Photography by Rick Nocon
As the fading summer sun reflects off the San Diego skyline, the evening is shaping up to be a scorcher. Blind daters Frances and David met an hour ago in the Epic Limo that's about to drop them off for drinks and apps at Coasterra on Harbor Island. Before they arrive, let's review the pre-date interviews.
PacificSD: Where are you from and where do you live now?
FRANCES: I'm from San Marcos and currently live in Del Mar.
DAVID: I'm from South Dakota. Currently living in Little Italy .
What do you do for a living?
FRANCES: I do quite a bit. I'm a server and VIP cocktailer at Backyard Kitchen & Tap; I'm one of the lovely Fun Patrol ladies of Sunburn Pool Lounge at Hard Rock Hotel; and a VIP cocktailer at the sexy new nightclub, Foundation, in the Gaslamp.
DAVID: I sell investments, wholesale, to financial advisors.
What do you do for fun?
FRANCES: Lounging at the beach, shopping, relaxing.
DAVID: I enjoy being active, playing sports, traveling, eating great food, getting on boats and going out on town with my buddies.
What are you best at?
FRANCES: Working under pressure.
DAVID: Meeting new people and making new friends.
What do you suck at?
FRANCES: Master procrastinator.
DAVID: Saying no to having a good time.
What are you looking for in a date, physically and/or otherwise?
FRANCES: Amazing sense of humor - make me laugh. Gorgeous eyes and smile with a soft heart and soul. Somewhat athletic, with sexy style. Tattoos are okay.
DAVID: She's gotta be smart but still maintain a sense of humor, because I can be a bit much. Having drive for a career is also a must. Lastly, if the physical attraction isn't there, then none of the above matters.
Describe your special brand of sex appeal in five words or less.
FRANCES: Passionate, driven, sexy and a gentleman.
DAVID: Midwest charm with Asian twist.
What do you like least about yourself?
FRANCES: I get distracted very easily.
DAVID: My knack for over-indulgence.
Rate yourself on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
DAVID: When I look at myself in the dark, I'd give myself a solid 7.5.
How about for personality?
DAVID: We will stick to the 7.5 trend, which coincidentally also happens to be my favorite number. I wore "7.5" on all my high school glory-day uniforms. As one would imagine, growing up Asian in South Dakota, I had to try and find ways to differentiate myself from others. So I thought that adding a decimal would be a good touch.
What's your biggest fear?
DAVID: I tend not to choose favorites very often.
What traits could your date exhibit that would be deal-breakers?
DAVID: Being entitled, having bad hygiene and complaining about everything.
Fill in the blanks: I want my blind date to be "blank" and "blank."
FRANCES: Fun and confident.
DAVID: Charismatic and spontaneous.
Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less?
FRANCES: A kiss is always sweet.
DAVID: I prefer to hug it out... keeps them guessing.
When they arrive at Coasterra, the couple heads inside, meets the famed and beloved Chef Deborah Scott, and then grabs a table with a view. Things appear to be going well as the two acquainted over cocktails. David's doing most of the talking, Frances is laughing a lot, and both seem to be having a good time. After the warm-up round, it's time to jump back into the limo and go chill out in
, literally, at temperatures below -200 degrees Fahrenheit.
880 Harbor Island Dr.
CATCHING A COLD
Things heat up as the daters disrobe
It's not as if Frances were over-dressed at the beginning of the date, but soon she'll be wearing even less, as she and David have just arrived at Chiltonic for full-body cryotherapy treatments.
David's up first. After stripping down to his skivvies, he steps into the cryotherapy chamber and proceeds to chill out for three minutes as his skin-temperature plummets 25 degrees.
When David's session is complete, Frances hands him a towel, rubbing his back to warm him up before entering the chamber herself. Three minutes later, she emerges. After David returns the back-rubbing favor, the two get dressed and head to dinner at the brand-new Barbusa in Little Italy.
Inside the restaurant, once they've had a chance to order drinks and thaw out, the couple is split for mid-date debriefings.
PacificSD: How's it going so far?
FRANCES: We're having a lot of fun.
DAVID: It's going great.
What were your first impressions?
FRANCES: I thought he was super cute and sweet. And we wore matching shirts.
DAVID: She is nice, she's pretty and she's a lot of fun.
Is this the type of person you normally date?
FRANCES: Yeah, actually. Yeah, I would.
What do you think of the way your date is dressed?
FRANCES: Really good. I love it. He looks pretty cute. We match. He's casual but, like, dressed up.
DAVID: I like her choker collar that she's wearing, and her shirt. I think that's hot.
How was your experience at Coasterra?
FRANCES: It's very romantic, and hot, with the sunset happening and the San Diego, like, scenery and everything. I thought it was beautiful. It was perfect.
DAVID: Coasterra is nice. It has a beautiful view.
What did you eat and drink there?
FRANCES: We had guacamole. We had some ceviche and ahi tuna which was really, really good. The tuna was my favorite.
DAVID: We had guacamole, we had ceviche, we had the ahi tostada - that was absolutely amazing. And then I had a mezcal Old Fashioned.
How was your experience at Chiltonic?
