When Heather Duchowny hired Sam Shaw to be her assistant, neither had any idea they’d each leave their jobs within a few months, become inseparable best friends, and end up moving to Los Angeles . . . yet that’s exactly what’s happened in their last ten+ years of friendship. Now they’re loving life as Angelenos – Heather is an L.A. native and Sam is a devoted transplant – working at jobs they both feel are exactly right for them in a city they really feel is home. Sam is at buzzed-about Hourglass Cosmetics as Director of Creative Content (“I basically get to make stuff all day, which for me is my happy place.”), and Heather oversees Brand Marketing, Advertising, and Creative Services for BCBGeneration. Heather notes that she and Sam are proof that you’ll end up where you should be if you just push yourself to find exactly what makes you happy – even if that means taking a detour along the way. If you’re ever at a loss for entertainment in the City of Angels, check out some of these savvy ladies’ favorite haunts. You can find them doing any combination of the below on any given weekend.
- LITTLE DOM’S – Our go-to/favorite (especially for brunch)
SS: They have this pizza with sunnyside up egg, mozzarella & tomato sauce that literally haunts my dreams it’s so good.
HD: Two words: Rice. Balls.
SS: It also just so happens to be where Ryan Gosling whispered “excuse me” into my ear from behind me while trying to make his way through the crowded bar to his dinner date, Ron Perlman. True story.
- LITTLE BEAST – Reminds me of Rye, my favorite restaurant in Brooklyn. Cozy cabin setting, local meats and seasonal veggies – so good.
- CAFÉ STELLA – Good food, even better cocktails
- KITCHEN MOUSE – Tastiest vegetarian breakfast on the East Side
- GINGERGRASS – Best Thai sandwiches ever
- REFORM SCHOOL
- MOHAWK GENERAL STORE
- THE PIECE COLLECTIVE
- CREATURES OF COMFORT
- BEATRICE VALENZUELA
- ECHO PARK CRAFT FAIR
- LONG BEACH FLEA
- FAIRFAX FLEA
- SUNSET BLVD NURSERY (for plants and succulents)
- STREET VENDOR/ VINTAGE SHOPS IN VENICE
WEEKEND GETAWAYS & STAYCATIONS:
- JOSHUA TREE for desert cabin bonding
- PALM SPRINGS for cocktails in swimming pools
- BIG SUR for magical misty mountains
- BIG BEAR for campfires and lumberjack sightings
- SANTA BARBARA/ CARPINTERIA for relaxation, sun, sand & surf
- MALIBU for bottomless wine safaris
- LAGUNA for tide pooling and burritos
- HEATHER’S BACK PATIO for family BBQ’s and day drinking
- SAM’S DECK for sunbathing, kiddie pool hang sessions (Heather is godmother to Sam’s son, Ollie), outdoor/ projector movie nights and star gazing
- THE VAL – Heather’s parent’s house in The Valley is our best-kept secret. Think Fast Times at Ridgemont High meets Sweet Valley High.
SS: I get to live out my suburban 1980s teenager fantasy. We lie around on donut pool floats, blasting music way too loud, while Heather’s mom brings us Dominos pizza on paper plates and Styrofoam cups filled with bottomless white zinfandel. It’s heaven.
- KID SPACE – part playground, part science museum, part sprinkler park . . . it’s the ideal spot to kill an afternoon with a restless toddler.
- SKY ZONE TRAMPOLINE PARK – our actual faces hurt the next day from smiling & laughing so hard whenever we go here.
- GIGGLES N’HUGS – where adults can sit and get day drunk while their kids spaz out in a ball pit = a win/win
- FOUR CAFÉ IN EAGLE ROCK – all fresh and organic. They have amazing lemon ricotta pancakes that keep the boys happy and baked eggs with spinach and mushrooms for us.
- THE DINER @ SILVERLAKE JUNCTION– Best Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes, free crayons and disposable sippy cups!
- NAILS – HOUSE OF NAILS, GLENDALE: for bi-weekly gel mani/pedis
- HAIR COLOR – SALLY HERSHBERGER: for monthly red hair color touchups
HD: My biggest fear when I left NYC was leaving behind my amazing hair colorist, Nikki, who I trusted without hesitation to keep my color shiny, vibrant and natural-looking (not easy for us faux redheads). I got lucky though and Nikki was able to connect me to Holland Hager at Sally Hershberger’s LA outpost. Now I see her consistently every month (and so do my boss and tons of my friends). Couldn’t live without her.
SS: My good friend Garrett is an amazing stylist with his own salon and product line called REVERIE. He’s super busy but he’ll come to me to cut my hair and have a few drinks every couple of months. We act as soundboards for each other’s creative ideas…our sessions together feel like therapy, it’s more than a good haircut.
HD: For styling I rely on my friend Kate Schlichter (another NYC transplant) – she recently opened a small, two-chair salon called LOST HILLS. It’s nice because the space is so private – it’s a super cool hidden loft down a back alley off Sunset in Silverlake. The whole experience there feels collaborative, artistic and comfortable. They also have art openings and other events in the space after hours…you will always meet someone there.
- MASSAGES/SOOTHE APP – for on-demand pampering at home…they’ll be to you within an hour, anywhere in LA. It’s genius.
- BROWS/ANTHONY ANDREWS – I couldn’t find a good brow place in LA when I first got here. Everywhere kept over-waxing or over-threading them. Something about LA and anorexic eyebrows, I just can’t understand it. I was so scarred by the whole thing I just gave up and didn’t touch them and let them be overgrown for 2 years (figured that was better than having thin twigs for brows). Finally I found in Beverly Hills. It’s such a hike from where I live on the Eastside, but I don’t even care because good brows are EVERYTHING.
- AKBAR – for debaucherous dance parties and lost credit cards
- SMOG CUTTER – for karaoke, The Smog Cutter is run by a team of sassy Thai ladies in a place approximately the size of a studio
*Basically, we need gays or a microphone to make the hangover worth it; otherwise, we’d rather be on one of our couches together, drinking Trader Joe’s box wine, watching Bachelor in Paradise, and eating pizza by the pound (ideally wearing something with elastic waistband) while doing BabyFoot At Home Feet Peels and talking about how old we are.
Words: Marissa Perez Photography: Jane Houle