HITS Daily Double
Hockey playoff games are tense from the opening face-off, with a single goal often making the difference, and the sport’s sudden-death overtime is the single most nail-biting, intense action in any sport.


A Lot of You Will Head Out on the Highway, Looking for Adventure This Weakend, but Not Us. We’re Born to Be Mild.
This weekend, you could drive in heavy traffic out to the desert and spend two days jammed into a gigantic moshpit with thousands of smelly, narcoticized young Americans, you could go to the multiplex to check out the first “reality movie,” or you could remain in the comfort of your domicile and watch playoff games, listen to music, maybe read a book. Talk about your tough choices…

Daniel Mason, The Piano Tuner (Knopf): This novel by a first-time author takes place in Burma near the end of the 19th century. In an exotic narrative that recalls Apocalypse Now and Fitzcarraldo, an eccentric English soldier attempts to tame the warring tribes with art and music. He sends back to England for someone to tune a grand piano in his possession, which is where the story begins. The first half recounts the piano tuner’s journey as he leaves his wife and comfortable life and journeys halfway around the world, into what can only be described as the heart of darkness. In many ways, the second half parallels what happens when Martin Sheen gets to Brando deep in the jungle. This is a gripping story, poetic and dreamlike. It’s also a history lesson: The action takes place adjacent to what was then French Indochina, and, as conflict rages among the French, English and local tribes, Mason traces the beginnings of the force field that would rip the region apart six decades later. —LB

2. NHL Playoffs: They might take a backseat in the public mind to their NBA brethren, but the war for the Stanley Cup may well be the more compelling spectacle this year. In case you haven’t been paying attention, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks appear to be duplicating last fall’s miracle run by their Disney corporate partners (until now, anyway) the Angels. Their sweep of the Detroit Red Wings in the opening round is every bit as shocking as the baseball team’s dismantling of those damn Yankees. And, with such glamour teams as the Colorado Avalanche also eliminated, the Ducks now face the favored Dallas Stars with a chance to skate into the finals. Hockey playoff games are tense from the opening face-off, with one goal often making the difference, and the sport’s sudden-death overtime is the single most nail-biting, intense action in any sport. This year’s race is completely wide-open and, while you may not be able to name five hockey players other than Mario Lemieux and the long-retired Wayne Gretzky, don’t let that spoil your pleasure. Watching the most blue-collar of professional athletes fly up and down the ice with sticks raised and pucks traveling at speeds of more than 100 mph is way more compelling than Survivor. —RT

3. The Music of Six Feet Under: Who doesn't look forward to Sunday nights? Not because you have to wake up for work the next day (duh!) but for the greatest show on television: HBO's Six Feet Under. Throw away that reality TV and watch something that brings you REAL emotion. Not only are the characters compelling, a bit creepy and wonderful, but the music…ahhh…the music. Don't you watch and hear a snippet of something in the background, whether it's on the boombox in Claire's room, or the music accompanying the scene itself, and wrack your brain in recognition? Well, after doing that a few thousand times, I can now tell you that there is an answer. (Strike up the "Hallelujah" in the background). Go to www.hbo.com/sixfeetunder/, check under "music credits" and free yourself from the madness that ensues when trying to figure it out yourself. Either that, or call Brian Corona. Now I can dig up my copy of Josh Ritter's The Golden Age of Radio and listen to "Come and Find Me," which appeared in a recent episode during the final scene and credits. Thank goodness for Six Feet Under, the Internet and to the amazing Gary Calamar of KCRW, who picks the music, for making us want to hear more! —ES

4. Dan Tana's: This is one of those places that stands beyond right now and witnesses a clubby side of old Hollywood. When you're there, you feel part of something so much more than you'll ever be. You know those maitre d's have seen it all; the waiters are indulgent of even nominally pretty girls; the red wine returns you to the exuberance of Lady & the Tramp, and the loudness of the room enhances the joy of living. And for those intime moments: don't forget the two deuces that sit slightly elevated, behind demi-curtains on the side of the backroom. —HG

5. Mr. Personality (Fox): I’ll admit it. I rushed home from work Monday night to watch the debut of the latest entry into the “Reality TV” sweepstakes. Here’s the premise: Women supposedly rate personality above looks in the list of things that make men attractive. Fox is testing that theory by putting masks on 20 bachelors and setting them loose in a mansion with one hot bachelorette, who will ultimately choose her soulmate without ever seeing his face. Here’s the twist, intended or not: NONE of the men are remotely attractive (the viewing audience was “rewarded” with a glimpse of their unmasked faces), and if mental instability passes for personality, these guys have it in spades. Talk about high concept! I was trying to sell Dave Beasing on the idea of a reality show about radio programmers called Mr. Lack of Personality. —IBA

