Author: Daniela Siqueiros

Cover Q&A : Dr. Tina Pai

Cover Q&A

PROFILE: Dr. Tina Pai

One of Our Top Doctors

The Sonoran Desert is a world away from the tropical climes of Hawaii, but Tina Pai, M.D., is both a native of the 50th state, as well as a long-time resident of the Old Pueblo.

Though she was a drawn as a child toward a career in veterinary medicine, by college — Whittier College in Southern California, where she earned a degree in chemistry — she changed direction toward helping people. She earned her medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, did her internship at the Mayo Medical Center, and then her residency at University Hospitals of Cleveland.

Dr. Pai initially had a practice in Honolulu, but she and her husband, Dr. Mikel Lo (a highly regarded plastic surgeon), relocated to Tucson so that he could complete his medical specialty training. She joined the staff of Skin Spectrum, where she works with Dr. Jodi Comstock, also a Top Doctor.

We asked Dr. Pai about her practice, as well as for some advice about maintaining healthy skin.

What areas do you specialize in at Skin Spectrum?

We specialize in cosmetic dermatology, so our focus is on improving our patients’ appearance. Patients come to us for help with wrinkles, brown spots, acne, dark circles under the eyes, unwanted hair, a double chin, spider veins, love handles, scars, and more.

Although these are cosmetic concerns, often they are a reflection of underlying issues or medical conditions, so our goal is to improve skin health, in addition to addressing what is visible on the skin surface.

We use lasers, injectables, topical products, chemical peels, medications, and nutrition to achieve improvement.

What seems to be the treatment or procedure that you are doing most often these days? Why do you think it is so popular or prevalent?

We’re finding that what makes our patients happiest is what we call “combineese,” or combination therapy.

As we age, our faces change in so many ways. We deflate, which causes shadows and sagging; our skin weakens and wrinkles appear; we develop brown spots and dullness.

We’re fortunate to have many excellent procedures, such as lasers, fillers, and neuromodulators, and they keep getting better. However, most of them address just one aspect of the aging process, so in order to get the best results we need to combine all of these procedures. They work synergistically to turn back the clock and make us look more like our younger selves.

A popular combination currently is the Clear + Brilliant laser, a filler such as Voluma in the cheeks, and a neuromodulator such as Botox or Dysport. Patients like that they look refreshed yet natural, and they don’t have significant visible healing.

What advice do you give your patients about taking care of their skin?

The most important thing we can do is to protect our skin from sun damage, because it not only causes health problems such as skin cancer, but it also causes wrinkles and discoloration. I recommend using sunscreen year round, wearing a hat and clothing to shield skin from the sun, and doing outdoor activities early or late in the day to avoid the strong midday sun.

Another key to healthy skin is to take care of it from the inside. A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods (such as leafy greens, olive oil, and berries) helps to fight skin problems such as acne as well as sagging and wrinkling.

What has been one of the biggest developments in dermatology in the past five years?

One of the most fascinating developing areas in dermatology (and all of medicine) is regarding the human microbiome, which is the collective name for the trillions of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms that reside on our skin and in our body.

In recent years, researchers have identified what the normal microbiome is for a healthy person, and are now learning that the microbiome changes in various diseases. This holds enormous potential for understanding, treating, and even preventing diseases. For instance, an acne vaccine has been developed, based on a bacterium that is involved in causing acne.

Might we someday soon treat rashes by applying bacteria to our skin, or taking probiotics, or eating certain foods? And not just skin diseases, but heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and allergies, all of which are associated with microbiome imbalances. The potential impact is astounding.

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Phoenix: You Have To See This!

Phoenix: You Have To See This!

Heading up to the Valley of the Sun this month for the big game … or the big concert?

You won’t be alone. Many Tucsonans are driving or shuttling to attend some of the hottest events in the Phoenix area. The MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks will frequently command home field advantage in June, with games against the New York Mets (June 1 and 2); Los Angeles Dodgers (June 3-5 and June 24-26); Colorado Rockies (June 18-20); and San Francisco Giants (June 21-23).

