Los Angeles star sightings are a dime a dozen at places like the Chateau Marmont, Malibu's Carbon Beach and even LAX. Unfortunately, those places are not only picked over, but fraught with difficulties designed specifically to challenge the casual star-seeker, including limited access, throngs of insane paparazzi and intense security. Is a momentary glimpse of Justin Bieber's latest douchebaggery or Kim Kardashian ducking into a limousine worth getting your teeth kicked in by a bodyguard?
To see celebrities in Los Angeles, these five locations offer the best balance of tried-and-true star power, easy access and drama-free viewing.
When Los Angeles celebrities want to pretend they're just average Joes, Dan Tana's in West Hollywood is where they go to eat. This is old school Italian, with the chicken parm and checkered tablecloths to match. Who can be seen dining there? George Clooney, Jerry Seinfeld, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are regulars. Dim lighting adds a slight degree of difficulty and prime-time dinner slots are booked weeks in advance. Scheduling protip: check the concert schedule of the Troubadour nightclub just two doors down and make late dinner reservations for about an hour before the last band finishes, your timing should be perfect to catch celebs for a post-show nosh.
When Hollywood stars in need of a little publicity say, "Let's do lunch!" inevitably The Ivy restaurant in Los Angeles is where they go to eat and, more specifically, to be seen. Britney Spears, Jessica Alba and Jennifer Lopez are frequently photographed here. Degree of difficulty is higher than average: forget about scoring a reservation and you have to jostle the paparazzi for a good spot from the outside looking in. However, you can sometimes catch the more approachable stars (we love you Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon!) for an autograph on the sidewalk.
Photo by Mighty June/Flickr.
The legendary Fred Segal store at Melrose and Crescent Heights is where Hollywood celebrities find the trendiest clothes and fashion accessories and then ride them onto the pages of People Magazine and Us Weekly. As you browse the countless boutiques inside, keep an eye out for fellow shoppers like Miley Cyrus, Amanda Bynes and Jenny McCarthy. One warning: don’t look at price tags unless sticker-shock is a sensation you can't live without, as even tiny little baby-tees can run into the thousands!
If you don't see stars immediately on walking into The Roger Room in Los Angeles, you certainly will after tossing back a couple of their strong craft cocktails. But do keep one eye peeking out from the bottom of your glass because this bar's old school charm attracts a swarm of celebrity carousers: John Mayer is a frequent patron, as are Orlando Bloom and Gerard Butler. Bachelors only? Nope, famous couples like John Krasinski and Emily Blunt have also been spotted enjoying their scotch neat. Is it dark inside? A bit, so look twice to make sure that really is Vin Diesel before you ask for a fist-bump in the bathroom.
The Grove at Fairfax and Beverly is where many Los Angeles celebrities go to enjoy a normal day out of the house, particularly to catch a movie at the well-appointed Pacific Theatres megaplex. Just outside the ticket window is actually one of the best places in Los Angeles to catch a glimpse of stars going to see other stars. The added challenge here is that celebrities at The Grove are there just to get out and enjoy some downtime. You really need to look closely to see Jimmy Kimmel beneath that hoodie, or Julianne Hough behind those enormous sunglasses!