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FEBRUARY 2018 PACIFICSANDIEGO.COM

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EDITOR’S NOTE

Dating Tales

PHOTO BY ANDREW ROE

I love hearing about people’s dating stories. It’s amazing the insanity people go through in the name of finding love. The many stories I have heard (and, admittedly, shared myself ) are both hilarious and appalling. I had a friend who went out with a guy who snapped his fingers and loudly shouted “respect” throughout dinner at an intimate, quiet restaurant. Another guy told a friend that he’d like to drink her breast milk, should she ever get pregnant. I cannot make this stuff up. But it’s not just stories that women tell each other over dirty martinis at happy hour. Men have horrid tales too, I’m sure. The ones I’ve heard have mostly been about women not looking exactly like their profile pictures or being too high maintenance. Oh, the horrors. Me? Well, a guy once broke up with me via a thank-you card from Trader Joe’s — sent through the mail (and he lived a 15-minute drive away). Probably my favorite story to tell: A guy I hit it off with at a bar put his very expensive watch on my wrist and, after leaving me on the dance floor to go to the bathroom, proceeded to walk out the front door, hand-in-hand (and right past me), with another woman. Yes, it’s rough out there. But, when these crappy experiences lead you to a great match, isn’t it all worth it? It’s just an added bonus that the tortuous path leaves you with ridiculous stories to recount for years to come. To help ease the pain, PACIFIC offers up some unique first-date ideas around San Diego (see First Impressions, page 60). Should a spark fly there, then check out one of the most romantic places around the city (see Mi Amor, page 62), sure to make your date swoon. And, since Cupid is flying around this month, we have some tips for navigating the holiday around San Diego — no matter what your relationship status might be (see Finding Cupid’s Arrow and Buy, Buy Love, pages 64 + 65). Happy dating, San Diego. Sincerely,

Leslie Hackett leslie@pacificsandiego.com

QUOTABLE

DON’T MAKE OBSCENE SEXUAL REMARKS WITHIN SECONDS OF MEETING. DON’T SEND UNSOLICITED PHOTOS OF YOUR GENITALS … DON’T MAKE A DATE WITH DOZENS OF PEOPLE AND THEN DITCH SOME WHEN SOMEONE BETTER COMES ALONG. — SEXOLOGIST DR. JILL MCDEVITT’S ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE PLAYING THE DATING GAME IN SAN DIEGO (AREA OF SEXPERTISE, PAGE 48)

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Volume #12 Issue #02

FEBRUARY 2018

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF / DIGITAL DIRECTOR CREATIVE DIRECTOR MANAGING EDITOR DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY COPY EDITOR CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

PUBLISHER VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES MULTIMEDIA ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES DISTRIBUTION MANAGER

Leslie Hackett Kenny Boyer Jennifer Ianni John McCutchen Monica Hodes-Smail Michael Benninger, Jackie Bryant, Lisa Deaderick, Laurie Delk, James Hebert, Pam Kragen, Scott McDonald, Peter Rowe, George Varga David Brooks, Nelvin C. Cepeda, Rick Nocon, Alejandro Tamayo

David Perloff Paul Ingegneri Lisa Marsolais, Laura J. Schwartz, Alyson Tietze Greg Johannsen

Reach America’s finest readers via print, web, social, email, street team and events. Read, click, connect... BOOM! PACIFIC is a media property owned by The San Diego Union-Tribune.

@PACIFICSD 619.296.6300

pacif icsandiego.com A subsidiary of The San Diego Union-Tribune

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Give Us a Call at 619-356-3099 LOOKING FOR THE BEST AGENT TO HELP YOU SELL YOUR HOME? SEE HOW WE OUT-PERFORM OTHER AGENTS AND WANT TO DO THE SAME FOR YOU!

2

TOP 4 AGENTS FINAL RESULTS FOR 2017

13 6 30

2 5

13

17

9

11 7

LIST TO SALES PRICE IN 92101

3 4

2

98.4%

98%

2 4 18

11

Chad Dannecker & Associates

8

96%

DANNECKER & ASSOCIATES out-performs the competition because we understand every dollar matters to our sellers.

12 10

97%

Michael Ciampa

Neuman & Singer

Scott Finn Team

2 3 3

5 6

21 4

12

AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET IN 92101

3 2

3

5 5

41

6

37

6

5

9

5

11

16

3

2

12

2

DANNECKER & ASSOCIATES not only gets better returns for their clients, but faster results too.

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30

36 30

8

23 Chad Dannecker & Associates

GET ON THE MAP WITH DANNECKER & ASSOCIATES IN 2018!

Neuman & Singer

Michael Ciampa

TOTAL SALES IN 92101 You deserve to know that the highest number of sales doesn’t always mean the best results!

112

100+ 5 STAR REVIEWS

68

131 PROPERTIES SOLD IN 2017

CHAD DANNECKER WELCOME TO SAN DIEGO REAL ESTATE - DANNECKER & ASSOCIATES

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22

Scott Finn Team

Michael Ciampa

SALES IN 92101 FOR 2016 VS 2017 -11.04% 9.09%

$20,493,450

$21,214,500

2017

Neuman & Singer

$46,037,100

2016

3.52%

$42,200,087

Prices are expected to rise in 2018, and increasing inventory will make the real estate industry busy this season. On average, the sale of one new home triggers a total of three home sales. We expect to see more properties come to market from local move-up buyers.  

Chad Dannecker & Associates

$87,371,700

# of homes for sale: 194 # of homes sold: 69 (Dec.) Highest price: $2,148,000 Lowest price: $263,500 Average home price: $602,000

Neuman & Singer

$98,212,795

DOWNTOWN MARKET UPDATE

Scott Finn Team

2016

2017

2016

2017

Chad Dannecker & Associates

Scott Finn Team

Chad@DanneckerandAssociates.com | @WelcomeToSanDiego.com #WelcomeToSanDiego | @WelcomeToSD 875 G St., Ste. 108, San Diego, CA 92101

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OCEANSIDE MARKET UPDATE # of homes for sale: 72 # of homes sold: 35 Highest price: $3,800,000 Lowest price: $199,000 Average price: $1,050,069

The year has started off strong and many new listings are on the market and active buyers making decisions to pursue purchases. The market forecasts a positive, stable and rising market for 2018 and the energy is felt thorough the city and county! It’s a great time to purchase and sell in San Diego!

MELISSA GOLDSTEIN TUCCI

MelissaTucci.com | Sold@MelissaTucci.com 1820 Monroe Ave., San Diego, CA 92116

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CONTENTS FEATURES

FEBRUARY 2018

54 Lana’s Lust for Life

Singer has proved through adversity that’s she’s able to dust off her Blue Jeans and soldier on to success.

58 Daters’ Paradise

A romance guide to San Diego’s idyllic vistas, unique date opportunities and how to navigate Valentine’s Day no matter what your status

ON THE COVER: Lana Del Rey brings her LA to the Moon tour to San Diego on Feb. 15 at Valley View Casino Center, with support from Jhené Aiko and Kali Uchis. ON THIS PAGE: Lana Del Rey attends her Freak music video premiere event presented by Vevo at The Wiltern on Feb. 9, 2016 in Los Angeles. See story, page 54. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Interscope).

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#Wonderfront #SanDiegoBay

Wherever the wind may blow portofsandiego.org/wonderfront


CONTENTS DEPARTMENTS FEBRUARY 2018

Take it From the Tap A monthly taste of beer from here

CURRENTS 26 Events What’s happening right now

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36 Laughing Stock February stand-up comedy shows

82 In the Mood Kama Sutra cocktail filled with aphrodisiac ingredients that tantalize and titillate

PULSE 40 Art Beat February gallery and exhibition openings 46

Curtain Calls February performing arts preview

48 Area of Sexpertise Doctor’s goal is to lift the veil on the stigmas cloaking sex in order to empower people between the sheets TASTE 66 Slurp of Satisfaction Noodle-lovers know there’s nothing like a big bowl of ramen — brimming with pork, boiled eggs, and the allimportant broth — to serve as comfort food whenever the mood strikes

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84 Whatever Floats Your Bud Budtender trained to answer the tough questions at recreational dispensary GROOVE 90 Sounds Like a Plan February concert calendar 100 Take a Spin Upcoming EDM and DJ performances LOVE 102 Hour of Knead Blind daters bare (almost) everything before a couple’s massage

ON THIS PAGE: Demi Lovato performs at Sleep Train Amphitheater on Aug. 14, 2016 (Photo by Hayne Palmour IV/San Diego Union-Tribune). Demi returns to San Diego with DJ Khaled on Feb. 26 for the Tell Me You Love Me Tour at Viejas Arena. For more information on this and other February concerts, see Groove, page 90.


AG AV E

E X P R ESS I O N I S M

PLEASE ENJOY MILAGRO RESPONSIBLY. Milagro Tequila, 40% Alc./Vol. (80 Proof) ©2016 William Grant & Sons, Inc. New York, NY.

MIL AG R O

MEANS

MI RACLE


CURRENTS WHAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW BY MICHAEL BENNINGER

2.16-18

13TH ANNUAL SAN DIEGO TET FESTIVAL Mira Mesa Community Park, Mira Mesa, sdtet.com Carnival rides, the Miss Vietnam of San Diego Pageant and two stages of competitive singing, dancing and eating span this three-day festival that also boasts a beer garden and food vendors from around the world. PHOTO BY HOWARD LIPIN

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CURRENTS | EVENTS

29TH ANNUAL MACY’S MUSEUM MONTH 2.1-28

Countywide, sandiegomuseumcouncil.org Aficionados of art, history and nature can save half-off admission to more than 40 museums during this monthlong celebration of the county’s culture.

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CURRENTS | EVENTS

Sports

2.3 MONSTER JAM Petco Park, East Village monsterjam.com Root for Brodozer, Grave Digger and El Toro Loco as the home of the San Diego Padres transforms into a giant playground for dozens of the world’s most famous monster trucks.

GULLS PHOTO BY HAYNE PALMOUR IV SOCKERS PHOTO BY MISAEL VIRGEN

2.3 SAN DIEGO SUPER RUN 10K & 5K

SAN DIEGO GULLS HOME GAMES 2.3 VS TUCSON ROADRUNNERS 2.6 VS IOWA WILD 2.14 VS BAKERSFIELD CONDORS 2.17 VS ONTARIO REIGN 2.27 VS SAN ANTONIO RAMPAGE

SAN DIEGO SOCKERS HOME GAMES 2.2 VS RIO GRANDE VALLEY BARRACUDAS 2.11 VS SONORA SOLES 2.22 VS RIO GRANDE VALLEY BARRACUDAS FC

Movies 2.2 WINCHESTER, BILAL 2.9 PETER RABBIT, FIFTY SHADES FREED, THE 15:17 TO PARIS

2.16 BLACK PANTHER, EARLY MAN 2.23 GAME NIGHT, WAR WITH GRANDPA

ANNIHILATION Fear what’s inside Thriller | Fantasy Directed by Alex Garland Starring Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac In theaters 2.23 After a brilliant biologist’s husband disappears beyond an anomalous boundary, she leads a discreet expedition to find him in this film based on the best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy. 30

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South Shores Park, Mission Bay kathyloperevents.com/superrun A day before one of the biggest pig-out days of the year, stretch your legs on a brisk 5K along Fiesta Island or take on an approachable 10K around Crown Point in these “Super” races.

2.9-11 2018 LUNAR NEW YEAR TET FESTIVAL SDCCU Stadium, Mission Valley lunarnewyearfestival.org Earn the title of San Diego’s phở eating champion or fill your belly in the beer garden at this massive Lunar New Year festival, where anyone born in the Year of the Dog gets free admission.

2.10 MARDI GRAS BEADS, BITES & BOOZE TOUR Gaslamp, sdmardigras.com In lieu of the usual rowdy Gaslamp Mardi Gras celebration, get your fix at this tasting event that pairs delicious Mardi Gras-inspired bites with decadent drinks at 20 downtown spots. Bonus: beads available at each stop.

2.11 4TH ANNUAL SAN DIEGO FERMENTATION FESTIVAL Leichtag Commons, Encinitas sandiegofermentationfestival.com Immerse yourself in workshops, presentations and do-it-yourself pickling stations at this outdoor fermentation fest granting guests 10 tasters of boozy craft beverages.

2.11 8TH ANNUAL CORONADO VALENTINE’S DAY 5K, 10K OR 1-MILE FUN RUN Tidelands Park, Coronado valentinesday10k.com Choose a bib marked as “Available,” “Taken” or “It’s Complicated” at this bayside matchmaking race followed by a breakfast buffet at McP’s Irish Pub & Grill.


CURRENTS | EVENTS

MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS 2.10

Petco Park, East Village, supercrosslive.com Cramped corners, speedy straightaways and treacherous triple jumps define this elite off-road racing championship that gives spectators a chance to see many of the world’s top motorcyclists. PHOTO BY HAYNE PALMOUR IV

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CURRENTS | EVENTS 2.17 15TH ANNUAL GUACAMOLE BOWL Balboa Park Club, Balboa Park guacamolebowl.com Thirty teams compete to guac your socks off at this annual dip-off where admission includes a full bag of tortilla chips and all the samples you can stomach.

2.17 6TH ANNUAL 5K PAW WALK IN THE GARDEN San Diego Botanic Garden, Encinitas sdbgarden.org Bring Fido along for this stroll through North County’s sprawling 37-acre garden that’s peppered with pet products, dog treats and great resources for people who love pups.

