December 2011

Editor’s Letter—December 2011


PHOTO: BARTHOLOMEW COOKE

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, that’s George Clooney on our cover, photographed by Ruven Afanador. Actor, director, writer, Academy Award winner, force for good in the world and all-around really, really nice guy George Clooney. This month, we cover the “force for good” part in “I Spy” by John Horn. And because you can never have too much Clooney, prepare for a glimpse of his lighter side in our February Oscar issue, in an expanded photo essay by Afanador.

The holidays are here—time to celebrate all that is good and right. It’s an especially meaningful season for the congregants of Temple Emanuel, who are reveling in the renovation of their house of worship on Burton Way. In “Back to Shul,” design and culture editor Mayer Rus explains how Rios Clementi Hale Studios both reimagined and rediscovered the original plan of architect Sidney Eisenshtat, developing a “design vocabulary that married a joyous, contemporary spirit with a religious tradition encompassing both the ancient and the eternal.” Mazel tov.

More seasonal offerings await in this issue: In “What Gives?” we eschew organizational devices and concentrate on a great list of gifts any of us would be delighted to receive; and in a totally new take on holiday punch, Wyatt Peabody introduces us to Ponche en Nogada from mixologist extraordinaire Julian Cox, based on a traditional fall dish served in Mexico. In creating the libation exclusively for LA readers, Cox turns traditional nog on its head with walnut liqueur and mezcal. Trust me, it’s an ethereal cream-and-egg cloud of flavor that packs quite a...well, punch.

And that is this month’s LA, a collection of traditions from different faiths and cultures that live side by side here—like no other city. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and best wishes for the New Year.  —NANCIE CLARE, Editor