Sharon Tate: Recollection: Debra Tate's coffee-table book, out June 21, is a tribute to an actress some considered one of the most beautiful women in the world. The book is jam-packed with photos from her childhood through her Hollywood years ( including the movie Valley of the Dolls and her marriage to director Roman Polanski ). In addition, there are quotes from everyone from Polanski to Truman Capote to Diana Vreeland to Orson Welles. And there are no references to the unsavory way she died in 1969at the age of 26.
Frava ( www.drinkfrava.com ): Advertised as the world's first naturally caffeinated fruit juice, Frava ( "fruit + java" ) comes in a variety of fresh flavors ( such as peach mango and cranberry orange )and does actually leave one feeling a little perkier. A drawback, however, is that they're only available online.
Yoshi's Cafe ( www.yoshiscafe.com ): The Lake View restaurant has been around for more than three decadesand with good reason. All of the dishes ( including the Wagyu beef burger and the Japanese bento dinner ) are exquisitely prepared, and the service is second to none.
Columbus, Ohio ( columbus.gov ): Some people have pooh-poohed this cityand, usually, they've never been there. This extremely LGBT-friendly city has oodles to offerfrom impressive restaurants to some cool gay bars. Stay tuned for a report on this city in the coming weeks.
The Normal Heart: Ryan Murphy's take on the Larry Kramer play that follows the early days of the AIDS crisis features, among others, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Julia Roberts, Taylor Kitsch and Jim Parsons. All of the actors acquit themselves admirablybut Bomer, Roberts and Parsons are definite standouts in this moving HBO adaptation. Be sure to purchase this when it comes out on DVD Aug. 26 ( and catch it when it airs in June on HBO and HBO2 ).
... and one worth avoiding
Andy's Thai Kitchen ( andysthaikitchen.com ): While the food is certainly above average ( and I'm basing this on my first visit there ), a follow-up yielded no eats and even surlier service than I encountered initially. ( We left the place and went to a much more enjoyable restaurant: Hema's. ) The owner followed up with an email apology but stated, "[O]ne of the disadvantages to this is that many Thai people learn English as a second language which can in turn lead to poor communication and elevated anxiety when when our restaurant becomes busy."
I've been to plenty of Thai restaurants where the service is much nicer. If you must go here, you might be better off ordering carryout.
By Andrew Davis
( Andrew@WindyCityMediaGroup.com )