Editor’s Letter: A little help from our friends

I’ve never been the kind of person who looked to historical figures or famous achievers for inspiration on how to lead my best life. Maybe it’s because my life is so rich with friends who amaze and motivate me with their determination, their intelligence and their heart.

Case in point: my friend Risa Groux, a certified clinical nutritionist in Newport Beach. We first met a couple years ago when, after a heavy-duty course of antibiotics for a dental infection caused a litany of digestive problems, I dragged myself into her office. I had received a couple press releases about her practice and was intrigued.

I don’t remember exactly what I was expecting – maybe to be shamed into eating more vegetables or something. What I found, though, was this firecracker of a person who all but vibrated with a passion for healing your life through the power of wholesome food. The innovator behind a program called The Newport Beach Cleanse, Risa advocates for the therapeutic use of nutrient-dense, high-quality foods, antioxidants, herbs and supplements to achieve optimal health.

Let me just get this out of the way and say that yes, I am probably her worst, most disobedient client. (I have a weakness for linguine alle vongole and a great Pinot Grigio, among many other things.) But when I listen to her and follow her very informed advice, I feel fantastic. I’m slimmer and my aches and pains disappear. (“So is that pasta and wine really worth the extra weight and feeling bad?” asks the angel on my shoulder, whose voice, strangely enough, has Risa’s slight East Coast cadence. “Of course it is! Yes, yes!” counters the devil on my other shoulder, who sounds a lot like Peggy Lee after a Scotch-and-cigarette bender.)

But what I appreciate about Risa possibly even more than her encyclopedic knowledge of food and the human body is her living testament to the power of “following your bliss,” to borrow that old Joseph Campbell phrase.

Risa was always the kind of person who paid attention to what she ate – she was the mom who made her babies’ food from scratch, who bought organic produce before it was a thing – but she was also a woman with a high-powered career as a marketing professional for professional sports teams.

Then, she unexpectedly fell ill. The diagnosis? A thyroid condition known as Hashimoto’s disease.

Unsatisfied with the limited options her doctors gave her for treatment, she furiously researched and embarked on a nutritional plan that radically improved her health. She sought the expertise of leading scientists and researchers, attended seminars, read everything she could – and in the process became convinced that her passion for nutrition could help other people. She decided to dedicate herself to a career doing just that.

It was a risk, starting a new business and leaping into a new career path. But she trusted herself, she trusted her knowledge and she was driven by the conviction that she could help others discover a new level of wellness and vigor.

At the risk of sounding like a dimestore version of Oprah, I think that’s inspiring – how Risa’s conviction doesn’t stop at personal satisfaction but uplifts others in the process.

You’ll notice a few other people like Risa highlighted in our pages this month – women such as UCI Foundation trustee Julie Hill who aims to be among the first “astrotourists” and our own Karen Kelso, who took a solo journey to find who she is now, apart from her role as mom, wife and creative director for this magazine. You might find inspiration, too.






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Use patterns and textures to change up a light-filled living space

  • Succulents grace the coffee table.

  • Creating a light-filled
    living space was key to
    interior designer Anne-
    Marie Claassen’s goals
    for her home’s “California
    cool” look.

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  • Raising the living room
    ceiling and using a
    white palette allows the
    Claassens to change
    things up with pillow
    colors and textures.

  • Plenty of storage space (and display spots for beloved toys) make the Claassen boys happy to
    have their mother’s “family friendly” design in their bedrooms.



When interior designer Anna-Marie Claassen and her attorney husband Brian bought their new home in Corona del Mar’s Cameo Highlands, the pair already had long-term goals for that one-story, three-bedroom house.

“We have a plan. It’s probably in years, but we bought this house because we love the lot,” Claassen explains as she sits in their sunny living room.

In fact, when the couple and their 7- and 9-year-old sons moved into the 2,400-square-foot house in July 2017, they immediately made some changes, like redoing the living room. “The living space had a scalloped ceiling, and it was a very ornate, dark wood – I would say traditional, maybe Italianate, with a heavy mantelpiece,” Claassen recalls. “We pushed the ceiling up a little, tiny bit. We kept the fireplace box, but modernized it.”

