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Shopping Recreational or Medical?

Green Week 2023

Green Week 2023

Feel Good Guide: Pacific Beach

Feel Good Guide: Pacific Beach

We’re watching surfers glide over the Southern California waves in San Diego’s majestic Pacific Beach. Indulging on some of the craft beers at the local watering hole, and we’re getting some fish tacos that, well, are out of this world.

But before we experience this iconic San Diego day, we meet up with our friends at the beautifully designed Columbia Care.

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Columbia Care is a long room with plants hanging from the ceiling and a long square bar in the center of the store. The friendly staff await your questions behind the bar and the products are all out for you to explore.

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That brings us to the lovely Lonna Kelly, standing behind the bar ready to tell us all about the San Diego cannabis dispensary. Now, we’re not sure if everyone in Pacific Beach is this friendly — maybe there’s something in the sea air, but everyone we talked to greeted us with a smile and a genuine interest in how our day’s going. This includes the friendly and knowledgeable Lonna.

Lonna tells us that Columbia Care’s crushing it in the dispensary game and are a nationwide company with 19 locations in 9 states, including a location in Puerto Rico. And they’re not stopping there. They’ve got more locations soon to come.

We grab one of the Sunday Goods Single Pre-Rolls and head to the beach.

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Sitting right at the beginning of Crystal Pier is Kono’s Cafe. This is a no frills, killer beachside coffee shop. As you walk in, you’re hit with the smell of bacon on the flat top grill, syrup water falling over stacks of pancakes and coffee slowly dripping into a diner style mug.

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The walls are painted ocean blue with a surfer coasting along the wall, looking ocean bound. Surfboards line the ceilings, of course, and the doors are wide open with big windows allowing the breeze to sweep through the place.

We order some coffees to go up at a counter with the smiling cashier named Raul. Stop by next time, grab a coffee, and tell Raul we say hello.

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We walk our coffees down along the long wooden pier. The slats underfoot have been nicely worn down with passersby walking to the sound of seagulls calling. You hear the waves lightly crashing underneath as you make your way to the end of the pier.

On either side sits little white cottages with blue window shutters. The breeze picks up slightly as you make your way and you can overlook the dozens of surfers paddling out to watch the horizon for the next wave.

We take a moment to soak it all in. There’s nothing quite like being out on the water and looking back at the coast line. What could make this day any better? A craft beer perhaps.

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Back on shore, you walk along the path overlooking the water and come across a staircase leading up to the PB Shore Club. We sit out on the deck with a view of the water and watch the waves crash endlessly on the sandy beach.

We get the Duckzilla and Good Times, both from local breweries, of course. Our bartender Brittney drops off our cold beers as they slowly bubble to a foamy head. The Duckzilla is a lighter IPA and the Good Times a darker American Pub-Style Ale. Nothing better on a hot beach day in Pacific Beach.

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Oscars Mexican Seafood is a classic fish taco shop right off the water. As local as this spot is, it can’t escape its own popularity as tourists and locals alike grab their share of the phenomenal tacos.

We get the battered fish taco, the tacos especial and the smoked fish.

The fish taco is flaky with a great crunch from the batter, while the melt-in-your-mouth fleshy white fish bursts with flavor. Adding the spicy mayo is a must.

Taco especial: this is a mountain of a taco. The grilled shrimp is a diamond of deliciousness, so flavorful and soft next to the crunch of the red onions. The scallops and smoked fish add an amazing saltiness while the avocado balances it all out.

Next up, the smoked fish paired with creamy avocado, fresh cabbage and some melted cheese. Whoever said cheese and fish don’t go together clearly hasn’t had this pocket of amazingness.

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The Baked Bear is a great ice cream sandwich shop. As one must, we get the classic chocolate chip cookie with cookie dough ice cream smashed in between the warm cookies.

To round out the day, we turn the corner and head back to the pier with our ice cream to watch the surfers skillfully cut through the waves as we soak in the sun.

Until next time, Pacific Beach.

Feel Good Guide: Oakland

Feel Good Guide: Oakland

Sure, there’s San Francisco, its towering skyline often sitting above the clouds of the city below, but just next door is Oakland, and, simply put, Oakland is just a cool town.

There’s a deep history in Oakland and the people that live here. They’ve been fighting for their community, their rights, and of course, for cannabis legalization. Maybe this town is hella cool because it’s considered the most diverse city in America. Hell, this is where the Black Panthers started their push for social justice and it’s where the dispensary group Harborside pushed for proper cannabis testing, compliance, and education.

But more on that later. First, a much needed coffee from a bar + bookstore + record store that’s a true embodiment of Oakland and the great people that live here. This is North Light.

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An old school brick building with high ceilings. An ascending bookcase with novels and records lining its shelves. At North Light, there’s even a sliding ladder to scramble up the shelves to find that perfect gem.

