Jody Robinson

Jody Robinson

When folks say ‘Napa,’ pretty much all anyone hears is “adults only.” It honestly seems like one of those idyllic, sun-soaked, resort locales where everyone is getting a spa service and playing golf while sipping the region’s renowned varietals. Simultaneously. Not to deter you, if that’s what’s on the menu for a weekend of rest and relaxation. But if you’re looking for an ideal locale to travel with the kids in tow or even the entire extended family, look no further than the Silverado Resort ( A AAA-Four Diamond award winner since 1976, the property is the perfect “home base” for grownups to indulge in a bit of age 21+ recreation with an abundance of activities to keep the younger set entertained. Such was the case on a recent getaway for our family of four.

Calm and quiet, or hustle and bustle: Choose your neighborhood. Stay in the center of activity at the Mansion Estates. A golf enthusiast? Opt for either Cottage Drive (located along the rolling expanses of the 7,166-yard PGA North Course rated one of the “Best Resort Courses” by Golfweek in 2021) with sweeping golf course views while The Grove offers a tranquil retreat under sun-dappled centuries-old oak trees. Regardless of which you choose each of the resort’s thoughtfully appointed 117 guest rooms and 228 suites showcase custom decor, classic furnishings and carefully curated amenities.

Silverado Resort and Spa Signage

For our part, we elected to keep the chaos contained in Oak Creek, a gated community where the resort’s most spacious of accommodations overlook the south fairway’s rolling green lawn and offer plenty of space to spread out. Minutes from the pools, tennis courts, and more, this is where the squeals of happy children of all ages reverberate over spring break and throughout the summer months. Our teens loved having the run of the place - strolling over to the Silverado Market & Bakery for fresh baked pastries and mochas in the morning and then back again for home-baked snacks and sandwiches.

Outdoor enthusiasts have no shortage of options at this expansive 1,200-acre resort - swimming pools, a pair of world-class championship golf courses, 10 plexi-paved tennis courts, a trio of bocce ball courts, daily fitness classes, hiking and biking trails and more.
Particularly ideal for the 6-12 age range is the resort’s Summer Golf, Tennis and Swim Camp led by award-winning instructors who help develop their charges interpersonal skills, sense of fair play, and hone friendships on and off the courts and the green.

Truth be told, I’m also more of an indoor enthusiast when seeking a relaxing weekend away and few things sound more up my alley than a luxurious massage, skin or body treatment. Surrounded by gorgeous garden courtyards and scenic golf course views, the Silverado Spa is a 16,000-square-foot state-of-the-art haven for healthy rejuvenation. On the agenda this trip? The 24 Karat Body and Face Treatment - an uber indulgent body wrap of extracts of Artemisia and passionflower which according to the description, “detoxifies, hydrates and boosts elasticity - I certainly felt a few years younger and lighter.

Silverado Resort and Spa Patio Deck

Not that I need one, but Silverado Resort is serving up a pretty compelling reason to plan a return trip this summer as the property is partnering with the globally acclaimed Blue Note Jazz Festival (July 28 - 30) to showcase the musical stylings of some of the world’s most talented and revered artists.

Another reason to revisit? The resort is literally surrounded by stellar vintners - from internationally known brands to endlessly charming family-owned operations. Of the latter, we were tickled to have been personally greeted upon arrival by Ace, the resident labrador retriever. What followed was a lovely, leisurely afternoon spent on the gorgeous patio, sampling a flavorful flight of varietals at Whetstone Wine Cellars (

Silverado Resort and Spa Guestroom Living Room 1

Originally from South Carolina, owner Jamey Whetstone was instantly captivated by the community, culture and lifestyle when he initially arrived in wine country in the late 1990s. A Napa native, his wife Michelle owned an interior design business before joining Jamey in the wine business. Today, the couple’s influences, pride and passion are evident throughout the 19th Century chateau and two-acre grounds they call home.

Investing the SAFER Way with Jerry Slusiewicz, Pacific Financial Planners

I’ve heard it said that when Michelangelo was sculpting David, his attention to the stone was focused internally: because the statue was already inside.

He just had to reveal it. Genius never appears the same way twice, and yet there is always the presence of unique, robust, innate knowledge. But what most forget is that anything that looks simple is the product of practice: and practice, and practice. And more practice.

