Cameron Silver redefined secondhand-clothing shopping when he founded Decades, the famed luxury vintage retailer on Melrose Avenue, in 1997. There, items are rare, one-of-a-kind, and coveted, rather than thrifty. "I'm not about disposable shopping," claims the trendsetter, who also serves as the fashion director of H by Halston. But the Los Angeles native is deeply committed to more than style in his hometown, as evidenced by his contribution to the restoration of one of the city's great modernist houses, a hillside masterpiece by R.M. Schindler, and his collaborations with local art galleries MOCA and LACMA. Here, the Beverly Hills resident shares his local secrets, like a gem of a theater inside a high school, a walk with the best mansion views, and great Korean eats inside a coffee shop.
What neighborhood are you from? I grew up between Santa Monica Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard in what is affectionately known as "The Flats."
Where would you put up friends visiting town? I love the "Pretty Woman" hotel, aka Four Seasons Wilshire Boulevard. It's a great, grand hotel in the heart of Beverly Hills (9500 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-275-5200; fourseasons.com).
Where is the best place to find your hometown’s signature dish? That would be a chopped salad and La Scala makes the best version I've ever tasted (434 N. Canon Dr.; 310-275-0579; lascalabeverlyhills.com).
What is your favorite restaurant to take visitors? Spago is consistently one of the best restaurants in Beverly Hills and an iconic eatery. It's really a BH rite of passage (176 N. Canon Dr.; 310-385-0880; wolfgangpuck.com).
Where can you find the best cocktails? Beer list? Wine list? My favorite place for a drink is Bouchon. They have lovely wines and truffle popcorn. That's a recipe for satisfaction (235 N. Canon Dr.; 310-271-9910; thomaskeller.com).
Where would you choose to splurge on a night out? Petrossian for caviar on Robertson Boulevard is our local Caviar Kaspia (321 N. Robertson Blvd.; 310-271-6300; petrossian.com).
What is your go-to after-hours bar? Beverly Hills is a very early town. If you want to party past 10 p.m. go to West Hollywood. There, I would do Sunset Tower (8358 Sunset Blvd.; 323-654-7100; sunsettowerhotel.com) or Soho House (9200 Sunset Blvd.; 310-432-9200; sohohousewh.com).
What’s the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon in town? I am at home, by the pool, recreating a David Hockney painting.
What is your Sunday morning routine in your neighborhood? I will always take my dog for a nice stroll in the actual hills of Beverly Hills north of Sunset Boulevard after visiting the farmer's market (9300 Civic Center Dr.; 310-285-6830; beverlyhills.org).
Where is the best brunch? Nate'n Al is our perennial deli that's been around for 70 years. The Matzo Brei is yummy (414 N. Beverly Dr.; 310-274-0101; natenal.com).
Where do you go for the perfect cup of coffee? Urth Caffe on South Beverly Drive has a terrific selection of organic coffees (267 S. Beverly Dr.; 310-205-9311; urthcaffe.com).
What’s your favorite view in town (that tourists might not know about)? Loma Vista Drive offers views of the entire city from ocean to downtown.
What’s your favorite path or trail to follow on a walk? They say nobody walks in L.A., but Sunset Boulevard is a really nice opportunity to view the McMansions of Beverly Hills and walk the length of the city.
What are your favorite offbeat cultural attractions? Theatre 40 which is housed inside Beverly Hills High School always has great shows in an intimate setting. It's like our Off Broadway (241 S. Moreno Dr.; 310-364-0535; theatre40.org).
What’s your favorite shop or boutique? Beverly Hills retail has sadly lost its independent streak and is filled with your typical luxury chains. I spend most of my shopping money at Kreation Organic Juicery! (9609 S. Santa Monica Blvd.; 310-777-3450; kreationjuice.com)
What’s the ultimate souvenir from your town—something you can only get there? A selfie with a celeb.
What’s the best-kept local secret? Brighton Coffee Shop has delicious Korean dishes including Bi Bim Bop (9600 Brighton Way; 310-276-7732; brightoncoffeeshop.com), along with typical fare. Also to add, they say no one eats carbs in Beverly Hills, but if you're pining for pasta, E Baldi is worth the calories (375 N Canon Dr.; 310-248-2633; ebaldi.com).
In our Hometown Guides series, we're seeking the best restaurants, bars, vistas, and things to do in a given place from the people who know best—the artists, designers, chefs, and store-owners who live there. See more Hometown Guides »
Image Credit: Roger Davies (Spago)