A short stroll away, the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury will light up the “Purple Palace” (aka Talking Stick Resort Arena) with games against the Los Angeles Sparks (June 14 and June 23); and Indiana Fever (June 28). Both the Dbacks and the Mercury have won championships in past years and are followed by diehard fans from one end of the Grand Canyon State to the other.

Although the Musical Instrument Museum attracts numerous visitors just for its fascinating displays of unique, iconic and often rare music-making devices, the MIM also is well known as a great, intimate concert venue. Among the artists taking the stage this first month of summer are: Philly jazz multi-instrumentalist Joey DeFrancesco (June 5); sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar (June 15); and singersongwriter Rickie Lee Jones (June 26).

If visual art is more your scene, you won’t want to miss the exhibits at the Phoenix Art Museum. Ending June 9 is a collaboration with Tucson’s Center for Creative Photography titled, Mexican Photographers, Mexican Views, with more than 60 photos taken during the 20th century of a wide variety of subjects. Through Aug. 25, the show Early American Modernism: The Decade of the Armory Show will be on display. Artists represented include Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Bowen Davies, Stuart Davis, and others. While there, take the time to view the museum’s special installation Philip C. Curtis and the Landscapes of Arizona, up through Nov. 15, 2020. Curtis captured the beauty of our environment while casting it in a nearly mythological light.

Let’s Roll

Let’s Roll!

Sarah Burton

With ingredients such as fresh seafood, avocado, mountain yam and cucumber, sushi chefs can create a true work of art. We profile six local eateries where you can admire the culinary craft, and indulge your appetite for Japanese cuisine.

Sushi Cortaro on River

After opening Sushi Cortaro to great success nine years ago, the owners decided to launch a second location in 2017, this one at River and Stone. Fans of the original will be relieved to know the menu is the same at both locations — including the all-you-can-eat option during lunch and dinner — so you can get your fill of rainbow rolls, red snapper nigiri or spicy scallops.

The fresh flavors are no accident, as Ken Lin, manager of the River location, points out: “We carry top-shelf fish, which is what we always hear from our customers,” he says. “They always come in and say how fresh everything is here.”

But if raw fish isn’t your favorite, they also carry plenty of cooked rolls. In fact, according to Lin, their most popular menu items are the deep-fried rolls. Their menu also is filled with other traditional Japanese fare, such as ramen or udon noodles, tempura or teppan dinners, donburi (rice bowls), and katsu (crispy fried cutlet of chicken or pork).

(River and Stone) 75 W. River Road, Ste. 181, 888-1886; (Cortaro) 8225 N. Courtney Page Way, #141, 572-8668; sushicortaro.com

Kukai

On Tucson’s westside, just next door to the Mercado San Agustín, sits the newer MSA Annex, a cluster of modified shipping containers designed by Tucson architect Paul Weiner. Among the boutiques, coffee roaster and eateries is Kukai, a Japanese kitchen where you step up to the window to order, and dine at a scenic spot in the courtyard.

Owner Michael McCormack explains the concept: “After being in Japan with my wife’s family, I realized some of the greatest foods there were made for the working force, sold on busy little streets,” he says. “Traditionally, onigiri was a meal made to carry, and it still is in Japan. I wanted to bring some of the magic of the Japanese food scene to the downtown area while also carrying on the tradition of my business partner Kazuo Senda, a long-time restaurateur here.”

Start with their most popular dishes, Hakata ramen (pork, noodles, ginger and green onion) or the Mt. Fuji Don (rice bowl with spicy tuna, cucumber and avocado). “We’re on a mission to focus on Japanese onigiri, which nobody else in town has done before,” McCormack shares. “We don’t consider ourselves strictly a sushi restaurant, but more a purveyor of delicious and fun Japanese street food.” 267 S. Avenida Del Convento, Ste. 11, 367-5982, eatkukai.com

Sushi Cho

This well-loved spot has been serving up sushi since the early ’90s, with the current owners taking over in 2003, handily maintaining a loyal base of regulars. “We have customers who have been coming here for more than 15 years, and some of our wait staff has even been here that long, as well,” Manager Sarah Du notes. “We know the customers by name and have watched them grow up, go through college, and been there when they celebrate their birthdays, proposals and family gatherings.”

