Beverly Hills is a town that caters to the rich, but you don’t have to be
a millionaire to spend a day like one. Put on a comfortable (and yet
chic) pair of shoes and enjoy all of the over-the-top opulence and Old
Hollywood charm that 90210 has to offer. A quick note about parking –
while you can occasionally find street parking, a garage is usually your
best bet. Parking rates aren’t too painful – usually around $7.00 for the
day – and lots are everywhere.
Start the day off with breakfast at Nate n’ Al’s. The delicatessen is a
bit pricier than an average establishment of its kind, but stick with the
basics (a shortstack of buttermilk pancakes for $6.95 or a design-your-
own omelette from $7.95 up) and you should be able to leave without
hurting too badly. There are very few places in Los Angeles that can
pull off a true blue New York vibe and Nate n’ Al’s is one of them. The
waitresses can come off as a bit brash, but the service is quick and
efficient and the food is tasty. If you don’t mind soup for breakfast,
definitely try their matzo ball ($4.75 for a cup).
Spend the rest of the morning and early afternoon window shopping on
Rodeo Drive. Popular spots include Gucci, Prada, Bulgari and Neiman
Marcus. Channel your inner Julia Roberts and gawk at jewels in Tiffany’s
or the high fashion at Chanel. Perhaps even treat yourself to a small
something. I treated myself to a $75 bottle of perfume at Yves Saint-
Laurent a year ago – the bottle is still half full and I feel glamorous
every time I put some on.
Before leaving this neck of the woods, swing by Sprinkles and pick up a
cupcake or two. The tasty treats are $3.25 each and come in a variety
of flavors. I recommend the black-and-white and red velvet. Flavors
vary daily, and lines are often out the door. The cupcakes are huge and
the best in town.
All of the luxury daydreaming will have you worn out and hungry, so
head to the also chic Robertson Boulevard area. Have lunch at the Ivy
(make reservations in advance) and request the patio, though it can be
difficult to snag during certain times of the day. The famous power
lunch spot hasn’t changed much since it’s opening in the 1980s, but the
floral prints and tuxedo-clad waiters make you wish you were having
lunch with a studio head. The menu can be pricey, and the service
encounters are a mixed bag, but the experience is worth it.
After lunch, your shopping energy will have returned and you can
explore the shops on Robertson. While not technically in Beverly Hills,
it is right nearby and definitely worth a stop. Check out stores like
Kitson (very popular with the “it” crowd), and Lisa Kline. Petit Tresor is
such a cute and hip baby shop it may make you want to have one. Take
a break and people watch as you enjoy your Sprinkles purchase.
Celebrity sightings are frequent in this area, so keep your eyes peeled.
The Beverly Center is another stop you should make on your day of
shopping. The mall has a massive selection of stores, including H&M,
Macy’s and Sephora. There are also several restaurant options (P.F.
Chang’s China Bistro, Grand Lux Cafe, etc.).
If you don’t feel like dinner at the mall or a chain restaurant, stop by
Crustacean for Euro-Asian or Grill on the Alley for a steak
Round out your evening with a drink at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo
Lounge. The “Pink Palace” has stayed true to its roots. You will never
meet friendlier valets, and once you walk into the hotel you will feel
transported back to the days of Grace Kelly and Cary Grant. Your drink
in the famed Lounge will be more than you expect (around $16 for a
cocktail), but it will also be strong enough so that you’ll get some bang
for your bucks. Lean back and enjoy the ambience. The hotel also has
a small row of shops on their bottom floor (take the stairs near the
Lounge). There is the Fountain Coffee Room diner there as well, but it
closes at 7:00pm.
You will definitely have to come back to Beverly Hills for another day
(other sights include the Museum of Television & Radio, now the Paley
Center for Media), but feel satisfied in your day of excess.