Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget? Restaurant Week Has You Covered!

Stone Crab and Lacquered Halibut at 1500 Ocean? Or Pappardelle al Short Rib Ragu at Primavera? Decisions, decisions. I’m happy to report that BOTH can be yours if your play your (credit) cards right. These are just two of seven Coronado restaurants opening their doors for San Diego Restaurant Week.

Check out the menus of participating Coronado hotspots below. But make your resos now! (Don’t say we didn’t warn you.)

San Diego Restaurant Week runs September 24th (that’s yesterday!) thru Sunday Oct 1st. Let’s get on it!

1500 Ocean. Dinner, $50 a person.

Il Fornaio. Lunch, $20. 


Il Fornaio Dinner, $40.

Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge. Lunch, $15. 

Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge. Dinner, $30. 

Maretalia. Lunch, $15.

Maretalia. Dinner, $30.

Peohe’s. Dinner, $30-$40.

Primavera. Dinner, $40.

Stake. Dinner, $50.

This Year’s CSF Gala…So Good, it Should Be Classified

Shaken, stirred, or any way you like it…looks like this year’s CSF event will give us license to dance, drink, and dazzle! Sneaking into the Hotel Del on Saturday, October 14th, “Diamonds are Forever, a 007 Affair” will offer a view of the annual event like we’ve never seen it before—secret agent-style.

We caught up with Kelley Kiel Geiss, the Development Coordinator for the Coronado Schools Foundation (CSF) to find out more. Here’s what she had to say.

“Everything in the ballroom will be James Bond-esque,” said Kelley. “You’ll see shadow dancers, and we will serve specialty martinis served from a 007-themed ice bar, complete with an ice luge!”

Did she say ice luge?

Sold! I’m pulling on my Vesper Lynd dress right now….speaking of, what is the attire for this event?

“The dress code is ‘007-legend/black tie optional’” said Kelley, “from any era. I see ladies in slinky, sexy dresses and tuxedos for the gents.”

Octopussy, anyone?


All secret agents will savor a lavish, chef-prepared meal in the ballroom, and will have a chance to roll the dice in a luxurious Casino Royale-style gaming room. Then stay tuned for an exciting live auction featuring Bond-worthy trips to London, Greece and Acapulco. Also up for grabs? A Hotel Del-hosted “Best of the Holidays” package and a one-year membership at the Del.

And what proper party would be complete without a live band and dancing? A live 7-piece band “Diamond Groove” will be performing some sweet music, worthy of the most discerning and skilled dancers in the ballroom.

Don’t forget your clothes.

“We’re also doing a new game this year called ‘Secret Agent Cocktail,’” said Kelley. “Each participant pays $100 and receives an etched martini glass, with a raffle ticket to win a prize, and bottomless specialty cocktails from the Ice Luge Bar.”

The best part? All proceeds benefit Coronado public schools.

It’s sounding like a killer night! Buy your tickets here.

Vesper says, “Buy your tickets before they sell out.”


Adult Hip Hop Fusion Fires Up Coronado Academy of Dance

What does “Nuh Behavior” have in common with “Dutty Wine” and “Willie Bounce?” If you said they are all Caribbean Dance Hall moves, you would be right! And I can promise you, they are just as awesome as they sound.

If you dabble in dance and you love hip hop, but want to mix in something a little raw and earthy, check out the newest dance class in town. It’s “Adult Hip-Hop Fusion” and it’s at Coronado Academy of Dance. Dance pro Trevor Van Orden teaches the class Thursdays at 7:15pm and Mondays and at 10:15am.

Trevor Van Orden. Photo credit: @theSlrtist Instagram: Vincent

This isn’t a Zumba class. (Although I do love me some Zumba.) And it’s not Hip Hop Cardio (which I also like.)

“I teach it like a real dance class,” says Trevor, who also dances professionally in addition to teaching classes. “We warm up and stretch, and we work out parts of the body that every dancer needs.”

That means a high-cardio warm-up “so you can make it through a routine without being out of breath,” says Trevor, some abs, some arms, and some serious stretching. Then you move to the side of the dance floor for some “across the floor.”

That’s where the traditional approach ends.

“I call it Hip Hop Fusion because we are mixing in modern, jazz, and Afro-Caribbean dance moves,” he says. “You’ll learn dance combinations and new styles, all while keeping fit.”

Last week we danced to some super-fun Caribbean music and a modern African hip-hop track. “These are moves you would do at a carnival,” says Trevor. “Possibly drunk!”

This, I can do!

But make no mistake…it’s not silly stuff. You’ll be expanding your dance I.Q. while you break a sweat.

“It’s not just a workout,” says Trevor. “You are learning the art form at the same time. You are learning who inspired each dance move, and where each move came from.”

I found myself totally digging the dance hall moves (see some examples above.) Not just because they have funny names like “Tek weh Yuself” and “NoLinga” but because they are seriously rad to do! The dancing feels entirely different from jazz or even hip hop classes I have taken before. And how can you NOT smile when you do the “Wacky Dip?” Exactly.

“You’ll see lots of this style in the Justin Bieber video ‘Sorry,’” says Trevor.

Not Sorry

Finally, at the end of class, we went to the center of the floor and learned a hip-hop combo. Just challenging enough that I didn’t quite get it, but accessible enough that I didn’t leave in shame, crying uncontrollably.  (But it did make me want to go home and practice.)

Trevor (who is 26) says he is mainly self taught—he taught himself to dance at home watching YouTube. But his interest in dance started in an unlikely place…at New York Bar Mitzvahs.

“I grew up in New York and I’m Jewish, so yeah, I went to A LOT of Bar Mitzvahs. And I just started dancing!” he said. “I remember I had a hurt leg one year, but I just HAD to go out there and dance to the Cotton Eye Joe.”

While his mom made him take Marital Arts classes, Trevor would watch videos on YouTube, studying the different choreographies. Eventually he found his way into the dance studio, and into a dance company that brought him to San Diego.

Trevor continues to dance and perform alongside his teaching gig, which he hopes his students find inspirational. (He teaches Jazz and Hip Hop to kids at Coronado Academy of Dance, in addition to the new adult class. My daughter Marley currently takes his intermediate Hip Hop class and loves it.)

“I’m a dance teacher who is still dancing and performing,” he says. “I tell my students when I go out on auditions, and I tell them if I got the part. If you apply yourself, this is what you can do!”

Not a Bar Mitzvah.

So why an adult class, why now? And at a studio that is really known for teaching kids?

“Well, I was teaching a class, and all the kids are down here dancing, having all the fun,” says Trevor. “And I’m thinking, wait! It’s time for the adults to have fun too! And I got my class.”

And if you are worried about trying a class because you think you might suck, don’t worry.

“I haven’t taken a dance class in 20 years,” said one dancer at the class Thursday night.

But by the end of the hour we were all throwing down the “Willie Bounce” like pros.

“And another thing is, I don’t just leave you out there,” said Trevor. “I’m dancing with you the entire time, sweating with the class. And it’s good because I make mistakes too. You don’t have to be perfect all the time to be a good dancer.”

Don’t try this at home.

So here’s the real question. Living in Coronado, we are used to seeing some amazing dance teachers come and go.

“Are you going to stick around in Coronado and teach?” I asked.

“Yes,” answered Trevor without hesitation. “People ask me, are you going to dance and teach for the rest of your life? The answer is yes! And I plan on staying here in Coronado.”

We’ll do a wacky dip for that.

For pricing and schedule, check out First class is free. And we are checking with the studio owner, Dawn, on a pay-by-the-class option! And please note that Trevor will be gone Thursday September 21 for the 7:15 pm class.