Walton Goggins Reveals His Picks for the Best L.A. Hangouts During the Holidays

Courtesy of John Cizmas
Walton Goggins

The actor and co-owner of spirits brand Mulholland Distilling gives his recommendations for dinner, drinks and holiday recovery.

Like so many who work in Hollywood, I spend a lot of time on the road. On more than one occasion, the song most often played on holiday radio stations that I hear is “Please Come Home for Christmas.” But not this year… The schedule has changed and Daddy is coming home! Thank you, scheduling gods! You know that saying: There are four stages in life — you believe in Santa Claus, you don’t believe in Santa Claus, you are Santa Claus and you look like Santa Clause. I’m in the third group, showing early signs of joining the fourth, and I love it. It means after our beautiful family has opened presents and shared gifts of appreciation, my wife and I get to step out and have a date night (or two) on the town, reflecting on the year that’s passed and giving meaning to the year to come. These are a few places I’m looking forward to visiting the most.

FOR DINNER Dama in the fashion district is one of my newest favorites. Vintage Latin vibes, indoor-outdoor seating, tropical plants, dim lights and dark wood make you feel like you're in Cuba. There's a sense of nostalgia that I love, and the drinks and food reflect the relaxed blend of traditional and modern that Los Angeles does better than any city. I spent an evening at Dama when I was last home and wound up having a long chat with co-owner Steve Livigni. What a lovely human being. He opened a mezcal that I'd never tried. I'm hoping he still has some left.

FOR DRINKS Apotheke is just beautiful. I've been going to the one in NYC for eight years and am over the moon that we now have one in our own backyard. The moment you step into the unassuming Chinatown bar with velvet curtains, ornate furniture and a glowing marble bar, you feel the warmth of a bygone era, just what you want during the holidays. The cocktail list is also fucking insanely good. Order the Dizzying Intellect: It's made with our gin, jicama, Kummel, lime, Spruce beer and Angostura bitters.

FOR HOLIDAY RECOVERY When I need a deliciously healthy meal after all the parties (I'm the dude who stashes cookies in his pockets), Botanica in Silver Lake is my go-to spot. It's relaxingly health-conscious. Plus, the airy, bright space and serene, cozy patio are perfect for breakfast meetings, lunches and sharing a meal with friends.

A version of this story first appeared in the Dec. 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.