February 2015



From the Editor

Plain as day, my maternal great-great grandfather stares out at me from my computer screen. Bald, in a high collar, his small eyes piercing through pince-nez, John A. McNaughton exudes stodgy satisfaction—not surprising, given that he was an L.A. macher who cofounded the Los Angeles Union Stockyards in Vernon in the 1920s. His son, my great-grandfather, was clearly a cad, with at least one sordid divorce (from a flapper) that made the society papers. McNaughton’s grandson, John, who was my grandfather, worked at the family stockyards after leaving Stanford University, until, at 23, he died of a heart attack at his grandparents’ big house on Westmoreland Avenue near MacArthur Park… Read


Secret L.A.
Edited by Nancy Miller
We’ve uncovered the city’s most guarded finds, from off-menu eats to off-limits tunnels beneath downtown

The Trouble with Oxy
By Mona Gable
Pilloried over its handling of student sexual assault complaints, Occidental College has altered course, but there’s wreckage in the wake

Shear Brilliance
By Ann Herold
With The Ghosts of Versailles and the 83 performers in it, the L.A. Opera costume shop takes on its grandest project yet

How About a Smile?
By Elaine Kagan
Lensman Rick Mendoza zooms in on his life as a paparazzo


One veteran journalist speaks out on the plague of black homicides; there’s a barrel of fun at a restored 1940s café; modernist Palm Springs homes fill the pages of a new book

L.A. Archetype
A dominatrix cracks the whip in her dungeon

Ask Chris
Chris Nichols talks to the animals at the Playboy Mansion zoo

L.A. Story
Comedian Maz Jobrani on Tehrangeles, entitlement, and onstage nudity


In Store
Architect Jenny Wu’s 3-D-printed jewelry would be at home in a Ridley Scott futurescape PLUS: An antidote to cornball greeting cards; some advice for overly hirsute guys

The Luxe Life
As director of marketing for South Coast Plaza, Debra Gunn Downing is surrounded by luxury goods.

The Clutch
New jewelry from Chanel, a stylish camp seat, and other must-haves


Small Bites
The fight is on to crown L.A.’s top coffee roaster; Lou Amdur christens a wine shaman; the fine-dining Hatfields hop aboard the ampersand wagon PLUS: Pizza and pasta get rowdy at Love & Salt, and new restaurants All’Acqua, Barrel & Ashes, and Stir Market

The Dine Review
Patric Kuh raises his glass to Butchers & Barbers in Hollywood, the latest from bar impresarios the Houston brothers


Culture Files
Staging a sonic map of the city, one landmark at a time; the Harlem show for conceptual artist Charles Gaines hits the Hammer; KCRW’s Anne Litt on Hanni El Khatib

The Guide
30 things to do in February, from a Patti LuPone musical reminiscence to a Harry Potter parody to a Meghan Trainor songfest


Open City
By Anne Taylor Fleming
Kobe Bryant has hogged the spotlight since he came to L.A. as an 18-year-old. Not much has changed almost two decades later

By Jason G. Goldman
A scientist behind split-brain theory explains why it’s not as simple as left and right

By Steve Erickson
Michael Keaton, Julianne Moore, and the Oscars’ tarnished track record plus:Who should really take home a golden dude or two this year