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My Favorite Weekend: Lenny Kravitz

Musician Lenny Kravitz got an opportunity to stretch some new muscles as Nurse John in the double-Oscar-winner “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” now out on DVD and Blu-ray. But acting isn’t foreign to him.

“Even when I’m recording music, I think in terms of characters as I’m playing the different instruments,” he said. “It might be this skinny little English dude on drums. But it’s all my vision. In acting, you’re essentially carrying out the director’s vision, and it was my job to interpret what he was trying to do with the character. It was refreshing; I look forward to doing more.”

Kravitz said he’ll next play politician Andrew Young in “Precious” director Lee Daniel’s upcoming civil rights film, “Selma.”

Life in Venice

One my favorite restaurants is a spot in Venice called Axe. My daughter was born in the city, and we used to live up the street from there before the restaurant was built. The food is fresh, they have organic produce and it’s just homey, tasty food made with love. I’d get the salmon bowl.

Just down the street is another amazing place, Gjelina, which has the most incredible Brussels sprouts dish with dates and big chunks of hickory bacon. It’s a real California-type place, with beautiful wood on the ceiling and floor, old tables, low lights, sort of concrete walls with etchings on them.

Bowl memories

The Hollywood Bowl will always be a special place for me, because I played my first concert there -- not as Lenny Kravitz, but as part of the California Boys Choir, singing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

I haven’t played there since, but I used to go there every year with my parents to the Playboy Jazz Festival. Incredible memories -- Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan, Weather Report. And I still love going to the Bowl.

Moving on up

I love just hanging around Santa Monica, where I grew up after my mom moved us from New York in 1975 -- after she got a role on “The Jeffersons.”

All that skate and surf culture was happening at the time, and I loved the neighborhood vibe. Still do. I still have friends I see there. But it was a lot for an 11-year-old from New York to get used to.

Head for the Hills

The Beverly Hills Hotel is a big favorite of mine. I have fond family memories of staying there with my grandfather when he used to come out. I used to live there; I’ve stayed there for months at a time.

I like the Chateau Marmont too, but it’s a completely different vibe. It’s more Hollywood, more loose down at the Chateau, a little more quiet and a different crowd at the Beverly Hills Hotel, but they’re both cool.

Talking turkey

My new favorite spot is Umami Burger. It’s just ridiculous -- the best turkey burger I’ve had on the planet. Lightly fried onions, aged cheddar, green chiles, the bun is soft and steamed or barely toasted around the edges. Trust me, you have to bite into one and you’ll see.

mark.sachs@latimes.com


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