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My LA to Z: Jeff Goldblum
The actor and star of the fresh-from-Broadway play “Seminar” opens up about being on Glee, getting old jeans altered, and playing in a jazz band called the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra
Lexington Social House
I have this jazz band called the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra and we’ve been playing at the Lexington Social House. It’s a nice place on Vine Street and you can sit and have a nice dinner or drop in and have a drink. People get up and sing spontaneously and have a little hootenanny.
I was on Glee and we recorded at Capitol Records. Brian Stokes Mitchell and I went over there and recorded an extended version of You’re The Top and we did that little duet and recorded in those rooms where Frank Sinatra and The Beatles did, and that’s a spectacular place, a beautiful thing. I love it. When they light that building up it makes me feel bright and delightful and warm. They have old black and white photographs in the halls and it’s goosechilling!
Blu Jam Café
Blu Jam Café is a nice place and the food is very good. It’s very personal and I really like it. They have dinner but I do like the breakfast there. Three’s some unusual things—[co-owner and chef Kamil Majer] does this kind of encrusted French toast that sometimes he just sends over with vanilla sauce and, oh boy, it’s sinfully delicious.
Shaeffers Garment Hotel
A hidden jewel. It’s a whimsical name, but it specializes in a couple of articles of clothing that they make for you. One is jeans, and he’ll also fix your old jeans and tailor them to you and make jeans for you with some high-quality Japanese selvage denim. I’m just learning an appreciation and what Shaffer loves about this denim. My whole denim life has upgraded itself.
House of Hats
This guy Gunner Foxx at House of Hats is a real artist. You can go in the back and see Gunner at work. My father used to take us around and see people making fudge and I love watching people make stuff. Gunner’s family made hats for movies. I was in there once and I don’t want to drop names, but Bob Dylan came in. He has these dogs and these broken down, atmospheric couches and he’s playing guitar in there and I’ve gotten two hats made by him.
Our group played the Hollywood Bowl once and I do have an affection for that historical, wonderful place. It’s spectacular. When I was there, geez, I saw Chick Corea come in backstage and was starstruck to see the brilliant musicians. I was doing some announcing for the Playboy Jazz Festival and Christina Aguilera was backstage and I asked what she was going to sing and she sang it in my ear and it was delightful and goes in my golden book of memories.
I like to go to the ArcLight. Remember when they first put commercials before movies and everybody would boo and hiss? At ArcLight they don’t have commercials. I’m always very encouraging to the ushers before the show. I always clap; they all seem very good.
Barkev’s Shoe Services
It’s a very nice shoe repair shop that I like. This guy Raffi is very special and he’ll re-do your shoes, he’ll repair your luggage… He’s an artist and rather brilliant and very kind. He just came back from vacation and gave me some candies. The work he does on your shoes is a revelation. I’ve supplied my own costumes and collaborated with designers and I get very passionate and very obsessive about these things.
I like Salt’s Cure. Take a look at that, that’s an interesting and unusual place. It’s smallish and authentic with a couple of wonderful chefs. There’s one guy from the Hungry Cat and the food is really simple but sophisticated and delicious, and you can watch them make it. The people behind it are soulful.
The owner always has his latest assortment of what he’s bought and might recommend. They have pants and shirts and it’s a curated kind of a thing. The owner is British and very delightful and he’ll visit with you about clothes and he’s just great.
I keep getting the breakfast salad at Hugo’s. It’s a combination of hot and cold with crispy greens and garlic and ginger and eggs. I substitute quinoa for the turmeric rice and I like it.
The Roxy Theatre
I remember going to the Roxy and seeing Gil Scott-Heron perform. The night I was there Stevie Wonder got up and played the drums.
I find myself at Café Gratitude on Larchmont. They are half vegan and half raw, although I’ve been to places that get a whole cow in every week and I’m of both minds, so I’ve enjoyed both things. Every dish has names like “I Am grateful” or “I Am Radiant” and there’s nothing like “I Am Slothful” or “I Am Doomed.” It’s very positive.
Photographs courtesy (in order): (1) Lexingtonsocialhouse.com, (2) Wikipedia.org, (3) blujamcafe.com, (4) schaeffersgarmenthotel.com, (5) gunnerfoxx.com, (6) hollywoodbowl.com, (7) Flickr/pinkfish_13, (9) fforfood.blogspot.com, (10) facebook.com, (11) hugosrestaurant.com, (12)preservationnation.org, (13) cafegratitudela.com