The small empire that is Whisknladle Hospitality started with a serendipitous meeting of French Laundry vet Ryan Johnston and aspiring restaurateur—and undaunted cooking-school dropout—Arturo Kassel. Their vision? Gourmet comfort food, with none of the guilty excess that term might imply. Just about every ingredient at Whisknladle, down to buttermilk dressings and canadian bacon, would be prepared from scratch, filling a menu that would change with the finest gradations of the seasons. "We want to find that balance of making our guests comfortable and pulling one foot out of their comfort zone," Johnston recently told San Diego Magazine—which means the french toast might exude lemon and lavender and the fried chicken might nest on purslane.
In a 2008 review, the Union-Tribune described "delightful, soul-satisfying" dishes such as "juicy, perfectly roasted chicken" at "one of the most exciting restaurants in San Diego." The crowds agreed. So Johnston and Kassel decided to expand the experience, inspired, as their website says, "by our desire to eat Whisknladle-quality food on a regular basis while sticking to our restaurant-employee budgets." Prepkitchen is a little simpler and more casual, but dishes such as porter-braised short rib and biscuits with chorizo gravy prove the new venture takes the same care as the original when it comes to sourcing ingredients and clearly labeling sugar and salt containers.
San Diego Self Storage oversees an ample and affordable arsenal of storage units and a network of neighborhood facilities. Storage rates and available unit sizes and types vary by location; however, you may be able to stow faulty bedknobs and broomsticks in a 10'x10' climate-controlled unit ($119–$189/month) or a 5'x5' lower-interior unit ($44-$79/month). Stuff storers can also hide away truffles from Lagotto Romagnolos in a 10'x20' exterior unit ($199–$319/month).
Classy Closets' sleek, contemporary closet designs turn disheveled hanger dwellings into well-organized spaces. Expert advisers will walk clothes-keepers through a complimentary individualized plan of action aimed at maximizing closet space and usability and minimizing instances of sock-led hamper rebellions. Then, the dedicated army of cupboard-crafters will outfit interiors with a customized set of shelves, drawers, and hooks. A 10'x10' walk-in closet starts at $900, and prices increase with the quality of materials and finish that range from basic white melamine to high-end, wood-stained veneers.
The experienced handymen at JB Home Improvement have remodeled, repaired, and rebeautified homes since 1979. During each two-hour time slot, the dependable team can tackle a wide range of domestic tasks, including solving common plumbing predicaments such as leaky sink pipes, dripping faucets, or showerheads that won’t stop coughing. The specialists can also use the two hours to replace dingy doors or windows or create custom cabinetry for kitchens or pantries. Homeowners can also apply the value of this Groupon to more involved and time-consuming work, such as the building of a new backyard deck from which to better observe the neighbor's backyard deck or extending living space with room remodeling or additions.
Jack George knows firsthand that it's rare to find a cleaner who'll scrub rarely touched areas, such as the inside corners of the microwave or the tile behind the toilet. His business, Never Clean Again, was born from such a search for his own home. His cleaning crews craft a personalized checklist for each client, then set to work with their own tools and nontoxic cleaners. They wipe down surfaces with microfiber cloths and mop every floor twice. The licensed, bonded, and insured cleaners always back up their work—not with messages scrawled on the bathroom mirror in invisible ink but with a satisfaction guarantee. The community-minded company also believes in giving back; through Cleaning for a Reason, it supports women undergoing treatment for cancer by cleaning their homes free of charge.
Inside the colorful CeramiCafe, more than 500 bare pieces of pottery await creative embellishments and an eventual trip to the kiln. Mugs, banks, figurines, and tiles become canvases for visitors, who can personalize them using provided stencils. The helpful staff glaze and fire pieces to seal in artwork and create a glossy sheen, with final products ready for debut in five days. Outside the pottery realm, in mosaic projects, artists can use glass tiles, marbles, and broken pottery to doll up picture frames, mirrors, or plaques. Meanwhile, parents can immortalize a child's early days by pressing their tiny hands or feet into a pad of clay to make a lasting print.