Attention and delicacy can be ascribed to many things - but not so often do we hear about it in relation to financial planning. Perhaps more in the last ten to fifteen years we might attach those practices to the whims of the market, as one unprecedented event seems to follow another. But most certainly, attention and delicacy follow expertise. And in the world of financial planning, Jerry Slusiewicz is an expert.

More than three decades have passed under his watchful gaze, and not one moment when he has not been working to improve his practice. For most these days, getting to retirement is one thing. Saving enough to enjoy it is entirely another. Maintaining your budget in a rising cost environment, higher taxes, concerns regarding less Social Security Benefits, more out of pocket medical costs and the potential onus for paying for your own long term care drive the meter through the roof.

As we age, aches and pains come on. One of my colleagues had his knee replaced last year. Setting the cost of such a procedure aside, when it came time for him to go under the knife, he’d selected a surgeon with years of specialized experience. He wasn’t hoping his General Practitioner or the fix-it clinic down the street would be able to patch him up and send him along. Similarly, when it comes to retirement, my husband and I are not gambling with Joe Fiscal on some app that saves us an extra few bucks a month after our subscriptions roll over. We’re hoping we won’t be a burden on our kids, because we planned appropriately for a long retirement for us and still have an estate left over to pass along what we hopefully will have left over.

The path to becoming a surgeon seems pretty plain: lots of school, practice as a resident, mentorship and tutelage under an extremely rigorous programming and then years of practice! What about becoming a financial income specialist? Which is what sets Jerry apart from others in the industry. It is a completely different approach, a specialization, to help people replace the paycheck they give up once they retire.

It is a completely different approach, a specialization, to help people replace the paycheck they give up once they retire.

“No matter who you are, people invest for total return. There are two ways to get a return. It either comes from investing for Growth or Income,” he says. “The vast majority of people invest for growth, because that’s how you start out in your 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. You need to grow your investment pool to have more money for everything you want. However, as folks get closer to retirement, they usually have the most amount of money they will ever have because they have saved all those years. So it is critical to make a shift in strategy from growth (and risk) to income (and safety) because when you have the most capital in your lifetime you do not want to lose it! You have less time to make that money back should a bad market or economy come along. Investing for Income ensures surety.”

It’s a simple formula TR = I + G (total return = income + growth). You can mathematically make even more money with less risk focusing on the I and not the G. Jerry can map out exactly how that can work for you at each phase of your financial journey. Have less time in your job to generate growth or less appetite for risk? Invest for more income! Once you lose your paycheck, you lose that money. Social Security was never designed to be enough to live on. Very few people these days have pensions. How are you going to replace the income from your job? “My strategies are designed to take less risk and create safe income immediately or down the road.” It’s the S.A.F.E.R. Money System which stands for Sound Advice for Everyone’s Retirement.

Temple Grandin is one of the most well-known spokespersons for a type of reasoning called visual thinking. Also called spatial learning, or sometimes picture thinking, this cognitive approach allows those who have it to think in mental images. Not unlike the MRI which took a picture of my colleague’s knee to determine what approach to surgery would offer him the best possible outcome, your financial future can be broken out into a series of cascading imagery in Jerry’s mind. Perhaps it is a side effect of being on the radio for so many years. One analogy for the Income method of investing with capital preservation is farming; think chickens and eggs. Investing for growth is like trying to raise more chickens to eat in retirement. Investing for Income is like eating the eggs and preserving all the chickens for a long life and a lasting legacy. Investing in Rental Property for Income versus flipping houses for growth is another way to visual the Income Investing strategy.

In other words, Jerry is able to articulate the nuances of financial planning in a way that is totally relatable and understandable to lay people like me. Sometimes at Pacific Financial, plain speak is the only way for clients to understand the true gravity of planning for their own futures.

“The point is, when you retire, it’s more than just having this pile of money and figuring out how to spend it,” says Jerry. “About 60 percent (of retirees) don’t make it soundly across home plate because life happens. You end up caring for a loved one or something unexpected comes along. So how do we reach people?” Educational workshops. Public speaking. Radio shows. Podcasts. YouTube.

