The Ivy’s Tuna Tartare (Photo Paige Petrone)



The Ivy located on Robertson in West Hollywood is a hidden gem and has been around for a very long time. It’s probably best known for fabulous celebrity sightings, but it is also praised for its upscale and stylish California cuisine. Open for over 30 years, The Ivy is charming and elegant. I recently visited and was thrilled to see it still thriving. The patio and dining rooms were packed with diners and filled with an abundance of colorful roses. Just spectacular!

I love the concept of all day café and The Ivy is one of the nicest in Los Angeles. It’s been on every hot list since the day it opened. It’s also known for its Vodka Gimlets! When day drinking was a thing, lots of “let’s do lunch” and “deal making” was happening over gimlets at The Ivy. 

It’s hard to say what the best thing was at my lunch — it was all stellar. From the Salmon Pizza with crème fraiche, to the Tuna Tartare, Grilled Swordfish (get the Cajun style!) with fresh cold slaw and crispy French fries, and the warm berry crisp for dessert, all was divine.

Located at 113 N Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood, click here for reservations.

Smothers Theatre at the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts at Pepperdine in Malibu


  • By J. COOK

Theatre and music in Malibu! The Smothers Theatre and Raitt Recital Hall at the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts at Pepperdine University are offering quite a lineup for their 2023–24 season. Everything from music to dance and comedy to family fun.

The season includes Grammy Award-nominated vocal supergroup Säje, electrifying jazz vocalist Veronica Swift, Tony Award-nominated Broadway star and recording artist Ann Hampton Callaway, and musical ensemble The Queen’s Cartoonists with their festive Holiday Hurrah. The Righteous Brothers, pop sensation Sheena Easton, and legendary acoustic guitarist Leo Kottke all get a night overlooking the ocean. Be sure to check out Richie Furay (founding member of Buffalo Springfield and Poco) and internationally renowned pianist John Tesh with his Big Band. Miko Marks and Kristina Train will be featured in Trailblazing Women of Country:  A tribute to Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton. The show features a five-member all-female band!

Classical crossover fans can enjoy performances by Chad Lawson, Time for Three, violinists Diana Adamyan, SooBeen Lee, and bassoonist Eleni Katz. For those looking to introduce their kids to the magic of theatre, don’t miss Animaniacs in Concert and the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s comedic genius in The Complete History of Comedy (Abridged). Also, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, a family favorite presented by Tutti Frutti and York Theatre Royal, is an inspired take on the familiar Aesop fable. Who could ask for anything more? 

For more, click here.

Gladstone’s in Malibu is set to close this October



Gladstone’s will always hold a special place in my heart because it was one of the first restaurants I dined at with my late brother when I first visited Los Angeles almost 30 years ago. It is certainly the place to take out-of-town guests as it boasts the best sunsets and views of the Pacific coast — really breathtaking and spectacular! Known for traditional seafood novelties offered with seaside dining, their great Happy Hour with amazing cocktails was also a big draw. Think about what you might want while on a festive tropical vacation. I believe this is why Gladstone’s has been a staple in Malibu for over 50 years! I’m sorry to share that they are closing their doors next month. Say it isn’t so! But, yes, it’s true. 

The legendary restaurant will be taken over by Wolfgang Puck, with the help of artist Frank Gehry, to completely modernize the space. I’m sure they are hoping or striving for a similar “Nobu-like” appeal. Nobu is the hottest restaurant in Malibu offering award-winning cuisine. It’s really the only game of this caliber in the neighborhood. There is also Mastro’s Ocean Club, newer to PCH, offering steaks and chops, but this is very different from the sushi and Japanese food found at Nobu. I predict this new Puck/Gehry venture will be massively successful. I will definitely be checking it out. Still, I will miss knowing Gladstone’s is there. Go before it closes! 

RIP Gladstone’s, click here.

Henry Johnson now playing (through September 24, 2023) at Electric Lodge in Venice

Henry Johnson

  • By Sean James

Henry Johnson, a new play currently captivating audiences, is a thought-provoking masterpiece written by Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet. Directed by Marja-Lewis Ryan and featuring an outstanding production team, including Michael Fitzgerald as the production designer, Dominique Dawson as the costume designer, and Karyn Lawrence as the lighting designer. 

The talented cast includes Evan Jonigkeit, as the titular character, Chris Bauer as Mr. Barnes, Dominic Hoffman as Jerry, and making his debut stage performance, Shia LaBeouf as Gene. As the story unfolds, it dives into the consequences that befall Henry after a single act of compassion upends his entire life. With Mamet’s impeccable writing and a cast of exceptional actors, audiences are taken on a profound journey. Now playing (through October 7, 2023) at Electric Lodge in Venice, this play is a must-see for theater enthusiasts seeking an intellectually stimulating and emotionally gripping experience.

Shia LaBeouf (Honey Boy, Transformers), known for his raw and fearless performances, adds an electrifying energy to piece. Audiences can expect to witness his incredible talent and versatility as he transforms into this intriguing character, making for an unforgettable theatrical experience.

The Electric Lodge in Venice provides a unique intimate setting for this powerful production, allowing audiences to immerse themselves in this production.

For more, click here.