"Good morning, Angels" says Charlie, and criminals from coast to coast quake in their boots. It's a primal line from a classic '70s TV series, but the new Angels - Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu - who have recently returned to the screen in the movie sequel Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, have proven themselves worthy of filling their predecessors' patent-leather go-go boots. All residing in the City of Angels, whose secrets they reveal here, the Angels arrived in L.A. from diverse backgrounds. Drew, one of the film's producers, is, of course, a Barrymore, following in her grandfather John's footsteps before she could crawl. She appeared in television commercials before her first birthday and turned in her breakthrough performance at age 6, staring down the extraterrestrial in E.T. Cameron is a Southern California girl who entered acting through modeling. She auditioned for a bit part opposite Jim Carrey in The Mask and walked away with the lead. Of that performance, Roger Ebert called Cameron "a genuine sex bomb with a gift of comic timing," and she's been exploding on the big screen ever since. Lucy was born to Chinese immigrants in Queens, New York, where she excelled in the martial art of Kali-Eskrima-Silat (knife-and-stick fighting). After her move west, she stole scene after scene in episode after episode as the malicious attorney Ling Woo in Ally McBeal, then pirated parts of the Oscar-winning film Chicago as the murderous Kitty Baxter. Blessed with heavenly gifts, the Angels are simultaneously saving the world from evil in a theater near you while also levitating in Los Angeles. Here's where you'll find them when they touch ground.
What do you love most about L.A.?
Where can you find culture in L.A.?
Cameron: "The J. Paul Getty Museum. It's perched atop a hill that overlooks the entire city, so the view is spectacular. The architecture is absolutely amazing; the building itself is a piece of art. There is a beautiful garden, and they often host really cool evening concerts. MOCA, The Museum of Contemporary Art, is home to an amazing collection of American and European art created in all visual media. MOCA has three different locations in Los Angeles, each boasting its own truly wonderful exhibits."
What's the most interesting thing that's happened to you in L.A.?
Drew: "When I went to the Pasadena City College Flea Market. I rescued my two dogs Flossy and Templeton there when they were just 6 weeks old and they're 7 now. My life has been better ever since that day."
What clothing essentials should a visitor pack for a trip to L.A.?
Lucy: "Tank top and shorts, definitely. Sneakers are also really good to have so you can walk around during the day. Jeans and a sweater or jacket for the evening. It gets chilly at night in L.A."
How much time do you spend away from L.A. and what do you miss when you're gone?
Drew: "About a quarter of my time is spent away from the city. A lot of my work is here, so I am lucky enough to be able to spend a lot of time at home. I usually miss my favorite Mexican food stands, such as Poquito Mas and Dos Burritos at Hollywood and Vine. It's the ultimate funky taco stand."
What's your favorite thing to shop for, and where's the best place to buy it?
Cameron: "My favorite thing to shop for is clothes. And my favorite place to shop is anywhere that sells them. Like Fred Segal, the boutiques on Robertson, between Third and Beverly, or the great shops on Melrose."
Lucy: "For vintage clothes, I love Decades, where you never know what you're going to find. Catwalk has vintage concert T-shirts and great designer vintage clothing and accessories from YSL, Gucci, and Pucci. Of course, Barneys in Beverly Hills has great clothing, jewelry, and accessories. And Diavolina for shoes, jewelry, handbags, and hats."
Drew: "Amoeba Music on Sunset and Cahuenga is heaven on earth. You walk in and stand in the middle of a gigantic record store that doesn't feel corporate whatsoever. The people who run it know everything from the popular to the most obscure. They don't rip you off, and their selection is unparalleled."
What should every visitor know about Los Angeles?
Drew: "Always start with the LA Weekly. It's a free newspaper you can find at certain stores or newsstands and it will tell you everything you want to know about what's going on that week. The museum life here is better than it's been in a long time. Also, in only 20 minutes, you can get into the beach life. You have to spend time at the ocean. If you're a mountain person, the Angeles National Forest is beautiful, and if you like the desert, head down to Palm Springs. Whatever you're looking for, it's not very far out of reach."
What are your favorite L.A. neighborhoods?
Cameron: "Downtown, L.A.'s hidden treasure. There is so much there, from bargain shopping and beautiful flower marts to amazing restaurants and nightlife. Little Tokyo, the Staples Center, the list goes on and on. And then Hollywood. The streets of Hollywood have so much history, you can't help but be taken back in time. There's the Walk of Fame, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, plays and musicals at Pantages, as well as a plethora of restaurants and the best of the L.A. club scene."
