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WELCOME TO SANâ€ˆDIEGO
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A LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER
SPECTACULAR SAN DIEGO One of the best things about exploring “America’s Finest City” is that the possibilities are endless. Here, it really is possible to surf and snow-ski in the same day during the winter months, while the region’s rich history and dynamic cultural destinations reward adventure-seekers year-round. As the birthplace of California, San Diego was the launch pad of Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis monoplane. Dr. Seuss dreamt up How the Grinch Stole Christmas from his La Jolla home. The San Diego Zoo, which is part of Balboa Park—the nation’s largest urban cultural park—celebrates its centennial this year. These and other enduring attractions such as SeaWorld and Legoland attract more than 34 million visitors every year. Then there are those special experiences and stories unfolding around the county that may surprise you. In these pages, we present a thoughtfully
THEN THERE ARE
curated insider’s look at the people and places making San Diego tick. We go inside the county’s
thriving culture of action sports and adventures. With its diverse terrain—and with such pros as
EXPERIENCES AND STORIES UNFOLDING
snowboarder/skateboarder Shaun White and skateboarder Tony Hawk based here—San Diego is
AROUND THE COUNTY
a hotbed not only for action sports, but also for thrilling action adventures found nowhere else.
THAT MAY SURPRISE
Soar over Mission Bay with a water-powered jet pack; fly over pristine wilderness near Palomar
YOU. IN THESE
Mountain on the longest zip line in California; and go skydiving in Mission Valley … indoors! We get the scoop on a food trend that is further elevating the city as a world-class dining destination: ramen bars. San Diego has long been home to exceptional Asian cuisine—from authentic Thai eateries tucked away uptown, to iconic outposts serving up delectable Chinese dishes on Convoy Street. Now, ramen bars are popping up countywide with regularity—a testament to the
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PAGES, WE PRESENT A THOUGHTFULLY CURATED INSIDER’S LOOK AT THE PEOPLE AND PLACES MAKING SAN DIEGO TICK.”
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triumphs of Japanese cuisine that extend beyond sushi.
Here, ramen bars aren’t merely spots for a mindless
The downtown waterfront
meal; they are a cultural experience that also nourishes
along the Embarcadero skirting San Diego Bay
the soul. We catch up with the chefs cooking up both
authentic and creative ramen concoctions.
Village and floating pieces
To wash it all down, we take you on a tour of San Diego’s growing, yet little-known, wine country:
of history such as the famed 1863 Star of India.
Escondido. This quaint, largely agricultural pocket of
northeast San Diego County is home to more than 20
Packed with authentic
wineries. These local vineyards are producing stellar
Italian eateries and cafés, art galleries, markets and
wines; plus, the tranquil views of Escondido’s rolling
boutiques, Little Italy is
hills, avocado farms and horses that whinny in greet-
one of the city’s most
ing as you arrive aren’t too shabby, either.
popular urban ‘hoods for
We get to know some very different, uniquely
both locals and visitors.
ambitious San Diegans. Gina Champion-Cain—the
fearless entrepreneur sitting atop a real estate, restau-
San Diego’s blossoming
rant and retail empire—gives us a tour of her stunning
culinary scene has produced exceptional dining
bay-view home. Beloved (and opinionated) radio personality Chris Cantore opens up about music,
rock stars, and being back on top of a so-called “dying medium” as he marks two decades on
Expect fresh, locally
the air. Scot Chisholm, CEO and cofounder of Classy, shares how he built a small technology
sourced cuisine prepared
company into a modern online fundraising platform for nonprofits—helping to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to tackle the world’s biggest social problems across 194 countries. These are just some of the riveting San Diego tales we tell on the following pages. America’s Finest City is multifaceted and fascinating with much to discover, and your hotel puts you at the center of it all. We invite you to choose your own adventure. Welcome to San Diego. —Jeff Levy, Publisher
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by renowned chefs.
(PREVIOUS PAGE) BROWN W. CANNON III / INTERSECTION PHOTOS; (TOP) EDWIN SANTIAGO; (BOTTOM, L-R) SAMWELLSPHOTO.COM; COURTESY TRUE FOOD KITCHEN.
SPECTACULAR SAN DIEGO
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The Original Waterfall Collection
An incomparable collection of Hawaiian and Island lifestyle jewelry SAN DIEGO: Fashion Valley • Horton Plaza OAHU • MAUI • KAUAI • BIG ISLAND OF HAWAII • NCL PRIDE OF AMERICA BOSTON • CHICAGO • DALLAS • DENVER • LAS VEGAS • LOS ANGELES • NEW YORK • ORLANDO • PHILADELPHIA PLEASANTON • PORTLAND • SAN FRANCISCO • SAN JOSE • SEATTLE • WASHINGTON, D.C. NaHoku.com • 1-800-260-3912 Best of HONOLULU MAGAZINE 2016
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People’s Choice Awards The Star Advertiser 2016
HAWAII MAGAZINE Readers’ Choice Award 2016
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S.D. ESSENCE 20 ABOVE SAN DIEGO
32 HOME BASE
42 CLASS ACT
GINA CHAMPION-CAIN A look inside a trailblazing entre- preneur’s tranquil Mission Hills abode. BY SARAH DAOUST
26 TAKE ACTION
36 RADIO HEAD
44 ESCONDIDO UNVEILED
PHOTO ESSAY Photographer Jeff Morris captures panoramas of the city from new heights with striking aerial snaps.
ACTION ADVENTURES An action sports hub, San Diego offers exhilarating excursions. BY DAVID MOYE
CHRIS CANTORE The city’s beloved radio person- ality marks 20 years on the air. BY DEREK SHAW
BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT How a little company named Classy is changing the world by doing good. BY DEREK SHAW
EMERGING WINE COUNTRY Could Escondido become the Sonoma of S.D. County? We’ll drink to that. BY ANN WYCOFF
30 SUNKEN TREASURE
38 TOP RAMEN
48 CALL OF THE WILD
THE SS MONTE CARLO A buried shipwreck at Coronado Beach resurfaces after 80 years. BY CHARLENE BALDRIDGE
S.D. DINING TREND The plot thickens in the search for the best bowl of Japanese ramen soup. BY SARAH DAOUST
ZOO CENTENNIAL How the San Diego Zoo became “world famous” over the last 100 years. BY DAVID MOYE
(COVER) BENJAMIN GINSBERG; (OPENING SPREAD) LORENZO MENENDEZ / FLUX PHOTOGRAPHY; (THIS PAGE, L-R) KAREN MORRISON, LYUDMILA ZOTOVA, MATTHEW BALDWIN.
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THE EXPLORER II Built to accompany intrepid explorers, engineered for adventures to extreme frontiers. It doesn’t just tell time. It tells history.
OYSTER PERPETUAL EXPLORER II
oyster perpetual and explorer are
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S.D. ESSENTIALS 10 FIRST LOOK
MUST-SEE ATTRACTIONS Top city-defining destinations: The order depends entirely on your interests and mood.
52 NEIGHBORHOODS COUNTY GUIDE A tour of San Diego’s most celebrated communities, from Coronado to the North Coast.
55 SPENDING TIME
SHOPPING The region’s major shopping destinations and a selection of local boutiques and galleries.
67 CHOW TIME DINING A guide to the best restaurants in San Diego County, no matter your taste—from comfort food to sushi.
85 PLAY TIME
ARTS & ATTRACTIONS Museums, theaters, theme parks, nightclubs, casinos and more make San Diego a playground for kids and adults alike.
96 PARTING SHOT
Kayaking near Fiesta Island on scenic Mission Bay.
(L-R) COURTESY LA JOLLA ZIP ZOOM, CECE CANTON PHOTOGRAPHY, KAREN MORRISON
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IN T ERNAT IONA L . INDI V IDUA L . IN S T Y L E .
DESTINATION WESTFIELD SAN DIEGOâ€™S ULT IM AT E SHOPPING E X PERIENCE
For special offers, mention this advertisement and show out of town identification at Guest Services to receive a Traveler Privileges Card
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SAN DIEGO ON THE WEB: SOCALPULSE.COM PUBLISHER Jeff Levy EDITOR Sarah Daoust ART DIRECTOR Carol Wakano PRODUCTION ARTIST Diana Gonzalez CONTRIBUTING DESIGNER Heidi Schwindt CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Charlene Baldridge, Claire Caraska, David Moye, Derek Shaw, Ann Wycoff CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Matthew Baldwin, Brown W. Cannon III, Aldryn Estacio, Benjamin Ginsberg, Stacy Keck, Lorenzo Menendez, Jeff Morris, Karen Morrison, Edwin Santiago, Sam Wells, Lyudmila Zotova COPY EDITOR Claire
Kerry Brewer, Crystal Sierra, Heather Heintz, Julie Hoffman, Jessica Levin Poff, Heather Price BUSINESS MANAGER Leanne Killian Riggar CIRCULATION MANAGER Lisa Kelley PRODUCTION MANAGER Dawn Kiko Cheng WEB MANAGER Christina Xenos MARKETING MANAGER Anna Ciric ADMINISTRATION
Laura Okey, Danielle Riffenburgh VICE PRESIDENT OF NATIONAL SALES Rick
MVP CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER Haines HONORARY PRESIDENT Ted
3990 OLD TOWN AVE., SUITE B–200 SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA 92110 PHONE: 619.260.5599 FAX: 619.260.5598 EMAIL ADVERTISING/BUSINESS JLevy@SoCalMedia.com EDITORIAL Editor@SoCalMedia.com ART Art@SoCalMedia.com PRODUCTION Ads@SoCalMedia.com CIRCULATION Lisa.Kelley@SoCalMedia.com Where GuestBook San Diego is published by Southern California Media Group under license from Morris Visitor Publications. Where GuestBook publishes editions for the following U.S. cities and regions: Amelia Island, Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Beverly Hills, the Big Island, Bonita Springs, Boston, Boulder, Cambridge, Captiva Island, Charlotte, Chicago, Clearwater, Colorado Springs, Dallas, Denver, Fort Myers, Fort Worth, Greater Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Kaua’i, Los Angeles, Marco Island, Maui, Memphis, Miami, Naples, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, O’ahu, Orange County, Orlando, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, Ponte Vedra Beach, Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, San Antonio, San Diego/La Jolla, San Francisco, Sanibel Island, Santa Barbara, Seattle/Eastside, Tacoma, Tampa, Tucson, Wailea, Washington, D.C., and Winston-Salem/Greensboro/High Point. Copyright© 2016 by Southern California Media Group. All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, in whole or in part, without the express prior written permission of the publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility to any party for the content of any advertisement in this publication, including any errors and omissions therein. By placing an order for an advertisement, the advertiser agrees to indemnify the publisher against any claims relating to the advertisement.
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CONTRIBUTORS s s
• Above San Diego, p. 20 Photographer and videographer Jeff Morris isn’t afraid to admit he’s obsessed with America’s Finest City. Passionate about capturing the region’s unique landscapes and cityscapes from jaw-dropping angles, he has amassed a breathtaking collection of drone and aerial photography—proving this newer medium is a true art form. His photo essay, Above San Diego, lives up to its name with stunning bird’s-eye panoramas you won’t see elsewhere. Get inspired at itwasthelight.com.
CHARLENE BALDRIDGE • Sunken Treasure, p. 30 A San Diego resident since 1962, Charlene Baldridge is an award-winning journalist, critic and poet, devoted to the arts. She is the author of the books San Diego: Jewel of the California Coast, Winter Roses and The Rose in December; and the play The Warriors’ Duet. Frederica von Stade, Susan Graham, Joyce DiDonato and Kiri Te Kanawa have performed her poetry, set to music by opera composer Jake Heggie. For this book, she uncovers the SS Monte Carlo.
ss ANN WYCOFF • Escondido Unveiled, p. 44 A seasoned writer, editor and lover of San Diego, originally from Pittsburgh, Penn., Ann Wycoff loves to tell stories about food, wine and off-the-beatenpath adventures—particularly in Southern California and Baja. She has contributed to dozens of publications, including Travel + Leisure, Coastal Living, Marin Magazine, San Diego Magazine, Outside and many more. For this book, she explored San Diego’s not-so-secret-anymore wine country, Escondido. Wycoff lives in Solana Beach with her husband, daughter and Bernese Mountain dog, Max.
• Home Base, p. 32; Radio Head, p. 36; Class Act, p. 42 Photographer Karen Morrison graduated from UC San Diego with a visual arts degree, and her work has been published in many local and national publications—ranging from fashion to portraits. She complements her photography with graphic design, focusing on telling a story from start to finish. Alongside her regular work schedule, she is the director of AIGA San Diego LINK—a nonprofit that provides art workshops for in-need San Diego teens.
• Radio Head, p. 36; Class Act, p. 42 Derek Shaw is a writer, artist and musician. Born and raised in San Diego, he currently dwells in Oakland, Calif. with his beloved dog named Spot. He publishes poetry and short stories under the pen name Eliot Hale. He is also a flea market forager, a wanderer of redwood forests, and has a thing for triangles and Tom Waits. Check out his band at soundcloud.com/stepchildren.
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first look THE CITY’S TOP MUST-SEE ATTRACTIONS, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER. FROM GLORIOUS BEACHES TO SHOPPING TO WILDLIFE, S.D. IS A DIVERSE PLAYGROUND RICH IN CULTURE.
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Beaches and Bays
Life’s a beach in San Diego, and we have 70 miles of coastline and two dozen idyllic beaches to prove it. Our bays aren’t too shabby, either. In 1602, Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno described San Diego Bay as “a port which must be the best to be found in all the South Sea.” Today, sightseeing and dinner cruises navigate the bay daily. Along the Embarcadero, historical vessels including the aircraft carrier USS Midway and the 1863 barque Star of India are floating museums; the area is also home to Seaport Village. On man-made Mission Bay—part of the 4,600-acre Mission Bay Park—kayaks, Jet Skis, sailboats and catamarans ply the calm water as bikers, joggers and skaters cruise along the bayside paths.
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San Diego radiates animal magnetism. Begin the wildlife tour at the San Diego Zoo, whose creative enclosures house many exotic species, from pandas to clever meerkats. Safari Park in Escondido lets visitors get up close and personal with beasts roaming spacious tracts of open land. SeaWorld, with its rides to dolphins, penguins, orcas, sea turtles and the interactive Explorer’s Reef. (Anyone care to pet a white-spotted bamboo shark?) Find more sea creatures at Birch Aquarium, perched on a bluff overlooking La Jolla. San Diego Zoo, 2920 Zoo Drive, Balboa Park, 619.231.1515, sandiegozoo.org; Safari Park, 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, 760.747.8702, sdzsafaripark.org; SeaWorld, 500 SeaWorld Drive, Mission Bay, 619.226.3901, seaworld.com; Birch Aquarium at Scripps, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, 858.534.3474, aquarium.ucsd.edu
With more than 90 courses, it’s safe to say San Diego is more than a little enamored with the links. Still, it’s quality—not quantity—that counts; thankfully, some of the world’s most sought-after greens are located right here. From Phil Mickelson to Tiger Woods, the Torrey Pines Golf Course has been played by nearly every boldfaced name in golf; it’s been home to an annual PGA tour stop for four decades and counting. In Carlsbad, the Park Hyatt Aviara boasts San Diego’s only Arnold Palmer signature course, and Omni La Costa Resort has hosted numerous PGA tour events. In Poway, Maderas Golf Club (pictured) was named by Golf Digest as one of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses”—known for its Johnny Miller- and Robert Muir Graves-designed course. For tee times, call Showtime Golf, 866.661.2334.
(OPENING SPREAD) BROWN W. CANNON III / INTERSECTION PHOTOS; (THIS PAGE, TOP) COURTESY SAN DIEGO ZOO; (BOTTOM) AIDAN BRADLEY
and shows, is part theme park, part aquatic zoo, and home
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Fendi ©2016 South Coast Plaza
The Ultimate Shopping Experience
SOUTH COAST PLAZA 250 BOUTIQUES, 30 RESTAURANTS AND SEGERSTROM CENTER FOR THE ARTS Apple Store · Berluti · Bottega Veneta · Bvlgari · Canali · Cartier Céline · Chanel · Charlotte Olympia · Christian Louboutin · Coach · Dior Dolce & Gabbana · Fendi · Gucci · Harry Winston · Hermès · J.Crew · John Lobb John Varvatos · Lanvin · Liuli Crystal Art · Louis Vuitton · Max Mara · Microsoft · Prada Ralph Lauren · Roberto Cavalli · Roger Vivier · Rolex · Saint Laurent · Sephora · Valentino AnQi by House of An · Din Tai Fung · Marché Moderne · Mezzet Mediterranean Cuisine · Vaca Saks Fifth Avenue · Bloomingdale’s · Nordstrom · Macy’s partial listing
San Diego FWY (405) at Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA
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Accessible by ferry or via the graceful Coronado Bridge, this charming village across the bay from downtown San Diego is home to one of the city’s most famous sites: the Hotel del Coronado. Known to locals simply as “the Del,” the resort’s iconic red turrets can be seen from the sea—as well as on the silver screen. (Locals still tell stories about the time Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis came here to film Some Like It Hot.) But the rest of Coronado is worth exploring, too, either on foot or while bicycling along 15 miles of dedicated bike paths. Those that run up and down Silver Strand State Beach are especially scenic, running all the way down and past the famed Coronado Cays—known for its romantic gondola tours. Take a stroll down the wide, treelined boulevard running through the center of town, which is defined by quaint mom-and-pop shops, sidewalk cafés and an array of remarkable early 20th-century residential architecture, ranging in style from English Tudor to Craftsman to Spanish Colonial. Coronado Visitor Center, 1100 Orange
Since 1969, San Diegans have supported their hometown Padres, the MLB team that gave rise to beloved late Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn, who is immortalized in a bronze statue at downtown’s Petco Park. At Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley, the Chargers have made the NFL playoffs multiple times. At Del Mar Racetrack, A-list celebs have been betting on the ponies for 80-plus years. Racing season runs from midJuly to early September, then starts again in November. Taking place all year-round are action sports and surfing competitions—including the World Bodysurfing Championships near Oceanside Pier in August. Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., East Village, 619.795.5000, padres.com; Qualcomm, 9449 Friars Road, Mission Valley, 619.641.3100, chargers.com; Del Mar Racetrack, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, 858.755.1141, dmtc.com; worldbodysurfing.org
(TOP) STACY KECK; (BOTTOM) DANIEL M. SILVA /SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Ave., 619.437.8788, coronadovisitorcenter.com
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Life is too short to sleep on ordinary sheets W O V E N I N I TA LY , O U R E X C L U S I V E S I L K A N D E G Y P T I A N C O T T O N B L E N D I S AVA I L A B L E O N LY AT B E T W E E N T H E S H E E T S
Del Mar | Flower Hill Mall I-5 & Via De La Valle | (858) 847-3300 South Coast Plaza 3333 Bear St., 2nd Level
Newport Beach 377 E. Coast Hwy.
Palm Desert El Paseo Village
West Hollywood 370 N. Robertson Blvd.
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Past and present collide in this 16-square-block area full of historical architecture and bustling nightlife in the heart of downtown San Diego. An erstwhile red-light district known as the Stingaree, the Gaslamp Quarter was also the one-time stomping ground of Wild West lawman Wyatt Earp. These days, Victorian-era outlaws have been replaced by 21st-century funseekers, who swarm the boutiques and galleries on Fourth and Fifth avenues by day and spill off the sidewalks by night in all their evening finery. With 130-plus restaurants, bars, nightclubs and cafés in the neighborhood—and Petco Park (home of the San Diego Padres) and the Convention Center just steps away—the Gaslamp is this beach town’s undisputed urban center. The area’s brick building facades. Fourth, Fifth and Sixth avenues between Broadway and Harbor Drive, 619.233.5227, gaslamp.org
San Diego’s earliest settlers and explorers nested here, from the Kumeyaay Indians 9,000 years ago to the Spanish missionaries that arrived in the 18th century. Billed as the “Birthplace of California,” Old Town features authentic historical structures within Old Town State Park, including the restored Cosmopolitan Hotel and a lively entertainment complex, plus more contemporary diversions along surrounding streets. Find fresh-made tortillas grilling at the many restaurants lining San Diego Avenue, while the nearby shops at Bazaar del Mundo offer colorful collectibles celebrating Mexican heritage. Other Old Town attractions include an enclave of preserved Victorian homes known as Heritage Park, the Mormon Battalion Historic Site, a Sheriff’s Museum, an early Catholic cemetery, the Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, and the historical (and reportedly haunted) Whaley House Museum. San Diego Avenue at Twiggs Street, oldtownsandiego.org
(this page) Brown W. Cannon III / intersection photos; (opposite) Lorenzo Menendez / Flux Photography
historical charm is accented by gaslamp-style streetlights and
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The cultural heart of San Diego and some 100 years old, Balboa Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country—larger than even NYC’s Central Park. A gorgeous 1,200-acre patch of green at the city’s center, Balboa Park is home to no fewer than two dozen institutions celebrating the arts and humanities, including the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the historical Old Globe theater and museums dedicated to nearly every topic imaginable—from photography and folk art to model trains, sports and aviation. In addition to stellar sightseeing, the park also offers plenty of hike and bike trails; a Japanese teahouse and friendship garden; the Botanical Building housing more than 2,000 plants; an IMAX theater; and the Spreckels Organ—the world’s largest outdoor pipe organ. Pack a picnic and settle in for free, family-friendly concerts, held weekly. The Balboa Park Visitors Center is located at the House of Hospitality, 1549 El Prado, 619.239.0512, balboapark.org
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San Diego’s North County coastal communities have a certain charm that must be experienced firsthand to fully appreciate. Yes, the pace is a bit slower than other areas, but locals prefer it that way. The North Coast’s many quaint pockets offer the best in boutique shopping, gallery hopping and beaches. Don’t (in springtime) in Carlsbad; the architecturally stunning Lux Art Institute in Encinitas; the art-lovers’ paradise Cedros Design District in Solana Beach; dozens of upscale boutiques and fine dining in Del Mar; and a photo op with the infamous “Cardiff Kook” sculpture in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. For a list of North County attractions, visit ncsandiegodirect.com and sandiego.org/discover/north-county-coastal.
miss the California Surf Museum in Oceanside; Legoland and the brilliantly blooming Flower Fields
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above san diego written and photographed BY Jeff Morris
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San Diego Bay This aerial shot of downtown, the bay and airport just beyond was taken on my very first ride in a helicopter, just after sunset.
I’ve been a San Diego photographer and videographer for a long time, but my passion in more recent years has been aerial photography and capturing the city from new heights. This has been a particularly interesting challenge, as I am afraid of heights, so I am constantly pushing past my fear to get the shot. Whether leaning out the side of a helicopter (seatbelt fastened, of course), stationing myself on balconies and atop downtown parking garages, or using a drone, I’m always looking for a unique perspective no one’s really seen before. It’s always fun and rewarding, with the region’s countless photogenic cityscapes and landscapes to choose from, but my favorite is that distinctive bird’s-eye view from above.
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La Jolla Looking down at the mansions and many tennis courts of La Jolla, near Mount Soledad.
Mission Beach Another helicopter view
I snapped this from aboard a helicopter, heading south
Mission Bay on an over-
down the coast toward downtown san diego, mid-afternoon.
cast but beautiful day.
Beach, Belmont Park and
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Downtown I took this panorama at dusk from a friend’s East Village balcony, which offers a straight shot into Petco Park.