“None of this is a secret. I teach this information because I genuinely want to help people! Anyone can learn it. But it takes a lot of Time (practice again!), a certain kind of Temperament and a lot of Talent. I find that most people do not possess all three of those T’s so I teach the skills to everyone and help those who don’t have huge interest in dedicating their retirement to a new, all-encompassing hobby.” You only get one shot at retirement – don’t you think you should get it right?

At Pacific Financial Planners, Jerry and his team work solely to identify your objectives. I’ll say that again. Pacific Financial Planners works solely to identify your objectives: and then creates smart, safe money systems to achieve those goals. Safe? The market changes constantly. Something that seems so mercurial is not also something to which I’d ascribe the word safe. Which leads me to another of Jerry’s alternative cognitive tools. He can create the Income, Safety, Growth and Liquidity you need using traditional investments like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETF’s, laddered bonds, tax-free strategies and insurance, but applying non-traditional methods, where safety of principal comes first instead of last.

“We are professional, expert risk managers,” he says. “Our expectation is that we can guide you through the various stages of your life, up to and continuing through retirement. We know most people don’t have the time, which is why we do what we do.”

And what about a significant or historic downturn in the economy, like we have seen not once, but twice over the last few years? “I’ve been using stop-loss orders since 1990. I have systems/processing engineering degree, [am] really great at math, and I look at the markets every day. I have successfully employed strategies on how to buy and when to sell. I know that no one can predict the future, but what most advisors fail at and what makes us completely different is that we actually manage the risk, which is completely within your control.”

A stop-loss is designed to limit loss on an investor’s security. Which means despite what the markets are doing, we can control the downside risk on an initial investment but also on your profitable ones too. Like ensuring your retirement assets are safe and produce positive influence, Jerry is a family man, married for almost 30 years. He has an intimate understanding of the generational impact of money.

“I coached flag football and boy and girl’s soccer for years, helping many families along the way,” says Jerry. “For me, youth sports were almost never about winning: it was always about personal development. It wasn’t about the ‘W’, as long as the results on the field and our team dynamics were right, that ‘W’ came as a bonus side effect. ” It was ensuring there was community around the hundreds of kids who passed through his teams. Engaged, dynamic; looking at the long-term ramifications. “Practicing the art of money management, sharing that with families along the way, that is exactly what we’re looking at in the financial world.”

Sound practice, expert advice, counseling, personal responsibility and care for the client’s true needs. “I know more about every aspect of retirement than the vast majority of people I meet who are planning for retirement never think of! Because I have been in the business so long and have worked with hundreds of retirees until their passing, I have walked around that block thousands of times under many different economic circumstances, including market crashes, recessions, wars, deaths of a loved one and dozens and dozens of unexpected occurrences – like if your 40-year-old daughter with three kids has her husband pass away with no life insurance.”

The process is there - all you need to do is let Jerry and Pacific Financial Planners start chipping away at the masterpiece that is your retirement, and the genius of the income, safety and growth that you desire will most certainly emerge.

Pacific Financial Planners
30131 Town Center Drive, Suite 105
Laguna Niguel
(949) 219-0692

If someone casually told me they’d be vacationing in the Sonoran Desert, I’d tell them to stop pulling my leg. Sounds like scorpions and a sunburn. But the moment a friend or colleague mentions Palm Springs, another mental image pops up entirely: and it isn’t one I’d run from. The desert city oasis is known for hot springs, boutique hotels, world-class golf courses, a vibrant art scene and midcentury-modern architecture. The valley surrounding has become synonymous for the massive Coachella music festival, but offers hiking, biking, horseback riding, off-roading, hot air ballooning and so much more. Just a couple hours from Orange County, you can shop-till-you-drop at the nearby Desert Hills Premium Outlets or lounge poolside.

20 5Oclock Somewhere Bar Margaritaville Palm Springs credit Julie Soefer

If you’re looking for a spot to rest your head for the night that’s just minutes from the fun, check into Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs ( Don’t be fooled, this isn’t a knockoff pina colada thirst trap: rather, a casual-luxe state of mind wrapped in mid-century aesthetic. The ambiance here is inspired by the laid-back lifestyle of singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett and features a unique blend of modern amenities and tropical vibes.

