(Published in the December 2010 issue)
It was only a matter of time. Having advertised his bars in this
magazine for four years, Matt could resist no longer. Empowered by
an adventurous spirit (with a masochistic streak), he finally cracked,
throwing his hat and heart in the ring for a PacificSD blind date.
In preparation for tonight’s date, Matt and Julia were asked to write a
couple sentences about themselves and what they’re looking for in a mate.
Julia emailed this message:
Me: I’m a sweet and spicy home-grown yogi with the best friends and
family a girl could ask for. my friends
would say I’m sharp, funny, sensitive
and loyal, but then again, they’re
blinded by love.
Him: Someone who is already living a happy, healthy life, whose actions
match his words. nice eyes, great
smile, can make me laugh my head
off-and really knows how to kiss.
Here’s what we got from Matt:
Matt is an entrepreneurial business owner in the restaurant and
bar industry. athletic, charming and
outgoing, Matt is looking for a woman
that is much the same. Because of
his busy social and professional life,
Matt would seek a partner that is able
to support him in his endeavors but
also has goals and interests of her
own. Matt would love to meet a wom
an who has the ability to motivate and
inspire him-in other words, someone
with a lust for life. If you need anything
further, let me know!
operator of three popular bar/restaurants (Firehouse in PB, Vin de
Syrah and Analog in the Gaslamp), he’s a busy guy. Jillian, his executive
assistant, must be even busier.
Julia and Matt are about to meet for the first time at the new
Hennessey’s Tavern in La Jolla, located at the spot on Herschel Avenue
that used to be Sante Ristorante. Before they arrive, let’s review the pre-date
interviews. (This time, Matt’s answers are his own.)
PacificSD: Where are you from and where do you live now?
JULIA: Born and raised in La Jolla.
Love living in Little Italy.
MATT: In reality, born and raised in
San Diego; living in Crown Point. In
my mind, both Venus and Mars.
What do you do for a living?
JULIA: Business development, and
I’m a yoga teacher.
MATT: I’m an entrepreneur, artist
and social engineer.
What do you do for fun?
JULIA: Yoga, travel, beach, cooking,
live music, all the usual urban arts.
MATT: Beach volleyball, drive my
dune buggy really fast up giant sand
dunes, drink tequila, watch the
history channel, listen to NPR.
What makes you a good catch?
JULIA: Well, he’ll never be bored.
MATT: I’m totally awesome.
What are you looking for in a date, physically and emotionally?
JULIA: Someone who is good
company, good chemistry, smart,
funny, kind and honest. If he is all
those things, he will look good to me.
MATT: Warm blooded, likes to
drink-that’s about it.
Why did your last relationship end?
JULIA: He was a Pinocchio who
never turned into a real boy.
MATT: We always fought over the
Finish this sentence: In general, the people I date are “blank” and
JULIA: “Charming” and “disarming.”
MATT: “Lushes” and “like to read
books (I want to read but can’t
because I have a phobia of more
than three sentences in a row), then
tell me about them.”
What do you fear most?
JULIA: Mean people.
MATT: The dark.
As the daters arrive at Hennessey’s,
they take a seat by the fireplace next
to the bar and order cocktails. As
requested by PacificSD, both have
brought $25-max gifts to exchange
with each other.
fter talking over cocktails for about an
hour, the daters exchange holiday gifts-
Julia scores a Snuggie and some martial arts
toys; Matt unwraps a baseball cap. After
posing with their presents outside Hennessey’s, they
head to dinner at Roppongi, the Zagat-rated, Asian
Fusion restaurant on Prospect Street.
It’s Saturday night, and the joint is jumping.
Roppongi’s general manager has reserved a coveted
table next to the fish tank, but the couple opts instead
for a more subdued and intimate setting by the sushi
bar. After they’ve had a chance to sip Sake and rock a
few rolls, they’re split for mid-date debriefings.
PacificSD: How’s it going so far?
JULIA: It’s going pretty well. He’s great. He’s
confident without being cocky. He seems
very genuine. Good company, very good
company. Good conversation.
MATT: Awesome. Without trying to sound
pompous, she comes from a nice family. She
is an attorney, or was going to be an attorney,
and then realized the law sucks, and the world
is f---ing boring and stupid, and you should
probably do what you like to do. So, it seems
like she’s made a little bit of a left-hand turn,
and now she’s studying to be a Bikram yoga
instructor, which is super badass.
Is this the type of person you would normally date?
JULIA: I don’t really have a normal type. He’s
an individual. He’s unique. I don’t know.
MATT: I wouldn’t walk up to her in a bar,
and I don’t think she would walk up to me in
a bar, but if two people we were friends with
introduced us-like you guys just did-yeah,
we probably could date.
there’s a big game on, like a Charger game
or something. I could see it being pretty
happening. The drinks were good. The staff
was really nice-and very attractive, actually.
