My LA to Z: Molly Ringwald

The actress spends her time in West L.A.

Molly Ringwald
Photograph courtesy of Wendy Waddell

The woman who defined 1980’s teenage angst is now a 42-year-old mother of three (and playing a mom on The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC). In Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family, and Finding the Perfect Lipstick (It Books, $26) Ringwald writes of embracing womanhood with style and humor. 


One of my favorite places for my daughter, Mathilda, is this art studio in Culver City. It’s just a really great one; it’s run by a married couple, and they spent the last year living in France. My daughter is learning a lot—they do sculpture, paper mâché, drawing, and lots of other stuff. We’re really psyched to have found it.

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It’s beautiful and really romantic, and I think it has maybe the best Italian food I’ve ever had in this country.

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3Third Street Promenade

Third Street Promenade

The only movie that I can remember shooting in Los Angeles was Pretty in Pink. We shot a lot at the Third Street Promenade before it was the “Third Street Promenade.” It was a little sketchy then. We go to the Promenade a lot now with Mathilda, and it’s so complete different.

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4Venice Beach

Venice Beach

My daughter is really into rollerskating, and so we will put on roller skates and skate down to Abbot Kinney, and if it’s light and bright enough we’ll skate down to the boardwalk and down to the pier and back. Her father wears the roller blades, but Mathilda and I are strictly old-school.

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Anisette Brasserie


Anisette Brasserie

Having lived in France for a long time, I think the food is very authentic. They don’t serve you too much, and I think there’s something to be said for serving the right amount of food. They serve a good boeuf bourginon and an excellent croque monsieur, and a really, really good French onion soup.

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6Farmer's Market

The Original Farmers Market

When I used to visit my aunt and uncle in L.A. (from her childhood home near Sacramento), they used to take me to the Farmers Market—the old part, with the stalls. I just love it. There’s a Mexican restaurant in the middle, and I always just want to sit at the counter and drink beer.

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Most of my favorite clothing stores are on Abbot Kinney. Milkmade has designers that you don’t see everywhere else, so you feel like you’re getting a one-of-a-kind thing.

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8Clover Park

Clover Park

I was playing netball there for a while. It’s kind of like basketball—it’s Australian, and it’s primarily played by women. I got corralled into giving it a try. I’m not a team sport person, but it was actually kind of fun.

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9Baby Blues BBQ

Baby Blues BBQ

We go all out—we’ll get the ribs, the pulled pork sandwiches, and stewed tomatoes. And I love the okra.

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10Pamela Barish

Pamela Barish 

She’s fantastic. She just makes really beautiful dresses, very elegant and just “vintage-y.” They fit my body very well. She’s an independent designer, so you don’t feel like you’re getting something mass-produced. I love her stuff and I love her style.

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I go there a lot with a friend of mine who is vegetarian and they do amazing roasted vegetables. There’s not a lot of restaurants that do good vegetarian food, and I think Gjelina is one of them.

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Images courtesy of (in order): (1) Alisa Rosseter, (2) Shi Jun Ng, (3) Paramount Pictures, (4) Flickr/by Steve Weaver, (5), (6) The Original Farmers Market, (7) Milkmade, (8) Flickr/by christopher.noellert, (9) Danny Fischer, (11) Flickr/by kthread