6. Sen. Rick Santorum: This Republican Senator from Pennsylvania found himself in the middle of a shitstorm this week, after his remarks on homosexuality (from an AP interview) hit the wires. As a gauge of Christian Right ignorance, the interview is a stunner: Santorum asserted that protecting the right to consensual, private gay sex—as the Supreme Court could do by declaring states’ sodomy laws unconstitutional—is tantamount to safeguarding incest, bigamy and adultery. Um, huh? While the splashy, sweeping stupidity of this remark has received the most attention, the senator’s claim that homosexual acts (he now says he’s not against homosexuals, as long as they don’t “act on” their urges) somehow threaten the institution of marriage is equally mystifying. How, exactly, does that one work? Best not to bother asking, when it’s so much more fun to watch the man back-pedaling frantically. “Forget John Gotti or Tony Soprano—Rick Santorum better watch out for The Pink Hand,” warns music-biz wag Larry Dvoskin. “Mike Ovitz found out the hard way...his career is sleeping with the fishes.” Perhaps certain politicians shouldn’t “act on” the impulse to open their mouths. —SG

7. Neal Karlen, Babes in Toyland: The Making and Selling of a Rock and Roll Band (Times Books/Random House): Published in 1994, this narrative recounting the rise and fall of the all-grrrl Minneapolis punk band offers one of the most illuminating views of the music industry’s inner workings since Geoffrey Stokes’ '70s epic, Starmaking Machinery. And while the story takes place in the early ’90s, it seems to be a far more innocent, almost quaint, time as WB A&R exec Tim Carr tries to shepherd the group through its first major-label release before it comes apart at the seams. Singer Kat Bjelland battles ex-bandmate Courtney Love over the origin of the baby-doll-dress look, and bassist Michelle Leon falls into despair, leaving the band after the shooting death of her boyfriend, Black Flag roadie Joe Cole. Meanwhile, the label seeks approval from self-proclaimed dean of American rock critics Robert Christgau. It’s all set against the backdrop of alternapunk’s Nirvana-led explosion, as record companies fall all over one another trying to get on the bandwagon. We were so much younger then, we’re older than that now. —RT

8. Lotte: Gypsy-mystic-Taj-Mahalic-bohemian-poet-dreamer-drifter wear. The shop is a cross between girly girly and the casbah. The looks swing from haute hippie to frontier girl to 20s glamazon… and they merge in a mix-and-match whimsy that's attracted even Madonna during her Ray of Light period. All I know is designer Lotte's sense of color is euphoric; they do fringe without ever making it gratuitous; this stuff sweeps and hugs the body in a way that's sexy not slutty and you can have fun with it. The batik summer dresses, skirts, tops and halters feel sooooo Isle of Capri, while the embroidered tunic dresses are as flapper as Zelda Fitzgerald's greatest moments. And they have cute shoes and not too expensive jewelry to round out your look. So if you want one-stop Penny Lane shopping, this is the place -- and tell Mary Ellen I sent you. (Melrose Ave, L.A.) —HG

9. Standing in the Shadows of Motown live: Unabashedly shilling for the just-released DVD version of the critically acclaimed documentary about the Funk Brothers, the unsung musicians behind the Motown sound, this road show wrapped up its national tour at L.A.’s Wiltern Theatre with a nearly three-hour revue. The concert unit features six of the original musicians from the glory days, with underrated players like tambourine/vibraphone genius Jack Ashford, bassist Bob Babbitt and keyboardist Joe Hunter. The 17-piece band, which includes several Philly International ringers assembled by documentary producer (and bandleader/host) Allan Slutsky, intersperses the well-known material with easy-going anecdotes. The deadpan Ashford relates one particular gem about playing craps in the back of the bus and trying to vacuum pot out of Marvin Gaye’s shag carpet while on tour. Joan Osbourne, clad in a red pants suit, leans sensuously into come-hither versions of “Don’t Mess With Bill,” “How Sweet It Is” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” Maxi Priest channels both Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye on “My Cherie Amour” and a medley of “What’s Going On” and “Mercy Mercy Me,” while Phil Spector alum Darlene Love is in startling good voice, wailing on Mary Wells’ “My Guy.” After several audience members are brought on stage for choreographed versions of “My Girl” (the guys) and “Stop! In the Name of Love” (the girls), it’s clear, when this group of veterans is laying down its patented gospel-pop sound, practically anybody can sing to it. —RT

