West Oceanfront Magazine February/March 2019

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February 2019

FebruaryI March 2019 www.westoceanfrontmagazine.com

Learning Eating about love from The Bachelor’s Seinne Fleming


should be cheesy, the praises of a musical says the CEO legend showcased in of a new Balboa Newport Beach Peninsula pizza spot

Adventuring Arizona takes an unexpected turn


Oceanfront M A G A Z I N E

the team Melissa Kandel


Kyle Wagoner

Senior Creative Director

Amanda Jones Lexi Miller-Golub Paul Bivens Edgar Reyes

Executive Director of Sales Senior Writer Contributing Writer/Photographer Contributing Photographer

find us www.westoceanfrontmagazine.com @westoceanfront

contact us For questions, stories, advertising inquiries or to request a media kit, email Amanda@westoceanfrontmagazine.com.

(We assume no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or art materials.) Š West Oceanfront Magazine 2019. All rights reserved. Made in the U.S.A.


on the

Love Birds. (30x24 acrylic, spray paint, paint pens) Available for purchase

From the artist ... The Love Birds is a new style I’ve been working with [that features] more colors. Growing up in Newport Beach, there was a lot of wildlife, especially birds, and if you pay attention, you hear some of the parrots that live in Southern California. They’re not native to California but they’ve been here since the 60s, I think,andthey are loud birds. I love painting birds, I find them really fascinating, and they are descendants from dinosaurs.

Robert “Sticky” Shaw @stickyshaw www.stickyshawart.com



8 Letter from the Editor A note on LOVE.

10 Dogs of Newport Beach Buttercup builds us up.

13 Fearless Fitness Society A Newport Beach trainer motivates through strength (and song).

16 A Conversation on Hydration The Hydration Room’s Dr. Florie shares advice as flu season looms.

20 Art in the Time of Sticky Shaw Cover artist Sticky Shaw gets real about Cassidy’s burgers and his punk-rock inspiration.


F OOD & DRINK 26 Queen of Tarts

A local pastry chef bakes her creations sweet by design.

28 Hot Off the Pizza Press The Pizza Press’ CEO Dara Maleki converses on craft beer and cheese.

32 February Farmers’ Market The epicurean experts who run the Newport Beach Farmers’ Market share their picks for winter produce.

34 Crawling for a Cause A Newport Beach bar crawl raises funds for an O.C. charity with every sip.

38 #DateNight Inspired by an Instagram story, we divulge the best Newport Beach spots for two.

ontent C


singing adventuring

ENTERTAINMENT 44 Beach Beats A curated list of local events that celebrate of song.

48 Love Lessons The Bachelor’s Seinne Fleming on love and life in L.A.

54 Trivia Night! When you’re this enthusiastic about trivia, an exclamation point is necessary.

56 For the Love of Music A documentary at the Newport Beach Film Festival depicts the life of a musical legend.

TRAVEL 60 Napa Valley Destinations:

Round Pond Estate

The co-owner of a gorgeous winery shows us the magic of grape expectations.

66 Trouble in Sedona A writer visits Sedona and (surprised?) writes about it.

70 Romance in DTLA A short fiction piece about travel, love and a lackthereof ...



EDI TOR a letter from



decided weeks before this issue came together that the theme would be LOVE. We’d spell it just like that—with capital letters—to denote the grandness of it all. After the theme was set, the stories fell into place one by one, like puzzle pieces in a cookie jar shaped like a magazine called West Oceanfront.

The idea of LOVE interests me; it’s changeable as the tides. We can identify strands of its creation ad infinitum— the LOVE of art, of music, of another, of cheese, of self. Even then, when we think we understand one variety, we find millions of iterations on that and we’re left with the paradoxical mystery of this thing called LOVE once again. To confess, the February issue was a sociological excavation of the term, conducted right here in Newport Beach. I believe you’ll find in the tales we tell, there’s a little bit of LOVE sprinkled not just throughout the narratives but also on top of every word. It’s our way of figuring out how it works, by speaking with people who’ve found it (in some form or another) then dropping their LOVE-knowledge onto our pages for you to make of it what you will. We may not be able to define LOVE and boundless facets but as February rolls cold to the warms of March, we know it’s there. We experience the happy symptoms of LOVE like a really good craft beer or a feel-good charity event or the feel of someone’s hand inside our own. I’ve long thought the unknown is far more romantic than the expected, so here’s to loving LOVE, whatever the heck that means. With LOVE,

Melissa Kandel

Editor-In-Chief @melissakandel

Buttercup local 10

Mom is @legallydancing, a former ballerina-turned-lawyer pictured above.

Favorite Newport Beach spot for an afternoon of digging in the sand:

Favorite snack: Food from mom’s plate or Greenies. Her name might also be a candy, but doggie dental hygiene is important!

Favorite place for a long walk: Newport Back Bay. Buttercup is a true SoCal gal. She loves the peaceful seclusion of the walking paths and knows how to heel, sit and nama-stay.

Inspiration Point, Corona del Mar State Beach.

NEWPORT BEACH by Melissa Kandel






everyone has a story. AD

let us tell yours.

A Newport Beach agency for content, marketing, social media, public relations and storytelling. www.littlewordstudio.com


o meet Jessica Caruso, founder of Fearless Fitness Society, is to come face-to-face with the human embodiment of physical motivation. Her energy is boundless, her expertise is unmatched and her genuine desire to enhance the health and wellness of all those she trains is, in a word, awesome. (Oh and if you’ve ever taken a boot camp class with Jessica, you’ll know two major things by the time it’s through: 1. Your butt was most definitely kicked in the best way possible; and 2. She has NO fear of dancing.) Of course, as one of Newport Beach’s most beloved fitness instructors and nutritional coaches, it only makes sense she’d launch an online program to spread the goodwill. Her newest business, Fearless Fitness Society, is a self-proclaimed “community of bad-ass, busy


women from all walks of life, from every fitness level, who want to create the healthiest versions of themselves from anywhere in the world using the best customized online wellness program for females.” Winter is the ideal time to check in with Jessica, just as we depart the stoic confines of our resolution-making January and enter the hazy, goal-breaking month of February, when our resolve to get healthier or happier seems to disappear into a bag of one of those heartshaped candies at the drug stores. As a boost of mid-winter motivation, we get the scoop on the brand-new Fearless Fitness Society (visit the official site at fearlessfitnesssociety.com) and ask Jessica exactly what it means to join this elite group of women with powers and prowess unstoppable.

by Melissa Kandel

You’ve been training and motivating fitness lovers in Orange County for years now. What made you want to start Fearless Fitness Society? JESSICA CARUSO: My previous company mainly focused on fitness and I wanted to expand from that! Nutrition is vital for success and also for a healthy lifestyle. I wanted this new company launch to be the full thing … not just fitness! For those unfamiliar with your new company, what do you offer and how can someone sign up?

Fearless Fitness Society is described as a “community of bad-ass, busy women, from every fitness level, who want to create the healthiest version of themselves from anywhere in the world.” What can women expect after embarking on this Fearless Fitness Society journey with you? I wish in 28 days I could turn you into Wonder Woman but more importantly, in 28 days I can give you delicious, well-balanced recipes, killer workouts, and total coaching support. I want to motivate these women to feel like they are worth every moment of hard work, and with a positive mindset and the right coach, they will be the best versions of themselves.

As of right now, Fearless offers one-onone, fully customized online coaching. This includes 28 days of workouts, nutrition and mindset podcasts with reflection sections. You also get one-on-one coaching with me virtually so that we can both take part in this program from anywhere in the world. This [healthy] lifestyle is for anyone, anywhere, so why not make it accessible to people not just in Orange County? And why did you call your new brand Fearless Fitness Society? What do those three words mean to you?

It did not take me long for this name to define the brand I wanted to create. Fearless Fitness Society was a no brainer.

This is a COMMUNITY for women who are ready to stop letting fear get in the way of their success and frickin’ rock their best lives. The sooner we build, the sooner I get to create an online group for the women active in the program to share their success or stories, or even to get support when they feel like they have failed.

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So, yes, girls do run the world but what motivated you to start a company targeted to the bad-ass, busy woman? Because I am one! There was a point this year where I was working so much and teaching over 100 people a day and I was just shot. I didn’t want to work out because I was too tired. I would just grab frozen dinners, eat and fall into bed, wake up at 5 a.m. and do it over again.

It was scary because I lost this fire in me for a second that I truly believe defines me. The sad part is that this happens to so many women whether they are CEOs, full-time students, new moms, whatever. This immediately became the inspiration for the company. How can I create programs that are customized to a woman’s busy schedule and still help her get the results she wants? Fearless Fitness Society is the answer to that question. A two-part question: Will you include nutrition guides for your subscribers and in a few words, what is your philosophy on healthy, mindful eating? Absolutely. Food is one of the most amazing things in the world. It brings people together, it’s a family tradition, it’s nourishment, it’s everything. This program is a lifestyle development program, so after collecting information on your goals and schedule, I can then curate a menu that fits your dietary needs for a healthy and realistic lifestyle. Intuitive eating is one of my favorite “diet” styles.

