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Classy

NATIONAL
October 3, 2008 | JAMES RAINEY
At least one figure on the stage for Thursday night's vice presidential debate reached a high standard for reason, fairness and class. Gwen Ifill of PBS demonstrated abundant dignity as referee of the much-anticipated debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. The veteran newswoman lived up, in every sense, to her title: moderator. She directed the candidates to important topics, pushed to keep them on subject and betrayed no favoritism.
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TRAVEL
July 27, 2008 | Valli Herman, Times Staff Writer
Hotels used to harness the power of their own, instantly recognizable brands so effectively that when travelers heard the word "Ritz" or "Hilton," they had a clear sense of the look and feel of the place. Now that hotels have given the design reins to fashion titans -- Versace, Armani and Ferragamo, for example -- and aggressively promoted the brand names of their sheets, chefs and spa products, the hotel experience can feel like a stroll through the mall.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 10, 2008 | Kathy A. McDonald
IT'S NOT often that a chap in tails and top hat greets you and escorts you to a bar's entrance. But that initial touch of class and hint of a romantic bygone era suggests that La Cantina del Cielo (The Bar in the Sky) is one of a kind. It's within the tower that crowns Long Beach's famed Spanish Renaissance-style landmark, the 1926-built Breakers, and seems to float above downtown Long Beach, with an eagle's eye view of the Queen Mary and busy harbor beyond.
BUSINESS
March 22, 2008 | Kim Murphy and Henry Chu, Times Staff Writer
Inspector Morse tooled around Oxford in a Mark II. James Bond's archenemy, Zao, drove an XKR roadster, with an optional Gatling gun mounted behind the seats. When former British Prime Minister Tony Blair pulled out of 10 Downing Street for the last time last year, it was -- how else? -- in the back seat of a Jaguar. There have been Lotuses and Triumphs, Aston Martins and MGs, but no vehicle has epitomized the once-legendary British motor industry like that most English of cars, the powerful, sultry Jaguar.
FOOD
August 29, 2007 | Charles Perry, Times Staff Writer
THIS Labor Day, let's have a kegger. An elegant kegger. Forget all your images of frat-house suds sessions -- it's not about Bud, Miller and burgers anymore. These days, you can get a keg of the freshest, most recherché microbrews -- Anderson Valley Hop Ottin' India Pale Ale or Karl Strauss Red Trolley or Lost Coast Great White.
TRAVEL
July 29, 2007 | Kevin Capp, Special to The Times
Where are you? It's between 4 a.m. and whenever, and you're under attack. By strobe lights flashing like Morse code. By clusters of people jumping like fleas trapped in a petri dish. By the music banging against the walls of your ears. No wonder you can't tell time -- it's all you can do to put one foot in front of the other without a-tumblin' down. Welcome to the Las Vegas after-hours scene.
FOOD
July 25, 2007 | Betty Hallock and Donna Deane, Times Staff Writers
A cool shimmer of gelée catches the light, and suspended beneath its glassy sheen like a summer mosaic is a perfectly poached egg, an asparagus tip, some fresh peas, slices of carrots, pieces of tender green beans and sprigs of herbs. Spoon into it, first breaking into the smooth gelée and then into the rich, velvety egg. One bite, and the flavor of the gelée shines through, bright and refreshing and citrusy -- because it's made with Sauvignon Blanc.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 30, 2007 | Kevin Thomas, Special to The Times
"Ten 'Til Noon" is a triumph of ingenuity over budget, a taut, darkly comic thriller with a dart of pathos that holds attention like Super Glue from the first frame to the last. It is writer Paul Osborne's first produced screenplay and director Scott Storm's second feature -- the first was the well-reviewed yet unreleased 1998 film "Burn," a bleak fable of survival in Hollywood.
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