My LA to Z: John C. Reilly

The actor’s latest flick may be Wreck-It Ralph, an animated homage to 8-bit video games, but in real life the Angeleno is plugged in to L.A.’s arts and culture scene. He shares a few favorite haunts


Independent Shakespeare Company

They do free plays all summer long in Griffith Park. It’s set up near the old zoo and there were 2,500 people sitting in the grass from all different economic backgrounds. It’s really fun and alive as opposed to some [performances of] Shakespeare, which is like taking medicine. I was really inspired and wanted to run away with them and join the circus.

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7 Seas

My favorite fish tacos are at 7 Seas in Silver Lake. It’s a little blue and white kiosk. They have a proper restaurant but the taco hut is where you wanna go. They’re the best in L.A. proper. They’re just fantastic: fried fish with cabbage and their own spicy salsa. It’s great. 

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Casa Del Mar

The best hotel in L.A. It’s one of the only hotels that’s on the ocean. Despite our reputation of beach culture, there are only 4 or 5 that are on the water. They did a beautiful restoration of the hotel and the 1920s pool. It’s a really great place to have a business lunch on the westside. There’s a beautiful open room with windows looking out on the ocean and if you’re going to spend the cash, it’s got all the things I look for in a hotel.  

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Theatricum Botanicum

It was built by Will Geer and has operated since the 1950s. It’s this amazing place where they do live theater outdoors in a beautiful, wooded amphitheater. I’ve played music there and it’s a really magical setting. I’m attracted to things in L.A. that are very site specific. 

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Westward Beach

Westward Beach is tucked against this big rock. They use it for photo shoots and you’ll recognize the rock. It separates Zuma from Point Dume. It’s very easy to get to but people see Zuma and there’s a giant parking lot. Most people don’t make the effort, but it’s very accessible yet tucked away at the same time.

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Viet Noodle Bar

The best chicken noodle soup I’ve ever had. I go there three times a week. I get the sea shot, which is pressed sugar cane, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper served in a shot glass. It makes you feel good.

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The Troubadour

The Troubadour is great, depending on the band that’s playing. If you get a chance to see your favorite you’re very up close to the band. I’ve seen some very transcendent shows there. 

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Las Piedras

It’s ten minutes north of Zuma Beach. It’s a bit of a climb but it doesn’t have the killer staircase of El Matador State Beach. It’s carved out of the cliff and it’s a protected cove. If I was looking for a totally isolated beach during the week, Las Piedras would be a little bit of paradise.

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Nethercutt Collection

The best collections of rare cars in the world, in an incredible setting. They also have automated musical instruments and phonographs and nickelodeons and player piano-type contraptions. You can’t believe what they were able to make in the 1800s. One thing plays five violins on a Lazy Susan. Different bows move in and out as it moves around. That’s very cool, and very unique to L.A. 

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ALSO: See John C. Reilly‘s three favorite places to catch folk rock music in L.A.

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