Eat to Enjoy | Pacific Coast Grill by Amanda Martinez

There are two ways to live. Eating to refuel your body and eating to enjoy your food. The end game is the same, keeping you alive, but the process is very different. If you're looking to enjoy quality food with nothing short of a breath-taking view, we have the place for you. 

Photo credit: Robert Goodman (@robgoodmanphoto)

Photo credit: Robert Goodman (@robgoodmanphoto)

After being established in 1995, Pacific Coast Grill made the move from Solana Beach to an oceanfront view in Cardiff in June, 2013. With a larger space and better view, their business took off and is now a staple in our neighborhood. I had a chance to sit down with Beth Bennett who’s the director of marketing, events, and custom catering, as well as Miguel, the general manager.

Going into the new year, Beth hopes to continue to “provide a great space” for private events such as baby showers, bridal showers, anniversaries, birthday parties, company dinners, weddings, and more. With a killer view and exceptional food, this venue would be a no-brainer to plan your next event. Pertaining to the restaurant, she hopes to continuously bring the freshest ingredients to the table. Speaking of fresh, Miguel, who’s been with the company for 21 years, gave me the scoop that most of their seafood such as shrimp and mahi mahi is from Santa Monica and Baja, while their wild-caught salmon is from Alaska. While some ingredients are organic, all ingredients are local from various parts of San Diego including Escondido and Carlsbad. Miguel would suggest the Cowboy Steak which is an 18 oz. bone in Ribeye, with fingerling potatoes, mushrooms, roasted garlic, and bacon wrapped asparagus. If you’re in the mood for seafood, Beth suggests the Sesame-Crusted Seared Ahi with coconut forbidden rice, beech mushrooms and ginger-ponzu sauce.  To keep the Pacific Coast theme going, you will mostly see wines from California, Oregon, and Washington. But the real hidden gems are the wines in the vault. These wines are hand selected by the owners to properly age in their cellar so they are at their peak flavor upon consumption. They are hard to find, rare, and let’s be honest, you want them.  While it may take a while to get these precious bottles, they are well worth the wait.  

To give back to their community, PCG often donates food, donates money to various animal causes, Swami’s surf contest, and a few local schools. About four times a year they also gather a group together to clean up their beach! Follow them on Facebook to see all their upcoming events, as well as keep a look out for their project that will be opening up next door to them, very soon.

What makes Pacific Coast Grill so extraordinary?  According to Beth and Miguel, it’s the people. “When you have a good product, great location, and wonderful people, it’s a formula for success”. 

With Valentine's Day around the corner, we suggest getting a reservation ASAP if you haven't already. They have a very thoughtful menu planned for you, which you can check out here

Guest For A Day ~ Pure Life Thai Spa by Amanda Martinez

Suddenly, a trip to Thailand just got a whole lot easier.  Just down the street you’ll find a quaint family-owned establishment that offers nothing but a one-of-a-kind experience that will leave you feeling like you stepped into another world.  

Pure Life Thai Spa first opened about 3.5 years ago by Shinapon Saksiritawongul, also known as, Nan.  Born in Bangkok, Thailand, Nan has over 20 years experience in traditional Thai Spa that she has brought with her to San Diego.  With the support of her mother and sister, and a traditionally trained staff, Nan maintains her authentic Thai Spa standards.

Upon entering the spa, you’re asked to remove you shoes and leave them at the front desk.  You’ll be escorted into one of the 3 thoughtfully appointed guest rooms available; depending on your choice of indulging.  You’re welcomed by a warm dim glow and beautifully handcrafted Thai blankets delicately draped on the beds with soothing flute music in the background.

Nan emphasizes the importance of creating a peaceful ambience and relaxing atmosphere in order to give the ultimate spa experience.  

As a first-time guest, she recommends a 90-minute Thai massage.  The Thai massage is a combination of deep tissue and traditional Thai techniques.  The therapists are well-trained to match the correct amount of pressure each individual desires. 

Although they’re the most sought-after, massages aren’t the only services offered at Pure Life.  Facials are also a popular rejuvenating choice.  If you’re looking for a truly unique and gratifying experience, I would suggest the microcurrent facial treatment.  This facial uses a machine to apply pressure to your face, essentially “exercising it” for a tight and plump appearance. It’s a natural, non-evasive version of botox, without all the side effects—or the expense!

