South Bay News

El Segundo Aquatics Center Update

November 30, 2016

Aquatics Facility 3The City of El Segundo and Wiseburn Unified School District – in partnership with South Bay Sports, Health & Recreation – have finalized the $13.8 million development and construction budget to complete the El Segundo Aquatics Center, an Olympic-caliber facility to be located at 300 Duley Road. The aquatics center will be funded with $6 million from Wiseburn, $1.8 million from the City of El Segundo, and an additional $6 million from private sponsorships and public fundraising.

Shade Redondo Beach Grand Opening Recap

November 28, 2016

P1030163 aWOOHOO!!!

Shade Redondo Beach, the new seaside luxury boutique hotel, is officially open for business!!!

It seems as though we’ve been waiting an eternity for this first phase of the Marina revitalization process, and after a few inconceivable setbacks during the construction phase, the time has finally arrived.

The Grand Opening Celebration took place on Friday, November 18 and the entire South Bay community came out en mass to mark the occasion.

Introducing 21 Square Bar + Kitchen

November 21, 2016

DSC_6711The Torrance Marriott lobby bar and restaurant recently underwent a massive makeover into the chic, new 21 Square Bar & Kitchen.

21 Square offers handcrafted, coastal, comfort cuisine bridging the gap between city and beach lifestyles, and a hyper-local design concept.

I attended a Media Preview Dinner a few days before the official opening on Saturday, November 19, and along with a sampling of several menu items, there were a few truly unique and fun surprises.

Torrance High to Celebrate 100 Years

November 5, 2016

TorranceHighMainEntry - SepiaIn September 2017, Torrance High School will celebrate its 100 birthday.

With the current Modernization Project of the campus in full swing, the High School has a unique opportunity to create a special commemorative brick-lined pathway to the Main Gym.

The Torrance High Centennial Committee invites the community to be a part of the school’s history by purchasing a brick. The bricks cost $100 for a 4-inch by 8-inch brick with up to 3 lines with 18 characters per line, and $200 for an 8-inch by 8-inch paver with up to 6 lines with 18 characters per line (for an additional charge, a company logo may be added to the 8-inch by 8-inch paver, only).

Order deadline for the first installation of bricks is Friday, November 18, 2016. Bricks ordered after this initial deadline will be installed as received throughout 2017.

Louis Zamperini Memorial Highway

October 30, 2016

Zamperini 2Thanks to a bipartisan effort lead by South Bay Republican Assemblyman David Hadley, a two-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway between Redondo Beach Boulevard and Western Avenue, will be named the Louis Zamperini Memorial Highwayy. The resolution passed the State Legislature (both chambers) in August.

“Louis Zamperini was both a role model and an inspiration. He was a great American and a great Californian from Torrance who led an incredible life worthy of memorializing. By renaming a portion of Interstate 405 in his honor, thousands of Californians will now be reminded of the amazing life of Louis Zamperini as they travel through Torrance.” – Assemblyman David Hadley

Donations are being accepted to defray the cost of the signage (approx. $4000). To support this effort, a tax-deductible contribution can be made payable to the “Torrance Historical Society,” and mailed to: Torrance Historical Society & Museum 1345 Post Avenue, Torrance, CA 90501.

Skechers Pier to Pier Walk Recap

October 28, 2016

Skechers 1The 8th annual SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk successfully raised $1.6 million for children with special needs and education – a $200,000 increase over the Walk’s 2015 donations.

Supported by lead presenter Nickelodeon and new media sponsor NBC4 Southern California, the Walk reached a new attendance high with 12,000 people taking part in the event.

Celebrities at the SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk included actress, model and long-time SKECHERS supporter Brooke Burke-Charvet; legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard; model and entrepreneur Camila Alves; actor Ian Ziering; mother/daughter fitness icons Denise and Katie Austin; and Hall of Fame baseball manager Tommy Lasorda, a Walk Board of Director who has appeared every year.

Best of Manhattan Recap

October 23, 2016

_6401The fourth annual Best of Manhattan: A Toast to the Top awards gala took place on Thursday, October 20 at the Manhattan Beach Marriot.

Hosted by the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, the event recognizes individuals, businesses and organizations, whose contributions to the community make it such a special place to live, work and play. Each year, the community has an opportunity to vote for their favorites in several categories.

Sponsors of the event include Chevron, Skechers, City of Manhattan Beach, Kaiser Permanente, Continental Development Corp, Grandpoint, MBS Media Campus, Manhattan Village, Torrance Memorial and Waste Management.

The friendly competition is intense every year, and this year was no different, with votes extremely close in all categories.

AllStar Watch Party Recap

October 4, 2016

Allstar watch partyRosey Grier, Dennis Harrah, Nolan Cromwell and LeRoy Irvin were among the notable Rams Legends to check in as the first guests at the highly anticipated phase one opening of Shade Hotel Redondo Beach, over the weekend.

The new luxury boutique hotel, at the center of the Redondo Beach Waterfront Revitalization Project welcomed more than 30 players, members of the Rams staff and fans to watch the Rams defeat the Arizona Cardinals in a 17 to 13 win on Sunday, October 2. Proceeds from the event benefited the Rams Foundation.

Champions of Business Recap

October 3, 2016

COB 1More than 225 guests attended the Champions of Business Celebration hosted by the City of El Segundo and the El Segundo Economic Development Advisory Council (EDAC).

The celebration, held at Vistamar School in El Segundo, recognized Richard Lundquist, Chevron, and Kite Pharma for their contributions to the economic growth and success of the city. The event on September 29th was emceed by LA County Supervisor Don Knabe and featured a keynote address from Kevin Demoff, LA Rams’ COO and VP of Football Operations.

The event was also the platform to announce the City of El Segundo has surpassed its “100 @ 100” goal, an ambitious initiative to attract 100 businesses by the city’s centennial anniversary in 2017. To date, 103 new businesses call El Segundo home.

Hot Ballroom Night Recap

September 23, 2016

Hot Ballroom Night Recap 1The second annual Hot Ballroom Night, which took place on September 17 at the Hermosa Beach Community Theater, was a glamorous and star-studded evening full of dazzling dance performances featuring local celebrities competing to raise money for charity.

Dancing With the Stars veteran, Anna Trebunskaya along with local musician, Renée Safier hosted the event, which was attended by 500+ people including the honorable mayor of Hermosa Beach, Mr. Hany Fangany. The non-profit group, Dance it Up, dedicated to promoting wellness in the community through the art and sport of dance, organized the event that raised over $21,000 for local charities.

