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L.A. rolls out red carpet for ASCRS

Annual cataract and refractive surgeons’ event

The Los Angeles Convention Center is the site of this year’s ASCRS Symposium and American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators (ASOA) Symposium & Congress, to be held May 5th through 9th. Against a backdrop of Hollywood glam and perhaps some Venice Beach outings, conference attendees, on May 5 alone, can choose from three subspecialty events — cornea, glaucoma and refractive. Or, they can spend the afternoon absorbing business practice guidance from ophthalmic business experts John Pinto and Corinne Wohl.

Below are the guest speakers scheduled for special sessions and keynote addresses.

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS SPECIAL SESSION

Former Senator Tom Coburn, MD, brings his down-to-earth style to the ASCRS-ASOA Government Relations Special session on Friday, May 5. Dr. Coburn — a cancer survivor and former business man who also served in the House before the Senate — will give his thoughts on “What’s Killing Healthcare.”

Widely recognized as an advocate for transparency in government spending, Sen. Coburn, an obstetrician, will share his unique perspective on how the troubled American healthcare system can be fixed.

OPENING KEYNOTE

Dan Thurmon, a motivational speaker, kicks off the ASOA Opening General session on Saturday morning, May 6. Mr. Thurmon will share creativity strategies to shake your team out of the comfortable “box” of complacency. His visual presentation literally defies gravity, and he will speak about work-life balance, among other issues.

BINKHORST LECTURE

Boris E. Malyugin, MD, PhD, opens the ASCRS General session on Saturday morning, May 6 with his Binkhorst Lecture keynote, titled “Cataract Surgery in Small Pupils: Building The Bridge Over Troubled Waters.” A professor of ophthalmology at S. Fyodorov Eye Microsurgery FSI in Moscow, Dr. Malyugin will share his strategies for protecting against complications during small-pupil phacoemulsification surgery.

SCIENCE, MEDICINE AND TECHNOLOGY LECTURE

NASA astronaut Capt. Scott Kelly will deliver the Science, Medicine and Technology lecture on Sunday, May 7. His talk will reflect on leadership, teamwork, life lessons and the future of space travel. During his 20-year career with NASA, Capt. Kelly spent one year on an historic mission in space. His book, “Endurance: My Year in Space and Our Journey to Mars,” will be published later this year.

ASCRS INNOVATORS GENERAL SESSION

Reay H. Brown, MD, will present the Charles D. Kelman, MD, Innovators Lecture, “Overcoming Resistance: Making Glaucoma a Surgical Disease,” on Monday, May 8. An inventor and widely published researcher, Dr. Brown has studied the potential for combining cataract surgery with a trabecular microbypass stent to reduce IOP in open-angle glaucoma.

HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

Gullapalli N. Rao, MD

Gullapalli N. Rao, MD is founder, chairman and director of the LV Prasad Eye Institute, a not-for-profit, multicampus eye-care system headquartered in Hyderabad, India. With the stated mission “So That All May See,” LVPEI provides state-of-the-art eye care for the economically disadvantaged. Since it was established in 1987, the institute has served more than 21 million people with treatments ranging from cornea transplants to stem cell procedures. Three LVPEI campuses are accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare providers (NABH), and LVPEI is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Blindness. Dr. Rao trained in India and the United States and has published widely, including longitudinal studies on eye disease and recent studies on cataract surgery outcomes and rapid assessment of visual impairment.

Karl Koller, MD

The late Karl Koller, MD, (1857 – 1944) was an Austrian ophthalmologist who introduced the use of local anesthesia to ophthalmic specialties. While working as a surgeon at the Vienna General Hospital during the tenure of Sigmund Freud, Dr. Koller demonstrated how cocaine could be used to numb eye tissue locally. This innovation was a breakthrough in preventing involuntary eye reflex motions and avoided the danger of general anesthesia or inhalation techniques. Dr. Koller relocated to New York City in 1888, where he continued to practice. He received many awards, including the first “Lucien Howe Medal” from the American Ophthalmological Society in 1922.

HONORED GUESTS

Luther Fry, MD

Founder of Fry Eye Associates in Garden City, Kansas, Luther Fry, MD, is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology. Dr. Fry is a clinical assistant professor in the department of ophthalmology at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, and a noted international lecturer who has performed more than 32,000 cataract surgeries.

