December 2011


From the Editor

We sweat every comma that appears in this magazine. We sift through dozens of photos of Scottish salmon with pickled fennel (“Don’t you think it’s a little sexier from this angle?”) just to fill a one-inch space. We argue over proper usage of the indicative versus the subjunctive. We spare each other embarrassment (ah, it’s “toe the line,” not “tow the line”—thanks, copy department!) and from resorting to clichés (you should never be “ready for your close-up” unless you are Gloria Swanson). Which is to say, we understand that every piece of writing and every piece of art that goes into the magazine represents an opportunity to reach and resonate… Read


How to Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

When it comes to experiencing L.A.’s most famous attractions, don’t wait for your relatives to visit. There’s so much to see, from the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fameto the twists and turns of Mulholland Drive. With help from our guide, Aziz Ansari, we’ll tell you where to go and what to avoid. 

The Exhibitionist
By RJ Smith
Ann Philbin has transformed the Hammer into what may be the most dynamic museum in Los Angeles.

Casa Vidal
By Andrew Myers
In the newly restored home of author Gore Vidal resides a lifetime’s worth of art and furniture.

The Lady & the Desk
By Ned Welsh
A treasured possession of silent-screen star Mary Pickford once again works its magic.

Between the Lines
By Dave Gardetta
It shapes our city, determines our days, and costs us billions. Why is parking so honked up?



Dorothy’s shoes go to auction; the Expo Line gets on track

L.A. Archetype
How a Playboy Playmate is born. 

Ask Chris
Chris Nichols has disco fever.

L.A. Story
Indian superstar Anil Kapoor on being almost famous in L.A. 

The Seen
All the parties fit to crash

How L.A. Works
Why palm trees don’t snap in the wind.


Gift Guide
Stumped by what to buy the powder hound or the drama queen? Baffled by the tween who has suddenly outgrown Legos? Get through the holidaze with our gift ideas for every man, woman, and child on your list.


Main Course

Who says L.A. isn’t a pizza town? A passionate crew of dough-obsessed pie makers is turning up the heat. 

New Restaurants
Michael Voltaggio opens Ink. PLUS: Another chef hits the beach, pumping Peru in Hollywood, and SBE’s Italian stallion. 

Small Bites
Coffee percolates downtown, Fat Spoon ladles out Japanese curry, Casey Lane redefines the gastropub, and Suzanne Tracht shares her chestnut soup recipe. 

Dine Review
Patric Kuh checks in on Red Medicine, where chef Jordan Kahn nods to the sensual flavors of Vietnam.


The Culture Files
Debbie Allen cracks some nuts, a silent film re-creates 1920s L.A., and Detective Harry Bosch checks into the Chateau Marmont. 

Street Smart
Beverly Boulevard connects L.A. to Beverly Hills—and a diverse group of Angelenos to each other. 

The Houston brothers bring back Prohibition  PLUS: Where to spend New Year’s Eve

The Guide
30 great things to do this month, from tippling with Santas in Old Pasadena to hip-hopping with Jay-Z and Kanye at Staples.


Open City
By Anne Taylor Fleming
California stood by Barack Obama—until now. He could take a lesson from the gutsy actions of Governor Jerry Brown. 

By Mark Lacter
Bobby Kotick has made L.A.-based Activision a giant in the fast-and-furious video game realm with an unusual approach: going slow. 

By Nicole LaPorte
Part cultural country club, part watering hole, the Soho House is changing what it means to see and be seen. 

Speak Easy
By David Davis
Petros Papadakis knows a lot about L.A. sports, doesn’t play favorites, and even sings a few tunes on his popular talk radio show. 

By Steve Erickson        
The Descendants and The Ides of March, George Clooney solidifies his role as America’s conflicted charmer. 


PLUS: Check out our reviews of the newest restaurants