A white marble bar takes up the back of the shop with two turntables comfortably seated on its edge. Accompanying the slowing turing record playing, Ahmad Jamal’s album FreeFlight sits on a number of what appears to be Pixar lamps…did we mention Pixar’s less than 10 minutes away?

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Julian, the bartender whips us up some Zeric-style coffees served in tall cocktail glasses.

Something to eat perhaps? We gravitate to the umami potatoes with bonito flakes. This is a burst of flavor with smoky mayo and scallions.

Next up, the mushroom toast; the bread smeared to its very edge with ricotta and topped with caramelized onions. It’s a delicate balance that works so well and has a salty, meaty texture from the mushrooms.

We thank Julian and as we leave, he says “come back, hang out when you’re in town, you know where to find me.” And you know what, we’re just gonna have to take him up on that.

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Located right next to the Oakland Harbor with sailboats cutting through the clear water sits the iconic dispensary, Harborside.

We meet up with the lovely, friendly, and knowledgeable Kathy Starbuck, one of Harborside’s many helpful employees. She’s been working at Harborside for almost two years and started right before recreational, adult-use cannabis was legalized (also known as “the Green Rush”).

The store is quite large and one of the best aspects is the large windows letting in the natural sunlight. When it comes to cannabis, they want to take it “out of the darkness and into the light.”

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They’ve really taken that to heart in the store, from the shelves of clones you can purchase for home growing, to the education they provide. But one comment Kathy said stood out among the rest.

She points to the various products throughout the store and says, “Products now hit the floor – before it used to be under lock and key and at some point it was time to treat our customers like customers not criminals.”

With Harborside’s historic push to enhance the industry, just the acknowledgement of having products out for customers to explore themselves is a relatively new concept.

With a day of sunshine ahead, we grab a Delight Pen and head off for some dumplings.

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Reservations? Nope, they don’t do that. Killer dumplings? Yup, they do that.

Shan Dong is located in Chinatown — which, by the way, is a proper Chinatown and you don’t hear English spoken as you walk down the streets. Another example of the celebration of cultures living together in Oakland.

We’re seated at yellow worn down tables with a view of the dumpling station; woks lined up ready to cook up deliciousness. A woman making dumplings works quickly yet effortlessly by the window. We should point out this is where Domee Shi did all her R&D for the Pixar movie, BAO.

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First up, green beans cooked in garlic and when it hits the table with the white rice, bam! You’re hit with a garlicky aroma that will make you melt with sensory overload.

Next up, Shan Dong chicken – twice fried and crunchy but oh so saucy.

And of course, dumplings. Oh, the dumplings. With a vinegary sweet sauce drizzled on the sticky outside of the dumpling and the softness of the steamed meat inside. All hand made with perfect imperfections of the outer casing. You want this, you need this — go get this, people.

Time for a drink and something sweet perhaps.

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Drake’s Brewing Co. is an open air space with trees sprouting out of gravel floor for shade as you sip your local brew.

As one does, we get a few flights of beer. One flight on the lighter side and another on the hoppy side. A light breeze slowly blows through the trees as we sip our beer and snack on some grilled peppers with big flakes of salt and drizzled with a healthy amount of lemon.

Just outside sits Humphry Slocombe, oh so good ice cream and after a few beers, nothing’s better.

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As the day comes to a close we head over to Lake Merritt, first grabbing some pizza from Arizmendi Bakery for our stroll.

This is a huge lake in the middle of Oakland with big green trees on the water’s edge. A drummer rhymically plays along to the sounds of crashing water from a fountain and birds soar overhead as we enjoy a slice of pizza and watch as the world goes by.

Until next time, Oakland.

Feel Good Guide: Costa Mesa

Feel Good Guide: Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa: surf, skate or ski. Okay, maybe you can’t ski, but Costa Mesa’s home to some of the largest action sports brands around, including Vans, Hurley and Rip Curl — just to name a few.

Hittin’ the surf, rippin’ down a hill on a board…maybe next time, people. This trip, we’re getting killer BBQ, chillin’ in a zen garden and exploring the Orange County Fair.

But not before we grab some pre-rolls.

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A ten-minute drive from John Wayne Airport sits OC3, an OG dispensary that was “one of Santa Ana’s first city-licensed Medical Cannabis Dispensaries.” Now catering to both the medical and recreational adult-use cannabis markets, OC3 is a great spot to grab the goods before hitting the town.

You might be saying to yourself, “Wait a minute — isn’t this a Costa Mesa guide?” Well, in Orange County, you can only buy cannabis in Santa Ana, so we stop there before Costa Mesa, which is conveniently just next door.

