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Need a sure thing celebrity spotting restaurant

sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 07:52 AM

Ok, my sister & 15 yr. old niece are coming for a visit mid Feb. We possibly only have Monday night 2/15 to go to dinner (going to Palm Springs for weekend). Food is secondary (although it should be edible) to seeing someone famous. What is the #1 most frequented by movie stars restaurant? And we can't afford Cut. Bonus points if the star is someone under 50 that my niece would recognize.

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  1. Servorg RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 08:00 AM

    You realize that is not possible (having a sure thing siting) I hope? All things considered you probably will have the best shot at a mid week late lunch at the Ivy on Roberston or dinner at Nobu in Malibu (although Winter time sitings are probably not as common as mid week summer nights).

    1. ipsedixit RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 08:06 AM

      Early afternoon at Starbucks or Whole Foods in Manhattan Beach.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit
        sparkareno RE: ipsedixit Jan 4, 2010 08:22 AM

        seriously? I live in Redondo Beach--do you mean the WF in El Segundo? Never see anyone in the south bay.

        1. re: ipsedixit
          westsidegal RE: ipsedixit Jan 4, 2010 11:28 AM

          i'm a regular shopper at the whole foods in el segundo, and i've never seen a star there.
          maybe i'm not alert enough.
          gotta buy People magazine and bone up on the stars.

          1. re: westsidegal
            Xericx RE: westsidegal Jan 17, 2010 05:32 PM

            Lots of Lakers and Dodgers there. Best Buy I've seen a few there too.

            As far as restaurants, the Salt Creek Grill and Counter has some athletes during the weekday lunches.

        2. m
          mc michael RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 09:01 AM

          Although I occasionally see a star at a concert, I usually see them when I least expect to. They might be grabbing a coffee at Coffee Bean on Sunset. They might be getting be getting a prescription filled at Rite Aid at Sunset & Fairfax. They might be getting some groceries at the Gelsons on Franklin. Angelyne can be seen tooling around in her pink Corvette. I ran into Paul Mazursky getting a cat scan at Cedars. One problem is that in these settings you sometimes fail to recognize them until they are gone (good for them). Surely, the best opportunity would be if you could wangle a way into one of the studio restaurants on their backlots (Paramount, e.g.). Another possibility is driving around downtown and looking for film shoots which happen every day. That said, the Ivy (or Ivy at the Shore) and Nobu suggestions make sense. For years, Larry King used to eat breakfast at Nate N Als. Not sure if his heart will permit him to continue this. Ironically, you might have a better chance of bumping into a star in the PS area. Or as the Kinks sang, "You can see all the stars as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard...."

          3 Replies
          1. re: mc michael
            PurpleTeeth RE: mc michael Jan 5, 2010 12:41 PM

            Most of those film shoots around LA that you see are actually commercials and rarely with someone famous.

            1. re: PurpleTeeth
              mc michael RE: PurpleTeeth Jan 5, 2010 12:45 PM

              There are lots of commercials, but also films, CSIs, etc. Often you can tell by the signs with arrows posted on street light poles.

              1. re: mc michael
                PurpleTeeth RE: mc michael Jan 5, 2010 02:17 PM

                true, but a huge number are commercials and driving around looking for stars seems like a long shot.

          2. goodhealthgourmet RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 09:10 AM

            Servorg is right, there's no *guarantee* that you'll see celebs anywhere...except perhaps Spago, but the ones i've seen there are older and wouldn't excite your niece.

            it's too bad she wont be there during the weekend. in all honesty the best bet is probably one of the weekend farmers' markets (SM, Brentwood or Hollywood) or the grocery store - the Brentwood Whole Foods is a common celeb shopping spot.

            you might have luck at Katsuya (though that may be a bit pricey for you), or one of the Italian restaurants in Brentwood.

            1. BubblyOne RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 09:41 AM

              3 words...Malibu Country Mart. I usually go a couple times a month and have never not seen a celeb any time of the day, usually at the Starbucks.... John Cusack, Cher, Nick Notle, Keanu. Just wander around for a couple hours, and eat in any of the restos there. Money back guarantee!

              1 Reply
              1. re: BubblyOne
                sparkareno RE: BubblyOne Jan 4, 2010 10:51 AM

                that is a good idea. I would definately do Ivy for lunch (even though I hate it) but we won't be back from the desert in time so that's why I need a monday night dinner. Tuesday is Disneyland!

