Beach Magazine Jan 2016


January 21, 2016

Volume 46, Issue 25

10 best new restaurants

Uncharted courses

Big Wave Challenge | Farewell Manhattan | Photo artist

Considering A Major Remodeling Project in 2016?

Architectural Design & Remodeling Seminar

This informative seminar will help you learn:

• Functioning designs to make the best of your living space.

• Choosing a contractor: What to look for and how to hire.

• Exploration of materials, from granite to quartz to more!

Join us on


January 30 th

at 10:00 am

January 21, 2016

Volume 46, Issue 25


14 Big Wave Challenge

El Niño’s abundance of big waves has presented a challenge for photographers

as well as surfers hoping to win the South Bay Boardriders Big

Wave Challenge.

19 Farewell Manhattan by Carolyn Anderson

Artist Gary McSweeney says goodbye to Manhattan Beach with an exhibit

of family photos mounted on his soon to be razed family home of seven


22 The big breakout by Richard Foss

Adventurous chefs in adventurous locations characterize the top 10 new

restaurants of 2015.

28 Artists portraits by Bondo Wyszpolski

Photographer John McHugh’s portraits of Los Angeles’s most prominent

artists are on display at the El Segundo Museum of Modern Art.

32 Follow the purple blob by Eddie Solt

Former Peninsula High surfing all star Scotty Bredesen finds himself riding

very big waves.

34 Mustang mentor by Randy Angel

Though only a junior, Mira Costa junior Allie Navarette has accumulated

1,000 points while leading on and off the court.

8 Beach calendar

14 Sandpipers holiday

open house

Orlando’s Pizzeria & Birreria chef

Orlando Mulé, Bettolino Kitchen

chef Fabio Ugoletti and Terranea

executive chef and A Basq Kitchen

chef and owner Bernard Ibarra.

Photo by Pete Henze


35 Service Directory


20 Pediatric Therapy Network

at The Depot

25 South Bay Healthcare guide


PUBLISHER Kevin Cody, ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Richard Budman, EDITORS Mark McDermott, Randy Angel, David Mendez, Caroline Anderson


Vidal, Brad Jacobson and Gloria Plascencia, CALENDAR Judy Rae, DISPLAY SALES Adrienne Slaughter, Tamar Gillotti, Amy Berg and


CONSULTANT Bob Staake,, FRONT DESK Judy Rae, INTERNS Sean Carroll

EASY READER (ISSN 0194-6412) is published weekly by EASY READER, 2200 Pacific Cst. Hwy., #101, P.O. Box 427, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254-0427. Yearly domestic

mail subscription $50.00; foreign, $75.00 payable in advance. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to EASY READER, P.O. Box 427, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. The

entire contents of the EASY READER newspaper is Copyright 2015 by EASY READER, Inc. The Easy Reader/Redondo Beach Hometown News

is a legally adjudicated newspaper and the official newspaper for the city of Hermosa Beach. Easy Reader / Redondo Beach Hometown News is also distributed to homes

and on newsstands in Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, Torrance, and Palos Verdes.


n Mailing Address P.O. Box 427, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254 Phone (310) 372-4611 Fax (424) 212-6780

n Website Email

n Classified Advertising see the Classified Ad Section. Phone 310.372.4611 x102. Email

n Fictitious Name Statements (DBA's) can be filed at the office during regular business hours. Phone 310.372.4611 x101.

4 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • January 21, 2016

January 21, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 5

January 21, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 7






Vistamar open


Learning with a diverse

community is necessary for

students to thrive in a globalized

society. The Vistamar

High School curriculum has

been adapted from the best

programs in Europe, Asia,

and the US. Learn more at

this open house. Registration

8:30 a.m. Program 9 a.m. to

noon. 737 Hawaii, El Segundo.

RSVP by calling (310)

643-7377 or

Hazardous waste


The Hermosa Beach Department

of Public Works offers

residents a convenient,

cost free opportunity to dispose

of household hazardous

waste (HHW). Limited to 15

gallon or 125 pounds per vehicle.

9 am. to 3 p.m. Enter

on Valley Drive, heading

south from Pier Ave. For

more information contact

the Sanitation Districts of LA

County at (800) 238-0172.




Wild Scenic Film


The Palos Verdes Peninsula

presents the Wild & Scenic

Film Festival On Tour.

The largest festival of its

kind in the U.S. made possible

with a generous grant

from Patagonia. A selected

array of exciting, adventurous

and inspirational films

with beautiful cinematography

featuring remarkable individuals

whose passion is

contagious. 4 p.m. Warner

Grand Theatre, San Pedro.

The two-hour film festival

will include raffle and door

prizes and a short hula hoop




Story time at


Free children’s story time

most Mondays (including

today) at {pages} bookstore.

904 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan

Beach. 310-318-0900.

Library gym

SuperKids Gym and

Dance will lead a family

gym format geared towards

18 mo - 8 year olds. Learn

how to help your child safely

do basic gymnastics skills

and stunts on soft mats, balance

beams, wedge mats,

spring board, mini-trampoline,

and more. In the Meeting

Room of Redondo Beach

Main library, 303 N. PCH,

Redondo Beach.. 310-318-

0675 option 6.

Mirrorless Future

of Photography

Rob Shelley, Sony sales

representative, will present a

program on mirrorless cameras

vs DSLRs and their advantages

and disadvantages.

He will discuss not only

Sony but all brands of mirrorless

cameras. Free and is

open to anyone who is interested

in photography. All are

welcome. 7 p.m. Torrance

Airport Administration

Building meeting room, 3301

Airport Drive, Torrance. For

more information, please

contact Harry Korn, (805)

340-3197, or visit




Manhattan Market

Over 45 vendors with

everything from the freshest

produce and flowers, hot

food, to prepared/packaged

foods like nut butter, olive

oils and artisanal baked

goods. There is also a kids

area with face painting and

balloon art. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

13th Street between Morningside

and Valley drives.

Parking available in the Metlox

Plaza, Lot 3 on

12th/Morningside, or the

competition during a brief

intermission. Tickets purchased

in advance are $10 at Tickets may be

purchased at the door for

$15. Incredible raffle prizes

of products donated by REI

and a hula hooping contest.

For more information and 13th/Morningside

tickets, call 310 541-7613 or

online at

8 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • January 21, 2016

Civic Center Plaza on


Financial Planning

for college funding

Topics discussed include:

How to get free money for

higher education; scholarships

and grants; tax advantaged

programs; important

deadlines and the college application

and financial aid

process. Also discussed are

avoiding common mistakes,

things to know about loans

and public and private

money sources. Free and

open to the public. No registration

required. Redondo

Main Library, 2nd floor Conference

Room, 303 N. PCH.

310-318-0675 option 5.


Retailers network




The Hermosa Beach

Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau

hosts a review of the

2015 holiday retail season

from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Hermosa

Beach Community

Center, room , 710 Pier Ave.,

room 4. Complimentary light

breakfast. RSVP’s requested.

Call (310) 376-0951 or email



Taizé Service

A meditative, multi-faith

Taizé service of Healing and

Wholeness that includes candlelight,

periods of silence,

chants and intercessory

prayer with a Prayer Team

leader. Taizé is a calming and

beautiful form of sung contemplative

prayer developed

in an ecumenical monastery

in France. 7 p.m. in the

Chapel, followed by a reception

with light refreshments.

St. Francis Episcopal

Church, 2200 Via Rosa, Palos

Verdes Estates. Taizé services

are offered throughout the

year on the fourth Tuesday of

each month. Donations welcome.

(310) 375-4617 or visit

Hermosa Cinema

Regional premiere of Racing

Extinction, the eco

thriller by the filmmakers behind

Oscar winning The

Cove. Hosted by the Her-

The 38th annual Redondo Beach Super Bowl 10K/5K Run/Walk and Fitness

Expo takes place February 7. Costumes encouraged! Sponsored by the Redondo

Beach Chamber and Visitors Bureau. For signups and more info

Photo by Elyce Angel

mosa Cinema Society (HCS), audiences

will be treated to an unforgettable

experience, seeing

this beautiful movie on the big

screen! 7:30 p.m. followed by a Q

& A session. Hermosa Community

Center, 710 Pier Ave. Tickets

$14.71. for

more info.




