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My LA To Z: Michael Showalter
L.A. is catnip for this comedian, writer and producer (currently working on Rebel Wilson’s ABC comedy “Super Fun Night”), who just released the new book “Guys Can Be Cat Ladies Too.” Here, the “Wet Hot American Summer” alum riffs on stellar sushi, rag tag tennis leagues, and rotisserie chicken
Fryman Canyon Park
My wife and I try to take a hike every single day, and this is a nice short one. You could probably walk the whole length of the canyon in under an hour, but there’s a 30-minute incline at the beginning of it, so you’ll definitely expend a lot of energy. The views are spectacular, and it’s not that busy, so you can look over the hills and take in the city. It’s very meditative.
A friend of ours from New York had recommended it, and it was a very unusual experience. What I mean is, they had some rules: you have to sit in a certain place and order certain things. We got the omakase—it was a little expensive, maybe $100 per person, but it was some of the best sushi I’ve ever had. And they used all sorts of interesting types of fish. There’s also a very odd form of plant life in the miso soup, and it was delicious. I highly recommend it.
It’s great. It’s got a health food bent to it—lots of vegetarian options. They also do all sorts of different ethnic foods. Ultimately it’s all diner food, but it’s all delicious. It’s also very low key, and you can always get a table. A great place to go late at night if you need a good dinner spot.
I go to breakfast and read the newspaper there. They have delicious pancakes and coffee, and you can get so many different omelets. They also have some of the best home fries I’ve ever had. I don’t know what they put on them, but there’s some kind of unidentified spice that makes them uniquely delicious.
ArcLight Cinema Sherman Oaks
My wife and I saw WWZ and The Conjuring there. We’re from New York, and you don’t get to reserve your seats at New York theatres, so that’s a very cool feature. And, in New York, you’re always dealing with long lines. Here you get to show up right before the movie and just go in and sit.
Rag & Bone
It’s not cheap, but they have really, really awesome clothes. Everything is special or one of a kind. The people that work there are also super knowledgeable and very friendly. It’s my favorite place to go shopping.
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt
Menchie’s is do it yourself, so you get to make your own. They have a million different flavors and a million different toppings—I’ve recently been getting mint frozen yogurt with blueberries, mochi and mini M&Ms. My wife likes cookies and cream with raspberries and coconut.
This is one of my favorite places to go for really good rotisserie chicken and a lot of interesting dipping sauces for said chicken—they have one that’s a garlicky artichoke, one that’s tangy BBQ, and it all comes with this very delicious flatbread. They have the best rotisserie chicken in LA.—it’s the perfect place to go for dinner and then to Upright Citizens Brigade.
Weddington Golf and Tennis
It’s not a private club, and you can play tennis at night. The people who run the club are super friendly, incredibly helpful, and nice. They also have a golf range. They also have a very rag tag tennis league where you show up, they pair you with someone, and then put you on courts to play doubles.
The Bourgeois Pig
This is the café/coffee shop I’ve been coming to ever since I first started coming to L.A. back in the early ‘90s. I’ve spent many afternoons working there—they seem to be very worker-friendly, which is nice. The last time I was there, they had old, beat up, interesting sofas. Every time I’m in town I go there and usually order an iced coffee, and man, do they have really strong coffee.
It's an Italian restaurant on this really kooky, cool part of Laurel Canyon, right by a general store. It’s good, rustic-feeling Italian food. I had spaghetti with Bolognese that tasted incredibly homemade, and mussels with garlic bread that were fantastic. A friend invited me and, oh my God, I would go back in a heartbeat.
Photograph (2) courtesy flickr/tzigane53; (3) courtesy flickr/stevendamron; (8) courtesy birds.com. All other photographs courtesy facebook.com.