Southbay August 2019

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FOOD ISSUE Gin distillers Jan and Marsh Mokhtari soak in essential California




Expert care just

TORRANCE MEMORIAL AND CEDARS-SINAI’S AFFILIATION BRINGS MORE EXPERT CARE TO THE SOUTH BAY. More access to Cedars-Sinai specialists and programs from oncology to neuroscience

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Left to right: Cedars-Sinai: Clark Fuller, MD; Michael Alexander, MD; Dominick Megna, MD; Shlee Song, MD.


Calling all foodies! The South Bay has solidified itself as a true foodlovers destination. Going to other parts of Los Angeles to experience culinary mastery is no longer done out of necessity. Great food exists right here in our own backyard. That is why we decided to launch our Taste the Town Giveaway, where we will be giving one lucky person money towards a network of their favorite local eateries. ENTER TO WIN at









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32 DATEBOOK South Bay calendar

80 COMMUNITY Craigers

34 Q&A Teen Choice Awards founder Bob Bain

82 PALATE Tocaya Organica Summer sauces


88 LEGACY Newman family

50 GIVE Gray Whale Gin

98 ENTREPRENEURS California Rancher

60 WEEKENDER Epicurean Sacramento

116 SEEN Who’s who around town

62 MEDIA Cookbooks


78 STYLE FILE Bronze Age

154 LAST WORD Bon voyage, Admiral Risty


88 46

also... 48 BEAUTY & WELLNESS Barry’s Bootcamp @ The Works 65 FACES OF ... South Bay professionals at the top of their fields 100 HOSPITALITY SPOTLIGHT New York Food Company at 40 126 PROFILES Top Dentists 140 REAL ESTATE Spectacular local listings

COVER Jan and Marsh Mokhtari Photographed by Jeff Berting


features 36 OLDIES BUT GOODIES In an era where higher rents and trendy upstarts devour community favorites, it’s comforting to see a longtime eatery keep its groove. We took a seat at three South Bay mainstays that have cheerfully served their communities for generations. 54 HOW DO YOU SAY BURGER? These three international spins on a summer BBQ classic have us lining up for seconds. 90 GAME OVER? Is this goodbye for the Fun Factory? Since 1972 the Redondo Pier attraction has drawn countless fans from several generations to enjoy games and carnival rides. But following a $9 million lease settlement, the venue was expected to close this September. Will owner Steve Shoemaker really pull the plug on this local favorite? 102 LINGERING LAOS For our food styist Kara Mickelson, the people, scenes and cuisine of this Southeast Asian country leave a lasting impression. 108 SOIL & TROUBLE There’s something rotten in the state of California. The dirt— specifically the farming soil that supports our multibilliondollar agriculture industry—is sick. But a movement to correct decades of damage germinates at the grassroots level. If successful, these “soil saviors” could change both farming and our health … for good.




102 36



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DEPUTY EDITORS Bonnie Graves (Food & Wine),

Media Solutions Manager | Jen Turquand

Kara Mickelson, Tanya Monaghan,

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424-220-6341 |

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Marketing Manager | Kimberly Caltagirone 424-220-6341 |

PHOTOGRAPHERS Jeff Berting, JP Cordero, Kat Monk, Shane O’Donnell, Monica Orozco, Nancy Pastor, Lauren Pressey



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MARKETING & OPERATIONS Partner/Brand Publisher | Emily Stewart Partner/Managing Director, Media & Analytics | Warren Schaffer Director of Digital | Charles Simmons Director of Film & Video | Bryce Lowe-White Operations Director | Allison Jeackjuntra Community Manager | Natalie Long Director of Events | Danielle Price Accounting | Janet De La Cruz, Ljay Farris, YeVeet Wilson To learn more about us, visit No part of this periodical may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written consent from The Golden State Company, LLC. Any and all submissions to this or any of The Golden State Company, LLC publications become the property of The Golden State Company, LLC and may be used in any media. We reserve the right to edit. SUBSCRIPTIONS Email: or phone: 310-376-7800. Subscriptions are $29 per year. TO OUR READERS Southbay welcomes your feedback. Please send letters to: Reader Response Department, Southbay Please include your name, address and email. Edited letters may be published. 200 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 110, El Segundo, CA 90245 Tel 310-376-7800 | Fax 310-376-0200 | |

editor’s letter

Comfort Food New and improved. The next big thing. It seems like everyone is after the bright, shiny new kid on the block—be it a mobile phone, a car or a sneaker. The same goes for restaurants. And while I love to walk into venues with a fresh design and cutting-edge menu, sometimes what I really crave is familiarity. The joy of a recognizable face. A tried-and-true meal. The satisfaction of supporting a South Bay survivor. It’s not easy being a decades-old, mom-and-pop restaurant in this area. Leases rise. Neighborhoods change. Customers change. Just this year we lost a few old favorites, most recently The Admiral Risty in Palos Verdes (see our Last Word). Yet some establishments keep the fire burning. Many have been around 30, 40, 50 years. Places like Old Tony’s and Phanny’s in Redondo, The Original Red Onion in Palos Verdes and Uncle Bill’s Pancake House in Manhattan. They’ve seen new owners, new generations and new neighbors, but they keep on serving. And thank goodness. In our Food Issue we take a closer look at a handful of vintage favorites: The Kettle, The Bottle Inn and Eat at Joe’s (celebrating 50 years!). We keep the nostalgic vibes going with a visit to the Fun Factory on the Redondo Pier (another favorite rumored to close its doors). We’ve also tossed in some new places and faces, plus some delicious summertime recipes to spice up your backyard gatherings. Also be sure to check out our Golden State feature on the grassroots movement to save our state’s farming soil. Each issue we’ll bring you content that reaches beyond the South Bay and explores the people, places and topics of California’s rich and diverse landscape. Read more at





Established 1997

Kara Mickelson WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER “Lingering Laos” A graduate of UCLA and Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts, Kara trained in Spain and in Napa at the famed French Laundry. She has worked with Food Network chefs Bob Blumer and Giada De Laurentiis and many others on the talk show circuit. She is an on-camera culinary expert, recipe developer, producer, writer and food stylist. Follow @styleddelicious.



Bonnie Graves WRITER “Soil & Trouble” Food and wine guru Bonnie has extensive industry experience, having worked as a sommelier in such legendary restaurants as Jean-Georges, Union Square Café and Spago Beverly Hills. When not drinking fermented grape juice, Bonnie enjoys hiking and is also an accomplished poet.

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“Game Over?” Nancy, a native New Yorker, began a career in photography as a fashion stylist in San Francisco. She pursued her passion for visual storytelling by becoming an awardwinning photojournalist in Washington, D.C. After moving to the South Bay, Nancy continues editorial and commercial work while balancing family life and her spoiled pup, Agnes.

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august Eat at Joe’s and other local dining mainstays take the spotlight. Page 36


Good Taste

August July 31–August 4 International Surf Festival

4–25 Hermosa Beach Concert Series 5 to 8 p.m. near Hermosa Pier

15 El Segundo Art Walk

5 to 9 p.m., Downtown El Segundo

22–23 Katchafire

8 p.m., Saint Rocke

Sea Harvest Workshop August 3

Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race August 26

Experience 41: OZ Through September 27



Enjoy an intimate sea salt and kelp tasting paired with farm-fresh produce, signature crafted bites and sparking ONEHOPE wine. Also learn about the resort’s harvesting process and Farm-to-Terranea philosophy with their award-winning chefs. 10 a.m. at Terranea Resort,

Since 1955 South Bay locals have taken boards to water for an epic race between Catalina Island and Manhattan Beach Pier. This historic, 32-mile marathon attracts paddlers from all over the world and is known as the “granddaddy of all paddleboard races.”

Celebrate L. Frank Baum’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a uniquely American fairy tale that has rippled through our culture for more than 120 years. Oz has inspired countless books, films, stage productions, high fashion and pop culture, making an indelible impact on people of all generations. This experience will feature more than 80 artworks and artifacts from the original book and its inspired stories. El Segundo Museum of Art,

23–25 Pink Martini with Orchestra 8 p.m. (7:30 p.m. Sunday), Hollywood Bowl

24 Hermosa Beach Summer Series with The White Buffalo 5 p.m., Hermosa Beach Pier

Through September 28 Sound Series at Nelson’s 6 to 10 p.m., Terranea Resort

Bringing It Home Longtime South Bay resident Bob Bain brings the Teen Choice Awards to his home turf for the first time in the show’s history. INTERVIEWED BY DARREN ELMS PHOTOGRAPHED BY SHANE O’DONNELL



The Teen Choice Awards first handed out their signature surfboards to winners back 20 years ago with Britney Spears, NSYNC and Blink-182 taking the stage. This year the event will take over a section of Hermosa Beach and will be televised live on FOX on August 11. Creator and executive producer Bob Bain was instrumental in bringing the awards to the South Bay, a place he’s called home for the past 40 years. We wanted to know just what it takes to produce a televised event of this scale at the beach.

Bob, when did you first fall in love with L.A.? In high school, growing up in Indiana in the dead of winter and watching the Rose Bowl. It just seemed like the promised land. When I went to college at Indiana University, I played in a rock band. After graduation we all moved out to L.A. to be rock stars! Two years of that was plenty, so then I went to law school at USC. I practiced as an entertainment lawyer and then moved into business affairs at the studios and from there segued into production. What inspired you to create the Teen Choice Awards? Living in Manhattan Beach, where I still live, raising three kids at the beach and watching them and their friends enjoy the Southern California beach lifestyle. This is exactly what attracted me to L.A. in the first place. At the time there was no major media event geared toward teens, and I saw an opportunity in the

television landscape. I conceived the event and how it could work and pitched it to FOX, where I had strong relationships. They thought it was a great idea and gave me the green light. It started on a smaller scale at The Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, and the rest is history. Teen Choice has run on FOX for 20 consecutive years.

limitless. We’re planning everything from GoPros and drones to fly-by banners and helicopters. It’s a national broadcast, and comparatively only a small number of people who live here can actually attend. But we want everyone watching from home—in Indiana like I was or in any other place—to feel the SoCal teen lifestyle.

How did you end up choosing Hermosa for the event? I had always wanted to produce Teen Choice at the beach. Conceptually it’s a beach lifestyle event, but because of its summer broadcast window we never felt like we’d be allowed to stage it at the beach. We did try previously but learned that any beaches in L.A. that are controlled by the county prohibit events like this between Memorial Day and Labor Day, which is the exact time frame that makes sense for broadcast. After 20 years of producing Teen Choice, I had a conversation with some South Bay residents who happen to work with the city of Hermosa and was informed for the first time that, unlike other towns in L.A. County, the city of Hermosa owns its own beach and pier. So Hermosa had the right to authorize this kind of event, as opposed to, say, Malibu or Santa Monica. We went through all the proper channels and started working in earnest with the city of Hermosa Beach last October to try to make it work.

Were there significant hurdles planning a televised event on a bustling local beach? This is a big-budget show with thousands of people in a contained space, so that definitely poses challenges and hurdles—most of which are about logistics. For example, we’re banking on the fact that it’s not going to rain in Southern California in August. But all the elements must be planned for; even wind and cloudiness have an impact on production and creative. We want this to feel like we’ve just dropped into a typical Southern California Sunday afternoon at the beach, and to achieve that all logistics must be seamless. That includes security, parking and coordination with local vendors. We have a red carpet going right down the promenade, and we have to make sure people still have access to those businesses. All major precautions must be taken: police, medical, lifeguards, all emergency personnel, which of course are required both by the city and the network.

How will the event incorporate the California beach lifestyle? What we’re trying to show is everything that happens on a summer day at the beach, and that will manifest in all the visual elements—including specific original content, on-air bumpers and graphics as well as background visuals. You’ll see things like customized surfing and windsurfing on Teen Choice boards and so much more—virtually every activity you can experience at the beach will be customized for the show. To me, that’s what makes this setting so compelling. There is no other awards show that I know of that has ever done this. Unlike a proscenium-style theatre or arena, the visual opportunities here are

Anything new and fun we can expect at this year’s ceremony? Everything! We are planning to deliver at the highest levels of entertainment and utilize the unique environment that is the Southern California and South Bay beach lifestyle. Can locals get close to the event to check it out? Yes. The event was conceived from the beginning to include participation of locals. We’ll be there on location shooting for days before and plan to work with a lot of locals. It’s their beach, so really it’s their event. Attendance by the community is a huge part of this for production—and for me personally, as a 40-year South Bay resident. ■



Oldies but goodies In an era where higher rents and trendy upstarts devour community favorites, it’s comforting to see a longtime eatery keep its groove. We took a seat at three South Bay mainstays that have cheerfully served their communities for generations. WRITTEN BY AMBER KLINCK | PHOTOGRAPHED BY JEFF BERTING


ne of the perks of living in a city like Los Angeles is the seemingly boundless assortment of good eats. Regardless of what you’re looking to spend or the vibe you’re going for, in L.A. you have a diverse pool of menu options designed to cater to every whim. From too-good-to-be-true food trucks to restaurants that require weeks to lock down a reservation, there’s a spot for every occasion. In an effort to keep up with the rapid evolution of what’s on trend, however, being in business for decades is an honor bestowed only on a select few. These three South Bay restaurants have stood the test of time: the menus you know by heart, the date-night spot you went to before the kids (and now drag the kids to), your home away from home. These are the landmarks where memories are made … and there’s a reason they’re still standing.



EAT AT JOE’S, REDONDO BEACH It’s a weekday—a little too late for breakfast, a little too early for lunch. And Eat At Joe’s is packed. The space is small and communal; it feels friendly and comfortable. However, it’s much bigger today than it was in 1969 when Joe Filkosky took over. “It wasn’t even a restaurant,” explains current owner Alex Jordan. “It was just a little stand, just a kitchen and a window.” Alex and his wife, Michele Jordan, purchased Eat At Joe’s in 2000. At that point the space had been expanded to include an enclosed dining area. “This is how it’s been since I’ve owned it,” Alex notes. Having never worked in the restaurant industry before, Alex was motivated to purchase a business in South Bay because he and Michele knew this was the community where they wanted to live. “A friend of mine told me he thought [Eat At Joe’s] might be for sale. I walked in, and I just loved it right from the start,” Alex says. Nearly 20 years later, there are still patrons and team members with a longer history than Alex has at Eat At Joe’s. “Most of our customers are regulars. They tell me all the time they’ve been coming here longer than I’ve been here,” he says with a smile. There are team members who have been employed for up to 40 years. “You arrive in the morning, you’re done by 3 p.m.; it’s not a bad gig,” Alex says. Of course, it’s more than great hours that keep people around. There’s a familiarity that works. “It’s like coming to my house for breakfast; that’s how you’re going to be treated. I love it. Everyone here I’ve known for 20 years. They’re my friends. My employees have been here a long time. I trust them; they run it.” With menu items inspired by a legendary visit from John Wayne, as well as go-to customer favorites, there’s no need for revision. Yet Alex has introduced a few additional health-conscious items, as well as a few vegetarian dishes. Bottom line: You won’t leave hungry. This year marks Eat At Joe’s 50th anniversary. When Alex is asked why he thinks the restaurant has lasted so long, a few nearby diners answer for him. “The John Wayne,” a gentleman yells from the back. “The great service,” a woman adds with a smile. There’s nothing better for the longevity of a business than happy customers. As Alex says, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

“Most of our customers are regulars. They tell me all the time they’ve been coming here longer than I’ve been here.”



