Newport Beach Independent January 13, 2017 : Page 1

Lifescapes Creates Landscape Design for Galleria in Philippines PAGE 4 | Biz Buzz Newport Pier Eatery Gets Thumbs Up From City Council PAGE 5 | Communities Off the Menu Column Offers Restaurant Week Menu Musings PAGE 12 | Stepping Out online at newportbeachindy.com Independent “For Locals, by Locals” COURTESY OF PELICAN HILL NEWPORT BEACH January 13, 2017 | Volume VIII, Issue 2 Museum Files Lawsuit Against Museum House Petition By Sara Hall | NB Indy The petition opposing the Newport Beach City Council’s approval of the controversial condominium tower, Mu-seum House, should be found “deficient and voided,” according to a lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court by the Orange County Museum of Art. OCMA is asking the Court to invali-date the referendum petition, which has been headed up by Line in the Sand. Newport Beach City Council and city clerk Leilani Brown are named as respondents. “A legal analysis finding that the refer-endum petition failed to meet the most basic and mandatory requirements of California’s election law,” and it was “defective and misleading,” OCMA claims in a press release. “It failed to provide the full text of the general plan amendments, omitted or visually altered required documents, and failed to in-clude text throughout the document in the minimum font size required by law.” Line in the Sand has no comment at this time, said member Dorothy Kraus. City Council voted 6-1 on Nov. 29 in favor of the 25-story, 100-unit condo-minium tower in Newport Center. In a decision harshly-criticized by petitioners, Council required that the petition include the extensive environ-mental analysis of the project and other supporting documents. The petition’s proponents spent more than $46,500 to print 425 petitions, which each included about 1,100 pages. Orange County Registrar of Voters is currently reviewing the petition. (clockwise): Chef Deborah Schneider of SOL Cocina, Chef Yvon Goetz of The Winery Restauant, Chef Jonah Amodt of Andrea, Chef Cathy Pavlos of Provenance, Chef Jon Blackford of A Restaurant. Eelgrass Restoration Update By Sara Hall | NB Indy Eelgrass is alive and well in the Upper Newport Bay, according to an expert who provided an update on the restoration project to the Newport Beach Harbor Commission this week. They have been working to pre-serve and restore the important plant for several years now, said Orange County Coastkeeper Marine Restora-tion Director Sara Briley, who gave EELGRASS Page 14 Restaurant Week is Served Jan. 16-29 By Christopher Trela | NB Indy Grab a fork and prepare to dig into the 11th annual Newport Beach Res-taurant Week, which runs Jan. 16-29. More than 60 restaurants through-out the city are participating in this year’s 14-day eating extravaganza, presented by Dine Newport Beach (a division of Newport Beach & Co.) and the Newport Beach Restaurant Association. Restaurant Week offers diners the opportunity to try special prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus at a variety of price points: $10 to $25 for lunch, and $20 to $50 for dinner. Restaurants range from small bistros such as Ses-sions West Coast Deli, Tackle Box and Dory Deli to upscale restaurants like Andrea, A Restaurant, The Winery, and Fig & Olive. “Dining is one of our signature at-tractions,” said Gary Sherwin, president and CEO of Newport Beach & Co. “We have well over 500 restaurants in the city. It’s part of the unique aspira-tional experience. It’s critical in terms RESTAURANT WEEK Page 14

Eelgrass Restoration Update

Sara Hall | NB Indy

Eelgrass is alive and well in the Upper Newport Bay, according to an expert who provided an update on the restoration project to the Newport Beach Harbor Commission this week.

They have been working to preserve and restore the important plant for several years now, said Orange County Coastkeeper Marine Restoration Director Sara Briley, who gave a presentation to the Commission on Wednesday.

“It’s a good time for eelgrass in the bay,” Briley said. “We’re really excited.”

In a map display, Briley pointed out the abundance of eelgrass in 2004 nearly one acre in Upper Newport Bay - compared to three years later when there was virtually none.

“This is really one of the reasons why we started our eelgrass restoration project at Coastkeeper,” Briley said.

