When the third season of "Billion Dollar Buyer" debuts Wednesday on CNBC, Bakersfield viewers have a bigger reason to tune in than expecting an enjoyable hour of reality television.

The episode of the series that follows businessman Tilman Fertitta, CEO and owner of Landry's Inc., as he attempts to strike a deal with small-business owners has a strong local connection. Bakersfield's Autonomy Farms will be featured, along with Santa Monica clothing retailer Too Pretty, in Wednesday's show.

Residents who regularly attend local farmers markets will recognize Autonomy's Meredith Bell, who appears on the show with business partner Nick Etcheverry. The pair show Fertitta around the farm, including the cattle operation, with the goal of convincing the businessman to help them partner with his Mastro's Steakhouse, a high-end national restaurant group.

During the episode, which The Californian was able to view in advance, Bell discusses the setback the farm faced in February when massive flooding destroyed crops and resulted in the loss of 750 hens. The pair also bring a selection of Autonomy produce (including shishito peppers, eggplants and green tomatoes) and grass-fed beef to Mastro's in Beverly Hills for the chefs to sample and prepare into a special menu offered to diners.

You'll have to tune in next week to see how the farm fares in the test and if Fertitta is willing to strike a deal, but those who know Bell know she won't go out without a fight. 

The episode airs at 7 p.m. Wednesday (with a repeat at 10 p.m.) on CNBC.

(Central) Coasting into town

While it's common for local residents to head to the Central Coast for a weekend getaway, it's not often we see visitors coming back our way. That changed this week when writers from SLOCoLife.com hit the town to experience a bit of Bakersfield's best.

The travel website, which primarily focuses on adventures in and around San Luis Obispo County, occasionally ventures into real-world reviews of destinations in easy driving distance.

Viewing the site's Instagram feed offered a look at many of the stops during their three-day excursion, which seemed to focus on downtown. Based on the photos, the team attended a Condors game, stayed at the Padre Hotel, dined at Cafe Smitten and Locale Farm to Table and even imbibed at The Alley Cat.

The full review should be up soon on slocolife.com, and we'll weigh in on that once it posts.

NYE at Tiki-Ko

If you've read The Californian over the last week, you likely ran across the extensive New Year's Eve calendar listings. (If not, check here.) There are plenty of options for a good time including at Bakersfield's only tiki bar, which we didn't have details on when we first ran our events list.

Tiki-Ko (1919 K St.) will be open from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday, serving the usual classics from its updated menu as well as champagne toast at midnight and a special cocktail. Three Blessings from the Tiki Gods ($14) is a shared bowl drink for two with three kinds of rum — Lemon Hart 151 Demerara rum, Don Q Gold Puerto Rican rum and Coruba Dark Jamaican rum — along with a secret blend of syrups and spices, topped with champagne. Thank those gods that you can end 2017 in such style.

A short wish list for 2018

Everyone is probably sick of reading what people are resolving to do in 2018 but here's one more for the pile. While bigger life goals are certainly on the agenda, I've got some dining plans going into the new year:

Having brunch at Sonder (and exploring the local brunch scene in general); let's show L.A. and the other big cities that we know how to party at 11 a.m.

Sampling more of all the good food in or coming to downtown — vegan Buddha bowls from Better Bowls, coffee at Blue Oak Roasting Co., sweets from GhilaDolci Bakery and exquisite sourdough from Baker's Outpost.

Taking in dinner and a movie at Studio Movie Grill once that opens next year in northwest Bakersfield.

And finding more tacos; it's always about finding more tacos.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

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