              2. Discokill RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 10:33 AM

                I'd second the Nobu Malibu and Ivy suggestions and throw in Koi as well (which is probably better for sightings that would matter to a 15 yr old)

                1. SauceSupreme RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 11:27 AM

                  The most frequent sightings I've had were at Osteria Mozza as well as the Grove/Farmer's Market during the weekday.

                  1. t
                    trimtab RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 11:38 AM

                    I've been to Musso Franks maybe 15 times since 1980, so I'm not exactly what you'd call a regular. But every time I've gone, I've seen "someone". The last time I went, about six months ago, I was saying to my wife that this was the first time I've not seen a celeb of some kind since coming here. As we left by the back door (our car was in the rear parking lot) we passed Johnny Depp catching a smoke on the back steps. My record was still intact. Do dinner in the large room with the bar.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: trimtab
                      Jack Flash RE: trimtab Jan 4, 2010 11:54 AM

                      Alas, Musso is not open on Mondays.

                    2. m
                      Matt Esq. RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 11:57 AM

                      That's easy. Barney's Greengrass.

                      1. o
                        outshined RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 12:35 PM

                        The Grove on a weekday, Cecconi's, Mauro's at Fred Segal.

                        1. Kevitivity RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 02:24 PM

                          Giorgio Baldi in Santa Monica.

                          Giorgio Baldi Ristorante
                          114 W Channel Rd, Santa Monica, CA 90402

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Kevitivity
                            sparkareno RE: Kevitivity Jan 4, 2010 03:02 PM

                            closed monday. Darn, that was a good suggeston too---I've been wanting to go there.

                            1. re: sparkareno
                              craigersou RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 03:51 PM

                              Yeah both times I have been to Giorgio Baldi, lots of A listers around. If you go the Malibu route and don't want to do Nobu, you could try Taverna Tonys.

                          2. c
                            chuck RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 03:12 PM

                            I saw Bob Saget at The Border Grill once. A cheap place to go is to hang out at the Gelson's market at Ventura and Hayvenhurst in Encino. While there you can walk up the street and see the gate to Michael Jackson's parents' house.

                            1. b
                              Bookhouse RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 03:19 PM

                              If you can do breakfast, Hugo's in West Hollywood is the closest I've come to batting 1.000. Orlando Bloom was the latest sighting.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Bookhouse
                                maudies5 RE: Bookhouse Jan 4, 2010 03:23 PM

                                Toscana, in Brentwood, is a good celeb-sighting spot. Often see the Afflecks there (with their kids).

                                1. re: Bookhouse
                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: Bookhouse Jan 4, 2010 04:06 PM

                                  i can't believe i didn't think of Hugos! one of my favorites, and i think i, too, am batting close to 1000 there. latest for me (albeit some time ago) were Owen Wilson & Tobey Maguire...not together :)

                                  oh, and Urth Caffe on Melrose is another good one.

                                2. J.L. RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 03:23 PM

                                  Capo is less expensive than Cut, but still pricey. Not sure if they open on Mondays.

                                  Perhaps Koi or Nobu LA?

                                  1. c
                                    craigersou RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 03:55 PM

                                    Another idea -outside of the box and maybe crazy - lunch at either the Beverly Hills Hotel or The Penisula Beverly Hills. Great place for lunch meetings on a Monday, you never know...

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: craigersou
                                      J.L. RE: craigersou Jan 4, 2010 04:19 PM

                                      Celeb-wise, Four Seasons Beverly Hills is always a high-percentage shot.

                                      1. re: J.L.
                                        Just One Bite RE: J.L. Jan 15, 2010 03:35 PM

                                        I agree...Four Seasons or the Peninsula. You can just go for tea or a drink, and keep your eye on who is coming & going.

                                    2. j
                                      JE33 RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 04:31 PM

                                      Mr. Chow

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: JE33
                                        westsidegal RE: JE33 Jan 4, 2010 04:35 PM

                                        the celebs at mr. chow, though, may not be in the main dining room.
                                        they have an upstairs private room that gets used a lot. . .

                                        1. re: westsidegal
                                          handlertaper RE: westsidegal Jan 4, 2010 05:17 PM

                                          Brentwood Country Mart at lunch time, Giorgios at dinner, and yes, the Malibu Country Mart too.

                                      2. s
                                        sidwich RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 08:33 PM

                                        I usually run into a celeb or two at my gym or the Hollywood Farmer's Market on Sunday which unfortunately, is not going to help you. Failing that, if your niece is into TV folks, I've run into quite a few TV actors at BLD on Beverly Boulevard which is where a lot of CBS shows are shot and I've seen most of the casts of Dancing With the Stars at the Whole Foods on Fairfax at one point or another.