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e k a t As a world hub for action sports, San Diego is the ultimate playground—one that is feeding a growing hunger for exhilarating action adventures found nowhere else. No matter your athletic prowess, you're in for a thrill of a lifetime. By David Moye 2 6 W H E R E G U E S T B O O K
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N O I T
LA JOLLA ZIP ZOOM
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ABOVE: SURFING AT LA JOLLA SHORES BEACH IFLY INDOOR SKYDIVING; JET PACKING WITH JETPACK AMERICA RENOWNED PRO SKATEBOARDER AND SAN DIEGO NATIVE, TONY HAWK
SAN DIEGANS MAY SEEM LAID BACK, but they’re always looking for action. With pros like Shaun White and Tony Hawk based here, the county is a well-established hub for action sports and adventures. Its mild climate and diverse terrain have made it a hotspot for adrenalin seekers— from natives to visitors to transplants who moved here after an action-packed vacation during which they simply got hooked. “San Diego was hugely important when I started skateboarding because of the surf culture, the weather and the abundance of nearby skate parks,” explains Hawk, a Carlsbad native and legendary pro skateboarder. Whether you’re into surfing, skateboarding, BMX, offroading, zip-lining or jet packing, you’ll be hard-pressed to find more options anywhere else in the world. “San Diego is the unofficial capital of action sports, particularly the North County,” says Scott Desiderio, the events director for The Enthusiast Network, an action sports and lifestyle media group based in Carlsbad. “A lot of it is the weather. You get guys from, say, Ohio who moved here because they could skate or surf year-round.” Looking for heart-racing, adrenalin-pumping ideas? Here are some of our favorites.
JET PACKING Riding on the water is fun. Blasting out of it up to 30 feet into the air is truly unforgettable. At Jetpack America (jetpackamerica.com) based on Mission Bay, riders strap on harnesses attached to two powerful water jets that push them above the water as well as in it and under it. With a little practice (you wear a helmet equipped with a headset through which an instructor guides you along at all times), guests can rocket all over the water up to 30 miles per hour and experience a sensation similar to flying. Kids under 12 must ride with a professional—but that just means they get a ride more exciting and exhilarating than even the best roller coaster. TRAVELER’S TIP: Jetpack America is right next to the Mission Bay Aquatic Center, a fun place to rent kayaks and paddleboards when you’re through jet packing.
SURFING It's the granddaddy of action sports, and with 70 miles of coastline, there are plenty of beaches to do it. All the top beaches have surf schools and rental places. We like Surf Diva School (surfdiva.com) on La Jolla Shores. Run by twin sisters, the teachers are kind to newbies of all
SURFING, SBUREL | DREAMSTIME.COM; TONY HAWK, DALE MAY
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ages—working with men, women and kids—and even make falling off the board (an inevitability) loads of fun. If you just want a taste of what it’s like to catch a wave (or if the surf is flat), WaveHouse (wavehousesd.com) at Belmont Park in Mission Beach boasts state-of-the-art wave-generating machines that allow almost anyone to experience what it’s like to shoot the curl—minus the salt and sand. Even better: Spectators can watch the wipeouts while enjoying cocktails. TRAVELER’S TIP: WaveHouse is located just a few yards away from the iconic Giant Dipper, a delightfully vintage and rickety roller coaster built in 1925 that supplies extra thrills.
HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING
It’s on many people’s bucket lists, but just as many find it too scary. Enter the new indoor skydiving experience, iFLY (iflyworld.com) in Mission Valley, offering a safe but thrilling simulation of the skydiving experience. Giant wind tunnels recreate what it’s like to be up thousands of feet in the air, and the simultaneous feeling of floating and falling. For a mild upcharge, an instructor will take you up 30 feet in the air so you feel what it is like to be weightless. You will definitely want a video memory of this. TRAVELER’S TIP: Brave enough to try the real thing? See America’s Finest City from around 13,000 feet above while parachuting with Skydive San Diego (skydivesandiego.com) in Jamul, just southeast of the city.
The majestic bluffs overlooking Torrey Pines State Beach near La Jolla arguably are best viewed from a hang glider or paraglider. The Torrey Pines Gliderport (flytorrey.com) offers tandem rides by experienced instructors about 300 days a year. The 20-25-minute flights show off the coastal cliffs, the world-famous Torrey Pines Golf Course and some of the most stunning mansions anywhere. Usually, you’re lucky enough to land right where you started. Occasionally, light winds mean you land below at Black’s Beach, where clothing is, ahem, optional (though not officially sanctioned). Just a head’s up. TRAVELER’S TIP: Make it a day and visit Torrey Pines State Park for either a leisurely or rigorous scenic hike amid wind-sculpted pines and rare wildflowers.
The rolling hills and chaparral of San Diego's backcountry are especially scenic when seen from a zip line. La Jolla Zip Zoom (lajollazipzoom.com) takes guests down four zip lines that, totaled together, are more than 6,000 feet long—making it the longest zip line in California. Located on the La Jolla Indian Reservation, the zip line offers scenic views of Palomar Mountain and Pauma Valley—while reaching speeds of 55 miles per hour. TRAVELER’S TIP: If it's hot enough after zip-lining, rent some rubber tires at the nearby La Jolla Indian Campground (lajollaindians.com) and cool off by floating down the San Luis Rey River.
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AERIAL VIEW OF THE SS MONTE CARLO SHIPWRECK IN CORONADO
SUNKEN TREASURE THE SCINTILLATING STORY BEHIND THE SS MONTE CARLO, A 1930S “SIN SHIP” THAT RAN AGROUND IN CORONADO, THEN RESURFACED 80 YEARS LATER. BY CHARLENE BALDRIDGE
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ALDRYN ESTACIO | FLYTPATH.COM
THERE’S NO DOUBT THAT STORIES OF drinking, gambling and wild, wild women carry a certain taboo and universal intrigue. Being a port city, San Diego has a long history with these activities, and the latest wrinkle—the reappearance, after nearly 80 years, of the sunken “sin ship” SS Monte Carlo—is a fascinating reminder. Wyatt Earp, who arrived in boomtown San Diego in 1885 (post his infamous 1881 shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Ariz.) owned and/or leased and operated four saloons in the Stingaree district—now the Gaslamp Quarter— through 1890. He had long departed to greener pastures in Alaska when Prohibition (1921-1933) came in, officially banning the manufacture, public sale and consumption of alcoholic spirits. Because gambling and “wild women” (i.e., prostitution) were still verboten when Prohibition ended, West Coast purveyors of the same, rumored to be the Mob, moved their gambling and other activities to ships—an actual fleet of five (and more) that plied the waters between Long Beach, Santa Monica and San Diego from 1927 to 1939. The largest of them was a 300-foot ship known as SS Monte Carlo. Originally and experimentally built of concrete in 1921 in Wilmington, N.C., and christened SS McKittrick, she was an oil tanker that operated for nearly a decade in West Coast waters. In 1932, she was converted, and turned into a gambling casino named Monte Carlo after the renowned Riviera gambling emporium. During her post-conversion, eight-month San Diego heyday, which took place during 1936, she greeted
2,000 weekend fun lovers, and hosted 15,000 souls per week, among them rumored movie stars, according to author and Coronado historian Joe Ditler. Monte Carlo and the other floating casinos brought their owners an estimated $3 million per year. According to ads that ran in the Union-Tribune newspaper in 1936, visitors could reach the greatest of the sin ships, Monte Carlo, by catching a water taxi at the Hawthorn Street Pier near downtown San Diego. A round-trip ticket set patrons back 25 cents. A seven-course dinner was offered in the dining room for $1, or in the coffee shop for 50 cents. In addition to gambling of all kinds—slots, roulette, blackjack, wheel of fortune, card games and craps—the Monte Carlo offered dancing to an orchestra, floor shows and fan dancers. On hand were many ladies, who reportedly wore very short skirts, and had access to private rooms in which to entertain the men. If it was your fancy, you could also bet on boxing matches, dogs and ponies by means of the newfangled wireless devices on board. Never mind that this all took place during the height of the Depression. People didn’t care and flocked to the floating casinos, spending lots and coming home with little. The sin ships were a frequent subject of the Sunday sermons delivered from West Coast pulpits everywhere, that no doubt predicted, as in Romans 6:23: “The wages of sin is death.” There must have been plenty of righteous glee in pulpits everywhere on Sunday, Jan. 3, 1937. A few days before—New Year’s Eve, 1936—a powerful storm with 15-foot swells separated Monte Carlo from her moorings 3 miles off the coast of Coronado. Because the Monte Carlo had closed for the winter on Nov. 1, two caretakers were the only people aboard. The Coast Guard rescued them New Year’s Day when the ship ran aground on the beach near Tent City (the site of high-rise condominiums today), then a popular summer
campground near the Hotel del Coronado. Jan. 1, 1937 saw numerous, curious citizens on the beach, some just looking, and some surreptitiously looting what had washed ashore onto the sand. The owners, who did not identify themselves at the time, were among the onlookers. Some well-dressed men reportedly paid a lad named Bud Bernhard $20 to swim out to the ship, inspect the wreck, and make a report to them whether anything salvageable remained. The boy reported there was nothing left of value, then over the ensuing weeks returned, collecting hundreds of silver dollars that were scattered about the wreck. Then, full of secrets, the Monte Carlo lay sunken and buried by sand for 80 years. Fast-forward to February 2016, when a combination of El Niño storm activity and unusually low tides fully exposed what’s left of her to massive public scrutiny. The story made headlines across the country. Thousands became captivated all over again by her eerie skeleton and provocative past. Still plunked at water’s edge in the same location at Coronado Shores beach, just south of the Hotel del Coronado, the wreckage is still visible at low tide. City officials and lifeguards advise visitors that clambering upon it is extremely dangerous. Not only is it slippery, much rebar remains from the ship’s concrete construction, revealing treacherous jagged edges. (Also remaining and still buried, some estimate, are as many as a hundred thousand silver dollars.) If the story intrigues you, a much safer bet is to visit the Coronado Historical Association (1100 Orange Ave.) to research archived news stories and historical photographs. Or purchase the 2011 book Noir Afloat, written by Ernest Marquez, a Santa Monica historian. Marquez’s extensive photo archives recently were purchased by the Huntington Museum. One of his numerous history books, Noir Afloat recounts the existence of the nautical casinos and includes an entire chapter on the elusive, ever-fascinating SS Monte Carlo.
The story made headlines across the country. Thousands became captivated all over again by her eerie skeleton and provocative past.
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BY SARAH DAOUST PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAREN MORRISON
ON-THE-MOVE ENTREPRENEUR GINA CHAMPION-CAIN RECHARGES AT HER MISSION HILLS RETREAT.
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PREVIOUS SPREAD: GINA CHAMPIONCAIN TAKES IN THE SPECTACULAR CITY, BAY AND OCEAN VIEWS FROM HER GLASS-ENCLOSED BACK PATIO. THIS PAGE: CHAMPION-CAIN’S CHEERY, TRELLIS-COVERED FRONT YARD; ENZO, ONE OF HER TWO GOLDEN RETRIEVERS, “ON DUTY” AT THE FRONT DOOR. OPPOSITE (CLOCKWISE): MASTER BATH AND SOAKING TUB; FIREPLACE LOOKING OUT TO BACK PATIO; CHEF’S KITCHEN; FOYEUR LEADING INTO GREAT ROOM.
ICTURE THE BUSIEST, most driven, hardestworking person you know, and then multiply that person’s energy level and productivity by 10, and you’ve got a peek into the life of Gina Champion-Cain. If you know her at all, you likely suspect that she never sleeps. I certainly suspected as much, so I needed to see for myself where she rests her head at night. “I’ve been like this my whole life,” she says of her minimal need for sleep, which totals maybe four hours nightly. “But I get a good four hours,” she insists. “I used to get around three.” But don’t feel sorry for Champion-Cain. She’s one of those rare individuals whose zest for life and passion for work is so strong and infectiously genuine that she simply has no time to waste. “I love what I do so much that it’s not work. It’s who I am.” A longtime real estate developer, investor and one of the most successful entrepreneurs in San Diego, Champion-Cain is a bona fide powerhouse, whose thriving businesses embrace the best of all the city is and offers. She’s the CEO of American National Investments (ANI)—a real estate, restaurant, retail and hospitality empire that employs 750. Its brainchild—lifestyle brand The Patio Group—is the umbrella company for a range of local outfits. Restaurants include The Patio on Lamont in Pacific Beach, The Patio on Goldfinch in Mission Hills, Fireside by The Patio at Liberty Station, Saska’s Steak & Seafood in Mission Beach, Surf Rider Pizza Café in Ocean Beach, and Swell Coffee Co. in Mission Beach and Del Mar. The ANI portfolio also includes Luv Surf Vacation Homes, offering a dozen pet-friendly rental properties in Mission Beach, Mission Bay and Palm Desert; the Luv Surf Apparel beachwear line; The Surf Life retail shop in Pacific Beach; Luxury Farms specialty shops stocking gourmet pantry items and home wares in Coronado and Mission Hills; and local chocolatier Andrea’s Truffles. In the works: seven new restaurants, all of which are slated to open within the next year; a 25-unit residential/retail complex overlooking San Diego Bay in Bankers Hill; and a new juice concept. And that’s just scratching the surface of this ambitious businesswoman’s many dynamic endeavors. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Mich., Champion-Cain booked a one-way ticket to San Diego in 1987. Once she landed, she was instantly smitten by the landscape and opportunities. “I said, ‘I’m never leaving.’ Living here is expensive, and it takes hard work to be successful. But I love that you really can be anyone and make it in this town. It doesn’t matter where you’re from.”
Champion-Cain’s north Mission Hills abode is both a reflection of her love of entertaining and of nesting. The 2,600-square-foot, three-bedroom Mission-style Craftsman house features soaring wood ceilings, a chef’s kitchen (she loves to cook) and a sprawling back patio— complete with multiple lounge areas, a fire pit, dining tables and unobstructed, panoramic views of Mission Bay, SeaWorld, San Diego Bay, Lindbergh Field, the downtown skyline, Point Loma and open ocean beyond. She shares the home with her husband Steve and three furry “children.” Her two, 100-pound golden retrievers will steal your heart; there’s flirtatious charmer Enzo, 2, and shy but sweet Rocky, 4. And Jake the cat is 22 and fabulous. The property’s enclosed front yard is sprinkled with gardens and foliage tended to by Champion-Cain herself, with a dog run that leads out to the back patio. Her love of art is evident at every turn in the house, with paintings and sculptures collected both locally and from her travels. Some pieces were still wrapped in plastic when I visited—recent scores from Little Italy’s annual ArtWalk, which supports local artists. A generous dining table just off the great room beckons with a “the more the merrier” vibe. Her home office is decorated with seemingly dozens of framed photos of loved ones and a flat-screen T.V., so the self-confessed sports fanatic can catch her games while working. The master bedroom does in fact contain a well-pillowed bed that promises restful sleep. The home’s overarching ambiance is one of low-key luxury—a comfy, cozy, welcoming respite—much like Champion-Cain’s restaurants. A typical day in her life starts at 4:30 a.m. with what she calls “Gina time.” This means coffee, gardening and taking the dogs to the park or beach for exercise. (Mission Bay and Mission Beach are favorites.) “We go every single day,” she says. Her first meeting of the day usually starts at 10 a.m. “And from there it’s just craziness. I’ll go until midnight, seven days a week.” Life as a developer and restaurateur comes with intense pressure, public scrutiny and criticism, especially in a social media-ruled world of Yelpers and the like. When asked how she handles it, Champion-Cain smiles. “I pay attention to what people say, but I don’t take it personally. I’ve always been highly confident, and I’m a tough girl. No one’s gonna work harder than me, and I never, ever give up. It’s hard to take me down.” Despite her nature as a hard charger, Champion-Cain says she is actually an introvert. “I’m not a social butterfly, which might surprise some people. I’m out and about a lot for work, but I’m happiest when I’m at home.”
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ome say radio is dead, but Chris Cantore never got the When new management forced him out of 91X in 2008, Cantore’s memo (unless you count his pink slips collected over the personal life and professional career soon became entangled in a downlast two decades). His trials on the dial are no secret, ward spiral. but San Diegans have stuck by their beloved morning “I needed to be taught some lessons, but I wasn’t ready for it,” admits man throughout the rocky roller-coaster ride that is local Cantore. “I lost my job, I lost my house, I lost my savings, and my wife radio. The longtime jock remains the city’s most revered got breast cancer—all within three years.” and outspoken personality. Whether people agree with him He returned to the airwaves in 2010 with an afternoon gig for KPRI. or not, when Cantore speaks, San Diego listens. And after years of strugThat lasted a year before he was hired by The San Diego Union-Tribune gling to get back on top, he’s thriving as the host of FM 94/9’s morning (U-T) to manage their entertainment properties. It proved to be a valushow. Since signing on October 2015, ratings have spiked, and Cantore + able experience, but it also coincided with a particularly tumultuous Woods—which he hosts with partner Steve Woods—has become the leadperiod at the U-T. He went back to KPRI in 2014 to host the morning ing radio program in its time slot. I caught up with this local legend and show, which he eagerly embraced. broadcast veteran—who is clearly no worse for “I hated doing afternoons [while at KPRI the wear, only more grateful for the ride—as he the first time] because you talk for 30 seconds marks his 20th year on the air. in an hour,” Cantore says. “By the time KPRI “My alarm goes off at 5:15 a.m., the show blew up and went Christian, I had pulled starts at 5:30, and I usually get in around numbers and rebuilt my career.” THE NINE LIVES 5:40,” admits Cantore, who is referred to as The Cantore + Woods morning show “Laterman” around the station. “The show (fm949sd.com/shows/cantore-woods) on FM OF SAN DIEGO’S officially launches at 6 and goes until 10.” 94/9 is now the leading program in a comFAVORITE Cantore does all his prep and research the petitive and sought-after time slot. Despite his night before the show. He often falls asleep strong opinions, Cantore tries not to talk poliMORNING MAN, with a laptop on his chest. The second phase tics anymore. He openly cites his influences, CHRIS CANTORE of his day goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. His side namely David Letterman and Howard Stern, business, The Content House, collaborates but he’s been through enough for long enough with media companies to elevate their digital to know where to draw the line. BY DEREK SHAW presence and social strategies. One of his “Both sides annoy me equally … I was PHOTOGRAPHY biggest projects is SoundDiego, a multimedia attacked by the liberal left for working at the BY KAREN MORRISON entertainment platform of NBC. They host a U-T, even though I was just trying to supweekly TV show about the local music scene, port a family,” Cantore reveals. “The radio which airs Saturday nights on NBC 7. medium has been so disrupted. It’s cool to be The third phase of his day goes into “dad part of something organic, and now we’re the mode,” when he picks up his kids from school. ones doing the disrupting.” He has a 7-year-old daughter, Lucia, and a 10-year-old son, Nico. Radio is perceived as a declining format, but compared to other tradiCantore was transplanted from the East Coast in his early teens. His tional outlets, the industry is actually holding its own. Social media has formative years took place in Southern California, which shaped his allowed radio greater accessibility to its audience, and Cantore maintains progressive mentality and his affinity for baseball, indie rock, the beach a very loyal following. Because it’s an election year, and he’s been a and surfing. lightning rod for controversy in the past, Cantore gets his share of hate “If the surf’s good, I’ll blow off anything,” smiles Cantore, a devoted mail and trolls. But the 45-year-old has learned a thing or two about longboarder. “I’ll hire a babysitter or get out of work.” deflecting criticism while silencing his critics. After graduating from San Diego State University, Cantore was hired by These days his wife Heather is healthy, and Cantore started a men’s local rock station 91X. It was almost too easy for a guy who grew up lissupport group called You Can Sir (youcansir.org) for families dealing tening to 91.1 FM in middle school—thankful for the strong radio signal with breast cancer. Although he’s still passionate about local issues, his that snuck up the coast to Los Angeles. He relished every minute of his tone is even tempered. Cantore is, above all, a family man, and his spiri11-year run there, during radio’s final golden era, before the rise of digital tuality is more oceanic than dogmatic. Even when he’s not in the water, media. He has brushed shoulders with rock stars such as Anthony Kiedis he’s still dreaming of the waves. from Red Hot Chili Peppers (who was a grouch), Billie Joe Armstrong “I love to skate on my longboard, but I’m built more like Tony the from Green Day (who spit on his shoe), and his childhood heroes, The Tiger than Tony Hawk,” laughs Cantore, who stands at 6-feet, 5-inches Edge and Adam Clayton from U2 (who were gracious gentlemen). tall. “I’m honestly just glad to be here and get to do what I love.”
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RAMEN BOWLS AT RAKIRAKI (FROM LEFT): THE RED EDITION, THE SETAGAYA 27 CURRY RAMEN AND THE FAMED BLACK EDITION
TOP RAMEN SAN DIEGOâ€™S DINING SCENE IS AMID A RAMEN RENAISSANCE. JUST ADD CHOPSTICKS. BY SAR A H DAO U ST /// PH OTO G RAPH E D BY LYU DMILA ZOTOVA
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A STEAMING HOT BOWL OF JAPANESE RAMEN, with its fragrant broth and hearty noodles, epitomizes Asian comfort food at its finest. Yet, asking a San Diego foodie where to find the best ramen is becoming almost as contentious as asking where to find the best taco. That’s because, just like taco shops, ramen bars are a whole “thing” here, a culture. We locals are fiercely loyal to our favorite eateries and have strong opinions about what constitutes the perfect ramen bowl. Choices are by the dozens and growing, with chefs opening ramen bars across the county—from Oceanside to Pacific Beach to East Village. Add these to our revered iconic outposts in Kearny Mesa and Hillcrest, and San Diego is transforming into a hub for ramen excellence—good enough to slurp. A quick ramen 101 refresher: Generally made from stock based on chicken or pork, Japanese ramen soup combines ingredients such as kombu (kelp), katsuobushi (bonito flakes), niboshi (dried baby sardines), beef bones, shiitake and onions. It’s then typically
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RED EDITION RAMEN, FERMENTED WITH SPICY TAKANO-TSUME RED HOT CHILI PEPPER, ORGANIC GARLIC, RED PAPRIKA AND SOY BEAN SESAME OIL. BELOW: HEARTY RAMEN BOWLS AT UNDERBELLY (LEFT) AND TAJIMA.