1 Chill Out Suite Bed Margaritaville Palm Springs credit Julie Soefer

More than 300 fresh and fun guest rooms, suites and villas unlock the island feel, while drinks, dining options, event space and thoughtful amenities ensure the fun doesn’t stop when the sun comes up again. Speaking of which, the resort showcases a pair of swimming pools, including the 5 o’Clock Somewhere Pool nestled in the midst of all the fun (including nightly s’mores at the firepits here from 5 pm - 9 pm) or the tucked away Lone Palm Pool with plenty of sunshine and a full-service tiki bar - both surrounded by lush, tropical landscaping.

11 JWB Margaritaville Palm Springs credit Julie Soefer

The beautiful St. Somewhere Spa is the largest resort spa in Palm Springs featuring 18 treatment rooms for unforgettable massages, body treatments and skin therapies.

1 Lobby Lounge Margaritaville Palm Springs credit Julie Soefer

Sample the cuisine at the signature JWB Grill, featuring prime steaks, coastal fare, and everything in between, or just stroll into your day with a coffee from Joe Merchant’s Provisions on-site. Whatever escape you’re looking for is moments away: to the trails or the tram, art museum or living zoo and gardens. There’s always something going on in Margaritaville.

Where Medicine, Technology and Fitness Unite

When my mother started dealing with different health issues several years ago, I discovered there are few things as frustrating as navigating the labyrinth of medical insurance to determine what services were covered, the co-pays, ensuring that one treatment protocol wasn’t contraindicated by another, etc. - all while attempting to guide her toward better nutrition and incorporating fitness for a better quality of life.

Sridhar Kundula, MDPersonally, I have always leaned toward a more holistic approach to healthcare so I was looking to escape the “process” and get straight to the result. The trick is, with medicine, there are no short cuts.

Enter a new model of wellness: one where you don’t have to choose between a healthy patient-physician relationship and the stresses of co-pay or tiered billing.

An Internal Medicine physician with a passion for preventive care, Dr. Sridhar Kundula, M.D. completed his residency at NYU Langone Brooklyn. Resident of the Year wasn’t accolade enough, so he went on to become chief resident during his final year. A hospitalist (specialist in inpatient medicine) in western New York after graduation, he also worked in primary care in suburban New Jersey before moving back to his hometown of Mission Viejo.

The lessons he learned led him to open Fitscription M.D. last December. In researching physicians who approach care as a whole-person specialty, instead of just vitals and lab results, Dr. Kundula’s practice truly stands out.

His mission is simple: interweave personalized medical care into one’s lifestyle to reach optimal health. Hearing it from a board-certified physician, certified diplomate with the American Board of Obesity Medicine and a certified physical trainer hits different: “it is important to spend time knowing my patients outside of their medical conditions.”

But why is that so different from traditional practices? First and foremost, average time spent with your primary care physician is 18 minutes. That’s less time than it takes to watch one episode of your favorite show on AppleTV.

“Over the years in the traditional system, it became frustrating to rush patients through the door while recommending generic lifestyle choices and writing prescriptions,” says Dr. Kundula. The conditions are by and large the same - chronic inflammatory health breakdowns. Heart disease, cancers, lung disease, stroke. “But due to their physicians’ lack of time, most patients don’t end up getting the help they need.”

At Fitscription M.D., Dr. Kundula combines general primary care with personal training to create a custom health and fitness plan under one roof. Dr. Kundula monitors and analyzes your health data to create an optimal health and nutrition routine to efficiently and effectively reach your health goals - with consistent medical and fitness consultations.

Fitscription M.D. incorporates technologies that are usually reserved for larger institutions: FDA-approved wrist monitors for remote vital monitoring and equipment to measure resting metabolic rate and fitness analysis. Prescriptions aren’t written wholesale to address any number of recurring or persistent symptoms - because personalized nutrition and exercise go hand-in-hand with any medication patients might leave the office with.

“I’m a well-rounded physician that is better able to prevent and treat disease because we have been able to remove barriers to the physician-patient relationship," he says. "I'm excited to provide the community comprehensive primary and preventive care, free of the restraints of the healthcare system."

There’s enough evidence-based medicine out there to prove we don’t need longer waits for more rushed access to our doctors, but how does the actual care play out? Lifestyle interventions, advanced diagnostics, physicals, sick visits, follow ups, and access to Dr. Kundula seven days per week all add up to the delivery of quality healthcare through thorough insights, optimizing your physical state, and leveraging live feedback to maintain a strategy for future care. No labyrinth navigation or shortcuts necessary.




