West Coast living for East Coast dwellers… the best of what to do next time you’re in California.
Divine Dana Point
Just over an hour’s drive south of LA will leave you perched at the idyllic St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort along the pristine shores of the Pacific Ocean in Dana Point and the perfect spot for a balmy getaway.
The Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond-rated Laguna Beach retreat has world-class golf facilities, private beaches, the award-winning Spa Gaucin, and with added touches like butler service and family programs, it’s a divine place to stay for any traveller.
The views alone are reason enough to have St. Regis Monarch Beach (SRMB) as your new favorite place to stay on the West Coast but when you add in all the amazing amenities, fitness activities, and day trip options like a ferry ride to Catalina Island, you will be in OC heaven.
St. Regis Monarch Beach is also a top wedding location choice for those looking for the perfect nuptial spot. (A recent Indian wedding there even saw the groom make his entrance on an elephant!) There’s nothing SRMB won’t do to make your stay, or event, the best ever.
The dining jewel in the crown of the resort for me is the amazing Michael Mina restaurant, Stonehill Tavern. The eatery serves up the best of American cuisine, featuring seasonal ingredients, California coastal vegetables, and local seafood specialties. Menu highlights are the Morro Bay black cod, Painted Hills beef filet mignon, and Mina’s classic whole fried Jidori chicken for two. Their extensive wine list and knowledgeable sommeliers will offer you the perfect pairing for what will sure to be a delicious meal overlooking the ocean. StRegisMB.com
Fun Dining Meets Fine Dining
How can I describe the dining experience at Barton G in West Hollywood other to say it’s a culinary experience that you simply have to partake in yourself in order to fully appreciate the creative wizardry, deliciousness, and whimsical wow factor that the restaurant has to offer?!
The hotspot is the brainchild of event concept designer and restaurateur Barton G. Weiss, a talented culinary visionary who not only designs and creates the menu but also the interior design of the aesthetically pleasing dining space.
Delights on the menu at Barton G. include the moreish lobster pop tart, a flakey phyllo pastry with a gooey Gruyere cheese and Pernod Mornay sauce filling that’s served at the table in a retro-style toaster. The popcorn shrimp cascades out of a popcorn machine. The Rake and Ho Garden Salad is beautifully nestled in a mini wheelbarrow served with gardening tools with a pot of quinoa and packets of seeds to sprinkle over the most delicious pile of greens dressed in champagne vinaigrette.
The Lobster Trap mac ‘n cheese is a guest favorite, and if you happen to order the steak – spoiler alert – it will come with a 4-foot- high fork for its dramatic entrance.
Taste is by no means lost among the innovative presentation as everything is just divine. Barton G is fun dining meets fine dining for a fantastical culinary experience like no other. At the heart, it’s just the most delicious comfort food with the most wonderful whimsical twist.
Save room for desert! Three feet of cotton candy swirled around the head of a Marie Antoinette mannequin and a marshmallow pizza delivered in a pizza box are just two more of the menu items that will have you oohing and aahing in delight. BartonGTheRestaurantLa.com
Shaffer Bags It
Erin Shaffer may have recently launched her eponymous handbag line but the former Neiman Marcus executive is not a newbie in the fashion world.
Using her years of experience, Shaffer has designed a collection of arm candy that ranges from everyday totes and bucket bags to clutches and carryalls in a range of dark and vibrant hues to keep every woman accessorized perfectly regardless of their day- or nighttime ensemble.
Shaffer also offers customizable features, including monograms, tassels, and hardware, to make the elegant and simple staple designs uniquely yours. The bags are all designed and created in the heart of downtown Los Angeles and crafted from Italian leather with suede linings – the perfect range of bags every lady should have that won’t ever go out of style.
And with celebs like TV personality Louise Roe already clamoring to get their hands on the stylish bags, the Shaffer launch collection is a must-have for this Spring season.
Dr. Bill Dorfman is a well renowned dentist with a patient list that reads like the roll call of any A-list event. He’s been known to brighten the smiles of celebrities like Hugh Jackman, Jessica Simpson, Eva Longoria, and Anne Hathaway.
But aside from having one of the most illustrious dental careers, Dorfman is also a prolific philanthropist who uses his skill and expertise to help those who need it most.
He has helped raise more than $30 million for Smiles for Life, and has traveled to South Africa to help raise money for Tomorrow’s Trust, a non-profit that helps children who have become orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Bill, as he’s known to his clients, has also helped restore the smiles of countless women who were victims of domestic violence through the Los Angeles Battered Women’s Shelter and Safe Passages.
More so, in 2008, Dr. Bill co-founded his non-profit, the LEAP Foundation. LEAP is an award-winning leadership and development program that helps high school and college students get “a 7-year LEAP on success.” Now in its seventh year on the UCLA campus, LEAP draws in nearly 500 students from around the globe, with nearly 60 percent of them attending on scholarship. The weeklong program exposes students to a unique curriculum of goal-setting, effective communication, mentorships, and more. LeapFoundation.com