by AnnaMaria Stephens and Seth Combs | Riviera San Diego magazine | November 23, 2011
Being dubbed “L.A.’s little stepbrother” has made San Diego’s art scene scrappy. There’s no other way to explain the chutzpah that defines our cultural institutions, curators, gallerists, artists and collectors. This year, especially, S.D. proved its world-class status. At MCASD, a retrospective of the light and space movement has been a huge success due to boldface local names, from Richard Allen Morris to Robert Irwin. UCSD’s Stuart Collection just added a gravity-defying installation by international artist Do-Ho Suh.
Keir Dillon is that guy. He’s a two-time X Games snowboarding medalist, high school chess team captain, TV host, musician, father. He’s enviable, resentable. When not hosting shows for ESPN and Fuel TV or hanging in Encinitas with his wife, Julie, and their 4-year-old daughter, London, the 34-year-old is busy working on his latest project, Frends. Before retiring as a professional snowboarder, Dillon and his six closest buddies decided to create Frends as an online forum showcasing their exploits as they competed across the globe.
Cush jobs are hard to land. They’re even harder to leave. Yet Paul McCabe just did exactly that. He stepped down as exec chef of Kitchen 1540 to become chef and partner at Delicias (deliciasrestaurant.com) in Rancho Santa Fe. Longtime Mr. A’s maître d’ Alex Campbell also signed on. Plans? Resuscitate the menu, modernize the design and open more across S.D. and O.C.
It just laid there. Like a new yacht abandoned to bob in the sea, its captains tossed overboard by martinis. Se Hotel, a $150 million ode to posh transience, was opened in 2009, the Year of Our Wallets’ Gashing. Ever heard the one about the Rolex salesman who walked into a soup kitchen?
Things got ugly pretty fast. Kitchen staff were rumored to be locking doors so creditors couldn’t repossess deep fryers during dinner service. Mercifully, bankruptcy became them.
Baboush is yet another attempt at applying precious haute gauze to the decidedly downscale tapas/street food genre. Highly coifed lounges featuring little plates offer the promise of exotic bites and tastes with street cred at reasonable prices. Baboush injects this formula with a Marrakesh lilt. Does it succeed? Absolutely—with reservations.
There they were last May, the golden couple of the moment, Tony Romo and Candice Crawford, holding hands and exchanging vows under a towering 28-foot diameter tree crafted from steel and Victorian willow, when Todd Fiscus just lost it. “I teared up, which I usually don’t do at weddings when I’m working,” says the 44-year-old event guru. The tender moment didn’t last long, because the huge white tent overhead, which had been erected for privacy, started to shake when a news helicopter hovered too low.
Harrison Ford comparisons must get tiresome. “My life is pretty cool, actually. But it sometimes sounds better than it is,” says Michael Thomas. On a moment’s notice, “I have to switch off the winery side of my brain and do archaeology.” Thomas, 45, is co-owner of the boutique Monterey County winery, Wrath, where he spends his days thinking about terroir.