RVSD January/February 2014 : Page 96

Another yeAr, Another reAson to look AheAd. We’ve scoured sAn diego to bring you the best of WhAt’s next in Arts, culture, beAuty, style And— of course— our sizzling foodie scene. consider yourself in the knoW. by the editors with seth combs, eric olson and shelby stanger Photography by robert benson with Andrea bricco best of tHe city

Feature Best Of The City

Eric Olson



Main Squeeze While sipping green juice blends between law classes at USD and yoga at La Jolla Yoga Center, Suja (sujajuice.com) co-founder Annie Lawless never thought her cold-pressed concoctions would become such a hit. Today, Suja can be found backstage at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (all the models did the cleanse), as well as on the shelves at Whole Foods and Vons, plus top health food stores across the country. It’s also being used by models, corporate tycoons, athletes and celebs like Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Hugh Jackman and even Jake Gyllenhaal, who has Suja delivered to his house by the box. “For me, it’s really the ultimate beauty product,” says Lawless, who spends her rare free time at Rancho Valencia’s Pony Room and the newly renovated Flower Hill Promenade. “There’s nothing you can buy to put on your body that will ever be as important as what you put inside of it.”


At 12 years old, Allison Beal was in her Del Mar bedroom with a glue gun crafting her first-ever magazine. Fast-forward two decades, and Beal is one of the tech world’s breakout stars. As co-founder of StyleSaint (stylesaint.com), she is the innovator behind an online forum where global bloggers, influencers and tastemakers curate their own StyleBooks— shareable digital tear sheets of fashion editorials and products. Establishing this global community of “style saints” was also pivotal to her overarching and complementary goal, the 2013 launch of her brand’s first trend-driven clothing collection, Oceans Lost, available exclusively online. “We had to grow the community and audience first, says Beal. “We’re m aking a brand together.” The 19-piece inaugural collection, made in L.A. at the same factory as Rag & Bone, features elegant, well-priced silhouettes in luxurious textiles. The all-silk line features welltailored essentials like the sellout scalloped skirt and perfect shell. “They are all versatile. I’m a California girl, and you need to go day-to-night.” At her recent fairy-tale wedding held at her childhood home in Del Mar, Beal’s dress matched the white iceberg roses her mother had planted, and the custom monogrammed napkins were in French linen. “They had a scalloped edge,” she sighs.

Pride and Groom___

If Lee Brown, the founder of Mister Brown's (misterbrowns.com), has anything to say about it, North Park men will be saying adieu to scruffy facial hair and bad haircuts. Or, at least giving that full beard a trim and stocking up on moustache wax. Brown's new 1,300-square-foot barber shop and grooming boutique honors the hipster neighborhood's yeolde sensibility, evoking a classic gentleman's parlor—with a twist: Besides old-school swiveling chairs, the Gibson-Girl-wallpapered space boasts a pool table, bar and big screens. Talk about being a cut above!

Lash Out

With the slogan, "Say nothing. Express everything," the Blink Lash Boutiq u e (blinklashboutique.com) is bringing back the allure of the eye bat. With three S. D. locations in Fashion Valley, Solana Beach and Little Italy, Blink offers a menu of looks, from the bombshell (with a whopping 85 lash extensions) to the bashful, with 35. Lashes last around two weeks so bat 'em while you got 'em.

TOP FIVE: We tap S.D. designer and style maven Jennifer Delonge for her beauty picks.

1 Sheila Nellis , Make up Artis t—The longtime Trish McEvoy artist, who mans the counters at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, is a master. W hen Delonge doesn't have time for a full face, it's all about Trish McEvoy lash-curling mascara. "It immediately creates longer lashes. It's my secret weapon." Neimanmarcus.com ; nordstroms.com

2 Staci Christie , Esthetician —This Encinitas-based skincare guru has a long roster of A-list clients who come for the latest in serums, like SkinMedica TNS, and peels. "I get that insta-glow," says Delonge. "It's my go-to for radiant skin." Stacichristie.com

3 The Cos Bar—This La Jolla boutique stocks top luxury brands and up-to-the-minute beauty trends, including Delonge's favorite Laura Mercier art-deco-inspired nail lacquer in Dark Spell Forbidden. "I'm in love with anything forest green right now. This is just the right amount for a daily fix." Cosbar.com

