Sweeping ocean and verdant golf course views aren’t the only thing you can come to expect from VIEW - the gorgeously appointed restaurant at Vea Newport Beach’s floating lanai. The chef-driven menu showcases innovative California coastal cuisine with a cosmopolitan perspective, VIEW capitalizes on its locale’s “chic social sanctuary where revelry and relaxation mingle.” Other defining characteristics include an extensive, eclectic and exemplary wine list of domestic and international varietals, unique craft cocktails (think pumpkin spice martinis), seasonal margaritas and signature starters like crispy confit chicken wings (enhanced with Marshall’s farm honey, mint and togarashi) and a delicately delish tuna…
Nov 24, 2022

The Somm's STASH

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Purposefully designed to make great wine uncomplicated One could venture to say with Micah Sampson, what you see is pretty much what you get - passion, excitement, intelligence. But each of those things is about as complex as the best glass of wine - and as a sommelier Micah will tell you there’s so much more to wine than just fermented grape juice. “There’s history, geology, geography, chemistry, cultural studies," says the San Juan Capistrano resident. "Books and movies have been centered on it. Wars, empires, and country lines have been fought over it.” So how is it that one…
Full disclosure: I’m a mom of teenagers and as such, am continually on the hunt for bonding opportunities that a) don’t involve electronics and b) do entail entertainment and activities that are enjoyable for both age brackets. So I was thrilled when my suggestion of a day trip to the Desert Hills Premium Outlets was literally met with squeals of excitement from my 14-year-old daughter. Home to the largest collection of luxury outlets in the Golden State, and just twenty minutes west of Palm Springs, the center features a list of 180 designer stores that reads like a “who’s who”…
There are a few places on my winter vacation shortlist: San Diego for a surf and sand staycation, Big Apple for the holidays, Big Sur to see McWay Falls at its peak, and South Lake Tahoe for literally everything else. Boating, shopping, gaming, nightlife, hiking, biking. Dining out or cooking dinner with the family, staying slopeside or near the waterfront: there are endless combinations of fun to be had. Taking a break but staying close to the amenities that make you comfortable at home can be a tough lift, but on the shores of the lake waterfront homes often come…
Nov 24, 2022

