By David Perloff / Photos by Brevin Blach
Erica is a financial analyst for UTC (not the mall, the aerospace company), United Technologies Corporation."Basically, I look at spreadsheets all day." She grew up in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and lives Downtown.
Ivan runs Valley Powder Coatings. "We powder-coat things from helicopter nets for the military to the patio furniture you sit down in at UTC mall." He grew up in Bonita and lives in Mission Beach with his roommate, Sonny, and a beagle named Jack.
(That's "UTC" to the power of two. Coincidence? Uh...yeah, but maybe the stars will align for this, the first blind date of 2013.)
Ivan and Erica met for the first time half an hour ago in the Epic Limo town car that's about to drop them off at RA Sushi in the Gaslamp. Before they arrive, let's review the pre-date interviews.
PacificSD: What are you looking for in a date?
ERICA: Just like every other girl, I'm looking for tall, dark and handsome - and, of course, funny, intelligent and charming. Lately, I've realized that honesty is extremely important as well.
IVAN: Preferably someone with a lot of wit. Loves to be active - gym, running, volunteer work, whatever - just have something going. Physically, pretty face, sexy curves and knows how to rock a dress.
What's the sexiest thing about you?
ERICA: Physically, probably my long legs. Otherwise, I'd say my quiet self- confidence and intelligence.
IVAN: Remember, in Sixth Grade, when your parents forced you to get braces and you hated them for it, but they said you would thank them later? Thanks, Mom! I like my smile. I do get a lot of positive feedback about my broad shoulders. I also love to buy shots.
What do you like least about yourself?
ERICA: The fact that I'm shy around new people.
IVAN: I like to play devil's advocate. Even if I agree with your stance, I'll take on the other side just to see if you're ready to defend your stance. Sometimes, that can get to people.
What's your biggest fear?
ERICA: My biggest fear is having regrets.
IVAN: Not being able to accomplish something because I was scared to fail. I hate the feeling I get looking back at something in my life and thinking, "If only I tried."
Fill in the blanks: I want my blind date to be "blank" and "blank."
ERICA: I want my blind date to be handsome and fun.
IVAN: I want my date to be a woman and breathing.
What's the best thing that could happen during the date?
ERICA: There is instant attraction, and we have a lot of fun. Didn't someone get married eventually after one of these blind dates? I guess that has to be the best outcome.
IVAN: I just bought a lottery ticket. So, I win, she ends up being amazing, and we go gather all our friends and have one hell of a weekend in Europe.
Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less?
ERICA: I won't kiss and tell.
IVAN: T.B.D. [editor's note: he actually says the letters]
RA Sushi Bar & Restaurant
474 Broadway, Gaslamp
619.321.0021 / rasushi.com
It's cold and raining when Erica and Ivan arrive at RA, grab a booth and order sushi and sake to warm things up.
Look at that Ass!
Not Ivan...The Burro
After drinks and a roll at RA, the daters roll over to The Blind Burro (formerly FleetWood), the new East Village restaurant/bar specializing in Baja coastal cuisine. Tonight's the grand opening, and the place is packed, despite the stormy weather.
After they've had a chance to sample their appetizers and some rare tequila, the couple is split for mid-date debriefings.
How's it going so far?
ERICA: I'm having fun. He's really nice. He's very outgoing and personable, so we're having a good time.
IVAN: She was definitely shy right off the bat, but it's definitely a good time. I was surprised to go to RA and pretty happy we ended up there.
What were your first impressions?
ERICA: That he seemed very genuine and open.
IVAN: Gorgeous legs, pretty smile. Definitely a little reserved, but that's probably the way she grew up. Very sweet.
Is this the type of person you'd normally date?
ERICA: Yes, because he is outgoing. Outgoing is usually what I go for.
IVAN: Usually, girls that I date snap back and are real quick-witted. I like the aggressive type. She's definitely more reserved, in her shell. But once she opened up...I guess she's more than the eye can see.
What do you think of the way your date is dressed?
ERICA: He has his scarf and his jacket, so he's ready for the weather. He looks nice.
IVAN: Very festive. It was funny, when we walked into this place, an old lady walked up and said, "Come here. I've got to make a comment on you. If I had those legs, I don't give a shit how the weather is, I'd be rockin' those black shorts."
How was RA?
