Fashion File: The NEW Business Casual

Let’s admit it, we’re all wearing sweatpants. Who has time for heels? We’re sporting cashmere socks and comfy slippers. During this time of social distancing, it’s about being casual and comfortable. For those Zoom conference calls, there are some eye-catching accessories. Plus some subtle statement-making pieces to keep the conversation bright.

Look good lounging around in this seaweed-derived organic cotton hoodie sweatsuit. The collection by Pangaia features an array of colors from robin’s egg blue and bold orange to mellow yellow and beige. :: thepangaia.com


The Gucci monogram patterned wool sliponswith rubber sole and gold horsebit hardware $750.

Get cozy with these shearling slippers. The Gucci monogram patterned wool slip-ons with rubber sole and gold horsebit hardware are uber fashionable, even if you’re just strolling from the couch to the kitchen. $750 :: neimanmarcus.com


Gucci Flora 18k yellow gold earrings with diamonds.

Gucci knows fun. These mismatched studs are chic and playful. :: gucci.com


A cotton wrap dress by Rebecca Taylor ($325)

Embrace the clean white shirt look while staying comfortable in this cotton wrap dress by Rebecca Taylor ($325). The white capsule collection for summer embraces classic silhouettes with a fresh take. :: rebeccataylor.com


Onzie midi leggings in rose gold camo foil. $74

Pants required. Conquer the day with these Onzie midi leggings in rose gold camo foil. The high rise waistband with slight compression is ultra-flattering (Read: It holds in that carb-loading tummy.) $74 :: onzie.com


Blowfish Malibu’s 4Earth collection benefits Oceana.$1 from every pair sold through Jan. 2021 will benefit the nonprofit. Starting at $49.99, available online.

Blowfish Malibu’s 4Earth collection is revamped with recycled plastic bottles and distributed in plastic-free packaging. $1 from every pair sold through Jan. 2021 will benefit Oceana. Starting at $49.99, available online. :: blowfishshoes.com

 

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Up Close: Erin Darafeev is the creative mind of IMD Furniture

“I feel like I’m keeping history alive,” says designer and CEO Erin Darafeev, whose grandfather emigrated from Russia and established a furniture company. After starting a small product company using scrap materials from other manufacturers, she “came to understand that there are designers and there are makers.” Then after working in the family business, in 2018 she struck out on her own and bought I.M. David Furniture, a similar brand founded in 1966, and set up her own factory in Garden Grove.

As a kid, Darafeev loved hanging out at her family’s warehouse. “I was fascinated by the work, seeing product built from scratch, and I loved the smell of the wood shop,” she remembers. Meanwhile she was also absorbing lessons about designing products, manufacturing goods and all the other business realities that serve her today as she navigates the challenges of keeping her product made in the USA.

“Building furniture in California, following in the footsteps of my grandparents and honoring the legacy of Irving Martin Ginsburg, who founded the I.M. David brand that I now produce, all while keeping American craftsmen employed creating exceptional, made-to-order furniture is a thrilling and worthwhile endeavor,” she says.

MY NEIGHBORHOOD: We’re in a great little industrial area in West Garden Grove. While I don’t have an on-site showroom or retail space, we do offer factory tours and design consultations to our clientele by appointment. We ship internationally and serve a lot of residential and hospitality clients in Orange County, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. It’s a great location, about 8 miles from the beach.

MY SANCTUARY: The desert. Cooking on an open fire, sleeping in a tent, connecting with the earth and waking to the light of the sun is a perfect reset. It reminds me to connect to my own stillness and hear my deeper voice, reminding me of who I am, what I want and why.

RED OR WHITE: Mostly red. I love a smooth malbec, pinot noir or cab. Occasionally I’ll go white, with bubbles. But I’m not fussy.

SHOWS I BINGE: I don’t really watch TV, except with my kids. When they invite me to spend time together before bed, it doesn’t matter to me what’s on. With my 16- and 17-year-olds it’s “Parks and Rec” and “The Office.” My 21-year-old and I watch science, nature and documentary films and have conversations around the concepts.

