Hollywood's Hottest Restaurants: Secrets From the Haunts of A-Listers


Hollywood's Hottest Restaurants: Secrets From the Haunts of A-Listers

Lights, camera, chow down. 

Hollywood’s biggest stars embody the “work hard, play hard” lifestyle, but when it comes to A-listers letting loose, not just any place will do. Bold-faced names in Los Angeles live large and they expect their favorite haunts to do the same. As such, there is an exclusive circle of hotspots in Tinseltown that can consider themselves the go-to for celebrities. And E! News has the lowdown on every single one. 

Hollywood's Hottest Restaurants, Sunset Tower Bar

Getty Images; E! Illustration

This is Old Hollywood glam like never before. Picture a grand art deco hotel at the very top of the Sunset Strip, where the industry’s most powerful comes to do business. Rarely is a star sighting here just for pleasure—they’re most often meeting with agents, managers or directors to discuss a role or endorsement. And the view of the sparkling city below doesn’t hurt either.

VIP Eats: It’s a hotel bar, so everything here is overpriced. Stars can pick from the $95 seafood tower, the $40 entrees or the side of French fries for $13 (yes, that’s basically $1 per fry). Bottles of champagne, to celebrate a newly-sealed deal, go for hundreds. But the biggest draw here is the ice cream sundae menu: You pick your flavor, throw on toppings like Oreos or Butterfinger, add whipped cream and hot fudge and enjoy.

VIP Treatment: Privacy is extremely important here, and the Tower Bar management is diligent in making sure that stories and sightings don’t leak unnecessarily. Think of all the business deals being done on the down low. There is a strict no pictures policy (yes, that means Instagram too—sorry, would-be star spotters).  This is also a huge hotspot come award season, as many attendees camp out at the hotel while they get ready for the big event. 

Hollywoods Hottest Restaurants, Nobu Malibu

Getty Images; E! Illustration

Sure, this restaurant is indoor-outdoor, but the real draw is the giant oceanfront patio. Nowhere else in LA has a better vantage point to watch the sunset—at least, nowhere else that also allows you to sip rosé and drop hundreds of dollars on sushi. Now that the Soho House has an outpost in Malibu, this seaside drag makes for a star-studded one-two punch. 

VIP Eats: The Kardashians can take their pick from the $56 lobster salad, $58 king crab or $78 strip steak.

VIP Treatment: When A-listers (cough…Kardashians…cough…Mariah Carey) come to Nobu, they’re immediately treated to their own private digs. The back room of the restaurant can be entirely blocked off by security and even has its own patio. All the better to admire the sunset without the watchful eye of fellow restaurant-goers. 

Hollywoods Hottest Restaurants, Catch

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This is a New York transplant that’s been given the full Hollywood treatment. It’s the rooftop full monty: City views, cool breezes and hot clientele. If you’ve seen a member of Young Hollywood photographed dining out lately, chances are it was at Catch

VIP Eats: Everything here is luxe, but a few extra-pricey items are the $155 seafood tower, $93 Alaskan king crab or the $90 ribeye. Celebs also love the Hit Me Cake, a decadent mix of chocolate and ice cream that oozes out when you hit it, making for the perfect Instagram—everyone from Lucy Haleto Sofia Vergara has enjoyed its excess. 

VIP Treatment: The restaurant can fit a whopping 700 people, but owner Mark Birnbaum says the number one goal is to make it feel like an intimate dining experience when A-listers come by. That can mean anything from seating stars in a private room, moving giant hedges to create walls or even pulling down curtains to separate dining areas. The most coveted table on the rooftop is behind a cage of sorts, and they always save it for any last-minute star drop-ins. And yes, there are always last-minute drop-ins. 

Hollywood's Hottest Restaurants, Giorgio Baldi

Getty Images; E! Illustration

Where do you go if your position on the Hollywood A-list is solid and you’re looking for a cozy, candlelit vibe that also happens to be tucked into your tony seaside enclave of Pacific Palisades? This old time-y Italian restaurant that has also managed to keep its luster for years on end. 