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At OC3, we meet up with Geneva Laulhere, or “G” as everyone calls her. G’s been working here for years and tells us that they always make sure to carry all sorts of different products, saying “We have a wide variety because everyone’s different.”

She talks about how everyone has a different tolerance and that OC3 tailors to everyone’s specific needs. If someone is coming in with particular cannabis effects in mind, especially a medical patient, they want them to have something in stock that’s just right for them.

What’s just right for our breezy adventure is a pre-roll or two. We grab a Delight Pre-Roll Pack and head out.

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First up, some zen before the day ahead. Noguchi Garden is a human-made rock oasis nestled in the middle of a corporate park — perfect for recharging during your lunch break.

Large tan stones are pieced together to give the illusion of a desert floor. A triangular monument jets out of the earth, creating a perfect 90-degree angle. Water slowly bubbles down a rock face into a stream that snakes through the garden.

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Giant rocks have been placed throughout the space, adding a natural feel while chiseled gray stone benches follow the arch of the stream. It’s dynamic and mesmerizing.

On two ends sit little hills, one full of rocks and cacti, and the other a cone-shaped fountain with water crashing down its sides. There’s a yin and yang here; one the dry desert and the other a lush green.

After some relaxing, it’s time for a bite or two.

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An anti-mall shopping area that’s like a bunch of local businesses got together and made their own little Main Street. This is The Lab.

An airstream called “Creme Tangerine” in the corner sells records and plays easygoing music of the past. This place has it all, restaurants, shops and a brewery that’s pouring up some great sours.

Our first stop coffee, and as one must, a doughnut.

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A quaint little shop with vegan options. Good Town Doughnuts is a local spot with a neon sign on the wall that says, “I’m a doughnut freak” and well, we’re all here for that.

Miki helps us from behind the coffee bar as we snag their iced coffee and a vegan triple berry doughnut. This puppy is garnished with mint, blueberry, and raspberry all atop of a triple berry glaze. We sit back and enjoy the outdoor seating, sipping our cold brew as shoppers pop into this shop, then that one, then the next.

Now onto one of The Lab’s more hearty spots.

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This is brisket on brisket on brisket. LA Brisket, a BBQ joint that literally just smells like oh-so-sweet goodness.

In honor of the place’s namesake, we start with the half-pound brisket. It’s fall apart, call back home to tell the parents about this one, delicious.

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Next up is the elote topped with cotija cheese, paprika and finely chopped cilantro with a sauce that’s letting that corn take a swim. Lime squeezed on top? Yes please, and thank you.

Last up is the 405 Sandwich — it’s a Monster. The bread holds in all that awesome brisket like a baby in a blanket. As you take that first bite, there’s a wonderful cut through the sandwich with blue cheese onions. Yum!

Filled to the brim, it’s time for the County Fair.

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The Orange County Fair is everything that comes to mind when you think of a fair— and we’re here for it. Thrill rides move at what seems like a hundred miles an hour, the iconic ferris wheel slowly spinning, and of course the smell of fried…well, everything.

A perfect end to the day: the old county fair that brings us back to simpler times, the loud ringing of a bell from this game or another. And whether you actually win or lose really doesn’t matter.

Until next time, Costa Mesa.

Feel Good Guide: Tempe

Feel Good Guide: Tempe

Arizona…yes, it’s a desert, and yes, it’s hot — really hot. With long stretches of open terrain littered with rocks and cacti, you might think it’s not the friendliest place. But if you were to think the people here aren’t some of the friendliest you’d ever met, well, you’d be wrong.

This is Tempe. A town that’s most often thought as “that place where ASU is.” But it’s way more than just a college town.

A cannabis-themed sandwich joint, an authentic wine bar, and a chef that whips up farm-fresh dishes on the spot. Count us in.

How do we stumble upon all of these bits of Tempe knowledge? By the help of Paige Yeaton and her boyfriend, Gabe Williams. We meet up with them at our first spot, The Local Joint.

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Arizona’s a medical marijuana state, meaning you need your state-certified MMJ card to get the goods. That by no means is stopping The Local Joint from fluffing their feathers to the public.

As you walk up, your eyes immediately gravitate towards a giant mural, painted on the entire building. It truly is a work of art.

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Inside, we meet up with The Local Joint’s manager, Brittany Beaulieu, who tells us they always ask their customers (first-time patients to regulars alike), “How can we make you feel good?” She says, “Everyone can smoke a joint to get high but we want the education out there so people can medicate better.”

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Brittany points to a number of photos on the wall. At first glance, they’re beautifully shot images with people and cannabis. But when you look closer, you realize each photo is of a different consumption method. “It gives people ideas of how they can medicate and it’s a talking point for our staff to speak about what works best for them.”

Paige grabs some pre-rolls and we head out for coffee.