They also removed another fireplace in the area beyond the kitchen and painted the interiors white, creating an office for her Anthology Interiors design firm and playroom space for when the boys get home from school. “It’s a big living space,” she says, “The house is really about the brightness and the lot. There’s plenty of land for us to expand. Eventually.”

Each son has his own room, and there’s not only a swimming pool in the backyard, but space for an enclosed trampoline. The family dog is happy as well, as the big black lab/shepherd mix loves the large front yard. But he’d better not get used to that, since the Claassens are planning some major construction, designed to keep them in the home and the neighborhood they already love for years to come.

“We bought this because we love the lot. There’s a partial ocean view. There’s tons of room to expand. There’s only one story allowed in this neighborhood, but what we love about this neighborhood is people are being really innovative and going down, people are going into basements or digging in their garage. We love a one-story floor plan in general, but this gave us a lot of room to push out,” Claassen explains.

Interior designer Anna-Marie Claassen

The long-term plan includes elements that stay within the community’s HOA regulations, including a full renovation of the master bedroom/bathroom, which at the moment doesn’t include a walk-in closet. “We’re working with an architect now, but we think we will do a great big master, with a new bathroom, new closet,” she says. Then she adds, giddily: “We can turn this whole section into another bedroom. The third bedroom would stay and then turn the other bedroom into a laundry room. Then, we can push that wall way out and we can expand the house. It’s hopefully a five-year, maybe 10-year plan. We’re going to just totally reconfigure everything!”

Until that happens, however, the Claassen family will enjoy the comfortable, “California cool” interior design that reflects the taste and style she offers her Anthology clients. “That’s what I call this eclectic mix of midcentury modern and family-friendly stuff. I do a lot of family-friendly decorating; that’s kind of my top focus every time I meet with a client. We do a lot of indoor/outdoor fabrics inside, for example.”

That’s reflected in her own home, with an oversize white sectional sofa dominating the living room. “It’s covered with an indoor/outdoor, really washable fabric,” Claassen insists. “Kids and dogs — they just take over. But with a blank slate of white walls and washable white sofa, you can bring in a lot of interesting color and textures with textiles, pillows and everything. The neutral palette allows you to do that, even if you have kids and dogs who are going to make a mess all over the place.”

One thing that may change as the family reconfigures the house for the long run is the flooring, which is travertine. Claassen has a whole different look in mind, especially as her boys head into their teenage years.

“I love concrete floors,” the interior designer and mom reveals. “Personally, right now, that’s my favorite. You can throw awesome rugs on top of it, and it really goes with the modern look, and you can mix things in with it. And it lets the kids do all sorts of stuff all over the floors that you wouldn’t necessarily let them do on a marble or wooden floor. Kids can roll their bikes all over the place and things like that. It’s just generally really user-friendly.”

With the long-term plan in motion, it seems obvious the Claassen family is going to make Cameo Highlands its permanent home. After all, as Anna-Marie Claassen reveals, it really is as much about the neighborhood as it is about the house.

“We love the ocean views we have, the ocean access and we love Corona del Mar. The beaches are amazingly gorgeous; they’re rocky with tide pools and the beautiful arches and the caves. I can see staying here for a long time.”  ■

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Fashion File: The best 2018 Cruise collection looks for summer

Sailing the South Seas, yachting down the Seine or even puttering in the Pacific wharfs flowing alongside Newport’s Peninsula, Orange County attire calls for chic, coastal cool dressing. Designers from New York, Switzerland and abroad have embraced a more sophisticated take on their Resort and Cruise collections this season. Flowers abound and romantic flowing lines remain a strong emphasis. Whether your vacation plans this summer is aboard a Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Riviera, Crystal or Viking vessel, it’s apparent that cruise is a state of mind that’s taken hold of fashion’s imagination. Wanderlust channeled in clothes and accessories. Ahoy!

