Feature Stories

The Redondo Beach Hotel Opens After $13 Million Renovation & Rebranding

RB Hotel - sbbj

Pacifica Hotels, the largest owner and operator of boutique hotels along the Pacific Coast, announced today the opening of The Redondo Beach Hotel in Redondo Beach, CA after completing a $13 million renovation. The hotel, previously named Sunrise Hotel, closed at the beginning of 2014.

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Darren’s voted one of Zagat’s Top 50 Restaurants in LA

darrens - sbbjA South Bay favorite, Darren’s Restaurant, was recently voted among Zagat’s “Top 50 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles” coming in at #25,

“We are very proud of our restaurant and the kudos that we are receiving since we reopened with an all new look and menu,” said Darren Weiss, chef/owner of Darren’s Restaurant.

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BALEENkitchen Holiday & Winter Menu Showcase

_9130[1] - sbbj2BALEENkitchen, located at the Portofino Hotel & Marina, recently hosted a media showcase dinner featuring Chef Richard Crespin’s Holiday & Winter Menu.

The team at Baleen never rest on their laurels. They mix up dining options often enough to keep things fresh; from summer BBQs held on the lower level outdoor lounge and varied live entertainment, to Chef Crespin’s expert treatment of seasonal ingredients.

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Riviera Village Announces Valet Parking

rivieravillage_logo - sbbjTo making holiday shopping more convenient for residents and visitors, the Riviera Village Business Improvement District will be offering valet parking for a limited time.

Riviera Village will begin valet services from noon to 9 p.m. every day from December 18 through December 23 and from noon to 5 p.m. on December 24.

The valet service will be located in front of the Soil kiosk on Catalina Avenue. The cost will be $5.

They are hoping to offer this service in the future as well.

Downtown Manhattan Beach Vision and Plan – ULI Study

DTMB before-after - sbbjDowntown Vision and Plan – ULI Study

Overview:

As the heart of our Community, Downtown is a key component of what makes Manhattan Beach such a desirable place to live, visit and conduct business. The Downtown is a vibrant and charming destination for shopping, dining, and services. The City will be working with a consultant team, the community, and stakeholders to develop a Downtown Vision and Plan to maintain and enhance this quaint character, as well as encourage business success. (Read More)

South Bay Business Mavericks Recap

SB Business Mavericks - sbbjA couple of hundred local business owners attended the inaugural South Bay Business Mavericks event presented by ShopLocal.us on October 29 at the Toyota USA Museum located in Torrance.

The evening began with a networking session showcasing local business exhibitors, followed by a panel discussion and awards ceremony.
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Doma Kitchen Introduces South Bay’s First Official Pop Up Dinner Series

Doma Kitchen - sbbjDoma Kitchen, a local favorite restaurant in the South Bay with menu items such as fresh baked pastries, signature Belgian waffles and European-inspired dishes including homemade Borscht, Lagman and Lamb Plov are teaming up with another local favorite, Two Guns Espresso.

The owners of both Doma Kitchen and Two Guns Espresso are introducing the South Bay to a Pop Up Dinner Series which will take place each Friday and Saturday evening throughout the month of November.

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Pacifica Hotels adds Hotel Hermosa to its Portfolio

Lot’s of upgrades and redevelopment going on all over the South Bay…here’s another recent press release.

Hotel Hermosa 1 - sbbjPacifica Hotels, the largest owner and operator of boutique hotels on the Pacific Coast, announced today the full acquisition of Hotel Hermosa in Hermosa Beach, California.

The 81-room hotel is situated along the famous Pacific Coast Highway, and is located in one of America’s top beach towns, offering ocean views and convenient access to the esteemed South Bay.
 
 
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Federal Realty Announces First Merchants to The Point

I just received this press release and want to share it with you. I’m particularly excited about the new restaurants!

The Point Rendering-2014  -sbbjFederal Realty Investment Trust, the developers of The Point, the South Bay’s newest shopping, dining and lifestyle destination announced today the first merchants who are preparing to open their doors.

The Point, located at the desirable crossroads of Rosecrans Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard in El Segundo, will offer the South Bay a mix of popular eateries, in-demand retailers and an exclusive fitness studio.

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White Light White Night 2014 Recap

WLWN 2014 - sbbjWalk With Sally, and the greater cancer community, has reason to celebrate – the eighth annual White Light White Night event was a raging success with record breaking numbers.

On Saturday, July 19, over 1,200 guests gathered in white couture to enjoy an evening of food, drinks, music and good times; however, the spirit of giving was the focus of the evening.
 