Y.C. Lee, MD

Y.C. Lee, MD, founded Lee Eye Centre in Perak, Malaysia. He received his training in Singapore and the United Kingdom, and was a fellow at the Royal College of Surgeons, England before returning to Malaysia. Active with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness Singapore, he also helped introduce phacoemulsification techniques across the Asia Pacific region.

You don’t have to be a star to dine like one …

Uday Devgan, MD, this month’s guest editor and LA local (“I’ve been in LA forever”), and residents

Svetlana Pilyugina, MD and Kerry Assil, MD offer their insider advice on where to dine during your stay.

By René Luthe, senior editor

CHINESE

Mr. Chow
344 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills;
310-278-9911
Nominated by Dr. Assil and Dr. Devgan, this Beijing/original recipe eatery is sure to offer celebrity sightings and excellent food.

FRENCH

Bouchon
235 N Canon Drive, 2nd Floor,
Beverly Hills; 310-271-9910

Melisse
1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa
Monica; 310-395-0881
Dr. Pilyugina describes this restaurant as “upscale, but good.”

Providence
5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles;
323-460-4170

INDIAN

Bombay Palace
8690 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills;
310-659-9944
Dr. Devgan reccommends that visitors order the chicken tikka masala, and to make it spicy.

ITALIAN

Capo
1810 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica;
310-394-5550

Cecconi’s
8764 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood;
310-432-2000
“Trendy, great food, great bar and a typical LA atmosphere,” says Dr. Pilyugina.

Giorgio Baldi
114 W Channel Rd, Santa Monica;
310-573-1660
Nominated by both Dr. Assil and Dr. Pilyugina, this one is off the beaten path, but “terrific.” Like other places on this list, celebrity sightings are not uncommon.

il Pastaio
400 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills;
310-205-5444

Locanda del Lago
Third Street Promenade, 231
Arizona Ave., Santa Monica;
310-451-3525
The location makes it a fun experience for visitors, notes Dr. Pilyugina, but the food by itself would make Locanda del Lago worth the trip. “They make the best salt baked sea bass! It’s not a fancy, Michelin-star restaurant, just very nice and good food.”

Locanda del Lago’s Osso Bucco.
COURTESY LOCANDA DEL LAGO

Osteria Mozza
6602 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles;
323-297-0100

Piccolo Paradiso
150 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills;
310-271-0030

Sor Tino
908 S. Barrington Ave, Los Angeles;
310-442-8466
“Small, quiet, but amazing, authentic food,” says Dr. Pilyugina.

Toscana
11633 San Vicente Blvd. #100,
Los Angeles; 310-820-2448

SEAFOOD

The Lobster
1602 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica;
310-458-9294
Located on the Santa Monica Pier, The Lobster offers spectacular food and a fantastic, beachfront sunset. Dr. Devgan recommends the fresh lobster, Santa Barbara sea urchin and Copper River salmon.

The Lobster offers beachside dining.
COURTESY THE LOBSTER

Herringbone
1755 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica;
310-971-4460

Santa Monica Seafood
1000 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica;
310-393-5244

STEAKHOUSES

Baltaire
11647 San Vicente Blvd.,
Los Angeles; 424-273-1660
Patrons can expect “impeccable service, great wine list, terrific food,” according to Dr. Pilyugina. The bar offers an impressive light menu of its own and is a “wonderful” setting for cocktails, she adds.

Cut Steakhouse by Wolfgang Puck
Beverly Wilshire, 9500 Wilshire
Blvd., Beverly Hills; 310-276-8500
Another candidate that’s won the vote of both Drs. Devgan and Pilyugina. Steak lovers shouldn’t miss the tasting of three different steaks: Prime Dry Aged and American and Japanese Wagyu, says Dr. Devgan.

CUT’s take on a perennial favorite.
CUT BY WOLFGANG PUCK AT BEVERLY WILSHIRE, A FOUR SEASONS HOTEL

Fogo de Chao
800 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles;
213-228-4300
This Brazilian steak house has been “verified as terrific by many Brazilian friends,” says Dr. Pilyugina. There is also a Beverly Hills location.

