Look what he does when he has more than 24 hours

KEEPING the free world free is no easy task, but for Carlos Bernard’s “24" character Tony Almeida, it’s all in a day’s work. The Fox series opens its fifth season Sunday and Monday with a pair of two-hour episodes, so filming for the 43-year-old Chicago-born actor, who lives in Laurel Canyon with actress-wife Sharisse Baker-Bernard and their young daughter, is already in high gear. Sounds as if he could use at least 24 hours off.

Open till 3 but ...

I’d start on Friday by going to one of our favorite restaurants, Magnolia, on Sunset. It’s a great little place with a nice atmosphere. I’d probably order sushi, and my wife likes the salmon. And with me from Chicago and her from Dallas, we love a good steak, and they do that really well too. It’s open until 3 a.m., and although we don’t get to stay out late much anymore since the baby, it’s great to see something like that in L.A. I’ve been living here for 10 years now, but I still haven’t gotten used to places closing at 11.

After dinner, the Friars Club is a great place to hang out and smoke a cigar, talk and shoot some pool.


Starting with a jolt

On Saturday morning, I’m a Starbucks freak, so I’d go get a large coffee with a couple shots of espresso in it. Then I’d head over to Lulu’s on Beverly for a grilled croissant sandwich.

I’d go up to the beach at the Ventura County line. It’s a perfect spot for boogie boarding. Then I’d have lunch at Neptune’s Net, maybe some fish and chips or some fresh shrimp. Later, we might go over to Koi for some sushi, or maybe this great Argentine place on Melrose called Carlito’s Gardel. Great steaks; they just keep bringing out the meat.

We’d also go see some live music. I always check out who’s playing at the Mint. If I could, I’d like to see this amazing jazz singer, Jimmy Scott. I saw him about two or three years ago, and he was fantastic.

A beautiful sight

On Sunday we’d start at the farmers market on Ventura Place and Laurel Canyon in Studio City, where they have pony rides and a petting zoo for kids. When my daughter’s up on a pony, it’s just the greatest thing to see.

So we’d poke around there for a while and then walk over to Du-Par’s for breakfast. If I’ve been good about working out, I’ll treat myself to pancakes or an omelet.

I might play golf or even better, maybe go out to see a ballgame, with the Cubs playing the Dodgers. I used to play a lot of basketball on weekends, but I broke my foot pretty badly a couple of years ago and that slowed me down. I was going up for a layup and a guy grabbed the back of my jersey, and my foot ended up facing backward. It was like a bag of bones. The people at the show were great about it; they just wrote it into the script.


On Sunday evening, we’d have friends over and we’d barbecue some T-bones, rent a movie and just hang out.


-- Mark Sachs