OCCUPATION: Founder and Pastry Chef, Sprinkles
MY STYLE: Simple and modern with an appreciation for good color
I LOVE L.A. BECAUSE: It’s the ideal place to raise young kids because you can always get outside and there are so many incredible parks and beaches.
The Fountain Coffee Room at the Beverly Hills Hotel
The Fountain Coffee Room at the Beverly Hills Hotel is not as swanky as the Polo Lounge one floor up, but it’s no less enjoyable. While settling yourself on one of the vinyl stools by the counter, spread a white and salmon pink cloth napkin on your lap and take in the splendid vintage banana wallpaper. You too can nurse milkshakes and hangovers alike, just like the many stars that have come before you. In other words, you can enjoy that greasy hamburger while pretending the guy a few seats down is James Dean (hey, we’d settle for James Franco)! You’ll also find eggs with hash browns, salads, silver dollar buttermilk pancakes that come with an individual-sized bottle of maple syrup, classic fountain drinks like root beer floats, and coffee of course! Finish off a meal like Candace Nelson and family, with one of the amazing orange freezes made with oranges squeezed right in front of you.
The Hammer Museum is a testament to what vision, money, and some gorgeously striped Carrara marble can do. Armand Hammer was a businessman and avid collector who, instead of donating his collection to LACMA, as once promised, simply built his own museum in the heart of Westwood. AHMACC opened to the public in 1990 and is operated by UCLA. Its permanent collection ranges from Chardin to de Kooning, and the exhibits often feature cutting-edge and relatively unknown contemporary artists. It also hosts a number of programs, including the Family Flicks Film Series and Sunday Afternoons for Kids—a worksop series that encourages creativity and collaboration.
The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills
With over 500 different kinds of cheese, this gourmet shop probably has what you’re looking for, or what you don’t even know you’re looking for! Inside, it feels like a historic library with cheese instead of books piled high on the shelves. Of course, the free samples are the best part and after a few toothpicks’ worth, you’ll want to fill your basket with all you can carry. Not only does the store stock rare, fresh, handmade cheeses from around the world—one variety, shipped directly from Tuscany, is filled with white truffles—you’ll also find a large wine selection and all the cooking essentials required for an at-home tasting. If you want to leave it to the professionals, there are in-store tastings throughout the year. And if you’re shopping for fellow gourmands, try a gift basket. They range from $40-$275 and are guaranteed to make anyone say, “cheese!”
Annenberg Community Beach House
During the Gold Coast era of the 1920s, this strip of the Santa Monica State Beach, and the 100-plus-room house built there, to be more specific, was where actress Marion Davies called home. Here she played hostess to the likes of Greta Garbo and Clark Gable, but after exchanging numerous hands the main house was demolished in 1956. In 2009, with a generous grant from The Annenberg Foundation, the city of Santa Monica rehabilitated the site to create a public gathering spot for sun, sand, and culture. Today the beach house represents a unique destination, combining the historic elements of the Marion Davies Estate with a center for family and community. So go lay in the sun, rent a paddleboard, play a game of beach volleyball, or see some art in the gallery—you don’t need a membership but you will need a reservation!
The Four Seasons Los Angeles
Laidback luxury, with several California twists (for one, the gym is on an open-air terrace). Kids can kick back in miniature bathrobes, while the concierge arranges visits to family-friendly destinations like the Skirball Cultural Center or Legoland. As for the spa, it too is worth a visit. As Candace Nelson puts it, “it may not be the most elaborate in the city, but I think it’s the best,” she says. “Book an appointment with Genia, manicurist to the stars! Her mani/pedis last three weeks and she loves hearing stories about your kids.”
Petersen Automotive Museum
No city needs a 300,000 square foot museum wholly dedicated to motorized vehicles, but in 1994, the Peterson Car Museum was founded to be just that. Today, the popular four-story mecca—displaying over 150 cars and motor bikes—inspires children, moms, and dads alike. In addition to housing everything from celebrity-owned cars and racecars to vintage motorcycles, Peterson also encompasses the May Family Discovery Center, which uses automotive artifacts to spark kids’ educational interest in science and engineering at large.