FRANCES: Oh, my god. It was crazy. It was definitely something I wasn't ready for, but, when I did it, I persevered through three minutes. It was amazing, and I definitely felt a lot better, actually. Rejuvenated. And I would definitely go back again.
DAVID: Cold. At first, it really sucked when I was sitting in the chamber. I was completely freezing by the time I got out... but within the next 30 seconds through the proceeding five minutes, my body felt amazing. You know, I'm kind of a big deal and I don't like to sell myself short - so, when they told me the max level was Three, and that I should only do One or Two, I opted for the Three.
How did it feel being almost naked in front of your date?
FRANCES: I was comfortable. I mean, I'm kind of naturally like that as-is anyway. I wear swimsuits and bikinis all the time.
DAVID: It felt very liberating. In fact, I'd actually had preferred to show up to the date completely naked.
What's the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
FRANCES: He's such a gentleman; he's super sweet. I can tell he definitely knows what a woman wants and can take care of it, if he ever wanted to. He's a sweet guy, that's for sure.
DAVID: She rubbed my back to make me warm as I got out of the freezing cryotherapy chamber.
What's the least attractive thing?
FRANCES: I can't really say. I'm a pretty positive person. If anything were negative, I probably already forgot. He's pretty fun, nice and very, very cute. I like his style.
DAVID: She farted in the limo. I'm just kidding.
Rate your date on a scale from on to 10 for looks.
FRANCES: Probably a ten.
FRANCES: Ten, for sure. Yeah, we had a lot of fun.
What's your date's most attractive quality?
FRANCES: His eyes. He has, like, these hazel kind of eyes.
DAVID: Her willingness to go with the flow and have a good time.
How about the least attractive quality?
FRANCES: I don't think there's any least-attractive quality I can find now. We'll see.
DAVID: Her piercing. I work in a professional environment and I guess, you know, that's not really my thing.
Do you want to kiss your date right now?
FRANCES: I probably could.
Does your date want to kiss you?
FRANCES: I mean, I hope so.
DAVID: Probably not.
Anything you'd like to add?
FRANCES: It's been a lot of fun. He's really awesome; great personality, and I'm sure we'll probably have more dates in the future.
DAVID: I'm having a really good time, that's for sure.
1040 University Ave., Ste. B210, Hillcrest
AMORE OR LESS
Falling in love - at least with the food
AMORE OR LESS
After the mid-date break at Barbusa, the magazine crew finally leaves the couple alone to enjoy the rest of the evening away from the camera. The next morning, we call to see what we missed.
PacificSD: How was dinner at Barbusa?
FRANCES: Dinner was delicious. The venue is gorgeous.
DAVID: Dinner was fantastic. That place has a great atmosphere and food.
What did you eat and drink there?
FRANCES: I ate the salmon and had a glass of Sauvignon blanc and a velvet blend [red wine].
DAVID: I drank a glass of cab and had a mezcal mixed drink.
Where did you go and what did you do for the rest of the evening after dinner?
FRANCES: David's friends were at a birthday party at Kettner Exchange, so we went there after. I'd never been; I loved the rooftop. I happened to know some of his friends, too.
DAVID: Went to Kettner Exchange and met up with a group of close friends that were celebrating their birthdays - three in one night.
When did you get home?
FRANCES: He was such a gentleman; he made sure I made my curfew.
DAVID: I got home around 12 a.m.
Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?
FRANCES: I don't kiss and tell.
DAVID: Remember, I prefer to hug it out, which is what happened.
How and when did the date end?
FRANCES: Not sure.
DAVID: The date ended around 12 a.m. as we left Kettner Exchange.
Fill in the blanks. I wish my date had a bigger "blank" and a smaller "blank."
FRANCES: He's perfect. He's bigger than guys I've dated before.
DAVID: I think she should just keep doing exactly what she's doing.
What's the funniest thing that happened during the date?
FRANCES: Freezing our buns off at cryotherapy.
DAVID: I'd say all of the picture-taking and spotlight in the restaurants.
What was the best part of the date?
FRANCES: He was able to make me feel comfortable throughout the whole date.
DAVID: The playful company. I felt like I could be myself, so I'm sure she had the enjoyment of listening to multiple bad jokes.
What was the worst part of the date?
FRANCES: Feeling nervous in the beginning for no reason.
DAVID: All of the picture-taking, but I guess that was to be expected.
Will there be a second date?
FRANCES: Yes, if he's lucky.
DAVID: I'm sure that we will see each other again - under what circumstances TBD.
AFTERMATCH: Although Frances and David gave each other high marks at the mid-date break - and shared affectionate, if not intimate, moments at Chiltonic and in the limo - the final result of last night's blind date feels lukewarm at best.
She said, "He definitely knows what a woman wants and can take care of it, if he ever wanted to." He said, "She rubbed my back to make me warm." Despite those indicators (and Frances' being "not sure" about how and when the date ended), however, the heat of the moment didn't lead to an on-camera kiss, which means anyone hoping for a hotter, happier ending got left out in the cold. Luckily, there's still time to fire up a hot, new summer romance... even if it lasts for only one night. Step one: break the ice.
1917 India St. Little Italy