Where Ben O’Toole of Kathryn Bigelow’s “Detroit” Hangs Out in L.A.


The world has eagerly been awaiting the arrival of Detroit, the upcoming effort of lone female Best Director winner Kathryn Bigelow—her first full-length project since 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty. The film revolves around three young African American men who were murdered at the Algiers Motel amidst the chaos of the Detroit Rebellion in 1967, when the city under curfew and as the Michigan National Guard patrolled the streets. In the film, which hits theaters on August 4th, newcomer Ben O’Toole plays Flynn, one of the Detroit PD officers, alongside a cast that includes John Boyega, John Krasinski and Anthony Mackie. Also on the horizon for O’Toole is the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced war drama, Horse Soldiers, where he appears opposite Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon. He most recently appeared in Mel Gibson’s award winning WWII drama Hacksaw Ridge opposite Andrew Garfield and Vince Vaughn. Earlier this year, he also played a small part in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. In 2014 he appeared in Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner. Here, the Australian actor shares his haute secrets to the City of Angels.

Where were you born: Cairns, North Queensland in Australia

How long in LA: I’ve called LA home since Feb, 2016

Neighborhood: Studio City

Occupation: Actor

Favorite Restaurant: Firefly. Awesome bar too. Very classy

Best Sushi: Sugarfish. Any one of them. Warm rice with raw fish? Yes

Best Italian: Pagliacci’s, basically 200 meters from my place… Love it

Best dessert: I don’t really do dessert… But I hear good things about Salt and Straw ice cream…?

Best place for a romantic date: There is a restaurant in Laurel Canyon called Pace. It’s dark, quiet, very homely, food is simple but done well. And the servers let you talk. Only you can screw that date up. So don’t ?

Best Sunday Brunch: The Front Yard at the Beverly Garland on Vineland in Studio City. Bottomless mimosas, beautiful people, awesome brunch

Best place for a power business meeting: SOHO House

If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend?: I ask people to stay at the Sportsmen’s Lodge. I don’t know what the rooms are like, but it’s close, and if folks stay there I can use the pool. Glory

Favorite shopping venue/boutique: The Grove tends to have a bit of everything…

Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches: I’m not really known for my wrist wear, but I think there are some cool shops at the Grove. I’m a terrible guide

Best Spa: I’ve only been to Voda Spa, but there are probably better ones

Favorite Charity Event: Heath Ledger Scholarship award presentation dinner. Great group of folks celebrating a legend, and providing support for up and coming artists

Favorite Cultural Event: Independence Day. July 4th shenanigans at Venice beach, very fun. Fireworks are awesome

Favorite Cultural Institution: Australians In Film (AIF). These guys create a bit of a safe haven for Australian actors who want to make a go of it in LA. Lots of support, and a great community to be a part of in the big smoke

Best Steakhouse: Easy! Mastro’s Steakhouse. If you are looking for a bargain, don’t go there. But you shouldn’t cheat a good steak. So go there. Spend the money. You won’t regret it

Best Pizza: I try to avoid pizza… but those times I couldn’t, Uncle Tony’s in Valley Glen has hooked me up big time

Best Lunch: I like Granville for a decent lunch. Good food done well. And a groovy spot for an afternoon vino afterwards

Best Gym/Athletic Facility: Training Mate, in either Studio city or West Hollywood. Best work out in LA hands down

Best Massage: I need one… haven’t found my favorite yet

Best Limousine/Driving Service: Wilshire Limo Service. Always been damn good to me

Best Museum/Exhibit: The Griffith Observatory

Describe your city in three words: Opportunity, passion, drive

Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: The Venice Boardwalk is quite funny. I love taking people from out of town there. Crazy characters, and a few good spots for drinks etc.

All-around favorite spot in Los Angeles: Whenever I have people visit, I love taking them to Fryman canyon, or any of the canyon walks really. Pretty breathtaking you look down on this city from up there. It can get pretty inspiring

Best Aspect of Los Angeles: You can get stuff done here. If you put your head down and set reasonable goals, LA will reward you