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Walk-In 'Vodbox' is a Unique Way to Sample Vodka at Nic’s

Walk-In 'Vodbox' is a Unique Way to Sample Vodka at Nic’s


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The old school restaurant also offers celebrities, martinis and great food

The Vodbox at Nic's Beverly HIlls houses hundreds of vodka brands.

Once the famed hangout of Rat Pack crooner Dean Martin, Nic’s in Beverly Hills still attracts the young, rich, and famous.

The restaurant/cocktail lounge has a cool dark ambiance which is both trendy and relaxing. Here celebrities sit side by side with locals in an intimate setting where diners can enjoy great food, excellent martinis and a trip to the famous Vodbox.

The Vodbox, located in the back of the restaurant, is a walk-in freezer filled with hundreds of bottles of vodka. Before entering the 28-degree room, guests can choose a faux fur coat and hat to keep them warm while sampling different flights of vodkas. Three samplings cost around $21 and bottles are kept in stylish white open leather lockers. Owner and vodkateur Larry Nicola has brought some of the luxurious vodkas in the world to be housed in the Vodbox, where top tier selections include Russian Standard, Jean Marc XO and Jewel of Russia.

Diners can also order vodka or a vodka martini at the bar or while dining.

Nic’s offers a wide variety of appetizers ranging from comfort food to extravagant items. Included are duck pate, lobster beignets, vodka cured salmon, oysters, baked potatoes with caviar and crème fraiche and royal ostera caviar. Main courses include Mexican swordfish, duck, oxtail ravioli, short ribs, rack of lamb and filet mignon. Decadent desserts include dark chocolate and black cherry bon bons, bison bar with pecans and crème Chantilly, and a variety of dessert martinis.


Nic's Restaurant

Happy Hour: All night Monday, 5-7pm Every Night (includes $7 Special-tini, $7 Wine Dujour, $7 appetizers). The weekends are crazy with a live band so make sure you get there early. They have a vodkabox (heaven) where you can taste every kind of vodka you'd like. For a price of course.

Go here if you like vodka! – I've never eaten here, but their vodka bar is super fun - and educational! I really never knew how many different types of vodka there are or how different they taste. This is a really fun place to go with friends.

My favorite neighborhood haunt for food & drinks! – Nic is MY SPOT. My home away from home on nights when the last thing I wanted to do was be at home. The atmosphere of the place is like a lively, vibrant and very cool without the pretense or the attitude that you might expect given the location. It's the closest thing to a Cheers bar experience that I've ever had. Happy hour is simply a must!

Raise a toast at Beverly Hills' ode to vodka and retro fun. – Never mind those celebrity roast infomercials that promise to bring back the good ol' days of the Rat Pack when smoking was cool and wearing a suit all day was considered casual. The spirit of Dean Martin lives on right here at this Beverly Hills joint where the martinis flow just as freely as the conversations. A small couch-lined area plays host to the nightly happy hour and the occasional jazz band, while an ascending walkway leads to a more formal dining room with semi-circular booths and tabletop seating. A play on classic steakhouse cuisine, restaurateur (and host with the most) Larry Nicola offers everything from meaty standards like miso-crusted prime ribeye with wasabi butter to lighter fare like grilled Scottish salmon dressed in figs and apples. Of course, no visit would be complete without a visit to the VodBox, an exhibition walk-in freezer where guests can put on a faux fur and raise a glass from one of the more than 80 varieties of vodka. Oh, and don't miss the Dean Martin shrine. Seriously. Told you his spirit lives on.

Fantastic Food – Went there with a bunch of friends one day after work. Really fun atmosphere, and after a few drinks Nic took us back to the fridge. That of course got lots of laughs and actually quite a memorable experience. We put on furs, which to be honest i don't normally do so that by itself was an experience, and then had some tastings back there. Its sets the right mood, and the appetizers we've had tasted even better afterwords. all in all, a great place to go with friends and/or co-workers.

Fun atmosphere, great service – This is especially a great place for happy hour and dinner with friends. I have been here several times and have always had a fantastic experience. Nic (the owner. I forget his actual name) is totally sweet and each server I've had is well-trained in superior service. The food is so, so good. Everything is tastefully done. Great wine list and love the drinks. Also, I LOVE the ladies room!! Highly recommended.

Good food and warm service in an unlikely setting – I went to Nic's this week for the first time and was very pleasantly surprised. I was warmly greeted at the door by Nic's son and shown to my table. We had great cocktails, a good bottle of wine and a decent price. Great appetizers and the Monday fixe price dinner. Nic also came by to check on how we were doing. It is a nice place with a vibrant chic but unpretentious crowd. It is a new favorite.

Great Friday Night Dinner & Drinks Spot! – I visited Nic?s Beverly Hills this past Friday night with a group of 9 friends. When I arrived I gave the host the name of my party and he promptly escorted me over to our table. The restaurant was upscale, romantic, & trendy but not at all pretentious like I thought it might be because of the location. We ordered drinks and appetizers. The drinks were really good - you want to try a Triple X Martini ? I promise you won?t be disappointed The service was friendly and prompt. After about 45 minutes or so, our waitress let us know that the Vodbox was ready for us (a must-try!) After being provided with faux fur coats & hats, we were ushered into the 28 degree freezer room where all of their top-shelf Vodka?s are stored. Our hostess gave us a thorough overview of their Vodka?s and then we got to sample a few shots. .We were in there for about 20 minutes or so before returning to the main dining room and bar area. Around 9:30 or so, they brought in an awesome live band which added even more great energy to the place. The owner Nic could be seen greeting and mingling with the customers all evening and he even came over to take a couple pictures with our group ? really cool guy.

All in all, we had a great time, I will definitely be returning with another group of friends soon!

Note: It got pretty crowded between 9 & 10 so reservations are suggested.

*Also, gratuity is automatically added to the bill for parties of 8 or more so to avoid double-tipping, review your itemized receipt carefully.

Great Lounge! – You wanna try the Salmon. Superb! The bartenders are not amateurs. drinks are made with STRENGTH!

Drink up! – I went here on a weekday during happy hour for a business meeting. I'm in my twenties. My boss is in his forties. Our business partners are in their fifties. We ALL had a great time. The drinks tasted great and the atmosphere was cool and relaxing. We didn't get a chance to go into the vod box, but i'm making it my priority next time around.

you cant find another lounge like this! – Nic's has been a personal favorite of mine for years. im finally writting a review. its the kind of place you go when you want the warm fuzzies of a neighborhood bar with the quality and atmosphere of a BH hot spot. Ive tried a lot of the menu items (salmon on waldorf - amazing, filet w/blueberries - better than you can imagine) but ive been going for the specials the last few times and those are really stealing the show. for the first timers try going for happy hour where the price is right and you can try a bunch of appetizers. and dont forget to get loosey goosey in their vodka freezer - the best way to freeze off a crazy day at work!

Not recommended for parties/groups! – Went to Nic's for my birthday recently. had a reservation for 16 and had 12 for dinner - they tried to charge us for 16 saying it was in some sort of contract I never saw/signed. Then they were rather mysterious about whether or not a tip was included in the total price. Needless to say it was supposed to be a fun and classy evening, but turned mortifying when my guests were nearly forced to overpay for their portions on a pre-fixe menu. To make it worse the service was awful (VERY slow with a VERY snotty waitress) and they refused bar service (no bar waitresses either ) at midnight, so we had to get up and get our own drinks from ONE veyr overwhelmed bartender (who had no clean glasses btw). The one redeeming quality was that the food was pretty good. I would NOT recommend this place for larger groups at all!