  • Finely embroidered details, flowing ruffled skirts, and thick leather accessories chanel the free spirted west for Dior’s Cruise collection. Price upon request. Dior, South Coast Plaza, 714.549.4700. :: dior.com

  • Yellow gold is making a big comeback in the accessories market. The Midas touch looks best in large statement pieces such as this bold cuff jewelry by designer Anne Sistron. $1,800
    :: annesistron.com

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  • Woven blue and white threads echo the ebb and flow of the blue ocean. Cape Code designer Elyse Maguire channels the bay and shimmering dusk in her latest line of knitted scarfs. $115.
    :: elysemaguire.com

  • Parisian salon life echoes throughout Anna Sui’s 2019 Resort collection. “As usual, we love collages of vintage florals,” says Sui. “This season we’ve planted a virtual garden full of roses, peonies, hydrangeas, zinnias, dahlias, tulips, asters, hollyhocks, English daisies, sweet William … And we’re very excited about all the delightful prints.” Price upon request.
    :: annasui.com

  • Fendi updates the retro cat-eye sunglass frames. The grey frames with blue mirrored polarized lenses create a futuristic take on a classic look for summer. $480
    Sunglass Hut, South Coast Plaza, 714.979.9139. :: sunglasshut.com

  • Christian Louboutin leaves his mark on the Janitag Graffiti red sole slide, which features a playful take on a traditional Italian-made Roman-style sandal. $745. Neiman Marcus, Fashion Island, 949.755.5555
    :: neimanmarcus.com

  • High-waisted pants with pleated accents are enlivened with a romantic English garden print. Paired with a sleeveless tank adorned with ruffled accents and a tight bodice, the look feels buttoned-up and yet casual. Rebecca Taylor, Fashion Island, 949.
    :: rebeccataylor.com

  • Robb Report horology expert James Malcolmson partnered with South Coast Plaza to honor the Best of the Best in timepieces including this cherry blossom, diamond-encrusted stunner. Price upon request. Van Cleef & Arpels, South Coast Plaza. 714.545.9500 :: vancleefarpels.com




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Restaurant 917 is a taste of the Porsche Experience

Chef Matt Lee at Restaurant 917 housed atop the Porsche Experience Center in Carson.

Sometimes in life we miss important things because we’re just going too fast. Yet, when we do slow down, unexpected delights pop up in front of our eyes.

That’s the case with the Porsche Experience Center, which you might have missed as you were speeding along the 405 freeway in Carson. But if you take the time to notice, you’ll find gems there. The first are the high-performance racetracks where you can maneuver the latest Porsche models through a series of driving modules. (Have you ever felt a sports car hit G-force mode?) The other is Restaurant 917. Located on the second floor of the center, 917 serves fine food and wine with views of the PEC track.

“It is a very unusual concept,” admits executive chef Matt Lee. “You’re overlooking a racetrack. We combine cars and food. It’s just different.”

It’s a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Details elevate the entire meal. Servers are trained to communicate with sign language. “If I need a table cleared or a water glass filled, then I make eye contact” – with someone on the team – “and I just sign for it,” says Alexandre Oliver, general manager of food and beverage operations. “I don’t have to say a word.”

The seamless service highlights the creativity spouting from Lee’s kitchen. Private parties and celebratory occasions are the events that normally bring diners to 917. But Lee and Oliver want more foodies to pull off the interstate.

“The big misperception is that we’re not open to the public. But we most definitely are,” says Lee. “People think you need to own a Porsche to come here, as if it’s an exclusive club. But, it’s not. We try to make everyone feel welcome – even if you don’t own a Porsche.”

COAST: How did you start cooking at 917?

MATT LEE: My previous employment was at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. It’s run by the same food contractors (Bon Appétit Management Co.) that do the Getty’s food service. Five years ago, Porsche knew they were building the experience center out here. So the company sent me to Atlanta to bid for the account. I did tastings for the executives. We competed against other restaurant groups such as Wolfgang and Patina. It was a seven-course competition.

COAST: What is the difference between the two dining concepts, Restaurant 917 and Restaurant 356 in Atlanta?

ML: Here, we have a more California twist. We just get better ingredients here than in Atlanta. So it gives us more opportunities to change up the menu based upon what is best that day.

COAST: Speaking of ingredients, what are some of your favorites?

