Earth Talk: Green decorating

NEW TREND: Thanks to increased consumer awareness and demand, there are more ‚Äògreen‚Äô choices in furniture available than ever before. Pictured: A Savvy Rest organic crib mattress distributed by Furnature. (Photo courtesy Savvy Rest) Dear EarthTalk: Are there certain brands or retail stores where sustainable furniture options... Read more →


Taking it to the streets

Border Grill's Susan Feniger takes people on a journey through different spices in her new book 'Street Food,' which features recipes from all over the globe. (Cover art courtesy of Stephanie Huntwork.) FOURTH ST ‚Äî What local restaurant Border Grill‚Äôs chef-owner Susan Feniger gleefully refers to as the "the cyclone that is my... Read more →


Quality never goes out of style

Pasta is primo and rememberable at Valentino. Here the veal ravioli in a sage and butter sauce, smothered with Italian truffles. (Photo by John Blanchette.) Before Melisse, the top restaurants in Santa Monica, in the good old days, were Michael‚Äôs, Chinois on Main and Valentino. These old-timers are still tops today. Michael‚Äôs... Read more →



Celebrating 25 years of serving up suds

JUST A TASTE: Owner of the Daily Pint Phil McGovern has a sip of a beer at his Pico Boulevard watering hole. PICO BLVD ‚Äî When I first stumbled upon craft beers about eight years ago, the place I would often wander into was The Daily Pint in the Pico Neighborhood. Just a short walk, or stagger depending on the time of day, from my... Read more →



Alex Cuba headlines Twilight Concert Series

Alex Cuba SM PIER ‚Äî Alex Cuba is industrious. His e-mail signature even reads, "Watch out, world, here is an artist managing himself." And he manages himself and his career very well. His guidance of his career has led him to the Twilight Concert Series at the Santa Monica Pier Thursday ¬†and though he‚Äôs played Los... Read more →


Poppins play a ‘rare gift’

Rachel Wallace and Nicolas Dromard in 'Mary Poppins,' which returns to the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre Aug. 9 through Sept. 2. (Photo courtesy Disney/CML) With all due respect to my parents, I may have been a deprived child because I never saw the Disney film "Mary Poppins," nor did I read the P.L. Travers stories that the film... Read more →


Blazing a trail

ON THE PATH: The Congressionally mandated Recreational Trails Program was in jeopardy due to budget cuts, but its backers in Congress announced this past July that it would be retained to the tune of $85 million in funding per year. (Photo courtesy iStockPhotos) Dear EarthTalk: What exactly is the federal government‚Äôs Recreational... Read more →


Black-eyed peas unleashed

A meal that would make Fergie proud; a black-eyed peas with corn, seasoned chicken and fresh herbs to help refuel and repair after a workout. To get hyped up for running or working out at the gym, I require two things: an adequately fueled body and some heart pounding music. So when I created a recipe that actually fulfilled both of these... Read more →


From Mali with vigor

Amadou and Mariam SM PIER ‚Äî Post-Olympics blues have you down? Think about taking in tonight‚Äôs Twilight Concert Series at the Santa Monica Pier with Amadou & Mariam ‚Äî the internationally acclaimed blind musical duo, who mix traditional Mali sound with rock guitars. The innovative pair look forward to playing... Read more →


Terrific cast plays destruction well

Remember when "mutually assured destruction" meant maintaining d√©tente with Russia ‚Äî or else? As the threat of nuclear war hung like a mushroom cloud over all our heads, the thought that nobody would survive kept everybody from pushing the button. Oh, for the good old days. But wait, there seems to be a light at the end of... Read more →


Brownies, beans do go together

It looks so good it's hard to believe that black beans were used in the making of these nutritious brownies. (Elizabeth Brown) I so wish I had invented this recipe. I can be very creative when it comes to food, but I honestly did not come up with the idea of using black beans in place of flour to make brownies. However, the recipe I... Read more →


Santa Monica’s rollin’ in the lobster

Santa Monica Seafood's traditional lobster roll. (Photo courtesy Jason Wise) If you don‚Äôt use social media I feel bad for you. Not because it‚Äôs a great place to creep on people, post pictures of your cat, or make yourself look cooler than you really are, but because of all the random stuff floating around for you to fill your... Read more →


Cirque du Soleil on PARADE

PARADE Collective (Photo courtesy Cirque du Soleil) SM PIER ‚Äî Be forewarned: this is not your normal Cirque du Soleil performance. Cirque du Soleil is best known for putting on a surreal visual display of sets, costumes, and of course, acrobatics, but the live music is also an important feature of any Cirque show. And tonight... Read more →


New food truck lot comes to SM

SANTA MONICA BLVD ‚Äî Move over Main Street, there‚Äôs a new food truck lot in town. This Wednesday head over to the corner of 14th Street and Santa Monica Boulevard to sample grub from a dozen different food trucks at the Hump Day Lot created by entrepreneur and confessed foodie Brian Spire. "I‚Äôve always been a foodie and I... Read more →