IT'S vacation time for "Without a Trace" star Poppy Montgomery, whose season finale airs tonight at 10 on CBS. But then again, the Aussie transplant says she is pretty much always in hiatus mode.
"People from all over the world vacation in Southern California, so when I moved in with my boyfriend, Adam Kaufman, in Pacific Palisades, I wanted to have the mind-set that I was on vacation here too," she says. "It's a healthier, more relaxed way to enjoy where you live and make plans for what to do. And it really works."
Sushi and cocktails
On Friday nights, I like to go to Katsuya in Brentwood. It's a busy, energetic place, which feels exactly right when you're winding down at the end of the week. You don't want to go from 100 mph to zero. The people are fun and they have really unique cocktails there, like the grapefruit-infused Manhattans and watermelon-and-cucumber mojitos. They're amazing, it's just like drinking spa juice. I went there with a friend one night and we went through the whole cocktail menu. They don't taste like alcohol at all. Katsuya also has some of the best sushi I've ever eaten. I love the crispy rice with spicy tuna on top, and the creamy rock shrimp tempura.
On Saturday morning my trainer comes over and works me out, weight training and flexibility. Then I'll run for an hour on my treadmill, and out the window I can see the treetops and ocean. Then I'll go to the Palisades' downtown area, which always reminds me of Sydney, a real beachside-community feel to it. It has great shopping and restaurants, great bookstores and even a cool underwear shop.
For brunch, I like Cafe Vida -- it has healthy food, but they also can take you to the dark side. I'd probably have a breakfast quesadilla with my boyfriend and then hop across the street for some shopping.
A little retail therapy is very important on a Saturday. I love Elyse Walker, a clothing store that has absolutely everything; it takes up 2 1/2 blocks. I could easily spend three hours in there, but I won't put my boyfriend through that -- I made that mistake once. So he'll go home while I shop and then we'll meet up again at Village Books, a real neighborhood place with a skilled staff that you can tell just loves books.
Around sunset, we'll take our two dogs down to the beach, which is beautiful any time of year. Then we'll drop off the dogs at home and go to Kay 'n Dave's, which has Mexican food and agave wine margaritas. Very casual, very neighborhood.
On Sunday morning I'll go to the farmers market in the Palisades early and grab some flowers and fruits and vegetables. Then Adam and I will drive with the dogs to Solstice Canyon. There's a beautiful 3 1/2 -mile hike there along the Rising Sun Trail, and when you get to the top, you have ocean views all around.
Then we'll come back down and go eat at Axe on Abbot Kinney. It's the best brunch I've had in L.A. Really fresh and clean. Great toast -- I've never seen bread like that. And I love the rice bowls there. Then back at home, it'll be time for Patricia the masseuse to come over.
In the evening, we have a cool outdoor area with a Jacuzzi that's like a grotto, and my sister will come over from West Hollywood to hang out and have a barbecue. That's a perfect weekend for me.