ML: I love seafood. Any type of seafood I can get my hands on I’d be happy to cook. The octopus is the No. 1 seller. The Spanish octopus is my favorite thing to cook with right now. It’s sous vide for eight hours. I put in olive and smoked bacon just to give a smoky flavor. Once it cools down, then we grill it. It comes with a harissa aioli; Brussels sprouts; red cabbage that’s been glazed with a little sherry vinegar and butter; pork skin chicharron for a little crunchiness; and lardo, which is a little cured fatback. Plus we put on a little herb oil and micro cilantro. Pork just goes well with everything.

COAST: Any other ingredients?

ML: Heirloom tomatoes. There are so many different varieties that you can use. So that’s fun. Each has a different flavor profile. I just put an heirloom tomato dish on the menu with smoked burrata, pickled strawberries from Harry’s Berries. We’re smoking the burrata in-house with a cherrywood.

We’re also planning to change the menu six times a year, since sometimes things are only available for a week, maybe two. So I don’t want to be stuck with too many things, I’ll come up with a menu that I can change on my whim. We just started serving a German-inspired dish, since we are Porsche. It’s a sauerbraten – short ribs, a sauer-based demi-glace sauce, herb spaetzle and braised cabbage, my version of kraut.

I brought my own pastry chef, N.D. Lee, over from the Getty. We just finished working on our new summer dessert. It’s a tableside play on s’mores. We’re going to incorporate the fire at the table. Even though it’s a hot dish, you think of summer and camping and the outdoors.

Another exciting change is that we’re also working on a secret menu.

COAST: If you won’t spill the secret, then at least tell our readers about the butter served at Restaurant 917.

ML: It started out as a joke. It’s kind of funny but on Yelp and OpenTable everyone writes something about the butter. It started out with these ice cube trays that they sell down in the store. Before we opened, we came up with Porsche butters. They still sell the trays downstairs. You can try it yourself, but it’s a lot harder to mold than people think! ■

Porsche Experience Center, 19800 S. Main St, Carson 888.204.7474 :: porschedriving.com


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Miley Cyrus and cult favorite flick “Tombstone” inspire a killer cocktail at Pacific Hideaway


Pacific Hideaway
<em>Daisy If You Do</em> mezcal cocktail at Pacific Hideaway, Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach.

There’s nothing ordinary about the cocktails at Pacific Hideaway in the Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach. Each playful libation created by lead bartender Casey Lyons doubles as an Instagramable moment. He conjured up the Dazed and Confused, a pineapple rum cocktail splashed with lime and ginger syrup. The whimsical garnish: a smoking sage and oregano joint is sparked up en route to the table.

His prickly pear mezcal margarita flushes with a flamboyant magenta. Lyons shakes the cocktail vigorously before pouring it into a clear skull-shaped glass. He garnishes it with agave cactus tips, arranging each one so the result resembles a ceremonial headdress. Looking like a brain surgeon about to operate, he pulls out a pair of large metal tweezers to pluck out a smattering of delicate edible flower blossoms to decorate the drink’s ornate top.

“It’s a Miley Cyrus nightmare,” he jests. Lyons, who previously cultivated the innovative bar program at Social in Costa Mesa, admits to drawing inspiration from pop culture and cinema for the beverages he serves at Pacific Hideaway. I’ll Be Your Huckleberry, a Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey cocktail sweetened with huckleberry-infused syrup, and the vibrant Daisy If You Do prickly pear margarita are nods to the cult-favorite 1993 “Tombstone” movie. Pacific Hideway’s bar was designed to exude a laid-back, surfers’ watering hole. A needed respite from the woes of our tech-obsessed world. It’s also a cool place for Lyons to play out his liquid daydreams.




2 ounces Del Maguey Vida mezcal

1 ounce John D. Velvet Falernum

1 Tablespoon prickly pear syrup

½ ounce fresh squeezed lime juice

Sparkling wine


  1. Combine all ingredients with ice into a metal shaker.
  2. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
  3. Strain into a glass and top with sparkling wine.


