BURBANK AIRPORT'S READ AND RETURN
Buy a book in the airport's gift shop before your departure and return it on the return trip. As long as you keep the book in good shape and bring the original receipt, you're good to go. It's not a scam. It's actually part of the airport's book buyback program. Makes up for some of the downsides of this overrated airport.
KATE MANTILINI BLOODY MARY
We think the Bev Hills resto (9101 Wilshire Blvd.) has the best in town, but we're open to challenges.
ONTARIO MILLS MALL
In winter, we crave old-school malls, as in covered. And OMM is crammed not only with the typical (Quiksilver, Hot Topic) but also oddities like a Sanrio store and something called World of Flags -- not to mention the distinctive urban thrills of playing a few rounds of skee-ball at Dave & Buster's. Embrace the tacky--it's part of who we are.
THE FIRST 95 MINUTES
OF 'THE ORPHANAGE'
Until the completely tone-deaf Hollywood HappyEnding™, this Spanish thriller is splendidly creepy. Leave when the woman alone in the house starts screaming -- that's no spoiler, just good advice.