Did you find time to go anywhere else? I would go to Crunch. It's a huge gym, but it's very centrally located, so a lot of actors go there. It's the kind of place you don't want to go work out at because you feel really self-conscious. I just don't particularly want to wear, like, some tight little spandex number when I know I'm going to run into 200 other actors, casting directors, directors, you know. I feel like a loser. It's in West Hollywood, in the same shopping center as the Laemmle's Sunset 5 theaters. I used to just walk up there. Everyone would look at me really strangely, because no one walks in L.A. Everyone thought I was a homeless person whenever I walked anywhere. When I first moved here, I hated driving so much that I wouldn't go to some places because I knew that I would have to park in a parking structure. I had very weird parking-structure intimidation. I hemorrhaged money paying for valet. Unnecessarily. I didn't get my license until the year before, so I just wasn't used to driving, and this idea of circling around with all these other cars in a really tight space and then trying to park without scratching another car and then remembering where your car is, I mean, it was so daunting. I would be starving, and I would want to go get something to eat or to go do an errand, and I just wouldn't go. I would be paralyzed in my apartment.
But you did manage to escape long enough to work out. Where would you go after Crunch, if you didn't go back to your apartment? I would go to brunch or lunch and eat at a lot of the places that are actually still my joints. There's this place called Quality. It's on Third Street. The decor is very clean and simple and very unpretentious, and they have delicious omelets and salads. Everything tastes really fresh. They have the most incredible biscuits you have ever tasted in your life. You just put the butter on ... my fiancé feels like they don't even need butter. The biscuits are so good. I found Joan's on Third, which is another place I really love. I eat there, like, three times a week. It's really embarrassing. It's a little gourmet deli/restaurant. They have a huge array of food. They have sandwiches with mortadella, and they have curried chicken, salmon, and delicious salads. And then they sell, you know, wines and mustards and jams and olive oil. Whenever I do a party, they cater it.
Is there a hotel you like? I love going to Beverly Hills Hotel, to the little Polo Lounge and the little diner downstairs, where you can get a really yummy turkey burger called the Novogroder. Oh yeah, Novogroder cheeseburger with pickles. I don't know why they call it that, but it's delicious. It's just so juicy. It's so many different tastes all together. The Beverly Hills Hotel is very old-school Hollywood. I always have a weird feeling of being an old movie star there. I feel like I should be wearing a little tennis outfit, and I should be about to go play tennis. It's all salmon and green. I like the Polo Lounge at night. It's a big kind of landmark for me, because David [Benioff, her fiancé] lives up in the canyon, so whenever I was going on a date with him, you know, I would always drive by the hotel. And when we were on our first date, we went there after going to a restaurant called Nishimura, so it has sentimental meaning.
What are some of your other favorite landmarks in L.A.? Things that epitomize L.A. for you. I guess all the oil rigs as you come in from the airport on La Cienega. When I first got here, I thought that they were so fascinating. It was so exotic to me, and now I feel a lot of affection for them. It's a bit like the equivalent of seeing the Manhattan skyline when you're coming in on the Long Island Expressway. When I see [the oil rigs], I'm home. I'm here in L.A.
What's your favorite road or street? Besides La Cienega, of course. I like Abbot Kinney in Venice. I have a lot of friends who live in Venice. Abbot Kinney has a lot of cute little furniture shops and galleries. Another favorite restaurant of mine is Axe, and that's on Abbot Kinney. It's such a nice place to walk, and it's so nice to be able to walk, you know what I mean. Axe is very minimal, the decor. They have this delicious rice-bowl salad that I always get that has rice and cucumbers and sprouts and carrots, and they can put salmon or tofu or chicken in it. My girlfriend who is Korean said her mom used to make something similar when she was younger. So it's kind of Asian influenced.