Los Angeles

Rachel Wolfson's Day Off in the San Fernando Valley Tells Her Origin Story

Comedian and 'Jackass Forever' star Rachel Wolfson shows us the spots that built her, from her first-ever comedy club to what once was her grandparents' house.

Thrillist/YouTube
Thrillist/YouTube
Thrillist/YouTube

The San Fernando Valley is a piece of Rachel Wolfson’s heart. Sure, it reminds her of her family, but it’s also the place where she found herself.

“People give the valley a hard rap,” the Jackass  Forever comedian said in a recent interview with Thrillist. “But when I think of California, I just think of the valley.” While the valley has always been a special place to her, the more she grew up, the more certain places and landmarks became even more meaningful. It’s like a family time capsule.

But there’s two sides to these cherished memories. While Wolfson’s valley is, on one hand, a dainty, comforting place filled with childhood moments, it is also the neighborhood that transformed her into the daredevil comedian she is now.

One day, she just decided to give it a go at Flappers Comedy Club, and the rest is history. “I just really struggled to find my place in this world and making people laugh always came easy to me,” she said. “And then something inside of me screamed, ‘Get on stage!'”

Everything in Wolfson’s life led up to what she’s doing now. This included starring in Jackass Forever, where she shows the fearless, yet very comedic side of her personality, and where she lets a scorpion “botox” her face. “I think it’s no secret that women can experience pain [and] that we find pain funny,” she said. “I think that for them to not include a woman would be ignoring an entire demographic of fans and also just, women like to do dumb shit too!”

In our series “Ride With Me,” Wolfson walks us down memory lane, and leads us to the San Fernando Valley places that molded her character. By showing us her grandma’s old house, the first stage she ever performed on, and her go-to dispensaries, Wolfson welcomes us into both her childhood and adulthood in the valley, and gives us some great tips on how to best experience it along the way.

Get ready to hop on stage-we’re going to the San Fernando Valley!

Places to Eat & Drink

Ma’s Italian Kitchen
Ma’s is a food staple to Wolfson, and it’s definitely one of her favorite restaurants.

She discovered it during the pandemic, and now can’t get enough of their food. “You can’t go wrong with anything,” she said. But if you are really looking for some recommendations, Wolfson will tell you to try their meatballs, which come with ricotta toast. She also often gets the pickled peppers, the chopped salad, the ravioli, the spaghetti and meatballs dish, and of course a big plate of fettuccine alfredo. And if you ordered too much, you can always pack it up and bring it home.

Art’s Deli
This Jewish deli is the perfect cure for hangovers, but one can go there to get anything and everything.

Wolfson even has a signature sandwich she gets all the time. When you order, just ask for turkey, cheddar, lettuce, red onion, crispy lettuce, crispy red onion, and “special mustard” on lightly toasted rye-and don’t forget a side of sauerkraut. The unofficial sandwich name, you ask? The Wolfson, of course.

Things to Do

Wolfson’s Grandparents’ House & the Park Nearby
Wolfson’s grandparents don’t live in this house anymore, but she took us here anyway. To her, it means a lot-even if now some strangers live there.

Wolfson fondly remembers the house’s floors, which were “like, so eighties,” as well as the living room’s two Lay-Z-Boys. One was for her grandpa, and the other was for her grandma. The house might look different now, but its old features are still etched in Wolfson’s memory.

The park was a ritual in Wolfson’s childhood. Her grandpa would always take her there for walks, and eventually it became part of the routine.

It’s probably where her daring spirit started to develop. “I would climb the trees,” she said. She came back to the park in the last couple of years, but this time, no tree climbing. It wasn’t her choice, though. “If there was a tree to climb, I definitely would!” she said.

Flappers Comedy Club
If you come to Flappers for the comedy, you stay for the fish. “Their salmon is fire!” said Wolfson.

Flappers Comedy Club is the first stage Wolfson ever had the courage to walk up on. They have fun open mic nights, and it’s a good place to go when you’re new to the comedy world. And don’t worry about getting roasted: “They’re very friendly towards new comics for sure,” said Wolfson.

The Higher Path
If you’re looking for something to take the edge off, The Higher Path dispensary is the place to be. You might even get a laugh or two out of it. “They actually employ a lot of comics who during the pandemic got side jobs in the cannabis industry,” explained Wolfson.

