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MY FAVORITE WEEKEND: MIRA SORVINO

Oscar winner kicks back in Malibu and Disneyland

April 10, 2009|Charlie Amter

Mira Sorvino has only called California home for just shy of a decade, but the actress has been a known quantity in Hollywood for far longer. She first Ever since the thespian burst onto the scene in the mid-1990s with high-profile roles such as her turn as a the shrill-voiced hooker with a shrill voice in Woody Allen's "Mighty Aphrodite." in the mid 1990s, she has been working steadily. These days, the Oscar -winner is fond of spending time with her children, Mattea Angel, 4, and Johnny Christopher King, 2. The 41-year-old splits her time between New York and Malibu with her children and husband of five years, actor Christopher Backus. Here is where Sorvino, who was recently appointed a Ggoodwill Aambassador to combat Hhuman Ttrafficking by the United Nations, likes to spend her weekends in L.A. while she's in town and not working on a film.

Friday feasts

Everything changed since I've had my kids. We live in Malibu, so we do go to the beach but not as much as you might think because there are constantly paparazzi there. They have no human feeling about children. We recently went to the playground at dusk, and they were stalking us playing at the playground.

One restaurant we still like and feel comfortable going to is the Border Grill in Santa Monica. The margaritas are fantastic, and we love the food there. It's just very casual and fun; it has a festive atmosphere and it almost feels New York-y somehow. The guacamole is really good, then there's a salad they make there with cilantro and watercress and tangerines. I have them add shrimp to it. There's a layer chicken tortilla dish, which is fattening, but absolutely delicious. They have a very good banana cream pie.

I love Nobu, but Geoffrey's is probably the most romantic Malibu experience, if you want to see the ocean and the moon and have those fire pits going. You're sort of indoors and outdoors. They have really good scallops with a Tahitian vanilla sauce and really good corn chowder with crab.

Santa Barbara Zoo

We like to go up to Santa Barbara when we can, especially if it's a beautiful day. We take the kids to the zoo. The Santa Barbara Zoo is a super child-friendly experience. It's a walkable day, they have a carousel and you can feed the giraffes by hand. We end the day by walking up and down that main drag in Santa Barbara and find some restaurant there. We like to try a different one every time. Another place I love is the Santa Monica antique market near the airport, that's a fun day, especially if you like antiquing and the thrill of finding cool little things.

Sundays down south

We are huge Disneyland fans, I have to say. Gigantic fans. We're crazy about it! Our kids love it. We've had my daughter's birthday there a couple years in a row. She wears the Minnie Mouse dress and everything. Sunday night at Disneyland everyone leaves because they have to go back to work, so if we're not working on a project the next day, we can stay until the park closes. [Disneyland] literally empties out and you can run around and do everything and not have that crazy packed feeling.

We've gone to Club 33 inside Disneyland a few times, which is that fantastic private club that Walt Disney designed for himself and his friends. It's kind of a members-only club, but they've let us go there a few times, on birthdays and special occasions. It's the only place in the Magic Kingdom that you can actually get alcohol, and it's got all these secret little things inside. Walt used to entertain guests with this animatronic vulture in the corner that he would talk to his guests through. It's really cool.

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