When Adam Carolla isn’t hosting The Adam Carolla Podcast (which is available on iTunes), he’s frequenting L.A. locales that meet two important criteria: nearby and nearly free.
Amalfi Ristorante & Bar
I’ll go to Amalfi on La Brea for special occasions. I own about two percent of it, but I’ve never seen a penny. I usually go there because I know everyone, but it’s just good Italian food and good atmosphere and it’s right next to the Acme Theater. There is a club upstairs with jazz, so you can go eat and then have a drink upstairs and hear some live music.
You can see the Hollywood sign and there are a lot of cool old houses. You might see Lindsay Lohan’s feet sticking out of a shrub while she’s sleeping something off. You could go to the little café up there.
I like to take my kids to Travel Town in the Griffith Park area. It’s a whole bunch of rusted trains sitting around and again, it’s nearby and it’s free, so that’s nice. One of the perks of going there is you get to pass by Forest Lawn on the way there if you’re coming from the Valley, and that’s where Michael Jackson’s mausoleum is, so you can tell your kids that when you pass by. Also my mother-on-law is buried at Forest Lawn and my daughter always likes to say “Hi Nana” when we pass by. She’s 23 years old. Just kidding, she’s three-and-a-half.
I love all construction except for the Hollywood Home Depot, which is essentially its own third-world nation in the middle of our first-world nation. If you want to scare your kids into not dropping out of high school or not experimenting with drugs or not having frequent run-ins with the law, take them down to the Hollywood Home Depot and let them peruse the aisles and see what life could be like, because that is one of the diciest, scariest, crapiest places. I do like Anawalt Lumber in North Hollywood. A guy I played high school football with is still behind the counter in the lumber area. Seeing him reminds me of my high school football days.
Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve
I like flying model airplanes and you can fly them over at the Van Nuys Basin. It’s like a flood control basin down there they have an airport for model airplanes so I would recommend that.
McCabe’s Guitar Shop
I like McCabe’s in Santa Monica. I saw John Hiatt there once many years ago and it was very intimate. I enjoyed it.
I like the Beachwood market. I used to live up there and they would give me credit and I’d walk in there, grab a 6-pack, and walk out. They also have a good deli where you can get good sandwiches and it’s just as cheap or cheaper than the big Mayfair market on Franklin that is ten times as big.
I like going to any game in the Rose Bowl because it’s historic and beautiful. I went with Dr. Drew last year to see USC crush UCLA. It holds 100,000 people and the weather is always spectacular. My only advice is bring a flask because they don’t serve beer at Pac 10 games. But if you make a big deal out of it in front of Dr. Drew, he’ll call you an alcoholic.
It’s nice walking down to the end of Point Dume and going down to the beach there, Paradise Cove. I like to go down there and take pictures of Matthew McConaughey as he’s surfing. That area is really gorgeous.
Usually what ends up happening is my out of town guests want tickets to see Jimmy Kimmel, so I make a phone call and send them there. Other than that, I usually just drive them up and down the 101 Freeway and point at the signs covered in graffiti with barb wire surrounding them and say, “You’re really thinking about moving here? Do they have this where you are from? Oh they don’t have this in Greenbay, Wisconsin? They don’t have every square inch of everything covered with graffiti and then razor wire around the freeway signs, like it’s escaped from New York?”
I never go and see stand up comedy and I don’t know why. I guess it’s like the guys who work at Baskin Robbins and then don’t want to eat ice cream at home. I will say that from all the clubs I’ve been to, I like the Melrose Improv. It’s intimate, it’s old, and most importantly, it’s near by. I’ve got nothing against the Irvine Improv but it’s in Irvine and I’m not.
Pacific Coast Highway
I also run guests up and down PCH. To me that’s the best you’re going to do for the closest and fastest. Just go down to PCH and take it all the way down to the county line and turn around and come back. On a nice day, that’s pretty spectacular scenery.
Images courtesy (in order): (1) Yelp/Nancy Y., (2) Flickr/fredcamino, (3) traveltown.org, (4) anawaltlumber.com, (5) Flickr/Al Pavangkanan, (6) Flickr/freeloose, (7) gridskipper.com, (8) Flickr/joepyrek, (9) Flickr/Clinton Steeds, (10) Flickr/TheTruthAbout, (11) krismartinez.com, (12) Flickr/SykoSam