Food

ORTO (“vegetable garden”)

What? Another Santa Monica corner taken up by an Italian restaurant? When Elon Musk finally gets to Mars no doubt he will find an Italian restaurant on the nearest corner and a Starbucks nearby. But wait! This one is a step ahead of the others, run by a real Italian restauranteur, and with a superior menu to most of the others. You’ll... Read more →

Play Time

American Animals

American Animals by Cynthia Citron In another era the film “American Animals” might have been booked as a comedy. Maybe with Jerry Lewis leading his bumbling crew through an ill-conceived adventure at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. (This is not part of the “comedy”, there really is such a place.) Oh, where is... Read more →

Columns

SHAKESPEARE AND LYSISTRATA

I know I’m the odd one out but watching Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles’s “Henry IV” on June 8, I was not nearly as impressed as other reviewers have been. I felt the production was uneven, that the actors were not completely connecting with one another, and while there were moments achieving some Shakespearean heights, generally it... Read more →

Columns

Culture Watch

We Need Mr. Rogers Now Let me confess. I did not grow up watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, but I harbored dark, unfounded suspicions about him based on how “nice” he seemed. Now that I have seen the wonderful new documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” I am ashamed of my thoughts. In these ugly times, we need a genuinely kind... Read more →

Columns

DAVID DINES

FORMA 1610 Montana Avenue Santa Monica, CA 90403 (424)231-2868 Reservations required I couldn’t get a table at Forma when I first tried. It was 7:30 on a Thursday night, and I thought I’d go try this “great cheese place” as it was described to me. Without a reservation, there was no love for me that night. Now I really... Read more →

Columns

Culture Watch

PEAK PIZZA Stop the (panini) presses—I’ve found pizza’s Holy Grail! Chef Daniele Uditi of Brentwood’s Pizzana has transformed Neapolitan pizza into neo-Neapolitan pizza and taken it from humble to awesome. His Neo Margherita is now my all-time favorite pizza, rivaling my childhood memories of New York and New Haven pies. Pizzana... Read more →

Play Time

Mr. Pim Passes By Without Winnie-the-Pooh

Mr. Pim Passes By Without Winnie-the-Pooh by Cynthia Citron on May 10, 2018 Would you rather have “Hamlet” and “Macbeth” immortalized as some of the world’s greatest characters but have people four hundred years later still quibbling over whether you are the one who actually created them? Or would you rather have your plays... Read more →

Columns

The Re-View

Fig at the Miramar Some restaurants are so busy that they don’t need to advertise, and really don’t want more people to come in than they already get. I suspect that FIG, in the Miramar hotel at the corner of Ocean and Wilshire, is like that. The food is so good, the setting so beautiful, and the happy hour so affordable, that people... Read more →

Culture Watch

Culture Watch

HIGH CAMP AND KUBRICK DEVOTION Charles Busch’s campy noir classic “Die, Mommie, Die!” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre and Leon Vitali, the subject of the documentary “Filmworker,” opening at the Nuart tomorrow, have one thing in common: they’re both ALL IN. Vitali gave up a successful acting career to become Stanley Kubrick’s... Read more →

Columns

Playtime

"School of Rock": Noisy but Nice by Cynthia Citron   I've just spent two and a half hours in the "School of Rock" and I'm exhausted!   After all, how can you watch a fantastic cast of 34 running and jumping and dancing and singing and climbing on the scenery without feeling as if you've just run a marathon? Or have been swept... Read more →

Columns

Culture Watch

Little Moon, Big Orbit Raphael Lunetta is a Santa Monica native who grew up surfing. It’s still his passion—that is, when he can find time to get out on the waves. These days he’s busy running his popular eponymously-named upscale restaurant, Lunetta, and its casual next-door diner, Lunetta All Day. To give you an idea of his... Read more →

Play Time

Play Time: Marlo and Drew and Baby Makes Five

Play Time Marlo and Drew and Baby Makes Five by Cynthia Citron on May 10, 2018   So what happens when Cinderella finally marries the Prince? Well, sometimes it isn't all glass slippers and carriages made from pumpkins. Sometimes she winds up on the other side of wedded bliss. As introduced in screenwriter Cody Diablo's new... Read more →

Columns

David Dines

1 Pico   When you take Pico Blvd west, and you arrive at the very end, just on the sand, you’ll find someplace magical and wonderful – Shutters on the Beach. Tucked into the first floor is the flagship restaurant that overlooks the beach, the boardwalk and presents the perfect environment for either a raucous group of friends... Read more →

Play Time

Playtime

Conflicts, Surprises and Vegetarian Lasagna It's Christmas Eve and Dana and her mother, Barbara, are sitting in the kitchen, Barbara fussing over the celebratory dinner of vegetarian lasagna and Dana nibbling on her mother's festive sugar cookies. The scene comes from Barbara's memory because Dana, who enlisted as a hospital corpsman in... Read more →

Columns

A Potpourri Of Events

  A pot-inspired burlesque show, a salon-style story, an art and song event, a benefit supporting our local Repertory company, and a pay-what-you-can contemporary classical concert are coming soon to a venue near you. It’s high time you got yourself out to catch “Marijuana Madness,” an original burlesque show that showcases... Read more →