Annie Get Your Gun

The Aerospace Players present

Irving Berlin’s enduring tribute

to Annie Oakley Friday, Saturday

and Sunday this weekend and

next Thursday, Friday and Saturday

at the James Armstrong Theater,

3330 Civic Center Dr.,

Torrance. Adults $24, seniors and

students $22. For tickets call

(310) 781-7171 or visit




Cerveza Hermosa

release party

King Harbor Brewing Company

presents its take on a dark

Mexican lager. 4 to 8 p.m. at the

brewery, 2907 182nd St., Redondo





Here's to our health

Avoid the Super Bowl Sunday

10k/5k race day rush by picking

up your packet on Saturday at the

2-day Health & Fitness Expo. Participants

and guests can enjoy

great food, beverages and a variety

of running accessories. 10

a.m. - 4 p.m. Seaside Lagoon,

200 Portofino Way, Redondo





Redondo Beach

Super Bowl Sunday


Join more than 9,000 race enthusiasts

at Southern California’s

greatest Super Bowl Celebration.

Run, walk, or stroll . Live Music.

Costume Contest, Presented by

King Harbor Association. 6 a.m.

Seaside Lagoon, 200 Portofino

Way, Redondo Beach. To sign up




State of Manhattan

Manhattan Beach Mayor Mark

Burton recalls what happened in

2015 and lifts the veil on what to

expect in 2016. Presented by the

Manhattan Beach Chamber. 7

a.m. at the Joslyn Center, 1601 N.

Valley Dr., Manhattan Beach. $35

members, $45 non members. For

reservations call the chamber at

(310) 545-5313. B







Beach Cities Dermatology offers

two decades of specialization

Beach Cities Dermatology Medical Center has been providing specialized dermatologic

care to the South Bay for over 20 years. The highly qualified staff treats

all skin, hair and nail diseases while specializing in skin cancer and mole removal,

providing Mohs Microscopic Surgery, and complex closures and grafts. Beach

Cities Dermatology has the most current lasers to treat, among other conditions,

acne scars, psoriasis, vitiligo, melasma, rosacea, hair removal, broken capillaries,

sun damage and wrinkles. In addition they provide Botox, Dysport, Restylane, Juvéderm,

Radiesse, Perlane, and Sculptra.

With several offices, extended and weekend hours, they can accommodate busy



• Companionship / Activities of daily living

• Home Maintenance: Meals, Light Housekeeping, Errands & Appointments

• Care for Dementia / Stroke / Hospice Clients

• Complex Care of: Wounds, Feeding Tubes, Foley/Ostomy/Trach/Home Vent Clients

• Psychosocial Support: One on one conversation, Games, Walking, Shopping

• Clients are visited by Licensed Nurse Twice a Month

Accepted form of Payments:

Long Term Care Insurance/VA Insurance/ Private Pay

E-mail us at

Licensed, Bonded, Workers Comp

Caring Is What We Do Best

520 N Prospect Avenue, Suite 302, Redondo Beach

827 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 101, Rolling Hills Estates

(310) 798-1515

A decade of service from 24 Hour Home Care Buddies

24 Hour Home Care Buddies has been serving seniors and their families in the

Greater South Bay and Orange County area for over 10 years. Owner Brenda

Villanueva is an RN, BSN, CCRN and has over 30 years experience working in


Highly competent, compassionate caregivers,

trained and supervised by

Licensed Nurse/Case Manager






the healthcare industry. Home Care Buddies allows patients to live in the comfort

of their own homes. Free, no obligation assessments to discuss the perfect care


Call Brenda Villanueva, RN at (310) 756-5666 or (949) 701-7130

Torrance Memorial Health System

The Torrance Memorial Health System is comprised of the nationally recognized,

non profit Torrance Memorial Medical Center; the Torrance Memorial Physician

Network, a coordinated physician group; and Torrance Health IPA, an independent

practice association. Founded in 1925 as a 32-bed hospital, it has grown to

a 446-bed medical center providing advanced and highly compassionate medical

care. In addition to its stellar reputation, Torrance Memorial’s excellent care is

continually acknowledged. Torrance Memorial joined the ranks of the nation’s top

hospitals by earning the coveted Magnet recognition forcenters exhibiting nursing

excellence. Torrance Memorial is also ranked among the best hospitals in California

and the LA metro area by U.S. News & World Report.

G e t R e a d y F o r T h e S p r i n g !

Say Goodbye to Stubborn Fat....

• Skin Cancer & Mole Removal

• Mohs Micrographic Surgery

and Reconstruction

• Cysts, Acne, Warts & Rashes

• Leg Vein Sclerotherapy

• Acne & Accutane Treatments

• Pre-Cancer Treatments

• Propecia Available

3330 Lomita Blvd, Torrance

(310) 325-9110 •

Clear Recovery Center

Are you or a loved one suffering from depression, anxiety or addiction? While

these conditions can leave one feeling helpless and hopeless, recovery is possible.

Clear Recovery Center is a new treatment facility located in the old Body Glove

Headquarters in Redondo Beach. With over 20 years of professional experience

and a team of licensed mental health and addiction professionals, you or your

loved one can receive compassionate, effective and confidential care. Clear Recovery

Center provides the opportunity to achieve health and wellness by offering

research-based therapy, individual and family counseling. Call for a free assessment

and regain your health.

201 Herondo St, Redondo Beach

(877) 799-1985 • B

Two Coolscuplting Devices to Treat Two Areas at Once!

• Age Spots

• Glycolic & Chemical Peels

• Sculptra, Radiesse, Perlane ® ,

Juvéderm & Restylane ®

• BOTOX ® & Dysport

• Pediatric Dermatology

• Ultraviolet B & PUVA

• Latisse for longer, darker lashes

Get Ready For The New Year

Discounts Offered Now!!

Call Our Office For Details!

• Laser Surgery

• GentleLASe-Hair Removal

• IPL-Rosacea/Sun Damage

• Smoothbeam-Acne/

Wrinkle Reduction

• Vbeam-Redness/Broken Capillaries

• Fraxel – Melasma/Wrinkle Reduction

• XTRAC laser for treatment of

Psoriasis and Vitiligo




MAKE UP ~ $50.00

BLOW OUTS ~ $60.00

A DOLL UP ~ $90.00





PH: 310.200.1606

Fariba Seraj,


Providing Full


Medical Treatment,

in addition, Provides

all Laser and

Cosmetic Services.

Intense Pulsed Light

Treats Sun Damage, Brown Spots,

Age Spots, Broken Capillaries, Sun

Induced Freckles, Rosacea


Special Introductory Price

$200* (Complimentary Consulation)

*New Clients only. Must bring ad for discount.

Shelby Reed

Also providing services: Steven E. Gammer, M.D. and Geover Fernandez, M.D.



Also Providing

Licensed Aesthetician


• Glycolic and Salicylic

Chemical Resurfacing Peels

• Microdermabrasion

Erika La Ponza • Progressive Acne Treatments




State-of-the-Art Skin Care With a Personal Touch

Rolling Hills Estates – 827 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 101

Redondo Beach – 520 N Prospect Avenue, Suite 302

Culver City – 3831 Hughes Avenue, Suite 504 B



William J. Wickwire, M.D.

Get Two FULL

HOUR Microdermabrasion


for $160.

A Savings of


Neal Ammar, M.D.

12 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • January 21, 2016

January 21, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 13

Angelo Luhrson at the

Redondo Breakwater,

January 6, 2016.

Photo by Tim Tindall


Conor Beatty, Burnout,

January 11, 2016.

Photo by Peter McMahon.



Noah Collins at


January 8, 2016.

Photo by Brad Jacobson


Hermosa Beach, January 12,2016.

