Food

Trying to rise to the top

Last weekend I attended the casting call in Austin, Texas for season six of the “Next Food Network Star.” This is the sixth time I have applied for the show but the first time I have ever attended a casting call. I had high hopes that this casting call would teach me something about the application process. I was hoping I would... Read more →

Book Review

‘The Secret’

In this new series published by Bethany House, Beverly Lewis once again takes us into the world of the Amish people. This is set in the present. In her previous book “Forbidden” in the “The Courtship of Nellie Fisher” series (reviewed in this paper July 25, 2008) we got a glimpse of Amish life. We get another glimpse... Read more →

Columns

What went wrong with ill-fated quarterback?

“Married and Worried” wrote, “I have a question about a matter that my married friends and I have been talking about ever since it happened. Steve McNair. How can a ‘nice guy’ like this have ever ended up in this position? It doesn’t make sense. It is scary to us. Can you shed some light?” Because I... Read more →

Food

No more Polish jokes, just enjoy the meal

When my kids found out my grandmother was Polish they stopped telling Polish jokes. And my dad loved Polish food. So it was with some nostalgia that I went to the Warszawa restaurant the other day, for the first time in about 25 years. Yes, it’s been there that long, so that says something for it. We were greeted by a lovely young... Read more →

Mommie Brain

Being honest about death

How do you tell a little boy his grandfather has died? This was not a question I had ever wanted to ask. And when faced with answering it, I struggled and stumbled. The irony is that I was just a speaker at a conference on grieving children. My mother wrote a book about my father’s death when I was 4 called “Rachel and the... Read more →

Community Profiles

Pastor does more than just preach

PEARL STREET — Jeff McCulty is a blue-collar pastor — his fingernails are stained black from working on car engines and he wears baggy blue jeans with scuffed white sneakers — but this Southern Baptist minister feels right at home among Santa Monica’s manicured lawns and white picket fences. As the pastor of Church... Read more →

Book Review

‘How I Went To the Oscars without a Ticket’

With a title like “How I Went To the Oscars without a Ticket” you may be asking yourselves, “Is this a how to book? Or maybe a motivational book? Or, yes, I know, an autobiography?” It is none of the above. Who hasn’t dreamed of being up there with the stars on Oscar night? Also who wouldn’t want to be in... Read more →

Food

No frills equals fine food

Real estate people say that value is location, location and location. Restaurant people say that value is in food and service. How about a restaurant that has no chef, and no experienced manager, but serves great food with good service in a great location! That’s Shangri-La on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. The old hotel has been... Read more →

Entertainment

‘500 Days of Summer’ no average love story

When writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber set out to make a film it wasn’t going to be a traditional Hollywood romance with a happy ending — because it was based on Neustadter’s personal experience. The film opens with a narrator warning us “This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy Tom Hansen (Joseph... Read more →

Food

Pass on the pasta at Ado

I don’t know why I go to restaurants that have become trendy except that every so often I still get sucked in by someone else’s review of a place such as Ado at 796 Main St. in Venice where the old Amuse Café once was. We read on the Chowhound blog that this place was amazing and went there last night with two... Read more →