During that time a major dredging project was happening in the bay, which - while it was a good thing for eelgrass in the long run - caused a number of problems in the short term, she explained.

The goal was to bring back that one acre and establish a sustainable eelgrass habitat in Upper Newport Bay, she said.

They have been working on adding the plant to the bay every summer since 2012. The group has utilized a few different methods, including direct diver transplanting by hand, transplanting eelgrass remotely with frames, and buoy-deployed seeding.

Now, according to the latest review in 2016, there are more than eight acres of eelgrass in the Upper Newport Bay.

Several of the commissioners asked about eelgrass in the lower section of the bay.

“What I’ve noticed in the lower bay is that there is a lot more, I would say, polluted sediment,” Commissioner Duncan McIntosh commented. “I don’t think anything can grow there.”

Commission Secretary Bill Kenney asked if some of the same methods utilized in Upper Newport Bay could successfully be used to plant eelgrass in the Lower Bay.

It definitely could work, Briley noted. “They have potential for down there, if the conditions are right.”

Commission Chair Paul Blank asked for some clarification on the challenges and conditions and how they differ between Upper and Lower Newport Bay.

The flushing and amount of stagnant water is different, as well as the amount of traffic, Briley answered.The species of eelgrass in the entrance channel in Lower Newport Bay is slightly different, so they would also need to be mindful of that, Briley added.

The unique underwater flowering plant is often considered an indicator of health for the entire ecosystem in the bay.

There could be major consequences if eelgrass beds are removed, Briley said.

It’s important to preserve and restore eelgrass, she emphasized. It’s a foundation species, meaning it’s presence provides an entire foundation for an entire community of organisms that wouldn’t have lived if it weren’t there, Briley explained. It also improved water clarity and is a major carbon sequester.

Briley explained the requirements needed for an ideal eelgrass habitat, including light, good tidal flushing, and moderate wave disturbance.

Threats include sedimentation and storm water runoff, which can create poor water quality resulting in a low amount of light reaching the eelgrass.

For more information, visit coastkeeper.org.

Read the full article at http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/article/Eelgrass+Restoration+Update+/2688244/377037/article.html.

Restaurant Week Is Served Jan. 16-29

Christopher Trela | NB Indy

Grab a fork and prepare to dig into the 11th annual Newport Beach Restaurant Week, which runs Jan. 16-29.

More than 60 restaurants throughout the city are participating in this year’s 14-day eating extravaganza, presented by Dine Newport Beach (a division of Newport Beach & Co.)And the Newport Beach Restaurant Association.

Restaurant Week offers diners the opportunity to try special prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus at a variety of price points: $10 to $25 for lunch, and $20 to $50 for dinner. Restaurants range from small bistros such as Sessions West Coast Deli, Tackle Box and Dory Deli to upscale restaurants like Andrea, A Restaurant, The Winery, and Fig & Olive.

“Dining is one of our signature attractions,” said Gary Sherwin, president and CEO of Newport Beach & Co.

“We have well over 500 restaurants in the city. It’s part of the unique aspirational experience. It’s critical in terms of bringing people into the city and spending money. Restaurant week has really blossomed—it stimulates business during a slow period. The event has grown to a significant degree.”

Sherwin said last year over 92,000 people participated in Restaurant Week, resulting in direct spending of $1.2 million, and even more in indirect spending.

According to the Newport Beach Restaurant Association annual report for 2015-2016, there were over 176 million advertising and media impressions generated for the event last year, which resulted in an estimated consumer spend of $3.1 million, which is a 19 percent growth over the previous year.

“We have lots of residents who dine out during Restaurant Week, and lots of visitors,” said Sherwin. “It’s a way to get people out of their comfort zone and try a place you may not know about.It’s clearly touched a nerve with a lot of people.”

“Newport Beach is evolving into a world class destination for food, beverage and hospitality. Newport Beach Restaurant Week is our premier annual event,” said Ron Schwartz, president of Newport Beach Restaurant Association.“My suggestion is to try restaurants that are new to you, while also returning to your favorites. For example, at our family’s restaurant, Muldoon’s Irish Pub, we are offering a multicourse dinner valued at $50 for only $30. That way, our regular customers get a special price and our new guests are incentivized to try something new.”

