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My LA To Z: Jerry Ferrara
The actor and restaurateur, best known for his turn as Turtle on HBO’s “Entourage,” stars alongside an all-star cast in this month’s “Last Vegas.” Here he tells us about his favorite low key pub, where to catch classic films, and how he got a sandwich named after him
Full disclosure: I’m one of the owners of the place. It’s going to sound like a plug, but I promise you, you can find me at this place at least three times a week! There are big flat screen TVs everywhere so you can watch a game; the whole place is open air; there’s hip hop blasting; the other guys that own it and the people that work there are super cool, nice guys. It’s just a very friendly place. My favorite thing to get is the Fat Jerry, which is actually named after me—all the sandwiches are named after people who are involved or who have won the food competition that Fat Sal’s offers.
I’m a big sports guy, so I always need the Monday night football, the NBA finals—that’s an event for me. Goal has big, oversized booths and a great sound system for the games. It’s a great place to watch a game or sporting event or just to go have a drink. It’s probably the best place you could watch a game in L.A.
Rock and Reilly
The older I get I can’t go to clubs anymore, but I can still go to a bar and have some drinks with friends. Rock and Reilly is like an Irish-New York kind of pub. It has 80s music and a really cool vibe.
The bottom is a bar with this great restaurant, and upstairs, there are three separate roof decks. It’s all open air, beautifully decorated, great bar, big booths, they have a cool swing set—it’s just a really different experience. If you want a “hang out” place, it’s the kind of bar where you can actually have a conversation, hear people, and not be overwhelmed by music. It’s very much about the people you’re with when you go there.
I’ve recently started boxing, and Jay Glazer, who is a friend of mine, has been training me because I’m getting ready for a role that will require some boxing knowledge. It’s a privately owned gym, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart; they push you to the breaking point. They really make you feel like you’re doing something that no one else is doing. They train football players there, they train MMA fighters there—I’m learning from the best.
It’s very different than Athletic Gains. If you’re just trying to get in shape, they’ve got some great people over there. It’s where my trainer works. I’ve gotten to know the people in there and they’re great, but what I love about it the most is there’s not this huge socializing aspect where you’re doing more talking than working out.
They have everything to suit your nutritional needs, from vitamins, to protein powders to great food and juice cleanses. They have a back area with an on-staff doctor who can administer B12 shots or vitamin shots. If you go at the right time when it’s not packed, you can read a newspaper and enjoy your drink outside. It’s the only place where you can go and get a delicious protein shake, a B12 shot, and meet a girl. There’s a very unique combination of positivity.
I’ve known the actual Craig for a long time. He’s always wanted to open his own place, and now that he has, it’s kind of taken over. The food is unbelievable; they have an old school vibe in there, a very classy, elegant environment. There’s always an eclectic mix of people and Craig just really knows how to run a restaurant. He makes you feel like it’s your place.
New Beverly Cinema
I’ve recently discovered a one-screen theater that will only show old classics. Two weeks ago, they showed Shawshank Redemption—which I’ve seen a million times—but I never saw it in theaters. I’ve seen Scarface there, too—I get to go watch movies that I loved as a kid growing up on a big screen, and it’s like you’re watching it again for the first time.
The Comedy Store
I’ve grown up loving stand-up comedy. L.A. has some great comedy clubs, and the one that I’ve been going to forever is The Comedy Store. It has so much history. Name a comedian that you’re a fan of and at some point, they were performing at The Comedy Store. If I’m a little bored one night I’ll take a walk up the street, and what a great thing! One minute you’re bored and then the next minute you’re sitting in a dark room having a drink and someone is making you laugh. It's a great service they provide over there.
Photograph #8 courtesy twitter.com, all other photographs courtesy facebook.com