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MY FAVORITE WEEKEND / Brad Paisley

For country star Brad Paisley, there's no place like L.A.

September 26, 2009|Mark Sachs

Brad Paisley, one of country music's biggest stars, comes to town next week for a couple of don't-miss shows. Actually, he's in town more often than you'd think. Paisley, his actress-wife, Kimberly Williams ("According to Jim," "We Are Marshall"), and their two young boys split their time between Pacific Palisades and a ranch outside of Nashville. The award-winning singer, whose latest album, "American Saturday Night," rated four stars in Rolling Stone, will be at Cricket Amphitheatre in Chula Vista next Friday and Verizon Amphitheatre in Irvine on Oct. 3. Check out his itinerary when he's not on the road. . . .

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Hot stuff

Because we split our time here, it always seems as if we have to make sure to cram in certain things we want to do, and going to Lares on Pico is always one of them. That place is killer, some of the best Mexican food I've ever had. I had my bachelor party dinner there. It wasn't that wild of a party, unless by wild you mean spicy food. I love the chile verde and the carnitas. Downstairs is a bar and the restaurant is upstairs, and it almost feels like a dark Irish pub inside of an old adobe hut.

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Raiding the Palace

The Taj Palace on Sunset in the Palisades is one of our favorites. A family from India runs it, and they use their mother's own recipes. It's on the second floor of a shopping center, and I don't think a lot of people know about it, but we're there all the time. We like the chicken tikka masala, and the fried lamb fritters.

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Buy and buy

I love the Promenade area of Santa Monica. You can hit the Apple store and then browse around in Barnes & Noble, and my wife loves walking down to Fred Segal, but that's a nightmare for me. I'm no slouch, I'll buy something there too, but by the time my wife's done, I have to book another tour date.

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An indie-phile

What I miss when we're back in Nashville is the movie theaters here and the choices you have. I like the Laemmle by the Promenade. If you want to see films like "Paper Heart" or "District 9" or even "(500) Days of Summer" right when they come out, you're out of luck if you're back in Nashville, but out here it's easy. We could spend every night of the week catching up on indie films when we're out here. And if you want wheat grass blended in your drink, you can get it. Try asking for that in Nashville.

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Keeping it Real

Another place we love to hit is Real Food Daily in Santa Monica. I would never have walked into a vegetarian restaurant before I met my wife. I was raised in West Virginia, and a well-balanced meal meant French fries and a hamburger. But now I'll order a portabello mushroom burger on a nine-grain bun and it's an awesome sandwich.

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On the run

I really enjoy running out in the Palisades. The air is so good, it always seems like it's 70 degrees, and the hills smell like licorice from all the anise growing wild. I can run for twice as long here as I do anywhere else.

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Pier group

I proposed to my wife on the Venice Pier. I flew out here and she didn't know I was coming. I set it up so that she thought she was going to have a business meeting at this place called the Cow's End. Then I had her manager call her and tell her instead to meet the people down at the end of the pier, but when she got there, it was just me standing there. It worked out pretty great, so the Venice Pier has always been special to us.

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mark.sachs@latimes.com

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