New Aquatics Facility Launches Fundraising Campaign

September 18, 2016

aquatic 6The Wiseburn Unified School District and the City of El Segundo have announced their joint efforts to construct a brand new Aquatics Facility and the launch of its fundraising campaign. A fundraising kick-off event took place on September 12 at McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood and Steaks in El Segundo.

Salt Creek Grille Debuts New Brunch Menu

September 14, 2016

Salt Creek Grille, located in The Plaza at El Segundo, has been open since 2007. Offering a spacious interior, vibrant bar scene, innovative California cuisine and live music, SCG quickly became a local favorite for drinks and dining.

I’ve enjoyed many meals at SCG over the years, but have to confess, I didn’t realize they never had a brunch menu. How was that possible? Brunch has become the most popular meal of the week and every establishment has one.

The new manager, Christy Grenert, set out to change that. Salt Creek Grill recently hosted a Brunch & Bubbly event to introduce local media and influencers to the new Weekend Brunch Menu.

There’s a Hot New Coffee House in the South Bay

August 30 2016

_4097The Fika Company Coffee Roastery recently opened at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Carnelian in Redondo Beach.

I drive by the location practically every day and it’s housed in one of my favorite buildings in the South Bay. (I’ve had a crush on this building forever.) There were a number of businesses that came and went over the years and then the structure sat empty for a while.

Bellacures Opens @ The Point

August 4, 2016

bellacures-logo-3In addition to celebrating their ten-year anniversary, Bellacures, the hip, celebrity favorite nail salon franchise, announces their newest opening at The Point in El Segundo, California.

The 918 square foot high-end salon has 13 chairs and offers clients the exceptional experience Bellacures has built their success on. Simultaneously, the salon will begin to roll out a new look for their luxe interiors.

The South Bay location will represent the same philosophies Bellacures has become so well known for, offering unparalleled treatments in a clean, comfortable environment, but will launch a new aesthetic to the brand introducing a brighter, more modern look. On a backdrop of white, grey and “Bellacures” green, sleek metal furniture, industrial lighting and calming greenery will complete the fresh, simple and serene environment.

The Hook & Plow

July 29, 2016

47978d_57bed3c2ee994c21b1180a28adda214aOpen for the past two and a half years, the Hook & Plow restaurant in Hermosa Beach features farm-to-table, ocean-to-plate cuisine. Founded by four friends who have worked together at various South Bay restaurants, Brian Kelleher, Bre Kelleher, Lauren Copelan and Lisa Cassity have succeeded in creating a destination restaurant that quickly became a local favorite. The Hook & Plow has won awards from Easy Reader’s ‘Best of the Beach’ to CBS’ ‘Best of LA’.

I’ve walked, driven my car and ridden my bike past the Hook & Plow dozens of times (likely hundreds), and while I’d consistently heard good things and wanted to eat there, I’d never found the time. There’s no shortage of things to do in the South Bay and sometimes, many times, things slip through the cracks. So when they extended me an invitation, I made a point to find the time.

A Fresh Take on Pizza

July 15, 2016

Fresh BrothersFresh Brothers has been expanding by leaps and bounds since proprietors Adam & Debbie Goldberg opened their first shop in Manhattan Beach in 2008.

Fresh Brothers is a HUGE sponsor and supporter of local schools, community events and non-profit organizations throughout the South Bay, and I’ve eaten their food at various events over the years, but I’d never been to one of the shops.

When they invited me to stop in and try some of their menu items, I thought, “Pizza….what could be new or exciting about pizza?” Don’t get me wrong, I adore pizza and consider it a major food group….and as I just discovered, I’ve been taking it for granted my entire life.

Bite at the Beach Recap

July 13, 2016

DSC_0188I attended Bite at the Beach last Saturday afternoon at MBS Media Campus in Manhattan Beach. Now in its third year, the food and craft beer pairing event featured over 40 restaurants and breweries and attracted about 700 attendees.

The gorgeous summer day, roomy venue, live music and Djs set the stage for an afternoon of carefree South Bay fun.

With unlimited opportunities to sample sweet and savory bites from area restaurants and discover the exploding craft beer scene, attendees, literally, took it to the streets and danced the day away.

Enough with words – the following photographs tell the story better than I can….and said photographs are published here courtesy of the FABULOUS Gloria Plascencia Photography!

A Sneak Peek at Dining on the Hill

July 10, 2016

Dine-Around-The-PeninsulaI recently attended a preview event for Dine Around the Peninsula at Terranea Resort’s Mar’sel restaurant.

Dine Around the Peninsula is the culinary event of the year, with area chefs showcasing their creativity, and restaurants offering carefully curated, prix fixe menus.

The Hill is home to a variety of terrific restaurants and the ten day event will feature established favorites, in addition to several newcomers.

Introducing The New Hotel Hermosa

July 7, 2016

HotelHermosa_46I recently attended the launch of the new and vastly improved Hotel Hermosa. The event wasn’t labelled a ‘grand re-opening’ because the hotel was open for business during the extensive renovation.

Hotel Hermosa features 81 bohemian-inspired guest rooms, an oversized backyard patio fondly dubbed ‘The Yard’, and a prime locale right on PCH.

Aloft Hotel Opens in El Segundo

HD-Porte-CochereLast week, I attended the grand opening of the new Aloft Hotel in El Segundo.

Aloft Hotels is part of the Starwood Hotels & Resort brand and are popping up all over the globe – think Bangkok, Boston, Brussels and beyond.

Local media, bloggers and influencers congregated poolside and were treated to an array of appetizers and craft cocktails. We took tours of the rooms and facilities and got silly in the photo booth.

From Classic to Rock Raises $50,000 for Public School Programs

June 27, 2016

From-Classic-to-Rock 2From Classic to Rock and Select Strings Foundation are proud to present the Peninsula Education Foundation (PEF) a donation in the amount of $50,000 as a result of the From Classic to Rock concert event benefiting public schools.

From Classic to Rock was an intimate concert that brought together platinum selling rock stars with world-renowned classical musicians. The special event consisted of a one-of-a-kind concert, auction, and an epic red carpet after-party. Musicians involved with the event contributed their time, energy and musical talents to support programming funded by PEF including school music, art, physical education, library and STEM programs, and much more.

