Category Archives: Blog

Lark + Letter Sparrow

We are excited to announce our collaboration with Letter Sparrow, who will be designing our menu and place cards for our upcoming lark at 503found.  We only see good things coming from this talented artist and are honored to work with her.  xo~l FullSizeRender (8)

Since we are dreamers…

We went ahead an entered West Elm’s Local Small Business Grant contest!

http://www.latimes.com/home/la-lh-west-elm-to-offer-grant-20140811-story.html

In 75 characters or less, tell us about your business.*

Simple. Refreshing. Inspired. Stylish Underground Dining & Marketplace.

In 145 characters or less, tell us how this grant will help you achieve your business goals.* 

It will provide the resources to establish our own location and grow our offerings to include Design Consultation and eCommerce.

Tell us why and how you started your business.* 

To nurture and inspire individuals, making this a better world, even for a moment.  We began our business by “popping” up in various locations, including parks, boutiques and private residences.  Popping us allows us to keep our overhead costs low while we learn what works best for everyone.  Our motto is to “do, reflect, refine, & do again”.     

What do you love most about what you do?*

We love making ideas happen, with the perfect combination wit & whimsy,  just to see where it goes and how it inspires others.   We get to style locations, enjoy food + wine,  and have great conversations.

Tell us about your current work. What do you make? What’s special about the construction or materials used?*

We style our underground dinner party and marketplace locations.  We scout, acquire materials, and talent.  We use West Elm products as well as local designers to make our space beautiful and inspirational.

What 3 words would you use to describe your work and why?*

First would be “lark” because it is a true adventure!  Second would be “Inspired” because this is our goal.  Third would be “Refreshing” because it’s always fresh.

What are your goals for your business and your vision for growth?*

To open a quaint Brick & Mortar that offers Curated Goods, Event Space and Design Consultation.  Because it’s so much fun, we will continue producing underground dining and marketplace events, expanding to cities around the world, to facilitate the positive impact of design and community.

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Here’s to all the dreamers!

xo~L

31Bits

On a lark with Main & PCH

We recently met up with local Huntington Beach blogger Lauren of “Main & PCH”, who lives and loves all things local, to share a bit of our story!  Read about it here: Let’s go on a lark

Sharing our story...

Sharing our story…

Meet “Fork In The Road” Chef, Kyle Powers

Constantly looking for collaboration and inspiration, on a lark, I met Chef Kyle Powers and was immediately drawn to his kind and calm demeanor.  He is one of those people that you just feel good standing next to.   He developed his culinary skills in the kitchens of restaurants as opposed to the traditional cooking schools (the sign of a true rebel!).  After seeing him in action and tasting several of his creations, I realized the culinary world chose him and we all are better for it.  We are thrilled to have Kyle create our menu, select the wine, and mingle with guests at our next lark on 9.19.14 in Sunset Beach.  So you can get to know him better, below is a short Q&A to get the conversation started!:

What is your earliest culinary memory?

My earliest culinary memory is waking up on Saturday mornings at 5 years old, turning on cartoons, and then deciding to make breakfast for my parents.  I would always get in trouble because I wasn’t allowed to touch the stove.

What is your view on the (slow) food movement?

I feel like the world of food has changed a lot but mainly for those interested in that change.  We need this change to happen with more people and communities, especially for our health.

Which cooking words or phrases do you most overuse? 

I use them without thinking! Then, when I feel like I’m overusing, I stop and figure another way to get my point across—which leads me back and then to over usage! Lol. But a popular word/term I can’t really stand is “foodie”.

What is your most treasured culinary possession?

Right now I love using my pressure cooker.

What is your motto?

My motto for when I cook is to “Be Different”.  My motto for others is “Anyone Can Cook”.  When I do my Cooking Demos I try and teach confidence in the kitchen versus just recipes.

What is your greatest culinary extravagance? 

It is probably almost making it on Food Network Star a few years back.  But currently it’s watching our business grow.  See

What is your is your idea of the perfect meal?