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A long standing bar next to the baristas pulling oh-so-good espresso shots. An old school coffee roaster in the corner kicking out a floral aroma of coffee goodness. And an art installation of bicycle wheels (tires missing, of course). This must be the Cartel Coffee Lab.

Sipping on a latte and cold brew with hints of rich dark chocolate and a strong but surprisingly smooth finish, Paige and Gabe tell us about their organization The Cannabis Retreat.

The Cannabis Retreat started as a way to come out of the cannabis closet, and now it’s shifted to be about a cannabis community. The annual event allows people to experience yoga, explore cannabis, and discover themselves in a judgment-free environment. But now, on to discover a world of cannabis-themed sandwiches.

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A sub shop that has sandwiches in three sizes: nug, pinner, and blunt. The Cheba Hut vibe is of a California taco shop; stickers of cannabis brands are everywhere. This place, by the way, existed in its exact form before marijuana was even medically legal in Arizona.

All the subs are named after different strains, and our first pick is a self-made hybrid called the Red Widow, a combo of the White Widow and Jamaican Red subs. It’s creamy, spicy and the sauce soaks into the bread, so while you get a crunch from the crust, the rest is just saucy goodness.

Next up, the Pakalolo — an almost Italian style sub with pineapple chunks and added jalapeno for a spicy kick. To round it all out, a sub based on the popular strain AK-47. Its roast beef is so juicy, it melts away just as you get one hell of a cheese pull from the provolone.

Some wine to wash it all down perhaps.

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A wine bar that’s not trying to be anything other than its most authentic self. Postino is just that, a no-frills place where you can grab a killer glass or bottle of wine, sit back, relax and watch as the misters outside try to beat the desert heat.

As one must, we get an order of olives as Paige and Gabe tell us about how they got into cannabis.

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Before working as a photographer and musician full time, Gabe held a corporate job and cannabis was simply a conduit to release stress. Paige, on the other hand, openly talks about her eating disorder and that cannabis helps her manage it.

The two have befriended a local chef and in a recent post, Paige said: “Enjoying life through food with one of my favorite Arizona chefs @rene.chito at @ghostranch_az #NotGuilty” And so, we take that to heart and head over to Ghost Ranch.

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Meet Chef Rene Andrade. Let us tell ya, you’ve never been welcomed with such a warm smile. Rene immediately joins us and almost apologetically says, “I can’t sit down, I’ve got the energy of a 2-year-old, every time I hang out with these two I have to get up and make some food.”

As Rene whips up something in the Ghost Ranch kitchen, we indulge in the craft-forward cocktails such as the Ghost Town, which oddly enough comes garnished with corn kernels…and it’s delicious.

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Rene returns with a plate of food, telling us that a local farmer just brought him a watermelon, and so he creates a dish right on the spot. There’s a sweetness to the watermelon, topped with radishes, crispy tortilla pieces, fresh avocado with cotija cheese and tajin sprinkled on top.

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Joy shared over a meal with people telling stories of days gone by, not a bad way to say goodbye to this town.

Until next time, Tempe.

Feel Good Guide: Hollywood

Feel Good Guide: Hollywood

A red blinking light atop a 13-story building sends a signal out to the world every few seconds. In morse code, the light flashes. Its message has been the same since 1956—Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood.

You know this town. Everyone knows this town. No one can deny this place is iconic.

Yet as worldly that this place is, we’re welcomed by the local community of chefs, botanists, and budtenders. Hollywood, here we come.

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First up, brunch at République with Ellen Hancock, actor, entrepreneur and female cannabis activist. We walk into a beautiful long room filled with tables and a bar with a woodfire oven. As they stroke the fire, the aroma of smoke from the cherry wood fills the entire space.

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This is a shared plates kinda place, so we get the smoked salmon tartine, shakshuka, and arugula salad. The tartine is light and peppery with spicy olives and radishes, while the shakshuka has a burst of flavor from the mint leaves. Then running that fresh bread through the tomato and egg is just absolutely delicious. Finally, the arugula salad with creamy goat cheese, it’s perfectly dressed and complemented by the burst of juicy peaches.

Ellen tells us about her love for cannabis and her advocacy through her instagram @stoner_girlfriend; she started it to shine a light on women in the cannabis industry.

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A van pulls up outside of the popular community dispensary, Herbarium. We meet up with Maddy, who tells us they’re beginning to bus people in from the Chinese Theater area and give them a ride to their store. She explains that, for many of the customers, this is their first cannabis experience and to cater to that audience, they’re revamping their space to be more like a cannabis museum.

Maddy takes us in the back and shows us the grow facility they’re building and says they’re going to have long windows for people to see how the plants are grown. Before our next stop, we grab some goods from the warm and friendly budtender, Lyli. Ellen opts for the Rest Pen for our lazy afternoon ahead.