flavored according to one of four common categories: shoyu (soy sauce), miso (fermented bean paste), shio (salt), or tonkotsu (pork bones and the ramen made from them). Noodles are generally made from wheat flour, are long and elastic, and vary from wavy to straight to thick to thin. Traditional basic toppings include chashu (fatty slices of pork), bamboo shoots, sesame seeds, shredded leeks or green onions, bean sprouts, a soft-boiled egg and seaweed. Varying preparations and any other proteins and ingredients added are what separate one bowl from the next and define each ramen bar. As for where to start your exploration in San Diego, most connoisseurs will agree on this one: the Convoy District. Packed with literally hundreds of specialty shops, markets, tea houses and restaurants housing authentic Asian eats, it’s a congested 2-square-mile area within the Pacific Triangle— bound by the 163, 52 and 805 freeways, fringing Clairemont Mesa and Kearny Mesa. The cult-followed Rakiraki Ramen & Tsukemen (4646 Convoy St.) is an ideal first stop. From the moment the restaurant opens for lunch at 11 a.m., a line forms out the door. Those waiting often wear looks of excitement
and mild impatience, like they know they’re about to eat something special, beyond the usual midday sandwich or salad. “San Diego is a melting pot of so many different cultures, and we are extremely lucky here to have the opportunity to try and embrace new and exotic dishes that are more common in other countries,” explains Junya Watanabe, Rakiraki’s owner and executive chef. “Because of that, people here are more adventurous and are craving more sophisticated flavors above and beyond the usual burgers, sandwiches and burritos.” Another favorite in the area, Santouka, located inside Mitsuwa Market (4240 Kearny Mesa Road), is usually packed with loyal regulars. The cash-only food court is home to favorites such as the spicy miso ramen and the salt ramen (which isn’t as salty as it sounds)—with soft, chewy noodles and pork belly that will melt in your mouth. Around the corner at Nishiki Ramen (8055 Armour St., #201), two words come to mind: black sauce. Available in any of its ramen bowls, the kitchen makes a special black sauce daily using charred garlic and spices. The aesthetic is akin to eating black soup, which is trippy and fun. The Convoy District’s other ramen superstars include Yakyudori Ramen & Yakitori (4898 Convoy St.), where the shoyu ramen for $7.50 is a steal; Tajima Ramen House (4681 Convoy St.), where you can order your noodles “fat,” and the spicy sesame ramen has been known to clear the sinuses; Ramen Yamadaya (4706 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.), where the tonkotsu broth is reportedly life-changing; and Izakaya Kanpai (5430 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.), home of the Kitchen Sink ramen bowl (use your imagination). Uptown, ramen bars are tucked away seemingly on every other block. If you want to know where top S.D. chefs dine after work, head to Izakaya Masa, (928 Fort Stockton Drive, Mission Hills), open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday until 1 a.m., and until midnight on Sunday. Among chefs dishing work stories, you’ll find locals who eat here at least once a week. “I drive 40 minutes just to eat at Izakaya Masa, maybe twice a week,” says Carlsbad resident Ethan Hoshaw. “The Hakata ramen, which has this light, garlicky broth and al dente noodles, would probably be my last meal on earth.” Also uptown, Rakitori Japanese Pub & Grill (530 University Ave., Hillcrest) is earning major street cred for its oxtail ramen, topped with kimchi dumplings, enoki mushrooms, roasted garlic and an earthy black garlic oil. Nearby at Ramen Izakaya OUAN (3882 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest), fans claim dining here truly feels like they’ve been transported to Japan. If you love pork, the Piggy Ramen with sinfully fatty pork slabs and steamed gyoza is calling. There’s also the uni
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ramen with salmon eggs; its salty broth is funky and unusual, yet somehow delightful. At Underbelly (3000 Upas St., North Park; 750 W. Fir St., Little Italy ), die-hards occasionally will ding it for too-mild flavors and too much attitude. (Don’t ask for a spoon—they don’t believe in them.) But a seasoning caddy stocked with ghost chili lets you doctor up the broth to preferred heat level, and the Belly of the Beast ramen with oxtail dumplings, brisket and short rib is a carnivore’s dream. Across San Diego, new eateries are sprouting up quickly. In Oceanside, Davin Waite, chef/owner of Wrench & Rodent Seabasstropub, recently opened The Whet Noodle next door (1813 S. Coast Hwy.). Taking a decidedly nontraditional approach, the outpost has received many raves but also some backlash for breaking the so-called rules of ramen. “Really, I think that we can have fun, and not be so uptight,” Waite says. “Right now it is definitely trendy to be a ‘ramen expert,’ and the easiest way to appear to be an expert is to knock something. But if everyone stayed in the box, man-
kind would never evolve. We want to make food that inspires people to question the norm.” Those with an open mind will appreciate Waite’s creative spin and avant-garde ingredients. Broth choices are duck soyu or hot and sour miso—with such toppers as spiced buffalo, duck, shrimp tempura, a fish of the day and roasted carrots. In Pacific Beach, newbie JINYA Ramen Bar (825 Garnet Ave.) is all about the broth; theirs simmers for 10 hours. In East Village, Tajima has opened a new location (901 E St.), where the curry ramen hits the spot on chilly evenings. In the Gaslamp Quarter, Ramen Yamadaya (531 Broadway) delivers fast service and an excellent miso-based vegan ramen bowl with spinach noodles. Opening this year: Tokyo Ramen (corner of Fifth and University avenues, Hillcrest), and a second Rakiraki Ramen & Tsukemen (India Street, north Little Italy). Whether your fancy is traditional or creative, spicy or mild, pork or vegan, you can find your perfect ramen bowl in San Diego. Its beauty is in the eye of the chopstick holder.
“San Diego is a melting pot of so many different cultures, and we are extremely lucky here to have the opportunity to try and embrace new and exotic dishes ...”
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MANY PUB CRAWLS END WITH burritos and bad decisions, but college roommates Scot Chisholm and Pat Walsh took a classier approach when they went bar-hopping back in 2006. For starters, they had a good cause. Chisholm’s mother successfully battled breast cancer for five years. After moving to San Diego from Boston, he and Walsh organized a bar crawl in Pacific Beach, and they raised $1,000 for cancer research. But when Chisholm approached the local chapter of the American Cancer Society (ACS) to donate the money, he was met with a surprising response. “I was told that we weren’t supposed to do ‘unsanctioned’ fundraising events,” says Chisholm. “I had to go to The Relay for Life to hand over the physical check. As much as I respect the ACS as an organization, it was hard for us to get involved as young people.” That experience inspired them to partner with other nonprofits. They focused on engaging the millennial
How a San Diego company is fostering the fundraising revolution and changing the world. BY DEREK SHAW
generation in social issues, hosting dozens of fundraising events such as races and music festivals, but they always encountered a lack of online fundraising options available. The events began to outgrow their limited technological resources, and that led to development of the prototype for their new company: Classy. What began with bar-hopping a decade ago has evolved into one of 2016’s “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Social Good,” an honor awarded by Fast Company. Officially founded in January 2011, Classy was the world’s first operating system for social impact. Headquartered in downtown San Diego, the company has become the leading fundraising and supporter engagement software. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised to tackle the globe’s biggest social problems— from poverty to disease to education to the environment. Last year, people from 194 countries donated through Classy—totaling more than double the proceeds
from 2014. Only nonprofit organizations in the U.S. use their technology, but they’re currently running a pilot program in Canada, and they expect to be in several other countries over the next few years. Mobile usage of the Classy platform also continued to climb in 2015, with 55 percent of visits coming from a mobile device. “Social impact organizations have been underserved from a technology perspective for decades, especially with respect to raising money,” says Chisholm, who serves as Classy’s CEO. Classy now houses more than 180 employees—a number that seems to grow every month. Big name investors such as Salesforce Venture jumped on board, partnering on a Classy for Salesforce application. More than 2,500 organizations across 300,000 campaigns have utilized Classy’s online fundraising, supporter engagement and performance management solutions to scale up their operations. Some of Classy’s partners include World Food Program USA, National Geographic and City of Hope. In February 2016, they teamed up with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for a five-year online fundraising and events partnership. Moreover, Classy offers an entire fundraising platform—from crowdfunding, peer-to-peer fundraising and recurring giving campaigns; to ticket sales, event registration and website donations. Its website,
Classy.org, is loaded with informational tools, analytics and digital resources—including downloadable training guides, webinars, e-books and an industry-leading blog. The company’s technology is seamlessly integrated into their clients’ websites. The software can be personalized to any group, and Classy’s logo or link never appears. That’s very different than similar services such as GoFundMe and Indiegogo. Other websites such as Kickstarter don’t even allow charitable activity. “We’re behind the scenes, and we really want their brand to stand forward,” explains Chisholm. “They can launch the campaigns, manage their performance and build relationships with their supporters.” Classy offers different plans based on the size of an organization. Their entry level plan involves no subscription fee and a 5 percent transaction fee for every donation. Their highest level plan is $1,500 per month but only requires a 0-1 percent transaction fee. They also offer account strategists and real-time customer service. “When you compare it to the old way of giving, which is direct mail, a lot of times you’re paying $1.25 just to get a dollar,” says Chisholm. “Online giving is considerably cheaper, and our fees are far lower than traditional methods.” Annually, $350 billion is donated to 501(c) organizations in the U.S., and only 9 percent occurs online.
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SCOT CHISHOLM, COFOUNDER AND CEO OF CLASSY. OPPOSITE: CLASSY’S STAFF AT WORK, “DOING GOOD.”
Five years ago, it was 1-2 percent. Classy appeals to organizations that are frustrated with the costs and limitations of traditional software vendors. The growing platform of crowd-funding is allowing tech companies like Classy to leverage the accessibility of online fundraising. Classy is also the proud host of Collaborative—a biennial showcase of today’s top social innovators from around the world. The 2016 Collaborative took place in Boston in June 2016, bringing together global leaders and innovators. The conference culminated with the Classy Awards—one of the most prestigious award ceremonies in the nonprofit sector. The signature event recognizes America’s 100 most innovative nonprofits and social enterprises. Despite Classy’s international scope, they remain rooted in America’s Finest City and are content here. The local economy is benefitting from several emerging industries. San Diego Startup Week has become the region’s premiere catalyst for entrepreneurial innovation; and EvoNexus, a startup nonprofit incubator, has caused a boom in the tech ecosystem. Classy, which itself was born of a UC San Diego incubator program, collaborates with local charities and constantly gives back. Their employees even have scheduled time off for volunteering opportunities. In the Wild West of the Internet age, it’s refreshing to see a company use technology for good.
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Unveiled San Diego’s secret wine country isn’t so secret anymore.
BY ANN WYCOFF
6/27/16 1:41 PM
SURE, EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
San Diego as the country’s craft beer capital, but did you know that the county has more than 100 dynamic wineries and a legacy of viniculture dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries? With myriad microclimates and coastal breezes, canyons and rolling hills, fertile soil and sunshine, the area is blossoming with familyowned vineyards and boutique-style wineries worthy of a weekend visit. Sleepy Escondido, an agricultural pocket of northeast San Diego County, is home to 20-plus vineyards and offers a compelling range of wine-centric experiences—from urban tasting rooms in industrial parks, to horse-dotted estates with patchworks of grapes and arresting valley views. Who knew?
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NUBRY; A FASHION WEEK SAN DIEGO RUNWAY SHOW; ANDREA VAN DE VORT; VANESSA BALLI. OPPOSITE: A MODEL SHOWS OFF A FASHION LOOK FROM VAN DE VORT.
CORDIANO WINERY The Cordiano family, who left Calabria, Italy and created a pizzeria empire in the southern U.S., always held onto the dream of growing grapes and producing Italian-style wines. When they moved west in the 1990s, they converted a 20-acre avocado farm in Escondido into a family home surrounded by vineyards. Not only do they produce more than a dozen wines and divine wood-fired pizzas, they happily share the soul-stirring views from their property’s sprawling terraces, perched high on the hillside. Diners and wine lovers are transported to Tuscany with the rolling hill vistas, vineyards, horse farms and greenery. “What’s exciting is that wine country is right here in San Diego’s backyard,” chimes eldest son, Frank Cordiano. “I am excited to see what will happen in the next five years, as I think it will explode like the microbreweries did.” Be sure to share a bottle of their zinfandel and a thincrusted Margherita pizza at sunset. Tastings: Wed.-Sun., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (summer hours). 15732 Highland Valley Road, 760.469.9463
Named for a pair of nesting hawks in a pine tree at the edge of the vineyard, this familyspun winery grows 15 fabulous varietals and produces awardwining wines. Post up on the winery’s patio and drink in the San Pasqual Valley views along with their top-notch tempranillo. Life doesn’t get much better. “We keep our crops small so the concentration of flavors is very high, and the dark fruits maintain that leathery, earthy characteristic of tempranillos from Spain,” explains winemaker Mike Embly. Be sure to also try their crisp albariño, as Hungry Hawk is only one of two vineyards growing this grape in Escondido. Also notable, their blueberry wine, a surprising non-syrupy sipper, is made like a dry medium-bodied red that’s refreshingly light with notes of the ripe fruit. Tastings: Fri.Sun., 12-6 p.m. 3255 Summit Drive, 760.489.1758
STEHLEON & VESPER VINEYARDS This urban winery and tasting room sits in the shadow of the world-famous Stone Brewing Company in an industrial park. “Because of the growing beverage scene in Escondido, we chose to put our urban winery here to showcase San Diegogrown and -made wines in a place that was quick and easy to access,” says Alysha Stehly, the winemaker for Stehleon, her family’s vineyard. Her husband Chris Broomell, the force behind Vesper Vineyards, crafts respected single-vineyard varieties, and both he and Stehly have received some national acclaim for their handiwork. Sample six wines in the casual tasting room, such as the Vesper McCormick Ranch Carignan, an old-world-style red table wine with earthy, smoky characteristics; or Stehleon’s Rockwood Vineyard rosé, a refreshing and crisp fruit-forward wine with a strawberry nose. Fill up a oneliter growler with your favorite and take home some locally made avocado oil. Tastings: Fri.-Sat. noon-6 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. 298 Enterprise St., Suite D, 760.741.1246
PHOTO CREDITPAGES GOTHAM BOOK 5.5/9PT OPENING (FROM LEFT): NOAM WIND; COURTESY HUNGRY HAWK VINEYARDS & WINERY. THESE PAGES: CECE CANTON PHOTOGRAPHY.
Winemaker Mark Robinson, who perfected his craft in Paso Robles, and his wife Lynn love Rhone grape varietals, so they sought out a site where they could grow syrah, grenache, viognier, roussanne and more. “When we acquired the 30-acre estate, our ‘domaine,’” explains Mark, “little did we know how fortunate we were to be welcomed into the Escondido and Highland Valley wine communities. Everyone is extremely collaborative in sharing ideas, embracing challenges and celebrating each other’s successes.” Spend a leisurely wine-infused afternoon tasting their nine offerings, including a flirty Les Beaux Blanc white blend and their Rincon Del Diablo, a classic GSM red blend with a bouquet of raspberries and currants; while enjoying the bucolic setting. Think horsefilled pastures, roaming friendly dogs, stylish wine barrel furniture and an umbrella-dotted THIS PAGE (CLOCKWISE patio. Tastings: Sat.-Sun., noonFROM TOP): GRETCHEN 6 p.m. 15404 Highland Valley HACKMANN ADLER AND BRITT HACKMANN OF Road, 760.432.8034
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OTHER NOTEWORTHY WINERIES Stop by Altipiano Vineyard & Winery (20365 Camino del Aguila, 619.857.7242), where vintner Denise Clarke favors big, bold reds like her Brunello Sangiovese Reserve or her Altipiano Estate 2013 Due Barili that she suggests pairing with “beef, pork and the opera Don Giovanni.” Husband Peter Clarke, an affable and erudite host, regales guests with tales of the fermented grape on the patio of their Mediterranean-style home, replete with fountains, canopies and epic views. Microbiologistturned-winemaker Robert Espinosa helms the familyowned Espinosa Vineyards (15360 Bandy Canyon Road, 619.772.0156) in the Highland Valley area that produces wines from grapes native to Spain and 100 percent grown in California. Enjoy his nicely balanced merlot while touring the wine cave. Finally, venture over to Orfila Vineyards & Winery (13455 San Pasqual Road, 760.738.6500), a 70-acre estate in San Pasqual Valley owned by Argentine Ambassador Alejandro Orfila. It is home to rose gardens, picnic patios, food trucks and riveting Rhone-style wines.
DOMAINE ARTEFACT’S VINEYARDS (OPPOSITE), AND ITS GRENACHE ROSÉ
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WILD As the ‘world-famous’ San Diego Zoo celebrates its centennial, we uncover just how it earned its claim to fame. By DAVID MOYE
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regular appearances on The Tonight Show—including In 1916, Dr. Harry Wegeforth was working as a surgeon one famous segment where a marmoset monkey urinated at the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park on Johnny Carson’s head. when he heard a lion roaring from an exhibition of exotic “Her importance cannot be overstated,” Schiff says. animals on display. In that moment, the story goes, Wege“She was the first person to speak about habitat destrucforth decided the lion, as well as a bear and a couple of tion through mass media, and the human impact on wolves, should be the beginnings of a zoo for San Diego. biodiversity.” One hundred years later, if you ask random people Embery may be the most famous human to work at the around the globe to name a zoo, chances are, they’ll say San Diego Zoo, but there have been many animal celebrithe San Diego Zoo. The Zoo’s fame is so widespread ties over the years. Albert, the silverback gorilla came to that the four key characters in the popular Madagascar the Zoo in 1949 at the age of four months; his grandchilanimated films dream of being shipped to the San Diego dren and great-grandchildren still live at the Zoo and at Zoo, implying that it must be a pretty darn nice place. the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido. Hua Mei When Wegeforth created the San Diego Zoological was the first giant panda cub born in the U.S. to survive Society in October 1916, he probably never imagined to adulthood; her birth helped inspire a major plot point the Zoo’s impact, but Rick Schwartz, the Zoo’s current in Anchorman. Carol the elephant became famous for goodwill ambassador, says the mission remains the same. making paintings by holding a brush in her trunk. Onya“It’s a place where animals can thrive, and where people Birri, an albino koala born at the Zoo in 1997, was the can be educated about them without feeling like they’re first such koala born at a zoo outside of Australia. Nola being hit over the head,” Schwartz says. was a beloved white rhino that died at Safari Park in In the past 100 years, the Zoo has helped preserve November 2015 at age 41. One of only four white rhinos California condors, giant pandas, tigers and 146 other known to exist at the time of her death, Nola’s cells and endangered and rare species, encompassing nearly 4,000 DNA may one day help to reintroduce the species. animals today. Its impact on pop culture is just as sigOne Zoo animal that still has the respect of the visinificant. Besides being featured in films such as Jurassic tors and zookeepers who worked with him is Ken Allen, Park: The Lost World and Anchorman: The Legend of a Bornean orangutan who became known as “the hairy Ron Burgundy, the Zoo is where The Beach Boys shot Houdini” in 1985, after he escaped his enclosure three the cover of their epic Pet Sounds album, often cited times that year. After other animals started following his as one of the best pop-rock albums of all time. It’s also OPENER (CLOCKWISE): lead, the Zoo hired rock climbers to figure out every poswhere “Me at the Zoo,” the very first video ever posted A BONOBO APE; MALAYAN TIGER; MANDRILL MONKEY; AND BABY GIRAFFE. sible finger, toe and foothold in the enclosure. on YouTube—April 23, 2005—was filmed. As frustrating as an escaped orangutan might be to zoo In retrospect, the Zoo seems like a no-brainer, but THIS PAGE: DR. HARRY WEGEFORTH; officials who want to keep visitors and animals, Schwartz convincing people to build it was initially a challenge, NOLA, A NORTHERN WHITE RHINO. says experiences like this do provide teaching moments according to Matthew Schiff of the San Diego History for zookeepers. “Each animal has a unique personality, Center. “People didn’t get it. They didn’t understand the OPPOSITE: A KOALA IN PERCH but we learn something about the species from every one need for funding. It took a lot of convincing,” Schiff says. of them,” he says. “Ask the zookeepers. They’ll be happy to talk about the Wegeforth’s vision was for a zoo of the future, one more hospitable to the personalities of each animal.” creatures on display. “Some time in the early 1920s, the Zoo built a bear The Zoo will celebrate its centennial through the end of 2016. After that, it grotto with a moat preventing the animals from escaping,” Schiff says. “This will focus on the next 100 years, starting with newest exhibit, Africa Rocks, had been done in Germany, but it was revolutionary in the U.S.” opening in early 2017. The 8-acre exhibit duplicates African woodlands, The San Diego Zoo first became “world famous” during the Roaring ‘20s, highland savanna, tropical forest and rocky shoreline. It plays home to everywhen it was the first place outside of Australia to have koalas. Later, military thing from rock hyrax and klipspringers, to baboons, leopards, lemurs and personnel stationed in San Diego during World War II told their friends and African penguins. family about the Zoo. Schwartz admits today’s San Diego Zoo looks nothing like what its However, it really became iconic in the 1960s, when the Zoo started founders imagined, but gives them credit for creating a place where animals emphasizing the importance of saving endangered animals with the help of could be observed, appreciated and understood. He notes, “We’re standing longtime Goodwill Ambassador Joan Embery. She promoted conservation on the shoulders of giants.” and the effects of habitat destruction to mainstream America, thanks to
OPENER: ALL EXCEPT GIRAFFE (COURESTY SAN DIEGO ZOO) BY MATTHEW BALDWIN. THESE PAGES: ALL COURTESY SAN DIEGO ZOO.
IT ALL STARTED WITH A LION’S ROAR 100 YEARS AGO.
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RESCUE MISSION As popular as the San Diego Zoo is as a tourist attraction, much of its most lasting work takes place behind the scenes—helping to save endangered animals from extinction. v Back in 1987, there were only 27 California condors left in the world. All the surviving condors were taken from the wild and bred at the Zoo and the Los Angeles Zoo before being reintroduced to the wild. Now there are more than 400 in the wild. v The Zoo has helped to add more than 100 rhinos to the world population through a variety of multidisciplinary conservation efforts. Sadly, the death of Nola in November 2015 left only three white rhinos left in the world, but her DNA may one day be used to reintroduce the species. v Koalas are becoming endangered in Australia, thanks to problems such as shrinking habitats. The Zoo has the largest population outside of Oz, including a very rare albino koala named Onya-Birri (i.e., “ghost boy” in an Aboriginal-Australian language). v There are only about 1,800 giant pandas left in the wild, partially because of habitat destruction and also because the animals only give birth once every two years. Since 1999, seven pandas have been born at the Zoo. v In 2003, a group of African elephants was in danger because of drought conditions. The Zoo brought them to San Diego, and the youngest, Swazi, has since given birth to two babies of her own. v The Ugandan giraffe is endangered in Uganda and Kenya, but there have been more than 100 births at San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
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LA JOLLA Known as “the Jewel,” La Jolla is the pride of San Diego, boasting unparalleled natural wonders and a cozy sense of community. The village’s tree-lined avenues give it a quaint, Main Street USA feel, only decidedly more upscale—thanks to tony boutiques and four-star bistros with sweeping views of the majestic, craggy coastline below. Surfers flock to La Jolla’s legendary reef breaks—such as Windansea beach, famously chronicled by Tom Wolfe in The Pump House Gang—while kayakers are drawn to the cove’s mysterious caves. Youngsters find endless amusement watching the seals at Children’s Pool beach. The town is also home to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, which presents world-class exhibitions in its spacious galleries overlooking the Pacific.
LITTLE ITALY New York’s got one, Chicago’s got one, and so does San Diego. Downtown’s Little Italy has a palpable authenticity to it. Though it’s a popular stop for visitors looking for a slice of la dolce vita, don’t be surprised to hear the mellifluous strains of la madrelingua wafting from the bistros, pasta markets and sidewalk cafés lining the main drag, India Street. The village-like ‘hood is populated by many actual Italians, whose heritage is celebrated during several annual festas. Little Italy has also become one of the trendiest nesting sites for San Diego’s young urbanites, thanks to its contemporary architecture, stylish boutiques, a burgeoning design district along Kettner Boulevard, and, surprisingly, a growing array of non-Italian dining hotspots.
DOWNTOWN/GASLAMP QUARTER/EAST VILLAGE The one-time red-light district and former hangout of Wild West legends like Wyatt Earp, downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter is now among the country’s most vibrant entertainment districts, packed with a dizzying array of restaurants, nightclubs and boutiques. Downtown is also San Diego’s civic and cultural center, housing the headquarters for the Symphony and Opera, as well as the historical, beautifully renovated Balboa Theatre. Still more attractions await along the Embarcadero, including the Maritime Museum, the USS Midway aircraft carrier and Seaport Village, with its shops, restaurants and vintage carousel. Adjacent to the Gaslamp, the developing East Village seems to sprout a new bar or condo highrise weekly, attracting residents with its proximity to Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.
DEL MAR/ SOLANA BEACH These North Coast beach towns are a shopper’s paradise. Upscale but accessible, Del Mar’s pedestrian-friendly downtown has no shortage of bars and restaurants at which to wind down from a day spent indulging in retail therapy at the chic boutiques of Del Mar Plaza or betting on the ponies at the famous Del Mar Racetrack, a longtime hotspot for Hollywood’s elite. A few miles up the famed Highway 101 lies funky Solana Beach, where boutiquelined Cedros Avenue forms the spine of the area’s design district. Converted Quonset huts house all manner of home décor shops, art galleries and clothiers, while by night the Belly Up Tavern books some of the best local and national musical talent on the circuit.