10. Secretary (Lions Gate DVD): Nobody does creepy opportunist quite like James Spader. Maggie Gyllenhal is a wonderful evocation of the recently released mental patient who's looking for a job, in addition to her true self. Yes, the sex games start from a less than pure place, yet in the end, each of the main characters are delivered and find a deeper meaning to the notion of what really is than the pervy exercise that delivers them. Requires a little bit more adult understanding than the mere prurient viewfinding that might drive some to this film -- but whatever gets you in the door, if you walk out a little freer and a little more willing to accept the deeper stuff people have to offer, then you're richer for it. —HG

The party in the desert happens this coming weekend, and it looks as though the weather will cooperate nicely, so no one should melt. 0% chance of rain, but bring your umbrella anyway to block the sun-highs in the 80's might mar your delicate belly-white skin…or maybe that's just Ivana and Jacent Jackson… As Baz Lurhman would tell you—be sure to wear your sunscreen. Say hello to sweet Jim Spizarri from Goldenvoice, Smilin' Marty (now known as "Smoke") from XM radio, KEDJ's Dead Air Dave (who wouldn't miss seeing the Stooges for ANYTHING), 91X's Tim Pyles, The Donnas, Ivana and all the other cool kids who will get to see a plethora of sonic sweetness. Get there early—the must-sees for Saturday start early. Plop yourself in the Mojave Tent and you'll get to see South, Idlewild, The Rapture, Badly Drawn Boy, Hot Hot Heat, The Music, Ladytron, Groove Armada and The Libertines. If you make it to the main stage, don't miss N*E*R*D, The Hives, Blur and Queens of the Stone Age. Don't forget the cowbell for the first-night closers, the incredible Beastie Boys, in one of their rare performances! Day two, slather on the sunscreen and make a mad dash again for S.T.U.N., opening up the festivities in the Mojave Tent. Don't miss Rooney, Johnny Marr, The Von Bondies or the theatrical Fischerspooner. Eisley, Ben Folds and Interpol all play the Outdoor Theater, while Iggy & the Stooges, The White Stripes and RHCP all grace the Coachella Stage. Grab a white robe and sway along with the Polyphonic Spree—if you don't have a clue what I mean, this is a MUST SEE. Pack lightly, drink lots of water and rock & roll...dude.
—Erika Strada

When it doesn’t ignore them entirely, America has a habit of reducing some of its greatest artists to punchlines. Take Orson Welles, who revolutionized the cinema while still in his twenties—only to become, in his waning years, the fat guy from the wine commercials. Likewise, Dolly Parton’s extraordinary gifts as a writer and singer were obscured for years, in pop-cultural discourse, by late-night gags about her ample rack. She made a lot of those jokes herself, of course, and won over even hardcore country-music haters with her formidable charm. But it’s time to give Dolly her props. Mixed bag though it is, BMG Heritage’s Ultimate Dolly Parton comp gives a glimpse at the woman’s range and skill. Just revisit “Jolene” and the original, schmaltz-free version of “I Will Always Love You,” among other early songs, and try to deny her deep influence on songwriter-driven pop genres. Tap your feet to the movie-driven smash “9 to 5” and hear the authority with which she presides over what might have been a hackneyed marriage of Nashville and disco-fied R&B. Too bad this anthology leans so heavily on her much less distinguished work from the 80s (though her “Islands in the Stream” duet with Kenny Rogers may sound surprisingly familiar to urban music fans), only touching on the renaissance that began with her collaborations with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris (“To Know Him Is to Love Him” is included here). Dolly’s subsequent, joyous return to bluegrass marks both a return to her earliest work and new high-water mark for the form. Here’s hoping that work will be anthologized soon as well. Simon Glickman

