Blind date: Measuring up
Blind daters Britt and Ethan get a makeover at E.C.Stylebar, an Airstream trailer converted into a mobil salon in Balboa Park before heading to the Smoking Gun restaurant downtown.
Photos and video by David Brooks
Matchmaking by Jessica Pelligra
In keeping with this issue’s fashion theme, tonight’s blind daters will be styled for a photo shoot before heading to dinner at a hot new place downtown. Britt and Ethan met for the first time an hour ago in the Epic Limo that’s about to drop them in Balboa Park to get ready for the shoot. Before they arrive, let’s review the pre-date interviews.
PACIFIC: Where are you from and where do you live now?
BRITT: I’m from Huntington Beach but currently living on a sailboat in Shelter Island.
ETHAN: I’m from Los Angeles and I now live in Pacific Beach.
What do you do for a living?
BRITT: Full-time student and part-time waitress.
ETHAN: I host a radio show on Channel 933.
What do you do for fun?
BRITT: I like long walks at dog beach, reading at the park and yoga.
ETHAN: I’ll ride my bike near the beach or hang at a friend’s house.
What are you best at?
BRITT: Best at getting down on the dance floor.
What do you suck at?
BRITT: I suck at taking shots.
What are you looking for in a date, physically and/or otherwise?
BRITT: I always enjoy hanging out with people who are spontaneous and adventurous and can make me laugh.
ETHAN: Madison Beer - look her up and you’ll understand.
Describe your special brand of sex appeal in five words or less.
BRITT: Messy hair.
ETHAN: Mixture of Brad Pitt/Chandler.
What do you like least about yourself?
BRITT: My inability to make decisions.
ETHAN: I turn everything into a joke.
Rate yourself on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
BRITT: I only rate my Thai food on a 1-to-10 scale.
ETHAN: Is “God’s gift to mankind” an answer? Because I’d be the exact opposite.
How about for personality?
BRITT: See answer above.
ETHAN: A hundred thousand trillion, (in a) Kanye voice.
What’s your biggest fear?
BRITT: Drowning. Definitely have had that feeling when I paddle out in big waves and realize I’m not the best surfer.
ETHAN: That after all the hard work I’ve put in, the countless hours of grinding - my career won’t go anywhere, and I won’t be the next Ryan Seacrest. Just kidding. I’m claustrophobic.
What traits could your date exhibit that would be deal-breakers?
BRITT: Being extremely boring is up there on the deal-breaking list.
ETHAN: Texting people. Oh, and cigs.
Fill in the blanks: I want my blind date to be “blank” and “blank.”
BRITT: I want my blind date to be an animal lover and a surfer.
ETHAN: Cute and funny - makes up for what I lack.
Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less?
BRITT: I don’t usually kiss on the first date, but you never know.
ETHAN: If the night doesn’t end with me grabbing a mic and drunkenly recreating the scene in 10 Things I Hate About You where Heath Ledger, RIP, sings Can’t Take My Eyes Off You to Kat, then I will consider the night a failure. Oh, and a kiss would be chill.
What’s the most important thing in the world?
BRITT: Family, friends and, of course, my son, who is an 11-month-old goldendoodle named Bodhi.
ETHAN: More Life by Drake. People need to understand it’s a playlist, not an album.
When the limo pulls up, Britt and Ethan step out, and then step inside E.C. Stylebar, a “mobile beauty lounge” aboard which professional stylists will doll them up for pics.
A Shot in the Park
Made you looks!
After being properly primed and primped, Ethan waits while Britt gets her hair and makeup done in the salon on wheels. Then, it’s lights, camera, fashion as the two pose for photos in a variety of outfits from Vocabulary Boutique, exchange glances and smiles, and look like an affectionate couple in stylish love.
After about an hour and a couple wardrobe changes, the daters jump back into the limo for the ride downtown to dinner at The Smoking Gun, a cool, new bar and restaurant on Market Street (at the former site of Blush Ice Bar). As they arrive, they head inside and grab a booth. Once they’ve had time to get further acquainted over appetizers and cocktails, they’re split for mid-date debriefings.
PACIFIC: How’s it going so far?
BRITT: It’s going good. He’s really easy to talk to, so it’s been fun so far.
ETHAN: It’s good, it’s good. She’s awesome.
What were your first impressions of your date?
BRITT: First impressions, he was cute. One of the best things is to have someone who isn’t too boring, and he’s a good talker and keeps the conversation going. And he’s funny, so it’s been good.
