Jimmy O. Yang: How to have the best Sunday in L.A.

In Sunday Funday, L.A. individuals give us a play-by-play of their preferrred Sunday round city. Discover concepts and inspiration for the place to go, what to eat and the way to get pleasure from life on the weekends.

On-screen, actor, comic and author Jimmy O. Yang has parlayed scene-stealing supporting roles on TV (as app developer/housemate Jian-Yang on HBO’s “Silicon Valley”) and within the films (as obnoxious playboy Bernard Tai in “Loopy Wealthy Asians”) into starring roles in movies (2020’s “The Opening Act” and 2021’s “Love Arduous”) and two Prime Video stand-up comedy specials (“Good Deal,” which dropped in 2020, and “Guess How A lot?,” launched Could 2).

That form of profession arc makes him a robust alternative for the function of Willis Wu, the background actor angling for an even bigger function, in Hulu’s 10-episode adaptation of Charles Yu’s award-winning novel “Inside Chinatown” (government produced by Taika Waititi with Yu because the showrunner) that’s at present taking pictures in Los Angeles. (Mockingly, exterior pictures are being filmed in L.A.’s Chinatown, whereas the inside motion is being captured on the Fox Studio Lot.)

Offscreen, Yang has parlayed a love of meals and cooking right into a collection of YouTube cooking movies (his first centered on “quarantine enchiladas”). The movies chronicle a unending quest to excellent a handful of dishes and even his romantic relationship with enterprise capitalist and fellow foodie Brianne Kimmel, who wooed him with a Mason jar of hard-to-score sizzling sauce.

As a result of Yang’s relationship with Kimmel (they’ve been courting since July 2021) is among the many subjects he touches on in “Guess How A lot?” the couple — who spend most of their weekend time collectively — sat down for a chat on a latest Saturday afternoon at Worklife Studios Silver Lake, the launchpad, showroom and pop-up area Kimmel created for up-and-coming inventive manufacturers not removed from the Los Feliz neighborhood the place they dwell.

10 a.m.: Gaze on the backyard

Jimmy O. Yang: On weekends we attempt to not plan an excessive amount of, so I don’t get up till 10 o’clock — ideally — however that doesn’t occur fairly often. Then I’ll stretch and do some yoga.

Brianne Kimmel: However first you wish to exit and test your backyard.

JOY: That’s true! I’ll form of shuffle out to my backyard to have a look at my vegetation. Proper now I’ve received some sizzling peppers which might be doing rather well. We had a extremely thriving habanero plant final yr. So I really jarred them and fermented them, and I’m going to make sizzling sauce.

BK: We additionally get massive packing containers of greens delivered to the home from Flamingo Property, a collective of L.A.-based farmers that does recent produce packing containers.

11 a.m.: Meals-truck hop or take a look at Chinatown

JOY: If we get an excellent taco hankering, we’ll go right down to Soto and Olympic — just like the Boyle Heights space — the place there’s a line of meals vans so we will food-truck hop. There’s the [Tacos y Birria] La Unica truck and Pepe’s Crimson Tacos [which was recently renamed El Cabo Pepe’s] — they each have actually good birria — and Mariscos Jalisco, the well-known seafood truck, which I really like.

BK: After we go to get tacos, he likes to carry his personal sizzling sauce.

JOY: I made my first batch of fermented mango habanero watermelon sizzling sauce. And sure, I carry it alongside. It really has a connection to our first date, which was on the Cara Lodge, the place I ordered a lobster omelet at night time. It was served with this nice watermelon habanero sauce, the most effective sizzling sauces I’ve ever had. And I requested the chef if I might purchase a bottle, and so they stated no as a result of it was this connoisseur sauce that they make each week.

In all probability two dates later, she’s like, “I’m going to be 5 minutes late. I’m simply dealing with one thing.” And he or she exhibits up with this Mason jar. She someway satisfied the chef to offer her an entire Mason jar of the recent sauce. I used to be like, “Wow, I actually like this woman!”

We’re each open to all types of delicacies, however once we began cooking collectively, I spotted we strategy it very in another way. I do know what I do know, and there are like 5 dishes I’ll at all times make: meatballs [and] spaghetti, pad kra pao — made with floor rooster and holy basil — my rooster tikka masala is getting there. I used to be making pesto once we had a variety of basil within the yard. We received like three bushels of basil that I gave away to my buddies, and we ate pesto for like two weeks. And currently, a inexperienced curry.

Not too long ago we had been in Chinatown getting some exterior pictures, and the set was dressed with all this produce. Plenty of it was plastic produce, however a few of it was recent. I used to be like, “Guys, what are you going to do with this? I gotta take the whole lot!” So I received a bag and took lemongrass, chile peppers and dragon fruit. The following morning, I pounded some lemongrass and a few chiles in a mortar and pestle and made some inexperienced curry. Let’s name it a “set-dressing curry.”

BK: Jimmy has a number of recipes that he perfects over time, and they also’re at all times a bit bit completely different. And I would like as many cookbooks as attainable. After I go to a restaurant, I must learn and see what’s happening with every cocktail.

JOY: Typically on Sundays we would go right down to Chinatown to get some dim sum [instead]. Sadly, Ocean Seafood closed down, so now we’ve received to discover a new place. We shoot in these alleyways — all these little nooks and crannies — so I’ve found numerous new retailers you wouldn’t find out about in case you had been simply strolling down Broadway. I found a classic clothes retailer referred to as Tae Home once we had been taking pictures late one night time. Me and Charlie [Yu] went in there and purchased a pair issues. That’s one place. [But it’s not open on Sunday.] There’s additionally a bookstore there we love. What’s the identify of it?