29851 Aventura, Suite M
Rancho Santa Margarita
(949) 459-4820

The Premier Destination for a Shopping “Stay-cation”

There’s a rather extensive text chain on my phone right now containing the gleeful thoughts and plans of my group of mom-friends who could all use a girl’s weekend away, with a spring-full of options to save the date. Per usual, even though we typically opt for spa escapes, wining and dining on our little weekend get togethers, there is already chatter around shopping in the feed.


Spring has already sprung upon California’s premium shopping outlet destination, and located a mere 90-minute drive from South OC, Desert Hills made its way to the top of the list. There are only five of us, and over 180 outlets to choose from, which counts out to about 36 per person. More than enough to lose ourselves over a long weekend, while we all update our closets of outdated accessories, buy early birthday presents for the kiddos, and even bring home a thank you to a partner here or there for the delightful escape.

I’m particularly excited to explore a trio of the shopping destination’s latest luxe collections: Santoni, Isabel Marant and MACKAGE. A sought-after luxury shoe brand, Santoni is renowned for its excellent craftsmanship, using only the finest materials (leather, suede, exotic skins) to create wide range of shoes - from classic dress to more casual styles - are all handmade in Italy by skilled artisans.

Isabel Marant

A French fashion designer, Isabel Marant’s effortlessly chic and bohemian-inspired attire are characterized by a mix of masculine and feminine elements, incorporating a range of textures, patterns and fabrics. Think oversized silhouettes, unique prints and ruffled details resulting in high-end and streetwear that is at once luxurious and wearable.


Canadian luxury brand MACKAGE specializes in supremely stylish and functional outerwear for men and women - collections that combine only the finest of leather, down and wool materials with signature tailored silhouettes, dramatic styling and precision details for the ultimate outdoor experiences.

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With shops from Banana Republic to Tag Heuer, athleisure staples like Alo Yoga and Athleta, and new storefronts like Buck Mason, it doesn’t matter your style: the destination is the draw. The Desert Hills Premium Outlets boast the best mix of renowned icons and revered retailers at up to 65% off every day. No matter where we end up, you can bet we’ll incorporate it into the plan.

Desert Hills Premium Outlets     |     48400 Seminole Drive     |     Cabazon     |

DJS 3765The foundation for any relationship, trust is an earned virtue essential for a successful patient-dentist relationship. By engendering feelings of ease and confidence in his or her abilities, a highly experienced dentist will thoroughly explain treatment options, create a relaxing environment, focus on each patient as an individual. Trust also accelerates results - particularly when your individual needs are delivered upon with each visit.

At Southern California Family Dentistry, Dr. Hossein Jahangiri, DDS (“Dr. J”, as his patients know him) and his team of highly skilled dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and office managers pride themselves on taking a patient-centered approach to providing exceptional general, cosmetic and restorative dentalcare for patients of all ages.

Dr. J has been a member of the local community for 45 years. A graduate of Laguna Hills High School, he went on to earn his undergraduate degree at University of California Irvine (UCI), a doctorate from the University of Southern California (USC) and completed his residency at the Medical College of Georgia before returning to his native Southern California.

A member of the American Dental Association (ADA) and an associate fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), Dr. J took over an existing dental practice in 2005 that has now been serving the local community for over 50 years.

Oral health is more than just a pretty smile, and comprehensive care encompassing different practice areas can be challenging to find under one roof - a hallmark that distinguishes Southern California Family Dentistry.


One of the aspects that truly sets this multi-specialty practice apart from many others in the industry is Dr. J’s commitment to utilizing the latest dental techniques, procedures and technologies including digital x-rays, CT scan, and intraoral cameras to provide accurate and efficient diagnosis. He is among the 5% of all dentists to carry the license needed to provide IV conscious sedation with his own laboratory on site to ensure 100% control over case outcomes.

In this, the first of an ongoing series, Dr. J addresses common questions and concerns regarding dental implants and IV conscious sedation.

South County Magazine: Are dental implants safe?

Dr. J: Dental implants are extremely safe. They have been around for decades now and there have not been any issues with biocompatibility or rejections due to allergic reactions that I know of or that have been reported.