What are some of your favorite restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
Lucy: "For breakfast, there's Du-par's, the classic California restaurant and coffee shop that started in the Farmers Market; Fred 62, a great 24-hour diner; and Hugo's, a casual place in West Hollywood with fabulous, fresh food. For lunch, I love Sushi Nozawa, a small place in the Valley where the chef, Nozawa, rules; Ubon, Nobu Matsuhisa's restaurant in the Beverly Center for Japanese dishes; and Locanda Veneta, the famous Venetian restaurant in West Hollywood. For dinner, I recommend Asanebo, another great sushi restaurant in the Valley; Taste of India; and Giorgio Baldi, which is everybody's favorite authentic Italian restaurant, near the beach in Santa Monica."
Where can you get a great meal for $25?
Drew: "If you want to hang out with your girlfriends and do a little shopping, Barney Greengrass in Barneys New York has that typical I'm-doing-lunch-with-my-girlfriends vibe. It's definitely a $25 a person restaurant, but you still get that fancy feel. If you want a diner that has awesome breakfasts, burgers, and all sorts of other items, go to Fred 62 in Los Feliz, where $25 might even feed two people. For healthy food to-go, go to Erewhon Market. They have a wicked salad bar, glass cases filled with yummy precooked food, and all types of smoothies."
What's the best meal you can get for a couple hundred bucks?
Cameron: "Forget that. I'd say spend a couple of bucks and hit a taco truck on Santa Monica Boulevard any Friday night."
What are your favorite local spots most tourists don't know about?
Drew: "Bohdi Tree on Melrose is phenomenal. It's a spiritually based bookstore that has a great selection of different types of books; anything from Shel Silverstein to teachings of very wise and intelligent people, as well as incense and little gifts. It's just got a great vibe. For a slightly out-of-the-way place, Neptune's Net on the Pacific Coast Highway at the end of Malibu is great and is an as-true-as-it-gets beach bar and fish stand. You can eat fresh lobster or fried fish, drink beer, hang out with the locals, and watch the surfers ride their waves. A great independent movie theater is the New Beverly Cinema. They show old revivals, classics, foreign films, works of great filmmakers, and recent independ-ent movies. They show a double feature every night for $6 per person, and they are almost always great films. You will walk out feeling stimulated. It truly has no frills, and is much more on the super funky side - an old staple of West Hollywood life."
What are your favorite things to do on the weekend?
Lucy: "Go to the Farmers Market. All the farmers bring their fruits, vegetables, and handmade goods and sell them on the street. Also, see a movie at the ArcLight. The screens there are amazing and you can reserve seats in advance."
Where do you and your favorite person
go for a day out on the town?
Cameron: "We would definitely go to the beach and to the Getty Museum, have lunch at Al Fresco in Hollywood, and dinner somewhere quiet and private like Lucques on Melrose in West Hollywood."
Where do you go when you want to get away from it all?
Cameron: "If I told you, I wouldn't be getting away from everything, now would I? But there are so many beautiful beaches in L.A., you really can't go wrong. The beach in Manhattan is killer. There's great people-watching in Venice, plenty of activities in Santa Monica with the Pier, and peaceful seclusion in Malibu."
What's your favorite beach?
Lucy: "Venice Beach is always fun. You can go biking or rollerblading and there are always interesting street entertainers and vendors along the boardwalk."
Where are the best places to hear live music?
Drew: "If you're into alternative music, Spaceland is a good option. It has a small stage and it's where the obscure and interesting bands play. A hip, youthful, east-side crowd generally gathers there. The Wiltern Theatre is also great. It has different types of events and bands, from Bob Dylan to the Foo Fighters. All ages can respond to it, and it has an old-fashioned opera-house vibe. Most importantly, check out The Greek Theatre. It's a gorgeous outdoor venue under the stars and surrounded by trees in Griffith Park. All different musicians play there, and it's just the perfect size."
What was your favorite real location in L.A. that you shot for Charlie's Angels?
Drew: "The San Pedro Harbor. I walked around there for weeks, and there is so much raw material to make art with. It's industrial and has old structures that look like something out of a 1940s film with shafts of light coming through them. It has a great old-fashioned mariner industrialism. You don't wear high heels when you go there. But there's something beautiful about it. When you're there, you feel like time is standing still."
Lucy: "The Griffith Observatory. It's such a historic L.A. landmark. Normally you can only shoot there one day a week, when the facility is closed to the public, but because it was about to undergo a huge renovation, we were able to use the location for about a week."
Cameron: "Hollywood Boulevard. The entire area has an infectious energy. We filmed one of the end sequences of the movie there. I can't tell you what happens, but it is an awesome scene and it was so much fun to film!"