Kansas City, Missouri

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Where to Eat, Stay and Play in the "City of Fountains" A friend of mine joked with me recently that Kansas City is the loudest city in the midwest. He assured me that it was strictly due to the volume of sports fans: Royals baseball and Chiefs football, Sporting KC soccer, NASCAR at the Speedway. Someone is always cheering. I can’t say we’re the biggest sporting family, but I’ll wager Kansas City can compete with the best when it comes to family-friendly activities during the fall. The free KC Streetcar, located within walking distance of all the major hotels downtown,…
When he visits HAMMER & NAILS | Men’s Grooming Shop in the Ocean Ranch Village in Laguna Niguel, his most difficult decision centers around which premium beverage to enjoy and what cable program to watch on his own personal big-screen TV while receiving his services. Providing a full-range of experiences from Premium Haircuts, Beard Grooming and Old-School Straight-Razor shaves to their cornerstone experiences for Hand & Foot Grooming (Men’s MANicures & Pedicures), as well as services such as Facials and Facial Waxing (eyebrows, ears & nose), making it his premier one-stop destination for confidence to always look and feel his…
Adventure Awaits in the Ozarks A few years back my teenage daughter came home from school using the phrase “beyond.” I gathered after it was expressed a few times that it meant “extra,” or “really great.” And then I felt very old. After enough time passes though, those juvenile phrases you think you’re unlikely to ever utter become part of your everyday vocabulary. I’m sure I used the phrase incorrectly more often than not, but she and I did come to an agreement that the town we vacationed in recently fit the idiom perfectly. Branson, Missouri. Mind you, it sports…
Surf City’s Newest, Elevated Dining Experience Surf-fare isn’t necessarily a new term, but it is certainly taking on new meaning at Henry’s Coastal Cuisine. Located in the Waterfront Beach Resort, Huntington Beach’s most elegant and inspired oceanside dining experience, Henry’s takes endless waterfront views to the next level with an open-air patio, a carefully selected French and Californian wine selection and specialty craft cocktails. Dishes showcase regional flavors from the Southern California shores with an emphasis on seasonal, local ingredients. Executive Chef Lewis Butler pairs rich French traditions with an expansive, airy venue that put a delicious spin on farm-to-table…
There’s something so satisfying about seeing an iced tray of gorgeous Eastern or Pacific oysters on the half shell appear at the table, served with fresh horseradish, mignonette, cocktail sauce and habanero-lime relish. Or the truly great Maryland Blue Crab - straight from the softshell crab capital of the world - where they are packed and flown alive and kicking direct from the Chesapeake to the restaurant several days a week. I am the unabashed seafood aficionado in our family so I am always particularly thrilled when ocean fare is on the menu. My husband, on the other hand, is…
At The Covington, an ECS senior living community in South Orange County’s Aliso Viejo, holiday meals are an opportunity to create cultural experiences for residents. The Covington is home to residents of many faiths. Holiday meals are a chance for residents to celebrate their faith and culture with others through food. “There are multiple religious beliefs here at The Covington,” says Javier Sarmiento, Dining Services Director at The Covington, whose hospitality background includes The Four Seasons and Hilton Hotels. “So, when there’s a religious holiday, we try to accommodate as much as we can by creating delicious meals that are…
Photo credit: City Cruises by Hornblower Along the California Coast, the ultra-popular maritime activity of whale watching kicks off for the fall/winter season with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see gray whales migrating through the waters for a limited time. In San Diego, City Cruises' seasonal winter whale watching experience returns, which will run through the spring, featuring the best sightseeing of the Bay paired with a professionally narrated tour of whale hot spots and not-to-be-missed San Diego sites. To guarantee a memorable experience for all guests, City Cruises will provide a pass to return for another whale watching or harbor…
Known as one-half of the “Twin Cities,” Minneapolis is one of the most welcoming, culturally rich places to visit as a family in the country. With growing numbers of gorgeous parks, beautiful lakes, hiking trails, bike paths and verdant green spaces, this city is also home to a vibrant arts scene (think world-class museums and progressive galleries), inspired dining, destination shopping and the “Minnesota Nicest” people. Tour the Walker Art Center and get your fill of edgy contemporary works, or stroll through the Sculpture Garden - home to Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Bruggen’s iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry installation - and…
Celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with an unforgettable experience on the water. The two-hour Thanksgiving brunch cruise is available in Newport Beach, San Diego and Marina Del Rey, and includes a menu of freshly-prepared Thanksgiving staples as well as drinks, including unlimited champagne, live music, and unbeatable views. For those who wish to skip the holiday meal preparation and spend more quality time with loved ones, the Thanksgiving Day Dinner Cruise offers an evening cruise complete with a decadent Thanksgiving dinner and entertainment. Dinner will be offered at the Newport Beach, Marina Del Rey, San Diego and Long Beach ports. CItyExperiences.com(800)…
The nature of gift purchasing has changed greatly since the advent of the internet. How has Absolutely Fabulous stayed above the fray and blossomed while the rest of the gift industry flounders? “That’s easy,” responds Diane Silverstein, owner of the iconic Huntington Beach-based Absolutely Fabulous gift boutique, “quality, selection, price range, and ease of shopping.” After many visits to her “absolutely fabulous” gift and décor shop, I would have to agree. “Plus – we ship world-wide, so you can mail your stuff right from here!” While the internet excels at making home shopping the easiest experience, when you know exactly…
The last time I visited Orange Hill Restaurant was pre-pandemic for a friend’s bon voyage party. Though I am certain that the menu has changed here and there since that time, the quality of its culinary offerings, absolutely breathtaking views and stellar service have not changed one iota. Perched on the hills of Orange County, the restaurant offers panoramic views of Catalina Island, downtown Los Angeles, Disneyland’s nightly pyrotechnic extravaganza and the gorgeous SoCal coastline. Pair the views with a glass of wine from the award-winning house list, or partake in a hand-crafted cocktail. A contemporary California steakhouse, Orange Hill…
With the change of seasons always comes an exciting time in food - especially at your favorite restaurants. My new go-to in Orange is O SEA, located in the historic heart of Orange on the circle. Open since June 2021, this innovative eatery features a refreshingly modern, upbeat atmosphere and excellent seafood offerings which shine with the passionate personalities of its founder and general manager Mike Flynn and his team. Mike’s dream “for a decade” came to fruition after a restaurant journey that took this clearly talented concept creator to popular seafood establishments across the country and back home to…
Savory is one of those words that gets tossed around indiscriminately. I suppose the synonyms are a bit lackluster (appetizing, toothsome), but none of the adjectives really do an unforgettable meal justice. At North Italia, it doesn’t matter how you describe the food, as long as you know you’re always in for something special. Every day there are new items waiting to be devoured, like the Chef’s daily pizzas or their house-made cocktails. On a recent date night, my husband and I spent a considerable amount of time perusing the menu, trying to decide between dishes made with house-made pasta…
Sep 27, 2022

Destination Dining. Gema

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The tastes emerging from downtown San Clemente’s new contemporary Mexican restaurant Gema are influenced by its chef’s childhood memories and high-level culinary techniques. Partnering authentic ingredients straight from Mexico with locally sourced seasonal fare, Gema’s Executive Chef Juan Pablo Cruz takes tradition and gives it new life. His menu is scratch-made and inspired by authentic Mexican gastronomy which “supports local farmers markets, purveyors of naturally and humanely raised meats, sustainable seafood and the use of top-quality products and ingredients.” Al pastor, birria, fish, shrimp, and wagyu take center stage at this seaside city’s newest upscale eatery, accompanied by quesillo cheese,…
The transformational gift was announced at the 2022 Hope Gala featuring Nick Jonas Visionary philanthropist Julia A. Argyros surprised guests at City of Hope’s Hope Gala in Orange County by announcing a $25 million gift from Julia and George Argyros to City of Hope Orange County. This transformational gift continues a decades-long legacy of extraordinary generosity and support from the Argyros family to City of Hope. Now, in recognition of the generous gift, the Argyros name will grace the healing garden at City of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Center, furthering a shared commitment to healing mind, body and…
Frank Sinatra couldn’t say it better himself: The best is yet to come. At least hundreds of seniors are finding this out after a move to Reata Glen. The South Orange County community is celebrating its third year in a row of being voted #1 senior living community in Orange County by the readers of The Orange County Register. But what makes this community so unique? Why are so many seniors flocking here for their retirement? The answers to these questions can be found by asking the residents themselves and looking back at the events and activities that make this…

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