2.17-18 SAN DIEGO PET CON Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar petexposandiego.com Support local animal causes, be blown away by agility and obedience demonstrations and meet fuzzy friends in search of forever homes at this convention/ adoption event showcasing vets, groomers and other pet-centric professionals.

2.18 MARDI GRAS 5K, 10K & HALF MARATHON Tecolote Shores, Mission Bay wiz-events.com Don a mask, bust out the beads and strut your stuff along a scenic seaside course before capping off the run with an unforgettable post-race party.

2.18 ULTIMATE WINE RUN NTC Park at Liberty Station, Point Loma theultimatewinerun.com Registered racers receive four tastings at the festival following this wine-lovers run that also features a live DJ, a mechanical bull and food trucks.

HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS

2.24-25 SAN DIEGO CHINESE NEW YEAR FAIR

2.25 WEDDING PARTY EXPO

Third Ave. at J St., downtown sdcny.org The county’s largest celebration of the Chinese New Year includes two free days of art, culture and exciting performances alongside an array of authentic Asian food.

U.S. Grant, downtown sandiegoweddingparty.com Bridezillas, frankengrooms and professional wedding planners from far and wide descend upon this trendsetting event held for couples planning their nuptials in the San Diego area.

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2.16, 2.23

Valley View Casino Center, Midway District, valleyviewcasinocenter.com Be amazed by in the ball-handling wizardry of the Harlem Globetrotters as they introduce San Diego to basketball’s first 4-point line — more than 6 feet beyond the NBA’s current 3-point perimeter. PHOTO BY KEVIN SULLIVAN

2.26-27 2ND ANNUAL INTENTS CONFERENCE Marina Village, Mission Bay intentsconference.com Farmers, food makers and market managers can all benefit from two days of panels, roundtables and inspiring speakers at this one-of-a-kind event designed to increase the income of those who earn a living at farmers markets.


SAN DIEGO WINTER BREW FEST 2.24

Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park, sandiegobrewfest.com Sip samples from more than 30 breweries and rock out to live local artists at this adults-only event celebrating craft beverages from around California. PHOTO BY CHRIS BRAKE PHOTOGRAPHY

@PACIFICSD

FEBRUARY 2018

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CURRENTS

Laughing Stock February Stand-up Roundup BY MICHAEL BENNINGER

HANNIBAL BURESS 2.15-17 @ The American Comedy Co., americancomedyco.com

SOMETIMES WHEN I WATCH PORN, I PUT MY HOODIE ON SO I FEEL CREEPIER. — Hannibal Buress on Just for Laughs

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2.1 STEVEN WRIGHT

2.9-11 LIZA TREYGER

@ Balboa Theatre, sandiegotheatres.org

@ The Comedy Store, thecomedystore.com/la-jolla

“Curiosity killed the cat, but, for a while, I was a suspect.” — Steven Wright on A Steven Wright Special

“Do you ever have a day where it’s like I better get my period ASAP or I guess I have to check myself into a mental hospital?” — Liza Treyger on Twitter

2.1-3 NOAH GARDENSWARTZ @ The American Comedy Co., americancomedyco.com

“Earlier in the week, I got a new beard trimmer. That’s exciting, ’cause that means my old beard trimmer is now my new ball-hair trimmer. And my old ballhair trimmer is now my friend Kyle’s new beard trimmer.” — Noah Gardenswartz on Conan

2.1-3 STEVE BYRNE @ The Comedy Store, thecomedystore.com/la-jolla

“You ever hear other people having sex? You ever hear that? That’s uncomfortable. I stay in a lot of hotel rooms. I walk down the hall at 2 or 3 in the morning, and you hear it. And you know it when you hear it. Somebody didn’t stub their toe 38 times in a row in under 2 minutes. Someone is banging. And it ain’t you.” — Steve Byrne on Happy Hour

2.2 DEMETRI MARTIN @ Balboa Theatre, sandiegotheatres.org

“I used to compete in sports a lot. Then I realized you can buy trophies. Now I’m good at everything.” — Demetri Martin on Comedy Gold!

2.3 LEWIS BLACK @ Balboa Theatre, sandiegotheatres.org

“As we all well know, pot is a gateway drug, isn’t it? It’s a gateway drug... to the kitchen.” — Lewis Black on Just for Laughs

2.16 TIFFANY HADDISH @ Pechanga Resort, pechanga.com

“After I left my grandma’s and graduated high school and everything, I got accepted into NYU, y’all. I was supposed to go to NYU. Don’t clap, ’cause I didn’t go. Make no sense to me, because $30,000 a semester. How am I paying $30,000 a semester? How many d*cks do I gotta suck to get this education?” — Tiffany Haddish on From the Hood to Hollywood

2.16-18 THEO VON @ The Comedy Store, thecomedystore.com/la-jolla

“Just landed in Los Angeles and they are making me get a permit to be a straight male.” — Theo Von on Twitter

2.22-24 DAVE ATTELL @ The American Comedy Co., americancomedyco.com

“My dad used to beat me when I was a kid. He’d always go, ‘Dave, I really don’t want to hit you, but this is the only thing that gets me hard.’ Oh, come on. It’s a joke. You know I don’t know who my dad is. I have no idea. I was raised in a carnival.” — Dave Attell on Road Work

PHOTOS: HANNIBAL BURESS BY TIMOTHY NORRIS; STEVEN WRIGHT BY BY SCOTT GRIES/GETTY IMAGES; STEVE BYRNE BY BY JASON DAVIS/GETTY IMAGES; DEMETRI MARTIN BY ILYA S. SAVENOK; LEWIS BLACK BY JAMIE MCCARTHY/ GETTY IMAGES; LIZA TREYGER BY JASON KEMPIN/GETTY IMAGES; TIFFANY HADDISH BY ANDREW TOTH/GETTY IMAGES; THEO VON BY MATT WINKELMEYER/ GETTY IMAGES; DAVE ATTELL BY NICHOLAS HUNT/GETTY IMAGES.

@PACIFICSD

FEBRUARY 2018

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BREAKFAST LUNCH & DINNER!


PULSE ARTS | COOLTURE ART BEAT BY LISA DEADERICK

CLOCKWISE (from top left): “Rock Candy Hammer” by Kelly Vivanco; “The King of the Forest” by Aya Kakeda; “Unwanted Adornment” by Jon MacNair and “The Lady with the Fire and Ice Sword” by Aya Kakeda.

2.10-3.3 8 X 8 SQUARED: A GROUP SHOW CURATED BY KELLY VIVANCO Distinction Gallery, 317 E. Grand Ave., Escondido, 760.707.2770, distinctionart.com More than a dozen artists create new, 8-by-8-inch paintings, curated by Escondido artist Kelly Vivanco. 40

FEBRUARY 2018 @PACIFICSD


CRAFTED WITH ROASTED DARK MALTS AND REFINED HOP BITTERNESS

EXPERIENCE THE DARKER SIDE OF SAPPORO SAPPOROBEER.COM

PLEASE SHARE SAPPORO RESPONSIBLY. ©2016 SAPPORO U.S.A., INC., NEW YORK, NY


PULSE

Art Beat

February gallery + exhibit openings BY LISA DEADERICK

2.1-24 HEARTS ON FIRE 2018

“Sweet Dreams” by Dawn Secord.

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Brandon Gallery, 105 N. Main Ave., Fallbrook 760.723.1330, fallbrookbrandongallery.org Love is in the air and in the works on display by local artists exploring the symbols and stories of love through their art.


“Ship of State” by Deanne McKeown.

“Avacado Paisley” by June Rubin.

2.2 DOODLES AND ABSTRACTIONS June Rubin Studio, 2690 Historic Decatur Rd., No. 214, Liberty Station, 858.229.4571, junerubin.com Meet artist June Rubin during this opening reception and take a look at her mixed media art, from a watercolor and pen doodle to abstract watercolor on a paper towel.

2.2-25 THE CROW SHOW 2018 The Studio Door, 3750 30th St., North Park, 619.255.4920, thestudiodoor.com The smart and social crow, which has been seen as both a sign of tragedy or bearer of good news, serves as the inspiration for this annual exhibition with artists offering their creative interpretations of the bird.

League of Women Voters, 1920.

2.2-4.1 CALIFORNIA WOMEN’S CLUBS Women’s Museum of California, 2730 Historic Decatur Rd., Ste. 103, Liberty Station, 619.233.7963, womensmuseumca.org From social gatherings and book clubs to political power and public policy, women’s clubs began during a time when women’s roles and opportunities were being restricted.

@PACIFICSD

FEBRUARY 2018

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PULSE | ART BEAT A still from the documentary Legacy of Heart Mountain.

2.16-4.15 JAPANESE AMERICANS & THE IMPACT OF INTERNMENT: MODERN LENS, OLD WOUNDS New Americans Museum, 2825 Dewey Rd., Ste. 102, Liberty Station 619.756.7707, newamericansmuseum.org This video installation of the documentary Legacy of Heart Mountain is complemented by the works of Japanese-American artists and focuses on the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

2.10 LIUDMILA KONDAKOVA: THE ART OF ROMANCE Martin Lawrence Galleries 1111 Prospect St., La Jolla 858.551.1122, martinlawrence.com This special exhibition showcases original paintings and limited edition prints — focused on old cobblestone buildings to bring out a sense of nostalgia and romance — along with an opportunity to meet the artist, Liudmila Kondakova.

2.17-3.30 LORI COZEN-GELLER: ORIGINS Madison Gallery, 1055 Wall St., La Jolla 858.459.0836, madisongalleries.com The work of sculptor Lori Cozen-Geller is presented in this retrospective exhibition that looks at her career and minimalist approach. 44

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“Paris” by Moonlight Kondakova.

“Au Revoir” by Lori Cozen-Geller.


Artwork by Kate Ashton.

2.17-3.17 EVERYTHING NEW Ashton Gallery, 4434 30th St., North Park, 619.894.9009, ashtonartgallery.com Get a look at new artwork by local artists, plus work that celebrates the Chinese New Year (the Year of the Dog).

@PACIFICSD

FEBRUARY 2018

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PULSE

Curtain Calls

February performing arts BY JAMES HEBERT

2.5-2.25 I LOVE YOU BECAUSE OB Playhouse & Theatre Company 4944 Newport Ave., Ocean Beach 619.795.9305, obtheatrecompany.com Jane Austen gets put through the modern rom-com mixmaster in this off-Broadway chamber musical, directed by Justin Tuazon.

2.9-11 DIRTY DANCING San Diego Civic Theatre 1100 Third Ave., downtown 619.570.1100, broadwaysd.org Nobody puts Baby (or this campy classic) in a corner: The musical version of the steamy 1987 movie returns to town for a quick spin.

2.10 AN INTIMATE EVENING WITH LUCIE ARNAZ Moonlight Amphitheatre 1250 Vale Terrace Dr., Vista 760.724.2110, moonlightstage.com The longtime screen and stage star — and member of a famous show-biz family — sings classics and spins tales as part of Moonlight’s ClubM cabaret series.

2.10-2.11 UNCLE VANYA Old Globe Theatre 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park 619.234.5623, theoldglobe.org The Chekhov masterwork of Russian romance and existential angst gets a new look at the Globe, courtesy of the distinguished translators and theater artists Richard Nelson, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.

THE CAKE

2.16-3.25 CAMPING WITH HENRY & TOM

2.22-2.25 SAN DIEGO KUUMBA FEST: BLACK 2 POSITION

Lamb’s Players Theatre, 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.437.6000, lambsplayers.org Lamb’s puts up the San Diego premiere of Mark St. Germain’s fact-based play about a very consequential camping trip (!) with Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and a certain president of the United States.

Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, downtown, 619.544.1000, sdrep.org The annual celebration of African-American theater, dance and much more returns to San Diego Rep for a 26th year.

2.16-2.18 RITMOS LATINOS

2.21-3.18 THIS RANDOM WORLD

San Diego Ballet at the Lyceum Theatre 79 Horton Plaza, downtown 619.544.1000, sandiegoballet.org Javier Velasco’s company premieres this brand-new, Latin-influenced piece, written and performed by jazz ace Gilbert Castellanos and performed by a top San Diego ensemble.

North Coast Repertory Theatre 987 Lomas Santa Fe Dr., Solana Beach 858.481.1055, northcoastrep.org Missed connections and the curiosities of crisscrossed lives are at the center of Steven Dietz’s bittersweet play about making peace with serendipity.

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2.6-3.4

La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Dr., Playhouse/UCSD Theatre District, La Jolla, 858.550.1010, lajollaplayhouse.org The cuttingly funny playwright Bekah Brunstetter (who also writes for TV’s This Is Us) takes cues from a real-life Supreme Court case in her new exploration of gay rights and cultural conflict.

2.24-3.4 TURANDOT San Diego Opera at the San Diego Civic Theatre 1100 Third Ave., downtown 619.533.7000, sdopera.org The renowned Turandot interpreter Lise Lindstrom takes on the lead role in Giacomo Puccini’s final, spectacular opera about an ice-veined Chinese princess, based on ancient fable.


“A raucous, immensely moving comedy!” The New York Times

★★★★!

HIGH-ENERGY

TRIUMPH! ” THE GUARDIAN

By Qui Nguyen

“RIOTOUS AND SIMPLY

HONEST.” LA Times

Directed by Jesca Prudencio

A love story like no other, this sexy comedy offers a mashup of comic book aesthetics, martial arts and hip-hop, while recounting a family’s true history of fleeing Vietnam and immigrating to America.