Du points to their always-friendly service for the customer loyalty they enjoy, as well as the quality of fresh fish offered: “Our sushi is comparable to San Francisco, Hawaii and New York,” she exclaims. The restaurant offers other dishes beyond sushi, such as tempura, baked mackerel, tonkatsu and teriyaki, but with more than 40 rolls to choose from, their most popular menu item is the Cho Combo.

Aptly named, the Cho Combo lets you customize your meal, with your choice of a full-sized roll, four pieces of nigiri, miso soup and salad. Other must-tries are green mussels baked on the half shell, barbecued squid and, of course, ice cream (either the green tea or sweet red bean) for dessert. 1830 E. Broadway Blvd., 628-8800

Izumi

When Izumi opened in 2018, their all-you-can-eat menu quickly made an impression on Tucson sushi lovers. Most first-time diners are surprised to find several kinds of ramen, raw oysters on the half shell and crab legs, according to Manager Andy Lin.

“We have a huge selection, more than 80 items available for all-you-can-eat or just ordering from the menu,” Lin explains. “You can order everything from nigiri to teriyaki, to miso salmon to Chilean sea bass.” Look for donburi rice bowls, bento boxes and poke bowls during lunch, several entrées, a full sushi menu, and some playful specialty cocktails (think plum wine spritzer or Japan old fashioned) and desserts — fried banana spring rolls anyone?

Lin shares that although there are so many options, two specific rolls seem to lead the pack in popularity. The signature Izumi roll (two lobster tails in soy paper topped with spicy crab, eel sauce and spicy mayo) is tied for “first place” with the dynamite roll (tempura California roll topped with a dynamite mixture of octopus, crab, shrimp and scallops with spicy mayo). 3655 E. Speedway Blvd., 327-2778, izumioftucson.com

Sushi Zona

For several years now, Sushi Zona (formerly Sushi Yukari) has held its own among Foothills restaurants, thanks to a robust menu of traditional Japanese dishes. Sushi offerings run the gamut of the nigiri — from fatty salmon toro to snow crab, to sea urchin to clam — and all your favorite rolls, like the spider or yellowtail roll.

Of course, no sushi spot would go without signature rolls, and here is no different. Sushi Zona gets creative with the volcano roll (salmon, white fish, crab stick and volcano sauce), king cobra (eel atop a California roll), and the black pepper tuna roll (shrimp tempura, avocado, Japanese pickles, topped with black pepper tuna).

For those who prefer a warm dish, you can find many other things to order, like ramen, udon or soba noodle soups, grilled fish, curry, rice bowls, teriyaki, and sukiyaki served in a nabemono (Japanese hot pot). 5655 E. River Road, #151, 232-1393, sushizona.com

 

Yamato Japanese Restaurant

This Japanese restaurant has been serving authentic sushi to Tucson for roughly 30 years — very quietly. In fact, many locals may have driven by for decades without realizing the wealth of traditional Japanese fare waiting just inside the doors of this spot nestled in a strip mall.

Here you find classic sushi artfully done. Traditionalists will be pleased with the array of nigiri, sashimi, handrolls and rolls, as well as many other non-sushi options. There are several versions of donburi (rice bowls) available, or if noodles are more your thing, choose from several udon or soba soups with additions like sliced beef, fish cakes, seaweed, chicken or tempura.

Whatever your preference, this location doesn’t stray from a straightforward, fresh and simple sushi style. Based on the number of years they’ve held their own in Tucson’s culinary landscape, they clearly have it down to a science. 857 E. Grant Road, 624-3377.

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Retro-Politan Style

In a 60-year-old Tucson neighborhood sits a vintage home that displays so many reasons to love the ’50s.

BY ROMI CARRELL WITTMAN

PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY HASKELL

Steve Hannley’s home in a quiet Casas Adobes neighborhood beautifully embodies mid-century materials and lines, the Tiki trend, as well as elements of Americana unique to Arizona in the 1950s. The result is a whimsical riot of color and nostalgia that practically begs visitors to toss back a fruity drink (with paper umbrella, of course), kick back on the Mad Men-era seating and listen to some LPs.