THE KETTLE, MANHATTAN BEACH A little farther north on the corner of Highland and Manhattan Beach Boulevard, The Kettle restaurant has been serving the South Bay since 1973. Just like the beach community it calls home, The Kettle has gone through its own evolution since its origin. What hasn’t changed, however, is the feeling you get when you walk through the door. “It’s just a really special place,” says The Kettle food and beverage director, Sarah Simms Hendrix. “There’s a special energy in that building; you can’t replicate that many years in a space. The energy just continues and lives, and the neighborhood carries it.” The familiarity of The Kettle is something Sarah grew up with. Arthur J. Simms, her grandfather, purchased the restaurant in 1976. Her father, Scott Simms, runs The Kettle today. “I’m third-generation,” she says. “I still work with my dad every day.” As a little girl, Sarah spent her weekends at The Kettle. “I grew up in that restaurant. I remember sitting at the counter as a kid.” Today she describes the counter as a social hub for patrons. “The counter always ends up being a roaring conversation throughout the day.” With team members who have worked in the restaurant for decades, regulars are greeted with familiar faces and a warm welcome. Accommodating the needs of their guests is The Kettle’s #1 priority. Still waiting for the rest of your party to arrive? No problem, The Kettle will seat you now. Looking for a sandwich that’s no longer on the menu? If they can make it, they will. “On page one it says, ‘The menu is only a guide; please feel free to be creative,’” Sarah points out. Which is pretty incredible in a world where most menus are quick to note they offer no substitutions. “How would you want someone who shows up to your home to feel?” She adds, “I love good food, and I dine out all over L.A. There’s nothing worse than going into a place and not feeling cool enough to be there … or that you didn’t make a reservation.” The Kettle is walk-in only, and it works for them. The 24-hours-a-day/seven-days-a-week, open-door policy only adds to The Kettle’s unique dynamic. “Depending on what time of day you enter that building, it’s a different restaurant,” Sarah shares. It has a little something for everyone, making it both accessible and a fan favorite for South Bay locals and visitors alike.







“Depending on what time of day you enter that building, it’s a different restaurant.”



“Originally opened in the early ’70s, the restaurant has changed hands four times—and every time it has remained The Bottle Inn.”



THE BOTTLE INN, HERMOSA BEACH If you’ve been to The Bottle Inn in Hermosa Beach, you’re well aware of what a gem it is. If you haven’t, it might be one of the best kept secrets in the South Bay. For starters, it offers guests outdoor, beachfront dining— so close you can hear the waves. Which, let’s be honest, is something we’re really missing here in the South Bay. The menu is simple and filled with classic Italian dishes, and the wine cellar in the back is the perfect locale for your next dinner party. Hilary Condren loved The Bottle Inn so much, when he heard it was for sale he jumped at the opportunity to take over. “I’ve been coming here since the ’80s,” Hilary notes. “I heard they may be selling it, and I was panicked. I was afraid that it was going to go away, that someone would come in and buy it and turn it into the next farm-to-table trendy spot.” So Hilary, his wife, Erin Condren, and their good friends Elsie and David Gordon purchased The Bottle Inn. “It’s always had such a great vibe,” Hilary says. “My wife and I would come here on special occasions 30 years ago. It was a date spot.” The restaurant’s scene now is super-local. “It’s not on the main drag; tourists don’t know about it,” Hilary points out. The patrons are regulars, and so is the staff. One familiar face, Oscar Arellano, has been working at The Bottle Inn for 35 years. He’s been a host, a busser, a waiter and an owner prior to Hilary taking the helm. Originally opened in the early ’70s, the restaurant has changed hands four times—and every time it has remained The Bottle Inn. There’s an essence recognized by the owners with each passing of the baton— something they see that’s worth preserving. And though Hilary has made improvements to the aesthetic of the space, the original essence that attracted him 30 years ago as a guest remains. There’s something special about dining out—the social aspect of a group gathering in a spot to eat together, whether they know each other or not. It’s communal. Restaurants don’t just serve food; they host family brunches and birthday celebrations and first dates. They’re memory-makers, and when the memories are good, the restaurants last for generations. ■





A Taste of Home

American dreams aren’t always born in America. Meet Ivan Vasquez, whose journey has taken him from dishwasher to South Bay restaurateur. WRITTEN BY AMBER KLINCK PHOTOGRAPHED BY MONICA OROZCO

Some experiences have a way of leaving their mark, like an imaginary line drawn across the timeline of your life. There’s the “before” and the “after.” After college, before the kids, a new job, a new love, a loss … there are events that change us and often change the trajectory of our lives. For Ivan Vasquez, the line that divided the before and after in his life was more literal. His “after” began once he crossed the border from Mexico into the United States. The oldest of three siblings, Ivan grew up in Oaxaca. “Oaxaca is one of the poorest states in Mexico,” he says. With limited economic opportunities and the strain of an alcoholic father, Ivan made the decision to leave his home and travel to the United States. The goal was to cross the border, find work and support his family back home. Ivan was 15 years old when he began his journey. The streets of Tijuana in 1995 were intimidating for young Ivan, but it’s where he traveled to make his first attempt to cross the border. Crammed in a cargo van with roughly

15 other people of all different ages, Ivan lay motionless, sweating in the summer heat. After hours of driving across the desert, the van was stopped by Border Patrol. “At that point I was thankful they got us,” Ivan says. “We didn’t have any more water.” Ivan was taken by Border Patrol, fingerprinted and released in the Baja region where he met two older men who had crossed the border before. Having few alternatives, Ivan trusted his new companions and joined them when they opted to leave with a man claiming he could get them across the border that night. With four or five guys laying in the back of a truck and a smaller Ivan hidden under the seats, the group drove for hours in the heat—eventually making their way to a large ranch in Arizona. Ivan had made it across the border but was now in the wrong state. He still needed to travel to Los Angeles where he had family to take him in. A plane ticket was purchased for Ivan using a friend’s Arizona ID. The teen boarded the plane while trying to remain as inconspicuous as possible, and less than two hours later he was in L.A. The family member Ivan was staying with was only in the States temporarily to work. Ivan found himself in a small apartment, sleeping on the floor with men who would sleep and work in shifts, maximizing their productivity. Ivan went to school but also began working as a dishwasher at Carl’s Jr.—a job he was able to obtain with a fake ID. By the time he was a senior, he was able to get his own apartment as well as a new job as a cashier for Baja Fresh. Eventually he worked his way up to shift supervisor, store manager and then general manager. By the time he was 24 he was the assistant regional manager for 12 Baja Fresh locations. Ivan was a sponge, learning everything he could—and it was working well for him. But he had also been away from his family for nine years. While they were grateful for the financial support he provided them, he missed them desperately. Ivan began working toward citizenship. “[At the time] you could apply through your work; you could be sponsored by your employer,” Ivan says. “I applied, but my attorney said it could take up to 10 years. In 2004, however, love would intervene. Ivan met his wife, Marisela, who happened to

be a United States citizen. Eight months later he had his green card, and within days he was on a plane to Oaxaca to see his family. Ivan stayed with Baja Fresh for 15 years but eventually felt it was time to move on. An opportunity to take over a small Tex-Mex restaurant in Culver City presented itself, and with the support of Marisela, Ivan went for it. He took ownership in 2013, and within six months Ivan’s vision for the space was coming to life. He transitioned the menu from Tex-Mex to Oaxacan, inspired by his mother’s recipes. He changed the name to Madre and began offering a wide range of mezcal selections and handcrafted cocktails. It was an elevated experience for his patrons, and the positive feedback reflected that. Still, Ivan wanted to see his concept on a larger scale. When a 7,000-square-foot Torrance space became available for a second Madre location, Ivan was intrigued but had his doubts. It was dark and dated, but after a three-month renovation Ivan completely transformed the look and feel of the space. The new Madre restaurant in Torrance has a vibe that makes you want to linger. It’s open and inviting, decorated with wellcurated tile selections—a nod to Ivan’s Oaxacan roots. Patrons can enjoy live music Thursday through Sunday while sipping craft cocktails or indulging in one of the nearly 400 mezcal selections. Ivan had a mural of his muse—his mother, Lucila—painted on a large wall in the center of the dining room. Her recipes still serve as the inspiration behind the restaurant’s mouthwatering menu. With lines out the door, Madre had been well-received by the Torrance community, Ivan says. And there are plans to open a third location, possibly in Mid-City. Ivan’s success on its own is quite impressive. He’s a young restaurateur bringing a unique vison to a highly saturated industry. But it’s his journey that makes his success so inspiring. He came here with nothing but the desire to provide a better life for his family. And with an incredible amount of ambition and hard work, he was able to do that—and so much more. ■






n 1998 Barry’s Bootcamp opened its doors as a boutique fitness studio in West Hollywood, offering interval training in a group setting. CEO and former instructor Joey Gonzalez joined the company in 2004. Today the company has studios throughout the U.S. and several other countries. The El Segundo studio opened in 2018 at The Works shopping center. TELL US ABOUT YOUR STUDIO. “Barry’s Bootcamp is the room where everything becomes possible—where you push through the ‘I can’t’s’ and ‘If only’s.’ At Barry’s you run faster, lift more, lean out and quiet down. This is what transformation looks like: where you become the best version of yourself. Our workout is designed for efficiency. The intervals and strength training combinations are proven to lean and tone your body. This isn’t a fitness trend. It’s just science, and it works. Then there’s the thing that happens when the doors close, the lights dim and the music plays. There’s a palpable energy in the room that pushes you one step further. It’s the soul, body and brain revolution that is uniquely Barry’s.” WHAT DOES BARRY’S BOOTCAMP CONSIDER ITS SPECIALTY? “Our core competency is the workout, which was established in 1998 and has inspired hundreds of thousands ever since. The highintensity interval training allows you to burn up to 1,000 calories per class and alternates muscle focus to ensure a balanced workout and proper time for recovery.

As a CEO, my personal focus has been to lead a global expansion while maintaining the culture. I’ve overseen our expansion efforts domestically and internationally during my tenure, and I’m proud of how the team has thoughtfully and strategically moved into new markets prioritizing local nuance and community above all else. Our ‘Fit Fam’ is everything to us, and we want to continue giving them the best experience possible.” WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WORK IN THIS INDUSTRY? “I was at a crossroads in my life when I discovered Barry’s as a customer, and it changed my body and my life. Nothing is as powerful as true transformation. I became an instructor, then a manager and ultimately invested every penny I had and every minute of my time into growing the business. Eventually, as a result of my passion for and commitment to the company, I was asked to be CEO.” WHAT IS THE SLOGAN AND MISSION OF YOUR BUSINESS? “We like to say that one of our slogans is ‘Work(out) hard and be nice to people.’ A few years ago I was at a garage sale with my husband and saw a sign that said, ‘Work hard and be nice to people.’ I pulled it from a pile and held it up to show him and said, ‘Don’t you feel this explains the meaning of life in seven words?’ We’re both entrepreneurs, and it’s always been important to us to treat everyone who works around us with respect.

At Barry’s we shared the slogan on social media, slightly edited to read ‘Work(out) hard and be nice to people,’ and it immediately took off. Our community identified with it. It’s not an easy workout, and you have to put in the effort if you’re serious about changing your body. We really do strive to be nice to people here. So yes, the workout is intimidating, but we deliver it to you in a supportive, loving atmosphere. Our mission statement is: ‘We want to inspire you to work hard, have fun, find your strength and be your best.’” SHARE SOME STATE-OF-THE-ART FEATURES OF YOUR FITNESS CENTER. “We like to spoil our customers. We have luxury Oribe bath products in the men’s and women’s locker rooms. Every studio has a Fuel Bar with a menu of shakes designed to aid in recovery and muscle soreness. We sell a ton of gear online and in-studio, including Barry’s branded collaborations with favorite athleisure brands such as Lululemon. We also have our own line called Barry’s Fit, which was developed and tested with our trainers.”








One Part Gin, Two Parts Love Married distillery founders Jan and Marsh Mokhtari put a fragrant coastal journey in a bottle. WRITTEN BY DARREN ELMS



“It was when the gravitational pull of making money left us for a moment and we started to think clearly,” says Marsh Mokhtari of the moment he and his wife, Jan Livingston Mokhtari, dreamed up the idea for Gray Whale Gin. The pair was on vacation with their two daughters in Napa and Big Sur, enjoying the sights and drinking some of the best wine in California. “After six days of drinking wonderful red wines, we both just wanted to change it up a little,” he says. “I ordered a craft beer while Jan asked for a local spirit—a cocktail. They didn’t have a local one. Then we noticed that although everywhere makes wine, nobody distilled spirits. There were few, if any, craft spirits at the time … anywhere.” That trip led to Jan and Marsh’s quest to launch Golden State Distillery. Their newfound passion for spirits manifested itself on the cliffs of McWay Falls in Big Sur. “We were watching gray whales in the distance, and we pondered what we wanted our impact to be on California, our girls and our lives,” Marsh says. “Right there and then we decided to start a company dedicated to celebrating California and proudly supporting ocean conservation—something that not only we’d be proud of but our daughters too.” The six botanicals used in Gray Whale Gin (limes, juniper berries, mint, fir trees, almonds and kombu sea kelp) span the Californian portion of the migratory path of the majestic gray whales. “The whales have their babies in a UNESCO-protected site called San Ignacio




2 ounces Gray Whale Gin 1 ounce fresh lime juice ½ ounce Raspberry Shrub (see below) ½ ounce orgeat syrup 5 mint leaves Garnish: blueberries, a sprig of mint and a lime wheel Muddle mint in bottom of shaker with fresh lime juice. Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake and finestrain into a chilled glass with new ice and garnish. RASPBERRY SHRUB 1 cup raspberries ½ cup water ½ cup apple cider vinegar ½ cup agave Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until liquefied (about 1 minute). Pour into a glass jar and place in fridge for 2 to 3 days. Fine-strain contents and serve.

Lagoon in Baja,” notes Marsh. “They nurse their newborns for three to five months, then they head to the Arctic’s abundant feeding grounds. This migration inspired the gin.” With a strong connection to the ocean, the couple wanted to pay forward the success of their product. Gray Whale gives 1% of its sales to environmental causes. “On her birthday, in lieu of gifts, our daughter, Lila, asked guests to make donations to



animal and environmental conservation groups like WWF and Oceana,” says Jan. “She taught us that lesson: You’re happy when you stop asking what can the world give you and start asking how you can make the world a better place.” How do Jan and Marsh balance marriage, family and running a new business all at the same time? “One of the challenges is we never stop working,” explains Jan. “We’re at

the girls’ soccer game and we’re discussing [the] Gray Whale bottling process and possible innovations, etc. But when it’s something you’re passionate about, it doesn’t feel like work.” Coincidentally, the pair met at a bar in Chicago several years ago. Says Jan, “Both of our parents, who have been happily married for over 95 years combined, also met in a bar, so we think it’s good luck.” ■





Call or visit us online to get the smile you always wanted. 310-545-0770

How Do You Say Burger??

These three international spins on a summer BBQ classic have us lining up for seconds. WRITTEN, STYLED & PRODUCED BY KARA MICKELSON


Santorini Burger When we say “Greece” we may have you thinking bikinis, but we’re all in for this stunning burger drizzled with a lemon herb dressing and adorned with fire-roasted red pepper, cucumber and feta. Makes 2 to 4 burgers LAMB BURGERS 1½ pounds ground lamb, or 50/50 lamb and beef for a milder flavor ½ teaspoon allspice 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon salt, plus extra for seasoning patties ½ teaspoon white pepper, ground 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, ground, plus extra for seasoning patties 1 teaspoon onion powder ¼ teaspoon nutmeg 2 teaspoons garlic powder ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves ¼ small red onion, diced 2 tablespoons dried mint* 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, stemmed and finely chopped 2 tablespoons ketchup 3 cloves minced garlic zest of one lemon 2 to 4 brioche buns Greek Dressing (see recipe) Thoroughly mix all burger ingredients through lemon zest. Form into equal size



patties. Lightly season with salt and pepper on both sides. Cook patties on the upper level of a grill on medium heat until rare. Move to the lower portion of the grill and finish cooking until the burgers are fully cooked with beautiful grill marks. Remove from grill and top each burger with a teaspoon of Greek Dressing. Brush buns with Greek Dressing and place on grill until lightly marked. Add tapenade, lettuce, cooked burger, feta cheese, roasted red pepper slice, red onion and Cucumber Quick Pickles. Mix mint, oregano and dill with a small amount of Greek Dressing and top each burger. GREEK DRESSING ¼ cup olive oil zest of one lemon 1 lemon, juiced and seeded 1 clove minced garlic ½ teaspoon fresh oregano ½ teaspoon fresh mint ½ teaspoon fresh dill 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon white pepper 1 teaspoon water

Combine all ingredients with a whisk. Adjust seasoning as desired. Can be made 1 hour before serving or make the day before, omitting herbs; add herbs the day of service. TOPPINGS olive tapenade lettuce leaves, trimmed, washed and dried feta cheese, sliced or crumbled roasted red pepper, jarred, drained red onion, thinly sliced mint, oregano, dill, cleaned and stemmed CUCUMBER QUICK PICKLES ½ teaspoon granulated sugar ¼ cup white vinegar ½ teaspoon fresh dill fronds ¼ teaspoon mustard seed 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 clove garlic, peeled, minced 1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced Dissolve sugar in vinegar. Add herbs, spices and cucumber. Mix completely. Chill, covered, for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight.