LA JOLLA, RAFAEL PETERSON; LITTLE ITALY, EDWIN SANTIAGO; DOWNTOWN, STACY KECK
SAN DIEGO COMPRISES MANY VERY DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES. HERE ARE THE MOST VISITED.
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EDWIN SANTIAGO, SAMWELLSPHOTO.COM, BROWN W. CANNON III/ INTERSECTION PHOTOS, EDWIN SANTIAGO
UPTOWN/SOUTH PARK San Diego’s edgiest cultural districts can be found just north and east of Balboa Park. As the center of the city’s LGBT community and host of the annual Pride Parade & Festival, Hillcrest brims with stellar shopping, ethnic cuisine, casual dance clubs and a Sunday farmers market. Neighboring Mission Hills is home to grand estates whose residents frequent its quaint boutiques and bistros. Due east, North Park— with its alternative galleries, bars and the historical Observatory North Park theater—is the city’s arts-and-nightlife hub; while its southern neighbor, South Park, is a small but charming collection of shade-dappled streets lined with boutiques, bars and cafés. Take a drive through the area’s residential streets to marvel at fine examples of Craftsman architecture.
ENCINITAS/CARLSBAD The beach communities of North County have a pace all their own. Quaint and walkable, the neighborhoods operate on clocks that seem to tick a bit slower, where corporate homogeneity doesn’t stand a chance against homegrown mom-and-pop shops. Locals prize this simple, laid-back lifestyle as the very definition of the good life. Encinitas lends itself to quiet contemplation, whether from atop a longboard at Swami’s beach or while strolling the gardens of the Self-Realization Fellowship, whose golden, lotus blossom-shaped towers define the skyline. To the north, Carlsbad’s village is packed with bistros and antique shops, while Legoland and other attractions, such as the seasonal Flower Fields, are just a short drive to the east.
CORONADO Sometimes referred to by locals as “the island,” Coronado is actually an isthmus, connected to mainland San Diego by a slim strip of beach known as the Silver Strand. Accessible by ferry from downtown San Diego or via a majestic 2.12-mile-long bridge, Coronado makes for a charming day trip. Wide, tree-lined boulevards and historical homes lend a small-town atmosphere to Coronado’s main drag. As it makes its way toward the Pacific, Orange Avenue winds past the picturesque red turrets of the Hotel del Coronado, a Victorianera resort where Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon famously filmed Some Like It Hot. The area’s scenic beaches are favored by joggers, swimmers, sandcastlebuilding families and dog owners, whose four-legged friends love to frolic in the surf.
PACIFIC BEACH/MISSION BEACH/MISSION BAY San Diego is home to dozens of colleges and universities, and the beach neighborhoods are where those students live. On a thin peninsula separating Mission Bay from the Pacific Ocean, Mission Beach is one continuous beach party; its boardwalk is abuzz with joggers, bicyclists, skateboarders and sightseers on Segways. It’s also home to Belmont Park’s Giant Dipper roller coaster, built in 1925. East of Mission Beach is Mission Bay, whose salty waters are plied by kayakers, speedboats and catamarans. Nearby Pacific Beach is a haven for swimwear boutiques, surfing, sunbathing and fishing off the end of the iconic Crystal Pier. By night, Garnet Avenue’s lively beach bars and clubs keep the good times rolling.
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OLD TOWN By day, pedestrian-only Old Town State Park attracts visitors with historical structures, including the city’s first public schoolhouse, oldest surviving newspaper (The San Diego Union) and first brick courthouse. Nearby Heritage Park is a collection of immaculately preserved Victorian homes, including the 1887 Stick/ Eastlake-style Sherman-Gilbert House and Temple Beth Israel, the city’s first synagogue, constructed in 1889. On the hill above Old Town stands the landmark Junípero Serra Museum in Presidio Park, where Father Serra established Alta California’s first mission in 1769. By night, Old Town’s streets become a quaint entertainment district, packed with Mexican restaurants and festive bars serving up margaritas.
OCEAN BEACH/ POINT LOMA These are the quieter, more scenic coastal cousins to the raucous neighborhoods of Pacific and Mission Beach. Ocean Beach, or “O.B.” to locals, is a holdout of bohemian counterculture, full of organic grocers, antique malls and watering holes. The Wednesday afternoon farmers market—replete with fresh veggies, busking musicians and even llama rides for the kids—offers a perfect snapshot of the community. Adjacent Point Loma houses Cabrillo National Monument, where in 1542 Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo became the first European to set foot on the West Coast. Point Loma’s iconic lighthouse, which dates back to 1855, is also worth a visit.
BAJA CALIFORNIA No longer just a getaway for the youthful partygoer, the new Baja is a worthwhile excursion for passport-wielding foodies and cultureseekers. Though you needn’t look far to find a boisterous party scene in downtown Tijuana, you’ll also find a concert hall, art galleries and a museum at the spherical Centro Cultural, as well as celebrated restaurants such as Misión 19 serving haute Baja-Med cuisine. Twenty miles south are the coastal towns Rosarito and Puerto Nuevo, where fresh-caught lobster is a local specialty. Surfers and horseback riders are drawn to these beaches, while the area’s luxury spas offer a little R&R. (Try Rancho La Puerta in Tecate.) Baja even has its own wine country, a 14-mile route through the Valle de Guadalupe. (Adobe Guadalupe winery is pictured.) FOR WHAT’S HAPPENING IN S.D., SEE WHERE SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE, SOCALPULSE.COM OR THE WHERE TRAVELER APP
GREATER S.D. COUNTY Tourist brochures tend to focus on central San Diego and the coast, but interesting day trips await in the county’s eastern and northeastern reaches. About an hour from downtown is Julian, a charming Gold Rush-era town in the scenic Cuyamaca Mountains (pictured) whose small main drag is lined with historical buildings. It’s particularly beautiful in the fall, when the leaves are turning and the apple harvest is in full swing. (Try the pie; it’s famous.) San Diego has its own wine country out here, too, home to more than 100 (yes, 100!) producers including the 127-year-old Bernardo Winery; another 40 are clustered together in nearby Temecula. Many of San Diego’s best breweries, including Stone, are headquartered in the Escondido area and attract a growing number of beer pilgrims.
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SHOPPING SAN DIEGO STYLE IS ALL ABOUT ELEGANCE TEMPERED BY COMFORT. THIS IS THE COMMON THREAD UNITING THE TONY DESIGNER SHOPS OF LA JOLLA AND DEL MAR, THE INDEPENDENT BOUTIQUES SPRINGING UP DOWNTOWN AND THE MANY FASHION AND OUTLET MALLS. DECISIONS, DECISIONS ...
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strike gold Husband-and-wife team Kevin and Sonya Kemp stock their South Park shop Gold Leaf—as noted on the hand-painted, mint-green sandwich-board sign out front— with “curated goods for home and hearth.” The duo believes that the smallest everyday items can bring big joy to people’s lives. And shopping here is a joyful experience. Taking their cues from nature, the owners keep the shelves and surfaces filled with quality, handcrafted goods in earthy tones and materials. Here you’ll find one-of-akind letterpress stationery, jewelry, ceramics, textiles and home decor. Plus luxe soap, lotion and candles; leather Pons sandals; artisanal chocolates and tea; and creative toys and books for kids. The shop also carries its own locally made, mid-century modern-inspired custom furniture and refurbished vintage finds. Because home is where the heart—and art—is. 2225 30th St., South Park, 619.738.8120, goldleafsouthpark.com
h Bazaar Del MundoCL002705 For more than 40 years, Diane Powers’ Bazaar del Mundo has endured as one of San Diego’s most beloved tourist destinations. This festive collection of nine boutique shops just across Juan Street from the State Park features eyecatching items from around the globe, from colorful pottery at Artes de Mexico to feminine clothing and jewelry at Ariana. You’ll also find textiles, kitchen items, home furnishings, paintings, folk art and an inspiring array of coffee-table books and other titles. 4133 Taylor St., Old Town, 619.296.3161, bazaardelmundo.com Carlsbad Premium OutleTs Fashion vendors at this outdoor shopping center range from Calvin Klein, Dooney & Bourke and Lacoste to Barneys New York and Brooks Brothers. The outlets also boast shops specializing in children’s clothes, shoes for every occasion, travel gear and gifts. The center is located just off Interstate 5 (look for the giant windmill). 5620 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad, 760.804.9000, premiumoutlets.com Del Mar Highlands Town Center This exclusive open-air pocket of dining, shopping and entertainment in Del Mar comprises around 75 stylish shops and restaurants, as well as luxury movie theater complex Cinépolis. Pick up new threads at local boutique Studio 12-20, fashionable swimsuits at Diane’s Beachwear and designer shoes at Head Over Heels. Fuel up at several dining options, including Searsucker and breakfast/lunch hotspot Snooze. 12925 El Camino Real, Del Mar, delmarhighlandstowncenter.com
Del Mar PlazA Experience the elegant seaside approach to a full shopping excursion. The shops at Del Mar Plaza offer merchandise ranging from specialty clothing, footwear and organic bath products to artwork and gifts. Casual and fine-dining restaurants are perched upon this elevated plaza, providing guests a delightful coastal view. 1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, delmarplaza.com DUTY FREE CITY Located along the U.S.-Mexico border, this 14,000-square-foot space offers sophisticated, duty-free shopping: luxury accessories, beauty products, leather goods, confectionary, wine, spirits and tobacco. 601 E. San Ysidro Blvd., San Ysidro, 619.621.2600, duty-free-city.com fashion ValleyCL9000006472 There are shopping malls and there are shopping empires. Fashion Valley holds sway as San Diego’s premier shopping destination, with five department stores—including Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s—and 200 shops and restaurants. If Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Burberry are too pricey for your pocketbook, Fashion Valley has all the usual suspects as well, from Abercrombie to Zara. When shopping fatigue hits, take a breather at the expansive food court. 7007 Friars Road, Mission Valley, 619.688.9113, simon.com flower hill promenade4 A favorite destination for North County shoppers, this upscale, openair retail center is known for its refined culinary outposts, casual coffee shops and diverse array of luxury boutiques. Unique specialty stores encompass everything from jewelry to shoes to
women's and men's fashions to home accessories to artisanal food. 2720 Via de la Valle, Del Mar, 858.481.2904, flowerhill.com The Forum CarlsbadCL9000006474 This North County staple is much more appealing than your average strip mall. The pedestrian-friendly and aesthetically pleasing shopping center is lined with tropical palm trees and boasts popular retail outlets like Talbots, Victoria’s Secret and Anthropologie, plus family-oriented eateries such as Buca di Beppo and Panera Bread. 1923 Calle Barcelona, Carlsbad, 760.479.0166, theforumcarlsbad.com The Headquarters at SeaportCL0000027067 Formerly the city’s police headquarters (built in 1939), the historical, seaside property is now an open-air lifestyle center. Explore 11 sophisticated shops—including CoCo Rose, Madison, Geppetto’s Toys and Lolo, featuring unique clothing items, gifts and accessories—galleries and eateries. In between shopping, refuel at Puesto, known for its gourmet Mexican street food and organic cocktails. 789 W. Harbor Drive, downtown, 619.235.4013, theheadquarters.com westfield Horton PlazaCL0000027067 Located on the site of San Diego’s historical town plaza, this multilevel, open-air mall is often credited as having sparked downtown’s revitalization. Horton opened in 1985 and features more than 100 shops and restaurants, including mall chain mainstays (The Gap, Forever 21, Levi’s, etc.), department stores (Nordstrom, Macy’s), a movie theater and a new park. 324 Horton Plaza, Gaslamp Quarter, 619.239.8180, westfield.com/hortonplaza
courtesy gold leaf
H Starred listings are featured GuestBook advertisers. 5 6 W H E R E G U E S T B O O K
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H2 | TRADITION HYT is the first timepiece ever to combine mechanical and liquid engineering. H2, unique Swiss technology and movement made in cooperation with Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi - manual winding and 8-day power-reserve - driving a unique high-tech fluidic technology. HYT - a new dawn in watchmaking.
H Y T WATCH E S .CO M
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LAS AMERICAS PREMIUM OUTLETS Bargain hunters regularly trek to the border to find discounted treasures at this outdoor fashion outlet center, San Diego’s largest. With more than 125 stores and restaurants, Las Americas offers ample square footage to shop. You’ll be happy to discover savings of 25 to 65 percent over retail prices at other malls and stores. Bonus: Tijuana is a five-minute walk away. Hop on the Blue Line trolley from downtown for a hassle-free day. 4211 Camino de la Plaza, San Ysidro, 619.934.8400, premiumoutlets.com LIBERTY STATION The former naval base is home to Liberty Public Market, with around 30 specialty retailers selling gourmet food items and home wares; as well as Comickaze Comic Books, Kid Ventures, Moniker General, The Lot luxury cinema, The Loma Club golf course, NTC Park, an arts district and a dozen restaurants. 2640 Historic Decatur Road, Point Loma, libertystation.com
OTAY RANCH TOWN CENTER0 Shops at this airy, stylish South County mall include Apple, Sephora and myriad fashion boutiques. Enjoy outdoor fire pits, a dog park, restaurants and a movie theater. 2015 Birch Road, Chula Vista, 619.656.9100, otayranchtowncenter.com SEAPORT VILLAGECL0000027063 This popular tourist destination has many charms beyond its corner on the local souvenir market. In style, the 14acre complex pays homage to the early days of the century-old seaport and features 40-plus shops and a handful of casual and upscale eateries. Miles of bayside cobblestone paths make it an ideal place for strolling on a sun-dappled afternoon. And kids will dig the delightful carved-wood carousel. 849 W. Harbor Drive, Embarcadero, 619.235.4014, seaportvillage.com H WESTFIELD UTCCL0000027067 This sprawling open-air mall features three major department stores (Nordstrom, Macy’s, Sears) and more than
AARON CHANG OCEAN ART GALLERY For more than three decades, awardwinning, world-renowned surfing photographer Aaron Chang has traveled the globe to capture one-ofa-kind images. As the senior photographer for Surfing magazine for 25 years, Chang specialized in extreme action sports and international travel photography. The fruits of his labor can be seen at both of his artist-owned San Diego galleries, which feature an array of media from large-format photographs to art-wrapped surfboards. 415 S. Cedros Ave., #110, Solana Beach, 858.345.1880; 789 W. Harbor Drive, #156, downtown, 619.567.8088, aaronchang.com ADELMAN FINE ART CL00259 Shop original paintings, limited edition prints, sculpture, artisanal jewelry and more—all created by local and national artists and designers— at this contemporary boutique and art gallery in the heart of Little Italy's Design District. 1980 Kettner Blvd., #40, Little Italy, 619.354.5969, adelmanfineart.com H THE ART OF TIM CANTOR CL0000022595 At age 15, Tim Cantor saw one of his paintings placed in the White House. He has been featured in the world’s most prestigious art venues, and recently went on tour with rock band Imagine Dragons, who featured his work on their Smoke + Mirrors album cover and in music videos. His gallery shows his darkly ethereal oil paintings and limited-edition prints. 527 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.235.6990, timcantor.com
CHUCK JONES STUDIO GALLERY The work of world-renowned animator Chuck Jones has been viewed and valued by many generations enjoying Saturday morning cartoons, and is now on view in the Gaslamp. The gallery features work by Jones, the Oscarwinning creator of such memorable characters as Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Marvin the Martian and Pepe le Pew, as well as images from San Diego’s very own beloved Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel. 232 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.294.9880, chuckjones.com DISTINCTION GALLERYCL9000007944 This Escondido contemporary art gallery showcases figurative pop and urban surrealist paintings from emerging and established artists. Readers of the underground art mag Juxtapoz should find something to like in this 7,000-square-foot building, which features various exhibition spaces as well as 14 artist studios. Closed Su-M. 317 E. Grand Ave., Escondido, 760.707.2770, distinctionart.com MADISON GALLERYCL9000007945 Gallery owner Lorna York presides over this 10,000-square-foot contemporary art space, which features brilliant work by emerging, mid-career and established international artists working in a range of media. The gallery, which recently relocated from another space in La Jolla, is named for York's daughter, Madison. Open daily. 1055 Wall St., #100, La Jolla, 858.459.0836, madisongalleries.com PETER LIK GALLERYCL9000006511 This upscale gallery in the heart of La Jolla emanates a certain peaceful vibe, lined with world-renowned photographer Peter Lik’s luxury, landscape and fine art photography. The La Jolla locale is one of 15 Lik galleries throughout the U.S. and abroad, but the pieces here are rare, exquisite and one-of-akind. 1205 Prospect St., #C, La Jolla, 858.200.0990, lik.com
COURTESY MADISON GALLERY
145 shops and eateries—including a two-story Crate & Barrel. Commissioned artwork includes a dolphinthemed play fountain for children. The mall’s food court overlooks an ice skating rink—one of the few remaining in San Diego. 4545 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, 858.546.8858, westfield.com/utc
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QUINT GALLERYCL9000007943 For more than 35 years, Mark Quint has been known as one of the most influential gallerists in town, and his opening parties are legendary. People still talk about the time, years ago, that he let an artist shove a telephone pole through the front door, two walls and a back office. Ryan McGinness, Robert Irwin, Kim MacConnel and Roy McMakin are among the many big names the acclaimed gallery represents. Closed Su-M. 7547 Girard Ave., La Jolla, 858.454.3409, quintgallery.com SCOTT WHITE CONTEMPORARY ARTCL9000006487 For more than 25 years Scott White Contemporary Art has consistently put together some of the most interesting gallery shows in San Diego, featuring the work of both emerging and mid-career artists. Media ranges from contemporary painting and printmaking to sculpture and photography created by artists from the United States, Canada and Europe. Willem de Kooning, Frank Stella and Andy Warhol are just a few of the names whose work has been showcased here. By appointment only. 989 W. Kalmia St., Little Italy, 619.546.0006, scottwhiteart.com
SHOPS & BOUTIQUES ALOHA BEACH CLUB52 This modern boutique captures the aloha spirit with its collection of clothing and accessories that are “surf-inspired” but not your typical Hawaiian-shirt cheesy. Find supersoft printed tees, organic denim skinny jeans and trendy wood-frame sunglasses from Shwood; as well as other essentials for the contemporary, beach-dwelling man. Plus accessories for her and travel-inspired home goods. Closed M. 3039 University Ave., North Park, 619.269.3028, alohabeachclub.com THE ATTICCL0000333851 This modern vintage shop features design-savvy home decor and acces-
sories like recycled glass bird feeders, handcrafted jewelry by local designers, lightweight scarves from fair-trade companies and tea towels bearing the crown insignia, the symbol of Coronado. 1011 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.435.5432; 1112 10th St., Coronado, 619.435.5614, theatticcoronado.com AZZURRA CAPRICL9000007948 This luxury brand of Italian-crafted leather sandals offers an array of elegant footwear adorned in Swarovski crystals. The glamorous collection oozes femininity, with each set of sandals named after a woman (for example, the Cleopatra)—a perfect accompaniment to a flowing maxi dress. The boutique also carries sophisticated women’s clothing and accessories. 1840 Columbia St., Little Italy, 619.230.5116; 7863 Girard Ave., #110, La Jolla, 858.291.8585, azzurracapri.com H BETWEEN THE SHEETSCL9000007948 Looking for a home makeover? Between the Sheets has you covered. Inside the Del Mar location of this SoCal-based store, you’ll discover a diverse range of fine linens and home furnishings in a variety of styles to suit every taste. From sheet sets, towels, bath rugs and throw pillows to dinnerware, accent decor, furniture and lighting, you’ll find everything you need to design the home of your dreams. 2650 Via de la Valle, #C210, Del Mar, 858.847.3300, betweenthesheetsinc.com H BEN BRIDGECL9000007948 Your personal jeweler since 1912, Ben Bridge is a family-run business known for its fine jewelry and knowledgeable service. From engagement rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets to watches, accessories and gifts, choose from designer brands including A.JAFFE, Mikimoto, Rolex and TAG Heuer. Ben Bridge also offers appraisals, engraving, repairs and complimentary cleaning. Fashion Valley Mall, 7007 Friars Road,