Nada Surf, Let Go (Barsuk):
You’ve probably heard by now that this New York trio, who scored a PoMo novelty hit back in the 90s with “Popular,” have returned with a very different album. While it may not live up to some of the breathless plaudits bestowed by the indie-rock press, Let Go is a lovely little record. Melodic and melancholy, restless and rollicking, it documents a band liberated by obscurity. “I’m just a happy kid/stuck with the heart of an old punk,” sings frontman Matthew Caws on “Happy Kid,” summing up the disc’s ambivalent spirit. But ambivalence can be a powerful creative irritant, and Nada Surf, against all calculable odds, gets near greatness here. “Inside of Love” is a real heartbreaker; “Blonde on Blonde” has a narcotic grandeur; “The Way You Wear Your Head” captures the rush of infatuation with 4/4 energy and soaring hooks; “Treading Water” is the kind of really pretty, hard-charging rocker we usually only get from Dan Wilson. The slow, sad ones, though, sum up the album best, with the Surfers finding a shimmering zone between high-lonesome reflection and Nick Drake-esque languor. —SG

Yo La Tengo, Summer Sun (Matador):
“I’m not adverse to pillow talk,” croons my old Soho Weekly News rock critic colleague Ira Kaplan on YLT’s new album, which has just that kind of sweet intimacy. Along with Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, Kaplan and longtime partner Georgia Hubley, scion of the famed animation family, form indie rock’s favorite sweethearts, and their latest is like a whispered conversation between two lovers walking hand-in-hand along the ocean. It’s a musical melange that encompasses the Fripp/Eno ambience of “Beach Party Tonight,” the Radiohead-meets-New Order “Little Eyes” (its wah-wah guitar sounding like a steel drum) and the Ray Davies/Lou Reed melodicism of “Season of the Shark.” With bassist James McNew providing the empathetic heartbeat that binds them, Kaplan and Hubley push the envelope of boho domesticity and the definition of pop music.
Roy Trakin

Lizzie West, Holy Road: Freedom Songs (Warner Bros.): The front- and back-cover portraits are defiantly unglamorous but sexually charged, like mug shots as imagined by Helmut Newton. The photos represent but one of the several poses the onetime New York subway busker convincingly strikes on her arty and intriguing debut album. The flowing groove and logical hooks of “Time to Cry” could be mistaken for Natalie Merchant, whose voice West’s smoky alto most closely resembles. The vividly drawn relationship song “Dusty Turnaround” seems filched from the John-Taupin songbook—think Tumbleweed Connection. On the soul/gospel production number “Holy Road,” she morphs into a blue-eyed, blond Aretha, sounding like she’s spent her life in the choir. And on the sleeper “Doctor,” she’s Marianne Faithfull, Grace Jones and PJ Harvey rolled into one. What’s cool about the record is, every guise she adopts seems to further define her own identity. Neat trick. Bud Scoppa

Identity (Columbia Pictures)
Premise: Two travelers take shelter from a storm at a desert hotel, where they begin to be eliminated one by one.
Stars: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Rebecca De Mornay, Jake Busey, Alfred Molina, William Lee Scott
The suddenly very busy James Mangold (Heavy, Girl Interrupted, Kate & Leopold, Cop Land) directs someone else’s script for the first time.
Thumbs Up: Top actors in a creepy, Bates Motel-type setting could set off some Hitchcockian/Agatha Christie-styled sparks.
Thumbs Down: Looks pretty b-movie-ish for a cast of this caliber.
Soundtrack: Varese Sarabande album features score by Alan Silvestri.
Website: The creepy www.sonypictures.com/movies/identity/ includes a plot synopsis, information on cast and filmmakers, a chance to watch previews, and the chance to win a Killer Murder Mystery Weekend when you check into the motel and get clues.

Confidence (Lions Gate Films)
Premise: In this sleazy noir thriller, a grifter avenges a friend’s murder by pulling of an elaborate Sting-styled scam involving his unpaid debut with the mafia.
Stars: Edward Burns, Rachel Weisz, Andy Garcia, Paul Giamatti, Donal Logue, Paul Guzman with Dustin Hoffman in a flamboyant cameo as a hood with Attention Deficit Disorder.
Director: Veteran whiz kid James Foley, looking for his first commercial hit since ‘92’s Glengarry Glen Ross.
Thumbs Up: Looks downright Tarantino-esque in its combination of black comedy and terror.
Thumbs Down: A major movie potboiler masquerading as a hip indie flick?
Soundtrack: Thrive Records
album features an electroclash heavy list of performers like Fischerspooner, Groove Armada, Felix Da Housecat, FC Kahuna, Peaches and Christophe Beck.
Website: www.confidencethemovie.com lets you view the trailer, get showtimes, read reviews, see a webcast of the premiere, play the “Big Score” game and enter the “Big Score” sweepstakes. Also: downloads, plot synopsis, character descriptions.