Private donations are still critical in maintaining music education in public schools across the country.

Fabletics to Open at Del Amo Fashion Center

June 24, 2016

FABLETICSGuests at Del Amo Fashion Center will enjoy the highly anticipated arrivals of Fabletics, the activewear brand co-founded by Kate Hudson, this summer. The opening marks the latest in a series, as Fabletics continues to evolve beyond e-commerce into brick and mortar.

Del Amo Fashion Center’s Fabletics (2,619 square feet) retail location is slated to open in July and will be situated near the Disney Store and Macy’s. In late 2015, the Southbay’s premier shopping destination celebrated the grand opening of a new Fashion Wing with the addition of Nordstrom, 100 new stores, and dining options.

Neptunian Woman’s Club Awards Scholarships to Deserving South Bay Students

June 20, 2016

Mira Costa ScholarshipsFor over three decades, the Neptunian Woman’s Club of Manhattan Beach has provided scholarships for students to further their education in a variety of academic endeavors.

This year, the Neptunian Woman’s Club has donated $60,500 to Mira Costa High School and El Camino College students. Ten deserving Mira Costa High School students were awarded scholarships, each receiving $4,500 to help them attend college. One outstanding Mira Costa Student received the Dr. James Withers Scholarship of $500 to help his orthodontics education. Another ten qualifying students from El Camino College each received $1,500 to help subsidize college tuition, books, and other fees.

The Neptunian Woman’s Club holds three large fundraising events throughout the year – the Holiday Fashion Show & Luncheon, the Holiday Wrap, and a Food, Wine & Music event.

Boozy Ice Cream @ Smitten

June 17, 2016

smitten 1Made-to-order scoop shop Smitten Ice Cream in El Segundo is launching a new Boozy Ice Cream series starting June 17.

First up in the series is Whiskey Chip, featuring a whiskey-infused sweet cream ice cream base and milk chocolate chips. Whiskey Chip will be available in all Smitten shops starting Friday, June 17 through June 27.

Later this summer, Smitten will launch Mojito. Each boozy flavor will be announced on a rotating basis and available for a limited time, with new flavors rolling out throughout the year.

Hotel Hermosa Reopens

June 15, 2016

HotelHermosa_41 (1)Embodying the very best of Southern California’s beach spirit, Hotel Hermosa reopens today after 11 months of extensive renovations. The new Hotel Hermosa offers the perfect blend of the unconventional and the unexpected perched on the coast in LA’s South Bay.

Located at 2115 Pacific Coast Highway in the heart of Hermosa Beach, the signature neon sea monster makes this soon-to-be South Bay staple hard to miss.

Rock & Brews Celebrates L.A. Beer Week

June 14, 2016

Rock & Brews L.A. Beer WeekRock & Brews El Segundo has announced its calendar of events, scheduled from June 20-25, in celebration of L.A. Beer Week 2016. The rock-inspired restaurant, which offers a wide selection of craft and international beers, will feature events including a documentary screening, tap takeovers by local breweries and a brewers’ panel discussion.

The restaurant’s lineup of events includes:

• Monday, June 20, 7-9 p.m.: A screening of Craft: The California Beer Documentary.

• Tuesday, June 21, 6-9:30 p.m.: Pint Night, featuring Anderson Valley Summer and Winter Solstice Ales, along with other summer brews.

El Segundo Art Walk Kick-Off Event

May 21, 2016

el segundo art walk 2016Last Thursday night, I attended the Kick-Off Event for this year’s El Segundo Art Walk (ESAW).

The Kick-Off Event gathered the featured artists, business owners, and ESAW organizers together for an informal introduction at South Bay Customs, an American motorcycle shop, and one of the Art Walk venues.

The inaugural ESAW took place last summer – it was scheduled for the third Thursday of the summer months – and those in attendance instantly recognized what a triumph it was.

Manhattan House Debuts Brunch Menu

April 13, 2016

manhattan-houseJust in time for spring and summer dining, Manhattan House will debut a brunch menu with fresh and innovative takes on breakfast classics from former BLD chef and Neal Fraser protégée, Head Chef, Diana Stavaridis. Starting this weekend, Saturday, April 16, the New York-meets-Manhattan Beach eatery will begin serving brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Out of the Bubble – Lessons from the ATF

April 5, 2016

ATF logo 2aLate last year, a South Bay friend called and asked if I would be interested in signing up with her for the ATF Citizens Academy.

I’d never heard of it, but apparently, the Los Angeles Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF, for short) offers this course to the public at no cost on a somewhat regular basis.

My friend had wanted to apply for years but she didn’t want to do it by herself. She explained it was an eight week course that would take place every Thursday evening at the ATF Field Office in Glendale, with the exception of two field trips off site.

Chef Ashley Oates Takes the Reins at Zinc@Shade

April 4, 2016

DSC_9454 aZinc@Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach has been open for more than ten years and dining on the shady patio overlooking Metlox Plaza has been a guilty pleasure of mine from the very beginning.

Zinc was at the vanguard of the exploding food scene in Manhattan Beach and in all this time, they’ve never taken their success for granted. The kitchen team regularly kept it fresh with innovative menus, current food trends and decadent craft cocktails, while consistently offering a quality dining experience and remaining true to the casual beach culture and loyal customer base.

Feedback Wanted re: DRAFT of the Downtown Specific Plan

March 15, 2016

DTSP Workshop 3 and 4.The following is an important message from Kelly Stroman, Executive Director/Downtown Manhattan Beach Business & Professional Association.

Hello Friends of Downtown,

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! Below is information regarding, and a link to access, the DRAFT of the Downtown Specific Plan.

Skechers Foundation Check Presentation

March 11, 2015

The Friendship CircleThe SKECHERS Foundation celebrated its seventh annual SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk with a check presentation ceremony on Thursday, March 10 at the Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach, California.

The Foundation presented its largest donation totals in the history of the walk: $434,000 for The Friendship Foundation – a non-profit organization that assists children with special needs and their families – and $932,000 dedicated to six education foundations.

Del Amo Fashion Center Announces New Dining Options

March 7, 2016

Grand_CourtSouth Bay shoppers will soon be able whet their appetite for new flavors as Del Amo Fashion Center prepares to welcome its first wave of new snack and dining options this year.

