My LA to Z: Wendie Malick

Far less dramatic than the soap opera has-been she plays on TV Land’s “Hot in Cleveland,” the down-to-earth actress talks about her soft spot for horses (and cats and dogs), her love of live theater, and where to find a touch of New York in Los Angeles

Disney Hall

It’s one of the most exquisite halls, and there isn’t a bad seat in the house. We became subscribers and do the Sunday afternoon matinees with the L.A. Phil. It’s such a great excuse to go downtown.

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Greek Theatre

I like the Hollywood Bowl, but the Greek Theatre has an intimacy that I really enjoy. You’re tucked right into those trees. What I love about L.A. is that you can be right in the middle of this giant megalopolis and still find nature. You get to co-exist with wild things.

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The Celebration Theater

This theater consistently does stunning work on a shoestring. It’s a venue for gay and lesbian playwrights. I’ve been to several shows, and last year they did The Color Purple and won several awards for it. I think there were more people onstage than could be seated in the audience, but work like that—that’s why people go to the theater in the first place.

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There are places that shine during the day, and this is one of them. It’s a tapas place, which is a great way to dine with friends who are on the same diet that you are, who like the same kind of food. I go there with girlfriends for lunch: the best grilled octopus and calamari salad. It’s heaven. Plus, they make killer Bloody Marys.

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The Sunset Tower Hotel

This restaurant is very “old Hollywood.” it has a piano and fantastic martinis. You feel like a grown up, and I don’t always feel like a grown up. I always meet one of my agents there; we go once every couple of months. I like to dress for The Tower. My grandmother was always big on having a sense of occasion, and sometimes it requires a whimsical costume.

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Café Roma

This is a little oasis where people come together. On Hot in Cleveland, we order from them every week, so I’ve become quite the regular. They have the best chopped salad, it’s just amazing.

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West Valley Horse Center

My husband and I get our horse supplies here, and there is this guy named Buck who is a real old school cowboy. He knows all things horse. Just listening to him is like being transferred to another time. If you want to know what old L.A. was like and you want to meet a real cowboy, you should go here.

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The Rose Café

There’s something so familiar about walking around Venice because it reminds me of New York. I love being anywhere in Los Angeles that people still walk. Venice is such a colorful place and The Rose Café has great food. It’s the perfect place to sit and read the newspaper.

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The Getty Villa

For anybody who wishes they could go to Europe but can’t, I suggest you spend a day at the Getty Villa. You feel utterly immersed in Italy. There is a café, and they do Greek classics at night. It’s truly like being in a little Italian village for a day. It transports you to another time, another place. It’s just lovely.

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Blue Whale (Pacific Design Center)

This place is so overwhelming if you don’t go with an interior designer or someone who knows where things are. There are textiles and fabrics; it goes on and on and on. It’s an interesting way to gage what designs work in different climates, different places, and it was interesting to see how high brow or low brow you could go. It’s wonderful to see how people express themselves through design. I was an art major, so I love that stuff.

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Lemon Nails & Spa

I don’t know why it’s so much sweeter than anywhere else. They play classical music—that might be it—and there are lots of windows. It’s so light and relaxing. The women who work there are very strong and give amazing shoulder massages; it’s such a treat. And they don’t take a lot of people at a time, so it doesn’t feel like you’re on an assembly line.

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See Wendie present Benjamin Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” this Saturday, July 27th, at MUSE/IQUE’s Summer of Sound.

Photographs courtesy (in order): (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)  (6)  (7) flickr/mariachily (8) (9) (10) (11)