4 Rod in Olio Lu sso—This cult-followed facial oil, which took founder Linda Rodin a year to create, can be worn morning and night. Bonus: It's great for travel dehydration. "Eleven essential oils make this serum so addicting," Delonge says. Oliolusso.com

5 Anthelios 60 Sunscreen —The California native with porcelain skin never goes without sunscreen. Her pick? La Roche Posay's new ultralight, fastabsorbing, matte finish sunscreen. "I'm obsessed. The UVA/UVB combo is mixed with antioxidants, so it's a double whammy." Laroche-posay.com

Hello, Dolly__

Take one look at top model Cara Delevingne and you know— thick, lustrous brows are back in a b ig way. We groom our arches at Beauty by Dolly (beautybydolly.com), the family-run S.D. threading and sugaring studio (they cater to gents too). And now we’re loving the salon’s new Brow Rehab Kit ($50), with a pressed powder for darkening and Resurrect and Stay Put conditioners and gels to help manage our face’s most defining asset.

Triple Threat___

The shop-within-a-shop trend was already a fave happening in our style world when Neiman Marcus (neimanmarcus.com) launched three new boutiques w ithin its Fashion Valley store. The Brunello Cucinelli in-house shop features the Italian brand’s signature dreamy cashmere and rocker-chic leather, and styling so effortlessly cool that we want to live in one of the sheer maxi skirts topped off with a don’t-mess-with-me moto vest. Chopard’s boutique has droolworthy jewels and men’s and women’s timepieces from the Swiss luxury line. And then there’s the Bulgari showplace, where the mystique of bejeweled icons like Elizabeth Taylor comes alive. A snaking wristwrap decked out in diamonds makes us feel very Queen of the Nile.


The San Diego bro is growing up, thanks to the style/branding guru who is Sam Larson. He and wife Kelli, an artist and blogger, opened the new Flower H ill boutique Lone F lag (loneflag.co), an understated mashup of high-brow heritage clothing lines and handsome accoutrements for the - modern man, curated from around the country. They’re also keeping it local with Boutonne accessories and Bradley M ountain bags, and Sam has . Set up a small workspace for local upstarts. “We have lots of creative-: , friends with smaller, amazing brands so we wanted to support the locally ¦ m ade a fasan feej-thttCre rienln- a lot of cities around the country,” says Sam, a poster boy for his store in-a tailored button-down and denim. “San Diego needed this.” Ladies: Ther_e’s alsoli well-edited rack of women’s togs and booties (modeled here by Kelli).

Made in the Shades _

San Diego sunglasses brand R aen Optics (raenoptics.com) is on a roll. Recently nominated as Breakthrough Brand of the year by the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association, Raen just moved offices to the hot 'hood of Oceanside, where they took over space in the former North County Times building. Then, in February, comes the launch of a new Rx frame line so customers can fill their prescriptions and virtually try on glasses at raen.com. They've also started a leather goods line (think camera straps and glasses cases). Meanwhile, Raen's sister branding arm, Libre, is launching—w ait for it—Unda , a new undergarment line, with pro surfers like Josh Kerr and chip paWilson as brand ambassadors. Now that's an ad campaign we don't want to miss.

Good as Gold__

“People tell me that it looks like gold, but it’s grass,” says Brazilian entrepreneur and S.D. transplant Rosely Pacheco, founder of the jewelry line Braziliant (braziliantgold.com). W hile studying international business, Pacheco heard about a sustainable grass growing on the Brazilian plains and local artisans there who masterfully craft with it. “I saw it as an opportunity to help m y people,” says Pacheco, who grew up a nature-lover in the Amazon. The line features earrings, bangles and bags. $70-$400, La D onna, La Jolla

What Gives?

You’ve heard of Toms shoes, the philanthropic fashion line gone global? Now three S.D. brands are getting on the give-back train: Rais Case (raiscase.com), Sound Off Apparel (soundoffapparel.org) and Solo Eyewear (soloeyewear.com). Rais Case, the boho-chic brand that started with Aztec bags and clutches, now has a standalone store at Flower H ill and raises money and awareness for S.D. causes through donation-based DIY events it sponsors. >>> Louis XIV drummer M ark M aigaard harnessed the power of music when he helped launch Sound Off Apparel, which partners with local musicians to create limited-edition T-shirts that benefit a band’s charity of choice. >>> Meanwhile, Solo, the hipster-approved sunglasses line started by an SDSU MBA grad, provides funding to restore vision to thousands around the globe. Now that’s vision!