ETHAN: I was like, “Damn, I wish I looked better than I did right now.”
Is this the type of person you’d normally date?
BRITT: He’s definitely different than someone I’d normally date. My past boyfriends have been different types of people, but he’s cool - not bad at all. I mean, I broke up with them for a reason, but they were all great, too. Shout-out to my exes; they’re great.
What do you think of the way your date is dressed?
BRITT: I’m not that observant. Oh, you know what, he has a nice jacket. I think we walked up and noticed that we had kind of matching outfits on, and we were like, “Oh, nice.”
ETHAN: Very, like, “sunflower child.”
How was your experience with E.C. Stylebar?
BRITT: That was amazing. I’ve been on quite a few photo shoots and I wish that we had E.C. Stylebar at every photo shoot. They pull up in their really cool Airstream, and they’re amazing.
ETHAN: That was chill. I want to buy myself one right now, just drive around in that, live in that.
What do you think of The Smoking Gun?
BRITT: The Smoking Gun is incredible. They have really good food. If you come here, their drink called... you know what, I don’t remember the name of the drink, but it’s really good. It’s a tropical one on their house cocktails, so double-check that one. It was really good.
Editor’s note: She’s referring to the Goodbye Island with Cruzan rum, passionfruit, lime, pineapple and serrano chile.
ETHAN: It’s amazing. I tried Brussels sprouts for the very first time. I tried French onion soup. It was very good, although I’m pretty sure my breath smells right now.
What’s the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
BRITT: I like that he always has a smile on his face. Seems like a very positive person.
ETHAN: When we were first taking pictures, she put her head against my head, which was kind of cool. But she’s also a professional; she might have been trained to do that. Not a professional like you’re thinking, like a professional model. But that was my favorite thing; it was nice. She got close right away.
What’s the least attractive thing?
BRITT: I can’t pinpoint anything at the moment. T.B.D.
ETHAN: Well, and this is only in the beginning, she started off texting a couple times, which I wrote in the (pre-date interview) I wouldn’t want someone to do. But she stopped. Could have been just like an, “I’m not dead yet,” like, “I’m still alive” kind of text.
Rate your date on a scale from 1 to 10 for looks.
BRITT: Like I said originally, I prefer to only rate my Thai food on a scale of 1 to 10, but he’s up there.
ETHAN: Are we supposed to rate people? Twenty-one.
And for personality?
BRITT: He has a great personality. I would put him at a 10.
ETHAN: I’ll give her a good 10 on that. She’s got an awesome personality.
What’s your date’s most attractive quality?
BRITT: He seems like a very funny, upbeat, positive person, which is very important.
ETHAN: I like her eyes.
Do you want to kiss your date right now?
BRITT: I’m not really sure yet.
ETHAN: Of course. That sounded sleazy. I do. I like her a lot. I’m crushing.
Anything you’d like to add?
BRITT: I would suggest, if you’re downtown, definitely check out The Smoking Gun. It’s definitely really good. Today’s been fun.
ETHAN: Editor’s note right here - next time you decide to do a fashion shoot, and I’m paired with a model, please give me a heads-up so I know when I’m going in I’m going to be the awful one. It was a slaughter. She was way better than me at it.
Sporting their own styles, the couple sits down for dinner
After the mid-date break, Britt and Ethan return to their table. As their entrees arrive, the magazine crew finally leaves the couple alone to enjoy the rest of their evening away from the camera. The next day, we call to see what we missed.
How was the rest of your time at The Smoking Gun?
BRITT: The Smoking Gun was incredible. Our waiter, I believe his name was Nick, was super great. I really liked basically everything that we got there. The drinks were incredible, along with the food, so I would definitely suggest going there.
ETHAN: Very good. Nick, who was our server, he was pretty cool; he was on another level. He definitely made it an enjoyable experience.
What did you have to eat and drink?
BRITT: I wish I remembered the name of the cocktail - it was under their house specialty cocktails and it had a tropical rum taste to it. We got the chicken, the mac and cheese, which was probably my favorite thing that we got, and we just got all kinds of sides, and they were all really good.
ETHAN: I’m not over-exaggerating when I say this - literally, we had one of everything off the menu. We had a little bit of mac and cheese, a little bit of ribs, a little bit of chicken. We had Brussels sprouts. Yeah, we had one of everything. And I’m trying to think what the drink was called. It was like, One in a Melon, I think? And then we had some kind of strawberry shot.
