Travel+Leisure L.A. Local Expert Articles

{You can view all of my Local Expert articles here.}

Where to Buy Hollywood Memorabilia
Top Luxury Hotels
Top Scenic Drives
Top Juice Bars
Kid-Friendly Attractions
Best Cocktail Lounges
Attractions for Film Lovers
Best Beaches
Best Burgers
Best Day Trips
Best New Restaurants 2014
Best Tacos
Top Comedy Clubs
Best LA Bars for Celebrity Spotting
Best Mexican Restaurants
Cool Hotel Pools
Coolest Hikes
Best Flea Markets
Best Spas

Clean Plates Feature Articles

Pressed Juicery’s Freezes
Tempting terroir at Aestus
Fresh Vietnamese at The District
Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop goes Hollywood
Next-generation vegan cheese
Freds at Barneys New York freshens up
Hyper-local veggies at POP Produce
Farm-to-plate at Le Comptoir
The Malibu Farm Cookbook
Healthy burritos at Kye’s
Complete wellness at The Springs
Is souping the new juicing?
Artisanal Rotisserie Restaurants
The Gadarene Swine
The Huckleberry Cookbook
Erewhon Tonic & Juice Bar’s Golden Latte
Pine & Crane’s Taiwan-tastic Vegetables

Feature Stories & Personal Essays

“A Story in Black & White”/Spirit Magazine
The secret marriage between my Jewish cousin Shirley Greenblatt and her black husband Collins “Pat” Patterson in the 1950s

“Colombia as Muse”/Los Angeles Times
An audio tour of Cartagena recounts the seaport’s influence on novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Celebrity Profiles

“Annabeth Gish: In the Balance”/The Key magazine
The X-Files actress on maintaining harmony between family and fame

“Larry King on the power of dance”/Los Angeles Times
The former CNN host loves the Lindy Hop as a form of heart-healthy exercise

“Eleanor Bergstein: Still Dancing”/Back Stage
The Dirty Dancing screenwriter brings the classic story to the stage

“Fade to Blacc”/RealTalkLA
An interview with genre-busting MC Aloe Blacc

“Boogie Nights”

A recurring LA Times column about niche dance scenes in Los Angeles

“Dancing to the smooth groove of urban ballroom”/Los Angeles Times
The moves of Fred and Ginger danced to the sounds of Motown and contemporary R&B

“The Floor dance night swings into action in Hollywood”/Los Angeles Times
This multi-genre improv dance night at King King draws dancers of all stripes

“Mod music, clothing make a comeback”/Los Angeles Times
Club Soulside keeps Northern soul and Motown alive at Cafe Club Fais Do-Do

“Bachata is stepping into salsa’s territory”/Los Angeles Times
The Dominican dance is winning over even hardcore salseros

“Silent disco is making itself heard”/Los Angeles Times
A dance craze where revelers tune into the DJ on wireless headphones

“The hustle for a new generation”/Los Angeles Times
The 70s-era favorite is primed for a resurgence at the Double H Club in El Segundo

“Boots scoot during Montana’s dance nights”/Los Angeles Times
Two-step lessons and cowboy getups offer a taste of Texas in San Dimas

Dance/Performing Arts Features

“Best Burlesque Acts in LA: Top 10 Live Shows”/Time Out Los Angeles
A sampling of the art of the tease, from slinky cabaret shows to variety act extravaganzas

“The Best Places to Dance Every Night of the Week”/Time Out Los Angeles
Where the grooves are infectious and busting a move is the main event

“Los Angeles flamenco cred takes big steps”/Los Angeles Times
The documentary “Kumpania” and an international festival spotlight LA’s flamenco scene

“Bootleg Dance Festival”/Los Angeles Times
The indie-spirited Bootleg Theater strives to push the boundaries of dance

“Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival”/Los Angeles Times
Dance stars shine brightly in the desert

“Fela! Afrobeat Shakes up Broadway”/
The show seduces audiences with the funk, then mesmerizes them with the message

“Celebrate Dance at The Alex in Glendale”/Los Angeles Times
The annual showcase of concert dance features some of L.A.’s best choreographers