PACIFIC HIDEAWAY 500 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, 714.965.4448 :: pacifichideawayhb.com


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A René Lalique automobile mascot built for Prince George emerges in Newport Beach

Gerard Smith is a collector extraordinaire, whose interests have led him to obtain one of the only 26 original copies of the Declaration of Independence, create an extensive coin and currency collection sought by museums, not to mention amass one of the most extensive collections of pre- and post-war automobile mascots (don’t say “hood ornament”) created by glassmaker René Lalique in his factory in Alsace, France. But what makes Smith’s collection the most rare is this running greyhound created for England’s Prince George, in honor of his visit to Paris. This one-of-a kind piece – a light under the hood projects the blue color into the clear glass – was never put into commercial production It disappeared for more than 80 years; its whereabouts unknown until it turned up at auction. “My goal is to collect every one of the 30 designs made by Lalique but in every color,” says Smith. “It’s never been done, is very expensive, but fun to do. You’ve got to collect something, after all. That’s what makes life interesting – always on the hunt for something!”

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Beauty Pie delivers directly to you

Beauty Pie cosmetics and beauty products are delivered directly to you.
Beauty Pie cosmetics and beauty products are delivered directly to you.

As for adventuring, I’d rate myself medium-high on the risk scale. I once travelled to Africa not knowing a soul, and I’ve trudged shin-deep in mud through cow-filled fields in Scotland to get to a music festival. Those were good times – the kind where youth, possibility and the absence of fear of running mascara combine to create the stuff of memories. I was bare-faced, young and free. But mostly, bare-faced.

It’s true that makeup has never really been my thing. If I’m being totally honest, I’ll share with you that my beauty routine was cemented around the time Aqua Net was the hair product du jour and wet n wild cosmetics graced drug store shelves. As an adolescent, I’d peruse the latest eyeliners (Sapphire and Ice wet n wild kohl liner, where you at?) and dab on Fantastic Plastic Pink blush à la Madonna circa 1989. I’d sing along to Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now,” and toss in a couple Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers while my mom was distracted picking a Rice-A-Roni flavor for dinner. I tell you this not for nostalgia’s sake (although that’s part of it), but to highlight that things have not changed much. I still follow the eyeliner-blush-lip gloss routine, and although now I go for more of a smudged black on my eyes, the rest, down to the Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker, has remained much the same.

This would all be fine except that it’s not fine at all, at least if you consider that a woman rapidly approaching her fourth decade is still using products made for and marketed to people half her age, optimistically speaking. Add to this two young children and a phobia of all things Sephora, and it’s no wonder I have no clue what highlighting is, let alone the desire to figure it out. But one day, I heard about a company called Beauty Pie during a podcast. It’s founded by Marcia Kilgore, she of Bliss spa renown, and is based on the idea that all women should have access to the best beauty products in the world. It’s model is subscription-based, so those who become members for $10 per month can buy everything from serums to lipstick for factory-direct pricing. That means you aren’t shelling out $150 for your nightly moisturizer to pay for its packaging, overhead and marketing; from Beauty Pie, the same thing costs a small fraction of the price, and it’s formulated with the same ingredients and in the same labs that make your department store favorites.

Beauty Pie sets
Beauty Pie sets

What’s the catch, you may be thinking? Well, it is a recurring monthly cost, and for $10 per month, you can spend up to $100 on products each month, but that $100 is based on the price the product would sell for normally. For example, if you want Beauty Pie’s Super Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream, which would cost $85 regularly, your remaining balance for that month to spend is $15. But it does mean that you get to buy the eye cream for only $7.17, which is pretty great. You can also upgrade your membership to increase your monthly shopping allowance, and any unused allowance is automatically rolled forward to the next month.