Top three favorite songs on your current Spotify playlist: This might have been the hardest question for me to answer! “Losing It by Fisher” – I’m a big deep house fan and this powerful baseline always motivates me. “Kream by Iggy Azalea” – This song makes me want to put on a power suit but also twerk. Total girl power. “I Was Made For Lovin’ You by KISS” – Again the baseline gets me and this old school rock classic/love ballad is the perfect combination of a workout song and car karaoke (or treadmill karaoke) song! From a fitness, health and really, an overall life perspective, what does being fearless mean to you? Don’t hold back. If you want something, unapologetically move yourself towards it every day until it is a reality.

Practical question: The holidays are gone. Winter is here, and the sweatpants are out. Any advice on combating the post-resolution fitness slump? Honestly, my No. 1 coaching tip for this is have a good support system. Make your goals known by the people around you! Tell your friends or family, “Hey, I shed 15 pounds and I’m so damn proud of myself. Can you do me a favor and keep me accountable?” At first, you may get a lot of push back because people do not understand your goals but once they see how important they are to you, your friends and family become an amazing accountability team, (and will back off when you turn down a cookie or glass extra of wine). People LOVE helping other people reach goals if they know the root of the goal. Your boot camps (and I say this from real-life knowledge) are always a sweat-filled, blood-pumping, booty-boosting good time. Will you infuse your signature high-energy personality into your workouts? I have and I hope that it shines through the programs, for sure! One way to get my personality in there is by checking out the Spotify playlists I will be putting together every month or two! I have designed the playlists to be listened to during the workout, so they will flow together in perfect harmony.

Jessica Caruso, founder of Fearless Fitness Society

A CONVERSATION ON by Melissa Kandel



old and flu season is officially upon us, friends, and according to Dr. Brett Florie, D.O., M.D., and founder of The Hydration Room, it hit harder and earlier than usual. But for Dr. Florie, a board-certified anesthesiologist from Newport Beach, a remedy might be one IV away. Dr. Florie started The Hydration Room after his wife suffered debilitating migraines and he developed a vitamin IV therapy to assuage her symptoms. He saw a “powerful impact” from the remedy and soon became fascinated with the potential of intravenous vitamins. Thus, The Hydration Room was born. Today, he integrates allopathic and naturopathic medicine into customized vitamin injection and IV therapies in locations across Southern California and right here in Newport Beach. The therapies cover everything from migraines to jet lag to the symptoms of the flu, and IVs usually last no more than 30 minutes. So, as the season of sniffles and sore throats lingers, we asked the good doctor to fill us in on how to stay healthy this winter. Let’s just get right into it: What’s the best way to combat the flu? DR. FLORIE: With vitamins. The flu is a virus and studies have shown that high doses of Vitamin C and Zinc can be lethal to a viral infection. An IV is not going to prevent a flu like a vaccine would, but if you come in with flu-like symptoms, it can wipe out a viral infection. Also, with the flu you can have nausea, body aches and fatigue, and we have IV therapies [to help with those symptoms].

It hit early, in about late September or early October, which is earlier than usual. Usually, [flu season arrives] late October or November.

food & drink

What have been your observations about the flu this year?


Are there things we can do to proactively arm ourselves against the flu, especially if we want to stay social this Sunday morning? I always tell patients: Use common sense. Hand washing helps, getting a good night’s sleep helps, drinking water and staying hydrated helps. Hygiene is huge. People don’t realize at parties you’re shaking a lot of hands and it’s so easy to transmit a virus. Also, try to minimize stress. When you’re stressed, the immune system is weakened, and you become more prone to infections. And are there IVs at The Hydration room to help prevent the flu? As far as what we offer, I tell patients you want to boost your immune system. An immune support-type IV does help increase the immune system by increasing the white blood cell count and attacking viruses in the body. Vitamin C can boost the immune system. Also, a lot of our patients come in with malabsorption issues because they over-indulge with carbs during the colder, winter months. In general, gastrointestinal health is becoming a more significant part of wellness. People are realizing gut health is a huge thing and we see a lot of people coming in to target GI issues during flu season as well as throughout the year. On the subject of overindulgence, do you offer anything for those dreaded holiday hangovers? We do have a hangover IV. If you go to a party and drink more than normal, we have an IV that helps dehydration and headache, and replenishes the vitamins that alcohol takes out of your system.

Alcohol is a diuretic—it make you want to urinate— and our IV replaces the vitamins that cause brain fog and make you feel slow and sluggish. However, The Hydration Room is not a hangover clinic. We’re meant to be an alternative to the E.R. Any interesting trends you’re observing in the field of IV medicine? I think right now Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) therapy is becoming more mainstream and talked about. Studies show it can be used for antiaging. People are starting to learn more about it and the different applications for it, especially with patients who suffer from chronic pain. Also, antioxidants. People are starting to realize the power of antioxidants and the detoxing effects they have on the body. People are so much more involved in taking charge of their well-being now that IV therapy itself is becoming more mainstream. Four years ago people thought it was a fad and now it’s getting bigger, and coming to more and more places. You’re clearly so passionate about wellness and helping others live better, healthier lives. What’s your favorite thing about running The Hydration Room? I am an anesthesiologist, so I love to be able to interact with patients. When I go to surgery every day, I’m putting patients to sleep, so I’m not talking to them. At The Hydration Room I get to form relationships with these patients and get to see where they started from and the powerful impact we’re having on their wellness and overall health and well-being.



Sticky Shaw


by Melissa Kandel


he first time we texted, Sticky Shaw was driving to Mammoth. The second time, he was there, on the mountain, taking a powder break and ready to talk. I didn’t know his real name (it might be Sticky Shaw after all) or much about him, I just found his work—a Berlin Fox stenciled into the sidewalk by Crab Cooker—and emailed him, curious to know more. “You’re not the police, are you?” The Newport Beach native, who now creates from his home base in Santa Monica, asked when I called. “No, just a writer.” “Cool.” There’s street art that’s pretentious and neat, paid for by some municipality hoping to seem edgy and community bound, then there’s street art like Sticky Shaw’s variety. His art is like a neo-iconoclastic genre that skirts the conventional, punk rock and unhinged from predictability, messy and free. When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist? STICKY SHAW: Growing up, I had learning disabilities. I took special ed classes. Art was an escape and my teachers knew, I guess, I was kind of good at it so they gave me free range. When I would do projects they said, “Do whatever you want to do.” I had extra privileges and sometimes I didn’t like the projects, so we’d butt heads and I’d get a C and I would say, “That project wasn’t fun.” I’m not good at self-portraits. I barely do any people in my art and if I do it’s the Sex Pistols.


by Melissa Kandel


Why no people? Animals are nicer.

Nicer than people? I don’t like people. Animals are way cooler and prettier. They’re just doing their own thing. People have agendas. That’s part of your aesthetic then, stenciling animals? Every art has been done before. I’m not the first person to color or stencil with collage work but I’ve been told my art is organized chaos. Do you have any strong influences? Musicians, artists, surfers whose work inspires your own?

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I get influenced a lot by music and street art. When I travel, I’m influenced by that, too. In Berlin I was influenced by the art there … Brooklyn, too. I got to go on a four-month tour with Crystal Castles and I saw a lot of street art all over Europe. It’s about dissecting a little bit and trying to make it your own. You can learn from everybody but you have to try to put your stamp on it.

Do you think you’ve been influenced by a childhood spent in Newport Beach? I was really lucky because Newport Beach is the birth place of Volcom clothing. My brothers and sisters went to school with some of the founding members at Newport Harbor High School. In the early days it was a pretty punk rock company influenced by the Sex Pistols and Pearl Jam. As a little kid, I was like, “Wow what is this a punk rock snowboard company?” I ended up working for them a little bit in high school, helping out in raw materials, sending out samples and organizing stuff. They would always give me the samples at the end of the day and I’d wear them to school at Newport Harbor High School and everyone would ask, “Where did you get that?” Did you wind up working for them after you graduated? Yeah, I started working in the marketing department at Volcom as a freelancer and I also worked with Vonn Zipper [VZ]. VZ was the first one to contract me to do some custom art work, hand painting on snowboard goggles and sunglasses. It happened because was always coloring on everything. I colored on my goggles and GT, the founder of

Vonn Zipper, said, “Color on mine, too.” So I did and ended up in a meeting with his designers and hand-painted over 3,000 goggles with paint pens and spray paint and I did 400 pairs of sunglasses. Growing up, I also worked at Surfside Sports in Newport Beach, the coolest shop in O.C. besides Frog House. I’m highly influenced by surf culture. Do you surf? I surf where the girlfriend waves are. It’s safer and the girls are nicer. But you snowboard? Yes, I do snowboard and I’ve broken a lot of bones. I’m a punk-rock snowboarder. I don’t call it a sport; I have fun with it. My snowboarding style is influenced by other snowboarders. My friend Danny Kass is an Olympic snowboarder and my other friend Jamie Lynn, he’s an artist and one of my influences. What projects are you working on right now? I take a lot of naps.