WORST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED: I don’t know that I’d call any advice “bad.” Most people have good intentions when they tell you what you “should” do, and it’s often about them wanting to keep you safe. Any advice based on fear – play small, do things the way they’ve always been done or take the easy route – should be questioned. As should advice encouraging reckless action or the pursuit of shortsighted gains. If they don’t have skin in the game or a stake in the outcome, I’m cautious of accepting direction. Everyone has an opinion, and I’m grateful when people share ideas I can take into consideration, but ultimately I need to make a decision and own the results.

WHAT KEEPS ME AWAKE AT NIGHT: Life is busy and can feel overwhelming between running a business, raising kids, maintaining business relationships and friendships, striving to eat well, sleep enough and stay physically active. I’m often up late, figuring out what’s next and reflecting on the big picture. I love the stillness of night to reflect and write without interruption. Mostly, I contemplate how to best keep things moving forward and to avoid pitfalls.

ON MY NIGHTSTAND: A sketchbook and pencil, a glass of wine and lots of books. Current in-progress reads: “The Infinite Game” by Simon Sinek, “Stillness is the Key” by Ryan Holiday, “Marketing Rebellion” by Mark Schaefer and “Braving the Wilderness” by Brené Brown.

PET PEEVE: I have the gift and curse of sensory sensitivity. As a designer, this allows me to notice things others don’t, which is helpful in creating. But the repetitive sound of a clicking pen, a sniffling nose or loud chewing can unnerve me.

WHAT I WISH I’D KNOWN EARLIER: I’m almost always the only one stopping myself from doing something differently, designing the ideal outcome and working to get something done. When I show up with passion, confidence, curiosity, focus and humility, great things happen. There is so much possibility on the other side of fear and self-doubt. This is something I know, but have to remind myself to live out each day.

 

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Enjoy sizzling San Miguel de Allende


David Wilhelm is a self-taught chef. He’s been credited in his career as being on the vanguard of promoting, amongother things, modern Mexican cuisine. (Photo by Bask)

Restaurateur David Wilhelm is best known for developing many Orange County and Los Angeles restaurants over the past three decades. Wilhelm’s tenure in Orange County began in the ’80s and since then, he’s opened more than a dozen significant restaurants such as Kachina, Bistro 201, Barbacoa, Saltwater Grill, Diva, Sorrento Grille, French 75 and more. Wilhelm’s latest concept is Tavern House, set on Balboa Bay. A self-taught chef, he’s been credited in his career as being on the vanguard of promoting, among other things, modern Mexican cuisine. This month we asked him to share the delights of one of his favorite sources of inspiration, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

 

WHY SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE?

It was voted the Best City in the World for two years in a row by Travel + Leisure for good reason. The town is an incredibly charming colonial hill town that reminds me of the hills of Tuscany. The architecture is truly one of a kind and features vibrant colors that are rarely found elsewhere. There are a lot of American and European expats who live there, contributing to the blending of unique and beautiful cultures. Also, throughout the year, there are a handful of rich cultural festivals. It requires extra travel, time but it’s well worth the effort.


“Simply walking thedowntown streets bothduring the day and nightand stumbling across anunending number of shops,cafes and restaurants” is a favorite activity while visiting San Miguel de Allende. (photo by istock)

AFTER DARK

Visit La Azotea. It is a large rooftop terrace that’s done in a Palm Beach style, with tables, benches and stunning views of the sunset.

 

MUST DO

Visit the Mayan Baths, an underground catacomb of warm mineral baths lighted with candles just 25 minutes outside the city. It’s truly an amazing experience! My favorite activity though is simply walking the downtown streets both during the day and night and stumbling across an unending number of shops, cafes and restaurants.

 

TIME IS RIGHT

The weather is moderate year round, but I think spring is the best time to visit, as the jacarandas that dot the entire city are in full bloom – you don’t want to miss it! You can walk the entire core of the city, but the streets are all cobblestone so make sure you bring comfortable shoes.