Indian Summer Burger This summer go-to is inspired by our favorite curry, served with mouthwatering naan and delicious toppings. Makes 2 to 4 burgers TAMARIND KETCHUP 1 tablespoon tamarind paste*, unsweetened ¼ cup prepared ketchup pinch of salt

Drizzle spinach with a small amount of oil and gently rub into the leaves. Lay on a sheet tray and cook in a 325º oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Leaves should be crisp but not brown. Sprinkle with salt. Reserve.

YOGURT SAUCE 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, thinned with 1 to 2 teaspoons water

TOPPINGS mango chutney* mini naan bread (trim to size if smaller sizes aren’t available) butter or curly lettuce leaves cilantro leaves 1/3 cup chopped peanuts, unsalted crispy fried onions*

CURRY BURGER 1 pound ground chicken 1 teaspoon ground curry spice blend ½ teaspoon salt, plus extra for seasoning patties 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper ¼ teaspoon serrano chili, seeded and minced ¼ medium white onion, finely diced or grated ¼ medium Fuji apple, grated and juice drained 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced ¼ teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced ¼ teaspoon onion powder 1½ tablespoon plain, unsweetened, thick 5% Greek yogurt white pepper, ground oil, for cooking

ROASTED SPINACH CHIPS 1 tablespoon vegetable oil ¼ cup spinach leaves, cleaned, dried and stemmed 1/8 teaspoon salt

Make Tamarind Ketchup and Yogurt Sauce. Can be made 5 days before use. Reserve and refrigerate. Thoroughly mix all burger ingredients except oil. Form into equal size patties. Lightly season with salt. Add a small amount of oil to a saute pan and cook patties until lightly brown on each side but not thoroughly cooked. Finish cooking on a hot grill until cooked throughout. Add a teaspoon of mango chutney to the top of each burger. Lightly grill naan bread just before serving. Add lettuce, curry burger and extra toppings and condiments/sauces. Serve with Roasted Spinach Chips. *Found at Indian markets and most specialty markets, or order online.



K-Pop Burger Enjoy this multi-note meal with just the right amount of heat from gochujang and ginger and a pop from the kimchee and garlic. Makes 2 to 4 burgers BEEF BURGERS 1½ pounds of 80/20 ground beef (80% lean, 20% fat) salt and pepper 4 sesame seed buns vegetable oil lightly sautéed shishito peppers BULGOGI MARINADE 1 medium yellow onion, grated (squeeze out excess juice) 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced 4 cloves garlic, minced 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 1 tablespoon mirin ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce 1 teaspoon gochujang*



Mix all Bulgogi Marinade ingredients together. Reserve one teaspoon per burger as a finishing sauce. Mix remaining marinade with meat and form into burger patties. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Cook patties on the upper level of a grill on medium heat until rare. Move to the lower portion of the grill and finish cooking until the burgers are fully cooked with beautiful grill marks. Remove from grill and top each burger with a teaspoon of Bulgogi Marinade. Brush buns with vegetable oil and place on grill until lightly marked. Add Kimchee Secret Sauce to the bottom bun and top with a cooked burger, Kimchee Slaw and the top bun. Serve with cooked shishito peppers and extra kimchee on the side. KIMCHEE SECRET SAUCE ¼ cup good-quality mayonnaise 4 tablespoons kimchee, drained and finely chopped 1 teaspoon kimchee paste*

2 cloves minced garlic salt and white pepper, to taste Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate. Can be made 1 day before serving. KIMCHEE SLAW ½ cup Napa cabbage, shredded 2 tablespoons kimchee, minced and drained 1 tablespoon kimchee juice ½ teaspoon kimchee paste 1 small carrot, peeled and thinly sliced or grated 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds 1 bunch cilantro leaves salt and white pepper, to taste Prep all ingredients the day before service. Combine ingredients up to one hour before serving. *Found at Asian or specialty markets, or order online.

high intensity pilatesÂŽ, rebounding and sculpting classes | group and private sessions certified and experienced trainers | open 7 days a week | parking 1200 pacific coast highway hermosa beach | | 310.376.6447 | @hipstudio fit

Capital Assets

Explore the sites and bites of food-forward Sacramento. WRITTEN BY DARREN ELMS

WHERE TO STAY One of the coolest hotels to debut in recent years, The Sawyer overlooks the Sacramento Kings’ new Golden 1 Center—putting guests at the heart of local entertainment and activity. The hotel hosts several dining venues, the Revival bar and lounge, and a third-floor pool deck to soak in the Sacramento sun. Take a complimentary public bike on some of Sacramento’s 32 miles of bike paths and explore the incredible murals popping up in the downtown neighborhood. 500 J Street, WHAT TO DO The seventh annual Farm-to-Fork Festival has grown to be one of California’s most



anticipated events of the year. Hosted on Sacramento’s iconic Capitol Mall, the admission-free festival boasts more than a half-mile (80+ vendors) of local food, beer and wine, along with exhibits from farms and ranches. Attendees will also find live music, cooking shows and a butchering competition on several demo stages. September 19–29, At the festival’s conclusion on September 29, take part in an event that has truly become one of Sacramento’s most soughtafter tickets. On the city’s famed Tower Bridge, 800 diners enjoy a one-of-a-kind culinary experience created by the region’s top farmers and chefs. The Tower Bridge Dinner also serves as a fundraiser, with a

portion of the proceeds helping pay for the free Farm-to-Fork Festival that attracted more than 65,000 people in 2017. Last year Visit Sacramento also utilized a portion of the proceeds to fund scholarships for College Assistance Migrant Program students—children of migrant farmworkers who attend Sacramento State. WHERE TO DINE Known as the Beer Capital of the West pre-prohibition, Sacramento’s beer scene is back in a big way. The region boasts more than 60 craft breweries, along with a host of activities to explore. Check out Urban Roots Brewing for casual smokehouse bites paired with your favorite local pint.

1322 V Street, Little-known fact: The largest commodity coming out of Sacramento County is wine grapes. The region’s Clarksburg wine country presents an ideal location to sample California wine—just 15 minutes outside downtown. Unpretentious and bursting with hidden gems, the Delta is home to a host of boutiques as well as the international brand Bogle. 37783 County Road 144 in Clarksburg, ■



The Butcher, The Baker and the Salad Maker New and notable cooking guides for every kind of home chef THANK YOU FOR SMOKING: FUN AND FEARLESS RECIPES COOKED WITH A WHIFF OF WOOD FIRE ON YOUR GRILL OR SMOKER By Paula Disbrowe | 240 pages | Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale Featuring an impressive array of smoke-infused recipes that extend well beyond the realm of rib joints, Thank You for Smoking shows home cooks how easy it is to rig a gas or charcoal grill or use a backyard smoker to infuse everything you love to eat—from veggies and greens to meat and fish— with a smoky nuance. The guide encompasses a wide range of recipes easy enough for weeknight cooking, like Ginger Garlic Chicken and San Antonio-Style Flank Steak Tacos, as well as longer smokes like Smoky Chuck Roast with Coffee and Whiskey or Holiday Ham with Red Boat Salt. Also included are ideas for smoking vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds for fresh, plant-based dishes. Because firing up dinner is best enjoyed with an adult beverage, this guide also helps you set up your bar for modern, smoke-kissed cocktails. BAKING AT RÉPUBLIQUE: MASTERFUL TECHNIQUES AND RECIPES By Margarita Manzke | 272 pages | Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale For all who aspire to master brioche, croissant, pâte á choux or even cookie dough and muffin batter, Margarita Manzke—superstar baker and co-owner of Los Angeles hotspot République—takes bakers through her methods for perfecting texture and amplifying flavors, one inspiring photograph and brilliant trick at a time. With chapters dedicated to teaching each dough or batter and 100 recipes that put the lessons to work, plus more than 125 helpful and inspiring photographs, bakers will discover how to truly elevate their baking—whether they’re making her Instagram-perfect chocolate chip cookies or her Philippines-inflected Halo Halo Cake.



MOSTLY PLANTS: 101 DELICIOUS FLEXITARIAN RECIPES FROM THE POLLAN FAMILY By Tracy, Dana, Lori and Corky Pollan | 288 pages | HarperCollins Publishers So what does choosing “mostly plants” look like in real life? In families where not everyone is on the same vegetarian page, the word “mostly” is key. The point isn’t necessarily to give up meat entirely but to build a diet that shifts the ratio of animals to plants to create delicious—and nutritious—meals sure to appeal to everyone. In Mostly Plants readers will find recipes that satisfy or can be adapted to almost all dietary needs: vegetarian, vegan, glutenfree and dairy-free. And the best part is that many of these dishes can be on the table in 35 minutes or less. With skillet-to-oven recipes, sheet pan suppers, one-pot meals and more, this is real cooking for real life—meals that are wholesome, delectable and mostly plants. VEGETABLES UNLEASHED: A COOKBOOK By José Andrés and Matt Goulding | 368 pages | HarperCollins Publishers José Andrés is famous for his unstoppable energy—and for his belief that vegetables are far sexier than meat can ever be. Showing us how to creatively transpose the flavors of a global pantry onto the produce aisle, Vegetables Unleashed showcases Andrés’ wide-ranging vision and borderless cooking style. With recipes highlighting everything from the simple wonders of a humble lentil stew to the endless variations on the classic Spanish gazpacho to the curious genius of potatoes baked in fresh compost, Vegetables Unleashed gives us the recipes, tricks and tips behind the dishes that have made Andrés one of America’s most important chefs. It promises to completely change our relationship with the diverse citizens of the vegetable kingdom.

What’s Best For You.

Primary care

Torrance Health Center

Pediatric care Walk-in services Lab draws and X-ray

Located on Hawthorne Blvd. and Sepulveda Blvd., our health center offers same-day appointments - encompassing pediatric and primary care, our Torrance location is designed to do one important thing: What’s best for you.

To schedule an appointment, please call (657) 241-8640. 22719 Hawthorne Boulevard Torrance, CA 90505

Karen Alfonso, MD Pediatrics

Derek Browne, DO Family Medicine

Peter Kaneshige, MD Salvacion Torre, MD Internal Medicine Pediatrics



faces of How do you become the Face Of your community? The paths and backgrounds of these local professionals are varied, but they have a few things in common: hard work, following their passion and integrity. These leaders, visionaries and entrepreneurs are people we want to better understand, so on the following pages we highlight their stories—where they came from, how they got here and how they embody the Face Of their chosen industry. They are at the top of their game, and we admire them for their achievements. We think you will too.








the face of beauty

Christine Petti, MD, FACS Medical Director | Owner Palos Verdes Plastic Surgery Medical Center, Inc. Spa Bella Medical Day Spa

As a young child, Christine Petti learned from her cosmetologist mother that looking good often means feeling good. So it was no surprise that she chose to work in the beauty industry herself—as a boardcertified plastic surgeon. Dr. Petti is passionate about enhancing and preserving the unique attractiveness of people and things all around her: her home, her garden, her own appearance and, of course, that of her patients. “I am obsessed with beauty—natural and enhanced,” she says. “You deserve to be preserved!” She trained at the University of Chicago and opened Palos Verdes Plastic Surgery Medical Center in 1990. Realizing that her patients were also interested in minimally invasive and noninvasive rejuvenating services, she opened Spa Bella Medical Day Spa in 1998. She and her team are honored year after year with “Best Cosmetic Surgeon” and “Best Medical Spa” awards and recognition. One of Dr. Petti’s specific areas of expertise is plastic surgery for the modern man. “There are anatomical and physiological differences between men and women,” she explains. “I can vary my surgical and nonsurgical technique so it is specific and customized to both the male and female face and body.” Dr. Petti is driven by her love for all things lovely and her passion to help others look and feel their best. Most days find her sharing tricks of the trade with her friends and patients about how to make their skin glow, their hair grow, their eyes sparkle, and their body and face look natural and youthful. As the Face of Beauty of the South Bay, she knows that true beauty is far more than skin deep.

“What a privilege for me to be a plastic surgeon. I am grateful each day that I chose this blessed profession.”








the face of CANCER CARE

Torrance Memorial Hunt Cancer Center Torrance Memorial opened its doors in 1925 to provide quality health care services predominantly to the residents of the South Bay. No longer just a hospital, today Torrance Memorial—a Cedars-Sinai affiliate—includes an extensive system of physicians and comprehensive services to provide outstanding medical care. The hospital consistently receives top-quality ratings from leading health organizations for their commitment to quality, safety and putting patients first. In 2019 two national hospital studies in Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report recognized Torrance Memorial as the top ranked hospital in the South Bay. This December Torrance Memorial will expand its comprehensive cancer program with the opening of the Hunt Cancer Center. Torrance Memorial’s Hunt Cancer Institute has a long, successful history of caring for cancer patients and their families, and soon the Hunt Cancer Center will provide a patient-centered environment to meet the needs of oncology patients all in one place. A team of surgeons, oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and nurse navigators will work collaboratively to fight cancer with new treatments and diagnostics, including genetic counseling, infusion center and clinical research. Its increased space will allow more room for families to visit, and new features will enhance the patient experience during treatment. What really makes Torrance Memorial shine as the Face of Cancer Care in the South Bay is its affiliation with CedarsSinai. Now in its second year, this alliance continues to bring expertise, new technologies, medical research, clinical trials and innovative treatments to southern California. Providing highly skilled care with compassionate support and services throughout the journey of cancer treatment and beyond is just one way Torrance Memorial continues to expand access to the most advanced medical care—right here in our community.

“From screening through diagnosis and treatment into survivorship, we are fully dedicated to the principle of complete, personalized care for people with cancer and their loved ones.”





L to R: Thyra Endicott, MD Thomas Lowe, MD Melanie Friedlander, MD Neil Bhayani, MD




the face of dentistry

Christina L. Hutchinson, DDS Owner, Hutchinson Dental

It took a few twists and turns before Christina Hutchinson came to call Los Angeles “home.” When she was a child, her family lived in several states and eventually moved to Oklahoma to be near her grandparents. Christina pursued her educational goals at the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry and then worked for a private practice in Tulsa. Life led her to a dentistry residency program at UCLA in 2008, and that’s when she to began to feel the call of the Golden State. Afterwards she worked at a private prosthodontics practice, and during that time yet another serendipitous twist happened: She met her future husband, Jason Hutchinson, in Manhattan Beach where he was living and she was working. “I quickly got sucked into the ‘bubble,’” she shares. “We have everything we need here. The South Bay is the best place to live and work! For me this is home.” In 2015 Dr. Hutchinson started her own practice, Hutchinson Dental, in El Segundo. Her team treats a variety of dental needs including restorative procedures, cosmetic services and management of sleep disorders. Dr. Hutchinson places an emphasis on educating patients to help them understand and value their treatment plan options as well as their individual dental health. Personalized attention is also paramount at Hutchinson Dental, and it shows when patients often stop in the office without an appointment simply to say hi as they’re walking by. “Where else does that happen but in El Segundo?” Dr. Hutchinson says of her adopted hometown. “I love practicing here. The people are genuine and friendly; almost everyone knows their neighbor. I am excited to be a permanent fixture in the South Bay!”