Classic RIP OFF scheme – This place rips people off by adding a service charge to your bill, and then presenting you with a credit card bill that has the total and a blank line for a tip- but it doesn't say that 20% has already been added. Sneaky. I have no respect for a place that is so high priced and then tries to rip you off at the same time. weak.

Nic's. the restaurant that brought S E X Y back! – I had one of the best dining experiences in my life at Nic's Restaurant this last Friday night. The food is amazing, the martinis. amazing, & the staff. well extremely amazing. I celebrated my 30th birthday here & it was such a wonderful experience. Major kudos go to Mitch Hunter & Brandon who welcomed my whole party of 15 through the bar and into our dining table. The staff from our food servers, bussers to the bartenders were all extremely helpful & nice. My whole party left on such a high that night, & that high lingered on to the whole weekend! So let me tell you about the food. I've traveled throughout the world, & have eaten at 90% of all the restaurants in LA, & Nic's is by far one of the best restaurants I have eaten at. For the price & value, I rate it higher than Asia De Cuba & The Ivy. The interior design is gorgeous, a great mix of LA & New York influences. The food is delicious. If you are a fan of gnocchi, & even if you aren't, the gnocchi here is tasty. Every person at the table had a bite of one, & all their frowns were turned up side down. Nic's is know for their signature oysters which are cooked & served with spinach, walnuts, garlic, they are to die for! That night I had the peppered and grilled organic salmon, which was cooked to perfection. It was served with a mango & spring onion which was delicious. The seared filet mignon served with blueberries just melted in your mouth. The service was great, one of the best staffs ever, nice, not one bit of attitude and very accomodating! I had to look around a make sure. am I really in Beverly Hills? I didn't see one person there with out a smile. I was surprised to see all our entrees out at the same time, all hot, & all consistent and tasty. One thing I really love about this place is the creativity. Finally an LA restaurant that did it right, this place has the cojones & own up to their creativity. For example their martinis are not your usual, try the "Where's my Effen martini!"

Wonderful Experience! – I have tried Nic's before, in the past & it was a nice experience. But something has changed. There's more life, more energy. We had dinner last Friday evening. I brought my fiance for the first time. From the moment we walked in, to the moment we left we felt very welcome and wanted. Which is rare in LA, especially Beverly Hills! For food we had the duck, which was recommended by our waitress, and the filet. We also had one too many martinis, but they were so good! I will be passing on the word and telling all of my friends to go! Our waitress was so nice and it wasn't the "fake" nice you can get at places like this! And the Maitre'd, the host, even our other server kept coming over and checking on us! Like I said, an overall Wonderful experience! Congrats to you for having such a great place. We'll be back!

It's time to raise a toast at Beverly Hills' favorite neighborhood martini bar and celeb hangout. – In Short
Nevermind those celebrity roast infomercials that promise to bring back the good ol' days of the Rat Pack when smoking was cool and wearing a suit all day was considered casual. The spirit of Dean Martin lives on right here at this Beverly Hills joint where the martinis flow just as freely as the conversations. A small couch-lined area plays host to the nightly happy hour and the occasional jazz band, while an ascending walkway leads to a more formal dining room with semi-circular booths and tabletop seating. A play on classic steakhouse cuisine, restaurateur (and host with the most) Larry Nicola offers everything from meaty standards like miso-crusted prime ribeye with wasabi butter to lighter fare like grilled Scottish salmon dressed in figs and apples. Of course, no visit would be complete without a visit to the VodBox, an exhibition walk-in freezer where guests can put on a faux fur and raise a glass from one of the more than 80 varieties of vodka. Oh, and don't miss the Dean Martin shrine. Seriously. Told you his spirit lives on.

great place for a – i needed a really unique place to celebrate my boyfriend's work promotion but we were going out witth co-workers that i really didnt know. its so hard finding a great place that everyone is going to like and feel comfortable with, but Nics nailed it! i've been there before but no one else in the group had been there for dinner. The burger with the gooda cheese made the girls jealous, i was a little more daring and tried the duck w/pomegranite, ok WOW, please someone else needs to try this and share in my happy moment. we tried a bunch of the apps for the table, all really good but if its your first time in go for the steak skewers, total crowd pleaser. and you know, beyond all the food, the staff is just as much a part of the scene. everyone is "fabulous", in a good way, and very sweet. they helped warm up the group and our waitress was the one who got me to try the duck. :o) Oh oh, and DONT leave without desert. even if you have to take it to go, the waitress told us they are homemade, the lemon situation is freaking amazing. sweeet.

long story short, go for they hype about the vodka locker, stay for the duck. cheers!

Best all around Dining experience! – This place is a true find in Los Angeles-especially in Beverly Hills! We were treated so warmly by the staff- from the guy at front door to Monike in the vodbox-this is a special place. Food was really delicous-not too saucy cooked perfectly. The menu is a perfect blend of classic American foods and ethnic twists. Martinis' rock-love the what a pear. Going to the vodbox was so much fun- had out of town guests and this took the night over the top.WHAT A BLAST we felt like royalty even though Ashton Kutcher and Demi were in the room too we got as much attention by our knowldgeable waitress. the scene is a mix of going to a friends for dinner with chic sophistication it's both warmth with cool/hipness. Definately going back to have my upcoming birthday there.

Examples: Best pizza anywhere, Avoid on Friday nights, Great customer serviceExamples: Best pizza anywhere, Avoid on Friday nights, Great customer serviceExamples: Best pizza anywhere, Avoid on Friday nights, Great customer serviceExamples: Best pizza anywhere, Avoid on Friday nights, Great customer serviceExamples: Best pizza anywhere, Avoid on Friday nights, Great customer service

Worst restaurant on earth – This is one of the worst dining experiences in my life. Service was horrible. Their waitstaff is completely pretentious and tried to make us order certain things we didn't like. The waitstaff wasn't well informed about the menu and was inattentive. They seemed to be unconcerned with service there. I saw our waittress standing around talking to someone else when I had asked for something. I had to ask a passing bus boy to help me out. Their waitstaff was just incredibly snobbish. When the chicken came undercooked, I asked to take it back and was met with some fierce opposition by our waitress. That, is the sign of terrible service. She didn't apologize for the fact that it was undercooked, but rather gave a look of annoyance.

The atmosphere is WAY too loud for a good, respectable fine dining restaurant. The restaurant tries to be a bar/happy hour and a fine dining establishment at the same time. It's terrible. The restaurant is very small, so the sound from the bar area travels very easily to the dining room. I had to shout to my boyfriend over dinner just to be heard. NOT romantic at all.

The food wasn't very good either. It's not bad, but for those prices, I'd expect more than an undercooked piece of chicken rubbed with salt and pepper. My boyfriend got the steak and it wasn't much better than what you could make at home. It's just grilled and thrown in an oven.

I've also heard that they refused to pay people in the kitchen as well. I heard that a chef worked there for 2 months and wasn't paid. She said that the secret sauce that they have is just rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, garlic and olive oil. They throw that on everything with some salt and pepper. I DO NOT support an establishment with terrible morals. What kind of an establishment doesn't pay someone for work done?