                                        For movie folks, the Ivy and Nobu aren't guarantees, but they're pretty good bets.

                                        1. t
                                          thursday RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 09:48 PM

                                          It's not food-related (though if you go to the Ivy it could be), but spend an hour or two shopping on Robertson and you'll see somebody - look for the paparazzi vehicles. A cluster of black SUVs with no regard for parking rules or other traffic.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: thursday
                                            maudies5 RE: thursday Jan 4, 2010 09:51 PM

                                            Great suggestion!!

                                          2. Emme RE: sparkareno Jan 4, 2010 10:31 PM

                                            not sure how houndy it is, but up at the Beverly Glen Circle in Bel Air off of Beverly Glen just south of Mulholland, i *always* see people in Starbucks and/or the pharmacy. from Ashton Kutcher to Orlando Bloom to Albert Brooks to Shannon Tweed... i've seen a bunch of people at the deli there too.

                                            in the center foodwise, there's Le Chin Wok, Fabrocini, SHU, and Vibrato Jazz and Grill. the Chinese is Americanized, the Italian is decent, the sushi good but pricey, and Vibrato tasty and a good show, but probably not a hit with the teenager. the deli is decent as well.

                                            i'd also go have lunch at Urth Caffe on Melrose or on Beverly Dr. both good spots.

                                            and agree with the Ivy, but you could if not wanting to spend a ton, go to Newsroom Cafe across the street, then watch for the paparazzi to alert you of stars.

                                            1. s
                                              sparkareno RE: sparkareno Jan 5, 2010 08:15 AM

                                              thanks for all the suggestions. Lunch at the Ivy would have been my first choice but all we have free is Monday night...so no lunches or hanging on Robertson (did that last time). And some places are closed on Mondays. I try not to go over the hill so prefer bev Hills, SM, WeHo.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: sparkareno
                                                thedragonlady RE: sparkareno Jan 5, 2010 01:53 PM

                                                I work at a hair salon near 3rd and Crescent Heights (just between The Grove and Beverly Center.) I always have star sightings at "Little Next Door" (a charcuterie/ boulangerie/patisserie/restaurant) whenever I walk to my car. They serve fresh and organic Mediterranean-French faire, and is a much lighter choice than their sister restaurant "Little Door" which is right next to them (but is only open for dinner). Over the course of the year I've spotted John Mayer with his belle du jour, Denzel Washington and most recently Kate Bosworth. It's a much toned down spot than Ivy because it's located on LA's up and coming 3rd street so the ambiance is less, how should I say...anticipatory? I think most people (celebrities included) go to Ivy because they know people like to see and be seen. Little Next Door is the spot where people can actually eat something without tons of paparazzi and oglers hovering over their table. When you're done, take a walk to Joan's On Third (just blocks away) and you'll spot another celebrity lunching crowd. Both places have great food (Joan's might be better menu-wise), but the ambiance of Little Next Door and it's beautiful blue patio under a halo of Christmas lights has that quintessential upscale French thing going on. Both places are open in the evening, but most celebs are easier to spot during daylight...or under the glow of a well-lit patio:)

                                                1. re: sparkareno
                                                  Emme RE: sparkareno Jan 5, 2010 06:36 PM

                                                  probably not what you had in mind, but saw Julia Roberts last week at Hal's on Abbot Kinney!

                                                  if sushi is of interest, i've seen so many young starlets at Koi and Katana... Hilary Duff, Lohan, Miley Cyrus...

                                                2. Mr Taster RE: sparkareno Jan 5, 2010 09:28 AM

                                                  Isn't it kind of sad that you always hear of star sightings at places like Starbucks-Gelsons-Whole Foods-The Ivy-Cut-Urth Cafe-etc.?

                                                  Isn't there some celebrity out there somewhere that knows about Noodle Express 101 and craves an outstanding beef roll once in a while?

                                                  Mr Taster

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Mr Taster
                                                    ipsedixit RE: Mr Taster Jan 5, 2010 11:56 AM

                                                    Jackie Chan is a regular at Sea Harbour (gets his own private room, however, and enters through the back via the kitchen).