The Real Cancun (New Line Cinema)
Premise: MTV’s The Real World hits the big screen with a tale of spring break in Mexican resort, brought to you by that show’s Bunim-Murray Productions.
Stars: Maybe some will be made.
Director: Rick De Olivereira segues from his straight-to-video title, Who Wants to be a Playboy Centerfold?
Thumbs Up: The R-rated movie offers more flesh than the TV version and the breasts won’t be blurred out like those Girls Gone Wild commercials.
Thumbs Down: If this succeeds, it could be the end of screenplay writers as we know ‘em.
Soundtrack: Thrive Records album features songs from A Simple Plan.
http://www.therealcancun.com introduces you to the 16 “party animal” principals, with their video profiles and sample audition tapes; gives you a Spring Break 411 with cocktail guide, drinking games, personality test and an interactive section where you can take polls, tell spring break stories, download scenes, create desktops, send e-cards.

It Runs in the Family (MGM)
Premise: A dysfunctional N.Y. family and their attempts to reconcile, portrayed by the real-life acting Douglas family.
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas, Cameron Douglas, Diana Douglas, Rory Culkin, Bernadette Peters
: Fred Schepisi (I.Q., Six Degrees of Separation, Roxanne)
Thumbs Up: Reality with a script, and an opportunity to be voyeurs.
Thumbs Down: As if the Douglases weren’t ubiquitous enough.
Soundtrack: Tommy LiPuma-produced Verve soundtrack includes Paul Grabowsky score as well as tracks from Diana Krall, Roy Hargrove and Dinah Washington.
Website: http://www.mgm.com/itrunsinthefamily/ gives cast & crew info, a plot synopsis, trailer, e-cards, downloads, tickets and showtimes, an introduction to the various members of the family as well as links to search your own genealogy and to www.MichaelDouglas.com.

City of Ghosts (United Artists)
Premise: Matt Dillon’s feature film directorial debut is about an American in Cambodia on the run from an insurance scam, only to discover more than he bargained for.
Stars: Dillon, James Caan, Natascha McElhone, Gerard Depardieu, Stellan Skarsgard
Director: Dillon
, with a screenplay by Barry Gifford (Lost Highway, Wild at Heart)
Thumbs Up: Graham Greene-esque tale is first film to be shot primarily in Cambodia since Lord Jim more than 40 years ago, with solid cast.
Thumbs Down: Advance word has been pretty muted.
Soundtrack: Lakeshore Records soundtrack
Website: www.cityofghostsmovie.com offers info about the film, multimedia, downloads, images.

People I Know (Miramax Films)
A N.Y. publicist on the downside of his career finds himself in a mystery involving politics and celebrity when a star he represents has to be extricated from an affair, then witnesses a crime involving the most powerful and influential people in the country.
Stars: Al Pacino, Ryan O’Neal, Kim Basinger, Tea Leoni, Robert Klein, Bill Nunn, Richard Schiff
Director: Dan Algrant
(last movie ‘94’s Naked in New York), with screenplay by Jon Robin Baitz (West Wing)
Thumbs Up: A harried publicist and a bunch of scenery-chewing vets.
Thumbs Down: Pacino’s had a bunch of stinkers in a row now with Simone and The Recruit.
Soundtrack: Decca album includes Jon Hendricks version of “Bye Bye Blackbird” and jazz vet Terence Blanchard’s score.
Website: The rather abbreviated www.miramax.com/people_I_know/ offers showtimes, a trailer, plot synopsis and screen credits. —RT

Week after week, I whine to my loyal readers about the lack of attention I’ve been receiving from the male population. I’m no longer allowed to bitch, because it’s raining men! I know how long a drought can last in this desert, so I’m drinking it up while it lasts. Maybe I’m being rewarded for having endured an extremely crappy, bruised and battered month of April. I’ve never been so happy to tear a page off my desk calendar and throw it in the trash. My sudden entourage of potential suitors has raised my spirits quite a bit. I realize that it’s utterly pathetic to gauge my self-worth on whether or not I’m being flooded with propositions, but to some extent I do—I’m not proud of this. Plus, it’s human nature. People have the basic desire to be loved, and I have the basic desire to get laid (oops—that slipped), so at least I have a reason for my pathetic state. This week’s cocktail is an example of the way a gal, like myself, is left feeling by the sudden onset of male admiration.

