Dried meats that make you feel at ease

I was disappointed to see that Santa Monica Place’s The Market, which opened last month, is, in large part, just another high-end food court, competing with the other food court on the same level (that I love). I had hoped that it would be a real market, with high-end products to take home. But then I ran into Piero Selvaggio, the... Read more →

Just say the magic word

THIRD STREET — At Michael’s the magic word isn’t “please.” It’s “burrata.” The restaurant that pioneered fresh, seasonal California cuisine is offering its customers a complimentary farm-to-table bar bite of their choice with the purchase of mixologist Jason Robey’s farm-to-glass... Read more →

A passive case of seduction

SEX! SEX! SEX! OK, now that I’ve got your attention, let’s talk about English. That’s Maria Gobetti’s message in playwright Lissa Levin’s “Sex and Education,” now having its West Coast premiere at the Victory Theatre Center. Gobetti plays Ms. Edwards, a once-enthusiastic English teacher who is leaving... Read more →

Best way to ask for vacation

Dear New Shrink, I am hoping to take a vacation at some point this summer. I have been working in my current position for the past three years and the only time I have taken off has been for holidays. This has been an especially stressful year so I am in dire need of a true vacation. My boss is very strict about time away from the office so I... Read more →

Getting lost in paradise

Attention staycationers! I just might have found the ultimate staycation destination. To say it met my basic staycation requirements (must be driving distance from home yet takes me away to another world) would be selling it short. Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes on the Palos Verdes Peninsula utterly surpassed my expectations. It is... Read more →

Dog days at Edgemar

In A.R. Gurney’s shaggy dog story, “Sylvia,” Tanna Frederick plays a pampered pooch dressed in tutus and tiaras. You might call her a woof in chic clothing. Frederick, who has starred in four of playwright and filmmaker Henry Jaglom’s romantic comedies (“Hollywood Dreams,” “Irene in Time,”... Read more →

Memorial Day memories of a father I never knew

Dear New Shrink, This Memorial Day weekend has been overwhelmingly emotional for me. I cannot stop thinking about my father that I never even met. He left to serve his country when my mother was pregnant with me and he died in duty when I was less than a year old. He only saw me, held me once and obviously I don’t really remember... Read more →

A wheel of a deal

SM PIER — Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier donated a piece of its original, world-famous Ferris wheel — one of the two center hub signs — to the Santa Monica History Museum, officials with the amusement park announced Thursday. “We wanted to present the Santa Monica History Museum with something extraordinary... Read more →

Benny’s Tacos is mucho gringo

GENERAL COMMENT: In my way of looking at life, there are two kinds of taco joints, authentic and gringo. The best of the authentic ones usually have a regional aspect, and some special feature that draws in the Latino crowd. Benny’s is the other kind — a gringo joint. But that’s not necessarily bad. WHERE: 427 Lincoln... Read more →

Movie review: Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’ hits mark

If Ernest Hemingway saw Paris in the 1920s as a movable feast, Woody Allen, nearly a century later, sees it as a great big bowl of jellybeans: colorful, sweet, and totally addicting. From the first notes of jazz (can that be Allen playing jazz clarinet?) as backup to the mesmerizing montage of Paris street scenes shot by cinematographer... Read more →

Formalizing your departure

Dear New Shrink, I accepted a new job opportunity and will soon be leaving my current organization. I have been told that I need to write a letter of resignation. What should this letter include and how should I write it? Thank you for your help. Signed, Writing Goodbye Dear Goodbye, Once you’ve made the decision to take a new... Read more →

A malingering husband with feathers

“Memory is the only thing that grief can call its own,” Sean O’Casey wrote, and there is grief and memory enough to go around in his classic play “Juno and the Paycock,” now being performed at the Odyssey Theatre in West Los Angeles. Set in Dublin in 1922, the play is rife with the troubles of the time: the... Read more →

The Market opens to large crowd

SM PLACE — Foodies on the hunt for freshness flocked to Santa Monica Place on Friday for the grand opening of the remodeled shopping center’s latest attraction, The Market, a 45,000-square-foot section of the third floor dining deck that features artisanal treats and a top-notch cooking school. A miniature version of San... Read more →

Cats aren’t the only ones craving good seafood

When I was last in the Big Apple, three of the four high-end restaurants in Midtown where I ate specialized in seafood, the current restaurant craze. The first, Milos, where you can pick out your own fish from an ice table, is very reminiscent of restaurants in China, although there you can choose a snake. We also went to La Marea and Le... Read more →

Don’t worry, be happy

Dear New Shrink, I have a problem. When I get extremely close to certain people, I am sometimes overcome with a sense of fear that something awful has happened to them if I have not heard from them when expected. This happened sometimes with my mom when I was younger, and now it is happening again with my boyfriend. I know this might stem... Read more →