#543, Mission Valley, 619.291.7572; Westfield UTC, 4505 La Jolla Village Drive, #C-19, La Jolla, 858.453.9996, benbridge.com BIXBY & BALLCL9000007948 The oldest cottage on South Cedros is home to this cool lifestyle boutique carrying items that are coastal chic, minus the kitsch. Find linens and throws by John Robshaw, oversized pillows and nature-inspired wall art, lotions, jewelry, home décor and gifts. 214 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach, 858.436.7214, bixbyandball.com BLENDS9 To make an edgy fashion statement, don’t forget your feet. Blends in East Village is known for its rare and exclusive urban footwear, including sneakers, trainers and high-tops. The Nike Roshe line of brightly colored, polka-dot-covered sneakers can stop traffic; while the Vans Vault Collection black-and-white checkerboard hightops help to create a smooth street style. 719 Eighth Ave., East Village, 619.233.6126, blendsus.com BLUE JEANS & BIKINISCL0000333847 Shopping for those two articles of clothing women often dread trying on is fun and easy here. From skinny to boot-cut, find jeans from premium designers such as Hudson and Joe's; plus bikinis and onepieces from L*Space, A.Che and Vix. 971 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.319.5858; 435 J St., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.249.0916; 1241 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858.750.2035, bluejeansandbikinis.com CAPRICORNCL0000027070 This smart, chic-looking shop in the Bird Rock district features a small but discriminating array of women’s fashions from independent designers including Myne and Gypsy 05, as well as jewelry by Jennifer Zeuner and more in its stylish space. Shoes and accessories, too. 5628 La Jolla Blvd., #B, La Jolla, 858.551.2660, capricornboutique.com
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GONE BANANAS BEACHWEAR Since 1975, Gone Bananas’ collection of women’s mix-and-match swimwear has been unsurpassed in quality and quantity. With some 15,000 pieces of swimwear, this Mission Beach shop showcases hundreds of designers, including Luli Fama, Vitamin A, L*Space and Billabong. 3785 Mission Blvd., Mission Beach, 858.488.4900, gonebananasbeachwear.com
LAUREL BURCH JEWELRY AT BAZAAR DEL MUNDO
THE CHEESE STORE000027070 A place to learn about cheese through classes, pairing dinners and an extremely knowledgeable and passionate staff, The Cheese Store conveniently doubles as a small bistro and gift shop. Dine in on the delightfully cheese-heavy menu—featuring gourmet salads, soups, sandwiches, panini, wine and, of course, mac ’n’ cheese and grilled cheese. Take a party platter to go and impress your fellow fromage fans. Closed M. 1980 Kettner Blvd., #30, Little Italy, 619.544.0500, thecheesestoresd.com
D.G. WILLS BOOKSCL0000027074 While mega-bookstores peddle everything from CDs to lattes, D.G. Wills sells books. Fiction and non-fiction, stacked high on floor-to-ceiling wood shelves, along with photographs, prints and old-time La Jolla memorabilia. Owner Dennis Wills can talk at length about all things literary; he also makes spot-on reading suggestions. The shop long has hosted readings by esteemed authors such as Allen Ginsberg, Edward Albee, Gore Vidal and Maureen Dowd. 7461 Girard Ave., La Jolla, 858.456.1800, dgwillsbooks.com
CORONADO TASTE OF OILS This family-owned specialty shop is stocked with oils and fine-aged vinegars from around California and imported from the likes of Italy, Chile and Australia. The best part: Guests can sample any item in stock. Try the organic, Tuscan-herb olive oil infusion, the blood-orange-infused olive oil or the cranberry and pear white balsamic vinegar. 954 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.522.0098, tasteofoils.com
DOLCETTI BOUTIQUECL0000333849 This stylish shop, owned by sisters Minet and Natalie Taylor, is one part fashion haven and one part beauty destination—offering men's and women's clothing, gifts, handbags, shoes and jewelry. Its sister business, full-service hair salon A Style Concierge, is located on the mezzanine of the boutique. 635 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.501.1559, dolcettiboutique.com
GOORIN BROS.CL0000333859 Design is a priority from head to toe at this well-appointed hat shop in a historical Gaslamp Quarter building. Fedoras, trucker, cowboy, even quirky baseball caps can be found here. Or try accessorizing with a vintage hatpin—they’re making a comeback. 631 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.450.6303, goorin.com GRAFFITI BEACHCL0000333866 Owner Melanie Michaud keeps her inventory stocked with one-of-a-kind “beach-to-street” fashions for women and men from up-and-coming designers. Eco-friendly accessories— bamboo sunglasses, wood watches and jewelry made from drum cymbals and skateboard decks—and hip gifts for babies are also popular here, as well as nostalgic and edgy art by emerging artists. 2220 Fern St., South Park, 858.433.0950, graffitibeach.com GROUNDED CL0000027080 Find a fresh, modern approach to gardening and design at this spot in Encinitas’ Lumberyard. Among the
housewares on display are indoor and outdoor furnishings by Herman Miller, Blu Dot and Gus Modern along with covetable placemats from Chilewich. Build up your library with books on home and garden design. 897 S. Coast Highway 101, #105, Encinitas, 760.230.1563, shopgrounded.com HILLSIDE ARTISANSCL0000333860 This charming shop is home to a small yet quality selection of toys and children’s apparel including soft newborn blankets, whimsical lunch boxes, one-of-a-kind outfits, carriers and shoes. A small play space is also available to keep the kids engaged as the grown-ups shop. 827 W. Washington St., Mission Hills, 619.293.0134, hillsideartisans.com HISCL9000006851 Whether shopping for the guy who lives in plain tees, or who prefers more flair, this boutique offers men's and kids' clothing and accessories for diverse tastes. HIS carries lines that embody effortless SoCal style. 143 S. Cedros Ave., #K, Solana Beach, 858.350.6410, hismensstore.com H HI SWEETHEART There’s a lot to love inside this little gift boutique. Here you’ll find a fun blend of hand-picked goods, from distinctive jewelry and playful accessories, to unique kitchenware, letter-pressed stationery, books and candles. Plus, one-of-a-kind art and home décor; toys and books for little ones; whimsical party supplies; and a slew of items to show your love for the Golden State, including a California-shaped cutting board; and mugs, beach totes and coasters featuring the state's beloved grizzly bear. 7920 Ivanhoe Ave., La Jolla, 858.729.1985, hi-sweets.com HUNT & GATHERCL9000006851 This boutique lives up to its name with its array of vintage clothing, accessories and home decor gathered from up and down the West Coast by owner Zoe Crenshaw, who
COURTESY BAZAAR DEL MUNDO
THE FABULOUS RAG Need a new frock? From fun and flirty prints to casual chic and little black dresses to maxis, this Pacific Beach boutique is filled with one-of-a-kind dresses and other unique fashions. Whether you’re looking for a new outfit for a night out or a day at the beach, you’ll find it here, as well as the latest styles in jewelry and handbags. 829 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach, 858.270.1993, thefabulousrag.com
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Nikki & Co. Fine Jewelers Since 1948
Located in the Heart of the Gaslamp
Antique Engagement Rings
Fine Swiss Watches: Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe, Panerai and more. 562 5th Avenue, San Diego (619) 236-0870
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M-THEORY MUSICL9000006667 San Diego’s version of the record store in High Fidelity, this shop carries a nice selection of new and used vinyl, as well as CDs. Pick up the latest albums by indie acts like Arcade Fire and The Black Keys, or search the used bins for classic rock, jazz and soul records. The store has also hosted legendary live performances by Chuck D, Spiritualized and TV on the Radio, among many others. 915 W. Washington St., Mission Hills, 619.220.0485, mtheorymusic.com VOCABULARY
customizes her finds with embroidery and other touches. 2871 University Ave., North Park, 619.297.3040, huntandgathershop.com LEAPING LOTUSL9000006478 Located in the heart of Cedros Design District, this airy, 21,000-squarefoot marketplace is a great spot for personalized gifts. Shop among pieces from more than 120 merchants and local artists—including art, photography, bath/spa products, candles, clothing, exotic imports, accessories, jewelry, home decor and furnishings, and kitchen wares. 240 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach, 858.720.8283, leapinglotus.com LOGHMAN JEWELERSCL9000006478 A diamond lover’s dream, this sophisticated shop carries an elegant selection of engagement and wedding rings, plus fine jewelry, watches and magnificent pieces from the likes of Italian designer Roberto Coin and Forevermark by De Beers. 1555 Camino Del Mar #324, Del Mar, 858.523.0000, loghman.com
LONE FLAGC Add some pop to simple basics with accessories that say something. Lone Flag is more of a concept space than shop— focusing on American-made clothing and accessories for men and women. Think well-crafted, premium-quality pieces that stand the test of time. Try the eye-catching Westward Leaning Voyager 16 sunglasses—featuring circular matte-sand tortoise frames with blackened California Redwood inlays for $185; or an electric blue, unisex utility bracelet for $28. 2690 Via de la Valle, Suite D140, Del Mar, 858.793.0712, loneflag.co LUXURY FARMS Foodies and gift-givers alike will rejoice in the discovery of this trendyyet-quaint shop (formerly known as The Front Porch). Inside you’ll find an artfully curated blend of gourmet pantry items, kitchen accoutrements and cookbooks; as well as uncommon furnishings and antiques alongside an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting bar. The 1,950-square-foot
MAKE GOODCL9000007927 Located on a tree-lined street in South Park, this small shop represents a collective of local crafters whose handmade, upcycled goods range from messenger bags and cuddly owl-shaped pillows to clothing, paintings and jewelry. Think of it as a brick-and-mortar version of Etsy, for locals only. Closed M. 2207 Fern St., South Park, 619.563.4600, themakegood.com MIMI & REDL9000007927 Both locations of this trendsetting women’s clothing boutique are regularly frequented by fashionistas in search of the latest piece no one else has. Shop among trendy looks of the moment, from dresses, tops and rompers to jewelry and accessories. 3041 University Ave., North Park, 619.298.7933; 5680 La Jolla Blvd., Bird Rock, 858.456.7933, mimiandred.com MINT SHOESCL0000027091 Get well-heeled without spending a mint at this stylish little shoe shop, painted in a modish spearmint, white and red color scheme. Displayed on clear shelves lining tubular walls are flirty flats and heels from young,
hip lines such as Oliberté and Jeffrey Campbell, and a wide selection of cool urban kicks for women and men. 525 University Ave., Hillcrest, 619.291.6468, mintshoes.com MISS MATCH1 Located on Ocean Beach’s main drag, this boutique caters to women of all sizes, ages and budgets. With wall-towall clothing, handbags, shoes and accessories, Miss Match not only keeps its stock high—with new inventory arriving daily—but also very au currant, carrying only the latest fashion trends and one-of-a-kind items. So if you see something you like, better buy it before another fashionista does. Second location open in Coronado. 4932 Newport Ave., Ocean Beach, 619.223.5500; 1201 First St., #217, Coronado, 619.435.5550, missmatchsd.com MISTRALCL0000027093 Named for the winds that flutter from the Alps into the south of France, Mistral specializes in handcrafted soaps, lotions and fragrances that offer healing and relaxation. The shop’s founders are proud of the natural ingredients used in their products, ranging from fresh lavender to verbena to handpicked gardenias. 12925 El Camino Real, #J-0, Del Mar, 858.755.1675, mistralsoap.com H NA HOKU – HAWAII’S FINEST JEWELERS SINCE 1924CL0000027095 Hawaiian for “stars,” Na Hoku captures the Hawaiian tradition and lifestyle in its exquisite fine jewelry. The store features Islandthemed lines like the Original Diamond Slipper Pendant, Palm Tree Collection and Hawaiian Heirloom Collection, plus designs by well-known jewelry artisans Kabana, Steven Douglas and others. Many items are set with Tahitian and freshwater pearls, diamonds, colored gemstones and inlays of opal and mother-of-pearl. Fashion Valley Mall, 7007 Friars Road, Mission Valley, 619.294.7811; 165 Horton Plaza, Gaslamp Quarter, 619.702.7121, nahoku.com
boutique lives up to its name, doubling as a charming gathering place where neighbors can catch up. A second location opened in 2015 in Coronado. 928 Fort Stockton Drive, #101, Mission Hills, 619.377.0430; 918 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.822.2190, luxuryfarms.com
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THE E TE RNAL MOVE ME NT Ulysse Nardin, from the movement of the sea to the perpetual innovation of Haute Horlogerie. For over 170 years, the powerful movement of the ocean has inspired Ulysse Nardin in its singular quest: to push back the limits of mechanical watchmaking, time and time again.
Freak Blue Cruiser Flying carrousel-tourbillon 7-day power reserve Silicium technology ulysse-nardin.com
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WATCH • LEARN • SHOP
in Balboa Park Over 200 San Diego County artists in 37 working studios located in beautiful Balboa Park.
Open 11am - 4pm daily
Spanish Village Art Center 1770 Village Pl., San Diego, CA 92101 619-233-9050
NICOLE MILLERCL0000027097_ New York designer Nicole Miller’s flirty, feminine dresses give classic silhouettes a modern twist with funky, unforgettable fabrics. Rumor has it she also was the first to coin the term "Little Black Dress." You’ll find plenty of those here, plus Miller’s gorgeous bridal line. The Forum Carlsbad, 1923 Calle Barcelona, #141, Carlsbad, 760.632.7000, nicolemillersd.com H NIKKI & CO. FINE JEWELERS4 Behind its ornate grapevine-motif brass gate, this tiny spot comes courtesy of a third-generation jeweler whose family has been in the business since 1948. Inside, find pre-owned fine Swiss watches from names like Patek Philippe, Panerai, Cartier and Breitling as well as antique and estate jewelry and diamonds, some dating back as far as the Victorian era. 562 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.236.0870 NOON DESIGNSCL9000006661 This charming little shop in the heart of Ocean Beach showcases the work of craftswomen Maie Webb and Nora Alexander. Graphic designer Webb hand-draws and presses Noon’s adorable greeting cards while Alexander, trained in industrial design, hand-makes its nature-inspired jewelry line. You’ll also find candles, soaps, hand towels, home goods and many other handcrafted pieces. 4993 Niagara Ave., #105, Ocean Beach, 619.523.1744, noondesignshop.com OMEGACL0000333837 As the official timekeeper for 24 Olympic Games, Omega has been a leading name in impeccable watchmaking since 1848. Designs range from the elegant, red gold ladies’ Constellation watch, with its whimsical diamond swirl face; to the sturdy, navy blue Planet Ocean watch for men, made from scratch-resistant Liquidmetal, a super-strong zirconium-based alloy. 7007 Friars Road, Fashion Valley, 619.260.1120, omegawatches.com
H PASSION FINE JEWELRY This full-service jeweler owned by Tim and Janna Jackson carries Hearts on Fire diamonds, Alex Sepkus handcrafted jewelry and its own Passion Collection jewels, and is the source for Independent Watchmaking. 415 S. Cedros Ave., #100, Solana Beach, 858.794.8000, passionfinejewelry.com PIGMENTCL9000006479 Pigment has everything for your home and then some, with sleek modern furniture, flooring and home accessories. Pigment also carries baby items, jewelry, eco-friendly totes by Baggu, decorative mini-terrariums and limited-edition art prints by co-owner Amy Paul. 3801 30th St., North Park, 619.501.6318, shoppigment.com SOLOCL0000027107 Located in the trendy Cedros Design District in Solana Beach, this warehouse-like retailer carries all manner of home decor items, stationery and unique gifts for men, women and children. Find furniture, kitchen items, plus a fabulous array of inspiring architecture and design books, jewelry and accessories from local artisans, eye-popping lighting, children’s toys and much more. 309 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach, 858.794.9016, solocedros.com STUART BENJAMIN & CO. JEWELRY DESIGNSCL0000027109 Focusing on designs from Europe and the U.S., Stuart Benjamin & Co. offers a dazzling and diverse array of fine-quality jewelry— including classic styles, unique and contemporary jewelry, timepieces, and custom designs. Known as the area's top jeweler for quality and service, the store also offers on-site jewelry repair and appraisal services. 7510 Hazard Center Drive, #405, Mission Valley, 619.297.7666, stuartbenjamin.com SUNSPLASH SWIMWEARCL0000027109 With a vast international selection of swimwear and resort wear, including
dozens of name brands, SunSplash carries everything from itsy-bitsy Brazilian bikinis to modern designer one-pieces. Sizes run the full range, and SunSplash specialists are trained to find the perfect figure-flattering fit. 979 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach, 858.581.3400 SWEET PAPERCL9000007930 This quaint, sunny stationery boutique run by a pair of sisters celebrates the lost art of the handwritten message. Check out their selection of clever, smartly illustrated cards by boutique brands; there’s also a wellcurated array of gift items, including candles, notebooks, recipe cards and more. Brides-to-be will love the shop’s bridal lounge, known for dream wedding invitations. 7660-A Fay Ave., La Jolla, 858.456.1446, sweet-paper.com TATYANAL0000333835 Go from blah to bombshell in a highwaisted dress or pencil skirt from this Gaslamp Quarter boutique, launched by Russian-born fashion designer Tatyana Khomyakova, whose retro designs are inspired by ’50s-era pinup queen Bettie Page. 430 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.544.1950, tatyana.com TAYLOR GUITARSCL9000006850 Taylor Guitars rest in the hands of famous musicians such as Taylor Swift, Jason Mraz and more. At the company’s El Cajon factory, you can learn how the guitars are made and even purchase your own axe at the on-site store, which also carries picks, parts, accessories and more. Tours of the factory are offered M-Th at 1 p.m. (excluding holidays). 1980 Gillespie Way, El Cajon, 619.258.1207, taylorguitars.com TOURNEAUCL9000006510 If a new timepiece sounds tempting, turn to Tourneau, recognized by Guinness World Records for its mind-boggling selection—more than 100 brands and dozens of styles, including rarities, vintage and limited editions. As an
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added bonus, Tourneau offers lifetime battery replacement. Fashion Valley Mall, 7007 Friars Road, Mission Valley, 619.296.8463, tourneau.com VAN DE VORT5 This independent boutique at Flower Hill Promenade caters to the laid-back coastal lifestyle. Owner Andrea Van De Vort keeps her racks stocked with contemporary and bohemian-chic fashions for women by international and local labels, with a discerning eye for unique statement pieces. Whether it's a day at the beach, an afternoon at the races or a night on the town, you'll find your outfit here. 2710 Via de la Valle, #B110, Del Mar, 858.720.1059, shopvandevort.com VOCABULARYCL0000027108 Make this a definite stop on any shopping itinerary. The Little Italy boutique is one of the loveliest around. Tiffany-blue walls, white molding and a plush seating area complement the youthful collection of clothing for women and men, as well as jewelry, accessories, home decor, paper goods, gifts and more. 414 W. Cedar St., Little Italy, 619.203.4066, vocabularyboutique.com VOM FASS The European-style shop features wines, liqueurs, spirits, oils, vinegars, spices, gifts and gourmet foods from around the world. Choose from more than 25 handcrafted liqueurs, imported brandy and whiskey; and more than 70 oils and vinegars, with flavors such as roasted peanut and avocado. A handpicked wine collection focuses on boutique labels from familyowned vineyards. 1050 University Ave., #E103, Hillcrest, 619.534.5034, hillcrest.vomfassusa.com WARWICK’SCL0000027113 Warwick’s has been a La Jolla institution since it first opened in 1896. Bibliophiles appreciate the wide selection, knowledgeable staff, regular author readings and other literary events. Peruse the independent bookseller’s
bestseller and recommended lists for suggestions. Locals also shop there for stationery, office supplies and gift items. 7812 Girard Ave., La Jolla, 858.454.0347, warwicks.com WELL SUITED Men who want to look sharp without breaking the bank can achieve both goals at this high-end resale shop. From designer men’s dress wear by Armani and Hugo Boss, to casual brands such as Tommy Bahama, Diesel, True Religion, Lucky and Nat Nast, fashionable, budget-savvy shoppers can find all their favorite labels here at considerably lower prices than retail. 8610 Genesee Ave., Golden Triangle, 858.455.0045; 146 N. El Camino Real, Encinitas, 760.436.3600, shopwellsuited.com H WE OLIVECL9000007966 Enjoy complimentary samples of California-grown extra virgin olive oils in a variety of inventive flavors at this specialty shop. You’ll also find bread mixes, body balms, lotions and soaps made with olive oil, plus vinegars, party dips and other gourmet items. Don't miss the oceanview wine bar in back, where you can enjoy a glass of boutique California wine. The bar also serves local craft beers and seasonal small plates. 1158 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858.551.8250, lajolla.weolive.com H WESTIMECL9000007956 This upscale, chic 2,500-square-foot boutique is the first Westime outpost to open outside of Los Angeles. Find all manner of timepieces, from popular fashion watches to limitededition selections from the finest Swiss watchmakers. Brands include Hublot, Girard-Perregaux, Ulysse Nardin and Bell & Ross. 1227 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858.459.2222, westime.com FOR MORE LISTINGS, SEE WHERE SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE, SOCALPULSE.COM OR THE WHERE TRAVELER CITY GUIDE APP
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COURTESY FIRESIDE BY THE PATIO
DINING IT’S NOT ALL SANDY BEERS AND FISH TACOS IN SAN DIEGO. WITH AN ARRAY OF FRESH INGREDIENTS AVAILABLE NEARLY YEAR-ROUND, THE CITY’S CULINARY LANDSCAPE IS NOW ON PAR WITH THAT OF THE WORLD’S GREAT URBAN CENTERS. HERE’S A SAMPLING OF WHAT YOUR TASTE BUDS HAVE IN STORE.
