Whether you live in Los Angeles or are planning a visit, there are several excellent locales in the city where you might be able to catch a glimpse of one of your favorite stars. While you’re looking, you can even eat.
The Sky Bar (at the Mondrian Hotel, 8440 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA) is one of the hottest spots to see celebrities, especially as a nighttime venue when the view of the city is spectacular. It's expensive and exclusive and not easy to get into--unless you've got a reservation for dinner or are staying at the hotel. Then again, that's why celebrities like it.
MR CHOW (at 344 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills, CA) is not your average Chinese restaurant. Aside from menus without prices (the Chef’s menu) you’ll find all manner of A-list and B-list celebrities. Be prepared to have your wallet take a hit for food that you may not recognize, but the probability of spotting the shakers and movers of Hollywood rises dramatically in this setting.
The Ivy (113 Roberston Blvd., Los Angeles, CA), located mid-city and not far from Beverly Hills, is the traditional celebrity viewing restaurant of Los Angeles. The quaint country house, complete with white picket fence and front garden, serves up fabulous meals and renown cocktails. Paparazzi keep a fairly constant vigil, so you know you’re in the right place. Even so, casual attire is acceptable.
The Ivy at the Shore (1535 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA), although much less well known than her sister restaurant on Roberston Blvd., has the same menu and easy elegance. Located almost directly across Ocean Ave. from the Santa Monica Pier, you will rarely see the paparazzi camping here, but it is most definitely a celebrity hangout. Outdoor seating is comfortable nearly any time of year and it’s even more casual than its sister.
Shutters on the Beach (1 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA) serves up a much more relaxed and casual atmosphere, in keeping with the beach location. Although you can occasionally spot a celebrity in the restaurant, it’s the bar where you’ll stand your best chances. Right next to the beach, not far from the Santa Monica Pier or the Third Street Promenade, it’s moderate celebrity watching on a budget.
Bonus tip: If you’re serious about seeing celebrities, in high density and virtually guaranteed, then be in town during the Golden Globes or the Academy Awards. Just don't expect to be able to rent a limousine.