TOP FIVE: 2014 obsessions from in-demand stylists Dean Hall and Adrienne Saks of Hall & Saks (hallandsaks.com)

1 Amy Rae Boutique —"The cool thing about this new East Village store is that you can buy all the Jonathan Adler displays in addition to the clothes, which include up-and-coming designers from New York. When you need a cute, quick outfit, this is the place." Amyraeboutique.com

2 Morgan Jean Jewelry —"W e've always loved this San Diego designer, but she's had a rebirth. Her new line is an edgier rocker look with oxidized metals and black diamonds. It's earthy but luxurious and great for traveling and layering. The line is carried at Tobi Blatt, Pink Lagoon and Melero Boutique." Morganjean.com

3 Farm . Fish. Fork —"W e are all about eating healthy while supporting local and sustainable small businesses. This new food truck has gourmet food that's served in supercute packaging, and the kale salad is amazing. You can eat it and still fit in your dress [laughs]." Farmfishfork.com

4 Burberry —"At London Fashion Week, Burberry Prorsum was all about longer lengths and housewife glam from the '40s and '50s. This spring, you'll see boxy coats and over-thetop rainbow pastels. It's about being very vibrant and bold." Us.burberry.com

5 Tucci Boutiqe —"Tucci now has two boutiques in North County, and both cater to a different audience. The Solana Beach store stocks a ton of Isabel Marant, and the new Del Mar Highlands shop is stocked with beachy casual looks." Tucciboutique.com

French Lesson

Foodie heaven? It’s in Esi ondido! No, really! Since Patrick Ponsaty landed at Bellamy’s (bellamysdining.com) on the inland North County town’s main drag, we’ve become big fans of the drive up the 15. Why? Because the top toque, who’s a maitre cuisinier de France, cooks with such refinement and elegance, even hearty winter dishes like port-braised venison osso bucco with mushrooms and chestnuts, or duck-liver stuffed squab, have an effortless delicacy to them. This spring, the restaurant closes for a much-needed renovation, reopening in time for summer with a rooftop deck that w ill be our destination for sipping rose and dining on Southern French delicacies. And then it’s Oui! Oui! All the way back home.

Champagne Kisses

The Gaslamp’s Encore Champagne Bar & Dining Room (encoregaslamp.com) is redefining bottle service. Out? Oontz-oontz Djs, velvet ropes and Belvedere. In? Tufted lounges, caviar and Perrier-Jouet. W ith more than 100 bottles in the cave and 30 sparklers served by the glass, the F Street newcomer has us giddy. Start your night in the bar, where turquoise chandeliers glimmer overhead; then move on to the dining room for dishes like chile- and chocolate-braised pork cheeks that pair superbly with vintage bubbly. Cheers!

TOP FIVE: Food editor Amy Finley chews over 2013's flavor highlights.

1 The Med —At La Valencia's reconceived resto, chef Daniel Barron's off-menu dry-aged rib-eye is so explosively flavorful, it's known as the Umami Bomb. The restaurant's scheduled for an imminent closure and face-lift, but postrefresher, speak those code words and dis ¦ a carnivore's nirvana. Lavalencia.com

2 Tuna Harbor —Fresh-cracked uni? Unfathomably delicious. But even better than its briny nuttiness is how, on Saturday mornings when you drag your cooler downtown to Tuna harbor (dockside next to The Fish Market), you help keep S.D.'s small-scale fishing industry alive by buying from the gang of salty divers and fishermen right off their boat decks.

