Food

Old Timers, Vol. 2: Michael’s

The one restaurant most closely associated with fine dining in Santa Monica is still Michael’s. While it has not followed the many fads into more modern or experimental foods, it has maintained the same level of quality and consistency since it opened in 1979. And while dining has gone through a number of phases since 1979,... Read more →

Food

Umami lives up to the hype

What is there left to possibly say about the most critically reviewed, dissected, and highly acclaimed burger in Los Angeles? A mouthful, if you are one of the people like myself that are late in the game to scratch this contemporary hot spot off your burger bucket list. Yes I do have a list and Umami Burger was at the top of it. After... Read more →

Entertainment

As ephemeral as a ‘Shooting Star’

“A woman needs to marry before she gets too interesting,” Elena says ruefully. And Elena, as played by Michelle Duffy, is one of the most interesting characters you'll see on stage this year. Elena is a hippie who never got over it. She also, apparently, never quite got over her love for Reed (Kevin Symons), and for those good... Read more →

Columns

Natural or not, losing our parents hurts deep inside

Dear New Shrink, I am slowly but surely losing my mother, who has always been one of my best friends. It is not clear whether she just has some dementia or if she may have Alzheimer’s. I have no brothers or sisters; my father is still around but incapable of handling what is happening to his wife as he ages and is depressed by the... Read more →

Food

Don’t be a food snob

If you want to invoke change in others, you shouldn’t be a food snob. This weekend the Good Food Festival is being held in Santa Monica. The festival offers everything you could want to learn about good, healthy food; how to get it and the policies surrounding it. But even as a health food advocate, I worry that playing the... Read more →

Food

Five alarm food at The Firehouse

In an area jam packed with restaurants it is easy for a simple diner to get overlooked, even if that diner is the biggest, brightest building on the block. I have rode my bike past The Firehouse on the cusp of Venice and Santa Monica on Main Street countless times but never really gave it much more than a glance. Little did I know that the... Read more →

Food

Santa Monica celebrates ’Good Food’

DOWNTOWN — The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market is celebrating its 30th anniversary by partnering with Family Farmed, which is nationally recognized for working with many of the country’s largest buyers of local and sustainably grown food and “growing the market” for local and sustainable food. They will launch the... Read more →

Food

Tantalizing taste buds with roasted chilies

PICO NEIGHBORHOOD — “We buy ‘em, we roast ‘em and we sell ‘em!” barked Ted Galvan, manager of the Saturday Pico Farmers’ Market, as he stood near a cast iron barrel loaded with green peppers being roasted by vendor Chili Asado. His moustache-covered smile welcomed shoppers as the smell of roasting... Read more →

Food

Old Timers, Vol. 1: The Galley

With hot new restaurants opening up all the time, we tend to forget some of the old standbys that have stood the test of time. If a restaurant has been in the same location and under the same management for 20 years or more, it must have something special. And so it is with such favorites as Valentino, Michael’s, Chez Jay, Chinois on... Read more →

Food

Big Dean’s cooks up kick ass wings

The passing of Labor Day in Santa Monica means many changes but no more noticeable than down by the Santa Monica Pier. The Twilight Dance Series has come to a close, the beaches are much less crowded, and the leaves on the palm trees started to turn (well not really). With the unofficial end of summer amongst us, the droves of tourists seem... Read more →

Food

Farmers’ Market names list of food vendors

DOWNTOWN — In the mood for some freshly baked bread, handmade salted caramel ice cream or a sip of northern Italian style espresso? Bike, bus or walk to a Farmers’ Market near you and enjoy. All of those delicious treats will be available starting Oct. 1 at one of three markets operated by City Hall, according to a list released... Read more →

Columns

Living stress-free means being true to yourself

Dear New Shrink, The idea of having too much free time is hard for me, but I also hate to be overly busy. It’s so hard for me to find a balance; I’m either too bored or too stressed. It’s strange because I wonder why I get so antsy about having nothing to do. But then when I have options of having full-time jobs that will... Read more →

Entertainment

Climbing out of the ‘Rabbit Hole’

In March 2009, a theater company in Malibu mounted a run of David Lindsay-Abaire's play “Rabbit Hole,” which chronicles the effects of the death of a 4-year-old on the rest of his family. While it was a fine production overall, this is what I wrote about it then: “For more than two hours the audience is plunged into this... Read more →

Food

No longer just a watering hole

Sonny McLean’s serves food? That was my initial reaction as I bellied up to the bar for a cold one. The barkeep enthusiastically showed me a menu and pointed to a bunch of cooking trophies behind the bar won by their head chef. A new menu, bigger selection of beers, and a burger claiming to be the best on the Westside are compelling... Read more →