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FROM BAJA WITH LOVE The latest brainchild of renowned chef Javier Plascencia, Bracero Cocina de Raiz was the most hyped restaurant opening of 2015 … and it lives up to it. The two-story floor plan includes a dining terrace and sidewalk patio, with decor that pays homage to the laborers who have done the backbreaking work to harvest the food we eat—straw hats and sculptures of horse heads dot the walls, among other field work-related items. The food can aptly be described as “modern Mexican” with heavy coastal Baja and Mediterranean influences. This means creative spins on seafood dishes, plus craft cocktails focused on tequila and mezcal. Don’t miss the beef tongue confit street taco; the corn masa crispy egg with beef tartare and potato foam; the Baja hiramasa crudo; and the popular Albacore Two Ways (pictured). L, D (daily). 1490 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy, 619.756.7864, bracerococina.com
A.R. VALENTIEN California Cuisine. Overlooking the Torrey Pines Golf Course, the signature restaurant of the Craftsman-style Lodge at Torrey Pines is named for an early 20th-century San Diego impressionist whose work is featured in the dining room. Under executive chef Jeff Jackson, the restaurant uses seasonal, local produce to create its own masterpieces. B, L, D (daily). 11480 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, 858.453.4420, arvalentien.com ADDISON French. This fine restaurant overlooking the rolling green golf course at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar features contemporary French cuisine intricately fused with Mediterranean flavors. Dinner entrées change seasonally, as executive chef William Bradley—a James Beard “Rising Star Chef” nominee and Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef—uses the finest and freshest ingredients available. Pair your meal with a glass of vin from the Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning wine list, which includes more than 3,500 labels. D (Tu-Sa). 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, Del Mar, 858.314.1900, addisondelmar.com
BANKERS HILL American. Named for the neighborhood that houses it, this restaurant from popular executive chef Carl Schroeder (Market) features farm-fresh shareable small plates and entrées like barbecue braised pork tacos, house-made pastas and steak, served in a chic urban-casual setting. The airy interior features quirkily mismatched furniture and yields to a charming enclosed front patio— don’t miss the living tapestry of succulent plants mounted on the wall. D (nightly), Br (Su). 2202 Fourth Ave., Bankers Hill, 619.231.0222, bankershillsd.com BENCOTTO ITALIAN KITCHEN Italian. The Italian word for “perfectly cooked,” Bencotto’s been a hit with locals almost since day one. The menu spotlights heaping portions of house-made pastas, an array of savory sauces, cured meats, artisanal cheeses and rich desserts— all served in a modern, airy setting inside the glass-concrete-and-steel walls of Little Italy’s Q Building. D (nightly), L (Tu-Su). 750 W. Fir St., Little Italy, 619.450.4786, lovebencotto.com BERTRAND AT MISTER A’S American. One of the most exciting places to eat in San Diego, Mister A’s sits 12 stories up, with sweeping views that stretch from Tijuana to Orange County. Watch jetliners bob their way down to the runway at Lindbergh Field airport and enjoy some of the best food served anywhere. Add excellent service and even the most jaded diner will be impressed. Br (Su), L (M-F), D (nightly). 2550 Fifth Ave., 12th floor, Bankers Hill, 619.239.1377, asrestaurant.com
H BLUE OCEAN ROBATA & SUSHI BAR Japanese. High-style design meets modern Japanese cuisine inside this airy “aquarium” of sorts. The menu features an array of yakitori-skewered meats, seafood and veggies that are charcoal-fired on a custom Japanese robata grill, plus a fun selection of sushi that includes a lobster-tail roll and a Tango Mango roll with salmon, mango and avocado. Small plates range from vegetable potstickers and tempura to crispy soft-shell crab and salt and pepper calamari. Wash it all down with a well-curated selection of Japanese whiskey and sake. L, D (daily). 2958 Madison St., Carlsbad, 760.434.4959, blueoceanrobatasushi.com H BLUE SMOKE SUSHI LOUNGE Japanese. Fashion Valley Mall’s stylish eatery features signature sushi rolls, entrees and dozens of tapas-style Japanese dishes in a modern dining environment. Try the Happy Stomach roll, made with sweet potato tempura, carrot tempura and black rice, topped with avocado and butternut squash, or the CA Pearl—a krab, cucumber and avocado roll topped with baked scallop and eel sauce. And complete your meal with a glass of wine, beer or sake. L, D (daily). 7007 Friars Road #336, Fashion Valley, 619.291.7711, bluesmokesushi.com H BLUEWATER BOATHOUSE SEAFOOD GRILL Seafood. Hyper-local, fresh sustainable seafood reigns supreme at this waterfront spot—housed in the historical former Hotel del Coronado Boathouse. The menu is a fish lover’s dream. Choose from starters including an array of shellfish like the mussels with Spanish chorizo; as well
H 1500 OCEAN California Cuisine. 1500 Ocean at the Hotel del Coronado showcases fresh California coastal cuisine with a delicious ocean view. The menu features seasonal culinary offerings sourced locally, coupled with wines from across the region. Start with a craft cocktail at the Sunset Bar, then dine on the oceanfront terrace, in the contemporary dining room or private dining cabanas. D (Tu-Sa). 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.522.8490, hoteldel.com/1500-ocean
H STARRED LISTINGS ARE FEATURED GUESTBOOK ADVERTISERS. 6 8 W H E R E G U E S T B O O K
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voteD best seafood
as small plates such as ahi tuna poke and seared scallops with roasted jalapeño aioli. Feast on entrees ranging from miso-glazed black cod and pasta with shrimp and scallops to cioppino, beer-battered fish ’n’ chips and daily fresh catches—all while taking in the view of Glorietta Bay. L, D (daily); Br (Sa-Su). 1701 Strand Way, Coronado, 619.435.0155, bluewatergrill.com
built in 1887 next to the hotel del coronado
Classic and Contemporary Seafood · Sustainable · Lunch · Dinner · Brunch Happy Hour · Kids Menu · Full Bar · Patio · Pet Friendly · Ample Free Parking come in, get hooked
1701 strand way, coronado tel 619 435 0155
coming soon to carlsbad
BO BEAU KITCHEN + BAR French. Embracing its surroundings in casual Ocean Beach, BObeau is a pretension-free bistro serving simple, hearty French classics. The menu features pork belly croque madame, four different preparations of moules frites (mussels with fries) and the popular crispy Brussels sprouts with pancetta and Parmesan cheese, not to mention excellent craft cocktails. D (nightly). 4996 W. Point Loma Blvd., Ocean Beach, 619.224.2884, cohnrestaurants.com BROCKTON VILLA American. This 1894 cottage with a spectacular view overlooking La Jolla Cove is great for breakfast; try the famous Coast Toast, a French toast soufflé. For lunch and dinner, choose from an array of salads, seafood, steak and chicken. B, L, D (daily). 1235 Coast Blvd., La Jolla, 858.454.7393, brocktonvilla.com BROOKLYN GIRL EATERY American. This trendy neighborhood joint is known for its complimentary popcorn (evenings only); its airy, Brooklyn pantry vibe; and seasonal menu. Grab a Cobb salad for lunch, or feast on wood-oven pizzas—with toppings from littleneck clams and Brussel sprouts to figs and prosciutto—as well as meat and seafood entrées for dinner. Great cocktails and wine list, too. L (Tu-F), D (nightly), Br (Sa-Su). 4033 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills, 619.296.4600, brooklyngirleatery.com
BUONA FORCHETTA Italian. The wood-fired oven named "Sofia" takes center stage at this cozy corner eatery known for its authentic Neapolitan pizza, house-made pastas and salads. Save room for classic Italian desserts like tiramisu, panna cotta and cannoli. D (nightly), L (WSu). 3001 Beech St., South Park, 619.381.4844, buonaforchettasd.com CAFE CHLOE French. This intimate and charming corner spot is known for its creative and exciting French bistro fare—from the traditional steak frites and mussels to its decadent macaroni and pancetta gratin. Weekend brunch is a favorite among locals; get there early to snag a table outside on the sidewalk patio. B, L, D (daily). 721 Ninth Ave., East Village, 619.232.3242, cafechloe.com CAFE JAPENGOCL0000026912 Japanese. Located in the restaurant village of the Aventine, Café Japengo is a stylish and sophisticated lunch and dinner spot across from the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. The restaurant’s specialty is sushi, which it takes very seriously, with an always-busy sushi bar and a la carte delights that range from traditional to modern. L (M-F), D (MSa). 8960 University Center Lane, La Jolla-Golden Triangle, 858.450.3355, cafejapengo.com CAFE SEVILLA International. If you’re just mad about saffron—and the cuisine and culture of España, for that matter—head to Café Sevilla. In a Spanish-themed dining room with matador art on the walls and a huge tin bull installed above the bar, feast on rich tapas such as meatballs, bacon-wrapped dates, tortilla Espanola and empanadas; as well as paella and fresh seafood preparations. Sangria and live flamenco dinner shows will have you shouting out, "Olé!" L, D (daily). 353 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.233.5979, cafesevilla.com
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H CANNONBALL Japanese/Pacific Rim. San Diego's largest rooftop restaurant showcases Pacific Rim-inspired cuisine overlooking the ocean in Belmont Park. Enjoy shareable plates such as beef tongue, salmon tataki and lemongrass chicken; plus inventive sushi rolls. L, D (daily). 3105 Ocean Front Walk, Mission Beach, 858.228.9304, cannonballsd.com H CASA DE BANDINI Mexican/Southwestern. Located at The Forum Carlsbad, Casa de Bandini channels old Mexico, from the handmade lanterns, bubbling fountain and colorful folk art that decorate the space; to the regional classics cooking in the kitchen; to the strolling mariachis who serenade diners. Famous for its giant margaritas, the restaurant’s vast menu includes fajitas, enchiladas, salads, seafood specialties, breakfast options (till 2 p.m. daily) and more. B, L, D (daily). 1901 Calle Barcelona, Carlsbad, 760.634.3443, casadebandini.com
and tacos, as well as inventive small plates including the Ceviche Del Mar and Queso Fundido, and quench your thirst with a giant, frosty margarita. Breakfast menu options served till 2 p.m. daily. L, D (daily). 12865 El Camino Real, Del Mar, 858.792.4100, casasolymar.com CATANIA COASTAL ITALIAN Italian. With authentic coastal Italian fare and 180-degree ocean views, this spot is a hit in the heart of La Jolla. From the all-Italian wine list and craft Italian beer program, to the wood-burning oven and quaint ambiance, the focus on authenticity here is evident and downright charming. The menu features salads, small plates, wood-fired pizzas, pastas and entrees like wholeroasted branzino. Save room for the semifreddo for dessert—chased with a glass of house-made amaretto liqueur. L, D (daily). 7863 Girard Ave., #301, La Jolla, 858.551.5105, cataniasd.com
H CASA GUADALAJARA Mexican/Southwestern. Find traditional Mexican cuisine in a hacienda-style setting at this Old Town favorite not far from historic attractions and shopping. The menu features regional specialties such as enchiladas and burritos, as well as a wide selection of seafood and breakfast options (till 2 p.m. daily). Dine indoors or on the shaded patio in the lush courtyard garden. Pitchers of frosty margaritas, charming mariachis and festive décor complete the experience. B (Sa-Su); L, D (daily). 4105 Taylor St., Old Town, 619.295.5111, casaguadalajara.com
CHART HOUSE American. From coast to coast, the Chart House is synonymous with exceptional waterfront dining. At the Cardiff-by-the-Sea location, enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean— sliding glass doors open to bring crashing waves and spectacular sunsets that much closer. The menu includes Chart House standards—the delectable macadamia-crusted mahi or Prime rib, for example—as well as dishes that take advantage of local seafood offerings and regional flavors. L (M-Sa), D (nightly), Br (Su). 2588 S. Coast Highway 101, Cardiff, 760.436.4044, chart-house.com
H CASA SOL Y MAR Mexican/Southwestern. This charming eatery celebrates the warmth and beauty of Mexico via colorful folk art, authentic decor and roaming mariachis ready to serenade your table. Whether dining indoors or alfresco on the patio, feast upon traditional dishes such as enchiladas, quesadillas
CHIANTI Italian. Taking its name from Italy’s largest wine-producing region, Chianti celebrates authentic Italian cuisine, with an emphasis on Tuscan flavors. Enjoy rustic, yet elegant fare, from seafood and steak to classic pasta dishes, including linguine and clams, lasagna, homemade ravioli and gnocchi.
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No Italian meal would be complete without wine, and Chianti offers an extensive list by the glass and bottle. Mangia! L, D (daily). 644 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.235.8144, chiantirestaurantsd.com COASTERRA Mexican. The Cohn Restaurant Group’s bayfront Mexican restaurant/lounge features a massive waterfront dining deck offering unrivaled panoramas of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline. The menu of regional Mexican cuisine highlights local, seasonal ingredients, from ahi tuna tostadas and grilled lobster and jumbo prawns, to guacamole prepared tableside and enchiladas. An agave-focused cocktail menu includes more than 100 tequilas and a dozen mezcal infusions. Don’t miss happy hour (M-F, 3:30-5:30 p.m.) where signature cocktails and appetizers are $7 each. L, D (daily). 880 Harbor Island Drive, Harbor Island, 619.814.1300, cohnrestaurants.com/coasterra THE CORK AND CRAFT American. Taking a refined spin on classic American pub grub, this inland North County nugget is a restaurant, winery and brewery all in one. Sample beer and wine from around the world inside its 41-tap tasting room, then head to the earthy-mod restaurant to dine on braised pork belly with apple sauerkraut for a starter. Seasonally rotating entrees range from roasted salmon and Jidori chicken to Colorado lamb and pork loin. L (Tu-F), D (Tu-Su), Br (Su). 16990 Via Tazon, Rancho Bernardo, 858.618.2463, thecorkandcraft.com
Waterfront Dining on Shelter Island Reservations: (619) 224-3577 humphreysrestaurant.com
COWBOY STAR Steak. This downtown steakhouse, with its exposed-beam ceilings, large leather booths, stark landscape photography and cozy fireplace, brings a touch of Old West style to the neighborhood. The adjacent butcher shop ensures that the meats, like the USDA Prime 35-day dry-aged beef,
are top quality. L (Tu-F), D (nightly). 640 10th Ave., East Village, 619.450.5880, cowboystarsd.com CUCINA ENOTECA Italian. Located in the Flower Hill Promenade, this sister location of Cucina Urbana in Bankers Hill features a Cali-Italian menu packed with organic, sustainable antipasti, salads, pastas (even gluten-free pasta) and artisanal pizzas. Try the Spicy Coppa and Pineapple pizza with peperoncini, Calabrian chili, housemade mozzarella, pineapple, tomato and basil while dining alfresco on the rooftop patio. Retail wine shop features an extensive wine list. L (TuSa), Br (Su), D (nightly). 2730 Via de la Valle, Del Mar, 858.704.4500, urbankitchengroup.com CUCINA URBANA Italian. This always-bustling hotspot near Balboa Park features antipasti, pizza and pasta from executive chef Joe Magnanelli, as well as a retail wine shop heavy on Italian varietals. The cozy neighborhood kitchen’s chic décor combines contemporary touches with vintage accents. Don’t miss the ricotta-stuffed fried squash blossoms. L (Tu-F), D (nightly). 505 Laurel St., Bankers Hill, 619.239.2222, urbankitchengroup.com DAVANTI ENOTECA Italian. Opened by James Beard Restaurateur of the Year semi-finalist Scott Harris, this wine bar and restaurant serves up rustic Italian cuisine with creative twists in a fun, casual setting. Enjoy shareable plates, bruschetta, artisanal pizzas, pasta and more, paired with a glass of wine. Weekend brunch features the popular Bloody Mary bar, where you can build your own beverage. L, D (daily); Br (Sa-Su). 1655 India St., Little Italy, 619.237.9606; 12955 El Camino Real, Del Mar, 858.519.5060, davantienoteca.com DONOVAN’S Steak. Donovan’s is a truly authentic steakhouse, from the mahogany
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and delicate lighting to the mouthwatering Prime cuts of beef that define the classic menu. The restaurant also serves top-quality pork and veal chops and fresh local seafood, coupled with classic sides. Perfect for business and romantic dinners. L (daily) in La Jolla only, D (nightly) at both. 1250 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858.450.6666; 570 K St., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.237.9700, donovanssteakhouse.com
oven-roasted branzino and pork belly carbonara. Standout pies include the Gianna, with fennel sausage, mushrooms, pine nuts and mozzarella; and the Bianca, with fontina cheese, pancetta, broccolini and artichoke. To drink: cocktails, wine and 150 beers on hand, with a focus on local brewers. Save room for the cannoli. L, D (daily). 789 W. Harbor Drive, downtown, 619.344.2900, flourandbarley.com
EDDIE V’S PRIME SEAFOOD Seafood. This upscale seafood haven located in La Jolla and downtown San Diego offers nightly live jazz, indoor/outdoor dining and 200-degree views of the Pacific (at the La Jolla location). But the food is as much a reason to visit as the view. Find seafood classics like shrimp cocktail, ahi tartare, and lobster and crab bisque, plus premium hand-cut steaks. Menu favorites include the jumbo lump crab cake, the Maine lobster tacos and the famous crab fried rice. L (Sa-Su) in La Jolla only, D (nightly) at both. 1270 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858.459.5500; 789 W. Harbor Drive, downtown, 619.615.0281, eddiev.com
GEORGE’S AT THE COVE California Cuisine. This foodiefriendly La Jolla landmark offers three distinct dining experiences and a side of picture-perfect ocean views. Hang out in the laid-back Level2 bar for craft cocktails before sampling chef Trey Foshee’s daily menu of inventive California cuisine in the upscale George’s California Modern dining room (D only). The rooftop Ocean Terrace is a favorite weekend spot with its casual bistro fare. L, D (daily). 1250 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858.454.4244, georgesatthecove.com
EXTRAORDINARY DESSERTS Desserts. The desserts at Karen Krasne’s two signature restaurants are truly extraordinary. The cozy original location in Hillcrest became so popular that the owners opened another in Little Italy. The menu changes daily, but always includes a mouth-watering array of decadent and delicious desserts. The airy, modern Little Italy location also serves panini, salads, bruschetta and offers a weekly cheese bar (W). Open daily. 1430 Union St., Little Italy, 619.294.7001; 2929 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest, 619.294.2132, extraordinarydesserts.com H FLOUR & BARLEY Italian. This modern pizzeria brings the best of Italia to The Headquarters at Seaport, and blends contemporary decor with historical touches. Feast on a menu of brick-oven pizzas and classic Italian dishes such as meatballs,
it is not on any map. true places never are.
GRANT GRILL California Cuisine. Grant Grill’s been a downtown power spot for business and political leaders since it opened in 1951. The legendary restaurant reopened in 2006 with a renovated interior and menu. Dark woods, leather booths and crisp white linens provide a sophisticated backdrop for contemporary California cuisine crafted by executive chef Mark Kropczynski. Movers and shakers only interested in shaken or stirred, take note— mixologist Jeff Josenhans is one of the country’s rising cocktail stars. B, L, D (daily). 326 Broadway, downtown, 619.744.2077, grantgrill.com GREAT MAPLE American. Echoing a stylish European dinette with rustic touches, seasonal plates and plenty of pie, Great Maple is an "upscale diner" serving up well-crafted comfort food and serious drinks. The menu is broken down by small plates, a selection of mostly organic salads, plus hearty burgers,
7007 FRIARS ROAD, SAN DIEGO, CA 92108 FASHION VALLEY MALL | (619) 291-7711 | bluesmokesushi.com
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sandwiches, seafood, pasta and flatbread pizzas. Be sure to save room for some house-made apple pie or maple bacon doughnuts. Br, D (daily). 1451 Washington St., Hillcrest, 619.255.2282, thegreatmaple.com GREEN DRAGON TAVERN American. A replica of Boston’s historical Green Dragon Tavern, this Colonial Era-inspired property houses a museum, coffee shop, event space, tavern and restaurant. Sip on one of 20 craft beers and dine on New Englandstyle comfort food; popular dishes include the New England clam chowder, Maryland crab cakes and shepherd's pie. L, D (daily). 6115 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad, 760.918.2421, greendragontavernca.com
“The Pinnacle of Pancakes” -San Diego Magazine
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 6:30 AM – 2:30 PM 520 Front Street (just south of Market) Downtown San Diego 619-231-7777
909 Prospect Street (between Girard and Fay) La Jolla 858-459-8800
THE HAKE KITCHEN & BAR Seafood. Inspired by global brasseries, The Hake—located in the heart of La Jolla Village—focuses on fresh, seasonal seafood with Mediterranean, Latin American and Asian influences. Start your meal with one- to two-bite snacks and tiraditos—lightly dressed sashimi-style preparations—plus large shareable plates and tapas-style dishes. The chef-driven menu was designed by Aarti Sanghavi. In addition to beer and an award-winning wine program, the bar features an award-winning assortment of both classic and contemporary cocktails. D (nightly). 1250 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858.454.1637, thehake.com HASH HOUSE A GO GO Breakfast. Famous for its king-sized portions, the Hash House is where San Diegans go when they’re hungry. Really hungry. Always bustling with locals, the restaurant’s decadent and delightful food often warrants a doggy bag. The setting is casual and friendly, with one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods just steps away. Expect a long wait for weekend brunch. B, L (daily); D (Tu-Su). 3628 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest, 619.298.4646, hashhouseagogo.com
HERRINGBONE Seafood. This La Jolla hotspot offers “ocean bazaar” cuisine in an indoor/ oudoor setting that evokes the feel of an Old World market, complete with 100-year-old olive trees. Start with a cold fare appetizer like oysters or whole fish ceviche, followed by main dishes sourced from the sea (wood-oven-roasted whole fish) and field (Mary's half roasted chicken), all prepared fresh daily. The stylish scene makes for excellent people-watching. L (M-F), Br (Sa-Su), D (nightly). 7837 Herschel Ave., La Jolla, 858.459.0221, herringboneeats.com H HUMPHREYS RESTAURANT Seafood. This San Diego landmark, which offers waterfront dining, an extensive wine list and live music every night of the week, features contemporary global cuisine with eco-friendly ingredients, including sustainable seafood, local produce and farm-raised beef. The elegant interior complements one of the finest views in town. D (nightly), L (M-Sa), Br (Su). 2241 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island, 619.224.3577, humphreysrestaurant.com IRONSIDE FISH & OYSTER Seafood. It's all about the oysters at this raw bar, bakery and restaurant— featuring a jaw-dropping design that is urban, nostalgic and nautical. Pull up a stool at the 15-foot marble countertop—near the open kitchen—and dine on seafood-focused plates, such as lobster rolls and daily fresh catches, and sip on custom cocktails. The "Cocktails on the Half Shell" menu lets you pair one of three distinctive cocktails with a different oyster. Ironside’s raw bar stays open till midnight (till 2 a.m. F-Sa). L, D (daily). 1654 India St., Little Italy, 619.269.3033, ironsidefishandoyster.com ISLAND PRIME / C LEVEL Seafood. Enjoy seafood, a variety of steak cuts, salads, cocktails and one of the city’s best views looking back at the skyline. Adjacent C Level
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on the spacious deck is popular with the after-work crowd and serves a separate menu. C Level doesn't take reservations, but the bar inside Island Prime is a fun spot to hang out and people-watch while you wait. D (nightly) at both; L (daily) at C Level only. 880 Harbor Island Drive, Harbor Island, 619.298.6802, islandprime.com H JACK & GIULIO’S Italian. Formerly known as Giulio’s of Pacific Beach, this familyoperated Italian restaurant in historical Old Town is a perennial favorite among both San Diego locals and visitors. A sure menu bet is the Scampi alla Giulio, served since 1961 and befitting its proud name. Also choose from homemade pastas, veal, poultry, beef and fresh seafood—all just waiting to be paired with a robust Italian wine. Full bar. D (nightly), L (F). 2391 San Diego Ave., Old Town, 619.294.2074, jackandgiulios.com JAMES' PLACE Japanese. On the UC San Diego campus adjacent to La Jolla Playhouse, renowned sushi master and Japan native James Holder serves up elegant Japanese-fusion cuisine. Choose from sake-marinated black cod, braised short ribs and a halfpound Kobe burger. Inventive sushi rolls include the Don Juan roll, made with shrimp tempura, spicy crab, asparagus and avocado; topped with seared albacore, crunchy jalapeño and cilantro-ponzu sauce. Complement your meal with a well-curated selection of wines by the glass and bottle, a dozen sake options and specialty cocktails. D (Tu-Su). 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, 858.638.7778, jamesplacesd.com H JRDN California Cuisine. The beachfront Tower23 Hotel upped the culinary ante in Pacific Beach when it launched JRDN. Dramatic lighting, teak-wood accents and water and fire features are part of the ultra-
modern décor. Dine indoors or out on the patio—gorgeous ocean views abound. JRDN’s menu features contemporary California cuisine (steaks and seafood) with an emphasis on seasonal flavors. B, L (M-F); Br (Sa-Su); D (nightly). 723 Felspar St., Pacific Beach, 858.270.5736, jrdn.com JSIXCL0000026944 American. A downtown hotspot, this casual-chic space showcases a contemporary American menu focused on organic and local ingredients. Standout dishes include the housecured charcuterie, and the grilled ribeye with horseradish mashed potatoes and seared Brussels sprouts. Grab a seat at the bar for contemporary craft cocktails with cheeky names like The Liz Lemon and Uncle Buck. B, D (daily); Br (Sa-Su). 616 J St., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.531.8744, jsixrestaurant.com JUNIPER & IVY California Cuisine. Top Chef star Richard Blais oversees the modern Cali-American menu loaded with artisanal dishes at this popular “it” spot. Start with the buttermilk biscuit with smoked butter. Then choose from a selection of raw seafood, pastas and small plates, as well as seasonal, rotating mains such as Prime rib and local chicken served with English pea gnocchi. A fun and ambitious cocktail menu features rare concoctions. D (nightly). 2228 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy, 619.269.9036, juniperandivy.com KITCHEN 1540CL9000007969 California Cuisine. Creative, fresh cuisine is the concept at this eatery at L’Auberge Del Mar hotel. Standout dishes include the Jidori chicken, sea urchin pasta and Prime New York strip steak. Dine inside the contemporary restaurant or on the outdoor patio. D (Tu-Su), Br (Sa-Su). 1540 Camino del Mar, Del Mar, 858.793.6460, laubergedelmar.com/dining
SWIM AGAINST THE TIDE.