January 25 - February 18 In the Lyceum Space

Get Tickets Now! 619.544.1000 | SDREP.ORG | Lyceum Theatre | Horton Plaza

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PULSE | PRO FILE

Area of

S E X P E R T I S E Doctor’s goal is to lift the veil on the stigmas cloaking sex in order to empower people between the sheets

Dr. Jill McDevitt helps adults grow more sexually knowledgeable, introspective and selfcompassionate so they can feel good — sexually and emotionally. As a sexologist, sexuality educator and sexual wellness coach, she is basically a personal trainer for people’s sex lives. By teaching fun sex education classes for grown-ups, offering one-on-one sexual wellness coaching, writing books, maintaining a killer educational sex Instagram page and selling a highly curated collection of vibes, lubes and condoms, she has earned her stripes. PACIFIC recently spoke with Dr. Jill about love, sexuality and sexphobia. In her own words I think sexuality is f**cking awesome and a central, vital part of what makes us human. I also think sexuality is too often used as a weapon to shame, fear and oppress each other and that makes me really sad and angry. That is the passion that fuels my work. It started when I found out about the existence of my clitoris — inadvertently as a teenager — and become embarrassed, and then infuriated, that no one taught me about it before. I vowed to teach the world about clits when I grew up and bring female sexuality out of the shadows, and here we are. What’s the best part of your job as a sexologist? I get to live my life with the reward of knowing I’m making an impact on people’s lives in real and meaningful ways. I’ve been doing this for 10 years now, so it’s not uncommon for me to receive out-of-theblue emails or social media messages from folks letting me know that I was the first, or 48

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only, person to ever say to them, “I hear you,” “I believe you,” “that’s totally valid,” “that’s completely normal,” “I’m not judging you,” “you have the right to say no” or “it’s YOUR body” and they’ve never forgotten it. That’s a powerful, powerful connection I get to have with other humans through my sex education work, and I’m so grateful I get to do this. What are the biggest misconceptions people have when they find out you are a sexologist? I’m met with an unfortunate number of misconceptions that sexology isn’t a “real thing” or worse, that human sexual behavior isn’t a subject worth serious scientific inquiry. So much sexphobia. On the flip side, there also is a misconception that sexology is just teaching people how to have a good roll in the hay, when really that’s about .001% of what sexuality is about when you take into account all the physical, emotional, psychological, social and political aspects of what it means to be a sexual being. But because of this misconception, I hear a lot of, “I have a lot of good sex, so does that make me a sexologist?” And I have to be like, “I have a heart, but I’m not a cardiothoracic surgeon,” ya know? What tips can you give men and women about having a healthier attitude towards sex and a more vibrant sex life in 2018? Vow to stop slut-shaming people in 2018 — if we’re weaponizing sexuality, we aren’t living a healthy sexual life no matter how good the sex we’re having may be. Be introspective. Never stop learning about sexuality. Prioritize sexual self-care. Hire a sexologist.

I HEAR A LOT OF, ‘I HAVE A LOT OF GOOD SEX, SO DOES THAT MAKE ME A SEXOLOGIST?’ AND I HAVE TO BE LIKE, ‘I HAVE A HEART, BUT I’M NOT A CARDIOTHORACIC SURGEON,’ YA KNOW? —DR. JILL MCDEVITT

DR. JILL MCDEVITT

Sexologist Hometown: Suburban Philadelphia, but San Diego is my forever home. Current neighborhood: Ocean Beach. Website: thesexologist.org Instagram: @sexdocjill Facebook: facebook.com/sexdocjill


PHOTO BY ANDREW ROE

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PULSE | PRO FILE What is the craziest or most bizarre thing that has happened to you in your professional life? Oh, every day is a new adventure. Once I was hired to do teach my Female Orgasm 101 class at a nudist resort. I was the only clothed person there, and on the drive there, a hurricane hit and I almost died. Another time, I did a workshop on sexual diversity at Yale University. Fox News and the Drudge Report picked up the story about it from Yale’s student newspaper, except they twisted it into this completely bizarre story that my workshop was about teaching students how to engage in bestiality in the classroom. So absurd! Watching the rumors go viral and getting death threats was just a surreal experience. I did an interview with Sean Hannity and then cut the mic on live air. It was a time, man. What’s your biggest goal when conducting a sex education class or workshop? I’m not hoping people walk away saying, “Wow, I never knew that” — you have Google and Wikipedia, you don’t really need me for that. Instead, my biggest goal in a workshop is that people walk away saying, “Wow, I never thought about it that way before.” That’s where the real, transformative learning is. What are some of your favorite new sex toys and products? One, clit cream; it’s a dance in your pants! Two, lube; use it, love it. Wetter sex is better sex. Three, the Magic Wand; it may be the world’s ugliest, bulkiest, ridiculous-looking vibrator, but it also is the world’s best vibrator, so we don’t judge it on its looks.

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What advice do you have for people who are playing the dating game in San Diego? Dating has become a platform for just abusing strangers, so if you’re looking to have a good time and get to know someone as a potential partner, probably don’t do that. That means don’t say “hi,” “hey,” “what’s up” a million times in a row. Don’t make obscene sexual remarks within seconds of meeting. Don’t send unsolicited photos of your genitals. Don’t be verbally abusive when someone declines a date. Don’t ghost. Don’t flake. Don’t make a date with dozens of people and then ditch some when someone better comes along. Don’t treat people like they are disposable and be careless with their emotions. Best date spot in San Diego? I really loved the sand castle-building lesson date (sandiegosand.com). So unique, gets you outside, being creative, working together as a team, with plenty of time for talking. What do you think is San Diego’s coolest neighborhood and why? I’m biased, but Ocean Beach. My values around sexuality, bodies and how we treat each other are very progressive and accepting, so I need to be in an environment that is similarly progressive and accepting. Favorite San Diego restaurant? Baja Beach Café — because margaritas the size of your head. Favorite San Diego boutiques/stores? I like Claytime Ceramics for when I’m in a crafty mood. Favorite San Diego happy hour? South Beach Bar and Grille — amazing sunset views.

THIS PAGE (from top): Sliquid Naturals lubricant in Sizzle, sliquid. com; Crazy Girl Cherry Bomb clitoral arousal cream, amazon.com; Magic Wand vibrator, hitachimagic.com; the pier in Ocean Beach. OPPOSITE PAGE: Dr. Jill poses with Margeaux, the vulva puppet, one of her sex education teaching tools.

NELVIN C. CEPEDA

What is the #88dates project? My husband Ryan and I embarked on a challenge to go on 88 unique dates in one year. We did everything from getting pedicures to roller skating, building a home science experiment to taking a sand castlebuilding lesson. We shared the story on Instagram, and now I’m turning it into my next book. After the (2014 Isla Vista) shooting (near UC Santa Barbara), we learned that women were targeted because the killer had backwards ideas about gender and felt he was deprived the sex from women he believed he was entitled to. I was despondent.

#88dates grew out of a desire to get me out of my depression around that shooting, to do something full of fun and love to remind me those things do still exist in a violent world, and to model healthy masculinity and healthy relationships to my followers.


MY BIGGEST GOAL IN A WORKSHOP IS THAT PEOPLE WALK AWAY SAYING, ‘WOW, I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT THAT WAY BEFORE.’ THAT’S WHERE THE REAL, TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING IS. —DR. JILL MCDEVITT

PHOTO BY ANDREW ROE

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Singer has proved through adversity that’s she’s able to dust off her Blue Jeans and soldier on to success BY GEORGE VARGA

If Lana Del Rey spends Valentine’s Day munching on very expensive chocolates and smacking her lips, well, who can blame her? To cite the opening line of a 1983 ZZ Top classic that was released two years before her birth: “She’s got legs, she knows how to use them.” The lyrics are not meant to literally refer to Del Rey’s legs, but to her longevity. Her career has lasted, and thrived, far more than anyone could have predicted after her disastrous 2012 debut on Saturday Night Live. Del Rey did two numbers on that telecast, Video Games and Blue Jeans, and her vocally challenged singing and deer-in-the-headlights expression made her the subject of instant national ridicule. Or, as actress/musician Juliette Lewis tweeted at the time: “Wow, watching this ‘singer’ on SNL is like watching a 12-year-old in their bedroom when they’re pretending to sing and perform #signofourtimes.” Del Rey could have packed it in and retreated into obscurity, as the title of her 2012 debut album, Born to Die, suggested. Instead, she persevered, proving her haters wrong and earning commercial success and critical praise for her four subsequent albums, including 2017’s Grammy-nominated Lust for Life. So expect some lip-smacking in between her moody songs of doomed love when Del Rey performs Feb. 15 at Valley View Casino Center. She’s earned the right to smack away. PHOTO BY ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/GETTYIMAGE S

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THREE PHOTOS ABOVE BY CHRISTOPHER POLK/GETTY IMAGES BOTTOM RIGHT PHOTO BY MIKE COPPOLA/GETTY IMAGES

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Real name: Elizabeth Grant Birthplace: New York City Schooling: Del Rey has a degree in metaphysics from Fordham University. First record: A three-track EP called Kill Kill in 2008, released under the name Lizzy Grant. Albums: Born to Die (2012); Paradise (2012); Ultraviolence (2014); Honeymoon (2015); Lust for Life (2017). Déjà vu: Lust for Life is also the title of a classic 1977 album by punk-rock godfather Iggy Pop. Grammy nominations to date: Four. Famous collaborators: Sean Lennon, Stevie Nicks. Did you know?  Del Rey’s producer and songwriting collaborator, Rick Nowels, has previously worked with Madonna, Tupac Shakur, John Legend, Santana & Michelle Branch, CeeLo Green, New Radicals, Lykke Li and former San Diego troubadour Jewel. Biggest influences: John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Britney Spears. Cover me: Songs by other artists that Del Rey has recorded include Blue Velvet (previously done by Tony Bennett in 1961 and Bobby Vinton in 1963), Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Nina Simone in 1954, The Animals in 1965) and The Other Woman (Nina Simone in 1959). Del Rey’s 2017 song Cherry was inspired by Simon & Garfunkel’s 1966 hit Scarborough Fair, which Del Rey is inserting into her performances of Cherry on her current tour. She has also covered Leonard Cohen’s 1974 gem Chelsea Hotel No. 2 in concert. Wish fulfillment? In 2007, Lizzy Grant (as Del Rey was then known) wrote and recorded a song called Axl Rose Husband. In 2012, she was reported to be briefly dating the Guns N’ Roses singer. Name game: Prior to assuming the stage name Lana Del Rey, she performed as Lana Rey Del Mar (no relation to where the turf meets the surf), May Jailer and (our favorite!) Sparkle Jump Rope Queen. Her Lana Del Rey moniker was jointly inspired by legendary actress and sex symbol Lana Turner and the Ford Del Rey automobile. Take that! Near the start of her career, Del Rey did several gigs in New York with Stefani Germanotta, who went on to earn fame as Lady Gaga. An early Del Rey song, So Legit, appeared to take aim at Germanotta, with the line: “Stefani, you suck!” Del Rey later claimed the lyrics were misunderstood. Quote of note: “I’ve got good intentions. It’s not always going to come out right — it hasn’t come out right a lot of the time — but at the core my intentions have always been so good. With the music or when I get into a relationship, it’s always just because I really want to.”

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A romance guide to San Diego’s idyllic vistas, unique date opportunities and how to navigate Valentine’s Day no matter what your status BY LAURIE DELK

Dating in paradise, aka San Diego, is something akin to running the American Ninja Warrior course. It’s heartpumping, exhilarating and often suspended above reality, but it also has its fair share of embarrassing, head-first collisions. As a transient town, San Diego has a surplus of worthy candidates that are here one day, gone the next. Add to this the distractions of surfing and skating, wandering eyes (there are hot people everywhere) and other potential dates a mere phone swipe away (hello, commitment-

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phobia), and it makes for a warrior-level challenge for single ladies and gents. To guide daters through this epic quest for love and relationship success, PACIFIC has the bases covered with memorable first date ideas, the most romantic spots in town, how to navigate a Valentine’s Day on the local scene and a gift guide for every step of the relationship that would get a stamp of approval from Cupid. What happens next is up to you. Happy dating, San Diego.


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FIRST IMPRESSIONS

PHOTO BY RICK NOCON

Leave a lasting imprint with a unique date idea With gorgeous weather year-round and a plethora of outdoor and cultural activities, a simple bar or coffee rendezvous might not pass muster. Expectations are higher than ever for first-date fireworks, so initial engagements need to be fun, original and memorable. These five first-date ideas are a surefire way to break the ice.

GO BEER HUNTING In the land of nearly 200 craft breweries, there couldn’t be a more appropriate first date. Get driven around to various craft breweries for tours and tastes with Scavenger Beer Tour. Choose from a downtown San Diego or North County tour, which includes visits to three breweries, a full tour at one, tasters in a souvenir glass, canned craft beer to drink on the road and a meal from Phil’s BBQ. If you can’t have fun on this $89 beer tour, then the relationship is doomed before it starts. brewerytoursandiego.com

TAKE A DIP AT THE DIVE-IN With San Diego’s year-round good weather, leave cozying up by the fire with a movie to East Coasters. It’s time to take your date poolside for a movie and a (optional) dip at the Pearl Hotel’s Dive-In. Classic movies, shown at 8 p.m., are projected onto a 10-foot by 13-foot screen, with food served until 10 p.m. and drinks until 11 p.m. February films include Dirty Dancing, Magic Mike (for a “Galentine’s viewing”), Pretty Woman and Sixteen Candles. thepearlsd.com/divein

BRAINS ARE SEXY

THIS PAGE Top: A couple enjoys Hoppy Yoga at Green Flash Brewing Co. Below: A featured grilled sausage from the Regal Beagle. OPPOSITE PAGE The Pearl Hotel’s Dive-In movie experience allows viewers to watch movies from the hotel pool.