To further sweeten your indulgence, Nan is offering a free essential oil to any massage—a $15 value!—for the month of December. I would suggest “Calm” which aids in relieving stress, calming the mind and body, and supports restful sleep.  You can also choose between Energize, Clarity, Detox & Digestion and Protect.  Each essential oil aims to “provide you with a heightened and rebalanced state of well-being” (Orience Beauty).  Also during this month, if you purchase 3 gift certificates, you receive a free two-in-one body mask and scrub! For a full list of Pure Life Thai Spa's offerings or to book an appointment, visit  

Meet the lovely author, Amanda Martinez - MiraCosta college student, blogger, hospitality connoisseur, & gelato lover.

Meet the lovely author, Amanda Martinez - MiraCosta college student, blogger, hospitality connoisseur, & gelato lover.

Welcome to Cardiff, Sea + Wander by Amanda Martinez

If you’re searching for tasteful and mindfully sourced clothing for you and your children, you won’t have to wander too far. Maria Thorton’s Sea + Wander is a beautiful collection of clothing, accessories, and creative household décor that upholds the highest of standards. Her walls are elegantly simplistic with nothing more than a stunning mural done by Marissa Quinn to compliment her uniquely chosen items. The boutique, located in the heart of Cardiff, might quite possibly be the only place your child can nestle in a small tee-pee in the corner while you do all your shopping. 

I’m not sure what’s more imaginative and unique—the clothes on the racks or the woman behind them. Originally from Argentina, Maria moved to New York at the age of 21. After 16 ½  years she decided to make the cross country move to San Diego in 2005 and opened up her first boutique earlier this year. Her time spent in New York has shaped her into who she is today and comes through in some of her pieces on the racks and shelves. When asked what her inspiration was behind Sea + Wander, she replied, “my kids”. She has two little ones, 8-year-old Tristan, and her princess, Ana Lia of 4 ½ years.

“I’m not going to sell what I wouldn’t buy for my children.” 

This also means she wouldn’t sell clothing that isn’t mindfully sourced. Her main goal is to draw from companies who are ethically manufactured, fair-trade, and harmless to the environment. This means all her manufactures pay at least minimum wage to their workers, no child labor, and ideally giving back to their community.  For example one of her designers named Laura Siegel predominately works with artisans in developing countries. All her garments including prints and knitting are done by hand. The word “traceability” is being able to trace exactly where your clothing came from, who made it, how much they’re being paid, and if they’re able to sustain themselves. Is it really luxury if your clothing comes from a country where the maker doesn’t even have access to drinkable water? Understanding where products come from and being connected to them is the message Laura Siegel strives for.

“My dream is to one day have everyone shopping feel connected to the hands and the person who makes their garments.”

Her piece featured below was hand stitched by a woman in India and entails all the care and attention to detail one might hope for in their clothing. 

Maria also enjoys giving back by putting on charity and family-related events. For example her holiday shopping event recently on November 17th gave 10% of all sales to the Feeding San Diego. An organization which dedicates their time “to help feed more than 490,000 children, families and seniors in need every year” (Feeding San Diego 2016). 

Her next event is just around the corner. On December 11th, 11am - 2pm, join Sea + Wander for their Christmas Party featuring a unicorn drive. Bring a unicorn toy to donate to Children of Serenity Inc. There will be organic hand spun cotton candy, snacks, face painting, and a visit with Santa! Maria's goal for events like these is to create a community that’s mindful, caring, and loving toward one another.

Needless to say, we are big fans of what Maria Thornton is doing.  Plenty of boutiques have the latest trends and fashion forward items, but few are intentionally and mindfully giving back. 

She’s “getting in touch with women who are making a difference”.

Follow Sea + Wander on Instagram @sea.and.wander - you won't be disappointed!

Meet the lovely, Amanda Martinez - MiraCosta college student, blogger, hospitality connoisseur, & gelato lover.

Meet the lovely, Amanda Martinez - MiraCosta college student, blogger, hospitality connoisseur, & gelato lover.

