By David Perloff
Photos by Brevin Blach
Chaperoned by Jessica Pelligra
Welcome to the 105th edition of the PacificSD blind date. This evening, stylin' singles Lindsay and Mark will become the latest models - getting styled and posing for photos at Topshop and Topman at Fashion Valley Mall.
Before their Epic Limo drops the couple off for local craft beers at the new Quad Alehouse (formerly Gaslamp Tavern) on Fifth Avenue, let's review the predate interviews.
PacificSD: Where are you from and where do you live now?
LINDSAY: Orange Beach, Alabama. I live in Little Italy right now.
MARK: I'm from Northern Los Angeles and I live in downtown San Diego.
What do you do for a living?
LINDSAY: Speech-language pathologist, personal trainer and business owner.
MARK: I own and operate an Internet marketing agency. We help generate new leads and sales for small businesses... and save penguins.
What do you do for fun?
LINDSAY: Workout, fish, kayak, paddleboard, dance.
MARK: I'm a guy's guy. I like to workout, golf, play poker and travel.
What are you best at?
LINDSAY: Being Mom to my son.
MARK: I'm best at anything athletic. I grew up playing lots of sports, so athletics come naturally to me.
What do you suck at?
LINDSAY: Picking guys, apparently.
MARK: I suck at taking selfies.
What are you looking for in a date, physically and/or otherwise?
LINDSAY: Someone with confidence and good communication skills. Obviously, it would help if he's smokin' hot.
MARK: I'm looking for an attractive and loyal woman who's a free spirit.
Describe your special brand of sex appeal in five words or less.
LINDSAY: MILF, or so I've been told.
MARK: Candice Swanepoel.
What do you like least about yourself?
LINDSAY: I learn my lessons the hard way. Always.
MARK: I can be a bit of a hermit sometimes. I get so involved in my business that I avoid doing anything.
Rate yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 for looks.
LINDSAY: Depends on who I'm standing next to.
MARK: I'd say I'm at least a five. I have a nice butt.
Rate yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 for personality.
LINDSAY: Eleven, duh.
What's your biggest fear?
LINDSAY: Killer whales.
MARK: Knocking over a bottle in a liquor store and causing a domino effect.
What traits could your date exhibit that would be complete deal-breakers?
LINDSAY: Narcissism or any signs of poor character, really.
MARK: Insecurity, bad hygiene or constantly checking her phone.
Fill in the blanks: I want my blind date to be "blank" and "blank."
LINDSAY: Does "Christian" and "Grey" work?
MARK: Sexy and hungry.
Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less?
LINDSAY: May the odds be ever in his favor - a kiss would be very generous.
MARK: Possibly, but she has to keep her hands above the waist.
What's the most important thing in the world?
LINDSAY: My son.
868 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp
Behind Clothed Doors
The daters disrobe (in separate dressing rooms, unfortunately)
As Lindsay and Mark arrive at Quad Alehouse for pre-styling beer flights, they appear to be getting along well, but an instant love connection is not yet apparent. In case tequila shots can fashion change on that front, we send some over. Soon, nervous laughter seems to give way to more relaxed conversation.
After about an hour, the couple departs Quad mid-flight. Next stop: Fashion Valley, specifically, the brick-and-mortar outpost of British-born fashion label Topshop and its brother brand, Topman. Inside, the daters meet their stylist, Alejandro, who outfits them in the store's latest and greatest.
While looking in the mirror and reflecting on each other's fresh looks, Lindsay and Mark channel Ben Stiller's character in Zoolander by flashing their best Blue Steels at the camera. Laughter hits a crescendo when Mark tries on a man purse.
After the fashion show, they leave the store with parting gifts (Lindsay selects a Topshop blouse and a skirt, Mark scores two Topman shirts but foregoes the murse) and head to Pacific Beach for a sunset dinner at JRDN, the ocean-view restaurant at Tower23 Hotel. Once inside, they order wine and look over the menu. As their appetizers arrive, the couple is split for mid-date debriefings.
PacificSD: How's it going so far?
LINDSAY: It's going really well. He's a really nice guy.
MARK: Really good. I've had a great time today so far.
What were you first impressions?
LINDSAY: Good first impressions; he was really nice and charismatic.
MARK: Very beautiful girl. She definitely loves to have a good time and she likes fashion just as much as I do - both great things.
What's the funniest/weirdest thing you've talked about so far?
LINDSAY: We talked about really bad dates; that was pretty fun.
MARK: Her crawling on the [fake zebra skin] carpet at Topshop.
Is this the type of person you'd normally date?
LINDSAY: It's not my typical guy. I usually don't date guys that are as clean-cut as he is. I guess I usually date guys that are a little more rugged.