SECRET TIP

There is so much to see and do, but if time is limited, do your research beforehand and identify the types of things you want to do and see so you won’t miss anything. When all else fails, find a local expert who can share with you their favorite local places.

 

BEST BITE

Dining: Cenaduria La Alborada is new in the Jardin and has great pozole and other rustic Mexican dishes. For a very upscale experience, book dinner at the chef’s table at Aperi and enjoy an exclusive dinner with wine pairings.


Dining in San Miguel de Allende is a feast for the eyes. (photo courtesy of David Wilhelm)

Drinking: Grabbing a drink at sunset at the rooftop deck of the Rosewood Hotel where you get a view of the entire city and jacaranda trees, which fill the city with vibrant purple-colored blooms, is one of my favorite things to do. Visiting at sunset is a must. I also recommend stopping by the tasting room at Casa Dragones – it’s my favorite tequila!

 

BUY IN


“San Miguel de Allende was voted the Best City in the World for two years in a row by Travel + Leisure,” says David Wilhelm, who recommends the locale for avid travelers. (photo by istock)

The downtown area of the city is filled with a variety of great shops that include Day of the Dead figurines and other cultural pieces. (photo by iStock)

The downtown area of the city is filled with a variety of great shops that include Day of the Dead figurines and other cultural pieces. I highly recommend taking a stroll around the city to take in the beautiful architecture, but while you’re at it, make a pit stop at the centrally located park called Jardin; it’s beautiful! Be sure to visit the huge El Tianguis de los Martes held every Tuesday. There are baskets, pottery and handmade colorful clothing abound.

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Morsels: 7 Days to EAT – A week of great bites in OC

The OC sizzles in the summertime. Enjoy each day eating and drinking at sweet, gluten-free spots. Pig out on buzz-worthy vegan ice cream – made with sweet tomatoes – from Salt & Straw at Downtown Disney. Get your boba-fix filled with an artisanal strawberry coconut milk green tea at Omomo in Irvine. Or, need other sweet suggestions? Start here:

 

  • MARGARITA MONDAY: Toast to Las Brisas’ 40th anniversary with the Laguna Beach restaurant’s signature margarita. :: lasbrisaslagunabeach.com Photography by istock

  • TACO TUESDAY: Taco Mesa and Taco Rosa serve traditional Valencia-style horchatas made with organic tiger nuts. :: tacomesa.com

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  • WHISKEY AND WAGYU WEDNESDAY: A wagyu and whiskey tasting menu takes over midweek at Nobu Newport Beach, Lido Marina Village. :: https://noburestaurants.com/newportbeach/home/

  • THIRSTY THURSDAY: Thursdays are for high rollers who sip Hennessy V.S. by Felipe Pantone; the artist-designed bottle intended for collectors and connoisseurs is now available at Hi-Times. (Photography courtesy of Hennessy.com )

  • FRIDAY FUN: Another reason to luxuriate in the lobby: Montage Laguna Beach unveiled its afternoon tea service with delectable sandwiches combined with a lovely view of the Pacific. :: montage.com

  • SATURDAY SUMMER SKOOP: Nekter Juice Bar’s dairy-free frozen Skoop is a great way to chill out this summer.
    Flavors include s’more and an orange offering made with coconut milk. Both are available for a limited time. :: nekter.com

  • SWEET SUNDAY: Two Costa Mesa friends created Lavender Lane Baking Co. to feed the need for delectable gluten-free and paleo-friendly desserts. The dark chocolate gluten-free brownies won our office taste test. :: lavenderlanebakingco.com

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Along the Coast: OC Real Estates news updates

STUDENT HOUSING BOOM?

The Irvine Co. will be developing a large apartment community for UC Irvine students with lease rates similar to on-campus housing.

Plans call for residence halls to house 2,500 students to be located on a 19-acre site in the company’s University Research Park, directly adjacent to the UCI campus.

On campus, UCI is restricted by the city of Irvine to 18,000 beds. The 30,000-student university expects to reach that limit by 2022. Two new dormitories are currently under construction for 1,941 students with a September completion date, and two more are getting started for an addition 2,100 students.

