My LA to Z: Matthew Lillard

The star of FX’s <em>The Bridge</em> tells us his favorite spots for ”delicioso” barbecue, vintage vinyl, and impeccable theatre
1 AltaEats AltaEats is a brand new jam in Altadena. Chef Paul is amazingly cool. On Sundays he does a roasted meal, and if you call ahead he’ll send you home with some super amazingly delicious food like a British roast. It’s honestly fantastic. The Tri-Tip there is also divine. I totally call Altadena as an up-and-coming spot. You heard it here first. Map | More info

Jameson Brown This place is a roasted coffee shop in Pasadena and I love it! They’ll serve you four shots of espresso in a latte without charging extra. It’s this all-brick building and it’s got the worst décor in the entire world, but the barista there is smarter than the average bear. I have developed my own drink there called The Onion. It consists of three shots of regular espresso with one shot of decaf. I call it that because it’s kind of like unwrapping my latte like an onion. I do one decaf shot because if all four are caffeinated, I’m bouncing off the walls and feel kind of sick. With three I’m just bouncing off the walls, no casualties.Map | More info

Ginger Corner Market
I’m giving you a full eastside LA to Z because those are my people. The Ginger Corner Market is right across from a park and has fresh soup and sandwiches that are delicious. The place is kind of a throwback; it reminds me of the Midwest in the 1950s with its adorable and simple food. Its proximity to the park is great because while the kids play you can get some wine or coffee, the two key elements to raising any child!Map | More info
4 VS Theatre Company
The VS is a tiny little black box theatre off Olympic. The artistic director is fantastic and really has impeccable taste. The venue has great actors, plays, and I love the people. It can’t be bigger than fifty square feet and offers you a really intimate experience.Map | More info
5 Gus’s Barbecue
Gus’s Barbecue is in South Pasadena and has been around for nearly 70 years. It was just taken over by a family and renovated, and it’s the best barbecue this side of the Mississippi. It’s also totally the jam for families: kid friendly, not crazy expensive, and delicioso.Map | More info
6 My Kitchen Table
My favorite place in the entire world is my kitchen table. We just finished a huge renovation on our house, and although you can’t come visit my home I can share with you the people that helped to create my happy place: Harvest Architecture and Lightfoot Studios. There’s nothing better than coming downstairs in the morning and having an epic cup of coffee in a place that makes you happy.Map | More info
7 Pasadena Adult Soccer League
Now, my favorite thing in the world is coaching my kids in baseball or soccer and taking them to play sports. You can’t come play with my kids because that would be weird, but you can join Pasadena United. I belong to the Pasadena Adult Soccer League, and you can come play soccer with me. We dominate the D division. It’s run by guy named Frenchy who has several odd tattoos and who’s probably wanted in about seven different countries.Map | More info
8 Little Beast We just discovered a brand new restaurant called Little Beast. It’s a great space; a super cute bungalow-style building. I went with my friends and the food is ridiculously delicious. We all ended up getting hammered. I used to drink a lot of wine, but recently my drink of choice has been Tito’s Handmade Vodka. It’s American and it was recommended to me by a highly functioning alcoholic. I find it much more efficient than wine.Map | More info
9 Smitty’s Grill If I were on death row and I had to pick my last meal it would be from Smitty’s. The place is an old school throwback to the South. I’d get the full baby back ribs extra well done and swimming in BBQ sauce. They must be crispy, crispy, crispy or I’ll send them back and ask for them crunchier. Even if I’m on death row.Map | More info
10 POOBAH Records
I go with my kids and I have a deal with them that if they score a goal in soccer, they can get a record. A couple of years ago I bought an old vintage travelling record player, and I like having the music in the house. Even moreso now that my kids have gotten into vinyl. POOBAH even sells audiobooks, and we have an excellent reading of The Hobbit. One of the greatest experiences of last year was when we listened to it the whole way through, all eight albums.Map | More info
11 Five Acres
Sorry about this one, but it’s a necessary, altruistic plug. My wife and I have recently become actively involved in a group called Five Acres. It’s a charity based out of Pasadena, and it’s the oldest foster care/group home charity. You get to go out, see friends, and do good for kids in desperate need of help. The work that Chanel Boutakidis does is unparalleled. Map | More info

Photographs courtesy