What wine goes best with turkey?

Thanksgiving is approaching and once again we’re faced with the problem of which wine is best with turkey and all the trimmings?  Over the years I’ve experimented with pinot noir, zinfandel, roses of all varieties and a number of white wines. But there’s always a part of the meal that jars with the wine, turning it... Read more →


Authentic Cuban food at a bargain

I read in Anthony Blue’s magazine about a new hot drink called the “Mercedes Margarita.” Not wanting to remain un-hip I decided to try one. Also, the picture of Mercedes Ahrablou, the owner, standing with the drink in her hand looked inviting. The Mercede’s Grill turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected. First... Read more →


A trivial evening of trivia

“War,” according to its hype, is a feisty comedy about war, but it’s no “M*A*S*H.” And it isn’t about war. In fact, it isn’t even a comedy. It’s a series of angry tirades set in an Irish pub. (But it isn’t “The Iceman Cometh,” either.) “War” consists of 16 people... Read more →


Farmers’ Market enforcement comes into focus

DOWNTOWN — Bringing locally-grown produce directly from the farm to the consumer is at the heart of the Santa Monica Farmers’ Markets’ mission. So when Laura Avery, who oversees all four of the Santa Monica markets, received a tip that one of her regular vendors may have been selling fruit imported from South America, she... Read more →


Teaching children the gift of giving

As the holidays approach those U.S. families that can afford to are studying how they will spend a large chunk of their annual charitable donations. It seems that most giving happens during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. We want to help those in need when we have so much to be thankful for.  This year, take it a... Read more →


Classic cocktails served with a refreshing twist

CASA DEL MAR — The days of ordering rum and Cokes or an apple martini are over. It’s time to step it up a notch. Classic cocktails from the Prohibition era are in vogue, with mixologists re-imagining the old formulas, creating drinks that are both satisfying and conceptually refreshing. While cities like San Francisco and New... Read more →


Explore, savor diverse flavors at Marina del Rey strip mall

I love little shopping centers that have all kinds of ethnic restaurants, and sometimes I go with friends and we hop from one to the other having a little bite here and a little bite there. One of the best examples of these little foodie centers is at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Ocean Avenue, at the west entrance to Marina del Rey.... Read more →

Book Review

‘Sonia Sotomayor: The True American Dream’

She is our 111th Supreme Court justice. Her name is Sonia Sotomayor. But other than that, what do we know about her? Every president wants to leave his mark on history by his choice of Supreme Court justices. A question to ask yourself, since so far President Barack Obama has packed the court with two women, where is the balance? Will our... Read more →


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 →


A witch in time just as fine

There are certain witches that everyone remembers. The trio in “Macbeth" brewed toil and trouble in a steaming cauldron. Elizabeth Montgomery from “Bewitched" did the dishes by twitching her nose. The Wicked Witch of the West melted when Dorothy threw a bucket of water on her. But unless you are a movie and theater... Read more →

Mommie Brain

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 →