"We’re big on individuals expressing themselves at the restaurant," says owner John Resnick. "We wanted the uniforms to reflect that, while creating a sense of continuity at the same time." Aprons are supplied, but Ashley Fisher (pictured) and other servers pick their own shirts, jeans, and brown boots, reflecting the Carlsbad restaurant’s casual camping theme. "We stick with earth tones—but on Saturdays, tiki and Hawaiian shirts seem to come out."
2725 State Street, Carlsbadcampfirerestaurant
2. Pendry Hotel
Before you even step into one of this Gaslamp hotel’s many food spots—Lionfish, Provisional Kitchen, and more—you’ll meet well-dressed front desk staffers like Karina Kravalis. "The plaid was inspired by our trademark tartan," says Pendry cofounder and creative director Michael Fuerstman, who designed the dress. "We wanted it to have an approachable look—something our guests would want to wear and could see themselves in."
550 J Street, Gaslamppendryhotels
3. Herb & Wood
"Mad Men meets Matrix." That’s how general manager Chris Puffer describes the custom vest and apron paired with the server’s own white dress shirt, gray denim (no baggy pants!), black belt, black socks, and black dress shoes, as shown on Tyrone Carpenter. The wax denim aprons have a unique angular design. "I was tired of the ‘Farmer John’ look trending now. This has a modern, futuristic twist. After seeing them all dressed, I coined the phrase ‘penguin assassins.’"
2210 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italyherbandwood