Santa Monica’s New Ristorante Al Mare Serves Seafood With Italian Flair

Polpo arrosto, parsley pesto-coated potatoes with haricot vert and fresh octopus

Polpo arrosto, parsley pesto-coated potatoes with haricot vert and fresh octopus

Freshly prepared butter, simply the congealed fat that separates from its milk when agitating cream, is to a fine dining establishment as a well-manicured yard is to a clean home. By serving fresh butter, a chef communicates his or her attention to detail and care for his or her guests.

At Ristorante Al Mare on the Santa Monica Pier, executive chef Giacomo Pettinari’s influence radiates from every dish that is served from his kitchen to the table. And it all begins with fresh butter.

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Inside the Critics’ Choice 19th Annual Movie Awards

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill at the 19th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill at the 19th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards

Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar was transformed on Thursday, January 16, into a glamorous meeting place for most of Hollywood’s biggest stars, as they descended on the 19th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. The prizes, given out by the Broadcast Film Critics Association since 1995, honor “the finest in cinematic achievement,” according to the group’s president, Joey Berlin.

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Loews Hollywood Hotel Is Undergoing Major Renovation

The famous Hollywood sign is visible out the window of a Junior Suite

The famous Hollywood sign is visible out the window of a Junior Suite

Rising 20 floors above the iconic Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue intersection in Los Angeles, the Loews Hollywood Hotel sets the stage for a very LA stay. And, as many aging faces in this city often do, the hotel is undergoing a bit of a facelift—a $31 million top-to-bottom renovation, to be exact, scheduled to finish in March 2014. I recently took a hard-hat tour of the property to see how the updates are coming along.

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How to See and Be Seen on the Scene in LA

Ana, Lola, Maxine, and Mary Anne in front of SUR Restaurant in West Hollywood

Ana, Lola, Maxine, and Mary Anne in front of SUR Restaurant in West Hollywood

Having friends in town is always an excuse to do things I know are available but never take advantage of. When Lauren and Ana came to town they wanted to experience Los Angeles from a girls’ weekend angle so Maxine and I put our heads together and organized some very “LA” experiences for them.

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Wake Up, Los Angeles! Nespresso Boutique Opens in Beverly Hills

Inside the Beverly Hills Nespresso Boutique

Inside the Beverly Hills Nespresso Boutique

It seems everywhere you look—no matter what metropolitan city you are in—there is an abundance of coffee bars and cafés. With so many choices, the question arises: Where does one go for the perfect cup of joe? There are your chain stores, such as Starbucks and Groundwork, or indie coffee houses, such as Cognoscenti and Intelligentsia, but those who seek something new can look no further because Nespresso Boutique has arrived.

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