Photo by Bo Bridges (

Tyler Hatzikian at Hammerland, January 6, 2016.

Photo by Gus McConnell

Derek Levy at the Redondo Breakwall, January 8, 2016.

Photo by Ken Pagliaro (

Matt Meistrell at Breakwall, January 12, 2016.

Photo by Brad Jacobson (


This year’s Fifth Annual South Bay Big Wave Challenge is as much a

challenge for photographers as it is for surfers. In past years, all the

winning waves were photographed at either the Redondo Beach

Breakwall or the El Segundo Jetty. This year, El Nino has been delivering

Big Wave contenders up and down the beach, forcing photographers to

pick a break and hope they guessed right.

Hermosa Beach’s 16 Street, which rarely gets big waves, was compared

during the recent swell to Puerto Escondido by photographer and South

Bay Boardrider president Mike Balzer. El Segundo’s Grand Avenue, which

does get big waves, but is rarely ridable, also invited comparisons to mainland

Mexico’s big wave magnet during the recent swell.

The Big Wave Challenge continues through April 1. For more information

visit -Kevin Cody B

Hawaiian Ola Eliogram

at Hermosa Beach,

January 12, 2016.

Photo by Ricky Lesser


Dane Zaun at

Hermosa Beach,

January 12, 2016.

Photo by Mike Balzer

January 21, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 15

each style


by Caroline Anderson


ocal designers decked out four South Bay homes for

the holidays for the Sandpipers 23rd annual Holiday

Homes Tour, which took place Dec. 4-6. The houses

included a “Cape Cod style” home on 31st Street in Manhattan

Beach with a “Tropics in the Trees” motif; a “Bali at

the Beach” house on Gould Avenue in Hermosa Beach; a

“Classic Contemporary” home on 19th Street in Manhattan

Beach; and a “Coastal Farmhouse” on South Irena Avenue

in Redondo Beach.

DiMauro residence, 774 31st Street, Manhattan Beach

Florist: Rebecca Perry, Lily Pad Floral Design

Holiday decor and staging:

Maureen McBride, Tabula Rasa Essentials

640 19th Street, Manhattan Beach

Florist: Jon Bell, Deep Roots Garden Center

Holiday home decor and staging: Shanna Shryne Designs

Patterson residence, 632 S. Irena Ave., Redondo Beach

Florist: Jenny Barker, Magical Blooms

Holiday decor and staging: Stacey Carlson, Lavish Gift & Home

Gregoire residence, 648 Gould Ave., Hermosa Beach

Florist: Lee Hoven, Growing Wild

Holiday decor and staging: Lori Ford, Gum Tree

16 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • January 21, 2016

Helping clients create wealth

by capitalizing on South Bay

investment property opportunities

Why work with Brian:



Senior Investment Associate

Multifamily Specialist


• Successful 12yr+ track

record of specializing

exclusively in the sale

and acquisition of

South Bay apartment


• Maximum exposure to

listings for sellers and

access to exclusive

inventory for buyers.

• Unsurpassed

knowledge of multifamily


including historical

trends, real time rent

and sales data, and

long term relationships

with active principals

and brokers.

Direct: 310 802 2525 I

23740 Hawthorne Bl., 2nd Flr. Torrance, CA 90505

• Serving the South

Bay for over 35 years

• Full Service Contractor

• Complete Installation

• New Construction

• Remodeling

• Second Floors

• Additions

• Cabinets

4203 Spencer St., Torrance, CA 90503

(310)214-5049 •

Appointment Recommended

Showroom Hours: Monday Thru Friday 10-5

Closed Saturday and Sunday

License #381992

Visit Our

Kitchen &



January 21, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 17



After his family’s

Manhattan Beach house sold

in a day, artist Gary Sweeney

felt he had to do something

to honor his family

and the past.

by Caroline Anderson

Gary sitting on the back step of the house

with a photo of his parents behind him.

Photo by Caroline Anderson

The stairs his father built so his mother, who

contracted polio while working as a nurse,

could walk up more easily.

The single shower he shared with his parents and


The magnolia tree, a gift to his father from the

PTA, grew from a sapling to a two-story tree.

The house at 320 35th Street holds a lot of memories

for Gary Sweeney.

It was where his parents brought him home from

the hospital in 1952 and where he lived until he

went off to college.

But now that his parents are gone, he’s decided to

let go of the almost century-old house, which he says

is in constant need of repair.

He’s sold it to a developer who will tear it down

and build a three-story building with two condos on

the 30- by 90-foot lot.

“I’ve already apologized to all the neighbors,” said

Gary, some of whom he’s known since childhood.

“Trust me, I’m very conflicted about this. It’s very


But in the meantime, Sweeney, an artist, has

rented the house from its new owner to pay tribute

to his father and the house with an installation that

will be up through February.

The old Manhattan Beach

These days, if you asked someone in Manhattan

Beach who Mike Sweeney was, they probably

wouldn’t know.

But there was a time when everyone knew the former

mayor and hardware store owner who passed

away in 2000.

“When we explained where we lived to someone,

we’d say, ‘We live next door to Mike,’” recalled his

longtime neighbors Dixie and Jim Dawson. “People

still come by and ask, ‘How’s Mike? He still alive?’”

Mike’s mother drove the family from Oklahoma

to California during the Dust Bowl, Gary said. Mike

worked for 25 years as a detective in the Harbor Division

of the Los Angeles Police Department in San

Pedro. His experience taking photos of crime scene

victims led him to take photos of his family, which

he developed in the dark room he built as an addition

to the house.

“He was not an amateur, but a professional hobbyist,”

said Gary.

After leaving the force, he opened Sweeney’s

Hardware at Highland and Rosecrans avenues. It

was a local gathering place, where people would

come to buy nuts and bolts or to shoot the breeze

with its owner.

Mike sat on the board of many local organizations:

the PTA, the school board and the city council,

among others.

He was involved with the development of the

Chevron tank farm, on which the Manhattan Village

Mall, Marriott hotel, golf course and Manhattan Village

Senior Villas now sit, during his three terms on

the city council in the seventies and eighties.

He spearheaded the development of Sand Dune

Park, according to Gary.

At Christmas, he loved to dress up as Santa, going

around town on his sleigh, the Dawsons said.

“As our kids got older, they said, ‘Santa sounds like

Mike Sweeney,’” said Dixie Dawson.

In 1945, Gary’s mother Anita bought the house on

35th Street for $5,400 while Mike was in Guam with

the Navy.

“’We just didn’t know how we were going to afford

it,’” Gary recalled his mother telling him. His father

made $75 a month as a policeman.

At that time, The Strand was seen as an undesirable

place to live, Gary said his father had told him.

“There used to be a lot of empty lots on The

Strand,” said Gary. “My wife asked my dad, ‘Why

didn’t you buy a house on The Strand? We’d be sitting

pretty right now.’”

His father responded, “’Nobody wanted to live


“It was really sandy,” said Gary. “They really didn’t

want to live there during World War II. They thought

it would be ground zero for an invasion by the Japanese.

The poor people lived on The Strand.”

“The Beach Cities was a unique place to grow up,”

Gary said. “The fifties, sixties and seventies were

pretty carefree. We were all pretty lucky who grew

up here.”

Gary recalled walking or riding a bike to Grandview

Elementary, not far from his house. He also attended

Center School and Mira Costa High School.

“We’d go to the beach by ourselves. We played in

the street. It’s hard to imagine a lot of that stuff.”

Gary recalled frequent bad car crashes because of

the lack of stop signs in his neighborhood.

Highland Avenue was already a commercial area.

“Sloopy’s was a little place called the Plush Donkey,”

said Gary. “Moon’s Market was there and there

was a soda fountain next to it.”

He remembered busy Friday and Saturday nights

at the clubs and bars like Cisco’s.

“It was like the Sunset Strip,” he said.

In 1992, Gary received one of his first public art

commissions from the city. By the scout house near

Live Oak Park, he affixed a photo of himself as a

scout and a poem about turning 40-years-old, as he

just had at the time.