Popbar, Lemonade, and Luna Grill will add to the expanding dining lineup at the revitalized Southern California retail and entertainment landmark which debuted its new Fashion Wing in October with the addition of Nordstrom and 100 new stores.

Manhattan House Teams Up with GrowingGreat’s Jr. Chefs Program

February 25, 2016

growinggreat 2Los Angeles’ youngest aspiring chefs will debut an organic, locally-sourced culinary creation to be added to the menu at gastropub, Manhattan House, as a part of GrowingGreat’s Jr. Chefs Program.

Diana Stavaridis, Head Chef at Manhattan House, works with GrowingGreat, a community garden program, to educate elementary school students, allowing their roles to evolve as they grow older.

Make March Matter @ Terranea Resort

February 25, 2016

Terranea ResortThroughout the month of March, Terranea Resort will participate as a partner in the Make March Matter campaign in support of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). The annual campaign rallies the community in support of the hospital and brings focus to the healthcare needs of children. The goal is to raise $1 million in the month of March to support programs and services at CHLA that build healthier futures for children.

Manhattan Beach Security Camera Registration Program

February 18, 2016

Security-Camera-RegistrationIn a continuing effort to partner with the community to enhance crime prevention efforts and solve crime, the Manhattan Beach Police Department invites residents and business owners to register their video surveillance systems with the Police Department.

If your residence or business has a security camera system that views and records public areas such as streets, sidewalks and parking lots, you can help the Manhattan Beach Police Department investigate, and potentially solve, crime by registering your system.

Beato Band Album Release Concert & Debut Video @ Saint Rocke

February 11, 2016

Beato-Band-Saint-RockeAmbrosia’s David Pack announces Beato Band Album Release Concert & Debut Video on Thursday, March 3 at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach.

David Pack, noted hit-maker with the popular 70s/80s band Ambrosia, is excited to announce the debut performance of his new group Beato Band. Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach will host the album release concert on March 3 at 8 p.m. and the set will feature original songs and classics from the debut self-titled Beato Band album which is set for release on February 26.

Mar’sel’s New Chef de Cuisine

February 9, 2016

Chef VaughanTerranea Resort has named Andrew Vaughan as the new chef de cuisine of mar’sel, the resort’s signature restaurant.

One of Los Angeles’ top dining destinations, mar’sel offers a decidedly inventive twist on California cuisine in a spectacular seaside setting located along the prestigious Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Superba Food + Bread Now Open @ The Point

December 20, 2015

superbaAmerican Gonzo Food Corporation recently opened Superba Food + Bread at The Point in El Segundo. This is the group’s second Food + Bread location with the original award-winning location in Venice.

Valet Parking Now Available in Riviera Village

December 18, 2015

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

Riviera Village will offer valet service 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 is located at the corner of Catalina and Vista del Mar in front of Turquoise. The cost is $5.

Manhattan Beach Santa Sleigh Tour Recap

December 17, 2015

santa's sleigh 8The South Bay Show host, Joe Terry, and I, were invited by the Manhattan Beach Kiwanis to help Santa out on his Sleigh Tour of Manhattan Beach Wednesday night.

We met at the North Pole MB headquarters, received Elf Etiquette Training, bundled up, climbed in the sleigh, gave Rudolph the all clear, and were off!

Tender Greens Grand Opening in Torrance

November 10, 2015

IMG_3613While I prefer to do my roaming within the South Bay bubble – there are still wonders around every corner! – I occasionally venture beyond in an attempt to keep up with the world at large.

So it came as a surprise to me that I had never heard of Tender Greens, a chef-driven, fine-casual dining concept, which just opened their twentieth location in Torrance. More surprising was the feedback from a Facebook post when I checked in at the Grand Opening the other night. People were thrilled to hear this restaurant was now in their backyard – and with good reason.

Adventure to Santa @ South Bay Galleria

November 7, 2015

Adventure-to-Santa-south-bay-galleriaEarlier this week, I was invited to South Bay Galleria for a media preview of the new holiday installation, Adventure to Santa – a DreamWorks DreamPlace.

I invited my girlfriend Kim, and her six year old daughter Seina, to attend with me since A) this was an attraction designed specifically for children and B) I didn’t want to be that creepy adult trying to re-capture my childhood.

Orlando’s Pizzeria & Birreria

October 20, 2015

IMG_3441 aOrlando’s Pizzeria & Birreria opened just a few months ago at the corner of Torrance and Prospect in Redondo Beach.

Lately,there have been an unprecedented number of new restaurants opening in the South Bay and while I’d like to try them all, it would take years. So when I run into friends and acquaintances, and they all rave about the food at a particular place, I take note and put it at the top of my list. Earlier this year, I was steered toward The Slip and A Basq Kitchen; lately, the grapevine is all about Orlando’s.

My husband and I went to Orlando’s for dinner on a recent Saturday night, planning to have a quick bite before going to a show at Saint Rocke.

Nordstrom Del Amo Opening Gala Recap

October 11, 2015

Nancy & ZendayaI attended the Nordstrom Del Amo Opening Gala last week with a friend, Michelle Auturo, who coincidentally happens to be a very talented, young, clothing designer.

The Nordstrom team pulled out all the stops for this amazing event. There were over 1,500 fashion-forward guests in attendance – what a crush! – along with Honorary Co-Chairs Nancy O’Dell and Zendaya; Gala Co-Chairs Nick Arquette from Walk With Sally and Melanie and Jeffrey Maclean from Peninsula Committee of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

From the moment my Uber driver turned into the parking lot, I knew it was going to be a spectacular evening.

Redondo Beach Lobster Festival Recap

10422003_849924691793036_7042708126377444091_nI attended the Redondo Beach Lobster Festival this past weekend on both Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday was just for fun with family and friends, and we had a LOT of fun…..and food, lots and lots of delicious food. I’m a nosher, so I was all over the Lobster Bistro and since I danced all night, I’m hoping I burned off all those decadent calories.

I spent Sunday with my film crew videotaping the event for my website. I never thought about it before, but lobster is one of the more photogenic foods! We interviewed a few people and shot a ton of footage of the bands, food and fun.

A Sneak Peek of the new Del Amo Fashion Center & Nordstrom Store

Grand Court Under Construction_Phase 2 sbbjI was recently invited on a Hard Hat Tour of the brand new Del Amo Fashion Center and anchor tenant Nordstrom’s new space.

