Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel
It’s a classic. I’ve been going there since I was a kid, and there’s no other place like it. They just recently got on the kale bandwagon, and they have a salad that has become my new favorite thing. The Fountain Coffee Room downstairs at the Beverly Hills hotel is also my favorite place to go for breakfast!
Farm Sanctuary’s Animal Acres
I’m an animal fanatic, and for me, this is the most amazing place in the entire world—better than Disneyland. They rescue farm animals that were either mistreated or hurt, and you can go pet them, love them, and just visit them. They’ll introduce you to animals and tell you their stories. There are chickens and turkeys and pigs and cows and goats, and they’re just perfect little angels. My last time there, I couldn’t stop smiling on my ride home. It’s just magical.
I love hiking up there because you get to see the Hollywood sign and the Observatory, which is its own amazing piece of L.A. It’s not as overrun as Runyon, and it’s beautiful. There are so many different paths, too. I can go alone if I need to think; I can go with friends—I grew up here so I’ve done all of the canyons and hikes for as long as I can remember. I’m always exploring different hikes.
It’s a gorgeous stretch of road that takes you through so much of L.A. I make sure to go up and catch sunsets a few times a week; it’s my time to breathe and appreciate the beauty around me. I know every single turn, I know every curve, and you’ll see the mountains and all the best views.
The food is amazing, and the atmosphere is really great—it’s an old school place that has remained cool. It’s kind of a black and white motif, and really classy. When the waiters know you, they won’t hand you menus. They’ll ask you what you’re feeling like eating, and then they’ll bring you something along those lines. It’s really a great place.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
It’s a beautiful place, and they have little lakes where you can hang out during the day—if you happen to want to hang around dead people. And they have the movies in the summer. It’s not something you want to do every weekend, but it’s definitely fun to take friends from out of town. The last movie I saw there was Psycho, because they were shooting an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 that I had written, and in the script the characters were at the cemetery watching that film. It’s a little creepy, but I think the fun outweighs the creepy.
I like the one on Larchmont. It’s healthy and light and the menus are fun. I love the positive vibe. They, too, have a kale salad that’s fantastic! It’s very different from the Polo Lounge—this is becoming a tour of kale salads! This is so embarrassing. I’m a total cliché!
Yamashiro Farmers’ Market
It’s kind of up there and out of the way in the Hollywood Hills, and I love getting up early and getting fresh things from there. I try to eat healthfully, and it’s fun to know you’re buying food from farmers who go out of their way to bring you healthy, organic things. This is every child’s gross-out, but I make really good Brussels Sprouts. I put a little seasoning, coconut oil, and then I grill them. They get brown and crispy and they’re so good.
Bob’s Big Boy Classic Car Show
There’s a Bob’s Big Boy in the Valley, and they have a classic car show every Friday from 3p.m. to 10p.m. People will tell you how they tricked out their cars and why this is their baby. Sometimes motorcyclists will go, too—it’s a cool thing if you’re into cars, or even if you’re not.
I grew up going to Dan Tana’s, but it’s still cool. And it’s a staple—it’s been around forever. It’s got those red booths and great checkered table cloths that are that classic Italian. And they have a really cool bar—actually, some people will go and only sit at the bar. I always alter my order because I’m vegan, but they’ll make whatever you want—they cater to your food needs.
Photographs (4) and (9) courtesy wikipedia.org; (5) courtesy mrchow.com. All other photographs courtesy facebook.com.