Wurstküche makes its way to the Westside

The über popular restaurant Wurstküche has made its way to the Westside. The “purveyor of exotic grilled sausages,” which has enjoyed great success at its Downtown L.A. location has opened its doors at a second stop on Lincoln Boulevard in Venice. With no shortage of hype, long lines, or savory delectables,... Read more →


Sometimes the experience is more appetizing than the cuisine

A fan of this column wrote to me after reading about our $300 lunch at El Cellar, suggesting that I forget writing about expensive places and focus on good food for good value. But eating out isn't just about the food; the experience is also important. At this moment we are in Menaggio, Italy, on the west side of Lake Como. Across the lake... Read more →


Movie review: The case for Edward de Vere

Of all the things we think we know about William Shakespeare, most of them are guesses, or assumptions, or just plain made up. In actual fact, even though the writings of many of his contemporaries have survived through time, there is not a single piece of paper ever discovered that was written in Shakespeare's own hand. Not a play. Not a... Read more →


If he pays, should I play?

Dear New Shrink, I have two brothers. The oldest is 40 years old, gay and married. He asked my mom, her husband and me to join them in Palm Springs for two nights. He paid for my room and I stayed in the same hotel that he did. My parents stayed elsewhere. I did not enjoy the trip because he was controlling and strange. The first day he... Read more →


Fresh from the farm to your table

For as long as I can remember the corner of Arizona Avenue and Second Street was home to The Lighthouse Seafood Buffet. For me, all you can eat seafood lost its luster somewhere between a bad experience at the Tropicana buffet table, and the documentary “The Cove.” For many Santa Monicans, organic, hormone-free, and... Read more →


Dining at one of the world’s best

It’s not only in Santa Monica that you find first-rate restaurants that have survived the various changes in food styles over many years. While playing golf near Girona, Spain, we heard of a restaurant — El Celler de Can Roca — reputed to be among the top three restaurants in the world (check out Read more →


Getting in the (Pacific Standard Time) zone

BERGAMOT STATION — Pacific Standard Time has arrived. This unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty Foundation, brings together more than 60 cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning in October to tell the story of the birth of the Los Angeles art scene. “Never before have so... Read more →


Method behind the madness

With the increasing popularity in preventative health care, we are beginning to see an emerging, roaring lion in the fitness and wellness industry. We are seeing a mainstream shift in the way in which people train. For so long, we have been dominated by the bodybuilders and the body-split training modalities, that we have forgotten how to... Read more →


Vive les differences

I am interrupting my series on old-time restaurants in Santa Monica because of a very different experience I had the other day. My wife and I were staying with friends in a small town near Montpellier, France. They offered to take us, along with another couple, to visit a medieval town nearby. I offered to buy lunch for everyone. We toured... Read more →


Asian-infused tacos another must-see Hollywood attraction

It is certainly a nice compliment to get invited to the grand opening of a new Hollywood hot spot. Either that, or an e-mail went out to me as well as 100,000 other people. Either which way, with my ego fed, it was time to venture out to the heart of Hollywood to fill my stomach for the launching of the newest Asian fusion eatery —... Read more →


Alcoholism runs in the family

Dear New Shrink, I grew up around alcoholics and for a long time told myself that I would never be like my family. I am not anything like them yet, but I now find myself worried that it will all catch up with me. It’s almost like a dark cloud following me. For some reason, I started to worry when my father died from his alcoholism about... Read more →

Community Profiles

Rallying for a cure

DOWNTOWN — It’s something that no parent is ever prepared for. Sarretta McDonough thought that her 3-year-old daughter Lauren just had a cold, but she wasn’t getting over it, and her symptoms seemed a little strange. Her eyes were puffy, and her stomach seemed distended. McDonough took Lauren to the family doctor, not... Read more →


Hunting for Santa Monica’s best breakfast burrito

The breakfast burrito: quick, convenient, and quintessential. While the burrito is inherently Mexican, the bacon, egg, cheese variety is as American as the hard shell taco, or the sizzling fajita platter. Not necessarily authentic as huevos rancheros, the gringo variation, as it is often referred to as, is probably the most popular. The... Read more →


Old timers, Vol 3: Valentino

In the 1950s and ‘60s, fine dining in Los Angeles was centered in Hollywood. There was Chasen’s, La Rue, Scandia, Ma Maison (if you were lucky enough to have the unlisted telephone number) and a few other fine restaurants, usually in the French mode. Little by little tastes changed. A Thai restaurant opened in Culver City and my... Read more →


Movie review: Love and death in Russia

Aleksei Fedorchenko’s latest film, “Silent Souls,” is both silent and soulful. And incredibly Russian. The story revolves around the ritual burial of Tanya (Yuliya Aug), the much-loved wife of the manager of a paper factory, Miron (Yuri Tsurilo). Unwilling to involve “outsiders” in the funeral preparations for... Read more →