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We decide to grab a drink, but before we do, we head over for some fresh air in this city of automobiles. Founded in 1980, Mickey’s Plant went from “collecting cactus, succulents and handmade macrame to an eclectic garden oasis in the heart of Los Angeles.” As you walk through the sea of greenery, you take in a breath of fresh air that you didn’t even know you were missing until you’re surrounded on all sides by beautiful plants.

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Time for a more bird’s eye view. We head just down the road to a rooftop bar sitting on top of Mama Shelter Hotel.

Yes, there’s a view of Hollywood — a killer view, might we add — but the best view is of the open blue sky above as you laze in long colorful day beds. To really enjoy, we get something refreshing to drink…perhaps garnished with a flower, watermelon, or cucumber wedge.

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Time for, you guessed it, tacos. Oh, and margaritas. And a michoacán rum drink served in a pineapple filled with crushed ice, topped with dried pineapple and a hollow lemon. The carved out lemon’s filled with cinnamon and soaked in lemon extract which, of course, they light on fire before serving it up.

If you haven’t gathered by now, Petty Cash is extraordinary.

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The tacos were out of this world. An octopus taco, fresh avocado mixed with the fresh tortilla is chewy goodness and the bit of pickled red onions give a great zing. But the carnitas taco stole the show, with an almost mintiness from the cilantro and the melt-in-your-mouth meat. Definitely coming back.

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After some delicious tacos, it’s time to get our bowl on. And we’re not just talking your regular ol’ bowling alley. We walk off the star-studded street of Hollywood Boulevard into The Spare Room at The Roosevelt Hotel. (Fun fact: artist David Hockney painted the bottom of the hotel’s pool, which is considered one of the city’s greatest art pieces.)

The Spare Room is a high-class bowling alley that slings cocktails as fast as you knock the pins down. We sit back, sip our drinks, and enjoy ourselves as the night slides by.

Until next time, Hollywood.

Feel Good Guide: Market Street

Feel Good Guide: Market Street

Market Street. If you’ve been to San Francisco, chances are, you’ve been down this street. It starts at The Embarcadero and opens on the iconic Ferry Building, where locals and tourists alike jump on a boat to take in the bay or just get to work.

Never straying more than 8 blocks off Market, this street becomes the constant as we explore the art of SFMOMA, drink cocktails under the open sky, and indulge in the smoke lounge of Moe Greens. But first, some pastries.

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We meet up with Julie Vandermeersch, who owns Vive la Tarte with her husband. Before falling into their passion of the bakery, they had corporate jobs in engineering and, at a certain point they figured, why not give that all up for something they love?

Julie invites us into the back of the bakery and shows us the many breads, pastries, and croissants the bakers are working on.

Yes, they’ve got avo toast. And yes, it’s incredible. They’ve also got monkey bread, which may not be new in itself, but the way they do it is revolutionary.

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To talk about the monkey bread, we first need to talk about croissants. Julie says that croissants are trending in the baking world right now, and that they sell about 500 to 600 a day. The excess from shaping the croissants are set aside to make monkey bread.

Not traditionally made with flaky croissant dough, when you take a bite, you get this fall-apart goodness with a touch of sweet from the sugar on top. This, by the way, is not the modernized part. After you’ve had a few bites, you begin to get a firey taste at the back of your mouth. That’s because they’ve added turmeric and cayenne pepper into this delectable pasty—truly innovative and fantastic.

Julie doesn’t let us go without giving us some cheesecake and a loaf of freshly baked sourdough.

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A long room that feels like an old school bank, only in this case, the bank tellers are budtenders, eager to tell you about their many cannabis products.

Moe Greens has a mid-century modern ‘70s vibe with green lighting, softwoods, and of course, classic gold wallpaper lining the walls.

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As you make your way to the back, you come across the lounge, where you can take the products you just purchased and give them a go.

We snag a Soothe pen and walk out onto, you guessed it, Market Street. Time to find a place to enjoy that cheesecake and sourdough bread.

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From this magnificent vantage point, you overlook this city in all its glory. Its iconic skyline gets lost in the slow-drifting clouds that roll through the skyscrapers. As one must, we take a seat on a spot of grass. We rip open the bread and are hit with an aroma of fresh-baked goodness. But then, oh then, there’s that first bite of cheesecake.

This is…melt in your mouth, walking on clouds, phenomenal. The crust on the cake maintains a crunch which stands out especially with how airy the rest of it is. There’s an almost granulated sugar texture to the crust but without the sweetness. It’s just so good.

Now, a drink or two to wash it all down.

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A trendy bar. Normally a description of some place with handle-bar mustache sporting bartenders in overalls. The Peacekeeper is not that. It is, however, one damn cool bar that slings drinks made from fresh juices, which yes, they juiced on site.

