Mexican masquerading as Cuban

It’s a bit of a drive, but a nice drive. And if it were really Cuban food, it would be worth it. Café Habana in Malibu has a dedicated following from its New York roots. And it looks like something that should be in New York rather than Malibu, but that’s nice in a way. The restaurant is located in the relatively new Malibu... Read more →


Are you married but lonely tonight?

Dear New Shrink, I have been married for five years to a kind and honest man. While I know he loves me a lot, he is emotionally unavailable. I am his opposite; I am open, passionate and outgoing. This passive marriage is making me lonely and bored. He came from a conservative family and small town. Like a strict parent, he seems to thinks... Read more →


Skip the quick fix, put in the work

What would you do if there was a magic “feel good” pill you could take each morning that would make you forget about every ache and every pain, every hangover, every worry and every care? Would you take it? My trainer, Keith Sims, and I were talking about how sometimes you feel like you just can’t get up and running.... Read more →


Whining about wine prices

For me, the least interesting restaurant in the new Santa Monica Place is the Sonoma Wine Garden. Yet it’s one of the most popular, and it has the best views. What’s good? The Charcuterie plate, the pizza, and all of the salads. And those are the dishes people are eating, while enjoying the California sunshine. I particularly... Read more →


Not a mellow ‘Yellow’

At last, a family that isn’t dysfunctional! A mother and father still romantically in love after 19 years of marriage. A footballl hero son who is their pride and joy. A young daughter, a high school drama queen with lots of the usual teenage issues, and her best friend, a sweet, gay young man whom they shelter when his own mother... Read more →


Flavorful food, friendly service make for a good combination

Continuing my adventures on the third floor of the new Santa Monica Place, I had lunch at La Sandía Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar (which means “watermelon” in Spanish). This restaurant is part of a chain owned by Richard Sandoval that includes about 10 restaurants located from the east coast to the west coast, from Denver... Read more →


Still waiting for Lefty?

As a passionate piece of 20th century history, it works. As a parable for the present day, not so much. Clifford Odets’ 1935 Depression-era play “Waiting for Lefty” is a rabble-rousing tirade against big business and its heavy-handed control of the “downtrodden masses.” A situation that might resonate with... Read more →


A change in attitude without a change in latitude

This is the time of staycations. Everyone is looking to cut back — yet still have the experience of being away. I’ve contemplated the idea of staycations at home, but camping in my backyard is out since I don’t have a backyard. Setting up a tent in my living room just doesn’t cut it, as I still see the stains on my rug... Read more →


Wine on rotation

When I walked into Pourtal I was immediately greeted with a “hello” and a big smile from an attractive young woman. As I approached the bar a handsome young man said “welcome.” I immediately felt at home, and was reminded of the TV show “Cheers.” Yes Pourtal is a bar, and you can get some great beers... Read more →


How to exploit your greatest weakness

Dear New Shrink, I have been on several job interviews lately. I want to go on the record and say that I hate the “what are your weaknesses” question. It seems like every interviewer I have met with has asked me this question in some way or another, and every time I am at a loss as to what I should say. I have talked with others... Read more →