Sherwin noted that the Newport Beach restaurant scene has evolved over the last five years.

“Our restaurants have gotten more sophisticated. Between Fig & Olive, Red O, and others that have come in, they have elevated the dining experience. But we also have less expensive places that are doing well.”

Many familiar names are on the list of participating Restaurant Week venues.

A lot of restaurants participate year after year,” acknowledged Michelle St. Amour, business development manager for Newport Beach & Company. “Some restaurants may be on the fence so we explain the value, that it supports the culinary community and that it benefits them by driving people into their restaurant.”

So what do local chefs and restaurateurs think of Restaurant Week? Simple: they love it.

“This campaign with Newport Beach Restaurant Association and our marketing partner Dine Newport Beach is one of the most significant opportunities for our local restaurants,” noted Bruno Massager, Back Bay Bistro Executive Chef and Newport Beach Restaurant Association Board Member. “With over 200 true fork and knife restaurants in the area, this type of event offers the opportunity for the surrounding Orange County cities to participate in and experience our local fare.”

“We are very excited to participate in this year’s Newport Beach Restaurant Week,” said Jordan Otterbein, A Restaurant operating partner. “We have included some of our signature dishes and most popular entrees in a curated coursed menu that we think will appeal to our regular clientele and new customers.The first of the new year, right after the busy holiday season, is the perfect opportunity to welcome some new faces in to experience all that A has to offer.”

“We’ve found that the Newport Beach Restaurant Week not only allows us to reach new customers who may have yet to discover our hidden neighborhood gem of a restaurant at Newport’s Marina Park facility, but also invites those guests to taste some of the menu highlights that truly define what type of culinary experience can be expected at the Lighthouse Bayview Café,” said Lighthouse Managing Partner Tad Belshe.

“We love to participate in Restaurant Week,” said Kenyon Paar, general manager of Five Crowns. “It’s a great excuse to get together with friends or family and enjoy menus from local restaurants that reflect the essence of each chef and brand. I think the program offers a unique opportunity to showcase the talent and diversity that is emerging in the area, or in the case of Five Crowns, that has been a tradition for over 50 years!”

“All three Pelican Hill restaurants look forward to welcoming new faces and familiar friends in for great food and ocean views during Restaurant Week,” said Pelican Hill Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Dubray. “From handmade pasta at Andrea to Napa flavors at Pelican Grill, the featured menus bring the best of the season to your table from our kitchens.”

For more info on Newport Beach Restaurant Week, visit DineNB.com.

Read the full article at http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/article/Restaurant+Week+Is+Served+Jan.+16-29/2688260/377037/article.html.

Museum Files Lawsuit Against Museum House Petition

Sara Hall | NB Indy

The petition opposing the Newport Beach City Council’s approval of the controversial condominium tower, Museum House, should be found “deficient and voided,” according to a lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court by the Orange County Museum of Art.

OCMA is asking the Court to invalidate the referendum petition, which has been headed up by Line in the Sand. Newport Beach City Council and city clerk Leilani Brown are named as respondents.

“A legal analysis finding that the referendum petition failed to meet the most basic and mandatory requirements of California’s election law,” and it was “defective and misleading,” OCMA claims in a press release. “It failed to provide the full text of the general plan amendments, omitted or visually altered required documents, and failed to include text throughout the document in the minimum font size required by law.”

Line in the Sand has no comment at this time, said member Dorothy Kraus.

City Council voted 6-1 on Nov. 29 in favor of the 25-story, 100-unit condominium tower in Newport Center.

In a decision harshly-criticized by petitioners, Council required that the petition include the extensive environmental analysis of the project and other supporting documents. The petition’s proponents spent more than $46,500 to print 425 petitions, which each included about 1,100 pages.

Orange County Registrar of Voters is currently reviewing the petition.

Read the full article at http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/article/+Museum+Files+Lawsuit+Against+Museum+House+Petition/2688282/377037/article.html.

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