Are you still designing snowboard gear? Art is so random for me. I’m doing some work for Lib Tech in Seattle—the greenest snowboard company out there. I got to do five boards with them and they were like, punk rock snowboards. I’ve been really lucky, things just kind of fall into my lap. Right now I’m working on a top secret project. I’m developing a cartoon. I’m also doing some custom watches for Vestal, a company in Costa Mesa. They’re giving me the watch faces and I’m taking a razor blade and scratching my characters into the watch face. I’m probably going to only do 20 of them. How do you look at a space and know what you want to put there? How do you pick out the best spots for your street art? You’re going to know my secret but it’s mostly wherever I park. I always have my stencils in my car. Sometimes I get down and do bigger stuff. I’ve spray painted vampire snails and stencils all over Berlin and I’ve done some in different states in the U.S., a few in Barcelona. In the long run, street art does give you some street cred but I really don’t like being arrested.

Sticky Shaw Onscreen

This month, our resident cover artist will debut a new cartoon called Skeleton Steph. (“It’s a big deal!” Sticky Shaw told me, excitedly.) Skeleton Steph is a rock ‘n’ roll girl who works at a self-described “misfit pet store.” She helps find homes for animals deemed dangerous or not so cute and cuddly.

Newport is more of a sticker place, which goes with the surf culture. I have my stickers and my love bats and love spiders all around Newport. I have stickers on the door at Laventina’s and some are at my favorite bar, Cassidy’s.

She also plays in a band called the Krawlers and is a fashion designer for the animals in her store.

Love their burgers. Do you have a lot of your art at Cassidy’s?

Several big names are attached to the project, including: Greg Cipes (voice actor for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Michelangelo and Beast Boy of Teen Titans Go!); Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy); John Feldmann (Goldfinger) and singer/ songwriter Juliet Simms, who will voice Skeleton Steph. The pilot episode of the series will air on YouTube and Instagram (@reaskeletonsteph).

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It doesn’t seem to fit with your fun vibe. What’s the street art scene like in Newport Beach?

Caleb the bartender is super cool and I have a love bat on the opposite side of the door and a stencil and some stickers there. It’s the best bar on the Peninsula. You can get drunk there for $20. A philosophy to live by. Speaking of, do you have your own life philosophy? I’d say, look down. Sometimes you don’t know what’s down there.







TARTS by Melissa Kandel


met Chef Elyssa Fournier months ago at the Pacific Wine and Food Classic. Her pastry display was in the VIP section and by the time I made it over there, I had already eaten half my weight in just-seared tacos and those one-bite swirls of sesame spaghetti. Enter: Elyssa’s meringues. Yep, my stomach would find the room to indulge. Her pastries lined the long table inside the VIP space like sugary temptresses of the late-afternoon, begging for a taste. I’m still dreaming about the subtle artistry of one particular variety I tried, a vanilla confection filled with mascarpone cream and topped by a smattering of delicate chocolate sprinkles.

Meringues photographed by Shirley Salvatore of Rish Photo Studio @rishphotostudio

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Of course, her baked goods would be perfection; Elyssa hails from a long lineage of bakers, and her penchant for tradition is rounded out by a depth of experience working with some of the world’s finest pastry chefs. In New York City, she earned

a degree in pastry arts from the French Culinary Institute. Next, she studied in the kitchen of Le Cirque’s renowned pastry chef, Jacques Torres, and then honed her craft at New York bakeries Musette, Café Indulge and Le Pain Quotidien. Yet Southern California called her name in echoes of crashing waves and shards of golden sunshine, so hand-in-hand with her husband Chef Yves Fournier, Elyssa went west. After five years as head pastry chef at Andrei’s Conscious Cusine in Irvine, Calif., she founded Mixed Bakery, based in Corona del Mar. It’s her Mixed Bakery inventions I sampled at Pacific Wine and Food, the same event where we exchanged business cards and have kept in touch ever since. Elyssa also bakes to order, specializing in tarts, muffins, cookies and French pastries. But really, her creations need no labels; with baked goods this delicious, you can simply call them sweet. To order or have pastries delivered, visit mixed-bakery.com

Meringues photographed by Shirley Salvatore of Rish Photo Studio @rishphotostudio

HOTpizza press W OFF THE

hen is pizza more than sauce and cheese, melted on just-baked dough? When it’s created by The Pizza Press, a rapidly growing, build-your-own pizza brand that just opened a new location at VUE on Balboa Peninsula.

The Pizza Press was founded in 2012 by CEO Dara Maleki, who grew up in the Anaheim resort district, which coincidentally would become the first home for his burgeoning pizza empire. The name, despite its obvious wink at traditional journalism, was actually inspired by the mechanized dough press that creates the base for a whole host of fresh ingredients to sizzle, drip and languish across its yeasty expanse. Still, ties to the bygone era of printed papers play heavily into this whimsical concept, and Maleki, an epicurean visionary as colorful and singular as the brand he conjured from scratch, explains to us exactly what it all means. So, how does The Pizza Press relate to “the press” as we know it? DARA MALEKI: The name harkens back to an era when newspapers were the cornerstone of our community. We believe fundamentally that The Pizza Press is supposed to be the fabric of a community. We encourage franchisees to open in their backyard, so they can bring that sense of community to their particular location.

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by Melissa Kandel

It seems like The Pizza Press is popping up everywhere. Why do you think your brand is making such an impact and experiencing such rapid growth? The build-your-own pizza concept has been out there; we believe it’s not just about build-your-own pizza but about creating your own experience that’s special, unique and different. We deliver newsworthy customer service and a newsworthy product. We also have fresh ingredients and work with local purveyors to develop specialized offerings. I also think one of the big reasons people gravitate toward the brand is that we feature 18 to 24 craft beers on tap, which are locally selected. Will you have craft beers at the Newport Beach location? Yes. [As part of our research,] we went on a great brewery tour of Towne Park [Brewery & Taproom], a new-ish Anaheim brewery. They’re making exceptional beers and also totally around the corner, totally under the radar. What excites you about The Pizza Press in Newport Beach? We want to bring great, affordable food to the beach cities, and Newport Beach was the next step. Newport Beach is such a great area with so many young executives. I lived down here when I was a young, 20-something because that’s just where you naturally go.

Is The Pizza Press going to be our next great, late-night pizza option on the Peninsula? We’re working with the city on that right now. We’re open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. but we’re trying to push it to 12 a.m. or 1 a.m. It’s really important that we are not only a part of the daytime community but also about the late night. I mean, every one of these people down here is much like myself: an entrepreneur, a business owner. And they don’t work the standard eight-hour days. Lunches are later, dinners are later. They’re burning the midnight oil every night of the week and if they’re trying to blow off some steam, we’re going to be there for them with great beer and great pizza. Heck if they need amazing cookies, we have unbelievable cookies made fresh every day.

We have a timeless culture [at The Pizza Press]. We don’t want to throw a surfboard up on the wall and be like, “Hey, we’re surf-y now!” We aren’t pretentious in that manner; we have our black-andwhite design standards and stick to our script, no pun intended. Well, pun intended. We do like our puns.

food & drink

Do you think the vibe of The Pizza Press in Newport Beach will fit in with the strong surf culture of our town?


OK, let’s be cheesy and get back to your pizza: Does it in any way reflect the healthy, California lifestyle that’s pretty synonymous with Newport Beach? We offer fresh vegetables, which speaks to that California, fresh living and also gluten-free crust and vegan cheese. We hit the California diet very well. And more on beer … Will the craft beer menu be static, or will you change it out to feature different local breweries? We’ll be rotating through all the time. With local breweries, we try to create and collaborate on custom beers that are exclusive to The Pizza Press. So, we’ll buy 40 barrels or 80 cases to support them and their business venture. The key thing we value in beer culture is sharing the story. Every pizza’s got a story and every beer has a story. That’s what we bring to the public. Whether it’s a small brewery or one that’s gaining a lot of speed, we do not discriminate. We just look for great beer. Balboa Peninsula is a pretty tight neighborhood and, not to generalize, but we generally like new businesses to really embrace a kind of harmonious co-existence with the locals. Any specific plans on how you’ll ingratiate The Pizza Press to our community?

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Being part of a community is absolutely super important. I think as you grow as a brand, you try not to disconnect from creating ties with the local community and that’s something we’ve placed in our core values from the beginning. We will always be community-involved and interactive with after-school programs, charities and the like. Specifically, in Newport Beach,

we want to shake hands. We want to meet people and find those who are the pillars. We would definitely like to be a supporter and advocate for the causes [the Newport Beach community] believes in like, for instance, beach cleanups. That’s awesome to hear and especially important as next-door neighbor, the Crab Cooker, has temporarily shut its iconic, cherry-red doors (well, the doors are gone) while the famed eatery undergoes a rebuild. I respect The Crab Cooker and it’s going to come back bigger than ever. It’s quite amazing how much restauranteurs have in common with each other. I know how hard it is to build one location and be successful. I’d be more than happy to set up days while [The Crab Cooker is] closed to keep the name alive, hosting events for them or an outdoor crab cook out. Maybe we even throw crab on pizza.

