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My LA to Z: Reggie Watts
Watts is back in comedic action on season three of “Comedy Bang! Bang!” (premiering tomorrow on IFC). The coffee connoisseur and self proclaimed non-vegetarian talks well-made espresso, tempeh Ruebens, and French food that rivals his mother’s home cooking
It’s a vegan restaurant. I like that it’s low key. The food is really good, and they have really good deals. My favorite thing to get there is the Rueben—it’s made of tempeh.
It’s not so much for the atmosphere, but the coffee is really good. They have really solid, well made espresso. It’s weird, I used to hate coffee when I was a kid, but because I lived in Seattle for 13 years, I was exposed to coffee. I loathe Starbucks, so I tried Vivace and other actual espresso places. Now I find it delicious. It’s kind of like a drug for me, so I treat it as a pick-me-up.
I love French food. My mother is French, so I grew up eating a lot of French cuisine. She usually made duck à l’Orange and Quiche Lorraine, but not every place will have those things. This place is really moody and romantic, and the food is amazing. I get escargot, salad, the cheese board, and maybe French onion soup.
I think some Seattle people helped start it. It’s got a less pretentious vibe than Intelligentsia—more mellow, a lot of regulars. It’s kind of hidden. It looks like a secret location. It’s a great place to meet up with somebody; they have great coffee and a really good food selection. They’ve got this instant superfood oatmealy thing that you make with cold water, pastries, and mini-quiches. You can have a pretty substantial meal.
It’s just really good American food. They have a wide selection tiny woodfired pizzas and a really good menu of heartier dishes and things with cheese and meat in them. It’s kind of healthy, but there are heavier options. It’s usually pretty busy, but my girlfriend and I, we got lucky the first time: there was space right away. The second time we went, the lady at the front was like, “I love your stuff!” so we got a table.
I have vegetarian tendencies, but I’m not a vegetarian. Even so, Elf has a really cool menu that changes, and they dip into Moroccan stuff and other world cuisines to a certain degree, but I love the atmosphere. I’ve gotten their tagine before—there’s couscous and some kind of hummus that comes with it, and then there’s this flat bread. It’s really delicious. And they have this quinoa dish that’s pretty incredible.
It’s awesome. It’s an old school neighborhood theater. I mean, I like the ArcLight because of reserved seating, but Vista is great. You walk in, you either go left or right, and you’re in the theatre. I’ve seen a lot of modern films there, but they screen a lot of older films, too.
The Church on York
I love that place because it’s very not L.A. it’s kind of DIY; some young kids and this booking agent from Montreal get some pretty great bands in there. It also has great acoustics. But it’s a weird space—people have to decide to go there. It’s not conveniently located, but I like that about it. They need air conditioning, but other than that it’s awesome.
Photographs courtesy (in order): (1, 4, 5, 6, 8) facebook.com, (2) intelligentsiacoffee.com, (3) cafestella.com and (7) vintagecinemas.com