It's January again and that means one thing — and we're not talking about resolutions. No, the new year brings a fresh award season in Los Angeles! If you're a serious entertainment fan coming to town with the hopes of letting some of that big-time celebrity dust rub off on you, you'll want to know about 10 of the top hotels and restaurants where you can spot the A-Listers beginning with the Golden Globes this weekend, and up through until the Academy Awards in late February (and beyond).
1. The Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills
The Beverly Hilton has been the home of the Golden Globe awards a total of 46 times and for the last 42 consecutive years. The show will air live on NBC on January 8, and in addition to the televised award show, the hotel will simultaneously service multiple viewing and after-parties throughout the venue for major media brands. This property will see a total of 6,000 extra VIPs hit the doors that evening on the 30,000 square feet of red carpet paving the way.
2. The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
Four Seasons hosts a slew of events around the awards season including the annual BAFTA tea party, which brings in the Brits from across the pond, along with Meryl Streep and Leonardo DiCaprio; the AFI Awards luncheon honoring the nominees, and HBO gifting suites where swag is handed out to top talent. Modern-Italian restaurant Culina, the new Vinoteca bar, Windows Lounge (where Jamie Foxx has been known to play the piano), plush private screening room and intimate spa cabanas are all fair game for spotting Britney Spears, Sophia Vergara, Colin Firth, Morgan Freeman, and many other A-list stars.
3. Sunset Tower, West Hollywood
This Art Deco 1929 landmark hotel has been a host for post Golden Globes fetes and the biggest-ticket-in-town Vanity Fair Oscar soiree. Fans include Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in happier times, Tom Ford, Sean Penn, Jennifer Aniston, and Emma Stone who have all been seen in the Tower Bar restaurant. If you want to score a table, be nice to the famed Tower Bar maitre d', Dimitri Dimitrov.
4. Sunset Marquis, West Hollywood
During the Grammy weekend, this sprawling villa property with an underground recording studio is swarming with music industry players. Other regulars include George Clooney, Billy Bob Thorton, Danny Boyle, Pedro Almodovar, and Michael Fassbender, who mingle at Bar 1200, Cavatina restaurant or the Morrison Hotel gallery on site. Those staying in the Presidential Villa can access the luxurious accommodations via a private staircase from the underground parking lot to avoid the Paparazzi out front.
5. Montage Beverly Hills
This privately owned jewel in the heart of Beverly Hills resembles a Spanish villa or estate and is the home for many junkets, parties, and viewings during the busy awards season. A favorite among European and East Coast guests, the new Mediterranean-style Georgie’s restaurant was opened by Geoffrey Zakarian of Top Chef, Food Network fame. Recent fans have included Rachel Zoe, Chrissy Teigan, John Legend, and Justin Bieber playing piano in the lounge, but the old guard includes Oprah Winfrey, Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep.
6. Beverly Hills Hotel and Polo Lounge
The iconic pink hotel surrounded by dense flora and towering palm trees has just remodeled several of the legendary bungalows in honor of its past frequent hotel guests — such as Elizabeth Taylor who spent six of her eight honeymoons here. But, the real star spotting these days happens in the basement coffee shop or the Mediterranean-style patio of the Polo Lounge. Draped in bougainvillea and large banquette style booths, this historic spot is still a popular meeting point for any meal of the day. For breakfast, “The Hollywood” with scrambled egg whites and kale is the most ordered item; for both lunch and dinner, it’s hands down the chopped McCarthy Salad. The best power tables are the first three booths as you walk in — tables 1, 2, and 3 — for a selective perch. Some of the Hollywood royalty who have managed to secure one of these coveted spots include Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams.
7. Spago, Beverly Hills
Wolfgang Puck is perhaps the biggest celebrity chef in the business, and his leafy patio at Spago is still reeling in the power players of Hollywood. The team at Spago will always prepare the classic favorites for their powerful clientele such as the smoked salmon pizza with caviar (which is still served by Puck at the Oscars' Governors Ball every year), and the wiener schnitzel still holds top billing on the menu. Chef Puck can usually be seen table hoping, and the star power is still vast from the old guard to the new spanning Sidney Poitier to Justin Bieber, President Bill Clinton and Julia Roberts to name a few.
8. Madeo, Los Angeles
One of the most difficult tables to book for two decades, this Italian staple is located near the high-end design stores on Beverly Boulevard at the foot of the former ICM agency building. Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Lopez, Alec Baldwin, Matt Damon, Piers Morgan, and Rick and Kathy Hilton, have all been known to sweep by the paparazzi outside on any given night for a bite of pasta and pizza. Classic northern Italian favorites of the clientele range from branzino stuffed ravioli to spaghetti Bolognese. The small yet dramatic staircase, leads you underground to a crowded buzzy room rife with celebrity table hobnobbing. The best tables are in the banquettes to the left near the long wooden bar as the main entrance room puts everyone center stage.
9. Craig’s, West Hollywood
Undoubtedly, one of the hottest tables in town since opening about five years ago (and a Shahs of Sunset favorite to boot) Craig’s is the brainchild of former Dan Tana’s Maître d’ Craig Susser — who brought many of the A-list clientele with him. Popular dishes to order in the classic wood-paneled dining room include Big Al’s cheeseburger and Chef Rob’s fettucine alfredo with jalapeno. For those seeking privacy, sit in the back of the house in one of the cozy booths, but Lady Gaga and Elton John prefer to eat in the kitchen and slip out the back. Other fans range from Johnny Depp to Mariah Carey and Nick Jonas.
10. Catch, West Hollywood
This newcomer has one of the largest retractable rooftop dining patios in town with stunning views over the Pacific Design Center. The truffled sashimi and seafood heavy menu has been a hit with top talent since opening last fall and hosting the first of many pre-Emmy Awards parties, with plenty more scheduled for this winter’s round of award show bashes. Fans include Christian Slater, the Kardashian clan, along with Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Tyga, and Gene Simmons.
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