Equinox is my L.A. stop! Workouts are my peace; I treat every workout like a spa appointment, so I am a big Equinox fan. I’ve been a member of other gyms, but they’re dirty, and the décor is meh. I go to the Sunset location when I want to measure myself against the young people and the Century City location when I want to have my privacy. It just depends on my mood!
The Helms Bakery District
I could spend four or five hours at Helms Bakery. I go through HD Buttercup and spend two hours looking at what’s new. They also have a bookstore that I love called Arcana Books where I get giant coffee table books. The place is really artistically inclined. I was an art major, so my whole thing is painting and drawing. I had an art scholarship before I had a football scholarship! And one of my favorite places to eat there is Father’s office—they have the best burger in L.A., and you’re not allowed to have ketchup. They look at you like, “You’re not from here, are you” if you ask for ketchup.
I’ve never had a movie going experience like the ones I’ve had at iPic. You get these big lounge chars, and they bring you food and candy. I have five kids, so when I have time off I try to book in advance and take them. It’s a wonderful time. There’s a bar—I don’t even drink, but I’m a stickler for interior decorating—and I love the the way it looks and feels. If it feels good it totally sets my mood right. I’ve been in theatres where it smells like a gym, but iPic is classy. That’s the only way to go to a theatre for me.
I worked at Paramount when I was shooting Everybody Hates Chris and I used to go to Larchmont all the time after work. The big thing for me and my family is Village Pizza. It’s the crust! It’s not heavy, it’s not big; it’s light and crispy and thin. I don’t like a giant, bready pizza. It’s also good to walk around and shop about. It just chills me out. I got my Jamba Juice, my pizza—if I have a couple of hours to kill I’m there.
The Americana at Brand
When we were shooting my reality show, The Family Crews for BET, we moved out of our house and into the Americana at Brand for two months. We literally lived at the mall! It was a dream. They have apartments and it’s gorgeous. We would go and watch the fountain every night. It was kind of wrong—I spent more money living there than I ever could in L.A. There you’ve got 15 excuses to spend money every time you walk out the door! It was amazing, but we all got spoiled.
Paradise Cove Beach Café
When we want L.A. beach, we go down to Paradise Cove. The restaurant is right in front of the beach. You can eat right there in the café, so you have your cabana and the whole thing, and you don’t have to pack food like you would for a regular day at the beach. You literally bring a chair if you want that or rent a cabana, and you’re set. It’s busy, but if you get in at the right time, it’s a great spot.
We are Disneyland aficionados, and I’m a big kid. I’m not childish, I’m childlike! The best thing about it is that it’s always changing: If you go three times a year, you’re seeing something you never saw before. My family and I, we have a whole system, and we got it down. We go for three days, one day at one park, one day at the other, and one Downtown Disney day. We always stay at the Grand California. It’s almost like living in the park. Plus, they give you cookies and milk at night.
This is another place where the décor has taken the whole operation to a different level. I can reserve a great Saturday with the kids, and we like it in the afternoon—it’s a swanky Palm Springs vibe, like old Hollywood. A real cool post and beam feel. It’s even a little Rat Pack-y; there are movie posters and TVs everywhere. What iPic does for theatres Lucky Strike does for bowling.
The Ritz Carlton
We were fleeing a hurricane, so I flew everybody to L.A. and we spent a week at The Ritz downtown. It was one of the best times we’ve ever had. The service is what sets The Ritz apart from other spots—I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels, and when you need something, they got it. They’re all about the details, and that’s really important. It’s they’re job to make my family feel really comfortable, and they did. You don’t get bugged either. They stay out of sight and out of mind until you need them. Once you do me like that, I’m good forever.
The Hillstone Brand
In Santa Monica we like Hillstone, in Century City it’s Gulfstream, and Pasadena is Houston’s. I could eat every day at that Houston’s! It’s really healthy. I am also a nut for Hillstone. It’s the décor! It’s perfect for families because the food’s not too fancy. I can get what I want but so can the kids. They have spinach dip and ribs and Hawaiian rib eye, and the fish is always fresh and good.
All photographs courtesy facebook.com.