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Darren’s 2.0

Darren's Exterior - sbbjIf you hadn’t heard, Darren’s Restaurant in Manhattan Beach had closed down for a few weeks in June to re-vamp and just recently re-opened.

To celebrate, Chef/Owner Darren Weiss hosted a Grand Re-Opening Benefit Dinner for No Limits for Deaf Children.

The evening began with a stand-up routine by award-winning comedienne Kathy Buckley. I arrived late and missed her intro and while I knew it was a benefit for deaf children, I didn’t put two and two together. Seriously, I had no idea she was deaf….I assumed she was from New York! (Read More)

A Lesson in SUP

20140709_102913 - sbbjStand up paddle boarding – chances are, if you’ve spent any time near an ocean, lake, river, dock, marina, pier or beach in the last few years, you’ve caught a glimpse of people engaging in this relatively new water sport.

Always referred to as SUP, everyone I know has been raving about it and suggesting (insisting, really) that I give it a try. I’d added it to my list of ‘things to do’ several months ago but just haven’t had time to book a lesson.

In late June, I received an email from Jeremy at Olympus Board Shop in Torrance. I first met Jeremy at the King Harbor Boat Parade last year where he was involved in organizing the paddleboard segment of the parade. At the time, he invited me to take a lesson. Now he was following up and wanted to know when I would be available to get on the water. (Read More)

White Light White Night Kickoff Party

WLWN 2014 - sbbjWalk With Sally launched the summer season with the White Light White Night Kick-off Party on Thursday, June 26.

The eighth annual White Light White Night event will be held on the rooftop of The Plaza at Continental Park on July 19 and the Kickoff Party venue offered guests a preview of the big event.

The Kickoff was held on the roof top deck of 200 Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach and offered stunning vistas to go with the gorgeous weather.
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Trina Turk Raises Funds for White Light White Night

_DSC9599[1] - sbbjI recently attended Nuit Blanche, an evening of shopping, cocktails and gourmet bites at the Trina Turk boutique in Manhattan Beach.

The event is one in a series of fundraisers happening throughout the South Bay to promote White Light White Night (WLWN), the annual gala fundraising event for Walk With Sally (WWS) taking place Saturday, July 19.

Walk With Sally is a locally based, non-profit foundation dedicated to providing mentoring support programs to children of parents or siblings with cancer. (Read More)

Zinc Lounge @ Shade Hotel – New Daily Brunch Menu

22 - sbbjZinc Lounge @ Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach has a new daily Brunch Menu.

Yes, a DAILY brunch menu – which means you can now enjoy the most sumptuous meal of the week, every day of the week.

Imagine….having the daily option to savor those specialty dishes usually reserved for lazy Sundays. You know, the ones that make weekday breakfasts pale in comparison.

I recently attended a media preview for the new brunch menu – and, no surprises here – it didn’t disappoint.

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Jackson’s Food + Drink

dining room - sbbjI recently went to a tasting dinner at Jackson’s Food & Drink in El Segundo.

I had dined at the former location in Hermosa Beach several years ago – a fabulous experience – but had yet to check out the new location on Rosecrans.
 
 

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Lilly Pulitzer Exhibit @ The Norris Center

053 - sbbjThe newly refurbished Palos Verdes Art Center was the place to see and be seen Friday night!

Guest Curator, Jeff McKay, staged the ultimate West Palm Beach party featuring Keni Valenti’s collection of vintage Lilly Pulitzer.

The exhibit, Loving Lilly, paid homage to the irrepressible American designer with fashions spanning the 60s to the 80s.

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White Light White Night 2013

WLWN 2013 - sbbjOver 1,000 guests attended Walk With Sally’s 7th Annual White Light White Night fundraising gala which, once again, wowed the South Bay.

The sold-out benefit was held Saturday, July 27 at the MBS Media Campus movie lot and sound stage in Manhattan Beach.

Walk With Sally Co-Founder, Nick Arquette, successfully brought together a cadre of enthusiastic volunteers, concerned community members, local businesses and generous sponsors to create an evening of light, love and laughter.
 
 
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Rock & Brews Grand Opening

P1000883 - sbbjEarthquakes aren’t the only thing shaking up the Beach Cities!

The Grand Opening of Rock & Brews PCH in Torrance rocked the South Bay Wednesday night in spectacular fashion.

A ribbon cutting ceremony took place at noon on Wednesday followed by a private luncheon for more than 100 returning military veterans and members of the Wounded Warriors Project.

