like my sprightly sidekicks; I was always a girl on a mission to lead my gang from the fear of boys, bugs and being unpopular. I was really more of a Baby-Sitters Club girl than a Sweet Valley High girl, envisioning the formation of my own team to empower other young girls to take the lead in their own lives, to have dreams comprised of building their own businesses and inspiring the next great discovery. Driven by this ambition to make an impact, I just never took no for an answer, and neither did the six San Diego women profiled in our first Powerful Women piece.
These six San Diego-based visionaries are using their positions of influence to improve their industries by contributing innovation, confidence and strength. They are leaders in fashion, philanthropy, finance, media and real estate, and they didn’t reach the top by following their peers; they’ve made their childhood dreams come true with pure determination. Our six Powerful Women are here to share the secrets, sacrifices and successes that have landed them on top.
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“In 2004, I took the opportunity to go out on my own. I was waitressing nights to make ends meet while working a full-time day job and used my tip money from my job at Outback Steakhouse to buy a laptop and start JPR.” -Jamie Lynn Sigler, J Public Relations
NAME Jamie Lynn Sigler COMPANY J Public Relations TITLE Founding Partner
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PR PRINCESS Q: How long have you been in your current career, and what does your position consist of? Jamie Lynn Sigler: Even from a young age, I knew I wanted to work in media. As early as elementary school, I asked for a subscription to USA Today and remember reading the paper every morning at the kitchen table with my parents. My third grade teacher required us to report once per term on a news article, and instead, I would clip at least one article per day to share with my lessenthusiastic classmates. I started J Public Relations nearly 10 years ago. In 2004, I took the opportunity to go out on my own. I was waitressing nights to make ends meet while working a full-time day job and used my tip money from my job at Outback Steakhouse to buy a laptop and start JPR. Q: How did you get to where you are today? JLS: A lot of hard work, a little luck and valuing each and every relationship and contact I could make, no matter what position they held. At the end of the day, relationships are what make the world go round. I remind my staff that the interns and fact checkers today are the Editors-in-Chief of tomorrow, so treat them accordingly. Q: Can you take us through a day in the life of Jamie Lynn Sigler? JLS: I work in public relations, so no two days are ever the same… Today, I woke up at 6am to workout with my trainer Kris at FIT, had a conference call with my New York office on the way home, popped to the office to check in with all the girls to discuss strategy on pressing accounts; then, jumped on a flight to Scottsdale for a site visit of a hotel client and lunch with the chef. From Arizona, I caught up on email, attended the Scottsdale Magazine launch party and celebrated with my team with a dinner at Mastro’s City Hall. I think it was past midnight when my head finally hit the pillow. Did I mention my celebrity sighting? I ran into Republican governor Chris Christie at the valet! Q: What influenced your career path? JLS: I was born into a family of entrepreneurs, and from a young age, always had a strong stance on doing things my way…just ask my parents and two brothers! Ultimately, I found a job with a niche that is not work; it’s pleasure. I am passionate about my job, love the media and the strategy, and the people that I work with are the most inspiring, smartest women in the game…hence our tagline, “Don’t let the pink fool you.” Q: How do you remain grounded and challenged in your position? JLS: I never forget where I came from, and I take nothing for granted. I stay motivated and focused knowing that I have forty employees who rely on me for direction and inspiration, and yet, I’m humbled everyday I walk through the doors of JPR by the talent and grace of my staff.
Q: Do you find it more difficult to make an impact in your career as a woman? Any advice for other women in business? JLS: No, I don’t find it more difficult to make an impact as a woman, because I’m confident in my abilities and myself. My advice to all women would be to focus on the fact that we have the same opportunities as males, so we shouldn’t sell ourselves short or make excuses. If you are willing to work for it and if you are willing to make the same sacrifices as your male counterparts, you can do anything they can. I would also tell them that nothing in life is free or is handed to you, so be prepared to sweat for it—you just need to want it more than the person next to you. Q: If you could improve one thing in the world, what would it be, and why? JLS: I would make it so that every female in the world is offered the same rights to education as their male counterparts. It breaks my heart that in today’s world, girls still aren’t being treated equally considering our amazing talent and power. Q: Why do you think you were chosen as one of San Diego’s Most Powerful Women? JLS: I’m still asking myself that question! Honestly, I’m flattered and humbled to be chosen for this, but it’s the talent and drive of my entire team that has built this success right alongside me. Q: If you could have lunch with any prominent figure—historical or present day—who would it be, why, and what would you order? JLS: Definitely lunch with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis over a Cape Codder and a lobster roll. Not only is she a fashion icon, but also she is the ultimate picture of female strength, power and grace. Q: When you’re not changing the world at work, you are... JLS: Spending time with my friends and family and either traveling or day-dreaming about my next trip. Q: When trying to make an impression at a meeting or event, what is your go-to outfit? JLS: For anyone that knows me, I am the ultimate girly girl: always a black or navy dress, some sort of frill—either a ruffle or a bow—and a pair of my signature Chanel earrings. Q: What 2 accomplishments are you most proud of, and why? JLS: The day I found out JPR was named the #12 fastest growing Hospitality Company in the country this year by Inc. Magazine is top of my list. It is surreal reminiscing on our humble beginnings in my Pacific Beach apartment nine years ago, compared to where we are now. Also, I’m immensely proud when I see women who started at JPR as interns and become senior level leaders at the agency. It’s such an accomplishment to see them grow and develop in their talents and passions.
Q: How are you changing/impacting your industry? JLS: Hopefully, I’m inspiring other women to follow their dreams and passions, helping to shape the talent of tomorrow.