“The Future is NOW”/Los Angeles Times
A look at the innovative contemporary performance of REDCAT’s NOW Festival

“Poor Dogs Dig for Theatre’s Bones”/Los Angeles Times
A close-up with the fledgling performance collective Poor Dog Group

“These Choreographers Are Jumping with Joy”/Los Angeles Times
Four-Headed Dance II at Highways Performance Space

“Moving stories, to the beat of the streets”/Los Angeles Times
The breakdancing Groovaloos take their stories of survival to the stage

“There’s something about women celebrating tap that just clicks”/Los Angeles Times
Four generations of hoofers gather for the UCLA Women in Tap Conference

Local and International Travel

“Back in Blue”/Westways
Avila Beach’s annual Blues Festival highlights this Central Coast gem’s charm

“The Best of Cartagena, Colombia”/Trip Out Travel
The Caribbean city has come a long way from its “Romancing the Stone” days

“Dancing to the Beat of Another Country”/Los Angeles Times
LA-based dance companies provide cultural exchanges through music and movement

Guides to Los Angeles

“14 Things To Do in L.A.”/Travel Channel
Stuff you didn’t know you could do in Los Angeles

“10 Best Hotels in L.A.”/Travel Channel
One-of-a-kind places to stay

“L.A. by Light Rail”/Westways
A day trip on the Metro Expo Line

“A Weekend Passport to Los Angeles: Old Hollywood Glamour”/The Huffington Post
Revisiting the Golden Age of Hollywood at LA’s chicest spots

“At Home in the World”/Singular Magazine
Travel the globe without leaving Los Angeles

“Neighborhoods: La Cienega”/Los Angeles Times
LA’s restaurant row offers more than just great food

“Neighborhoods: Heliotrope-Melrose”/Los Angeles Times
The junction of grit and polish makes ‘Hel-Mel’ a vibrant stop on the hipster map

“Neighborhoods: La Canada Flintridge”/Los Angeles Times
Nature and technology collide in this foothill hamlet, home of the Descanso Gardens and JPL

“Neighborhoods: Boyle Heights”/Los Angeles Times
Old world mariachi musicians meet hipster wine bars in this vibrant center of Mexican cultural pride

“Neighborhoods: Fallbrook”/Los Angeles Times
In the “Avocado Capital of the World,” you’ll find a town that appreciates art and nature in equal measure

“Neighborhoods: Main Street Santa Monica”/Los Angeles Times
With pubs aplenty, this beach-adjacent shopping street is prime for a St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl

“Neighborhoods:  Little Ethiopia”/Los Angeles Times
The buzz of coffee and commerce along this stretch of Fairfax transports visitors to Addis Ababa

“Neighborhoods: Leimert Park”/Los Angeles Times
Poetry and jazz collide in this mecca of African American art and culture

“Neighborhoods:  The Byzantine-Latino Quarter”/Los Angeles Times
A synergy of Greek and Latino cultures in a corner of the Pico-Union district

“Neighborhoods:  Old Towne Orange”/Los Angeles Times
Antiques, soda fountains, and historic charm in this Orange County district

“Neighborhoods: Tujunga Village”/Los Angeles Times
A guide to the cafes, boutiques, and theatres of Studio City’s Tujunga Village neighborhood

“Neighborhoods: Santa Ana”/Los Angeles Times
A tour of the Santa Ana Arts District’s studios, galleries, museums, and eateries

“Neighborhoods: North Hollywood”/Los Angeles Times
What to do in the thespian neighborhood of NoHo

“Neighborhoods: Magnolia Park”/Los Angeles Times
Retro cool thrives in Burbank’s Magnolia Park neighborhood

“Neighborhoods: Claremont“/Los Angeles Times
Fine art and fine dining in the idyllic college town of Claremont

Musing/Blogging About LA

“A Canine Coup”/Open Skies Magazine
An essay about expanding dogs’ rights in Los Angeles

“Revving up for Runyon Canyon”/Diary of the Purple Passport
The “red carpet” of Hollywood hiking

“Botanical Bonbons at the Descanso Gardens”/Diary of the Purple Passport
Flowers that look like fried eggs and more at this La Canada idyll