Go beyond back-and-forth text messages explaining the merits and pitfalls of Netflix binging, Game of Thrones and sundry pop culture topics. Trivia nights are a great way to gauge whether your date is all brains or just brawn. The Regal Beagle in Mission Hills rules Wednesday nights, while Park & Rec in University Heights and Wonderland OB both get points for their Tuesday trivia nights. sunsettrivia.com

CHEERS TO WORKING OUT Get physical (and a little boozy) with various Hoppy Yoga events around the city. Participating breweries include Culture, Bay City and Green Flash. Classes are $20, but packages are available if you find love on the mat. Take Flight Yoga hosts its Bends and Brews at Karl Strauss at 11:30 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month, and a Stretch and Sip series at 10:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Sundays of each month at Belching Beaver. $20 tickets include the first beer. Get long and lean at Barrel Republic Pacific Beach’s Pilates and Pints at 11 a.m. every third Saturday of the month. hoppyyoga.com; facebook.com/TakeFlightYoga; barrelrepublic.com

GO GEOCACHING With thousands of caches hidden around San Diego, it’s a seemingly never-ending joyride of treasure hunting for those always looking to solve a mystery. If love strikes, the adventure can roll on with Geo Tours around the United States and global locales. And the best part: it’s free! geocaching.com 60

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PHOTO BY JOHN R MCUTCHEN


PHOTO BY K.C. ALFRED

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Romantic spots in San Diego to fall in love with BY LESLIE HACKETT

You can buy all of the gifts in the world for the one that you love, but even research has shown that experiences more than material goods are what make people happy. With that in mind, PACIFIC has rounded up some romantic places around San Diego to let love run wild.

BAYVIEW PARK, CORONADO There are a good number of places around Coronado that could be defined as romantic, but Bayview Park tops them all. Nestled back off the beaten path (read: away from tourists) this small, intimate park has sweeping views of the downtown skyline. There are only a few benches in the park, but if you can get one (or bring your own blanket), it’s the perfect place to take your sweetie as the sun sets and downtown starts to twinkle with lights. 413 First St., Coronado, coronadovisitorcenter.com

GUY FLEMING TRAIL BENCH, TORREY PINES STATE NATURAL RESERVE Beauty abounds at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. With countless picture-perfect spots, none is more romantic than the northwest point of the Guy Fleming Trail. The trail is the first that you come to when you ascend the hill to the reserve. From the start of the trail, the shortest route is to the right from the first fork. The full loop is 6/10 of a mile. 12600 N. Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, torreypine.org

BOTANICAL BUILDING, BALBOA PARK Pictured from the outside many times over on Instagram accounts around the world, the less-snapped (instead of lesser-snapped) inside of the Botanical Building at Balboa Park opens up a whole new romantic world. Filled with more than 2,000 plants, there are several quiet nooks (some with babbling fountains) to enjoy a quiet kiss with a loved one. And don’t forget to look up and marvel at the ornate architecture of the building — complete with angelic rays of sunshine beaming in — which was built for the 1915-16 Exposition. 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, balboapark.org

ROOFTOP OF BERTRAND AT MISTER A’S, BANKERS HILL Sit back, relax and sip champagne or any one of the numerous specialty cocktails offered at Mister A’s in Bankers Hill. Ascend to the 12th-floor space during the day and watch arriving planes fly by and dream about the next vacation you and your honey will go on, or arrive in the late afternoon and watch the sun sink into the Pacific Ocean. Either way, this spot is the toast of romance. 2550 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill, 619.239.1377, asrestaurant.com

MOONLIGHT BEACH, ENCINITAS Imagine snuggling up on a blanket after sunset, the surrounding area lit only by moonlight and waves softly crashing on the beach. Sounds like an opening scene from a Nicholas Sparks romance novel, but in fact, it’s one that can be created on the shores of Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. 62

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According to the California State Parks website, the word “moonlight” in the name of this beach comes from the fact that “local residents used to come to the area for midnight picnics early in the early 1900s.” 400 B St., Encinitas, parks.ca.gov

BRIAR ROSE WINERY, TEMECULA While technically just outside of San Diego County, if you have a Disney fan in your life, then this should be your No. 1 spot. Nestled off the road just south of Rancho California Road in the heart of Temecula winery territory sits Briar Rose Winery. Enter the property on a winding path to a garden that surrounds a cottage akin to something straight out of a Disney movie (thus the name Briar Rose, which was Sleeping Beauty’s name). Grab a bottle from the gift shop to accompany lunch in the garden or try a few glasses in the wood-lined tasting room. Tastings are by reservation only. 41720 Calle Cabrillo, Temecula, 951.308.1098 or briarrosewinery.com


PHOTO BY LESLIE HACKETT

PHOTO BY SEAN M. HAFFEY

CLOCKWISE (from top left): A view of the city from the famed rooftop at Bertrand at Mr. A’s restaurant; San Diego’s skyline as seen from Bayview Park in Coronado; the Guy Fleming Trail bench at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve; Balboa Park’s Botanical Building.

PHOTO BY HAYNE PALMOUR IV

PHOTO BY LESLIE HACKETT

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FINDING CUPID’S ARROW

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Whether single or coupled up, love is in the air at these San Diego Valentine’s events BY LAURIE DELK

Navigating Valentine’s Day is like running a proverbial gauntlet. With dating expectations at their highest, and new dates just a swipe away, it’s time to put on a game face and get into the ring — so to speak. Whether single and looking, happily solo, or smitten in a relationship, here’s a primer on Valentine’s Day in San Diego.

SINGLE AND LOOKING It sounds cliché, but put yourself out there. Go where you have interests, whether it’s a coffee bar, brewery, urban winery or the dive bar down the street. Don’t go somewhere you can’t relate, because it’s likely the person you meet there won’t have anything in common with you either. Stick to your instincts, and Cupid’s arrow might just find its way. Ready to throw caution to the wind? Meet more than 200 fellow singles at the San Diego Cloud9 Valentine’s Locks, Keys, and Singles Masquerade Party at the DoubleTree in downtown San Diego. Have fun looking for the perfect lock-and-key match, with the first 150 guests receiving a free masquerade mask to take home. ($20-25) 1646 Front St., downtown, 619.239.6800, eventbrite.com

HAPPILY SINGLE Grab your gal pals and head to the Galentine’s event at Katherine Cosmetics in Flower Hill Promenade. Celebrate the love of friendship over wine, cheese and refreshments, while basking in a complimentary makeup session from on-site makeup artists. Want to treat your friends? Ladies can purchase one makeup application for $60 and get one free for a soul sister. 2690 Via de la Valle, Del Mar, katherinecosmetics.com

COUPLED The thought does count — a lot. A box of chocolates and bottle of Cook’s from CVS isn’t even remotely a good idea. Ditto for roses wrapped in plastic with the price tag still affixed. Unless this is some cheeky tradition in your relationship, it shows zero thought. It’s easy to put forth a modicum of effort for maximum reward: Get locally grown flowers from roadside vendors, Target, or yes, CVS, or an interesting bunch from Trader Joe’s. Take off the plastic and spring for a keeper vase (hello, HomeGoods) to put them in. Go local with incredible chocolate selections from Chuao, Dallmann Confections, Eclipse, Chi Chocolat, Andrea’s Truffles and others. And lastly, head to a locally run wine shop like San Diego Wine Co. or The Wine Connection for an upgrade on that bottom-shelf selection. Better yet, grab a bottle from one of the local wineries for a fullon San Diego V-Day. And don’t forget to check out the Valentine’s Gift Guide on page 65 for more ideas to woo your boo. 64

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Think outside of the box: Head to the San Diego Museum of Art for Sonnets and Sips and an all-inclusive evening of art, verse and eats. Begin with a museum tour of romantic art, followed by a picnic basket meal at Panama 66, and top it all off with a poetry showcase from the San Diego Shakespeare Society in the adjacent sculpture garden. sdmart.org Want to stay in or picnic privately on the beach? Pick up a Valentine’s dinner picnic basket for two from Provisional Kitchen at the Pendry Hotel, which comes complete with candles and a blanket. 425 Fifth Ave., 619.738.7300, pendryhotels.com/san-diego While you’re at it, take dinner out of the box too: You aren’t your grandparents and this isn’t 1965. Or 1995. Chateaubriand for two and a bottle of red wine isn’t the only option. Go on an international Valentine’s Day tour with one of the following options: Tajima “Valentine’s Dinner for Ramen-tics” for two is a knockout deal for two bowls of ramen (Tonkotsu, Tajima, Spicy Sesame, Creamy Chicken, Vegan), a bottle of Nigori Sake Sayuri, and two mochi ice creams. ($30) Various locations, tajimasandiego.com At Del Sur Mexican Cantina, the “Tú es mi Corazón” is perfect for lovers, including a three-course dinner for two with two house margaritas or sangrias, a street corn or queso fondido, choice of two specialty plates, and a churro to share. 2310 30th St., South Park, 619.501.0643, delsurmexicancantina.com


BUY, BUY LOVE

Romance doesn’t come with a price tag, but these gifts may help Valentine’s Day gift giving can be an exciting, albeit daunting, adventure. Whether basking in the lust and obsession of a newfound relationship or working toward the long haul, there is an appropriate level of gifting at each big milestone (i.e.: maybe skip over skywriting “I love you!” in the first weeks of dating). PACIFIC has rounded up a few swoon-worthy gifts for any stage of a relationship. UNDER 2 MONTHS Everything is bright sunshine and daisies at this level of the relationship. No ugly skeletons, no discernable dealbreakers, just full-throttle passion, butterflies and 24/7 obsession. Grab a Valentine’s Day Pizza Kit from Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill and turn up the heat with your new sweetheart. The make-at-home kits are stocked with everything necessary to create a heart-shaped pizza, including dough, sauce, cheese and pepperoni if requested, along with easy instructions. Crust varieties include regular, whole wheat or glutenfree. Bonus: Post culinary creations on Instagram or Facebook with #iheartsammys, and Sammy’s will pick a winner for a $100 gift card. Multiple locations, sammyspizza.com If sweet treats are more appetizing, nab a box of Mini Churro Cannolis from Puesto for a low-key but thoughtful gift. Each Puesto pink box will have two churro cannoli flavors, including Chocolate Chip and Crema with Cajeta, Chocolate Almond Latte with Spiced Mocha Sauce and Strawberry Guava with Sweet Pistachio Sauce. Be sure to pre-order for pickup on Valentine’s Day only. Multiple locations, eatpuesto.com

Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill’s Valentine’s Day Pizza Kit is perfect for your pizza-loving significant other; love-inspired pouches from Fairen Del; mini churro cannolis from Puesto are sure to satisfy.

UNDER 6 MONTHS Love and lust should still be going strong at this point in the relationship. Things may be starting to get serious, but are likely still out of engagement or lifelong commitment status. Keep love sparked with the sensual gift of Italian cooking. This pastamaking class at Cucina Sorella, led by chef de cuisine Daniel Wolinsky, teaches techniques of homemade pasta and includes lunch and a glass of wine. Mold and roll that pasta like Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze work clay in Ghost, all while sharing sidelong glances at your love muffin. 4055 Adams Ave., Kensington, 619.281.4014, cucinasorella.com

1 YEAR Definitely a major milestone in any relationship, this is when things get serious, and more long-term gifts become appropriate (along with the upswing in sticker price). Fairen Del, the multi-level fashion and travel boutique at Flower Hill in Del Mar has a variety of love-inspired eye candy. For V-Day, the shop is offering small, medium and large pouches emblazoned with love phrases including “All for Love” and “Love you to the Moon and Back.” For a memorable and environmentally impactful gift, pick one of the wrap bracelet designs with mauve freshwater pearls, brass beads and rose quartz on a silk hand-knotted cord. 2690 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, 858.259.1120, fairendel.com

2 YEARS AND BEYOND By the time a relationship reaches this impressive milestone, marriage (and potentially kids) are clearly on the table, if you aren’t there already. While much of the love and excitement still remains, as you’ve settled in for the long haul, life may have started getting in the way of quality time together. So, plan some time for just the two of you to help rekindle the flames of passion. Book the day or evening with your bae at the newly remodeled and impressively luxurious Westfield UTC. Go ice skating at the rink, lounge in the mall-wide comfy seating, sit out by the fire pits and listen to live music at Plaza Unplugged in the evening, grab a coffee and ice cream, and dine at one of the stellar restaurant choices. Go upscale with Larsen’s Steakhouse, Bazille, or True Food Kitchen, or keep it casual with Napizza, Eureka!, or Shake Shack. Present your honey with a basket full of treats and gift cards from his or her favorite stores and let them run wild and free. Guaranteed to rank high on the thoughtfulness and quality-time meter, it will be a day you won’t forget in your journey together. 4545 La Jolla Village Dr., University Town Center, 858.546.8858, westfield.com/utc

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TASTE EAT | DRINK | PUFF DINING OUT BY PAM KRAGEN

Slurp of Satisfaction

Noodle-lovers know there’s nothing like a big bowl of ramen — brimming with pork, boiled eggs, and the all-important broth — to serve as comfort food whenever the mood strikes Steaming bowls of ramen aren’t just reserved for San Diego’s rare cold — OK, under 60 degrees — nights. Ramen (the Japanese word for “pull,” representing the hand-pulled Chinese noodles in the dish) and its richly flavored broth and toppings is growing in popularity among locals, and on any given day or night, lines can be spotted outside some of the most buzz-worthy locations. So where to go for a great bowl of ramen in San Diego? PACIFIC asked members of the Facebook group Eating and Drinking in San Diego, as well as several other area ramen aficionados, to name their favorites and the following 16 locations are what topped their lists.

