In Jeryl Brunner's My City, My Los Angeles, released in April, famous people in L.A. share their favorite L.A. places. Below are a few excerpts, from the likes of Kim Kardashian, Dustin Hoffman and former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
What's interesting is that these places seem to reflect more on the person than on the city, and on the credibility of celebrity recommendations generally. Some may be legit places, some may be boring, some may be self-serving and some may be ridiculous. It's up to you to decide.
10. Selena Gomez
If I have a chill day, I like to go to the beach. It's really nice going there and just a 15-minute drive. So it's pretty easy. I love the noise of the beach, the vibe. I love all of it.
I just ate at a great restaurant called Cook's County and it's all farm-to-table food and is really amazing. The radishes with Meyer lemon butter are awesome.
Cooks County Restaurant, 8009 Beverly Blvd.; (323) 653-8009; www.cookscountyrestaurant.com
8. Anna Kendrick
It's funny. I trick myself into thinking that anything with the word “organic” doesn't have calories. But I love everything at M Café. They make all kinds of cookies and pastries. And I also love anything from Real Food Daily. It's another thing that I tell myself has no calories.
M Café, 7119 Melrose Ave., Hlywd.; (323) 525-0588; www.mcafedechaya.com
Real Food Daily (West Hollywood), 414 N. La Cienega Blvd.; (310) 289-9910; www.realfood.com
7. Tyler Perry
I go to BOA Steakhouse a lot on Sunset. It's not too far from my house. The food is good. I can get in and out despite the paparazzi. I'm really into grilled chicken and vegetables these days.
BOA Steakhouse, 9200 Sunset Blvd., West Hlywd.; (310) 278-2050; www.innovativedining.com/restaurants/boa
6. Vanessa Hudgens
My favorite thing in LA is Soul Cycle. It's the most incredible workout ever in the world and I am stupidly obsessed. It's like a club but a workout.
Soul Cycle, 8570 West Sunset Blvd.; West Hlywd.; (310) 657-7685; 11640 San Vicente Blvd.; (310) 559-7685; www.soul-cycle.com
5. Kim Kardashian
Owning a store has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl working at my grandma's store. It's just really fun to be able to bounce ideas off my grandmother who has owned a store my whole life. I was talking to my grandma yesterday and offering her tips about whether she should put up a website for her store. That's really special.
I'm proud that my sisters and I started with one Dash store. That was a huge reach for us and we accomplished that goal. And now we're onto three stores and we're hoping to open up a lot more.
We have all our fragrances at Dash and fun Kardashian things. We have a whole bunch of stuff. And we just moved our Dash store to Melrose Place. That location is way more convenient than our Calabasas location. It's so fun.
I'm born and raised in LA, it's really all I know. To me it's home. It's very comfortable and warm and my whole family is there. When I'm in LA, I'm a stay at home kind of girl. When I'm out in different cities, I'm always out and about. But when I'm in LA, I love being home.
Dash Clothing LA, 8420 Melrose Ave.; (323) 782-6822
4. Jesse Tyler Ferguson
I am very drawn to the Silver Lake Junction area. It's a little corner where Sunset Boulevard and Santa Monica meet. It's just a great little area, there's a farmers' market.
There's a wonderful restaurant called Cafe Stella. There's a great coffee shop called Intelligentsia Coffee, there's a tea shop, there's a little cheese shop, the Cheese Store. It's really very European; it actually kind of reminds me of New York in a lot of ways, because you can walk from one place to another, and not have to get into your car. And you always see someone that you know in the area, so it feels very small town, and that's my favorite area of Los Angeles right now.
I like the Cheese Store because they're really savvy with their products. I try to just let them give me whatever they think I would like. The other day it was a cheese called Blue Moon Cheese that was really good. Cafe Stella has great mussels and is a very good place to feel like you're definitely not in LA when you're there. I usually like to go in the morning after the rush hour. If I don't have to work it's great to go for a coffee run and sort of beat the morning rush. So I would have breakfast at Cafe Stella and just start my day there.
I am very attached to the weather out here. I love seasons, but there's something very nice about being guaranteed a beautiful day, at least one to five times a week. I came out to LA kicking and screaming. I came out for work and felt like I was taken away from New York before I was ready to leave. But I have grown to love LA. I have a home with a garden with herbs and things. I certainly would never be able to do that in New York City, unless I had a very large windowsill. Also, instead of having your life on your back, to be able to use the trunk of a car. That's also fantastic.
Cafe Stella, 3932 West Sunset Blvd.; (323) 666-0265; cafestella.com
Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, 3922 West Sunset Blvd.; (323) 663-6173; www.intelligentsiacoffee.com
The Cheese Store of Silver Lake, 3926-28 West Sunset Blvd.; (323) 644-7511; www.cheesestoresl.com
3. Dustin Hoffman
I just love The Broad Stage. If you are in Los Angeles, that decadent city, it's in Santa Monica and it's a beautiful theater. The theater has modern, beautiful architecture. It's very intimate with 550 seats. I'm the so-called chair of the acting part, Mikhail Baryshnikov is chair of the dance part, and Placido Domingo is the chair of the opera.
The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; (310) 434-3200; https://thebroadstage.com
2. Ben Stiller
I moved back to New York almost two years ago. But I went out to Los Angeles because I never really lived away from New York. I went to UCLA for a little while and then I came back home. I didn't have a good experience.
So I came back to Los Angeles and was there for a few years. And we were developing The Ben Stiller Show for about two years before it got to the point where we did the pilot. So, over that time I was going back and forth. It just seemed like everything was going on out there. I think more than anything it was a chance for me to live somewhere else and have an experience away from home that I never had. Then I ended up staying for twenty years. I liked the weather. That's a cliché. But I met friends and was twenty-five. I had my youth, in those years, twenty-five to forty-five. It's fun to be young out there.
Also, as a kid, I always wanted to go out there too. I was sort of fascinated. I remember going to see a filming of The Brady Bunch. My mom was doing a TV series for a summer out there and I stayed with her. And they were shooting The Brady Bunch on the lot where she was shooting. I met William Shatner and I was a big Star Trek fan. He was doing a show called The Barbary Coast. I remember the back lot of Paramount. It was just very exciting because I loved movies.
1. Antonio R. Villaraigosa
No place in Los Angeles embodies the spirit of the city quite like the Watts Towers.
The Towers were built over three decades by Simon Rodia, working alone in his free time, with no predetermined design. It is decorated with found objects picked up from Watts to Wilmington, like old pop bottles, scrap metal, seashells, and broken tiles–pieces of the city itself. Rodia referred to the project as Nuestro Pueblo, “our town” in Spanish.
Like our town the structure has faced hard times, almost being torn down in the late 50s after being mischaracterized as blight. But it remains standing–a testament to the City's strength and vibrant character. I go there sometimes to absorb its energy and marvel at the monument that in my eyes stands as the truest example of the beauty of LA, my hometown. Watts Towers Arts Center, 1727 East 107th Street, Los Angeles; (213) 847-4646; www.wattstowers.us
Reprinted with permission from My City, My Los Angeles: Famous People Share Their Favorite Places, by Jeryl Brunner. Published by Globe Pequot Press, 2013.