Mastro’s Steakhouse
246 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills;
310-888-8782
Dr. Devgan advises asking for a table on the third floor, called the Mastro’s Penthouse, if you want steak, fresh fish or sushi.
His ideal Mastro’s meal: “Order the shrimp appetizer, a bone-in rib eye, lobster and mashed potatoes. Start with a Mastro’s martini and then do a California cabernet sauvignon for dinner.” A second site in Malibu is also excellent, according to Dr. Pilyugina.

SUSHI/JAPANESE

Hinoki & the Bird
10 W. Century Dr.,
Los Angeles; 310-552-1200
Located in Century City, this restaurant is “creative and delicious, wonderful for events,” says Dr. Devgan.

Koi Sushi
730 N. La Cienega Blvd.,
West Hollywood; 310-659-9449
Celebrity hangout with great fish.

N/Naka
3455 Overland Ave.,
Los Angeles; 310-836-6252
“Upscale Japanese-tasting menu for the foodies in the group,” says Dr. Pilyugina.

Nobu Malibu
22706 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu;
310-317-9140
“Definitely a fantastic experience,” says Dr. Pilyugina, complete with ocean views and a beach patio.

Sushi Gen
422 E. 2nd St.,
Los Angeles; 213-617-0552
Located in the Little Tokyo section of downtown L.A., patrons will find “ultra high-quality fish but a casual atmosphere,” Dr. Devgan says. Sit at the bar and “order omakase and pair [it] with Kubota Manju sake served in a wooden box.”

 

Takami Sushi & Robata
811 Wilshire Blvd. #2100,
Los Angeles; 213-236-9600
Also in downtown L.A. with great quality fish, Takami has a high-end atmosphere and a roof-top bar. Dr. Devgan recommends the rolls and nigiri sushi, paired with Ken sake.

Yamashiro
1999 N. Sycamore Ave.,
Los Angeles; 323-466-5125
Out-of-town guests will enjoy the great city view at night and the restaurant’s location in the heart of Hollywood, Dr. Pilyugina says.

DRINKS/LIGHT BITES

Chaya in Venice
110 Navy St., Venice;
310-396-1179
This Asian-fusion restaurant offers great seafood, says Dr. Pilyugina.

Father’s Office
3229 Helms Ave., Los Angeles;
310-736-2224
If you crave gourmet burgers; with dozens of on-tap craft beers.

Fig and Olive
8490 Melrose Place, W. Hollywood;
310-360-9100
Nice bar area, plus a great restaurant, says Dr. Pilyugina.

RD Kitchen
1323 Montana Ave., Santa Monica;
310-395-3314

The Honor Bar
122 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills;
310-550-0292

The Blvd. Lounge in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel
9500 Wilshire Blvd.,
Beverly Hills; 310-275-5200
“Perfect spot for a drink after shopping on Rodeo Drive,” says Dr. Devgan.

Nik’s Martini Bar
453 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills;
310-550-5707
Pefect for late night drinks. Says Dr. Devgan, “Be sure you do the vodka tasting in the walk-in freezer — they’ll provide heavy jackets for you.”

WHERE THE LOCALS EAT

The Ivy
113 N. Robertson Blvd.,
West Hollywood; 310-274-8303

DOMA
362 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills;
310-277-7346

Coral Tree Cafe
11645 San Vicente Blvd.,
Los Angeles; 310-979-8733
Dr. Pilyugina’s pick for something “easy and quick.”

BEST CALIF. CUISINE

Spago
176 N. Canon Dr.,
Beverly Hills; 310-385-0880

Sushi and sashimi offerings at Takami.
COURTESY OF TAKAMI RESTAURANT

SOMEPLACE DIFFERENT

Saddle Peak Lodge
419 Cold Canyon Road,
Calabasas; 818-222-3888
This hunting lodge in the Malibu mountains has a terrific wine list, more unusual game food, including elk, duck and venison, all served by a great waitstaff.

SOMEPLACE COZY, WITH ATMOSPHERE

The Little Door
8164 W 3rd St., Los Angeles;
323-951-1210
Dr. Pilyugina loves this Mediterranean restaurant that features great drinks, wine, amazing food and fantastic ambiance. OM