The real proof, however, is in the product itself. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t see the need to swap out my trusty Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub from Target for a $35 “transforming cleanser.” But in areas where I’m a little less confident (i.e. the rest of the beauty product world), Beauty Pie strikes a nice balance between anxiously roaming the aisles of Sephora, where overstimulation and panic-inducing words like “micellar” and “contouring” are thrown around like everyday vocabulary, and, well, wet n wild. It’s like someone went and found the best stuff, edited it down, and said, “This is what you want to help with your wrinkle situation. You’re welcome.” The choice is not overwhelming, though there is enough of it to keep even beauty aficionados interested, even if it is just for the quality and not the mind-numbing variety. The lipstick I tried, FutureLipstick in Knockout Punch, is satin-like and nicely pigmented, and didn’t require the trained hands of a makeup artist to apply. It glided on smoothly and evenly and in a nude-ish pink color that didn’t make me feel clown-like. I even branched out and tried Beauty Pie’s Pro-Strobe Luminizer in Beaming, which I dusted atop my tried-and-true rosy blush, and it did make my face seem brighter and like I’d just come from some dewy, misty place that caused my skin to glow. A win, as far as I was concerned. And for those more adept with makeup and all its magical powers, there are more advanced products like the Quick Colour Contour Supergel, which promises you can’t go wrong with its tint and easy applicator. It was simple enough to apply and, after a few YouTube videos for practice, I could begin to see the appeal.

Another area where Beauty Pie excels is in skincare. Despite my general lack of awareness of all things makeup, I have always believed that taking care of your skin is the best favor you can do for your looks, so I do somewhat keep up on skincare. Beauty Pie’s selection is curated carefully to supply the basics (cleansers, serums and  moisturizers), plus a few extras like the Plantastic™ Micropeeling Superdrops that help with acne-prone skin and Fruitzyme™ Five Minute Facial for deep-cleansing. There is a conspicuous lack of the marketing usually associated with skincare, such as pretty packaging and mentions of the exotic ingredient of the moment (nightshade and hibiscus, anyone?) but in my estimation this is a good thing for both your wallet and your skin since the components that actually do matter are in abundance. I tried the Super Healthy Skin™ Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream, which is a great all-purpose nightly moisturizer with hyaluronic acids and antioxidants to get the job done well. Compared with my usual Clarins Extra-Firming Night cream ($93), it’s also a bargain at Beauty Pie’s $11.61 price ($130 regular).

This all being said, you may be the type that can think of no better way to pass an hour or three than wandering the aisles of Sephora testing out every new product that promises everlasting beauty and sourcing from the far-reaches of the planet. And if you are, then Beauty Pie may not be titillating enough. But if you know what you like and find the company’s model intriguing (value-wise, it’s a great deal), it may save you from excessive choice-induced anxiety and the existential angst that traditional makeup shopping entails. Or maybe that’s just me.

:: beautypie.com

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Crustacean Beverly Hills reopens with a big surprise

Pho soup dumplings with holy basil, kaffir lime in a royal broth.
Pho soup dumplings with holy basil, kaffir lime in a royal broth.

After waiting eight months, House of An with June Her from Jh2 Architects in Newport Beach, unveiled the opulent $10 million newly renovated Crustacean Beverly Hills on March 12. The reopening doubled as another celebration for the An family when the City of Beverly Hills honored executive chef Helene An as it officially proclaimed March 12: “Crustacean Day” in Beverly Hills.

Elizabeth An with Margot Robbie, Executive Chef Helene An, and Catherine An at the 11th annual Women in Film pre-Oscar Party at Crustacean
Elizabeth An with Margot Robbie, Executive Chef Helene An, and Catherine An at the 11th annual Women in Film pre-Oscar Party at Crustacean

However, the An’s had not planned to reopen just one restaurant in Beverly Hills. Chef Helene An – the woman who pioneered Vietnamese fusion cuisine – with the assistance of her protege, chef Tony Nguyen, decided to launch two different, yet equally exquisite dining concepts housed under one roof. Helene An would reopen Crustacean Beverly Hills on March 12 to a splashy week of star studded events including the 11th annual Women In Film pre-Oscar party hosted by Emma Stone. But, in May, Da Lat Rose at Crustacean will open its doors upstairs. Now this is the opening that the real food lovers are anticipating. Especially since the An family has kept this new concept so mysterious. The name was inspired by chef Helene An’s childhood homeland, a city in Southern Vietnam’s Central Highlands. It remains one of the most cherished places by the An family. Plus CEO Elizabeth An stepped in to oversee the project as the lead conceptual interior designer. So you know when Da Lat Rose opens, it’s going to be outstanding.