3 Aqui Es Texcoco —Barbacoa's the food world's next big thing. But for authentic barbacoa de Borrego, made from lamb, head to this chula Vista landmark where the succulent, pit-roasted meat is tucked into fresh tortillas. Add lime. Taste. Understand. Aquiestexcoco.com

4 San Diego Night Market—When this insanely popular convoy event works out all its kinks (yes, the lines were that bad), every self-respecting foodie should redcircle it on their calendar. So, what's good to eat at a moonlit Asian street-food fair in S. D.'s most culinarily diverse 'hood? Everything. Sdnightmarket.com

5 Hail, Mary —The Pitman family has been raising organic poultry in the San Joaquin Valley for more than 50 years, but their no-GMO, vegetarian-diet-fed Mary's Chicken is just starting to pop up on S.D. menus. Which means that, yes, we're ordering the chicken. The buttery, crackly-skinned, reminds me-of-grandma's-cooking chickens. Seek it out. Maryschickens.com


“Sometimes, I get in a mood where I would actually pay people to leave right then because it’s that overwhelming,” says James Haggard, aka Haggo, of the line snaking out the door of Haggo’s Organic Tacos (haggosorganictaco.com), his cult-followed Leucadia eatery. The garden patio surrounding his perma-parked food truck is classic Leucadia: equal parts stylish and strange, mixing nautical souvenirs with shrines to his childhood hero Jacques Cousteau and dashes of quirky Wes Anderson memorabilia. It’s also packed. “I have a new chalkboard sign,” says Haggo. “It says ‘Sold Out,’ and then under that in smaller letters, ‘Yes, I’m really sold out, so please don’t ask.’” That sign goes up, most days, just an hour or so after the lunchtime crowd arrives. And the draw, of course, are the resto’s all-organic tacos, chief among them the fish with housemade cumin-lime crema and mango salsa crudo. O riginally just an under-the-radar, locals-only favorite, when Food Network’s Guy Fieri came into town for his Diners, Drive-Ins a n d D ives show, loveably-prickly Haggo was thrust onto the foodie circuit. “Sometimes I worry when the episode is going to air again because I’ll have to call in for backups.” Diva behavior? Try quality control. But Haggo’s not one to disappoint his fans: A larger North County brick-and-mortar is promised in 2014.

Wonder Wall

The most exciting thing to happen in the Gaslamp in a long time arrived with a bang. Literally. The second-story Bang Bang (bangbangsd.com) is shaking up the social dining scene with its flaming punch bowls, top-notch Djs and Ryan Gosling-wallpapered bathroom, the city's Instagram must. (Lip marks are cleaned off nightly.) W ith inventive sushi rolls and ahi poke with sushi rice ice cream, the menu is meant for sharing.

Draft Picks

We'll stay out of the quibble over which minimicronanobrewery is currently top dog, and just applaud some that have recently upped their design ante. Like at Modern T I'm e s (moderntimesbeer.com] in Point Loma, where a Post-It note mosaic covers one wall and dangling tumbleweeds double as chandeliers. O r North Park's Hess B rewing (hessbrewing.com), where a suspended catwalk over the brewing floor makes for a dramatic entryway. Even granddaddy Karl Stauss (karlstrauss.com) got a concrete and reclaimed wood makeover for its new P.B. tasting room. Bottoms up!

Viva Puesto

The newest, most sizzling scene downtown? You’ll find it at The Headquarters at Seaport District, thanks to Mexico-born, La Jollaraised Eric Adler and the second coming of his Mexican street-food concept, Puesto (eatpuesto.com). Ballyhooed and celebrity-owned Pizzeria Mozza was envisioned as the historic dining-andentertainment complex’s star attraction, but it’s the energetic, highstyle tacos-and-cocktails Puesto that’s really cracking the party piñata. Says Adler of a typical Saturday night, “It’s like Cancun in here.” The draw? Outrageous gourmet tacos (ancho-chile-marinated pork, local halibut with almond mole) and a primo tequila list to be sure, but we think there’s also a little S.D. karma involved: From the graffiti murals by local artist Chor Boogie to the cold-brew coffee on tap (Coffee & Tea Collective), Puesto celebrates San Diego in a way that’s perfect for downtown’s biggest gambit since Horton Plaza.