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A Non-Pr0fit NATURAL Q: How long have you been in your current career, and what does your position consist of? Jill Smayo: Invisible Children is a non- profit organization based in San Diego that has been working since 2004 to permanently end the violence caused by warlord Joseph Kony who has been abducting children and forcing them to fight as soldiers for nearly three decades. I am fortunate to have found my career at a young age and have been working in the non-profit world for over a decade. I head up fundraising for Invisible Children and work with the Board of Directors, Advisory Council, staff and volunteers to make the experience of our supporters amazing. The Development Department works with foundations, corporate sponsors, national and international one-time and recurring donors and event participants to fund the work our organization does. Q: How did you get to where you are today? JS: I am good at listening to people and taking the time to hear what is important and meaningful to them. I’ve been able to use that skill in my career as it helps me to relate not only to potential supporters and coworkers, but also to those I am trying to serve—from cancer patients to war-affected children on the front lines of a conflict in Africa. Q: Can you take us through a day in the life of Jill Smayo? JS: First up today: walking my rescue dog around the neighborhood with coffee in hand. The coffee part is essential. Then, the day officially started by meeting with a contact that wants to host an event for Invisible Children where we would have an opportunity to share the behind-the-scenes of KONY 2012, our tenth film that went viral last year and became the most-watched Internet movie of all time with 100 million views in six days. I got to share lunch at my desk with my coworker, Maggie, followed by meetings mapping out our next mass-fundraising campaign with our Art and Media team. I spent a good part of the afternoon on the phone with the agent of one of our celebrity supporters interested in doing a creative and funny campaign for us this spring as well as some of Invisible Children’s amazing supporters that we will be bringing to Uganda with us on our next trip. I ended the day with dinner and friends. That’s today! Q: What influenced your career path? JS: My career was directly influenced by my extracurricular activity in college. Throughout college, I worked to coordinate my university’s Dance Marathon, with 500 students dancing for 30-hours the first weekend in March, raising nearly $1,000,000 for a different beneficiary every year. It was a campus tradition, and I loved the energy and passion of it all. I loved the ripple effect of people creating fun, meaningful memories as they worked to support important charity beneficiaries. Q: How do you remain grounded and challenged in your position? JS: I am surrounded by talented and genuinely authentic coworkers and incredibly honest and loyal friends who are proactive in making sure my feet are planted firmly on the ground at all times. The demands of my job are always changing and evolving. I enjoy testing my talents, knowledge and skills, and this position delivers, constantly. Q: How are you changing/impacting your industry? JS: When people think of working in the non-profit space, they often think of working on the program side, which means mapping out the strategic use of the resources that the nonprofit secures. Most people don’t focus on what it takes to raise the money and, when they do, they think it’s a really difficult or unattractive job. As Invisible Children engages the masses in creative, fun and straight-up wacky ways to raise funds, engaging celebrity supporters, individuals, foundations 120 |
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and corporations from all around the globe in the process, I hope I am able to demonstrate the ways in which fundraising is exciting and has limitless creative outlets. Q: Do you find it more difficult to make an impact in your career as a woman? Any advice for other women in business? JS: I don’t think it’s more difficult to make an impact in my career as a woman; building relationships to fund the work of a non-profit is very relational in nature. I would encourage all women to pause to be conscious of when you see yourself minimizing your strengths. It’s not natural for many of us, but the more we can embrace and get comfortable communicating our strengths, the bigger our impact will be. Q: If you could improve one thing in the world, what would it be, and why? JS: I work in an office where we actually ask and answer this question every day. No joke. That said, I would say it would be to ensure safety and security for every person on earth so they could live to their fullest potential. If you do not feel safe from threats–whether it’s threat of violence or ridicule–it’s that much harder to pursue your dreams. Q: Why do you think you were chosen as one of San Diego’s Most Powerful Women? JS: I am in a unique position to be able to engage people in the work that we do at Invisible Children and influence their outlook on life and the active role they can play in enacting world change. Invisible Children’s work literally saves children’s lives from the brutal violence of a warlord by telling important stories through beautiful and engaging media, so my job is something that quickly becomes the focus of many conversations. Also, I am friendly and make eye-contact with everyone. For no particular reason, strangers love to talk to me. If that is a prerequisite for being influential, then I guess that might be what got me on this list. Q: If you could have lunch with any prominent figure— historical or present day—who would it be, why, and what would you order? JS: Oprah. I not only admire Oprah, but after welcoming her into my living room daily for so many years, I have the dream that we would really connect as friends. My coworker, Jason Russell, has had the honor of getting to know Oprah through being a guest on her show five times, and we love to go off on tangents on how she’s inspired the world. She brought a reassurance of our survival mechanism, our goodness and our joy to the forefront of American culture, demonstrating that sharing these things have rewards in the here and now. Oh, what would I eat? A fresh heirloom tomato and avocado salad from her farm on the grounds of her ranch. Q: When you’re not changing the world at work, you are... JS: Traveling, skiing, savoring every minute shared with family and friends, and then sweating it out at hot yoga or spin class. Q: When trying to make an impression at a meeting or event, what is your go-to outfit? JS: I have a black and navy sheath dress that I love. Paired with a colorful statement necklace, my favorite pair of high heels and a leather jacket, it is my go-to for sure. Q: What is your proudest life accomplishment, and why? JS: I am very proud of my ability to focus my career on helping people and important causes. Personally and professionally, I’ve had opportunities to do so many different things, but my commitment to making my “day job” so personally fulfilling and helpful to those outside of myself has been a spectacular personal and professional accomplishment.
NAME JILL SMAYO COMPANY Invisible Children TITLE Director of Development
“I would encourage all women to pause to be conscious of when you see yourself minimizing your strengths. It’s not natural for many of us, but the more we can embrace and get comfortable communicating our strengths, the bigger our impact will be.” - Jill Smayo, Invisible Children
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NAME ALLISON ANDREWS COMPANY & TITLE Fashion Week San
Diego, Founder and Director COMPANY & TITLE APA Business Consulting, President
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Fashion FORWARD Q: How long have you been in your current career, and what does your position consist of? ALLISON ANDREWS: I’ve been self-employed for the last eight years, but in my industry for the last fifteen. I’m a “do-er.” It’s about the small wins that eventually add up to be pretty large, like my passion project: Fashion Week San Diego. My days are always diverse depending on my goals and time of the year. Some days aren’t very glamorous and others are. It keeps me engaged and interested. Most of my focus is on educating people about FWSD, supporting our designers and making sure the event is on track to be new and different. This can be with sponsor relations, media relations, production and even putting out the occasional fire. My job is definitely not for the weak of heart or anyone who isn’t patient. One must have a very fine tuned eye for detail and long term planning. Q: What influenced your career path? AA: I created what I wanted to do with my skill set, time and expertise. I was frustrated by my industry’s belief of a myth that to be successful in fashion in the USA you had to be in NYC or LA. I was determined to show that it’s possible to be successful and live where you want. Did you know San Diego is home to many leading international fashion companies? Fashion Week San Diego’s larger goal is educating people on this industry that is strong and quite large in Southern California. We have several manufacturing options that aren’t as accessible in Los Angeles as in San Diego.
women who feel this pressure or challenge, stick to their guns, work hard and know their own self worth. With time, people, industries and society will come around—you just have to stay consistent and gain trust.” -Allison Andrews,
FWSD & APA
Q: How do you remain grounded and challenged in your position? AA: My family is my first priority, and then, my work. You have to remember what is constant and significant. Money, fame, career are all-temporary and never permanent, family is. I volunteer and sit on many boards here in San Diego and that always keeps my life in perspective. My personal routines that keep me grounded are, of course, volunteering, gardening (digging in the soil is so good for your soul) and yoga. Remaining challenged is never an issue with Fashion Week San Diego. It didn’t exist before I started it, so there is no rulebook or guide, I have to trouble shoot and create as I go. Trust me, it’s never dull. Q: How are you changing/impacting your industry? AA: I hope I’m bringing down some barriers for small businesses, women entrepreneurs and creatives here to be taken seriously by their peers and industry. I’m also shining a light on a very important industry that doesn’t get much attention here and is now starting too. Q: Do you find it more difficult to make an impact in your career as a woman? Any advice for other women in business? AA: Yes, and you have to remember, I started working for myself at 20, so my age was also not on my side. I have had to work extra hard to break down stereotypes and prove my value. It takes time, but thanks to consistent positive behavior, strong work ethic and determination, I have now gotten to a place that I don’t have to push as hard as I did in the beginning. I never took it personal, instead used it as fuel. I recommend women who feel this pressure or challenge, stick to their guns, work hard and know their own self worth. With time, people, industries and society will come around—you just have to stay consistent and gain trust.
