Haute Secrets: Jane the Virgin Star Justin Baldoni’s Guide to LA

Justin Baldoni_PH_TJ ManouPhoto Credit: TJ Manou

Many may recognize Justin Baldonis handsome face from The CW, where he plays key character Rafael Solano one the Emmy-nominated series Jane the Virgin (back this fall on October 17), but few may realize this Los Angeles-born actor is also both a documentarian and a humanitarian.  Baldoni’s docu-series My Last Days which celebrates the lives and legacy of the terminally ill, will premiere as a three-night special event on The CW on August 17, 18 and 19. The series was created by and will be hosted by Baldoni, who will feature the compelling stories of six real-life superheroes, who remind us that having a limited amount of time doesn’t mean we can’t make a positive impact on the world. My Last Days is an inspirational look at what happens when we detach from the material things of the world, and live fully in the moment,” says Baldoni. “I’m proud to share these stories that remind people that each and every one of us has the power to choose happiness and to make a difference — regardless of the hand we’ve been dealt.” Here, this director, producer, actor and entrepreneur shares his haute secrets to the City of Angels.

Where were you born: Cedars-Sinai 
How long in LA: 24 years (We moved to Oregon from 10 to 18) 
Neighborhood: The Marina 
Occupation: Director, Producer, Actor, Entrepreneur
Favorite Restaurant: Blu Jam Cafe
Best Sushi:  I keep trying new places I fall in love with. Sometimes the hole in the wall spots end up being the best. (But you can never go wrong with Katsuya). 
Best Italian: Scopa Italian Roots in Venice. Also Il Forno’ in Santa Monica. Been going there since I was a little kid. Same owner. The bus boys are now the waiters/managers. 
Best dessert: Sweet Lady Jane – Swedish Princess Cake. Because my wife screamed it out when I asked her ;-) 
Best place for a romantic date:  For us it’s anywhere new. We love adventure and discovering new spots together. 
Best Sunday brunch: Inn at the Seventh Ray. 
Best place for a power business meeting: Soho House 
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? Anything with an ocean view. 
Favorite shopping venue/boutique: 3rd Street Promenade. Some of my earliest memories are at the Promenade with my parents. 
Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches: No idea.
Best Spa: I clearly don’t go to Spas enough. 
Favorite Charity Event: The annual #WeLoveYouSkidrow Carnival we throw for the homeless population downtown. Look out for it in January.
Favorite Cultural Event: The Swedish Christmas Fair (This one’s for my wife) 
Best Steakhouse: Honestly when I crave a steak I fire up the grill. Nothing comes close.  
Best Pizza:  Mozza 
Best Lunch: Blu Jam Cafe’
Best Gym/Athletic Facility: Equinox Marina Del Rey
Best Massage: The Human Garage in Venice (Above Bikram) – Hands down best bodyworkers in LA
Best Limousine/Driving Service: Uber
Best Museum/Exhibit: LACMA
Describe your city in three words: Bright, Open, Inspired. 
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore:  I still get excited when I see the Hollywood sign. It represents so many dreams. I also love hiking/jogging the trails around it. 
All-around favorite spot in Los Angeles: Anywhere near the ocean. 
Best Aspect of Los Angeles: That it’s built by dreamers. People who come here because they believe that the impossible is possible. People who are open, who work hard, and are open to new ways of thinking.