California Cuisine

Harvest at The Ranch at Laguna Beach dishes out bold, approachable flavors inspired by magical coastal canyons

Written by Susan Irby

Photo courtesy of The Ranch at Laguna Beach

Photo courtesy of The Ranch at Laguna Beach

Nestled in the canyons of south Laguna Beach, restaurant Harvest at The Ranch at Laguna Beach is located on the city’s newest hotel oasis. With the relaxed feeling of a coastal mountain lodge, spacious, warm and inviting are qualities guests will enjoy while dining at Harvest, a much-welcomed, upscale culinary destination since its predecessor at The Ranch at Laguna Beach shuttered in 2007. 

Having begun his career at the tender age of 14, the restaurant’s Director of Culinary Operations and Executive Chef Charles Imbelli takes a “California comfort” approach to his cuisine. Named among Zagat’s “Best 30 Under 30,” chef Imbelli’s palate and style reflect Italian and Puerto Rican family influences, as well as those developed while working with renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. “I live every day doing something I love,” shares chef Imelli. “At Harvest, I strive to create food that is comforting, approachable and surprising.” Supplemented by fresh ingredients from Harvest Garden, the property’s organic farm, the menu brings flavorful surprises with every dish, such as the Lamb Meatballs appetizer with preserved lemon. Entrees include the Harvest Burger with a colorful horseradish-beet sauce, Skuna Bay Salmon with red pepper tzatziki and, a menu must-have, the Half Mary’s Chicken with beluga lentils. For dessert, the creamy Pot de Crème with cocoa nibs and Apple Fritters are among the house-made selections. The full bar with artisanal cocktails includes the Cottage No. 9 with Templeton Rye, craft beer on tap and a well-balanced wine list. 

Harvest at The Ranch at Laguna Beach

31106 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA ~ 949.715.1376 | TheRanchLB.com

Novel Ideas

Curated by Jenn Thornton

A bibliophile's lit picks for your library

Photos courtesy of Abrams Books

Photos courtesy of Abrams Books

The Wines of My Life by Éric Beaumard

In this new illustrated memoir from Frenchman Éric Beaumard, of Michelin-rated Le Cinq at the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris, the celebrated sommelier reveals his full-fledged love affair with wine, using 75 prestige vintages to reflect on his journey from cook’s apprentice to one of the world’s most venerated somms. His is a journey of absolute passion—and very good taste. 

$45.00, AbramsBooks.com

Secluded Shores

Written by Wendy Bowman      Presented by Summer Perry, Surterre Properties

Relax amid the brisk, salty air at this private retreat in Corona del Mar’s terraced seaside community

The dynamic duo of realtor Summer Lynne Perry and high-end custom home builder/developer Scott Cross is at it again; this time in Corona del Mar to construct and market a stunning, technologically advanced and entirely turn-key home, complete with architectural direction by Mark Teale and a full swath of modern interior furnishings curated by Blackband Home & Design.

“I think the biggest wow factor of this home is the unique design it offers,” says Perry of The Summer Perry Group at Surterre Properties, who is listing the new SC Homes-built residence for $12.995 million. “This soft, seaside contemporary home is not one you would ‘typically’ see in Orange County. It’s more of an L.A. style that is just starting to be seen here. It is not a surprise to me that Scott Cross and Mark Teale are on the cutting-edge of design, though. They are both very well-versed with the Southern California market and enjoy paying attention to design and details that are involved with all aspects of the building process.”

Situated at 4525 Camden Drive, in the desirable and terraced beachside community of Cameo Shores, the contemporary limestone and stucco residence welcomes home its owners via an attractive frosted glass door. Once inside, glass walls slide open at the touch of a button, revealing dramatic rooms that flow into one another and capture as much view as possible. Another custom tech-savvy feature is a whole-home Control4 System that works from anywhere by means of a smartphone app, enabling one to electronically lift the shades, key the music, activate the lights and much more. Pair this with a wealth of opulent, high-quality touches and amenities throughout the 8,400-square-foot home, including Fleetwood doors and windows, wood drop ceilings, French white oak and plank limestone flooring, custom furnishings, an elevator and artwork by Beverly Hills artist Daniel Maltzman.

The home’skitchen and family room open to mesmerizing ocean views and a partially covered terrace via Fleetwood pocket doors

The home’skitchen and family room open to mesmerizing ocean views and a partially covered terrace via Fleetwood pocket doors

Connecting the foyer to the main level is a bridge entry employed by Teale—a concept that has interested him since visiting Mario Botta’s Bridge House while studying architecture in Lugano, Switzerland—to accentuate the transition from the home’s public entrance to its private, but open, main level living area. On the left is a dining room flanked by an enclosed, climate-controlled, floor-to-ceiling glass wine cellar that spans approximately 25 linear feet and holds more than 1,000 vintages. Meanwhile, to the right, a sleek, minimally styled chef’s kitchen boasts a wave-top island featuring Cambria waterfall-edge slabs, Thermador appliances and a separate catering kitchen with access to an outdoor barbecue area. The centerpiece is the family room, which sports a stone accent wall, remote-controlled rock fireplace, built-in big-screen television and modern track lighting. And this is where the view starts to get amazing. Fleetwood pocket doors and windows open to mesmerizing ocean outlooks spanning from Catalina Island to the Newport Harbor jetty and beyond to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, along with a partially covered terrace offering multiple seating areas for dining and socializing, an infinity-edged pool with a waterfall spa, and attractive, drought-tolerant landscaping.