Support other restaurants with higher moral standards - ones who pay their employees!!

ok, this place is best find ever! – i just found Nics. i love this place! we needed a new lounge for girl's night, found it!! really nice, normal service, the martinis are strong and the servers are sweet. food is super tasty, we only tried the apps (but i saw a fillet cross our path. so good).. we will be back. viva the vodka ice box!

Amazing all around experience. – Having lived in Las Vegas for numerous years I have been lucky enough to have truly experienced good food and cool atmospheres. I also have enjoyed a great martini or two before having dinner. Nic's has created a vibe that my wife and I have never encountered. They have combined a chic cool lounge with unreal food. I had the Filet and my wife had the nightly fish special. I was unsure about ordering the Filet since it was pan seared not grilled and came with a Blueberry reduction. I was completely surprised on how well the flavors meshed. My wifes seabass special was light and not saturated with butter and oils like many of other fish dishes that we had shared together. T

BAD BAD BAD SERVICE! – The service here is HORRIBLE. Either the wait staff at Nic's don't like people of color or they're just too good to greet you (we were seated by the host, who was really nice, but the waitress didn't arrive for a good 15 minutes, and no, it wasn't busy), give you a menu (that took another 15 minutes) or take your order (another 25 minutes). Oh. And we had to toss our own salad (they present the salad by separating all the different parts of the salad into different piles, so that the salad tosser can toss it for you). The salad tosser came 45 minutes after we got the dish. And this was on a wednesday night for a party of 2.

If you're looking for good food, you can get the same quality for half the price elsewhere. For the price you pay here, you're better off going to Boa, Mastro's, Koi or the Bridge, etc.

So don't go to Nic's to eat. Just go for the drinks (because their martinis are great, and they're actually quick at giving you your drinks).

Very fun cool place – Nic's was so fun. We had a great time. The vodka bar was really fun, and it was cool to learn about different vodka's. I was the designated driver so I didnt even drink but I had such a good time. The food was awesome too. The artichoke with the butter miso sauce is mouth watering. My husband loved the oysters on the half shell.(the best he has ever had) The service was great. And the best part was the cool band they had. We were seated right behind them and we thought it was going to be way too loud and we werent going to be able to hear each other but they were so relaxing and entertaining we LOVED them. There were six of us and we bought 3 of their cds. I highly recommend Nics and we cant wait to go back.

It is a nice place to be if you are single – last time we spend my friends b-day at Nic's restaurant and we had a blast. nice invierment. the only thing i did not like was the parking issue.

Great Happy Hour – It's been a while since I've come to Nic's, but I was pleasantly surprised that it has retained its cozy, friendly ambience, embraced by good music. This time I was just here for happy hour, and the menu was quite reasonable with many selections (chicken quesadilla, fries, steak skewers, chicken skewers, etc - each just $5 MF, 5pm - 7pm). They also had an icebox room for vodka tastings - we didn't want to brave the cold this time, but will probably check it out in the near future. My favorite thing here is still the oysters - yum!

Overpriced martinis – Great atmosphere. Great people watching, but martinis are $12 each and tast like fruit juice. No alcohol in mine this evening. You get a 3-ounce gulp of sugar and before you know it, the tab is $100. I think the drinks could be meatier for that price. Otherwise, go to Trader Joe's and grab some fruit juice and vodka and enjoy your little martini quenchers at home.

Best Atmosphere for cocktail party – Just had my B-day party @ Nic's and everyone had a really really nice time. some perhaps too good a time. The vodka room was great for the out of towners. blew them away. If you are looking for upscale quality with familiar and genuine service this place has it. It was just refreshing to have everything taken care so i could just kick back and enjoy my drinks!! bottoms up folks. we will be back!! :o) - jackie

Best overall restaurant in LA – I have known Larry Nicola since he opened LA Nicola in Silver Lake. I was one of his very first customers and all through the 26 years I have been a fan of his restaurants he has never disappointed me. And I hope to remain a patron for at least another 26 years. Great food, great ambiance and great service form the first gentleman of great restaurant owners.

So Cool. So Nice – Nic's has always been one of the few places in LA where everyone relaxes and enjoys each other's company. I have met so many new, nice people at happy hour here, and we tend to see a lot of familiar faces every time we go in. Apparently, eveyone returns often. Although we usually go in for happy hour, I have had dinner several times and it has always been fantastic. Go. Have fun.

DELISH food - mucho fun! – We jumped into Nics after work thursday and were blown away how good the steak and shrimp apps were for $5 happy hour. for being nestled in the middle of BH the bar scene was really quite fun. our waitress was quick and sweet, the booth was comfy, even the table next to us got a little chatty. ahh friendly people in LA summer, who woulda thought! Anywho, fantastico drinks and we WILL be back on thursdays! oh and ladies, please try the steak skewers, AMAZING!

Most Horrible Services & Obnoxious Attitude – I have always been a skeptic about pretentious restaurants in LA. And when I read review like that, I still have an open mind and believe the better reviews are more often true. I have been proven wrong for the first time. My boyfriend and I went to Nics on a Saturday at around 6p.m. Was seated promptly in the Lounge but the menu was not offered to us until about 10 minutes later. We were not offered the Specials which a party sat next of us (who were brought in by the Restaurant Manager, was friendly greeted and served with a tremendous amount of plastic surgery filled smiles) that was nonexistent with my party. Water was not offered not brought to our table until about 20 minutes later, not until we had asked the bus boy who took away our first appetizer. The waitress then came back and pretended that it was someone else's fault that didn't bring our water. She returned to her chat zone and 10 minutes later, the water came. Those among others were the minimal amount of bad things that can be captured with words.

My boyfriend and I didn't bother order any dinner entrees as we were disgusted by the attitude and fake smiles of the restaurant. The appetizers we had, Nic's Famous Oysters and Beef Skewers were decent but not enough to compensate for the lack of services a so-call-finer-dining-restaurant- that-charges $12/martini has to offer.

Never had I left a restaurant feeling so disappointed and disgusted.

So in a nutshell, most horrible services, most obnoxious waiter & waitress and most unpleasant dining experiences award to Nics.

Best 28th Birthday! – Had 7 of my closest friends to celebrate my B-day. Food was excellent, the service was superb, and this band that played all night was great. did I forget to mention the best Martini's ever! Just wanted to drop in and say thank everyone at Nic's for such a great night! Definitely gained 7 new customers.

Martini Lounge – Went on April 29, 2006 to the martini lounge. Have not had food, drinks only.

Martinis are above average, but they are not anything spectacular. Ambiance is nice (modern), but again it is nothing special. Esentially this place is a bit above average for quality and martinis look to be 3oz and cost $12-$14.

Good – This place is good but I here they don't pay there staff sometimes Whats up with that.


Southern California Close-up: Westside of Los Angeles

You’re an outsider heading to the Westside of Los Angeles -- not the beach cities, but Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Westwood and the nearby well-heeled neighborhoods south of the Santa Monica Mountains. This means you’ll be well-fed, well-rested and perhaps more closely watched by the issuers of your credit cards. Only the sultan of Brunei, it seems, can afford to splurge in these precincts without looking at price tags. But you need not spend liberally to learn a little about wealth, fame, geography and Persian desserts.