Dazed and Infused
(Precaution: This one is not for the impatient.)
Bottle of Stoli Vanilla
Roasted vanilla beans (a lot)
Macadamia nuts (a lot)
Cinnamon (not a lot)
Caramelized sugar (for the rim of the martini glass)

In a glass jar (size of jar depends on the size of batch you wish to make), mix together the vodka, roasted vanilla beans, macadamia nuts and cinnamon. The jar should be almost completely filled with the nuts and beans, then add as much vodka as will fit into it. Close the jar and put it into the refrigerator. This concoction needs to sit for 24 hours. When it’s finished, pour into a chilled martini glass (with the sugar rim) and enjoy, while snacking on some of the vodka-filled nuts. This recipe is for an entire batch of infused vodka. PLEASE do not drink the whole thing, unless you want the worst hangover you’ve ever experienced! Sugary drinks give the worst hangovers—take it from a gal who knows.

A problem has arisen with my newfound suitors. I’m afraid some of them have been getting frightened away after reading my column. I’m serious. Here’s how the scenario unfolds: I meet a random guy and he makes his play—asking me what I do for fun, work, etc. I mention writing a column and he’s genuinely intrigued. He wants to read it, so I give him the info and we exchange numbers. He calls (the next day) and relentlessly praises my writing, wit, etc., which makes me like him more. He comments on how he has the advantage over me because he’s read my last 20 columns and “knows” me, and can’t wait to read the upcoming week’s edition, promising he won’t do anything to afford him a negative mention. So far, he’s scoring major points. We chat on the phone throughout the week and make preliminary plans; he says that he’ll call that weekend to confirm. He seems excited, and everything seems good.

So, Thursday afternoon rolls around, and I sit down to write yet another amazingly funny and bitter column about how dating (and men) suck. At first I hesitate and consider censoring myself, because I’m aware my new suitor will be reading. But, if I did that, I would be cheating my loyal fans, so I proceed to write in my extremely open and entirely too honest way you guys love so much. My column posts on Friday, and I never get that confirmation call. What happened? All signs were pointing in the right direction with this one. Why did he disappear? It might be a coincidence, and maybe it had nothing to do with my babbling about hot men and lack of sex. What choices do I have? Well, I could censor myself, limiting the topics I discuss in this forum only to bars and cocktails, but what fun would that be? Instead, I’m going to forbid any man I’m dating to read this. That way, I can continue to talk about hot bartenders and, in turn, bash him when he pisses me off—all without him knowing. Problem solved… Next.

De’s pick of the week: My pick this week is partly the bar in question, but mostly the musician I saw perform there. I trekked halfway across the planet (to Silverlake), to see one of my favorite up-and-coming singer/songwriters dazzle me once again at the Garage on Santa Monica Blvd. I was a little put off by the neighborhood the joint was located in. It’s definitely not in the “trendy” part of Silverlake, but it was well worth the drive (and uneasiness) to see John Torres in this very intimate setting. As soon as the “right” people hear this kid, he’ll be giving Jack Johnson and John Mayer a run for their money on the Adult Post Modern format—and that’s way too much industry lingo for my column. If you’d like to be blown away by this amazing artist, check out one of his upcoming shows: This Saturday at Genghis Cohen (9:30 p.m.) or May 10 at Molly Malone’s (8 p.m.).

De’s diss of the week: I must not chase cute bartenders. I must not chase cute bartenders. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I saw the hottest bartender the other night. I stopped at Yankee Doodles last weekend for a Guinness and dinner (the latter of which I never received), and to my delight there was a very sexy guy standing behind the bar, waiting to fulfill my every desire. OK, maybe not my every desire, but that’s definitely what I was hoping for. Although Matt was such a hottie, Yankee Doodles on the Promenade in Santa Monica ultimately receives my diss of the week. I’m not mad at the bartenders—all of them took great care of me. The problem was that I ordered dinner and never got it. The bar rocks and the kitchen sucks!

Have a great weekend. If you’d like info on upcoming John Torres shows, go to www.johntorres.com or email my link and I’ll get it to you. As always, let me know what you think, and I’m still looking for your South Beach bar suggestions. Until next week—hugs and kisses. Denise Bayles

Contributors: Ivana B. Adored, Denise Bayles, Lenny Beer, Darren Cava, Karen Glauber, Holly Gleason, Simon Glickman, Erika Strada and Roy Trakin

Edited by Bud Scoppa