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                      estone888 RE: ipsedixit Jan 5, 2010 02:09 PM

                                                      Years ago I saw Chow Yun Fat at VIP Harbor Seafood on Wilshire at Barrington - which for a brief period was the only good Chinese place on the westside. Last couple of times I tried it, it was awful, so I haven't been there now in about seven or eight years.

                                                      1. re: estone888
                                                        ipsedixit RE: estone888 Jan 5, 2010 02:10 PM

                                                        Did he eat with chopsticks in both hands (the way he always used two guns in his movies)? :-)

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                          estone888 RE: ipsedixit Jan 5, 2010 07:24 PM

                                                          Unfortunately, no. That would have been swell.

                                                  2. c
                                                    Clyde RE: sparkareno Jan 5, 2010 09:36 AM

                                                    saw woody harrelson last night at real food daily on la cienega. i have seen so many actors eat there over the past years. and it won't break the bank...

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Clyde
                                                      swtcrm RE: Clyde Jan 5, 2010 02:02 PM

                                                      i second Real Food Daily

                                                    2. f
                                                      FranklinJefferson RE: sparkareno Jan 5, 2010 12:30 PM

                                                      Can't believe I know this - or am even admitting to such knowledge - but TMZ frequently posts the comings and goings at Madeo on Beverly... I guess if what you're looking for most is a celeb sighting, Follow the Paps!

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: FranklinJefferson
                                                        Clyde RE: FranklinJefferson Jan 6, 2010 09:30 AM

                                                        i LOVE madeo. i read about it in LA Mag, and they had this bottarga dish we went there for. the papparatzi was outside, we nearly didn't go in, but so glad we did b/c the food was AMAZING. keep meaning to go back.

                                                        1. re: Clyde
                                                          cjmsheng RE: Clyde Jan 18, 2010 11:41 PM

                                                          It's the branzino and penne Madeo which keeps me coming back. They actually went through a lull a few years back, but it looks like it's back on top of the Hollywood food chain.

                                                          1. re: Clyde
                                                            Ciao Bob RE: Clyde Jan 19, 2010 07:06 AM

                                                            Madeo's spaghetti bottarga, like much of the menu, is fantastic.

                                                        2. w
                                                          woojink RE: sparkareno Jan 5, 2010 01:20 PM

                                                          Your biggest handicap will be that your only free night is a Monday. The best place I would recommend is the Chateau Marmont. It really is a celebrity hang out to the highest degree. Several of the gossip mags have incognito beat reporters that cover that place on an ongoing weekly and regular basis.

                                                          1. r
                                                            Rimetra RE: sparkareno Jan 5, 2010 01:44 PM

                                                            The patio at Chateau Marmont in the evening, It is a sure thing.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: Rimetra
                                                              sparkareno RE: Rimetra Jan 5, 2010 02:15 PM

                                                              that might be the place. I don't think we could stand going to Real Food Daily for dinner--we need our meat. :)

                                                              1. re: sparkareno
                                                                mc michael RE: sparkareno Jan 6, 2010 05:11 AM

                                                                You can also see folks at Bar Marmont on Sunset and get a decent burger. Saw Mickey Dolenz at the bar. But even the types who are not stars there have an Hollywood air about them.

                                                                1. re: mc michael
                                                                  Servorg RE: mc michael Jan 6, 2010 05:24 AM

                                                                  "But even the types who are not stars there have an Hollywood air about them."

                                                                  If the intent is to keep me from going here that statement will do it... ;-D>

                                                                  1. re: Servorg
                                                                    mc michael RE: Servorg Jan 6, 2010 11:51 AM

                                                                    You need to know!

                                                              2. re: Rimetra
                                                                hyacinthgirl RE: Rimetra Jan 15, 2010 02:44 PM

                                                                Just had a 19 year old in town this past Monday night who was looking to be star-struck as well. She went to lunch at the Ivy and surprisingly saw no one. She wandered Beverly Hills and West Hollywood to no avail. We checked out Bazaar later that night and nothing.

                                                                But dinner outside at Chateau Marmont finally yielded results in the form of Ed Helms. The Hangover being one of this girl's favorite movies, she was on cloud nine.
                                                                And while I'm mentioning it, the truffled risotto cakes were absolutely delicious. And though I didn't have any, I heard good things about the crabcakes as well.

                                                                Be sure to make reservations and request the patio, it's much nicer than being stuck inside. Also, make sure to look twice at everyone in a hat. You probably already see more celebrities on a given day than you realize.