For instance, you’ll realize that Beverly Hills, like the “Mona Lisa” and certain leading men, is smaller than you might expect (5.7 square miles). You’ll recognize Culver City’s connections to Oz and the old Soviet space program. You’ll be reminded that there’s a big Santa Monica Boulevard and a little one (a.k.a. South Santa Monica Boulevard), which perplex the uninitiated by running parallel for more than a mile. In Westwood, you’ll see how death has united Marilyn Monroe and Rodney Dangerfield, among others. The details await in these 12 Westside stories.

If Alex Trebek makes you swoon, you’ll want to check out Sony Studios (10000 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City www.sonypicturesstudiostours.com) in Culver City. Its two-hour guided weekday walking tour costs $33 (no children younger than 12) and can include stops at soundstages where “The Wizard of Oz” was filmed in 1938 and where “Jeopardy!” has been shot since 1984. If neither Alex nor Judy Garland makes your world go ‘round, think twice about this tour. For a more engrossing (and affordable) experience in the same neighborhood, get thee to the Museum of Jurassic Technology (9341 Venice Blvd., Culver City www.mjt.org). This odd little spot, open 2-8 p.m. Thursdays and noon-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday, is all about the joy of weird stuff, presented with great museological pomp. Shuffle through the tiny dark rooms, your jaw slackening at the sight of the trailer-park dioramas, Soviet space-dog oil portraits, a tiny sculpted pope in a needle’s eye and two dead mice on toast (the consumption of which is described as an old bed-wetting cure). Don’t miss the tearoom upstairs. Next door stands the Center for Land Use Interpretation (9331 Venice Blvd., Culver City www.clui.org), whose exhibits and publications have probed the underwater towns of America, the helipads of downtown L.A. and other notable human interactions with the landscape. It’s open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the afternoons. Then, to dramatize your evening, head to the Kirk Douglas Theatre (9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City www.centertheatregroup.org), a satellite operation of downtown’s Center Theatre Group that’s been putting on shows in this 317-seat venue since 2004.

2. Beloved burgers and newfangled photos

Since 1947, the Apple Pan (10801 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles) has been offering Angelenos burgers and desserts. No reservations, no alcohol, no air conditioning. Order the Hickory burger (about $7) and maybe a big slice of apple pie for dessert. Then head two miles northeast to Century City, where you’ll park beneath the soaring cold metal and glass of the Creative Artists Agency building. You have not scored a meeting with CAA’s deal makers, but they will let you in next door at the Annenberg Space for Photography (2000 Avenue of the Stars, No. 10), a nonprofit exhibition space with a video-friendly layout and sophisticated digital technology. It’s free and open Wednesdays-Sundays. (Be sure to get your parking validated, or it will cost a fortune.)


UNGASS Uncovered

Columns - Going Global

A look at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on drugs and what it means for policy change.

April 19-21, in the Big Apple, world leaders and representatives from the 193 United Nations member states gathered together for a special summit called UNGASS to discuss important things that are very relevant to this industry. These things include such hot and trending topics like:

  • The Future of Cannabis (Globally)
  • The International War on Drugs
  • Mass Corruption Because of the International War on Drugs
  • Mass Incarceration Because of the International War on Drugs
  • Whether or not to reform the world’s existing global drug policies (Whoa Nelly, that’s the big one right there, isn’t it?)

OK, So … What’s UNGASS?

UNGASS stands for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session these sessions are held semi-frequently to collectively sort out the world’s major problems.

So quite ironically, the last UNGASS specifically held for the same particular macroeconomic problem (the International Drug War) was in 1998 and was called, “A Drug Free World … We Can Do It.” It was ironic in the fact that among the goals set at the session were the reduction, if not the outright eradication of cocaine, opium and cannabis production by 2008. Excuse me while I laugh out loud. I think that is what the kids these days call an epic fail.

This year’s UNGASS participants, however, realized that creating a drug-free world simply isn’t achievable.

The Tide Has Turned

In February, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, who headed the UNGASS summit in 1998, wrote in an essay, “… we need to accept that a drug free world is an illusion. We must focus instead on ensuring that drugs cause the least possible harm.”

In March, more than 225 Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs), including the American Civil Liberties Union and AIDS United, sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to push the U.N. to reform the outdated international drug conventions that have long shaped global narcotics laws.

Also in March, William Brownfield, a top U.S. drug official, signaled that the Obama Administration accepted other countries’ decriminalization efforts, as he reiterated to reporters one month later at UNGASS 2016, “We will call for a pragmatic and concrete criminal justice reform, areas such as alternatives to incarceration or drug courts, or sentencing reform.”

All three of the above heavily referenced the fact that four states and the District of Columbia have legalized adult-use marijuana.

One Quick Aside

This year’s UNGASS was pressured into existence far ahead of its intended 2019-2020 target date, by Mexico, Columbia and Guatemala, because, they state in a joint declaration from October 2012, “Revising the approach on drugs maintained so far by the international community can no longer be postponed.”

So April 19, UNGASS opened with current UNGASS President H.E. Mogens Lykketoft discussing the need to address cannabis and that “… access to drugs for medical use is a human right to protect.”

Is everybody on board with reform? Nope, not really. Some countries still favor continued repressive drug policies. It is not a small coincidence that these are the same countries that have some of the worst human rights violations in the world.

Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China and Indonesia are all dead set against drug policy reform, with Saudi Arabia recently beheading two brothers for carrying hashish, and Russia incessantly hell-bent on demonizing cannabis while, of course, glorifying its No. 1 export: Vodka.

The Verdict

So here are some of the more memorable moments from this year’s UNGASS:

Canada reaffirmed its commitment to legalizing and regulating cannabis by spring 2017. Go Canada!

Note to self: Do not travel to Indonesia anytime soon, as the Indonesia delegate tried to defend the country’s death penalty for drug possession. Although, he was almost booed off the stage.

But the highlight of the summit was Bolivian President Evo Morales (a former coca farmer, by the way). He called everybody out on the militarized approach on the drug war, calling it "ineffective" and harmful to respecting human rights, as reported by news organization teleSUR.

On top of that, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto became the first sitting president of the country to propose partial regulation of marijuana use. He said his administration would campaign for legalization of marijuana for medical and scientific uses — a message he got applause for, reported Fusion.

Not bad, considering he almost didn't show up at all. Well played, sir. Well played indeed.

So, What Now?

High drama was expected, and happened, but don’t expect any real change from it. UNGASS should be considered more a political theatrical production than a real vessel for change. But the rhetoric was there, and this is a positive, albeit small, movement for global drug policy reform.

I am hopeful that the cracks are starting to show and the evidence shows there’s no denying the failure of the war on drugs.

More than two-thirds of the population of the United States and its territories live in regions with some form of medical cannabis law. Canada, Israel, Czech Republic and Columbia (which both have also legalized possession and cultivation in small amounts), Croatia and Jamaica (which both have also decriminalized small amounts for personal use), Romania, Germany and Australia all have national medical cannabis programs, and many other countries are reviewing legislation. (It is worth noting that in early May, the German government approved a proposal to expand the country's medical marijuana program and to allow public health insurance to pay for medical marijuana for seriously ill patients for whom other treatments have been ineffective. Until now, only Canada had offered insurance coverage of any scale.)

