Postcards From LA: Snapshots of West Coast Living

Don’t miss a beat! Click HERE to become a BELLA Insider!

West Coast living for East Coast dwellers … the best of what to do the next time you’re in California.

Rodeo Drive Renaissance
Always the fabulous go-to shopping destination when in Los Angeles, Rodeo Drive is experiencing somewhat of a revival of late with a crop of great new openings and revamps giving it a fresh and exciting feel.

Tory Burch and Hermes recently opened their flagship stores in the 90210 zip code. Celine and Vera Wang are new additions, Burberry and DSquared2 are coming soon and Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent both went through multi-million dollar renovations.

The city of Beverly Hills celebrates its centennial this year and is as luxe and beautiful as ever. So there’s every reason to stop by and see what’s new on Rodeo Drive next time you’re in town. Black AMEX optional!

PS I Love You

It’s easy to see why the Rat Pack ventured down to Palm Springs so much in the 1960s, and it still holds the same appeal now. Amazing weather, easy pace of life and only the greatest hotels, bars and restaurants. At just a two-hour drive from LA, it’s the perfect quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

A fabulous place to stay is the classic Viceroy Palm Springs, which has been a favorite since the 1930s. Nestled around three beautiful courtyards amid the backdrop of the majestic mountains, the luxurious property has everything you need for the perfect retreat. The world class Estrella spa, Citron Restaurant serving up gourmet delights, and that welcoming glass of champagne upon arrival don’t hurt either.

Other delicious places to dine include Workshop, one of the beloved restaurants in town. Their crispy local goat’s cheese, fries in duck fat and mesquite grilled pork chop with white yam puree are just among the array of mouthwatering menu offerings. Their Painkiller Martini promises to “cure what ails ya, and ail what cures ya,” which it definitely does. 

Anne Hathaway, Jon Hamm and DJ David Guetta are just some of the celebrity clientele who make Workshop a must-visit when in the desert town. • 

Magical And Playful Dining

If you want a gastronomic, mouth-circus experience, then please run, skip and jump over to The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Beverly Hills Hotel. Mixing old-style tapas from his native Spain with new-age molecular gastronomy twists on classics like Philly Cheese Steak will have you intrigued, excited and quivering with anticipation at what pleasure sensation the next dish will bring to your taste buds. The modern liquid style olives are a treat, the oxtail steamed buns are “moreish,” and the beet salad with Pop Rocks-style garnish literally gives you a mini fireworks display in your mouth.

Winning a slew of awards including Best Hotel Restaurant and Restaurant of the Year, The Bazaar is one culinary experience everyone should try at least once – but you will be back for more! And, leave room for dessert, which will take you on a short walk through the European-inspired indoor piazza to the separate whimsical patisserie area where the mammoth sweets selection gives the perfect ending to a sensational culinary journey.

Brazilian Beach Body Workout

What better place to work out on a gorgeous summer day than beachside in Santa Monica? Professional Brazilian soccer player Tadeo has turned his love of the game into a fun and energetic workout to get you out of the stuffy gym and into the great outdoors. The Cuerpaso classes are taught in the morning and at sunset to make the best out of the extended daylight hours. 

Cuerpaso means “amazing body,” and we can see what his work has done for his celebrity, athletes and regular clients. The routine is a combination of Latin dance and callisthenic soccer training drills, which gives an aerobic and anaerobic workout to get you in the best shape this summer. 

Tadeo has trained the likes of Kerry Washington, Jesse Metcalfe and Sherri Shepherd, so you’ll be in good hands!

Foodie Fun

Some of my recent favorite foodie experiences include taking a cooking class with Chef Eric at his Culinary Classroom, dropping in for the limitless mimosa brunch at Mixology 101 at the famed Farmer’s Market at the Grove, and dining at Hakkasan, home to some of the best Chinese food in LA.

Special Spotlight

Direct Relief is a Santa Barbara-based non-profit organization that provides medical resources to impoverished people or those affected by emergency situations like the Haiti earthquake disaster.

Supported by stars like Jane Lynch and “The Bachelor” host Chris Harrison, a recent gala raised more than $250,000 to help Direct Relief reduce preventable maternal and infant death, which affects nearly 300,000 women in developing countries each year. The Santa Barbara Wine Auction raised over $1 million in total for the charity. 

Direct Relief is active across the U.S. working with over 1,000 health clinics to help in emergency situations and to provide free medication for those in need. It also offers assistance in 70 countries and has received a 100 percent fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes magazine.

Written By
More from Dee Clarke

A First for the Design District: La Peer Hotel West Hollywood

  West Hollywood is known for its rich culture and combining fashion,...
Read More