                                                                1. re: hyacinthgirl
                                                                  sparkareno RE: hyacinthgirl Jan 15, 2010 03:34 PM

                                                                  I think Chateau Marmont might be it---or Mr. Chow's even though it sucks

                                                              3. f
                                                                flowergirl RE: sparkareno Jan 5, 2010 08:04 PM

                                                                Try Kate Mantillini on Wilshire and Doheny.

                                                                1. k
                                                                  katjo RE: sparkareno Jan 6, 2010 08:22 AM

                                                                  It isn't a restaurant, but I have seen somebody at Runyon Canyon every time I've been there. It is a nice hike with a great view of the Hollywood sign. Last week I saw BJ Novak from the Office, and Ali Larter. Also spotted Sharon Osbourne at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf at the Grove. Good luck!

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: katjo
                                                                    Mr Taster RE: katjo Jan 6, 2010 08:54 AM

                                                                    BJ Novak seems like exactly the type of person who would be at Bar Marmont, Runyon Canyon, Gelsons, etc. and definitely *not* Noodle Express 101 :)

                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                    1. re: katjo
                                                                      Hershey Bomar RE: katjo Jan 6, 2010 09:11 AM

                                                                      Yes. Runyun then Sunset Coffee Bean and it's a combo.

                                                                      1. re: katjo
                                                                        mc michael RE: katjo Jan 6, 2010 11:57 AM

                                                                        Yeah, at Runyon, I've seen Eric McCormack, Robert Forster, Lauren Bacall (shooting something). Generally, you see younger less established folks there but the problem is recognizing them out of their star drag.

                                                                      2. h
                                                                        houndofmusic RE: sparkareno Jan 6, 2010 10:02 AM

                                                                        I agree with the point made a few posts above that your main problem is that Monday is a bad day for dining out -- for celebrities as well as us normal folk. Worse yet, you are planning to do this the day after Valentine's Day.

                                                                        So I would eschew restaurants per se, and just focus on casual hang-outs, like the Marmont patio, the bar at the Sunset Tower, Urth Caffe, etc. (If your niece is an Entourage fan, she will at least recognize Urth.) You could easily hit all 3 of those places, having a drink or coffee at a couple places and dinner at Urth, which will save you a lot of $$.

                                                                        1. Beach Chick RE: sparkareno Jan 6, 2010 11:30 AM

                                                                          you could come to my house...I live next door to a very famous movie star but keeps it on the down low..thank goodness.
                                                                          Malibu Beach Inn..off the beaten path but the dining is fab and there are tons of celebs but please respect their privacy while dining.
                                                                          You could go for breakfast..its oceanfront too.

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Beach Chick
                                                                            MarlaPR RE: Beach Chick Jan 16, 2010 02:49 PM

                                                                            Bad idea, terrible food, rotten service and have NEVER seen a celebrity in there! Nobu yes!!

                                                                            1. re: MarlaPR
                                                                              Beach Chick RE: MarlaPR Jan 20, 2010 07:37 AM

                                                                              since my first response was removed..
                                                                              David Geffen owns the Malibu Inn..he is a billionaire..he knows his food and doesn't tolerate terrible food or rotten service..
                                                                              It is known as a hangout for many celebrities..but kept on the down low and privacy is respected throughout.

                                                                              1. re: Beach Chick
                                                                                mc michael RE: Beach Chick Jan 20, 2010 08:04 AM

                                                                                By 2/15, the restaurant could be under water.

                                                                                1. re: Beach Chick
                                                                                  Mr Taster RE: Beach Chick Jan 20, 2010 08:45 AM

                                                                                  "he is a billionaire..he knows his food"

                                                                                  Were this true of all wealthy and famous people, Mr. Chow and Crustacean would have gone out of business long ago.

                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                            2. j
                                                                              jesstifer RE: sparkareno Jan 7, 2010 04:51 PM

                                                                              Some great recs here. I'll just add that I never fail to see a celeb or two at the Arclight Hollywood. You can dine in the cafe (not the best food, but -- just to keep this thread on chow related -- I enjoy the Portobello Tower and the French Dip). It's especially good celeb hunting there this time of year (pre-Oscars) because contender films are free for Academy/Guild members. It being Monday might actually increase the odds.

                                                                              1. l
                                                                                laytonj1 RE: sparkareno Jan 8, 2010 07:33 AM

                                                                                Nate n Al's... Been there three times. First time I saw Jodie Foster, then Courtney Cox and most recently John Voight.

                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                1. re: laytonj1
                                                                                  sparkareno RE: laytonj1 Jan 8, 2010 10:20 AM

                                                                                  but that's for breakfast, right?

