MY STYLE: Low-key, clean lines, and comfortable elegance.
I LOVE LOS ANGELES BECAUSE: The weather is incredible; I take long walks from my house to the Palisades above the beach — you look north and would swear you were at the Du Cap in Cap d’Antibes (sans pool boys, sadly). We have every healthful and delicious food option available — Whole Foods, organic cafes, and juice bars exist on practically every corner. Because of our climate, kids can play team sports year long (my boys are involved in very type of sport imaginable, including imaginary ones), which is so important to their socialization and well-being. Here in Santa Monica, they’re also exposed to people from all walks of life. It’s important to me that they know the world isn’t homogenous; learning to move within worlds is key to success in life.
Ivy at the Shore
The Ivy, one of the most popular restaurants in Los Angeles for celebrities and locals alike, is now at the Shore in Santa Monica. Guaranteed to be a much less chaotic scene, the view at this beachside second location is far superior, assuming you’re not looking to people-watch. The menus at the two restaurants are virtually the same, and the signature floral arrangements and colorful atmosphere are present as well, but with a more nautical twist. Despite the steep prices and high-class customers, both the food and the ambiance are meant to evoke a sense of comfort. “Casual yet chic. This is my all-time favorite restaurant. The margaritas are excellent — and very strong, so be careful!” says Gig Grazer, who also likes to go to The Ivy on Mother’s Day. “I have to control myself with the scone basket,” she admits.
The Veggie Grill serves, “fast food with an emphasis on health and taste,” says Gigi Grazer, who takes her kids there after they play sports. “My boys love the kids’ meals there like the meatless “chickin” nuggets and organic pudding. I love the “hail kale” salad—I could literally eat it every day.” Whether you’re trying to refuel after a game or get a yummy bite to eat without the calories, the Veggie Grill is here to help. It offers its very own goodness guide and nutritional primer to get you started and answer all of your questions about eating right. But that doesn’t mean sacrificing taste—Veggie Grill’s french fries are said to be some of the best in the region. If you want to spread the word—and the deliciousness—the grill also caters events so that all of your friends can eat right too.
Gigi Grazer agrees with Chad Harbach that there’s something to be said for America’s pastime. “There’s nothing like watching a major league baseball game with the sun setting in the background as a light breeze brushes past you. That, plus a few Dodger dogs, frozen lemonade, and the hope of catching a foul ball, makes a perfect ending to an L.A. day,” she says. While the Dodgers aren’t exactly the best team in the league, it’s still fun to cheer them on with friends and family. On Fridays there are often fireworks and on some Sundays kids can run the bases. Ticket prices may vary according to the different match-ups, but if you’re willing to sacrifice being close, they shouldn’t cost you more than $100.
At first glance, you would never guess that stylish boutique owner Elyse Walker, who started her retail career at age 18, is also a mathematician. When you visit her store, though, you’ll realize that her calculating eye for proportion and desire to add on to the space continuously—it has been expanded four times—equals one fabulous shopping experience. Walker has also started a magazine and blog for her store and is the creator of “The Pink Party,” an annual star-studded runway show and event that raises money for cancer research. On top of all that, she’ll even take the time to be your personal stylist, though the store has plenty of other stylists on call too. “My personal shopper, Jackie, is the best,” says Gigi Grazer. She’ll arrive at my house before the season weighed down with designer dresses and jeans, new designers and the stand-bys like Leger and Valentino. Love!”
Casa Del Mar
“Come live on the edge,” boasts this hotel’s website. The edge of the beach, that is. Located literally right on the sand of the Santa Monica shoreline, the views at Casa Del Mar, known locally as, “The Pink Palace,” are one of a kind. Its “Live Well Again” program offers yoga and fitness classes right on the beach, and you can even surf with the hotel restaurant chef for a small fee. Lunch is included, of course. If you’re not a guest of the hotel, you can join Club Casa del Mar and gain access to the pool, fitness center, and wellness activities. Gigi Grazer goes to The Polo Lounge for what some consider the best martinis. Grazer goes further, describing her entire stay with her family as “the best three weeks of [her] life.”
Beverly Hills Hotel
We’d love to lounge for days on end on the green-and-white-striped pool chairs at this iconic Hollywood hotel. Despite its “throwback” aesthetic (pink stucco, marble bathtubs, you name it), the Beverly Hills Hotel is well equipped to attract today’s hippest crowds—kids included. “We’ll have Easter egg hunts and staycations here,” says Lara Shriftman. “It’s our home away from home. We love the pool and fountain coffee shop.”