Cheese Please

The Pizza Press Newport Beach 2300 Newport Blvd #2. Newport Beach, CA 92663

Open 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Monday through Sunday So, you’re all for supporting The Crab Cooker? I remember The Crab Cooker since I was a child down in Newport Beach, building sandcastles. It is clearly an institution and deserves to be taken care of; whatever we can do to be brothers in arms, we’re here to be an advocate for them as they crumble and rise like a phoenix out of the ground again. We had to deal with a situation like that at our first location [in Anaheim]. Luckily, the Anaheim business community really helped out and we are bigger and better than we ever were before. Sometimes, you just have to count the blessings, keep your chin up and keep talking.


here’s no real winter in California. Ask someone de-icing their car at this very moment in Chicago and she’d agree. Our bountiful land yields fresh veggies and fruits throughout the year, and we asked the team at the Newport Beach Farmers’ Market to tell us what they’re eating this February. Here’s what they divulged: BLOOD ORANGES FROM DON BETOS Blood oranges taste sweet and sour. They tend to be slightly less acidic than standard oranges. Moro blood oranges are most often used for their juice and flesh in both sweet and savory preparations, raw or cooked. Use the juice in cocktails, syrups and marinades. Pair with other citrus, fresh herbs, soft cheeses, seafood, shallots and olives. Use as a complement to yogurt, honey, olive oil and butter. Moro blood oranges will keep up to two weeks in the refrigerator. LIME AND SEA SALT ALMONDS FROM HOPKINS AG Almonds are actually in the rose family and are often called “the queen of the rose family.” The fuzzy hull around the almond nut feels like a peach, and that’s because other family members of the almond are the peach (and the apricot).

February FARMERS MARKET by Melissa Kandel

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Source: Val Cantu, Californios (as originally published on CUESA.org).


you know? According to the Almond Board of California, almonds are California’s No. 1 agricultural export. The almond industry generates more than $21 billion in revenue and about 104,000 jobs statewide. Bee pollen has incredible health benefits; it’s one of the only foods equipped with all the essential nutrients humans need in their diet. Bee pollen is a rich source of protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Pollen has a flowery aroma with a grainy texture that is a mixture of dark yellow, tan and orange. Bee pollen offers a slightly sweet and bitter nut-like flavor. You can add it to foods like yogurt, oatmeal or smoothies, or use it as a salad topper, (much like hemp seeds). Bee pollen is considered so beneficial that the German Federal Board of Health recognizes it as medicine. Benefits of this superfood are: • Relieves inflammation • Works as an antioxidant • Boosts liver health • Strengthens the immune system

• Acts as a dietary supplement • Eases symptoms of menopause • Reduces stress • Speeds up healing


Serves 4-6

This salad is adapted from a dish served at two-Michelinstarred Californios, a fine-dining Mexican restaurant in San Francisco from famed Chef Val M. Cantu. Use Hopkins AG almonds and Bee Ladies Honey Bee Pollen for a Southern California twist on a Northern California classic. PREPARATION • 1 package of soft, ripened goat cheese • 3 teaspoons orange blossom honey • 3 Meyer lemons • Salt • 1 pound arugula

• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil • ½ cup toasted almonds • 2 Aztec Fuji or Granny Smith apples • 1 bunch mint • 1 head fennel • Bee pollen


Amanda Jones, winner of the Newport Beach Farmers’ Market x West Oceanfront Magazine giveaway, dances on the beach by Newport Pier with her winning basket of fresh produce. @theamandamariejones

To make the goat cheese mousse: In a bowl, whip the goat cheese with a spatula to soften. Drizzle in 1 teaspoon of honey, the zest of 1 lemon, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Mix everything together well, adjust the seasoning if needed, and set aside. To make the fruit cup: In a large bowl, dress the arugula with the juice of the remaining lemons, the remaining 2 teaspoons of honey, and the olive oil. Chop and add the almonds. Chop the apples, mint, and fennel and add. Toss everything together and transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Add dabs of the goat cheese mousse and sprinkle with bee pollen.

Bar Crawl WINTER

by Melissa Kandel



f you’re looking for an awesome reason to bar hop and drink beer, here it is: The third annual Winter Bar Crawl for a Cause is happening Feb. 23 on Balboa Peninsula. One hundred percent of proceeds from the event go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Orange County (CFF OC), so you can feel good and do good all at the same time.

The 2019 Winter Bar Crawl for a Cause will begin 1 p.m. at Malarky’s Irish Pub (3011 Newport Blvd.) and will move to Stag Bar + Kitchen, Baja Sharkeez (Newport Beach) and finally, end at The Blue Beet with a prize raffle and performance by The Droppers. Many bars will offer complimentary food and all bars will have drink specials for participants only.

food & drink

Tickets to the crawl are $20 in advance ($10 for additional raffle tickets), $25 at the door, and can be purchased at barcrawlforacause2019.eventbrite.com.


The Droppers perform at The Blue Beet.

Bar crawl attendees sport their winter attire.

Prize donations for the raffle arrive by way of many local establishments, including: Quiksilver, O.C. Boat Rentals, Sushi Roku Newport Beach, Newport Cruisers, We Believe Wines, Paddle Board Newport, Beach City Sports, O.C. Nutrition Coaching, Fearless Fitness Society, Clothing by OWL and the newly opened Atomic Creamery in Fashion Island. Atomic Creamery is sponsoring the “Ice Cream Social,” an interactive way for attendees to share moments and connect during the crawl. Participants are encouraged to post on Instagram using the hashtag #BarCrawlForACause; the photo with the most likes by the end of the event wins free ice cream from Atomic Creamery, once a day for an entire year. It’s a super sweet deal.

Wayne (in yellow) proudly attends the bar crawl in 2018.

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Last year, the event boasted more than 150 attendees and raised close to $4,000 for CFF OC. Beyond the funds, it spawned even better stories of community connectedness and good will. Like the story of Wayne, who was in Newport Beach on vacation with friends from Portland and read about the crawl in the newspaper.. He lost both his daughters to cystic fibrosis fifty years ago and said he’d gladly have a beer in their honor.


i e N by Melissa Kandel


, date night. Movies have been filmed on the topic, books written, entire lives lived for that one time during the week when you forget about the chaos of the day and focus solely on the night. It’s just you and [fill in the blank here] out on the town.

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We’re particularly sensitive to the topic this February, when romance reigns and Valentine’s Day falls right in the candycoated center of the month. While we have our own date night favorites, this story isn’t about us. It’s about you. So, instead of spewing our picks, we took to Instagram and asked for your favorite #datenight destinations.

Here’s what you had to say…

SideDoor 3801 East Coast Hwy. Coronal del Mar, CA 92625

Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd. Corona del Mar, CA 92625

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Date night gets a farm-to-table sheen at this fresh, seasonal and local restaurant right next to Roger’s Gardens. The cocktails are high-end and pure craft, and the food is exactly what you’d expect from farm fare. Inventive dishes are imagined by Chef Rich Mead, one of Orange County’s original farm-to-table pioneers. Farmhouse is ideal for a special date-night celebration (puttin’ a ring on it comes to mind) or if you want to enjoy the warm, winter air in a setting as elegantly bucolic as the food found on your plates. Reservations are available on OpenTable or by calling (949) 640-1415.

Make it an across-the-pond-inspired date night at SideDoor in Corona del Mar. This English-style gastropub is all warmth and winter coziness. (A string-lit outdoor patio provides the ideal ambience daters seek.) The appetizer menu at SideDoor focuses on artisanal cheese and charcuterie (perfect to quell those first-date jitters) while main meals are seasonal and cocktails are whimsically inventive. Props to you if you order The Ugly Gentleman (maple wood smoke, rye whiskey, amaro, turbinado, sesame oil served on hand-cute ice). Then, score major point with your date after the first sip when you say, “While the name doesn’t fit, this drink is unforgettably unique just like you.” (Awwwww.) For more information, call (949) 717-4322.

The Winery 3131 West Coast Hwy. Newport Beach, CA 92663 If your date can tell you the very oak tree and French forest where the barrel used to age your wine can be found, then maybe take him/her to a place all about wine. The Winery has an extensive selection of wines (as expected), glittering waterfront views of Newport Bay and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, live music to provide the soundtrack to the love story of your lives. (Too cheesy? Just right?) Reservations are available on OpenTable or by calling (949) 999-6622.

