Food

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D.K.’s unveils new ube root donut

Before you swiftly dismiss the idea of donuts in the new year (especially after weeks of holiday excess) just hear me out. Heading east of Santa Monica’s iconic beaches, world famous Santa Monica Pier and touristy Third Street Promenade, down Santa Monica Boulevard, will bring you to the Mid-City neighborhood and to perhaps the greatest... Read more →

Life

Play Time: Deciphering a domestic disturbance

STARRING ROLES: Tahar Rahim as Samir and Berenice Bejo as Marie in 'The Past.' (Photo courtesy Carole Bethuel/Sony Pictures Classics) Two years ago I had the pleasure of viewing and reviewing an Iranian film written and directed by Asghar Farhadi. The film, “A Separation,” went on to win 70 major awards around the world, including an... Read more →

Life

Plentiful New Year’s Eve options in Santa Monica

CITYWIDE — Santa Monica has been a hot spot for New Year’s Eve parties since at least the 1890s. Back then the fire department held annual masquerade balls that were the talk of the Los Angeles area. In the early 1900s, Santa Monica casinos and the church groups alike held massive late-night feasts. On New Year’s Eve 1932, a... Read more →

Food

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SoCal cracks down on fraud at farmers markets

DOWNTOWN — Ever wonder if something’s rotten at your farmers market? Maybe those pricey “locally grown” mangos are actually commercial imports from South America. Southern California officials have cracked down this past year on vendors who violate state law by selling fruits and vegetables they don’t produce. Violators can be... Read more →

Business

Hollywood struggles against new film meccas

LOS ANGELES — In the old days, filmmakers flocked to Hollywood for its abundant sunshine, beautiful people and sandy beaches. But today a new filmmaking diaspora is spreading across the globe to places like Vancouver, London and Wellington, New Zealand. Fueled by politicians doling out generous tax breaks, filmmaking talent is migrating... Read more →

Food

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Second helping of Santa Monica new eateries

Now that the year is all but over, an obligatory “best of” article seems fitting. Santa Monica certainly has had its fair share of notable restaurant openings, so here’s a brief rundown of my top new spots of 2013. The Sweet Mona at Pono Burger features fresh, organically-grown strawberries. Pono is Hawaiian for doing things the... Read more →

Culture Watch

Culture Watch: Different joys of singing

Santa Monica resident Ayana Haviv is a professional singer whose voice has appeared in several films. (Photo courtesy Ayana Haviv) Ayana Haviv has multiple musical personalities. The Grammy Award winner works as an ensemble singer and soloist with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. But... Read more →

Life

The artist behind the 16 year old shopping cart tree

Anthony Schmitt creates a shopping cart tree every year at the Edgemar Center for the Arts. (Paul Alvarez Jr. editor@smdp.com) EDGEMAR CENTER — Just like a living tree, the Edgemar shopping cart tree is growing and spawning seedlings. At 35 feet, this year’s tree is the tallest ever, said the creator, Santa Monica artist Anthony... Read more →

Life

Speed on the roads, danger on the bluffs 100 years ago

The Palisades Bluffs can be a dangerous place. (File photo) IN THE HISTORY BOOKS — Next time you bottom out on Colorado Avenue, think back with sympathy to your 1913 predecessors. One hundred years ago this month, four passengers were thrown from a Hupmobile when they hit a “chuck hole” caused by rail construction on Santa Monica... Read more →