Chef Tony Nguyen and Chef Helene An
Chef Tony Nguyen and Chef Helene An

What we know so far: chef Tony Nguyen will act as the culinary helm for both restaurants. Since 2014 when he began overseeing the kitchen at AnQi at South Coast Plaza under the guise of chef Helene, the duo helped elevate the dining scene in Orange County. The restaurant’s menu introduced playful uses of local, seasonal ingredients melded with bold Asian flavors and classical culinary techniques. This trifecta combined with a sleek dining room expanded southern California diners palates and intrigued them to try more nuanced Southeast Asian flavors.

Crustacean dishes are supposed to remain playful with elevated touches. The “Surf & Turf” sashimi will pair wild salmon with slices of A-5 Wagyu garnished with crispy garlic, purple potatoes, and a tobacco chili vinaigrette; and the “Karate Salad” will consist of kohlrabi, umami-loaded black truffles, crispy Kennebec potatoes, and delicate garlic blossoms.

Entrées should fit a wide array of diners. Vegans might try the “Hearts of Palm,” a playful take on the “crab cake.” While the meat lovers most definitely won’t miss the scrumptious three ounces of A-5 Wagyu Matsusaka steak seasoned with a Himalayan salt block.

The bar program at Crustacean has been completely changed led by beverage director Peter Barriga. The bar plans to fuse Asian spices and flavors with classic cocktais. Think: Turmeric Mule with turmeric-infused gin, turmeric syrup, ginger syrup, citrus, and a splash of soda water.

For House of An regulars, the Secret Kitchen An’s garlic noodles and Dungeness crab is still on the menu. But, remember, that’s only for those in the know.

468 N. Bedford Drive, Beverly Hills :: houseofan.com

The newly renovated Crustacean Beverly Hills dining room.
The newly renovated Crustacean Beverly Hills dining room.

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Fashion News: Opening Ceremony takes over Disneyland’s Toon Town

On March 7, Opening Ceremony presented its Spring 2018 runway show at a most unexpected locale. For this special event, designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim decided to forgo the streets of Milan and Manhattan for someplace closer to Main Street, U.S.A. That’s right. For one magical evening, The Happiest Place on Earth, aka Disneyland, hosted the “The Happiest Show on Earth.”

  • Mickey Mouse with Chance the rapper

    Mickey Mouse with Chance the rapper

  • Diplo wearing Opening Ceremony x Disney at the March 8 runway show that took place at Disneyland’s Toon Town.

    Diplo wearing Opening Ceremony x Disney at the March 8 runway show that took place at Disneyland’s Toon Town.

  • Jamie Chung wearing Opening Ceremony x Disney fashions at Disneyland on March 8.

    Jamie Chung wearing Opening Ceremony x Disney fashions at Disneyland on March 8.

  • Mickey Mouse, Humberto Leon, Carol Lim, and Minnie Mouse close the Opening Ceremony spring 2018 runway show at Toon Town in Disneyland on March 8.

    Mickey Mouse, Humberto Leon, Carol Lim, and Minnie Mouse close the Opening Ceremony spring 2018 runway show at Toon Town in Disneyland on March 8.

  • Opening Ceremony x Disney Fashion Show at Disneyland’s Toon Town on March 8.

    Opening Ceremony x Disney Fashion Show at Disneyland’s Toon Town on March 8.

  • Disney kicks off “Mickey the True Original” campaign in celebration of Mickey’s 90th anniversary with a fashion show featuring a Mickey-inspired collection by Opening Ceremony at Disneyland on March 7.

    Disney kicks off “Mickey the True Original” campaign in celebration of Mickey’s 90th anniversary with a fashion show featuring a Mickey-inspired collection by Opening Ceremony at Disneyland on March 7.



Then again, nothing is surprising when it comes to this innovative and edgy design duo. Lim and Leon founded Opening Ceremony as a quirky New York boutique in September 2002. While they made their mark on the east coast, these California kids grew up loving ’90s culture and, as teenagers spent countless hours meandering around the mall.