“I love The Winery, especially when they have live music!” @legallydancing

Bluewater Grill Newport Beach 630 Lido Park Dr. Newport Beach, CA 92663 Seafood lovers unite at this freshfish favorite on Lido Peninsula. The restaurant is located at the historic former site of The Sea Shanty & Delaney’s (an ever-popular eatery now transformed anew) so there’s a nostalgic sensibility to dining at Bluewater. Indoor and outdoor seating show off the waterfront scape and nearby Lido Marina Village provides an idyllic spot for a post-date stroll. If you’re feeling extra in luuuurve and want to extend your adventure, ride to Catalina Island for the day (The Flyer is set to re-open in March) then dine at Bluewater Grill Avalon by night. For more information about Bluewater Grill Newport Beach, call (949) 675-3474.

“The Bluewater Grill patio is pretty sweet!” @sanctuary_social

We should mention: A reader also responded to our question about datenight spots with “the alley behind your house.”

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While there’s something undeniably tender and starry-eyed about a date beneath starry skies, we’d have to say the intermittent garbage cans and wafts of what they contain would certainly ruin any possibility for a secret, romantic rendezvous. Also, no.


by Melissa Kandel




f it’s music you’re after this February, we know where you can find it. Editor’s note: Bring your best dance moves.

Victoria Bailey & The Jazz Cats Valentine’s Day Extravaganza The Wayfarer 843 W. 19th Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 Feb. 14, 8 p.m. Whether your plans for Valentine’s Day are to eat last night’s leftovers and binge-watch true crime documentaries on Netflix or enjoy a romantic dinner out for two, the Wayfarer is a worthy option for post-meal entertainment. Victoria Bailey’s voice is smooth as a box of Valentine’s Day chocolates an indie-folk finish wrapped in an easy, country vibe. Single, attached or ghosting that “entrepreneur” you met on Hinge, The Wayfarer is one musically inspired way to celebrate Feb. 14.

Kenny G at Segerstrom Center for the Arts Segerstrom Center for the Arts 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa,CA 92626 Feb. 15, 16 at 8 p.m.

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For an evening of sultry sounds and sweet saxophone, Kenny G at Segerstrom checks all the boxes. The iconic musician is like a fine wine, and the elements of R&B, pop and Latin infused into his music will keep the romance of Valentine’s Day in your hearts long after the holiday is through. Purchase tickets at scfta.org.

The Clinton Affair 130 E. 17th St. Costa Mesa, CA 92627 Feb. 16, 9:30 p.m. Fans of 90s music rejoice! The Clinton Affair covers all your favorites (and some you might want to forget but then don’t) from No Doubt and Black Crowes to Oasis and Sixpence None the Richer. The name is funny, the band is high energy and the tunes go all night at The Harp Inn, an Irish Pub in Costa Mesa that’s cooler than a cassette tape in winter. Learn more at harpinn.com or visit Facebook.com/ClintonAffairBand.

The Droppers The Blue Beet 107 21st Pl., Newport Beach, CA 92665 Feb. 23, 2019, 6 p.m. As the finale to the Third Annual Winter Bar Crawl for a Cause to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Orange County Chapter, The Droppers will play a special set at The Blue Beet. Frontman Joe Puccio is an avid volunteer for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, so expect even more passion and energy than usual (and usually, it’s a lot). Heads will bop, hands will go in the air as attendees celebrate with the dance of the charitably inclined. To register for the event (tickets costs $20 in advance, $25 at the door) visit barcrawlforacause.eventbrite.com.

Irish Session Featuring Terry Casey of The Fenians Muldoon’s Irish Pub 202 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660 Feb. 27, 2019, 8-10 p.m. If you’ve been itching to stretch your Irish musical wings, here’s your chance. Irish singers and musicians are welcome to play with host Terry Casey of The Fenians during an informal jam session at Muldoon’s, open to all skill levels. And if performing in front of a crowd makes your face go green as a leprechaun, just sit and watch the show while enjoying a dark, rich Guinness. Lucky you!

Keys on Main Keys on Main at The Triangle 1870 Harbor Blvd. Suite L1-108, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 Open Thursday through Sunday Dueling pianos? Dueling pianos. There’s a reason this place is packed every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night: The acts are supremely talented and there’s nothing else quite like it in all of Orange County. (Who wants to brave the L.A. traffic when you can watch musicians fight it out on the keys right here at home?) Make reservations at keysonmain.com/reservations/ orange-county or try your luck without one. Recommended plan of action for the no-reservations crew: Arrive early, cross your fingers and pinky toes, then hope there’s seating available.

Jay Magdaleno The Village Inn 127 Marine Ave., Newport Beach, CA 92662 March 6, 8 p.m. Experience local cover artist Jay Magdaleno delight on the guitar while singing some of your favorite old (and new) tunes. His voice is soothing but assured and his vibe surfer-meets-musician. Just the thing for a weeknight hiatus from the chaos of your workday to tap your feet—though no dancing allowed—as Jay expertly croons.

On its perfectly manicured, green surface The Hoag Classic may not seem like a musical extravaganza but with live music presented by John Wayne Airport happening the Friday of the event followed by a musical performance by gold legend John Daly on Saturday afternoon, we can expect as many beats as there are birdies at Orange County’s only official PGA TOUR Champions event. This year, the newly minted Hoag Classic will draw golfing greats to Newport Beach as they compete for the $1.8 million purse. (The tournament’s net proceeds will benefit Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian’s programs and services, as well as other local charities.) Expected golfers include Fred Couples, John Daly (singing and swinging for the trophy this year), Bernhard Langer, Mark O’Meara, Vijay Singh, Darren Clarke and Retief Goosen. For a full list of competitors, event schedule and ticket information, visit HoagClassic.com.

Photos by Chris Condon/ PGA TOUR


The Hoag Classic Newport Beach Country Club One Clubhouse Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660 March 6-10, 2019


Love Lessons words by Melissa Kandel

f there’s any time my friends and I resemble the precision and ritualistic exactitude of a Japanese bullet trail, it’s Monday at 8 p.m. When the clock strikes, we unwrap the cheese and uncork the Cabernet. Then we affix our eyes to the glossy TV screen for two—sometimes three!—hours of romantic mishaps and milestones as The Bachelor unfurls with wildly dramatic abandon and we wine-buzz our way through the entire 120+ minute thing. On a warm-ish Monday night almost one year ago, just as Season 22 was about to premiere, our routine was no different. Until suddenly, it was. Among the 29 hopefuls competing for Bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s love was Seinne Fleming of Newport Beach, who elegantly stepped out of the limo and into our reality-TV-obsessed hearts. As expected of a Newport local, she was amazing.

While some contestants had job titles that read something like “dog lover” or “social media participant,” Seinne worked in commercial real estate, (and still does), flexing her #GirlBoss grit with high-end developers and brokers across Southern California. But this story isn’t about The Bachelor. It’s about Seinne. Since departing the show, (Arie sent her home during a truffle hunt and pizza-making date in Tuscany), Seinne has bloomed like the rose she never received. She



Well before she uttered a single word, Seinne separated herself from the pack. The Yale alumna—she graduated in 2012 with a degree in economics—spent several weeks in college studying at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro and years before in 2007, won Miss Teen Long Beach.


She still dabbles in TV, and appeared on the first episode of The Bachelor this year from a watch party in Lansing, Mich. “I was literally there for 26 hours from the time I landed to when I was back on the plane,” she tells me. “But everyone at the party was really nice.” All’s well that ends well with Arie, too; Seinne and her beau Doug Fillmore recently traveled to Hawaii for the former Bachelor’s (untelevised) wedding to contestant Lauren Burnham. With her Bachelor past tucked like an unread fantasy suite card behind her, Seinne can reflect objectively about the experience. “I didn’t go on with any agenda, really,” she says. “If anything, I went on with the agenda to be a positive light and be a good, positive role model not just for black girls but for girls, period. I wanted to show myself in a way that represents me.” As the season unfolded, Seinne tuned in for every episode. “You know what happened each week and you know who went home and who

She’s also more than OK with her unedited life in L.A., and says she’d be happy to return to the bucolic, rolling-hills beauty of Tuscany with Doug. “I studied abroad in Italy,” she tells me. “It’s so funny, when I was in Italy on my date, I made a joke when we first got there and said, ‘Well, If I get sent home, I’ve flown home from Italy once before, I can do it again.’ I’d already created memories there, so it wasn’t like Italy was ruined at all for me.” Seinne’s sanguinity is like a breath of fresh, smog-less air, and she’s even upbeat when offering advice to singles navigating the romantic quagmire of dating in L.A. and Newport Beach. “Online dating can be a great way to meet people,” she says, adding that her own dating strategy was pretty straight-forward.


relocated to Los Angeles and found herself a new love, sharing regular life updates on Instagram (@seinnefleming) with her 119,000 followers.

had the date, but you don’t know exactly what happened on every date and you don’t know how [the producers] are going to edit it,” she says. Luckily, Seinne was satisfied with how producers portrayed her. “There was one time I said something I hoped didn’t go on air and it didn’t. I was OK with my edit,” Seinne explains.



Spots by Sienne Hidden Gem:

A&O Kitchen + Bar at the Balboa Bay Resort is my favorite. It’s right on the water with fire pits. Oceanfront Dining:

The Deck in Laguna. Anything that’s close to the water is usually my preference. Date Night:

Javier’s on P CH is another favorite! Shopping:

Of course, Fashion Island for shopping. Oh, I also love Lido Marina Village!

