A Hollywood Director’s Guide to Los Angeles

Nancy Meyers has impeccable taste. She’s the film director, producer and screenwriter behind some movies you may have heard of, including: The Parent TrapSomething’s Gotta Give, The Holiday, Father of the Bride, It’s Complicated, Private Benjamin, The Intern and What Women Want. You know, just a few little movies.

Meyers is more than just a Hollywood name. As one of the most successful female writer/directors ever, she has a knack for tapping into the cultural zeitgeist of a given time and celebrating it in a way that stays with you. Her map of influence isn’t hard to trace. Do Annie and Hallie, Lindsay Lohan’s characters in the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap, still inform your sartorial decisions like they do mine? I mean: the headbands, the yellow two-piece skirt suits, the camp T-shirts worn with messy, brassy ponytails. So good. And did Steve Martin, AKA George Banks in Father of the Bride, not epitomize a very specific, admirable breed of Cool Dads? Recall the baseball caps, the white sneakers, the khakis!

Meyers hails from Philadelphia, but her career brought her to Los Angeles in 1971. That’s 45 years to soak up L.A., filter it through her inimitable point of view, and in so doing form her own version of this town. As an L.A. dweller, I was dying to know where a person like Meyers likes to hang out. So I asked her. And to my distinct pleasure, she told me.

Here are 11 of Meyer’s favorite places in Los Angeles. Her tastes in food, wandering and inspiration are as exquisite as the rest of her. Not that I’m surprised.


In Malibu: Nobu
Where: 22706 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
Why: “It’s one of the best locations in Los Angeles with some of the best food in Los Angeles. I feel like I’m on vacation when I’m there!”

In Fairfax: Jon & Vinny’s
Where: 412 North Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA
Why: “Great salad, great pasta, great music.”

In Santa Monica: Milo & Olive
Where: 2723 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 9040
Why: “Love their pizza.”

In Venice: Gjusta
Where: 320 Sunset Ave, Venice, CA 90291
Why: “Best bread in L.A.”

In Atwater Village: Proof Bakery
Where: 3156 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039
Why: “They have insanely good sandwiches. They put them out at noon so don’t go late!”


The Brentwood Country Mart
Where: 225 26th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402
Why: “It has a vintage feel, is a safe, easy place to hang and in the summer they show movies outside for kids.”

Melrose Place
Where: Melrose Avenue
Why: “I love to walk on Melrose Place. It’s an unusual shopping street for L.A., full of charm. We shot Franck’s (Martin Short’s) office in Father of the Bride on Melrose Place in 1990 and it still looks almost the same.”


The Hollywood Bowl
Where: 2301 Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068
Why: “Magical.”

Movie studio lots: Warners, Sony, Paramount, Fox
Where: All over L.A.
Why: “These places are filled with L.A.’s history of great filmmaking. You can feel the aura of the great stars, writers and directors. They’re still exciting to me after all these years. And the stages where The Wizard of Oz and Casablanca were shot are still here and still in use!”

The beach
Why: “On a weekday [it’s] empty and beautiful.”

My friends and family’s homes
Why: “These are my real favorite places to be in L.A.”


Illustration by Emily Zirimis.

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