THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vc_questionnaire-anthonyanderson_st_ed_1133510696_1280x640
Leon Bennett/Getty Images


The actor and longtime local embraces every side (and cuisine style) of Los Angeles

He may be a TV star, but Anthony Anderson has deep ties all over Los Angeles County, spanning a wide radius from the Hollywood sign.

After all, the Emmy-nominated star of ABC’s Black-ish grew up in Compton, lives in Encino, works in Burbank, and likes to eat in Santa Monica. Food drives a lot of activities for the veteran actor (Law & Order, Transformers, The Departed), who also has quite a list of credits—cooking, judging, and of course eating—on the Food Network. But considering that his favorite meal to have in California is served at his own home and prepared by him, Anderson’s next notable role might just be chef. In the meantime, he shared with us some of his favorite places to dine and explore around L.A.

Where do you live? The San Fernando Valley

Why there? [Because of] the community in Encino, where I live. I moved here 18 years ago, because it’s a family-oriented community. I was looking at other places, but I could see my kids riding their bikes down the street. I saw myself getting to know my neighbors. There are farmers’ markets on the weekend. It actually is similar to the neighborhood on Black-ish. And look, I grew up a fan of the Jackson family music, and now I live around the corner from the Jacksons’ estate. I would see the infamous gate on the news all the time growing up and now I pass by it going to the dry cleaners. When I see it, I am like, “I made it! Just a kid from Compton and I made it.”

Who or what is your greatest California love? Growing up here, it’s always been the beaches in California for me. My beaches growing up were Hermosa and Manhattan Beach. I remember getting on the bus, skipping school with a bunch of kids, and riding out to the beach. I’m not an outdoorsy type of guy, but now with kids of my own, we like to get outside.

What is the biggest misperception about Californians? People talk about us not being real. I’m like, “What do you mean?” And they’re like, “No, you’re different.” We are the city of dreams, so we have all these dreamers out here trying to make their dreams a reality. But they are not true representations of the people who grew up here. Now, I can take you to the hood and introduce you to the real people of Los Angeles. Because you could be dealing with the transplants. Not that there’s anything wrong with them.

What is the stereotype that most holds true? That we’re laid back and chill. And hippies. That we’re all just cool folks, relaxed. That everything is going to be alright.

What is your favorite Golden State splurge? We are all foodies in my family. We try to eat some of the best things in the best places. For our big nights out lately, because my daughter has been a vegan for two years now—and I was a vegan, my wife is a vegetarian—our new go-to is a plant-based restaurant called Crossroads on Melrose. We were just there for my daughter’s 23rd birthday. And over in Santa Monica we will splurge at Giorgio Baldi.

Time for a road trip—where are you going? Anywhere along the California coastline. We love getting in the car and driving up the coast. We will make a day out of it. There’s nothing better than jumping on the PCH and stopping, well, wherever we decide to stop. And of course, finding new places to eat!

If you could decree an official state culinary experience, what would it be? For me? It’s simple. A nice bone-in rib eye, lobster mac and cheese, or lobster mashed potatoes. Some steamed veggies and a tall glass of iced tea. At home. You know, I am a lightweight chef on my own. Being on the Food Network and being a judge on Iron Chef America—and competing on that show and competing on Chopped—I’ve gotten to know these world-class, Michelin-star chefs. They’ve given me trade secrets. So my favorite California meal is at home. If I want to go out for it, I hit up Mastro’s in Beverly Hills or Thousand Oaks. That’s my go-to place for my steak.

How do you define California style? Leisurely. Chic. Just because the sun is always shining. So you want to be comfortable, but stylish. The invite may say “black tie,” but you have to be comfortable. And here you can get away with it. That’s how California style works for me.

Best California song?California Love” by Tupac and Dr. Dre. And “California Dreamin’” by The Mamas and The Papas. Let’s think about the dichotomy of that. But “California Love,” [makes me] think about my childhood. The love of my city and state—Compton, in particular. We put that on, and it gets the party started.

How would your California dream day unfold? Hmm. It goes back to what I was saying. Jumping on the PCH. Letting the top down. Let the music play. The water is seldom blue here, but it would be on this day. Then we have a picnic and reflect on life.