Uruguay has fully legalized cannabis for adult use, the Netherlands has decriminalized personal use and legalized use in certain “coffee shops,” and more than 20 other countries have decriminalized small amounts for possession and/or cultivation for personal use, including Spain, Russia and Italy.

Drug policy reform will change, in my opinion — due more to capitalism, unfortunately, than global human rights — but hey, at least the wheels are starting to turn in the right direction, right?

About the Author: Scott Lowry resides in Oakland, Mich., with his wife, five children and their dog, Nora. He is a licensed medical grower and caregiver, and has focused on organic cannabis cultivation for the last 8 years. He also is founder and COO of a large-scale Canadian cannabis production company out of Tecumseh, Ontario, called Global Organiks, which is currently in the application process for becoming a Licensed Producer under Canada’s Medical Marijuana Program. In addition, Lowry is the founder and CEO of GO Engineering, an agribusiness technology engineering company, which creates products for the indoor cannabis cultivation industry. It is safe to say he has a healthy obsession for science, business and all things agriculture.


Thu Jul 30, 2009

Eric Drath - Producer and Director - "ASSAULT IN THE RING" HBO Aug 1
HBO Sports will present ASSAULT IN THE RING, a documentary about the ill-fated bout between Billy Collins Jr. and Luis Resto and its subsequent effect on both boxers. Debuting SATURDAY, AUG. 1 on HBO, the special will explore the events that profoundly impacted the New York sports landscape and the world of boxing, and changed the lives of two athletes.
ASSAULT IN THE RING revisits a boxing scandal considered one of the sport’s darkest hours, and traces a man’s despairing journey following his alleged involvement in a criminal plot. The documentary examines new evidence about this boxing match turned 30-minute assault, and reveals much more about the pre-fight activities of Luis Resto, his trainer Panama Lewis and the athletic commission representatives. On June 16, 1983, undefeated welterweight Billy Collins Jr. set out to fulfill every boxer’s dream of fighting in the world’s most famous arena – Madison Square Garden. Collins’ opponent, Luis Resto of the Bronx, had his own dream of rising to the occasion in front of hometown fans. But what began as a match that Nashville native Collins was favored to win changed both athletes’ lives – ending Collins’ career dreams and landing Resto in prison. Resto seemingly reached a fighter’s ultimate goal by upsetting Collins, but his post-fight victory celebration was short-lived when it was discovered that the padding had been illegally removed from Resto’s gloves by his trainer, Panama Lewis, before the fight. Resto was subsequently incarcerated and banned from the sport, while the brutally beaten Collins went into a tragic downward spiral. Lewis, whose official career as a trainer came to an end that night, was also subsequently banned, and speaks for the first time in ASSAULT IN THE RING about the events of the fight and their impact. Others interviewed include: former New York State Athletic Commission chairman Jack Prenderville members of the prosecution, defense and jury from the 1985 trial in New York and Billy Jr.’s widow, Andrea.

Chef Rocco DiSpirito - Bravo’s “Top Chef” and NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.”
Rocco DiSpirito is the author of 5 cook books including Flavor, Rocco's Italian American, Rocco's Real Life Recipes and DiSpirito's fifth book Rocco Gets Real: Cook At Home Everyday was published October 2008. A unique cookbook that empowers the everyday home cook with easy to make recipes, step by step photos and illustrations, making his unique approach to food accessible to just about anyone. Dispirito also makes regular appearances on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” As the summer season strolls along, and restaurant choices seem either slim or expensive, many of your viewers are likely looking for more options to dine at home. Chef Rocco DiSpirito will offer listeners several suggestions on how to elevate an ordinary night in into a restaurant quality meal. From navigating the grocery store for the best possible ingredients, to building a menu of options that are sure to please, Chef Rocco will provide viewers with tips and tricks for delicious dinners.

Chef Larry Nicola "Mexico Restaurante y Barra"
What's pink and orange and red all over? Larry Nicola's newest restaurant, Mexico Restaurante y Barra. Nicola, one of Los Angeles 's highly regarded and innovative restaurateurs, brings a unique, affordable addition to the city's quality Mexican food repertoire. The new restaurant and bar looks like a funky beach joint uprooted from coastal Mexico and plopped down in West Hollywood . It's hard to miss the huge, pink neon " Mexico " sign that Nicola bought 12 years ago at a neighborhood antiques store. That " Mexico " sign and his love for the cuisine are what inspired him to open Mexico Restaurante y Barra. Upon entering, a brass plaque announces that the building was used as a recording studio for The Doors in 1970. "L.A. Woman" was recorded in what is now the downstairs bathroom. These days the sound of a live mariachi band fills the air on weekend nights. Restaurant patron's ears and eyes squint from the pulsating fiesta atmosphere vibrating off lights strung across upstairs and downstairs open-air patios. Everything sparkles against magenta, orange and turquoise walls. Brilliant-colored plates, flower-patterned oilcloth tablecloths, red umbrellas and bright pink chairs promise a happy vibe. Patio heaters warm nippy nights, plus boldly striped Mexican serapes hang on chair backs for use by chilly fashionistas. An intensely pink barroom offers a cozy place to dine, with a half dozen dining tables below, piñatas above and view into the kitchen beyond.
In keeping with the laid-back beach concept, an outdoor staircase to the upper patio and indoor lounge/bar creaks under the steps. Once inside, guests will spot bar stools looking like conga drums covered in red shag carpeting to match the fiery room color. It's the perfect party room for special events. There's plenty of low, upholstered, trés hipster seating enticing guests to stretch out with a good drink. Mexico's cocktail list boasts top-of-the-line tequila, earthy mezcal, hand-squeezed juices, agave syrup, fresh chiles and herbs. "Silverrano" is an unforgettable potion combining Corzo silver tequila with cooling, muddled cucumber, and lime sour for a nice citrus finish until the bolt of serrano chile hits the back of your throat. Another, " Mesa 9," stirs smooth Corzo añejo tequila, pomegranate and foamy, sweet-sour pineapple juices with a guajillo-infused syrup. The name Larry Nicola is synonymous with spectcular cocktails and new bar concepts. In 1980 he opened the first martini lounge at L.A. Nicola, in Silver Lake . In 1993 he moved downtown with Nicola, and then opened Nic's Beverly Hills in 1997. He added the VODBOX to the scene in 2006-the wildly popular vodka tasting, walk-in, exhibition freezer designed for tasting flights of vodka in their purest form. Larry Nicola is passionate about Latin American food. He lived in Belize and Costa Rica while working as chef and then consultant for some of the swankiest resorts such as Palmilla Hotel, and Querencia, a private golf resort both in Los Cabos , Mexico . Nicola continues to travel to Mexico whenever possible and explore the country's regional foods. He knows the cuisine and how to achieve authentic flavors. The dishes served at Mexico are Larry's personal favorites, inspired from his travels. His pride and joy is a mesquite wood-fired oven and he takes full advantage of it. Primal fragrances fill the air whenever charred beef, roasted duck, smoky corn and blackened chiles are pulled from the embers. Enticing aromas charge out of the oven like a steam locomotive as it rounds a curve at full speed. The smell of real Mexican cooking is the result of the mesquite's mineral deposit its smoke permeates food with a distinct Mexican high mesa flavor stamp. Years of surfing along the west coast from Jalisco south to Oaxaca is Larry's inspiration for huge garlicky grilled shrimp with a chipotle, cilantro and blistered tomato dip, a perfect appetizer. It is ideally followed with a sizzling cast iron skillet of queso fundido with smoky flavors from charred poblano chiles, a generous spoonful of crunchy chorizo sausage and luscious, gooey cheese scooped into hand made flour tortillas just off the hot grill. Taquitos are generously filled with moist, mesquite-fired duck meat for more smoky earthiness. The pair is wrapped in delicate handmade corn tortillas. A main dish of duck with guava sauce served with bay leaf, fennel and habañero rice is an ideal entree. The duck is cooked just enough to claim its intense flavor without a thought of dryness. With influence from the Gulf coastline, the huachinango (true red snapper) is quickly fried for a crisp skin, as it sits atop of Larry's rendition of a brothy, wood oven-charred tomato, potato and green olive Veracruzana sauce. Carnitas are big, succulent chunks of pork rendered in their own fat and then popped into the mesquite oven to swallow up wood flavor. Sharing the plate is a nutritious Mexican vegetable, verdolagas, over toasty tomatillo sauce, adding a bright touch of acidity to the all-around stellar dish. Chiles rellenos charge out of the mesquite oven oozing charred, melted Oaxacan quesillo cheese. The cheese and spinach-stuffed Anaheim chiles come with a richly deep, smoky salsa negra. At the last second they're sprinkled with queso fresco cheese and topped with a super crunchy squash blossom. Side dishes like smoky black beans baked in the mesquite oven with epazote, avocado leaves and anise-tinged avocado convey an authentic taste of Oaxaca . Corn also gets time in wood before it's scraped off the cob, hit with spicy chile de arbol and a dollop of cooling Mexican crema. In thanks to the genius of Larry Nicola, Mexico Restaurante y Barra offers top rate food at affordable prices. The quality and flavor values are brighter than the décor. Appetizers run $8 and up to $12 for seafood cocktails. Entrees are more than reasonable at $13 to $16. For dessert, guests can stretch out on cushy upstairs lounge sofa, and sip on a "Jump on a Horse" Herradura reposado tequila, cactus fruit and Cointreau cocktail ($12) while enjoying a flavorful Mexican classic Flan de Coco y Cacao, Mexican Chocolate Wedding Cake, Pineapple Sundae with cookies or the Paletas de Mango. Mexico Restaurante y Barra, 8512 Santa Monica Boulevard , West Hollywood , CA 90069 . 310-289-0088. Open at 5PM daily. www.gogomexico.com

