Los Angeles rock band Owl’s second album “The Right Thing” drops April 9 and it poses questions that frontman Chris Wyse describes, “A lot of times you ask yourself, ‘Are we doing the right thing?’ It’s a simple question, but also profound.” Wyse, born in Queens, New York and now living in Los Angeles, is also a band member of The Cult. Here are some of his favorite places in America, some great suggestions – including Saratoga, New York (agreed!) and a few near his home in the fabled Laurel Canyon area…
My favorite place in the U.S. to visit is…I love to visit Maui and get to a part of the island called Paia that is a mom-and-pop shop kind of strip of beach.
The first thing I like to do in Maui…is get a fish sandwich at Paia Fish Market. Man, it is so tasty and fresh with coleslaw on it. I usually go with blackened ahi and the fries. You’ll burn the carbs at the beach
Everyone should visit…New York City and get a slice of pizza as they walk around the city. I like to stay at a hotel called the Dream Downtown and Gotham Pizza is nearby and it rocks. It’s classic New York pizza with a crispy thin crust.
Downtown Los Angeles…is a pleasant surprise. And taking the subway to get there is great. I like trying different downtown restaurants and clubs because the area is full of artists and culture. There are more things to do in a lifetime down there, and the metro affords a fun way to get there with friends when you don’t want to drive. Downtown LA keeps growing and growing and it is interesting to see all the new energy. I’d like to catch the next Chinese New Year downtown.
One of my favorite places to eat…is a supper club in Beverly Hills called Vibrato that is literally nestled in the hills close to Mullholland Drive. Not only is the food delicious, but it is also a world class Jazz venue co-owned by Herb Alpert. I love getting a steak or tuna tartar. You can also sit at the bar and get an appetizer and a drink while catching amazing jazz – oftentimes with no door charge or ticket. I enjoy catching upright bass players performing there. It’s the perfect place if you love jazz and good food. I highly recommend you stop in and check it out. It’s located in a plaza with great shops and food smack dab in the hills where it is very serene and beautiful.
The best place for…salmon on a cedar plank is Pace underneath the Canyon Country Store in Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles. Pace has such a great selection of food and wine. I like the salmon on the cedar plank because it always tastes like the wild. I usually get spinach and mashed garlic potatoes. I live in Laurel Canyon, so it’s great to not have to leave the mountain for a night out. It’s so quaint and warm for a date, and you can grab groceries or wine on the way out of Pace upstairs at the Country Store. Tommy at the store can help you choose a good bottle of wine. He is great and always gets me to laugh and smile. Both Pace and the Canyon Country Store are amazing little gems that make me really appreciate living nearby.
A great place to visit is…Saratoga, New York – with its famous Saratoga Race Course for horses. It is especially strong in the summer for the flat track season and there are other parts of the year for the harness track. It’s a great time even if you don’t know who to bet on. You can just pick a beautiful horse because of a silly name or connection you have. After an afternoon of betting and eating tent food you can then venture in to town for clubs, shopping and restaurants. It is a beautiful town and feels like a stroll through time with amazing homes from the turn of the century. Saratoga also has the Bath Springs and SPAC the summer outdoor venue. It really is a great place to get away if you want to get out of NYC for a weekend.
I like the truck stops in…Texas in general. It’s always good for a laugh looking around at all the weird old DVD’s and CD’s, the crazy shirts and the odd trinkets!