The only thing unsafe about implants is “inexperience”! An implant procedure is an invasive surgical procedure and must be placed by a trained and experienced dentist and the procedure must be supported with proper diagnostic protocols and equipment. Otherwise, it can be risky and potentially harmful.

SCM: As someone who experiences dental anxiety, I’m keenly interested in the idea of sedation dentistry. I am personally fearful of the risks associated with general anesthesia. I see that you are licensed to provide IV conscious sedation. What does that entail and how is it different from general anesthesia (i.e. will I experience pain during the procedure, will I remember the procedure, is it safe)?

Dr. J: I’ve been doing dentistry for almost 30 years now and in my experience the biggest reason patients stay away from the dentist is fear and anxiety. Now, I’m saying this not just as a dentist, but also as a patient … I have teeth as well. In order to help allay our patients anxiety, we strive to provide a safe environment so they are comfortable and pain free during their visit. In my experience for some of the patients that I have treated with IV conscious sedation, we have reduced or eliminated their anxieties associated with the dentist altogether.


IV conscious sedation is an extremely safe way to treat patients with anxiety. During the procedure we attach an IV line to the patient and anti-anxiety medication is slowly administered and only in the amount necessary for each individual patient until they are comfortable. One of the effects of this anti-anxiety medication is that the patient will have very little or no memory of the procedure during or after they are treated.

The procedure also has an additional security safety feature where the sedation and the effects of the drug can be reversed almost immediately in case of any issues that the patient may have at any time during the sedation process. So an added advantages of having an IV line running during the entire procedure is that we can add or reverse medication as needed to keep the patient comfortable and safe.

IV conscious sedation is also much safer than “white knuckling it” during any dental visit – particularly surgical procedures – for those class of patients who are at a higher risk. For patients with high blood pressure or a history of heart problems, heart attacks or strokes, reducing their anxiety level will make the entire process much easier and safer, thereby reducing the risk of any cardiovascular events.

Again the main reason for IV conscious sedation is to minimize, if not eliminate, the patient’s anxieties during a surgical procedure. The difference between general anesthesia and sedation is that in general anesthesia the patient is fully unconscious and is assisted for breathing. General anesthesia is used for extensive procedures and in a hospital setting. It is very important to know that during IV conscious sedation, you will be breathing on your own and responsive to verbal commands, but are very, very relaxed and will have very little, if any, memory of the entire procedure.

It always circles back to trust though: in the quality of care, longevity of results. Whether you need a routine cleaning or a more complex procedure, you can trust that you are in the best of hands at Southern California Family Dentistry.

sc2 123361 El Toro Road #117
Lake Forest, CA 92630
(in the El Muirlands Office Plaza)
(949) 830-3743

I try not to use the word “staple” too much, when I’m talking about dining, or the community, a coffee shop, etc.

There aren’t too many places in my vocabulary that can live up to the standard of being a “staple” in my life, the lives of my husband and kids, my friends. Bistango, however, is a staple. In November this year, the restaurant and the incredible family that founded it celebrated 35 years of service to the Newport Beach community, and let’s be honest - to the greater Orange County area as well.

The menu showcases extensive offerings in inventive New American fare (think starters like sweet garlic soup, charred Spanish octopus and panko fried calamari strips with sriracha aioli). On a recent date night, my husband Tim and I opted for the grilled bacon wrapped petit filets – flavorful, cooked-to-perfection and enhanced by green peppercorn sauce – that was almost a meal unto itself.

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I lean toward seafood when dining out so I didn’t deviate from the norm when selecting my entrée for the evening. The tamarind-chili glazed King Salmon accompanied by thyme-garlic crispy potatoes, broccolini and lemon caper butter sauce was delicious while Tim’s grilled grass-fed filet mignon was equally delectable.

Other popular picks range from the Parmesan Shrimp Risotto (bacon-wrapped Mexican shrimp, white corn, Parmesan, chives) and the Wagyu-Beef Black Truffle Ravioli (mushrooms, truffle zest, onion marmalade and Parmesan Veloute) to the Oven-Roasted Chilean Sea Bass with exotic mushroom risotto and the marinated New Zealand Lamb Chops marinated in garlic curry.

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Visit online and get lost in the photo gallery of , or even reading descriptions of their gorgeous and varied dining areas. Ten thousand square feet of elegantly appointed options for your dining pleasure. Available for booking large parties or intimate gatherings, Bistango has an option for everyone.