 

OCMA BECOMES SENIOR LIVING


Vivante Senior Living Facility (rendering courtesy of city of Newport Beach)

Newport Beach residents can forget the 25-story Museum House luxury condominium tower once planned for the former site of the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Center. Instead, say hello to Vivante Senior Living, a six-story assisted living and memory care facility now planned for the site.

The Museum House was approved by the Newport Beach City Council, only to be denied when opponents gathered enough signatures to force a referendum. Unable to sell the site to developer Related Co., the property was sold to Nexus Development Corp. of Costa Mesa.

The facility is currently going through the city’s approval process.

Nexus developed a similar facility called Vivante on the Coast in Costa Mesa and the company reports the 185-bed project is full with a waiting list.

 

LIVING AT THE MALL

What does a regional shopping mall owner do when major department stores, the anchors that attract shoppers for the smaller stores in the mall, close? Convert the center to a multi-use complex by adding apartments, office buildings and perhaps a hotel and a huge cinema.

Mall owners all over the nation are facing the same problem that is being faced by the Laguna Hills Mall (recently renamed Five Lagunas) and Main Place Mall in Santa Ana, as well as the once venerable Horton Plaza in San Diego.

Merlone Geier Partners, owner of the Five Lagunas mall, is planning a major revamp. With three department stores closed, the developer wants to add 2,100 apartments, four office buildings, a 125-room hotel, a 10-screen cinema and a 3-acre park. And oh yes, keep 140,000 square feet of retail shops (the mall once had 850,000 square feet of retail).

The apartments would be in six buildings with 60 to 80 units per floor. One apartment building would offer retail on the ground floor.

Included in the plan are locations for six future restaurants. However, there is already strong opposition from local residents, one of whom shouted at a planning meeting, “We don’t want to be another Irvine!”

A long series of municipal reviews lies ahead.

 

FINDING SPACE FOR CONDOS

“Infill” is a popular word in the real estate development world, referring to an overlooked piece of land surrounded by development. Houston’s giant development firm, Hines, has discovered such an island, a single acre on Ford Road adjacent to the Bonita Canyon Sports Park in Newport Beach. The land was owned by Pacific Bell.

On this site, Hines plans to develop what it calls Newport House, a three-story, 21-unit condominium project. The architectural style would reflect a Nantucket theme, complete with two lighthouse features. The developer claims to be borrowing on the styling of the new Lido House Hotel in the Lido Village area. Newport Beach Planning Commission is currently reviewing the project, which would also require City Council approval.

 

RENDERINGS COURTESY OF THE CITY OF NEWPORT BEACH, MERLONE GEIER PARTNERS

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Taste: In the kitchen with chef Pascal Olhats

If there is a godfather of French cuisine and fine dining in Orange County, it is Chef Pascal Olhats.

For more than 30 years (“I came as a tourist and I feel I am still on vacation,” Olhats says) the chef has provided reliably authentic and appropriately innovative cooking in the now classic French style of nouvelle cuisine. His mastery comes well-earned, having served under the legendary creator of the style, Chef Paul Bocuse, in Lyon, France.

Having recently sold his branch of Pascal in San Juan Capistrano, Olhats remains at Café Jardin, the elegant outdoor bistro located on the grounds of the Sherman Library & Gardens in Corona del Mar. Typically serving sophisticated lunch and weekend brunch menus, the café launched a series of special Sunday evening prix fixe dinners in June.

On this occasion we encountered the esteemed chef at his cozy home in Tustin on a rain-spattered day in May. Diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in November, Olhats had just returned home from a stay at City of Hope, where he had undergone a successful bone marrow transplant. Nonetheless, he greeted us with hale vigor and good humor as he welcomed us into his home.

Across from the stove in the kitchen an impressive mise en place had been set out on a square standing butcher’s block. Freshly diced tomatoes; whole garlic cloves blanched in milk and roasted; chopped Nicoise olives; a tangled mélange of parsley, thyme, rosemary, and tarragon – all clues as to what’s for lunch: chicken breasts Provençal accompanied by a rich potato gratin, prepared with a casual deftness in the chef’s own kitchen. C’est formidable!