“I treat every patient as if they were a member of my family, so everyone gets personalized attention.”








the face of ORTHOPEDICS

Beach Cities Orthopedics & Sports Medicine What makes Beach Cities Orthopedics & Sports Medicine (BCO) the Face of Orthopedics in the South Bay? The practice is a one-stop shop for orthopedic medical care, offering multiple subspecialties and services at one office. “We all enjoy working here because we know our patients can be seen for almost anything under one roof by the most skilled doctors in the area,” shares Dr. Andrew Foster, who specializes in joint replacement. “My goal is to bring a new era of spine care to the South Bay using the least invasive option first,” says Dr. Pranay Patel, a specialist in spine surgery. “If surgery does become necessary, I use innovative, minimally invasive techniques, providing the patient a speedier recovery.” In addition to providing minimally invasive surgery at their own on-site surgery center, BCO offers advanced imaging; physical therapy; PRP, amniotic fluid and stem cell therapy; and a Health and Wellness Center that provides acupuncture, massage and chiropractic care. “Having all of these options in one location ensures that a patient’s recovery is as seamless and individualized as possible,” explains hand surgeon Dr. Anthony Ahn. The BCO team is highly involved in the local community, supporting various nonprofit organizations and high school and college athletic teams. A sports medicine specialist, Dr. Lindsey Spragg understands how an injury can become a significant setback in an athletic career. “I have been on both sides of the table,” she says. “I take an individualized approach for each patient’s needs, knowing I have been in their position.” BCO is committed to expanding organically within the community. They plan to open new locations and offer new services this year as they continue to offer innovative health care to residents of all ages in the South Bay.

“Not only are we all trained in orthopedic surgery, but we are also fellowshiptrained AND offer the highest quality and most advanced level of care in each subspecialty.”





L to R: Andrew Foster, MD, Pranay Patel, MD, Anthony Ahn, MD, Lindsey Spragg, MD




the face of surgery

Keith Marcus, MD Director, Marcus Medical Spa

Although his earliest career dreams were of being an astronaut, young Keith Marcus quickly realized he had a different calling. He chose the field of medicine but was unsure of his area of specialty until he had a life-changing experience during medical school. His team helped a 12-year-old girl whose face had been maimed by a horse bite. After a complex surgical reconstruction and extensive scar treatment, the injury to the young girl’s face was nearly undetectable. “I saw how her life was changed and wanted to affect lives like that,” says Dr. Marcus. He completed medical and surgical training, as well as a fellowship by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery—making him an expert in anatomy and facial plastics. His training included studying the arts, a method that taught him to consider the measurements and angles of the face while appreciating the subtle irregularities that make a person beautiful. Recognizing the trend toward noninvasive aesthetic techniques, Dr. Marcus opened his businesses, Marcus Medical Spa (offering nonsurgical options for facial rejuvenation and body contouring, such as Botox, fillers and lasers) and Marcus Facial Plastic Surgery (offering facelifts, rhinoplasties and eyelid surgery), under the same roof. “The market for noninvasive procedures is much greater than that for surgery,” says Dr. Marcus. “But we are unique in that we can offer both at the highest level of expertise.” Having taught thousands of medical professionals all over the world during his 17 years as a surgeon, as well as performing clinical studies with his full-time research staff, Dr. Marcus continues to be at the forefront of both aesthetics and surgery—in the South Bay and beyond.

“My subspecialty in facial plastic surgery allows me to appreciate the nuance of each individual.”








the face of TECHNOLOGY

Josh Rowley & Don Yang Founders, Givebox

In 2014 Josh Rowley was working in the South Bay in the technology industry—advising start-ups with outside-thebox business strategies. At the same time Don Yang, an aerospace engineer and South Bay resident for 25 years, was operating a small nonprofit that was struggling to complete a skate park for impoverished children in the Philippines. Don sought Josh’s counsel in technology as a means to finish the project. Soon after meeting, they combined their passion for philanthropy and technology by founding Givebox—a technology company dedicated to helping nonprofits. Josh and Don’s research showed that most nonprofits cannot afford modern technology, so they vowed to give philanthropic organizations access to free premium fundraising and banking tools. To accomplish this, Josh proposed a solution: develop a financial technology (fintech) platform for nonprofits. Today Givebox provides charities with direct access to what they need most: progressive, secure financial and fundraising tools that previously only the largest organizations could afford. But why headquarter Givebox here? “We chose the South Bay as our home base because of our community’s dedication to philanthropic causes,” shares Josh. “We want to accelerate charitable missions through fintech while showcasing the South Bay as an emerging technology nucleus.” Indeed, South Bay residents are known for their generosity. It’s been reported that local residents donate a greater percentage of their income to philanthropic causes than do Californians as a whole. And Givebox has removed the middle man, ensuring more donations reach those causes. Thanks to Givebox, philanthropy now has an ally in the world’s financial ecosystem. As Don says, “Through financial technology, Givebox is helping nonprofits upgrade their fundraising for this new technology age.”

“Through fiFInancial technology, Givebox is helping nonprofIts upgrade their fundraising for this new technology age.”








The Bronze Age The latest and greatest for those who like a little heavy metal in the kitchen

Breville’s Juice Fountain Cold XL $350; Williams-Sonoma in Manhattan Beach, Finex cast-iron skillet and lid, $225; Williams-Sonoma in Manhattan Beach,

Whirlpool French door refrigerator in Sunset Bronze, $1,999; Ferguson Bath Kitchen & Lighting Gallery in Redondo Beach, Lacanche handcrafted metal range From $12,850;



You Sip, We Shop Great grilling starts here

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Shop Gelson’s Manhattan Beach today and get fired up for delicious summer fun! Gelson’s Manhattan Beach • 707 North Sepulveda Blvd. • (424) 452-0412


Husband and wife Brenda Bloom and Craig Miller were first introduced to the culinary world through ice cream. Brenda’s first job was at Friendly’s restaurant in Connecticut, and Craig worked as a soda jerk at Howard Johnson’s in New Jersey. Craig always knew he wanted to work in the restaurant industry, so just before his 18th birthday he opened his first business: a breakfast and lunch diner in the corner store of his hometown. But his true passion was making ice cream. Eight years ago he met Brenda, who had fond memories of making fudge with her mom. The two of them quickly realized they had what Craig refers to as “a link and a passion,” sparking their idea to start a fudge and ice cream shop. After deciding on the name Craigers, Brenda and Craig explored the country together to learn about chocolate. “We went out to Pennsylvania,” Craig says. “We actually learned from one of the top companies about chocolate itself.” The pair agreed that before owning a successful business, they had to become masters at their craft.

Success isn’t measured in the amount of dollars that you put into your savings account. It’s measured in what you give to other people and what they’re able to give back to you.”

In 2016, after spending five years perfecting their culinary skills and fine-tuning Brenda’s family fudge recipe, they were ready to open shop. At first they struggled to land a



banking done different commercial-grade kitchen, but they finally found one through a friend who closed her restaurant on Mondays. She agreed to let them use her kitchen after hours, and Brenda and Craig finally had a location to start cooking. Now they needed a place to sell their product. They reached out to various South Bay farmers markets but were repeatedly turned down. “We brought product everywhere,” Brenda shares. Feeling defeated, they made one last stop at the Torrance Certified Farmers Market. “I went over there … [and] we saw the manager. She said ‘Oh, we don’t have any space.’ We said, ‘Here’s a sample of our product ... have at it.’ That night we got a phone call. ‘Absolutely! No second-guessing this. We have a place for you on Tuesdays.’” After that Craigers quickly gained traction. Soon farmers markets in Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Palos Verdes reached out to them. They also scored a deal with Amazon Fresh, a subsidiary of Amazon that delivers local products straight to the consumer’s door. Despite the growing demand for their product, Brenda and Craig were still cooking in the rented kitchen on Mondays and weeknights. They realized that to keep Craigers alive, they needed to find their own storefront. Brenda stumbled upon their current location in Redondo Beach by accident while driving home along the Pacific Coast Highway. Within months, their new store was up and running. Brenda and Craig continued to find creative ways to improve their business. They expanded their products to include ice cream and vegan sorbet, all made from fresh ingredients sourced from local farmers markets. Consequently, many of their sorbet flavors are seasonal, so Craigers never runs out of imaginative flavors. “[Craig] dreams recipes,” says Brenda. “He wakes up in the morning and says, ‘Okay, I got it. This is what I’m going to do.’” Brenda and Craig remain dedicated to their original idea of creating quality products from quality ingredients. When asked about their growing business, Brenda says, “Success isn’t measured in the amount of dollars that you put into your savings account. It’s measured in what you give to other people and what they’re able to give back to you. As special as we might treat [our customers], they respond in kind.” ■

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Modern Mexican Tocaya Organica is on a mission for better eating. WRITTEN BY BONNIE GRAVES

My dad’s theory is that the dodgier the hygiene, the more likely the cuisine is to be delicious. (Unfortunately, the gastrointestinal distress is also correlative.) And that Taco Bell’s culinary masterpiece—Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme—is essentially a sign of the impending apocalypse. Is there nothing in between? Like a breath of cilantro-scented hope, I was invited to dine at Tocaya Organica’s newest El Segundo location. Founded in Venice in 2016, this fast-casual concept has mushroomed to more than 15 locations in California and Arizona. The design aesthetic of Tocaya—the graphics, the colors, the logo, the website—speaks to a SoCal diner who is as comfortable eating vegan mozzarella as she is on a surfboard. My dad would roll his eyes at cauliflower rice, ground turkey and quinoa on a Mexican menu, but at the end of the day Tocaya isn’t gunning for authenticity. They’re gunning for delicious. Conceptually, Tocaya’s mission is noble. They “strive to serve only the highest quality organic and sustainable ingredients while offering healthy and affordable options for our guests. Our food is prepared using meats, fish and produce that are fresh and free of hormones, steroids and antibiotics.” There’s a disclaimer too, as “all organic, all the time” is impossible for any restaurant to maintain. I took the time to visit their website, where there actually is an ingredients list that is regularly updated and which references specific brands and origins of even the most mundane ingredients. There’s an integrity and an earnestness about Tocaya Organica that I find very appealing. Experientially, Tocaya is a happy place. The line snaked out the door, which was fortunate because navigating the DIY menu takes a few minutes. With 10 different proteins, choosing isn’t easy. The purists might well discount the “cilantro lime vegan chicken” filling, but then

there’s very good USDA Prime carne asada to keep the carnivores happy. You can get a salad, a bowl, a burrito, something called a “quesalita” or a taco plate, but it’s up to you to put it together. Pricewise, two tacos with one side and a yummy agua fresca is only $9.95; I upgraded to include a house margarita for $14.95. Seriously? For $15 you can get super-delicious tacos of your own design and a little libation? I found myself wondering if this pricing is sustainable, but when a restaurant’s not doing table-side service, its labor costs go down substantially. At Tocaya, you order, pay and take a number to your table … your tacos will catch up with you quickly, don’t worry. The service was not without flaws, but it was cheerfully executed. A kids chicken burrito that in fact lacked the chicken was replaced quickly, accompanied by some very good complimentary chips and salsa. (Note: While the virtuous paper straws and compostable takeaway containers made me happy, why they still serve kids drinks in tacky plastic cups baffled me. Just use paper cups—they also don’t break.) Tocaya is aspirational, but their rapid expansion shows that the market is ready for this kind of modern Mexican. I saw a high school theatre group, many young families, several couples on dates and a group of businesswomen all cheerfully dining (technically devouring) on the same pretty outdoor patio. Tocaya’s appeal is broad, the salsa is the real deal and its staff is sincerely happy to serve you. Here’s hoping they open one in our neck of the woods and soon. Sometimes formulaic is fantastic. ■ Tocaya Organica at The Point 850 S. Sepulveda Boulevard in El Segundo 424-352-0876



VEGAN PESTO Composed of fresh herbs, olive oil, nuts and lemon. Use a nutritional yeast as a substitute for Parmesan to give the pesto that “cheesy” flavor. Experiment with different flavor combinations, like sorrel and cilantro, or use cashew or Brazil nuts instead of traditional pine nuts. Pesto adds a shot of bold flavor to vegetables, seafood, pasta, pizza and sandwiches.

ROMESCO A blend of tomato, dried ñora chili pepper, garlic, sherry vinegar, toasted bread and nuts. Most Americanized versions substitute roasted red bell pepper and smoked paprika for hard-to-find ñora peppers. Use as a dip or side sauce for meats, seafood, roasted or grilled veggies and fried potatoes. Serve with fresh baguette, Spanish meats and cheeses, or even use it as a pizza sauce.



CHERMOULA This North African green sauce is popular in Moroccan cuisine. Typically includes cumin, coriander, chili spices, garlic and lemon, although recipes vary. Red versions contain paprika. It’s a delightful addition to soups and stews and can be served as a dip, marinade/relish or sauce for seafood, meats and vegetables.

CHIMICHURRI Argentinian green sauce made with with parsley, oregano, garlic, vinegar and chili. Red versions of the sauce may include tomato and red pepper. Excellent drizzled on grilled steak, chicken or seafood, and perfect for dipping bread. Can be pureed with a blender or coarsely chopped. Best made fresh, although you can find pre-made options the grocery store.

GOCHUJANG A staple in Korean cooking and more of a paste or condiment than a sauce. Spicy, sweet and pungent, deep red gochujang is made from fermented chili peppers. It’s found in dishes ranging from bulgogi “fire meat” to dukbokki (spicy Korean rice cakes). With a tomato paste-like texture and a strong flavor with more dimension and depth than sriracha. Put a dollop on meat and veggies, use as a dipping sauce or to thicken a sauce.

Get Sauced From dips to spreads: 6 sauces for elevating summer fare


TZATZIKI A popular Southeast Europe and Middle Eastern yogurt sauce (get the 5% Fage variety) made with cucumber, garlic, onion and fresh herbs like mint and dill. Mix it up by swapping fennel for the cucumber. Add to a meze platter as a dip or serve with grilled chicken, beef or lamb. Also great with whole grain chips!