Anyone who has driven by the location on Hawthorne Boulevard during the past year couldn’t miss the massive redevelopment project. What’s even more impressive is that the mall managed to stay open during construction, relocating shops as needed.

We donned our hard hats and began the tour in the new parking structure. Located on Fashion Way, the structure boasts 1,951 parking spaces which include 21 eVgo electric vehicle charging stations.

Public Market Tour

LA_Farmer's_Market 1I recently attended a weekday outing hosted by Voices for Waterfront Vitality, a community group focused on helping the Redondo Beach waterfront redevelopment move forward.

The purpose of this field trip was to visit a couple of Southern California public markets and experience first-hand, how and what a public market space contributes to the community and the effect it has on the local economy.

The organizers arranged private tours at two unique markets – the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles and the Original Farmers’ Market at 3rd and Fairfax next to the Grove. Twenty to twenty-five Redondo Beach residents and business owners signed up for the bus tour.

Endless Summer Beach Party Recap

September 11, 2015

endless 1The Richstone Family Center’s Second Annual Endless Summer Beach Party took place on a private beach in King Harbor on Saturday, August 29. The event attracted the ever loving local crowd of Richstone Family Center as well as new figures in philanthropy and food.

With the Endless Summer Beach Party returning for the second year in a row, Richstone wanted to use this opportunity to give thanks to their supporters.

Mendocino Farms VIP Reception @ The Point

August 31, 2015

Mario de PeroI attended the VIP Grand Opening Reception at the new Mendocino Farms located at The Point in El Segundo last week. The popular sandwich shop will celebrate the public Grand Opening on September 5.

Mario Del Pero created Mendocino Farms with his partner and wife Ellen Chen in 2003, opening their first unit in Downtown Los Angeles in 2005. The restaurant offers innovative and soulful sandwiches, salads and soups made with seasonal ingredients sourced from local Southern California farmers and food artisans.

White Light White Night Raises Over $220,000 for Walk With Sally

August 27, 2015

wlwn2015_32On Saturday, August 22, Walk With Sally hosted the ninth annual White Light White Night fundraiser at The Top of the Plaza at Continental Park in El Segundo.

Thanks to generous community support, celebrity guests and sponsors, funds raised from the event will benefit free of charge, mentoring support programs and services that provide an emotionally safe environment for children who are debilitated by the emotional experience of living with, or losing, a parent or sibling to cancer.

Feed the Kitty, The Movie

Here in the South Bay, we’re all about supporting each other in our various endeavors. Be it small business, non-profits, the arts or community events, we do like to share the good stuff.

One of our local bands, Feed the Kitty, was the subject of a documentary that was released last year and they’ve given me permission to post the film here. Thanks, guys!

The 20-minute movie was filmed in the South Bay and includes interviews with local residents as part of telling the busy working band’s story as they evolved into a popular South Bay cover/originals band. Genuine, relatable, and fun, “Feed The Kitty: The Movie” was directed by Kenny Stoff and filmed by some of the same professional camera crew behind the acclaimed documentaries, “Sound City” and “Sonic Highways”. A film crew followed the band for one week as they played nine gigs in six days fresh off their first ever European Tour. The film relays the love and gratitude that the band has for its South Bay fans and the community, which has embraced them like no other.

To learn more about Feed the Kitty, visit the website at http://www.feedthekitty.com/or the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FEEDTHEKITTYMUSIC?fref=ts.


What’s New at the International Boardwalk

international-boardwalkThere has been much discussion, and heated debate, regarding the future of the Redondo Marina, specifically with regard to the proposed CenterCal redevelopment.

This is big, important stuff that will eventually be worked out in the years to come – but in the meantime, I’d like to focus on the recent transformation of the International Boardwalk.

With the exception of a stop at Naja’s during a pub crawl or birthday bash, the International Boardwalk was not an area I frequented and certainly not a place I would bring visiting family and friends. The businesses had a rundown appearance and didn’t offer the higher quality shopping, dining, and entertainment experience that other South Bay locales boast. (Read More)

Lucky Brand Flagship Store Now Open at The Point

a1_door_closedLucky Brand is pleased to announce the opening of its newest Los Angeles area store at El Segundo’s new lifestyle center, The Point. The Point will offer everything today’s customer is looking for in an open-air lifestyle center including a wide variety of coveted restaurants, retailers and outdoor events in a conveniently located, high service, family-friendly environment. The location is the largest of Lucky Brand’s 246-store portfolio at 5,740-square feet and marks an important step in the development of the brand’s retail expansion and customer experience. (Read More)

Doma Kitchen VIP Preview Party

_2112_r sbbjJuly 29, 2015

I had the pleasure of attending a VIP Preview Party at the new Doma Kitchen location in Manhattan Village Mall Tuesday evening.

Owners Angie Corrente and Stan Mayzalis and Chef Kristina Miksyte invited local media and friends to stop by their new digs and indulge in Eastern European-inspired cuisine that included new menu items and old favorites.

The new location is adjacent to the former movie theater. Angie and Stan gutted the space and repurposed wood and other materials from their prior location in Redondo Beach. It’s a sizable, airy room with a high ceiling and an L-shaped outdoor patio. (Read More)

MIXT Studio Opens in Hermosa Beach

P1020823 sbbjI recently attended the preview opening of MIXT Studio Work+Shop located on Pacific Coast Highway in the former Jacobs Surfboards shop.

MIXT Studio is the brainchild of Marcie Carson – a former stylist for Madonna and branding maven – who spent 18 years heading up a design firm that helped big companies like Mattel, Dole, USC and The Getty build their brands.

Three years ago she decided to use her expertise to create her own line of products, and MIXT Studio was launched.
(Read More)

South Bay Galleria Hosts Special Olympic Athletes for a Day of Shopping & Fun

South-Bay- Galleria-Team-Special-Olympics-Countdown sbbjSouth Bay Galleria has teamed up with the Special Olympics and the City of Redondo Beach, which is a designated host town for athletes in the 2015 Special Olympics, to provide an exciting day of shopping for international Special Olympic athletes on July 22 from noon until 3:00pm. More than 100 athletes and their coaches from the 2015 Special Olympics World Games teams of Benin, Haiti and Suriname will attend this special event, according to Sherilyn Haddon, Marketing Manager at South Bay Galleria. (Read More)

Riviera Village Summer Festival

This is the second collaboration between South Bay by Jackie.com and Live in California.TV – check out our visit to the Riviera Village Summer Festival!

