Lark x Urban Americana x Chef Kyle Powers |The Dream Is Real in Long Beach, California

Friday, September 13, 2019

The moment before the guest arrive. Image captured by @mb.maher on a super fun lark at Urban Americana in Long Beach!

We started our late summer adventures at our favorite designer playground known as Urban Americana in Long Beach. Having popped-up at this unique location before, we knew we were in for a special evening. You cannot take a step inside this gorgeous vintage warehouse without being inspired by the timeless style of the past, while simultaneously dreaming of the future. This gentle pull + push lands you in a rare space we like to call the present moment.

It is such an honor to have Chris Geer, owner + creator of our favorite designer playground Urban Americana, embrace lark and open the doors to our curious & adventurous guests — and even more so to have him an his wife join us at the communal table.

Chris Geer (Urban Americana) + Lisa Martinez (Lark) on a lark at the super hip Urban Americana in Long Beach!

We spent the evening doing what we do best, creating good vibes, acquainting with friends old and new, delving into interesting conversations and sharing delicious food.

Stylist @maysonhauck always sets the good vibes! Image captured by @mb.maher on a super fun lark at Urban Americana in Long Beach

Our guests, ranging from designers to deep sea explorers to culinary lovers took to the lark with ease embracing the connections that come so naturally when immersed in such an inspirational setting. 

Guest mingle amongst the cool mid-century + antique vibes of Urban Americana. Image captured by foodie, photographer + conversationalist: @mb.maher

Manuel, of Manuel The Band, kicked off the evening playing acoustic guitar and singing Casual Love while we mingled about sipping on  local / vegan / sustainable 2017 Finke’s Sparkling White Blend hand selected by Billy O’Connell of @winc and poured with love by wine aficionado (+ yoga enthusiast) Tyler Rodriguez.

This is our seriously talented friend Manuel. He is in the band. @manueltheband check them out!

Chef Kyle Powers & Sous Chef Nelson Johnson created the most awesome looking makeshift kitchen from Urban Americana’s beautifully weathered industrial work bench sending the the first smells of crispy garlic + fried mushrooms into the air with innate and palpable enthusiasm.

Chef Kyle Powers + Nelson Johnson rocking the Makeshift Kitchen, California Style, at Urban Americana!
Welcome to the prep! Image captured by @mb.maher on a super fun lark at Urban Americana in Long Beach
Guest settle in for an evening of food, wine & conversation.Image captured by @mb.maher at Urban Americana in Long Beach!

As this was lark #50, we took a moment to share-and be thankful for-our collaborative approach where we work should-to-shoulder to create these larks and all of the fulfillment that has come from doing what we love, especially the idea of recognizing and appreciating each other, our supporters, and the moment. 

Tyler Rodriguez, Lisa Martinez, Kailee Walters, Daniel Perlof, Nelson Trey and Kyle Powers–on a lark!
Steamed clams in dashi: crispy garlic. seaweed. watermelon radish. fried mushrooms compliments of Chef Kyle Powers.
Tyler Rodriguez captured by @mb.maher on a super fun lark at Urban Americana in Long Beach
Steamed clams in dashi: crispy garlic. seaweed. watermelon radish. fried mushrooms compliments of Chef Kyle Powers!
Daniel Perlof on prep! Image captured by @mb.maher on a super fun lark at Urban Americana in Long Beach!
Image captured by @mb.maher on a super fun lark at Urban Americana in Long Beach
Because we are in this together! Super fun times on a lark at Urban Americana in Long Beach. Image captured by @mb.maher
Fried reed avocado: crab. fried herbs. lemon chili aioli compliments of Chef Kyle Powers. So good!
@kaileeinthekitchen captured by @mb.maher on a super fun lark at Urban Americana in Long Beach
Super grateful to all the “yes” people in the room! Image captured by @mb.maher on a super fun lark at Urban Americana in Long Beach!
Image captured by @mb.maher on a super fun lark at Urban Americana in Long Beach

How fortunate we feel to having our favorite foodie + conversationalist Mitch Maher capture the evening and to be accompanied by the endless talents of: Jack-of-all-Trades Daniel Perlof, Stylist Mayson Hauck, Ceramicist Andrea Luna Reece and Food Blogger Kailee in the Kitchen

A little “bluffer” –2018 The Bluffer Valdiguié–from our friends @winc thoroughly enjoyed on a lark at Urban Americana.
Beef tenderloin + beets: golden berry. golden beet. shish leaves / strawberry. red beet. Image captured by @mb.maher on a super fun lark at Urban Americana in Long Beach

A surprise (thanks Kyle!) awaits on the tail end of our lark, when Rita Pham of mcakesweets showcased her amazing talents in creating the most beautiful & best tasting desserts including a gorgeous Earl Grey Cake making this occasion extra sweet. 