310-962-4597 312 Rosecrans Avenue Manhattan Beach

The Dining Duo For the past 25 years, father-and-son restaurant entrepreneurs Ron Newman and Greg Newman have been bringing the party to the South Bay. WRITTEN & PHOTOGRAPHED BY KAT MONK



Freshly graduated from USC in 1993, Greg Newman opened a neighborhood restaurant with his father, Ron, at the corner of 38th and Highland in El Porto. Ron was well known as a successful restaurant owner for 20 years and had a great reputation for quality food. Greg’s degree in marketing and his experience as the social chairman of his fraternity helped him create enticing marketing strategies for this new venture. Ron originally worked at his family’s camera shop, Newman’s Camera, at the corner of Hermosa and Pier avenues. He was envious of his friend Darrien Campbell and her husband, Don Earle, because they were able

to travel frequently after opening their first Red Onion restaurant. Don and his brother, Bart Earle, were the sons of Harry Earle, who opened the original Red Onion diner in 1949 in Inglewood. Bart and Don followed in the family business and both opened their own Red Onion restaurants. On a couples’ trip to Mexico, the Inglewood High School friends decided to go into business together. They took over a “blue-chip” store (great potential and low risk) in Westchester and opened their first Red Onion under a group called International Onion. The group went on to open 13 Red Onions in high-profile

locations with an emphasis on nightlife and entertainment like Redondo Beach, Marina Del Rey, Orange and Riverside. This particular chain of Red Onions was known for their crazy party atmosphere: wet T-shirt contests, patrons adorning ’80s DayGlo, drinks made in buckets and intoxicated patrons. They were massively successful for many years. The Red Onions faced some challenges in the late ’80s for a number of reasons, including a huge push against drinking and driving—especially by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Dan Haggerty, known for his portrayal of Grizzly Adams on television, sued International Onion after his beard caught on fire from a flaming drink. Rising rents finally pushed the restaurant group toward bankruptcy in 1992. Greg grew up in Red Onion restaurants, but it wasn’t until he became a barback at the Redondo location that he realized his future was in the food and beverage industry. Armed with a fresh perspective and a skill for drink recipes, Greg dreamed up his first restaurant concept. In 1993, shortly after graduating from USC, Greg and Ron opened Sharkeez in North Manhattan Beach’s El Porto neighborhood. Sharkeez was designed to resemble college life. As a corner restaurant bar, patrons from nearby neighborhoods could walk to and from the venue without getting into their cars. El Porto was affordable at the time and filled with recent graduates of USC and LMU. Harry O’s (Sharkeez has since moved to this location) had just opened nearby and was a popular spot with the Los Angeles Kings players. OB’s and Pancho’s were also within walking distance. Back in the early ’90s, the television series Melrose Place was a Monday night staple for those who didn’t want to watch football. The programs overlapped on television by an hour, so Greg had an employee record Melrose Place on VHS. They would run the VHS down to the restaurant and air it just after the game at approximately 9 p.m. “A group of girls started religiously showing up, and the guys were blown away,” says Greg. “Eventually the men got hooked on the show too, and a couple weeks before the season finale we would have almost 250 people watching. You could hear a pin drop in pivotal scenes.” Sharkeez doubled their nightly sales on Mondays. When the bar introduced Friends

on Thursdays, a huge line would form to get in before 8 p.m.—something unheard of, as most restaurant bars didn’t get their crowds until after 10 p.m. It wasn’t too long before a Sharkeez location was opened in neighboring Hermosa on Pier Avenue. Unfortunately, a late-night fire in 2006 devastated the restaurant. The Newmans were careful to adapt to the times following a public outcry about the local bar scene. Sharkeez was eventually able to rebuild and still thrives today Just across the way, Palmilla opened in 2011—the family’s first foray into a more upscale restaurant experience, inspired by Cabo San Lucas. Jordan Cressman, VP of operations for all of the Newmans’ restaurants, recommended that John Fox run Palmilla. When John first interviewed for the position, he surprised Ron with his many tattoos. Greg suggested he wear long-sleeve shirts to keep them out of view. It was only a matter of time before the sleeves got rolled up. JD, the main bartender, also started getting more tattoos. Then all the waiters started dressing in similar fashion. Soon the women began pouring in. A few years ago the Newmans purchased Shark’s Cove in Manhattan Beach. The venue will become Esperanza, named after another high-end resort in Cabo. It will be the Manhattan Beach version of Palmilla, so expect a similar theme with the waiters. Tower 12, a few doors down from Palmilla, is aptly named after the lifeguard tower at the Hermosa Pier. Originally home to Fat Face Fenner’s Falloon, the Newmans successfully converted the space into a popular watering hole with a healthy queue outside the front door. The walls of the second-story venue are adorned with memorabilia from the surf, skate and punk culture of Hermosa Beach. Twenty-five years after Sharkeez first opened, the Newmans now run 11 Los Angeles area restaurants: five Sharkeez locations (Newport Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Santa Barbara and Huntington Beach), Panama Joe’s in Long Beach, Killarney’s in Huntington Beach, Sandbar in Santa Barbara, Palmilla, Tower 12 and Shark’s Cove. Next they plan to bring the Tower 12 concept to Newport Beach. With their strong work ethic and a pulse on the next great restaurant concept, the Newman father-and-son duo have transformed the South Bay dining scene and show no signs of slowing down. ■



Game Over? Is this goodbye for the Fun Factory? Since 1972 the Redondo Pier attraction has drawn countless fans from several generations to enjoy games and carnival rides. But following a $9 million lease settlement, the venue was expected to close this September. Will owner Steve Shoemaker really pull the plug on this local favorite? That’s still not clear. As of our press date the website says, “We will be here until the city kicks us out.” While we wait to learn the fate, let the games begin … PHOTOGRAPHED BY NANCY PASTOR











“That’s the real trouble with the world: Too many people grow up.” — Walt Disney



“If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.” — Dr. Seuss





Seasoned Entrepreneur Mike Keller brings a taste of California to his craft seasonings, rubs and sauces. WRITTEN BY DARREN ELMS

One of Mike Keller’s favorite college jobs was working at the Chart House restaurant in Redondo Beach. “It’s good today, but back then it was the premier fine dining experience with the best steaks, seafood, salad bar and view in the South Bay,” he says. “The Cowboy Steak was a short-lived menu item around 1995. That motivated me to create my first BBQ rub, which 15 years later became California Rancher Oaky & Smoky seasoning.” Mike, who lives in El Segundo with his family, is no stranger to seasoning. He’s been creating his own for decades—everything from Bali-inspired exotic spices for his mom to Santa Maria-style BBQ for his friends in the U.K. “They loved it, and I found myself telling



the story of authentic California flavors, ingredients and techniques,” he shares. “At that moment I realized California had a great story and plenty of history to tell via flavor.” Experiencing career burnout in technology sales, Mike took a chance after watching his good friend Rob Croxall walk away from a well-paying aerospace finance position to start El Segundo Brewing Company. “I thought, ‘If Rob is leaving a good job to start something and he has a family to support, then I have no excuse for not leaving my job and giving California Rancher a shot.’” Nine years later, after funding the business 100% on his own, California Rancher racks up sales via the web and word of mouth (his product is also sold locally at Manhattan Meats and Boccato’s). He sources ingredients

as close to home as possible. For example, the signature Santa Maria-style seasoning is Mike’s interpretation of a traditional, Central California seasoning. “I didn’t want to duplicate other brands but instead put my twist on it by adding more texture, less salt and using natural and organic ingredients.” The Monterey Seafood seasoning is a tip of the hat to the fishing legacy of the Golden State and made to complement but not overwhelm quality local seafood. As a master griller, Mike has big plans for summer cooking. “I’ve been playing with sous vide Santa Maria-seasoned ribeye with a reverse sear in a cast-iron pan,” he says. “They are incredibly easy, delicious and nothing like the leather steaks our parents cooked on their hibachis.” ■

They loved it, and I found myself telling the story of authentic California flavors, ingredients and techniques.”






GOOD TASTE NEVER GETS OLD Local catering firm New York Food Company celebrates 40 years of great food and events. WRITTEN BY LAURA WATTS | PHOTOGRAPHED BY JP CORDERO & STYLE SHUTTER



n 1979 Louise Lohman decided to open a small deli in Hermosa Beach with her husband, Joe Lohman, a chef who had worked in New York City. As they thought about what to name the new business, Joe stated, “Remember when we lived in New York and we were able to find great food any time of the day or night?” Louise then realized she wanted to bring that philosophy to Los Angeles, and New York Food Company was born. After operating for two years as a retail deli, the company transitioned to a corporate catering delivery service and then became the full-service catering and event company that it is today. In addition to providing catering services that include drop-off dining at your office or home, New York Food Company also offers full-service event production including dream weddings; an on-site liquor store that can provide events with a fully stocked bar, signature drinks and friendly bartenders; a commercial bakery; and a wholesale division. Currently celebrating its 40th year in business, the company continues to raise the bar of creativity for its clients. “We are not order-takers. We are event artists who make our clients’ visions become reality,” shares managing partner Jim Wharton, who has been with NYFC for more than 30 years. “Our canvas is their event, and our medium is delicious, high-quality food and uncompromised customer service. The end result is a masterpiece that isn’t forgotten. Our clients come to us with ideas, and our job is to make their ideas happen.” Over the years New York Food Company has provided catering services to more than 1 million clients and has created tens of thousands of weddings and special events at locations throughout Southern California—including their own exclusive ocean-view event venues La Venta Inn (Palos Verdes Estates) and Verandas Beach House (Manhattan Beach). While food is the basis of their business, the team at NYFC has found that sometimes the logistics and

coordination of an event can be more of a challenge to perfect. “From the timing, presentation, transportation, service staff and outside services such as rentals, entertainment and parking, our clients can taste and feel the difference that is a NYFC event,” says Jim. “We approach each event with an eye for quality, taste, detail and service.” But food is where this firm shines, and over its four decades in business New York Food Company has developed a reputation as a trendsetter for the catering industry. “Our philosophy is that no request is too big and no detail is too small,” explains Jim. “We are committed to providing every client with exceptional food and service anywhere and anytime. First and foremost we are a catering company, and all business decisions are based on this simple concept.” The company’s staff includes partner Karen Wharton, venue operations manager Michael Halish, event director Jeannie Nero Tudda, Verandas Beach House venue director Angela Bryant, chef de cuisine Alfonso Alvarado and customer service director Brett Vihnanek. In an industry known for turnover, the average tenure at NYFC for nonseasonal service staff is an astounding 24 years. “It is the team we have assembled that makes these events possible,” says Jim. “They all have the same goal of providing an experience our clients will not get anywhere else.” The NYFC team can often be seen out and about in the community—and not just at the many events they cater and produce each week. They attend educational and networking events with professional organizations, and they support local schools and chambers, as well as organizations like Food Finders, which distributes untouched leftover event food to those in need, and Richstone Family Center, which helps local families in crisis. “Being a part of our clients’ most precious and treasured life moments is truly fulfilling,” shares Jim. “It is not an easy business, but the reward comes in the smiles on our customers’ faces and the memories we help create."







LINGERING LAOS The people, scenes and cuisine of this Southeast Asian country leave a lasting impression. WRITTEN & PHOTOGRAPHED BY KARA MICKELSON


here is something special about Luang Prabang, once the royal capital of Laos. There’s a feeling in the air that whispers, “Be in the moment. Enjoy and embrace the beautiful surroundings. Slow down.” The vibe is warm, welcoming and pleasantly tranquil. “Sabaidee” (pronounced suh-byedee) is the standard greeting, accompanied by a bow and hands lightly pressed in prayer. Luang Prabang is a charming mash-up of old-world rural Lao and French colonial style—harmonious with nature and aesthetically pleasing. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Once a mecca for backpackers, Laos now has the attention of more sophisticated travelers. It’s known for its diverse ethnic village hill tribes, spectacular aquamarine blue “Insta-worthy” tiered waterfall pools, lush surroundings, and most recently for its “wounds of war” as described by Anthony Bourdain in his show Parts Unknown.



Laos is a country with abundant natural beauty and royal and spiritual overtones that shimmer through a complicated, wartorn past. Today the people and government of Laos are interested in engaging globally through tourism and social and economic issues. During his historic 2016 visit, former President Barack Obama said Laos was part of Southeast Asia’s “economy of the future.” Ancient legend even foretold that Luang Prabang, which translates to “royal Buddha image,” would one day be rich and powerful. There is plenty to see and do in and around the main city center, yet what’s most inviting is that you can easily get caught up in doing very little. The Lao people are welcoming and laid-back with a steady “go with the flow” approach to life—as if the everflowing Mekong River, which runs through the country, is a metaphor of daily existence. Laos lacks modern infrastructure—a developing country fraught with poverty.

Hotel accommodations range from casual and budget-friendly to middle-of-the-road to exquisite, exotic decadence. The tropical climate brings soothing rain to temporarily calm the hot, balmy days and mystical, mistfilled mornings in a jungle setting. Imagine roosters crowing, birds chirping, water buffalo roaming the roads along with the occasional motorbike, and entire families zipping around town. Smoke from woodburning stoves and fragrant frangipani trees perfume the air. Beautiful greenery, rice paddies, street food, night markets, detailed handicrafts, unexpectedly modern coffee culture and a feeling of going off-grid permeate the scene. Laos is a place striving for harmony between old and new. There are modern aspects, yet it retains a style and feel that is decidedly rural—similar to the beach towns of Bali or Cabo in bygone years. A visit to a Hmong hill tribe highlights the pull between what Laos was and what it

“Laos is a country with abundant natural beauty and royal and spiritual overtones that shimmer through a complicated, war-torn past.””

might be. Children adorned in ethnic clothing sell handicrafts juxtaposed with Disney princess and Superman T-shirts. The sight of a child—naked, covered in mud, carrying oversized pink plastic shoes in a mad dash past chickens and trinket stalls, joy-filled with arms raised as if crossing the finish line—puts a smile on your face. This same child waves a single newly acquired dollar bill overhead. The prize: a much-desired ice cream at the local shop. It’s one of the more intimate and fragile parts of Laos’ growing tourism. Heartwarming and heart-wrenching experiences show rural Lao life away from the spotlight. Laos is also a place to meditate on the Mekong; pick up a book and lay by the pool; hike to the falls; eat a meal or sip a gourmet latte; and visit street markets, caves and temples. Among the allure, beauty, rich history and spiritual overtones, Laos is embracing its current popularity.



WHEN TO GO December, January and February offer the best weather options to visit Laos. The rainy shoulder season is less crowded, and hotel rates are lower. However, flight options from neighboring countries are less available, and the weather may affect sightseeing and transportation. Peak season brings bigger crowds and higher prices but stunning waterfalls.

MORNING MONKS Witness the sacred predawn tak bat, or alms-giving ceremony: a silent queue of saffron orange-robed monks lining the streets in long, winding processions to receive a daily offering—mostly sticky rice. The ritual takes place on different temple routes, and though a religious event, it has become a popular tourist attraction as well. The monks receive the alms (food) in silent meditation, and the alms-givers receive in return a spiritual redemption. Be mindful of the reverent nature of the ceremony and refrain from flash photography and disruptive behavior. HARMONY WITH NATURE Ascend 328 steps up Mount Phou Si (which means “sacred mountain”) for a great view of the surrounding city and the That Chomsi temple. Local vendors display decorative




SLEEP IN STYLE Rosewood Luang Prabang will transport you to an exotic, ultra-luxurious, one-of-a-kind destination. Designed in harmony with nature by master designer Bill Bensley, the resort is surrounded by a lush, tropical jungle and sits along the bank of a rushing river from a nearby waterfall. This is a high-end, in-thewild experience with a reverent salute to royal times and the country once called The Land of a Million Elephants. The Great House offers an open-air dining experience with the backdrop of the rushing river. Award-winning executive chef Sebastien Rubis has studied and crafted a traditional farm-to-table concept that delves into regional specialties and lesser-known Royal Laotian cuisine. He is passionate about protecting food culture in the region and keeping traditional recipes alive and relevant. The chef also works with local farmers and visits markets in the area.

bamboo cages with birds awaiting freedom. Some visitors may not appreciate this “merit release” ritual; however, it speaks to the Lao belief in harmony with nature. Our guide mentioned that the birds eat the seeds from the rice fields, which can devastate the crop. In turn, they are captured, caged and “sold” to tourists—thus creating a harmonious and balanced relationship between farmer and predators that threaten the rice harvest. MARKET INTRIGUE Tour the bustling Phosi Market and Morning Market near Wat Mai temple for an insider look at the local culture and ingredients used in Lao cuisine. It’s a fascinating display of butchered snakes, grilled honeycomb with bee larva, bats, rats, wiggly coconut worms, assorted Mekong fish, frenzied frogs, more bugs, whole chickens, vibrant green herbs and freshly picked produce. The various offerings highlight Laotians’ creativity and connection to the land. Farmers and families pay reverence to animals that give their lives by finding intriguing ways to add all matter of ingredients to make a meal. Laotian food is similar to Vietnamese, Cambodian and Thai cuisine. The national dish laap is a delicious mixture of minced fish, beef or chicken cooked with mint and chili, fish sauce, lime juice and served with sticky rice. The night market is a whole different experience, with entire families working to sell their goods. It’s a casual, enjoyable outing more than a shopping extravaganza. Many luxury resorts in Laos offer cooking experiences. Tamarind restaurant is a wellknown local cooking school. Enjoy a morning cooking class that begins with a visit to Tamarind’s vegetable garden followed by a trip to Luang Prabang’s morning market.

enjoy non-riding eco-education elephant tours from Luang Prabang every morning. From the city center it’s about a 30-minute drive to Mandalao restaurant, where the journey begins. Explore various architectural feats, including 19th-century Wat Xieng Thong temple; 16thcentury Wat Visoun, nicknamed the “watermelon stupa”; the Royal Palace; and Wat Choum Khong, a beautiful Buddhist temple. Get around by tuk tuk, on foot or hire a driver through a tour company such as Enchanting Travels, which offers customized private tours using local guides paid a living wage. Be sure to grab a fancy coffee at Joma or Saffron. Both establishments give back and support local communities. They also provide a pretty good cup of Joe that will rival your hometown brew. LUSH LANDSCAPE Visitors to Tat Kuang Si and Tat Sae waterfalls marvel at the famously Instagrammable milky turquoise pools along the forest trails. At the entrance to the falls is a bear rescue center, which does a great job showcasing, protecting and rehabilitating the rare Asiatic black bears saved from poaching. Keep in mind the rainy season will change your dreamy selfie shots into a backdrop of muddy, overflowing water that resembles dangerous storm surge. It’s still a pleasant trek up to the falls, with fewer crowds, exotic flora and fauna, and an overall misty adventure. Bring a lightweight rain poncho, bug spray and sturdy, waterproof shoes, but don’t plan on a sunny picnic or blue lagoon dip unless you travel during peak season. ■

