What's the philosophy of Los Angeles? "What number are you on the call sheet?" Rolling calls. Rolling your calls is a fancy way of saying you're making one call after another. I've heard laypeople say, "I had to roll such and such number of calls," and I almost keeled over.
Is there a place where you can witness that mentality? Probably the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. I always feel like everyone is reading a script there. And everyone is reading a script at the gym; it's a little bit of a one-industry town. At the one on Sunset, there are a lot of people on their computers. Sometimes it makes me really depressed when I go there, because I feel like, I hope everyone gets a break. Some of them are probably writing something brilliant. When I first got here, I just felt like it was an infestation of Hollywood. I felt so accosted by how everyone was in the same business and everyone was trying to get the same thing. I don't feel that way anymore. Now, it annoys me when New Yorkers kind of pooh-pooh L.A. and say, "Oh, it's full of vapid people." Because the truth is, most of the smartest friends of mine either have lived here or are living here - including my fiancé, who's much smarter than I am.
What about somewhere where you can escape that mind-set? I like the 29 Palms Inn. It's a little boutique hotel near Joshua Tree National Park. I've only gone there in the winter. I went with a girlfriend of mine, and we made a fire in our room. It was so romantic - or it would have been if we hadn't been [there] with each other. It's just so small and intimate. It feels very Neil Young. I think they have massages there, but it's not a spa. I used to go up Runyon Canyon and go hiking. I'm not that beachy. Now that I'm getting old, I'm not allowed to go into the sun.
Okay, I won't force you. Let's talk about being indoors. Where should we go for dinner? One of my favorite restaurants in town is Madeo's. It has these high, really narrow windows, and it's kind of sunken down, and the food is absolutely delicious. It's very old-school. There are a lot of families there and older folks. I get the langoustine, and I love the veal ravioli with walnut sauce. They have incredible pasta. The waiters speak Italian. We speak Italian, the little that I know from my college days. I'll say, "Grazie." The Little Door on Third is beautiful. There's no sign, just sort of a big Tuscan-looking wooden door. Locanda Veneta - I go there all the time too. It's so small and homey. The pastas and the meats there are amazing. I like Italian food. Then there's this sushi place called Nishimura, which I mentioned before. It's right on Melrose, across from the Pacific Design Center. It's a little nook. It doesn't have a sign either. David doesn't want me to tell you about it because he's scared that it's going to get too busy. I went there on my first date with him.
How did you two meet? We were set up by a writer friend of ours named Peter Blake. He writes for House, that medical drama, and he was friends with both of us. This was four years ago. Peter just called me and said, "Would you like to be set up with this guy David? He's also a writer from New York." And I said sure. David took me to Nishimura, and I thought he ordered rather pretentiously. He ordered the razor clams. He's a crazy foodie. If he goes to an Italian restaurant, he orders tripe and bottarga pasta. He can never just get pasta marinara or something normal. At Nishimura, David knows everybody. I'm just the girl who comes in with David. He's, like, the mayor when he's there. They just do their greetings and bow their heads, and David knows everyone by name, and he always does the chef tasting. I think he thinks it's really pedestrian that I actually order off the menu, as opposed to just letting the chef choose for me. On our first date, he kind of took over. He ordered for me. I feel like I'm a fairly adventurous eater, so I felt that was a little bit cocky of him. Nishimura is crazy expensive. We think about all the other things we could be doing while we're there, like staying in the Four Seasons for a night. I'm kidding, but almost.
Design Amanda Peet's perfect Saturday night in Los Angeles. We would go to Madeo's, and we'd get dirty martinis. David would get the pasta with bottarga, and I would order a filet mignon. Then we would drive back up into the canyon, and David would have the pool at, like, 98 degrees, because he's crazy, and we would go get in the pool and listen to music outside. Or maybe we'd go to the Chateau Marmont; I like the lobby for drinks. It's really fun if you want to stargaze, because there is always someone there. You name it. So many famous people are there all the time. The lobby there is a beautiful room. But you have to be in the mood to deal with the, you know, the celebrity factor. It's not very low-key.