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Diablo Magazine Cracks Open The Lamorinda Book

New guide trumpets the culture, shops and restaurants of Moraga, Orinda and Lafayette.

Diablo magazine has written the book on Lamorinda.

Warm off the presses is the Lamorinda Book, part of a Diablo series of guides that highlight the shops, boutiques, culture and character of East Bay cities.

"There's a little blip on each town," said architect Rick Kattenburg, vice president of the Orinda Chamber of Commerce. "It's a good writeup. The reviews of restaurants are good. It's one of the best things of this kind I've seen."

The free, 64-page softcover volume has sections for Food & Drink, Fashion & Shops and Recreation & Fun.

"All three cities top the list when it comes to recreational activities and public schools," writes Diablo publisher Barney Fonzi in an introduction. "Although each has its own identity and individual personality, the cities come together seamlessly to create a special community."

The book includes a profile of Artisan Bistro owner John Marquez. The Lafayette chef says, "I'm not out at tables kissing babies. I need to be in the kitchen, making sure each dish is exquisitely prepared."

It tells the story of two "cowgirl" moms who scour farms and antique fairs for heirlooms and treasures that they sell out of their Farmyard Darlings shop at Lafayette's Mount Diablo Nursery.

The Lamorinda Book profiles Orinda philanthropist Barclay Simpson, who used to own an art gallery in Lafayette. Simpson says, "If you want to know about a particular culture, just take a look at the art from that time."

Some facts grabbed from the pages of The Lamorinda Book

  • 4,500 — Number of crosses that honor soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan on the hill overlooking the Lafayette BART station.
  • 35 — Percent of Lamorinda residents with graduate degrees.
  • 1835 — Year that Joaquin Moraga received his 13,316-acre grant.
  • 509 — Amount in dollars of annual parcel taxes for public schools in Orinda.
  • Three favorite Lamorinda spots for Olympic swim champion Natalie Coughlin: Her garden in Lafayette; Diablo Foods in Lafayette; and the Lafayette Reservoir, where she walks her dogs.

Diablo's first book in the series came out last summer about its hometown, Walnut Creek. But you can throw a stone from Diablo Publishing offices into Lafayette (if you've got an arm like Lamorinda resident Buster Posey, the baseball star), so now it's Lamorinda's turn.

The book is available at a couple of dozen Lamorinda retailers and offices, listed on the Diablo magazine website, including the Lafayette and Orinda chamber of commerce offices, Hacienda de las Flores in Moraga, Diablo Foods in Lafayette, Lafayette Park Hotel, Orinda and Moraga country clubs and the Lafayette library.

gavilan January 04, 2013 at 05:02 PM
I wouldn't exactly call "4,500 — Number of crosses that honor soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan" a "fun fact." Really bad choice of words folks...
Lance Howland January 11, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Right you are, Gavilan. Revising now. -- Lance Howland, editor, Lamorinda Patch

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