Rita Pham of @mcakesweeks rocks the celebratory vibes on a lark at Urban Americana in Long Beach!
@mcakesweeks rocks the celebratory vibes on a super fun (50th!) lark at Urban Americana in Long Beach!
@mcakesweets, Chef Kyle Powers + Nelson Johnson roll into our”50th” lark pop-up communal dinner party!
Rita Pham of @mcakesweeks rocks the celebratory vibes on a lark at Urban Americana in Long Beach!
Rita Pham of @mcakesweeks rocks the celebratory vibes on a lark at Urban Americana in Long Beach!
Image captured by @mb.maher on a super fun lark at Urban Americana in Long Beach!

Modern. Organic. Inspirational. Social Dining. Come on a lark with us! 

……More?

As we are always on a lark…here’s a few {personal} moments to share:

Clam-less in Long Beach

Unfortunately the adventure was too much for one little clam (he didn’t make the lark). Soon I discovered that all the elements of this dish, clam excluded, were over-the-top satisfying. 

Lark Therapy 

I was well into a conversation, dabbling into bits of my history (military brat, late bloomer, endlessly curious), when I learned I was speaking with a professional therapist. I feel better already! 

Why Do I Feel Happy

A gentleman on a lark leaned over and said, I feel happier than I have in a long time and I don’t know why. We all chimed in on the endless benefits of social dining.

Hot Yoga

As a universal rule, we only lark in extreme weather and this smoking hot evening was no exception. We laughed at how the high humidity made our “purposeful work” (set up + breakdown) feel more like hot yoga!

Q+A with Summer Meek | Doing All Things With Love in Laguna Beach, California

Charlie & Summer Meet at The Soul Project in Laguna Beach

We were fortunate to meet Summer Meek at The Soul Project which is her gorgeous retail + event space in Laguna Beach. It’s warm and inviting and comfortable. We attended her The New Girls Network gathering and were surrounded by supportive female entrepreneurs who had gathered to share their stories. Now, we’d like to share Summer’s story:

Q. Since you are a native, what are your favorite childhood memories of Laguna Beach? 

A. Some of my favorite memories are of course long days spent at the beach, exploring the tide pools, hiking the hills. And my parents were both early Sawdust Festival artists and I have a lot of memories of time spent there. I think that’s where I caught my entrepreneurial spirit. Even then I had enterprising endeavors going on.

Q. We love how you ventured out to create + celebrate spaces that feel like home. Was this something you had always wanted to do?

A.  I have always believed in the energy of space. It’s challenging to explain and sounds woo woo to talk about but it is my super power. I love creating experiences I am passionate about it and add love to everything I do.

Q. You’re cottage-esque space is so warm and inviting, do you know the history behind it? Any interesting stories?

A.  My understanding is in the early days of Laguna Beach artists would come and build their cottage, live in the back, create during the week and then open the doors on the weekend for tourists. Before I moved in, The Knitting Store habituated the space. But during one Art Walk a woman came and shared that she once lived in the back and had her art gallery in the front it–was probably 25 years prior to me opening. She brought me pictures it was so fun.

Q. You began your business through creating graphic Tees for artists (and still do), but you are also constantly growing, evolving and exploring. What is it that drives / pulls you? Any advice for others?

A. When I opened I really wanted to create a community space and have people come have an experience, it’s interesting because that was five years ago and now experience is trending. I just saw it as an organic way to cultivate a community of like minded individuals. I am a curious person and I love to learn and I am always seeking new information and love learning about people and love to incorporate that into what we’re doing at the store whether that’s through product or new experimental offerings. Sometimes I meet these really an amazing people that I really want to work with because were aligned. Like when I met you.

Q. Your latest adventure, The New Girls Network has brought some exciting and energizing opportunities to your community. Where do you want (hope) it to lead?

A. We just celebrated a year since we started meeting, we meet the third Thursday of the month at The Soul Project, it’s a free networking even but it’s really more than that, it’s a place for woman entrepreneurs to gather in a supportive environment. There’s not posturing, you don’t have to be a certain kind of person and wear a certain outfit. You can show up as your authentic self. I don’t know where it will go and I don’t currently have plans to make it anything other than what it is. I have watched woman connect, make business happen, grow into an idea and bring it to life.

Q. It is fitting that The Soul Project is located in the revitalized “Hip District ” of Laguna Beach. Are there any behind the scene changes you are inspired by?