Q: Why do you think you were chosen as one of San Diego’s Most Powerful Women? AA: First, I’m beyond flattered and extremely humbled, so thank you for this honor. I would assume because I’ve spent the last years dedicating my life and creating something from nothing to better our city. It is now larger than myself and goes way beyond me. The opportunities that come from FWSD have grown and continue to grown more than I could have ever wished for. With that said, if it weren’t for the support of the community it would have remained an idea. I’m pleased to be able to help create and support our amazing fashion industry in San Diego as well as all the causes I’m engaged in. It’s a true pleasure to help San Diego and take pride in the great people who live and work here. Thank you again for this honor. Q: If you could have lunch with any prominent figure—historical or present day—who would it be, why, and what would you order? AA: My gut says Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. I’ve admired her since I was a very young girl, because my mom did. I remember doing several grade school reports on her and even getting to pretend to be her in school. I would love to ask her about how as a woman she had to work hard to get into journalism, of course details on being a first wife, tips for entertaining as she was know for hosting great cocktail parties at the white house and her later years as a style icon. I would most likely order a salad and if my gut tells me right, we might have an afternoon cocktail to go with it. Q: When you’re not changing the world at work, you are... AA: Attempting to help change our community through the three charities I support, Rancho Coastal Humane Society, St. Paul’s senior centers (I volunteer with my dog, Riley there) or Angels Family Foster Network. Besides that, my husband and myself are always up to something fun, either with or without our own animals and family. Q: When trying to make an impression at a meeting or event, what is your go-to outfit? AA: Modern power suit, which is really not a suit at all, just pieces of one. I’m a pretty classic girl, so skirt, jacket, and collared shirt with really fabulous heels, bag and accessories. I love my accessories, and that’s were you can tell I’m a fashionista. Q: What 2 accomplishments are you most proud of, and why? AA: This award and honor is one of them for sure. I would say the proudest life accomplishment for me has been the overall picture. I’m all about the small wins, and so far, all my small accomplishments have afforded me a dream life and career that is beyond rewarding. We all have a story, challenges and struggles. When I sit in my chair right now and run through some of my proudest life accomplishments, some are personal, others related to my career, but in general it’s that I’m where I’m at right now, in this moment. I’m thrilled and so proud to be married to my biggest supporter, have the world’s most inspiring women as my mother and role model; as well as get to wake up and do things larger than myself. That’s pretty amazing, and technically, I’m not 30 yet. Either this is just the beginning or I’m going to retire and just volunteer full time.
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NAME NIKKI SCHIFFMAN COMPANY & TITLE Lipstick Sister,
San Diego, Events Director COMPANY & TITLE Pacific Real Estate Group, Real Estate Agent
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Team LIPSTICK Q: How did you get to where you are today? Nikki Schiffman: With education, patience, persistence and confidence. Q: Can you take us through a day in the life of Nikki Schiffman? NS: My typical day begins with my beautiful daughter: we make breakfast together and watch morning cartoons. After analyzing my schedule, the afternoons are divided between Lipstick Sister and real estate. I could be showing houses to clients, assisting in transactions, organizing events or meeting with a potential new member of Lipstick Sister. The best part of my day is the evenings with quality family time. Q: What influenced your career path? NS: Freedom to take control of my own schedule, excitement of meeting new people and the empowerment of women. Q: How do you remain grounded and challenged in your position? NS: By respecting everyone, staying focused in my goals and having love for my family and friends. Women need to be more supporting of one another and compete less. This is what makes Lipstick Sister such a dynamic members-only women’s organization, because a Lipstick Sister is smart, sexy, confident, successful, sweet, nice and kind. She has a positive attitude towards life and good energy; she views other women as her sisters and not her competition.
Sister is smart, sexy, confident, successful, sweet, nice and kind. She has a positive attitude towards life and good energy; she views other women as her sisters and not her competition.” -Nikki Schiffman, Lipstick Sister Q: How are you changing/impacting your industry? NS: Lipstick Sister provides a forum for women to succeed in life and business with the spirit of community, charity, socializing and networking events to expand our members’ business and social circles. The group provides a forum for the development of life-long friendships and valuable connections, bringing together talented and dynamic women who connect, share ideas and propel each other toward success in all aspects of their lives. Our main goal is to empower women through access to information and opportunities for collaboration. Q: Do you find it more difficult to make an impact in your career as a woman? Any advice for other women in business? NS: No, work hard and maintain a realistic balance of your time. Women need to tackle their careers differently by not working themselves to death, and then sitting quietly in the corner, hoping for someone to notice. Be proud of yourself and know your self-worth. Q: Why do you think you were chosen as one of San Diego’s Most Powerful Women? NS: Humbled and honored to be considered an influential woman, but I like to think it is because I love what I do, and we are very focused in helping to inspire and empower women. Q: If you could have lunch with any prominent figure—historical or present day—who would it be, why, and what would you order? NS: Tamara Mellon, the former co-founder of Jimmy Choo. She is smart, beautiful and seems to know how to have it all, do it all, and realize the ability of women in business. I would order an ahi tuna salad and hot green tea. Q: When you’re not changing the world at work, you are... NS: Spending quality time with family and friends or shopping. Q: When trying to make an impression at a meeting or event, what is your go-to outfit? NS: A printed or bright colored BCBG blazer, Equipment silk camisole, J Brand skinnies and Christian Louboutin heels. Q: What are your TOP 2 proudest life accomplishments, and why? NS: 1.) Raising a happy and healthy daughter. 2.) Ability to manage life’s ever changing obstacles.
Just Say NO Q: How did you get to where you are today? Michelle Ahearne: Growing up with an absent father who struggled with addiction and a single mother who worked three jobs at a time to make sure we had the basics, college could have easily been out of reach—and yet, I felt a deep calling from a young age that I was supposed to help people. That led to me to majoring in social work at Cornell University, giving a year of volunteer service through AmeriCorps, working for Habitat for Humanity for several years, and then landing here. Throughout each stepping stone of my journey, there were people who helped me—all of which I give credit to helping me get to where I am today. Q: What influenced your career path? MA: Two people taught me to pay it forward, which ultimately influenced my career path. First—my mom! Even though she was struggling to make sure we had food to eat ourselves, she always gave back, whether it was volunteering with veterans at the local prison or being a mentor to individuals struggling with mental illness. The second person is Herb Scheidel, my mentor, who invested both his time and his financial resources in me and thousands of other young people. Giving was truly his natural high and when he passed away, many of us promised to pay his generosity forward by investing in others as he’d invested in us. Q: How are you changing/impacting your industry? MA: Having been around for nearly 20 years, Natural High is a frontrunner in the unique way we reach youth—taking cues from Madison Avenue. We use celebrity messengers and do it in a way that is authentic, positive and relatable. We are constantly asking questions, innovating, adjusting and not getting too comfortable. As a result, we are just as relevant, if not more relevant, to youth than ever. Q: Do you find it more difficult to make an impact in your career as a woman? Any is not my natural advice for other women in business? high, but I never leave home MA: Yes! As a woman and a younger without a piece of jewelry that has sentimental value, whether executive director, I’ve had to learn to stop comparing myself to my peers and carve my a pin from my grandmother or a necklace reminding me of my own authentic path to ensure my voice is heard. Fortunately for me at Natural High, roots. -Michelle Ahearne, I have been given an enormous opportunity Natural High to grow the organization while growing both professionally and personally. My advice to other women in business: ‘one size doesen’t fit all’ when it comes to building your career. Trust you are in the role you are in for a reason and don’t play small!
