What do you think of when you think of Beverly Hills? Most people who don’t actually live here – even those who do – probably think “Rodeo Drive” and all of life’s luxuries that comes along with it, palm tree lined streets, and that famous “Beverly Hills” fountain on SMB.
And truth be told Beverly Hills is all of that for sure – plus a little extra. But there is so much more to this part of town that is worth enlightening anyone weary of the Beverly Hills bubble or simply convinced it’s a one-note neighborhood. Here are my personal and perhaps “not so obvious” favorite things to do in Beverly Hills:
Ok fine this one is totally obvious, but it’s mandatory. You have to visit the famous and beloved by all Beverly Hills Hotel. It’s arguably my favorite place in all of Los Angeles, and even though the obvious thing to do here would be to dine poolside or in the Polo Lounge… my favorite thing about the Beverly Hills Hotel is actually the Fountain Coffee Room. This classic and completely original tiny diner has been serving up some of LA’s best burgers, breakfast, and pies since 1949, and that doesn’t look like it will be changing any time soon!
If you’re feeling adventurous, another one of my absolute favorite pastimes in LA is to drive through the Beverly Hills neighborhoods – especially through Mulholland Dr. You’ll not only see some of the most expensive houses in the world, but you’ll be subject to some of the best views of the city. Go during the day if you want to see the houses (although, fair warning, they may be covered by large fences) or go at night to look out at the moonlit expanse of the city. Just be sure you find a lookout point – they’re normally marked and have time limitations. *I always save these drives for when I have visitors from out of town! They love to see these quintessential estates, and frankly it never gets old – even for me.
Close to Rodeo but not on it, go sip some of the finest whiskey at £10 (10 Pound Bar), a cocktail bar inside the Montage Hotel with seating that overlooks the Beverly Canon Gardens. The speakeasy style vibe will make you feel like you’re not only in Beverly Hills, but thriving there.
If you’re in the mood for fancy without the typical Beverly Hills ‘tude, definitely do Tempura Endo. This is a tiny, upscale tempura bar with eight chairs overlooking the kitchen and eight more overlooking the zen garden. This place offers tempura the way the Japanese intended to eat it, with rare wagyu, uni or king crab. Obvs, it’s expensive, and the seating is limited so plan for this place in advance!
Alright moving right along on this Japanese kick, one of the coolest experiences I think LA has to offer as a whole happens to be in Los Angeles, and that is Tomoko Spa. Again – also v fancy but not pretentious, just freaking cool and worth the $$$! They’re definitely known for their couple spa experiences where you not only experience some of the highest quality spa treatments, you also get to dine on an incredible and absolutely BEAUTIFUL Japanese meal. You wont experience anything quite like this anywhere else, and it’s 5 star luxury all the way around.
But maybe Japanese cuisine isn’t your thing either. A new-ish restaurant that I’m fully appreciating at the moment is Gratitude. It’s a sister to the infamous Cafe Gratitude and Gracias Madre restaurants in Los Angeles, and is located right in the heart of Beverly Hills on Canon. It’s definitely the bougiest of all of the Gratiudes, and the prettiest I might add. With a unique offering of vegan cuisine plus a slew of delicious craft cocktails, you’ll get to experience the hubbub of rodeo drive without actually being on it!
Maybe you’ve heard of all of these places or maybe you haven’t! But if you want to avoid the super touristy parts of one of the biggest tourist attractions in Los Angeles, than try checking out some of these spots. I guarantee they won’t disappoint, just make sure you bring your pocketbook – there’s no getting around that part!