The Palisades, it may be tucked away, but those who know L.A. know it’s the place to be. Our own personal paradise. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to leave.
We love tennis. But, no need to join a country club, serious tennis players and those in the know, go real, and head to the Palisades Tennis Center for one of their patented LiveBall clinics.
LiveBall is fun, fast-paced, and a great workout, plus you never know who might be playing net when you’re at the baseline. Pro players, celebs, rock stars, and even some royalty all sweat it out while going incognito. Seen on the courts, Kate Hudson, Foo Fighters guitarist, Chris Schiflett, and Earl Charles Spencer just to name a few.
No partner? No problem. Don’t like to serve? Perfect! Worried you’re not up to snuff? Not an issue. There are clinics from beginners all the way up to Open Level 5.5 and everything in between. Our favorite pros Chad and Cole keep things moving and are fun, positive and always leave us feeling like we’ve learned a little something. There’s plenty of hustle, we always break a sweat and do admit to partaking in some of the friendly trash talk, especially when that weasel shot goes down our line.
TIP: When we started off playing a few years back, we wore our yoga pants and Pumas, but once we felt worthy, we upgraded to some proper tennis garb — Lija. Lija is to tennis, what Lululemon is to yoga. The fit is perfect and we go from courtside to lunch and still look fashionable, without changing. The Palisades Tennis Center has the best selection in L.A. from classic whites and sexy blacks, to fun new colors to mix in every season. They also have a wide selection of Babolat racquets, our racquets of choice, as you can see above. (Mention Sparkle Bungalow for a 10% discount on Lija at the PTC).
After putting in our two hours on the courts, we recharge at our favorite hidden gem — local hotspot Café Vida. Everything is fresh and organic and we’ve never had a bad meal. We always start with a peach iced tea. Cesar and Brian are our favorite waiters and know exactly what we like and just how we like it. Marcos makes sure our peach iced teas are there before we even have to ask. We like to sit outside and people-watch to complete the Palisades experience. We’ve spotted some great fashion, plus locals Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, Goldie Hawn, Julia Roberts and Patrick Dempsey, just to name a few. Bonus: you can easily get out of there for around $20 each including meal, drink and tip.
Park in Roman’s lot off Sunset and Via de la Paz and get your ticket validated at Café Vida for two free hours. Roman runs a tight ship and brings a little of Mother Russia to the Palisades. Although we’ve seen him on a weekly basis for years, we still can’t be certain that he knows who we are. That aside, he somehow manages to find us a spot within seconds, no matter how crowded the lot.
TIP: Order our favorites: the off-the-menu veggie tostada or the brown rice and bean burrito, or get one of the daily specials like the artichoke quesadilla. To make the most of your $20, you can even take an iced tea to go.
We play hard and don’t worry about sweating it out on the courts because DryBar is just a block away. Depending on our mood, we just might drink that free glass of champagne they have on ice at all times. We’re out the door for just 40 bucks plus tip and we’re good to go for a night out, or sometimes even two or three.
TIP: Book early to get our faves, Beno and Courtney, who have many a trick up their sleeves.
With our lunch digested and our stomachs back in place, it is now time for fashion. No need to bother leaving the Palisades to find the best when swanky boutique, Elyse Walker, is just steps away. Find the best of everything from bags and clothing to shoes and jewelry all in one spot. Elyse has a great eye and carries exclusive designs from local designers like Beautiful People and 360 Cashmere to Louboutin and Lanvin. Elyse even has her own line of shoes and leather jackets. Wendy, Aimee and Jessica will help you choose just the right outfit from head to toe. Mind you, prices are steep but sometimes you just gotta have it.
TIP: If we’re not up for the splurge, we wait it out because Elyse has amazing sales twice each year. Get on her e-mail list so you know when to go. Great steals to be had at 50, 60 and 70% off. If we are uber-patient, we tough it out and wait until all sale merchandise goes to 75% off. Our major scores have included Jimmy Choo sandals, Givenchy booties and a to die for Missoni bikini for 75% off!
Tennis: check. Food: check. Hair: check. Fashion: check. We’re good to go.
15317 Antioch St. Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
15248 Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades CA, 90272
[ UPDATED: April 2015 ]
TOP: Elyse Walker’s line of espadrilles out and about in the Palisades. Photo http://livlavie.com/