Mixto Comida Latina
This was one of the first places I ate at when I moved out here. I was sleeping on a friend’s couch, they took me there, and I fell in love with it. I go every other week if I can. It’s an addiction! Their cilantro cream salsa is so good. Mixto’s is kind of a secret, but when I bring people, they are enlightened.
Mixto’s is more of a take-out place, but Malo’s is a sit down restaurant. It has a really good spicy cucumber margarita and their pork belly taco is one of the best tacos I’ve had in my life. In Southern California, that’s saying something.
Great, great movie theater. You don’t see too many theaters with a round screen like that, and they show a perfect mix of art house and normal movies. Plus, it’s a great place to take a date! It was tough being in North Carolina filming because I couldn’t see any new indie films, so I’m glad to have the ArcLight for when I’m back in L.A.
The Red Lion Tavern
It’s a German brat house across from the Cha Cha Lounge, which usually has too many people and gets overwhelming. I haven’t tried any of the food because I generally go to have a few beers with friends, but I hear the schnitzel is really good. I like hanging out upstairs on the big, open balcony where you can take in the great view. They also have a piano player covering Rolling Stones songs and Beatles songs in a funny loungey way—sounds strange, but I enjoy it.
I’m a big music fan, and this is one of my favorite venues. It’s bigger than The Satellite, and even though it’s huge, it’s not the Hollywood Bowl where you have to watch a concert through binoculars.
This is a diner I like to go to with friends. It’s open 24 hours, so it’s a great place to regroup after a long night and soak up the alcohol with a tuna melt. The regular bacon cheeseburger is good, too, and I also enjoy the Thai cobb salad. One of my favorite bookstores is just down the street…
There are two locations now, but they are on the same street. One has coffee table books and comic books, and I spend a lot of time in there. I go up the street when I want a traditional book. I’m trying to get caught up on old classics, like Tropic of Cancer and Hemingway. I like to go there for my old-timey literature.
It’s an emporium of music. You always find a rare record or DVD or VHS that you’d never expect to find. I went there when I first started collecting records and it was like Disneyland. There are also some good signings and mini concerts; my friends went to John Brion and they said it was really great.
Take a Bao
When I’m in the Valley, my friends and I either go to Jinky’s or Take A Bao. They’ve got a duck bao bun and a good Asian chicken salad. It’s really simple, very chic and minimalist. I don’t like to go to really fancy places unless I have to or if it’s with someone special.
Photographs courtesy of (1) yelp.com; (2) malorestaurant.com; (3) arclightcinemas.com; (4) facebook.com; (5) troubadour.com; (6) fred62.com; (7) facebook.com; (8) commons.wiki.com; (9) flickr/jordanmyrick;