The classic Hollywood dream of becoming an actress brought Katie Maloney from Utah to LA more than eight years ago. What made her stay was West Hollywood’s SUR restaurant, where her job as a waitress earned her a role on Bravo’s hit reality show “Vanderpump Rules.”
On Monday evenings, America watches the waitresses, bartenders and owner Lisa Vanderpump as they navigate through the drama and chaos involved in working at one of LA’s hippest restaurants and bars. Maloney is a recurring cast member whose life and relationships we follow. When she’s not waitressing at SUR, she runs a fashion and beauty blog at PuckerandPout.com.
Following a scandalous episode of “Vanderpump Rules,” we caught up with Maloney to chat about life on reality TV, her favorite clothing stores and her love of LA’s music scene.
What brought you to LA?
I’ve wanted to move to LA for a long time to pursue acting. I got a job working as an assistant to a stylist that allowed me to move to LA in about a month.
Which part of LA do you live in and what do you love most about it?
Tom and I live together in West Hollywood. Of all the places I’ve lived, from North Hollywood to Hancock Park to Beverly Hills, West Hollywood is my favorite. I hate getting stuck in traffic, so it’s great that we’re close to our favorite restaurants and bars. Anything we need, we can walk to it.
Which restaurants (other than SUR) do you frequent and which dishes do you order?
This might sound weird, but Tom and I love going to Gardens of Taxco. They don’t have a menu per se, but they have waiters that recite the menu to you. They have a guy that plays guitar and sings.
They make these wine margaritas that are the best thing I’ve ever had. I really love their Enchiladas Suizas and it’s like a course dinner with soup, quesadilla and tons of chips and salsa. You have to wear stretchy pants when you go there.
Where’s your favorite place to grab a drink in LA?
I love Laurel Hardware because I can walk there. They have really good drinks and food and I like the vibe there. St Felix has a great happy hourand I go to the Belmont for their Bloody Mary bar. El Carmen on Third is amazing.
As an insider, what would you suggest ordering from SUR?
Our house favorite is the crispy chicken that everyone orders. Personally, I’m a big fan of the Seared Ahi with a sesame seed crust—it’s so yummy. Also, Joe’s Fettuccini is delicious and savory with chicken and vegetables.
What are a few of your favorite stores?
I shop at Zara all the time. I feel like I’ve grown out of Forever 21 but I still like affordable clothing. Revolve has their popup store I’ve been frequenting lately. Intermix and All Saints are also pretty great.
Tell me about your experiences on the cast of “Vanderpump Rules.”
Most of my life experiences have been on the show in terms of the dramatic fights and fun along the way. It’s been an interesting ride. There’s no way to prepare ourselves for what happens when we start filming. We try to live our lives as we normally would, but on camera. It’s really tested a lot of our friendships.
What led to your role on the show?
All of us were already working at SUR before the show and I had worked there for five years, even before the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” We were at the company already and we were already this group of friends with tons of drama so when the show came along, it worked perfectly.
What do you wish viewers knew about the show?
“Vanderpump Rules” may be full of drama, but it’s real. When you’re watching it on TV, they have to trim it down and can’t show an entire hour of a conversation. They put music behind it so sometimes it seems sensationalized, but it really is true.
We really are friends, we really do have a history with one another. People do cheat and they lie. I wish people could see that we’re not one dimensional. What you see is our strongest personality trait, amplified. You’re only shown fragments of what happens.
What are the positive and negative aspects of being on a reality TV show?
We’re very busy. I have friends outside the show and it’s hard to see them when we’re filming. At the end of the day, you don’t want to talk or look at anybody. Our very personal moments, like what I experienced this season with my boyfriend, are on display for everyone to judge and it is embarrassing.
On the other hand, it has provided us with opportunities. I created a fashion and beauty blog that’s doing really well and people are enjoying it.
When you’re not working or filming, what do you like to do in your free time?
Music was one of my first loves. I interned at a record label and I wanted to work in that world. I love live shows so I’m always going to festivals and concerts. My favorite venue is Satellite in Silverlake. I saw Foo Fighters there once and it was amazing. I like more intimate settings.
I try to stay active by going to different classes around town like Pop Physique, a yoga, Pilates, ballet fusion studio in LA.
Who are your favorite musicians?
My favorite of all time are the Talking Heads. I also love Alt J. and FKA Twigs is really dope. Zhu is pretty cool. I like newer, younger artists. I just bought my first pop album is 10 years, new one by Taylor Swift.
What should everyone in LA experience at least once?
Not being single here. Being single in LA can be debilitating. I was single for four years before I met Tom and it did a number on me. Maybe everyone in LA should experience a real relationship here. Tinder seems like a foreign language to me.
Name something on your LA bucket list:
We’re close to so many vineyards that I’ve always wanted to go wine tasting.
In LA, you have these moments that you don’t have anywhere else. It’s almost like they’re not real life. Sometimes you have a bizarre encounter with someone at Whole Foods. It’s the most unique place. You can walk out the door and have no idea what’s going to happen that day.
Originally published on LosAngeles.com.