ERICA: We had a good time there, and our server was really good. He gave us a lot of good recommendations. We like spicy, so we asked for a spicy roll, and he brought out a good one.
IVAN: RA was good; been there a few times. The service is always very attentive. I had great sushi. It legitimately would be a natural first date for people from San Diego - you go grab sushi and go to a nice, hip, new bar. It's almost a signature S.D. date.
What's the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
ERICA: He has opened doors and just been a gentleman.
IVAN: Just the way she is; the sexiness just comes along by her natural habits. She treats herself well. We're two-and-a- half hours into drinking, and she's not ground-and-pound. She's secure with herself, which makes her hot.
Rate your date on a scale from 1 to 10 for looks.
IVAN: Solid eight or nine, and that's being conservative.
And for personality?
IVAN: Her being reserved, a solid eight.
Do you want to kiss your date now?
Does your date want to kiss you right now?
ERICA: I don't know.
IVAN: No idea. She definitely has shown a lot of physical positioning that she's into it.
If you had to choose between leaving now, alone, with $100 cash or making out with your date at the table, what would you do?
ERICA: I'd take the $100 cash, and then we could go out and have another date.
IVAN: Well, $100 is $100, but she's sexy, man. I'd definitely make out with her.
The Blind Burro
639 J St., East Village
After a brief tequila lesson from Blind Burro's resident expert, the daters are finally left alone to enjoy the rest of their evening. We call the next day to see what we missed.
A Shot in the Dark
Expensive tequila helps make any date great
How was The Blind Burro?
ERICA: It was awesome. I live Downtown, so I'm always happy when new places open up. It had a trendy, fun vibe, and I would definitely go back.
IVAN: The staff was amazing, and we got introduced to a type of tequila from Sonora, which you have to try if you go there.
What did you have to eat and drink?
ERICA: We shared the ceviche, queso crisp and another great seafood dish. It was delicious. Cory the bartender came over and gave us a few tastings of Bacanora. He called it the moonshine of Mexico, which I can agree with. He also made a great spicy margarita-like drink for me.
IVAN: The ceviche was amazing, some sort of spicy scallops. The churros for dessert were solid, too. I can't remember the name of the sort of tequila, but the smoky-tasting tequila - you have to try it.
What happened after the magazine crew left?
ERICA: We decided to keep the night going a little longer. The town car took us over to Basic for a few more drinks and some dancing.
IVAN: We took full advantage of the food and ordered some dessert and a few more drinks. We took the car to Basic and grabbed one more drink, stole an elf 's hat for some pictures and played "Name That Next Song" with a pretty good DJ. We actually ran into a few of my friends and just enjoyed the rest of the night.
When did you get home?
ERICA: I got home at about 1:30.
IVAN: Right around 2.
Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?
ERICA: We hugged goodbye. I'm a lady.
IVAN: There was no kiss. I'd say walking in the rain back to her house was romantic. We exchanged numbers at the door.
What's the funniest thing that happened during the date?
ERICA: At Basic, a guy went up to Ivan and said that he had seen us getting our pictures taken at The Blind Burro and asked what we were doing. Ivan told him that I was a porn star, and they were following me around going out on a date with a regular guy.
IVAN: The lady at The Blind Burro who said, "If you have those type of legs, you rock it, girl!" Older lady knows what she is talking about.
What was the best part of the date?
ERICA: I love going to new restaurants and trying new things, so I enjoyed getting to try the food and drinks at The Blind Burro.
IVAN: There wasn't really an exact moment where it was the best part. The date as a whole was the best part.
What was the worst part?
ERICA: The worst part of the date was the weather.
IVAN: At Basic, I took off my jacket to go dance with Erica a bit, and someone took advantage and took the jacket. So, whoever has a new black-wool Buffalo Exchange jacket, size large - karma will find you.
Will there be a second date?
ERICA: I think so. We had a fun time.
IVAN: We will see.
AFTERMATCH: Despite the weather, the first blind date of PacificSD's seventh year was a success, and it seems there may be date Number Two in Erica and Ivan's future. As for what the rest of the year has in store, Ivan's idea of introducing a porn star to a regular guy might just work for February's LOVE Issue. All you porn stars and willing guys out there, if you'd like to throw your hat (or anything else) in the ring, email us right away: email@example.com.