LA LA Land
As promised, here is the list of my favorite LA spots, for pretty much everything.
(Kiss from the fabulous Andy on my 24th Birthday at the Beverly Hills Hotel)
Equinox West Hollywood
99.9% of the people who work out here are beautiful with perfect bodies. Some people don’t like the atmosphere and find it pretentious. But I’m motivated to get my ass in gear when I see a woman twice my age wtih rock hard abs. Amazing spin classes (Instructors: Keith, Rich, Eileen), challenging yoga taught by Kristin, and a tough toning class called All The Right Moves taught by Grace.
If you prefer an outdoor workout, go hiking in West Hollywood. You’ll get an amazing view of the city, and on a clear day, you can see the ocean.
The Beverly Hills Hotel
Sit poolside and enjoy a serene poolside atmosphere with your McCarthy Salad. Ridiculously expensive, but you’re paying for the whole package. I also love creating my own omelette – they’ll pretty much make anything you want. Ask for Louis. Skip the Polo Lounge, it’s stuffy and boring.
Despite the fact that it’s located across the street from the Peninsula Hotel(my favorite hotel in LA), it’s not expensive at all. And everyone there does a spectacular job. Get a mani/pedi from Christine or Tua, and an eyebrow waxing from Ana for only $45.
For the best chicken sandwich in town, hit up Il Tram on Canon and Little Santa Monica in Beverly Hills. Order, The Chicken Special, extra hot, with extra sauce on the side. It’s heavenly.
Peet’s Coffee v. Coffee Bean
For straight up coffee, go to Peet’s. For an Ice Blended (the Vanilla Ultimate being the best), go to Coffee Bean. End of story.
Brunch in West Hollywood doesn’t get better than Toast. You’ll have to wait a while, but it’s totally worth it. Great food and people watching.
My favorite steakhouse in LA. On Canon in Beverly Hills, Maestro’s has the best bone-in fillet and pecan pie. For the best people watching, sit upstairs (although it can get loud, just try to sit away from the piano). Spago is really good as well (sit outside).
For low-key but delicious Italian, I love Trattoria Amici at the Beverly Terrace hotel. You really need to get a table outside on the small patio. Last time I ate here, the place was empty with the exception of the table next to us: Penelope Cruz, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, and a couple producers. Order the turkey entre, yum!
Asia De Cuba
The LA restaurant at the Mondrian hotel is much better than it’s NYC location. Sit outside and get a great view of the city. Go for lunch or dinner.
Again, much better in LA than NYC. Love the food, love the scene. Reservations in advance are a must!
What a scene! You’re sure to spot a handful of celebs here. Just make sure you’ve brought your celebrity budget to pay for the meal. Forget about ordering and trust your waiter to do it for you. (Again, much better in LA).
Gourmet tapas with an amazing wine list.
More incredible low key Italian nestled up Laurel Canyon.
At Magnolia in Hollywood, you’ll find affordable, delicious American food in a modern but warm setting. A great place for a fun group dinner.
Cobras & Matadors
Delicious and casual tapas in West Hollywood. Bring your own wine.
Very casual and VERY good. The food is Brazilian, but you could argue some Italian as well. 3 locations in LA, but I like the West Hollywood location the best, then Robertson, don’t bother going to the one in BH. My favorite thing is the Bossa Salad, with chicken, no onions, chopped.
Under the radar Mexican food on Sunset that’s really good.
Best Fast Food: Whole Foods, In-N-Out (order your burger “Animal Style.” trust me), and Baja Fresh (delicious taco salad)
Best Expensive Shopping: Robertson(between 3rd and Melrose), Melrose Place(east of La Cienega), Montana (a lovely stroll in Santa Monica), Neiman Marcus and Barney’s
Best Bargain Shopping: Third Street Promenade (Santa Monica), Loehmann’s(La Cienega), Century City Mall
Places to See: Venice Beach, Sunset Strip at night, Rodeo drive, Hollywood Boulevard, a hike up Runyon Canyon, hmmm….
Fun lounges: 1912 (at the Beverly Hills Hotel), Peninsula Bar, Wilshire bar, The Bowery, Jones Bar (good food too!), Brass Monkey (karaoke), Teddy’s, Cabo Cantina (sports, day drinking, happy hour)
Places to skip: The Ivy (the food is awful), the bar at the Four Seasons, clubs in general, The Little Door, Trader Vic’s
I’m sure I’ll think of other stuff and update my list. Hope this helps!