Daniel Gillies is the type of guy we'd like to be friends with. For one, he plays Elijah on CW’s “The Originals," and was on “The Vampire Diaries” before that. There’s also the small matter of his being married to Rachel Leigh Cook, and as people who grew up watching She’s All That on repeat, that's a big deal.
But most importantly, the guy takes eating as seriously as his on-screen character takes bloodsucking. When it comes to eating in LA, Daniel has opinions. A lot of them. He also knows his way around the burger establishments of Hollywood and claims to have found the greatest ever tuna melt. Case closed. Daniel, we knew we'd get along.
Daniel's "Perfect For" Picks
"Hands down, the best there is in the city.
Minimalistically appointed with a deliberate absence of Grandeur; it's a charming anomaly in LA. The venue feels like it was perhaps once the lair of a Fairfaxian Clairvoyant or a studio for someone who created robots from abandoned motorcycles.
That said, it's immaculately kept and represents a kind of confidence which says: Hey, our food is the tits and there's nothing you can do about it. Have a Minted Lemonade (so good!) and shut your f*cking mouth.
There is also an excellent beer selection and treacherously good ice cream. It's an ideal place to begin or end the night. Try also the ass-kicking hot dogs, the jalapeño coleslaw and if you're feeling filthy: Floats.
Seriously though: Eat that g*ddamn Burger."
"This place is in that godforsaken strip mall opposite the Sundance Cinemas on the corner of Crescent Heights and Sunset. Patrons of the neighboring McDonald's and Pollo Loco march like the disoriented casting call for a movie about apocalyptic undertakers. But make no mistake: If this region is Menudo, Ice-Cream Plus is definitely Ricky Martin.
Though immaculately clean, the place itself is so unspectacular -- one could be forgiven for thinking (at a glance) it was a dry-cleaning establishment or an abandoned Eastern European thrift store. Were it not for the sign. Believe me, once you try the goods, it's difficult to arrive at any ice cream minuses. The Korean family that owns the joint are the sweetest people of all time. I know the Gentleman/Owner bakes the bread on the premises, uses nothing but fresh ingredients and makes his ice cream from scratch daily.
He's a f*cking Warlock. His juices are phenomenal.
The ice cream is naturally off the charts, with a surprising number of sugar and fat-free options for those of you who want to defeat the purpose of having an ice cream in the first place: which is to have a slutty good time. (Slutty ice cream also abundantly available)
Menu is simple, simple, simple. There are maybe 12 options of sandwiches or salads?
With A BULLET, the greatest tuna melt you'll ever have in your life. It will melt your face-hole.
I don't even know what that means... Because I'm delirious. Because I just ate one of the Tuna Melts.
Leave me alone."
"This joint used to be the legendary sh*t heap 'Coach and Horses.' So there was a good deal of outrage when the place changed hands. Where will I go do drink and vomit-cry on a dysfunctional Jukebox? etc. Not only did the new owners maintain the charm of the old Coach and Shit Heap, but they bought the property next door (the restaurant aspect) and diversified into something far cooler than the original. The design is gorgeous and intimate and the Staff are tremendous. The lingering nostalgia of the old place without the horrific stench of bile and devastated dreams.
It's comfort food: so be prepared to hate yourself throughout the glorious process of thrusting whatever these Wizards conjure -- into your face. I naturally, have zero issue with this. Eat these!! Mary's Vinegar Chicken and Thrice cooked chips (that's right, Thrice), the Seared Squid, the Roasted Beet with Burrata and the Sweet Potato with Curried Cashews.
I already pretty upset that you'll be eating any of this without me."
"Place is attractively industrial, expansive and surprisingly unaffected. Like Vin Diesel playing Pétanque. (I have seen this and it's nothing shy of magical)
You can actually sit at a booth here with your babies (I mean actual babies, not 22-y-o erotic dancers in jean shorts) and not be distractingly uncool. It's weird: they've actually cultivated that unlikely dichotomy between cool bar and family-friendly restaurant.
The menu is simple and deliciously diverse. The veggie burger might be the best in town. My children would probably murder me for the sweet potato waffle fries."
"Try the Charred Octopus and the Wife. Prepare yourself for Choirs of Angels, 12 years of beautiful mayhem and all of your neuroses beneath a relentless microscope. The side of Children is a marvelous, if mildly challenging accompaniment.
Remains eerily unchanged -- even after all this time.
Again -- it's a lovely blend of Bar and Restaurant.
A jewel in the Valley -- poised behind its enchanted ivy facade.
The opposite of a Hipster Prom.
'Library' section of the bar is charming, as is the courtyard.
Try also: the Tuna Tartare, the Ocean Trout and the Mushroom Papardelle."