Even three decades ago, Mike knew his house

would probably be torn down one day, Gary said.

“That’s what they were doing 30 years ago,” said

Gary. “It went from middle class to upper middle

class to upper one percent. Back then people were

scraping old houses.”

The Sweeney house was a small beach cottage before

his father built the additions and added a second


When Mike passed away in 2000, he left the house

to his son and daughter Gail. Gary bought out his

sister’s share some years back. He said that while he

enjoys coming back to visit, Manhattan Beach isn’t

the same.

“The parking around here is unbelievable,” he

said. “And the traffic. I still love this place. But I live

in a pretty big house in Texas. I have a studio and a

pool. I don’t have the ocean. Your tastes change as

you get older.”

The old house, built in 1922, required constant

maintenance, he said. It needed a new roof, among

other things. So in July or August, he decided to put

it on the market. It sold the same day.

“It took me by surprise,” he said. “That was when

a mini panic set in. It really hit me: It’s no longer


He quickly came up with the idea of installing old

family photos taken by his father on the outside of

the house.

“I always wanted to honor his photos,” he said. “I

wanted to honor my father. What better way than

through his photos?”

He had them blown up and

printed on slabs of wood in Texas.

The second week of January, after

the last tenants had moved out, he

drove over in a big white truck and

began putting up the boards with

the help of a grad student.

Having built public art installations

before prepared him for the


“It’s working on a scale within

my comfort zone,” he said.

The theme is also familiar. For

one of his most well known pieces,

an installation at the Denver International

Airport called “America,

Why I Love Her,” he drove around

the country for two years, taking

photos of quirky, local attractions.

“I’ve been using nostalgia in my

art forever,” he said. “People can

relate to that family vacation

stuff – driving around in a station

wagon in the fifties and sixties.”

For this project, he said, “I don’t

want to highlight my family as

much as trigger memories. My

family wasn’t unique. We were

ridiculously typical: Two kids, a

dog. I played Little League, which

was what everyone did.”

He didn’t decide how to arrange

the photos ahead of time.

“It’s like a jigsaw puzzle for us,”

said Gary.

Late Monday morning, on January

11, Gary and his assistant had

already put up about a dozen photos

on the front of the house. Others

were leaning against the

wooden walls inside or scattered

around the back patio where his

mother used to grow orchids in a

glass house. A strip of a photo that

had been shaved off lay on the

ground. A sign with a black and

white photo of the house reading,

“The Sweeney House, February

1946,” was planted in the ground

in front of the magnolia tree,

which has begun to wither.

“It’s like it knew its time had

come,” Gary mused.

Several people walking by

stopped to look at the house or say


“That’s one of the nicest things

I’ve seen in Manhattan Beach

when a house changes,” said one


Gary has planned a launch party

on January 30 for the project,

which will be up through the

month of February.

“Every time a house like this disappears,

it’s always an end of an

era,” he said. “I needed to do something

to give it a proper farewell.”


The front of the Sweeney house. Photo by Kevin Cody

The back of the Sweeney house. Photo by Kevin Cody

18 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • January 21, 2016

each tradition


20th Anniversary at The Depot


he 20th Annual Halloween Ball benefiting the Children

of Pediatric Therapy Network was held Oct. 11th by

The Depot restaurant owner and chef Michael Shafer.

The Torrance center was founded in 1996 by therapists and

parents to provide research and education for special needs

children. For more information visit

Photos by Adrienne Slaughter

1. Annual attendees

Linda James, Malissa

Tober, Michael and

Melinda Limas.

2. PTN’s CEO Terri

Nishimura, Deanne Hanson,

Fran Day, PTN’s

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Charlotte Svolos of Torrance.

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Kishimoto of Torrance

with Mavis Bruder of

Henderson, Nevada.

8. Susan and David

Weber with Pediatric

Therapy Network’s client

Brandon Tanioka.

9. Steve Napolitano,

Senior Deputy to Fourth

District Supervisor Don

Knabe, joins PTN’s Tanesha

Sandoz, Judith Diamond

and Alysia


10. Leilani Kimmel-

Dagostino, Officer Darryl

Tatum, Adrienne and

Brett Gross with The

Depot’s owner/Chef

Michael Shafer.

5 6

1 2

3 4




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20 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • January 21, 2016

January 21, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 21




by Richard Foss

One of the marvelous things about the restaurant business is that there are so many

ways of succeeding. You can execute your grandmother’s recipes brilliantly or create

your own cuisine. All that matters is that the food makes people happy. This is a sharp

contrast to occupations like accounting, brain surgery, or nuclear reactor maintenance,

where entry to the profession is restricted by people with a rigid idea of how things

should be done.

As I looked at the candidates for the best restaurants of 2015 I was struck by the variety

of ideas and approaches. Unlike some past years there was neither a fad or a

neighborhood that dominated. There are now creative restaurants outside the downtowns

in all of the Beach Cities, and they’re serving a variety of cuisines that are exciting

and sometimes bewildering. If you look back to years when all the action was in

Manhattan or Hermosa, or when the majority of openings were Italian, Japanese, or

gastropub, the current diversity can be seen as a sign of maturity. For instance, the

four winners from Redondo this year serve four different styles of food and they’re in

three different neighborhoods. The broad range isn’t too surprising if you look at it

one way – Redondo is twice the size of its neighbor cities, with more than twice the

population, so of course it would have more dining options. It always has, but the majority

were at the relatively low end of the price and quality scale.

High-end diners in Redondo Beach used to flock to Manhattan Beach, but they now

have options not only in their own town, but in many of its neighborhoods.

Torrance is even larger and the growing scene there suggests that it too is becoming

a destination for more than seekers of exotic and authentic Asian cuisines. There are

now many roads to success, both conceptually and the old asphalt kind.

If you’ve been reading these restaurant articles for a while, you know that sometimes

I shrink or expand the list to reflect which places are really deserving of being in the

top tier. This year was a natural 10, though not without a few judgment calls. Doma

Kitchen’s transformation after being closed for almost a year almost put them back in

the new category, but I decided that there was too much continuity to compare them

to operations that started from scratch. Lou’s on the Hill was a different conundrum.

The restaurant changed hands and menus late in the year and seems to be still evolving.

The new management has lowered prices a bit and simplified the menu, which were

both good ideas, but the place still seems to be a work in progress.

In the interest of fairness, I decided that any restaurants that opened after early December

would be considered part of next year’s crop. Hop Saint, Frida, and a few others

show great promise, and it would be unfair to evaluate them prematurely.

Overall this was a very good year. Several places that didn’t make the cut this time

would have been winners in other years. These 10 would make the cut in any year

and are listed in alphabetical order.

22 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • January 21, 2016


The best new restaurants of 2015 are creative,

wildly diverse, and boldly going to places

where dining of this kind has rarely gone

Jessica Lo Ibarra and Chef Bernard Ibarra, owners of A Basq

Kitchen. Chef Bernard is executive chef at Terranea Resorts and

opened ABK to honor his Basq heritage. Photo by Mark McDermott

The future of the Redondo International Boardwalk is in

doubt due to the proposed waterfront redevelopment project,

but in the present the place is very much alive. Even in

winter diners have been braving the chilly walk from the

parking structure for meals at A Basq Kitchen, the only

Basque restaurant in Los Angeles County. Chef Bernard

Ibarra modeled the menu on the tapas-style dining in the

taverns on the coast of Northern Spain. This cuisine is hearty

and simple, based on the wholesome flavors of fresh

seafood, cured meats, and artisan cheeses, with wines and

beers to match the flavors. A Basq Kitchen has gained a following

in LA’s small Basque community and on some

evenings you may hear diners chatting in a melodious language

that is like no other spoken on Earth.

A Basq Kitchen

136 N. International Boardwalk, RB.


The Arthur J co-owner Mike

Simms with a portrait of his

grandfather Arthur J.


Photo by Brad Jacobson

The younger generation of the Giuliano family at their

Bettolino Kitchen.Siblings Vince Giuliano and Andreanna G.