Quaint, Beachy - A Perfect Representation of Cardiff-by-the-Sea by Allison Grenda

On a hill overlooking the Pacific sits the cozy, wood-shingled Cardiff Lodge, a bed and breakfast unlike any other. Whether you're visiting the area or just taking a "staycation," the Cardiff Lodge is the perfect place for a night away. Opened in May of 1991, this place holds strong roots in our coastal community - giving guests a chance to experience living at the beach, quite literally! Cardiff's hidden gem has seventeen unique rooms, each themed differently from Victorian to Paradise to Southwest. However, you won't want to spend much time inside when the beach is only a short walk away. Located 800 feet from the water, Cardiff Lodge has stunning ocean views, especially from its lush rooftop garden, which features a cozy fire pit and hot tub. And right now, you're in luck! May and September are the best times to visit, due to the gorgeous weather, which makes surfing the reef or stargazing from the rooftop a must.

On top of that, the staff at Cardiff Lodge are some of the friendliest you'll ever meet, always taking the time to ensure the best experience for each individual guest. Yelp reviewers rave about the service, as one visitor from Colorado said, "The people I dealt with were very real and helpful in every way, Dawn and Traci were such a joy to deal with." And we couldn’t agree more!

So there you have it! Whether you're visiting our community with friends, family, or your special one, Cardiff Lodge is the inn for you. Quaint, beachy, and full of friendly folks, it's a perfect representation of Cardiff-by-the-Sea as a whole!

Website: | Phone: 760.944.6474

Map / Location 


About Allison:

Allison Grenda was our fabulous summer intern and currently finishing her senior year at UCLA!

10 Weekly Seaside Staples by Gina Martini

Thursday happens to be one of my favorite days of the week because the weekly Seaside Market specials land in my inbox. Often times it’s a ‘buy one, get one free’ offer, but sometimes, it’s ‘free stem’ week, which is my favorite. Sunflowers, hydrangeas, bells of ireland, stock, gerbera daisies… oh my!

It’s the little things in life that can bring us the greatest joy, after all. The best part is that our quaint little city of Cardiff is full of charming, unique things that can make us really happy. Over the next coming months, you’ll see me continue to shine a light on the Cardiff gems that make this one of the best communities to live in San Diego. I am aligned with Cardiff101’s mission to enhance the well-being of the community, and I will help spread this message with inspiring pieces full of practical tips to live your happiest, healthiest life by taking advantage of all that Cardiff-by-the-Sea has to offer. 

First up… Seaside Market - the grocery store that’s been serving Cardiff since 1985. It has the tagline, ‘The store for the way you live.’ If we live in the sunshine here in Cardiff, this establishment certainly reflects that, as the newly renovated space is bright, friendly, and cheerful. 

So, picture this - it’s a busy Sunday afternoon or Monday evening, the lines are long, and you’ve got 10 minutes to grab something for yourself, your family, or your significant other to make for dinner. What do you buy? This list of 10 staples can be your go-to guide for a delicious meal and healthy snacks throughout the week, plus it will surely add a little joy to your everyday life.

Note, you’re shopping for a recipe: Kale + Fuji Apple Salad (below).

