Snapshots of West Coast Living

 

West Coast living for East Coast dwellers … the best of what to do the next time you’re in California.

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Pelican Hill Bungalow Guest Room Interior

Pelican Hill Perfection

From the moment you step foot onto the resplendent property at The Resort at Pelican Hill, prepare to feel transported to a place much farther away than just an hour’s drive south of Los Angeles.

The absolute jewel in the Orange County coast boasts a level of excellence, customer service, and attention to detail that is out of this world and makes everyone feel like a VIP.

With its panoramic ocean views, lush Mediterranean landscape of olive trees and rows of lavender, cypress, fig, and pine trees, as well as graceful Italian architecture inspired by 16th century’s Andrea Palladio, you will feel like you’re nestled in the bosom of an exclusive European estate.

Whether you’re there on a golfing trip, a romantic getaway, or a girls trip, The Resort at Pelican Hill will cater to your every need in such a way that you will be eager to come back for more. And if you want to bring the kids along they will fit in perfectly at Camp Pelican, which caters to children ages 4 to 12.

The accommodations are breathtaking, from spacious bungalows or the exquisite villas, the luxury spaces at The Resort at Pelican Hill are designed to feel like a home away from home. Tree-lined lanes, private terraces, and adjacent parking give it a neighborhood feel, and the luxury Mercedes SUVs on call to pick you up and take you wherever you want to go are just some of the many perks.

The Villas are in a private enclave featuring two-, three-, and four-bedrooms options that come with your own staff and personal butler, private clubhouse, and pool and expansive ocean view terraces.

Start a new ritual at the Forbes Five-Star rated The Resort at Pelican Hill and create some amazing memories at this one of a kind destination. There’s a reason why it has been rated the #1 Resort in the U.S.

PelicanHill.com

Andrea Ristorante

Whether staying at The Resort at Pelican Hill or just visiting the OC, no trip would be complete without dining at the exquisite Andrea Ristorante, delivering the true flavors of Italy right in California.

While the menu transports you to Italy, the floor-to-ceiling windows showcase the Newport Beach coastline at its finest for you to enjoy whether you’re dining al fresco or in the casually elegant dining room. Andrea also offers a beautiful and elegant private dining room for that special celebration.

The exquisite Italian creations include fresh pasta and gelato made daily on site, 100-year old balsamic vinegar drizzled on salads, and a favorite – the Barrel-Aged Acquerello Risotto served tableside scraped from a scrumptious Parmesan wheel.

The authentic cuisine, farm-to-table ingredients, and time-honored preparations by Chef Marco Criscuolo are all that’s needed to make for a delicious Italian epicurean adventure.

Gracias Madre - overhead food shot

Gracias Madres

The delightful Gracias Madres is a plant-based Mexican restaurant nestled in the heart of West Hollywood. Conceived after visiting the families of employees in Mexico, Chef Chandra Gilbert serves up 100 percent organic, locally sourced food full of flavor and love.

So many mouth-watering dishes are on offer that it will have the seasoned vegan and ravenous meat eater equally satiated.

The Flautas de Camote (tacos with sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, and cashew nacho cheese) is a moreish starter; the inventive Coconut Bacon Torta will send your mouth on a taste escapade; and the desserts, including the apple cobbler and fudge brownie, are nothing short of deliciousness.

And don’t scrimp on the cocktails! That’s also their specialty. The multitude of Margarita flavors will have you wanting to try them all: Strawberry Basil and Watermelon Jalapeno are just a couple to whet your appetite.

The gorgeous setting, either inside the beautifully decorated restaurant or nestled in the outdoor patio complete with roaring fireplace, colorful cushions, and beautiful California sky, makes Gracias Madres one of the best vegan restaurants in the city. It’s Mexican comfort food done just right!

Streicher Sisters Striiike Beauty Gold

With summer upon us, it’s natural to want to look our best from head to toe, which is why no beauty brush-up would be complete without a trip to Striiike in Beverly Hills. Not only is it one of the best new salons in town but it’s also a family affair.

The renowned Streicher sisters have collaborated to bring together their years of expertise of making the Hollywood elite look fabulous to the everyday woman.

Ashley is the hair genius, Kristie is killer with the brows (particularly the full-feathered brow look), and Jenn is the makeup maven.

Making the likes of Emily Blunt, Anne Hathaway, Claire Danes, and Lea Michele look beautiful, the Streicher sisters can do the same to you with services like eyebrow shaping and tinting, men’s and women’s haircuts, makeup sessions, and one-one-one tutorials.

And if you want the holy trifecta, you can indulge in the services of all three sisters at once in a “Lightning Striiike,” a 15-minute “zhush” and all-around amazing beauty experience.

Striiike.com

Special Spotlight

We first came to know and love Matt Rogers during his time on Season 3 of “American Idol” and now as country singer and TV correspondent on Hallmark’s “Home and Family.”

The California native and his wife Teri Rogers have three children: elder son Brayden, 8; Mason, 6, who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at four weeks old; and new addition, baby daughter Samantha who also has Cystic Fibrosis.

Rogers spends much of his time working tirelessly as an activist to raise awareness of the genetic disease, which affects the lungs and digestive system. He works hand in hand with the Orange County Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and has raised an incredible $4 million per year for the past six years. American Idol Executive in Charge of Production Wylleen May has also donated packages to the cause and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

The 32nd Annual Cystic Fibrosis Gala will take place on May 30 in Newport Beach. To find out more, visit CFF.org or MattRogersUSA.com. May is also CF Awareness Month.

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