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An Evening with Chef Michelangelo

P1000726 - sbbjBridges to Italy and the Academy of Foreign Languages host a series of mixers throughout the South Bay intended to bring together members of the local Italian community and Italophiles to share the many wonderful aspects of Italian culture such as language, food, fashion and design.

These monthly mixers are open to the general public but once in a rare while, they will host a limited, invitation-only event at a private home.

On April 30, the group assembled in Redondo Beach for an Evening of Traditional Italian Cuisine prepared by Chef Michelangelo Glionna of Parma, Italy. (Read More)

The America’s Cup Trophy @ KHYC

P1000763 - sbbjWhen a country wins the ‘Oldest Trophy in Sports’ – The America’s Cup - it is taken around the victorious nation to celebrate the triumph.

Due to nefarious attempts over the years to abscond with this world-class prize, potential venues are not informed of its impending arrival until the last minute.

The King Harbor Yacht Club in Redondo Beach was contacted only two days ago of its forthcoming arrival.

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Zinc@Shade New Lunch Menu

P1000404 - sbbjShade Hotel owner Michael Zislis and Executive Chef Chris Garasic recently debuted zinc@shade’s new breakfast, lunch and brunch menus.

Chef Garasic oversees menu development and execution for Shade Hotel’s popular zinc@shade craft kitchen & modern lounge, in addition to on-site meetings, weddings and special events. His focus is on fresh, ‘farm-to-table’ cuisine which is infused with his passion for Mexican, French and Italian cuisines.

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Vintage Car Journey @ The ADM

I recently had the pleasure of touring the Automobile Driving Museum (ADM) in El Segundo.

Now, I’m not what you’d call a ‘car person’.

I’m not mechanically inclined and don’t know a thing about engines or how they work. I couldn’t tell a crankshaft from a muffler or a piston from a spark plug. My car has a turbo engine and I have no idea what that means…. but I’m pretty sure ABS is a good thing, right? (Read More)

Jack Witherspoon Dinner @ Chez Melange

Long recognized for impeccable service, incomparable cuisine and world class hospitality, Chez Melange has been at the forefront of the flourishing South Bay food scene for over a quarter century.

Always in the vanguard of emerging dining trends, co-owners Michael Franks and Robert Bell have established an affable environment for local chefs, growers and foodies to experiment and expand their gastronomic repertoire.

The latest chapter of their ‘Trust the Chef’ dinners featured 12 year-old, Redondo Beach native Jack Witherspoon. (Read More)

A Wine Tasting Adventure @ Total Wine & More

It has been said, “A bottle of wine begs to be shared.”

I couldn’t agree more, especially during the holidays! So you can imagine my delight when Total Wine & More chose me as their Local Favorite for the month of December.

Local Favorite is a promotion where a local media personality is invited to select a few wines which are then promoted throughout the month as that Local Favorite’s picks.

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Classic American Comfort Foods 101 – Fried Chicken

My friend Dawn and I made plans to get together for dinner a few months ago to catch up with each other. We no longer workout together at the gym every morning because (drum roll, please) she’s pregnant. Pregnant and …..pink. Very, very pink. Evidently, pregnancy wasn’t enough of a life transformation. She colored her hair pink soon after discovering she was with child. Don’t ask me why.

She’s been a bit down lately. You would be too, having to go through the hot summer months feeling like an overstuffed dumpling. (Read More)

The Best Defense is a Good Offense

It all began with a desire to learn how to defend myself.

We’ve all experienced that terrifying sensation of helplessness in one situation or another. As a woman, I‘ve always felt particularly vulnerable since, physically speaking, I’m the equivalent of veal and when faced with a sketchy situation, the hair on the back of my neck stands up and a loop of, “DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!” plays in my head. (Read More)

Shall We Dance?

Jackie taking dance lessonsWouldn’t we all love to dance like the Stars? Well, the good ones, at least.

My friend Dawn must have had stars in her eyes when she asked (ordered) me to enroll in a ballroom dance class with her.

She cajoled (threatened) her husband into taking dance lessons last year and when he declined (refused) to take part this time around, she requested (demanded) I join her – no doubt relying on my sense of noblesse oblige – and considering her indispensible support on my Bloody Mary expedition earlier this year, how could I say no? (Read More)

Cocktail Classics 101: The Bloody Mary

It cannot be sufficiently emphasized how vital it is to have a well-rounded cocktail repertoire.

Polite society demands an appropriate beverage for every occasion: sake with sushi, vino with Italian, champagne for celebrations, ice cold beer at picnics, assorted martinis at cocktail parties, gin and tonic on safari and one wouldn’t dream of drinking anything but a Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby. (Read More)

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