Chef Pascal Olhats sizzles with summer dishes at Sherman Library & Gardens.

Textbook French nouvelle cuisine? Bien sûr! This recipe is in fact redacted from Olhats’ course at Saddleback College, where he has taught for many years.

 

Café Jardin/Sherman Library & Gardens2647 Pacific Coast Highway, Corona Del Mar

:: slgardens.org

 

CHICKEN BREAST À LA PROVENÇAL

INGREDIENTS

4 bone-in 8 oz. chicken breasts

2 tomatoes peeled, seeded and diced

16 garlic cloves (blanched in boiling milk for 5 minutes and roasted in foil for 15 minutes)

6 oz. black olives, pitted and halved

10 oz. chicken stock

4 oz. dry chardonnay

2 oz. extra virgin olive oil

Fresh herbs: chopped thyme, rosemary, parsley and tarragon

salt & pepper

 

METHOD

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Sauté the chicken skin-side down in olive oil.

Remove fat from the pan. Turn the chicken skin side up. Add diced tomatoes, garlic, olives, and fresh herbs (reserving some for garnish). Add the wine and stock.

Braise the chicken in the oven for about 12 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pan and reduce sauce to 1/3.

Plate the chicken and pour sauce over the breasts. Garnish with remaining herbs and serve.

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Taste: In the kitchen with Café Jardin at Sherman Library & Gardens’ chef Pascal Olhats

If there is a godfather of French cuisine and fine dining in Orange County, it is Chef Pascal Olhats.

For more than 30 years (“I came as a tourist and I feel I am still on vacation,” Olhats says) the chef has provided reliably authentic and appropriately innovative cooking in the now classic French style of nouvelle cuisine. His mastery comes well-earned, having served under the legendary creator of the style, Chef Paul Bocuse, in Lyon, France.

Having recently sold his branch of Pascal in San Juan Capistrano, Olhats remains at Café Jardin, the elegant outdoor bistro located on the grounds of the Sherman Library & Gardens in Corona del Mar. Typically serving sophisticated lunch and weekend brunch menus, the café launched a series of special Sunday evening prix fixe dinners in June.

On this occasion we encountered the esteemed chef at his cozy home in Tustin on a rain-spattered day in May. Diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in November, Olhats had just returned home from a stay at City of Hope, where he had undergone a successful bone marrow transplant. Nonetheless, he greeted us with hale vigor and good humor as he welcomed us into his home.

Across from the stove in the kitchen an impressive mise en place had been set out on a square standing butcher’s block. Freshly diced tomatoes; whole garlic cloves blanched in milk and roasted; chopped Nicoise olives; a tangled mélange of parsley, thyme, rosemary, and tarragon – all clues as to what’s for lunch: chicken breasts Provençal accompanied by a rich potato gratin, prepared with a casual deftness in the chef’s own kitchen. C’est formidable!

Chef Pascal Olhats sizzles with summer dishes at Sherman Library & Gardens.

Textbook French nouvelle cuisine? Bien sûr! This recipe is in fact redacted from Olhats’ course at Saddleback College, where he has taught for many years.

 

Café Jardin/Sherman Library & Gardens2647 Pacific Coast Highway, Corona Del Mar

:: slgardens.org

 

CHICKEN BREAST À LA PROVENÇAL

INGREDIENTS

4 bone-in 8 oz. chicken breasts

2 tomatoes peeled, seeded and diced

16 garlic cloves (blanched in boiling milk for 5 minutes and roasted in foil for 15 minutes)

6 oz. black olives, pitted and halved

10 oz. chicken stock

4 oz. dry chardonnay

2 oz. extra virgin olive oil

Fresh herbs: chopped thyme, rosemary, parsley and tarragon

salt & pepper

 

METHOD

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Sauté the chicken skin-side down in olive oil.

Remove fat from the pan. Turn the chicken skin side up. Add diced tomatoes, garlic, olives, and fresh herbs (reserving some for garnish). Add the wine and stock.

