My number one place in L.A. is Disneyland. I grew up really close to it and I would go with my family like three times a week, but as I’ve gotten older, Disneyland has stayed my favorite place. I go there way more than I should. Last year I had their Premium Passport, which gets you into any park, any day, any time, and you get a 15 percent discount off of merchandise. So I’m sort of a freaky fan. I went to Disney World for a month last year. I had been working for seven years straight and I hadn’t really taken a vacation for myself. I don’t travel for work, so as soon as I finished that job I was like, “I’m gonna do it!” and I booked a month at Disney World Resort. It was glorious. I really want to go to Tokyo Disney.
It’s a little bustling pub with great food, really good drinks, and good cocktails. I love Moscow Mules, and they have a really good one. They also have one of my favorite dishes of all times: citrus vinaigrette Brussels sprouts. I get a craving for them at least once a week—like, a crazy craving that I cannot resist. I’ll just know, like, “Laurel Tavern, I have to go there.” They also have a really great staff. Everyone who works there is really cool and down to earth. I never like a pub where you feel nervous to order.
You can dance there, but it’s not a fist pumping kind of dance. They have cool music. The door to the place looks like a refrigerator door, so it’s kind of hidden and discreet, which is fun. They have a patio outside, and the actual bar itself looks like a living room. I have a big group of friends, and if we want to have a special night out, we’ll go to Good Times.
I am a huge roller coaster enthusiast, and Six Flags makes me feel like a kid. I love the big roller coasters. I love fearing for my life as soon as they take off. I don’t think a day can be more fun than being with your friends, letting loose, and being on roller coasters. I love the Batman ride, but I don’t like the Green Goblin ride because it squeezes your thighs way too hard.
They don’t have Internet access, which I love because I’ll take my laptop there to write and it really helps keep me focused. They have these really cool half-moon red booths that feel like a classic diner. And they have a great menu. I usually get an egg white omelette. That way, if I’m writing really late, I’m not doing too much damage. But to be honest, half the time I also get an order of fries. And then I say, “I’ll just have half of them,” but I end up eating all of them WITH a side of ranch.
It’s a great Italian restaurant in the middle of Laurel Canyon. It’s the only restaurant on the entire four-mile stretch of Laurel Canyon Road. There’s a little market attached to it, they have a cute little valet service, and the restaurant itself is very dark and moody and eclectic. The food is amazing; I love their salads, their salmon, their pastas, and their pizzas. It’s a great date spot or a great place to take your family. It’s an impressive restaurant to take someone to. I saw Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis there one time and almost shit my pants.
The aptly-named Echo has funky soul nights where the DJ mixes ‘70s soul songs. My friend told me about it, and I love gathering a group, going to the Echo, and getting some diner food afterwards. If you say, “Hey, lets go to Funky Soul night” and your friend says no, you should probably reconsider your friendship.
That’s another place where it’s great to take a group of friends. You get to go to different magic shows, there’s a bar, and you can eat there. Everyone gets to get dressed up and you make great memories. I love a place where it’s inevitable that you’re going to make great memories. The Magic Castle is such a unique environment—that’s the key to finding my favorite places.
They have great food, a great bakery, great coffee drinks, and I love that I can take my dog there. It’s also a really cute indoor/outdoor place. The surrounding area has some boutique shops, and there’s a park nearby.
There’s one on Franklin and one on Sunset. I change it up and go to both. They have great stand up shows, great improv shows, and great sketch shows. I usually like to go alone because I feel like how much or how little I would be laughing is based on my company, so I like to go just with the comfort of myself and either soak it in or laugh uproariously. I went to see a stand up show hosted by Emily Heller, and Amy Schumer showed up and ran her jokes for the MTV Movie Awards, so that was awesome. I also saw Tig Notaro do some stand up which is super cool. I’m a big fan of her. My favorite improv troop there is probably Sentimental Lady; I try to see those shows as often as possible.
Photographs courtesy (in order): (1) disneyland.com; (6) pacerestaurant.com. All other photographs courtesy facebook.com