A recent 3 day trip to LA offered me an opportunity to check out some stuff that I haven’t before. I’ve done the California thing…all the touristy stuff and still fun to do with people who’ve never been, of course. But I always try to check out what’s happening locally that is beyond the usual recommendations. So between the official business dinners and social stuff I found a bit of time to check out some other spots that were interesting.
LA CIENEGA DESIGN QUARTER– just so happen that while I was there this Interior Design district was hosting an international show with many well-known designers and influencers in the area. There were parties, book signings, guest speakers and receptions. Lots of nibblies and drinks to keep me fueled for my planned 6 hours in this district! Jewelry designer Carolyn Rodney was at St. Croix where she introduced her first home collection. I went to see Tim Clarke at book signing of his stunning book Coastal Modern: Sophisticated Homes Inspired by the Ocean at Mecox. And I attended a panel discussion on the Mixology of Design. All so very inspiring!
A large part of the event was the “Legends of La Cienega Windows to the World” . Various well-known international designers presented their inspirational looks. Plenty of eye candy- Beautiful and functional elements. This fuschia India inspired room was created by Alissa Sutton who combined elegance with an edge. The event pushed along parts of Melrose Ave. where stores like Jonathan Adler and the super cool Fred Segal are perched.
THE GROVE and Farmer’s Market (189 The Grove Drive, LA)- outdoor mall is a fun place to people watch. This area started off as a Farmer’s Market and although it still exists, it’s attached to a larger outdoor village-style mall complete with trolley to get you from A to B. Lots of special events held here. And an unassuming Pinkberries is here too.
The GUITAR CENTER (7425 Sunset Blvd)- you’ve done Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, now check out the Guitar Center for their “Rock Walk of Fame”. Not too far from the others, it’s probably the largest guitar shop in the world. It also has the handprints of many famous musicians casted in the cement at the entrance way. Lots of photo opps here and you never know who you might run into there. Musicians travelling into town often stop here. They also hold events there.
Beauty Bar Apothecary (158 South Beverly Drive)- speaking of shopping, there’s no shortage of this activity in Beverly Hills. Even the most unassuming little shops often have the neatest trinkets that are hard to find elsewhere. BBA owner is knowledgeable and friendly and can tell you everything about the designers she carries. I fell in love with this little treat. And…it magically appeared from hubby on Mother’s Day. *smiles*
FRIDA MEXICAN (236 South Beverly Drive)- where can you get authentic Mexican in LA? A lot of places but this restaurant with it’s laid-back appeal has wicked good Margueritas and Sangrias. A great way to whittle away an afternoon on the patio. Prices are reasonable compared to the restos within mere footsteps to Rodeo Drive.
THE BLVD (9500 Wilshire Blvd)- snatch up a coveted spot on their patio for lunch, dinner or drinks. It’s positioned perfectly for the Rodeo Drive people watching…although, passer-byers seem to be taking pictures of us which was very funny.
BAO Dim Sum House– (8256 Beverly Blvd) you don’t have to drive out to East LA to enjoy authentic dim sum. This spot is modern but the dim sum is traditional. And it’s busy! We were taken here by our friends who are actors in Hollywood…so, keep your eyes open.
E.Baldi (375 N. Canon Drive) is traditional Tuscan Fare within the glittery streets of Beverly Hills. It’s romantic and cozy with great service. Dishes are not too fussy or complicated. Head chef and owner Edoardo Baldi, creates dishes with not too many ingredients and it’s fabulous!
Things to keep in mind…our friends there mentioned that it’s kinda illegal to wave down taxi cabs in town (if you can find one). So, keep in mind that if you’re wandering around like I did on my own, be prepared to wait a while for cabs or have store owners call one for you. BTW…if you stay at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel they have “house cars” that will take you to and from your destinations of choice within close proximity to the hotel.
Worth Mentioning! Brandon, the concierge at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel highly suggested going to Cirque du Soleil’s newest show IRIS that is currently running at the Kodak Theatre (soon to be renamed the Dolby Theatre). It was on our “list of things to do” but we ran out of time. The show pays tribute to Hollywood’s Silver Screen and I’ve heard it’s one of the best Cirque du Soliel shows ever made. IRIS is contracted to run for 10 years. It is the only other show playing in this theatre with a two months hiatus each year to accommodate the Academy Awards Ceremonies. For more information or to book tickets visit the official website www.cirquedusolieil.com
If you still want to mingle with the international jet-set along Rodeo Drive it’s still waiting for you. It’s a place for lots of people watching and window shopping….or shopping if you can afford it. The staff at all the shops were super friendly. I think they learned from Pretty Woman that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Most of the shoppers I saw were low-key and unassuming. Walking into David Yurman, shoppers and browsers alike were greeted with flutes of champagne and morsels of chocolates. I’m guessing that they won’t be making any “big mistakes” anymore!
And exotic car counting? I couldn’t help but think my boys would have loved spending time just watching all the Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s and the odd Bugatti Veyron drive by. Excessive? Yes, of course…but entertaining nonetheless. After all, it is L.A.
Oh…and look who I bumped into…
Ok..it’s not really Johnny…but it’s Ronnie…his body double! yep.
A few friends have asked me if I had bumped into any celebrities on this trip. I probably did…but honestly I usually don’t even recognize them unless someone pointed them out to me. Everyone seems to blend in here and “SO CAL” low key. I just figure people are people, but your chances are pretty high in these neck of the woods for celebrity spotting!
Ok..back to reality!
Have you ever bumped into a celebrity? Do tell! It’s always fun to hear those stories!