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My LA to Z: Lauren Bowles
The True Blood actress reprises her role as spell-casting Wiccan Holly Cleary on the HBO show’s fifth season this month. She won’t spill plot secrets, but Bowles did list some local spots where she and her husband, actor Patrick Fischler, indulge
My husband grew up here, right in L.A. Patrick’s Roadhouse is his family’s restaurant, it’s a landmark. It was named after my husband!
Tar and Roses
Andrew is the chef there. He was at Wilshire for a while—he’s a rock ‘n’ roll chef. We had heard he was opening up this new place so we went to go check it out. We’ve been like four times now, it’s kind of a problem. My favorites are the octopus salad and the ricotta gnocchi. You are going to laugh at some of my lists, because I’m going to go from touting bacon popcorn to one of my favorite vegan joints! I’d say I’m 80% vegan—I try to be at home. We’re foodies, so when we go out and we know where meat is from, we’ll indulge.
Golden Mean Vegan Cafe
This is my favorite vegan café; it’s in Santa Monica, right around 11th street. I have taken many a non-vegan here, kicking and screaming. Their burger with the works is to die for. They have this strawberry cake—I’m an avid baker, just so you know—you will literally have a bite of this, and it is so moist and unbelievable, you’ll think they are lying. You’re like no, no, no, there’s butter and eggs in this for sure! And there’s truly not.
This is one of my favorite vegan bakeries. It started in New York and just came out here. It’s on Larchmont. This shows you, I’m a west sider. Nothing but work usually will get me to the east side, except food. She makes donuts to die for, and vegan thin mints, you know, like the Girl Scout cookie? I’ve got both of her cookbooks. I met her one time at the bakery, Erin McKenna is the woman that owns it, and I felt like I was meeting, like, Angelina Jolie!
It’s next to one of my yoga places, Main Street Yoga. A great lunch, breakfast, or coffee place, they have amazing sandwiches. This couple owns it, I forget where they are from, but they are European, so their coffee is good, strong, real coffee. They make a real cappuccino, it’s not like all milk.
This is my other favorite yoga place. It’s right on the border of Santa Monica and Venice, right at Rose where the big crazy clown is. The big great yoga stars teach there when they are in town. The atmosphere there is just so chill and relaxed.
The Landmark Theater at Westside Pavilion
Best movie theater in town, hands down. You get assigned seats, no ads, and Westside Tavern has such good food! The bar upstairs serves my favorite beer, Delirium Tremens, which is very hard to get. It is just so phenomenal, the taste of it. You get your beer, have a little convo, go see your movie, and then go have dinner downstairs!
This is a fun family one. This is going to sound crazy but Friday nights are their free jazz nights. We take our daughter! You can go early and picnic in these raised grass beds. (We like Ray’s, but not with a three-year-old.) There’s a toddler area where the kids can do arts and crafts. We go with a bunch of friends and listen to some jazz.
I’m a big meditation gal. It’s in a small little space for anyone interested in studying mindfulness work or anything about Buddhism. We were introduced to it because I delivered [our daughter] naturally, and I took my natural child birthing class there. They offer all kinds of meditation classes but what’s really great is they offer free meditation sitting groups. It’s donation based, open to everyone. They have a great speaker series, too.
Flying Saucers Cafe
This is the best cup of coffee you are ever going to have. It’s a super small little place he also uses as an art space. He does art showings on different Friday nights, showcasing various local artists. Get the Café Cubano there. It’s sort of like an espresso with a little bit of sugar cooked into it so it it melts into it. I’m telling you, the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had.
I take my girl there. It’s so much fun if there’s been rain and the waterfall is full. But there’s a mini-route near the big tree with the stage around it at the bottom there and it’s perfect if you’ve got a toddler—she just loves it. She’s like, ‘Mom we gonna go to magical nature?’ She calls it magical nature.
The Hollywood Bowl
This is probably everyone else’s answer in town. Is there anything better than getting a fantastic picnic dinner and going to the Bowl? The Bowl makes me feel like, Oh, look where we live. It’s the whole experience.
Photographs courtesy (in order): (1) patricksroadhouse.info, (2) tarandroses.com, (3) goldenmeancafe.com, (4) babycakesnyc.com, (5) kafekcalifornia.com, (6) exhalespa.com, (7) landmarktheatres.com, (8) lacma.org, (9) insightla.org, (10) facebook.com/FlyingSaucersCafe, (11) localhikes.com, (12) hollywoodbowl.com