Hole in One

The sweet-salty maple-bacon bar is A Thing. The vegan doughnuts are A Thing. Heck, Instagramming your selfie standing in the early am line at downtown’s The Donut Bar (donutbarsandiego. Com) is A Thing (#mindblown!), which nowadays is how you know you’ve really made it to the big time. The B Street sweet boutique observes the cardinal rule of hype-making: scarcity (closely followed by having Brad Pitt endorse your apple fritter), rolling out about 1,000 of their craveworthy pastries daily. The morning’s menu goes up first thing on Facebook, and by the time the doors are thrown open at 7, the throngs are amped for their buck-a-cup coffee and first bite of a blood orange (or blueberry-lemon, or Nutella-stuffed, or crackly crusted creme brulee) doughnut, or any of the dynamic kitchen’s other whimsies. Did we say hype? ‘cause here’s the real deal: however we feel about that line, if you could buy a pass to the front of it, we’d own one.

The Fave

Vintage commercial corridors repopulated with trendy dining spots have revitalized neighborhoods all over San Diego. Is La Mesa next? The charming Mount Helix village shunned Gingham, Brian Malarkey's stylized cowboy concept, paving the way for the Cohn Restaurant Group and an East County edition of their boho-chic O.B. bistro, BO -beau (cohnrestaurants.com). And if the adoring crowds sipping wine around its sleek fire pits or crushing the blue velvet banquettes of the Philippe Beltran-designed interior are an indicator, maybe the up-and-coming burb should be rechristened Le Mesa.

__On a Roll__

We first heard about the Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub (1815 South Coast Highway, Oceanside) through the underground chef buzz. “Get over the name,” came the (sound) advice, “and just go.” The South Oceanside sushi bar’s decor evokes Queen Victoria taking tea with the Sex Pistols, but chef-owner Davin Waite is a purist when it comes to his impeccably sourced fish— and that’s about it. Loch Duart salmon sashimi is chardonnay-cured and topped with caper tapenade; local yellowtail gets zip from arugula chimichurri; and the sauce with your scallop is known simply as “W TF.” So we’ll repeat: Just go.

Lucky Star

When wunderkind chef Jason McLeod made a high-profile move to San Diego and then virtually disappeared within the scene-making apparatus of Consortium Holdings, for foodies, it was like a bad joke: "Two Michelin stars... and he's making meatballs for a cocktail bar?" Relax, kids. Little Italy's first raw bar, Iron side Oyster (1654 India St., San Diego), opens in February with McLeod as chef and co-owner (with cH ). Expect brilliance.

TOP FIVE: Some of our favorite new restaurants are also design dazzlers.

1 The Haven Pizzeria —It's the sleeper hit of the restaurant design scene, tucked aw ay in Kensington with the largest-scale work of celebrated San Diego artist Kelsey Brookes, fresh off solo exhibitions in London and N Yc. Other lures? Crisp gourmet pies and craft brew. Thehavenpizzeria.com

2 Queen stown Public House —Leave it to designer Michael Soriano to turn a historic Little Italy house into a whimsical neighborhood hot spot, tapping local sources and artists. The framed taxidermy was actually found on property, not shipped from Idaho. And the outdoor living room? Be prepared to wait in line. Queenstownpublichouse.com

3 Polite Provisions —Arsalun Tafazoli and designer Paul Basile launched a new Normal Heights landmark with this airy cocktail bar inspired by Old W orld pharmacies. It's a feast for the eyes, from the sparkling glass ceiling to the bathroom floor, tiled with actual nickels. Now that's rich. Politeprovisions.com

4 Morada —So long, stuffy. Hello, rusticglam. The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe's restaurant takes center stage of this stalwart hotel's recent remodel, which honored the historic 1920s adobe structure of architect Lilian J. Rice. Don't miss the fireplace-lit bar. Theinnatrsf.com

5 Cucina Enoteca —Restaurateur Tracy Borkum knows a thing or two about space design. Her new Del M a r monolith makes superb use of the ginormous former chevys with three— count 'em, three!—bars. Our fave seat: at the prep kitchen bar, where we watch chefs slice and dice while gorging on squash blossoms and Brussels sprouts. Cucinaenoteca.com


For 25 years, The Casbah (casbahmusic.com) has been the gold standard for how to do it right. S.D.’s own version of CBGB has had just about every big name grace its stage at one point, including Eddie Vedder, The W hite Stripes, Arcade Fire and even Nirvana. They’re celebrating the milestone with a month of one-night-only shows from legendary regional acts, m any of them reuniting for the first time in years. “I’m pretty jazzed about The Paladins, The Dragons, No Knife, The Penetrators and Rocket From the Crypt,” says Casbah owner Tim Mays. (Owner, that is, if you don’t count the time Mays lost The Casbah to Vedder in a game of pool). We hear they even spruced up the infamous men’s room for the occasion. Miracles never cease!

