My LA to Z: Shane West

The Beachwood Canyon resident and star of Nikita tells us which Mexican spot is his favorite, where he bought his first guitar, and the one place he’s never been disappointed

Photograph by Angelo Kritikos


The Sayers Club

When I come back to catch up with friends and celebrate and have drinks I usually go there. It’s a really mellow lounge that plays great music. Friends of mine own it and run it, and with my group of friends it’s kind of our Cheers.  

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Beachwood Canyon Trail

It’s all attached to the equestrian center near the Hollywood sign. It’s more for horses but people hike there as well. I’ve lived in the Sunset-Gower area for five or six years and it’s one of the places I discovered over time. I like finding things off beaten paths. I’m pretty white, so I’m not really a beach person; my outdoor activities are more running and hiking.

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Guitar Center

My dad was a musician when I was growing up so we always like to check out the Guitar Center on Sunset. It’s a classic spot with history and it’s where I got my first guitar. We always go there and doodle around on five or six different guitars for an hour-and-a-half and then leave without buying anything.

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The Troubadour

It’s a great venue, which I played at a couple of times with my old band [Jonny Was]. It’s a classic venue and it’s my favorite to play at. From a musician’s standpoint the sound on stage is second to none. It’s just a classic spot that has stood out over time.

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ArcLight Cinemas

I go there all the time. I’m a big movie junkie so I’ll pull a two or three movies type-of-day there. The seats are incredibly comfortable and there’s not really a bad seat in the house. They serve better food there than your traditional theater fare and for some of the movies, that are 21 and over, you can actually have a beer in the thearer. It’s very 2012—what all theaters should aspire to be.

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Amoeba Music

It’s probably the best CD, vinyl, DVD store I’ve ever been to and it’s certainly massive. In my free time I spend hours listening to music and buying music and DVDs. I am still the type of guy that buys movies and CDs. I’m a purist in the way that I love to have the artwork for the music and the DVD case for the movie, it’s just something I don’t think will ever go away for me.

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Mohawk Bend

It’s my new favorite spot. It’s a great restaurant and bar with a lot of mixology drinks and different kinds of food. It’s very experimental and it’s kinda fun but what stands out to me are the drinks and the ambience. It’s funny because I went on a date there once and I found out that one of the drinks there was called the Darby Crash. I did a movie called What We do Is Secreti, where I played a guy named Darby Crash who is actually the lead singer of a band called The Germs. I ordered the drink and it wasn’t bad, not at all.

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To me, it’s the best taco in L.A and where I get my Mexican food fix. It’s basic burritos and tacos but they do it with a sense of flare. I found it through an article about top ten taco places in L.A. and I think it ranked third but for me, it’s ranked first.

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The one off of Ventura in the valley, not the TMZ-soaked one on Hollywood Boulevard. I stay away from that one. I used to live in the Valley and it was the spot to go to. It’s small and they don’t take reservations, which is great and terrible at the same time, but it also means you can walk in and get served immediately. The crab roll is outstanding. I can’t not have that when I go there.

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Solar de Cahuenga

I’m a foodie and especially a breakfast foodie and this is my favorite breakfast spot. Their coffee is phenomenal and they also make savory and sweet crepes. I usually get the Sunny Path crepe, which is chicken with Dijon mustard sauce and mushrooms. I also get a peanut butter and jelly one and I won’t eat it right away. I’ll save it and eat it later. I think I was one of the first customers about six years ago.

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Confederacy Boutique

It’s across the street from Yuca’s. It’s a great little boutique store for men’s designer clothes. They have wonderful suits, dress shirts, and shoes and jackets. A friend of mine is one of the owners and I went for the opening event and loved it. They have great leather jackets.

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Pace Restaurant

It’s a wonderful restaurant that has phenomenal wine and amazing salmon and pizza. It’s a great date spot for sure but it’s also just a great place to go to with friends. It’s off of Laurel Canyon so it’s got beautiful views and it feels like you’re isolated with the mountains and trees. It can very romantic and it can be very relaxing and I’ve never been disappointed there.

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Photographs courtesy (in order): (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12)