Healthy recipes for the holiday

We have a big national holiday approaching. Like so many other holidays, there will be food and festivities. But before we celebrate the Fourth of July, lets see what other holidays just passed us by without so much as a mention. The third week of June was Fruit and Veggie Week, a dietitian’s dream. International Splurge Day was June... Read more →


For a good time call Shauna

Shauna Aminzadeh is one of the several public relations people that helped organize the “Culinary College” in Santa Monica, where aspiring chefs had the opportunity to learn cooking techniques and food and wine parings from culinary experts like Patrick Healy, executive chef and co-owner of The Buffalo Club. Shauna was nice enough... Read more →


Tasting Japanese food at its best

I had one of the best Japanese meals of my life last week at a small space in Brentwood at 11656 San Vicente Blvd. named Takao. This unassuming restaurant opened in 1996 by the former head chef at Matsuhisa, Takao Izumida. We were lucky enough to have what is titled omakase — meaning chef’s choice. This means the chef chooses some... Read more →


It’s never too early to see a dentist

It’s not unusual to see children from as young as 18 months old with cavities. Troubling, yes. Uncommon, hardly. Cavities continue to be a huge problem among kids. In fact, tooth decay is more common than asthma or hay fever. When left untreated, dental problems like tooth decay can lead to difficulty speaking and chewing and... Read more →

Community Profiles

Baez remains connected to pier

SM PIER — There’s an old photo of a folk singer in a recently published book about the Santa Monica Pier’s history, showing a young woman leaning back in a chair, her ankles crossed mid-air, her face slightly tilted upward, clearly amused. The picture of the then 29-year-old Joan Baez, published in “Santa Monica... Read more →


Painting cultural facilities green

DOWNTOWN — For theaters, galleries, dance studios and the like, the phrase that it’s not easy being green should no longer apply. That’s the anticipated outcome of a new nonprofit that marries the arts and sustainability, offering simpler and clearer means of incorporating environmentally-friendly elements into cultural... Read more →


The search for the best burger is over

OK, so I have finally found the best burger in Los Angeles. Forget Father’s Office (which is great mind you) and check out Hole in the Wall Burger Joint on Santa Monica Boulevard and South Bentley Avenue for an awesome eating experience. We joined a couple friends there the other night and it was special! First of all, the owners,... Read more →

Community Profiles

Emeritus College dean retires after 35 years

SECOND STREET — There are reminders every day that Maggie Hall will soon close out a 35-year career with Emeritus College, from the potted white orchid sitting on the conference table, to the bag of freshly-baked cookies on the desk, a gift from a student. Then there’s the giant poster hanging in the elevator, showing a smiling... Read more →


Fun with fermented foods

Last week we explored some of the rationale for probiotics, something people often take in supplement form after ingesting antibiotics. Interestingly, probiotics means “for life” and antibiotics means “against life.” Since probiotic (good bacteria) research is fairly new and since not all good bacteria have been... Read more →


Fade to blue

AIRWAVES — Broadcast television viewers all over Santa Monica — and the nation for that matter — woke up today to find that their favorite channels have gone blue. No morning shows, no news, no cartoons, no infomercials; just a blue screen. This development — advertised for weeks — is thanks to the conversion to... Read more →


Enjoying some tapas and an ocean view

After a disastrous dinner sometime ago at Shutters, where the busboys poured the bottled water into the glasses with tap water, and the waiter kept pouring too much of the wrong wine into the wrong glasses, mixing Bordeaux with Burgundy (not really a good blend) the PR people invited me to try their Tapas Tuesdays. They offered to comp me, of... Read more →

Mommie Brain

What to do when your baby doesn’t look like you

When I was a little girl I never really gave much thought to what kind of mother I would be or how I would parent. All I knew was that I would be a mother and that I was going to have a daughter. She was going to have little brown curls and big brown eyes and she was going to look remarkably like me. Well, that didn’t happen.... Read more →

Community Profiles

Guiding guests through history

SM BEACH — Nick Steers was apprehensive, concerned that besides 12 hours crammed full of facts about 1930s era Hollywood, early Santa Monica beach culture and Georgian revival architecture, that he would still be stumped. The Santa Monica resident had just undergone four weeks of intensive training with the Santa Monica Conservancy... Read more →


Regulating the digestive tract with friendly bacteria

After a bout of antibiotic therapy for a sinus infection, I have been researching the benefits of probiotics, also known as “friendly bacteria.” Although we think of probiotics as the stuff we get in yogurt or from probiotic supplements, we actually have tons of friendly bacteria living in our digestive system all the time. Just... Read more →

Book Review

‘The Wicked Wit of the West’

To historians of American comedy, the name Irving Brecher, ought to be included among the legends. At 24 Brecher was the only writer to get sole credit on Marx Brothers’ films, “At the Circus” (1939) and “Go West” (1940.) He also worked on “The Wizard of Oz,” created,“The Life of... Read more →