Q: If you could improve one thing in the world, what would it be? MA: It would be that in addition to math and science and English, all kids grow up learning about and celebrating that they each have a natural high that is unique to them. Imagine every child and teen growing up feeling passionate, engaged, fired up and tuned in to the tremendous power and joy of living life on a natural high. Not only do I believe this will help youth avoid the pressures of drugs, but I am certain it would help create a generation of youth who would be healthier and happier because they were dialed into their passions. Q: Why do you think you were chosen as one of San Diego’s Most Powerful Women? MA: Natural High is built on the premise that we all have the capacity to influence others. Our celebrity messengers use their influence for good, by authentically encouraging youth to choose a natural high. In the same respect, I hope I can use my influence for good as well, by sharing my own unique story. I hope it resonates with other young female nonprofit leaders on their own journey. Q: If you could have lunch with any prominent figure—historical or present day—who would it be, why, and what would you order? MA: I’d need a table for four. I’d host singer/songwriter India Arie, vulnerability researcher Brene Brown and best friend and founder of Shakti Rising, Shannon Thompson, to join me for South American tapas. The purpose: to thank them for having the courage to lead authentically and to share their journey (the highs and the lows) along the way. They have saved me, over and over and over again. Q: What is your proudest life accomplishment, and why? MA: What I’ve helped develop at Natural High over the last decade. When I started, it was just our founder and I. I now have a team of eight employees, a rad board of directors and the natural high message, which is being shared in all 50 states by more than 16,000 educators; and now, youth are starting to champion Natural High themselves. I am so honored to have played a part in this evolution. 126 |
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NAME MICHELLE AHEARNE COMPANY Natural High TITLE Executive Director
NAME SUSAN LUEHRS COMPANY Wells Fargo TITLE Senior Vice
President, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager for the Southern California Region (San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial Counties)
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Bank BOSS Q: How long have you been in your current career, and what does your position consist of? Susan Luehrs: I have been in marketing for 29 years, 18 years with Wells Fargo. I am responsible for local marketing, advertising, sponsorship, community support and the sales support for our 197 Southern California stores. I also lead a team of three very talented marketing professionals. Q: How did you get to where you are today? SL: I started my career working in smaller community banks and through a number of mergers and acquisitions I landed at Wells Fargo. I previously worked in LA and Orange County, but when the opportunity to work in San Diego came up four years ago, I jumped at it. Q: Can you take us through a day in the life of Susan Luehrs? SL: My days are split between working with local partners to create programs to help promote our business and ways to invest in our communities by working with local organizations, and then I work with my internal Wells Fargo partners to create and test innovative ways to help our customers succeed financially. Q: What influenced your career path? SL: I have always had a love for marketing, and it has always been important for me to stay close to the communities that we serve. I’ve wanted to stay in positions that have kept me close to the customers that I am serving. Q: How do you remain grounded and challenged in your position? SL: The people I work with in the bank, and in the community, are amazing. They humble me every day. They remind me why the financial services and the advice we provide are important and the impact we have on their lives and in our communities. The financial services industry is constantly changing, therefore I am challenged daily on how to stay ahead of the changes and anticipate the needs of our customers.
“At Wells Fargo,
we value diversity and inclusion. In fact, in San Diego, we have several senior leaders who are women and lead their line of business for the Region.”
-Susan Luehrs, Wells Fargo
Q: How are you impacting your industry? SL: We are impacting the financial services industry through financial education. Lack of financial education remains one of the biggest issues in underserved communities. We launched a five year, $5 million national effort with United Way Worldwide to provide financial counseling and access to education and resources to low and moderate-income households. In San Diego, our local team members regularly go out in their local communities to teach financial education through our Hands on Banking program to people of all ages; K-12 students, colleges students and adults. In addition, we recently launched the Hands on Banking program for military and have started teaching this curriculum to local active duty military, spouses, transiting military and retired military. Q: Do you find it more difficult to make an impact in your career as a woman? Any advice for other women in business? SL: It has helped me to bring value to every role that I have had. At Wells Fargo, we value diversity and inclusion. In fact, in San Diego,
we have several senior leaders who are women and lead their line of business for the Region. My advice for other women is to mentor, develop and support women to increase the number of us in the senior level positions. Q: If you could improve one thing in the world, what would it be, and why? SL: People’s tolerance and understanding of diversity and inclusion. Q: Why do you think you were chosen as one of San Diego’s Most Powerful Women? SL: Working for Wells Fargo allows me to work with hundreds of local organizations that support and make our communities better. At Wells Fargo, we want to be known as one of the world’s great companies and work towards this goal through our community support. I’m proud to say that last year in San Diego, we donated $3.6 million to 420 local nonprofits and schools. In addition to our grant giving, we also teach hundreds of hours of financial education every year to people of all ages. Q: If you could have lunch with any prominent figure—historical or present day—who would it be, why, and what would you order? SL: Jackie Kennedy. I would love to have a conversation about her life, struggles and accomplishments. It would be amazing to hear about her work with the arts, her style and her career while raising her children. I would order a salad because I would be too nervous to eat. Q: When you’re not changing the world at work, you are... SL: Spending time with my family, with my wonderful husband and two children. Q: When trying to make an impression at a meeting or event, what is your go-to outfit? SL: For a meeting, my go to suit is a navy and white Faconnable pant suit. For events, I like to find one of a kind dresses that with make a statement, classy yet bold.
for Wells Fargo allows me to work with hundreds of local organizations that support and make our communities better. At Wells Fargo we want to be known as one of the world’s great companies and work towards this goal through our community support. I’m proud to say that last year in San Diego, we donated $3.6 million to 420 local nonprofits and schools. -Susan Luehrs,
Wells Fargo Q: What are your TOP 2 proudest life accomplishments, and why? SL: My daughter Samantha and my son Ricky. I am so proud of the people they are becoming. To be able to contribute to their lives through advice, guidance and love continues to be my proudest accomplishments.
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WRITTEN BY: NATALIE HOLTZ PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ADAM GENTRY
9,000 feet above sea level, I am wondering why anyone skydives. Oh sure, the views below us are beautiful—so beautiful I just threw up in my mouth. My instructor, Fernando, turns to me and says that the adrenaline doesn’t even affect him anymore. I want to punch him. “How nice for you, Fernando,” I think sarcastically, wishing I was born without adrenal glands. I know you can tell, just by looking at me, that I am a big risk taker. I skydived recently (yeah, I know, awesome), and I went with Skydive San Diego because, quite simply, they are the best. Founded in 1986, Skydive San Diego is the region’s only full-service parachute center. With 15 USPA-certified instructors and over 100,000 jumps between them, you feel safe with Skydive San Diego strapped to your back. Skydive San Diego hosts the newest, safest and largest jumpships in the skydiving industry—airplanes that take up over 20 loads of skydivers a day. If you are interested in learning to do solo skydives, their Accelerated Freefall training program is one of the best in the world. They even host a training program for Navy Seals. Reassuring, right? Skydive San Diego’s manager, Blake Robinson, calls the center “The Boogie Drop Zone,” because everyone there is just having a lot of fun. Many skydivers hang out on the grounds all day, and it is easy to understand why. There are plenty of picnic benches shaded by trees and freestanding canopies; the surrounding area is beautiful, and they even have food—great food. Grab some barbecue, a coffee, a cinnamon roll, whatever you fancy at The Lemon Drop Café, Skydive San Diego’s onsite food truck/ restaurant. Most importantly, Skydive San Diego’s instructors are easy on the eyes. I’m just saying. Now, there are three most important skydiving rules. Number one, do not drink alcohol beforehand. Number two, do not drink alcohol beforehand. Number three, pay attention during skydiving school. We are almost to the dropping point, and I cannot (for the life of me—ha!) remember what to do if the reserve parachute fails. The engine is roaring, and the cameraman is asking me, “Are you sure you want to do this?” What kind of question is that? No, I am not sure I want to do this. I am sure I am about to fall 13,000 feet to my death. If I do land safely, the first thing I am doing is getting my adrenal glands removed.