The Atrium, Sky, Patio, Galleria, Main Dining Room all boast a combination of locally curated fine art, twinkling bistro lights, live entertainment, and more. And that’s all before you peruse their Wine Spectator award-winning wine list, New American fare, and hand-crafted cocktails. Come for the ambiance and stay for the food, or vice versa. Neither will disappoint. A testament to Founder John Ghoukassian’s legendary vision so many years ago.

226811a0 c8c6 4780 b912 102f4687ba6819100 Von Karman Avenue
(949) 752-5222

Valentine’s Day was right around the corner when I booked a reservation to sample the culinary offerings at PUBlic Legacy - Chef Kent’s newest restaurant located in the center of the bustline and historic City of Orange.

PUBlicLegacy ChefGerryKent ChadDickeyLocated within the Stadium Promenade center, PUBlic Legacy is not only the brainchild of partners Chef Andrew Kent and Chad Dickey, it is a flagship culmination of their passions, experiences in the industry, and core values. The chef-driven dining experience focuses on elevated comfort food, hand-crafted cocktails, craft beer, and the most thoughtful choices in wine around.

While I’m typically not a fan of Hallmark’s second-favorite holiday, after dining here, I’ll use any excuse or occasion for a return trip. The menu which “plays into the diners’ moods, feelings and even their lifestyle choices,” showcases a variety of vegan and vegetarian selections, house-made cheese sauce designed for the dairy-free crowd (cashews!, nutritional yeast!) and every alternative is every bit as craveable as its omnivorous counterparts.

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For date night, my husband, Tim, and I often order several appetizers rather than entrees to pair with a glass of fine wine. I can already tell that the starters here are going to be our new go-tos. I adore garlic and am a huge fan of the traditional bruschetta … however, Chef Kent puts a delicious spin on this familiar favorite. The Tomato Addiction combines herb-seasoned tomato, crushed garlic cloves and balsamic reduction and pairs it with St. Andre brie and fragrant toasted house sourdough. The NYA Brussels and Cranberry is a delicious blend of golden fried brussels sprouts, goat cheese crumbles, drunken cranberries and balsamic reduction. The Mushrooms and Hummus is super delish – sunflower tahini hummus, garlic roasted mushrooms and toasted house sourdough.

Somewhat of a meat connoisseur, Tim tends to order steak dishes when dining out. Because he has sampled many a flavorful cut over the years, it’s exceptionally high praise when he calls PUBlic Legacy’s Big Boi chili and coffee-rubbed 16 oz. ribeye among “the best steaks” he’s ever eaten.

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Centrally positioned between the Honda Center, Angel Stadium, and Disneyland, you can’t go wrong for an easy and delectable dinner out - but borne from their desire to create an equitable dining experience throughout the day, you can also sit down for a daily brunch.

Because Chef Kent and Dickey wanted to accommodate locals and visitors alike, offering a unique take on the classic breakfast “felt like it would be the immediate favorite it has become” since the restaurant’s inception in November. Popular picks range from a vegan benny (mushrooms, egg, charred tomato over a savory biscuit finished with Hollandaise sauce), Crook Muh Damn (house gouda toast, greens, Cotto ham, mornay and egg) and the maple pork (grilled salt + sugar-brined pork chop, fried egg and maple drizzle).

PUBlic Legacy
1547 W. Katella Avenue, Suite 102
(657) 598-2450

In writing this editorial, I recalled a friend once asking me to explain the premise of a book called “All Creatures Great and Small.”

It’s about giving veterinary care to animals like you’d give pediatric care to children in your community - with grace, and love, and an incredible amount of passion. James Herriot’s example was set long ago through the tales of extraordinary and ordinary circumstance, but the level of service, specialization, and care lives on in clinics like Healing Hearts Emergency Animal Hospital in Laguna Hills.

Since opening its doors last August, the team of compassionate professionals here have provided the highest level of emergency medicine to dogs, cats, avian patients and even most exotics. Dr. Berschauer, the CEO and founding veterinarian behind Healing Hearts, strives to put together the best option for treatment for each patient on an individual level.