We meet up with Alec, who helped open the joint just a few months ago. Alec whips up “the Red Rose,” a tomato juice-looking drink with a surprisingly smooth and spicy taste. “The Peacekeeper” has a pineapple start, and as soon as you take a sip, you feel a kick to the back of your throat from the chili-infused tequila.

The grey bar stretches past a fireplace at the center of the room to a pool table underneath an upper balcony. But the best part of the bar, besides the killer drinks, is what happens when you tilt your head back—you see that the roof is retractable, which fills the space with sunlight and a gentle breeze. Drinks enjoyed, it’s time for some art.

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You walk into a cavernous space, with light wooden floors as to not distract from the artwork. That’s right—it’s the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The museum houses numerous works of art, however, we become intrigued with Roy Lichtenstein’s Figures with Sunset.

The surrealist piece keeps you looking at every nook and cranny of the work: the various dots and shapes intermixing make you somehow small. It’s not happy nor sad, but somehow you’re dragged in as though you’re a part of this warped world.

And now, back to reality.

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Perched atop the San Francisco Proper Hotel sits Charmaine’s. You walk out onto a patio that looks down Market Street and that has a sunset that almost seems manufactured. Yes, they’ve got great drinks, but that city view is the best way to bid this street adue. Until next time, Market Street.

Feel Good Guide: Orange County

Feel Good Guide: Orange County

Picturesque vistas that span out over the vast ocean, community kitchens that lead the way for small businesses, and mesmerizing glass blowing; it’s not LA, not San Diego—it’s Orange County.

Often thought of as “that place between LA and San Diego,” perhaps to go to a beautiful beach or Disneyland, Orange County has over 3.1 million residents and is the 6th most populated county in the US.

Within Orange County sits the city of Santa Ana. The city advocates for entrepreneurs, and it’s the only city in Orange County where recreational cannabis can be sold. So we head to our first stop, Bud and Bloom.


Designed with a keen eye on creating a phenomenal cannabis experience, Bud and Bloom is a welcoming space with high ceilings, wooden fixtures, and brick walls. As you walk through the glass doors, a neon sign sits directly in front of you, almost drawing you through the space to the back of the store.

We meet up with Emily, who tells us they opened up in 2016 when Prop 64 was passed and are proud to be a part of the local community. In fact, they have a monthly shuttle for retirement communities to bring senior citizens in for cannabis education, and of course, to snag some goods.

With sites to see, we grab a Spark pen, thank Emily for showing us around, and head out.


We meet up with Danika Brysha at a food hall (not to be mistaken with a food court filled with fast-food chains). This food hall is a space filled with local, artisanal food vendors and 4th Street Market goes above and beyond to cultivate these local businesses.

Danika points out a saying written on the wall above the communal kitchen, which reads “in-cu-bate: a unique infrastructure designed to nurture small food businesses by helping them thrive and grow.”

Danika owns of one of those small food businesses called Model Meals, a Whole30 and paleo delivery kit company. She tells us she started in 2014 with the simple notion that she wanted to change how she was eating in order to feel good.

After chatting, we look for something to eat that may be a bit less on the healthy side, so we hit up Supernatural Sandwiches for an Aphrodite. This must-try sandwich monster is a grilled cheese with shrimp and bacon.

With such a masterful sandwich, one must pair it with a side. Loaded fries, perhaps? We go to Dos Chinos, who call their mountain of fries + pork + cheese + avocado cream + a fried egg…stoner papas.

After we’re filled to the brim, it’s time to check out one of the best views in Orange County.


Yes, it’s a hotel, but damn, the Laguna Beach view from The Montage just takes your breath away. You walk in and to the left is a roaring fireplace, adding the perfect touch of heat to the cool ocean breeze wafting in through the open-air patio ahead. To the right, a pianist softly playing “If It Ain’t You” by Alicia Keys.

Straight in front of you is a deck that overlooks the rectangular pool leading your eyes to the ocean. As the pool and lawns open out onto the water, you see rocks that slightly jet out of the sea, keeping a constant light splash to the waves, in a peaceful and serene movement.

Now, one couldn’t properly take in this breathtaking view without a beverage. We go for the Ginger Mint Cooler. The spice from the ginger immediately overwhelms the palate and the freshness of mint and lime combine in a melody, almost dancing together.

With that, we’re off to see some local musicians and artists. We tear ourselves away from the view and head out as the tunes of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” are stroked skillfully on the grand piano.


A space built by the community for the community. Since its inception, the Sawdust “has celebrated and supported the work of its hometown artists.” Walking in, we come upon numerous stands housing the work of local artists. A band plays next to a small waterfall as people enjoy tacos and beer from the various food vendors.

As we explore, we stumble upon on a large cage with an enclosed fire at its center. Bruce Freund, one of the craftsmen of the space, enters the cage and gets to work.

