My LA To Z: John C. McGinley

He may be known as the curmudgeonly Dr. Perry Cox on NBC’s “Scrubs,” but the down-to-earth John C. McGinley–who plays Dodgers announcer Red Barber in the Jackie Robinson biopic, “42″–is just another guy who appreciates “bomb” sushi and a good old fashioned DIY project.

Bui Sushi

When we go for sushi, this is where we go. A friend of mine opened it and it’s just the bomb. It’s fresh and delicious and unpretentious. It’s where the locals go. The paradise roll is my favorite; it’s delicious tempura and some kind of salmon. It’s spicy spicy and crunchy crunchy — a delicious combination that creates a texture sensation.

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Underwood Farms

This is a kid’s destination. It’s just heaven for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. In the spring, people can participate in harvesting the strawberries and the raspberries. You take the kids and they cant do anything wrong. They can touch anything and play with things – my wife and the girls went last week.

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Disney Hall

I went to see Alison Krauss + Union Station at Disney Hall and I would say it was one of the most astonishing sonic experiences I have had. It’s an enormous room that’s acoustically perfect. My interpretation of receiving music as a layman is that the way the music kind of settled on me in that room was perfection.

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Anawalt Lumber

Analwalt is good for DIY projects, which I am fanatical about. You used to have to go to Westlake or Agoura to go to a lumber store and now you can go to Anawalt and your life is better. It’s amazing. You can get help and the staff is great and there’s all this good stuff.

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The Strike

I built a baseball field in the lower part of our property and I’m always working on that. I got a wheelbarrow, a pick and a shovel, and I started to build a baseball field during writers’ strike. We have boys and girls come over and we have clinics in the spring. It’s called The Strike because it’s named for the writers’ strike. I had a sign made for the field, and the number one rule is you have to bash it three times. Kids love it.



PC Greens

PC Greens is this kind of high-end grocery where those of us who are transplant New Yorkers can get all our organic and locally grown produce. Everything they have is the stuff I want I on the table. They can accommodate all these new-fangled diets we’re going on now and it’s not a big deal. I like places where you can’t find a “no.” Here you can’t find a “no,” that’s been a special excellence for me.

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Santa Monica Bike Path

The path from Venice to Manhattan is one of the best-kept secrets in L.A., and I’ve lived here for 30 years. I thought there was a termination point, like when you go north on the path, but going south it keeps going and you get to Manhattan Beach. We’ve done it a half dozen times. In the middle of the day, it’s pretty deserted and it’s so cheap to rent a bike. It’s just fantastic. Grab your significant other and go.

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Kanan Road

Kanan is a big road through the Santa Monica Mountains. Between mid-March and mid-April, when you get over to the western side of the mountains, it’s populated by Spanish broom — this beautiful, yellow, flowering weed that smells the way I imagine it smells along the Yellow Brick Road. It turns out it was part of a project, to flower the highways. It blooms right now and it’s unique to L.A. It’s pretty great.


The Palm

I love The Palm. They are not afraid to take a piece of swordfish and cook it just right. [Swordfish is] expensive, and it’s a tricky bargain because people dry it out and then you’ve paid 40 bucks for a dried fish. But they cook it perfectly! You can get Cajun dry rub on there — it makes me want to testify. The service there is impeccable, the whole staff understands when the puck is being dropped for a game and they always accommodate that. That’s hard, especially when you’re dealing with first-class food.

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Photographs courtesy (in order): (1), (2), (3) WikiMedia Commons, (4), (5) WikiMedia Commons, (6), (7) WikiMedia Commons, (8) Creative Commons (9)