CULTURAL TRIP Explore the textile villages of Ban Xangkhong and Ban Xienglek to see silk-weaving and papermaking. Stop also at Ock Pop Tok, a silk-weaving center, for a guided tour of the process. Natural dyes from plants and trees are on display. Part gift shop and part cultural and educational center, it also sells expertly crafted items. If time permits, take a class to learn the traditional artistry of local hill tribes. Visit Mandalao Elephant Conservation and



as seen in

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Soil & Trouble There’s something rotten in the state of California. The dirt— specifically the farming soil that supports our multibillion-dollar agriculture industry—is sick … from chemicals and pesticides, bad farming practices and greed. And sadly that sickness trickles down to the food you put on the dinner table. But a movement to correct decades of damage is germinating at the grassroots level. If successful, these “soil saviors” could change both farming and our health … for good. WRITTEN BY BONNIE GRAVES | ILLUSTRATED BY YASMINE KAHSAI

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt $2.055 billion. It’s a staggering figure—more than the gross domestic product reported of 26 different countries. Yet that’s the amount a jury in Oakland awarded plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod on May 13 for both compensatory and punitive damages. The defendant? Monsanto (now owned by German conglomerate Bayer) and its glyphosate-ridden Roundup weed killer. Like the plaintiffs in two previous lawsuits filed against Bayer-Monsanto, the Pilliods contend that their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was caused by a lifetime of exposure to Roundup. American juries have agreed, although predictably Bayer-Monsanto has appealed and delayed the award of any monies such that some of these plaintiffs may well die of cancer before they see any compensation. A quick Google search is revealing. Sponsored ads from lawyers soliciting clients with cancer cases connected to Roundup are jarringly intermixed with ads from Target, Amazon and Walmart—all cheerfully competing to ship the herbicide to you at discount rates. As demonstrated by the inexorable battle against big tobacco, regulatory wheels don’t get greasy until the squeak gets loud enough. Much like the anti-vaccine movement, the controversy surrounding glyphosate and its carcinogenic effects can be traced to an alarming intermingling of actual science and pseudoscience. The former requires established principles of open and transparent procedures and peer review—something that was notably lacking in a seminal report submitted to the European Union (EU) in 2014 by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, in which glyphosate was determined to be “harmless,” at least in small doses. Here in America, the use of glyphosate is even less regulated. Just last May the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reaffirmed its stance, based on research conducted back in 1993, that glyphosate is not a carcinogenic compound. Tellingly, CNN later discovered and released internal emails sent between a Monsanto executive and a key EPA regulator in which they appear to collude in a plan to quash an updated inquiry into the herbicide’s harmful effects. From 1974 to 2014 the use of glyphosate in



American agriculture increased by 300% in correlation with the rise of Monsanto’s sister product, Roundup Ready crop seeds, which are genetically modified in order to flourish in tandem with the herbicide. It’s akin to marketing opioids and naloxone simultaneously, i.e., create the dependent market and then sell its alleviation. It’s certainly smart business, even if it’s morally reprehensible. It is as difficult to overstate the degree to which our American soils are now saturated with this chemical as it is to overstate the dependency of most farmers. Many farmers can no longer realistically afford the financial risk of growing without chemicals. Simply put, our soils are sick. Our soils are chronically unhealthy, and that’s before we consider the health of the animals that graze on them or the equally catastrophic impact of the antibiotics that these ruminants are force-fed. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT Soil health ultimately dictates human health, and the old adage “you are what you eat” is both terrifying and inspiring in an era of chemical saturation. The good news is that we live in California, where we are leading the rest of the country in tackling soil pollution— among other environmental initiatives. On May 8 Governor Gavin Newsom officially banned the use of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide linked to childhood brain damage. Just two years ago former EPA head Scott Pruitt mounted a last-minute campaign to override his own agency’s recommendation that this pesticide be banned nationally. In August the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that Pruitt’s decision was a direct violation of federal law and ordered the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos nationwide within 60 days. Current EPA head Andrew Wheeler has defied the court’s order, and the matter is now set to be resolved by President Trump’s Justice Department by mid-July— with grim implications for American children not lucky enough to consume produce grown in a chlorpyrifos-free California. And while Roundup is not yet illegal statewide, many local municipalities have banned it regardless—including all of Los Angeles

County, where it can no longer be used for weed eradication along public thoroughfares. Californians apparently won’t wait for the federal government to tell us what’s healthy or not, and that’s a very good thing. Any solution to a large-scale public health risk begins at the grassroots level, and in this case it’s doubly appropriate. Soil advocacy begins on the ground level, and while we should take pride in our local and state legislative initiatives, we also need to take independent action as citizen activists. What is clearly emerging is a movement —a movement that encompasses farmers, doctors, chefs and advocates from all walks of life. Unifying them is a foundational belief that “food is medicine.” What we eat—and how it is grown—is fundamentally linked to our physical well-being in a much more complex way than has previously been understood. As the renowned Indian scholar and Gandhian activist Vandana Shiva puts it, “Regenerative agriculture provides answers to the soil crisis, the food crisis, the health crisis, the climate crisis and the crisis of democracy.” As the founder of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy (RFSTN)—an organization devoted to developing sustainable methods of agriculture—Dr. Shiva’s early research and activism has inspired a generation, both here in California and around the globe. It was she who first connected the dots between monoculture, syntheticdependent farming and corollary climate and health crises. Increasingly, epidemiologists and other public health experts are also turning to the soil—literally and figuratively. Among several prominent American doctors, the work of Zach Bush, MD, is consistently cited by soil advocates. Dr. Bush is triple board-certified in internal medicine, endocrinology metabolism and hospice/palliative care. In practice this means he has deep clinical experience and a rare linear observation of how our digestive tract and organ systems integrate with our metabolic baseline over the course of a lifetime, including palliative care for lifeending diseases. Typically, doctors specialize more deeply,

THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM Moorpark farmers Molly and John Chester



which can create crippling myopia as surely as it creates siloed expertise. This guy’s vision is much more expansive. Dr. Bush’s mission statement is to “provide a foundation of cutting-edge philosophy and science for a grassroots movement that will change our business and legislative structures and ultimately upshift consumer behavior to bring about radical change in the mega industries of big farming, big pharma and Western medicine at large.” In tech parlance this is called “disruption,” and if you’re doubtful that it can be done in the food business, take a look at the relationship between Tesla and the automotive industry, or at Airbnb and its impact on hotels. Disenchanted with traditional Western medicine and its reliance on pharmaceuticals, Dr. Bush left his medical practice 10 years ago in order to advocate for a new understanding of wellness. His goal is to teach that a healthy environment leads to a healthy gut, which in turn leads to overall physical and mental well-being. Of Dr. Bush’s many endeavors, the Farmer’s Footprint initiative seems most compelling ( It’s an ambitious, Instagram- and media-friendly campaign that supports farmers converting to regenerative farming practices, with a goal of reclaiming 5 million acres of farmland by 2025. A documentary film of the same name spotlighting one Minnesota family farm’s successful transition to regenerative techniques was released in February, and it’s well worth the watch. Again the link between sick soils and sick



Americans is made explicit. Dr. Bush asserts, “A century of monocrop farming and reliance on pesticides has damaged our nation’s once-fertile soils and the health of every American. The rapid increase in pesticide use over the past few decades has coincided with this explosion of chronic disease.” He continues to note, “A profound change in the demographics of chronic disease is underway in the United States. Independent research from private laboratories and universities around the world are implicating glyphosate—the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup.” Dr. Bush, like other medical professionals, is increasingly alarmed that the same companies that manufacture medicines may also be manufacturing the chemicals that cause disease, e.g., Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto as an exemplary case. HOME TURF Regenerative agriculture is on the rise in the Golden State. In practice this involves not just the eschewing of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. It’s as much about the do’s as the don’ts when restoring soil to a more natural, nutrient-dense state. Keeping the soil intact (no tilling), using diverse cover crops and planning multiple crop rotations all help create carbon-rich soil rife with the vital microbes that in turn lead to healthy microbes in the human gut. In Moorpark, for example, we find Apricot Lane Farms, featured recently in the widerelease film The Biggest Little Farm. Founded by husband-and-wife team Molly and John Chester, Apricot Lane is an incubator for soil health and is a lab of sorts for teaching regenerative practices. When asked at a recent conference in Los Angeles about the long-term prospects of Apricot Lane Farms, Molly admitted that it often comes down to outside funding. While regenerative farming has quantifiable benefits, it is definitely not yet profitable. You can only recoup so much expense at a farmers market, selling DTC (direct-to-consumer) to people who care. When up against Big Ag, as The Biggest Little Farm documentary points out, it really is a case of David versus Goliath. The solution for farmers interested in healthier practices is to broaden their markets, and one important way to do that is to work directly with restaurants. Because the food industry is so heavily regulated, it is challenging for chefs to purchase directly from farmers. Ironically, our many health and sanitation regulations prohibit farmers from

simply showing up at the restaurant door with a truckload of healthy produce. The Santa Monica Farmers Market, however, is a model that successfully connects farmers and chefs. Launched in 1981, the Wednesday market features more than 75 vendors, many of whom grow sustainably or organically. A trend that now seems commonplace among top restaurants is to acknowledge food origins in restaurant menus, e.g., not just berries but “Harry’s Berries.” Chefs often cite vendors by name or location, which in turn strengthens the connection between farm and table. People increasingly want to know where their food is grown, and they want to know if it is grown with or without the use of chemicals. While the farmers market model works in a year-round growing season like California’s, it is more challenging to replicate in other climates. Restaurateurs, like father-and-son Matthew and Ryland Engelhart, are examples of food entrepreneurs who are finding creative ways to work directly with farmers. At age 48, Matthew left his career in apparel to found Café Gratitude, a “transformational business in the form of a restaurant.” With multiple locations across California, the brand has expanded to include Gracias Madre and the upscale Gratitude restaurant. Conceptually, this restaurant group serves primarily plant-based cuisines, although environmentally friendly meats were introduced several years ago. At Gracias Madre, an homage to Mexican mothers and their indigenous cuisines, Chef Chandra Gilbert’s masa is made exclusively from organically grown corn that is also directly sourced. Ryland notes, “We promote regenerative agriculture. All the corn used in our restaurants to make tortillas and tamales comes from a regenerative farm in Nebraska that practices crop rotation. We use the restaurants to show that the most important conversation is about food that is healthy— not only for our bodies but also for regenerating landscapes.” Ryland is also the cofounder of Kiss the Ground, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to regenerative farming and soil restoration. Launched just over five years ago, Kiss the Ground is an innovative advocacy group whose main client just happens to be Mother Earth. Matthew has also pointed out the connection between low-cost, chemically dependent food production and chronic illness. He uses the expression, “Our food is cheap, and we are sick.”

“Regenerative agriculture provides answers to the soil crisis, the food crisis, the health crisis, the climate crisis and the crisis of democracy.”

“In the 1960s Americans spent an average of 18% of their household budget on food and 8% on health care,” Matthew says. “Today this relationship has changed. Chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart problems, are more common and kill more people than ever in history.” Spending more on food as preventative medicine—and less on pharmaceuticals—is the paradigm shift many are seeking to enact. Cue the Lunch Lady. Eating farm-totable takes on a different context entirely when the table is at a school. Hilary Boynton may lack the hairnet and the Styrofoam tray, but this lunch lady is on a mission to alleviate childhood illness by improving school lunch offerings. A mother of five who once struggled with infertility issues, Hilary is an evangelist for intestinal health and its potential to offset illness. She wrote The Heal Your Gut Cookbook with fellow nutrition expert Mary Bracket, featuring nutrient-dense recipes designed to minimize the inflammation that Dr. Bush and other medical experts causally link to a host of diseases. Incidentally, the recipes are also delicious and family-friendly. The inspiration for the book came from her own children’s health needs; from eczema to asthma to epilepsy, Hilary repeatedly found that what she fed her kids was as impactful as traditional medicines. “Food is medicine,” she told me as she flashed a blood glucose monitoring patch she was wearing as part of a citizen-science school project. She likes to use the metaphor of a fish tank. “You can feed the fish organic foods or give them drugs, but if you don’t clean the tank they’ll never get better.” Like Dr. Bush, Hilary’s approach to food centers on protecting healthy microbes in the gut. Her day job is at the Manzanita School in Topanga Canyon, where she prepares snacks and lunches that are

light-years ahead of industrial chicken nuggets and microwaved pizza. SEEDS OF ADVOCACY Access to healthy food is, of course, a socioeconomic issue. The privilege of choosing organically grown foods that cost more is just that—a privilege. Advocates for the disadvantaged are also seeking to implement healthier foods and to disrupt the cycle of chronic illness. Chefs Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi made headlines several years ago with their healthy fast-food concept, LocoL. While the intentions were noble and the design and menu were appealing, the Watts location failed quickly even though it was located in a food desert with few to no restaurant choices and a median income of just $25,000. The Oakland and San Jose LocoL franchises were shuttered as well. If you build it, they still may not come. This is apparently the lesson here. Change can be painfully slow. A different strategy was employed successfully by CALPIRG, whose lobbying efforts recently resulted in a commitment from McDonald’s—the country’s single biggest purchaser of beef—to reduce antibiotics in its meat supplies. It’s a huge step forward toward safeguarding the health of everyone in the U.S. Everyone needs antibiotics to remain effective when needed for critical medical treatment; whether they eat at McDonald’s or not is a secondary issue. Another unsung hero preaching the healing powers of soil is Carolyn Day, a former stuntwoman and professional surfer who recently started a nonprofit called Growing Hope Gardens. She is a master gardener who works with homeless shelters and transitional housing developments to install and maintain organic garden beds. While the gardens may not provide all the food the shelters’

residents require, the connection to the soil and the experience of growing food is often a first for many folks. Carolyn explains, “We believe that time spent in contact with nature through these gardens will provide meaningful, rewarding work and a safe environment for healing. While growing nutritious organic produce, our garden programs will create a sense of belonging and the opportunity to make beneficial human connections.” Growing Hope Gardens aligns with many fellow organizations in its regenerative, chemical-free techniques that also reduce the carbon imprint of the shelters they serve. Carolyn feels passionately that the homeless and “people of small means” also deserve access to healthier foods. The impact of sick, glyphosate-saturated soils planted with GMO crops should be considered a public health crisis akin to tobacco use, lead in household paints, the lack of seat belt use, drunk driving and other life-threatening risks. The situation is that dire. Dr. Bush asserts, “As the health of the soils and the plants that grow in them has diminished, chronic disease has gone epidemic. In the 1960s the entire U.S. population had a chronic disease burden of 4%. Today 46% of our children carry a chronic disease diagnosis. We have never imagined, let alone witnessed, this level of chronic disease.” The good news is that we can do something about this, and we must do something about this for the well-being of our children and of our planet. From the food choices we make in our own homes to pressuring our elected officials to supporting advocacy work, each of us can be a part of the regenerative work needed to restore healthy soils and cleanse our food supply of diseasecausing chemicals. And the time to start was yesterday, so let’s squeak loudly and get the wheels of change moving. ■



ABOUT East-Meets-West dishes that inspire and evoke a feeling of being welcomed into Chef Vuong’s home. Little Sister’s menu showcases Chef Tin’s take on one of the more interesting and rich collisions of food and culture that was borne out of the European colonization of Southeast Asia. Dishes blend and balance the spices and flavors of Southeast Asia with French techniques and Dutch and British colonial influences. The menu is continually and progressively evolving, reflecting inspiration and the seasons. Chef Tin curates the restaurant’s wine and beverage program with a focus on intriguing labels, both domestically and from around the world. Little Sister and LSXO are both critically acclaimed with Little Sister’s inclusion on LA Times’ 101 Best Restaurant List (2014-2018) and LSXO awarded a 2019 Michelin Bib Gourmand, as well.