UNDERBELLY, NORTH PARK & LITTLE ITALY With locations in Little Italy and North Park, Underbelly’s stylish ramen bars are known for their not-too-heavy broth — with just the right ratio of flavor to fat — and interesting add-ins like confit chicken, eggplant-wrapped tofu and garlic miso butter. Try: Belly of the Beast, with oxtail dumplings and beef short rib. 750 W. Fir St., Little Italy; 3000 Upas St., No. 104, North Park, godblessunderbelly.com PHOTO BY JOHN DOLE

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TASTE | DINING MENYA ULTRA RAMEN, KEARNY MESA Menya Ultra came in first place by a country mile with local ramen lovers. The credit goes to its noodles, made in-house twice daily with wheat flour imported from Hokkaido, Japan. Menya noodles are known for a distinctive sweet wheat scent, smooth texture and springy consistency. Founder Takashi Endo opened his first Menya shop more than 20 years ago in Japan and has since expanded throughout Asia. Last year, he chose San Diego as his first U.S. market, prompting a visit last spring by Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, who declared Endo’s ramen the best in America. A second outlet is planned later this year in Mira Mesa. Be prepared: The shop is so popular that diners wait in line up to two hours on weeknights and weekends. 8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Ste. M, 858.571.2010, menya-ultra.com

NISHIKI RAMEN, KEARNY MESA Opened in 2015 by Japanese chefs Jimmy Kitayama and Mike Furuichi, Nishiki is renowned for its noodles, made in-house daily. Its tonkotsu is cooked for 24 hours. And its choshu pork add-in is so tender, fans say it melts in the mouth. The Smoke Bomb Black ramen, with black roasted garlic sauce, is the fan favorite, with spicy miso pulling in as a close second. 8055 Armour St., Ste. 201A, Kearny Mesa, 858.987.0222, nishikiramen.com

RAMEN IZAKAYA OUAN, HILLCREST This shop is known for its Ouan Black Ramen, made with flavorful black garlic oil, ultra-soft-cooked egg and crispy garlic chips. Fans also love Ouan’s Piggy ramen bowl, made with tonkotsu broth with chashu, soft egg, garlic chips and red ginger. 3882 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest, 619.683.3230, izakayaouansd.com

Izakaya Masa

IZAKAYA MASA, MISSION HILLS While this Izakaya offers an extensive menu of sushi and hot and cold dishes, it’s the basic ramen menu that people line up for most evenings. Masa has just one broth (tonkotsu, made from boiled-down pork bones and meat), three ramen dishes and no optional add-ins. But fans say it’s one of the most authentically Japanese ramens in town, and they love its lessfatty, lighter broth. 928 Fort Stockton Dr., Mission Hills, 619.542.1354, izakayamasa.com

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Tajima

HOKKAIDO RAMEN SANTOUKA, KEARNY MESA Founded in Japan in the 1980s by Hitoshi Hatanaka, this now international ramen chain has a counterservice outlet inside Mitsuwa Market. To help customers choose from the huge menu, Santouka displays plastic representations of each bowlful. But those in the know say the creamy shio (salted) and special pork ramens are the most addictive. Lines here are shorter than at other Convoy district ramen shops, but be prepared, the shop only takes cash. Inside Mitsuwa Market, 4240 Kearny Mesa Dr., Kearny Mesa, 858.974.1101, mitsuwa.com/ restaurants-shops/restaurants-sushi/santouka/

Menya Ultra Ramen


TAJIMA, MULTIPLE LOCATIONS Sam Morikizono launched this seven-store ramen chain in 2001 on Convoy Street, which remains the mecca for longtime fans. Diners can choose from four noodles (including spinach and gluten-free) and three broths. But the chain’s cult favorite, only available at the Convoy outlet, is the famed curry ramen, made with the tonkotsu soup base mixed with Japanese curry. Also consider the Tonkotsu Ramen with fat noodles with add-ins of fried garlic and bamboo shoots. 4681 Convoy St., Kearny Mesa; For morelocations, visit tajimasandiego.com

YAKYUDORI & RAMEN, KEARNY MESA Diners wait in line up to an hour on weekend nights for this yakitori’s famed spicy miso ramen, made with stir-fried minced pork and chopped BBQ pork. Another favorite is the Nagoya-style ramen, with spicy bamboo shoots. 4898 Convoy St., Ste. 101, Kearny Mesa, 858.268.2888, sandiegoyakyudori.com

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TASTE | DINING

P HOTO BY RICK NOCON

RakiRaki Ramen & Tsukemen

BESHOCK RAMEN & SAKE BAR, DOWNTOWN

In 2012, restaurateur/chef Junya Watanabe launched his first RakiRaki location on Convoy and has since expanded to Little Italy and Liberty Public Market. After earning degrees in economics from UCLA, Watanabe missed the authentic ramen of his native Japan. So he apprenticed under famed Japanese “Iron Chef ” Mitsuhiro Araki (hence the name) to learn the art of ramen-making. RakiRaki’s broths are cooked for eight to 10 hours daily and seasoned with Araki’s signature spices. The noodles are cooked in alkaline water, the veggies are all organic and the toppings are all served “flameblistered” for added texture and flavor. Top sellers are the Black Edition (fermented with charcoal-roasted organic garlic oil) and Red Edition (fermented with spicy takano-tsume red chili pepper and paprika). 4646 Convoy St., Kearny Mesa; For more locations, visit rakirakiramen.com

Co-founders Kumi Ito, Ayaka Ito and Masaki Yamauchi spent three years researching the art of ramen, both in Japan and the U.S. before opening Beshock in 2016. It’s known for its rich, complex broths. There are eight ramen dishes, plus nearly 20 add-in options. Top-sellers are the tonkotsu black and spicy miso varieties. But for a change, check out the creamy vegan ramen, made with soy milk broth, or the Gorgonzola cheese variety, served with chicken chashu, avocado and slices of prosciutto. 1288 Market St., downtown, 619.501.9612. be-shock.com

THE WHET NOODLE, OCEANSIDE

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Beshock Ramen & Sake Bar

RAMEN YAMADAYA, CLAIREMONT AND DOWNTOWN This Torrance-based ramen chain has built a solid Southern California reputation on its tonkotsu broth, which is boiled for more than 20 hours. One food critic described the thick, rich soup as “the closest thing to melting a whole pig into a bowl.” Followers also recommend choosing the thick noodles and asking for a shave of fresh garlic on top. 4706 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Clairemont; 531 Broadway, downtown, ramen-yamadaya.com

Ramen Yamadaya

PH OTO BY RICK NOCON

Chef Davin Waite opened this nontraditional ramen shop two years ago. His house-made broths are lighter and healthier than most, including his fish tonkotsu, made from the bones and trimmings from his popular sushi eatery next door, Wrench & Rodent Seabasstropub. His other broths are duck shoyu, vegan hot and sour miso, adobada pork and mixed beast. 1815 S. Coast Hwy., Oceanside, 760.453.2738, thewhetnoodle.com

The Whet Noodle

PHOTO BY CHARLIE NEUMAN

RAKIRAKI RAMEN & TSUKEMEN, MULTIPLE LOCATIONS


PIZZA•SALAD•WINGS

1 3 4 9 0 PA C I F I C H I G H L A N D S R A N C H P KW Y, S A N D I E G O, C A 9 2 1 3 0 | P H RV I L L A G E .C O M @ V I L L A G E AT PA C I F I C H I G H L A N D S R A N C H T H E V I L L A G E AT PA C I F I C H I G H L A N D S R A N C H

F O L L OW U S

P LES &

NOOD

OURS


TASTE | DINING

KNOW YOUR RAMEN PHOTO BY RICK NOCON

BASICS Ramen: A Japanese dish made with noodles, a rich, long-cooked broth, sliced meats and vegetables.

Tonkotsu: Milkycolored ramen broth made with pork bones and meat boiled for 10 to 24 hours.

Shio: Goldencolored ramen broth or tare (seasoning), often made with fish or chicken, and added salt.

Shoyu: Light brown ramen broth or tare (seasoning), often made with chicken and vegetables, with added soy sauce.

Miso: Clear ramen broth or tare (seasoning), made with fermented soy bean paste.

Noodles: Japanese wheat-based ramen noodles are traditionally served al dente, since they continue to cook in the bowl and are easier to eat with chopsticks. They come in thick and thin varieties.

Moyu: A pungent blackened garlicsesame oil used to flavor broths.

TOPPINGS c.

a. Ajitsuke tamago:

Soft-boiled egg, slowcooked in mixture of water, sake, mirin, soy sauce and sugar.

e. a.

b. Akadama:

RakiRaki’s housemade “spice ball” consisting of a blend of spices that includes red peppers, habanero and chili oil depending on desired heat (mild or spicy). c. Beni shoga: The

literal translation is “red ginger.”

f. g.

d. Menma:

Simmered bamboo shoots e. Negi: Green onions f. Ninniku: Garlic

chips

h.

g. Nori: Dried seaweed h. Pork chashu: d. b.

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Tender, sliced pork belly, marinated in soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar and garlic, then slowcooked for three to four hours.


TASTE | DINING Wokou Ramen & Yakitori

Hachi Ramen

Harumama

Open House Food + Kitchen

HACHI RAMEN, BANKERS HILL Owner Shihomi Borillo opened this ramen-centric fast-casual eatery in early 2017, and describes her menu as a cross between California cooking philosophy and Japanese techniques and ingredients. The tonkotsu pork dish is mostly traditional, but there are out-of-thebox options like the Cheezu, with choice of Brie and vegan cheddar cheese, or the new Baja Birria, a beef shoyu bowl accented with chipotle, onions and cilantro. 2505 Fifth Ave. 619.231.0700, hachiramen.com

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WOKOU RAMEN & YAKITORI, CARMEL VALLEY This new fast-casual eatery in Pacific Highlands Ranch is a modern, California take on a traditional ramen bar. Besides vegan and gluten-free options, Wokou offers a spicy carnitas ramen dish with tonkotsu broth, shredded chili, slow-braised carnitas and a wedge of lime. A top-seller is the black garlic ramen. 5965 Village Way, Carmel Valley 858.779.2620, wokouramen.com

OPEN HOUSE FOOD + KITCHEN, ENCINITAS

HARUMAMA, LITTLE ITALY

This four-in-one dining venue, which opened in September, includes Asian Kitchen, which serves Chinese, Korean, Filipino and Japanese dishes. Here, chef Marlaw Seraspi shares his signature ramen bowls, the most unique of which is the vegetarian, served in a shiitake mushroom and vegetable dashi broth with marinated tofu, snake beans, black garlic oil and more. 345 S. Coast Hwy. 101, Ste. B, Encinitas, 760.452.2555, openhousefooddrink.com/asian

Jenny and James Pyo, the husbandand-wife team behind Love Boat Sushi, Pokewan and Blue Ocean Robata, opened this contemporary ramen bar at the beginning of the year. The menu gives a modern twist to traditional Japanese classics. A menu signature is the Flying Pig, where the noodles are served in a mix of chicken and tonkotsu broths with robata skewers of cubed pork chashu, soft-boiled egg, fried garlic and the unusual addition of flame-roasted Brussels sprouts. 1901 Columbia St., Little Italy 858.269.7122, facebook.com/harumamasd


Outstanding oceanfront dining in the heart of Del Mar. Since 1968.

1670 Coast Blvd., del Mar | (858) 755-9345 |

poseidonrestaurant.CoM

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TASTE | BEER

Take it from the Tap A monthly taste of beer from here BY PETER ROWE

PHOTOS BY NELVIN C. CEPEDA

A HOMEBREWING HOME AWAY FROM HOME If 2018 goals include learning to make beer, consider a visit to Citizen Brewers. At this “brew-on-premises” shop in San Diego’s Mission Gorge area, customers make beers with expert help. The tidy 2,000-square-foot space is fully equipped with brew kettles, fermentation tanks, malts, hops and yeast strains. Judd McGhee, the owner, makes it look easy. It’s not. “It’s a Wizard of Oz thing — don’t look behind the curtain,” McGhee said. “There are so many things that can go wrong, it’s always a triumph when it works.” The triumphs come with impressive regularity. Since the business opened in 2015, 13 customers have rated it on Yelp. All awarded Citizen a perfect five stars. McGhee, 39, was working for a framing and art restoration shop in Little Italy when he began making wine. Two years later, he shifted to beer. When his hobby outgrew his home, he considered renting commercial space. That was too expensive, but what if he shared that same fully-equipped space with paying customers? This business model is neither new nor failsafe. More than 20 years ago, a similar local enterprise — Brewers Union — came to an

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unprofitable end. Success requires a deft hand with business, human nature and the science and art of brewing. “A lot of it is about the experience,” McGhee said. “There is quite a bit of magic to it.” Citizen’s dozen standard recipes can be customized or augmented with specialty ingredients. Some customers require little attention as they brew. Others want step-bystep instruction. McGhee is happy either way. “I enjoy hosting,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.” The price of this fun varies with the group’s size and the beer’s recipe. Typically, a party of four to six people can make a batch in under five hours, for about $300. The tab includes bottles, caps, labels and five or six cases of beer. While customers can brew anything from coffee-infused stouts to lemony hefeweizens, one style dominates. This is San Diego, after all. “It’s still IPA all the time,” McGhee said. “I’ve brewed as much IPA and derivatives of IPA as everything else combined.” Citizen Brewers 5837 Mission Gorge Rd., Ste. A, Mission Gorge 760.587.7989; citizenbrewers.com


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LET’S GO TO THE HOPS

TASTE | BEER

LOVE AT FIRST PINT

PHOTO BY WENDY CHILDRESS PHOTOGRAPHY

February beer events in San Diego

Feb. 3, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

FATHOM @ FIVE

The co-owners of AleSmith Brewing Co. are passionate about beer — and each other. Visiting this Miramar brewery, PACIFIC interrupted Peter and Vicky Zien’s lovefest with a few romantic questions. PACIFIC: A lot of couples have “meet-cute” stories. Does yours involve beer? PETER ZIEN: You know that it would! Vicky was an officer in the San Diego Beer Club and I was pouring AleSmith samples at the Green Flash Anniversary Festival in 2008. During a break, I approached Vicky and a friend and chatted them up. She was shy and super complimentary about AleSmith. I had a strong feeling that our paths would cross again and they did: our first official date was at The Cheeky Monk in Denver. Both of us were attending The Great American Beer Festival, me representing AleSmith and Vicky as a beer fan. Some ask Vicky if I got her into beer and the answer is always no. Vicky has been homebrewing since 1995, a BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) Beer Judge and the founder of the homebrew club, Mash Heads. She is currently the COO/Co-Owner of AleSmith.