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“We do this by working with each pet owner to determine what the optimal plan looks like for the care of your beloved pet,” says Stephanie Yun, office manager. “With a fully equipped ICU, advanced monitoring systems, oxygen cage, full in-house lab, we’re ready to handle almost any emergency.”

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In the rare instance that your pet needs treatment outside of Healing Hearts’ capabilities, they’ll help you coordinate the transfer and care to an outside facility. “We’re not kind or compassionate within our four walls alone - the nature of community is that it exists beyond our front door and we’re willing to go to any lengths to ensure your pet’s needs are met, wherever they end up.”

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Dr. Berschauer and his staff’s warmth and dedication to caring for our furry (and sometimes not so furry) family members truly sets them apart. Each came from a different medical field, but their love of animals brought them to where they are today. Ensuring that we can bring back the “old-school feel” of veterinary medicine “where your animal is assessed and treated from head-to-toe with state-of-the-art equipment” comes first. For all creatures, great and small.

Healing Hearts RGB logo e165823910480223501 Avenida de la Carlota
Laguna Hills
(949) 409-0333

This has been a big year. A big one to celebrate, to recover, rebuild. A comeback year. For Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort (, a new chapter begins in its 75-year history as this is the first season since the devastating Caldor Fire in 2021 that the slopes have opened, making the record snowfall even sweeter.

Multiple early season storms and seasonally cold temperatures have contributed to an impressive amount of powder covering the landscape - helping to renew some of the hundreds of acres that burned as multiple fires raged across California two summers ago. But the fires couldn’t destroy the long and varied list of elements that continues to make Sierra-at-Tahoe one of the best mountains in the region for enthusiasts of all skill levels: from beginner to expert.

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For our family (which includes an expert skier, an intermediate snowboarder, a novice skier and an absolute beginner), the mountain appeals to every skill level. Having skied here years ago, I remembered long, wide open intermediate runs that were (relatively) easy for me to navigate as a first-timer. This trip, the scenery may have changed with few trees in the skyline, but many of the areas that were once inaccessible due to tree density have now opened up, creating a true bowl experience. Not only are there uncovered lines, but entirely new pockets of terrain that have never been touched before – the overall experience of which many locals contend “actually ski better than it did before.”

For our part, the wide-open terrain and even wider runs were awesome to experience. While we stayed on the groomed trails, there are a number of trails that remain ungroomed, allowing skiers and riders the opportunity to explore untouched terrain throughout the West Bowl (everyone is encouraged to exercise caution while learning the new landscape as unmarked obstacles do exist, particularly off-piste).

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My husband and son thoroughly enjoyed their time together on the mountain, tackling the more difficult runs while my 14-year-old daughter (a first-time skier) and I spent a couple of hours taking lessons to learn the tips and tricks to what we found to be the most wonderful of winter adventures.

If you’re not in the mood for skiing but still want to hit the slopes, look no further than Blizzard Mountain. The two-lift accessible lanes feature gigantic doughnut tubes, an easy take-off, and a gentle run-out that makes each run as comfortable as it is thrilling.

Just here to admire the view and eat some great food? Look no further than The Sierra Pub, Aspen Cafe, Baja Grill, or take in lake views at the 360 Smokehouse BBQ. Whether you’re on the hunt for easy green circle entertainment or double black diamond adventure, Sierra is ready for the season.

Sierra-at-Tahoe By the Numbers

It’s All About the Mountain

  • 2,000 Acres
  • 2,212’ Vertical Rise
  • 8,852’ Top Elevation
  • 6,640’ Bottom Elevation
  • 47 Trails
  • 25% Easier
  • 50% More Difficult
  • 25% Most Difficult
  • Longest Run: Sugar n’ Spice - 2.5 miles from the top of the mountain
  • 5 Gates access Huckleberry Canyon backcountry


14 Lifts

  • 3 Express Quad Chair Lifts
  • 5 Double Chair Lifts
  • 1 Triple Chair Lift
  • 5 Surface Lifts

Terrain Parks

  • 6 Terrain Parks - Small, Medium, and Large
  • Burton Progression Park
  • Smokey Boarder X
  • TransWorld SNOWboarding Top 10-rated Halfpipe

Family Adventures

  • 4 Adventure Zones - just for kids
  • Blizzard Mountain with 2 lift accessed tubing hills and a snowplay area
  • Snowshoe trails - 3 miles

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