“Don’t drag it out if you know for sure it’s not a match,” Seinne explains. “When I lived in Orange County, I went on probably three or four dates that were first dates and I let them know, ‘Thank you for taking me out but I don’t think you’re a good fit.’ It’s good for your conscience and karma to be honest with yourself.” For Seinne, love is important but finding it should never be all-consuming. “You have to live your life,” she says. “Definitely put yourself out there—don’t think your Prince Charming is going to knock on your door— but know that you’ll attract someone when you’re feeling your best and doing the things you want to do.” Still, Seinne says there’s no secret formula for love, and for those eschewing the online dating game, she recommends having friends introduce you to their boyfriend’s friends. “Or go on The Bachelor?” I ask her, and she laughs. The sound is warm and bright, without a whisper of regret or remorse. “Yes,” Seinne admits. “You can always go The Bachelor.”

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or the serious to not-so-serious trivia enthusiasts, Newport Beach offers several options for a brain-busting game night. Hint: Before you go anywhere, brush up on your obscure WWII facts and the full names of all One Direction band members.

Trivia by Melissa Kandel


Aurora 2305 W Balboa Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92663 As a new 2019 venture, Aurora is now hosting trivia on Thursday night at 7 p.m. The trivia includes four rounds, with $100 in prizes and participants can sign up upon arrival.

Mutt Lynch’s 2300 W. Oceanfront, Newport Beach, CA 92663 Trivia starts at 8 p.m. every Wednesday but arrive early. This trivia gets as peppy as the local lagers available on tap. Bring your friends, bring your foes and head to Mutt’s for an intense night that’ll test the bounds of your knowledge. A snarky, sarcastic (in the best way) host ensures this trivia night is taken VERY seriously and a special game between the last rounds allows lucky participants to win prizes, usually paid out in free drinks. There’s no cost to enter and on trivia night, Mutt’s runs a BOGO burger special as well as the opportunity to win free beer and gift cards for first, second and third place.

Boathouse Collective 1640 Pomona Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92627 Bring your smart friends (or so says the advertisement for this trivia night). Boathouse Collective, a hidden gem of craft brews in Costa Mesa, hosts trivia night every Wednesday starting at 8 p.m. It’s free to play and first, second and third-place teams win prizes.

Like Boathouse Collective, Cruisers hosts trivia every Wednesday, starting at 8 p.m. sharp. In addition to prizes for top teams, trivia night also features $12 pizzas and $12 pitchers. (And on an unrelated but kind-of-related note given our interview with Seinne Fleming, former contestant from The Bachelor: At the start of every week, Cruisers does BAEsic Mondays, when the bar shows every episode of The Bachelor … with sound! Watch Bachelor Colton Underwood cry, laugh, kiss and shower as you enjoy $5 Korbel California Champagne or rosé, $5 Ketel One cocktails and half off all bottles of wine and champagne. Cruisers staff also give away roses, so even if the contestants on the show don’t get a rose, you will.


Cruisers Pizza Bar and Grill 801 E. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach, CA 92661


Love ofMusic


by Melissa Kandel


n its surface, the story of William Garrett “Snuffy” Walden plays out like an expertly written drama. The innocence of youth, the tragedy of rock ‘n’ roll, the demise, the aboutface and finally, the triumph. But as evident in Up to Snuff, a documentary shown at the Newport Beach Film Festival, the heroic arc of real-life protagonist Snuffy is actually a much twistier tale that depicts an American musician and composer who would ultimately create—and still does—some of the most memorable music to sound across our television screens. (If you’re counting, there’s 42 tracks played in the film from start to finish.) Director Mark Maxey does a masterful job slowly building a case for the genius of Snuffy, revealing personal anecdotes about him as if dribbling them through an unseen sieve. Most of the film is a series of talking-head interviews given by famous faces—Aaron Sorkin, Tom Arnold, Martin Sheen, Ed Asner—and musicians with an unending lexicon of t-shirtworthy phrases. (“There’s a lot to this cat.”)

The film moves at a steady clip and in chronological order, beginning with Snuffy’s downand-dirty beginnings playing electric guitar at bygone Texas landmark, the Cellar Club.


Snuffy himself appears throughout the documentary, as does his instantly loveable wife, Deb, and two lookalike sons.


In his early 20s, Snuffy—dubbed “the new Hendrix”— joins a band called the Stray Dog, and so begins a life of long-haired excess: world tours, drugs, women and most damaging, alcohol. “He had a penchant for taking his clothes off,” one Stray Dog bandmate explains, though Snuffy says he can’t remember his apparent nudist tendencies. He was too drunk.

In Up to Snuff, the connection between alcohol and rock ‘n’ roll is thoroughly established. From asides given by veteran musicians, there’s a sense alcohol soothes the crash-and-burn of stepping off a spot-lit stage watched by thousands into the shadows of an empty hotel room, alone and far from home. Though Snuffy never explains exactly why he drank so much, there’s no question he did.

After a particularly damnable night of blacked-out debauchery, Snuffy describes sitting in an airport bar Christmas Eve 1982, downing one drink, ordering a second then looking in the mirror and not recognizing the face looking back. “The worst moment of my life,” Snuffy says. That would be the last sip of alcohol he’d ever taste. The resurrection comes next, when Snuffy returns to L.A., cuts his hair and cleans up his act. He even starts playing with R&B superstar Chaka Khan. (During the Q&A with Maxey that followed the film’s Newport Beach Film Festival debut, the director said footage of Chaka Khan and Snuffy was taken from a 1985 German TV appearance; it was no easy feat getting licensing rights for the clip.)

“I got into this without having a clue what the job was,” Snuffy says. But what he lacked in experience, he made for with vision. Acoustic guitar in hand, Snuffy would pen an opening for the fledgling drama that hit all the right notes. Jobs rolled in after that first one and notably, Snuffy soon finds himself crafting the score for Wonder Years, a coming-of-age ode to young romance. Wonder Years star Fred Savage explains Snuffy “gave [the show] a soul.” Onscreen, we see Snuffy play Winnie’s theme song from Wonder Years and the music appears to move him as much as it moves through him. His fingers slide across the strings with a virtuoso’s touch. During the screening, audience members audibly gasped as Snuffy strums his guitar. A quick fade and Aaron Sorkin fills the screen. The two would work together on several projects before Sorkin asks Snuffy to create an orchestral opening for a show he was writing called West Wing. “What he wrote would always be right and great,” Sorkin describes, explaining how Snuffy’s soundtrack could heighten the emotional textures of practically any scene. “Music has a way of communicating with us that language doesn’t,” Sorkin says. At this point in the film, we’re complete believers in Snuffy’s greatness but like a layer cake fully baked now ready to be frosted, there’s more convincing left to do. Friends describe how during the Malibu fires, Snuffy went to check on their homes without hesitation. Tom Arnold explains how Snuffy counseled him during a tumultuous marriage to Roseanne Barr and got him through community service on the side of a California freeway.

In the end, Up to Snuff closes with just Snuffy and his guitars. He reminisces about a five-decade-long career and the uneasiness he still experiences when confronted with the blank page. “I always felt like everybody knew how to do this but me,” he says. There’s something unendingly inspirational about the greatest television composer (probably ever) admitting that he came into the business without a lick of experience beyond the licks he could play on his guitar.

Up to Snuff DIRECTOR: Mark Maxey PRODUCERS: Mark Maxey, Gino Scofidio INEMATOGRAPHER: Shawn Grice EDITOR: Gino Scofidio MUSIC: W.G. Snuffy Walden LANGUAGE: English CAST: Aaron Sorkin, Martin Sheen, Tom Arnold, Timothy Busfield, Fred Savage, Joshua Malina, Ed Asner, Lawrence O’Donnell For viewing information, visit uptosnuffmovie.com/screenings


So now Snuffy is sober, in love and thriving when he’s approached to compose music for a new show called Thirtysomething.