MATT: It was awesome. It was the nicest
Hennessey’s I’ve ever been to. It was even
kinda romantic, I guess, for a Hennessey’s.
Drinks were really good, actually. Good
Cadillac margaritas, solid.
What gift did you give your date?
JULIA: I gave him a Bikram yoga hat from
the training that I’m in. I was going to give
him this pair of Bengal tiger-stripped velvet
yoga shorts, but I thought that was kind of
ridiculous. Then he gave me a Snuggie that
looks like Santa, so now I wish I had given
him the Bengal tiger shorts. He said he would
have worn them.
MATT: A normal Snuggie isn’t appropriate
for the holiday season, so I gave her a Santa
Snuggie. I also gave her a Ninja Warrior
play-set (so she can keep a few throwing stars
underneath her Santa Snuggie) and the gift of
life, which are Silly Bandz.
What gift did you receive?
JULIA: I liked it, the Snuggie. I also got some,
like, ninja set and some Silly Bandz, so you
know I’m well prepared for whatever. They
made me laugh.
MATT: I got a Bikram yoga hat (I think
it’s from the course she’s taking), which is
awesome, because I totally like hats.
What is the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
JULIA: Probably a toss up between the gifts
and just the way he makes conversation.
MATT: She didn’t talk about herself too
much. Most people are like a f---ing dam
breaks, and blah, blah, blah. She’s talking and
being very forthright, but not turning on the
What is the least attractive thing your date has done so far?
JULIA: He had to take a bunch of calls, but
they were for work. You know, I don’t really
know what he does yet. Maybe he’s
a doctor and he’s saving lives. He just says he
works at night.
MATT: She drives a Beemer and not a
What would your parents say if you brought your
JULIA: I don’t know.
They would probably be
MATT: They would be like,
“F---ing please get married!”
Rate your date, physically, on a scale of one to 10.
JULIA: For looks? I give him like a solid eight/
MATT: An eight.
And for personality?
JULIA: He’s like a nine.
Does your date want to kiss you right now?
JULIA: No idea.
After their mid-date interviews, Julia and Matt are finally left alone to enjoy the rest of their evening at Roppongi, away from the flashing camera and pesky interviewer. We call the next day to see what we missed.
Overall, how was the date?
JULIA: It was a fun experience.
MATT: Super smart-nice to find native brains west of the Mississippi.
How was Roppongi?
JULIA: We had the sushi bar to ourselves, which was conducive to conversation. The rest of the restaurant was hopping. We had Sake with toro and yellowtail sushi. The sushi chefs made some special rolls for us as well, and we had a few sips of a really nice Tequila before we left.
MATT: The restaurant was bustling, full of cougar cubs and manthers, wining and dining in what appeared to be a cool, fun atmosphere. We sat and ate sushi at the sushi bar, which was ultra-good quality.
What was the best part of the date?
JULIA: The dinner conversation was the best part. We discovered we know a lot of the same people and we laughed a lot.
MATT: Julia is studying to be a Bikram Yoga instructor, which works on a lot of levels.
What was the worst part?
JULIA: He had to devote time and attention to his work on his cell phone.
MATT: When I first walked in and read in her eyes, “Oh, great, a douche bag.” That was the New York skyline on my shirt, not Affliction- come on, now.
Was there a romantic connection?
JULIA: We could certainly be friends, but I’m not sure about anything more, yet.
MATT: Lip-only kiss at the conclusion.
What happened after the magazine crew left?
JULIA: After dinner, Matt said he was off to work downtown. We had a rather confusing good-bye outside the restaurant in La Jolla. A few texts later, he sent a car for me and my friends to come have a drink with him at Syrah. He was a good host, but it was really busy. We didn’t spend that much time together.
MATT: She was heading home and I was heading to work. We ended up texting, and then I met up with her and her friends at Syrah. I got them a drink, we had a good laugh about our date, then I made her feel my muscle-or did I do that at the restaurant? In either case, it was a moment of awesomeness.
Will there be a second date?
JULIA: I don’t know.
MATT: She talked me into doing a Bikram Yoga class.
Based on your experience last night, what would have been the perfect gift for your date?
JULIA: A personal assistant.
MATT: My gift was perfect.
Julia really said that about Matt’s needing a personal assistant. We couldn’t make this stuff up (if we did, we’d say the couple nearly got arrested for indecent exposure in Bird Rock, or something to that effect).
Without his executive assistant on hand to answer his phone during the date, did Matt’s business calls interfere with any chance for romance, or were they lifelines, facilitating an escape to lush-er pastures? Given that he sent a car to bring Julia and her besties to Syrah, the question remains unanswered-for now. But if that yoga class (which, in Matt’s words, “works on a lot of levels,”) really happens, perhaps a second date isn’t such a stretch.
7811 Herschel Avenue, La Jolla,
Roppongi Restaurant & Sushi Bar
875 Prospect Street, La Jolla,