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Melora Hardin

Actress and singer

December 20, 2007|Mark Sachs

When she's not putting in long days at "The Office" playing Jan Levenson, you can catch Melora Hardin singing (she'll play the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood Jan. 4-6) or playing with her family: actor/writer husband Gildart Jackson, and their two daughters, Rory Melora, 6, and Piper Quincy, almost 3. Look for Hardin on the big screen in "27 Dresses," out Jan. 27.

DATE NIGHT We start the weekend nice and easy. On Friday we'll get a baby sitter and go to the Grove for dinner -- the Farm or the little French bistro Morels -- and a movie. Some weekends my husband and I book an overnight stay at Shutters in Santa Monica and never leave. We get a room with a beach view, eat at their great restaurant and use the spa. We've done that at the Beverly Hills Hotel too. It's an in-town getaway that feels like you're somewhere else. GOTTA DANCE I take jazz dance classes at the Edge studio in Hollywood. It's got a great New York vibe, and for a dancer that's a big thing. I went to the Joffrey on scholarship when I was 13 and I've been serious about dancing my whole life. KID FRIENDLY We like to take the kids to Storyopolis in Studio City, where they have books and games, readings on the weekend and a gift store, which means I can get some Christmas shopping done. The California Pizza Kitchen is good for lunch, then we might move on to the Santa Monica Pier, where the little-kid rides usually aren't too crowded. EXOTIC TASTES Katsu-ya is a favorite place for dinner. The atmosphere is mellow and the food amazing. I love the lobster dynamite. Anarkali on Melrose is the perfect way to introduce children to Indian cuisine. There's a big tent inside and the kids feel as if they're in another country. I love the chicken tikka masala and the amazing matar paneer and bhindi bhaje. ALL THAT JAZZ The Catalina Jazz Club is one of the best spontaneous date places in L.A. Major jazz people play all the time because it's such a unique venue with a great sound system. And I'm not just saying this because I'll be appearing there!

-- Mark.Sachs@latimes.com

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