Where did you go and what did you do for the rest of the evening after dinner?
BRITT: We actually ended up going home because we ended dinner kind of late, and I always eat a lot of food, and food coma. I was pretty tired. I had worked late the night before... so I ended up calling it a night after dinner.
ETHAN: We just chilled there for an hour or so.
Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?
BRITT: No, there was not.
ETHAN: A non-romantic hug in the backseat, saying goodbye.
How and when did the date end?
BRITT: We decided to have one last drink there, and then it was time to head home.
ETHAN: We decided we were going to get one more drink at The Smoking Gun, and then we were going to go maybe to another place and get another drink. I thought we were going to do something else we had planned, that she brought up, but then she was like, “Oh, I’m kind of exhausted.”
What was the best part of the date?
BRITT: I think my favorite part of the date was obviously dinner because it was really yummy food, and we had a good time there and had lots of good conversation.
ETHAN: That hour we had to ourselves was kind of nice. Just kind of talking, just trying to see the real her without the cameras and people around, that was kind of cool.
What was the worst part of the date?
BRITT: At one point, we were a little bummed that we were just doing a photo shoot when other (PACIFIC blind daters) jumped out of planes. So we got a little jealous when we heard all of the other stories, but it wasn’t too bad.
ETHAN: Having it end so early was awful. I thought we were having a good time, which I guess makes me look like an idiot. That definitely sucked. She explained there was kind of a situation - it had to do with her living situation.
Will there be a second date?
BRITT: Yeah, I could definitely hang out with him in the future. He was easy to talk to and we had a good time.
ETHAN: I mean, I would like to. I don’t know if there will be. I guess it’s kind of on her. I’m for it, if she’s down.
What’s one thing your date should know before going on another date?
BRITT: I feel like he’s a big social media person. I mean, I have my social medias as well, but I just prefer to not be on my phone that much. I feel like he has to be on his social media all the time, and I prefer not to be on the phone that much when I’m around people.
ETHAN: Maybe not be on the phone as much?
Anything else you’d like to add?
BRITT: No, that’s about it.
ETHAN: I would say, “Please forgive me, because I’m about to talk about this on my show tonight.” If she’s reading this, please forgive me for what’s about to transpire on Channel 933.
AFTERMATCH: At the mid-date break, Britt said Ethan was “up there” on the physical-attraction scale and gave him a perfect “10” for personality. He gave her a “21” for looks and said, “She’s got an awesome personality.” So what happened at the end of the evening? In her post-date interview, Britt said she had called it a night due to a food coma and having worked late the night before. According to Ethan, however, she told him “it had to do with her living situation.” Perhaps he just isn’t her style. Or maybe he didn’t float her boat, which must matter more when you actually live on one. For Ethan’s sake, let’s hope he was over-reacting to her untimely departure - Britt did say she’d be open to another date, after all. The moral of the story: put down your phone... it’s ruining your look.
P.S. Ethan did go live with his story on-air at Channel 933. Listen to his post-date chat with Jessica the Matchmaker here and read his blog post from the day after the date below.
“Okay guys I’m back with another group therapy and I really need advice because I have no Idea what to think... So thanks to Pacific Magazine, I was sen (sic) on a blind date and had the entire night planned out. Jessica, the woman who matched the two of us daters, set up a fun evening filled with a photoshoot at Balboa Park followed by a dinner at the Smoking Gun downtown. After that, the rest of the night was ours... Or at least it was supposed to be!! Throughout the night, me and my date and had talked about things we would do afterwards and I was super excited. But when it came time and the cameras and crew left, she was calling it a night...
“I know what you’re thinking, it must have been an awful time. It was quite the opposite actually. Not only was she one of the cutest girls I had seen, but she was also super down to earth and we had a lot fo (sic) fun together. So that only made it more confusing why she wanted to end the night early. Listen to what happened below and hit me with that advice... Cuz I’m desperate!”
Thank you to (and promotional consideration provided by): Epic Limo, 858.270.LIMO (5466), epiclimo.com; E.C. Stylebar, 858-997-5008, ecstylebar.com; Vocabulary Boutique, 619.203.4066, vocabularyboutique.com;The Smoking Gun, 619.233.3836, thesmokinggunsd.com.
Sign up for the Pacific Insider newsletter
PACIFIC magazine delivers the latest restaurant and bar openings, festivals and top concerts, every Tuesday.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Pacific San Diego.