                                                                                  1. re: sparkareno
                                                                                    Mr Taster RE: sparkareno Jan 8, 2010 10:32 AM

                                                                                    Nate n' Al's is a Jewish deli, so they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                                      maudies5 RE: Mr Taster Jan 8, 2010 10:36 AM

                                                                                      A few posters have claimed that celebrity-spotting will be difficult on a Monday night. I disagree. Many celebs prefer dining out on Monday nights, as they will have more privacy from the star-gazing "bridge and tunnel" weekend crowds. Does anyone remember when it was impossible to get into Morton's on Monday night if one was a mere mortal?

                                                                                      1. re: maudies5
                                                                                        JBC RE: maudies5 Jan 15, 2010 08:56 AM

                                                                                        Morton's on Monday Night was a frequent subject of Hollywood gossip about who had which table, who they were dining with, and endless speculation about what "deal" was or had gone down there. Never made there on a Monday, but occasionally had drinks on Monday night at The Ivy at the Shore which was often very busy.

                                                                                        So the question could be "Where is the Monday Night Hollywood Power Broker spot these days ?"

                                                                                    2. re: sparkareno
                                                                                      NYCnowLA RE: sparkareno Jan 8, 2010 11:22 AM

                                                                                      go to nate n al's for breakfast if your niece has a thing for Larry King (shudder). That sighting is 100% guaranteed!

                                                                                      1. re: NYCnowLA
                                                                                        JAB RE: NYCnowLA Jan 8, 2010 12:11 PM

                                                                                        LOL, my Nate n Al's celebrity spotting was the late Rodney Dangerfield.

                                                                                        1. re: JAB
                                                                                          westsidegal RE: JAB Jan 17, 2010 05:19 PM

                                                                                          mine was the late shelly winters

                                                                                        2. re: NYCnowLA
                                                                                          sparkareno RE: NYCnowLA Jan 8, 2010 01:50 PM

                                                                                          lol--only if he is interviewing Zac Efron. I have only been there for b'fast so was wondering about other times.
                                                                                          And maudies5---yes I do remember mondays at Mortons!! I remember someone getting me in & I was on cloud 9. It was so much simpler to find these "stars" then.

                                                                                          1. re: sparkareno
                                                                                            Servorg RE: sparkareno Jan 8, 2010 02:07 PM

                                                                                            It is just not possible to say at this place and time you are going to see a "star" - just random events really.

                                                                                            We were eating in the upstairs at Taylor's in K town once (feeling a little aggrieved for being banished to Taylor's equivalent of Siberia) when in strolled Bono of U2 with Kevin Spacey and Winona Ryder and they sat next to us.

                                                                                            Once at the old City Cafe on La Brea we were eating with our 15 month old son feeling kind of out of it and in came Demi Moore with Rumer (who was about the same age as our son) and sat next to us and we had a great time talking to her about toddler issues.

                                                                                            So, you just never know. These weren't the sort of places where you would send someone to look for stars, but chance encounters are always the most memorable.

                                                                                            1. re: Servorg
                                                                                              JPomer RE: Servorg Jan 8, 2010 03:08 PM

                                                                                              it sounds crazy, I know, but the Hamburger Hamlet on Sunset...we go on Fridays in the Tap Room and have seen every one from Nancy Sinatra (with her mother !) to Elton John. I've been told Paris Hilton comes in on occasion. we figure they go because they know they won't be bothered by papparazzi at the Hamlet

                                                                                              1. re: JPomer
                                                                                                mc michael RE: JPomer Jan 8, 2010 03:25 PM

                                                                                                And I thought Paris like In N Out (drive thru)!

                                                                                              2. re: Servorg
                                                                                                namstermonster RE: Servorg Feb 22, 2010 11:49 AM

                                                                                                so lucky ducky!! kevin spacey's my fav actor.

                                                                                      2. s
                                                                                        sidwich RE: sparkareno Jan 8, 2010 03:25 PM

                                                                                        I in no way endorse this restaurant, but a lot of celebs also seem to like Mr. Chow's in Beverly Hills.

                                                                                        1. d
                                                                                          dhemmingway RE: sparkareno Jan 10, 2010 02:02 PM

                                                                                          Hal's and Primitivo on Abbott Kinney; Mr. Chow; Madeo; La Scala on Canon in BH (usually for lunch, but I always see someone there and chopped salad is delish). Also, I second a "hike" in Runyon--I think a sighting is guaranteed.