My idea of a perfect meal is when I taste something that I’ve had before, but it makes me think I haven’t had it before.  Add wine to that and I’m happy.

What do you most value in your friends?

I value my friends immensely. My favorite thing is that we can go days or even weeks without having seen each other and maybe have only chatted a couple times, but the effort we all make to stay connected is absolutely amazing. They support me more than I can ever ask or imagine.

Which living person do you most admire?

The living person I most admire is my wife Marisa. She is the biggest reason we have a successful business and she has endured a lot this past year.  With our first pregnancy and first born I learned how to never give up and get through some really tough situations.  I relate that to working in the kitchen everyday.  She deserves multiple medals for being an amazing wife, a great businesswoman, a supportive sibling, caring daughter, and most of all a mother.  She can do all of those things and still find time to make our own sunscreen, baby food and detergents for our home.  She just recently made deodorant.  What can I say? How can I not admire her?!  I’m simply blessed beyond belief! And she makes my mom proud!

What is your favorite spice?

My favorite spice always changes. Other than salt I really like Juniper and Cumin too.  But whatever spice I use I want to use it in the most unique way possible.

What simple advice do you give others regarding food? 

Take time to cook! #bebravecreate

What is your most marked characteristic?

I am calm in the kitchen – and in general.  The calmness brings out creativity for me.

Where would you most like to travel?

Our next big trip will be to Italy!!! But best food trips were to New York and Portland!

Who do you follow / admire in the food world? 

My favorite chefs are Jamie Oliver and Rick Bayless. I feel Jamie Oliver is really trying to change the world with food and how kids are seeing food.  I also really admire my friend at Red O in Los Angeles Chef Justin Haefler.  His story is unbelievable and I think he is going to do huge things in the food world.  His focus is on healthy eating without being a specific type, vegan, vegetarian, etc.  FYI – Red O is a Rick Bayless restaurant out of Chicago that is now in L.A. and Newport Beach.

What made you realize that you were a good cook?

When my wife said, “let’s start a catering business”, I thought maybe I CAN cook!  [editor note: Fork In The Road Catering ]

What is your favorite wine / food combo? 

There are way too many great ones to choose from!

What arbitrary kitchen rule would you like to break or establish? 

Being that I didn’t go to culinary school I think I break a lot of rules without even knowing it, but it works 95 percent of the time so I don’t really pay attention to the “rules”.  If something doesn’t work I figure out how to make it work.

Chef Kyle Powers w/wife & business partner Marisa

Chef Kyle Powers w/wife & business partner Marisa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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See Chef Kyle’s mouth watering menu and learn more about our upcoming lark here:

Pop-Up Dates, Etc!

We hope to see you there!

xo~L

Inspiration (Retrospective). Lou-Lou’s House. Circa 1981.

When I was about 10 years old, I was invited to visit my friend Lou-Lou’s house in Bel Marin Keys.  My schoolmate had never mentioned anything about home and I had no expectations other than to play games, eat candy and watch movies.  As it often happens when visiting someone’s home, her life unfolded as I walked through the doors. I encountered calm and serene house, nothing standing out with the exception of several older sisters coming and going.  To my surprise her mom gave me direct attention and was obviously delighted by our child-adult conversation.  When the opportunity arose, we ventured outside and suddenly all my senses came to life.  Her mom had the most beautiful garden sanctuary I had ever seen.  It was child friendly and we able to tromp wherever we wanted without fear of reprimand.  The wild flowers and plants were intentionally unkempt; it was perfect and welcoming.  Their colors made the most delightful bouquets and changed throughout the day. The wrought iron garden furniture with stripped patterned pillows fit in as if they grew there themselves.   The feeling this Mediterranean garden evoked was so strong, I wanted to root myself to the ground and never leave – and in a way, I never did.   xo~L

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6/13/14 “Honey Moon” Lark at AoSA Coffee, Huntington Harbor

We loved setting our communal table AoSA Coffee in Huntington Harbor on Friday June 13th. The positive vibes and family style serving really brought this group together.  It’s such a pleasure seeing people connect and enjoy themselves.  Our recipe is always a stylish but earthly environment, gregarious people, and amazing food & drinks. Thanks to all the people who came together to make this happen!

