Where we go in Los Angeles when we're not "rolling calls"
Hotel Angeleno, moderate to expensive, (310) 476-6411. This former Holiday Inn still has the same smallish rooms, but now features a hipper, more sophisticated vibe throughout. After settling in and checking out the view from your balcony, scope out the panorama at the penthouse-level dining room and then gather around the cozy outdoor pool and fireplace.
Sofitel Los Angeles, very expensive, (310) 278-5444. Another newly renovated L.A. lodging is this Euro-mod masterpiece on Beverly Boulevard. Befitting its fashionable address, it features a 5,000-square-foot spa and a Rande Gerber-run bar.
Villa Brasil Motel, inexpensive, (310) 636-0141. Our third and last lodging to have undergone a recent renovation is this clean, colorful charmer that claims to be the city's first Brazilian accommodation. Rumor has it Kevin Bacon is a big fan of the motel's new Café Brasil.
Bite, moderate, (310) 305-4010. We originally came here for the Japanese "street food," like the crispy tofu slices with peanut dipping sauce and flash-fried calamari dusted in Togarashi pepper flour. But having now tasted Bite's martinis, we've discovered they (more than 20 in all) are worth the trip as well. The table favorite was the Oatmeal Cookie Martini (mmm, Butterscotch Schnapps!).
Eaturna, inexpensive, www.eaturna.com. Have some time before your flight at LAX? Fly over to this new kiosk in Terminal 1 and order from the all-natural, hormone-, and trans-fat-free menu. The freshly made items — think roasted-vegetable-and-goat-cheese wraps and crispy-chicken-breast salads — sure beat ordinary airport food.
Brennan’s Pub, (310) 821-6622. Since we like martinis that taste like cookies (see Bite, above), it probably comes as no surprise that we like something else a little kooky with our cocktails — turtle races. They’ve been a Thursday night ritual at this laid-back Marina Del Rey watering hole for more than 25 years. But don’t worry, no animals come to any harm, so sit back and enjoy a brew, a game of stick, or a rousing chorus of Irish folk songs.
The Getty Center, (310) 440-7300. A museum in the nightlife section? Sure, when you consider the Getty’s monthly Fridays Off the 405 event, a fabulous collage of art (from ancient Greek vases to twentieth-century photographs) and music (be it dance hall or hip-hop). Better yet, there’s no cover charge — or admission of any kind, for that matter.