My LA to Z: Gina Carano

The MMA fighter and star of thriller <em>In The Blood</em> (out on DVD June 3) can’t get enough of the South Bay’s good eats. She tells us where to find a top-notch champagne brunch, tacos to cure hangovers, and a local eatery with a <em>Cheers</em> vibe
1 El Floradita 


If you want to go out and have a good time, Abigaile has a bar area, and there’s kind of a dance area, and there’s also amazing, gourmet food. They’ve got anything from clams to steak, short ribs, and mashed potatoes. They have fried artichoke hearts for an appetizer—pretty amazing. It used to be an old church, and then the lead singer of some band went in there and started tagging the walls. My brother-in-law knows the owner, Chris Stone. [Chris] seems to be on to something good.

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Moksha Yoga


Rock N’ Fish

It reminds me of Europe in a weird way—the atmosphere and the lighting kind of remind me of going into a pub in London, and I love London. I usually order the encrusted tilapia with some asparagus. When it comes to eating, I’m kind of all over the place. It should be a social thing, so if you’re going to enjoy something, do it with someone.

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Abbot's Habit


Hot’s Kitchen

If you are a little bit hungover from the night before, you can go into this bright, beautiful place. They have tacos there, and the quality of the food is really good. The owner is hilarious and has a couple restaurants. He’s just a regular, everyday guy who’s his own comedian.

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4 Hal's 

The Strand House

I like it for a Sunday brunch—like, champagne brunch. You’ve got a beautiful view of Manhattan Beach Pier and you can take a little stroll afterwards. It’s even good as a late-night nice restaurant spot.

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5 Cafe Gratitude 

Mastro’s Steakhouse

They’ve got live music, they’ve got amazing steak, and it feels like you’re doing something—like you’re going out, even though you’re just going to a restaurant and ordering steak. You can even bring your own bottles of wine for a corkage fee.

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6 Cerveteca 

Four Daughters Kitchen

It’s an everything-all-day place from breakfast on. I usually get a scramble with potatoes and scrambled eggs and sundried tomatoes. They’ve got amazing cheeseburgers on Tuesdays that are half off. The best thing about that place, though, is the people who work there. It feels like Cheers; everybody knows your name there and they come up and give you hugs. It feels like family. I like that kind of place.

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7 Venice Beach 

Manhattan Beach Post

They’ve got some amazing, forward-thinking meals. Anything you get, it just feels nice and good, not the way everybody else does their plates. It’s unique and has a great atmosphere with the bar, but it also has these little tables and wooden booths set up. It feels cool. I’m not cool, but it feels cool.

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8 Venice Beach 

The Lobster

Some of these places may sound tourist-y, but I really like being able to look over the ocean. I grew up in Las Vegas, so any place where you get to have dinner and look at the ocean and enjoy good food is a winner for me.

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Photographs courtesy (in order): (1,3,6-7) , (2) (4) (5), (8), and (9)