Whether star-struck or a tad jaded, seeing a celebrity in person is cause for celebration with bragging rights immediately communicated via smartphone, Facebook, and Twitter. Celebrities are part of the fabric of Los Angeles and can regularly be seen dining in restaurants all over town. Not surprisingly, they enjoy going out to eat, just like the rest of us!
Visitors to L.A. dream of seeing celebs and ask friends, family, hotel staff, and even random people on the street the proverbial question, "Where do the stars go?"
Having been repeatedly asked the very same question, Los Angeles based Celebrity HotSpots set out to provide the definitive answer. The result: an unbiased ranking of 100+ restaurants where celebrities have recently been spotted. These celebrity spottings consisted of an eclectic mix of more than 1500 celebrities including actors/actresses, athletes, chefs, fashionistas, musicians, reality TV stars, socialites, and many more famous (and infamous!) personalities.
After documenting over 2500 celebrity spottings, the Top 5 Celebrity HotSpots, according to the 2012 Celebrity HotSpots Los Angeles Restaurant Guide: Where Your Fave Celebs Dine are:
1) Soho House (private membership restaurant) – West Hollywood
Invite-only club with a gorgeous tree-lined rooftop terrace garden restaurant has played host to numerous movie premiere and award ceremony after parties, charity benefits, and fashionable events. It is here where Twilight stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson were seen holding hands at the MTV Movie Awards after party. This hotspot is very exclusive and one must be a member or be invited by a member. Fear not, the Soho House group does have another Celebrity HotSpot, Cecconi's West Hollywood, a great Italian restaurant open to the public.
2) Circa 55 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel – Beverly Hills
Indoor/outdoor (poolside) retro-chic restaurant located in the Beverly Hilton hotel, home of countless celebrity gala, most notably the Golden Globe Awards. Actor/Producer Mark Wahlberg and Comedian /TV Personality Bill Maher were spotted conversing in the restaurant in addition to Jon Hamm, Sam Trammell, Olivia Wilde and hundreds of others at HBO’s Golden Globes after parties. The restaurant is the perfect spot to watch the passing crowd attending the almost daily celebrity-filled events happening in the hotel.
3) BOA Steakhouse – West Hollywood
Sleek steakhouse with sexy ambience located on the famous Sunset Strip (with 2nd location in Santa Monica across from the ocean.) Just a sampling of celebrity events recently held include Brittany Snow’s 25th birthday celebration, Leeza Gibbons Dare2Care pre-Oscar cocktail party, The 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards filmmaker grant and nominee brunch, and CoverGirl cosmetics 50th anniversary party. But, perhaps the noteworthy spotting was Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries sharing in a romantic dinner date (pre-wedding/divorce)!
4) Spago – Beverly Hills
Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck's flagship sophisticated, fine-dining restaurant. Recognized as one of the top 40 U.S. restaurants, this iconic Los Angeles destination is known for serving California Cuisine in an elegant setting (note that original West Hollywood location of Spago's was where California-style pizza became the rage!) Wolfgang Puck often walks around the restaurant, chatting with diners and autographing his books. A-listers Jane Fonda, Dennis Quaid, Hilary Swank, Larry King, and Jane Seymour are among the many celebs spotted, in addition to perhaps the most revered celebrity of all, Sidney Poitier.
5) Katsuya Restaurant
Ultra trendy, modern Japanese-fusion restaurant and bar situated in the heart of Hollywood. Specialty cocktails from their "Liquid Kitchen" plus spectacular sushi and unique rolls created by a master sushi chef draw a very hip crowd with the likes of Kim Kardashian, Eva Longoria, Jessica Simpson, Khloe Kardashian, Lamar Odom, and Nicole Scherzinger among those most spotted. While often the edgy place of choice for 20- and 30-something hipsters, supermodel Cindy Crawford has also been spotted enjoying a nice mother-daughter dinner at this beautiful restaurant designed by world-renowned designer Philippe Starck.
Happy Spotting and Bon Appétit!
Susan Zechter is the author of the 2012 Celebrity HotSpots Los Angeles Restaurant Guide: Where Your Fave Celebs Dine, available at Amazon.com along with the newly published companion guide 2012 Celebrity HotSpots Bars and Clubs Guide: Where Your Fave Celebs Party. For more info, visit celebhotspots.com.