Braise the chicken in the oven for about 12 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pan and reduce sauce to 1/3.

Plate the chicken and pour sauce over the breasts. Garnish with remaining herbs and serve.

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Morsels: Seeing Michelin stars in OC and Terranea’s healthy eats

A level playing field. That’s all I’ve ever asked for. When my friends, typically cocky chefs, bragged about their Michelin star restaurants in New York, Chicago and Paris, all I could do was roll my eyes and say, “When Michelin comes to Southern California, then it’s on.” And, I was right. On June 3, Michelin presented its first all-state guide at a sunlit ceremony at Paséa Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach. During that idyllic Orange County evening, 90 restaurants were celebrated as Michelin star recipients.

Niki Nakayama and Carole Iida-Nakayama of n/naka in Los Angeles stole the show. The duo had a big week. Netflix had just released Ali Wong’s celebrity chef-inspired romcom “Always Be My Maybe,” which utilized the kaiseki chefs’ talents as culinary consultants for the movie. Then on that evening, the couple stood on a male-dominated stage and took home two Michelin stars. “This could only happen in Southern California,” said Nakayama as tears streamed down her cheeks, her wife, Carole, standing beside her, arms intertwined and holding her close. “We have 20 people in our restaurant – 13 of them are women. We’re so proud of that,” added Carole. “The ingredients. The freedom – we could only do it here,” said Nakayama.


Chef Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria in Costa Mesa jokes around and hugs the Michelin Man mascot at the star selection for the 2019 Michelin Guide California. (Photography by Leonard Ortiz)

Carlos Salgado titillated the Michelin inspectors at Taco Maria. “The enticing scent of meat cooking over the fire and house-made heirloom masa tortillas on the griddle set the tone for an amazing experience,” stated Michelin inspectors. Taco Maria was one of two OC restaurants to receive Michelin star nods. Hana re at the Lab took home a star for chef Atsushi Yokoyama‘s refined Spartan take on sushi reverence. In total, the 2019 Michelin Guide California features 27 new restaurants with a one-star distinction, many of which have been featured in the pages of Coast. The new guide also revealed dishes to try such as pancit noodles at Irenia, paella at Vaca and Amelia’s salad at Marché Moderne. Five local spots – chef Ross Pangilinan’s Mix Mix Kitchen and Bar, Garlic & Chives, Hiro Nori Ramen, Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen, and LSXO received Bib Gourmand recognition. The evening revealed what we’ve known all along. California is a culinary hotspot. Now, we have a nifty red guide to prove it.


Chef Atsushi Yokoyama, center, of Sushi Hana re raises his glass with other chefs after his restaurant was awarded one Michelin star. (Photography by Leonard Ortiz)

COOL COCKTAIL

The boozy S’mores Milkshake from Slater’s 50/50 combines nostalgic flavors of camping spiked with marshmallow vodka. The adult-only concoction melds vanilla ice cream, toasted marshmallow syrup, chocolate, whipped cream, marshmallow fluff and finely crushed graham crackers into one lovely glass. If you don’t get a buzz from the booze, you’ll definitely succumb to the inevitable sugar high.


The boozy S’mores Milkshake from Slater’s 50/50. (photography courtesy of ajendapr.com)

6362 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road, Anaheim Hills17071 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach:: slaters5050.com

Food Field Trip


Avocado sweet potato toast at Terranea’s solviva wellness restaurant. (photography courtesy of terranea.com)

This year Terranea celebrated its 10th anniversary and unveiled Solviva, a new wellness-driven restaurant. Chef RJ Dela Merced developed a plant-forward menu with resident nutritionist Navil Lorenzana. The dishes honor Terranea’s bounty: produce grown onsite, the surrounding kelp forest and honey by resident bees. Think: sweet potato toast topped with avocado and sprouts, seasonal crudite dipped in housemade hummus along with heartier hand-cut pappardelle covered in almond pesto and grass-fed lamb with fresh fava beans.

