My LA To Z: Chris Hardwick

The host of Comedy Central’s @midnight and “The Nerdist Podcast” tells us about his favorite local bowling spot, magical staycations, and where to find a “nerd watering hole”
1 El Floradita 

Meltdown Comics

We have our theatre space there. It’s basically a big comic clubhouse: There are comedy shows that we put on; upstairs, people are recording podcasts; outside, people are playing D&D; in another room, people are reading comics. It’s a really welcoming environment and a nerd watering hole.

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2 901 Salon 

Little Tokyo

If you don’t have anything to do on a Sunday, go to Little Tokyo. It’s a physical representation of so many things that I love. The food is amazing, and it’s nice to feel a little bit of culture in L.A. We don’t really have one identity that I’m aware of, so it’s cool to go to little pockets of the city and feel the culture. My girlfriend and I bought these Japanese animal pajamas there once. If you’re into anime, the comic book culture, or great food, that little cluster of Japanese shops is a great place to go.

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Moksha Yoga


The Spare Room

I love the Spare Room at the Roosevelt Hotel because there’s bowling there. We shot a lot of our bowling episodes there for our YouTube bowling channel. The one downside is that there are only two lanes of bowling, but it’s cool and old timey.

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Abbot's Habit


Meals by Genet

My girlfriend and I have eaten Ethiopian food from all over the country, and the best Ethiopian food we’ve found is this place in Little Ethiopia called Meals by Genet. The staff is amazing. Genet herself, she’s actually in the kitchen making the food. Everyone is really sweet, and it has a really nice vibe. We’ve gotten to be friends with the staff.

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5 Hal's 

Olvera Street

You can see that something cultural started here and then spread out, and Olvera Street is like a preserved piece of Los Angeles’ history. It’s like you’re in a part of the city that doesn’t have anything to do with the entertainment industry. Los Angeles is really just a bunch of townships connected by a freeway, but when I find somewhere like Olvera Street, it reminds me this is a real city.

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6 Cafe Gratitude 


With zero traffic it’s only a half hour away. We have annual passes and we stay at the Grand Californian. It’s a really good getaway that isn’t that, one where you feel like you’re out of town but you’re really not. The only time I don’t go is during the summer; it’s hotter over the summer and super packed. You really don’t want to go in June, July, or August.

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7 Cerveteca 


I had my birthday party there last year. There are a couple different rooms, but the awesome thing is they have a karaoke room and special events. For example, on Monday nights, they have a karaoke event called Ground Control. Tuesday nights they have Geeks Who Drink, which is a trivia night. They really cater to the nerds.

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8 Venice Beach 

Mornings Nights

It’s has a nice communal feel to it. If you go there regularly they call you by name, and you can leave your coffee cup there and they’ll clean it for you. They have great coffee, great food, and great pastries. There’s also a nice little outdoor area where you can drink, eat, and relax.

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Photograph (5) by Coy Gutierrez. All other photographs courtesy