                                                                                          1. s
                                                                                            sparkareno RE: sparkareno Jan 15, 2010 08:32 AM

                                                                                            What about STK? any thoughts from anyone on that?

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: sparkareno
                                                                                              latindancer RE: sparkareno Jan 15, 2010 10:02 AM

                                                                                              Yes, they have wonderful steaks.

                                                                                            2. p
                                                                                              peanut112 RE: sparkareno Jan 15, 2010 11:52 AM

                                                                                              I didn't bother with reading all of the posts below, so some of these may be redundant, but watching TMZ and spending time on TMZ.com will give you the best hot spots (Katsuya, Madeo's, Mr. Chow, etc.).
                                                                                              Ivy in BH along with Cecconi's in BH is a pretty reliable spot also these days.
                                                                                              Unfortunately, your niece is a bit young to hit these spots later in the evening, but some offer lunch. 1pm at Urth Cafe on Melrose is a good bet also.

                                                                                              1. Senzinina RE: sparkareno Jan 16, 2010 04:50 AM

                                                                                                No sure thing as a "sure thing celebrity spotting" unless you pay one to be there....but Nobu Malibu is a very good bet.

                                                                                                1. a
                                                                                                  annabana RE: sparkareno Jan 16, 2010 01:40 PM

                                                                                                  When we lived in Santa Monica in the late '90s, Chinois on Main was one of our very favorite restos. One day my former boss was in town and she loves Asian food, so my husband and I took her to Chinois for dinner. About 15 minutes after we were seated, Steven Speilberg and his wife were seated at a table for six, next to ours in the back of the dining room. About ten minutes later Tom Hanks and his wife were seated at the same table and then Nora Ephron and her husband arrived. My former boss was absolutely thrilled and teased me incessantly about having "gone Hollywood." Our guest was Barbara Bush and we were seated in the back because her Secret Service detail required it. We could feel the breeze from resto-wide head turnings all evening. A night I will never forget. I understand the food is still very, very good.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: annabana
                                                                                                    mc michael RE: annabana Jan 16, 2010 02:22 PM

                                                                                                    It's been a while, but I've seen Lauren Bacall, Steve Bocho and Barbara Bosson there on different nights. But the real star then was the food.

                                                                                                  2. j
                                                                                                    Jwsel RE: sparkareno Jan 17, 2010 09:43 PM

                                                                                                    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills. I've never failed to see a celebrity there, though I have not been recently. The downside is that most of the celebs are older. Also, I think the Grill is more for lunch meetings than dinners.

                                                                                                    My other "sure" thing has been at Spago in the main dining room. My last visit, we saw Leonard Nimoy and, when he got up, he was replaced by Jake Gyllenhall and (I think) Bryce Dallas Howard. So there was a spotting for multiple generations.

                                                                                                    Another place to consider is Craft, since it is in the same center as the CAA building. There are a lot of agents doing business there. The only problem is that seating is arranged so that it is sometimes hard to get a decent look at people. On one of my first trips there, we had a 15-minute debate about whether it was really Oliver Stone at the table across the way. (The Coffee Bean downstairs from CAA sometimes is a good place to catch people.)

                                                                                                    And whoever mentioned the Arclight Hollywood is spot on. Between the theater, the juice place and gym, there are a lot of celebs in that space. The problem is that if you eat in the cafe in the theater, you don't have a good view for celebs.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Jwsel
                                                                                                      Penne4YourThoughts RE: Jwsel Mar 2, 2010 12:04 AM

                                                                                                      OMG! I totally forgot Grill on the Alley! Last time I was there I saw David Schwimmer (?) . Thanks for reminding me...can't wait to go back, always had a good meal there.

                                                                                                    2. j
                                                                                                      jenngen RE: sparkareno Jan 19, 2010 07:54 PM

                                                                                                      I'm dying to know, where did you decide to go sparkareno, and did you see any celebrities?

                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: jenngen
                                                                                                        mc michael RE: jenngen Jan 19, 2010 08:35 PM

                                                                                                        It's like The Lady or the Tiger. She ain't gonna tell.

                                                                                                        1. re: mc michael
                                                                                                          BubblyOne RE: mc michael Jan 19, 2010 08:37 PM

                                                                                                          She's not going until 2/15.

                                                                                                        2. re: jenngen
                                                                                                          perk RE: jenngen Jan 19, 2010 08:36 PM

                                                                                                          I believe the original post said the relatives were coming in February. But I'm anxious to hear where they end up as well!