MANHATTAN BEACH | 1131 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 | 310.545.2096 REDONDO BEACH | 247 Avenida del Norte, Redondo Beach, CA 90277 | 424.398.0237 DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES | 523 W 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017 | 213.628.3146 LSXO | 21016 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite D200, Huntington Beach, CA 92648 | 714.374.0083

1301 Manhattan Avenue, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254 | 310.798.8227 | @abigailerestaurant

1238 Hermosa Avenue, Hermosa Beach, California 90254 310.379.1829 | | @diadecampohb

117 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach, CA (310) 318 5555 | | @swtable

1301 Manhattan Avenue, Hermosa Beach, California 90254 310.798.8227 | | @oceanbarhb

25th Annual Manhattan Beach Wine Auction For 25 years this popular event has provided an opportunity for the community to come together to raise critical funding for Manhattan Beach public schools. Guests enjoyed culinary delights from 40+ local restaurants and beverages served by more than 80 wineries, breweries and distilleries. Top sponsors included American Airlines, Belkin, Chevron, Moss Adams, Sherry-Lehmann and Wells Fargo. The Bay Club continues to be a key partner in the event and provided significant support.



23rd Annual Celebrate Wellness Celebrating more than 32 years, Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach’s 23rd annual Celebrate Wellness event broke records with proceeds of more than $200,000 in net income. Funds raised at the event benefit 270+ free support programs for cancer patients and their families offered each month by CSCRB. More than 500 guests sampled fare from 30 of the finest restaurants and beverage companies as they strolled through the late afternoon garden party. Anne Clary, LMFT, and keynote speaker Harvey Swartz

Chef Michael Shafer

Joey Shanahan, Russ Lesser, Charlotte Lesser

Bill Brand, Adrienne Nakashima, Guido Rietdyk, Paula Moore, Jean Cordero

Katie Adams, Jerod Cuza, Anne Wharton, Brandon Massey

Nancy Lomibao, LMFT, Christine Winkler, PhD, Tom Simko, MD, Anne Clary, LMFT

Norm Levin, Jim Hunter, Joanne Hunter



Epipalooza Started by Slater Heidrich and his club Mira Costa End Epilepsy, the fundraiser has brought in $20,000 so far. The benefit concert at The Lighthouse Cafe drew a few hundred people from the community with five local teen bands performing including Slater’s own band, Good Vibe, as well as XYZPDQ, Minor Problem, Pier Pressure and Chroma Haze.

Rebekkah Halliwell and Slater Heidrich

Sue Jensen and Darrell Jensen



Hudson Ritchie and Piper Monk

Carol Fleming, Stacy Witkowski, Brooke Blake, Kathie Lacko


Jeff Cutler, Stacey Muir, Jay Russell, Cara Cutler, Matt Muir, Henry Driscoll





8.75 X 10.875 9 X 11.1125

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LA Kings Development Camp


LA Kings prospects Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Alex Turcotte and Sean Durzi joined team mascot Bailey at the Pediatric Therapy Network in Torrance. The hockey players participated in show-and-tell, a kids reading program and they signed autographs for the youngsters at the Network’s Early Start Program.

LA Kings at Beachlife Festival


The LA Kings partnered with the inaugural BeachLife Festival, a coastal event in early May, at Redondo Beach’s Seaside Lagoon. Over the festival’s three days, past and present LA Kings players were on-site in a hospitality cabana with activations and interactive activities for festival-goers. The LA Kings also “powered” Cruises for Causes, a series of exclusive musical performances at sea to benefit nonprofits.



Peninsula Education Foundation’s 39th Annual Main Event Gala Fundraiser Local professional musicians From Classical to Rock brought the house down as they performed with Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District music students to raise much-needed funds for all 17 public schools on the Hill. Donors gathered for a moving and memorable evening of giving back to PV schools.

David Bray, Jennifer Bray, Carrie Hazzanzai, Mo Hazzanzai, Danielle Puhl, Irene Trotter, John Trotter

Arash AbbasianKashi and Golnaz AbbasianKashi

Dan Cote, Kristin Borden, Alyson Decker


discover southbay on instagram Maria Kazan, Vikas Sachar, Su Sachar, Clayton Kazan


Monte Pittman, Yutong Sharp, Marten Andersson of From Classical to Rock



32nd Annual Walk for Life South Bay More than 300 people participated in this community 5K Walk along Redondo Beach. The walk benefits the Pregnancy Health Center in Torrance, which has been providing free services to the South Bay for 43+ years, including pregnancy, STI testing and ultrasound exams.

Kim Neglia and Russ Neglia

Mary Poprac and John Poprac

John Johnson

Dan Houston, Steven Perry, Dr. Toks Kamson

Marian Goyette



Terri Barden and Lee Barden



30th Annual Seahorse Classic and Sponsor Reception Peninsula Committee Children’s Hospital presented the tournament at Palos Verdes Golf Club with proceeds benefiting Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The tournament was followed by dinner, silent and live auctions, and trophy presentations. Sponsors attended a reception at an oceanfront home the evening prior.

Alex Shen, Sean O’Connor, Mark Pfeil, Blake Edwards, Paul Giuliano

Don Tuffli, Dee Schuler, Martha Tuffli, George Schuler, Kim Whitcombe

Heather Schuchert, Hilary Waxler, Eric Rigler, Heidi Sampson

Noelle Giuliano, Crystal Sponsor Joe Giacomin, Cynthia Giacomin



Chuck Miller, Mark Pfeil, Ryan Todaro


Joe Leimbach, Jacquie Leimbach, Lisa Gentry, Patty Ochi

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Our mission at The Yoga Loft is to provide a safe and sacred space for a diverse community to ďŹ nd their way home. We deliver high-quality wellness opportunities of varying modalities including yoga of varying styles, meditation, wellness workshops, trainings, and cultural and community events.





“It’s a fascinating time in dentistry, and we have the tools to help patients overcome some not-so-fun conditions. Our clinical focus is on aesthetics, implants, airway management and the use of technology to provide the best outcomes to restore our patients’ confidence and self-esteem.” – DR. MICHAEL FULBRIGHT, PRESIDENT FULBRIGHT COSMETIC & RECONSTRUCTIVE DENTISTRY






For the last five years, U.S. News & World Report has listed professions in dentistry among its top “100 Best Jobs.” And it’s no wonder: Dentists have the opportunity to help people and to make their communities a better place. From implants to braces to cosmetic services to general dentistry, the South Bay dentists on these pages are restoring oral health and transforming lives right here in our neighborhood.










STEVEN K. OKAMOTO, DDS, INC. Dr. Steven K. Okamoto & Dr. Michelle Okamoto







n practice for 19 years, Dr. Michael Fulbright earned both a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene and his Doctorate in Dental Surgery degree from the University of Southern California. He continued his education in advanced aesthetics at UCLA and Pacific Implant Institute, enabling him to perform all aspects of full-mouth reconstruction at Fulbright Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry. He is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, the American Academy of Oral Systemic Health and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE READERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR PRACTICE? “We are the leaders in aesthetic smile design and full-mouth reconstruction and are honored to treat patients from all over the world. Our success comes from our extensive training in cosmetic dentistry and working alongside one of the best master ceramists in the country. The digital smile design protocol we developed allows the patient to be an integral part of the design process in order to create a unique and custom new smile that is natural and beautiful. No two smiles are alike, and being able to provide prototype veneers or restorations for the patient to ‘test drive’ is the key to achieving such positive outcomes for our patients.” WHAT IS THE MISSION OF YOUR PRACTICE? “To get 30,000 people healthier in the South Bay by 2022. We’re doing this by collaborating with other like-minded health care practitioners to help educate patients about systemic links between dental disease and total-body health.”

WHAT CAN A NEW PATIENT EXPECT? “Our new-patient experience is like no other in the dental field. Aside from all the comforting amenities we provide, we conduct a very comprehensive exam using the latest technology in dentistry. We routinely use genetic testing to see the specific bacterial flora in a patients’ mouth and identify risk factors to help predict disease and the appropriate customized treatment for the long-term health of the patient. Coupled with our 3-D CBCT technology, we can identify pathology that helps us treat early and minimally invasively. Oral cancer rates are decreasing in the U.S. with the help of our second-generation screening technology called Oral ID. We use CEREC, which is a CAD/CAM system to aid in the fabrication of same-day crowns and onlays and eliminate the need for traditional ‘goopy’ impressions and temporary crowns. Incorporating these tools allows us to provide a science-driven diagnostic treatment plan that allows the patient to make better informed decisions about their health.” WHAT STEPS DO YOU TAKE TO HELP PATIENTS FEEL AT EASE WHEN THEY VISIT YOUR OFFICE? “It all starts with truly listening to my patients, which allows them to open up, become more at ease and gain the trust we need to form a great relationship. We know that for some people going to the dentist can be very frightening, so once we have earned their trust we can then offer solutions to make their procedures more comfortable and relaxing. Don’t let your fears or anxiety prevent you from getting the dental care that you need and deserve.”

TELL US ABOUT YOUR TEAM. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my incredible team. While each member of our team has his or her own roles and responsibilities, we believe that by empowering them to be leaders amongst leaders they will be the best advocates for our patients’ health. The best compliments we receive are from patients telling us how great our team is or how special a certain individual is who has touched their lives. We live by our mantra: Changing lives … one smile at a time!” HOW IS ORAL HEALTH LINKED TO OVERALL HEALTH? “We now know that about 50% of Americans have periodontal disease and that 50% of all heart attacks and strokes are caused by that same disease. By focusing on the specific bacteria in each patient’s mouth customizing a plan to minimize that bacteria, we can lower the risk and help prevent a lot of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, various cancers and dementia. By also focusing on our patients’ airways, we can help identify if someone has obstructive sleep apnea, which can increase your risk for those same diseases and in children can often be misdiagnosed as ADHD. It’s a fascinating time in dentistry, and we have the tools to help so many people overcome these conditions. It’s really inspiring to be able to touch so many lives in such a positive way.”





Dr. Michael Fulbright and Managing Partner Molly Fulbright




outh Bay native Dr. Michelle Ahn attended Palos Verdes Peninsula High School and UCLA before attending dental school at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. After completing a residency in New York, she earned her master’s degree in dentistry from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry, where she specialized in prosthodontics. Back home in Redondo Beach, she took over an existing practice that has been in business since 1990. Dr. Ahn and her team offer in-house services that include general dentistry, kids’ dentistry, full-mouth reconstruction, periodontal surgery, endodontic therapy and cosmetic dentistry. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE READERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR PRACTICE? “I want to make sure my patients are getting top care, so I have a periodontist and endodontist come to the practice to provide services. In this way I can directly oversee their treatment and ensure quality care. It’s more convenient for the patients and allows them to make really well-informed decisions when all doctors are available to answer every question.” WHAT IS SOME OF THE LATEST DENTAL TECHNOLOGY THAT YOU OFFER? “I believe patients should receive the best care possible, and we make sure that happens with our state-of-the-art technology. I have a Biolase for periodontal laser therapy, an iTero for digital scanning—no more goopy impressions in your mouth—and a CEREC that allows my office to do same-day crowns, veneers and inlays/onlays.”

WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO PREVENTIVE DENTISTRY? “My hygienists and I are very big on preventive dentistry. We believe in CAMBRA (caries management by risk assessment)— an evidence-based approach to preventing and managing cavities at the earliest stages. We want to prevent dental problems in the most conservative manner by coaching our patients on topics such as improving home care and/or supplemental dental products to prevent teeth drilling.” WHAT STEPS DO YOU TAKE TO HELP YOUR PATIENTS FEEL AT EASE WHEN THEY VISIT YOUR OFFICE? “We have a really friendly team that knows how to make patients feel welcome and comfortable. Our vibe is relaxed and low-key. We want our patients to feel that coming to the dentist is no big deal. For our more anxious patients, we offer all kinds of options to help them relax. Whatever the patient needs to get through the appointment comfortably, we’ll make it happen.” HOW DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK IN THE FIELD OF DENTISTRY? “Working with my hands and paying attention to fine detail has been a quality I’ve been honing my whole life. Dentistry and its working scope in millimeters is fun for me. Every time I work on a tooth, it’s like I’m doing a tiny art project—and I’ve loved arts and crafts since I was a child.” WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO MAINTAIN ORAL HEALTH? “Get your cleanings with a hygienist at least twice a year. Even if you’re the greatest

brusher and flosser, you can never remove all the plaque from your teeth. Get a yearly checkup and X-rays in order to catch any problems early on. You always want to catch something when it’s small. Identifying a cavity when it’s small means only a small hole needs to be drilled. Waiting too long could result in needing to drill a giant hole, or worse, needing a crown or a root canal! To take good care of your teeth at home, first floss in a C-shape and use interproximal brush picks to remove food and plaque from between the teeth. Then use an electric toothbrush to most effectively blast the plaque off teeth. Finally rinse with Listerine or a similar mouth rinse to reduce the bacteria in the whole mouth.” WHY SHOULD ADULTS CONSIDER BRACES? “Braces aren’t simply to straighten your teeth to look good. The real reason for orthodontic treatment is to correct one’s bite and to align the teeth so the biting and grinding forces are properly distributed and angulated on the teeth. The more properly aligned teeth are, the better the teeth will function and reduce unnecessary stress and damage. Less damage will result in longer-lasting, healthier teeth that may require less restorative repair. Also, straighter teeth are much easier to keep clean, thus adding to teeth longevity. Having straight teeth makes patients happier because they like their smile, which in turn causes more smiling and more happiness.” WHAT DO KIDS LOVE ABOUT YOUR OFFICE? “Kids love my office because we have some pretty cool toys in the treasure chest!”












learChoice Dental Implant Centers are locally owned and operated by licensed dentists and are part of a professional affiliation of implant practices operated by oral surgeons, prosthodontists and restorative dentists across the U.S. ClearChoice focuses exclusively on dental implants— whether it’s replacing a single tooth, multiple teeth or full upper and lower arches. The ClearChoice Experience™ includes a highly trained team, precise imaging equipment, dental lab facilities and consultants— all together in the same center. Because dental implant treatment is a surgical procedure, oral surgeons are trained in the complexities of bones, skin, muscles and nerves to optimize treatment results. ClearChoice’s restorative dentists, or prosthodontists, work closely with the oral surgeons to create lifelike prosthetic teeth. Dr. Jenna Benko and Dr. Laura Pashkowsky treat the patients at ClearChoice Dental Implant Center – Torrance. Dr. Benko earned her dental degree at University of Nevada, Las Vegas and completed a residency in prosthodontics at UCLA. Dr. Pashkowsky earned her dental degree at UCLA and completed a residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at the University of Chicago. She works as an independent contractor to ClearChoice. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE READERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR PRACTICE? “Our office is a dental implant practice; we do not offer any other type of dentistry. Most of the patients we treat are full-mouth restorations, but we also do single implant crowns and bridges. Dr. Benko is a specialist in prosthodontics, and Dr. Pashkowsky is a specialist in oral and maxillofacial surgery. We collaborate on

each case to make sure every detail is ready for the day of surgery. Unlike many dental practices, we have everything under one roof— meaning you only need to go to one office for the consultation, the surgery and the delivery of the final teeth.” WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GETTING TREATMENT AT ONE LOCATION? “Traditionally dental implants require several visits to specialists in several locations, and the teeth are created at an off-site lab and shipped to the office. If any adjustments need to be made, the teeth need to be shipped back to the lab. At ClearChoice we have combined all of the necessary elements for successful dental implant treatment in a single location. Your consultation, lab work, creation of your teeth, the procedure and recovery are all housed in a single center.” WHAT MAKES CLEARCHOICE DIFFERENT THAN A TYPICAL DENTAL OFFICE? “Our team of specialists work together to deliver quality treatment to our patients. We believe that when the doctor speaks directly with the oral surgeon and the lab technician, face to face, our team can deliver a better patient experience. Another great thing about ClearChoice is that we are a nationwide network.” TELL US ABOUT YOUR TEAM. “We have a diverse team from all walks of life. We have five dental and surgical assistants, two lab technicians, two consultants and an operational manager.” WHAT IS A DENTAL IMPLANT? “Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that

provide a permanent base for fixed replacement teeth. Compared to dentures, bridges and crowns, dental implants are a popular and effective long-term solution for people who suffer from missing teeth, failing teeth or chronic dental problems. Because they fit, feel and function like natural teeth, dental implants are quickly becoming a standard in tooth replacement.” WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE FOR A FULL-MOUTH IMPLANT RESTORATION? “There are three main reasons why a person would be a candidate to have a full-mouth restoration: decay, gum disease and trauma. We will only remove teeth and replace them with implants once we know they cannot be saved with general dentistry. Many of our patients have neglected their dental health for a long time, and they have no other option. Our goal is to give patients a better option.” HOW IS ORAL HEALTH LINKED TO OVERALL HEALTH? “Multiple studies have shown correlation between gum disease and systemic health. When people come in for their initial consultation, it is often the first time they have heard about the link between gum disease and overall systemic health.” WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR DAY? “When we give patients the mirror at the end of the appointment and they get to see their new smile for the first time, it makes what we do worth it. Many of our patients have struggled with their dental health for many years, so being able to give them a new smile and peace of mind about their dental health is awesome.”