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson LosAngeles_Hero_Killackey_1280x642_sized
Ryan Killackey

Southern California

Discover Los Angeles County

See a movie star. Sip a cocktail on a rooftop bar at sunset. Slip on a pair of designer shoes in an ultra-luxurious boutique in Beverly Hills. Play at Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, explore world-class museums, or dance the night away in a starlet-filled club. Welcome to California’s liveliest city, entertainment capital of America, with megastar wattage and nonstop activities.

“You know, you’re really a nobody in L.A. unless you have a really big door.”  –comedian Steve Martin

The main hub is the City of Los Angeles, with legendary Hollywood northwest of downtown, the San Fernando Valley to the east, and the inviting beaches of Santa Monica and Malibu to the west.

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vc_questionnaire-mattwalsh_st_ed_908473458_1280x640
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

California Questionnaire: Matt Walsh

The sitcom and improv star loves his San Fernando Valley home, from the sushi to Bob’s Big Boy

When Matt Walsh settled in Los Angeles 15 years ago, he set his sights on making it onstage, not on the big screen. As a co-founder (with Amy...

Fred Segal
Courtesy of Visit California

Where to Shop Now in Los Angeles

From Venice Beach to Beverly Hills and beyond, L.A. boasts some supremely shoppable neighborhoods

For discerning travelers interested in fashion and style, Los Angeles offers unparalleled shopping opportunities. From established luxury brands...

Koreatown is just south of downtown Los Angeles
Courtesy of Sisilia Piring/The Line


This small neighborhood with 24-hour energy packs in some of the best restaurants and nightlife in Los Angeles

Just south of Hollywood and west of Downtown Los Angeles lies...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vc_spotlightwesthollywood_module_introduction_supplied_visitwesthollywood-sunsetstrip_1280x640
Courtesy of Visit West Hollywood

Spotlight: West Hollywood

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vca_maps_losangeles_10
See L.A.’s creative side in WeHo’s design shops, architecture, and edgy nightlife

West Hollywood has been dubbed “The Creative City,” and for good reason. Bordering ...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vc_questionnaire_curtisstone_supplied_3g9c6408edited_1280x640_0
Courtesy of Stan Lee

California Questionnaire: Curtis Stone

The Australia native has planted his roots in Los Angeles, where he runs two acclaimed restaurants and lives the California dream

Award-winning chef Curtis Stone was born in Melbourne, established his culinary chops in London, and rose to fame on TV, appearing on multiple...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vc_gwenlosangeles_supplied_2016-07-01-gwen-001_1280x640
Courtesy of Gwen

Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant

Fire-based cooking techniques fuel the culinary innovation at Curtis Stone’s Hollywood hotspot

Curtis Stone and his brother Luke both began their culinary careers in an Australian butcher shop, so it makes sense that their joint venture,...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vc_questionnaire_zoeydeutch_st_ed_927228114_1280x640
Cara Robbins/Getty Images

California Questionnaire: Zoey Deutch

The up-and-coming actress loves life in the Valley, road trips up the coast, and old-school deli food

For Zoey Deutch, movies are the family business. Her mom, Lea Thompson, starred in Back to the Future, and her dad, Howard Deutch,...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson LA-GriffithObs-1280x624

Spotlight: Los Angeles

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vca_maps_losangeles
Bright lights, A-list celebrities & diverse culture

Welcome to the bright lights and big-city allure of California’s largest metropolis. Here, A-list celebrities really do walk the sidewalks, triple...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vc_questionnaire_giovanidossantos_st_ed_619317048_1280x640jpg
Shaun Clark / Getty Images

California Questionnaire: Giovani dos Santos

The LA Galaxy forward talks about living in West Hollywood, In-N-Out Burger, and enjoying the chill vibe in Malibu

When Giovani dos Santos joined the Los Angeles Galaxy in the summer of 2015 he immediately became one of the biggest Mexican stars in Major League...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vc_angelesnationalforest_mountbaldy_st_rf_702548501_1280x640
Zachary Miller/Getty Images

Angeles National Forest

Discover the wilder side of Los Angeles, just minutes from the city in the San Gabriel Mountains

Barely 30 minutes from the skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles, and just north of Pasadena, the urban jungle gives way to the forests, rugged...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vc_questionnaire_margaretcho_st_ed_695036972_1280x640
Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