Opening Ceremony was conceived as a crazy, cool idea: Leon and Lim would bring their love of travel and fashion to a brick-and-mortar boutique. It would be the place they wish existed back when they were wandering mall rats. It was an instant success. Now these cool kids grew their brand into a global company that encompasses retail outlets in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo; with ready-to-wear collections for men and women.

Opening Ceremony is also known for its myriad of innovative collaborations. A couple of recent head-turners include a 2005 capsule collection developed with style icon/actress Chloë Sevigny and a pre-spring 2018 show called “Changers: A Dance Story” written and directed by filmmaker Spike Jonze, which featured Opening Ceremony clothing. So, a collaboration with Disney is not far-fetched.

Lim and Leon drew inspiration for this collaboration collection from their southern Californian roots. They also found inspiration in Disney’s lineage of fantasy and imagination. The Opening Ceremony pieces put a luxe spin on classic Disney duds. For womenswear, the brand reinterprets vintage Mickey Mouse art. Think: Unconventional, colorful prints that are synonymous with the edgy Opening Ceremony look, emblazoned on silk dresses, taffeta pants and flirty poplin gowns.

The Mouse’s iconic silhouette inspired other outfits such as a jacquard skirt with Mickey-inspired black-and-white-sequins. Denim pants and jackets are decorated with vintage Disneyland souvenirs and embroidered city names are elegantly scribed alongside OC logos. Coast Magazine’s fashion team swooned over a wool varsity jacket with Disney and OC patches.

This limited release with Opening Ceremony coincides with a monumental Disney birthday. This year, Mickey Mouse celebrates his ninetieth anniversary. So this high-end fashion foray is simply a kick-off for the soon-to-be-announced partnerships for Disney’s “Mickey the True Original” campaign.

In the past, Disney has worked with other iconic American brands such as Dooney & Burke and Coach to elevate its signature attire. Loyal fans and fashion collectors responded in droves when Coach x Disney first launched. In 2016, crowds of people waited overnight in the parking lots at the South Coast Plaza store just for a chance to snag one of the limited-edition signature purses. The store sold out within minutes of opening its doors. If this Opening Ceremony runway show marks the beginning of this “Mickey the True Original” campaign, we are eager to see what else is in store. For the first time in forever, we can’t wait for what’s next.

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Coach Create constructs your dream bag

Craftsmanship is at the core of the Coach legacy. Dating back to its founding in 1941, the brand created a sleek New York look that culminated in Coach’s most notable accessory: the handbag. Decades later, under the guise of Stuart Vevers, the fashion house returns to its artisan roots with the Coach Create experience.

While some shoppers may prefer to start the Coach Create design process on the web, the best way to try this customized service is in person and in the store.

At South Coast Plaza’s boutique, the Coach Create bar sets the stage for a luxurious fashion experience. A dreamy leather workshop carved out in the back of the store transports visitors to another time. Spools hang from wooden racks, large swaths of exquisitely dyed leather drape down the walls, hand-drawn pencil sketches hang decoratively on a pinboard next to a picture of a skilled craftsman who the two men working diligently behind the bar apprenticed with in New York.

The dream gets better once you discover that personalizing your bag goes beyond a hand-stamped monogram. Oh, they can do that, too. But, Coach’s supple leather hangtags are only the beginning. After selecting from a variety of letters, numbers and more than 100 custom Coach stamps – Sprightly palm trees, breezy sailboats, sweet ice cream cones and quirky throwbacks such as a cassette tape (a nod to anyone who remembers the ’90s) – clients can further customize their own unique look by adding colorful flourishes such as Western-inspired Prairie rivets, Coach’s signature Tea Roses and quirky Souvenir pins. The attitude-packed metal pins are shaped as emojis, lightning bolts and rockets. (Our fashion team thinks the Rexy dinosaur pin could be a future collector’s item.)

Coach embraced its past and remembered what had once made the brand iconic: Craftsmanship. Its roots helped revolutionized its image. Coach designed the leather goods displayed inside the store, but clients leave South Coast Plaza’s Coach Create bar feeling as if their precious piece of fashion was crafted just for them.


Coach, South Coast Plaza, (714) 979-1771 :: coach.com

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