photo credit: Max Montgomery
Welcome to Perfect For, a weekly Infatuation series of ultra-specific restaurant recommendations from people around town you don't know personally, but might wish you did. Today, actor and TikTok star Chris Olsen shares his favorite LA restaurants and cafes for bumping into someone famous.
Chris Olsen is the type of person who knows a lot about the art of spotting famous people in the wild. He’s gone from making viral TikTok videos of his own daily shenanigans to making viral TikTok videos of his daily shenanigans with bestie Meghan Trainor, or his series of hand-delivering coffee from his own brand, Flight Fuel, to celebs like Penn Badgley, Kris Jenner, and Drew Barrymore.
As such, Olsen knows which LA spots you’re most likely to see an honest-to-god celebrity balancing their cappuccino on top a battered copy of The Stranger, or influencers practicing their best “follow along with me...” voice. These are his picks for grabbing dinner or an afternoon espresso while, perhaps more importantly, photobombing a paparazzi picture.
“Close to the Hollywood Hills, you’ll find this spot inside the Sunset Tower Hotel. It has everything that makes a perfect sceney LA restaurant, but with lighting so dim you need the candle to read the menu, and with a mix of hushed voices and jazz in the background, it feels more private than your average dinner spot. Even if you feel intimidated and know you’ll be dropping a pretty penny, it’s a quintessential LA evening you don’t want to miss.”
“If you’re looking for influencers who call the paparazzi on themselves, then Catch LA is the place for you. It can feel impossible to get a reservation because they keep half the restaurant’s tables aside for notable names, but if you’re able to track down a contact, protect it with your life. You can feel the purposeful exclusivity as you wait outside in line for the elevator before it brings you to the rooftop restaurant. The host may seem like they don’t like you (and they probably don’t) but once you get past them it’s smooth sailing.”
Alfred Coffee & Kitchen
“There’s no better place to go casual celeb spotting than the flagship location of Alfred Coffee on Melrose Place. It also just so happens to be my go-to spot for my coffee when I’m in LA. You’ll do a double take when you see someone sporting the classic sunglasses, relaxed fit, low-key vibe that makes you question if you actually know them or if you’ve just seen them on DeuxMoi.
But you're not just there for the peak Instagram aesthetic. You can also sip on a great latte. Don’t be thrown off if you’re going for the first time and miss the coffee bar at first glance—just continue walking through the crowd of LA locals and appreciate the darker design as you head down the steps to see the baristas working their magic.”
“Craig’s is an LA institution, and the name alone means you’ll need to make a reservation at least two weeks in advance, especially if you’re trying to book on a weekend. Expect an Old Hollywood vibe with dimmed lighting and dark leather booths, but don’t be caught by surprise when you notice the flashing lights of the paparazzi right outside. This is a favorite spot for celebrities, and you’ll definitely spot someone you know. I can’t (and won’t) resist their Oreo cheesecake, even when it feels like I can't take another bite.”
“A relatively unassuming cafe right off of Sunset, Dialog Cafe doesn’t disappoint with their food or the scene. Almost all of their seating is outside, so you’ll see some of your favorites taking a quick business meeting or grabbing their third coffee of the day when you walk down the sidewalk. The casual, family-run feel of Dialog sums up what a neighborhood spot should be—the only difference is that this one is in LA.”