Feb. 29 2012 11:18 AM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

Paul Basile's design for Craft & Commerce in Little Italy
Photo by Martin Mann


Sometimes, a greasy little hole-in-the-wall restaurant will suffice, but when you’re looking for an awesome night out on the town, you want a spot that can deliver the three essentials: great food, excellent service and a nice atmosphere.

Atmosphere is something Michael Soriano of Onairos Design, Paul Basile of Basile Studio and Barbara Rourke of Bells & Whistles know a little something about. The three designers are among the best in the business when it comes to conjuring up a comfortable, creative scheme for a new restaurant, and from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 1, they’ll be at The Neurosciences Institute (10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive in La Jolla) for Hungry for Design?, part of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) San Diego’s IDEA Series.

“I just like to build things,” said Basile, who’ll discuss his design / fabrication work at restaurants like Craft & Commerce, Bankers Hill and Delux (which will open soon). “I don’t necessarily like to talk about it.”

But talk about it he will, pulling back the curtain on a process that he describes as meticulous to the point of bordering on obsessive.

“I can give you about 150 gigs of drawings of things we came up with that didn’t make it through the chopping block,” Basile explained. “I tell everyone here that we have to keep designing until we kill it—until we get it exactly right.”

Restaurants discussed by the designers will provide food samples before the talks begin, and other appetizers and cocktails will be served. Tickets for the 21-and-up event range from $15 to $30.

Big-city music

Recently, experimental-music guru Bonnie Wright spent six months on a musical fact-finding mission in New York. Attending about 160 concerts, theater and dance events, she exposed herself to everything from the most mainstream pop to the most esoteric of the avant-garde. Now back in town, she’ll offer a taste of her findings at her celebrated Fresh Sound concert series, which will be themed around New York City. The series kicks off with the premiere performance of an avant-garde power trio—clarinetist Ben Goldberg, guitarist Jeff Parker and percussionist Ches Smith— at Space 4 Art (325 15th St. in East Village) at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 6. Goldberg is known for his free-form grooves and radical experiments with klezmer music, and they’ll perform some of his new compositions. $10-$15.

In the beginning… 

For a good time, put Lawrence Krauss in the same room with Rick Santorum. Krauss, a cosmologist known for taking complex scientific theories and boiling them down into engaging tomes, tackles the origins of, well, everything in his new book, A Universe From Nothing: Why There is Something from Nothing. So, why would he and Santorum have a good tussle? According to Krauss, modern science is now able to explain how we got from empty space to the so-called “Big Bang.” Previously, science stopped at the Big Bang, leaving room for God to be part of the equation. So, is Krauss a creationist’s worst nightmare? Judge for yourself when he talks about his book at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at D.G. Wills Books (7461 Girard Ave. in La Jolla).

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email our events editor, Alex Zaragoza. You can also bug her on Twitter.