Glen Canyon Park--Creative Commons photo by Michael Fraley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The West is a big, big place, and every week our staff is all over it, digging up the shops and restaurants, beaches and trails, performances and, well, phenomena that make the region so vibrant. Here’s the Best of the West this week

Sunset Staff  – June 24, 2019 | Updated June 25, 2019

This New Santa Monica Hotel Has It All

Courtesy of The Proper Hotel

The Proper Hotel brand has been on my radar ever since it debuted its first stylish hotel in San Francisco in 2017. The vision of Viceroy Hotel Group founder, Brad Korzen, and design doyenne Kelly Wearstler, Proper recently unveiled its second property in Santa Monica  and it’s even more over-the-top. Brag-worthy amenities include the only rooftop pool on the westside of Los Angeles, plus a requisite rooftop bar. Food stars Jessica Koslow of L.A.’s hit Sqirl and Gabriela Cámara of Contramar in Mexico City are teaming up on the restaurant, Onda. And this fall, Brentwood’s cult Ayurvedic Spa, Surya, will relocate to Proper Hotel, raising the bar for wellness retreats in L.A. Guests get all of the benefits of age-old Indian wellness therapies, without having to check into an ashram. The 3,000-square-foot spa from renowned Ayurvedic doctor Martha Soffer will offer 3- to 21-day Panchakarma programs, designed to detox and rebalance mind and body, and Surya’s customized meals will be on offer at on-site restaurants and from in-room dining. Other perks include yoga and Transcendental Meditation classes offered in partnership with the David Lynch Foundation. —Jen Murphy, executive editor

Hit the Trail

I’m packing these Trailhead shorts from Coalatree for a backpacking trip over the July 4th weekend. They’re stretchy, breathable, waterproof, and antimicrobial, which makes them perfect for a couple days’ worth of grueling hikes. Wear them while lounging about, exploring a city, down by a river, up a mountain, or wherever your summer adventures may take you. Simply put, they’re practical and worth the investment. —Zoe Gutterman, associate digital producer

Trailhead Shorts
   

A Canyon Runs Through It

One of the most surprising San Francisco factoids for longtime visitors and even some local residents is that there’s a canyon—an actual canyon!—smack in the middle of the city. Glen Canyon Park, located at the nexus of residential ‘hoods Glen Park and Diamond Heights, occupies roughly 70 acres with many different features to explore. First, from a more traditional park, you embark on a wooded trail dotted with the occasional fairy house or wood log tipi, eventually passing the site of a city park and rec summer camp (lucky kids!), making your way to the center line of the canyon. From there, a number of trails (many of which are paved with wooden steps to make the grade easier to climb) wind up the steep canyon. You might just pass a rope swing hanging from a tree along the way. At the top, you’ll access a boulder-strewn area that’s perfect for picnicking or just taking in the sweeping views. Climbing all the way to the top of some trails brings you to the edge of some residential property, reminding you that yes, you are still in a city—but what a magical place to make you forget for a spell. Bonus: Dogs are permitted here. —Jessica Mordo, deputy digital editor

Doing Good Well

The good people at philanthropic organization 10 x 10 are hosting a cool crowdfunding event at the Riveter bar in Marina del Rey this Wednesday. While philanthropy and fun don’t show up in the same sentence very often, the Los Angeles chapter has come up with an interactive Shark Tank-like pitch format where non-profits pitch their programs to a panel of judges, and attendees are given charity dollars to allocate as they see fit. Proceeds benefit Youth Movement Against Alzheimer’s, The Super Kids Foundation, and California Coalition for Women’s Prisoners. —Hugh Garvey, food editor

Furmint—It’s What’s New in Fermentation

Recently, thanks to one of my oldest and foodiest friends, I had the chance to go wine tasting at a vineyard that was new to me, Napa’s Kapcsándy family winery. All the wines at this tiny winery are outstanding, but the real revelation to me was a Furmint. This varietal, like the Kapcsándy family itself, hails from Hungary, and is usually used to make sweet white wines such as are found in that country’s Tokaj region. In Yountville, though, winemaker Lou Kapcsándy conjures acid and minerality out of the grapes, creating a sip that starts out tart and then explodes into a mouth-filling symphony of lychee and green apple. Kapcsándy wines are hard to find on the market; your best bet for tasting and buying is to make an appointment at the winery. Though the family’s reds are splurgy, the Furmint is a more reasonable $40 per bottle. —Nicole Clausing, digital producer

Moment Anamorphic Lens

I’m in love with this add-on lens from Moment, which makes smart accessories for would-be cinematographers. The lens compresses the aspect ratio down to 16:9, the same letterbox-like format used in film, and a complementary app decompresses the footage into the finished product. It also allows for artistic lens flares and other effects. —Matt Bean, editor in chief

 

Anamorphic Lens
   

Church of the Probiotic Mind

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That beautiful hue of natures delight! At Culture Club 101 we specialize in fermentation. We love to be crative with different flavors that change with the season. Did you know that fermented frinks contain probiotics…or "good bacteria" and are great for your digestion! Studies show that probiotics also help when you are feeling depressed or anxious. Probiotics are often found in a number of foods but they are alsp in fermented beverages such as Kombucha, Jun and Water Kefir….which is made In House here at Culture Club 101! What are some water kefir benefits? * inhibits the growth of unfriendly bacteria and yeast *contributes to a healthy immune system * keeps skin glowing and healthy * reduces inflammation * helps with digestion of food and micronutrients * helps heal intestinal dysbiosis & SIBO * assists energy and well being * supports liver cleansing & detoxification * reduces unhealthy food cravings, especially for sugars and sweet foods * supports the endocrine system Dont worry about the sugar…its mostly used up in the fermentation process! Interested in making your own water kefir? We can help with that as well! Come on in for your very own batch of live grains or starter kit and meet with one of our fermentation specialists…..or attend one of or many fermentation workshops! We love to serve our community at culture club 101 and a part of that is teaching, learning and growing! #cultureclub101 #cc101pasadena #cc101 #waterkefirsoda #fermentation #fermenteddrinks #benefitsoffermentation #supportlocalbusiness #pasadena

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I’ve been driving by a cute little Pasadena spot called Culture Club 101 for weeks, trying to stop in. I finally made it over the weekend, and it was well worth it to chat with the friendly owner, a doula and fermentation fanatic who has made it her life mission to culture our bodies’ wrecked and ravaged biomes. Culture Club 101 serves up jun, kefir water, kombucha, and kraut juice, and offers workshops on how to make real root beer, sourdough breads, and probiotic-rich ketchups, salsas, and mustards. There are film nights, skincare workshops, CBD tastings, and even plantar fasciitis and wood-carving workshops. Boy George would approve—your karma is in for a radical change when you join the awesome community at this spot. —Dakota Kim, staff writer