I love to walk from South Pasadena to Highland Park at night under the oaks. It parallels the L.A. River and the 101, the oldest freeway in the city. It’s all road, trees, and wildlife—it’s really gorgeous. I saw a bobcat there a few weeks ago!
Los Angeles Police Revlover and Athletic Club Cafe
The customers are cops, which is in and of itself kind of a trip. You’re sitting there elbow-to-elbow with someone wearing a gun holster and eating an omelet, and you’re listening to the pop pop pop of the gunfire in the background from their target practice. The food’s not super great, but that’s not what it’s about. Behind the diner there’s a beautiful rock garden that was designed by some crazy good architect, and there’s an incredible view of Downtown and Elysian Park. I’m a northeast L.A. girl and I’m fascinated by those old neighborhoods.
Pacific Resident Theatre
I’ve acted and directed here, so I’ve been associated with the theatre for a really long time. They just do great work. I just saw a fantastic play here by Keith Stevenson, Out There on Fried Meat Ridge Rd., about a boy who thinks he’s the Son of God. I think he’s one of the best writers in L.A.
The Venice Canals
I’ve been working at Sony all year on my new series, Ray Donovan, so after work, if there’s really bad traffic, I’ll park my car and walk through the canals right down to the Pacific Ocean. It’s basically a baptism after a 17-hour day.
Rico’s Mar Azul Mariscos Truck
They have five-dollar abalone cocktails and the best tostadas I’ve ever had. Basically all they serve are tostadas and seafood cocktails. For ten bucks it’s probably the best plate of food you can get in LA.
Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve
It’s at Burbank and Woodley and it’s just filled with birds: pelicans, owls, and egrets right in the middle of the valley. That’s what I love about L.A.—everything is a surprise. I’ve gotten lost in there, too. Go at sunset.
The Norton Simon Museum
I love everything about it: You’re never looking over anyone’s shoulder to see a painting; you can either go in and see two things and leave or spend the whole day. And it’s got a lot of European art: Van Gogh, Gauguin—it’s incredible.
Point Dume State Beach
The scope of it, standing on top of that bluff and looking down into the Pacific—it’s everything you imagine California to be. It’s one of those great beaches that you can walk on and it’s not packed. It’s just paradise—very beautiful and tranquil.
Lincoln Park DMV
I don’t know why, but I love it there. There’s something about sitting there and watching real people. It’s the opposite of Hollywood. I love being in the real world of what Los Angeles is—you can’t just be in your car and only be around people in your business.
Forest Lawn Glendale
It’s a giant cemetery dedicated to a celebration of life instead of this cold sort of place. This one has a statue, a perfect replica of David, but ten times the size. It’s got a Rudyard Kipling garden and a stained glass window of the Last Supper. It has all these little churches, too. It’s just a phenomenal, interesting place. If you’re going to be buried, be buried somewhere cheerful.
I love it because it’s mine. It’s beautiful and peaceful. I have a pack of dogs and a cat. I love to read, sleep, and cook, and the best place to do those things is in your own home.
Photographs courtesy (in order): (1) wikipedia.com (2) lapraac.com (3) pacificresidenttheatre.com (4) wikipedia.com (5) flickr.com (6) sepulvedabasinwildlife.com (7) wikipedia.com (8) dmv.ca.gov (9) wikipedia.com (10) flickr.com