Dave Gardetta’s Top Ten Hits

Read the most popular features by the Los Angeles magazine writer-at-large

theessentials_masa_tBetween the Lines
That prized garage space or curbside spot you’ve been yearning for may be costing you—and the city—in ways you never realized. A journey into the world of parking, where meter maids are under siege, everybody’s on the take, and the tickets keep on coming

theessentials_masa_tThe Teenager & The Porn Star
Will 18-year-old Sasha Grey become the adult film industry’s next Jenna Jameson?

theessentials_masa_tEnchanted Aisles
Why do people love Trader Joe’s so much? To understand the quirky chain’s success, you have to look to its founder, Joe Coulombe—and then to a former German mogul named Theo Albrecht. Grab some edamame and pull up a chair

theessentials_masa_tJust Call Joan
Nobody knows L.A.’s dining scene better than Jean Luther. She was doing restaurant PR before there was such a thing. More than a publicist, she’s a kitchen confidante

theessentials_masa_tTough Sell
Good deals. Bad behavior. Bygone lives. In the odd realm of estate sales Cynthia Abernethy is the queen

theessentials_masa_tFighting the Tide
The current is deadly, the crowds are clueless, and the surf’s always up. On a coastline patrolled by some of the nation’s finest lifeguards, the team at Zuma may be the most storied

theessentials_masa_tFree For All
The rough-and-tumble world of giving and grabbing on Craigslist

theessentials_masa_tThe Burning Wind
Every autumn the Santa Anas come howling in from the desert. Impossible to predict, they have eluded definition by the scientists who study them. No wonder the winds put us on edge

theessentials_masa_tPirate’s Booty
An ex-Jack Sparrow spills on life at the Magic Kingdom

theessentials_masa_tInto California’s Vast and Wild and Wonderful Desert
One writer treks from the bacchanalia of Palm Springs to the eye-catching jumble of Joshua Tree to the fetching desolation of Death Valley


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