Ready for your close-up? Even if you’re not one of the glittery, overprivileged few who will be basking in superfluous glory at the Academy Awards on Sunday, February 27, there’s no reason you can’t party–and eat and get pampered–like an A-lister. I’m not talking about those invite-only parties for the rich, famous, and hyper-ego’d. I’m talking about glammed up dishes, stellar cocktails and special red-carpet experiences for the rest of us. Read on to find out where to go for some Oscar-inspired fun around Los Angeles.
Peninsula Beverly Hills - 9882 South Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Just in time for awards season, the Peninsula hotel’s Red Carpet-Ready Experience is ready to give you a taste of the good life…if you have no shame and are willing to pony up the cash. It begins in the privacy of your hotel room, when a professional stylist will do your hair and makeup. The stylist will then help you select and borrow haute pieces (don’t even dare try busting a Lohan) from the hotel’s exclusive Henri J. Sillam jewelry boutique to finish off whatever getup you’ve brought with you. You’ll then be photographed by award-winning photog Ryan Forbes in the hotel’s Living Room, Roof Garden, stepping out of the hotel’s Rolls Royce, or against the Peninsula’s very own step-and-repeat banner. A week later you’ll receive a selection of proofs to choose the perfect portrait of your red carpet moment. Hey, you may as well fake it till you make it. Cost is $ 950 including in-room styling, photo session and two 8×10 color portraits.
Polo Lounge @ Beverly Hills Hotel - 9641 Sunset Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Nothing says Hollywood glam like the Polo Lounge, Tinseltown’s most iconic haunt for deal makers and shakers. So it’s no surprise there’s a special Oscar-inspired dining menu available for lunch and a cocktail menu offered late into the evening at the restaurant and bar through the eve of the Academy Awards. So what’s cooking? Among other dishes, there’s True Grit, a Texas-style BBQ platter of slow-cooked baby back ribs with polenta corn bread, spicy jalapeno coleslaw and a bourbon whiskey glaze. And then there’s a gorgeous Black Swan dessert of white & black parfait with chocolate almond streusel and flourless chocolate cake. As for the drinks, there are 10 cocktails ($17) in honor of each Best Picture nominee. Blood Ties, inspired by “Winter’s Bone,” is a mix of tequila, blood orange liqueur, lime juice and fresh squeezed blood orange served on the rocks while Woody to the Rescue, a rich concoction of Macallan Fine Oak 10 year, Cointreau Noir, Canton Ginger Liqueur, and about a million other things, is a decidedly grown-up way to toast “Toy Story 3.”
Whiskey Blue @ W Westwood – 930 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Show Me the Oscars! If you want to watch all the glitz and glam with a bunch of other stylish folks whose invitation to the big event must have also gotten lost in the mail, Whiskey Blue at the W LA Westwood is where to go. Starting at 3pm on Sunday, February 27, the lounge will host a special Oscars Red Carpet Viewing Party replete with Oscar-inspired cocktails, gourmet popcorn, and pampering treatments from Bliss Spa, GlamGlow and Jouer Cosmetics. And don’t forget the 90-inch screen—the better to see and judge and gasp and jeer and cheer at everyone on the red carpet. (After all, that’s really the best part of the show, isn’t it?)
The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles - 900 West Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Downtown LA’s swankiest hotel is pulling out all the stops to create the ultimate Red Carpet Getaway. Think two nights of deluxe accommodations, a six-hour customized experience with Aly Scott, founder of StyleChic, dinner for two at Wolfgang Puck’s award-winning WP24 Restaurant & Lounge, choice of $100 spa credit or 60-minute personal training session, and, of course, priceless memories. Package is $3,000 for double occupancy or $2,500 for single occupancy. If that’s too steep, you can also just treat yourself to the hotel’s luxe spa treatments like the Glowing Gold Facial, an 80-minute treatment that uses real gold flakes to relax and exfoliate the skin ($245), Champagne & Citrus Sugar Scrub, an 80-minute treatment that buffs away dry skin ($195) or the Champagne & Shimmer Ultimate Pedicure.
Marco Reed at Get Beyond Fit – Doheny Park @ Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood
Drop those dumbbells and pick up your two Oscar statuettes … stat! (Or, should I say, those two high school trophies you still have stashed in the closet.) If you want a camera-ready bod, consider joining celebrity fitness trainer Marco Reed on Saturday, February 26, for his annual Pre-Oscar Red Carpet Prep Bootcamp. Reed, who helped Adam Lambert get into his current leather-pants-wearing shape, will put you through a fast-paced hour of circuit training, strength building, and numerous relay exercises that promise to keep you two steps ahead of your agent. Workout takes place from 10:30am-11:30am every Saturday at the fountain in Doheny Park. Cost is $20 per person or $60 for a group of four.
The Bazaar @ SLS Hotel – 465 South La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Forget the little gold man. The Bazaar at SLS Hotel has some gold you can literally sink your teeth into. In honor of awards season, the restaurant has created the Golden Duo: a tasty pair featuring Oscar Bread–a version of the restaurant’s air bread filled with an espuma of potato topped with ‘golden’ Osetra caviar and gold dust–and the Golden Boy, a sherry cocktail with Cava sparkling wine, gin, chocolate bitters, tonic water, gold flecks, and lemon air. Considering the current rates for gold, the $25 price tag is a bargain.
Maui and Sons Bar & Grill – 6708 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Located just down the street from the big event at the Kodak Theatre, the newly opened Maui and Sons Bar & Grill–where nothing on the menu is over $10–will be broadcasting the Academy Awards on all 10 flat-screen TVs, grilling up some BBQ, and launching volleyball games in the Egyptian Theatre courtyard (and every Sunday thereafter). For $5, you can participate in a volleyball game with all proceeds going to Make-A-Wish Foundation. (FYI, all winning teams get a free round of shots.) And the Oscar shot goes to …
Magnolia Bakery –8389 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Hosting an Oscar viewing party at home? May as well sweeten up the festivities with cupcakes inspired by the coveted gold guy. Magnolia Bakery has created a rich, buttery Oscar cupcake with caramel meringue buttercream and caramel drizzle, dressed up in a gold foil wrapper. Just remember: the Oscar cupcake will be available only on the day of the Academy Awards for $3.25 each.
Windows Lounge @ Four Seasons – 300 South Doheny Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Not a star? That doesn’t mean you can’t hang out where they do. Stop by the Four Seasons’ dimly lit lounge for Oscar-inspired cocktails like the Sparkling Swan (Moet & Chandon champagne, Chambord-flavored vodka, fragoli liquor and St. Germaine garnished with a strawberry), the Bare Knuckle Fight (Moonshine, St. Germaine, homemade sweet & sour, lucardo cherry liqueur, and egg white powder garnished with a raspberry and raspberry powder), and the Spanish Buzz made with Don Ramon tequila, fresh lime juice, agave syrup, muddled cucumber, cilantro and green tobacco.
Mar’sel at Terranea Resort - 100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
If you want to get away from ground zero on Oscar Sunday but still want to be surrounded by celebri-worthy amenities, consider heading out to the enormous Terranea Resort and indulging in some award-worthy feasting at Mar’sel. The restaurant’s special Oscar Night-themed menu features a dish inspired by every Best Picture nominee, including “The Social Network” Zucker Burger ($16), “127 Hours” short rib ($28), “The Fighter” beef tartar with pickled cauliflower ($9), “The King’s Speech” soup ($13), “Toy Story 3” tater tots ($9), and “Inception” Paris upside down cake ($9).