December 2015


From the Editor

Every month in L.A. Story, we ask a celeb-rity to tell his or her own tale. In this issue we switched up the concept and devoted 43 pages to the accounts of unsung Angelenos, from pioneering immigrants to yoga gurus to the homeless… Read

L.A. Stories

Pioneering immigrants from Mexico, Korea, and the Armenian diaspora brought parts of their countries with them to help make this city tick

Where were you when Robert F. Kennedy was shot or the Black Dahlia’s body was found? Eyewitness accounts of key moments in our shared history

A ten-year-old with a well-honed palate samples the delicacies at Kris Morningstar’s Terrine. Escargots, she decides, are “weird” but tasty

Winter, spring, summer, or fall: Venice-based painter Thomas W. Schaller uses watercolors to capture the subtleties of our changing seasons

Located 5,715 feet above Pasadena, Mount Wilson Observatory is where scientists first detected sunspot cycles. Come take a look

Long a magnet for spiritual seekers, L.A. is a hub for kundalini yoga. At her RA MA Institute, Guru Jagat fuses ancient knowledge with the digital age

How do you spend your day of rest? If you’re one of America’s music icons, the answer lies in scratching your creative itch

Sure, we’ve heard about the health hazards of processed meats. But as hot dog stands go, Tail ’o the Pup, erected in 1946, is without peer. We glimpse its future

Renowned photographer Martin Schoeller trains his lens on L.A.’s homeless residents. Then he listens

Everyone has a story. But how best to tell it? We asked ten authors with L.A. connections to come down from the mountain to offer their finest tips


L.A.’s new architecturally eclectic buildings are an acquired taste; the man who tells the mayor how to spend money; the 19th-century mask that changed the future of the city’s art scene

L.A. Archetype
This seasoned perfume spritzer knows how to hit the right note

Ask Chris
Chris Nichols tracks down the Batmobile, and it’s not in Gotham City

L.A. on the Verge
An overview of Los Angeles State Historic Park, which is scheduled to open in spring 2016


Holiday Gift Guide
Stumped on what to buy an aspiring filmmaker? Short on ideas for that party gal? Clueless when it comes to the woodsy urban dweller? How about the chronic binge-watcher? We pre-sent dozens of ideas to help you tackle the most discriminating people on your list plus: A roundup of getaway gifts for world travelers


Small Bites
A classic cookbook’s comeback; dishing on Top Chef California; the Intolerable Foodie takes on tipping; Lou loves chardonnay PLUS: Aburiya Raku sticks it to La Cienega, and new restaurants E.R.B., Maple Block Meat Co., and Sausal

Best of LA
Local vendors with gift baskets that deliver the goods

The Kuh Review
Patric Kuh explores a new Mexican American cuisine at Broken Spanish


Culture Files
Thwart holiday weight gain with seven hybrid workouts; The Ridiculous Six star David Spade talks assless chaps and John Wayne PLUS: Counting down to 2016 at five New Year’s Eve fetes

The Guide
30 things to do in December, from Mötley Crüe’s last hurrah to Cirque du Soleil’s aerial wizardry


By Mike Piellucci
As coach of men’s and women’s water polo at USC, Jovan Vavic has created a sports dynasty

By Steve Erickson
The Dutch Girl and the transgender moment

Open City
By Ben Ehrenreich
Feeling the churn in a city where change is a constant