Philip and Michelle Wojtowicz - "Big Sur Bakery Cookbook"
Tucked behind a gas station off California's legendary Highway 1, the Big Sur Bakery is easy to miss. But don't be fooled by its unassuming location—stumbling across the Bakery, as countless visitors have done on their way up and down the Pacific Coast, will make you feel as if you've discovered a secret: a gem of a restaurant where the food, people, and atmosphere meld together in a perfect embodiment of the spirit of Big Sur. The three restaurant owners, chef Philip Wojtowicz, baker Michelle Wojtowicz, and host Michael Gilson, escaped the Los Angeles food scene to create their version of the ideal restaurant, nestled in the heart of some of the most beautiful country in the world. This is simple, wood-fired American cooking at its best, executed in a way that lets the ingredients—seasonal and often locally produced—shine. Weekend brunches feature thick, nine-grain pancakes and savory breakfast pizza topped with crisp bacon, fresh herbs, and pasture-raised eggs. At night, Phil offers classics like Grilled Prime Rib Steak with Red Wine Sauce along with twists on traditional favorites like Venison Osso Buco or Rockfish Scampi. And every meal should end with one of Michelle's great desserts, whether it's a homemade Peppermint Ice Cream Sundae or Hazelnut Flan with Roasted Cherries.


What Are the Other Types of Stress Tests?

Dobutamine or adenosine stress test: This is for people unable to exercise. You’ll take a drug to make the heart respond as if you were exercising. This way, the doctor can still determine if there are blockages in the arteries.

Stress echocardiogram: An echocardiogram (often called "echo") is a graphic outline of the heart's movement. A stress echo can accurately visualize the motion of the heart's walls and pumping action when the heart is stressed it may reveal a lack of blood flow that isn't always apparent on other heart tests.

Nuclear stress test: This helps figure out which parts of the heart are not working well. A small amount of radioactive substance will be injected into you. Your doctor will use a special camera to see rays emitted from the substance in your body. This will give them clear pictures of the heart tissue on a monitor. These pictures are done at rest and after exercise. Your doctor will be able to spot areas of your heart that aren’t getting enough blood. The test could last to up to 4 hours to allow enough time for the radioactive substance to flow through your body.

How you’ll prepare for these stress tests will vary. Ask your doctor about any specific instructions.


NEEDTOBREATHE

Sunday, the Southern Grown Marketplace presented by Southeastern Wildlife Exposition will continue from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. so you can nab those purchases you eyed on Saturday. The perfect weekend send-off will be the Southern Grown Sunday Brunch at The Beach Club. Enjoy an oceanside brunch with all the traditional Southern fare, including Bloody Marys, of course! And there will be live music to blend with the sound of the waves. What an ideal way to close out a fabulous festival.

All access-ticket packages are $425 and include all events and concerts, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as well as the hospitality suite on Friday and Saturday, and a welcome bag. A ticket for Friday’s Garden & Gun Kick-Off Dinner & Show with concert by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors is $160. A ticket for Saturday’s Southern Grown Concert featuring NEEDTO BREATHE is $75. Tickets can be purchased at southerngrown.com, where you can also find detailed information about all events. You won’t want to miss this distinctly Southern celebration!

Another way to embrace your identity as a Southerner is through cooking traditional Southern

Eliot VanOtteren Photo Courtesy of Sea Island

fare. To this end, Sea Island is pleased to announce the release of their new cookbook Soul of the South to celebrate its 90 th anniversary. Written by Sarah Anschutz Hunt, the cookbook is part of a two book set, with the companion being Spirit of the West, celebrating The Broadmoor and its centennial anniversary. The cookbooks feature more than 50 recipes and traditions inspired by the distinct culture of each award-winning resort and also examine their rich histories as well. The Anschutz family has placed Sea Island and The Broadmoor into a 100-year trust to preserve these uniquely American experiences for generations to come. In Soul of the South, Sarah shares her experiences visiting Sea Island and enjoying suppers overlooking the marshes on Rainbow Island. It is from these fond family memories and the celebrated kitchens of the resorts that the recipes for the cookbooks were compiled. Describing the resorts as treasured gathering places for families and friends, Hunt said, “I hope that these cookbooks inspire readers to celebrate time with their loved ones and rekindle fond memories of their times at these beloved resorts. “

The cookbook set retails for $85 and can be purchased at Sea Island’s retail outlets and on the website at shop.seaisland.com. Sea Island has generously shared with us two of the classic recipes from the resort that are included in the cookbook, so you can add them to your recipe book of Southern staples. What could be more Southern than fried chicken and mac & cheese?

