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My LA To Z: Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri
The husband and wife duo, who co-created and co-executive produce “The Amazing Race,” are gearing up for this year’s Primetime Emmys (their show has won 14 times in 22 seasons). With a new cast set to jet around the world on September 29th, they share the spots that keep them right here in L.A.
Malibu Country Mart
They have a great, great playground. We take our daughter Ava there and she loves the swings and monkey bars, so we drive up a lot of weekends in the summer. The playground is centered around all of the stores and restaurants, so you can have lunch at Tra di Noi, coffee at the Coffee Bean, get your car washed—we knock everything out! There’s also toy store there we can never get past without picking something up for Ava. It’s just really laid back, beachy fun.
The Geffen Playhouse
The Geffen is so intimate. It’s an old theatre that they keep in top condition, and no matter where you’re sitting, you’re going to have a good seat. Not only do they put on really wonderful plays, but they always seem to bring in some top celebrities. We find that to be a treat! Leslie Moonves is our boss at CBS for The Amazing Race and he was honored there once, so we went for that as well.
We walk out of our house and Montana Avenue is pretty much right there. It has everything—you can spend the entire day on that street! And R+D is so convenient for us. We work until six or so, but if we want to stop and meet a friend for dinner or drinks, it’s just down the street. They have delicious salads, filet, and good hamburgers. It’s always busy, too, so there’s a nice ambiance.
The Getty Center
The Getty is such a great place to bring kids. It’s outdoors, it’s fun, and there are lots of musical performances. Not to mention the place itself is gorgeous—you get these great, high vistas of Los Angeles while you have lunch and walk around in the gardens.
Abbott Kinney Boulevard
We actually met in New York shooting a pilot for a new TV show in Tribeca, so when we want to find a piece of New York in L.A., we like to walk up and down Abbot Kinney. It’s got great restaurants and people watching; the shops in that area are a little boutiquey so they feel unique; the people are artistic and creative—definitely a little funkier. I [Elise] lived in Manhattan for 13 years in Tribeca and SoHo, and Abbot Kinney feels like the Lower East Side or downtown Manhattan for me.
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
San Diego’s zoo is one of the best in the world, but for convenience, the Los Angeles Zoo is great. They’ve got giraffes, elephants, tigers, hippos, giant tortoises—they’ve also got a cute little train ride, bike riding, and horses. That park is something really special that not enough people talk about. We try to go three or four times in the summer.
Annenberg Community Beach House
It’s right along PCH in Santa Monica. They have a great place where you can have breakfast outside on the sand. And they have incredible food. We tend to go for the omelets, scrambled eggs with cheese on top, french toast, and amazing coffee. They also have a beautiful pool where you pay ten dollars to swim right on the beach. It’s a really great hidden gem.
The Penthouse at The Huntley Hotel
If we have out-of-towners, we like to take them to The Penthouse because the restaurant is the whole top floor. They have a beautiful circular bar in the center of the room with tables set along the windows. For a view of the ocean, sit on the north side—you’ll be able to watch the stunning sunsets.
We like to go see theatre and musicals, and now our daughter is at a really great age where we can take her to these types of things. We saw Wicked there, and it was great seeing it in such a beautiful theatre.
There’s usually a line out the door, but it’s the best hamburger in L.A. if you’re patient enough to wait! It’s thick and juicy and they season it right. In fact, it might be the juiciest cheeseburger you’ll ever have in your life. They’ve nailed it.
Photographs courtesy of facebook.com