Breakfast at Solviva boasts the resort’s bounty. Terranea kelp-cured smoked salmon topped with tomato and onion jam, whipped cream cheese on half of a whole wheat bagel is so tasty, you’ll order two for yourself. The kelp is harvested in the wild marine forest that encircles the resort. The kelp serves two purposes. Bernard Ibarra, vice president of culinary experiences and executive chef, harvests sea salt from these waters. He gathers buckets of water and lets it evaporate in special beds; the result is local sea salt. The kelp imparts oceanic terroir while simultaneously purifying the water and improving the salt’s quality. The jams are made with fruit from the resort’s garden. Eggs from the on-site coop have psychedelic orange yolks.

The honey harvested from Terranea’s bees is served in many ways. My favorite was the Bee’s Knees cocktail, which combines artisanal gin with sweet honey. It’s the perfect way to toast the resort’s 10th anniversary.

  • Black Tiger shrimp ceviche with taro chips. (photography by Terranea)

  • Soliviva dining room. (photography by Terranea)

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  • Terranea kelp-cured smoked salmon topped with tomato and onion jam, whipped cream cheese on half of a whole wheat bagel. (photography by Jenn Tanaka)

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Pageant of the Masters, Shakespeare at New Swan and more fun for July

NEW SWAN SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL


UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts’ New Swan Shakespeare Festival runs July 3-Aug. 30.(photography courtesy of newswanshakespeare.com)

It’s no secret the greatest box-office challenge to the English language’s most profound playwright and poet was not Shakespeare’s rival, Ben Johnson, nor Christopher Marlowe, but bear-baiting, by which some coward, no doubt in stretchy pants, teased some hapless animal into attacking him. The good news is, Shakespeare often came out on top because he didn’t write strictly for ivory tower chrome domes but for groundlings as well, the working stiffs who paid bare minimum to stand in front of the stage.

The good people at New Swan Shakespeare Festival are keenly aware of this group of proletarians long ignored by purveyors, pundits and connoisseurs. So, gather groundlings and chrome domes alike for the festival’s double bill of “The Merchant of Venice” (among the Bard’s greatest comedies) and “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” (among his earliest), performed by company pros mixing with students in the drama department at UC Irvine.

WHEN: July 3-Aug. 30

WHERE: UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts, 4004 Mesa Road, Irvine

COST: $13-$57

:: newswanshakespeare.com

 

ORANGE COUNTY FAIR

If you’re hungry, eat a banana. You don’t go to the Orange County Fair to eat, you go to fetishize food, obsess over it, explore boundaries and discover exotic flavors that will strain your limits. Offerings in recent years include caramel drizzled fries, peanut butter and jelly sriracha funnel cake, big skillet cookies and OC Crunch Cinnamon Roll.

“Fried pineapple,” says the Fair’s Terry Moore, adding to the list of county comestibles, “the largest tomato, best cupcake, even tablescaping,” which is exactly what it sounds like.

And there’s music, too, though the lineup skews more Oldchella than Coachella at the Pacific Amphitheatre – Smokey Robinson, Styx, Pat Benatar, Dwight Yoakam, Ziggy Marley, Chicago, The B-52’s and Seal, with English Beat and Ozomatli at the Hangar. The Mariachi Festival has expanded this year and is steps up from the Hangar to the Amphitheatre.

At the Sports Arena they’re rocking X-treme Motocross, ATV and Quad races, for people who love speed and bumps and hate their kidneys.

WHEN: July 12-Aug. 11

WHERE: OC Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa

COST: $7-$14

:: ocfair.com

PAGEANT OF THE MASTERS


Backstage at Pageant of the Masters. (photography courtesy of FOAPOM.com)

The theme of this year’s one-of-a-kind art/theater mashup in Laguna Beach is time travel, giving director Diane Challis Davy wide parameters within which to work. Inspired by the classic sci-fi novel by H.G. Wells, “The Time Machine,” Challis Davy and screenwriter Dan Duling weave together a mystery about a scientist, a bump on the head and a magical sketchbook by a celebrated son of Anchiano holding 15 clues that, yes, take us through a world of living artworks.