2958 MADISON STREET, CARLSBAD, CA 92008 (760) 434-4959 BLUEOCEANROBATASUSHI.COM
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RADICCHIO RAVIOLI AT PAN BON
LA FIESTA Mexican/Southwestern. Gaslamp eatery serves up traditional Mexican cuisine with modern flair. Choose from mole chicken, carnitas, enchiladas suizas, fajitas and more. Several inventive salads and classic appetizers are ideal for sharing. Happy hour (M-F) showcases a range of specialty margaritas, martinis and cocktails, as well as more than 50 different tequilas. L, D (daily); Br (Su). 628 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.232.4242, lafiestasd.com LE PARFAIT PARIS French. This French bakery and wine bar brings the charm of Parisian cafés to the Gaslamp. While you wait for your café latte, marvel at the fresh-baked baguettes, croissants, pastries and petite macarons. Or choose from more savory options, including charcuterie, quiche, salads and sandwiches. Weekends feature a champagne brunch, and dogs are always welcome on the patio. B, L, D (daily); Br (Sa-Su). 555 G St., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.245.4457, leparfaitparis.com
LEROY'S KITCHEN + LOUNGE California Cuisine. Fresh, local and sustainable define the eclectic cuisine at this favorite locals’ hangout. Here you’ll find inventive farm-to-table fare on a seasonally changing menu; sample items include the mushroom and goat cheese ravioli with chanterelles and black garlic; and roasted Brussels sprouts with orange and chili marmalade. Complement your meal with local craft beer flights and stiff signature cocktails. D (nightly), L (M-F), Br (Sa-Su). 1015 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.437.6087, leroyskitchenandlounge.com H LIBERTY PUBLIC MARKET California Cuisine. The city’s indoor public market—a 22,000-squarefoot space in Liberty Station—houses 30-plus local artisan vendors selling handcrafted food, goods and other specialty items. The daily farmers market offers fresh produce sourced from local farms, locally procured seafood, butcher services, homemade tortillas, artisanal breads and pastries, regional
MADISON California Cuisine. This sleek restaurant and lounge is outfitted with cedar-paneled vaulted ceilings, mid-century-mod decor, Italian design accents and cozy booths. Chef Mario Cassineri designed the SoCal-infused Mediterranean menu. Highlights include the tuna tartare topped with shrimp tempura; and the kale and romaine chopped salad with truffle cheese and a poached egg. Cocktails range from the Clover Club—gin, lemon, raspberry and egg white—to inventive originals, such as the California Common—mezcal, watermelon, lime and IPA. D (Tu-Su). 4622 Park Blvd., University Heights, 619.269.6566, madisononpark.com THE MARINE ROOM California Cuisine. With arguably the best food and location in town, the Marine Room sits practically in the ocean at La Jolla Shores beach. Come during high tide, when the waves lap against the window panes and the surfers look like they could hit the windows at any moment. Chef Bernard Guillas’ food is outrageously innovative and exceptional; the service is formal, but not stuffy, and the ambiance is second to none. D (nightly). 2000 Spindrift Drive, La Jolla, 866.644.2351, marineroom.com MARKET California Cuisine. Innovative food from well-known owner/chef Carl Schroeder has made Market a winner for local gourmands and visitors to the nearby racetrack. Schroeder gets his vegetables fresh daily from nearby Chino Farms and the dinner menu, featuring local seafood and meat, changes nightly. D (nightly). 3702 Via de la Valle, Del Mar, 858.523.0007, marketdelmar.com
H MCCORMICK & SCHMICK'S Seafood. This upscale steak and seafood chain has a location inside the Omni Hotel. Fresh catches include local selections such as albacore and swordfish from nearby Catalina Island. Or try fresh shellfish from the raw bar. Main dishes include a grass-fed hanger steak and an herb-roasted pork chop with maple-bacon mac 'n' cheese. A beautiful bar area hosts an excellent happy hour and serves up trendy cocktails, beer and a wine list with many California labels. B, L, D (daily). 675 L St., downtown, 619.645.6545, mccormickandschmicks.com MILLE FLEURS French. Mille Fleurs is one of San Diego’s top special-occasion restaurants. At this out-of-the-way location in tony Rancho Santa Fe, you’ll find elegant haute cuisine in a setting of unparalleled grace. Jovial owner Bertrand Hug has been in the business forever and has risen to the top of his game. The menu of spectacular French California fare changes daily depending on what’s freshly available at nearby Chino Farms. L (Th-F), D (nightly). 6009 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe, 858.756.3085, millefleurs.com MONELLO Italian. The vibe at this Little Italy hotspot is sleek and casual-glam, with the menu focusing on Milanese street food. Choose from a selection of pizzas, pastas and house-made gelato. Happy hour features a daily aperitivo from 4 to 7 p.m. with complimentary nibbles from the chef, and its signature vermouth. L, D (Tu-Su); Br (Sa-Su). 750 W. Fir St., Little Italy, 619.501.0030, lovemonello.com H MORTON’S Steak. Part of the popular steakhouse chain, the San Diego location offers everything you’d expect from this national favorite. Succulent steaks— we love the Cajun rib-eye—and fresh seafood specialties are among the many menu selections available.
wines, locally roasted coffee and more. Grab food to go, or dine on-site at one of several quick-service counters. Open daily. 2820 Historic Decatur Road, Point Loma, 619.487.9346, libertypublicmarket.com
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Home to one of the best martinis in town, the restaurant features a stylish, comfortable setting, near the Convention Center. D (nightly). 285 J St., downtown, 619.696.3369, mortons.com/sandiego NINE-TEN California Cuisine. The outdoor tables at this über-classy spot in the Grande Colonial hotel make peoplewatching on La Jolla’s main thoroughfare a delight. The food is also delightful, with innovative offerings and an elaborate, award-winning wine list. Chef Jason Knibb’s seasonally changing dinner menu offers a mix of both classic and contemporary in dishes like the fork-tender braised Prime beef short rib with local vegetables. B, L (M-Sa); D (nightly); Br (Su). 910 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858.964.5400, nine-ten.com NOBUCL9000006721 Japanese. After conquering New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London and Las Vegas, celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa brought his global brand to downtown San Diego with this sleek spot in the Hard Rock Hotel. You’ll find a raw bar as well as signature hot dishes including black cod miso and abalone in garlic sauce, when it’s in season. D (nightly). 207 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.814.4124, noburestaurants.com/san-diego OCEANA COASTAL KITCHENCL9000006721 Seafood. Fluorescent jellyfish from inside an 800-gallon aquarium greet you as you enter this indoor/outdoor bayside restaurant at the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa. Outside, a generous dog-friendly patio is dotted with tiki torches and lava rock fire pits. The menu showcases fresh California fare from land and sea; highlights include the seafood tower, the cold-smoked Niman Ranch pork chop, and the grilled Harris Ranch ribeye. Wash it all down with a mai tai. B, L, D (daily); Br (Su). 3999 Mission Blvd., Pacific Beach, 858.539.8635, catamaranresort.com
H OCEANAIRE SEAFOOD ROOM Seafood. No pesky iceberg will ruin your experience at Oceanaire. The retro supper club has the feel of an elegant 1930s ocean liner—all dark woods, sleek curves and crisp white linens—but it’s docked safely in the middle of the Gaslamp. Such vintagestyle luxury is the perfect backdrop for seafood so fresh it tastes just plucked from the sea. Perch at the Oyster Bar and throw back some decadent mollusks and a dirty martini. Or slide into a cozy, high-backed leather booth and take your pick from the high-end restaurant’s changing menu, printed daily. Sides are a la carte. Bon voyage. D (nightly). 400 J St., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.858.2277, theoceanaire.com OCEAN ROOM Seafood. If you crave fresh fish and seafood, look no further than the Ocean Room. The contemporary Serving San Diego since 1961, this Old Town legend is famous for delicious Scampi Giulio, homemade pastas, seafood and veal. Patio dining. Full bar. designed space showcases its exhibi2391 San Diego Ave., Old Town • (619) 294-2074 • www.jackandgiulios.com tion-style kitchen, where a range of dishes are prepared—from sushi and seafood stew to crab ravioli and lobster bisque, as well as filet mignon JackGiulios_GBSD11_v3.indd 1 3/23/11 and chicken teriyaki. Plus, an oyster bar, daily happy hour and patio seating. D (nightly). 630 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.501.6550, oceanroomsandiego.com
Poseidon on the beach
PACIFICA DEL MAR Seafood. One of North County’s best-kept secrets, this coastal seafood spot delivers award-winning cuisine in front of a brilliant ocean backdrop. White linens and polished service add to the elegant dining experience. For an entrée, choose from fresh local catch—favorites include the sugarspiced salmon and pan-roasted sea bass—as well as steak and pasta dishes. Or opt for smaller plates such as roasted beet salad, tuna tartare and clam chowder. Indulge at the Ocean Bar during happy hour, when beer, wine and cocktails are discounted, and small bites are half off. D (nightly), L (M-F), Br (Sa-Su). 1555 Camino Del Mar, #321, Del Mar, 858.792.0476, pacificadelmar.com
1670 Coast Blvd. • Del Mar (858) 755-9345 poseidonrestaurant.com
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H PAN BON Italian. This casual but elegant space showcases sleek, modern design and authentic Italian fare. An open, stateof-the-art kitchen keeps customers entertained as they dine on delicious, fresh-baked breads and pastries, savory panini and oven-cooked pizzas. Hearty main courses include steak, roasted chicken and grilled seafood, in addition to lighter fare options such as salads, soups and appetizers. To drink, order a wide range of American and Italian wines, as well as local microbrews. Dine in or grab food to go for a picnic in the park. Catering and banquet services are also available. B, L, D (daily). 1450 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy, 619.241.2443, panbon.us
Chef Meredith Manee’s sustainable culinary program embraces the seasonal whims of mother nature focusing on the bounty of year-round produce provided by the California coastline. This, paired with genuine and passionate service, creates an unforgettable dining experience.
DINING RESERVATIONS | 619-522-8490 HOTELDEL.COM/1500-OCEAN
H THE PATIO GROUP California Cuisine. The Patio Group is known for its popular, casual neighborhood spots that feature great design, seasonal fare and indoor/outdoor dining. At each location—The Patio on Lamont, The Patio on Goldfinch, and Fireside by The Patio—you’ll find organic salads, inventive flatbreads, seafood and meat dishes, as well as an array of cocktails, global wines and local craft beers. Canine friends are welcome on the patio. L, D (daily). B (M-F), Br (Sa-Su) at Lamont and Goldfinch only. 4445 Lamont St., Pacific Beach, 858.412.4648, thepatioonlamont.com; 4020 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills, 619.501.5090, thepatioongoldfinch.com; 2855 Perry Road, Bldg. 8, Point Loma, 619.432.2100, firesidesd.com PEOHE'S Seafood. From the waterfall in the foyer to the giant palm fronds and lava rock throughout the tiered dining room, this waterfront restaurant is a tropical treasure. Indulge in Islandstyle dining set against floor-to-ceiling views of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline. Not surprisingly, fresh seafood with a Polynesian flair and creative sushi rolls are top-selling items. Peohe’s is accessible by land or water—just pull up your yacht
to the dock. L (M-Sa), D (nightly), Br (Su). 1201 First St., Coronado, 619.437.4474, peohes.com H POSEIDON RESTAURANT American. Poseidon’s beachfront deck offers a relaxed dining experience day or night. Dinner entrées such as Kona coffee-rubbed rib-eye; seafood linguini; and lemon pepper-crusted diver scallops make up the contemporary, eclectic menu. D (nightly), L (M-F), Br (Sa-Su). 1670 Coast Blvd., Del Mar, 858.755.9345, poseidonrestaurant.com H THE PRADO International. Nestled in Balboa Park, The Prado takes the trophy for prime location. With its vibrant décor and eclectic international tapas, the restaurant is a contender for citywide favorite. Spanish Revival architecture, kaleidoscopic hand-blown glass and unparalleled alfresco views on the terrace serve as a lovely backdrop to California cuisine with Latin and Mediterranean influences; plus a diverse wine list. L (daily), D (Tu-Su). 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.557.9441, cohnrestaurants.com/theprado H PUESTO Mexican. Creative street tacos made with organic ingredients are the menu stars at this hip, colorful spot. Favorites include the potato soy chorizo taco, the filet mignon taco and the lobster taco with black beans and crispy onions. Plus specialty cocktails, beer, wine and an array of high-end tequila and mezcal. L, D (daily). 789 W. Harbor Drive, downtown, 619.233.8880; 1026 Wall St., La Jolla, 858.454.1260, eatpuesto.com QUEENSTOWN PUBLIC HOUSE International. Salads and burgers rule the menu at this New Zealandinspired eatery; the Kiwilango is the star—an organic grass-fed beef patty topped with jalapeños, blue cheese, tortilla chips and hot sauce. Don’t miss weekend brunch, complete with
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Free Olive Oil Tasting Daily Gourmet Foods & Tapas • Premium Artisan Wines Business Gift Collection • Ocean View Wine Bar Happy Hour Mon-Fri 3:30pm to 6:30pm
The finest California Extra Virgin olive oils, artisan vinegars, hand-crafted foods along with premium wines for an exquisite culinary adventure.
1158 Prospect St. La Jolla, CA 92037 (858) 551-8250 SHOP ONLINE lajolla.weolive.com
chicken and waffles, blood orange mimosas and sangria pitchers. L, D (daily); Br (Sa-Su). 1557 Columbia St., Little Italy, 619.546.0444, queenstownpublichouse.com
bar. L (M-F), D (nightly), Br (SaSu). 611 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.233.7327; 12995 El Camino Real #121, Del Mar, 858.369.5700, searsucker.com
H RICHARD WALKER’S PANCAKE HOUSE Breakfast. Since 1948, the Walker family has been serving gourmet breakfast and lunch favorites. The chain originated in the Chicago area and made its way to San Diego in 2006, opening at the base of downtown’s Pinnacle Museum Tower. Choose from classic griddlecakes, crepes, omelets or the delicious signature Brittany-style apple-puffed pancake. The weekend wait looks long, but is orderly and moves quickly. Additional location in La Jolla. B, L (daily). 520 Front St., downtown, 619.231.7777; 909 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858.459.8800, richardwalkers.com
SOLACE & THE MOONLIGHT LOUNGE California Cuisine. Sister to North Park’s Urban Solace, this North County spot from executive chef Matt Gordon offers quality dining without scaring away the taco-stand types. Get situated in the groundfloor dining room or head to the upstairs raw bar for oysters and seared albacore in the more casual Moonlight Lounge. Try the artisanal meat and cheese boards. L (M-F), D (nightly), Br (Sa-Su). 25 East E St., Encinitas, 760.753.2433, eatatsolace.com
SALLY’S SEAFOOD ON THE WATER Seafood. This marina-facing venue at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, 4:35 PM which comes complete with knockout views and an exhibition kitchen, is one of San Diego’s best-kept secrets. The seafood-heavy menu includes fresh creations such as the seafood tower (great for sharing) and jumbo crab cake with lemon basil aioli and mango avocado relish. Makes for a great power lunch spot along the waterfront. L, D (daily). 1 Market Place, Embarcadero, 619.358.6740, sallyssandiego.com SEARSUCKER American. Chef Brian Malarkey crafts a bold menu that ranges from a bone-in tomahawk ribeye steak to small appetizer plates. The enormous downtown space features an exhibition kitchen and see-and-be-seen square bar, where guests can sip on signature cocktails. In 2014, Searsucker opened a Del Mar location, featuring a large outdoor patio, koi pond, fire pit and sprawling back
H STAKE CHOPHOUSE & BARCL9000006700 American. The gleaming indoor/ outdoor rooftop retreat is a sexy, modern steakhouse. The menu boasts rib-eye, filet mignon, American wagyu beef and a 35-day, dryaged, bone-in New York strip. Stake is also the only restaurant in San Diego serving A5 Japanese wagyu beef, a rare delicacy from Japan. The wine list features a 2,000-bottle inventory of 200 selections—all housed in two elegant glass wine cellars. D (nightly). 1309 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.522.0077, stakechophouse.com STARLITECL9000006700 California Cuisine. Behind its hexagonal entryway, this hip, sleek bar/restaurant spotlights farm-totable cuisine—including one of the town’s top burgers, served on a buttery brioche bun—and signature cocktails such as the Starlite Mule, served in a rustic copper mug. Don’t miss the stunning chandelier suspended over the sunken bar, and the charming back patio. Kitchen stays open late till midnight. 21+ only. D (nightly). 3175 India St., Midtown, 619.358.9766, starlitesandiego.com
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STONE BREWING WORLD BISTRO AND GARDENSCL9000006469 Brewpubs. Known for its “big character” beers with clever names such as Arrogant Bastard and Ruination IPA, Stone’s enormous flagship North County brewery serves beerfriendly food made from organic, local ingredients—many from their own nearby farm—and also offers a behind-the-scenes tour, complete with free samples of a variety of their best brews. A second location in Point Loma's burgeoning Liberty Station features a bocce ball court and outdoor cinema space. L, D (daily). 1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido, 760.294.7866; 2816 Historic Decatur Road, Point Loma, 619.269.2100, stonebrewing.com/visit UNION KITCHEN & TAP American. As the name implies, this is a watering hole for the working man, albeit one with cosmopolitan tastes. Here you'll find interesting beer, craft cocktails, boutique wines and tavern-style grub. Choose from 20 rotating taps of mostly local brews to wash down a bacon burger or sweet potato ravioli. L (M-F), D (nightly), Br (Sa-Su). 1108 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, 760.230.2337, localunion101.com URBAN SOLACECL9000006470 American. Enjoy owner/chef Matt Gordon's new American comfort food in low-lit modern ambiance. The upscale comfort-food menu is warm to the core with its cheese biscuits with orange-honey butter, steamed black mussels, and “Not Your Momma's Meatloaf” made with ground lamb and pork and served with brown butter mash. L, D (daily); B (Sa); Br (Su). 3823 30th St., North Park, 619.295.6464, urbansolace.net VIVACECL0000026982 Italian. The most opulent of the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort’s four restaurants, Vivace’s warm, elegant surroundings may leave you starry-eyed, but the
contemporary regional Italian food will bring you back to terra firma. Roasted Jidori chicken breast, woodfire-grilled New York steak and veal scallopini share the menu with seasonal vegetables and imaginative pastas and risottos. D (M-Sa). 7100 Aviara Resort Drive, Carlsbad, 760.603.3773, vivace-restaurant.com WAYPOINT PUBLIC California Cuisine. This laid-back gastropub has a little something for everyone: 100 international bottled beers; a custom 30-tap system focused on West Coast craft brews; and upscale comfort dishes that range from burgers and fish ’n’ chips to salads and sandwiches. The little ones will enjoy staying active in the fenced-off kids' play area. D (nightly), L (W-F), Br (Sa-Su). 3794 30th St., North Park, 619.255.8778, waypointpublic.com WHISKNLADLE California Cuisine. Nosh on inventive, artisanal fare, sourced locally by chef Ryan Johnston, and sip craft cocktails—either in the cozy lounge or on the covered outdoor patio. Menu items include charred bone marrow and lobster tortellini. L, D (daily), Br (Sa-Su). 1044 Wall St., La Jolla, 858.551.7575, whisknladle.com ZENBU SUSHICL0000026984 Japanese. One of North County's hippest sushi joints, Zenbu serves up contemporary rolls (the Mexicali roll is a favorite among locals), misoglazed salmon and other dishes made with seafood caught by owner Matt Rimel's own fleet of fishing boats. Ask about the sushi bar’s off-the-menu creations. Plus wine, beer and cocktails. L, D (daily). 2003 San Elijo Ave., Cardiff, 760.633.2223, zenburestaurants.com FOR MORE LISTINGS, SEE WHERE SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE, SOCALPULSE.COM OR THE WHERE TRAVELER CITY GUIDE APP
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RELAX. ENJOY. SHARE. Experience San Diego dining as it should be: Fresh, local and crafted with care. The Patio Group features five unique restaurant locations, including an outpost in Petco Park. While each is unique, they are equally dedicated to sourcing the finest sustainable, seasonal and quality ingredients. The Patio Group restaurants are the perfect backdrop for a night on the town, family gathering or Sunday brunch under the sun.
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BROWN W. CANNON III/INTERSECTION PHOTOS
ARTS, NIGHTLIFE & ATTRACTIONS FUN TIMES AWAIT FOR KIDS AND ADULTS ALIKE. FROM BARS AND DANCE CLUBS TO MUSEUMS AND THEATERS TO THEME PARKS, MONUMENTS, MAGNIFICENT GOLF COURSES, CASINOS AND A WORLD-FAMOUS ZOO, IT’S ALL RIGHT HERE.
