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>Some friends called me last night on their way home from the airport wanting to have dinner before going home; it was 9:30 pm when they called and I knew that by the time they got to me in West Los Angeles, most restaurants would be closed, so I suggested we try the Brazilian restaurant Bossa Nova.

Bossa Nova has been in business on Pico (near the 405 and 10 freeways) for about two years now, but they have extensively renovated and they now have a parking lot across the street and a front door. The reason I suggested we try this place was the new sign they put up saying that they are now open until 4 am seven days a week. I figured it was a good time to try them out since the great Chinese place Hop Li next door shuts it’s doors at 10 pm sharp.

The restaurant was fairly full at 10:30 pm, but it was easy to get a table wherever we wanted; a few diners opted for the outdoor patio on this warm night, but we chose to stay indoors with a frosted glass view of the bamboo plants. Service was friendly, but quite slow; we waited a good half hour to get our bread and another 15 minutes more to get our food. Once the food arrived we were happy with the flavors, but I would not order a steak here without specifying very clearly if you want your meat done less than medium well. All that being said, their seabass was fantastic, along with the mushroom risotto and the sauteed spinach. The pork chops were tasty, and the side dishes were well executed. If you choose your entrees wisely you will be rewarded here.

No matter the (few) shortcomings, Bossa Nova is a great addition to late night dining in the area; they offer delivery to the neighborhood, and having a Brazilian choice for late night is Bossa in my book.

Some friends called me last night on their way home from the airport wanting to have dinner before going home; it was 9:30 pm when they called and I knew that by the time they got to me in West Los Angeles, most restaurants would be closed, so I suggested we try the Brazilian restaurant Bossa Nova.

Bossa Nova has been in business on Pico (near the 405 and 10 freeways) for about two years now, but they have extensively renovated and they now have a parking lot across the street and a front door. The reason I suggested we try this place was the new sign they put up saying that they are now open until 4 am seven days a week. I figured it was a good time to try them out since the great Chinese place Hop Li next door shuts it’s doors at 10 pm sharp.

The restaurant was fairly full at 10:30 pm, but it was easy to get a table wherever we wanted; a few diners opted for the outdoor patio on this warm night, but we chose to stay indoors with a frosted glass view of the bamboo plants. Service was friendly, but quite slow; we waited a good half hour to get our bread and another 15 minutes more to get our food. Once the food arrived we were happy with the flavors, but I would not order a steak here without specifying very clearly if you want your meat done less than medium well. All that being said, their seabass was fantastic, along with the mushroom risotto and the sauteed spinach. The pork chops were tasty, and the side dishes were well executed. If you choose your entrees wisely you will be rewarded here.

No matter the (few) shortcomings, Bossa Nova is a great addition to late night dining in the area; they offer delivery to the neighborhood, and having a Brazilian choice for late night is Bossa in my book.

>I’ll be the first to admit that my knowledge of music could probably fit on a post it note. I once tried to play a music trivia game and could not answer any of the questions (we ended up playing Trivial Pursuit instead). My friends still laugh when they remember that I told them I “discovered” this new band named Aerosmith in 1995. I consider it a necessary part of my education to learn more about music by listening to more artists (and my friends agree).

I appreciate music of nearly every genre and I love artists who play from their hearts, whether it is a masterful guitarist, like Carlos Santana, a saxophonist like Gato Barbieri, or a pianist like Jim Brickman. Some singers use their voices as instruments; Brownstone, Christina Aguilera, Kiri Te Kanawa and Josh Groban all personify their music with the most unique of all instruments.

Music can calm your senses, ease your soul, and send you off to sleep. Liquid Mind V, called Serenity, or Liquid Mind III, called Balance, are both ideal for meditation or yoga. The Serenity CD has actually been used to calm hyperactive babies (it works on adults too).

Since nearly all artists now offer single songs for sale on iTunes, you can sample one, buy a few, or buy the album, it’s all your musical choice.

I’ll be the first to admit that my knowledge of music could probably fit on a post it note. I once tried to play a music trivia game and could not answer any of the questions (we ended up playing Trivial Pursuit instead). My friends still laugh when they remember that I told them I “discovered” this new band named Aerosmith in 1995. I consider it a necessary part of my education to learn more about music by listening to more artists (and my friends agree).

I appreciate music of nearly every genre and I love artists who play from their hearts, whether it is a masterful guitarist, like Carlos Santana, a saxophonist like Gato Barbieri, or a pianist like Jim Brickman. Some singers use their voices as instruments; Brownstone, Christina Aguilera, Kiri Te Kanawa and Josh Groban all personify their music with the most unique of all instruments.

Music can calm your senses, ease your soul, and send you off to sleep. Liquid Mind V, called Serenity, or Liquid Mind III, called Balance, are both ideal for meditation or yoga. The Serenity CD has actually been used to calm hyperactive babies (it works on adults too).

Since nearly all artists now offer single songs for sale on iTunes, you can sample one, buy a few, or buy the album, it’s all your musical choice.

>For the freshest fish you need to have access to both a boat and fishing gear, but for landlubbers, the next best thing is a commercial fish market. Going to where the restaurants go to get their seafood assures you of both quality and value for your money, but most of us do not want to go to a warehouse district in the middle of the night just to buy a few pounds of fish or seafood.

Thankfully, there is Santa Monica Seafood which supplies both restaurants and the public with two retail locations; they conveniently bring the fish to a market that is open normal business hours in accessible neighborhoods. Their product list includes everything from alligator to skate, and includes eight kinds of fresh salmon and sixteen kinds of frozen shrimp. If you are looking for that special fish to make your meal and for some reason they don’t have it on hand, they can order it for you.

