OCCUPATION: Freelance writer
MY STYLE IS: Very southern California—effortless and classic, with a twist. I like staples in beautiful fabrics, with a bit of surprise. Most often I’m in jeans or khakis, button-down tunics, linen, or cashmere scarves and flats. I love Calypso St. Barth for breezy linens and cozy cashmere, J. Crew for staples and some surprises, and Tory Burch and Diane Von Furstenberg for wardrobe updates.
I LOVE L.A. BECAUSE: The weather makes planning and getting around very convenient. Almost every day is a beach day, especially in October when the crowds have left and the light is exquisite. Neighborhoods range from suburban to edgy, and it’s wonderful to expose your children to all walks of life! And it’s a culinary playground, with abundant access to farm-fresh, innovative cuisine.
Fresh salads, sandwiches, and pastries are the hallmark of Clementine, a family-run café whose name evokes the seasonality and authenticity that chef Annie Miler applies to the menu. Shane McCoy Fermelia recommends it for the fresh homemade scones and shortbread cookies which, when in season, are “embellished like little jewels.” These dainty pastries and sweets may be best sampled as part of Clementine’s Afternoon Tea, an elegant, English-inspired service that occurs on Thursday afternoons.
Gourmet magazine called Il Pastaio a “taste of heaven” and Kimora Lee Simmons agrees, calling it her “favorite place for a mid-day meal.” Owned by renowned restaurateur and Italian native, Giacomino Drago, it has been making fresh, homemade pastas since 1994. The menu has something for everyone, with Italian classics like pasta with meatballs and more adventurous combinations, like pumpkin tortellini and seafood risotto with squid ink sauce. While you can’t get these delicious dishes delivered home, you can call ahead and order take-out. In typical Italian style, the Drago family’s teeming members are only matched by their passion for food. So enter one of their seven restaurants in the Hills and you will feel like you’re not only in Italy, but also like you’re at home.
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.”
Shabu shabu is Japan’s answer to fondue, but instead of oil, cheese or chocolate, a fragrant pot of boiling kelp broth cooks your favorite meats and vegetables. The result is decidedly healthier, and just as delicious when dipped into the sesame and ponzu sauces that traditionally accompany the meal. L.A.’s favorite shabu shabu spot seems to be Mizu 212, where organic beef, locally-picked produce, and sustainable seafood comprise the platters served in the clean, modern space.
An allergy or intolerance doesn’t hinder a sweet tooth. Babycakes founder Erin McKenna knew this when she built a bakery rich in alternatives to wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, and eggs. Agave nectar replaces refined sugar in Babycakes’ cupcakes, brownies, and other confections, and the bakery even hits the spot for sans sensitivity—so much so that it now has four locations and two cookbooks.