Where Jimmy Fallon Ate And Drank When He Lived In L.A.
The Tonight Show is back in Los Angeles this week and the visit has host Jimmy Fallon fondly reminiscing about his favorite haunts from when he briefly lived here.
Fallon made his grand return to L.A. on Monday with, appropriately, a reimagining of LL Cool J's "Going Back To Cali". He also made his annual jump through an inflatable version of local icon Randy's Donuts—a tradition he began when he brought the show out for the first time last year. And it seems as though classic L.A. spots like Randy's hold special significance for Fallon, who lived in the city for two years before moving back to New York in 1998 to join the cast of Saturday Night Live.
While chatting with the L.A. Times this week, Fallon wrote down his favorite places he used to frequent during that two year stretch. From old school L.A. diners to pizza joints, the scribbled collection paints a familiar landscape of some of the city's favorite dining destinations, including several that have sadly closed in recent years. And with the mention of places like The Groundlings, where Fallon studied improv, a couple of hair salons and American Rag for jeans, the scattered list also offers a portrait of a young and hungry comedian who wanted to look sharp. He even includes a note about his beer run to Pink Dot with Kobe Bryant.
Here's the run-down on some of the highlights from Fallon's list, which to us sounds like two years pretty well spent in L.A. (Though we're still trying to figure out if he's suggesting that he watched art films at the Nuart Theatre while drinking a 40oz as one note appears to suggest.)
Pepy's Galley - "I would listen to 'Breakfast With the Beatles' and drive to this place called Pepy's," Fallon tells the Times. The nautical-themed 1960s coffee shop in Mar Vista was beloved for patty melts and house-made chili, but served its last bowl in June 2014 when the attached vintage bowling alley was renovated to become the upscale Bowlero.
Patrick's Roadhouse - If not Pepy's, then Fallon could be found off PCH at this decades-old shamrock-adorned institution. "Corned beef hash, I would get, and eggs and rye toast."
Lamonica's NY Pizza - Not surprisingly, the Brooklyn-born Fallon favored the slices from this Westwood mainstay known for shipping their dough from the borough.
Damiano's Mr Pizza - This late-night Fairfax favorite shuttered a few years back after nearly 60 years in business and replaced by the more upscale pizza spot, Jon & Vinny's. Though, not everyone was pleased with the change up.
BURGERS AND HOT DOGS
Apple Pan - "The best, best, best... if you want a burger, you gotta go to Apple Pan," Jimmy insists—as would plenty of Angelenos.
Carl's Jr. ("with teardrops") - "I remember there was a Carl's Jr. right near CBS Radford. I used to go on auditions and get nothing. It was really discouraging," Fallon tells the Times. "I remember going into that Carl's Jr. and crying. Not sobbing, but almost losing it." Last year, he rolled up to the same location in a convertible Bentley, and said "Who's crying now?" Then, "I went in and got a burger—it's still a delicious burger."
Carney's - While many board the Carney's train on the Sunset Strip and in Studio City for their famous chili cheeseburger, Fallon favored their hot dog and chocolate-dipped frozen banana apparently.
DELIS AND DINERS
Johnnie's Pastrami - "My go-to place is Johnnie's Pastrami on Sepulveda in Culver City." We're big fans as well.
Canter's Deli - We're guessing for the pastrami.
Ed Debevic's - This kitschy 50s-style diner was known for countertop song and dance numbers from the charmingly surly waitstaff and their classic Americana eats, until they closed up shop on La Cienega's Restaurant Row in 2003.
Aunt Kizzy's Back Porch - This soul food spot in Marina Del Rey closed a couple years back, but Jimmy still has a place in his stomach for their Southern comfort classics.
OLD SCHOOL ITALIAN
Dan Tana's - For over five decades, Dan Tana's has been the place where Hollywood gets its veal parm and pasta fix, and even a budding star like Fallon knew what was up.
Carmine's II - Not much has changed at this red sauce spot in Westwood since they opened in 1972, and Jimmy seemed to like it that way.
Madeo - Fallon really had a thing for upscale vintage Italian joints.
BARS, COFFEE & DESSERT
Cock 'N Bull - Pints, live music and maybe an order of fish and chips.
Barney's Beanery - Sure, he might have hit up Barney's for a bite to eat, but like most regulars, Fallon was probably there for the cheap beers and to watch a game.
Van Go's Ear- This quirky Venice coffeehouse has since closed, but it was popular hangout and venue for aspiring performers.
Foster's Freeze - What's not to love about this classic California ice cream and burger stand that's been around since 1946?
Fallon will continue to host The Tonight Show in L.A. until Friday, who knows where he might pop in for a bite.