The Punisher aka Frank Castle's Favorite L.A. Restaurants
The Punisher by Mitch Gerads (Marvel)
If you read our interview with writer Nathan Edmondson then you already know that downtown mainstay Nickel Diner - as well as their popular maple bacon donut - makes repeat appearances in the new series of Marvel Comic's The Punisher. But would you like to hear what an ex-U.S. Marine turned self-appointed vigilante thinks about Nickel Diner, as well as six other L.A. restaurants?
Here, Frank Castle himself breaks it down.
Bigmista's BBQ. He's a moving target, like me. But meat and fire - what more could you want? And better meat, you won't find anywhere in LA. I find him in the farmer's markets. Hollywood, Atwater, Century City. He's opening a joint downtown soon. I'll have to offer my patronage, and street protecting from the thugs. 3250 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles; bigmista.com.
Nickel Diner is bright and tourists and locals filter in and out; I can hide in plain sight there as other customers stare at me, trying to figure out which TV show I did a season on. In LA, having a familiar face is its own camouflage. Haven't tried the doughnuts here - but black coffee, eggs, and the banter with one person who knows my not-so-secret-secret makes this my morning home. 524 S. Main St., Los Angeles; 213-623-8301.
Ben MesirowB. Mesirow Lunch with a view at Neptune's Net
When I need to ghost, Neptune's Net out in Malibu is a lot of a protein for very little nonsense. Sit and stare at the water and forget about dancing brass shell casings and spilled blood, or take the oysters, burger, or shrimp to go - fresh seafood smells up my FOB (forward operating base) in the metro tunnel, but it's not like I have a lot of guests. 42505 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu; 310-457-3095.
Hugo's in the Valley. Bad on exits - two forward, a tight kitchen, not a place to get into a gunfight - but good on atmosphere and healthy grub. The angled windows mean I can see out, but outsiders can't see, identify, or aim at me. Coffee or chilaquiles here, maybe a taco to go across the street at Hugo's Taco Stand, and I can be anywhere in town quickly I need to be quickly - fueled up for a gunfight, well fed for a street war. 12851 Riverside Drive
Valley Village; 818-761-8985.
Jones on Santa Monica in Hollywood. The heart of the song and dance of L.A. I couldn't care less about, but where no one recognizes me because they're all looking at themselves. Jones has the beer, the private booths, and the classy food to make this a choice meetings spot, even if some of the meetings end up with a 9mm round in a kneecap. 7205 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-850-1726.
Once I had to take someone out at Spago. I sat first through a meal. As casual as L.A. is, I still find it misery to sit anywhere that a T-shirt full of blood stains is frowned upon, so I dressed up. The meal - and the vodka cocktail the waiter insisted upon - were worth it. An unfair reminder of the life I left behind; a moment in heaven, torture, since I'm bound for the other place. 176 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills; 310-385-0880.
O'Brien's Irish Pub in Santa Monica. Great whiskey. Easy to escape out the back door. Easy to hide and Willie can handle himself in a fight, and would fight for me if it came down to that. This is the nicest food I'll enjoy in a week and it's by a neighborhood where I'm not likely to find any Dos Soles - the occasional nutty gunman, perhaps, but I know how to deal with those, and Willie will keep my tab open while I'm at it. 2226 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica; (310) 829-5303
Get the Squid Ink'd Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly food newsletter, which features top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips and a link to our print review.