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My LA To Z: Nick Wechsler
The dashing actor and Albuquerque native, who plays Jack Porter on ABC’s “Revenge,” has spent the past 17 years getting to know L.A. Here he tells us where to go for top shelf comedy, leisurely bike rides, and pancakes that “might kill you”
I go to concerts constantly, but the Greek is my favorite of the larger venues. I think of all of them it has the best sound—though Disney Hall rivals it. I’ve had so many amazing experiences there. I love that it’s open air, and it’s located in one of the most beautiful parks in L.A. The best show I’ve seen there was Lykke Li. I thought it had sold out, but out of curiosity I checked the day of the show. Myself and Connor and Gabe from the show ended up getting 5th row dead center a few hours before, and it was one of the greatest concerts of my life.
The Marvin Braude Bike Trail
I don’t even know how long it is, but my buddies sometimes and I will go and park in Santa Monica or Marina Del Rey and then ride our bikes all the way down to Redondo Beach. It’s long, but I’ve done bike rides that feel much longer because they’re hard. This one is flat and leisurely—it’s not like you should be hauling ass. It’s beautiful. You’re tempted to stare at the ocean the whole time. It’s a free feeling to be cutting through the breeze.
The Griddle Café
It might kill you. It’s too decadent. They have great egg dishes, but the reason to go is the pancakes. They’re enormous—you could weigh dead bodies down with them. It’s too much, but it’s amazing. One of them will wipe out a week’s worth of workouts, but it is so good. It’s the only place I’ve had a pancake where I feel like I’m eating cake for breakfast.
It’s a little taco place that relocated from a few doors down. It’s small, but they have these awesome tacos, like a pork belly taco, which is phenomenal. But my favorite—which surprised me because it doesn’t contain any meat—it’s just cheese and chilis. I’m training with a personal trainer so I don’t get to go that often, but it’s like a cheat meal. And they have great aguas frescas; watermelon juices and stuff. You can also get an order of churros with chocolate dipping sauce.
I’m not particularly fond of it as a sonic space—it’s kind of a hole in the wall bar, and there are other venues like the Masonic Lodge that look cooler and feel cooler and are better for sound—but the Troubadour has the best history, and it’s my favorite small music space. They get a higher concentration of stuff I like than almost any other venue. Maybe it’s because I’m into a lot of music that’s indie, so when they’re starting out, every body plays the Troubadour. I recently saw my two current musical obsessions play there, Half Moon Run and London Grammar.
It’s my favorite place to go for dessert, and I can just walk there. They have these amazing ice creams, and they make these crazy shake concoctions—I think they have a banana dulce de leche ice cream. It will explode your heart. They have these great ice cream sandwiches, too, and a lot of cookies I cannot stop eating. Every time I go, I can’t get one thing; I get ice cream and a cookie or two. They have an ooey-gooey double-chocolate cookie that’s like chocolate inside of chocolate inside of chocolate. It’s insane. They provide desserts for other restaurants. That’s how good they are.
East India Grill
I have this affinity for Indian food. Most Indian restaurants don’t look like much—they’re like the Troubadour: a hole in the wall, but awesome. East India Grill is really solid, and it’s close to my house, which appeals to my horrible, horrible laziness. It’s lovely and underrated. They ask if you want spicy and I order spicy, and then I tell them they can give me the spiciest shit they’ve got. It’s not enough to just eat, you want the sport, too. I get samosas, pilau rice, and an order of naan. You can do different naan options, but I tend to go with plain because the bread itself—I don’t want any distractions. And then I’ll get chicken tikka masala. It’s just phenomenal. If you don’t eat a lot of Indian food, it’s a safe bet.
Largo At The Coronet
I go there for the concerts and the comedy. If you talk to the artists who play there, most of them will tell you it’s their favorite place to perform. Zach Galifianakis just played there, and it sold out, and I didn’t get tickets, which broke my tiny heart. I’ve been a huge fan of his for eleven or twelve years. I’ve seen him upwards of 20 times, before he was in The Hangover and became this big deal. I miss the old location, but the new space is awesome.
101 Coffee Shop
I never sleep, so I tend to go to diners late at night. It’s not my favorite menu—I actually think Kitchen 24 has my favorite late night food, but for the proper diner experience, there’s something kind of awesomely, authentically greasy spoon about 101 Coffee Shop. I find myself there more than I find myself at any other diner, even though I order coffee more than anything.
I’m not a big drinker because I think alcohol is disgusting. The taste of it, I’ve never liked it. But whenever I have to go to a bar, my favorite was always Tom Bergin’s. I feel a little silly naming such a popular bar, but that being said, not everyone I know has been. It recently closed, but some local bought it and is re-outfitting it. My experience there was always so positive—it’s the least scene-y bar I’ve been to in L.A. It was a nice mix of old locals and some young people. It wasn’t a sports bar, it wasn’t packed, and it wasn’t a nightclub. It was just a nice bar, like Cheers.
All photographs courtesy facebook.com.