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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Maher

NDMK, Catalina Island Brew House, The Tuna Club, and the Upcoming Catalina Island Museum Event!

Jan 2021 blog

NDMK, Catalina Island Brew House, The Tuna Club, and the upcoming Catalina Island Museum Event

Hello and Welcome to Adventures Under the Ocean. My name is Stephanie, and I am here with my husband Chad living on Santa Catalina Island. We have been living here for about 5 months and we have been active in the dive community. Chad is an instructor at Diving Catalina. Visit to schedule a dive.

I want to thank those of you who liked and commented on my recent blog and video. I appreciate all your feedback and encourage everyone to express themselves. My intention is to inspire locals and tourists with my blogs and videos by promoting local businesses, restaurants, giving back to the community of Avalon during these difficult times.

Chad and I first met during the PIMU Catalina Island Archaeological Field School in 2013 and it changed my life. We fell in love, and after the field school Chad took me on many diving adventures throughout Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The field school inspired me so much that I never stopped thinking about Catalina. I fell in love with Catalina and dedicated my time studying the history of the island which is why we decided to return to Catalina. We are compelled to take you on an adventure through Avalon and the island’s history, touring you around town and into the interior of the island within the comforts of your own home.

NDMK recently has been offering Tom Ka Soup, a food item not on their menu. Chad and I have been missing authentic Thai food. We lived in Koh Phi Phi, an island in Thailand for about 6 months, so we know what authentic Thai food tastes like and NDMK’s Tom Ka Soup totally satisfied our craving. As soon as NDMK re-opened, Chad and I rushed over to get it. We also ordered our all-time favorites! The Poke Bowl and the Grilled Chicken Bowl which we highly recommend. The Tom Ka soup was spicy, but not too spicy. The soup had all the authentic ingredients, in a creamy white coconut broth with floating pink swirls of curry. The soup is served with hefty chunks of chicken, and mushrooms slices seasoned with cilantro, chili powder and lemon grass. We had it with a serving of white rice drizzled with soy sauce. Of course, it was crowded at 5pm but it was worth the wait. The Tom Ka Soup is offered only occasionally.

We watched surfing tournaments on the big Screen TV’s mounted on the walls. I also noticed painted images of Ben Weston Beach on the walls of the restaurant. NDMK also adheres to the rule of mask wearing and social distancing. They sell awesome masks if you are looking to buy one and sell a variety of shirts and sweatshirts and jewelry made by local artists. NDMK is a local favorite and I am so happy they re-opened!

Wake up early and head to Catalina Island Brew House and order their coffee and breakfast croissant. The house coffee is dark and strong yet has a smooth finish with the boldness of a French roast. The egg and cheese breakfast croissant is the perfect addition to their house coffee because of its buttery and flaky pastry stuffed with savory swiss cheese melted on a perfect circle of fluffy scrambled egg.

Avalon is home to an abundance of sea life within the kelp forests such as the bright orange Garibaldi, Giant Black Bass and Sea Lions. The sea life that surrounds Catalina made the island famous all over the world. Charles Holder (1851-1915), the famous naturalist and prolific writer, had caught a massive 183lb “leaping tuna,” (as he described it) in 1898, and because of the thrill of the catch, he founded the Tuna Club in Avalon the same year. The Tuna Club promoted “line and reel” fishing and ways to sustain big game fish. The Tuna Club attracted visitors from all over the world to partake in this exhilarating sport.

Charles Holder had described the landscape and history of Santa Catalina Island and the other Channel Islands in his many books and publications, especially noting the sea life big game fish and the vegetation of the island. His books describe the necessary fishing hooks, lines, and reels to be used for the sport. His books include “An Isle of Summer” published in 1901 and “The Channel Island of California” published in 1910. A plaque is dedicated to him, that is placed in front of the Tuna Club, to recognize his contribution to the tourism economy of Avalon. The Tuna Club was rebuilt after a fire hit Avalon in 1915 and it still stands today. Many famous people were members of the of the club including Charlie Chaplin and Theodore Roosevelt. The Tuna Club is the oldest fishing club in the United States and became the leader in the conservation of sea life through sustainable fishing practices that are still in use to this day. To learn more go to The Tuna Club | Catalina Island (

Charles Holder was also the first naturalist to excavate and document archaeological sites, artifacts and human remains on Santa Catalina and the other Channel Islands. Charles Holder excavated 40 townsites from both Santa Catalina and San Clemente.[1] He wrote about his findings in his book entitled “An Isle of Summer” published in 1901 and “The Channel Islands” published in 1910. The Catalina Island Museum offers tours into the Tuna Club, but because of the precautions that LA County is adhering to, tours have been put on hold.

The Catalina Island Museum is located on Metropole Ave., across the street from the Avalon Community Church. Their exhibition galleries are temporarily closed, although their retail shop is available to the public. Their newest exhibit features art by Gayle Gargner Roski, who had first learned how to dive on Catalina, and is famous for creating watercolor paintings that document her adventure to the Titanic while aboard the MIR I submersible in the year 2000. To learn more, go to

The Museum is also offering “Art to Go” every Thursday geared for children ages 6-12. Art kits are available for pickup at the front of the museum. Inside it includes materials and instructions for the special art lesson. For example, the art kits have recently been instructing kids how to properly address a letter. Some of the messages, created by kids that used the Art Kits, had been sent to the mainland that had been attached to trained Pigeons last Sunday the 17th at 9:30am! Compton Homing Pigeon Club provided pigeons for this demonstration. This was a prelude for the special zoom meeting held by the Catalina Museum this coming Saturday, on January 23 at 11am, which is entitled, “You’ve Got Mail: Catalina Island’s Mail Carrier History.” The Director of Exhibitions, Johnny Sampson, delves into the history of a rare letter from 1826 that had been mailed to Massachusetts by a carrier Pigeon. To register click the link: Catalina Island Museum Inc. (

Thank you again for visiting our website. Stay safe and happy in Santa Catalina Island and the world!

[1] Holder, Charles. “Adventures of Torqua” p.37 side note. 1902.

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