California Questionnaire: Margaret Cho

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vca_maps_losangeles
The Emmy- and Grammy-nominated stand-up comic, actress, and singer clues us into her love of Los Angeles and California culture

Margaret Cho has been doing stand-up since high school, and her ability to make audiences LOL has afforded her opportunities in all genres—from...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vc_marinadelrey_supplied_hornblowercruises_sunsetcocktailcruise_1280x640
Courtesy of Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau

Marina del Rey

Visit this inviting waterfront community near Venice Beach and Santa Monica for laid-back fun

Roughly six miles north of Los Angeles International Airport sits ...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson VC_Burbank_Stock_RM_E5HJJY_1280x640
Chris Putnam/Alamy


The entertainment industry’s home base offers a microcosm of stars, shopping, and cool tours

If you come to Los Angeles wishing to see where movie magic gets made, look on the other side of Hollywood—literally.


Watch celebrity chefs in action at this annual event in downtown Los Angeles

If you’re a foodie, your definition of “celebrity sighting” in Los Angeles has little to do with movie stars. Instead, the annual All-...

A delicious snack prepared at the All-Star Chef Classic in Los Angeles
Bernstein Associates/Getty Images
THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vca_maps_losangeles
THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson VC_AntelopeValleyPoppyPreserve_Breaker_Stock_RF_134975816_1280x640
The genus of the state’s official flower, the California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) is named in honor of Dr. J. F. von Eschscholtz, a surgeon and naturalist who explored the California coast with Russian expeditions from 1815 to 1818.
THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson VC_LaBreaTarPits_RF_85977895_1280x640_v2
Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

La Brea Tar Pits

Find fossils and family-friendly fun at this prehistoric excavation site

Your idea of old may be 100, but that will undoubtedly change after you spend several hours at the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum. You will learn...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson VC_Questionnaire_GabrielleReece_01_Gabrielle_Reece_114_COMP_374_Round7_PeggySirota_1280x640
Photograph by Peggy Sirota

California Questionnaire: Gabrielle Reece

The former volleyball champion and model—now an author and fitness guru—shares her California favorites

After retiring from a successful beach volleyball career, Gabrielle Reece didn’t slow down—instead, she kept adding to her résumé: mother,...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson Hollywood_collectmoments_1280x642
"The Squaw Man" was filmed in 1913, and was the first feature-length film made in Hollywood.
THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson VCW_D_Hollywood-Hero_Neil Kremer_5316761930_131da16c01_o_1280x642_2
Neil Kremer/ Flickr

Spotlight: Hollywood

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vca_maps_losangeles
Showbiz, celebrities, & endless possibilities

Tinseltown, where starlets are discovered on every street corner (or at least we like to think they are), and the tinted windows of that stretch...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson SunsetBlvd_WeHo_1280x642_0
Courtesy of West Hollywood

Sunset Strip Nightlife

Welcome to L.A.’s home of rock ‘n’ roll

Few roads have as much history as this 2-mile-/3.2-km-long section of Sunset Boulevard, bounded by Havenhurst Drive and Doheny Drive. In the 1960s...

For me, returning to Los Angeles annihilates the memories of where I have just been with an astonishing speed.
Henry Rollins
Courtesy of Chris Burden/ Museum Associates/ LACMA


See masterpieces and innovative contemporary works

With its diverse collection of museums, Los Angeles has grown into one of the world’s great cities for art lovers. From the dramatically modern...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson VCW_D_LA_T7_Malibu_WestwardBeach_TS-sized_0
Thomas H. Story/ Sunset Publishing


Explore a fabled beachfront town with real star power

Stretching for more than 30 miles along the Pacific and Highway One, Malibu has achieved...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson RodeoDrive_SharonMollerus_1280x642
Sharon Mollerus/ Flickr

Los Angeles County Shopping

Go boutique to bargain in one of the world’s fashion (and shopping) capitals

You’ll definitely want to leave room in your suitcase for L.A. shopping.

If you’re ready to whip out the platinum card, head to Rodeo Drive...

Make memories at some of California's family-favorite beaches

Sand, water, and kids—it’s a natural combination for easy family fun. This sandy dozen offers appealing, family-friendly features, such as calm water for new swimmers, tide pools for intrepid...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson Carmel_BeachDog_Farnum_preview_686x885
Alex Farnum
THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson VC_PasadenaAttraction_GambleHouse_Stock_RM_DG7F8M_1280x640
California Dreamin/Alamy


Tour an Arts and Crafts masterpiece and more in the home of the Rose Bowl

Set at the base of the towering San Gabriel Mountains, Pasadena is best known as the home of the annual Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose...