                                                                                                          1. re: jenngen
                                                                                                            sparkareno RE: jenngen Jan 20, 2010 08:07 AM

                                                                                                            lol--not coming until feb but if the weather will be anything like this week I don't think they will come at all.

                                                                                                            1. re: sparkareno
                                                                                                              natsuye RE: sparkareno Jan 20, 2010 11:03 AM

                                                                                                              Your best bet is to try to set up a tour or tickets to a show taping- otherwise a crap shot to say the least. I would also have your visitors follow some of their favs on twitter to see what they are up to. Katsyu in Hollywood or Brentwood is good. Beso as well. Mr. Chow's is a good suggestion as is the Ivy.

                                                                                                          2. g
                                                                                                            GuidoTKP RE: sparkareno Jan 20, 2010 12:08 PM

                                                                                                            If for some reason you don't make it out to Palm Springs for the weekend and are around Sunday morning/afternoon, try the brunch at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. I've been there three times and had a pretty major sighting each time (i.e., Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, and Joe Fiennes). Mr. Freeman and I were waiting for our cars at the valet stand next to each other. Nice guy.

                                                                                                            Osteria Mozza is still a tough reservation and there is a lot of star power going in and out of that place. Doubt you'd be able to get a reservation on short notice, but they don't take reservations for bar seating, so if you were determined, you probably could get in that way.

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: GuidoTKP
                                                                                                              Penne4YourThoughts RE: GuidoTKP Mar 2, 2010 12:07 AM

                                                                                                              My friend was seated next to Lionel Richie at the Four Seasons for lunch. She took a ton of pics and chatted with him. She was thrilled!

                                                                                                              1. re: Penne4YourThoughts
                                                                                                                J.L. RE: Penne4YourThoughts Mar 2, 2010 05:00 PM

                                                                                                                ... And that's why we won't see Lionel Richie again at Four Seasons anytime soon...

                                                                                                                He eats at CUT quite a bit, too, in case anyone else wants to interrupt his meal.

                                                                                                                I'm all for spotting the stars while in L.A., and I'm sure they do expect to be recognized in public, but taking "a ton of pics" when they're simply trying to eat?

                                                                                                                1. re: J.L.
                                                                                                                  New Trial RE: J.L. Mar 2, 2010 11:40 PM

                                                                                                                  With all those interruptions, his dinner could take all night long.

                                                                                                                  1. re: New Trial
                                                                                                                    J.L. RE: New Trial Mar 3, 2010 12:16 AM


                                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                                              sparkareno RE: sparkareno Feb 19, 2010 02:41 PM

                                                                                                              Well after all that, my sister got sick and we had to cancel our reservations (we had Madeo's, Mr. Chow & Chateau Marmont). We did however see Pam Anderson in a store in Rancho Mirage and they were filming CSI Miami on the beach when we went so I guess that will suffice. Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: sparkareno
                                                                                                                allyoucanet RE: sparkareno Feb 22, 2010 09:36 AM

                                                                                                                Gelson's in Pacific Palisades.

                                                                                                              2. m
                                                                                                                Miss Rennie RE: sparkareno Feb 23, 2010 08:20 PM

                                                                                                                Chateau Marmont restaurant, Starbucks in Malibu shopping center, Ivy at the Shore, Tra di Noi and Neptune's Net in Malibu...

                                                                                                                1. j
                                                                                                                  jrnlmkr RE: sparkareno Feb 28, 2010 09:46 PM

                                                                                                                  my friends and I call them star see's there are lots of sure bet places to have them in LA. M Cafe de Chaya at lunch is always full of actors and musicians, always. The whole foods on fairfax and santa monica gets a young actor crowd, you just gotta remember, these people aren't on nine to five schedules and eat and shop at off hours. Before it became the most uncool place on the planet, the Buffalo club was always a guarantee for high watt star power, but i think those days are gone. Depending on the time of year, even the most mundane places are full of stars; once I saw David Bowie and Iman coming out of the frozen yogurt place on santa monica in west hollywood that's now a crepe place. Years ago, I used to own a store that was a magnet for stars. One Christmas eve, right before closing time, I looked up to see Drew Barrymore, Rob Lowe and Donovan Leitch chatting like they were at a cocktail party. They'd not come in together but, of course, knew each other and hung out for an hour or so as I counted out my till before closing. That said, I always see stars at OK, a store on third street.

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