Ligoure, her husband Sean Ligoure and Chef Fabio Ugoletti.

Photo by Mark McDermott

Maki Murai serves yuzu chicken gozen at Kaguru, a spinoff

of the popular LIttle Tokyo restaurants which opened on El

Segundo’s Main Street this year. Photo by Brad Jacobson

Every once in a while someone captures the spirit of an era

and manages to make it both universal and personal. The

Arthur J does that in the architecture, menu, and the general

atmosphere, evoking an updated version of the 1950s

steakhouse that is attractive to people who didn’t start dining

in fancy restaurants until half a century later. The steaks,

chops, and reimagined versions of mid-century favorites are

never campy. Everything is done for a reason, and the revived

dishes sometimes illuminate what our fathers and

grandfathers found attractive about dining out during the

Eisenhower administration. The bar is worthy of mention too.

The drinks are based on historic favorites and crafted with

the same zeal that chef David LeFevre brings to the kitchen.

The Arthur J

903 Manhattan Avenue, MB.


In a town with plenty of stylish Italian restaurants, Bettolino Kitchen stands out. Everything

about the place is both authentically Italian and very modern. This is the cuisine Italians

are enjoying today, rooted in regional and ancient ideas but served with flair. Chef Fabio

Ugoletti was a cooking teacher in Florence when he met Vince Giuliano, whose last

name you might recognize from his family’s restaurants and delis in the South Bay. The

two bonded over an appreciation for artisan Italian food and that’s what is served here.

Pastas are handmade in house, heirloom grains make an appearance with shrimp and

arugula and a gorgonzola soufflé is served with beet sauce, figs, and walnuts. The presentations

are artistic, geometric, and sometimes reminiscent of Oriental art, but the flavors

have rustic roots. Bettolino Kitchen is a leap into modernism and high style from the

family behind more

modest and conventional

eateries, and

their venture is as surprising

as it is successful.

Bettolino Kitchen

In many ways, Manhattan

House was a

gamble. The space

had been many

failed eateries in the

past decade and

some questioned the

wisdom of putting a

high-end place outside

the downtown

area. The skeptics

have been silenced,

the modern gastropub

fare has

earned a growing fan

base. Chef Diana

Stavaridis works miracles

with local produce,


vegetables grown at

211 Palos Verdes Boulevard, RB.


Many of the other restaurants on this list earned their place with

creative riffs on traditional ideas. Kagura makes it on faithful renditions

of Japanese cuisine. Their specialty is gozen, trays with as

many as a dozen items that all come out freshly made and beautifully

presented. Every element is handled with precision. Perfectly

executed tempura and tonkatsu are crisp and moist, grilled cod is

fragrant with the scent of sweet miso and seafood. The servers are

fluent and helpful to diners who are boggled by the variety on their

elegantly arranged trays. I observed the staff making accommodations

for special diets with attentive politeness. The starkly minimalist

setting may put some people off at first, but it’s a reflection

of traditional taste. Everything

about this experience is Japanese,

as befits this spinoff of a popular

Little Tokyo restaurant.


403 Main Street, ES.

No website yet.


Manhattan House chef Diana Stavaridis. Photo by

Brad Jacobson

Adventurous 10 cont. on page 24

January 21, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 23

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local elementary schools. The “carrotology” plate shows the flavors that

can be coaxed out of the most common root vegetables. Seafood and

meat dishes have been strong too, and show the subtle touch of a chef

who deftly combines Middle Eastern and Asian ideas with American favorites.

The bar is lively and offers some ideas that sound wacky but go

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Korean cuisine has been one of the big success stories of the last

decade. Creative fusions like bulgogi tacos are now part of the American

culinary mainstream. The Japanese have fused their ideas with Korean

techniques too and developed dishes that round the rough edges

of pepper and vinegar while keeping the soul of the cuisine intact.

Other area restaurants in the area have served this Japanese style of

tabletop barbecue for years, but Manpuku stands out for a particularly

successful and approachable version. Their menu has a well translated

array of options that includes several complete dinners at reasonable

prices. The helpful servers are ready to explain unfamiliar items. Torrance

has become a destination for adventurous diners from a wide radius.

Manpuku is

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& Birreria

1870 W. Carson, Torrance.

(424) 271-7830

The restaurant that brought Montreal-style

Italian food to the South

Bay keeps adding ambitious items.

They’re serving braised beef

cheeks, lobster poutine and other

things that seem unlikely in a place

called a pizzeria. The core of pastas

and pizzas is still there and includes

toppings like rosemary lamb, dandelion

root with spinach and other

adventurous offerings. Chef Orlando Mulé takes a hands-on approach,

smoking the brisket and salmon and making his own mozzarella cheese

24 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • January 21, 2016

Chef Orlando Mulé, with artwork by his wife, the artist Carole Beauvais,

opened Orlando’s Pizzeria & Birreria shortly after arriving in Redondo Beach

from Montreal. Photo by Mark McDermott

daily. The location next to a doughnut shop and liquor store gives no

hint of culinary ambition, but this is the most eclectic restaurant to open

in Redondo in years.

1000 Torrance Boulevard, RB.

(310) 792-9300

Chef Hiro Koizumi in the act of creation at Pia, his intimate restaurant on the International

Boardwalk. Photo by Mark McDermott

The oddest, most endearing restaurant of the year is Pia, a tiny Italian-

Japanese fusion place run by a hard working fellow named Hiro. After

he welcomes you, takes your order and serves your drinks, Hiro goes

back to the kitchen and works wonders. The short menu is augmented

by daily specials that are scrawled on sheets of paper posted on the

wall. They usually share the focus on fresh seafood and vegetable pastas.

The little space has character thanks to enigmatic and surreal art

on the walls. It’s a charming environment in which to enjoy crab salad,

spaghetti with seafood and ginger, or excellent mushroom

pasta. Only about a dozen people can dine at a


time, so reservations are recommended, It’s worth some

planning to experience this little gem.

112 International Boardwalk, RB.

(310) 379-0915

Adventurous 10 cont. on page 26

January 21, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 25

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The most high-concept opening of the 2015 was also one of the most

successful. Chef Anne Conness combines nineteenth century Californian

flavors with contemporary Mexican regional ideas in a way that is

unique. You won’t get some of these dishes anywhere else. There are

other restaurants that are serving duck confit with chanterelle mushrooms,

but here they’re inside a tamale with mole sauce and it works

spectacularly well. The success of this sophisticated place in a section

of Main Street better known for pizza and

burgers is another sign that El Segundo is fastdeveloping

dining scene is rivaling their

neighbors to the south.

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26 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • January 21, 2016




John McHugh’s famous photograph

of David Hockney almost didn’t

happen because “it seemed like

such an obvious picture.”

David Hockney. Photo by John McHugh

John McHugh. Photo by Bondo Wyszpolski

by Bondo Wyszpolski

It’s a big job, massive in fact and never ending, but someone’s got to

photograph the visual artists who have made Los Angeles a tier one

contender for Art Capital of the World. Right now it seems the person

with the mop and broom is Jim McHugh. McHugh’s work, as well as several

pieces by some of the artists he’s photographed, is on view through

January at ESMoA in El Segundo. The show is curated by KCRW “Art Talk”

host Edward Goldman,

Los Angeles is McHugh’s stomping ground and milieu. His tunesmith

grandfather Jimmy McHugh co-wrote “I’m In the Mood For Love” and “I

Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” among many others, including “South

American Way” made famous by Carmen Miranda. His father was a theatrical

agent, representing most of the cast of “The Beverly Hillbillies.” His

mother, who came to L.A. from Minnesota in the 1940s, was a Hollywoodbased

actress. Her claim to fame, as such, was as the native princess

(Athena) opposite Johnny Weissmuller in “Tarzan and the Amazons” (1945).

McHugh’s interest in photography goes back to his childhood. Later,

while attending UCLA film school he began taking pictures for a friend

who wrote for English newspapers. After that, he says, well, “It just sort

of took off. I started working for Women’s Wear and Newsweek,” and for

People Magazine when it was still in its infancy.

