LA, Confidentially

By Josie Brown

You’re on your way to the land of celebrities and the Sunset Strip. Are you ready for your close-up?

You will be, after some of LA’s finest shopping and pampering. Afterward, check out these local hot spots, where they’ll treat you like a star:

Shop…then Plop and Get Pampered

Rodeo Drive

For whatever reason, everyone ends up at this shopping mecca, at one time or another. And why not? No purchase necessary, and window shopping is an art form. Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Gucci, Louis Vuitton,  and Gianni and Donatella Versace all have storefronts on its tony sidewalks. Sure, you can say the same thing about New York’s Fifth Avenue, London’s Sloane Street, and Paris’ Rue Royale. Still, if you like your luxury items with a side of celeb, nothing beats Rodeo. And yes, that woman in the humongous dark glasses salivating over the window display of Prada shoes really is Katie Holmes.

Rodeo Drive, between Santa Monica and Wiltshire Boulevards

Fred Segal

Fred Segal is the only mom-and-pop shop that can also claim to be a celebrity hangout. “Look, See, Feel Be, Love All” is the store’s motto, and Fred’s activism is embraced in all facets of Fred Segal’s mini-empire of men’s and women’s clothing, make-up, eyewear, and jewelry boutiques-within-a-boutique. Heck yeah, why not set trends, be posh, and save the world?

8100 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, CA

Melrose Avenue

If you’re shopping style has more of an edge to it, then Melrose Avenue is a perfect place to hang. Retro chic shops, vinyl platters, tattoo parlors, coffee hangs, trendy boites, give Melrose its lively vibe. Still, you may find that perfect little black dress-albeit in shredded and studded leather-at one of it’s hip stores: Betsey Johnson, Jonathan Adler, Cynthia Rowley, or Mui Mui, to name just a few.

Melrose Avenue, before, on, and after the 7000 block.

Beverly Hills Hotel Spa by La Prairie

Pricey, but thoroughly pleasurable. The Pink Palace’s 916-square-foot spa has six treatment rooms including one couples’ suite, private cabanas on the upper level above the pool.

9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 887-2505

dtox Day Spa

This warehouse-sized spa palace’s Friday Night Happy Hour special events are like walking into a gigantic pajama party. For $39, you’ll choose from a menu of 20-minute mini-treatments (facial, foot scrub, and a slew of body-part-specific massages) all while sipping wine, noshing on great bites. If you’re looking for full treatment, make a rez for one of dtox’s many services.You know you’re at the right place when the deep-tissue massage you got has you so relaxed that you imagine the giant Buddha statue in the reception area is winking at you.  All body treatments are done with organic ingredients. Oh, and don’t embarrass your gal pals by trying to lick off the Chocolate Lovers’ facial. Insteady, go out for lunch afterward.

3206 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles 90039
(323)665-3869. Mon-Fri, 10am-8pm. Sat & Sun, 10am-6pm

Check under “Events” for “Happy Hour Friday” dates. This is an RSVP and paid-in-advance event, and needs 48-hour notice for cancellation.

See, and Making the Scene

The Edison

Clark Kent would fill right at home in this sophisticated downtown LA club, which was once the city’s first private power plant, the historic Higgins Building. The Art Deco touches on the industrial is the perfect setting for its renowned flavor-infused bourbon drinks. There is a subtlety to its miniature menu. On some night there is live music. When not, the retro jukebox will do. Want to look at the skyline? Step out onto the patio…

108 W Second Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 613-0000

Trendy Eats


This sushi restaurant is ultra-hip and always hopping. If you sit at the bar, your food comes out on a conveyor belt. Best yet, it is reasonably priced.

Luckyfish Sushi
338 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA
(310) 274-9800
Open Daily, 11:30 am- 10:30 pm
Two-hour free garage parking


There is nothing desperate or for that matter, the least bit housewifey about actress Eva Longoria’s new love child, Beso. The word means “kiss,” and its celebrity chef, Todd English has a light latin touch for its specialty dish, paella, as well as Longoria’s family recipe for guacamole. Seafood is a specialty a la casa-as are celebrities.

6350 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
(323) 467-7991

Osteria Mozza

Authentic mozzarella is made from buffalo milk. The bufala mozzarella used in Osteria Mozza is flown in from southern Italy, then used generously in its delightful dishes. Don’t pass up the gnocchi, served in a light tomato sauce infused with threads of basil, then dusted with ricotta salata. The Fresno chile pesto is a real eye-opener. A specialty here is the tiny quail, which is trussed in pancetta before being grilled to a juicy perfection. Be sure to order orata, also grilled whole in a fig leaf, before being slit open and sprinkled with olive oil.

6602 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles CA 90038
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 5:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.


This cozy, cultured wine bar is a boite with a comfortable vibe. The spectacular mussels are drenched in a saffron broth and served with skinny fries. But also dig into some of the small plates: The shicken liver mousse, the gambas al ajillo (shrimp sauteed in garlic and olive oil), spicy potato hash in a smoked paprika sauce

8108 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 951-9890

Culture Clash

The Getty Center

Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, The Getty Center is eye candy from the moment you set eyes on it, out on high a hill that juts over the 405. Once released by the hill tram that takes you inside its compound, you see that it is not just one stark white building, but several interconnected pavilions-North, South, East and West-each housing a treasure trove of Western Antiquities, as well as some outdoor site-specific sculptures commissioned by the Getty. Walking the Getty is an all-day affair. You won’t go hungry. After feasting your eyes on such visual jewels as the museum’s 17th Century Flemish paintings and French Daguerreotypes, grab a bite at the Getty’s gourmet cafe, or its and its white table restaurant.

1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California 90049
Tuesday-Thursday: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
Sunday: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.;Closed Monday, and on January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving, and December 25th.
Admission: FREE; no tickets or reservations required for general admission.
However, parking is $8.

Seeing Stars . . .

The Griffith Observatory

The real stars in Los Angeles hang overhead. Despite the light pollution (not to mention the pollution in general) one place where star power reigns supreme is the Griffith Observatory, where, besides the world-class observatory itself, you’ll also find the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, public telescopes, and observing and astronomy exhibits.

3800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles 90027
Tuesday-Sunday (closed Mondays)

More Great SMW Articles

Open Skies: Is Discount Travel In Your Future?

Vancouver: A Feast for the Eyes

Single in the City: Top 10 Cities for Single Women