Doma Kitchen Set to Open New Location

Doma-Kitchen sbbjDoma Kitchen, once a local favorite in Redondo Beach with menu items such as signature Belgian waffles and Eastern European-inspired dishes including homemade Borscht, Lagman and Lamb Plov, have traded in their casual beach vibe digs for a more polished space in Manhattan Beach. Doors are set to officially open Friday, July 3 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(Read More)

El Segundo Art Walk Recap

El-Segundo-Art-Walk sbbjThere is never a shortage of fun and interesting things to do in the South Bay. Take this past Thursday, for instance…..

Thursday morning on The South Bay Show, our guest was Holly Socrates of the new Holly Socrates Gallery in El Segundo. The topic was the inaugural El Segundo Art Walk taking place that evening, beginning with a ribbon cutting at her gallery at 4 p.m.

Not knowing the particulars of the event, I invited Holly on the show to share how she came to open an art gallery in El Segundo and spearhead an art walk.
(Read More)

King Harbor Sea Fair

South Bay by Jackie.com has partnered with Walk Through Productions to create videos of all the fabulous events and activities taking place throughout the South Bay. Now, instead of just reading about them, you can see what they’re all about. The King Harbor Sea Fair was our first project.


South Bay’s Got Talent – Call for Auditions

south-bays-got-talent sbbjDo you have what it takes to win this popular talent show?

The Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation launches the 2015/16 season with South Bay’s Got Talent on Saturday September 26 at 8 p.m. at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center.
(Read More)

ArcLight Beach Cities Announces New Adult Beverage Options

Arclight_PerfectStormy sbbjArcLight Cinemas in El Segundo has become a staple of the Beach Cities community and now the theater is offering moviegoers an even better way to enjoy their cinema experience.

Effective immediately, ArcLight Beach Cities has a new liquor license allowing guests to take their beer, wine or cocktail into any theater. It is no longer reserved for select 21+ screenings only!
(Read More)

The Point: Media Hard Hat Tour

_3495[1] - sbbjI recently attended an exclusive ‘Hard Hat Tour’ of The Point, the South Bay’s newest shopping, dining and lifestyle destination, hosted by project developer, Federal Realty Investment Trust.

Jeffrey Kreshek and Bob Baker led our group on a tour of the project which is scheduled to open in July 2015. The Point is conveniently located at the crossroads of Rosecrans Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard in El Segundo and is designed to become the South Bay’s ‘Living Room’.

The Point will house a unique blend of in-demand retailers, popular eateries, an exclusive fitness studio and expansive plaza, and retailers are vying for the few remaining spaces. (Read More)

Girl’s Night Out 2015 Recap

I attended the annual Southbay Magazine’s Girl’s Night Out at the Manhattan Beach Civic Center on Friday, May 8. We decided to try something a little different this time, so instead of a written description of the event, here’s a quick video recap.


Cooking Demonstration with Chef Taji Marie

_3166 - sbbjI recently attended a cooking demonstration at Custom Design & Construction in El Segundo. This was the first in what promises to be an exciting series.

Everything about this event appealed to me. I applaud the idea of a local company – in this case, a kitchen and bath design and construction business – thinking outside the box and hosting a cooking demonstration in one of their fully functioning kitchens.

The intimate space comfortably seats about 50 people and provides a good view of the presentation. (Read More)

Del Amo Fashion Center Update

Del Amo renovation 2 - sbbjDel Amo Fashion Center will tout a new nearly 2,000-car parking structure complete with quick-charge electric vehicle charging stations, car counters and direct access to the new Nordstrom when it debuts at the center this October. The parking updates are part of the ongoing transformation of South Bay’s premier retail destination.

“Our goal is to continue to offer updated amenities that make shopping at Del Amo Fashion Center even more convenient and enjoyable for our shoppers,” said Lindsay Hermance, director of marketing and business development at Del Amo Fashion Center. “We’re excited about all the enhancements taking place, and can’t wait to unveil our new look and feel this Fall.”(Read More)

The Redondo Beach Hotel Preview Party

P1020774 - sbbjI recently attended a private preview party at the brand new, Redondo Beach Hotel.

Pacifica Hotels, the largest owner and operator of boutique hotels along the Pacific Coast, recently completed a year-long, $13 million renovation of the former Sunrise Hotel on Harbor Drive.
 

(Read More)

Host Town Hermosa Fundraisers

HB Host Town - sbbjHost Town Hermosa Beach is working with local businesses on a series of events to raise funds to cover the cost associated with hosting their Special Olympic athletes in July.

Hot’s Kitchen will offer a signature Special Olympics Burger and American Junkie will be cooking up Special Belgian Waffles all month long with a portion of the proceeds being donated.

Local musicians have also joined the cause with two double-header concerts to benefit Special Olympics. (Read More)

Riviera Village News & Updates

P1020753 sbbjRiviera Village is still experiencing some changes to the landscape since the last time I wrote an update back in January.

Another long-time favorite retailer has closed its doors. Inge’s, A Fashion Discovery, located at 302 Avenue I, closed in March after almost thirty years in the Village. Proprietor Inge Jones decided to retire due to health issues after she fractured her femur. She will continue to work with her customers as a personal stylist, so all is not lost! (Read More)

Dancing with the South Bay Stars IV

I just received the professional clip from our award-winning Dancing with the South Bay Stars IV performance!

Stars of Napa Valley Recap

DSC_0885 sbbjIan Blackburn, founder of WineLA, partnered with Shade Hotel to host the first annual Stars of Napa Valley wine event on Thursday, March 26 and succeeded in raising over $22,000 for Manhattan Beach Middle School!

Forty notable wineries participated in the festivities with hundreds of wine enthusiasts in attendance to celebrate Napa Valley’s most coveted wines.

(Read More)

Chef’d Lauch Party

chef'd-4-south-bay-by-jackieThe crowd-funded start up, Chef’d, celebrated the opening of their 40,000 square foot facility in El Segundo with a Launch Party on Friday, March 27.

The event featured tours of the facility, food trucks, DJ, bar and a big screen countdown of the website going live. The facility parking lot was filled with hundreds of attendees – investors, friends, family, locals and dozens of employees sporting orange logoed t-shirts.
(Read More)

My Big Fat Greek Gala Recap

My-big-fat-greek-gala-showroom-south-bay-by-jackieRichstone Family Center’s 20 Annual Affair of the Heart event, My Big Fat Greek Gala, took place at Audi Pacific on Saturday, March 21 and attracted a well-heeled crowd of individuals including local philanthropists, socialites and celebrities.

