Let someone else slave over a hot stove

CITYWIDE — The weather outside is far from frightful in Santa Monica where beachfront hotels, world-class restaurants and award-winning Farmers’ Markets make it an ideal place to celebrate the holiday season. With farm-to-table cuisine and cocktails, it’s no wonder Zagat has named Santa Monica the best place for dining in... Read more →


Providing warmth through the holidays

OCEAN AVE — Keith Roberts, the executive chef at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, is someone whom I have been following over the last year or so as he has added his own flavor and strict standards to the hotel’s kitchen and restaurant, Ocean & Vine. He has a real passion for food that always seems to come through when we chat.... Read more →


Wolf sighting on Abbott Kinney

With a kaleidoscopic arrangement of food trucks, trendy clubs, and upstart restaurants, Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, just outside of Santa Monica, is a great place to venture and try something new. Catching wind of a restaurant opening was enough to ride the bike over to see what was going down. The name of the restaurant, in a total... Read more →


In some cases, it’s OK to talk to a stranger

Dear New Shrink, I am in my early 20s and have been seeing a psychotherapist for about five months now. At first, I wasn’t even sure why I was going; I just wanted someone to talk to. I didn’t know if or why I needed it. But it has already helped me a lot. I am discovering who and what I am and what I want from life without... Read more →


Standing up for preemies

I have been missing from the pages of this paper for a little over a year now, ever since I had my second son, Eli. The last Mommie Brain column I wrote chronicled Eli’s arrival and the scare he gave us all by being a little over five weeks early. And so as I am about to return to writing my column (look for it soon!) it seemed only... Read more →


Playing tennis in the Garden of Eden

If you are looking for a combination of tennis and the Garden of Eden, you need look no further than Rancho Santa Fe. Nestled on 40 rolling acres, less than two hours from Santa Monica, is a gem of a resort called Rancho Valencia. As we approached this splendid hacienda-style haven, we immediately knew that it was a cut above any resort we... Read more →


Have job, willing to travel

Dear New Shrink, I have been on the job market for several months and despite numerous calls and interviews, I have yet to land something local. Last week I interviewed with a company based in Texas and enjoyed meeting with their executives. I received an offer yesterday to join their team in Dallas and now am faced with a difficult decision.... Read more →


Coward’s play pursues peace

Who would have suspected the sophisticated, debonair and wittily dismissive Noel Coward to be a mooshy patriot? Anyone who’s ever seen his play “Peace In Our Time,” that’s who. This intense drama, first performed in 1947, is being given a brand new outing by the excellent Antaeus Co. Seldom performed because of its... Read more →


Double-crossed by CrossFit

My first thought as I walked into Brick, West Hollywood’s premier CrossFit facility, was, “This is every functional trainer’s dream.” There are no machines like the Smith Machine or leg extension, whose only purpose in the fitness realm should be to serve as coat hangers. By the looks of it, this place is a legitimate... Read more →


Earth Wind and Flour a shining star

It was 30 years ago that Dennis Klempner and his business partners were sitting around a table banging their heads together trying to figure out a name for their new restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard. Through the ordeal, a song by Earth Wind and Fire came on the radio, the proverbial light bulb flickered on, and Earth Wind and Flour was... Read more →


Quality, tradition are Pacific Dining Car trademarks

Usually, I write reviews of restaurants I know fairly well. Before I put thoughts on paper though, I check out the restaurant one more time to see if anything has changed recently. Just before I send my review in to my editor, I look at reviews on the Internet to make sure that my overall impression is not drastically different from others.... Read more →


Calling all food bloggers

DOWNTOWN — The third International Food Blogger Conference is scheduled for Nov. 11-13 at the DoubleTree Hilton Suites in Santa Monica. The three-day event will feature seminars, workshops and keynotes, with Australian chef and cookbook author Michael Moore sharing the keynote honors with our very own local Pulitzer-Prize winning L.A.... Read more →


Why do we push people away?

Dear New Shrink, For years now, I have found myself getting really involved with people, girlfriends and guys alike, and then for little or no reason, pushing them away. I am really good at it so they get hurt and usually want nothing to do with me after that. At first, I am relieved, but then after that wears off, I find myself missing them... Read more →


No wings needed for this one

If you are a Frankie freak — and who among us is not? — you will find no greater pleasure than flying away to the Pantages Theatre before Nov. 6. There Sinatra reigns supreme, singing 27 of his all-time hits — songs that make you want to hug whoever’s sitting next to you. “Come Fly Away” is the brainchild... Read more →


Missing the comforts of home

My wife and I have been traveling around southern Europe for over two months. Now we are on a Celebrity Cruise ship on the way back to New York. We visited family and friends all over southern Europe, from a week in Portugal to visit our daughter and her family, to a week playing golf in Spain, a week visiting friends and traveling around... Read more →