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 →


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 →


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 →


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 →


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 →


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 →


Putting your best foot forward

Dear New Shrink, I recently found out about an industry career fair that I would like to attend. I am currently two years into my first job, which I secured through a friend so I never really had to interview or attend any events. I have never been to a formal career fair and have no idea what to do. Please help! Thank you, Fair Newbie... Read more →


A real dilly in Philly

Like “In the Heights,” the recent happy musical set in New York's Washington Heights, “South Street,” the new musical that had its world premiere this week at the Pasadena Playhouse, also glorifies a classic neighborhood. The setting is Philadelphia, home of the Phillies, the cheesesteak sandwich, and Sammy's Place.... Read more →


Old Timers, Vol. 2: Michael’s

The one restaurant most closely associated with fine dining in Santa Monica is still Michael’s. While it has not followed the many fads into more modern or experimental foods, it has maintained the same level of quality and consistency since it opened in 1979. And while dining has gone through a number of phases since 1979,... Read more →


Umami lives up to the hype

What is there left to possibly say about the most critically reviewed, dissected, and highly acclaimed burger in Los Angeles? A mouthful, if you are one of the people like myself that are late in the game to scratch this contemporary hot spot off your burger bucket list. Yes I do have a list and Umami Burger was at the top of it. After... Read more →