If you’re unsure what to get, feel free to walk up to one of the “budtenders” and ask them for guidance. “It’s not about profit for them,” said Wolfson. “It’s about how they can educate people.”

After shopping at The Higher Path, Wolfson’s advice is to go up in the Hills taking one of the hill drives, and then stop at one of the scenic points. Once there, feel free to light it up and enjoy the view, although make sure to avoid driving under the influence.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Los Angeles

Marcus Scribner's Day Off in Crenshaw, LA Is a Tour of BBQ, Fried Chicken & Soul Food

The ‘Blackish' actor takes us to his favorite restaurants in his hometown of Crenshaw.

Thrillist/YouTube
Thrillist/YouTube
Thrillist/YouTube

Without tooting his own horn, Marcus Scribner likes to say that Los Angeles made him into a well-rounded human being. It’s all thanks to the city’s diverse mix of experiences, people, and culture.

“What I love most about LA is I feel like we have so many different biomes and people from different backgrounds,” the Blackish actor said in a recent interview with Thrillist. “I would just hop all around town all the time and get all those different experiences.”

Crenshaw, though, holds a special place in Scribner’s heart. It’s kind of like an oasis of peace and community for him. “It’s still a predominantly Black neighbourhood,” he explained. “Which is pretty dope to see in the centre of Los Angeles.” His dad used to say that getting into the neighbourhood feels peaceful and quiet, but as soon as you step out, it’s like, “Welcome to the jungle!”

Besides the tight-knit community, there’s another main thread in Scribner’s Crenshaw: fried chicken. While guiding us to the discovery of his neighbourhood in our series “Ride With Me,” Scribner realized that every single spot he took us to offers really good fried chicken. “It says something about me, I think,” he said. Scribner knows all the best fried chicken spots around town, and we’re definitely here for it.

The best breakfast spot in the world, Los Angeles staple chicken and waffle joints that even President Obama goes to, and delicious, Black-owned soul food restaurants are only some of the many Crenshaw gems Scribner shares with us.

Get ready to taste the best soul food LA has to offer. We’re going to Crenshaw.

Places to Eat & Drink

Jacks N Joe
Scribner doesn’t care what anyone else says, this is the best breakfast spot “on planet Earth.”

According to Scribner, their pancakes are amazing, and they come with maple butter syrup. But his favourite dish is the hash browns. “You can get the hash browns extra well done,” he suggested. “It’s over, it’s over. You’re having the best meal of your life.”

Roscoe’s House of Chicken N Waffles
President Obama stole Scribner’s special here-or at least that’s what Scribner will tell you.

“I’ve been ordering that, [and] all of a sudden they changed it to Obama Special when he popped out the cut,” Scribner said. No disrespect to Obama, but Scribner’s order has always been the Obama Special, which includes three wings with a waffle (or potato salad or fries). Scribner just adds an extra waffle to the mix, and that’s his all-time favourite order.

Phillips Barbecue
Scribner is aware he’ll get a lot of flack for saying this, but that’s okay. “Phillips Barbecue is hands down my favourite barbecue location,” he said.

“The meats are pretty good quality and the meats themselves are delicious and I love them,” he explained. “But it’s the sides and the sauce that just hit.” Their baked beans and macaroni salad are incredible, and you should put them right on your barbecue sandwich.

Just be careful: Their sauces are spicy, and the highest level is just too hot according to Scribner. His advice? Get the mixed sauce, and you’ll receive mild and hot together.

Alta Adams
This Black-owned soul food restaurant looks amazing, and it tastes even better. The setting is high-end, and their dishes are authentic soul food. They have “the best fried chicken,” according to Scribner.

“I like it because the chicken is moist, but it’s not too moist,” he explained. “This is some real chicken, which has some good moisture and the skin is perfect.” If you’re not in the mood for chicken, their oxtails are also a great choice. You shouldn’t miss out on the cornbread, either.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
This place is so good that it started in Tennessee and eventually expanded into LA.

“It’s just the bomb,” said Scribner. “The fried chicken is so good and spicy, which I love.” Their collard greens and baked beans are both must-trys as well, and Scribner would be the one to know. “I love baked beans,” he said. “I used to just eat straight up Bush’s baked beans out of the can, bruh. I’m wilding. I’m about that life.”

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Tiana Attride is a former associate editor at Thrillist. She cares a little too much about the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack.

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