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Anthony Bourdain’s 5 favorite things about LA

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The Magic Castle and the traffic make the cut

Like so many New Yorkers, chef and TV show host Anthony Bourdain hated Los Angeles "for the first few years" he came out here, but as time progressed our fine city started to grow on him. "I know nothing about L.A., relative to people who live here," Bourdain told LA Weekly. "But what little I do know, I really like, and I like learning more about the place every time I come out." Some of his favorite things about LA might surprise a native Angeleno, beginning with the revelation that ...

  • Bourdain gets a kick out of traffic. "[E]veryone bitches about driving — I love the traffic. Everybody slows down at once for no visible reason."
  • When he comes to LA, Bourdain transforms into that guy on the freeway sharing his music with everyone. "I really like driving a rented muscle car around L.A. with the radio blaring."
  • He thinks we’ve got really good "old man bars," which, to him, mean the kind of place a thirsty soul could go at four in the afternoon to have a peaceful drink and be alone. LA "has great old bars, and old institutions that are still going in a complete un-ironic way," Bourdain said, citing golden-age-of-Hollywood holdover Musso & Frank’s Grill as one example.
  • Bourdain adores the Magic Castle. (But really, who doesn’t?) He calls the long-running magicians club near the Yamashiro "a place that could exist nowhere else but L.A. and it is fascinating to me."
  • He’s such a fan of the Chateau Marmont, he’d like to spend an eternity there. "That's the hotel I want to die in," Bourdain said. "I have the room all picked out."

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