My LA to Z: Blake Mycoskie

The founder of TOMS shares his favorite places for good coffee, barbecue, and going barefoot

Blake Mycoskie, whose company, TOMS, has given more than 1 million pairs of shoes to children in need since 2006, first moved to L.A. ten years ago. For the past four, he has lived aboard a sailboat docked in Marina Del Rey. Here he shares his favorite places for good coffee, barbecue, and going barefoot. Speaking of which, April 5 marked TOMS’s 5th Annual One Day Without Shoes.

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Abbot Kinney

In my opinion, this is one of the most fascinating streets in America. One of the great things about living in this part of town is the diversity. The restaurants here are amazing, too. I think that in the last four years I’ve lived on my boat, I’ve only cooked about three meals at home.

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Intellegensia Coffee

I’m a creature of habit. I love heading down here every morning, grabbing some fresh coffee, and sitting in their little open area to people watch for a while.

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Baby Blues BBQ

I’m from Nashville by way of Texas, so I find myself craving southern cooking from time to time. This place in Venice has some amazing ribs.

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Soho House

When I first moved to L.A., I spent of lot of time in Hollywood fascinated by the whole scene–driving down Sunset, hanging out at the Chateau Marmont, stuff like that. These days, I spend much more of my time on the Westside. The exception, though, is my new favorite place to go for dinner, Soho House, which opened last year.

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One of the best parts about living on a boat is being able to sail up to Paradise Cove in Malibu on the weekends. Afterwards, Geoffrey’s is a great spot for Sunday brunch. You can hang out around the fireplace near the beach barefoot and listen to the waves crash at the foot of the restaurant.

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Laugh Factory

So much talent has come out of this one tiny venue. Whenever I have friends in town, I take them to see a great stand-up set.

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Greek Theatre

This is the best spot to see a concert in L.A. It’s a beautiful outdoor park set back in the Hollywood Hills that is really intimate and serene.

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The other day I went to A-Frame, which is the place that looks like an Alpine ski lodge in Culver City. The food is excellent and it’s a great place to order a bunch of things to share with friends. Get the beer-can chicken.

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Hammer Museum

I first went to the Hammer to give a talk and after that it quickly became my favorite museum. In fact, I signed up for the mailing list because they seem to always have such interesting exhibits.

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Images courtesy of (in order): (1) Flickr/bionic butler, (2) Flickr/joshuawseale, (3) Danny Fischer, (4), (5), (6) Flickr/lbshopgirl, (7), (8) Flickr/kelly bone, (9)