“Last Record Store Standing? An Ode to Amoeba Music”/Diary of the Purple Passport
This wunderkind rises from the rubble of shuttered music shops

“Salsa, with a Side of Steak, at Steven’s Steak House”/Diary of the Purple Passport
A salsa dance mecca in an unlikely location

“From femmes fatales to Violent Femmes at Bordello”/Diary of the Purple Passport
Burlesque dance and a noir-ish scene at this downtown watering hole

“Honeyed haircuts and dulcet cupcakes in Silverlake”/Diary of the Purple Passport
Stylish ‘dos at The Hive and sweets at Lark Cake Shop

“Yes we CAAM: a day at the California African American Museum”/Diary of the Purple Passport
Small-scale exhibits inform without overwhelming


“Cheap Eats – Orange County”/Westways
The best places for great chow at affordable prices

Restaurant reviews for Clean Plates, a guide to healthy, tasty, sustainable restaurant dining:
Akasha – a sustainable star of the Culver City dining Scene
Animal – an “everything-but-the-bones” eating experience
BLD – three square meals with flair
BOA Steakhouse – ultra-mod meat haven
Bouchon – Thomas Keller’s bistro fare
Chaya Brasserie – Tokyo meets Provence
Coral Tree Cafe – weekend brunch fave
Craft – elegant understatement from Top Chef Tom Colicchio
Cube – chic, healthy Italian
CUT – Wolfgang Puck raises the steak stakes
Drago Centro – modern Sicilian in a former bank
The Foundry – Southern-kissed New American fare and live jazz
Josie – down-to-earth fine dining
Library Alehouse – healthy pub fare
Michael’s – farmers market-driven contemporary
Mohawk Bend – hipster comfort food
Rustic Canyon – seasonal small plates
Spago – Wolfgang Puck’s flagship
Whist at The Viceroy – glam Mediterranean
Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grille – Puck’s Italian/Austrian take on the American bar and grill

“The Brite Spot: a beacon of love and tofu enchiladas”/Diary of the Purple Passport
‘All you eat is love’ at this Echo Park greasy spoon

“Gluttony goes foodie at Gobi Mongolian BBQ House”/Diary of the Purple Passport
Pile your bowl high with meats and fresh veggies

“High-tech wine, low-tech food at Vinoteque on Melrose”/Diary of the Purple Passport
Real food (not just “wine bites”) in a wine-lovers’ setting

“A secret hideout in Koreatown at Hwa Sun Ji (shhhhhh…)”/Diary of the Purple Passport
Unplug with potent ginger tea and a fake waterfall

“London dreams in La-La Land at Bricks & Scones”/Diary of the Purple Passport
Almond milk lattes and a cozy British feel


“Noni Benefits”/
The tropical fruit promises health paradise

“Coffee: Meet Your Matcha”/
Matcha green tea boosts energy without the jitters

“Ginseng Root”/
The human-body-shaped root cures a cornucopia of ailments

“Sensational Spring Onions”/
The delicate bulb boosts health and flavor

“Going Gluten Free”/
The pros and cons of going without the grain

“Go Bananas”/
The health benefits of the potassium power fruit

“Wonderful Walnuts”/
The brain-shaped nut is a smart food choice

“Ancient Berry, Modern Miracle”/
The sweet benefits of West African miracle fruit

“Meet the Muntries”/
Muntrie berries are a super fruit of the Australian bush

“Leeks in the Limelight”/
Health benefits of the onion’s oft-overlooked cousin

“Assessing Acai”/
Evaluating the Amazonian berry as a potential superfood

“Championing Coffee”/
The surprising health benefits of your morning brew

“Miraculous Turmeric”/
Scientists curry favor with the ancient spice

“Battle of the Bottles”/
The panic over polycarbonate plastics

“The Power of Pumpkin, in All Its Parts”/
Pumpkin flesh, seeds and oil promote optimal health

A review of wonder chef Grant Achatz’s Alinea Cookbook

“Menu Labeling Sweeps the Nation”/
Is menu labeling a public health panacea or harbinger of standardization?