Places to Spot Celebrities in L.A

In Los Angeles, basically any place is a good place to see a celebrity. I remember having a flat tire once, and running into a well-known actor at a gas station. But there are certain spots where your chances of seeing someone famous is statistically higher. Why? Because just like you and I, celebrities have their favorite restaurants, clothing stores, and clubs.

Off the Sunset Strip, their is a Thai Restaurant called Toi’s. Toi’s is notorious for three things: it’s hip, Hollywood decor(movie posters align the inner walls), its fantastic Thai food, and one of their “usual’s” – film writer/director extraordinaire Quentin Tarantino. I’ve seen him there twice, during the late night, and I do admit it was the major reason I was eating there in the first place.

Another celebrity hotspot just around the block from Toi’s is Canter’s Deli, located about two miles south on Fairfax. Canter’s Deli itself is a famous landmark in L.A., and their celebrity patrons’ pictures line the walls inside. Subject of the documentary Mayor of Sunset Strip and musical icon Rodney Bingenheimer eats there so much he has his own booth. Members of the band Weezer have been known to come through for a meal late at night, and Regis Philbin swears to it, on the air, that he eats there whenever he’s in L.A. Janneane Garofalo and Ben Stiller say Canter’s Deli is where they first met, as Stiller enjoyed a breakfast of “cereal and cole slaw.”

The Los Angeles nightlife is another great opportunity to go celeb-watching. The Derby located in Los Feliz was a major filming location for the movie Swingers, and an admittedly favorite club for stars Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau (be forewarned though, a place that famous for housing the famous immediately becomes saturated with wannabe’s and hipster parasites immediately crossing it off the list of favorite places of celebs). The same deal happened for The Viper Room owned by Johnny Depp, located further down on Sunset Boulevard. After the untimely passing of River Phoenix at the clubs front steps, the club became a hording ground for those who wanted to “be seen, in the scene.”

If you’re feeling a bit more lavish, you can make reservations at Nobu in Beverly Hills. The luxurious sushi joint is a favorite of too many celebrities to name, some of which include Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and John Travolta. If your wallet can’t really handle the expensive scenery, there is Miyagi’s Sushi Restaurant on Sunset Boulevard, which has been known to serve lesser-known stars like Andrew Shue of Melrose Place fame and Beverly Mitchell of 7th Heaven.

Aside from that, there is the Palladium on Western and Wilshire, the Key Club located at the tip of the Sunset Strip, just before you hit Beverly Hills, and Amoeba Music on Cahuenga and Sunset. The Palladium and the Key Club are musical venues, which will attract many celebs depending on the acts playing, but the Key Club has been known to house the famous on low-key nights without any musical performances. I have seen Ellen Degeneres, Anne Heche(on separate occassions), Jessica Biel, and Ron Jeremy enjoying drinks at the bar on some of my numerous visits.

In Los Angeles, truly any place is a good place to spot a celebrity, but the places mentioned above are nearly surefire hits. The thing to remember, though, is that famous people are still people, and they’re not out on the town looking to be seen. They’re simply out to have fun just like everyone else. If you’re looking to tickle your fancy by glancing over and seeing someone famous, this list is a good place to start. If you’re looking to stalk, harrass and network your script – try going to Paramount Studios on Melrose or Sony Pictures in Culver City. There’s bound to be famous people there.

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