Every year, Richard Sandoval’s La Sandia, a modern Mexican restaurant in the open-air Santa Monica Place, hosts a six-week guacamole festival that highlights regional flavors. To come up with the ingredients, corporate executive chef Patrick Maxey of Richard Sandoval Restaurants and Manny Flores, Sandia’s director of operations, tour Mexico City, Toluca, Oaxaca and the Riviera Maya. They also select one ingredient to feature in a festival cocktail. "This year we chose kiwi, which is used in the Baja guacamole because it’s naturally sweet, bitter and sour all in one punch," Flores says. "Muddled fresh in the glass, it’s the perfect fit for a margarita."


-1.5 oz. El Jimador Tequila Blanco

-2 oz. La Sandia Sour Mix

-¼ kiwi

-1 lime wedge

-Tajin chile seasoning


1. Muddle the kiwi and lime wedge in a glass shaker. 2. Pack with ice.

3. Add sour mix and tequila.

4. Shake hard.

5. Rim margarita glass with Tajin.

6. Pour shaker contents into glass.

La Sandia Sour Mix

-3 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice

-3 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice

-1.5 oz. simple syrup

-6 oz. water


Mix all ingredients in a shaker or jar. (Makes one pint; leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for three days)

Who can resist a cocktail with the name Return to Paradise? From costa Kitchen & Bar, the signature restaurant at Mar Monte Hotel in Santa Barbara, is a beverage we can’t wait to enjoy during a warm Southern California afternoon. Any time you’re in Santa Barbara is happy hour!


1.5oz SelvaRey White Rum
.5 ounce El Dorado 12-Year-Old Dark Rum
1 ounce pineapple juice
.5 ounce cinnamon syrup
.5oz lime juice
1 dash angostura bitters



Now, more than ever before, event design has a critical role to play in celebrating moments, creating connections, and even serving as an icebreaker.After so much time without face-to-face gatherings, we want décor to do more than dazzle; we want it to engage attendees, too.

Here’s advice from some top visionaries about how to pull that off.

Decorous Blooms


Ever since I visited the Pasolivo olive ranch in Paso Robles a few years ago, their tree-to-table olive oils have been my evoo of choice to sprinkle on the fresh greens I grow in my backyard garden. So, I was thrilled to hear from the Pasolivo team that their flavored olive oils can add an antioxidant-packed addition to easy make-at-home cocktails. Here’s their recipe for a simple gin-based drink.