How did that happen? It was, McHugh says, “one of those Friday afternoons

at 5 o’clock when they couldn’t get all the other people. I had been

in the office and they called me and -- if you do good on that first assignment,

well, there you are. If you don’t, well, good-bye. I wound up working

for them for 25 years.

“I’ve shot hundreds of covers and thousands of stories and been all over

the world for People. I was also on the masthead of Architectural Digest

for 25 years. I shot many, many covers and interiors. So I have a very deep,

professional, editorial magazine background.”

Shooting for commercial magazines enabled McHugh to hone his technical

skills. But all of these publications have photo editors and an editorial

slant and, as McHugh points out, you have to wear many different hats.

They may not always be the hats you’d pick for yourself, but if you’re freelancing

or simply don’t want the next job to go to someone else, you’ll put

on whatever hat is called for. But when photographers embark on projects

of their own, well, the hats are now of his or her own choosing, aren’t


Learning from others

“Touch” -- that’s the name of the show

at ESMoA -- is a cornucopia of artist portraits

taken over the past 30 something

years. It’s hard to highlight some without

leaving out others just as highly

praised, but among the dozens and

dozens one finds are James Turrell, Ed

Ruscha, Raymond Pettibon, John

Baldessari, Betye Saar, Robbie Conal, De

Wain Valentine, Ed Moses, Dennis Hopper,

Mike Kelley, Richard Serra, Sam


“These artist pieces began as a personal

project,” McHugh says. Inspired

by Arnold Newman (who photographed

Stravinsky and Giacometti and other legends

of an earlier generation), McHugh

bought a 4x5 camera. For People and

other magazines he’d been using a

35mm camera, ideal for the quick, spontaneous

shot. But what McHugh was

now interested in was the kind of subtle

but powerful shot one might also associate

with Yousuf Karsh, whose pictures

of Ernest Hemingway and Winston

Churchill are very well known.

Over the years McHugh had photographed several artists, Beatrice Wood

and Lita Albuquerque and so on, as well as Billy Al Bengston who, looking

over the work, told him, “These are really good. You should do this, you

should really focus on this.”

McHugh briefly pauses. “Billy Al Bengston changed everything.”

Bengston introduced him to Jim Corcoran, owner of the prestigious James

Corcoran Gallery, and McHugh was given names of artists he should go

out and shoot: “(Richard) Diebenkorn and Sam Francis, very famous people

who, at the time, I had no idea who they were; and Billy got me phone

numbers and”--well, one artist then recommended another and that’s how

it snowballed.

“You could only do it if you had no idea who they were,” McHugh says

with a laugh. “But I was pretty good at photographing people and moving

people around because of the commercial work.”

One of the photographs for which McHugh is best known is of David

Hockney. The painter Don Bachardy had brought the two together.

Don Bachardy. Photo by John McHugh

Artist David Hockney with Chloe McHugh and Jim McHugh, and Hockney’s

2005 portrait of them. Photo by Jim McHugh

“The thing about David is that if you ask him something, he will probably

want to do it now, like now. But I didn’t know that at the time.” So,

after getting Hockney on the line, introducing himself and saying he’d like

to do a portrait photograph, this is pretty much what McHugh heard: “Fine.

Why don’t you come up now.”

Well, McHugh wasn’t prepared for that response, didn’t have his equipment

ready or his assistant with him, and told Hockney no, let me call you

back, we’ll set up another time. “And I hung up. And then I thought, Are

you crazy? If you have to take the gardener with you to help you, you have

to go there.”

Finding someone to go along (presumably not the gardener), McHugh

drove up to Hockney’s residence, “and we took this picture of David, which

is probably the most famous picture I have,” the one of Hockney in his

pink-striped shirt.

But it almost didn’t happen. “It seemed like such an obvious picture, and

he kept going over there and I’m, Oh, no; I was really young and I had my

own ideas and everything. And then finally at the end of the day I thought,

Well, okay, let’s just do this. Of course, it became this very famous picture.

“So now I listen to people. You’ll be photographing somewhere and the

janitor will say, Oh, you know, there’s this great thing in the backyard…

And now it’s like, Oh? What’s in the backyard?--because people will have

a good idea.”

McHugh and Hockney have now been friends for over 30 years, and

that’s how it started, but those little anecdotes also contain useful bits of

wisdom for any aspiring photographer.

Shortly thereafter, McHugh was given a show at the James Corcoran

Gallery, a feather anyone would happily put in their cap.

Thinking on the run

Looking at the portraits on the walls of ESMoA, one notes that the pictures

differ in many ways, from size and tonality to texture. Evidently,

many types of cameras and film were used. It appears that McHugh must

have established a rapport with each artist before deciding how best to

photograph them and bring out their inner sensibility.

“I’d love to say, Oh, that’s true,” he replies. “I think about it -- but I don’t

think about it so much: I have a sense of where things are.”

He mentions how he photographed Robert Irwin, of whom he knew little,

only his having been granted a MacArthur “Genius” Award.

“Because he was in this little apartment in Westwood, not in a big studio,

I didn’t know what to do,” McHugh says.” But maybe this is where thinking

on one’s feet comes in. “We hung this white sheet on the window outside

and fired a light through it, and just did this headshot, this kind of

glowing headshot of Bob with this white burning from behind him, like a

light table burning, like that’s what Light and Space art was. But we had

McHugh cont. on page 30

28 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • January 21, 2016

January 21, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 29

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no idea; we just did that.”

When you’re on your own like that, McHugh says, you can wing it. Be

spontaneous, intuitive. But if you’re shooting for someone else and trying

to guess what they want, “you’re kind of there, but you’re also going

through this laundry list of ‘Should I get his wife?’ ‘Should I get the dog to

jump on the table?’ all these little things. So you’re not actually really


Doing it for oneself, thrown back on one’s own inner resources, one can

step away from the norm or the expected, and perhaps something unique

will pop into or out of the viewfinder.

Passing through time

Portrait photography may be the focus of “Touch” (which you can only

do with your eyes, by the way), but Jim McHugh has also been photographing

landmark buildings and other structures throughout Los Angeles.

“I like architecture a lot,” he says. “I started doing that awhile ago, like

20 years ago, really because work started slowing down and I had time on

my hands.”

McHugh points out that at the time people weren’t paying much attention

to the changing areas of Hollywood and downtown L.A. Structures

that should have been spared, usually weren’t. He realized long ago that

his daughter, Chloe, who’s now 25, was never going to see the same Los

Angeles that he grew up seeing: “So I wanted to photograph the city.”

McHugh, naturally, photographs buildings as differently as he does people,

but in another sense he photographs them the same way, bringing out

their substance and character. Personally I’m drawn to his rich, color-saturated

night shots of L.A. and Hollywood Hotels (The DuBarry, the Hotel

Roosevelt) and theaters (the Orpheum). There’s a feel to many of them

that’s sensuous with a kind of fin de siècle noir mixed in.

Some of these images, a small percentage since McHugh has roughly

4,000 shots of Los Angeles, have been published in book form, and also

can be seen online.

“I just sort of got into this L.A. thing. I really understood the city was

changing drastically.”

One big visual swirl

The genesis of “Touch” came about during one of Edward Goldman’s

studio visits, which he often organizes for a small group of people interested

in art and in observing artists in their daily environment. He’d met

McHugh through a mutual friend and was invited to visit him at his house

in Hancock Park to see his portfolio.

“I went there with a group of adventurous Angelenos, who are part of

Sam Francis. Photo by John McHugh

my Fine Art of Art

Collecting Class,”

Goldman says. “Jim

gave us a presentation,

which blew our

minds. His house is

jam-packed with hundreds

of his photo

portraits of Los Angeles

artists in their studios,

plus dozens of

original artworks by

some of these artists. I

remember telling him

that it felt like a

unique and privileged

glimpse into the very

essence of the Los Angeles

art scene over

the last few decades.

