The food truck movement has branched into new territory of late, and we’re not just talking tacos. In late 2012, as part of a $70 million makeover, the Grand Hyatt San Francisco launched a new restaurant, OneUP, and outfitted a food mobile to circulate around the city for two months and help publicize its offerings. ¶ The idea caught on: Last October, luxury brand Four Seasons launched a food truck of its own and sent it on a 1,000-mile West Coast tour.
For the last decade, the Wild Thyme Company has been known as one of San Diego’s most creative caterers. Now the company has introduced a team-building program called the Thyme Table Challenge. In Iron Chef-like challenges held at the Wild Thyme commercial kitchen, teams face off in a battle of culinary skills and improvisation. Both teams receive the same basket of ingredients and must use every one to create dishes that work together as part of the meal.
It’s no secret that Hollywood loves to remake classics. In this case, it’s a brick-and-mortar do-over of a 20-story tower, the former Renaissance Hollywood, now renovated and recast as the Loews Hollywood Hotel. Anchoring the Hollywood & Highland Center, the 628-room hotel has a close connection—about 70 steps, in fact—to the Academy Awards, which is held in the complex’s Dolby Theatre. An indoor corridor, known as the “winner’s walk,” connects the Dolby Theatre to the Loews.
For years now, hotels have asked guests if they want to opt out of daily towel replacement and bed-linen changes for environmental reasons. Now some are paying guests to forgo housekeeping services altogether.
Everything old can be new again. For event planners, a timely and stylish look backwards is now an option via Fullerton-based Found Vintage Rentals. The 4-year-old firm specializes in short-term rentals of antique furniture (such as more than two dozen farm and rustic tables) and decorative items (old clocks, globes, mannequins) with more than 3,000 unique pieces in its collection.
Carmel, at the southern end of the Monterey Peninsula, is an internationally known golf destination. It also offers a team-building opportunity that’s one of a kind on the West Coast.
Indoor mini-golf has been around for a while—Concord, Alameda and Rancho Cordova are among Northern California communities with courses that attract the arcade-going family set. Urban Putt in San Francisco’s Mission District, which opened in May, is something different: an immersive bar/restaurant concept with 14 holes of high-tech golf themed to everything from sea creatures to San Francisco landmarks.
On Father’s Day, in triple digit heat, San Pedro’s craft beer house, Brouwerij (pronounced brewery) West introduced their first non-Belgian brew, a German-like pilsner, and debuted their summer concerts, Popfuji.
When it comes to amenities, welltrained staff, easy parking and, yes, glamour, California’s shopping malls deliver. In fact, the service is so elevated at some of these retail/dining/entertainment emporiums and the offerings so varied, that they shun the term “mall” in favor of “luxury shopping destination” or “lifestyle center.” We’d label the seven destinations below worthy of your consideration for small events or gatherings on a grander scale.
For those of us who love the revitalized Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles—and that includes almost everyone who’s visited, including food critics—here’s news to cheer: The Market has extended its hours this summer, a first in the iconic food arcade’s nearly 100-year history.