Helping a sibling who’s on the edge

Dear New Shrink, My little brother is, and has been, a little monster. While growing up he was constantly acting out and causing problems for the family. But now, he’s in real trouble. He has picked the worst friends and he has gotten himself arrested for not only DUI, but also felony possession of drugs. He could go to prison. I guess... Read more →

Turning it up a notch

Saturday mornings, Tom Williams, the owner of Burn Fitness teaches a private cardio class for his longtime clients. I have heard it is the hardest class at the gym. Even the trainers quake at the mention of this class. But I’ve been feeling like my progress has slowed. I’m still losing weight, but it’s a snails pace in... Read more →

Better the second time around

So, here’s what happened. I dropped Benjamin at camp up in Temescal Canyon. Camp drop-offs had been getting more and more difficult as he clung to me screaming that he didn’t want to go. I would carry him in my arms, just able to get him around my eight-months-pregnant belly. I barely had the energy to hold him up. Seeing him cry,... Read more →

Authentic dishes, ambiance that is tres Parisian

I like a restaurant with personality, so that when I think of that restaurant a particular dish comes to mind. Nowhere is that more true than at Le Saint Amour in Culver City. Yes, it’s French. And I mean really French, like you can go there and not speak a word of English and do just fine, if you speak French. And if you look on the... Read more →

A dangerous view from atop ‘K2’

Imagine being stranded with a broken leg on the narrow ledge of a 600-foot ice wall, in minus 50-degree weather, just 1,000 feet from the summit of the second highest mountain in the world. That’s the terrifying premise of Patrick Meyers’ play, “K2,” that opened recently at the Underground Theatre in Hollywood. And... Read more →

Sushi without much personality

The next stop on my culinary tour of Santa Monica Place is the first place I tried to enter but was rejected because it was “too close to closing time.” But we went back, and this time we brought our secret weapon, number two son Spencer-san, a professor of Japanese poetry at Yokohama U. We sat at the sushi bar in the main dining... Read more →

Sushi without much personality

The next stop on my culinary tour of Santa Monica Place is the first place I tried to enter but was rejected because it was “too close to closing time.” But we went back, and this time we brought our secret weapon, number two son Spencer-san, a professor of Japanese poetry at Yokohama U. We sat at the sushi bar in the main dining... Read more →

Head to toe with Head

Cecil B. DeMille once waited five months for his peacocks to shed so that Edith Head could use their feathers in the spectacular cape that she designed for Hedy Lamarr to wear in “Samson and Delilah.” A tasty tidbit offered by Edith Head — in the person of Susan Claassen — at the El Portal Theatre this month.... Read more →

Feeling down in the dumps

Dear New Shrink, I am wondering if you can help me figure something out. I feel terrible. I have been feeling discouraged, sometimes kind of depressed and hopeless and I also have trouble sleeping plus I eat and drink more than I should, especially at night. It took a lot of courage on my part to go and see a psychiatrist, but I did it. I... Read more →

Burn it off on the Internet

Lately, gym members have been asking me the same question: “How did you lose all that weight?” I tell them the same three things: 1) I’ve got an awesome trainer, Keith Sims, who keeps putting me through the paces; 2) I get in to do my cardio everyday and; 3) I enter my foods into the Fatburn.com online program. Now, this is... Read more →

Restaurant snapshot: The Fisherman’s House

GENERAL COMMENT: I usually won’t drive east of the 405 freeway or north of Malibu Colony for lunch, but sometimes I find a place worth the trip. Usually it’s for a particular dish, and so it is with the Fisherman’s House in Oxnard. It takes an hour to get there, but the spot shrimp are worth the drive, and I don’t... Read more →

‘Red Hot Lover’ winds up a little blue

Barney Cashman is frumpy, lumpy, and awkward with women. And so is John Combs, the actor who plays him in “Last of the Red Hot Lovers.” Coincidence? I think not. Because if there is one thing that director Howard Teichman prides himself on, it’s his impeccable casting. And with “Lovers” he has, once again, scored... Read more →

Hobbies help high schoolers determine college course

Dear New Shrink, My daughter is currently working on her college applications and I am trying my best to support her. For most of the schools she is applying to she must declare a major. However, she feels very unsure about her future and her high school only offers very basic disciplines so she has only been able to explore the typical... Read more →

A new high at Loews

Loews hotel has a reputation of putting top chefs into their dining room, sometimes called “Ocean and Vine.” Remember Alain Giraud when he was there with his lavender ice cream? Well now it’s Keith Roberts, and he’s special. They’ve added a comfortable sushi bar, with a genuine sushi chef, and they still have... Read more →

Franz-Knight leaves legacy of progress at historic pier

SM PIER — After eight years as head of the Santa Monica Pier, Ben Franz-Knight today will be turning in the keys to his ocean-view office above the historic carousel. Unknown to the millions of visitors who come to the pier each year, Franz-Knight has become something of a behind-the-scenes hero to pier boosters, who credit him with... Read more →