The dining room’s enclosed, climate-controlled floor-to-ceiling glass wine cellar spans approximately 25 linear feet and has room for 1,000-plus bottles

The dining room’s enclosed, climate-controlled floor-to-ceiling glass wine cellar spans approximately 25 linear feet and has room for 1,000-plus bottles

Back inside, the main level also features a modern yet soft master suite with remote shades, and a linear lighted glass fireplace surrounded by stone, plus a large showroom closet offering a vanity, dual valets, shoe racks, a full-length mirror and built-in dressers. Its master bath, meanwhile, sports an open glass-encased shower with hand-held and rain shower heads, Grohe fixtures, dual toilets and vanities, and a freestanding soaking tub that avails an inside-outside connection via a picture window that can be opened at the bottom to bring in the soothing sounds of an adjacent outdoor waterfall. A walk-through laundry room leads to two additional guest bedrooms, one highlighted by a charming inverted window.

A modern yet soft master suite boasts a custom bed chosen by Blackband Home & Design, along with remote shades and a linear glass fireplace

A modern yet soft master suite boasts a custom bed chosen by Blackband Home & Design, along with remote shades and a linear glass fireplace

As for Perry’s favorite features on the home’s main level, she says, “I absolutely love the glass wall wine towers that create a hall to divide the entertaining space and the bedroom areas/powder room. It is one of the most unique aspects of this home, and I think it was executed perfectly. The wood detail at the ceiling creates a soft contrast with the frameless glass towers. Hosting over 1,000 bottles of brute and/or wine, it is undeniably a show stopper.”

Completing the home’s sizeable layout, a floating wooden staircase topped by a sculptural brass designer fixture descends to the terrace level—or what Perry calls, “The fun part of the house.” Within the wide-open space, one finds numerous pocket doors that can be opened to patios when entertaining; a second living room; an additional intimate seating area; and a full walk-in bar equipped with an under-counter refrigerator, beer tap, dishwasher drawer and sink. Meanwhile, dotted around the perimeter is a game room; massage/exercise room; and guest bedroom with full bath. The piece de resistance? A secluded home theater featuring acoustic panels and 5.1 surround sound; an oversized showroom garage with room to showcase 10 cars, gray granite epoxy flooring and tool storage closet; and a private courtyard boasting a seating area, 20-foot waterfall, linear fire pit and any male’s ultimate dream—a massive window into the aforementioned garage that allows a car lover to exhibit a favorite automobile.

A floating wooden staircase topped by a sculptural brass designer fixture descends to the terrace level

A floating wooden staircase topped by a sculptural brass designer fixture descends to the terrace level

“The terrace level offers a comfortable movie theater, living room, massage parlor and back-lit waterfall that rivals any other home I have seen built in the recent past in Corona del Mar for far more per foot than this manse is listed for,” says Perry. “I just hope when this property claims its new owner that I am invited to house sit when they travel.” We should all be so lucky. 

A private courtyard offers a seating area, 20-foot waterfall, linear fire pit and a massive window into the garage that allows a car-lover to exhibit a favorite automobile

A private courtyard offers a seating area, 20-foot waterfall, linear fire pit and a massive window into the garage that allows a car-lover to exhibit a favorite automobile

Candlelight Crescendo

Photos courtesy of Kimberly April & Doug Gifford

Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ 30th anniversary celebrations closed in grand fashion with this year’s Candlelight Concert, which saw finely-clad guests enter Segerstrom Hall through the Kia Motors America Valet Lounge before heading upstairs to enjoy hors d’oeuvres, champagne and specialty cocktails. The big “reveal,” a hallmark of the event, came as the curtains lifted on Segerstrom Hall Stage, uncovering an elegant space decked with crisp white drapery, white moth orchids and chandeliers adorned with thousands of sparking crystals. As the gathering sat down to a meal prepared by Patina Restaurant Group, each lady found a special gift by sponsor Lugano Diamonds. Co-chairs Tracy and Roger Kirwan then introduced the evening’s entertainment, which included a performance by four-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Carole King, followed by dancing and a fabulous after-party.   

 Moti & Idit Ferder, Eve & Mike Ruffatto

 Moti & Idit Ferder, Eve & Mike Ruffatto

Sally & Randy Crockett, Leslie Cancellieri

Sally & Randy Crockett, Leslie Cancellieri

Carole King

Carole King

Jaynine & David Warner

Jaynine & David Warner

Carden Matthew, Henry Tieu

Carden Matthew, Henry Tieu

Elizabeth Segerstrom, Julia Argyros

Elizabeth Segerstrom, Julia Argyros

Ling Zhang, Betty Huang

Ling Zhang, Betty Huang