Dark History, Bright Future in Little Tokyo

Witnessing the dark history of the US incarceration of its own citizens during World War II is a sobering experience at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo. Not only are we taken into the concentration camps in the US West -- where 120,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned for more than three years from 1942 to 1945 -- but we are provoked anew regarding the fragility of democracy and our responsibility for preserving it. Read more →

Last Stop West: Playa del Rey

If Key West is the southernmost point in the US, then surely its West Coast sibling, Playa del Rey, one of the beach villages of Los Angeles, has some claim to being the last toehold on the Pacific side of the continent. This is, of course, a totally inaccurate statement geographically (as there are indeed and points west of Playa), but spiritually it is not -- Playa del Rey has the genuine funky lack of pretense that Key West wished it still retained. Read more →

Jiraffe Resto Stands Tall

When in LA, dining at JiRaffe Restaurant in Santa Monica is a dependable quality favorite. Why? Its Monday night three-course prix fixe bistro meal is a steal at $24 per person (plus wine), a special that starts the work week off just right. A steal not only because of the price, but we experience the same high-quality JiRaffe cooking that stands tall on weekends as well. Read more →

LA: Where the Chefs Eat

Everyone wants to know where chefs eat when they're not cooking in their restaurants. Hint -- they usually go to friends' restaurants, occasionally scope out the competition, or frequently entertain other chefs and friends at home, where the experience is casual, effortless, yet inventive. In LA, here are the top 15 restos frequented by chefs, according to a recent survey. Read more →

Sale of the Season: Barneys in LA

Barney's New York Warehouse Sale at Santa Monica Airport is a semi-annual free for all that starts today and trumps a regular dose of Loehmann's. Word is that it's the best sale in town -- in a fashion-conscious city where insider shopping secrets are uncovered on a daily basis. The sale lasts until Aug. 21, offering progressively reduced prices. NB -- there are no dressing rooms! Read more →