Proceeds from the event are critical in enabling Richstone to provide much needed services to vulnerable at-risk and abused children and families in our local communities. (Read More)

Trina Turk Private Shopping Event Recap

P1020718 - sbbjTrina Turk boutique in Manhattan Beach hosted a Private Shopping Event featuring the Spring 2015 Collection on a balmy Wednesday night, March 25.

A portion of the sales proceeds from the event will benefit the Go Red for Women campaign. Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s movement to wipe out heart disease.

(Read More)

Bettolino Kitchen Opens March 25, 2015

bettolino-kitchen-south-bay-by-jackieBettolino Kitchen, a family-owned modern Italian restaurant nestled just a few steps from Riviera Village in Redondo Beach, officially opens its doors on Wednesday, March 25.

(Read More)

Del Amo Fashion Center Update

Del Amo renovation 2 - sbbjHead-turning fashion retailers such as H & M, Zara, and Victoria’s Secret will be a big part of the explosive new retail lineup at Del Amo Fashion Center.

It’s all part of the ongoing transformation of South Bay’s premier retail destination, which is slated for a grand re-opening this October, when Nordstrom makes its debut at the center.

Foodies won’t be disappointed either as Del Amo Fashion Center is sweetening its dining scene with Great Maple, FRIDA and a relocated Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que.
 
(Read More)

Special Olympics Beach Cities Host Towns Announcment

special-olympics-south-bay-by-jackieTHE WORLD IS COMING TO LA!

The World Games Special Olympics are coming to LA in July of this summer. LA2015 is the largest event to come to LA since the 1984 Olympics.

Several South Bay cities are Host Towns. This means they have the special privilege of receiving and hosting 100 delegates each, consisting of athletes and coaches, for three days before the opening ceremonies. (Read More)

King Harbor Brewery’s Pi(e) Day Recap

Pi-day-south-bay-by-jackieKing Harbor Brewery’s Pi(e) Day took place Saturday, March 14 attracting a well-heeled crowd of individuals including beer influencers, local socialites, pie fans, beer industry VIPS and of course, beer lovers.

Pi Bake Shop supplied six Chocolate Mouse Pies made with King Harbors’ ‘The Swirly’, a Abel Brown Ale brewed with Coca Nibs for contestants to get sloppy with, and they did!

(Read More)

Skechers’ Friendship Walk Check Presentation

P1020641 - sbbjShade Hotel in Manhattan Beach hosted the Skechers’ Friendship Walk Check Presentation on Thursday, March 12.

The event brought together more than 150 people including corporate sponsors, city leaders, Walk participants, celebrities, school officials and education foundation representatives.

(Read More)

Walk With Sally Bowl-A-Thon Recap

bowl-a-thon-south-bay-by-jackieThe Eighth Annual Bowl-A-Thon, presented by Walk With Sally, rolled its way into Torrance and came out a big winner.
 
(Read More)

South Bay Business Leaders’ Summit Recap

south-bay-business-leaders-summit-south-bay-by-jackieJoe Terry and I had the honor of sitting at the Chevron Sponsor table at the South Bay Business Leaders’ Summit with Event Chair, Jill Brunkhardt, on Friday, March 6.

Sponsored by the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Summit was held at the Manhattan Beach Marriot.

(Read More)

Strand & Pier Hotel Update

Strand-and-Pier-south-bay-by-jackie 2Bolour Associates, a leading developer of innovative, high profile real estate properties throughout Southern California, has selected Redondo Beach-based firm Nelson & Gilmore to manage branding and marketing efforts for Strand & Pier, the company’s new oceanfront boutique hotel on The Strand in Hermosa Beach.
 
(Read More)

Redondo Beach Chamber Joins The South Bay Show Line Up

redondo -beach-chamber-south-bay-by-jackie 2Members of the business community and the general public can now learn about what’s happening at the Redondo Beach Chamber and in the community through the Redondo Beach Chamber’s upcoming internet radio show, The South Bay Show: Redondo Beach – More to Sea!

The South Bay Show is an internet radio program hosted by Joe Terry and Jackie Balestra on Blog Talk Radio.

(Read More)

South Bay Ramble

IMG_2544 - sbbjMy best friend Julie has been visiting from the frigid East Coast the last few days.

I love it when my far-flung family and friends come to town and I particularly enjoy sharing with them my favorite South Bay attractions. It’s also a great opportunity to discover new ones during our travels.

While our weather isn’t anywhere near as awful as it is in other parts of the country, it didn’t cooperate enough for us to take a Strand cruise – every time we geared up, it looked like it was about to pour! – but that didn’t stop us from having a rockin’ good time!

(Read More)

Briefing Re: ExxonMobil Refinery Explosion: February 24, 2015

Refinery units are heavily damaged after an explosion at the Exxon-Mobil refinery in TorranceThe City of Torrance will conduct a briefing regarding the recent ExxonMobil Refinery Explosion on Tuesday, February 24 at the beginning of the regularly scheduled City Council meeting.

Staff will present a review of the incident based on the most current information available from ExxonMobil, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) better known as Cal/OHSA, South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), and City operations. (Read More)

ExxonMobil Town Hall Meeting set for February 20, 2015

Refinery units are heavily damaged after an explosion at the Exxon-Mobil refinery in TorranceAn ExxonMobil Town Hall Meeting is scheduled for Friday, February 20 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Toyota Meeting Hall to discuss the February 18 incident at the ExxonMobil Torrance Refinery.

The ExxonMobil Torrance Refinery has established a claims hotline for anyone who may have been affected by the incident. The claims hotline is 844-631-2539.

(Read More)

South Bay High Schools headed to the CIF Playoffs!

CIF-SS-championship-logoPairings for the 2014-15 CIF Southern Section-Ford Championship Playoffs, presented by Farmers in the winter sports of boys and girls soccer, were announced February 16.

Congratulations are in order for several local South Bay high school soccer teams that have made it into the playoffs!

(Read More)

Sweetheart’s Stroll in the Garden

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou can live in the South Bay your entire life and still be completely unaware of some very special places located right under your nose.