SKYDIVING RULE #1: If you remember only one thing from skydiving school, remember what you are supposed to do if both parachutes fail. Not that this ever happens, of course. It only happens with one in every one in one million skydives—don’t worry, I Googled it beforehand. “Where do you like to surf? How long have you been surfing? What part of town are you from?” A barrage of questions leaves Fernando’s mouth so quickly; it is like question/answer PingPong. Brilliant tactic—he is distracting me—probably because all the color has left my face. Then he says, “Sit on my lap.” I look at him surprised—I thought we were best friends. “Fernando, we hardly know each other. At least buy me dinner first,” and I know what you’re thinking. The answer is: yes, it was a little awkward. I did that put all your weight in your thighs and feet maneuver. 130 |
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A FIRST TIMER’S GUIDE TO SKYDIVING
SKYDIVE SAN DIEGO, INC. 13531 Otay Lakes Road Jamul, CA 91935 800.FREE.FALL (in California) 619.216.8416 www.skydivesandiego.com | MARCH 2014 | 131
SKYDIVING RULE #2:
Be at your fighting weight when you skydive. You will have to sit on a stranger’s lap. Not that this made me feel better, but parachuting has been around for almost a thousand years. Chinese drawings of parachutes date all the way back to the 1100s. In 1495, Leonardo Da Vinci designed a pyramid-shaped, wooden-framed parachute that daredevil Adrian Nicholas tested out in the year 2000. Da Vinci’s design worked, proving it to be (in retrospect) the first working parachute. Skydiving, however, did not take off as a sport until after World War II. With an abundance of surplus parachutes and former soldiers with the courage to jump, that’s when skydiving really became a hobby. The first commercial skydiving centers opened in the mid1950s, and around the same time, Raymond Young coined the term “skydiver.” Fun fact, after the release of Point Break in 1991, skydiving showed a huge surge in popularity. A fellow skydiver crawls to the airplane’s garagestyle metal door, and throws it open. There it is: my imminent death. I look around at the other skydivers. One climbed Mt. Everest without oxygen. The next jumped off cliffs in squirrel suits and ate raw eggs for breakfast. This is what I imagine, anyway. Each diver gives me a fist pump before walking to the door, as I counter with my very best James Bond face. “Oh, we are jumping out of an airplane? I wish I didn’t have to do it tandem, ha ha ha.” I am calm, cool, collected. Still, I get a few “Are you okays?” so I am not sure how convincing I was.
SKYDIVING RULE #3: Go with the eighty-two-year-old ladies checking it off the bucket list. Board the plane full of eighteen year olds rebelling against their parents on their birthdays. Just be braver than one person on the plane, and you are golden. Watching other people falling out of an airplane is freaky no matter how much you are expecting it. They disappear, and you are left in shock thinking, “What happened to them? Where did they go?” Then you remember, “Oh yeah, they are skydiving.” And finally, you remember you are expected to do the same. I tell ya,
if they didn’t strap you to someone, no one would ever skydive. Everybody would just change his or her minds. When we get to the door, I remember I promised to meet a friend for lunch. Poor scheduling on my part, but shoot, I just couldn’t jump. I explain this to Fernando, but he tells me, “If that’s the case, the quickest way down is to jump.” I didn’t sign a contract; I don’t have to do this. Fernando pulls my head back against his shoulder. I tilt it back down. He pulls it back again. I am already doing this wrong, but there is no turning back now. Out the door we go, and I don’t know where I am. I can feel my lips flapping against my face as I wail like a banshee. After I rupture Fernando’s eardrum, I eventually stop screaming and listen. The WHOOOSH sound was not the sound I had expected. Where was the epic guitar solo? I thought free falling sounded like “Eye of the Tiger” or complete silence. When your inner ear can tell you are moving, you get that stomach dropping feeling. This feeling is one of the chief reasons many people steer clear from skydiving. What these people should know is a few seconds into the jump, that stomach-dropping feeling goes away. When you reach the peak terminal velocity (90 miles per hour), you are falling so fast, your inner ear cannot sense you are moving. So, a few seconds into the drop, that feeling of falling is replaced with a feeling that you aren’t moving at all. This is where you get comfy. I spread my arms wide, push my belly button out and make my body like a banana. I remember some things from skydiving school, just not the important, lifesaving things. The free fall lasts for about two minutes, while the parachute ride lasts about seven minutes. The camera guy is right below me doing a “Stick your tongue out” gesture, and I oblige. I imagine that these photos, this video, will be incredibly flattering. I throw a couple hang looses, and discover my repertoire of hand movements is pretty limited. When you are falling, you feel compelled to look at the ground, thinking you will inevitably crash into it in a few minutes. The color of the Sierra Madre Mountains, the blue and green outlines of the lakes below, is indescribably beautiful. FERNANDO POINTS OUT TIJUANA TO THE SOUTH AND CATALINA ISLAND 80 MILES TO THE NORTH. TO THE EAST, I CAN SEE BIG BEAR AND THE SALTON SEA. I CAN SEE THE OCEAN GLITTERING IN FRONT OF ME–THE COAST STRETCHING ALL THE WAY DOWN TO ENSENADA.
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Fernando pulls the shoot at an altitude of 5,000 feet. We whiplash upwards as we counter the force of the fall. He whispers into my ear, “Look how beautiful it is,” and I think maybe we should move in together. He points out Tijuana to the South and Catalina Island 80 miles to the North. To the East, I can see Big Bear and the Salton Sea. I can see the ocean glittering in front of me—the coast stretching all the way down to Ensenada. It occurs to me then that there are millions of people below us, but that no one knows we were here. You feel so small, and everything else— all the details of your life–fall away. You can’t beat that feeling. I refer to Patrick Swayze in Point Break on this one, “It’s 100 percent pure adrenaline. Other guys snort for it, jab a vein for it, but all you gotta do is jump.” The skyscrapers of downtown are wrapped in gray mist and reined in by a miniature Coronado Bridge. Rivers and trails run rampant over the brown of the Sierra Madres, and I cannot tell where the drop zone is. We are too high up. Fernando says, “Life is too short. You have to enjoy every day.” Grounded guy. Who knew Buddha was a skydiving instructor? The thing about skydiving is it allows you to experience life at a distance. It puts things in perspective. It makes you wonder at the world, and if we get too caught up in the day to day, we can forget to do that. In that way, skydiving can act as a reminder of sorts. Fernando pulls the handles (in the industry, they are called “toggles”) of the parachute taking us left and right. I tell him to take care of me here, because this was the part I am most afraid of: the landing. My Mom decided to tell me, that morning, about her good friend who broke both her ankles skydiving by landing the wrong way. Thanks for that, Mom. We gained speed. Fernando tells me to lift my legs as high as I can straight out in front of me. I make a mental note to buy a yoga membership. We come to almost a complete stop, and touch down easy—so much better than the ankle-breaking landing I expected. I highfive the camera guy inches from my face, and take off my harness quickly. I hurry off the field because I have business to attend to—like arranging my heliskiing trip and signing up for “Fear Factor”. I was on top of the world that Monday, a feeling that lasted well into my week. Why skydive? I think we need to remember the adventurers inside ourselves. When we pay attention to them, we get to the heart of what life is about. What better way to be adventurous than jumping out of an airplane?