If your curious like us, here are few things we learned about AoSA!  AoSA = Artists for Sustainable Action.  They offer Stumptown Coffee on tap as well as Kombucha on tap! You can purchase both in growlers, which is convenient, reduces waste and costs (win/win/win). The crew that runs this operation are hardworking, enthusiastic, multi-talented and open minded. Please stop in and say hello, have a cup of their amazing coffee and check out their ever-growing list of community minded events from poetry reading to underground dinner parties!

Many thanks to our talented photographer Brian Tropiano! Please visit his website at: www.briantropiano.com

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5/16/14 “For The Dreamers” lark at 31 Bits in Costa Mesa

Our lark on Friday, May 16th was an amazing experience. Thanks to all the beautiful people who attended. We gathered around the communal table at the 31 Bits bungalow in Costa Mesa to enjoy food, wine, and great conversation. We appreciate Jessie, Courtney, and all of 31 Bits for sharing their space and story with us! We are truly inspired!

www.31Bits.com Using Fashion and Design to Empower Women to Rise Above Poverty.

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8/30/13 “Discovering Beauty and Inspiration” at Cleobella’s in Sunset Beach, CA

Friday’s lark was held at Cleobella’s 1920’s seaside cottage in Sunset Beach.  We had a balmy, beautiful evening under the stars as we enjoyed wine, conversation and an Ecuadorian inspired menu.   We are thankful for Jim and Angela for opening the doors, sharing their good vibes and joining us at the common table.

Their quaint little boutique offers timeless bohemian pieces from handbags to home décor.  All of Cleobella’s handmade products create sustainable income for artisans in Bali Indonesia and a portion of all profits are donated to Care.org, specifically helping women in South East Asia.  So inspiring!  

Cleobella’s 16792 14th St. Huntington Beach, CA 92649

www.cleobella.com

 

 

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A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

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A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

A lark at the beautiful Cleobella Boutique in Sunset Beach

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6/27/13 “Let’s Have A Great Summer” Pop-Up at The AOSA Project

We were happy to set the communal table inside The AOSA Project, an amazing socially responsible retail shop in Huntington Harbor. What a great way to start off summer!  We did our best to create a special, but eclectic setting – something that would fit the location well.   Many great topics were brought up at the dinner table, such as “The Edible Schoolyard Project” and how do you know when “You have it all”?  These great images were taken by Vivid Images-Don Baker.  Many thanks to Jennifer Orona for opening the doors for us.  We cannot wait to do it again!1040740_327480017383652_1200979264_o

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Why Pop?

Popping up a restaurant and marketplace in different locations is a cool and fun way to bring people together to share what we are passionate about in life.  For me, this is the perfect combination of friends, food, wine, and design (an abridged list as you may surmise).   It is also a way for “Lark” to figure out where it fits in this world, a sort of living business plan.  Our motto is “do, reflect, refine, and do again”.   We often tell people it’s about “doing” instead of “dreaming of doing”.   We hope this leads to becoming experts at pop-ups and, later on, having our own brick and mortar.  However, we are grateful to have discovered the opportunity to bring people together for a wonderful and unique experience doing what we love.  The beauty of popping up is that each event is fresh and different.  The combination of locations, people, food, design are constantly changing and evolving.  This makes it easy to call it an adventure, ahem, Lark.

-Lisa Gutierrez-Martinez, Owner/Creative Director

Ready to greet out guests!  at our AoSA Underground Dinner Party in Huntington Harbor.

Ready to greet out guests! at our AoSA Underground Dinner Party in Huntington Harbor.