It’s a quiet East Hollywood Cuban rum bar. They have incredible live Cuban jazz, amazing dancers—it’s really theatrical. You walk through a little cupboard like in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe into a cigar room and bar. Dancers dance on the bar, they light their breasts on fire—it’s like a speakeasy. It’s in a pretty dodgy neighborhood, but it’s not too bad. It has a nice little edge to it. Make sure you’re on the list on weekends; You can reserve spots on the website without having to pay for bottle service. Sometimes you even catch a glimpse of Jeremy Renner.
It’s a really local spot in Manhattan Beach. It’s kind of like Cheers, where friends meet. They have amazing pancakes. It’s a nice little change—it’s on the corner of the main strip, a little bit north, and you can tie your dogs up outside.
If you’re looking to have a little cup of tea, it’s an all-wooden, gray and white [building] right on the beach in Santa Monica, and you can sit out there and have tea and look over the ocean from the little lounge on top of the hotel. You can also eat in the restaurant downstairs. It’s very posh—very East Coast old money.
This place is good for something really quick and healthy. The Chinese cabbage salad is insane, just really, really fresh. I’ve gone there almost every day for four years, which is a feat in itself. It’s cool and really relaxed. A lot of cops love that place. It’s very L.A.
This is one of my favorites. It’s kind of the more cheap and cheerful version of Osteria Mozza. They’ve got fresh, wood-fired pizza, and the atmosphere is so warm and modern. They’ve also got great Italian wines. It’s just a really good restaurant—not pretentious at all.
This one is off Santa Monica Boulevard in the heart of Beverly Hills. The pho bowls are quite famous everywhere, but 9021 pho is fresh. You get to be in Beverly Hills, but you don’t have to pay ridiculous money for a meal.
It’s a stones throw from Chateau Marmont, [but] you can get in a lot more easily and the drinks are kind of fabulous. It’s got a great 1920s vibe—it’s got that old world feel to it but it’s right in the thick of Hollywood on Sunset. You feel like a movie star.
You can take out there, and they validate parking, but going during the week is best if you can. You can order out and eat on the beach or you can eat on these little stands with your feet in the sand. They do amazing seafood and it’s right in Paradise Cove, which is gorgeous.
If you want to impress your out of town guests, take them for tea at the Peninsula. They have a harp and piano in the lounge. I think it’s eight bucks for tea, but you get a little pot of honey and all sorts of fancy things.
This dinner place is old Hollywood: nice and dark, and it has an awesome bar. There are little tables with lamps, and they serve Italian and modern American cuisine. It’s a really solid late night dinner spot right in the heart of West Hollywood.
Photographs courtesy: (1) La Descarga; (9) visitwesthollywood.com. All other photographs courtesy facebook.com.