Entertainment

Movie review: A marriage gone awry

“A Separation” is probably one of the best films of the year. But it should come with a warning label, because it is not for the faint of heart. It is so intense that it can tie your stomach in knots, and you may have a hard time breathing. A woman a few seats from me sobbed through the whole thing. The film is a slice-of-life, or... Read more →

Life

Magical mystery tour through Turkey

I am about to enter the country where Agatha Christie wrote “Murder on the Orient Express.” The magnetic pull of this historic destination and the idea that Marc Anthony gave the Turkish Riviera to Cleopatra for a wedding gift makes me lose track of my present reality. I am entering Turkey, a country like no other. This magical... Read more →

Entertainment

Movie mogul’s moxie makes for mayhem

THIRD STREET PROMENADE — For most people trying to film a martial arts epic, transporting a busload of bewildered Japanese tourists instead of your own actors to your movie set might seem to be a bit of a setback, to put it mildly. For Fred Weintraub, it was just another day on the job. In his memoir, “Bruce Lee, Woodstock and... Read more →

Food

Classic burgers served with a tiki twist

If you take a look back on the burger timeline in Santa Monica, somewhere along it the classic hamburger slowly transformed into an elaborate gastronomic experience. Nowadays, ambitious burger purveyors are showcasing newfangled creations that all too often are just abominations on a bun. The newly opened Shaka Shack in Sunset Park makes... Read more →

Columns

Is marijuana causing my son to be a deadbeat?

Dear New Shrink, My husband and I are very worried about our son. He is in his mid 20s, has had an excellent education, but all that he seems to be interested in is staying up late to play video games and sleeping until noon. He hasn’t gotten a job, doesn’t even look for one; he also doesn’t seem to be interested in having a... Read more →

Entertainment

At 115, Davies still the life of the party

BEACH HOUSE — The staff and docents at the Annenberg Community Beach House will open the facility’s doors on Sunday for a birthday celebration for its most famous resident — Marion Davies. Davies, who would have been 115 on Jan. 3, was best known as a silent film actress and as the mistress of media magnate William... Read more →

Food

Drago Santa Monica says ‘ciao’

WILSHIRE BLVD — After 21 years of serving Santa Monica, Italian restaurant Drago will be packing up its pans and closing its doors by the end of this month. “It’s been an absolutely wonderful run in Santa Monica,” said owner Chef Celestino Drago, who opened the restaurant in 1991 and has operated it ever since. The... Read more →

Food

Hits, misses at Stop’n Cafe

Fellow food reviewer Michael Ryan and I were strolling along the Santa Monica Promenade when we saw the sign “Greek Food.” A lovely young woman smiled at us and invited us in. When we learned that the restaurant — Stop’n Cafe — had been there for 25 years, we were encouraged. Is the promenade that old? I love... Read more →

Food

Urban farming taking root in Santa Monica

CITYWIDE — People flock to Santa Monica’s thrice-weekly Farmers’ Markets for their pick of fresh produce from the Golden State, but a handful of Santa Monicans are joining a movement that takes “local” to a whole new level. With the help of a Los Angeles-based company called Farmscape... Read more →

Columns

Asking the right questions

Dear New Shrink, I have an interview scheduled for next week and I have been busy preparing for the potential questions I might receive. Several resources I have reviewed have also recommended that I prepare questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview. What types of questions should I prepare to ask? How many questions should... Read more →

Food

Gathering around the dinner table

BY JESS HILTON Special to the Daily Press During the holidays, one of the ways we celebrate is by gathering around the dinner table with friends and loved ones for the ritual of sharing food. Sadly, for many of us this tradition only happens a handful of times each year. In the not too distance past, it wasn’t uncommon for families... Read more →

Columns

Leaving the baggage behind

It’s that time of year when we tend to reflect on the past and make plans for the future. If we aren’t doing this, we probably should be. It is a good idea to take stock of our lives and decide what we are missing, what we need to let go of, and then think about our goals for the coming year. Resolutions for the new year should... Read more →

Food

Barney’s offers a break from the shopping mayhem

Holiday crunch time on the Third Street Promenade certainly brings elevated levels of shopping mayhem. All of the congestion, large crowds and seasonal cheesiness does indeed bring out the Grinch in me. Therefore, I try to stay as far away from the insanity as possible. But alas, I found myself getting sucked into the epicenter like a... Read more →

Entertainment

Not a very nice ‘Fela’ at all

Fela Anikulapo-Kuti was the Lady Gaga of Nigeria in the 1970s. The creator of Afrobeat, a fusion of jazz, funk, psychedelic rock and traditional West African chants and rhythms, Fela became an international phenomenon and then went on to become a notorious political activist, the scourge of the Nigerian government, and the founder of the... Read more →

Food

Disappointing service, disappointing dim sum

Many a Sunday morning we enjoyed a dim sum brunch at the old VIP Seafood Restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard and Barrington Avenue. One nice feature was that we got dim sum right away from the rolling carts while we waited for a few special dishes. The former name, VIP, has morphed into the Palace, and although the place looks very much the... Read more →