1100 Origination of Chinese drawings of parachutes
FLAT FLYING: Freefall orientation primarily belly to earth CANOPY: Skydiver talk for “parachute” DROP ZONE: Common slang for skydiving center 1495
FREESTYLE: A type of skydiving characterized by acrobatic individual flying
Leonardo Da Vinci invents pyramidshaped parachute
1797 Andre Jacques Garnerin makes a parachute jump from a hot air balloon approximately 2,000 feet above Paris
1908 Leo Stevens and Floyd Smith claim the invention of the first self-contained parachute
1914 Tiny Broadwick becomes the first woman to make a freefall jump from an airplane
1920 The modern fold up parachute with a ripcord was patented
1922 First emergency bailout of an airplane
1925 Early experiments with stable, extended freefall began
1940 First US Army Airborne Test Platoon, the forerunner of the US Parachute Troops
1957 First commercial skydiving schools appear
1991 “Point Break” comes out, and skydiving sees a huge rise in popularity | MARCH 2014 | 133
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: DHRUMIL DESAI STYLING BY: SHAHNAZ ZARIF WARDROBE PROVIDED BY: BLOOMINGDALE’S FASHION VALLEY
The Mizner Suite GRAND DEL MAR 5300 Grand Del mar Ct San Diego, CA 92130 866.305.1528 www.thegranddelmar.com
“We designed the expansive Mizner Suite to evoke an elegant, yet inviting residential ambiance. In that spirit, the suite continues the dramatic Mediterranean theme of the resort, with burled woods, hand-stenciled ceilings, Italian marble and Venetian plaster columns, rich brocade upholstery and detailed crown moulding and millwork.” -Grand Del Mar Interior Designer, Warren Sheets, Warren Sheets Design, Inc.—San Francisco
Presidential Suite ST. REGIS MONARCH BEACH 1 Monarch Beach Resort N Dana Point, CA 92629 949.234.3200 www.stregis.com/MonarchBeach
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â€œThe luxurious suites at The Five-Star, Five-Diamond St. Regis Monarch Beach offer our guests the chance to escape to the best address in Orange County. All of the exceptional suites at the Resort include our signature St. Regis Butler Service, exclusive amenities like custom furnishings, private view balconies, deep soaking tubs and 300 thread count linens.â€? -Joe Martino, Director of Sales & Marketing, St. Regis Monarch Beach
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Magnolia Suite Lâ€™AUBERGE DEL MAR 1540 Camino Del Mar Del Mar, CA 92014 858.259.1515 www.laubergedelmar.com
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“When you’re a guest in our Villa Suite, you’re not at a hotel…you’re experiencing Pacific Edge beach life.” - Kevin Anawati, Director of Sales & Marketing, Pacific Edge Hotel
Villa Suite PACIFIC EDGE HOTEL 647 S Coast Hwy Laguna Beach, CA 92651 949.281.5709 www.pacificedgehotel.com
“The Magnolia Suite at L’Auberge Del Mar was designed by Barclay Butera and was inspired by the relaxed, comfortable, yet stylish surroundings and coastal lifestyle of the Del Mar region.” -Bob Harter, Director of Sales & Marketing, L’Auberge Del Mar
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Hacienda RANCHO VALENCIA 5921 Valencia Cir Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067 858.756.1123 www.ranchovalencia.com
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“The Hacienda is Rancho Valencia’s answer to the presidential suite. This private, 5,000-square-foot adobe home is a luxe escape for an intimate honeymoon hideaway or a family retreat with wood burning fireplaces in each and every room and three separate master suites each with a private bath and outdoor patio. A full gourmet kitchen, cozy living room, private pool and lush gardens are the cherry on top of this home away from home.” -David Shipman, General Manager, Rancho Valencia
“Sweeping views of the Pacific Coast and Newport Back Bay backdrop 1,470 square feet of perfectly appointed coastal luxury accommodations in the Catalina Suite at Island Hotel Newport Beach, featuring full-size living and dining areas, a private study, three step-out balconies, two furnished outdoor patios and all the comforts of home from custom-designed mattresses and marble bathrooms to luxe bathrobes and signature amenities.” -Dieter Hissin, General Manager, Island Hotel Newport Beach
Catalina Suite ISLAND HOTEL NEWPORT BEACH 690 Newport Center Dr Newport Beach, CA 92660 949.759.0808 www.islandhotel.com
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â€œWhen the late Graham Downes designed Lakehouse Hotel & Resort, he wanted to create a welcoming escape reminiscent of a summer home where friends and families could make new memories year after year. The cottages provide a great setting for family gatherings, romantic getaways and even bachelor and bachelorette parties.â€? -Dieter Schmitz, Manager, Lakehouse Hotel & Resort
The Cottage Suite LAKEHOUSE HOTEL & RESORT 1025 La Bonita Dr San Marcos, CA 92078 760.744.0120 www.lakehousehotelandresort.com
The Point Suite THE SHOREBREAK HOTEL 500 Pacific Coast Hwy Huntington Beach, CA 92648 714.861.4470 www.jdvhotels.com
| MARCH 2014
“The Pointe Suite with its expanded lanai, let’s you host friends for a signature California sunset with postcard views of the Huntington Beach Pier.” -Enrique Paulo, Director of Sales, Shorebreak Hotel, a Joie de Vivre Hotel
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Photography By: Collin Chappelle
HOME EXPERT Brothers Band Together to Take the Lead in the Local Real Estate Scene
SETTING THE TABLE History Inspires the Westgate Roomâ€™s Famously Elaborate Easter Brunch
SU CASA Willis Allen Real Estate Shows us a Contemporary Coronado Home with a Private Beach
148 SETTING THE TABLE Brunch is Served
MARCH 2014 143
HOME EXPERT HOME EXPERT ERT
Call WAITING WILLIS ALLEN STANDS BY TO TAKE YOUR CALL
WRITTEN BY: MATILDA BRESS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ANGELICA BONGIOANNI
THE EXPERTS DREW & TIM NELSON Realtors, Willis Allen Real Estate
Years in Business: 100
illis Allen Real Estate is the real deal. Though this company started out small in 1914, it has expanded to a real estate powerhouse. Now with eight locations and over 250 agents, Willis Allen dominates the San Diego realty scene. Despite their booming success and small army of agents, according to Drew Nelson, this firm remains close. “The culture at Willis Allen is one of cooperation and care for others,” said Nelson. Nelson works with his brother Tim and his Dad Andrew, who is the third owner of the 100-yearold company.
DN: The first ones that come to mind are family and San Diego. We have always been family owned, and we have always been exclusive to San Diego. I think that is particularly important for a residential real estate brokerage, as family and local values are paramount in the home buying and selling processes. Today our real estate markets and advertising are truly global, but you still need local expertise and an ability to relate to the values that are paramount to home ownership, and Willis Allen Real Estate is uniquely compatible with those values.
January was about more than hitting the centennial mark; it was about Willis Allen Real Estates’ dedication to their brand, their employees and the beautiful San Diego area itself. Born and raised in “America’s finest city,” Willis Allen has served thousands of homebuyers, selling apartments, homes and multi-million dollar waterfront mansions. Whatever the property, the agents of Willis Allen Real Estate give their customers the attention and all-star treatment that only a 100-year-old company can offer.
Q: Sell our readers on the virtues of living in San Diego. DN: Everyone appreciates San Diego for its physical attributes such as its beaches and weather, and we really are America’s finest city. Great universities, a diverse economy and solid job base, and the ability to live outdoors year round make us an incredibly desirable destination. What a lot of people don’t realize is that when you compare San Diego to the cities with which it often competes for both corporate relocations and vacation home destinations, we are an incredible value. San Francisco, Los Angeles and Newport Beach are a lot more expensive! Plus, with our increasing profile as a global destination, we have more unrealized upside potential as well.