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This…is glass blowing. The age-old art of taking pieces of glass, melting them down, shaping them and transforming them into works of art.

Bruce has been doing this for 40 years and says he still loses about 20% of all the work he does…it’s that difficult. We grab a taco, listen to some of the local bands and call it a day.

While this may be one of the larger populated counties in the US, it’s shown to be a community of locals, happy to share how they live. Until next time, Orange County.

Feel Good Guide: Culver City

Feel Good Guide: Culver City

Culver City…one of the many smaller, lesser known cities and neighborhoods that make up the greater Los Angeles area. Yes there’s Hollywood, its sidewalks dusted with stars, engraved with the names of those gone by, and its towering iconic sign. But Hollywood’s not the only town in LA that’s making dreams come true on the big screen.

Within the heart of Culver City sits the film lots of Sony and Amazon Studios, among others. But that’s not what we’re exploring in this often passed through city, nestled between the crashing waves of the west side and the hustle of Downtown Los Angeles.

We’ve come to dive into the food that makes this place so magical, take in some art, have a drink, and of course —grab a pre-roll or two.


We start at High Note West, a dispensary that makes a statement on today’s cannabis culture, simply by the way you enter the space. We walk into a small room, no bigger than a hallway. The welcoming staff checks us in, excited for what’s next. We’re directed towards a mysterious bookcase which, yes, you guessed it, doubles as the door to get in to see the goods.

Richard, the director of retail, tell us most of their customers come from the airport, and the High Note’s speakeasy vibe is a fun way to experience recreational cannabis that travelers may not have in their own state.

He speaks to the parallels between the prohibition era and today’s “behind closed doors” cannabis culture. While we know legalizing cannabis is the right thing to do, he says, the speakeasy entrance is a nod to that current political climate. We thank Richard for telling us about the store, grab some Spark pre-rolls and step out into the beautiful morning air.


Warm, the size of your head, piled high with goodness. That’s right, it’s that trendy toast craze, and at Lodge Bread, it’s not to be missed.

We’re not talking about that pre-sliced, thrown-in-your-toaster type of bread either. This is handmade and fresh baked on site every day. We opt for the “ace ranch” garnished with purple radishes, sea salt, and olive oil, as well as their ricotta and jam. And damn, it’s good.

After a few mouthwatering bites, we chat with Javier, one of the managers. He tells us how the place runs almost as two spots. The bakery, which kicks out 200 to 300 loaves a day, and their other half, a coffee, beer and pizza joint with a wood fire oven pressed against the window luring in passers by.

Javier tells us they follow the seasons, so their menu changes every four months with local and organic ingredients. The place is full of locals, some with their kids in strollers and a couple, limbs tied together in a warm embrace, sipping a beer with their morning pastries… Sounds like a perfect start to the day.


We jump onto the convenient city bikes that litter the street. It’s a beautiful sunny Southern California day and we feel the ocean breeze as we cruise down to check out FP Contemporary in the Culver City Arts District.

We meet up with their director Paul Dahmen; he takes us through the gallery that holds upwards of 5,000 artworks at a time.

“I sell art that people want to live with,” he says. And it shows.

The outstandingly beautiful and thought provoking pieces are just…cool, and would certainly be a talking point in any home.

Paul tells us about the various pieces and the masterminds behind them, but we gravitate toward a piece called “Genesis” by Phil Hawkins. Its array of color seems to shift as you walk past. And as you look closer, you realize that the piece is smaller on one side, making an odd play on your own depth perception. After some art taken in, it’s time for something to eat.


Snuggled in the historic Helms Bakery District between La Dijonaise Café and The Rug Warehouse, sits Pasta Sisters.

The streets of the Helms Bakery District have been closed off for people to stroll through, take in the town, find something new for the home, and snag something delicious. We find a table outside at Pasta Sisters and are immediately given a plate with fresh bread. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar sit on the table, eager to be poured onto the plate for your bread to take a swim.

First up, burrata atop pasta with pesto clinging to it, ready to be fork spun. The cold of the burrata paired with the warm pesto sauce creates a perfect harmony of cheesy, pasta goodness. Next up, the pappardelle Bolognese with thick, thick noodles in a meaty sauce. To round it all out, porcini mushroom gnocchi. Soft, deeply satisfying. It’s need-to-take-a-nap-after-this good.

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After getting some carbs in, we cruise over to the Blind Barber. We’re not here to get a cut, but rather to grab something refreshing after our bike ride and mountain of pasta.

We walk in and to the naked eye, it looks like an old school barbershop. An aisle down the middle of the long room leading to the broom closet with big black barber chairs lined up on either side and people getting their haircuts, all while sipping on old fashioneds.

