Food

Gin that doesn’t come on too strong

While I’ve never been a devoted gin drinker given the overpowering nature of the juniper (it always reminded me of cleaning products), after sampling Nolet’s Silver, I just might have to become one. Never have I sampled such a versatile gin that can stand on its own or pair nicely with a variety of mixers and foods. Crafted by... Read more →

Food

New ‘gastro-lounge’ The Charleston has promise

The Charleston has taken over where Angel’s Piano Bar & Supper Club once stood on Wilshire Boulevard. It looks more modern, less cluttered and cleaner in general, but the idea is still the same — combine good music, hand-crafted cocktails and food. There’s a nice selection of beers, a competent bartender, a dozen or so... Read more →

Columns

Whether or not to abort

Dear New Shrink, I am going through the worst time of my life trying to decide what to do. I cannot even believe it, but I am pregnant. The situation is far from ideal for having a baby, but I really am wondering what it all means to have an abortion, what the risks are and whether or not I will be sorry afterwards. I would understand it if I... Read more →

Arts

No strangers on the train

I use public transit in every city I’ve ever visited but seriously never expected to ride the rails around Los Angeles. I was incredibly excited to hop aboard the Expo Line on Sunday (free!) as it opened to the public, at the Jefferson/La Cienega boulevards station. Except for the rude person who left garbage tucked between my seat... Read more →

Entertainment

Chicago, but not the musical

They weren’t projecting, they were SHOUTING! And even if they were better actors, the play would still be a lot of frivolous twaddle. It’s “Early and Often,” a play by Barbara Wallace and Thomas R. Wolfe, and directed by Ron West, that explores political morality in 1960s Chicago. And if that isn’t an oxymoron,... Read more →

Food

What a (beer) pair

From Main Street to Montana Avenue, places to wet your whistle come a dime a dozen. However, some of the better places that offer a wider beer selection are more than likely to also hold tastings, dinners, and events showcasing a certain brewery’s goods. It’s a great way to differentiate yourself and to create a rep. After... Read more →

Arts

Anniversaries: Civic and cultural

Just over a decade ago, a Westside venue for world-class performing arts was wishful thinking for Dale Franzen, a former opera singer whose ties to the world of the arts run deep. Today, she’s the artistic director overseeing programming for The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage, which recently announced its stellar fifth anniversary... Read more →

Columns

Putting your best foot forward

Dear Life Matters, I am currently exploring new job opportunities and have been invited to interview for one of the positions I have applied for. As part of the recruitment process I have been asked to prepare a 30-minute presentation. I will not bore you with the details of the topic, but I would like your advice about how to prepare for a... Read more →

Entertainment

‘No Time to Weep,’ a holocaust musical

Not since Mel Brooks’ outrageous “Springtime for Hitler” has there been a holocaust musical as ill-conceived and badly performed as “No Time to Weep,” now on-stage at L.A.’s Matrix Theater. “No Time to Weep” is the autobiography of a sweet, eternally upbeat Czech poet, Lucy Deutsch, who survived... Read more →

Food

So many stocks to choose from

Certainly one of the most important parts of investing is the method of selecting a company to invest in. And this is also one of the most controversial areas in the world of investments. First should come the criteria. By that I mean what it is that you are looking for. For a young person earning extra money, the criteria might be something... Read more →

Food

Swishing on a star: Shabu-shabu on Broadway

When it comes to great Asian-influenced cuisine, Sawtelle Boulevard in West L.A. has Santa Monica beat by a long shot. Our city lacks the goodness of Vietnamese pho, ramen noodle bars, and Korean BBQ. Of course there is plenty of sushi to choose from, but nowadays sushi is so Westernized it’s just about as authentic as a sizzling... Read more →

Food

High-end home deliveries

DOWNTOWN — After a long night of event planning and organizing, Raphael Monsch and his marketing team in Zurich, Switzerland would be exhausted. Yet every Sunday morning the group would go to brunch — a popular meal in Switzerland featuring simple options like cheese or salmon. “We thought, ‘Hey, why do we have to go... Read more →

Entertainment

All in the family

More decades ago than I care to admit, my father introduced me to the world of stand up comedy as every Sunday night we’d watch the “Ed Sullivan Show.” Among the performers on the Sullivan show was a youthful George Carlin who, in a suit and thin tie, always struck me as hilarious though at my tender age I must admit the... Read more →

Entertainment

A love affair in Russian, French, English

Unless you’re an aficionado of the ups and downs of the Russian revolution of the early 20th century, it’s very hard to keep track of the players without a scorecard. Take the White Army. Anti-Communist, anti-Bolshevik, anti-Semitic, and loyal to the Russian Empire of the Tsar, they were routed by the Red Army during the Russian... Read more →

Arts

Misha, Mamet and good people

Last week I went to the Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center for the U.S. premiere of “In Paris,” a theatrical piece based on a story by Russian writer and Nobel laureate Ivan Bunin. Although Mikhail Baryshnikov is the name on the marquee, “In Paris” is actually an ensemble piece from Dmitry... Read more →