Longtime fans of The Office will recognize Melora Hardin instantly as Jan Levinson, the Vice President of Northeast Sales at the paper distribution company Dunder Mifflin, and the romantic foil of Steve Carrell’s Michael Scott. More recently, however, the Texas-born actress was nominated for a 2016 Emmy Award in the “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series” for her work on Amazon Prime’s critically acclaimed television series, Transparent. She has also appeared in big screen projects such as 27 Dresses and 17 Again. Hardin, now 49, has been acting, singing and dancing since childhood appearing in numerous hit shows from Friends to Little House on the Prairie, and in 2010, recorded the live album titled, “All The Way To Mars”—her third album, but first studio-released album. Here, this Emmy-nominated actress shares her insider’s guide to the City of Angels.
Where were you born: Houston TX
Neighborhood: When we first arrived in LA when I was 5 years old we lived in Santa Monica, then the Valley, then The Hollywood Hills. When I moved out on my own, my first apartment was near the Beverly Center between Beverly and 3rd and La Cienega and Laurel Canyon. The first house I bought was in the Hollywood Knowles across from Lake Hollywood behind Universal Studios. We now live in Glendale and have just bought a new house in Alta Dena.
Favorite Restaurant: Anarkali Indian Cuisine
Best Italian: Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills
Best place for a romantic date: Dinner at The Polo Lounge and a night at Shutters by the Beach.
Best Sunday brunch: Foxy’s in Glendale
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? Shutters or The Langham in Pasadena.
Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches: Emerald Forest at the Coldwater Curve in Sherman Oaks is a wonderful store for gifts and jewelry in all price ranges. I also love the jewelry at Barney’s Beverly Hills as well as designer Monica Columbia who sells her stuff in Encino and at Terranea resort.
Best Spa: Beverly Hot Springs
Favorite Charity Event: P.S. Arts
Favorite Cultural Event: I love live theatre and live music and go all over the city to see and hear great stuff.
Favorite Cultural Institution: The Mark Taper Forum where I just did Branden Jacobs Jenkins amazing play “Appropriate.”
Best Pizza: Blaze Pizza and Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock
Best Lunch: Olive and Thyme
Best Gym/Athletic Facility: I’m a dancer and I love the Jazz and contemporary classes at The Edge Performing Arts Center in Hollywood.
Best Massage: The Langham Huntington Hotel, Pasadena
Best Museum/Exhibit: The Broad / Cindy Sherman
Describe your city in three words: Eclectic, fun, home.
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: The Hearst Castle
Best Aspect of Los Angeles: I love that you can get to the beach and the mountains any day of the week. There’s incredible outdoor weather most of the year and it’s a very social city. Anything you might want you can find it in LA. Amazing shopping, music, museums, restaurants, great children activities where kids really can be kids\ — digging in the sand or hiking one of the beautiful trails all around the city, and casual hang out spots. I love what a melting pot of ethnicity that LA is.
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Photo credits: Photographer: Diana Ragland; Hair: Sienree; Makeup: Erin Moffett; Wardrobe: Stacy Beverly