BK: It’s referred to as Now Serving. It solely sells cookbooks. We do most of our Christmas buying there. Final yr, for Lunar New 12 months, we purchased 60 cookbooks as a result of we put them in reward packing containers for our associates.

JOY: She collects cookbooks. “My Shanghai: Recipes and Tales From a Metropolis on the Water,” [by Betty Liu], that’s a stupendous one we like. And Brandon Jew’s guide “Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown: Recipes and Tales From the Birthplace of Chinese language American Meals” is one other. There’s additionally a retailer in Chinatown we like, Heaven’s Market, that sells pure wines.

Midday: Pop over to go to the dad and mom

JOY: I attempt to see my dad and mom most weekends. It’s out of each obligation and love. They’re within the San Gabriel Valley, the place there’s a variety of actually good Chinese language meals, and we’ll strive all these completely different locations. There’s a well-known duck restaurant we went to in Monterey Park, Duck Home. That’s form of what we did once we first got here to America. We lived form of in West L.A., however each weekend my dad would drive us to the San Gabriel Valley, so we might have a bit piece of house.

BK: We’ve taken solid and crew from movies there. It’s our go-to for first-timers to conventional Chinese language meals.

2 to 4 p.m.: Perform a little around-the-world recipe reconnaissance

JOY: Each my dad and mom cooked, however for my dad, cooking was his love language. He would completely take over within the kitchen. [That’s one of the reasons I started] doing cooking movies throughout the pandemic. There’s a lot good things from completely different cultures that I by no means realized the way to prepare dinner — that I by no means even thought was attainable.

That was the time when everybody was working out of bathroom paper, and there have been lengthy strains at Ralphs and Albertsons. So I discovered a hack. I went to this place, which we really nonetheless love going to on the weekends — Carniceria 21. It’s this Mexican grocery retailer that has good meats, nice chorizo, nice sauces — nice the whole lot. It’s no frills and no strains.

I additionally actually like Bangluck Market in Thai City, which is in the identical strip mall as this nice Thai restaurant referred to as Sanamluang. So typically we’ll get a bit lunch there after which go to the market. They’ve Thai basil, Thai chiles, coconut milk and lemongrass — a variety of the staples of Thai delicacies that may be arduous to seek out.

6 p.m.: Get impressed by (steak) Sinatra on the Smoke Home

JOY: If I’m not at house making an attempt to grasp a brand new dish for dinner, we love Damon’s steakhouse in Glendale. It’s superior. It has a extremely enjoyable vibe. And I really like the prime rib.

BK: Oh, and their coconut shrimp is so good too!

JOY: So it will both be Damon’s or the Smoke Home in Burbank, which has this Outdated Hollywood vibe, and it’s so chill. There’s loads of parking, and it’s a bit out of the way in which. The primary time I went in, I didn’t even know what was happening. It’s at all times like anyone’s seventieth birthday in there. We had been in there one time, and it was the 93rd birthday for some man named Bazooka Joe. Everybody stood up and sang “America the Lovely” and saluted him. I simply began crying. It was superb.

BK: We found a brand new dish there. It’s referred to as steak Sinatra.

JOY: It’s superb. I’m making an attempt to duplicate it. I simply haven’t discovered how. It’s like chopped sirloin steaks on a pasta.

8 p.m.: Stomach as much as the yard tiki bar earlier than karaoke

BK: We’d positively have a nightcap in our tiki bar, which is form of impressed by all these bars and eating places we’ve been to when Jimmy was on tour. We went to 33 cities final yr.

JOY: The tiki bar began as a toolshed that I didn’t know what to do with. I had numerous concepts, however that’s all they had been. Bri actually satisfied me to make it a tiki bar, and we drew up some designs. Fortunate for us — and in addition unhappy — a variety of tiki distributors had gone out of enterprise or had been going out of enterprise due to the pandemic, so we had been capable of decide up a ton of nice tiki decorations. I don’t drink an excessive amount of arduous alcohol, however I do love an excellent mojito. And luckily we’ve got a variety of mint in our yard. We didn’t need to develop it. It’s simply at all times been there like a weed. It’s in every single place. In the course of the pandemic, my buddy Ken and his spouse came visiting, and I traded him a sack of mint for his spouse’s selfmade dumplings.

Bri additionally constructed a karaoke room on this bizarre form of uninhabitable little area subsequent to the laundry room. We went throughout L.A., and he or she discovered numerous antiques. The centerpiece is a 200-pound bronze dragon desk that takes up many of the room. The highest is a chunk of glass so you may see the dragon. She received it from a classic vintage vendor who goes to property gross sales. After which she splurged and purchased, as a present for me, a classic Togo sofa from this place in North Hollywood referred to as MidcenturyLA. Then when it got here to the karaoke machine, my dad was like, “While you’re prepared, name me. I received the spot!” And he took me to Ace Karaoke [in City of Industry], which is just like the final remaining karaoke place. You go in, and so they’re promoting CDs of karaoke hits from 1992, in addition to these machines that actually obtain songs from the cloud. It’s some previous Chinese language man, so solely Asian individuals in all probability go there.

Go-to karaoke songs? There’s so many. “Piano Man” is nice, “Careless Whisper,” “Come Collectively” by the Beatles. I like a bit extra of the traditional stuff. Plenty of Billy Joel. Quite a bit of Billy Joel.

It’s a small room — it matches about six — so it’s normally the end-of-the-night crew. Virtually all people has left, and we head down there. There’s a bit fridge down there, so no person has to return [upstairs for drinks].

11 p.m.: Cookbooks and native information

JOY: After we karaoke a number of songs, Bri reads cookbooks whereas I watch the native information, after which we go to mattress.