My LA to Z: Wilmer Valderrama

The former <em>That ’70s Show</em> favorite stars in Julius Onah’s <em>The Girl Is in Trouble</em>, in theaters and available on VOD April 3. Here he talks ”unfried” chicken, Elvis impersonators, and training like an MMA champion


faison2I’m really a big fan of this small spot. It’s awesome. They have this amazing brown rice bowl that is pretty much the one thing everyone orders every day. It’s a great place to have a very casual, unique, and disarming meeting.

Gracias Madre

faison2I really like the restaurant world. I’ve launched about eight restaurants with my partners Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson, so I have an appreciation for good restaurants and atmosphere in Los Angeles. Gracias Madre is such a great place, and it’s a nice walk from my office. I love the nachos that come with this unique sauce they make there. Then what I do is put a little bit of lime juice on top. It’s so good, and it’s so different.

Legends MMA

faison3I’m a mixed martial artist, and I love training in MMA. There’s an amazing gym in Hollywood called Legends, and it is owned by one of the best trainers of today named Chris Reilly. So it’s pretty legit. It’s really welcoming—they’re very friendly when it comes to beginners, which is awesome. It’s great going to a place that knows what they’re doing.


faison4This little hole in the wall has become my favorite sushi restaurant in Los Angeles. It’s literally incredible. The chef goes out to the fish market himself to get fish for the day. He also goes and buys lobster sometimes. The guy is super thorough when it comes to his dishes. It’s like my little hidden spot that I’m obsessed with; every time I’m in L.A., I make sure that I have my ritual dinner there. I basically tell the chef, “Do what you do,” and he’s amazing.

Lyfe Kitchen

faison5Lyfe Kitchen is right by my house and is an awesome place that is spreading through Los Angeles. My friend Art Smith, who is one of the best chefs of all time—he’s cooked for Oprah and the president—was involved in the design of the menu, and he created this thing called Art’s Unfried Chicken, which is basically baked instead of deep fried. It’s unbelievable what he’s done with that menu. It’s guilt-free and healthy. It’s a great place for a quick meal and one of my favorites.


faison7When I have dinner meetings, I tend to end up at Cecconi’s. If you’re an executive or the head of a studio or an artist that’s having a meeting, that’s pretty much where you end up. It’s also down the street from my office.

Palms Thai

faison8You could feed 12 people for $50, and the food is so incredible! I had my birthday there this year. My friends threw me a surprise dinner and it was so great. They have community tables, and they’re famous for their Thai Elvis. They have a singing Elvis! One of the owners covers Elvis songs while you have Thai food.

Caballero Canyon Trail

faison8When I hike with my friends, I don’t go to Runyon. Everybody is obsessed with it, but I don’t like going there—it’s The Industry that goes to Runyon. The hike I go to is in Tarzana, and it’s called Caballero Canyon. It’s a hidden secret, but obviously the secret is out there now. It’s very private and secluded, it’s not super exposed, and you have a nice view, as well.


faison8A buddy of mine just opened up the place, and it’s pretty damn good. It’s a Mexican place, kind of like La Esquina in New York City. It’s cool—the kitchen is a little bit exposed so you can kind of see their work. They also have a bunch of awesome drinks, excellent service, and a great menu. I totally recommend it.

Hermosa Beach Pier

faison8On the weekends, usually Sundays, I tend to go bike riding around the pier in Hermosa Beach. It’s a good place to bar hop. They’ve got Sharky’s and Watermans and a lot of other really cool bars. You can go for the beach, go for the drinks, and go for a bike ride all the way to Redondo and back or Santa Monica and back. It’s a good ride—there’s this streak of amazing houses next to the beach that are incredible to look into. They’re those houses that make you say, “Wow, one day I want to have a beach house just like that.”

Photographs courtesy (in order): (2) yelp/Katie B.; (8) yelp/Paul S.; (10) flickr/Keith Yahl. All other photographs courtesy