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Best of San Diego

The Editors | January 10, 2018 | Feature Features

If living well is the best revenge, we suggest exacting yours in sunny San Diego, to whose inherent charms (winter? Never heard of it!) you can add our choices for most fabulous services, covetable items and dishes to die for.
George's at the Cove offers an indulgent dining experience


The right home staging can mean the difference between a house selling in a day or moldering on the market. Los Angeles-based Vesta Home (, the brainchild of brother-sister team Brett Baer and Jaime Morse, has elevated the staging game with innovative designs and a tech-forward model, and clients like Kanye West and Katharine McPhee are taking note. Considering they’ve staged $30 million homes and the average sales price for their clients’ homes is $7.6 million, expediting sales is just good business. Their vast database allowed them to plan the interior design of a recent home in La Jolla via an online catalog of their inventory to which they added bespoke pieces made in their new manufacturing facility. With stagers like this, your home might look and feel so fabulous by the time Vesta is done, you won’t want to move out.

Schubach Aviation (schubachaviation.‌com) operates San Diego’s largest fleet of corporate jets with style out of Palomar Airport and Lindbergh Field. They’ve built a 25-year reputation offering a diverse fleet of aircraft, from a four-passenger Phenom 100 to a Gulfstream IV, for you and a dozen friends. (Beyond charter? They’ll manage your own plane for you.) Their new Elevated Excursions are a collection of bespoke experiences tailored for short-distance air travel. This spring, they’re partnering with Scott Dunn Private Journeys to offer a “bucket list” trip to Baja California Sur complete with whale shark swimming. Also new for 2018: Napa getaways, a high-octane Thermal Club trip and an exclusive Pebble Beach Automotive Week excursion.

When you find yourself in need of a Bugatti, Maserati, Lamborghini—or, for that matter, a Bentley or Rolls-Royce or a handful of other autos for which the authorized dealer has become one of the most prestigious sources in the world—O’Gara Coach San Diego ( is where you’ll want to head. Recent sales include a rare Bugatti Chiron and Lamborghini Centenario (think price tags from $1.9 to $3 million). Plus, O’Gara hosts a series of world-class events, and through them, clients can get access to the exclusive, members-only Thermal Club racetrack in Palm Springs.


When weight-loss guru and avowed equestrian Jenny Craig decided to sell her Rancho Paseana, a 228-acre thoroughbred farm 20 minutes north of San Diego, she turned to Jason Barry of Barry Estates (, which specializes in some of the most sought-after properties in San Diego. He engineered the deal that passed it from one mogul to another—Bill Gates—for a tidy $18 million. Along with his mother, Catherine, the Barrys are responsible for over $3 billion in sales over both their careers. In the market for an over-the-top reward for all your hard work? This Rancho Santa Fe estate, in which Barry is pictured, is on the market for a cool $25 million.

Law offices are not typically where you expect to find jaw-dropping interior design. But when Harris Personal Injury Lawyers hired Esteban Interiors ( to transform a raw 4,000-square-foot space in the historic El Cortez, they got a Chateau Marmont-inspired workplace that’s so modern and cozy (hello, fireplace!), employees might actually want to work overtime. “People are craving timeless elegance,” says designer Esteban Lopez. “What really sticks around is a mix of different eras—those are the most approachable spaces.” Since arriving from Manhattan in 2003, Lopez and James Niebling have transformed countless spaces—and the more unique the challenge, the better. When a client wanted her Rancho Santa Fe wine cellar converted to a nursery for her son, the duo created a woodsy baby lodge with a white staghorn chandelier. With the help of CAD software, the firm can give you a 3-D virtual tour of every last detail. Other clients who have signed on for
their special brand of uptown cool include the US Grant Hotel, Rancho Bernardo Inn and the offices of J Public Relations.

It’s not every day you find surfboards in an art gallery. But a limited-edition series of Andy Warhol-inspired boards, designed by longtime La Jollan Tim Bessell (, have had collectors drooling since he launched his first series in 2012. Created with the blessing of the Andy Warhol Foundation, which owns the copyrights, the boards feature Warhol’s famous images of Elvis, Mick Jagger and Marilyn Monroe, to name a few. After auctioning off the first one at the San Diego Museum of Art for $18,000, Bessell, who has been shaping boards by hand for more than four decades since the age of 13, has completed more than 300 Warhol boards. They have toured the world to galleries in Italy, England and New York, including the famous Gagosian Gallery (this year, they will be headed to St. Bart’s). Bessell, who remembers seeing Warhol in La Jolla when he was shooting his 1968 film San Diego Surf, met the artist years later by chance in New York. “He was really a kind person to meet and one of my idols,” recalls Bessell, who is also an artist himself. “I just always loved Andy Warhol’s work, and I always wanted to be a Pop artist—and I guess I am!” Insider tip: Purchasing one of Bessell’s Warhol boards puts you in good company with Mick Jagger, who owns four.


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