When I’m home and I know I only have a couple of days to eat, I always try to get to Sushi Park. It’s on the second floor of a mini mall on Sunset. You’d never suspect it, but it’s exceptional. It’s the best sushi I’ve had anywhere. I don’t know what they do to it; it melts in your mouth. It’s the most perfect sushi in the world. It’s very traditional. No rolls, no fancy stuff. If you sit at the sushi bar, try the omakase.
It’s an L.A. classic! When you go in you go downstairs, which feels very New York because it’s a cozy room on a lower level. The waitstaff knows me because I go there so often, and I always get the spaghetti bolognese. They always look at me like, Do you really need a menu?
I’m constantly reading. Almost every week I post a “book of the week” and a “movie of the week” on my Facebook fan page, so I’m always looking for a great book. I just picked up A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. I’m a huge fan of his writing. I haven’t read anything of his yet I didn’t like.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
It might sound like an odd choice, but I’ve seen so many cool events there. I just saw The National, which is one of my favorite bands! I met them while I was shooting The Warrior. When we went everybody brought snacks and cheese and crackers and wine and stuff like that. The cemetery is also a really great setting to see a movie. You can find the schedule online for movies in the summertime.
The Geffen Playhouse
I love going to see live theatre. It’s partly what I miss about New York, and the Geffen consistently has wonderful productions. They often do shows written by Neil LaBute. I’m a big fan of his work—he’s famous for Reasons To Be Pretty and Reasons To Be Happy. He also wrote the play Some Girl(s), which was turned into a film that I had the opportunity to be in. He’s an extraordinary writer, incredibly prolific, and the Geffen often puts up his newer projects.
They’ve got more specialty dishes, you know, appetizers and things that are their signature. They have this red snapper sashimi that has a lemon drizzle with garlic chip on it, and then there are several little carpaccio dishes that have specialty sauces. I stumbled upon it because Nine Zero One is my hair salon and Face Place is where I go for facials, so I was in the area.
Mowhawk General Store
I went with a friend who lives near there and it was great to discover! It’s a good spot for simple things: shoes, sunglasses, hats. They have everything from basic clothing to candles and ceramics. You can find things there that are functional in life.
I wish I was home more to see more of their stuff! They just had the John Baldessari show and James Turrell. I try to see as much as I can when I’m actually in L.A. and have time. There’s always a reason to be there.
Fountain Coffee Shop
It’s my favorite breakfast spot in L.A. I love going on a Sunday morning—or early afternoon!—and sitting at the counter. It feels like going back in time. I love the waitresses, too. They’re so sweet. It’s funny, I’m not a huge breakfast eater; It’s more about the ambiance, about being at the counter and having coffee and conversation with friends.
The Griffith Observatory
No matter what, even if you’re not into the science, there’s always an amazing view on a clear day. It’s a very serene area in L.A., and it’s nice to be so close to the city but still be able to step away. It’s a great place to hike, too.
Photographs courtesy (in order): (1) Michael Saechang/flickr , (2) Alpha/Flickr (3) facebook.com/pages/Madeo-Restaurant/109738879061931 contributed by: Mariana Gonzalez (4) booksoup.com (5) Facebook.com/pages/Hollywood-Forever/294564156471, (6) facebook.com/geffenplayhouse (7) mohawkgeneralstore.com (8) lacma.org (9) dorchestercollection.com and (10) Frank Steele/flickr