To Live and Dine in L.A.: Your Star Turn for a Day


It's America's most famous ZIP code, a five-digit name brand that's one of the world's most expensive residential and shopping areas. Visitors travel far and wide to arrive at Rodeo Drive and ogle anyone in oversize sunglasses, always hoping to spot Jennifer Lopez or even just Jennifer Love Hewitt.

For most, it's no more than a ZIP code of high-end boutiques that makes a window-shopper out of anyone not cocked with Platinum or Black AmEx (STOCK QUOTE: AXP). But for an elite few, it's a high-roller playground of be-seen dining, professional shopping and VIP nightlife magnified by the wattage of paparazzi and celebrity society. Here's your 24 hours to live like a 90210 superstar.

8 a.m. -- At home in the 90210

You awake at your 90210 home within the Thompson Beverly Hills. This Jason Pomeranc hotel revamps a former chain hotel, which is within walking distance to Rodeo Drive, with all the pizzazz of his NYC hotspots. The lobby is home to sexy BondSt restaurant, a regular stomping ground for 90210 neighbors like David Beckham and Britney Spears. Rooms conceal peek-a-boo views of the downtown skyline, the best of which are on the southeast corner of the hotel. Perfect during L.A.'s Indian summer, which lingers well into November, is a rooftop pool lounge known as ABH (Above Beverly Hills), the best in the city and only open to famous faces and in-house guests with a room key.

9 a.m. -- Fit like a film star

Located on the ground floor of the Endeavor Building -- yes, that uber-Hollywood agency depicted in HBO's "Entourage" -- is the city's glitziest fitness address, Sports Club LA Beverly Hills. Silicone-enhanced housewives show their Olympic prowess among a heartthrob staff of trainers-slash-actors. You'll also find some of the city's best fitness instructors like Brock Cahill offering one of the toughest 90-minute yoga-cardio classes you'll ever find. Afterward, hit the in-house spa for a gut-busting wrap or on-site juice bar for an exotic vegetable elixir.

11:30 a.m. -- Fancy some shopping?

You'll be all yawns and eye rolls shopping the strip of Barney's, Neiman Marcus and Saks (STOCK QUOTE: SKS) along Wilshire Boulevard. Instead, guys should make their way to the canary-yellow fashion palace on Rodeo Drive known as Bijan. While you can get an Armani or Brooks Brothers suit in almost any city, Bijan is a one-of-a-kind experience of private dressing rooms, on-site tailors and sometimes even a glass of bubbly with the designer himself. Women will want to gravitate to the Prada Epicenter, the fashion house's West Coast flagship designed by star architect Rem Koolhaas. Think of the alien dismemberment scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind with a fashion twist. A dramatic staircase extends from the façade with larger-than-life mannequins and submerged display windows in the floor.

1 p.m. -- Ladies and agents who lunch

In the early afternoon, the streets of Beverly Hills begin to feel like an oversized office park as buttoned-up workers from local talent agencies and law firms pound the pavement in search of nourishment. If you're entertaining a client like Rihanna or Jennifer Aniston, hotspots like Mr. Chow are the places to be. A valet line is manned with equal numbers of paparazzi and attendants, who greet celebrities that shun snapshots in between pouty poses while slinking their way through the glass doors. A two-story dining room is packed till 2 p.m. as locals linger, watching the treasure trove of dieting actresses and socialite housewives dining on steamed Chinese delicacies.

3 p.m. -- Art and cupcakes

It's the most respected art gallery in the city and where you exhibit if you're Richard Prince or Julian Schnabel. Gagosian Gallery is located in a boutique storefront at the corner of Bedford Drive, offering one of the best revolving art exhibitions on the West Coast. This fall, the gallery debuts "An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar" by Taryn Simon. The exhibition depicts several controversial civic issues with photographs of usually off-limit governmental sites. Her photographs include a series of nuclear canisters at a U.S. power plant, a copy of Playboy written in Braille and a portrait of a cancer patient fighting for the right to die. Afterward, allow your senses to retreat as you queue up at nearby Sprinkles, a cupcake bar, for some sugary condolence.

6 p.m. -- Hottest haute happy hour

Locals call it the best single's scene in Beverly Hills. Nic's Martini Lounge is home to the city's best weekday happy hour that pairs a polished drinking crowd with a sophisticated martini anytime between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Chocolate martinis, dirty martinis, lemon martinis and apple martinis are just some of the house favorites poured and shaken by rigorously trained bartenders, mixing neighborhood small talk with heavy-handed drinks. The bar hosts nightly entertainment with old-school piano men and the occasional jazz quartet on weekend nights. The crowd includes well-heeled office workers, snooty retail divas and the occasional cougar on an after-work poach.

8 p.m. -- L.A.'s most expensive restaurant

Urusawa is a local institution complete with multiple Michelin stars (2) and dishes topped with 24-karat gold flakes. You'll arrive to the Versace-chic Via Rodeo 2 with its Doric colonnades and stone staircase reminiscent of a Barack Obama stadium speech. The interior dining room is sleek yet simple with maple wood details and long sushi bar attended by some of the best Japanese chefs in the business. Not just attracting the wooing business types on cushy expense accounts, at this eatery, L.A.'s fanciest foodies and film elite arrive to indulge on tataki Kobe beef and rare blowfish sashimi that requires a separate state license just to serve.

11 p.m. -- Return to 1912, if you can get in

Until earlier this year, this hotel in Beverly Hills was better known for million-dollar weddings and pool-side romps than exclusive nightlife. That was until a coup of sorts took place as the manager of the ever-hip Four Seasons Lounge swapped ships to launch this VIP den known as Bar Nineteen 12. Just off the main lobby of the Beverly Hills Hotel, a cunning clipboard operator determines who gets in and who doesn't. Once inside, it's a deco-inspired lounge space with built-in banquettes brimming with champagne bottle service and occasional $2,500 caviar setting. If not in the mood to sit, an outdoor terrace is cast in moonlight and hip-hop anthems overlooking the Century City skyline and perfectly capturing the new groove of the 90210.

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