Round Pond Estate



he whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts,” said Ryan MacDonnell, co-owner of Round Pond Estate, quoting Aristotle not as some general, ambiguous notion about life but as the specific philosophy driving the creation and experience of Round Pond wines. Round Pond Estate—a winery, vineyard and olive mill located on Rutherford land in Napa Valley—has been owned by the MacDonnell family since 1983. In 2003, brother/sister duo Miles and Ryan MacDonnell took over the vineyard, which today spans 362 acres and produces everything from Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc to high-quality olive oils, syrups and vinegars. Family comes first in all that goes on at Round Pond and who better to explain why (and exactly how) than Ryan herself …

Before we get into any particulars, if you were talking to a first-time Napa Valley visitor, why would you tell him/her to put Round Pond Estate on the itinerary? RYAN MACDONNELL: Well, that’s a good question and something we think about every day. What sets us apart? I think it’s a few things … when my brother, Miles, and I set out to define what our guest experiences would be, we wanted more than anything to have guests feel like they were in their own living room, enjoying the company of their friends and experiencing world-class wine, food and hospitality. To that end, we’ve spent a lot of time creating amazing things for people to do – whether it’s our Hands on Harvest experience where guests have the opportunity to peek behind the curtain by participating in the day’s cellar work, an estate food and wine pairing on our terrace with an incredible view overlooking the valley , our Il Pranzo lunch with wines, olive oils and homemade family style food pairings, or our Signature tour that takes guests around the entire property in our 1941 Chevy red truck. Many people also find us through our Olive Mill, which is one of only two in the Napa Valley region. We make world-class olive oil from our own orchards in our own mill on site and have a unique and fun tasting experience for guests. I love seeing the lightbulb go off in people when they see olives crushed and understand what makes an extra virgin olive oil so special. I also think our estate approach appeals – meaning it’s a family endeavor to make excellent wine from our own vineyards, olives from our orchards, and nurture a winery garden that inspires all our gourmet products and is the foundation for all our guest experiences in this special place within the Napa Valley. It’s an old-world approach and I think and hope it resonates with people.


words by Melissa Kandel photos by Olaf Beckmann


Signature Round Pond olive oils made from fruit grown on the estate.

For most industries today, tech rules. How do you maintain your commitment to handcrafted, rustic elegance in wine while also keeping up with the trends of modern wine-making technology? First, there is no substitute for hard work and attention to detail – whether in modern or ancient times. Those are our guiding lights – never cut corners and quality comes first. It’s simple but it works. Also, we try to make everything elegant and beautiful – again another element that can’t steer you astray. At the same time, innovation is critical. We try and bring a modern approach to everything we do, employing technological developments to farming and winemaking, but also rethinking the wine industry’s approach to hospitality, marketing and even packaging.

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The Round Pond Estate boasts imported Mediterranean olive trees, which you hand-harvest to produce your signature olive oils in vibrant flavors like Meyer Lemon and Blood Orange. How do you determine which fruits to infuse with olive oil and what makes for an ideal pairing? It all started with the Blood Oranges and Meyer Lemons we grow on the property. When we first crushed the rinds of the citrus with our olives in the old stone frantoio, we knew we had something special. Every year, we taste the oil from the eight olive varietals and determine which olives best fit the profile of the citrus and then we rush them together in the frantoio. As for a pairing, I love our Blood Orange olive oil with wild salmon in the summer and crab in the winter – both paired with our Sauvignon Blanc. See here for a crab recipe. I also love our Meyer Lemon Olive Oil in these shortbread cookies with our Cab. Now that is a treat!

Your red wine vinegar is aged for ten months in French oak barrels. That seems like a lot more time than the regular, supermarket fare. Is this standard practice or meticulous design? We make our red wine vinegar using the Orleans Method. It’s an ancient, traditional way of making the best vinegar, first started in France. Most vinegars are made quickly – aging allows for complexity and depth of flavor to develop. It also allows for tremendous quality with no artificial additives. The difference in taste is immediately discernible and there is no comparison. A Sunday brunch at Round Pond is hardly just a Sunday brunch. Your “Garden to Table” experience starts off with a sensory tour of the garden (led, naturally, by the winery chef), and then, with fresh, just-picked veggies and herbs in hand, diners are treated to a cooking demo and in-depth wine-pairing discussion. Tell me: Are you guys in some secret competition to create the most ultimate farm-to-table experience ever?

There’s an incredible emphasis on family at Round Pond Winery. From the longstanding, second-general MacDonnell family ownership to the personal touch afforded to every grape grown on your vines. Co-owner Miles MacDonnell even described dcamping out in the vineyards as a youth and riding four-wheelers up and down the valley, proving his closeness to the land. How do you think that deep-rooted sense of family and warmth is mirrored in the wines you create? Being family owned and family run ties us to the land and to taking the long-term view. We are raising our kids here, our parents are here. It’s our home and our joy and our purpose and our name is on everything we do. We can’t do less than our best because it’s our reputation. Dad always said the only thing you have in life is your reputation so that keeps us working towards being better every day. It’s that simple.

Funny! We absolutely love showing guest the “whole” Round Pond. There is something magical about seeing guests light up; it gives us purpose and tremendous satisfaction. Aristotle was right – the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts when it comes to Round Pond. I think that’s what makes the brunch so special.

Views at Round Pond are (expectedly) round.

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When I was working with Ryan and Miles on the design of the interior of the Round Pond tasting room, we knew that we had a great opportunity to create an exciting but intimate and welcoming space for visitors to the winery. The simplicity and solidity of the building with its exposed fir beams and columns could be an urban loft set down on the floor of Napa Valley. Industrial, rustic chic was our focus when selecting the finishes and furnishings for the space. The building materials are simple and honest, textured slate floors, troweled plaster walls, raw sandblasted wood timbers, and iron hardware. Repurposed factory tool tables grouped with simple sturdy modern seating are gathering spots for groups and individuals to sample and enjoy the wines, olive oils and produce from the vineyard. I think the design of the building, interiors, terraces and landscaping is a reflection of the MacDonnell family’s connection to the land and surroundings; it is natural, relaxed, comforting and you just know the wine and food is going to be fantastic.

Stephen Jones

The Round Pond Estate tasting room was named one of “Napa’s Most Beautiful Wine Tasting Rooms” by Food & Wine Magazine. What makes your tasting space so spectacular?

If you could give one celebrity or famous person a bottle of Round Pond Estate wine, who would it be and what would you gift him/her? (Bonus question: What would the card say?)

That is such a nice complement. I think it’s the warmth of the room, being expansive but cozy, with lots of windows and great natural lighting. Using rustic elements like old wood beams and barrel hoops for lights but adding modern touches is nicely synergistic and pleasing to the eye. The view from the terrace also doesn’t hurt!! Here is what our designer Stephen Jones had to say about it …

Wow – that’s a tough one. I think the people I admire most are those who have committed themselves, overcome great hardship and succeeded. I also admire those who have given their lives in the service of something greater than themselves, whether to cure disease, fight for peace or serve our country, no matter in what capacity. I know these are super contentious times but setting the politics aside and just focusing on the institution of service and dedication itself, I would be honored to have Round Pond be the go-to wine for our nation’s President. That would be a great honor. When that happens, I know we will have arrived.

On your website, you write that your winery is a place where “estate vines are pruned to allow the sun to dapple the grapes, or in our careful selection of new oak from different forests in France.” That’s beautiful! How significant are those small details when producing highquality wines? I think I mentioned it above but it’s all about the details. Detail, detail, detail. If you zero in on making each element just right, the end result with everything put together is bound to be spectacular!

PS. The card would say, “Enjoy and come visit anytime!”


ravel, as the act of going from one place to another, is said not to be about reaching a particular destination but instead, about discovering a whole new state of mind. Or so I read on a bottle of that weird fizzy tea. I began my road trip to Sedona, Ariz. with such a foolishly sanguine mindset, planning not one thing to do while wanderlusting in the Arizona wilderness but breathe canyon air, traverse forgotten dirt roads and gaze at soaring rock formations that spoke, in red-layered etches of beauty, about how awesome nature could be. I’d seen the pictures of the landscape—feral, gargantuan crimson formations juxtaposed with flat—and was ready for my no-WiFi, no-cell service date with the desert. I planned to begin the eighthour drive from Newport Beach to Sedona well before dawn, check into my adorable little, highbeamed wood lodge by a creek—with hot tub and fireplace!—around noon then explore the land until sunset when I’d escape somewhere on a crested rock with a bottle of wine. It would be there that I’d take in the sun dipping below a skyline of intermittent canyons, turning everything from red to golden, gooey and incandescently bright. But before I tell you what really happened in Sedona, (because what happens in Sedona goes into this magazine) a history lesson: The town owes its name to the Schnebly family, whose surname elicits creative character jealousy on my part because it makes me think of these sniveling, stuckup people who wear head-to-toe khaki and eat their cereal from bowls made of silver and lace. (They weren’t like that I don’t think.) Anyway, a man by the name of Dorsey Ellsworth Schnebly, of poor health and seeking warmer, fresher clime, came upon the land in the early 1900s and settled there, convincing his brother, T.C. Schnebly and wife Sedona (aha!) to live among this desert oasis.