MARK: I mean, sure. I think at first, not necessarily, but once I got to know her a little bit I realized she was an awesome girl, someone that I could definitely see myself dating.
How was your experience at Quad Alehouse?
LINDSAY: It was great all around. It was a great atmosphere, and the beer flights were really good. I definitely would go back for football season.
MARK: That was fun. The upstairs bar that we went to was great, a lot of really cool little themes inside of the bar, and there was a lot of different choices for flights of beer. I think that place is fun for day-drinking and great beer.
How was your experience at Topshop/Topman?
LINDSAY: Topshop was a lot of fun. I will probably be back in there very soon, spending way too much money. Alex was amazing, and I love [the outfit he styled me in]. I plan on wearing it very soon.
MARK: Amazing. I think I'm going to start sprucing up my style a little more hipster.
Which of you looks hotter?
LINDSAY: That's a close call, but I might have to go with myself here.
MARK: Obviously, Lindsay does.
What's the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
LINDSAY: Talking about his business and how he's an entrepreneur.
MARK: Her poses when we were modeling our clothes.
Rate your date on a scale from 1 to 10 for looks.
And for personality?
LINDSAY: From what I gather so far, probably an eight.
MARK: I'd say eight.
Do you want to kiss your date right now?
LINDSAY: No, but I'm not much of a kisser on the first date anyway.
Does your date want to kiss you?
LINDSAY: I don't know. You'll have to ask him.
How and when will the date end?
LINDSAY: It's going to have to end after dinner, unfortunately. I have to get back to mommy duties.
MARK: That's yet to be determined.
Son Day Funday
A sunset dinner before "mommy duties" begin again
After the mid-date break, Lindsay and Mark pose for a final few photos. Once they've had a chance to enjoy their entrees and meet JRDN's new chef, Danilo "DJ" Tangalin, the PacificSD film crew finally leaves the couple to enjoy the rest of their evening away from the camera. The next morning, we call to see what we missed.
PacificSD: How was dinner at JRDN?
LINDSAY: I love everything about JRDN. You can't beat the food and atmosphere anywhere else in PB.
MARK: Everything there was fantastic. I really love that place, and the company wasn't bad either.
What did you eat and drink there?
LINDSAY: I had the scallops and a glass of wine. We had the tuna tartare and squash as appetizers. Everything was delicious.
MARK: I had the Ahi Tuna Poke and the Squash Blossoms with a Sauvignon Blanc from South Australia.
Where did you go and what did you do for the rest of the evening after JRDN?
LINDSAY: I went back to mommy duties.
MARK: I made the grownup decision to go home and get ready for the upcoming week. It was a long weekend, and the fun had to stop somewhere.
When did you get home?
LINDSAY: After we ate at JRDN.
MARK: Somewhere around eight or nine p.m.
Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?
MARK: That's top secret.
How and when did the date end?
LINDSAY: The car drove me home after dinner.
MARK: The date ended when the driver dropped Lindsay off at home after dinner.
Fill in the blanks. I wish my date had a bigger "blank" and a smaller "blank.
LINDSAY: I wish my date had a bigger alcohol tolerance and smaller appetite. Sorry, Mark, but I definitely could have eaten all of that food, and I know your hangover was killer the next day.
MARK: I can't think of anything that would fit here.
What's the funniest thing that happened during the date?
LINDSAY: Probably trying on all of the outfits and working on our Zoolander face.
MARK: During the fashion part of the date, the photographer shot us doing our best Zoolander impression. We were laughing the whole time. It was great.
What was the best part of the date and why?
LINDSAY: Dinner. I was starving.
MARK: Definitely the fashion part of the date. I experienced a completely different type of style and had fun goofing around with everyone.
Will there be a second date?
LINDSAY: I think we would make better friends. I have to be extremely picky, though, because I'm kind of a package deal. He goes out a lot, and that's not really what I'm looking for. He's a very nice guy, though.
MARK: Sure. We had a great time and share a lot in common. Lindsay is a great girl.
What's one thing your date really should know before going on another date?
LINDSAY: I would just tell him to continue being himself. He really is a nice guy, and I think he is going to find a great girl soon.
MARK: I'm looking for a sugar mama.
AFTERMATCH: A free ride from a sugar mama could be just the thing for Mark, but Lindsay seems focused on being a sweet mother to her new child (born in March 2015) instead. The son rises each morning, but Mark seems more inclined to sleep in. If there's a lesson to be learned here (there isn't), it's this: Don't cry over spilled MILF.
JRDN at Tower23 Hotel
723 Felspar St., Pacific Beach