Among the participants

of this visit

were Eva and Brian

Sweeney, founders of


“Over the following

weeks and months,”

he continues, “we had a conversation about how intriguing it would be to

organize an exhibition in their museum which would have a similar mixture

of Jim’s photography and original artworks. We ended up with an exhibition

which gives a “touch,” or glimpse, of the Los Angeles art scene.

It’s definitely not your traditional, academic, linear storytelling.”

Bernhard Zuenkeler soon became an active participant as well, since he’s

organized (and curated) virtually all of ESMoA’s shows since day one -- day

one being Jan. 27, 2013.

Goldman, who hosts KCRW’s “Art Talk” each Tuesday evening, is thoroughly

steeped in art, both local and international, so clearly he was the

best person around to be handed the curatorial reins. Zuenkeler, meanwhile,

has shown time and again that when it comes to visualizing art show

installations he’s a man who takes chances.

Initially, McHugh was skeptical about how Zuenkeler wanted the show

to hang. “But when we were done I realized that it was just brilliant. I

would never have conceived of that. And I see people come in, and they

really like it.”

What Zuenkeler and Goldman have created is a show that travels around

the room like a wave, weaving in images small and large, and essentially

giving them equal weight. In some ways it retains the feel of an artist’s

studio, with images pinned up here and there, almost haphazardly. “Touch”

was a year in the making and there were many more images that could

have been included. And then, of course, there’s the added bonus of adding

numerous pieces by the artists themselves, including Alison Saar’s “En

Pointe” and Hockney’s double portrait of McHugh and his daughter,

painted in 2005.

“I don’t think anybody’s ever done this sort of photography-artwork (mix)

before,” McHugh says. It’s evident, as we crisscross the gallery, that he’s

immensely pleased with how it all turned out. As well he should be, because

it’s a smart exhibition, and one that seems to dance before our very


Touch is on view through January 31 at ESMoA, 208 Main Street, El Segundo.

General opening hours, Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (424) 277-

1020 or go to B

30 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • January 21, 2016

January 21, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 31

Chasing purple blobs

by Eddie Solt

“Surfing big waves isn’t only about the actual act of catching big waves. It’s about making

the decisions to drop everything and be there at the right time.” - Scotty Bredesen

Scotty Bredesen at Puerto Escondido, Mexico, winter 2015. Photo by Mariana Marenalma

The buoys were banging. It was the first big

swell of the season. Ocean Beach, just

south of San Francisco cradles swells. With

no natural barriers the break welcomes any

ocean action, from ripples to mountains. called December 16, 2013 “Macking


“That day was my first time surfing giant

Ocean Beach. It’s a heavy paddle out, like six to

eight football fields out,” Scotty Bredesen said.

“There are different zones you have to paddle

through to get to the outside. I just squeaked by

and scored an epic session.”

Now when the buoys are banging, Bredesen

can often be found making a cannonball run up

the 5 with his Joe Bark guns piled in his vintage

Chevy Suburban, sans surf stickers for discreteness.

“Surfing big waves isn’t only about the actual

act of catching big waves. It’s about making the

decisions to drop everything and be there at the

right time,” he said.

The Palos Verdes native comes from a South

Bay surfing family. His dad Chris was a Los Angeles

County Lifeguard and in the ‘60s a member

of the Greg Noll Surf Team. Today he is a member

the Haggerty’s Surf Club and the Hap Jacobs

Surf Team. Scotty’s older brother, Chris Jr., was

seen all through the pages of the now defunct

Longboard Magazine during the zine’s heyday, 15

years ago, performing his progressive longboarding

style. Chris Jr. is also a lifeguard and member

of the Jacob’s Surf team.

Every summer growing up the Bredesens vacationed

on Maui with the Meistrell family, owners

of Body Glove and Dive N’ Surf.

“I learned to surf at Ka’anapali Point when I

was five, after doing the whole boogie board

shorebreak thing,” Bredesen said.

In high school, Bredesen was on the Peninsula

High Surf Team, which dominated the South Bay

until 2005 when the hill’s top surfers migrated to

the newly opened Palos Verdes High. Bredesen

was an anchor for the longboard team for four

years and in his senior year won the All Star title.

“Scotty was a pudgy, little short kid,” recalled

longboarder Shawn O’Brien, who was a judge

during Bredesen’s high school years. “After he

won the all star meet, the judges threw him upside

down in a trashcan.”

But he traces his big wave obsession back to

when he was nine years old and became a Los

Angeles County Junior Lifeguard. “JG’s laid the

foundation for my life,” Bredesen said. “It’s the

reason I became a LA County Lifeguard.”

Bredesen, now 29, has been a recurrent lifeguard

for 10 years.

“Becoming a lifeguard shaped me into being a

complete waterman,” he said. “I grew up looking

up to my dad and Uncle Wally Millican. I see myself

emulating Lifeguard Captain Tom Seth when

I’m older, having a loving family and being in


Four years ago Bredesen was visiting a friend

up in Cen-Cal. The surf report forecasted an epic

swell, perfect for lighting up the region’s secret

reefs. Bredesen borrowed Joe Bark’s back-up gun

and paddled out in hammering, triple overhead


“I got caught inside and was thrown into full

survival mode,” he said. “I never had been so

sketched out in my life. That’s when I was

hooked, especially after talking about the waves

afterwards, over a few beers.

The quest for big waves became the focus Bredesen’s

life: lifeguarding in the summer and

“chasing the dream” of the heavies in winter.

“I remember when Scotty came up to me very

serious, and said ‘Jamie, I want to do this,’” Jamie

Meistrell recalled. “I’ve known him since we

we’re in diapers. It was from there I saw him


Another person Bredesen talked to was fellow

Palos Verdes surfer Joe Bark. Bredesen grew up

with a family quiver of Bark surfboards and paddleboards.

“Your surfboard is the last thing you want to

worry about in big surf,” Bredesen said. “Joe’s

one of the best glassers and shapers in the world.

I always see his boards at the top big wave


“He’s always believed in me and had my back,”

Bredesen added. “He’s showed me a new love for

the ocean.”

With Bark and other sponsors, including Body

Glove, Zico coconut water, and Freestyle watches

(he was in the Freestyle Watch ad in the “big”

June 2014 issue of Surfer Magazine), he feels he

has to put himself out there.

“The easy part is catching waves. Performing

comes natural,” he said. “The anxiety is going

somewhere expected but unexpected at the sametime

and putting yourself in the spot to make that

decision to paddle out.”

Over the last four years, Bredesen has been

chasing bomboras up and down the California

coast, as well as in Mexico.

Bredesen took his worst thrashing two winters

ago at Todos Santos, 13 miles off Ensenada. The

big, right hand point break was maxing out at 30-

plus feet.

“I took a set wave on the head and was swallowed

into deep water and feeling the pressure

on my ears,” Bredesen said. “Then I was dragged

inside, into the rocks that are the size of Volkswagens,

while being held under almost the entire

way. I was gasping for air in the foam.”

When the rescue ski picked him up he had a

bloody nose and a snapped gun.

While recovering on the boat, he questioned

what he was doing there.

The answer, he decided was “Chasing big

waves, big dreams, experiencing the adventure.

It makes you grow, not just as a surfer, but as a


He waxed up his full-on, 10-foot-6 Bark rhino

chaser, a board he had yet to even paddle and

jumped off the boat. Then he made the same mistake

that had gotten him in trouble earlier in the

day. He went for a small wave, got caught inside

and took the next set on the head.

But this time, he was able to get back out to the


“Here I was with a few of my idols and for a

moment I reflected, ‘Wow.’ Then I looked up and

saw a set on the horizon. I was in the right spot.”

“Dropping in I could hear the hoots and hollers

from my fellow surfers and the boat crews,” he

said. “I felt redeemed. I didn’t give up and it paid


Puerto Escondido is another barreling Mexican

break that Bredesen has established himself, at a


“The wave pops up and peaks out of nowhere

and you can’t track it. The wave has to choose

you.” he said. “You have to be at the right spot at

the right time and hope the wave you’re pulling

into doesn’t gobble you up.”