Pimento Mac & Cheese

8 oz. block Velveeta cheese

8 oz. extra sharp white cheddar

2 c. pimento peppers, diced

Cook rigatoni in pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Cut Velveeta and cheddar into large cubes. Melt butter in large pot, add garlic and shallot, and lightly cook until tender. Add milk and bring to a simmer. Begin whisking in cheese, stirring constantly until all cheese pieces have melted. Season with salt and Tabasco to taste (should not be spicy, unless desired). Simmer until all cheese pieces have melted. Fold in diced pimentos. Strain cooked pasta and place into a 9”x13” glass pan. Pour cheese sauce over pasta. (It should be a bit soupy but should not splash.) Lightly cover the top with breadcrumbs and bake 30-40 minutes until top is golden brown and cheese sauce has reduced to creamy consistency.

Honey Money Fried Chicken (Serves 4)

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces

2 c. local wildflower honey

1 Tbsp. blackening seasoning

Mix buttermilk marinade ingredients well, then add chicken. Marinate chicken 24 hours. After marinating, remove chicken from liquid and pat dry. Preheat fryer oil to 350 degrees. Place chicken in seasoned flour mixture and coat generously. Let chicken stand 10 minutes while coated with flour mixture. During this time, make Honey Money Sauce by placing honey into medium mixing bowl and, with a whisk, slowly incorporate hot water until homogenous. (You may not need all of the water.) Add blackening spice, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Fry chicken for 10 minutes or until internal temperature is 155 degrees. Let chicken rest in a warm place until ready to serve. If you prefer chicken more well done, cook an extra 5 minutes in the fryer or remove from fryer and bake in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes. Toss chicken in Honey Money Sauce and serve. For a true Southern twist, serve with waffles!

We’re always thrilled for any opportunity to celebrate our island community and the Southern culture and heritage that makes it so special. We hope to see you at the festival enjoying the wonderful music and fabulous food in gorgeous Sea Island settings that show off exactly how beautiful the South can be.


Southern California Close-up: Westside of Los Angeles

You’re an outsider heading to the Westside of Los Angeles -- not the beach cities, but Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Westwood and the nearby well-heeled neighborhoods south of the Santa Monica Mountains. This means you’ll be well-fed, well-rested and perhaps more closely watched by the issuers of your credit cards. Only the sultan of Brunei, it seems, can afford to splurge in these precincts without looking at price tags. But you need not spend liberally to learn a little about wealth, fame, geography and Persian desserts.

For instance, you’ll realize that Beverly Hills, like the “Mona Lisa” and certain leading men, is smaller than you might expect (5.7 square miles). You’ll recognize Culver City’s connections to Oz and the old Soviet space program. You’ll be reminded that there’s a big Santa Monica Boulevard and a little one (a.k.a. South Santa Monica Boulevard), which perplex the uninitiated by running parallel for more than a mile. In Westwood, you’ll see how death has united Marilyn Monroe and Rodney Dangerfield, among others. The details await in these 12 Westside stories.


Sony Studios (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

If Alex Trebek makes you swoon, you’ll want to check out Sony Studios (10000 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City www.sonypicturesstudiostours.com) in Culver City. Its two-hour guided weekday walking tour costs $33 (no children younger than 12) and can include stops at soundstages where “The Wizard of Oz” was filmed in 1938 and where “Jeopardy!” has been shot since 1984. If neither Alex nor Judy Garland makes your world go ‘round, think twice about this tour. For a more engrossing (and affordable) experience in the same neighborhood, get thee to the Museum of Jurassic Technology (9341 Venice Blvd., Culver City www.mjt.org). This odd little spot, open 2-8 p.m. Thursdays and noon-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday, is all about the joy of weird stuff, presented with great museological pomp. Shuffle through the tiny dark rooms, your jaw slackening at the sight of the trailer-park dioramas, Soviet space-dog oil portraits, a tiny sculpted pope in a needle’s eye and two dead mice on toast (the consumption of which is described as an old bed-wetting cure). Don’t miss the tearoom upstairs. Next door stands the Center for Land Use Interpretation (9331 Venice Blvd., Culver City www.clui.org), whose exhibits and publications have probed the underwater towns of America, the helipads of downtown L.A. and other notable human interactions with the landscape. It’s open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the afternoons. Then, to dramatize your evening, head to the Kirk Douglas Theatre (9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City www.centertheatregroup.org), a satellite operation of downtown’s Center Theatre Group that’s been putting on shows in this 317-seat venue since 2004.

2. Beloved burgers and newfangled photos

Annenberg Space for Photography (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Since 1947, the Apple Pan (10801 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles) has been offering Angelenos burgers and desserts. No reservations, no alcohol, no air conditioning. Order the Hickory burger (about $7) and maybe a big slice of apple pie for dessert. Then head two miles northeast to Century City, where you’ll park beneath the soaring cold metal and glass of the Creative Artists Agency building. You have not scored a meeting with CAA’s deal makers, but they will let you in next door at the Annenberg Space for Photography (2000 Avenue of the Stars, No. 10), a nonprofit exhibition space with a video-friendly layout and sophisticated digital technology. It’s free and open Wednesdays-Sundays. (Be sure to get your parking validated, or it will cost a fortune.)

Rodeo Drive (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Rodeo Drive shopping experience (www.rodeodrive-bh.com) boils down to about three blocks. Start at South Santa Monica Boulevard and make your way southeast, past Brighton and Dayton ways, to Wilshire Boulevard. See the impeccable salesman wiping fingerprints off the Cartier shop window? The strange staircase that architect Rem Koolhaas placed at the front of the Prada shop? The beckoning faux-European side street of the Two Rodeo shops? At the far end of your stroll, you’ll find the Beverly Wilshire (9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills www.fourseasons.com/beverlywilshire). This hotel, run by Four Seasons, is where Warren Beatty once lived, where Esther Williams taught 14-year-old Elizabeth Taylor how to swim and where Richard Gere brought Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman.” It’s not perfect an ungraceful ‘70s addition lurks behind the original 1928 building. But it has location, a Wolfgang Puck steakhouse called Cut and Four Seasons service. Rooms for two usually start north of $500.

Now take a breath. If you’re a true retail warrior, you’re not done shopping yet. Clustered nearby along Wilshire from 9560 to 9700, you’ll find Barneys New York (9570 Wilshire Blvd. www.barneys.com), Neiman Marcus (9700 Wilshire Blvd. www.neimanmarcus.com), Niketown (9560 Wilshire Blvd. www.nike.com) and Saks Fifth Avenue (9600 Wilshire Blvd. www.saksfifthavenue.com).

Bouchon Bistro (Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times)

You can try La Cienega Boulevard, the official Restaurant Row of Beverly Hills, some other night. For now, scope out the high style and smaller scale of the eateries on Canon Drive between Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards. At 225 N. Canon, glass windows reveal the steamy kitchen of Scarpetta, one of the region’s most highly rated Italian restaurants. There’s Wolfgang Puck’s flagship, Spago Beverly Hills, at 176 N. Canon Drive and Mastro’s Steakhouse at 246 N. Canon Drive, with its 48-ounce double-cut porterhouse steaks. But tonight you’re trying Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro (235 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills www.bouchonbistro.com) and choosing between the fancier upstairs dining room of the little Bar Bouchon downstairs and its steak salad for around $21. Later on, there may be dessert or a nightcap at Nic’s (453 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills www.nicsbeverlyhills.com), with its lively bar and walk-in, drink-in vodka freezer (the Vodbox). And after that? If you’ve recently won a lottery or sold a screenplay, take a few steps across Beverly Canon Gardens (241 N. Canon Drive www.beverlyhills.org/services/rec/parks/beverly_canon_gardens.asp) to the Montage Beverly Hills Hotel (225 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills www.montagebeverlyhills.com) and see whether there’s a vacancy. Montage, opened in late 2008, sports a Spanish Colonial-Revival look, with dashes of Morocco and Italy, and plenty of space in its 201 luxury-laden rooms. Rates usually start at around $595 a night.