Q: Willis Allen Real Estate turned 100 years old this year. How do you plan to continue celebrating your centennial throughout the year? Drew Nelson: We are going to do a lot of corporate, non-property specific PR and promotion telling the Willis Allen story, why it makes a difference where your agent works, and how a company can last for 100 years—and that is through forward thinking, adaptability to change, and a willingness to invest in the best people. On that note, we are also going to take the opportunity to celebrate with our agents to not only remind everyone of our shared goals and competencies, but also thank them for being the outward looking face of the Willis Allen brand. Q: Willis Allen has changed ownership several times in the past 100 years. What are some of the core values that have stayed the same regardless of ownership? 144 |
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Q: You are currently a family business with two brothers in the same office. Is there ever any sibling rivalry at the workplace? Tim Nelson: Drew and I have always been competitive. I know his strengths and his weaknesses, and he knows mine. We jab each other all day long, but we’re also each other’s biggest supporters. I feel pretty lucky to be able to work with my dad and my brother on a daily basis. Q: Many real estate agents have a few tricks up their sleeves when creating an ambiance in homes they are selling. Care to share some of yours with us? TN: The presentation of a house is as important
TIM NELSON > < DREW NELSON
WILLIS ALLEN REAL ESTATE 1131 Wall Street La Jolla, CA 92037 TIM NELSON CA BRE LIC #01801493 firstname.lastname@example.org www.timnelsonrealestate.com 858.527.9949 DREW NELSON CA BRE LIC #01376023 email@example.com www.drewnelsonrealtor.com 858.215.3739 | MARCH 2014 | 145
as the price and the promotion. De-cluttering, depersonalizing, cleaning, etc., are important to making the house universally appealing. The goal is to enable a prospective buyer to envision himself or herself living in the space and creating their own memories as opposed to being distracted by the sellers’ taste. Q: Tell us about the up and coming neighborhoods in San Diego? DN: There seems to be a flight toward pedestrianfriendly locations such as villages and urban centers, which is a welcome use of our existing infrastructure and shift away from suburban sprawl. Higher density infill will be a necessary development trend to accommodate this demand, and we have already seen projects be overwhelmingly well received when they meet those criteria. The buyer pool for that type of product is amazingly diverse. Second home owners, investors, families, young urban professionals; even empty nester/retirees are looking for this type of product. Q: Are we currently in a buyer’s or seller’s market? TN: Generally speaking, this year has been balanced in the sense that it’s been a good time to buy with the historically low interest rates and projected appreciation rates, and a good time to sell due to the strong demand and low inventory. The beginning of the year was a bit chaotic in lower-end price segments with frequent multiple offer situations and a lot of frustrated first/second-time home buyers getting outbid by investors. But, things have leveled out as new inventory has come to market and prices have increased. We’ve also seen the sales activity roll into our higher-end price categories, and our top tier ended up with a solid amount of sales, so overall I feel we’re in a neutral market. Q: I’ve heard a Realtor’s work is never done. How do you disconnect and unwind from all the stress? DN: Being a Realtor is a lifestyle more than a job. You can’t disconnect in the true sense of the word. However, you have to know when things can wait. I heard a funny line the other day: is it proper etiquette to put your cell phone on the left side or the right side of the plate? My wife has made it pretty clear that cell phones are not allowed at the dinner table. I am getting better. The problem is that speed of response is expected in today’s world, and sometimes the path of least resistance is to respond to an issue immediately as opposed to stewing over it. People often ask me how our dad did it back before cell phones, and it must have been hard when you were expecting a call having to wait around in the office, but the flip side to that is that people were less demanding of an immediate response in those days. Q: Are there any communities in the San Diego area that you would recommend to young people just starting a family? DN: What I will say to that is don’t put yourself in a corner. If you live in a house or area that you do not think will work for a kid, rather than waiting until you are bursting at the seams, get started sooner than later on where your next move will be. Not being in a rush puts you in a far better negotiating position, and not having the stress of a ticking time bomb can make the home shopping experience much easier to the point of even being fun, and it affords you the ability to use flexible terms to potentially secure a better price. Q: Out of all your current listings, do you have a particular favorite and if so, why? DN: Of course I do. But I’ll never tell!
“Being a Realtor is a lifestyle more than a job. You can’t disconnect in the true sense of the word. However, you have to know when things can wait. I heard a funny line the other day: is it proper etiquette to put your cell phone on the left side or the right side of the plate?” -DREW NELSON, REALTOR, Willis Allen Real Estate
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Brunch IS SERVED
The Westgate Room Offers an Elegant Setting for an Extravagant Easter Brunch
WRITTEN BY: CAROLYN SAMUELSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY: COLLIN CHAPPELLE
he Westgate Hotel has an intriguing history that begins with a dinner conversation in the early 1960s between then President Eisenhower and C. Arnholt Smith, a local banker and financier, and head of the Westgate-California Corporation. Eisenhower expressed his dissatisfaction with the hotels downtown and soon after, in 1970, Westgate Plaza Hotel was boldly delivered to the world as a modern twist of classical European elegance. It has since changed its name to The Westgate Hotel, but maintains its original charm. Smith and his wife set off to Europe to collect the foundational pieces of what would be the country’s most expensive build to date. The finished product is nothing short of magnificent, with recreated paintings and murals reminiscent of the Louis XIV era, a Steinbeck piano and other elaborate touches. All of these elements have become instrumental in building the Westgate’s reputation for luxury. They are also host to one of the most extravagant brunches in town, which is precisely the reason for our visit. To catch a glimpse of this establishment’s royal splendor, a trip to the Westgate and its award-winning Westgate Room where Sunday brunch is hosted is a must, particularly their legendary Easter brunch. We met with Executive Chef Fabrice Hardel, a Normandy-born graduate of French Culinary Institute, who has sculpted his craft in multiple countries, infusing various cultures and techniques, before landing in America’s Finest City. His culinary training stops include Hotel International in Luxembourg, Le Lion d’Or Hotel in France, Steinheuers in Germany and St. Louis Club in Missouri. He explained how his personal journey has inspired his philosophy in fusing traditional gastronomy with contemporary cuisine here at the city’s grandest of institutions.
Brunch is served every Sunday from 10am-2pm. Reservations are recommended.
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THE WESTGATE ROOM AT THE WESTGATE HOTEL 1055 2nd Avenue San Diego, CA92101 619.557.3655, for brunch reservations www.westgatehotel.com
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DISH PICTURED Kalamata Olive Crusted Lamb Loin Basil and Garlic Puree + Zucchini Tagliatelle + Basil Blossom
Q: You began working in restaurants before transitioning into the hotel world. How do the two compare? Chef Fabrice Hardel: After years in a restaurant, the hotel is truly a different beast for me. A hotel is always in motion with guests from all over the world. To be a cook is to master dishes, but to be a chef is to truly customize a menu. We are creating a very unique dining experience for our guests, where contemporary cuisine fuses with traditional dishes. Q: How are you typically inspired to create a dish? FH: It’s not so much inspiration as it is skilled preparation; the challenge is in working with what’s available, so as to achieve an optimally fresh taste. Technique and pairing allow for the utilization of California’s finest vegetables and ingredients available. There is quite a wide variety of dining guests whose needs we cater to in innovative ways. As we’re located next to the Civic Center, we have a large amount of business functions, but we also have a regular crowd of locals, particularly for our brunch. Q: What drew you to San Diego? FH: I’m from coastal France, so there is a nostalgic feel here for me. In the Midwest, I missed cooking with fresh seafood. After a short stint in the Caribbean, I returned to the States and I’ve been at Westgate for 12 years. Q: What are some of your favorite restaurants around the Gaslamp Quarter? FH: There are many nice restaurants around, but if I happen to have a free night, I prefer to spend it cooking at home with my wife. I enjoy the relaxing change of pace. Q: Do you see yourself returning to France? FH: I absolutely love vacationing there and could possibly see it as a place to retire, but for now, I am very content here in San Diego. I live three blocks from my work and close to the beautiful waterfront. Q: If I were to pick up the Westgate Hotel and place it in Europe, would it fit seamlessly? FH: The ambiance of the hotel has the same flourish as a luxury hotel in Europe. A relaxing energy fills the air, complete with live entertainment by jazz and Latin musicians. Guests can enjoy tea. The Westgate Hotel could mesh right into any major city, perhaps in the South of France.