  1. Kale - Kale is an awesome staple because not only can you use it for the salad, but you can toss the excess in your morning smoothie the next day. Kale is one of the most nutrient dense veggies available to us, jam-packed with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, K, calcium, and magnesium, plus powerful antioxidants. For salads, curly kale is a great option as it has a softer texture and turns perfectly tender when massaged. 
  2. Fuji Apples - Apples are the perfect versatile grocery item as you can use them in salads and for snacks. They’re an excellent choice for the whole family as they can be enjoyed by adults, or sliced up for kids with nut butters and cinnamon. The best part about apples aside from their delicious taste is that they are high in fiber and antioxidants making them a great fruit to always have on hand.
  3. Carrots - Another item that works in the salad, but also as a snack later in the week is carrots. Slice them up and throw them in the kids’ lunches or grab a stock and munch on it. Carrots are high in vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, and eating a good fat with carrots can also help the body absorb more of the beta-carotene. 
  4. Avocados - This makes avocados the perfect pair for carrots. They are the perfect healthy fat to add to a salad, and also, who doesn’t love avocado toast and guacamole!? Loading up on avocados on your Seaside shopping trip is sure to make for several meals and snacks throughout the week.
  5. Pumpkin Seeds - Speaking of healthy fats… pepitas are my favorite seed and they add the perfect ‘crunch’ to any salad! They are packed with magnesium, zinc, and omega-3’s, and are a great mid-afternoon snack for an extra energy boost. 
  6. Lemons - You know what they say… when Seaside gives you lemons… make anything! Lemons are great for homemade salad dressings, and squeezing on chicken or veggie dishes. Plus, starting off your day with a warm cup of lemon water helps to detoxify the body, flushing unwanted toxins from the liver and strengthening the immune system with their vitamin C and antioxidants. 
  7. Apple Cider Vinegar - Speaking of detoxing, apple cider vinegar is a pantry staple! There are countless uses for this stuff including salad dressings, skin and hair remedies, and detox tonics. It has a ton of health benefits, but overall it helps to alkalize the body, wards off bad bacteria, and is said to even lower blood pressure. Be sure to get the one with ‘The Mother.’ 
  8. Dark Chocolate - One of the best parts about Seaside is their ability to stock some really unique products. The selection of coconut based ice creams are unmatched as well as their wall of speciality dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains fiber and many pivotal minerals and antioxidants. It’s the perfect treat to enjoy after your kale salad and throughout the week. 
  9. OJ! - A trip to Seaside wouldn’t be complete without their homemade OJ! This is perhaps one of the best parts about the store… the magical machine that squeezes oranges right before your very eyes all by pushing a button. Typically juices are packed with all sorts of added sugar, but here, what you see is what you get. 
  10. Flowers - As mentioned, almost every week Seaside has a flower special. Don’t forget to take advantage and grab a couple stems or a bouquet to brighten your living space or surprise your hunny. Each time you walk by the bunch in your house, allow their beauty to leave you with a smile on your face.

I hope you can see that a little goes a long way, and that it’s easy to be efficient and healthy. Thankfully, Seaside has all of the options you need.

Now, enjoy this Kale & Fuji Apple Salad!

You can find me over at Full On Happiness where I offer nutrition & health coaching. 

Peace, love, Cardiff - 




1-2 bunches of Curly Kale

2 Fuji Apples

2 Shaved Carrots

1-2 Avocados

3/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds



1 Lemon

2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tablespoon Honey

¼ cup Olive Oil 

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste


  1. De-stem kale and chop into ~ 2 inch leaves
  2. Mix together dressing and pour over kale in a salad bowl massaging the leaves with the dressing. 
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients: diced apples, shaved carrots, diced avocado, and pumpkin seeds. Mix together and serve. Or in separate bowls serve kale and then then top with other ingredients.


About Gina

Gina Martini is a Transformational Nutrition Coach and founder of Full On Happiness, a health coaching practice in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. She coaches her clients on cultivating a healthy relationship to themselves and food, specializing in weight release, emotional eating, and personal fulfillment. You can learn more about her services here: or follow along for daily soul-nourishing inspiration on Instagram @fullonhappiness

C101 Member Spotlight | Sambazon Acai Café by Natalie Suggs

Cardiff 101 Main Street loves it’s community of local residents and businesses and we want to take a moment to reflect on the AWESOME collection of shops, restaurants, and cafes we have here within our reach every day.

So begins our C101 Member Spotlight Series. Today we are highlighting a local favorite, our very own, Sambazon Acai Café.

Did you know that there are only two actual Sambazon Acai Cafés in existence?

Yep, that’s right - we LUCKED out! Located front and center in Cardiff’s buzzing town square, you can’t miss this delicious acai and juice bar. They’ve been here almost 5 years now, coming to Cardiff-by-the-sea to open their flagship store because of the great location.

The founders had a vision to share the ‘Acai Bowl Experience’ directly with people so they decided to open up a cafe where they could do just that. And my is it beautiful! Every design detail from the handcrafted Brazilian door handle, 100-year old reclaimed oak table, repurposed glass bottle lighting fixtures, tiled flooring to match the iconic Copacabana boardwalk... the cafe transports you to Brazil the moment you walk through the door.

Residents and visitors alike will agree, the Sambazon Acai Cafe is a staple of Cardiff life.

We had the opportunity to chat with Sambazon and they are excited to be in Cardiff and see it as a community that will continue to grow and attract more people. When asked how we could improve Cardiff, they said “more parking and an area to host events and concerts!” - We like where your heads at, Sambazon!

Open from 7am-7pm every day, make sure to stop by and enjoy that Amazon superfood we all know and love!


Instagram: @sambazon