Fireworks and live-animal shows are giving way to roller coasters and alternative entertainment at SeaWorld San Diego.
Now, the popular marine park at 500 SeaWorld Drive is proposing a limited duration test-run of a nightly aerial drone show during February. The shows would involve up to 500 illuminated aerial drones programmed to autonomously take off, perform an approximately 5-minute show up to 400 feet above SeaWorld accompanied by ground-level music, then return to land.
SeaWorld has applied to the California Coastal Commission to acquire the permitting to conduct its proposed drone show test. Such use of drones for such a visible purpose, and at this scale, has not been proposed before to the commission.
However, because the municipal marine park also contains sensitive habitat in the form of California least tern nesting sites, that raises the potential of adverse impacts to sensitive habitat resources, water quality, and visual resources. Presently, very little is known about potential impacts associates with aerial drone shows.
The commission’s staff ecologist has reviewed the project in consultation with both the US Fish and Wildlife Service and California Fish and Wildlife and concluded that given the five-minute duration of the nightly show, the limited 15-day show schedule, and the February performances outside the bird breeding and bird migratory seasons, substantial adverse impacts to migratory birds or other species are unlikely.
Nonetheless, the project has been conditioned to develop a plan that monitors the noise, light and bird-strike impacts generated by drone performances. If the parameters included in the conditions regarding noise, light, and bird strike are exceeded, the performances would be stopped until modifications are implemented.
PIZZA PAL OPENS ON CASS STREET
A family-owned and operated restaurant at 5010 Cass St. Suite J, Pizza Pal specializes in Italian-American cuisine such as pizza, pasta, seafood, grinders, wings, and wraps.
The eatery uses only the freshest ingredients and the leanest meats. Pizza Pal only uses 100% unsaturated fat and is cholesterol-free utilizing pure vegetable oils in all of its cooking.
The restaurant has a full-service bar with a variety of wines, beers, cocktails, and seasonal specialty mixed drinks. The catering menu, available to go only, includes half- and full-sized trays of menu items and party sheet pizzas. Whether you’re having an extravagant party or a small gathering, Pizza Pal can serve your needs. 858-270-7772.
ACAPULCO BAY SEAFOOD A HIT IN MISSION BEACH
The new family-owned Acapulco Bay Seafood eatery is in Mission Beach at 3231 Mission Blvd., a four-minute walk from Belmont Park. The restaurant is wowing the neighborhood with a variety of dishes using fresh fish. Among them are creamy shrimp soup, octopus tacos, salmon filet, and seafood paella, all served in a quaint beach-house atmosphere.
The one-page menu features mariscos-based Mexican fare with appetizers, soups, tacos, tostadas, ceviches, salads, entrees, and desserts. On weekends, a seafood paella and a seafood fillet are offered as well. The menu also includes marinated flank steak.
Acapulco Bay has a dining room, a bar area with countertop seating and a small outdoor patio on the south side of the building. Call 858-352-6301.
ITALIAN COMPANY ACQUIRES BLENDERS EYEWEAR
Pacific Beach sunglass brand Blenders at 4683 Cass St. has been acquired for $90 million by billion-dollar Italian eyewear giant Safilo.
Safilo bought a 70% majority stake in the local startup begun in 2011. Safilo left founder and 31-year-old company CEO Chase Fisher, a PB local and longtime surfer, in charge.
Online sales for Blenders has skyrocketed the past three years, with sales going from $1.3 million in 2016 to $42 million in 2019. Known for its Southern California branding with colorful lenses and beach-centric styles, Blenders has gained widespread popularity. Its North Park Collection featuring classic rounded rims has become a trendy customer favorite.
CATAMARAN RESORT PREPARES FOR ROMANCE
Whether you’re in a committed relationship or you’re a woman who wants to celebrate the wonderful ladies in her life, the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa has specials for both Valentine’s and Galentine’s days.
During February, celebrate love with a tart yet tangy cocktail – American Beauty. Inspired by the flower Rosa American Beauty, it is made with watermelon vodka, mint, simple syrup, lemon juice, sparkling rosé and garnished with small frozen flowers.
Gather your gals for a night on Mission Bay at Oceana Coastal Kitchen for Galentine’s Day from 5:30-9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13. Cheers with half-priced bottles of wine while enjoying California cuisine and live music.
Hearts and stomachs will be full at Oceana Coastal Kitchen’s three-course Valentine’s Day dinner 5:30-11 p.m. on Feb. 14. Couples will be greeted with a complimentary rose and glass of champagne. Guests will have the choice of beautifully crafted entrées like an herb-crusted rack of lamb or beet caramelle pasta, followed by Grand Marnier crème brûlèe for dessert.
CAFE LA RUE UPDATES MENU
La Valencia’s Cafe La Rue has overhauled its all-day menu, which also includes new $6 “bites” from 3 to 6 p.m. during its daily happy hour.
For the regular menu, executive chef Timothy Ralphs added oysters Sophia, a pork belly banh mi, fish and chips, and mac and cheese with lardons. His happy hour bites at the popular sidewalk cafe include chicken cordon bleu and andouille sausage risotto balls. 1132 Prospect St. 858-551-3796, lavalencia.com.