Farm-fresh produce, culinary adventures

Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisanal cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local wildflower honey—California’s farmers’ markets...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson VCW_SI_FarmersMarket_T4_CV_DavisFrmMkt1_Flippen_preview_686x885
Laura Flippen
Check these amazing experiences off your bucket list

Kiss a beluga, see cool movie props, and learn about Walt’s secret hideaway on exclusive and behind-the-scenes tours at California’s theme parks and attractions. Here’s a roundup of worth-the-...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson VCW_SI_VIP_T1_MichaelSaechang_preview_686x885
Michael Saechang/Flickr
World-class accommodations in world-class locations

Head to the heart of California’s cities for luxurious stays at world-class accommodations. From San Francisco’s historic hotels to celebrity hot spots in Hollywood and Beverly Hills, California’s...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson PalaceHotel_LynGateley_preview_686x885
Lynn Gately/Flickr
Where to release your inner fashionista

Shopping is an art form in California. Whether you're in search of the perfect cocktail dress or an authentic Mexican piñata, you'll find it here. Want to sample fresh produce? Try our farmers...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson Shopping_SpecialFeature_preview_686x885_0
Discover quintessential sun and fun at these coastal charmers

Take one part water, one part sand, one part sun-soaked coastal charm, and you’ve got the recipe for some of the Golden State’s most appealing destinations....

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson SanDiego_LaJolla_preview_686x885
Lucas Himovitz
Taste the delicious dishes from these amazing California chefs

From a candy-colored pastry shop to Michelin-starred dining rooms, top restaurants run by celebrity chefs dot the Golden State. And even if you don’t know these chefs from the TV...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson VCW_SI_T10_Milliken&Feniger_Portrait_preview_686x885
THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson VCW_D_LA_T9_Catalina_Manley_downsized
Harriot Manley/Sunset Publishing

Spotlight: Santa Catalina Island

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vca_maps_losangeles
An island retreat off the Southern California coast

Swaying palms, white-sand beaches, warmest water in summer, and melt-your-heart sunsets—that’s what you’ll find at pretty-much-perfect island...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson VeniceBeach_JeffTurner_1280x642
Jen Judge


THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vca_maps_losangeles
Surfers, skateboarders, and stars

Venice is the ultimate L.A. neighborhood where the surf meets the human circus. Spend a day along Venice’s palm-lined, beachfront boardwalk and...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson VCW_D_LA_T15_DisneyConcert_Judge
Jen Judge

L.A. Architecture

See eye-catching icons and stately landmarks

While Los Angeles is still a young city when compared to places like, say, Rome, it still boasts a unique architectural tradition that spans a...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson VCW_D_T12-LA_Venice_Judge_0
Lancaster's Civic Musical Road is the only "musical" or "singing" road in the United States.
Hands-on fun for all at farms, ranches, and fields statewide

From almonds and olives up north to avocados, oranges, and dates in the south, the Golden State has a crop (or 10) for nearly every stretch of terrain. After all,...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson SC_Chaffin_Eliaschickens_TPS_preview_686x885
Tai Power Seeff
Unleash the kid within at California’s ultimate playgrounds

From Disneyland classics to beachfront carousels, the Golden State’s best-in-class theme parks deliver something for everyone. Take a tram ride to tour movie back lots at Universal Studios...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson AmazingThemeParks_preview_868x686
Lucas Himovitz
February or March

You certainly won’t be the only one celebrating the Lunar New Year at this colorful event in L.A.’s Chinatown. Join thousands of revelers lining the parade route as lion dancers and giant dragons...

THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson ChineseNY_LA_JorgeGonzalez_preview_686x885
Jorge Gonzalez/Flickr
THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vca_maps_losangeles
THE CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Anthony Anderson vc_sanpedro_st_rf_517194215_1280x640
Ian McDonnell/Getty Images

San Pedro

L.A.’s busiest port town is a haven for maritime enthusiasts and seafood lovers

Located at the southern point of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, between Manhattan Beach and Long Beach, is...