Seeing Stars: Celebrity Spotting in Area Restaurants

Celebrity Arrival

When it comes to spotting celebrities dining out in Los Angeles, you need not look very far.  At any given moment in the City of Angels, there is always someone famous who is either grabbing a latte, taking a lunch meeting, or getting together for a drink.  For those who do not live in LA, this may be hard to believe, but for those of us who do live here, we are so used to this occurrence that it almost becomes banal.  Sitting next to Jennifer Aniston at a Mexican restaurant or standing behind Harrison Ford in line for coffee is just par for the course.

There are certain restaurants in particular that have always catered to celebrities and, therefore, where a sighting is almost guaranteed.  The most notable among them is The Ivy on Robertson Boulevard in Beverly Hills.  This high-profile spot is notoriously staked out by paparazzi on a regular basis.  On The Ivy’s patio, you will see the likes of many famous (and some infamous) people—Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan,  Dustin Hoffman, and Robert DeNiro have all dined there. Chances of a run-in with a Hollywood A-lister are also highly likely at Spago on N. Canon, Koi on La Cienega, and Mr. Chow on N. Camden—all in Beverly Hills.

Several celebrities in Los Angeles are actually in the restaurant business themselves, usually as investors or partial owners.  For example, Jeri Ryan is partial owner of Ortolan, where her husband, Christophe Eme, is the executive chef.   Eva Longoria is part-owner of Beso in Hollywood, which is Todd English’s latest venture.  This restaurant’s lavish grand opening hosted numerous celebrities such as Sheryl Crow, Courtney Cox Arquette and David Arquette, Felicity Huffman, and William H. Macy.  Also, Jennifer Lopez owns an upscale Puerto Rican restaurant in Pasadena called Madre’s.  Patrons at Madre’s have included Ben Affleck, Nicole Kidman, and Christian Slater.

Upscale hotels are another haven for famous celebrities.  Their bars and restaurants offer a lot of privacy as well as great service, making these spots desirable for actors having a business lunch, dinner, tea, or cocktail.  Perhaps the most celebrity-heavy of all is Gardens at The Four Seasons on Doheny.  Its bar is among the busiest of all Four Seasons properties, according to the hotel’s Food and Beverage Director, and here you could spot personalities as diverse as Suge Knight and Steven Spielberg.  The Peninsula on Santa Monica Boulevard is another very popular location among the Hollywood elite.  Johnny Depp, Dave Matthews, Ashley Judd and John Travolta have all been spotted at this posh Beverly Hills hotel.  The L’Hermitage Hotel on Burton Way is also a very popular industry meeting place, particularly the area around the hotel’s pool.

Celebrities in Los Angeles are also commonly seen at more casual restaurants, often wearing hats or large sunglasses to remain low profile.  Toast and Quality, located in West Hollywood on 3rd Street, are two such places.  Both restaurants offer homey and somewhat health-conscious food, something celebrities tend to be concerned with.  Another popular all-organic and vegetarian restaurant called Real Food Daily is also a prime celebrity spotting locale.   Urth Café on Melrose in West Hollywood is another healthy foods café with a huge celebrity clientele including Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Mark Whalberg, and Sienna Miller.

Further west, Century City—where two of the biggest A-list talent agencies are now located—is also a good neighborhood to spot a celebrity.  Clementine, a quaint café offering prepared foods and gourmet sandwiches, is the perfect place to see a talent agent treating his or her client to lunch.

On the East Side, neighborhoods like Los Feliz are home to many casual eateries where numerous celebrities have been seen having a bite to eat.  Among the most notable is Fred 62 on Vermont Avenue in Los Feliz.  This hip, retro diner is open all day and night, and has been host to Ben Stiller, Drew Barrymore, Naomi Watts, and Mike D. of the Beastie Boys, to name a few.  According to the Fred 62 website, they cater to an “endless parade of celebrities.”  The nearby Dresden, also on Vermont, is a throwback to old Hollywood and is also a favorite among celebs who enjoy its kitschy décor, stiff cocktails, and piano bar vibe.

Finally, downtown LA offers one last infallible location for spotting a celebrity - the rooftop bar at the Standard Hotel.  This place offers amazing views of the city skyline, waterbed “pods,” nightly DJ’s, a dance floor, upscale food, and beautiful people.  And, if you look hard enough, you will likely recognize someone from your favorite movie or TV show.


Popular Articles

Exploring Italian Cuisine: Flavorful Regions and a Fresh PerspectiveDressing to Dine: Dress codes definedCost Cutting in the Kitchen: Chef Tips20 Smart Tips for Everyday GrillingOvercoming Food Aversions: How to Become a Successful Omnivore More Articles ...