If you've laughed in a movie theater in the past 15 years, you can probably thank Scot Armstrong. The writer/producer/director has had his hand in everything from Road Trip to Old School to Starsky & Hutch. And now, with his brand new series Dice premiering this week on Showtime and Search Party starring everyone who's funny in theaters May 13th, Scot shows absolutely no signs of stopping.
But when he isn't being hilarious, Scot's devouring the best food that LA has to offer. And today, he's stopping by to give us his top picks in the city. Check out his hilarious answers below, and be sure to tune into all his upcoming projects.
If there is an orange mint-condition Italian dirt bike parked in front, you’re in the right place. Osteria La Buca is Italian but not heavy Italian, it’s more like simple grass roots Italian cooking using Southern California produce. In fact all the food here comes from their own private farm or the farmer’s market. Great date night. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed and all about great food. And cocktails. Get the Northerner. Call ahead and get the upstairs by the fire place. Or the private room is good for dinner parties. This place rocks. Honestly I’m surprised it’s still possible to get a table.
Come for the Bears, stay for the Blackhawks. This is the best place to watch a game, especially during the playoffs. Which will definitely happen for the Bears this year. For food, 'The Escondite' is their version of an Italian Beef sandwich. So good. I’ve never ordered the ‘John Bleu-cheese' because it’s only available on Tuesdays, but let me know how it is. They have a great breakfast/brunch menu. Not for the calorie cutter, at the very least. If it’s a Sunday day game, you want the 'Danielson.’ If it’s a Sunday night game you want the Boss Hog. Or, you can treat yourself with a Louie D Palma, as long as you make a deal with yourself to work out on Monday and Tuesday. Speaking of Monday and Tuesday, cans of beer are $4 dollars between 5pm and 8pm. Warning: If you’re buzzed and throwing the football around in the street at half time, don’t dive for the ball because the pavement is hard.
Chicago and New York are tough to beat when it comes to old school steak house atmosphere, but I’ve found there are some brilliant old-Timey steak houses in LA that I really love, like Dan Tana’s, Taylor’s Prime, The Smokehouse or The Tam O Shanter. But if it’s your last night on earth and you’ve got one steak left in your future, where are you going to go? The answer is Pacific Dining Car, located in a vintage 1920’s railway car downtown. These steaks rule. In a world where grass-fed beef is politically correct, Pacific Dining car is sticking to their guns, advertising Corn-Fed beef, aged on the premises and tended to by a butcher on site. Great whiskey’s and a long wine list. And for some reason they are open 24 hours a day.
Dinner (Stella) and a movie (Vista Theater):
Stella is located at the epicenter of hipsterville, Sunset and Sandborn i.e. Sunset Junction. But I try not to hold this against Stella, which has been around a long time and is part of the reason this neighborhood became cool in the first place. To properly eat at stella you want to get a table ‘outside’ which actually has a fantastic indoor/outdoor atmosphere. You’ll want to get a drink at the bar first. There are two bars but I’m talking about the little bar right near the hostess station. It’s small and French. And by small and French I mean it feels like you have been sent back to the thirties when the average European was three inches shorter and could fit on the stools, but it’s cozy. My favorite bourbon cocktail is also a shout out to the heartland, try the ‘midwest.’ For dinner, I like the house Gnochhi or the classic: Steak au poivre. Dip your fries in the sauce. French cuisine can be a little rich, but the good news is you’ll now be walking up hill, to the Vista, one of the great neighborhood theaters. Get a picture with the manager, who sometimes dresses up on theme, depending on the movie.
Free peanuts set the tone. It’s worth a trip to the West Side to hit Chez Jay: A dive bar atmosphere while also delivering as a great fish & steak house. Opened in 1959, this restaurant has been declared a historic landmark. It has been said “Nothing much changes at Chez Jay” so, you want to stick to the classics: Bone-In Chicken Chez Jay or the New York Steak & Lobster Tail. Get a cocktail and eat at the bar.