VIP Eats: Handmade pasta is the house specialty, but if you really want to splurge then get the $90 lobster, the bite-sized $35 ahi tuna appetizer or the $50 dover sole. 

VIP Treatment: There is—surprise, surprise—a private room. Rihanna once rented it out for a six-hour long karaoke party. But the best spot in the house is undoubtedly one very particular table in the back, right by the chef, where Kim and Kanye, among others, have done date night. Stars who are regulars get treated to all sorts of special dishes and are allowed to use the private side entrance to come and go. 

Hollywood's Hottest Restaurants, Craig's

Getty Images; E! Illustration

The front door of Craig’s might, on any given night, contain the highest concentration of paparazzi in greater Los Angeles. Hanging out outside the restaurant entrance is your best bet for a celeb sighting in West Hollywood. Once inside, the stars (one of the more A-list rosters in the city) dine on guilty pleasure foods in a refined, white tablecloth dining room. 

VIP Eats: We said this was the cheat day spot and we meant it. All the biggest celebs are splurging on dishes like carbonara pasta with truffle (for $36), scallops ($40) and, when they’re really looking to put the guilt in guilty pleasure, the pizza laden with truffle sauce. 

VIP Treatment: A lot of stars go to Craig’s because of the paparazzi (it’s like a catwalk where you also get to eat French fries), but those looking for a little more discreetness can pull their cars around to the private back alley and receive an escort into the restaurant (through the kitchen) by trustworthy staff members. Security can even close the gate to the back entrance, so that stars can safely pile into their rides without exposing a new relationship or giving off the impression that they hit the wine a little too hard. 

Hollywoods Hottest Restaurants, Gracias Madre

Getty Images; E! Illustration

Gracias Madre is an all-vegan Mexican restaurant that serves organic tequila, yet it’s consistently packed with star status. Celebs sit in a gorgeous outdoor patio decked out with string lights, tiled fire pits and chic vintage throw blankets aplenty. It’s also directly across the street from Craig’s, meaning the block can turn into a paparazzi-filled red carpet of sorts. 

VIP Eats: The most shocking thing about this restaurant is that its prices are decidedly un-A-list. In fact, they’re actually quite reasonable. Regulars tout the sweet potato flautas, the quinoa bowls and of course the guacamole. 

VIP Treatment: Stars use the same entrance as everybody else here, but they are allowed to bring in bodyguards to surround their table when necessary. And yes, they always sit outside.


Published at Mon, 08 May 2017 19:00:00 +0000

Will & Grace's Debra Messing Says Even Politicians Are Pitching Themselves to Her for the Revival

Debra Messing can count her proudest moments of her entire life on one hand.

“When Vice President Biden said on Meet the Press that Will & Grace had done more to educate the country about LGBT issues than anything else, besides the birth of my son that was the proudest moment of my life. And I have to believe—I think tonight’s going to be the third,” she told E! News at the GLAAD Awards where she was honored with the GLAAD Excellence in Media Award.

Messing will return to the groundbreaking series for 12 episodes this fall. She’ll reunite with costars Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally for the revival that was sparked by their secret reunion to film an election PSA. The fact that they’re reuniting is still something she’s trying to wrap her head around.

“I mean, never in a million years had I thought it was possible except for maybe like in 30 years doing a geriatric Will & Grace, but I’m really happy,” she said.

The original Will & Grace featured huge guest stars on a regular basis, from Cher and Madonna to Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez. Seems like that tradition could continue with the revival.

“I’ve lost track of the number of people who have pitched themselves and I say bring it, I say bring it,” she told us. But who’s trying to get into it with Will Truman and Grace Adler?

“I won’t tell you, but it includes politicians,” Messing revealed.

Will & Grace returns this fall on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)


Published at Mon, 08 May 2017 18:33:00 +0000