L to R: Kyle Demshki; Vince A. DiLeva, MS, CFP®, AIF®, Senior Partner; David Swift; Tamara Patterson; Sara Hendrix; Lisa Morig; Katie O’Neill; Kathleen Adams, CFP®, CPWA®, Partner; Jeff Zuanich; Rachel Otto; Eric C. Pritz, CFP®, CMFC, Senior Partner




r. Bita Davoodian grew up in the South Bay and graduated from UCLA. She attended dental school at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco and returned to Redondo Beach to start her own practice. She has worked in the field for the past 18 years and is currently a clinical instructor at the UCLA School of Dentistry. Throughout the year, she volunteers for a variety of events, including dental care for underprivileged communities. WHAT CAN PATIENTS EXPECT WHEN THEY VISIT YOUR OFFICE? “Patients will receive personalized care in a warm and welcoming environment where everyone is treated like family. We offer high-quality, comprehensive dental care and state-of-the-art technology including digital X-rays, intraoral cameras, live video streams of the mouth and, most importantly, a 3-D cone beam CT scan.” WHAT DO YOUR PATIENTS LIKE BEST ABOUT YOU? “Our patients consistently tell us how much they love our friendly environment and honesty. They also love our modern equipment and commitment to the highest level of clinical excellence. We stay abreast of new developments and participate in continuing education in order to provide patient care at the highest standards.” WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE POTENTIAL PATIENTS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU? “I perform dental procedures that restore teeth to their natural beauty while enhancing esthetics. However, I never lose sight of maintaining optimum health and functionality. In addition to cosmetic dentistry and full-mouth rehabilitation, I also address the overall health of patients, including airway and TMJ evaluation. I am a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and recognized for

working hand in hand with physicians to treat patients with oral appliances for sleep apnea. I also spend a great amount of time working with small children and teenagers, as well as geriatric patients.” WHAT CAN PARENTS DO TO HELP CHILDREN ESTABLISH GOOD ORAL HEALTH HABITS? “The foundation for healthy permanent teeth is developed between the ages of 1 and 5. A healthy diet, proper brushing and flossing have been shown to decrease cavities in children. The fewer cavities in baby teeth, the lower the risk of developing cavities in permanent teeth. It is crucial to establish a proper daily oral hygiene routine as early in life as possible.” WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR PATIENTS WHO ARE AFRAID TO VISIT A DENTIST? “The first step is to let us know about your fears so we can best address them. Dental procedures have greatly improved in the past few years, and modern dentistry offers new methods and treatment options to make you comfortable. I will explain the entire procedure to you beforehand and walk you through step-by-step while the procedure is being performed. It is important to understand that although a simple checkup can be nerve-wracking, the more you go to the dentist for routine cleanings, the more likely you are to avoid larger problems that result in extensive procedures. I suggest calling our office and directly speaking with me about any fears or questions you have about any procedures, which will help reduce stress leading up to your appointment.” HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOUR PATIENTS’ COMFORT WHILE THEY ARE AT YOUR OFFICE? “We pride ourselves in making sure patients are comfortable from the moment they walk into our office to the time they leave.

Collectively as a team we spend as much time with our patients as they need to understand the treatment, feel comfortable and relaxed. We perform every treatment with a steady and gentle touch, using modern technology and practices to ensure our patients have the best care possible.” WHAT MINIMALLY INVASIVE OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE TO ENHANCE PATIENTS’ SMILES? “Teeth can be affected by discoloration, spaces, gaps, chips and misalignment. A conservative way to repair any of these problems is bonding and/or enamel shaping. Advances in cosmetic dental bonding procedures have led to improved strength and durability. Enamel shaping is often combined with bonding and is usually quick and painless. No anesthesia is required, and results can be seen immediately. Be aware that enamel shaping and bonding can’t solve all problems. For perfect symmetry and color, oftentimes porcelain veneers are the best options. For further information please visit our office for a complimentary consultation.” HOW DO YOU STAY ON TOP OF YOUR GAME? “As a weekly clinical instructor at UCLA for the past several years, I participate in cuttingedge dentistry and new advancements, which carries over to my practice. I attend dental lectures, meetings and dental conventions to stay informed of new techniques, the latest products and the newest equipment. Also, I am a member of various professional dental associations to stay abreast of the changes and recommendations for our profession.” WHAT PRODUCT DO YOU RECOMMEND? “Invisalign® straightens teeth using clear, virtually invisible aligners. There are no wires or brackets, so you’ll have confidence in your smile during and after treatment. Most people won’t even know you’re wearing Invisalign!”








he dental practice of Dr. Steven Okamoto is a 3,500-square-foot center featuring state-of-the-art technology in restorative, prosthetic and implant dentistry. As part of the facility, Dental Sleep Centre of the South Bay offers treatment of sleep apnea, bruxism and other sleep disorders. Dr. Steve has been practicing dentistry for more than 30 years; he also practices in Newport Beach. He and his daughter Dr. Michelle are both graduates of the UCLA School of Dentistry and participate in extensive continuing education in dental health. TELL US ABOUT RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE FIELD OF DENTISTRY. Dr. Steve: “The dental world is changing—not a subtle change but a tectonic shift created by the growth of corporate dentistry, dental technology and digital communication. Our office has responded to this shift in ways that bring a more efficient, more comfortable and more patient-centered experience. By embracing these changes, our patients are involved in their own treatment planning for both their immediate care as well as long-term oral health.” IN WHAT WAYS DOES YOUR TEAM PROVIDE PERSONALIZED ATTENTION TO PATIENTS? Dr. Steve: “Personalized attention vs. corporate—that is the choice many are looking at when choosing their dental health care provider. Our friendly, helpful team is going to give each patient one-on-one dialogue as they choose a time to visit and what is needed for that reserved appointment. We provide convenient hours and access, accommodating special work or child care schedules.” Dr. Michelle: “Patients want to understand the cost and time involved in their appointment with us. We work with them creating a

specialized treatment plan that estimates number and length of visits to our office, as well as itemized costs. We are also in frequent contact with their insurance company for any adjustments as treatment progresses. And most importantly, many of our team members have been at the practice for more than 20 years— bringing a consistency to care as patients continue to come in for treatment.” HOW HAS THE EVOLUTION OF TECHNOLOGY BENEFITTED THE PATIENT? Dr. Steve: “Many of the technologies that have existed for some time have matured, creating an environment for an even better outcome for patients. Digital radiography is much better than film, delivering images with greater speed, function and ease—and significantly less radiation. With 3-D imaging we can now forecast the ‘smile makeover’ before treatment begins—for example, mapping out teeth movements for Invisalign and placement and restoration of implants. Patients can see the smile they want even before we pick up an instrument.” Dr. Michelle: “Digital communication. That is one of the shifts that is positively benefitting our patients—specifically creating a relationship and experience that allows patients to be more active in their dental health. Patients are using their phones to make appointments, see post- op instructions and tell us how their time at our office went. Whether it is text or email, we are communicating their treatment plans, cost, insurance benefits. Another huge benefit is our ability to interface with the patients’ physicians on their medical health, which is intertwined with their dental health—transmitting X-rays, blood test results and consultation reports from other health care professionals.”




WHAT MAKES YOUR PRACTICE STAND OUT? Dr. Michelle: “In the South Bay area dentistry is not scarce, but a great dental experience is. We have been told time and time again— through testimonials, reviews, thank-you notes and gifts—that our office is soothing, relaxing and welcoming and that we are conscious of their comfort. But the greatest compliment is when they express their trust in our technologically advanced—yet compassionate—team.” HOW DO DENTISTS AND PHYSICIANS WORK TOGETHER TO TREAT PATIENTS? Dr. Steve: “Today, physicians are looking for assistance with dental health professionals when they suspect heart disease with their patients. This communication was unheard of even as recently as 15 years ago. Often an orthopedic surgeon will request a thorough dental examination prior to proceeding with a joint replacement such as a hip or knee. Patients with a cardiac valve replacement will require special premedication with antibiotics prior to having various dental procedures. In addition, some trained general dentists and prosthodontists can assist the oncologist when a patient undergoes chemotherapy or radiation treatment to the head and neck. These dentists can consult and treat patients who undergo such cancer treatments to ensure that the patient is comfortable, able to eat nutritious foods to sustain physical strength and health, treat conditions that may manifest from such therapy, and institute a program to ensure that the dentition and oral tissues are not affected.”






ummer Orthodontics specializes in a wide range of orthodontic issues and employs technology such as digital scanning, invisible braces, metal braces, clear braces and Invisalign. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in applied mathematics at UCLA, owner Dr. Summer Blake attended dental school at UCLA. She went on to complete her orthodontics specialty training at Temple University. A practicing orthodontist for more than 15 years, she opened her Manhattan Beach practice on June 21, 2010— Summer Solstice, of course! HOW WOULD YOUR PATIENTS DESCRIBE YOUR APPROACH? “Based upon the feedback we receive, patients appreciate the efficiency and professionalism of our office. We spend a lot of time and energy to ensure every patient’s time is valued. No one likes waiting to be seen by their doctor, and we don’t like to keep patients waiting!” WHAT’S MOST REWARDING ABOUT YOUR WORK? “Seeing the confidence patients exude from their new smile is really rewarding. However, I also enjoy getting to know each patient throughout their treatment.” TELL US ABOUT YOUR TEAM. “I love our team. Not only are they all excellent at their jobs, but they are also caring, friendly and fun. They love getting to know patients (and their families) and genuinely miss them when treatment is completed. Creating beautiful smiles correctly takes teamwork, and I’m proud to say we have the best!”

WHAT STEPS DO YOU TAKE TO MAKE YOUR OFFICE A STRESS-FREE ZONE? “Promoting a stress-free environment is a key part of the Summer Orthodontics experience. Beginning with the office design and continuing throughout our processes, each step is focused on reducing stress. It is not uncommon for patients to compare the office to a spa or for kids to comment on how good it feels to visit our office. In addition to the popular iPads, there are always activities and contests available for extra fun.” HOW DOES YOUR PRACTICE PROVIDE PERSONALIZED ATTENTION TO PATIENTS? “Each patient is unique, so every treatment plan must be custom-tailored to create their ideal smile. We work together with our patients to understand their treatment options and our recommendation. Throughout treatment we monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments to achieve ideal results. The fun part is getting to know our patients throughout this process.” TELL US ABOUT RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE FIELD OF ORTHODONTICS. “There is a technological revolution going on throughout our world, and orthodontics is no exception. Orthodontic treatment is now faster, more comfortable and in some cases even invisible. Patients and parents often say, ‘This is not how I remember braces when I was young.’ Our office embraces the best of proven technologies. We use the fastest scanners, most efficient techniques and highestquality materials in all our treatment plans. We offer complimentary consultations to help patients understand their options and our recommended treatment plan.”

WHAT BENEFITS DO CHILDREN GAIN FROM THE SERVICES SUMMER ORTHODONTICS PROVIDES? “The beautiful smiles we create provide a lifetime of confidence to our patients. This confidence carries over into every aspect of their lives. We are so grateful for the opportunity to have such a powerful impact. We take great pride in helping our patients become the best they can be.” WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BE AN ORTHODONTIST? “While majoring in mathematics, I took a campus job working at the UCLA Dental School. At the time I did not expect a career in the dental field. However, I discovered that the artistic side of my brain combined well with my attention to detail while working with dental models. I decided to apply to the UCLA Dental School and was immediately attracted to orthodontics. There are so many factors that go into creating an individual’s ideal smile. I love finding the right solution for each patient. There is nothing more rewarding than helping patients literally transform their lives through a smile. I love seeing the confidence my patients project.” TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY. “I married my husband, Matt, in Manhattan Beach in 2007. We have four children: three wonderful daughters, Ahnika, 11, Tegan, 8, Winslow, 2, and one son, Briggs, 6. It is a very busy time for our family! Spending time with them is what I like to do most when I’m not at work. (I also enjoy Pilates, yoga, cooking and travel.)”






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last word

Bon Voyage

A longtime patron says goodbye to The Admiral Risty Restaurant in Palos Verdes, which closes its doors on August 17. WRITTEN BY AMY TETHEROW | ILLUSTRATED BY YASMINE KAHSAI

The Admiral Risty. We all feel like we know her well enough to call her just “The Risty”— our beloved gem of a local restaurant. It was always my family’s special place where we would go to kick off a vacation, celebrate a birthday, wedding, graduation, holiday or just to enjoy a nice meal together. Whenever friends were in town visiting, it was a safe bet you would find the Tetherows seated by a window, having a cocktail and watching the sun go down. It’s a place where you would always get a great meal and create cherished memories with the special people in your life. I’ll have the halibut #4 (that’s amandine, for those who don’t know), baked potato with the works and broccoli. But first let’s start with the house salad, where I’d mix the house French and the house blue cheese dressings. Who else did this? I bet most of us. Don’t forget the chilled salad fork that



somehow made the salad even better. And for those just dropping by for a drink to catch up with old friends, the lounge never disappointed with a generous pour and good tunes. I had the pleasure of knowing Ralph Wood and Risty Wood, the founders of our Risty. They lived in our neighborhood, and I would housesit for them when they were off on another fun travel adventure. I loved getting to know them and listening to their stories. I remember seeing them riding their bikes down the street, and they were always smiling. Wayne Judah, who is the owner now along with his wife, Jan, has been a fixture there since I was a kid. You knew you’d see him when you first entered the restaurant, and he’d greet you with a “Hello, how are you?” … just like an old friend. He made sure you had a wonderful dining experience.

The years have passed. Many milestones have come and gone. New generations are now regulars. We’ve all gained a wrinkle or two. One thing has remained the same: The Risty ... with the seashell chandeliers and the wooden whale centerpieces, which I would deliver flowers to place inside while in college. The heart of the restaurant was the crew, who always remembered you and delivered amazing service over and over again. The delicious food never let you down. It’s with great sadness our tight-knit community will bid adieu to our old friend after 52 years. It will be hard to let go, but we will keep our memories close. Thank you for being a part of our lives for so long. We salute you, Admiral Risty, and we will miss you dearly. ■

A design that assures and entertains. The difference is Gaggenau.

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Torrance Memorial’s Lundquist Orthopedic Institute offers one of the most advanced, minimally invasive orthopedic care programs in Southern California, including Mako® robotic arm-assisted technology. Our team has the expertise and experience with nearly three times the number of orthopedic cases than our leading competitor in the South Bay.* We’ll help you get you back to your family and friends faster and healthier.

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*Reflects inpatient cases reported to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) 2017 data.

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