They are moving from their Santa Monica location on Colorado to another storefront nearby on 10th Street and Wilshire in the Fall. The relocation will expand their store and include a cafe so if you don’t want to cook (or don’t want the smell of fish in your house), you can eat on the premises.

It may not be as good as catching your own off the boat, but for anyone who doesn’t want to bait a hook, get seasick, or clean a fish, Santa Monica Seafood is as fresh as you can get.

For the freshest fish you need to have access to both a boat and fishing gear, but for landlubbers, the next best thing is a commercial fish market. Going to where the restaurants go to get their seafood assures you of both quality and value for your money, but most of us do not want to go to a warehouse district in the middle of the night just to buy a few pounds of fish or seafood.

Thankfully, there is Santa Monica Seafood which supplies both restaurants and the public with two retail locations; they conveniently bring the fish to a market that is open normal business hours in accessible neighborhoods. Their product list includes everything from alligator to skate, and includes eight kinds of fresh salmon and sixteen kinds of frozen shrimp. If you are looking for that special fish to make your meal and for some reason they don’t have it on hand, they can order it for you.

They are moving from their Santa Monica location on Colorado to another storefront nearby on 10th Street and Wilshire in the Fall. The relocation will expand their store and include a cafe so if you don’t want to cook (or don’t want the smell of fish in your house), you can eat on the premises.

It may not be as good as catching your own off the boat, but for anyone who doesn’t want to bait a hook, get seasick, or clean a fish, Santa Monica Seafood is as fresh as you can get.

>I never took auto shop in school and know almost nothing about cars, so every time I hear a noise or see a dashboard light, I brace myself (and my wallet) for the inevitable trip to a mechanic. Like hairdressers, babysitters, and doctors, a good mechanic is a rare find. Trusting your transportation to a mechanic is less stressful than trusting your child with a babysitter, but in Los Angeles where cars are (almost) the only way to get around town, being carless is high on the list of stressful situations. Being a woman who knows nearly nothing about cars doesn’t help; I am a walking stereotype (like a naive sheep waiting to be fleeced).

I figured men with vintage cars would know the best mechanics, so I asked them where they took their cars for service; they referred me to Prestige Auto in Mar Vista. I needed a 30K service on my import; when I got my car back I thought they had replaced my old car with a new one because it ran so much better. I asked them what they did and they gave me a 15 point list of all the work they had done. The best part was at the bottom of the worksheet; the price was 30-50% less than what two dealers had quoted me for a major service (which did not include as many items as Prestige does for their clients).

One very nice bonus for women here is that this is a small family run business and the woman who answers the phone for service inquiries does her best to earn and keep your business; she explains the details without condescension, she works in as much of a discount as she can, and she lets you know the realistic time it will take to perform the service.

I no longer worry about my car now that I know a good mechanic, now it’s time to find a good babysitter for my friends’ kids so I can eat a grown up meal with them.

I never took auto shop in school and know almost nothing about cars, so every time I hear a noise or see a dashboard light, I brace myself (and my wallet) for the inevitable trip to a mechanic. Like hairdressers, babysitters, and doctors, a good mechanic is a rare find. Trusting your transportation to a mechanic is less stressful than trusting your child with a babysitter, but in Los Angeles where cars are (almost) the only way to get around town, being carless is high on the list of stressful situations. Being a woman who knows nearly nothing about cars doesn’t help; I am a walking stereotype (like a naive sheep waiting to be fleeced).

I figured men with vintage cars would know the best mechanics, so I asked them where they took their cars for service; they referred me to Prestige Auto in Mar Vista. I needed a 30K service on my import; when I got my car back I thought they had replaced my old car with a new one because it ran so much better. I asked them what they did and they gave me a 15 point list of all the work they had done. The best part was at the bottom of the worksheet; the price was 30-50% less than what two dealers had quoted me for a major service (which did not include as many items as Prestige does for their clients).

One very nice bonus for women here is that this is a small family run business and the woman who answers the phone for service inquiries does her best to earn and keep your business; she explains the details without condescension, she works in as much of a discount as she can, and she lets you know the realistic time it will take to perform the service.

I no longer worry about my car now that I know a good mechanic, now it’s time to find a good babysitter for my friends’ kids so I can eat a grown up meal with them.

>To continue yesterday’s inspirational theme of friendship, some friends are furry or feathered; your friend maybe a dog, and we can learn how to live happier lives by simply observing and behaving like our friend. Alan Cohen has a book called, “Are You As Happy As Your Dog?” which is a fun and insightful read on how to live a happier life. Simple things like, “dream with your feet moving” and “dig where the real bones are”, or “don’t settle for mush” are rules humans could apply to make life more fulfilling. Friends don’t have to be human to be helpful.

A friend is someone who not only sees you for who you are (even when you don’t), but someone who encourages you to become more of who you are by challenging you to grow and learn even if it is uncomfortable.

To continue yesterday’s inspirational theme of friendship, some friends are furry or feathered; your friend maybe a dog, and we can learn how to live happier lives by simply observing and behaving like our friend. Alan Cohen has a book called, “Are You As Happy As Your Dog?” which is a fun and insightful read on how to live a happier life. Simple things like, “dream with your feet moving” and “dig where the real bones are”, or “don’t settle for mush” are rules humans could apply to make life more fulfilling. Friends don’t have to be human to be helpful.

A friend is someone who not only sees you for who you are (even when you don’t), but someone who encourages you to become more of who you are by challenging you to grow and learn even if it is uncomfortable.

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