Walking toward the front door is a bit like stepping into a “Wayback Machine.” Along the path lies classic 1960s landscaping — two-toned rock, large Italian cypress trees and oleander. The bright turquoise front door, which Hannley had custom made, pops against the natural elements.

The retro vibe continues after you step inside the 2,400-square-foot ranch home. The living room presents visitors with a large beamed ceiling and expansive glass windows providing views both east and west. Vintage furniture, art and other décor abound.

“I love to collect,” says Hannley of his mid-century, “atomic”-era collection. “I think it started with my love of The Jetsons when I was a kid.”

Hannley, who runs a small publishing company out of his home office, had lived in central Tucson, but desired something bigger, with a little more land. He extensively researched homes all over the city and found he was drawn to the Northwest side, especially a neighborhood full of funky, 1950s- and 1960s-era homes.

Constructed in 1959, Hannley’s home features classic mid-century lines and materials — wood, flagstone, glass — with a hint of Spanish Colonial influence.

Hannley was a stickler for detail when it came to remodeling and furnishing the home. The pieces, all of them vintage, were sourced from all over the country. As Hannley put it, he “loved the thrill of the hunt.” Though he tried to source some pieces locally, frequent visits to eBay as well as vintage stores all over the country were necessary to complete the collection.

But before he could focus on the furnishings, he wanted to restore the home to its original glory. He started by getting the home’s systems — the HVAC, plumbing and electrical — up to standard. He then restored the interior to its original design. This included replacing all the doors, doorknobs, light fixtures and cabinets.

The dining room, which was added to the home some years after its construction, offers great views of the Santa Catalinas. An original wooden door leads to patio and pool area where visitors can relax on vintage outdoor furniture made of Italian wrought iron and fiberglass.

Seven original paintings from a defunct American restaurant chain line the hallway, while a bedroom displays radios from 1949 through 1965.

What was once the garage is now a home theater, and Hannley lovingly refers to it as his Tiki room. Two imposing chairs, identical to a pair that sat in Elvis’s throne room, sit alongside classic video games like Donkey Kong, Hannley’s extensive record collection and a Llama bar. Custom made neon signs, created to resemble those of Tucson’s past, complete the look.

When asked what’s next on Hannley’s home “to-do” list, he smiles and says, “There’s nothing really left to do, but enjoy it.”

Dogged Determination

2019 COVER DOG SEARCH

DOG PORTRAITS BY

Tom Spitz

THE WINNER

Gordon

“Gordon has webbed feet, and he loves to give hugs!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE RUNNER UP

Scout

“Scout has an affectionate personality, and tassels on her ears!”

The Event

All winners, no losers.

That’s who showed up at the annual Tucson Lifestyle Cover Dog Search, held Feb. 9 at La Encantada.

Every one of the 150 canines was with loving members of their human family, and all were excited for the chance to see and be seen by the celebrity judges, who included Heather Rowe (co-host of KGUN 9’s Tucson Morning Blend), Dan Gibson (Director of Communications for Visit Tucson), and Scott Barker (Tucson Lifestyle’s Editor in Chief). Along with the contest, people and dogs alike were able to meet with vendors who provide services or products for animal companions. Monies raised from entry fees benefited the many programs of the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

As for the prize-winning pooch this year, that honor goes to Gordon, a Staffordshire terrier/French bulldog/ English bulldog mix. He was accompanied by his people, Christy and Matt Swinford. Christy explained to the judges, “Gordon and nine other dogs were rescued from abusive and neglectful conditions in Sierra Vista in late 2014. The dogs were all in poor condition, and Gordon was expected to lose his left eye, but luckily he didn’t. Smiling Dog Rescue housed the dogs for nine months until the criminal case was resolved, and we were fortunate to bring him into our family. He is the sweetest, snuggliest little potato, and we love him so much!”

The runner-up was Scout, a golden retriever/shepherd mix, brought to the competition by Lilly Tees, who noted that, “Scout was adopted in October 2016 from Lifeline Oro Valley Animal Rescue. She was born on the streets of South Tucson, one of five in her litter. Her rambunctious nature led to her original name, Anarchy, which we changed. When we brought her home at three months old, she was able to experience running on grass for the first time, and she hasn’t stopped since!”

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