I HAD A STRONG FEELING THAT OUR PATHS WOULD CROSS AGAIN AND THEY DID —PETER ZIEN

Do any beers describe your courtship? PETER: Old Numbskull American-Style Barley Wine. I was very impressed to find out that this 11% strong ale was Vicky’s favorite AleSmith beer. It’s still our go-to when celebrating any event. 80

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The sea is eternal, but beer bars floating over the sea? That’s a newer development. Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle, for instance, is celebrating its fifth anniversary. Perched on a

How about your marriage? VICKY ZIEN: Decadence 2005 English-Style Old Ale. Besides being one of our favorite AleSmith beers, we toasted our wedding in Hawaii with the Barrel-Aged version. Bottle No. 1, of course. Beer is sometimes portrayed as a macho, frat house beverage. But have you found that certain beers match the moods of love? VICKY: AleSmith’s Belgian-style offerings carry a certain romance: Lil’ Devil when we’re up for some innocent fun, Grand Cru is saved for romantic dinners for two in front of the fire, and Horny Devil for… uhmm, perhaps we move on to the next question! AleSmith’s unique beers include My Bloody Valentine. What was the inspiration behind that beer? PETER: We designed this beer for “Single Awareness Day (SAD)” for all of the singles out there to enjoy on the most romantic day of the year. The majority of the AleSmith team members, including myself, were single at the time, so we had a lot of fun with this one. Can you — each of you — describe your mate in beer terms? VICKY: Sweet and earthy, and not bitter. Complex, although a little nuttiness is perceived. Warming at the core, yet hot overall. A worldrenowned offering that is amazingly delicious! PETER: Breathtakingly beautiful appearance with a solid head, very sweet but balanced, absolutely no bitterness and a very firm body. Enticing aroma and a complex, effervescent character. I absolutely love this one!

pier above San Diego Bay, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a bacon-andkimchee-wrapped Explodo Dog, a pint of locally-brewed ale and a bracing side order of salt air. Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle 1776 Shelter Island Dr., Shelter Island fathombistro.com

Feb. 10, 1-5 p.m.

BREWBIES Bagby Beer hosts the bodacious ninth annual Brewbies Festival. Tickets, $45-$65, come with unlimited 2-ounce beer samples, souvenir glass and an “i love boobies” wristband.

All proceeds benefit Keep A Breast Foundation, a breast health education organization. Pro tip: Don’t drive. Bagby Beer is an easy walk from the Oceanside Transit Center. Bagby Beer 601 S. Coast Hwy., Oceanside bagbybeer.com


TASTE | DRINK

PHOTOS BY ALEJANDRO TAMAYO

In the Mood

Kama Sutra cocktail filled with aphrodisiac ingredients that tantalize and titillate BY LAURIE DELK

FROM TOP: Ingredients used to make the Kama Sutra drink; decorations in the dining area at Campfire; bar manager Leigh Lecap; dining area at Campfire in Carlsbad.

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What do chocolate, oysters, strawberries and sex have in common? According to centuriesold history and culture, certain foods (like the aforementioned) can stimulate senses, titillate tissues and, with any luck, lead to some motion in the ocean. In other words, they make you hot. Deriving its name from the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, aphrodisiacs traditionally have been classified by their close anatomical relation to the human body. Among the usual suspects are oysters, asparagus, okra and caviar. Along the way, chocolate, strawberries, honey, salmon and a variety of spices have joined the invigorating refreshment party. So, now it’s entirely possible to build an entire meal of aphrodisiacs, if the passion strikes. Looking beyond the beer goggles that are often equated with alcohol consumption, a sensual aphrodisiac cocktail might be the quickest way to go from sipping to the sack. Enter bartender Leigh Lacap of Campfire in Carlsbad, who described his Kama Sutra cocktail creation as a “love potion (that) is a little East meets West. The West is represented by strawberry and chocolate — as sultry as it gets. The East is honey and black sesame — found in the pyramids and consumed by the Pharaohs — which are known for increasing sexual vigor.” To create the drink, Lacap said, “We sous vide gin with cacao nibs and steep roasted black sesame in water before adding it to burnt honey. All ingredients are mixed with a bit of lemon juice before adding and muddling intensely flavored freeze-dried strawberry. Everything is shaken and poured over crushed ice and then misted with a tincture borrowed from the Kama Sutra: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, black pepper, saffron and ginseng.” PACIFIC recently chatted with Lacap about the Valentine’s Day- and aphrodisiac-inspired drink that’s worthy of raising one’s inner fire.

PACIFIC: How did you come up with the Kama Sutra? LEIGH LECAP: The other name of the drink is Hardball. In some cultures, a dessert made of sesame and honey is cooked to the hardball point, kind of like nougat. And to me, Valentine’s is the season to play hard ball — go hard or go home alone. How did you pick the ingredients? I had been toying with the idea of using all these ingredients together after binge watching Mind of a Chef. Little did I know about the cultural significance of all this stuff until now. I guess food really is the way to the heart and the bedroom. Favorite aphrodisiac? Oysters. They like to be shucked hard and then slurped. They get so much action. What’s the sexiest thing about a partner or lover? A hobby. If someone can devote themselves to something and obsess over the details, they can make love the same way. Sexiest body part? The face. That’s where every feeling is written and all the expression is. Any personal Valentine’s traditions? Working (laughs). Best part of Valentine’s Day? Because I’m usually behind the bar, being a goddamn Maverick of a wingman. Fill in the blank: Dear Valentine ________. I’ll be at 2725 State Street in Carlsbad until about 12:45 a.m. Campfire 2725 State St., Carlsbad 760.637.5121, thisiscampfire.com


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TASTE | BUDTENDER

Whatever Floats Your Bud Budtender trained to answer the tough questions at recreational dispensary BY JACKIE BRYANT

As one of the original employees of licensed San Diego marijuana dispensary Urbn Leaf, floor manager Jay Frentsos is jumping into recreational legalization head first. This means navigating a learning curve of new regulations, long customer lines and changing perceptions, something he’s all too excited to do as someone who has been working in cannabis for many years. PACIFIC checked in with Frentsos to see how things are going since prohibition was lifted on Jan. 1, and to get some advice for would-be dispensary-goers. PACIFIC: What kind of people are shopping at Urbn Leaf these days? JAY FRENTSOS: We’re seeing so many people over the age of 50! I think that’s the biggest group. It’s been illegal for their whole lives and they just want to see it for themselves. Also, a lot of people are coming in looking for alternatives to pharmaceuticals for depression, anxiety, pain or other things. What are people buying the most? The standards — flower, concentrates and edibles. CBD (cannabidiol, a compound found in cannabis plants) products are very popular. And the sex stuff! The lubes and suppositories are going like crazy. What can dispensary first-timers expect on their first visit? We are very customer-friendly here and are happy to answer any questions. First, I’m going to ask them if they’re using it for a medical problem or just to experiment and have fun. If it’s medical, we’ll determine whether they want to smoke or use a tincture or other topical product. If 84

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it’s for recreation, I’ll ask them if they smoke or if they’d prefer edibles. Then I ask how they want to feel — uplifted and awake or something to help them relax or fall asleep. I ask them if they prefer to feel it in their head or their body. If they smoke, I’ll ask them about flower versus oil cartridges or wax. What do you recommend they try? For a first time marijuana user, I always suggest flower. You’re in Southern California, it’s always had the reputation of being a weed-friendly place. We grow exotic strains and a first-timer would only need one puff to get that head change and body effect. You can try flower grown outdoors first, that’s lower potency. Then move onto the top shelf indoor flower. What would you say to someone who’s apprehensive about using cannabis or visiting a dispensary? I’d say just give us a try. All of this is regulated. It’s not like the Wild Wild West anymore with sketchy dispensaries. Here, you can see the bud room from the street. And everyone who works here has dispensary experience and knows their stuff. Have there been any notable customers visiting Urbn Leaf since Jan. 1? San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan was here earlier today. We invited her in to show her that there’s people here from all over the world, all different ages, all kinds of people. That it’s not a bad thing. Also, my mom came to visit and she hasn’t smoked in 20 years. I gave her two 10 milligram edibles and she was giggling for hours.


NELVIN C. CEPEDA

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TASTE | BUDTENDER Is budtending like bartending at all? Yes, there’s definitely a comparison. It’s product knowledge — you have to know what’s right for someone based on what they’re asking. No different from someone asking for a dirty martini or an Old Fashioned, you have to know milligrams, effects, flavors, price points, where it comes from.

Do you support the lifting of marijuana prohibition in California? I want to say yes, so more people can try it. But the regulations they put on it make it harder for everyone to get on board. Medical patients that have had their cards for the last 10 years? They’re not used to the lower dosage regulations, the lines, the taxes, the mandatory childproof bags they have to pay for and they’re frustrated. It’s really affected edibles, too — diabetes patients now have to eat more to get relief, which isn’t healthy. Recreationally? People are stoked. But me, personally? Yes, I think I’m glad it ended. I’m working harder, but I am a cannabis enthusiast, and I’m glad more people can use it. What’s your personal favorite way to indulge? Personally, I like dabbing (using wax concentrate). It’s more potent. Follow along on social with @urbnleafca or @drjayfrentsos.

MIND YOUR MANNERS

An etiquette guide to visiting cannabis dispensaries

HAYNE PALMOUR IV

With the lifting of marijuana prohibition in California, San Diegans are facing a lot of firsts. But whether it’s someone’s first or thousandth time in a dispensary, it’s always a good idea to be in the know. PACIFIC checked in with dispensary staff at Torrey Holistics and Urbn Leaf to ask them their etiquette advice, including everything from sparking up on site to whether or not you should tip your budtender. BE COOL… ...but not that cool. The age of discretion is over. It’s OK to be stoked!

MY MOM CAME TO VISIT AND SHE HASN’T SMOKED IN 20 YEARS. I GAVE HER TWO 10 MILLIGRAM EDIBLES AND SHE WAS GIGGLING FOR HOURS. —JAY FRENTSOS

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What’s the funniest question you’ve been asked? Probably instructing people how to use the suppositories — you stick it in your butt! And once someone came in and pointed at a bud and asked what it was. It’s weed! We’re trained to handle any question though, nothing is too basic.

FEBRUARY 2018 @PACIFICSD

BE PREPARED TO WAIT With only a dozen dispensaries licensed to sell recreational marijuana in San Diego, this means concentrated demand and big crowds. “Recreational patients will have the longest lines,” said Jay Frentsos of Urbn Leaf. Takeaway: plan accordingly — weekday mornings are the least crowded. BUT DON’T BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP Be polite but vocal if something isn’t working well. “The most important piece of advice we can give to our members is to give us your honest feedback,” said Kyle Dukes, operations manager for Torrey Holistics. “Change this abrupt is very frustrating for everyone involved, but with open lines of communication between

dispensaries and our members, we can all work together to continue blazing this trail.” #INSTAGRAMIT Dispensaries are glamming up their interiors and adding social mediaworthy touches, such as cheeky T-shirts and other gear, welldesigned spaces and other bells and whistles — like Urbn Leaf’s “A Feel Good Drug Boutique” wall display — to encourage customers to snap and share with friends. TIP YOUR BUDTENDER Not only is it perfectly acceptable to tip your budtender, it’s the right thing to do. Like bartenders, budtenders are a wealth of skill and facts, often having studied many hours to know the ins and outs of the products they’re selling to make personal recommendations based off of that knowledge. Whether or not there’s a jar, don’t forget to tip. DON’T FORGET CASH Because marijuana remains federally illegal (making banking tricky), dispensaries are cash only, though most will have at least one ATM on-site. DO NOT USE CANNABIS ANYWHERE ON THE PREMISES Not only will someone be risking arrest should they so much as open a package or be bold enough to roll a joint anywhere on a dispensary’s property, they’ll also be risking the license of their host. Don’t be that person.


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AS A COLOR FORECASTER, WHAT ARE THE COLOR TRENDS OF 2018?

Moody jewel tones of deep, dark greens.