AN ABBREVIATED VERSION OF THE WESTGATE’S EASTER BRUNCH BUFFET MENU BREAKFAST Made to Order Omelets Station Roasted White Creamer Potatoes Country Sausages and Bacon Eggs Benedict SALADS Thai Vegetable Salad Napa Cabbage Slaw with Julian Apple Antipasti Board with Genoa Salami, Mortadella and San Daniel Prosciutto Cobb Salad Station with Balsamic and Blue Cheese Dressing SEAFOOD AND APPETIZERS Ceviche with Avocado, Nopales Garnish with Plantain Chips Sushi of Ahi tuna, Atlantic Salmon, California Rolls Mini Pate Wellington with Sweet Onion Puree Aged Gouda, Emmenthal and Manchego Cheese with Chutneys and Local Honey MAIN COURSES Chicken Breast, Braised Napa Cabbage, Pearl Onions and Portobello Mushrooms Wahoo, Low Mein Noodles, Baby Bok Choy, Tofu, Green Onion and Coconut Curry Pacific Snapper, Pesto Risotto, Grilled Baby Eggplant, Cherry Tomato Fennel, Grilled Korean Ribs, Hoisin Glazed and Sweet and Sour Sauce Bay Scallop and Shrimp Pot Pie, Parmesan Reggiano Puff Carving Station with Prime Rib, Lamb and Salmon DESSERT STATION Chocolate Fountain with Marshmallows, Strawberries, Pineapple Kebabs and Biscotti’s Crepes Station with Mix Berry & Caramelized Banana’s Selection of Seasonal Sweets and Dessert Shooters
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SU CASA Our sneak peak inside gorgeous local homes
LISTED WITH WILLIS ALLEN REAL ESTATE
Treasure Island A CONTEMPORARY MASTERPIECE ON CORONADO WRITTEN BY: JESSIE SETKUS PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED BY: WILLIS ALLEN REAL ESTATE
arilyn Monroe once walked the famous Coronado beaches; the wind whipping through her hair, the sand beneath her toes, all the glitz and glamour of 1950s Hollywood followed her every move, and the cameras loved every second of it. The infamous film was “Some Like it Hot,” and the location was The Hotel del Coronado. Some say the ambiance of that time never quite left the island; vacationers still flock there, walk the same beaches, buy memorabilia commemorating the blonde bombshell, and soak in all the beauty that Coronado has to offer. Imagine if you never had to leave this island, imagine if you could stay in this serene, picturesque, gem of an island forever, enjoying all of the peace and serenity it has to offer. Coronado is nothing more than a hop, skip and a jump from the city of San Diego; just an on ramp to the 75 South for roughly three miles and you’ve arrived. The streets are aligned with homes, shops, restaurants, boutiques, people chatting up the streets holding gelato, Segways with smiling tourists drive down the sidewalks, the beaches are busting at the seams with eager out-of-towners trying to take advantage of every last ray of sun. It is a happy place. The Hotel del Coronado being the very epicenter of it all; the downstairs bar is filled to capacity, drinks are merrily poured, people spill out to the patio overlooking the pool and gardens, and there is the infamous beach—the one where Marilyn stood. Twilight approaches, overtakes the day, and the San Diego skyline takes your breath away. This leads us to our featured property. Completed in 2002, humble is not a word to use when describing this home; the words I would use are exquisite, elegant, sublime, utopian…you get the picture. The home is nestled discreetly off of 1st Street and will “blow you away with what it has to offer,” insists Realtor Deb Weir from Willis Allen Real Estate, the listing brokers for this property. This beautiful three-story home has a contemporary flair with a touch of whimsicalness and amenities to boot. “Typically when I say a house is contemporary, I find it very cold and full of sharp lines, but not this home. I find it very warm and endearing. There are murals painted on the walls; the features just make it so homey and welcoming,” Weir admires. The first noteworthy feature is the bronze door that is shaped like an oak tree as you enter this stunning and proud home. Move through to a lush courtyard, a sparkling lap pool that beckons to be swum in, and a stunning bronze water feature that leaps out from the house and cascades into the pool. A separate spa with inlayed gold art pieces within is also part of this home’s package deal. A three-car garage as well as a small boat garage is at the owner’s disposal as well as a boat ramp leading directly to convenient bay access. Did I mention this house includes a private beach? The pièce de
Did I mention this house includes a private beach? The pièce de résistance of this wondrous outdoor space is the front-row seating. | MARCH 2014 | 153
“The view is to die for. I have seen the sunset all over
California, but I have not seen the ocean change as much as I have seen it change here at this house. You can see the boats float by; the city becomes immaculate. It is truly breathtaking,” Weir glows.
résistance of this wondrous outdoor space is the front-row seating. Artistic finishes through the entire seating area allow spectators to comfortably sit and watch the breathtaking view of the San Diego skyline, transforming from day to night. At this point, I am sure your head is spinning at the thought of all these amenities along the property’s exterior, but that is only the beginning. “The owners purchased this property and had a vision to create a dramatic and comfortable home where solitude and grand entertaining could all be enjoyed. They, along with their designer Mary Quigley, from Alpha Design Group, were responsible for creating this masterpiece,” Weir explains. Stairs are so yesterday; this home features a central elevator to easily access all three levels of the home. The home consists of four bedrooms and four full baths along with two half baths. The lower level of the home consists of a beautiful media room complete with a fabulous kitchen, and, of course, a temperature controlled wine room. What better space for entertaining? Imagine having guests over to your 154 |
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home and wowing them with a bottle of your finest wine from your own personal wine room? “The house was built to both entertain and be a place to come home to that is comfortable and easy to live in. Grand scale entertaining occurs several times a year and the floor plan allows for several areas where service can be accommodated. Just coming home, one is beckoned to the ever changing view and welcomed to plop down on a comfy chair or patio to enjoy in solitude or with others,” Weir adds. The main level opens to where the beautiful lap pool and front bay patio sit as well as the fabulous courtyard. “The feeling of home is casually elegant and well thought out for every day living as well as entertaining,” Weir says. There is also a wonderful guest room with its own separate entrance; who would expect anything less from a house so posh. Lastly, but certainly not least, there is a gourmet kitchen fit for any major food enthusiast. There is an extensive use
“The feeling of home is casually elegant and well thought out for every day living as well as entertaining,”
of custom glass, bronze, stone, Venetian plastered walls, stone flooring, mother of pearl, stainless kitchen countertops, and an antique, stained glass dome which highlights the staircase; the home is loaded with the most exquisite materials. The last stop is the third floor. The spectacular master suite is located within this marvelous space, the tranquility being its best feature. “The view is to die for. I have seen the sunset all over California, but I have not seen the ocean change as much as I have seen it change here at this house. You can see the boats float by; the city becomes immaculate. It is truly breathtaking,” Weir glows. There is a sauna for the owners’ enjoyment, and they cannot help but soak in the salty sea air. The master bath will not disappoint either; “I can only describe the bathroom as one you would find on a luxury cruise ship, complete with infinity mirrors. It is amazing, especially for the space they had to work with,” Weir describes. The master suite extends into an extra area that is used as an office space; perfect for all of the owners’ at-home business needs. This floor is also complete with two more en suite bedrooms, a balcony, as well as a laundry room to maintain the ultimate convenience in this home. When asked why she loves selling in the San Diego area so much, Weir does not hesitate to reply, “I love sharing America’s Finest City with those who do not know all it has to offer. Born and raised here, I have a great passion for my hometown and I love the diversity of the homes and people I am blessed to work with. We offer the highest level of international exposure to our clients whose homes are listed for sale. Willis Allen is a locally owned company celebrating it’s 100th year in business in 2014. In addition to our affiliations with Luxury Portfolio and CHRISTIE’S, we have a local network that is far reaching throughout our county.” This home along with the skill and expertise of Willis Allen has made this family very happy. The pristine design of this bustling Coronado Island home is one for the books, and would make any young Marilynlike starlet want to hang out poolside.
TO OUR PARTNERS
The Acoustic Spot
Johnny B Hair Care
K1 Speed Racing
Sabor de Vida
Board & Brew
L’Auberge Del Mar
The Sporting Club
Loews Coronado Bay
Lucky Bastard Saloon
Marine Street Financial
Chronic Smoothies Blazin’ Grill
Maserati of San Diego
Cody’s La Jolla
Wahoo’s Fish Taco
Eat, Drink & Sleep
William Grant & Sons
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Fletcher Jones Motorcars
Y-3 La Jolla
Grand Del Mar
Rancho Bernardo Inn
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