It’s awards season, which means the stars will be out all over L.A.–well, at least in and around Beverly Hills and on the Sunset Strip. A-listers have to (pretend to) eat somewhere, after all, and the three-course meal and the caviar bar at the Beverly Hilton during Sunday’s Golden Globes are just the beginning. Here are our power rankings of the top 10 places to spot your favorite actors, actresses, screenwriters, directors, and musicians noshing, juicing, or at least smoking cigarettes outside after pushing plates of undressed arugula around during awards season.
Don’t call it an all-you-can-eat brunch. Yes, the Sunday extravaganza at the Four Seasons’ power restaurant will indeed allow you to consume all the made-to-order waffles and custom omelettes you want while pounding Bloody Marys (or fresh juices, if you insist), but you’re at this hotel for the people-watching as much as anything. Start a drinking game that involves counting men with Audemars Piguet watches and be on the lookout for stars taking small bites of food in a hotel that’s been a regular meeting spot for Quentin Tarantino, among many other Hollywood players.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie once shut down the intimate Ten Pound upstairs bar for their own little bash at the Montage Beverly Hills, and you don’t have much of a shot getting into that small room even when there’s not a private party. Thankfully, you can star-snoop at Scarpetta downstairs, where chef Scott Conant serves the country’s most famous spaghetti with tomato sauce and, of course, also has gluten-free pasta. The hotel, where everyone from Meryl Streep to Al Pacino has been spotted, is also home to a ballroom where Sean Penn is holding his Help Haiti Home gala on Saturday, so expect Charlize Theron and other superstars to pop by the Montage.
3. Chateau Marmont
The patio at this hotel, which might serve the most under-the-radar plate of paella in Los Angeles, is always overrun during awards weekends and sometimes home to quick performances from Grammy-winning talent. If you’re lucky enough to get a table or crash a table, there’s a decent-enough chance that an Oscar-winning director looking for a place to sit asks if you have room to squeeze him in. Even on regular nights, this is the type of place where Bob Saget holds court at a table with John Mayer for hours. There are a lot of french fries ordered here.
4. Sunset Tower
CAA is having its tightly guarded Golden Globes after-party at this hotel on Sunday, so don’t even bother trying to crash that night. But the Hotel’s Terrace and Tower Bar should be buzzing throughout awards season, whether you come for lunch, cocktails, or dinner.
Wolfgang Puck’s Beverly Hills flagship is celebrity central year-round, with insane combos like Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen dining together. This is one of the better places to see stars and actually eat.
If you see bleary-eyed assistant types walking through the courtyard from Bouchon to the Montage Beverly Hills while carrying heavy bags, there’s a fairly high probability they’re sneaking pastries to a celeb-filled suite at the hotel. Movie stars brave enough to admit they like carbs might even walk across the courtyard themselves.
Wolfgang Puck’s Beverly Wilshire steakhouse, another place that has been graced by Brangelina, remains a prime spot for carnivorous celebrities. Yes, those still exist.
Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson is an investor in this new Beverly Boulevard hot spot, where chef Kris Morningstar is doing all-foie gras dinners next Monday and Tuesday, by the way. Don’t feel bad that Modern Family isn’t up for a Golden Globe; 21 Emmys are pretty nice to have. But if for some reason the cast wants to drown its sorrows or laugh about how the Hollywood Foreign Press won’t ever affect their syndication money, Terrine could be a good spot for them to do it.
Tal Ronnen’s plant-based restaurant has been visited by everybody from Don Cheadle and James Caan to Jay-Z and Beyonce. You can no doubt have a healthy, rejuvenating meal here, but there’s also plenty of wine and cocktails to make you consider a retox.
10. Spaghettini and the Dave Koz Lounge
With performances curated by nine-time-Grammy-nominated saxophonist Dave Koz and a baller location next to Spago and across from the Montage Beverly Hills, this Cal-Italian restaurant/late-night music venue could be home to some memorable awards-season jam sessions. It probably won’t be at the level of what happens at, say, a Grammy party at the Chateau, but the acoustics and pasta are a lot better here.