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DRINK IT IN San Diego's cocktail scene continues to soar to new heights with the addition of The Nolen—a modern-day speakeasy that blends classic and contemporary with nostalgic cocktails. The 14th-floor, 2,500-square-foot, open-air bar boasts 6-foot glass walls along the perimeter, two fireplaces, and leather and brass accents. Named after landscape architect and San Diego visionary John Nolen (18691937), the bar focuses on spiritsdriven, Craftsman-era cocktails— with a house-batched barrel-aged program that showcases rotating spirits aged in oak barrels for at least two months. Choose from cocktails on draft and “hoptails,” with local distillers such as Ballast Point and craft distilleries from around the world represented. The bar features a daily happy hour and a small menu of upscale snacks. Oh, and the surrounding downtown views are stunning. 453 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.796.6536, thenolenrooftop.com
ADVENTURE R.I.B. RIDES Experience San Diego by sea and get up close and personal with marine life via intimate dolphin/whale-watching and sightseeing excursions onboard a Navy SEAL Rigid Inflatable Boat (R.I.B.). All charters are captained by a licensed U.S. Coast Guard captain, and provide a fun, fast and thrilling ride, allowing you to take in the sights in and around San Diego Bay. Choose from set tours or create your own custom ocean excursion. 1380 Harbor Island Drive, Harbor Island, 619.808.2822, adventureribrides.com BALBOA PARK At 1,200 acres, this lush green space overlooking downtown San Diego is the largest urban cultural park in the country, home to more than 17 museums, theaters and other cultural institutions, as well as the Spreckels Organ, the world’s largest outdoor pipe organ. You’ll also find several spectacular gardens showcasing anything from succulents and palm trees to roses and perennials, plus various facilities for sports and recreation, trails for hiking and mountain biking, and Irving Gill’s historical Marston House, one of the finest examples of Arts and Crafts architecture in the U.S. 1549 El Prado, San Diego, 619.239.0512, balboapark.org BELMONT PARK Located right on Mission Beach, Belmont Park offers nostalgic summertime fun and modern entertainment for the whole family. Ride the historical 1925-built Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster, or thrill-seek on the Octotron and Tilt-a-Whirl. Catch waves at the WaveHouse via the Flowrider simulated wave ride for surfing and body-boarding. And
enjoy bumper cars, a carousel, minigolf, arcade games and ample dining options that go above and beyond hot dogs and cotton candy (although you can get those here, too). 3146 Mission Blvd., Mission Beach, 858.228.9283, belmontpark.com BIRCH AQUARIUM AT SCRIPPS Educational and entertaining, the aquarium features an eye-popping assortment of Pacific marine life and lots of creative, hands-on exhibits highlighting the ongoing research and discoveries of the worldrenowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Kids will love it— “Hey, is that Nemo?!”—and grownups will leave feeling more informed about the planet’s vastest habitat: the ocean. Check the calendar for special events and activities for children and adults. 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, 858.534.3474, aquarium.ucsd.edu H BOARDWALK ELECTRIC RIDES Take in the best of the city’s beaches and boardwalks via electric bike. Whether you choose to explore on your own or during a guided two-hour tour, you’ll enjoy a fun and relaxing, scenic adventure with picture-perfect views of the coastline, Mission Bay and downtown. Choose your ride: from fat tire electric beach cruisers to city style electric bikes— and even electric skateboards. Bike tours and rentals include a helmet, water bottle and map. Tours are by reservation only. 4150 Mission Blvd., #143, Pacific Beach, 858.345.0203, boardwalkelectricrides.com CABRILLO NATIONAL MONUMENT When Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first gazed on San Diego Bay in 1542, he called the area “a very good enclosed
port.” Later, Point Loma would be home to a historical lighthouse and Fort Rosecrans, a key cog in the coastal defense system. Now Cabrillo National Monument gives visitors the best views of downtown and sweeping ocean vistas. 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, Point Loma, 619.557.5450, nps.gov/cabr H HORNBLOWER CRUISES With a fleet of seven vessels capable of carrying from 50 to 1,000 people, Hornblower runs daily narrated tours of San Diego Bay that get you up close and personal with some 50 major landmarks, from the Star of India to Cabrillo National Monument. Also offered: whale watching, nightly romantic dinner cruises, a two-hour Sunday champagne brunch cruise (on Saturdays, too, during the summer), yacht charters, weddings and private events. 970 N. Harbor Drive, Embarcadero, 619.686.8715, hornblower.com H LA JOLLA KAYAK Enjoy guided ocean snorkeling and kayak tours of La Jolla’s spectacular cliffs and caves, as well as La Jolla Cove, with certified and experienced instructors. Or rent single/double kayaks and snorkeling gear to explore on your own. Best part: La Jolla Kayak will transport your kayaks to and from the beach so you don’t have to worry about lugging gear (just bring yourself!). Whale watching, standup paddle-boarding and bike tours are also available. 2199 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla, 858.459.1114, lajollakayak.com LEGOLAND Stemming from the popular building blocks made for children, Legoland owns and operates seven theme parks
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all over the world. Carlsbad is home to one of two U.S. parks, featuring more than 60 rides along with model attractions (called Minilands) designed and constructed by master Lego builders using only Lego blocks. The Sea Life Aquarium is adjacent to the park and features educational and interactive entertainment. Don't miss the water park, which includes a 45-foot water slide tower, a lazy river and more wet rides. 1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, 760.918.5346, legoland.com MISSION SAN DIEGO DE ALCALA Founded by Father Junípero Serra in 1769, Mission San Diego de Alcala has served as a historic monument and a working Catholic parish. The church was the first of California’s 21 missions. Pope Paul VI designated the mission a basilica in 1976. Soak in the history and architecture of the mission on a self-guided tour any day of the week. 10818 San Diego Mission Road, Mission Valley, 619.281.8449, missionsandiego.com SAN DIEGO BOTANIC GARDEN Back in 1957, Charles and Ruth Larabee donated their 30-acre private estate in Encinitas to the county. The San Diego Botanic Garden, now run by a nonprofit organization, immerses visitors in colorful flora and fauna in this urban oasis. Docent-led tours are offered Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas, 760.436.3036, sdbgarden.org SAN DIEGO SAILING TOURS Set sail on a two-hour tour of San Diego Bay aboard one of two classic sailing yachts. Whether you want to relax and let the experienced crew do the work, or try your hand at sailing, customize your ocean adventure to suit your personal interest. Tours can be booked per person—or book the whole yacht. Half-day whale watching tours and private tour packages also available. 1450 Harbor Island Drive, Harbor Island, 619.786.0173, sandiegosailingtours.com
SAN DIEGO SPEED BOAT ADVENTURES You get to be the captain as you take the wheel of your very own speed boat on this one-of-a-kind adventure. Trained guides will help you navigate the seas—via two-way radio—as well as provide a narrated tour while you steer your vessel during this 13-mile tour of San Diego Bay. In addition to taking in the USS Midway from periscope level and the Maritime Museum’s tall ships, you also may see some sea lions within a few feet of your boat. 1450 Harbor Island Drive #205, Harbor Island, 619.294.5852, speedboatadventures.com H SAN DIEGO ZOO It's world-famous for a reason. Visitors can get up close and personal with around 4,000 rare and endangered creatures from nearly every corner of the world. Animals, both well-known and unfamiliar, live in habitats rich with features and activities (such as the Elephant Odyssey and Australian Outback exhibits). The Zoo—which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016—is a longtime leader in animalGuestBook_SD_SDZG_2016.indd care and wildlife conservation, and it shows at this landmark San Diego attraction. 2920 Zoo Drive, Balboa Park, 619.231.1515, sandiegozoo.org
H SAN DIEGO ZOO SAFARI PARK The Serengeti is thousands of miles away, but the 1,800-acre Safari Park (formerly the Wild Animal Park) lets visitors experience a safari here. More than 300 species roam the extensive exhibits, designed to resemble natural habitats like savannas, forests and lakes. Guided and self-guided tours bring animal adventurers safely close to elephants, giraffes, gorillas, lions, antelopes, zebras, rhinos and more. 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, 760.747.8702, sdzsafaripark.org
SEAWORLD With San Diego’s connection to the Pacific Ocean, SeaWorld remains the
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GOLF BARONA CREEK GOLF CLUB This par-72 course, spanning 7,088 yards and created by Gary Roger Baird Design, includes 100-plus bunkers and a series of lakes and ponds. It was also the host site for the 2007 Nationwide Tour Championships. Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, 1932 Wildcat Canyon Road, Lakeside, 619.443.2300, barona.com/resort/golf CORONADO MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE You may have difficulty keeping your eye on the ball at this 18-hole championship course: From the back nine, the views of the Coronado Bridge and the San Diego skyline across the bay can be beautifully distracting. Opened in 1957, it's rated as one of the best public golf courses in the nation. 2000 Visalia Row, Coronado, 619.435.3121, golfcoronado.com MUSEUM OF MAKING MUSIC
signature theme park of America’s Finest City. From new, inspiring orca encounters to Shipwreck Rapids, the 52-year old park balances informative, fun aquatic shows with thrilling coasters and unique experiences. Get wet on the splashy Journey to Atlantis, or explore polar life in Wild Arctic. The Turtle Reef attraction offers an up-close look at dozens of threatened sea turtles. 500 Sea World Drive, Mission Bay, 800.257.4268, seaworld.com H SPANISH VILLAGE ART CENTER This artists’ haven includes 37 working studios and an outdoor patio area where visitors can watch resident artists create original works of art. With more than 200 artists represented, the center displays a large variety of paintings, glass works, pottery, jewelry, sculpture, photography, fiber arts, enamel, woodwork and more. 1770 Village Place, Balboa Park, 619.233.9050, spanishvillageart.com
TIJON FRAGRANCE LAB & BOUTIQUE Don’t just buy perfume: Learn the art of perfume-making as you create your very own custom fragrance. Not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill perfumery, Tijon is a multisensory interactive laboratory where customers get to mix beakers of oils (under the guidance of Tijon’s own experts) and watch the perfume/cologne production process as it unfolds. Choose from more than 300 oils to formulate your unique scent. And once it’s done, be ready to name it, too. 7853 Herschel Ave., La Jolla, 619.821.8219, tijon.com USS MIDWAY As one of the world’s largest floating naval-aviation museums, the USS Midway showcases restored airplanes and interactive exhibits. It's one of the nation’s longest-serving aircraft carriers, and many of the docents are veterans who served onboard the carrier during its 47-year history. 910 N. Harbor Drive, Embarcadero, 619.544.9600, midway.org
THE GRAND GOLF CLUB Arguably the most scenically breathtaking course in the country, this exclusive golf course at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar—one of the top luxury resorts in the world—is a true treat to play. Open to resort guests, members and the property’s villa owners, its immaculate, Tom Faziodesigned fairways, rolling greens and dramatic elevations bordering Los Peñasquitos Canyon make for an unforgettable round. 5200 Grand Del Mar Court, Del Mar, 858.314.1930, fairmont.com/san-diego/golf MADERAS GOLF CLUB This scenic Johnny Miller- and Robert Muir Graves-designed course—named one of Golf Digest's top 100 public courses—is set in secluded canyons and ravines, complemented by oaks, sycamores, creeks, lakes, waterfalls and 40 acres of native wildflowers. The 18-hole course plays to 7,167 yards from the back tees, and with five sets of tees, it can be enjoyed by golfers of all skill levels. 17750 Old Coach Road, Poway, 858.451.8100, maderasgolf.com
OMNI LA COSTA RESORT Measure your game against golfing’s elite at La Costa, the site of numerous PGA Tour events and Southern California's only Gold Medal Golf Resort. Amid 400 acres in the coastal foothills of Carlsbad, La Costa features two 18-hole courses recently restored with a $20 million renovation. The site also boasts a driving range, equipment rental and a golf performance clinic offering unique on-site programs to help you improve your game. 2100 Costa Del Mar Road, Carlsbad, 800.854.5000, omnihotels.com PARK HYATT AVIARA The only Arnold Palmer signature golf course in San Diego, Aviara winds through rolling valleys with ocean views. Named by Golf Digest and Golf magazines as one of the best resort courses in the nation, and by Condé Nast Traveler as No. 1 in San Diego, the resort also welcomes non-guests to play. 7447 Batiquitos Drive, Carlsbad, 760.603.6900, golfaviara.com RANCHO BERNARDO INN This 18-hole championship course features two natural lakes, a driving range with grass or mat tees and a championship yardage of 6,631. The resort in northeast San Diego County has hosted PGA and LPGA events, and offers instruction and clinics by PGA pros. 17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive, Rancho Bernardo, 866.901.5547, ranchobernardoinn.com/golf SALT CREEK GOLF CLUB Carved through the foothills of Mount Miguel, this 280-acre layout is a links design by John Cook. It features three lakes, 78 bunkers and plenty of lush wetlands. The scenic course is surrounded by a wildlife refuge—not housing developments. Five sets of tees suit all levels, measuring 6,889 yards from the back tees and 5,505 from the forward tees. 525 Hunte Parkway, Chula Vista, 619.656.2373, saltcreekgc.com
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SYCUAN GOLF RESORT Set amid rugged mountains and natural rock outcroppings, Sycuan Resort is a 25-minute drive east from downtown San Diego. There are two, 18-hole championship courses and an 18-hole executive course spread over some 425 acres. Also onsite is a golf school designed exclusively for women of all ages and skill levels, taught by LPGA professionals. 3007 Dehesa Road, El Cajon, 800.457.5568, sycuanresort.com/golf TORREY PINES GOLF COURSE Home of the PGA Tour’s annual Farmers Insurance Open and the 2008 U.S. Open, this is one of the best-known courses in the U.S. (Tiger Woods and local Phil Mickelson are among the greats who have played here.) The two courses have stunning ocean views from the bluffs above the Pacific, wide fairways and sloping greens. The seventh and 12th holes on the South Course are two of the town’s toughest. 11480 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, 858.581.7171, torreypinesgolfcourse.com
CASINOS BARONA RESORT & CASINO Lakeside's upscale casino and hotel features more than 2,000 slot machines, 70-plus table games, satellite wagering and an all-you-caneat buffet. 1932 Wildcat Canyon Road, Lakeside, 619.443.2300, barona.com CASINO PAUMA This tropically themed complex offers more than 35,000 square feet of gaming, 850 slots, 24 table games, poker parlor, live entertainment and several restaurants. 777 Pauma Reservation Road, Pauma Valley, 760.742.2177, casinopauma.com PALA CASINO SPA & RESORT The sprawling property features 2,250 state-of-the-art slots and video machines, 85 Vegas-style gaming tables, live entertainment, eight restaurants and two lounges; plus a
full-service spa appointed with luxury amenities. 11154 Hwy. 76, Pala, 877.946.7252, palacasino.com PECHANGA RESORT & CASINO Enjoy video machines, table games, a lunch buffet and an entertainment center, featuring live concerts and professional boxing. 45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula, 951.693.1819, pechanga.com HARRAH’S RESORT The property features a 21-story hotel tower; Dive Day Club, which includes several pools and a lazy river; Spiked, a new craft cocktail ultra-lounge; and multiple eateries. 777 Harrah’s Rincon Way, Valley Center, 760.751.3100, caesars.com/harrahs-socal
We Call it California Perfection Sunset Dinner, Champagne Brunch, Sunset Cocktail Cruises, Harbor Cruises, and Whale Watching Adventures. Weddings and Private Charter Cruises also available.
SYCUAN CASINO Find high-stakes bingo, pai gow poker, slots and five restaurants at this East County gambling hall, plus a 500-seat theater. 5469 Casino Way, El Cajon, 619.445.6002, sycuan.com VALLEY VIEW CASINO Features include high-limit blackjack, 2,000 slots, the Black & Blue Steakhouse, a Maine lobster buffet served nightly, a 24-hour café, three bars and separate non-smoking gaming and bar area. 16300 Nyemii Pass Road, Valley Center, 760.291.5500, valleyviewcasino.com VIEJAS CASINO This Alpine casino features 2,500 Vegas–style slots, table games, satellite wagering, high-stakes bingo, buffet and six restaurants. 5000 Willows Road, Alpine, 619.445.5400, viejas.com
WINERIES BERNARDO WINERY Founded in 1889 by Sicilian winemakers, this is the oldest operating winery in SoCal—featuring more than a dozen wines and a spacious tasting room. Sample a flight inside or grab a seat on the patio. Open daily. 13330 Paseo del Verano North, Rancho Bernardo, 858.487.1866, bernardowinery.com
HORNBLOWER.COM | 619-686-8715 SAN DIEGO • NEWPORT BEACH • LONG BEACH MARINA DEL REY • SAN FRANCISCO • BERKELEY • NEW YORK
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CARRUTH CELLARS This urban winery and tasting room makes wine from Northern California grapes, with tastings offered daily. 118 S. Cedros Ave., #400, Solana Beach, 858.847.9463, carruthcellars.com
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MENGHINI WINERY This boutique winery in the heart of East County's Julian produces just 4,000 cases of syrah, sauvignon blanc, riesling and cabernet sauvignon annually. Grab a bottle if you can. Tastings are offered daily. 1150 Julian Orchards Drive, Julian, 760.765.2072, menghiniwinery.com ORFILA VINEYARDS Growing syrah, viognier, muscat canelli and more, this beautiful winery produces about 10,000 cases of Rhone-style wines annually. 13455 San Pasqual Road, Escondido, 760.738.6500, shop.orfila.com SAN PASQUAL WINERY Favorites at this downtown La Mesa winery include its Summervine Habanero passion-fruit wine, which won Double Gold at the 2013 San Diego County Fair, and its 2010 Lake County malbec, which has been chosen to represent California at an international malbec tasting in Cahors, France. 8364 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, 619.462.1797, sanpasqualwinery.com SOLTERRA WINERY & KITCHEN This modern winery, tasting room and tapas-style eatery is located just a couple blocks from the beach. Try the Solterra “white” label, made from grapes that are only grown in San Diego County, Temecula and northern Baja, Mexico. 934 N. Coast Hwy. 101, Encinitas, 760.230.2970, solterrawinery.com WITCH CREEK WINERY This casual tasting room in the heart of Carlsbad Village offers
samplings of Witch Creek’s fullbodied wines daily, each with a feline-inspired name. 2906 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad, 760.720.7499, witchcreekwinery.com
MUSEUMS CALIFORNIA SURF MUSEUM Founded in 1986, the California Surf Museum documents not just the history of San Diego’s surf culture, but the whole state’s. The museum’s occasional exhibitions explore classic surf photography, the evolution of surfboard design and relics from the sport’s golden era. From highly specialized gear to music, art and clothing, the museum’s small but informative collection tells the story of a life lived according to the way the waves are breaking. 312 Pier View Way, Oceanside, 760.721.6876, surfmuseum.org MINGEI INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM Mingei (which means "art of the people") takes center stage at this museum's rotating exhibitions, which feature a rich collection of handmade folk art, craft and design from all eras and cultures of the world. 1439 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.239.0003, mingei.org MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART SAN DIEGO With two distinctive locations— coastal and urban—the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego keeps native and visiting culture-vultures satiated with lectures, film series and rotating exhibitions that have included marquee art-world names as well as notable up-and-comers. MCASD La Jolla, perched above the dazzling Pacific, showcases the whimsical and charming outdoor Edwards Sculpture Garden, while the downtown galleries occupy the historical Santa Fe Depot and feature commissions from artists including Richard Serra, Jenny Holzer, Roman de Salvo and Richard Wright. 1001 and 1100 Kettner Blvd., downtown; 700 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858.454.3541; mcasd.org
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H MUSEUM OF MAKING MUSIC In an effort to bring the story of American popular music and its pioneering history to life, this unique museum showcases vintage musical instruments, interactive audio and visual exhibits, films, concerts and discussions that explore the history of music-making in the U.S. from the 1890s to the present day. Exhibits often focus on specific musical instruments, from the harp to the saxophone. 5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad, 760.438.5996, museumofmakingmusic.org MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS Since 1983, the Museum of Photographic Arts has brought the best of moving and still images to San Diego, ranging from pure art photography to pointed social commentary. The permanent collection consists of more than 7,000 images, from the earliest daguerreotypes to modern photojournalism; while its new exhibits are among the best in the world. MoPA also shows films in its state-of-the-art theater, and has one of Balboa Park’s coolest gift shops. 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.238.7559, mopa.org NEW CHILDREN’S MUSEUM Designed just for kids, this awesome interactive art/play space downtown is a revolutionary learning environment. The museum encourages its wee visitors to interact with the exhibits, which are always innovative, educational and engaging. Plus, there is fun to be had for kids of all ages. 200 W. Island Ave., downtown, 619.233.8792, thinkplaycreate.org REUBEN H. FLEET SCIENCE CENTER This hands-on science center makes learning a blast. Explore more than 100 interactive exhibits and Kid City, where scientists ages 5 and younger can climb into the driver’s seat of a model fire truck and play pretend in a mock grocery store checkout
line. And the whole family can catch fascinating large-format IMAX films and planetarium shows at the Giant Dome Theater. 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.238.1233, rhfleet.org SAN DIEGO AIR & SPACE MUSEUM This cavernous museum traces the history of human flight, from the earliest contraptions to military jets, all suspended from the ceiling above interactive, educational exhibits that tell the stories of the two World Wars. The 3D/4D theater provides an immersive thrill for all ages. 2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, 619.234.8291, sandiegoairandspace.org SAN DIEGO MARITIME MUSEUM San Diego’s Maritime Museum is world-famous for its beautifully preserved historical ships and collection of seafaring memorabilia. Take a tour of the magnificent Star of India, the world’s oldest active ship. Since her maiden voyage in 1863, she’s survived a mutiny, a collision and thousands of tourists. Now safely docked— except for a couple of exhibition sails each year—she’s a tall ship with plenty of tall tales. 1492 N. Harbor Drive, Embarcadero, 619.234.9153, sdmaritime.org SAN DIEGO MUSEUM OF ART Opened in 1926 as the Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, the museum’s diverse collection today includes Italian Renaissance and Spanish Baroque works, 19th- and 20th-century American and European paintings and sculpture, and a vast Asian collection. Director Roxana Velásquez, formerly of Mexico City’s Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, has launched exhibitions featuring works from sought-after foreign collections. 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.232.7931, sdmart.org SAN DIEGO MUSEUM OF MAN Located in the historical California Plaza at the center of Balboa Park, the Museum of Man is known as much
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Up’s resident artist. 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach, 858.481.8140, bellyup.com FLUXXCL9000006363 This theatrical nightspot gets its name from the continually changing atmosphere. But it’s not only the chameleon-like décor that attracts S.D.’s trendiest clubgoers to the 11,000-square-foot nightclub’s central sunken dance floor: Fluxx’s sophisticated lighting and sound systems along with its barely clad bartenders make for unforgettable nights. Open F-Sa, select Th. 500 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.232.8100, fluxxsd.com
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for its architecture as its exhibitions— the museum’s California Tower is Balboa Park’s signature landmark; for an extra fee, visitors can climb up to the top to take in breathtaking views of the city. Past exhibitions have spotlighted everything from ancient Egypt to medieval torture devices. 1350 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.239.2001, museumofman.org SAN DIEGO NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM Housed in a building designed by San Diego architect William Templeton Johnson (who also designed the nearby Museum of Art), the Natural History Museum hosts permanent exhibitions such as Fossil Mysteries (prehistory of Southern California and Baja) and Coast to Cactus in Southern California, as well as temporary/ traveling ones. One of the more popular stops in Balboa Park, the museum also features an extensive film schedule at its 300-seat giant-screen 3D theater. 1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.232.3821, sdnhm.org
NIGHTLIFE ALTITUDE SKY LOUNGE San Diego looks good from 22 stories up. The highest open-air rooftop bar in San Diego, this lounge at the Marriott Gaslamp offers two fullservice bars and a design that caters to comfort and style. Spectacular views of the harbor, downtown skyline and an inside peek into Petco Park can be enjoyed with VIP service. With plenty of ledge seating and a swank fire pit, Altitude Sky Lounge allows guests to sit atop the world in style. 660 K St., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.696.0234, altitudeskylounge.com BELLY UP TAVERN Built in a converted Quonset hut, this intimate club has offered some of the best live music in the county since 1974. The diverse lineup runs the gamut from local and indie bands to well-known names in folk, world, rock, country and so on. It’s a short haul from downtown San Diego, and well worth it. Be sure to check out rock poster art by Scrojo, the Belly
OMNIA SAN DIEGO The multimillion-dollar, multilevel venue by the Hakkasan Group boasts both indoor and outdoor spaces— including a large terrace with views of the Gaslamp Quarter—interactive features and state-of-the-art technology guaranteed to deliver an unforgettable night out. The innovative club has hosted a superstar lineup of DJs and electronic artists, including Calvin Harris, Carnage, Krewella, Tiësto, Armin van Buuren and Afrojack. 454 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.544.9500, omnianightclub.com PARQ Housed in the former On Broadway space, this posh new restaurant and club delivers an unparalleled nightlife experience. Indulge in innovative cuisine, such as grilled octopus and soy-glazed pork belly. Then dance it off inside the 20,000-square-foot club, accessed via a stone tunnel. 615 Broadway, downtown, 619.727.6789, parqsd.com ROOFTOP 600 The Andaz Hotel’s rooftop—one of the largest downtown, with unrivaled views of the city—transforms into a Vegas-worthy club at night with DJs spinning, dance acts and plenty of pretty people. 600 F St., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.814.2060, rooftop600.com
H TOP OF THE HYATT Boasting some of the most spectacular and dramatic ocean and city views in all of San Diego, this iconic bar and lounge has undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation. Perched 40 stories above the Pacific, the space features floor-to-ceiling windows and sleek yet warm decor. Try one of 12 signature libations from the cocktail menu, a glass of wine or beer; and snack on light bar fare such as the crab stack served in a Mason jar. 1 Market Place, downtown, 619.358.6731, topofthehyatt.com
PERFORMING ARTS BALBOA THEATRE The Balboa Theatre has enjoyed a long and colorful life since its construction in 1924. Originally a vaudeville and movie palace, it was transformed in 1934 into El Teatro Balboa, used by the Navy during WWII, served as single-occupancy housing after that and in 1959 was rescued from possible demolition by the Russo family. In 1986 the City purchased the theater and in 2002 decided to restore and renovate the historical building. In January 2008, after many years and $26 million, the Balboa Theatre finally reopened its doors as a local, national and international performing venue. 868 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.570.1100, sandiegotheatres.org CYGNET THEATRE Critics applaud the award-winning Cygnet Theatre, whose productions range from stage classics and world premieres to clever comedies and edgy brow-raisers laced with innuendo. Shows take place at Cygnet’s intimate, 250-seat space in the heart of Old Town. Old Town Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town, 619.337.1525, cygnettheatre.com H LA JOLLA PLAYHOUSE The Who’s Tommy. Memphis. Jersey Boys. All won a bevy of Tony Awards, and all premiered here, 3,000 miles off Broadway in La Jolla. This theater
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founded by Gregory Peck and others in 1947 has a storied history, and continues to draw top-flight original musical and theatrical productions. The Playhouse has earned additional acclaim for its Without Walls program and festival, where unique plays are performed in unusual locations. 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, 858.550.1010, lajollaplayhouse.org LAMB’S PLAYERS THEATRE This ensemble theater company presents a year-round schedule of productions in two different venues—its resident stage, a beautiful 350-seat space in Coronado’s historical Spreckels Building, and the newly refurbished Horton Grand Theatre, an intimate 250-seat space in downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. This energetic company serves up an engaging range of comedies, musicals, classics, bold dramas and new work. 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado; Horton Grand Theatre, 444 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.437.6000, lambsplayers.org H NORTH COAST REPERTORY THEATRE From classic plays and musicals to world-premiere stagings, the North Coast Rep has been delivering highquality productions for more than 30 years. Comedy and drama are no stranger to the stage at the intimate 194-seat theater in Solana Beach. The Rep is also committed to fostering a love of theater in local youth via its Theatre School education and outreach programs. 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, #D, Solana Beach, 858.481.1055, northcoastrep.org THE OLD GLOBE Mixing Tudor architecture and Shakespearean staging with contemporary plays, The Old Globe, founded in 1935, brings high-quality theater to the heart of Balboa Park. The complex holds three stages: the main Shiley Stage (capacity: 580), the more intimate White Theater and the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival
Theatre. Annual program highlights include the summer Shakespeare festival and popular holiday offering, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619.234.5623, theoldglobe.org SAN DIEGO OPERA With an interactive website and informative podcasts, San Diego Opera also produces three operas a year at San Diego Civic Theatre. The 2016-17 season, which runs from October through April, includes Cinderella, Falstaff, and La Traviata. 1100 Third Ave., downtown, 619.533.7000, sdopera.com SAN DIEGO REP Small but prestigious, The Rep stages contemporary plays, re-imagined classics and world premieres annually at the downtown Lyceum Theatre space, including a few—such as It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues—that have moved on to Broadway. With an emphasis on multicultural programming, The Rep also produces Kuumba Fest, a celebration of African-American culture, and the Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival. Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, Gaslamp Quarter, 619.544.1000, sdrep.org SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY San Diego Symphony has been enriching local culture for more than a century now. The orchestra performs both classical and symphonic pops concerts throughout the year. Its winter home is downtown’s Jacobs Music Center inside Copley Symphony Hall. For the Summer Pops series, the orchestra moves outdoors to the waterfront Embarcadero Marina Park South. 750 B St., downtown, 619.235.0804, sandiegosymphony.org FOR MORE LISTINGS, SEE WHERE SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE, SOCALPULSE.COM OR THE WHERE TRAVELER CITY GUIDE APP
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Playtime starts now. kayaking near fiesta island on Mission bay • Photo by edwin santiago
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Big Bang Unico Sapphire. Case made of sapphire, paying tribute to Hublotâ€™s extensive expertise. The absolute transparency reveals the manufactured UNICO movement. Column-wheel chronograph, 72-hour power reserve. Limited series of 500 pieces.
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