5. A stroll in the park and a cubicle seat

Beverly Hills sign (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Grab a parking spot at the Beverly Hills Civic Center (455 N. Rexford Drive first two hours free) and walk or jog on the 1.9-mile greenbelt (a.k.a. Beverly Gardens Park) along Santa Monica Boulevard. At Beverly Drive, if not before, you’ll realize you have company: That’s where the big, gold “Beverly Hills” sign is, and tourists arrive day and night to pose by the letters. If it’s Sunday morning, head next to the weekly farmers market at 9300 Civic Center Drive. If it’s noon-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays, step into the Paley Center for Media (465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills www.paleycenter.org/visit-visitla), because, as crazy as it sounds, some of the best things in life still aren’t on YouTube. Here you can watch or listen to any of 150,000 old TV and radio shows. Yes, it has the 1962 black-and-white first episode of “The Beverly Hillbillies,” in which the Clampetts strike oil and come to town. It also has the 1955"I Love Lucy” episode in which Lucy and Ethel go rogue on a tour of the stars’ homes. The Paley Center also has sets, costumes and props that span television history, including Linda Carter’s “Wonder Woman” costume and the Monk’s Diner set from “Seinfeld.”

6. Nate, Al, Ali and Vanessa

Taschen store (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Nate ‘n Al (414 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills www.natenal.com) is a deli that dates to the 1940s. You can count on ample supplies of matzo ball soup and perhaps some schmoozing by talk-show icon Larry King, who’s been a breakfast regular for years. When you’re full, stroll down the block and boldly step into the Taschen store (354 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills www.taschen.com). But leave the young ones at home. This elegantly arranged shop, which feels more like a gallery, is full of pricey, arty, lavish and often naughty books. It might be $70 for a copy of “Linda McCartney: Life in Photographs,” $15,000 for a “champ’s edition” of the Muhammad Ali tribute volume “GOAT” (Greatest of All Time) or $700 for an appreciation of porn star Vanessa del Rio, promiscuously illustrated.

A Marilyn Monroe statue at the Four Seasons hotel (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Beverly Hills and environs have plenty of famous hotels, including the luxury-laden Peninsula Beverly Hills (9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills www.peninsula.com/BeverlyHills) and L’Ermitage (9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills www.lermitagebh.com), the celebrity-heavy Four Seasons Hotel (just outside Beverly Hills at 300 S. Doheny Drive, Los Angeles www.fourseasons.com/losangeles) and the massive Beverly Hilton (9876 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills www.beverlyhilton.com). But the elder statesman is the 210-room Beverly Hills Hotel (9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills www.beverlyhillshotel.com), which opened in 1912. Just a glimpse of the lobby’s golden glow and artful palm fronds hints that fame and fortune are concentrated here, and the rack rates confirm it: about $500 a night and up. So maybe you’ll settle for breakfast in its Polo Lounge instead. Or perhaps, like Grace Kelly, Cary Grant and Marilyn Monroe before you, you can pay just about anything but prefer a place to hide. In that case, the Beverly Hills Hotel’s slightly pricier sibling, Hotel Bel Air (701 Stone Canyon Road, Beverly Hills www.hotelbelair.com), reopened in late 2011 after a two-year-closure for additions and improvements. In case you’ve lost track of who owns both of these lodgings, they are part of Dorchester Collection, a subsidiary of the Brunei Investment Agency -- in other words, the sultan of Brunei.

Museum of Tolerance (Ken Hively)

First, fuel up in SoBev (Beverly Drive south of Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills) with breakfast or lunch at the affordable, busy Urth Caffe (267 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills www.urthcaffe.com). Now, slowly drive past Heath Avenue and Olympic Boulevard, where you’ll spy the backside of Beverly Hills High School (241 Moreno Drive www.bhhs.bhusd.org) and the campus oil well, wrapped in what looks like an enormous floral-patterned oven mitt. Three blocks east of the oil well, on Olympic, pause at Roxbury Memorial Park (471 S. Roxbury Drive, Beverly Hills www.beverlyhills.org/services/rec/parks/roxbury.asp), where there are tennis, soccer, baseball and play structures. Now ready yourself for a sobering look at multiculturalism, history and the Holocaust, tailored for children and adults. That’s the mission of the Museum of Tolerance (9786 W. Pico Blvd. adult admission $15.50). After all that, surely you’ll be wrung out, so consider the 49-room Mosaic Hotel (125 S. Spalding Drive, Beverly Hills www.mosaichotel.com), which sometimes has discount rates as low as $199 nightly.


UCLA (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Maybe it will help you feel young to see those UCLA (405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles www.ucla.edu) freshmen kicking a ball around on the lawn between Royce Hall and Powell Library. Or maybe, recalling that these kids were born in the 1990s, you’ll feel otherwise. Either way, with its 420 acres and nearly 40,000 students, the UCLA campus in Westwood will stretch your legs and brain. Wander on your own, or join one of the free student-led tours for prospective students and their parents most weekdays and Saturdays (www.admissions.ucla.edu/tours.htm). At Royce Hall, the 2011-12 season’s 36 gigs included violinist Itzhak Perlman, author David Sedaris and banjo master Earl Scruggs. In neighboring Westwood Village, you have the Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles www.hammer.ucla.edu), which spotlights cutting-edge contemporary art and later, there’s the Geffen Playhouse (10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles www.geffenplayhouse.com), which often features big names.

10. The stars at rest and a Persian dessert

Pierce Bros. Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)



more The Wesele Restaurant located on the Main Square in Krakow, opposite the Cloth Hall and the picturesque St. Adalbert church, makes a reference in its name and décor to Wyspiański’s great work “The Wedding” (Wesele).

more Kogel Mogel - polish restaurant a few steps from the Main Square - the place where a fine Polish menu is at its very best, prepared with a much higher level and care than one can ordinarily find in terms of ingredients and recipes - the duck and goose dishes are particularly excellent.

For More Information About Heart Health

American Heart Association
800-242-8721 (toll-free)
[email protected]
www.heart.org

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
301-592-8573
[email protected]
www.nhlbi.nih.gov

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
800-860-8747 (toll-free)
866-569-1162 (TTY/toll-free)
[email protected]
www.niddk.nih.gov

MedlinePlus
National Library of Medicine
www.medlineplus.gov

This content is provided by the NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA). NIA scientists and other experts review this content to ensure it is accurate and up to date.

Content reviewed: June 01, 2018


Watch the video: MadonnaFrozen


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    You have hit the spot. A good idea, I agree with you.

  5. Beldan

    I mean, you allow the mistake. I can prove it. Write to me in PM, we will handle it.

  6. Hietamaki

    the message very entertaining

  7. Daran

    In my opinion, mistakes are made. I propose to discuss it. Write to me in PM, it talks to you.



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