Lea Thompson Shares Her Insider Guide to Los Angeles


Lea Thompson
Lea Thompson

Photo Credit: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Lea Thompson is a household name. The actress is most widely recognized for playing Lorraine McFly in Back to the Future I, II and III, as well as being the star of the hit series Caroline in the City. She also earned recognition for starring on ABC Family’s Peabody Award-winning hit show “Switched at Birth,” where she acts and directs. Thompson has starred in more than 30 films, including Red Dawn, Some Kind of Wonderful, The Beverly Hillbillies and J. Edgar, 25 television movies, four television series, more than 20 ballets, and took a turn on Broadway in “Cabaret.” In 2014, she also competed on Season 19 of “Dancing With The Stars” with professional dancer Artem Chigvintsev.  As a director, she has directed several films for Hallmark, as part of the Jane Doe film series; The Goldbergs; and, tonight at the L.A. Film Festival as an Official Selection pick, will premiere The Year of Spectacular Men, which she both directed and stars in. The project is a family labor of love—it was written by her daughter, Madelyn Deutch, and co-stars her youngest daughter, Max Mara Face of the Future winner Zoey Deutch. Here, this 35-year Hollywood veteran shares her insider’s guide to the City of Angels.

Madelyn Deutch, Zoey Deutch and Lea Thompson
Madelyn Deutch, Zoey Deutch and Lea Thompson

Photo Credit: The Year of Spectacular Men

Where were you born:  Rochester, Minnesota
How long in LA:  35 years.  I never thought I would end up in California.  But LA has turned out to be a really great home and great for raising my children. 
Neighborhood: I moved to Studio City when I was shooting CAROLINE IN THE CITY, and I never left.  It has been fun to watch it growing up around me, getting hipper and hipper.
Occupation:  Actor, Director, Singer, Dancer, Producer, and proud pet owner.
Favorite Restaurant:   In Laurel Canyon, PACE (pronounced Pa-chey).  It is fun not only to have great food, but enjoy the bohemian atmosphere and feel the history of the artistic community in Laurel Canyon.
Best Sushi: Katsu-ya in Studio City.  But the first sushi in my whole life was at Teru Sushi, which is still pretty great.
Best Italian:  Osteria Mamma, which is my husband’s favorite restaurant in the whole world.  They have the best pasta with seafood, and lovely service.  
Best dessert:  My brother-in-law, Philip Goodrich, makes the best desserts!  But if you are talking about a business, Big Sugar Bakeshop makes incredible cupcakes, not too sweet.
Best place for a romantic date:  For me, The Music Center downtown, love to see ballet or a play there.  That’s the most romantic date for me.  (Maybe not my husband, but for me!)
Best Sunday brunch:  Art’s Deli in Studio City, a family fav for comfort food, and all the servers are our friends.
Best place for a power business meeting:  And again… Art’s Deli, because you kind of feel like it’s where really powerful people want to meet.
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend?  If they are swanky, I would say the Peninsula.  If they are rock ‘n roll, I would say the Sportsmen’s Lodge.
Favorite shopping venue/boutique:  Anthropologie 
Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches:  Random estate sales
Best Spa:  Hands down, have to say, Beverly Hot Springs.  Where else can you sit in natural hot springs water with cucumbers, milk and yogurt… on you?!
Favorite Charity Event:  Race to Erase MS
Favorite Cultural Event:  Coachella Music Festival
Favorite Cultural Institution:  Hollywood Bowl.  Since I shot a scene on that stage for Some Kind of Wonderful, it has always been close to my heart.
Best Steakhouse:  The Smokehouse in Burbank.  It’s funky but you definitely feel the spirit of all the fabulous Hollywood figures who have dined there through the years.
Best Lunch:  Fred Segal’s Mauro Cafe on Melrose
Best Gym/Athletic Facility:  Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks
Best Massage:  Beverly Hot Springs .. again 
Best Museum/Exhibit:  LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
Describe your city in three words:  Evolving …  sunny … homey
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore:  Malibu
All-around favorite spot in Los Angeles:  My home 
Best Aspect of Los Angeles:  There is a mountain range right in the middle of it that keeps just a touch of wildness in the city. 
Madelyn Deutch, Zoey Deutch and Lea Thompson
Madelyn Deutch, Zoey Deutch and Lea Thompson

Photo Credit: The Year of Spectacular Men