There’s no bar in the shop and yet everyone’s having a grand ol’ time drinking their perfectly crafted whiskey cocktails, so where’s the bar?

No one bats an eye as walk straight to the broom closet door at the back of the store. Turns out, that unsuspecting door leads us to a full on bar/restaurant cloaked as the storage closet.

We go with the bartender’s suggestion of the tequila-based Hot Heather cocktail. It’s sweet, with a spicy kick to it and a smooth finish garnished with a grapefruit wedge. Gotta admit…that’s a feel good drink right there.

As they say in the movie biz, that’s a wrap. Until next time Culver City.

Feel Good Guide: San Diego

Feel Good Guide: San Diego

You could be forgiven to think San Diego’s just surfing, craft beers and fish tacos. Don’t get us wrong, it’s all of those things, however, it’s much, much more.

The Southern California coastal city is only a 22-minute drive from Mexico and houses the largest number of military personnel in the country. It’s also the home of one of the largest groupings of Chicano art murals in the world, with more than 80 in Chicano Park alone. No one can deny it’s a city of true American diversity.

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For our first stop, we pop over to the California cannabis dispensary, March and Ash—a beautifully designed, high-end retail cannabis experience in Mission Valley, San Diego. Sitting between the 8 and the 805 freeways, this store is, in short, absolutely extraordinary.

You walk into a space that has been crafted to show the very best that cannabis has to offer. Their calming CBD room, hydroponic clone wall, and shelves lined with cannabis products are a sight to see; and the staff, well, they’re excited to show it all off.

We meet up with Nicole, a cannabis concierge at March and Ash. Nicole has been there from the start—she helped open the place back in September 2018 and happily takes us on a tour through the space.

She brings us over to show off the baby cannabis plants (or clones) they have growing against a mirrored wall in the back of the store. She explains how each one is passionately cared for and is ready to plant by those who’d like to test out their green thumb.

After taking a closer look at some of the indica and sativa plants, we mention we want to pick up some Sunday Goods for our day in San Diego. She shows us the pens and pre-rolls, telling us her favorite (so far) is the Rest Pen. Since we still have a full day ahead of us, we grab a Delight Pen, thank Nicole for showing us around and hit the road.

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Next stop = coffee. We hit Communal Coffee, a shop unlike any other. You walk into a large white room with a long wooden bar stretching the length of the majority of the space. To the right, there are little tables laden with flowers, while people sip their drinks and draw charcoal creations on art pads.

The friendly barista asks if he can get us a drink or perhaps maybe some flowers, gesturing to the wall behind us that holds blooming flower bouquets crafted by Wyld Blooms. Glancing over the menu, we gravitate toward the Vanilla Bean Latte, a perfect pairing for the Delight pen we picked up. Their fresh ground espresso with the hints of vanilla are exactly what we need to head to our next stop, oysters

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We grab some farm fresh berries and stop by a booth that can’t be passed: Captain Jack’s Shellfish, owned and operated by Jon Bernetskie. He sells fresh oysters at the farmers market every Wednesday and Saturday and serves them up either grilled or shucked…with lemon and hot sauce for us, please.

Jon tells us he started in the Hollywood Farmers Market in LA before branching off on his own adventure in San Diego. On Saturdays, he says, he can sell upwards of 80 dozen oysters. If he’s catering an event, he can be shucking upwards of 150 dozen, that’s a lot of oysters—1800 to be exact.

His love of oysters is immediately apparent, as these are some of the best oysters you’ll have…meaty and salty with a tart, spicy finish from the drops of lemon and hot sauce. Truly a delight! We head out to check out some local art, but before we do, we listen in on some tunes from Matt Huz, a local musician playing at the market.

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We head over to visit a mural in North Park, San Diego on the wall of Artelexia, a shop that’s “sharing the vibrant culture of Mexico with the world.” The mural is painted with vibrant colors and reads “You are radiant, yes, you.” Painted by the local artist, Channin Fulton, it’s a wall of feel good in the community. After some food in the belly, some local art adored, it’s time for a drink.

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We head over to a brewery, but not just any brewery, Juneshine, a newly opened hard kombucha place.

If you’re wondering, that’s tasty, 6% alcohol kombucha with over 15 flavors to choose from. We meet up with Jay, the GM of the space and grab a flight to sample: Kumquat, Acai Berry and Strawberry, please. As we sip on each of the delicious flavors, Jay explains to us why they taste so smooth. Their Kombucha is brewed with honey and green tea, unlike most other kombuchas that are made with black tea and sugar.

Jay also points to our, now half-filled glasses, and mentions that they don’t add any artificial coloring and that their focus is on sustainability. In fact, they use all organic ingredients so you can feel even better while you’re already feeling good. We order another flight, as one should, and call it a day.

Until next time, San Diego.