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MY FAVORITE WEEKEND

Mary Hart

TV host

January 03, 2008|Mark Sachs

Mary Hart, who marked her 25th year as host of "Entertainment Tonight" in 2007 (scary, right?), has another regular gig going when she returns to host the Palm Springs International Film Festival, opening tonight and running through Jan. 14. Hart, husband Burt Sugarman and their 16-year-old son, AJ, live in L.A. and Palm Springs, so she knows the area well.

TAKE OFF This is my sixth year hosting the festival, so we've got it down to a routine. Before we leave on Friday night, we like to have dinner at Toscana in Brentwood. It's a family-type Italian restaurant with casual atmosphere and fabulous food. I had brisket Bolognese on pasta once and it was sensational, but I usually get salmon. By that time, traffic has died down and we can be in Palm Desert in just over two hours. WORK THAT BODY The next morning, we'll go hiking on the Bump and Grind Trail in Rancho Mirage, which is an excellent workout. I'll go straight up for about an hour and take it easy going down. Then I'll grab a latte at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and play a round of golf at Bighorn. We often have lunch there too, and if I'm really feeling indulgent, I'll grab a massage. DIG IN! In the evening, a great place to go is Sullivan's Steakhouse, where you can get a nice medium-rare fillet or fish and then listen to the great jazz band afterward. It's so popular that there are usually people spilling out the doors. Jillian's restaurant is also good, a little more upscale, and the River Mall is great for night life, with movies and nice restaurants. Afterward, if you drive into the hills up California 74 and pull off at any lookout, you'll have the most incredible stargazing anywhere. WORK THAT WALLET For Sunday brunch, a great low-key spot is Keedy's Fountain Grill -- a hole-in-the-wall, but the food is great. Everyone loves the pancakes. The area has some great shopping. My favorite place to go is El Paseo, which is kind of like our Rodeo Drive. They go all the way from chain-type places to the very high-end and exclusive shops. Plus they have a lot of art galleries, which makes it fun.

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-- Mark.Sachs@latimes.com

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