Last May, on his fifth trip to Puerto, Bredesen

found himself in a lineup of international surf


“Sharing a line-up with surfers whom I respect

is mind blowing,” he said. “The local Puerto community

is especially deserving of respect. Oscar

Moncada and Coco Nogales are two of the local

surfers I look up to.”

After charging through the shorebreak, Bredesen

mistimed his paddle out and was thrashed

by a double overhead, pitching lip.

“It felt like a cement truck was pouring down

on me while I was pinned to the ocean floor,” he


On his second attempt to paddle out, he barely

pushed through to the outside.

“Once I got my bearings straight, a set wave

came to me and I found my rhythm,” he said.

“You have to catch that one right wave to get the

rhythm going.”

A freak left peaked 20 yards south and coming

straight at him.

“My eye lit up. I dropped into a Hail Mary,” he


He was swallowed up by the 20 foot, closing

tube, slide slipping at one point and grabbing a

rail while going for broke.

“When I was spit out, I realized I had just

caught the barrel of my life,” he said.

Bredesen’s current goal is to get a bomb at

Mavericks, California’s most fabled big wave

spot. Qualifying for the World Surf League Big

Wave Tour is another fantasy that plays in his

head, but it’s not what motivates him.

“There are 1,000s of surfers better than me. I’m

not even in the ballpark with some of the great

South Bay, big wave surfers,” he said. “Chasing

purple blobs is about growing. Besides the obvious

growth as a surfer – trying to pull in deeper

and catch bigger waves – you grow as a person.

When you come back from a trip, you’re not the

same person you were when you left.” B

32 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • January 21, 2016

Month day, year • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 33




Three year varsity junior has

nearly 1,000 points and a

life outside basketball

by Randy Angel

34 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • January 21, 2016

Mira Costa girls basketball sharpshooter Allie Navarette is nearing the 1,000 point mark

in only her junior year, thanks to countless hours at Mustang practices, a shooting coach

and playing club ball. And still she makes time to volunteer with the Friendship Circle,

which matches her with special needs students and their families, for one-to-one peer mentoring

and social programs.

“Ever since I volunteered to help teach basketball to the kids I have absolutely fallen in love

with all of them and now I attend the Friendship Circle club meetings at school, volunteer for

sporting activities and attend their photo-shoots,” Navarette said. “Being around them is so rewarding

and I really consider myself lucky for being able to become so close to them. Sometimes

I’ll miss a layup, then think about kids who can’t even hit the rim. It makes me appreciate the

things I take for granted.”

“Allie is like a pied-piper. The Friendship Circle kids flock to her,” said Mustang head coach

John Lapham, who has watched Navarette’s leadership skills evolve since she became one of

three freshman to play on his varsity squad two years ago.

Navarette said Lapham holds every player accountable, which has made her a better team

leader. With only three returning varsity players on this year’s squad, the eyes of opposing

coaches – along with the Mustang boosters – are on Navarette.

She led Mira Costa in points (14.8 per game) and rebounds (5.6 per game) last season, leading

the Mustangs to the CIF-Southern Section Division 2AA championship game while averaging

17.2 points per game in the postseason.

In this year’s Bay League opener at Palos Verdes on Jan. 12, Navarette was double- and triple

teamed, allowing longtime friend and three-year varsity member junior guard Halle Maeda to

score 21 points in a 43-33 victory.

Navarette still managed 12 points and at press time was only 47 points short of reaching the

Despite her height, Mira Costa

junior forward Allie Navarette

counts outside shooting as

one of her strengths.

Photo by Ray Vidal

1,000 point mark.

“I didn’t know there was a 1,000 point club when I was younger,”

Navarette said. “I’m really excited about it and am so proud, not only

for myself, but for my teammates who have made it possible.”

She hopes to make a run at Mira Costa’s all-time point record held

by Mikah Maly-Karros, who set the mark of 2,256 in 2008.

Navarette’s success on the hardwood almost didn’t materialize. She

said she was a better soccer player growing up, competing on AYSO,

club and select teams.

“With soccer and basketball played during the same season, I had to

make a decision,” Navarette said. “Because of my height (she is now 6-

feet); I chose basketball when I was in 5th grade.”

The Torrance resident transferred from Calle Mayor to Manhattan

Beach Middle School to begin 6th grade.

Navarette credits her height to her mother Stephanie Martin, who

also is 6-feet tall, but said her athletic genes come from her father Mike

Navarette, a former basketball and football player.

“My dad introduced me to basketball when I was 5 years old,” Allie

said. “He coached a team of me and a my friends in Manhattan Beach

Youth Basketball. He’s always been a big part of my life.”

Navarette began playing club ball in 4th grade and currently competes

for Orange County-based Cal Swish. While she considers her

height an asset, Navarette feels the strength of her game is her outside

shooting, which forces opposing teams to alter their strategy.

“I’m working on getting lower on my dribbling,” Navarette explained.

“In high school I’m one of the taller players, but in club, I’m on the

shorter side.”

Navarette said making Mira Costa’s varsity team as a freshman was

a goal of hers. She attended numerous Mustang games when she was

in middle school, watching stars Mikah Maly-Karros, Megan Richardson,

Amanda Johnson and Kylie Nakamine.

In 2013, Navarette joined Alexa Underwood and Maeda as three

freshmen who gained valuable playing time for the Mustangs. That

year, the team reached the CIF-SS Division 2AA championship game

and the quarterfinals of the State Regional tournament.

Navarette credits that season’s senior leaders Camille Mills and

Michelle Lanterman in helping her deal with pressure and become a

leader, herself.

“There was some resentment among upper-class players about having

three freshmen on the team,” Navarette recalled. “But Camille and

Michelle treated us as teammates, not just freshman. It was a rollercoaster

season, but they were so helpful in teaching us how to play at

a highly-competitive level.”

Navarette thinks back to that season when mentoring younger players

on this year’s Mustang squad.

“I’m extremely competitive and sometimes I forget I’m a team leader

and role model,” Navarette admitted. “I’m working on becoming more

vocal and positive. Sometimes I can be hard on other players.”

“Allie has developed a great deal as a scorer and overall as a basketball

player. She's added a variety of inside moves, really improved her outside

shot and also developed more toughness in the post,” Lapham said. “Despite

her relatively slender frame, she is much more willing to bang with

post defenders than she was last season.”

“Redondo will be our toughest competition in the Bay League,” Navarette

said. “But if you really want something, you can get it. Even though our

record is not as good at this point (9-5 at press time), we have a very young

team and it’s better to make mistakes earlier than later in the season.”

“Having a scorer of Allie's talents has really paid off for our team,”

Lapham said. “Opposing teams have to be aware of her at all times, and

she gives us a great go-to option in a tight game. We are a very young team

this season, having lost 11 players from last year's varsity. Allie's experience

is invaluable. She's already played in 15 CIF or State playoff games

and this really gives our younger players a lot of confidence.”

In addition to her dad, Navarette credits her success to Cal Swish club

coach Russ Davis and her shooting coach of six years Tony Hood.

Playing club ball has been a high point of Navarette’s career, allowing

her to play with elite players from outside the South Bay and travel

throughout the United States. She said she has in depth talks with Coach

Russ Davis not only about basketball, but life in general.

“Allie is very athletic and plays extremely hard,” Davis said. “Her offense

is coming around but I think her strength is how she competes and goes

all out. She has a bright future and she will make a college coach happy

one day. I love coaching Allie because she always gives 100 percent.”

Navarette said she has become the person she is today thanks to close

friends, having a strong relationship with her grandmother while growing

up and her mother who “has helped me deal with being a teenager.”

Navarette is hoping for a basketball scholarship and has been talking

with some schools, but feels in no hurry to make a decision.

The U.S history buff said teaching is a potential career choice.

“One thing is certain,” Navarette said, “my future will include basketball

and helping kids.” B

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January 21, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 35

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