Taylor Hicks has been anything but idle since winning the fifth season of American Idol, where he made ratings history on the long-running reality show.The Birmingham-born crooner has also produced a chart-topping, platinum-certified album; starred on Broadway as well as Law & Order: SVU; wrote a best-selling autobiography; became a restauranteur with his Saws Juke Joint in his hometown; was the first Idol alum with a Vegas residency and the first male Idol with a Grammy Award-winning album. Next up his latest effort, State Plate, a new food and travel show that he hosts on the INSP Network, premiering October 21st. In the meantime, Hicks dishes on his favorite Los Angeles spots here.
Where were you born: Birmingham, Alabama
How long in LA: On-and-off 10 years
Neighborhood: Larchmont Village is my second home.
Occupation: Entertainer: Singer, TV Host, Actor, Owner of Saw’s Juke Joint (best BBQ in AL!)
Favorite Restaurant: Le Petit Greek in Larchmont Village. They have the BEST hummus and pita bread IN THE WORLD! And I’ve traveled… A LOT.
Best Sushi: SUGARFISH!
Best Italian: Dan Tana’s in West Hollywood
Best place for a romantic date: Maestros in Malibu. I like a room with a view.
Best Sunday brunch: Love Clementine in Century City.
Best place for a power business meeting: Power comes from within. I’ll take it anywhere. ; )
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? Hotel Bel-Air
Favorite shopping venue: John Varvatos. I live in it.
Best Spa: Montage Laguna Beach has an amazing spa.
Favorite Charity Event: Art of Elysium’s Heaven
Favorite Local Charity: Love the work that LA Family Housing is doing. They are changing lives, doing things differently. Helping out people who others have given up on.
Best Steakhouse: Morton’s. Get the Cajun Ribeye.
Best Pizza: Love the Village Pizzeria on Larchmont!
Best Gym/Athletic Facility: Tour.
Best Trainer: Mike Vacarella at DogTown Crossfit
Best Museum/Exhibit: I’ve always enjoyed going over to the La Brea Tar Pits. Consequently, I enjoy LACMA a lot.
Describe L.A. in three words: City. Of. Dreamers.
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: Magic Castle. Fun spot. Nothing else like it.
All-around favorite spot in Los Angeles: Hell of a hike, but probably the Wisdom Tree. A lot of peace up there. A quiet refuge from the noise. When you’re on a plane every few days, it’s nice to have a spot to sit and reflect, disconnect and just BE.
Best Aspect of Los Angeles: Being from the south, I think it’s the amalgamation of the casual AND glamour. You go to an event that reads black tie. Where I’m from that means black tie. In L.A. you see people in blazers or just shirts, anything from causal to cocktail. I like that. I’ve never been one for rules anyway- self expression.
Tour Dates: www.taylorhicks.com
Socials: Twitter: @TaylorHicks