I'm convinced that if we could get Sacramento and San Francisco politicos to come south, the Legislators and the Constitutional Officers would learn how a market economy really works. In spite of the dour news coming from the Capitol, it is refreshing to see and share business success stories in Southern California where we are still making the American dream happen:
On the Food Front: Nostalgic and hip, Avenida Del Mar in San Clemente is a great place to stroll, shop and dine, and everything you'd expect a beach city downtown to be. Wine tasting, boutique and gift shops, convenience stores for life's needs and dining establishments abound. One special find is Nick's San Clemente at 213 Avendida Del Mar, featuring fresh fish, sushi, steaks as well as traditional burgers, in an upscale and relaxing environment, with a full and lively bar, at a reasonable price. Be sure to make week-end reservations or you may stroll around town for a few hours while waiting.
Downtown San Juan Capistrano offers one of my favorites for week-end brunch or breakfast. The Ramos House, located behind the depot, is always packed and for good cause. John's unique comfort foods, and salads served in a rustic setting such as bacon and egg scramble, fried chicken green salad with corn bread and buttermilk dressing, crab hash, lox, cinnamon-apple beignets, and mouthwatering deserts can't be beat.
Or for rooftop view dining, with or without the family, another hot spot is the outdoor patio at Ruby's on Camino Capistrano in SJC. Overlooking the Mission and historic downtown, Ruby's features a full bar, hors d'oeuvres and of course the traditional Ruby's fare served western style.
Planning a day of whale-watching , fishing, boating or just strolling in the harbor? Dana Wharf Sports Fishing can provide the activities to build up an appetite for breakfast, lunch or dinner at Proud Mary's. Established in the 1970's by Mary Merrill, mother of five, this casual, on the water, local favorite has thrived through recessions and catastrophe. Destroyed a few years ago by fire, current owners Steve and Julie Zdrakas, renovated and much improved the patio dining experience and also added a bar. Drop by and enjoy!
For breath taking harbor views and great traditional steak, chicken and fish favorites, don't forget Cannons in Dana Point. Reminiscent of Monaco, the patio for cocktails or dining can't be beat, and neither can the travel time! One of the first major Dana Point restaurants, Greg Mortimer and his crew have kept pace with the changing times and weathered economic cycles by delivering reasonably priced food, great service and the best view in town.
From Food to Industry: It's tough to enjoy dining out if you don't have a job, so I am pleased to report successful businesses and potential employment opportunities:
Bio-Tech and Bio Med continues to be a thriving (but still too small) segment of our workforce. Operating in pods around our major universities we must encourage growth in the manufacturing sector, which has been made a little more difficult with the new regulations. But those brave souls willing to expand and hire deserve kudos. In that effort I toured the Takeda facility in San Diego and attended the annual Bio Tech Legislative Reception. Genentech in Oceanside, Life Technologies in Carlsbad and other well respected name firms, as well as several start-ups, were present to explain their company's focus in California. Irvine is also a hot bed for innovation in the medical device arena and I hope to visit soon with firms in OC to check their status.
Providing clean air, alternative fuel vehicles is a must for companies to meet the rather draconian requirements of California's clean air requirements. Family-owned Ware Disposal provides waste hauling for a variety of municipalities and special districts and volume plus increasing costs requires the company remain innovative to compete. I recently visited the Compressed Natural Gas facility in Fullerton, and toured the LEEDS certified building and refuse operation. The company is hiring in key positions and has made huge capital commitments in a number of Orange County locations to ensure they remain viable for the long-term. See here for more information.
I also visited the grand opening of the Cox Cable store in Oceanside, as the company now offers cell-phone service and will be hiring in well-paid positions for service, sales, as well as part-time store "greeters." Check for other locations near you as the company, expands and hires to facilitate their new market opportunities.