- Attending Movie Screenings in a Cemetery: Pack a picnic basket and head to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery for a summer weekend evening of classic cinema projected onto the mortuary wall (but you won't be sitting on top of anyone's final resting place—it's a lawn). Arrive early, because people are just dying to get here. (www.cinespia.org).
- Auditioning as a Game Show Contestant: You, too, could be the next contestant on The Price Is Right (at CBS Television City) or Wheel of Fortune (at Sony Pictures Studios), among other shows. Fame and fortune are just a phone call away, so set up that audition or those tickets before you arrive in L.A.
- Comparing French Dips: For more than 100 years, a debate has waged in this town—who made the first French dip sandwich? Philippe the Original claims it was a policeman (or was it a fireman?) at the restaurant who asked for the crusty roll to be dipped in pan drippings, and Cole's credits a customer with sore gums. The historic locations are both Downtown, so it's easy to do a cross-neighborhood taste test. Me? I don't dare take sides. But I will say the lamb is the best bet at both.
- Going to ArcLight Cinemas (Hollywood): "The World's Most Private Public Theater" hosts 21-and-over movie screenings, where you can sip cocktails or draft beer while watching first-run flicks. Seats are reserved in advance, ushers introduce films in person but then keep it quiet, late arrivals are forbidden, and there's even a lounge serving appetizers. The best house in the complex is the famous Cinerama Dome, opened in 1963. There are frequent screening talks featuring the stars themselves.
- Listening to Entertainment's Wittiest Talent: Make reservations far in advance to see a cavalcade of esteemed pop culture names play at the Largo cabaret (Los Angeles; 310/855-0350): on-the-spot composer Jon Brion, Harry Shearer, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman, Margaret Cho—they all appear regularly, so check the schedule to see who's up next.
- Visiting Roscoe's House of Chicken 'n' Waffles (Hollywood): You haven't seen everything until you've seen Southern-fried chicken and waffles on the same plate. Roscoe's is a Hollywood institution where a polyglot of L.A.'s population comes for chicken-and-cheese omelets and sweet-potato pie. The friendly atmosphere and creative combinations make for a fun, adventuresome, and inexpensive dining experience.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.