My LA to Z: Justin Lin

Filmmaking has taken Justin Lin to far-off places, but the director of “Fast Five” (available on DVD tomorrow) stays true to his Los Angeles roots. He has a soft spot for greasy Chinese food, Venice Beach, and laundromats


Tortas Mexico Restaurant

It’s this little place in this strip mall. I just love going there. I like filling myself up with carbs and meat. After a stressful meeting, that’s what I crave.




There is a little Japanese lady and it’s like she cooks everything. She comes out and actually checks up on you and sees if you like it. But you better eat all your food, because I had a friend that didn’t eat all of his food and it seemed like it hurt her.




Won Kok

It’s the greasiest Chinese food. We know M.J, the waiter there, and it’s like home. I love the ambiance and I love the people. That’s where we usually go to celebrate.





For some reason, I love Target. It’s like my Buddhist temple or something. I just grab a cart and walk around. I feel like filmmaking is the one industry where, if you’re successful, you can show up to meetings in sweats. And I want to take full advantage of that.


Silver Lake Library

Recently, with my two year old, I’ve been discovering the zoo and libraries. My latest thing is going to libraries. I live in Silver Lake and they recently opened a library there and we usually go and hang out and read books. They have reading time and it’s a lot of fun.

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From Venice Beach to the Santa Monica Pier

I found this little trick where, because I have so many meetings everyday, I’ll set some of them up at Venice Beach and we’ll actually walk to the Santa Monica Pier and back. Instead of sitting in an office, I’m going on these walking meetings. I feel less guilty if I’m doing work and exercising a little bit.




For some reason, I’m very creative in laundromats. Sometimes I get writer’s block and I’ll make an excuse to do a wash at the Laundromat. There’s a rhythm to it with the clothes and the smell. I have this love of affair with laundromats.


Arclight Cinemas

Quality-wise, it’s the best. I like that.

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Fantasy Basketball

My escape Fantasy Basketball. I have this crazy league that I’ve been playing in for almost ten years. We actually play with a salary cap and it’s very serious and we trash talk. One of my favorite days, every year, is when we draft our players. We usually do it at my friend’s house in Highland Park. We have everyone there and we set up a microphone and a projector. We do 12 rounds of drafts and you have to go up and announce your player. It’s my favorite day of the year.

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