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words and photos by Melissa Kandel



In late 1901, T.C. and Sedona traveled from their home in Missouri, bought an 80-acre plot from a man called Frank Owenby (OK these names are fun) and built a large house with two stone fireplaces near what is today Los Abrigados Resort and Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. About 15 homesteaders joined T.C. and his wife on the vast property but, as those pesky settlers often do, the townsfolk started acomplain’ about the slow mail service and so T.C., dutiful guy he was, applied for the establishment of a post office on his land. Apparently post-office masters in the early 20th century were all about minimalism because after submitting several two- and three-word monikers for the post office—Schnebly Station, Red Rock Crossing, Oak Creek Station—all were rejected by the Post Master of Washington, D.C. for being too long to fit on a cancellation stamp. It was good, ol’ Dorsey Ellsworth who suggested using T.C.’s wife’s name and said the post should simply be: Sedona. “You’re going to have a town named after you,” said Dorsey Ellsworth to Sedona, and we can probably guess that every family dinner after that started off with Sedona saying, “But really, T.C., why did your brother have to be the one to come up with naming the town after me? Don’t you even care at all?” Just kidding. I don’t know what those two crazy kids talked about over dinner. Plus, by all written accounts, Sedona, a young bride in her mid-20s, was a pleasant character, and beloved in the burgeoning town for her contributions to the community; she even planted a delightful Victorian garden, which became a showcase patch of horticultural brilliance in Sedona that still stands today. So, I guess that foray into the historical nomenclature of the area brings us back to the present, and to me, on that hilltop, staring at a waning sun and dreaming of rose petals and lollipops.

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She was almost six feet tall with a wide frame, and her bright-pink smile belied the cruel character of divisiveness thrumming beneath those oral misgivings. I don’t often loathe—or even judge—people on first sight but this woman, in the fairy tale narrative that was my Sedona trip, happened to be the demonic witch set on destroying the princess as she stood in her rock-tower high on a hill. “I’m just going to the bathroom,” I told her, reminding the woman that minutes before I had walked into this very office, attempting to check into my room, which she told me wouldn’t be ready for another three hours—at 3 o’clock. Don’t you remember us talking?

Or not.

“Oh. Fine. Go.”

“Excuse me, where are you going?”

Her son popped out from behind the front counter, which was actually just stacked shelves housing gemstone rings that looked more like sorry crackerjack jewelry than actual jewelry anyone should ever buy. He spilled the contents of a potato chip bag onto the dusty counter and ate the chips one by one, staring at me between bites. The son looked like a younger, smaller, male version of his mother— excessive gums and all—except instead of hair that fell in flat oil slicks down an oblong head, he had short, spiky blonde locks that grew in every direction but the right one. He crumpled his mouth my way. I nodded a feeble hello.

The woman who asked the question was the human embodiment of the crass tone she used to solicit it. Blotchy, rough skin curdled around a wide, pebbly, red face. She squinted so tightly you could only see the slits of her eyes and a wobble of nostrils and caky flesh somehow formed a buttonish thing in the place where her nose should be. The woman’s teeth were covered in gums—I think dentists say recessed—and so whenever she spoke, it was all goopy pink and slobbery gum-drool.

“Also, do you happen to know any place good for dinner?” I asked the woman, half wanting a response, half trying to divert my attention from the dustcollected chips her son was devouring. “Hey there’s a DQ up the road, you should have dinner there!” The son squealed, and I smiled because unlike his mother, he had a certain charm that couldn’t be denied. After I left the hotel office, I drove down the one-lane, traffic-ridden road—stop-gapped in the middle by a town ripped straight out of a Disneyland ride with its faux-Wild West cheesiness—to Red Rock State Park. After a romp around Bell Rock (the hike was undeniably beautiful), the next stop was at a winery that served a $25 cheese plate consisting of two pieces of slopped-together, old American cheese and a goop of dried-up jam. (Traveler’s note: Skip the wine, opt for hikes at Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock.)

The winery was followed by a drive down a twisty, mountain byway to Flagstaff for dinner, a college town with dark bars and simple restaurants offering everything from Italian to American bistro fare. I opted for a half-empty pub because the sign said “best burger” and though it was a far cry from Cassidy’s award-winning meat-and-cheese variation, the dish was edible. I mean, I ate it. Finally, it was back to my “cabin,” which turned out to be a musty room built in approximately 1963. Oh, and the hot tub? No. That was actually a very large bath placed right next to the bed. (This was as weird as you’d imagine a bath by a bed would be.) Of course the fireplace didn’t work. The space smelled of decades-old toenail clippings and ham sandwiches. The toilet didn’t flush. Still, despite the awful lodging, and the cheese and traffic deficiencies, Sedona is completely and breathtakingly gorgeous. Who am I to hate on such unspoiled natural terrain just because I picked the wrong place to stay? So, let me just stop complaining/writing/Schneblying but one more word before I go: The dust-eating son of the hotel clerk was right; DQ might have been a better choice for dinner after all.

Romancedtla by Melissa Kandel

he Uber’s door fluttered open, a bright flap of blue against the sluggish February wind. One last look to the driver with graying teeth and cornhusk hair and Simon Plinkers peeled himself out of the car. (This after sitting for an hour and forty-seven minutes on the ride from Newport Beach to downtown Los Angeles. Now, his elbow ached from not one but two brushes with fast-moving bicyclists. “Screw you, man!” Ah, L.A..) But a love-hate relationship with Los Angeles is welldocumented by most. Instead of Simon describing of the city, he should’ve written something down about the driver—his ramshackle appearance fit exactly with that of the anti-hero protagonist from Simon’s soon-tobe-drafted historical fantasy novel, The Secret Son of the Shameless Shoemaker. But there was no time. He was late, she was waiting. On this particular Feb. 14, under the cover of a waning afternoon, the spectacle of the city turned a little blurry and dark, a labyrinth of wide streets littered by nervous Valentine’s Day daters and their more sophisticated counterparts—the kind who might ask to sit outside in restaurants and then order their water with no ice. Simon walked toward a brooding bakery on S. Flower Street, checking that the gelled waves of his golden hair remained frozen and that his J. Crew slacks had just the right amount of rumple to give him his ever-casual edge. All good. Up ahead, he saw the entrance to Blue Bernier Baked Goods, the small café with checkered tablecloths fit for couples who preferred polaroid pictures and expensive European dishes with mispronounce-able names like encornets farcis or pfannkuchen. The whole place smelled of dough and wooden spice. Simon imagined he would stay here for no more than an hour with the ordinary but intriguing Maribeth Wumm. They’d have chilled Chardonnays in hand (unoaked) and $16 grilled avocados on plates because why not?

Maribeth is pretty enough, he thought, and she really was fine for now, before the glittering days of Shameless Shoemaker success would sail Simon onward and beautiful women would show up to his book signings in frenzied hoards wearing custom-made “Simonator” shirts. Editors would beg him to write their grocery lists, just so they could have ink scribed by his brilliant hand. Tonight, he was still pre-Shoemaker, with exactly three lines of the story written and the rest living conspicuously inside his head. “It was a cold night without a single shoe to be found …” Minutes ago, as his Uber stammered across a yellow light at Olive Street, he had thought of one more line to go after the third: The secret shoemaker worked only when the sun went down, allowing the night to become his leather canvas, so long as he listened to its sole-ful beat— ha!—and let his fingers take care of the rest. Sometimes Simon wondered what exactly it was that made him such a gifted writer: Was it his background as a creative writing major at Saywater University? Was it the encouragement from his Mastering the Art of Playwriting professor who was sure Simon would self-publish one day? His blog about croissants across the country? His freelance reporting career at The Coin Collecting Times of Tuckerville? No, back to the here and now, to this moment at Blue Bernier Baked Goods, where Simon was the beautiful-ish Maribeth, purple lips drawn with lipstick one shade too dark for her puckered mouth, red hair crunched into tight curls arranged poodle-like around her face. And she was also altogether silver, Simon noticed, awash in muted candlelight that fell on impatient green eyes. “Hello, Simon.” He mumbled something about traffic and overpopulation then gave Maribeth a tight smile, as would any brilliant artist acknowledging his temporary muse.





They ordered two Chardonnays and the grilled avocados. Simon watched Maribeth speak without listening to anything she had to say. Finally, he interrupted her because he had a very funny thought. “Have you ever realized that people describe meeting someone like they’re talking about the scene of a crime?” “Uh, no …” She stared at him blankly. “Yeah! Like, ‘It was late. I wanted to go home but my friends made me go to McWhatever bar. It was pretty cold that night, so I found a seat far from the window and that’s when I saw her … and she stabbed me in the heart!’ Ever notice how everyone does that? I should really put that into my book. It would be perfect for when the main character meets Priscilla Ferlton, the pretty wife of a rival shoemaker.” “Hm, maybe. I can kind of see how that—” “No, not maybe. Definitely. I just get worried when I come up with these great ideas because it makes it more certain than ever that the minute I finish my manuscript, some publishing house will try to strike a multi-milliondollar deal with me and then I’ll have to quit my job at Coin Collecting. Who would edit the ‘Daily Dime’ podcast if I’m gone? Nobody can tweet about the 1984 double ear penny like I can. I’ll probably start to finish the book in the next few weeks. Bam! I’ll put in this bit about meeting someone and crime scenes into chapter three. What do you think?” Maribeth brushed a hand across one eyebrow and swirled the honey-colored wine in her glass. “I think …” “Yeah? Maribeth, what do you think?” “Well, I think you’re …” A man of incomparable creativity and wisdom? An undiscovered genius of the written word? A literary mastermind masquerading in the fashionable clothes of a Coin Collecting reporter? “… a complete idiot.”

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