Highly chromatic blues reminiscent of art history’s International Klein Blue. Wide spectrums of creams, layered with blue grays and even softer millennial pinks, will still play in this year’s products everywhere for those who crave quieter and calmer shades. Earthy violets paired with burnt oranges and paler fuschias— seductive tones perfect for bedding and that chair you’ve been meaning to recover in velvet. WHAT COLORS MAKE YOUR SPACE LOOK L ARGER?

Stick with cooler tones (shades of greens, blues, grays) that allow walls to recess, giving the illusion of depth within your space. Even your creamy white can have a hint of blue gray. Go big or go home with an accent wall of using Black Beauty by Benjamin Moore. Like Hollywood, these are the smoke and mirrors that work like a charm, every time.

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The San Diego Vintage Flea Market in North Park. This is a great place to find interesting vintage and vintage-inspired treasures.

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GROOVE MUSIC | NIGHTLIFE SOUND DECISIONS BY SCOTT MCDONALD

DUA LIPA 2.10 @ House of Blues, houseofblues.com/sandiego The English singer and model released her self-titled debut last year. It features collaborations with Miguel and Coldplay’s Chris Martin. She also appeared on singles with Sean Paul, Martin Garrix, Wale and Major Lazer. PHOTOS BY IAN GAVAN/GETTY IMAGES

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SEPTEMBER 14-16, 2018

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GROOVE

Sound Decisions February Concert Calendar BY SCOTT MCDONALD

2.1 BANDITOS @ Space, spacebarsd.com The Birmingham, Ala., via Nashville, blues/rock sextet released their second full-length album, Visionland, last summer. It was named after a local $60 million dollar theme park that went defunct after only five years.

2.1 LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO @ Belly Up, bellyup.com The long-running African choral group was pretty busy last year. They celebrated the 30th

PASSION PIT 2.1 @ Observatory North Park, observatorysd.com Passion Pit (aka Michael Angelakos) first uploaded portions of his latest album, Tremendous Sea of Love, to YouTube. It was then self-released on Twitter for anyone who shared a neuroscientist’s tweet on the importance of science and research. PHOTOS BY ALLI HARVEY/GETTY IMAGES

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anniversary of their Paul Simonproduced Shaka Zulu album with a revisited version, Warner Music put out a 24-song retrospective of their songs and the band released the 12-track, Songs of Peace & Love for Kids & Parents Around the World.

2.2 KRISTIN CHENOWETH @ Music Box, musicboxsd.com The Tony Award-winning actress and singer released her fifth studio album, The Art of Elegance, last year. It is her second collection with the Great American Songbook as a theme after her 2001 debut, Let Yourself Go.


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GROOVE | SOUND DECISIONS

TYLER, THE 2.2 CREATOR @ Valley View Casino Center, valleyviewcasinocenter.com The Odd Future guru packed quite a bit into 2017. He released his criticallyacclaimed fourth album, Flower Boy, launched two TV shows — one on Viceland and one on Adult Swim, and designed two different shoes for Converse. PHOTO BY RICH FURY/GETTY IMAGES

2.3 FETTY WAP @ House of Blues, houseofblues.com/sandiego While Fetty Wap (aka Willie Maxwell II) dropped three mixtapes in 2016, and a pair of EPs last year, there’s still no sign of King Zoo, the long talked about follow-up album to the Trap Queen rapper’s 2015 smash self-titled debut.

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2.5 BERMUDA TRIANGLE @ Music Box, musicboxsd.com Anchored by Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard, this Nashville-based trio is rounded out by Becca Mancari and Jesse Lafser.

2.6 MAJID JORDAN

2.7 PINK MARTINI

@ Observatory North Park, observatorysd.com The Toronto-based R&B duo is signed to Drake’s record label OVO and released their second studio album, The Space Between, last year. It features collaborations with fellow OVO labelmates PartyNextDoor and Dvsn.

@ California Center for the Arts, Escondido, artcenter.org Portland’s “Little Orchestra” returns to Escondido just over a year after their last visit there. The ensemble released their 10th album, Je dis oui!, in 2016 featuring appearances from longtime friends Rufus Wainwright and NPR White House correspondent Ari Shapiro.


GROOVE | SOUND DECISIONS

2.8 ALLAH-LAS @ Belly Up, bellyup.com The ex-Amoeba-staffers-turnedpsych-rockers released their first-ever EP of covers last November. Among the artists getting the L.A.-based band’s unique interpretation are George Harrison and Television.

2.9 JA RULE & ASHANTI W/ RAY J @ Observatory North Park, observatorysd.com Queens rapper and actor Ja Rule (aka Jeffrey Atkins) once again teams with Ashanti in North Park. And despite repeated announcements of his upcoming eighth (and final) studio album, Coup de Grace, nothing has been released.

2.11 DAVID DONDERO @ Soda Bar, sodabarmusic.com Named by NPR’s All Songs Considered as one of the “best living songwriters,” the Minnesota singer and musician released his 10th album, Inside the Cat’s Eye, last year.

2.13 KILLSWITCH ENGAGE & ANTHRAX @ House of Blues, houseofblues.com/sandiego The Killthrax Tour pairs Massachusetts metalcore 5-piece Killswitch Engage with NYC metal vets Anthrax for a night of getting “Caught in a Mosh!”

2.13 LYLE LOVETT & ROBERT EARL KEEN @ California Center for the Arts, Escondido, artcenter.org The two long-running Texas singer/songwriters have joined forces many times before and first met as students at Texas A&M University in the late ’70s.

2.15 LANA DEL REY @ Valley View Casino Center, 96

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valleyviewcasinocenter.com The singer/songwriter’s fifth studio album, Lust for Life, was released last year and featured appearances by The Weeknd, A$AP Rocky, Stevie Nicks and others.

2.17 YOU ARE GOING TO HATE THIS FEST 3 @ SOMA, somasandiego.com Local rockers The Frights, one of San Diego’s best current exports, curate their third annual mini-fest with Together Pangea, Diet Cig, HUNNY and more.

2.19 DAN AUERBACH AND THE EASY EYE SOUND REVIEW @ Observatory North Park, observatorysd.com This label-based collective headed by producer and Black Keys frontman Auerbach also features Easy Eye Sound artists Robert Finley and Shannon & the Clams.

2.20 TUNE-YARDS @ Observatory North Park, observatorysd.com The Merrill Garbus-led indie pop outfit released their fourth studio album, I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life, last month.

2.20 SHOVELS & ROPE @ Belly Up, bellyup.com South Carolina-based Americana duo Shovels & Rope released their second installment of cover songs, Busted Jukebox, Vol. 2, at the end of last year. It features interpretations of songs by Rhett Miller, Brandi Carlile and others.

2.21 SUPERCHUNK @ Casbah, casbahmusic.com Still fronted by Merge Records co-founder Mac McCaughan, the veteran Chapel Hill indie rockers release their 11th studio album, What a Time to Be Alive, this month.

LIGHTS 2.7 @ Observatory North Park, observatorysd.com The Canadian singersongwriter released her fourth studio album, Skin & Earth, last September. A comic book series she designed accompanied its release. PHOTO BY MATT BARNES


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GROOVE | SOUND DECISIONS

2.26

DEMI LOVATO

WITH DJ KHALED @ Viejas Arena, viejasarena.com Last year was a big one for Lovato — she voiced the character of Smurfette in the animated film Smurfs: The Lost Village, launched an activewear collection with Fabletics, did charity work in Africa with WE and also released her sixth studio album (and sixth consecutive Top 5 entry on the Billboard 200), Tell Me You Love Me. DJ Khaled opens the show. PHOTO BY KEVIN WINTER/GETTY IMAGES

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2.22 WILLIE WATSON @ Casbah, casbahmusic.com A founding member of Old Crow Medicine Show, the songwriter and multiinstrumentalist released his second solo effort, Folk Singer, Vol. 2, last year. It was produced by David Rawlings and released on Rawlings’ and Gillian Welch’s Acony Records.

2.23, 24 THE SPITS @ Space, spacebarsd.com The cult punk rock act from

Kalamazoo, Mich., takes over Space for a weekend double dip. Cruz Radical opens Friday night’s show, while that honor belongs to Beehive & the Barracudas on Saturday.

2.24 BRUNO MAJOR @ Casbah, casbahmusic.com The British singer/songwriter’s 2017 collection, A Song for Every Moon, was compiled by releasing one track a month for a year.

2.27 BURGER A-GO-GO #1 @ Belly Up, bellyup.com Burger Records hits Solana Beach for the first night of their traveling Burger A-Go-Go series. Headlined by Atlanta punk trio The Coathangers, other bands set to perform are Death Valley Girls, The Flytraps and Feels.

2.28 THURSTON MOORE GROUP @ Casbah, casbahmusic.com Kim Gordon was just here last month with Body/Head and

now Moore follows shortly after with his namesake group. While the one-time couple will likely never perform together again as Sonic Youth, it’s nice to have them both back in San Diego.

2.28 BURGER A-GO-GO #2 @ Music Box, musicboxsd.com Night two of the Burger A-Go-Go series concludes with Cambodian pop and psych sextet Dengue Fever holding down a lineup that also includes Winter, Summer Twins and Roya.

2.27

REAL ESTATE @ Music Box, musicboxsd.com Real Estate released its fourth studio album, In Mind, last year. It was the first for the Brooklyn-by-way-of-New Jersey indie rockers since guitarist Matt Mondanile left the band. PHOTO BY SHAWN BRACKBILL

@PACIFICSD

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GROOVE

Spin Cycle

February EDM and DJ performances BY SCOTT MCDONALD

2.2 NGHTMRE @ OMNIA, omnianightclub.com It’s an encore performance for Connecticut-born/L.A.-based producer Tyler Marenyi. After helping shut down 2017 at OMFG!’s NYE 2-day extravaganza at Valley View Casino Center a month ago, the trap DJ makes a quick return to San Diego. Marenyi released the 4-track NGHTMRE, Pt. II EP in December.

2.3 DESTRUCTO & HABSTRAKT @ Spin, spinnightclub.com Destructo is the one-time CEO and founder of HARD Events Gary Richards. Currently the president of LiveStyle, the veteran DJ hits San Diego after dropping the single, Loaded (feat. Yo Gotti), in December. He’s joined on this date of his Let’s Be Friends tour by French DJ Habstrakt.

2.3 PETE TONG @ Bang Bang, bangbangsd.com BBC Radio 1 all-star, Ibiza veteran and EDM global ambassador Pete Tong really needs no introduction. Alongside The Heritage Orchestra and Jules Buckley, the pioneering DJ released the 15-track Pete Tong Ibiza Classics in December.

2.8 DON DIABLO W/ LOST FREQUENCIES @ Observatory North Park, observatorysd.com The Dutch DJ, producer and singer got his first record deal when he was only 15 years old. His latest single, You Can’t Change Me, dropped in December. Belgian DJ and producer Felix De Laet (aka Lost Frequencies) opens the show. 100

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TIMMY 2.2 TRUMPET @ Parq, parqsd.com The brass-playing Australian DJ/producer re-teamed with Savage, the New Zealand rapper featured on Trumpet’s 2014 hit Freaks, for recent single Deja-Vu. PHOTOS BY RYAN PIERSE/GETTY IMAGES


2.9 SLANDER @ OMNIA, omnianightclub.com One-time UC Irvine frat bros Derek Andersen and Scott Land have made good on their DJ dreams. The pair has worked with Skrillex, DJ Snake and Diplo, and they are credited with creating their own genre (Heaven Trap). Andersen and Land collaborated with Sullivan King on their latest single, Welcome To The Fire.

2.10 BORGEOUS @ OMNIA, omnianightclub.com This summer, it’ll be two years since Miami-based DJ John Borger released his debut LP, 13. He released a 4-track EP of remixes from it last year, as well as a whopping seven singles. The latest, Sweeter Without You with Taylr Renee, got the remix treatment from Zack Martino.

2.16 PORTER ROBINSON @ OMNIA, omnianightclub.com Where in the world is Porter Robinson? The 25-year-old DJ and producer has sold out venues like the Valley View Casino Center and is a veteran of the cozy confines of OMNIA. He just hasn’t released new music for a year and a half.

2.17 GRAMATIK @ Observatory North Park, observatorysd.com Slovenia-born, New York-based producer Gramatik released his latest EP, New Re:Coil, Pt. 1, last October on his own LowTemp Records. The album’s most recent single, Aymo, features rapper Talib Kweli.

2.18 LED ANNIVERSARY VII @ Valley View Casino Center, valleyviewcasinocenter.com In 2016, French producer/DJ Madeon (aka Hugo Leclercq)

teamed with Porter Robinson on the single, Shelter, and their coheadlining tour of the same name sold out a stop at Valley View Casino Center. Leclercq returns alone to headline this anniversary show and brings Malaa, Herobust, Brohug and more with him.

2.18 MATOMA @ OMNIA, omnianightclub.com After recently working with the likes of The Vamps, Snoop Dogg and D.R.A.M, 26-year-old Norwegian tropical house DJ Matoma (aka Tom Lagergren) hooked up with Noah Cyrus for his recent single, Slow. The song got its own 3-song remix EP (including one by R3HAB) last month.

2.18 BAAUER @ Bassmnt, bassmntsd.com Harlem Shake producer Harry Bauer Rodrigues teamed with Canadian DJ A-Trak on the Fern Gully / Dumbo Drop single

in November. Last month, he appeared on 18, a Rich Brian (FKA Rich Chigga) single that also features Kris Wu, Joji, and Trippie Redd.

2.22 KEYS N KRATES @ House of Blues, houseofblues.com/sandiego Last here in December for an almost NYE show at Bassmnt, Toronto’s DJ/electronic/ percussion trio of David Matisse, Adam Tune and Jr. Flo are signed to Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak. Latest single, Do What U Do, was released last month.