TOP FIVE: Arts writer Eric Olson curates the S.D. theater scene.

1 The Old Globe —The stalwart of San Diego theater never rests on its laurels. Powered by new Artistic Director Barry Edelstein, the bard is getting a dose of music and mayhem. February's production of The W inter's Tale, helmed by Edelstein, features an original minimalist score from composer Michael Torke. Theoldglobe.org

2 La Jolla Play house —Some of the biggest names in the business are finding their way to Torrey Pines to develop the future of theater. The DNA New Work Series, running from Feb.17-March 2, features six one-day workshop readings of new works from writers around the world. Lajollaplayhouse.org

3 San Diego Repertory The a tre —Politics and culture have stood center stage since its 1976 inception, giving early voice to the likes of W hoopi Goldberg. The tradition continues with shows like In the Time o f the Butterflies, about 1960s political resistance in the Dominican Republic, and Pulitzer Prize finalist Detroit, directed by Rep founder Sam Woodhouse. Sdrep.org

4 Moxie Theater—With a mission aimed at bringing "more diverse and honest images of women" to the stage, M oxie has attracted productions by locally and nationally renowned writers, including February's Crumbs From the Table o f Joy, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage's coming-of-age story set in1950s Brooklyn. Moxietheatre.com

5 Circle Circle dot dot —In its third season, Ccdd has tackled the stories of local roller derbies, drag queens and street artists. February's San Diego, I Love You 2 .0 w ill take audiences on a "walking romantic comedy" through the streets of University Heights. After the success of last year's jaunt through Hillcrest, Ccdd is proving that all the neighborhood is, in fact, a stage.Circle2dot2.com

Book It!__

The bilingual tome gracing our coffee table is the new Tijuana/22000, a photojournalistic study of the city’s evolving culture, available at Warwick’s in La Jolla. When narco wars sent tourists fleeing, the city entered a cultural cocoon, according to Derrik Chinn, one of the book’s photojournalists and the founder of Turista Libre. “Locals were inspired to make something out of their former tourist trap of a city.” Today, tourists are returning to a culturally richer place. “This book is a reflection of that metamorphosis,” says Chinn.

True Gem__

When it was time to showcase the first-ever all-jewelry exhibit for legendary designers Tony Duquette and Hutton Wilkinson, there was only one place to sparkle: The Gemological Institute of America (gia.edu). Oft forgotten on the San Diego museum radar, the Carlsbad world headquarters continues to lure international rock stars, not to mention a roster of alumni glitterati. “Part of GIA’s mission is to educate and inspire the public on gems and jewelry,” says McKenzie Santimer, GIA’s exhibit development manager. Duquette’s M ore Is M ore is on display through March. And don’t miss Faces o f Eternity, a wild collection of 15 gem skull carvings by Peruvian artist and master carver Luis Alberto Quispe Aparicio. It runs through April.

Exhibit-Seeking in Balboa Park


In conjunction with the park’s 2015 centennial, SDMA (sdmart.org) is going all out with Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri an d the Spirit o f Spain. Says SDMA’s Roxana Velasquez: “This presents a moment to look back, and forward, to the spirit, energy and enthusiasm that led to... the beginning of Balboa Park.” M arch 29-Sept. 9

2. Freeze FRAME

In Lynn Fayman: A C olorful Life, MOPA (mopa.org) unveils a stunning collection of the late San Diego artist, who dabbled in the short-lived Kodak Flexichrome to produce vibrant, colorful images. Fayman also illustrated several Dr. Seuss books, which will also be on display. Feb. 6-May 11


Repeat after us: “Ay, matey!” The S.D. Natural History Museum (sdnhm.org) presents N ational G eographic s Real Pirates exhibit, replete with artifacts and a life-size replica of the famed W hydah, which was carrying serious booty when it sank in 1717. Feb. 8-Sept. 28

Read the full article at http://digital.modernluxury.com/article/Feature+Best+Of+The+City/1592926/189766/article.html.

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