A. We have come together as a neighborhood and are really trying to breathe life into this part of town. We have some really amazing g retailers and new stores opening. I fell we are becoming the new Abbot Kinney.

Q. Thank you for opening your doors to lark! We can’t wait to dine in your “landscapers” garden, under the stars–have you always been a foodie?

A. I have been a foodie most of my life. I remember one day asking to be driven to the store so I could buy all the ingredients to make a chocolate cake from scratch. My mom asked how I knew how to make it and I didn’t know, but I was inspired to try.

Q.  What is your most memorable dining experience?

A. There are so many it’s hard to pick just one. But the most recent one that comes to mind is a farm to table dinner put on by my friend and farmer at Blue Bird Canyon Farms in Laguna Beach. He works with a woman named Chef Jen Alvarez. It was the most beautiful setting, and the most delicious sustainable food. I could still describe every morsel I ate that night. There was also a very memorable drive up to a castle in Italy with a view to die for and a dinner that was some of the most delicious food.

Q. If you could dine with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?

A. Julia Child because she loved food, was cooky and zany, loved cocktails and didn’t seem to uptight. I had the pleasure of dining next to her not too long before she passed, that was most definitely one of my favorite star sightings.

Q, It’s an interesting and exciting time for female entrepreneurs – who are your current hero’s?

 A. Oprah Winfrey still impresses me on a regular basis and it’s inspiring how she has stayed true to her message and hasn’t seemed to sell out.  Gorjana Reidel is a local CEO that I have watched evolve her business and it’s really impressive.

Guerrilla Lark | Going Rogue in Laguna Beach, California

July 15th, 2019

Because we like to be intentional.

On a not so typical Monday afternoon we gathered a few of our favorite things (& people) from The Soul Project and adventured straight across PCH, down to the beach to enjoy delicious East Borough Bahn Mi sandwiches, refreshing Seabold Ginger Beer+ inspiring conversations–all within a couple of hours of high tide!

We Are One Tee from The Soul Project on a super fun guerrilla lark in Laguna Beach!
@prettynvintage tote from The Soul Project on a super fun guerrilla lark in Laguna Beach!

We are so thrilled to have discovered a fast + fun way to get our creative juices flowing, uplift each other and thank our collaborators.

A few of our favorite people enjoying food, drinks & conversation on a guerrilla lark in Laguna Beach!

We always appreciate Luna Reece Ceramics who shared with us her latest rainbow designs, LOVE! You will always find her hand-made ceramics adorning our communal table. 

Luna Reece Ceramics spices things up on a super fun guerrilla lark in Laguna Beach!

This time we also get to show off a gorgeous Moroccan rug sourced from our gal, Mary O’Dell, at happy_tapis.

happy tapas featured on a super fun guerrilla lark in Laguna Beach!

Super thankful to Melissa Brown of Mat3.Photography for capturing this carefree beach vibe! Images captured at Bluebird Street in Laguna Beach.

Create. Collaborate. Elevate. Come on a lark with us!

Next lark communal dinner party will be Thursday 7/25/19 with the talented Chef Kyle Powers at The Soul Project in Laguna Beach!

Menu + Tickets :www.larkartisanmarket.com

Meet Lisa Martinez, Owner + Creator of Lark | Radiating Good Vibes in Huntington Beach, California

📸 by MBMaher.com on a super fun lark at McGee&Co in East Side Costa Mesa!

In this image (but mostly in my mind) I am doing my best to channel the admirable Wes Anderson.

Hello! I am Lisa Martinez founder of lark and creator of well styled dinner parties, marketplaces and guerrilla larks here in Southern California.

There is an intersection of reasons I started lark, but at its core is a desire to recreate an experience that “fed my soul”.

It can only be described as good fortune to have been exposed to a truly collaborative and creative environment-in the world of Still Photography-where I felt whole, connected, and began to see beauty in everything.

Through much thought, writing and rewriting of business plans and endless conversations (anyone who might listen) I figured out a way to recreate this experience and share with others.

With lark, I (we) invite everyone to step into a “photograph”—where you can be yourself, enjoy a glass of wine, be inspired by your surroundings and, best of all, partake in the rediscovered art of conversation.

Modern. Organic. Inspirational. Social Dining. Come on a lark with us!

Next lark 7/25/19 in the gorgeous garden of The SOUL Project in Laguna Beach!

+ + + + + 

Thursday, July 25, 2019
6:30pm-9:30pm
$125. per person, all-inclusive four course meal & wine pairing
by the talented Chef Kyle Powers 
Purchase Tickets*: 
Let’s Go On A Lark!
*Non-refundable/absolutely transferable