Help Kovalchuk Plan His L.A. Visit [UPDATE]

Lombardi quote " LA Kings Insider
"Kovalchuk is only coming here for a visit," Lombardi said. "It is a great opportunity for him to meet us and us to meet him. Reports of us announcing a signing tomorrow are utterly false."

The Fourth Period :: Los Angeles Kings :: Kings, Kovalchuk still talking
The Kings want to show Kovalchuk the beauty's Southern California has to offer (better than any video), meet with him and have ownership get in on it, as well.

[DEAL-BREAKING UPDATE: it occurs to me that since so many hockey people live at the southern beaches, they might not be versed in how to avoid the freeways when heading toward the Hollywood Hills, the studios, Beverly Hills, etc.. Just in case, here are some guidelines: (1) don't get on the freeways for any reason until it's after 9PM; (2) Sepulveda is your North/South artery; take it from El Segundo all the way to the valley if you have to; (3) avoid Fairfax Av during peak hours, take La Brea; (4) take Sepulveda over the hill or use canyon roads (not Laurel Canyon, which despite taking you past the Houdini ruins, the Zappa log-cabin site and the CSN "Our House" house, will be a nightmare until well after dark) like Nichols Canyon, which is traffic free and also looks just like the Hockney painting of the same name -- you can point out Hockney's old house, too, a few feet from Tarantino's and Flea's, and also Hot Lips Houlihan's. (5) from Beverly Hills, take Sunset to PCH -- again, no freeway -- it's beautiful, and (6) when returning from the northern beaches DO NOT TRY PCH as it will be a parking lot. Instead, take Malibu Canyon, which is stunning and mountinous and no-one can believe they're still in Los Angeles; (7) for shopping in Beverly Hills, valet at Barney's and walk everywhere; (8) if Kovy wants to go to Chavez Ravine, you must take the back route, on Riverside Drive, through the part of Burbank/Toluca Lake where houses have stables and people ride horses streetside, through Griffith Park, continuing down along Riverside to the "back" entrance of Dodger Stadium. Someone in your party will tell you this is stupid and takes you out of your way; it doesn't matter. It won't take longer and it's nice to look at and you get to covertly show people riding f***ing horses on a Los Angeles street (as opposed to getting stuck on the 5, or the 110, or Vermont, etc.). The traffic thing is critical. When people see that LA traffic is not the cliche, at least for insiders, then they start to wonder what other cliches about LA might be wrong...Sign here...]

What exactly should Kovy (Mrs. Kovy? Little Kovy?) do on their Los Angeles vacation? I've got a few ideas. Please leave yours in the comments.

  • A drive up Pacific Coast Highway. Northern beaches, maybe, Point Dume, Zuma.
  • Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles.
  • Aunt Kizzy's Back Porch. Get the Jambalaya.
  • Pink's. Make Hextall wait in the line though. Check out guitar row on Sunset and have him call you when he gets to the front.
  • Mulholland Drive. Show him where the real exit to the Batcave was. See if you can't get in a fender-bender with Jack Nicholson. (For Lindsay Lohan, Sunset is better.)
  • La Brea Tar Pits. Can't miss for Little Kovy.
  • CBS Fairfax, adjacent to the Farmer's Market. Get the whole family onto "The Price Is Right" and then go afterwards to the market for a meal at The Gumbo Pot. (market is a huge hang-out for the wanna-be tPiR contestants in their costumes.)
  • Grauman's Chinese Theater. Meet Elvis, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Frankenstein and Jesus. Or arrange to have Jesus walk by you talking on his cell phone. En route, show him the corner where Hugh Grant got busted.
  • Show him the big doughnut.
  • On Sunset, a couple of blocks from Chateau Marmont, point out the head shop where John Belushi bought his last bong. A couple of blocks down from that, the Viper Room, where River Phoenix died.
  • Venice boardwalk. Look especially for the chainsaw-juggling guy.
  • Franklin Canyon park. Over 600 acres of totally undeveloped wilderness hidden in the middle of Los Angeles that most Angelinos don't even know about. Arrange to have Jay Leno drive by in a Model T or similar.
  • McCabes. Excellent guitar shop. Might bump into Jackson Browne or someone (or arrange for someone cooler to be there "shopping.")
  • The sign of the old Ship's diner (actual diner torn down) where Jim Morrison used to go for Boston Cream Pies at 3am.
  • Tito's Taco's. 
  • Arrange to drive by that big shoe car as if by accident.
  • I just noticed that Matthew Sweet is playing at McCabes on 8/28. Hopefully IK won't still be "finalizing" then.
  • Philipe's The Original, downtown, for French Dip sandwiches. Great before a Dodger game. The cubs are in town tonight. Warning though: cash only. 
  • See a show at the Magic Castle. (it's a member's only club, though, so you need to know a magician to get in. Probably CAA can get you in.)
  • The Hammer Museum is screening Warner Brothers' cartoons today. Might not be too late.
  • Museum of Tolerance, or as my six-year-old calls it, The Museum of Intolerance. 
  • For the first time in Kovalchuk's lifetime, there is a retrospective of the works of Arshile Gorky at the Contemporary, downtown. 
  • Native American Basketry at the Gene Autry Museum. (Across from the zoo.)
  • Little Kovy might like Traveltown, or Petersen's Automotive Museum. See Herbie the Love Bug, several Batmobiles, the Pope's bullet-proof bubble car. Walk around on the grounds of the Tar Pits and watch asphalt literally bubble up out of the grass.
  • Odessa Grocery in West Hollywood, for pelmeni, confeti, etc..
  • Sushi Nozawa on Ventura Boulevard. Many believe this guy is the inspiration for the Soup Nazi. You have to (and I mean have to) order the special, which is "Trust Me." He looks at you and gives you what he thinks you need. Best sushi on the planet. 
  • Donkey Punch, DMF, Punk as a Doornail, Brass Knuckle Voodoo at Alex's bar, Sunday night. Or Steve Miller and Los Lobos at the Greek.

That's all I've got off the top of my head. I will amend the list as I think of things, or as the comments warrant.

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