Silk Lounge mixes nature and culture with its sleek yet cozy ambience, spacious patio, carefully crafted libations, and nightly entertainment. Guests seeking solace may retreat to a private booth to puff on a fine cigar ($8+), and revelers seeking a pleasant campfire vibe without rubbing two guitars together until they burst into flames can enjoy company at the patio's fire pit. Meanwhile, more than 20 varieties of single-malt scotch rest on hand to warm bellies, including an Auchentoshan old enough to drink itself (premium drinks are $12). A range of unique Chinese and Japanese wines can greet the tongue ($9 per glass), and a cool beer ($5) crisply complements an appetizer of chicken wings or calamari ($12+).
When Sunny Williamson’s son couldn’t find a satisfactory airsoft facility, his father decided to create one for him. Opened in 2006, Tac City Airsoft has since expanded to two indoor airsoft facilities totaling more than 60,000-square feet. Under the watchful eye of refs, players duke it out in the Fullerton field’s fully enclosed quarters filled with wooden walls and labyrinthine hallways or the semi-outdoor space in El Monte littered with barrels and haystacks. Personnel update the fields every few months to keep repeat guests on their toes as they compete in scenarios such as capture the flag and follow-up games of set the flag free. In lieu of combatting with Tac City Airsoft’s fully automatic M4 rentals, visitors can purchase their own weapons and gear at the pro-shop.
In the unusual parlance of the Hunger Runs 5K, runners are “dedications,” teams are “organizations,” spectators are “assemblies,” and the race is known simply as “the hunt.” The race’s creators, the “huntmakers,” devise a series of obstacles specifically designed to encourage teamwork and camaraderie, and they set up “challenge centers” demanding expert bow-and-arrow skills, simian climbing abilities, and courage in the face of flaming objects. Organizations that finish fastest or with the most points in their designated wave earn bragging rights, awards, and cheek pinches from their proud grandmothers. Dedications are strongly encouraged to wear fun costumes and comfortable sneakers and to come bearing team spirit and the will to win.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a Californian mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play & Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children’s’ cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beck to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
It didn’t take long for Brian Kozak to discover his passion for food: at the age of three, after he first tried shrimp cocktail and crème brulee, he would spend hours leafing through cookbooks and family recipes in his parents’ kitchen. His fascination with food led him to build an impressive culinary resume: after graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, Brian spent four years cooking for Bon Appetit, opened his own catering company, and learned how to fold a puff pastry according to army-bed making standards. Today, he demonstrates his culinary prowess as the resident Chef at Sage Restaurant and Lounge. Kozak’s influences span the globe: try the Spanish saffron paella with chorizo and shrimp, or any of six 10-inch pizzas. The dining room also has global flair, from its Tuscan yellow walls to its terra cotta tile floors.
Since wrapping up the contents of their first grande burrito in 1974, The Original Peppers’ crew of chefs have continued to sate customers’ cravings for spicy, south-of-the-border fare thanks to their vast menu of Mexican food. Within the bustling kitchen, chefs can be found wrangling ingredients into traditional Mexican dishes ranging from burritos and enchiladas to fajitas and tostadas, crafting homemade tortillas on Wednesday and Thursday. While many dishes feature meats such as certified Angus beef and deep-fried pork, the culinary team also architects a host of seafood specialties starring jumbo scallops, seasoned halibut, and crab to appeal to the seafaring palates of humans and bears dressed like humans.