My husband grew up on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and had never been to the South Coast Botanic Garden, the Jewel of the Peninsula. I thought, for sure, he must have visited during a school field trip, but no. I’ve lived here for 25+ years and hadn’t been there either.

We rectified this glaring omission over the weekend when we attended the Sweetheart’s Stroll in the Garden on Valentine’s Day.
(Read More)

Simon Youth Foundation Announces Scholarship Program

Simon-Youth-Scholarships-south-bay-by-jackieFor the sixteenth straight year, Simon Youth Foundation, a national nonprofit that provides educational opportunities for at-risk high school students, is proud to support deserving students in the Los Angeles and Ventura County communities through the Simon Youth Scholarship Program.

This May, one student from every community that is home to a Simon property is eligible to receive a one-time scholarship award up to $1,500.
(Read More)

King Harbor Boating Foundation partners with Los Angeles Maritime Institute for STEM Waterfront Education

KHBF-STEM-Topsail-south-bay-by-jackieKing Harbor Boating Foundation’s Waterfront Education (WE) is an engaging and interactive form of education which fosters discovery learning utilizing local waters as nature’s classroom.

Los Angeles Maritime Institute’s TopSail Youth Program uses hands-on experiences at sea to provide an array of social, education and leadership development opportunities to middle school and high school students throughout the greater Los Angeles area aboard the tall ships, Irving Johnson and Exy Johnson.
 

(Read More)

Hey 19 Public House – Media Preview Dinner

hey 19 2Demi Stevens of Ortega 120 opened the doors of her new establishment, Hey 19 Public House, a few months ago sans the fanfare that would normally surround such a successful restaurantuer.

She and her team have been busy and have spent the time since putting finishing touches on the space, fine-tuning the menu, circulating a petition and applying for a live entertainment permit.

Serving lunch and dinner daily, Hey 19 is located off the beaten path in a residential neighborhood at the crossroads of Anza and Calle Mayor.
(Read More)

Lou’s on the Hill Opens for Business

Lou's-on-the-hill-south-bay-by-jackieLou’s on the Hill, located on Hawthorne Boulevard where Torrance meets Rolling Hills Estates at the base of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, attracted capacity crowds last Thursday evening for the Grand Opening.
 
(Read More)

Destination: Art

destination art - sbbjLocated in historic Downtown Torrance, Destination: Art is a studio/gallery where everyone is invited to experience art in person, in progress, in community.

Conceived by local artist, Margaret Lindsey, Destination: Art is a venue for South Bay artists to create artwork in a collaborative environment, hold lectures, workshops and demonstrations and interface with the public in an ongoing conversation about art.

(Read More)

Shade Hotel Jumpstarts the New Year with Healthy-Living Incentives

Shade-south-bay-by-jackieShade Hotel in Manhattan Beach, the area’s only luxury boutique hotel, is starting off the New Year with a healthy boost.

Highly dedicated to wellness and exercise, the hotel will offer a variety of wellness-inspired packages and events throughout 2015 – from complimentary yoga on its rooftop Skydeck, to beach cruisers available at no additional cost for guests who want to cruise down The Strand, Shade offers a wide variety of activities to choose from.

“With the holidays just behind us, we want to offer guests a fresh way to kick start the New Year,” said Shade Hotel’s General Manager, Shaunna McKelvey.
(Read More)

Riviera Village News & Updates

riviera-village-south-bay-by-jackieI recently spent the afternoon walking all over Riviera Village handing out flyers for the Dancing with the South Bay Stars IV performance to shop owners to post in their windows. (I’m sure you’ve all heard that I’m competing in the event this year and I’m trying to drum up votes. BTW, you can vote for me here: http://www.torrancearts.org/dancing-with-the-south-bay-stars-iv/.)

Along the way, I took note of several changes in the Village this New Year.
(Read More)

ULI Final Report Presentation to the City of Manhattan Beach

DTMB before-after - sbbjDuring the week of January 12 to January 16, 2015, the City of Manhattan Beach, in collaboration with the Urban Land Institute (ULI), held a five-day Advisory Panel comprised of various land use experts to engage community stakeholders and evaluate the Downtown area.

The purpose of the engagement process was to ensure the Downtown area maintains and enhances its unique, quaint character and encourages business success.
(Read More)

Dancing with the South Bay Stars IV

dancing-with-the-south-bay-stars-south-bay-by-jackieI’ve been invited to participate in Dancing with the South Bay Stars IV competition.

It’s an annual event hosted by the Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation (TCAF) to raises funds for a variety of non-profit groups.

Here’s how it works:

The TCAF invites local ‘celebrities’ to participate in a dance competition for their charity of choice.

It’s a one-night-only event held at the James Armstrong Theater.
(Read More)

Harmony Works Closes its Doors

Harmony-Works-south-bay-by-jackieHarmony Works, an iconic gift shop and gallery located in Riviera Village for over 20 years, is closing its doors.

Michael Morales, co-owner with his wife Royce, suffered a massive stroke on November 24 and is unable to work.

“It was a tough decision to make,” explains Royce Morales, “but I feel strongly that I need to devote my time to take care of my husband who needs 24 hour supervision. He’s slowly getting better, but it’s a long road ahead.” (Read More)

Latest News from Del Amo Fashion Center

Del Amo renovation 2 - sbbjAs the year comes to a close, Del Amo Fashion Center is celebrating a season of change and preparing for exciting new retailers as part of the ongoing transformation of South Bay’s premier retail destination.

With 2014, Del Amo Fashion Center welcomed the construction of a brand new Patio Cafes garden-inspired dining pavilion in the heart of the shopping center, relocated stores from the north section of the center to make way for the creation of a new state of the art two-level mall and a new Nordstrom, welcomed new retailers and prototype stores, and began construction on a four-level parking deck along Fashion Way. Macy’s also consolidated three locations at Del Amo Fashion Center into two stores to make for a more convenient trip for Macy’s loyal shoppers.
(Read More)

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

RB Hotel - sbbjPacifica 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.

(Read More)

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.

(Read More)

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.

(Read More)

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.

(Read More)

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.

(Read More)

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.
 
 
(Read More)

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.

(Read More)

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.
 

(Read More)

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.
(Read More)

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.

(Read More)

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.
 
 

(Read More)

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.

(Read More)

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.
 
 
(Read More)

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.

(Read More)

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.

(Read More)

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.

(Read More)

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.

(Read More)

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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