Seeing Stars: Where the Stars Shop


8600 - 8700 Sunset Boulevard (at Sunset Plaza Drive),
West Hollywood, CA.



Anyone who thinks that Los Angeles doesn't have its fair share of sidewalk cafés should pay a visit to Sunset Plaza. A chic, little two-block strip of fashionable boutiques and outdoor cafés nestled between Hollywood & Beverly Hills, Sunset Plaza's trendy bistros line both sides of the Sunset Strip adding a European flair to West Hollywood.

You might think that Sunset Plaza was a recent addition to the area, but in fact this small center was built back in the 1930's.

The little shops feature big prices and attract celebs, as well as residents of the posh neighborhoods to the west. Armani A/X, H. Lorenzo, Butler & Wilson, Nicole Miller and Oliver Peoples are all here.

But the people-watching here is the biggest attraction. There are more Beautiful People (and supermodel wannabes) here than just about anywhere else in town, all part of the passing parade. If you like the idea of a sidewalk café on Sunset Boulevard, where you can sit and sip espresso under an umbrella while you watch the Rolls Royces cruise by, this just might be your kind of place. 

You can choose from a number of sidewalk cafés, including Cravings (where actor Christopher Lloyd was spotted on the patio with his sheepdog), Cafe Med (a favorite of Leslie Nielson), Chin Chin, Le Petit Four, Clafoutis, and of course Le Dome, all filled with beautiful people eating beautiful food al fresco. Most of the restaurants here tend to be pricey, but if you're watching your budget, you can get a good meal at Chin Chin for a very reasonable tab.

On a major budget? Try The Coffee Bean where Demi Moore was recently spotted enjoying a cup.


Cosmo reports that the eyewear shop, Oliver Peoples (8642 Sunset), attracts celebrity customers who include Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, and Julia Roberts. Whoopi also likes the clothes at the Armani Exchange here.




A pink boutique at Sunset Plaza, Madeleine Gallay, was the spot Richard Gere took wife-to-be Cindy Crawford to buy her wedding ring. According to Time magazine, regular customers include Alyssa Milano, Rebecca De Mornay, Ellen Barkin, Iman, Virginia Madsen, Nicolette Sheridan and Mimi Rogers. Winona Ryder has been seen there. And Rosanna Arquette "has been known to work the jewelry counter for fun." They all like owner Madeleine Gallay and the relaxed atmosphere of the shop. Dark Angel's Jessica Alba was seen shopping for cosmetics at Fresh.



The L.A. Times reports that the Tracey Ross boutique (8595 W Sunset Blvd.) is another a cozy celebrity hangout, with a popular hostess and clients including Bob Dylan, Natasha Henstridge ("Species"), Robert Downey Jr., and Linda (Mrs. James) Cahn.

Both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis are fans of the Western attire store called Billy Martin's.

Jean-Claude Van Damme was seen eating dinner at the Chin Chin restaurant here. 'Weird Al' Yankovic (who lives in the hills above Sunset) says he just likes to walk down and "hang around" the area. Tia Carrere says she "got a really amazing vintage costume jewelry piece there not long ago."

Nearby is Il Sole (at 8741 Sunset) , a very popular dining spot for the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Simpson, Sean Penn, Al Pacino, Steve Martin, Bianca Jagger and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Parking is free at Sunset Plaza, and so is the people-watching. The rear parking lot on the south side of Sunset even offers a nice view of the city below.

 Getting there: Sunset Plaza is located along both sides of the Sunset Strip, between La Cienega and San Vicente Boulevards, at Sunset Plaza Drive. / From Hollywood & Vine, go south two blocks to Sunset Boulevard, turn right (west) on Sunset, and go west (just over three miles) to Sunset Plaza Drive.



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Copyright  2014-Gary Wayne
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