I’m vegan now, and I discovered Inaka years ago when I first came to L.A.. They have great salmon and scallops. It’s a Japanese family, and you can tell that preparing food for people is the joy of their life—almost like a religion to them. When I first went, it was the slowest place to get food on the planet, but I kind of liked it. It’s a great place, and the food is fantastic.
I like all three of them—the one in Venice Beach, the one Downtown, and the one in West Hollywood. I like The Whole Bowl. It’s very hearty. I’m a fan of peasant’s food. I’ve noticed they stopped singing “Happy Birthday” to people—they do this big song and dance. The music is really loud, and the whole restaurant would have to join in. So if you arrange a business meeting, ask them to prepare the “Happy Birthday” song.
I love it because I can go at three or four in the morning. Nowadays I get the vegan Cobb salad.
I used to stay there quite a lot. I love their chocolate milkshakes—I don’t know if they still do them, but they’re probably the highest calorie milkshake you can get anywhere. When I was a meat eater, I’d eat steak and fries and spinach there.
Whenever I’ve got family in town, we go there and go on all the rides. I love the King Kong ride, and I used to love the E.T. ride. It was so fun! I go to universal probably every year. It’s great if you’ve got family and kids passing through.
I used to stay in Topanga and do the Ridge Trail hike. It’s moderate—not too intense, very peaceful—but you’ve got to look out for snakes and things. There were definitely snakes. It’s very removed but that’s what’s great about it.
It’s a great park in sort of the shape of a boat coming out of the sand. It’s fantastic if you’ve got kids. There are so many parks in Santa Monica you can go to—there are eight I go to with my kids, and it’s the same up in Hollywood.
I love the school of architecture down there by the tracks, and the L.A. river. What a transformation downtown has gone through! The one thing I’ve yet to do is take the underground. That’s on my list.
Photographs courtesy (in order): (1) Instagram/inakanaturalfoods. All other photographs courtesy Facebook.