“We’re doing a piece called ‘The City of Paris,’ which is a Cubist work, and it’s very challenging,” Challis Davy tells Coast of the 1911 canvas by Robert Delaunay. “The most difficult and challenging ones are the more realistic pictures. We have a couple from the Victorian Age and because they’re photorealistic that becomes very difficult.”

What’s less difficult is mid-19th century romanticist Jean-Leon Gerome’s epic canvas of “Napoleon and his General Staff in Egypt,” which begins the show, though that’s not to imply that history started with the vanquishing of bedouins. It didn’t. It began with nudes, perhaps even the trio of them in Georges Seurat’s pointillist “Les Poseuses.” Vermeer’s “The Music Lesson” is a crowd pleaser, as are iconic images ranging from the “The Day the Earth Stood Still” movie poster to Salvador Dali’s “The Nobility of Time” (floppy watch and all). The show ends on a culinary note with daVinci’s “The Last Supper,” all set to music by a full orchestra.

WHEN: July 7-Aug. 31

WHERE: 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach

COST: $20-$198

:: foapom.com

 

SAN CLEMENTE OCEAN FESTIVAL


San Clemente Ocean Festival, July 20-21. (photography courtesy of oceanfestival.org)

Get the little ones ready for the Dolphin Dash and the “Groms Rule” Surf Contest, and get the big ones ready for the Lifeguard Competition (first place takes $500). Get the rest ready for a roster of athletic battles like this year’s new additions, Tandem Boogie Boarding and the Pier Bowl Surf Classic. Add those to the Annual 5K Run, Dory Boat races, Open Ocean Paddle, Biathlon, One Mile Ocean Swim and just about everything else you can do but relax at the beach.

Of course, you could always just watch. There are no awards for that, but knowing you spent a weekend lolling in the sun instead of burning an actual calorie while others sweat and tumble all around you has its own virtues.

And while you’re in San Clemente, stop by Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens for a glance at artist Levi Ponce’s new mural related to SoCal’s coastline and ocean life on view through Sept. 8. Ponce is a rising star whose work has been exhibited at The Skirball Center and The Craft and Folk Art Museum.

WHEN: July 20-21

WHERE: San Clemente Beach

COST: free

:: oceanfestival.org

 

ALSO SPOT-WORTHY:

Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson, July 6, FivePoint Amphitheater, Irvine

Los Lobos, July 14, OC Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa

Beck and Cage the Elephant, July 17, FivePoint Amphitheatre, Irvine

Jefferson Starship, July 18, The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano

Ted Nugent, July 23-24, The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano

 

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Pacific Symphony starts July with a bang

July 4 takes flight at the Pacific Amphitheatre when Pacific Symphony kicks off its SummerFest with “Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles.” The third season at the orchestra’s summer home begins with an Eagles tribute band joining the orchestra, followed by patriotic tunes and holiday fireworks. Other summer concerts include the orchestra performing John Williams’ soundtrack alongside a screening of “Star Wars: A New Hope” (Aug. 17) and the traditional “Tchaikovsky Spectacular” (Sept. 7). New this year is a special event, “Hail to the Heroes,” honoring veterans and first responders (Sept. 8). And there’s plenty more this summer from the orchestra: Kid-friendly Symphony in the Cities concerts in Mission Viejo (July 27), Costa Mesa (July 28), Orange (Aug. 3) and Irvine (Aug. 4), plus performances of Broadway and opera tunes as part of the Mission San Juan Capistrano “Music Under the Stars” series (July 21). Prefer your classical music indoors? Pacific Symphony will take part in two concerts at Christ Cathedral: with vocalist Jackie Evancho as part of the Catholic cathedral’s dedication festivities (July 13) and a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth (Aug. 1).

SEE IT: “Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles,” 8 p.m. July 4.

OC Fair & Event Center88 Fair Dr, Costa MesaTicketing and other event information available online.

$25-$99

:: pacificsymphony.org

:: occatholic.com/a-grand-celebration/

 

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