Rallying for a sick neighbor

SUNSET PARK — Alexandrine Wiese was visiting her mother in Monaco, France when doctors there told her the news. “I have a growth, a tumor near the ovary,” she said. “It’s indicative of cancer, and needs to be taken out. Now, I’m just waiting.” Waiting, because as a substitute middle school... Read more →


Discriminating tastes at Sasabune

Second son Spencer lives in Japan, where he teaches Japanese literature and culture. About twice a year he comes home for vacation. As a special treat and to celebrate his visit we usually go to dinner (with other family members) to Sasabune, where Spencer kids around in Japanese with the owner and the sushi chefs. All of us, with one... Read more →


Drago’s duck dishes are delicious

WILSHIRE BLVD — Chefs, like any artist, are continually searching for inspiration. For his latest menu, Drago Ristorante’s Evan Gotanda didn’t have to look very hard. His inspiration for a six-course “menu di anatra” came in the form of a Christmas present from Drago Central Chef and owner Celestino Drago. The... Read more →


Be open, honest about a layoff

Dear New Shrink, My company recently downsized and as a result I was laid off from my job. I have been a consistent and responsible employee for the past 12 years and my termination with the company had nothing to do with my performance. I am currently exploring new opportunities but feel really unsure about how to document this on my resume.... Read more →


City program puts families back on their feet

ANNENBERG BEACH HOUSE — Six years ago, Deborah Jackson left a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program with nothing going for her except a referral to St. Joseph Center in Venice. The 50-year-old Jackson had no place to live, hadn’t worked in 15 years and her son and daughter were staying with relatives. She saw her daughter every... Read more →


Restaurant Snapshot: Charlie’s Kabob

GENERAL COMMENT: The new food court in the Santa Monica Place is a lot of fun. There are two Japanese restaurants, one taco place, a chicken and rib joint that needs improvement, a crepe place, one pizza place (and it was tasty), a typical Chinese, and best of all, Charlie’s Kabob. The boss, John Mahgadi is right there to watch over... Read more →


Power through the dog days

It’s so great to be back in Cali! As much as I loved going home to New York, seeing my boyfriend, I seriously missed Burn Fitness. The only problem is that since I returned to the warm wonder that is Santa Monica I’ve been experiencing a run of health related issues that include recurring migraine headaches and back problems. You... Read more →


After the black list

If a man commits a moral crime against his best friend and torments himself with that secret for more than 50 years, is it necessary — or even appropriate — for his children to sit in judgment and literally destroy him — and the lifetime friendship? That’s the dilemma posed by Allan Manings’ new play... Read more →


Not enough time to enjoy life

Dear New Shrink, I have this issue with self-motivation. I am extremely busy with my work schedule, so when I have free time, I like to spend it with my friends, family, and my boyfriend since I am most often working. However, I constantly mope about wishing I took piano lessons, read more, took a photography class, etc. I also always say I... Read more →


Santa Monica chef at the top of his game

OLYMPIC BLVD — Stefan’s at L.A. Farm screams aristocratic eatery with every detail of its composition, starting with the rampant bulls with smouldering red eyes at the street entrance and following through to the richly appointed tomes that sit adjacent to the host desk. And then there’s the Double Bubble. A huge bowl of... Read more →


Standing out among the career fair crowd

Dear New Shrink, I am about to graduate from college and am searching for my first job. My school is hosting a career fair that I am interested in attending, however, I have never been to an event like this before. I don't know what to talk about or what to do. Please let me know how I can prepare and put my best foot forward. Signed,... Read more →


French tapas bring back some of the flavor at La Cachette

When Jean Francois Meteigner, one of the great French chefs in town, moved his restaurant from Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, many of his clients eagerly followed. We expected the same great food and wines in a more casual, perhaps a bit less expensive, locale. The new setting at the new location is... Read more →


With a friend like that, who needs enemies?

Dear New Shrink, I had what I thought was a very good friend for over 10 years. We hung out together and did social things either with small groups of other friends or just the two of us. We spoke frequently on the phone and shared personal information. Suddenly this friend stopped speaking to me and often asks friends of mine to do things... Read more →