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 →


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 →


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 →

DVD Releases

Home entertainment holiday shopping guide

DVDs ‘Limitless’ (Unrated Extended Cut) Bradley Cooper stars as Eddie Morra, a burnt-out writer, who comes into a top-secret pill that taps into 100 percent of his brain's abilities. The ensuing display of mind-bending talents and brilliant visions bring him a dream life until the pill's side effects kick in. This version... Read more →


Career resolutions for the new year

As 2011 comes to an end, this is a great time to reflect on your successes and evaluate your professional and career goals. Oftentimes we end up being so busy during the year that we move from one project to the next without truly taking time to acknowledge all that we have done. However, it is important that you take time to identify your... Read more →


They’ll take your breath away

I loved the safari, enjoyed meeting the Masai and had the most amazing time exploring Kenya. Now for a different kind of adventure. I decided to go to Mount Kilimanjaro. If climbing Kilimanjaro has been on your wish list, I discovered it was one of the easiest things to organize. Two options to get to the climb, catch a short flight from... Read more →


Out with the old, in with Z new

Like any new business Z Garden is indeed working out some of the unexpected yet unavoidable kinks. Co-owner Shadi Abed, posts himself close to the entrance working partly as a greeter and also as the guy who has to shut the faulty door that wants to constantly stay open. The dining area still awaits the Farmers’ Market hook-up who... Read more →


Don’t pull a Kardashian

Dear New Shrink, I am engaged and in the process of planning my wedding. Most of my friends have already gotten married but a number of them also have already split up. Some of them have young children that they are already arguing over. It’s really sad. I just don’t understand it and it worries me. Am I headed down the same path?... Read more →


Local restaurateurs create perfect trifecta on Wilshire

WILSHIRE BLVD — For me, any which way you slice it, pizza can do no wrong. Whether it is the 3 a.m. microwavable abomination at the gas station, or a pie hand-tossed by Wolfgang Puck himself, if there is melted cheese on some form of bread, I am a fan. Admittedly, I am not the toughest of customers. However, after tasting Milo &... Read more →


Nothing lasts forever

It’s not the same old Drago. Like most high-end restaurants, it changes from time to time. And when I was last there I found a number of changes on the menu and in the staff. That’s one of the problems of writing a review suggesting that one restaurant is the best in any way. The number of replies from readers goes way up.... Read more →


Check the expiration date on implants

So, you’ve finally got those breast implants you’ve been wanting for some time, and now you are wondering how long you have before you need to get them replaced. As a plastic surgeon specializing in breast augmentation, I am frequently asked when breast implants should be “changed out” or replaced for safety’s... Read more →


Learning to leave work at the office

Dear New Shrink, I have been finding it difficult to find a balance between work and home. I often stay in the office late at night and end up taking work home on the weekends. While I really enjoy my job, it seems that all I do lately is work. I’m constantly connected to the office and end up checking my work e-mail more than I check... Read more →



Into Africa with luxury or economy

I love to travel and have always wanted to go to Africa. I was concerned about being in Africa without booking anything beforehand as I received warnings from friends that I should be extremely careful. With these thoughts in the back of my mind, I still just booked the airfare and went to Africa. I was enchanted by the beauty of the country,... Read more →

DVD Releases

Foreign Oscar hopefuls play in Santa Monica

Running each Sunday now through January, Laemmle’s Monica Fourplex is presenting a wide range of movies from all over the world, each vying to be nominated for the coveted Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards to be held on Feb. 26 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Local foreign film buffs, tourists and motion... Read more →