March 2010

Editor’s Letter—March 2010

Just what is it about vampires that fascinates? It could be many things: They’re immortal, amoral, nocturnal, hypnotic, stylish (back to Béla Lugosi’s cape). But intrigue us they do—at least the telegenic versions that populate TV and movies. Maybe that’s it: Vampires are good looking and, owing to eternal life, will remain that way.

From top: Wild Flower, Surf's Up, Memories Taste Like This

Or maybe we’re taken with the actors who inhabit the roles of these forever-young creatures of the night. We’re certainly charmed by Alexander Skarsgård. And not just because the towering Swede is remarkable in his role as Eric the 1,000-year-old vampire in HBO’s True Blood or that he’ll star simultaneously in two movies being shot in two languages for which he had to commute between two continents.

No, Skarsgård exhibited something we rarely encounter: The guy arrived alone with nary a flack or PA in tow. He drove himself to our photo shoot, arriving on time and ready to oblige us in our vision of the modern suit. In “Millennium Man,” a Q&A with Leslie Gornstein, the actor opens up about his approach to his career and his life. You can also see video of the interview.

L.A. is a fashion-forward town, just not in the conventional sense. We certainly pay attention to what designers are doing all over the world, but like most everything else, we do fashion our own way. We walk to a different drummer...and the rest of the world follows in our footsteps. That is reflected in “Wild Flower.” What makes spring style sing in these pages is an inviting mixture of patterns, colors, textures and a nod to military influences. What it is not is a rerun of the runways.

Mayer Rus is fearless in his pursuit of the best of architecture and interior design, as he found in the work of Barbara Bestor and Paul Fortune, respectively, for photographer Dewey Nicks. In “Surf’s Up,” he visits Nicks’ seaside home, which melds midcentury and contemporary, rough-cut wood and primary colors, outdoors and indoors, sophistication and family friendly into one low-slung California dream.

Kim-Maree Penn is a woman of killer style—literally. As she tells Annie Jacobsen in "Looks Can Kill," while she has guarded her share of celebs and pols, it wasn’t until Edison Chen—the Chinese Justin Timberlake—ran afoul of some very dangerous people after a sex scandal that Penn really had to get creative. The methods she used to whisk him to safety track like a real-life James Bond meets the Transporter.

Whoever thinks that L.A. is all about the new didn’t take Chasen’s into consideration. Although it has been 14 years since the venerable eatery closed its doors, Angelenos continue to lust for its chili, hobo steak and Coupe Snowball. Orhan Arli, Chasen’s longtime banquet manager, has kept the flame—and signature dishes—alive. Lora Zarubin digs into some very tasty nostalgia in “Memories Taste Like This.”

After this feast of reads, we hope you’ve saved room for dessert, because we offer up a treat: a tall, frosty root-beer float. And not like any you used to down at A&W (although those have a fond place in our culinary memories) but an all-grown-up creation blending artisanal root beer, premium vanilla ice cream and Root—a liqueur from Pennsylvania—that evokes the best of the soft drink, with a delightful punch.