You might call tattoo queen Kat Von D a woman of the world. The host of TLC's "L.A. Ink" has a full name that's German (Katherine Von Drachenberg), but she was born in Mexico to Argentine parents. She's obsessed with Finland yet calls Hollywood home.
Now 26, she came to fame while appearing on "Miami Ink," but some friction there sent her west, where she opened her own L.A. studio and landed the TLC gig (it airs at 10 p.m. Thursdays, and Season 1, Part 2, was just released on DVD). This Kat, who plays classical piano but is sweet on metal man Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, always lands on her feet.
FRED'S NO. 1
I like Fred 62 in Los Feliz because it's got the best French toast ever and it's open 24 hours. It's got this crazy neon-orange sign, and you think, what is that place? But inside, all the waitresses are really hot and the guys wear the funniest shirts with random things written on them, like "Jesus was a dishwasher." It's weird and obscure and kind of retro.
MEX & MELT
Pinches Tacos has the best American Mexican food around. Totally awesome. I was born in Mexico, so I think I'm a pretty good judge of the food. You can get bottled sodas that are usually only available in Mexico. Nice outside patio that faces the Chateau Marmont. I get the beef tacos, but the burritos are really good too.
Cafe 101 on Franklin, by Beachwood Canyon is also good. It has the best grilled-cheese sandwiches on wheat, and the sweet-potato fries are great, and it's almost open 24 hours. I think they close from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. I get off work late, so it fits my lifestyle. I don't want to say it's a greasy spoon, because some people take that wrong, but it's on the verge of that, and that's good.
The Velvet Margarita Cantina on Cahuenga has the most amazing ambience of any restaurant I've ever been in. Half of it is completely blue -- that's the food side -- and half is completely red, which is the bar side. And it has the best collection of black velvet paintings, everything from Fat Elvis to Sid Vicious. I gave up drinking a year ago, but it has the best tequila anywhere.
The Porterhouse Bistro in Beverly Hills is our fancy place. They have a nice prix fixe meal; I always get the porterhouse. But the coolest thing is at the end they bring out this giant dish of cotton candy with a candle inside of it. The place attracts mainly businessmen types and some hot cougars, so we stick out a little bit, but we still like it.
The Key Club is a great place to hang out. I actually like Mondays there because they have Steel Panther playing, the '80s metal-glam parody band. But there's always good, crazy bands playing there all weekend. Downstairs there's a club called Plush, and upstairs is where the bands play.
One of our favorite shopping places is Necromance on Melrose. It's all things on the dark side, like a lot of taxidermy stuff and mourning jewelry from the 1800s. Queen Victoria started the whole wearing-the-black thing at funerals. Plus, Necromance has some weird medical equipment. It's that kind of place.
Made in L.A. at Hollywood & Highland is the most high-energy, rock 'n' roll gym ever. They're known for their Spinning classes, and you work out to everything from Guns 'N Roses or Motley Crue. All the trainers there are tattooed.