2.23 MARKUS SCHULZ @ OMNIA, omnianightclub.com Host of the Global DJ Broadcast weekly radio show and the founder of Coldharbour Recordings, the Germanborn/Miami-based trance DJ released a pair of remixes for his 2008 single, The New World, last month.

@PACIFICSD

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LOVE | BLIND DATE

HOUR OF

KNEAD

Blind daters bare (almost) everything before a couple’s massage BY MICHAEL BENNINGER PHOTOS AND VIDEOS BY DAVID BROOKS MATCHMAKER JESSICA PELLIGRA

It’s not often two sober singles strip down within minutes of meeting each other, but that’s exactly what’s happening tonight as blind daters Danielle and Ian introduce themselves inside an EPIC Limo destined for a couple’s massage at downtown’s AquaVie Fitness + Wellness Club. If either of these daters’ faces look familiar, you might recognize them from your Insta feed. With more than 245,000 followers, Ian’s accumulated an online audience the size of Scottsdale. And with upward of 10,000 ardent admirers, Danielle’s digital reach is certainly nothing to sneeze at. So, what’ll happen when these two social-media mavens disrobe moments after meeting? Find out after their pre-date interviews. Where are you from, and where do you live now? DANIELLE: I’m from Sacramento. I moved to San Diego in 2014 for college, and I’ve never looked back. IAN: I’m originally from Palm Desert and currently live in San Diego. What do you do for a living? DANIELLE: Currently, I work at a few different nightlife venues in the Gaslamp, and I am a full-time student at San Diego State University. IAN: I am a full-time med school student. Why are you going on a blind date for PACIFIC magazine? 102

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DANIELLE: I just got out of a relationship and was referred by a friend. I’m definitely open to meeting new people and experiences. Blind dates aren’t so common anymore, and I love the anticipation. IAN: A friend told me about it, and I thought it would be a fun experience. What do you do for fun?

DANIELLE: When I’m not working or in school, I love going to the beach or gym, brunching with friends, and, of course, the occasional Sunday Funday in P.B. IAN: I like to work out and ride my motorcycle. What are you best at? DANIELLE: I’m best at making people laugh — whether it’s at myself or just in general. I’d


What do you like least about yourself? DANIELLE: I am very indecisive. IAN: Probably communication skills. Not very good. Rate yourself on a scale from one to ten for looks. DANIELLE: Twenty fun (like my age). IAN: (Laughs) Hmmm, maybe like a two out of 10. Rate yourself on a scale from one to 10 for personality. DANIELLE: I’ve been told I’m a lot of fun. IAN: I want my date to rate that for me. What’s your biggest fear? DANIELLE: I love the ocean, so anything that could potentially harm me in the water: sharks, jellyfish, stingrays. You name it. IAN: Not becoming successful. What traits might your date exhibit that would be complete deal-breakers? DANIELLE: Being rude to servers is a total turn-off, so are bad teeth and breath. IAN: Smoking cigarettes. How many people have you slept with? DANIELLE: That’s so personal. Let’s just say I’m more of a long-term-relationship type of person. IAN: (Laughs) Not that many ... Fill in the blanks: I want my blind date to be “blank” and “blank.” DANIELLE: I want my blind date to be handsome and have a good sense of humor. IAN: I want my date to be funny and cute. Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less? DANIELLE: If we really connect, I am open to a kiss goodnight. That’s about it for a first date, though. IAN: If we’re feeling each other, then a kiss could possibly happen.

like to think I’m a good time. IAN: Not much. What do you suck at? DANIELLE: I really suck at first dates, so wish me luck! IAN: Playing pool. What are you looking for in a date, physically

and/or otherwise? DANIELLE: I love someone who can make me laugh. Also, I love a great smile. IAN: Personality is big for me. Describe your special brand of sex appeal in five words or less. DANIELLE: Fun and flirty. IAN: (Laughs) What does that even mean?

What’s the most important thing in the world? DANIELLE: The relationships you maintain with friends and family. Without the love and support from those around you, I don’t know what else you have. IAN: Happiness. Danielle and Ian arrive at AquaVie Fitness + Wellness Club in downtown San Diego having bared their souls in their pre-date interviews. Now it’s time for them to lay down before each other and a pair of exceptional therapists who will simultaneously work their magic during a couple’s massage. @PACIFICSD

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LOVE | BLIND DATE

Ready or Knot

Danielle unwinds while Ian enjoys his first-ever massage The couple are whisked away to an undressing room immediately upon arrival at AquaVie, and one at a time, they shed their evening attire in favor of the fitness center’s plush robes. “They let me in before him, so I really had my privacy,” Danielle says. “But it was so funny. Ian was like, ‘Are you naked under this? Because I am.’ I was like, ‘I kept my underwear on, just in case.’ ” When asked if she would have stripped down to her birthday suit knowing that Ian had bared it all, Danielle reveals the naked truth: “Umm, yeah.” For one full hour, the expert massage technicians tenderize every inch of the daters’ bodies. And while Danielle is no stranger to this type of pampering, for Ian, this marks his very first massage. When the hour is up, they change back into their evening attire in anticipation the next stop: Little Italy’s new Japanese tapas bar, Cloak & Petal. As they return to the limo for the short drive to India Street, Danielle and Ian enjoy a quick shot of tequila chased by a chilled Modelo. A buzz starts to set in by the time they arrive at Cloak & Petal, where a pair of striking cherry blossom trees define the subterranean social lounge. The daters cozy up to one another at a secluded table and order some apps and drinks before their mid-date debriefings. 106

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How’s it going so far? DANIELLE: It’s going great. I think for both. He said that afterwards, we should keep the night going, so… we will. IAN: It’s going very well. I feel like we’re feeling each other; we’re having a good connection. We’re talking, getting to know each other and just having a good time.

Fitness + Wellness Club? DANIELLE: It was good. I liked the massage, but for a first date, it was a little… I mean, I had to put my face in a pillow and I was worried about my makeup, but at the end, it was very refreshing. IAN: Impeccable. It was a massage, she went in

What were you first impressions of your date? DANIELLE: He was really attractive. He dressed really well. And he has a cute dog, so that always makes things better. IAN: She’s gorgeous! Is this the type of person you’d normally date? DANIELLE: Yeah, definitely. IAN: Yeah, she’s my type. I don’t really have a type when it comes to brunettes or blondes or anything like that. My type is a good personality, funny and charming. Stuff like that. How was your experience at the AquaVie

first. She got undressed, went under the blanket. She started her massage, and then I came in. And then I undressed and we did our hour massage. And it was very well. That was my first time — my first professional massage.


LOVE | BLIND DATE How is Cloak & Petal so far? DANIELLE: It’s been great. The food is really good. I got the barbecue lettuce wraps. The High Kick (drink) is really good. I’m not really into ginger, so they substituted for me and it was great. IAN: It’s good. The food is good. The drinks are good. Overall, it’s just very pleasing. What’s the most attractive thing your date has done so far? DANIELLE: He holds doors for me. I like that. IAN: Something she’s done? That’s a good question. She touched my leg. What’s the least attractive thing your date has done so far? DANIELLE: Sometimes, there’s like silence, but I mean, I think that comes with any first date. IAN: (Laughs) Nothing. Rate your date on a scale from 1 to 10 for looks. DANIELLE: Like a 10, he’s hot. IAN: For looks? I would say, she’s gorgeous, so I would say like, 9? And for personality? DANIELLE: He’s a 10, I would say. IAN: I would say, like an 8. What’s your date’s most attractive quality? DANIELLE: I think just, like, I see his arms and they look really nice. I took a peek at his Instagram, it’s also pretty fire, so… IAN: Her smile. What’s your date’s least attractive quality? DANIELLE: That he likes country (music). I told him, that’s like a definite ‘no’ for me. As long as he doesn’t play it near me, it’s fine. IAN: (Laughs) I don’t know. I have no idea. That’s a good question. I’m too nice. Do you want to kiss your date right now? DANIELLE: Maybe at the end of the night, I think I would be okay with that. IAN: Yeah. Does your date want to kiss you? DANIELLE: I would say yes. IAN: I’m just kind of letting it go with the flow. How and when will the date end? DANIELLE: He suggested that we keep it going, so I’m down for it. I mean, I guess we’ll see where he wants to take us. IAN: I have no idea. Ideally, where? At each 108

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other’s house. When? The morning. Anything you’d like to add? DANIELLE: I’m pretty happy with the date

overall. (The matchmaker) definitely picked a good one for me. IAN: No. I’m excited to see where it goes and how it unfolds.


LOVE | BLIND DATE

Cloak & Stagger Too many shots cut the night short

After several drinks and a flurry of small plates arrive on the daters’ table, we leave these lovebirds alone and follow up the next day to find out how the night ended. How was your experience and dinner at Cloak & Petal? DANIELLE: Cloak & Petal was really good. I’m not usually a fish person, especially raw fish. But we had a couple drinks. We both got chicken plates. IAN: It was excellent. We had great service, good food and even better drinks. What did you eat and drink there? DANIELLE: For drinks, we both had the High Kick. I had mine without ginger and he had his with ginger. And then he got a chicken plate with mushrooms and I got barbecue lettuce wraps. IAN: For the food, I don’t remember what the name was, but we got some lettuce cups and then a chicken plate. And as far as drinks, we had a cocktail called High Kick that had tequila and Tajin in it. Where did you go and what did you do for the rest of the evening after dinner? DANIELLE: He suggested that we should keep the night going, but it’s actually kind of funny. We had been taking shots of tequila and he had told me that he wasn’t really drunk yet. And I was pretty drunk, so I asked the waitress, “Hey, can you get him another shot of tequila?” And she brought back two more and I was like, I think I’ll 110

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be okay if I just do it. So, he took one, and I just had had one too many drinks, and then I ended up going home. IAN: We just stayed at the restaurant for a little longer and ordered more drinks. We had a little too much to drink, so we went home. When did you get home? DANIELLE: Probably 10:30, 11. IAN: I would say, um, good question. I wasn’t paying attention to the time. I would say 10. Was there a kiss or romantic exchange? DANIELLE: There was a brief kiss, before the night ended. IAN: No, there wasn’t. How and when did the date end exactly? DANIELLE: I just got driven home after we finished our dinner at Cloak & Petal. Then we just took one last shot and we were going to go maybe explore, and then I just decided it would probably be best if I went home at that point. I was just too drunk. I wanted to stay out, but it just didn’t work out that way. IAN: We ordered our last drink and we both said to each other that we were both pretty drunk and that we should go home. Fill in the blanks. I wish my date had a bigger “blank” and a smaller “blank.” DANIELLE: (Laughs) I have no idea. IAN: I don’t think anything. Yeah, nothing.

FROM TOP: The Sansho Jidori Chicken plate at Cloak and Petal; the two daters ordered the High Kick, a drink consisting of tequila and spiced ginger; the BBQ Lettuce Cups.


Offers expire February 28,,2017 2018. Not valid with other offers. Must mention when booking. Offers are subject to change and may September Septem Sep tember ber 31,2017 31,2 017 be discontinued at any time. Owned and Operated by Vishal Verma, MD. and Vinita Parekh, DDS.

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LOVE | BLIND DATE

What’s the funniest thing that happened during the date? DANIELLE: I think the funniest thing that happened was we both kind of admitted to stalking (the matchmaker’s) Instagram to find out who the other person was. I was unsuccessful, and he said that he actually found out who I was like a couple minutes before. He said his driver told him my name and he found my Instagram. And then also, what was kind of funny, is he’s Insta-famous. That was a little weird. He’s Insta-famous, he has like over 250,000 followers. I was like, “wow.” IAN: The funniest thing? I would say arriving at the restaurant and looking at the menu and realizing most of it was raw fish. And she didn’t eat any raw fish. So, we had to figure out what to get. What was the best part of the date and why? DANIELLE: I think the best part of the date was the food. It was actually really good. I know I don’t like anything fishy, but it was delicious and same with the drinks. IAN: Best part of the date was her company and getting a couple’s massage. What was the worst part of the date and why? DANIELLE: The worst part of the date was maybe the spa treatment? I liked it, but I 112

FEBRUARY 2018 @PACIFICSD

don’t know, for a first date, I guess it was a little bit awkward. IAN: I can’t really say there was a worst part. Overall, it was pretty good. I had a lot of fun. Will there be a second date? Why or why not? DANIELLE: Yes, I think so. I think that we both wanted to spend more time with each other, which didn’t really happen. IAN: Second date? Yeah, I can see there being a second date in the future. Only time will tell, though. What’s one thing your date really should know before going on another date? DANIELLE: Maybe he should drink a little bit more than I do? IAN: What’s one thing she should know? That’s a good question. I don’t know. I’m not a very good texter. What could have made this date better? DANIELLE: Maybe having dinner and drinks before the massage? The massage itself was awesome, it was just an awkward first date. (Laughs) And then, trying to make sure my makeup wasn’t smeared because I had my face in the pillow the whole time. IAN: Not having so much to drink and ending the night early.

Anything else you’d like to add? DANIELLE: No, it was awesome. IAN: No, that’s about it. AFTERMATCH: While Danielle admits they locked lips, Ian denies anything happened. Is he just being coy, or might the booze have lulled him into a blackout? In any case, a second date seems like an eventuality. We’re just wondering how long it’ll take them to get undressed next time.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Daters’ answers may have been edited for length and clarity.

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PACIFIC San Diego Magazine, February 2018  
PACIFIC San Diego Magazine, February 2018  
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